Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour

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Hi! Welcome to my stop on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour!

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Lovely Little Patchwork is the brilliant first book published by Kerri Horsley of Lovely Little Handmades for Tuva Publishing. When Kerri  and Tuva Publishing sent me a copy of her book a few months ago I was so excited that within a few hours I had sewn up a cute heart pot holder (you can read all about it in my previous blog post).

 

Since that time I have made quite a few items from the book including these sweet Back to School Pencil IMG_9194pouches.  If you are nervous about creating with zippers you will love IMG_9526Kerri’s pattern. It is so easy to follow and you can easily hand stitch the zipper in place if you are concerned about using your machine to sew on a zipper. I also know a lot of people who love the look of lace zippers but struggle to find a pattern to use them with, so this is a perfect way to finally experiment with them.

To celebrate my turn on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour I made a new project from the book – the Ice Skating Girl cushion. I love making cushions, if you have seen my Instagram account this won’t come as any surprise. Because if like me you are new to sewing quilt blocks, a cushion is a happy medium between a small project like a pot holder and a large project like a quilt.

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This is the first time I made half square triangles and quarter square triangles but thanks to the books glossy pictures and comprehensive IMG_1981instructions the only reason I needed to do any unpicking was when I changed my mind about a fabric choice. And the fact that the triangles are made from pieces no larger than a 5 1/2 inch square means its also a perfect project for using up your scraps.

I used fabric from a range of collections and love how the block can look so different depending on where you place your stronger colours and prints. In the book Kerri gives you details and a pattern for embroidering an image in the centre (hence the name Ice Skating Girl). However I had a small piece of  Hawthorne Threads fawn fabric that I wanted to use for a special project like this and it worked perfectly with my recent fabric purchase of Amy Sinibaldi’s  Playground collection. I also used my favourite blender from Dear Stella Tiny Hearts in Petal and an older collection by Bonnie Christine FireFly Whisper to complete the look. I quilted the block using a 1/4 inch seam around each triangle and as result I have a soft squishy pillow large enough for two family members to snuggle against.

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If you are looking for a book that teaches you a range of techniques to make both pretty and useful items for all ages then this book is ideal!  And the best part is the blog tour allows you to see lots of the items featured in Lovely Little Patchwork, so make sure you pop over to the other blogs to be inspired!

There is a fantastic table of all those featured in the blog tour but unfortunately I can’t publish tables, instead you can view the complete list of all the wonderful makers on the first blog featured – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl.  You can also use the hashtag #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour on Instagram to view the beautiful photos.

And tomorrow is Sedef’s from Down Grapevine Lane turn on the tour, and you can guarantee her make is going to be truly inspiring.  I can’t wait to see it!

Happy creating!

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High Tea Blog Hop

Welcome to my turn on the lovely High Tea blog hop! High tea for Lecien is Jera Brandvig’s debut collection and oh my goodness its a truly sweet collection. Even the print names are yummy, with colourways like Fig Red, Butter Cream and Brown Sugar two name a few.

I wanted to use the fabrics in a way that would showcase the divine soft colours and pretty high tea inspired prints.  I knew what ever I created it definitely needed to feature fussy cutting.  I actually made this little dresden before I had a plan on what to use it for.

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After much consideration I decided to make a treat for myself, by making a sweet tea cosy featuring Jera’s prints and linen. Growing up my Grandma always crocheted tea cosies for the family however since her passing and my inability to crochet that tradition kind of stopped. And when you realise how cute they can be with fabric like High Tea and how easy they are I’m pretty sure a tea cosy will be added to your handmade Christmas gift repertoire.

 

I followed the fantastic free tutorial by Jesse at the IMG_1352Messy Jesse blog. I did waver slightly after step four.  I skipped step 5  and instead separately sewed bias binding to the bottom edges of the two sides of the tea cosy.  Then I placed the tea cosy sides wrong sides together and sewed around the curved edge with a 1/4 inch seam.   You should now have a tea cosy (albeit with a messy edge).  However by adding the bias binding to this curved edge you will conceal those messy edges.

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Of course if I am going to have a tea cosy it only seams fitting to have matching coasters. So I used Cheri’s from the blog Tinker With This free hexie coaster pattern to make two perfectly sweet and matching High Tea coasters.

 

 

I think this tea cosy and coaster set would make a perfect gift (especially in High Tea fabrics) when combined with your favourite tea and handmade biscuits. (or shop bought biscuits – if like me you are a maker not a baker🙂

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Thank you for taking the time to read my post! And great news the blog hop continues tomorrow with the very talented quilter Peta from She Quilts A Lot working with this pretty collection.

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Apple Farm Blog Hop

Hi! Welcome to my blog and my turn on the Apple Farm Blog Hop for Elea Lutz’s latest collection for Riley Blake Designs.

IMG_1670Ok let’s be honest Elea is yet to create a collection that I don’t absolutely adore so no real surprise how much I love this collection. But seriously who wouldn’t! With its pretty
pops of colour, pretty ginghams, sweet apples and adorable critters it has been so much fun to create with (especially as our Australian winter has been filled with many gloomy grey days).

 

 

The arrival of Apple Farm coincided with the arrival of my first great niece. And so I set to create a few special gifts for her. For me one of the greatest quilting honours I can have is for a designer IMG_1279to ask me to work with their designs. I wanted to make a truly special quilt that honoured the traditional side of quilting whilst celebrated the vibrant colours of Apple Farm. So after seeing so many gorgeous Lucy Boston blocks posted on Instagram I decided to give them a go. Sewing these blocks was quite a challenge because as well as fussy cutting the pieces, fabric placement can have a huge impact on the look of the block. (The nice IMG_1256part about these blocks is they only use one shape – elongated hexies – and as it only takes 24 papers to make a block  you don’t have to make a huge financial investment to give them a go.)

 

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After two weeks of solid hand stitching (and many moments thinking I would never finish)completed my great niece’s baby quilt. I hand stitched everything except the sashing between the blocks and after hanging it on the line to dry I couldn’t believe the effect the winter sun had shining through my hand pieced blocks.

 

 

I also made my great niece a cute bear pillow to match her quilt. I used the pattern from Amy IMG_1724
Sinibaldi’s book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. My hope is that my niece and her baby daughter use this teddy pillow to snuggle with, lay on, read books next to and it becomes all squishy and well loved like the ones I made my girls

 

 

 

It feels so special to share my quilting with my family and to create pieces that are designed to be loved by children and their parents. I am sure that is what Elea had in mind when she designed this collection and the fact that I have this fabric because I was asked by Elea to create with it makes these handmade gifts that much sweeter.

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I hope I have inspired you to try a technique, create with this collection and continue enjoying the blog hop. Make sure you check out Lauren’s creations at Transient Art and tomorrow have a look at Jessica from Euphoria Jessica and Kristyne from Pretty by Hand blog posts.

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Posy Garden Blog Hop

 

Welcome! Today is my turn on the Posy Garden blog hop.

Posy Garden is Carina Gardner’s latest collection for Riley Blake and is a perfect combination of soft tiny florals and bold colours. Along with the pretty prints and colours what I really love about Carina’s collection is how versatile the designs are!  One week in and the blog hop has featured a wide range of makes from baby quilts, a fantastic tote and a gorgeous tunic for a little girl.

IMG_1498The Posy Garden prints are so pretty so I decided to use it for a project I had long promised my youngest daughter – a tooth fairy pillow… well actually a tooth fairy wall hanging. My eldest has a pillow but with months between tooth fairy visits it can be quite hard to find her tiny pillow just before bedtime. So instead of a pillow I made a tooth fairy wall hanging. That way when not tucked under her pillow waiting for a visit she can have it hanging on her wall above her bed. And when you use the super cute tooth fairy quilt block pattern from Elea Lutz’s book Pretty Playtime sewn with Carina’s beautiful collection who wouldn’t to have it displayed as art!

 

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The little fairy’s dress pocket on Elea’s quilt block is the perfect size for the envelopes our fairy leaves behind. (Side note: if your fairy is interested in leaving an envelope like the one our fairy leaves let her know she can download the free printable from Handmade Charlotte’s blog)

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I turned the block into a mini quilt by making a quilt sandwich (quilt block, batting and then backing fabric) and just prior to binding I added two triangle sections at the back top corners to make two little pockets I could slip in a piece of dowel when I needed to hang it on the wall.

To hang it to the wall and because every fairy really needs a special place I used the free star pattern from Mollie’s blog Wild Olive (I printed the template at 40 percent). I changed her tutorial slightly by added a little batting between the back and front fabrics. Then just prior to sewing the back and front together I added a loop of thread to the top point of the star and a piece of thread coming out of the two bottom points.  Then with the two threads hanging at the bottom of the star I tied them to each end of the dowel with a simple knot. Ta da, a super simple and pretty way to hang a mini quilt.

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Now when the tooth fairy visits we can easily remove the tooth fairy wall hanging and place it under her pillow, and the next morning we can pop it back on to the wall.

And as I said at the start of this blog the collection is so versatile it works for all sorts of projects for all sorts of ages. When I saw how perfectly the print looked with some soft faux leather I just had to give the You and Mie free tutorial for a foldover clutch a go. And the result is sweet posy perfection!IMG_1474

To continue to be inspired by this gorgeous collection make sure you visit Amy from Ameroonie Designs blog tomorrow and for a full list of bloggers participating in the hop have a look at Carina’s beautiful website.

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Pixie Noel Blog Hop

IMG_0474Hi! Welcome to my turn on the Pixie Noel Blog Hop.

Pixie Noel is Tasha Noel’s latest collection for Riley Blake and I am truly smitten. Like many people I am a huge fan of Tasha’s designs, with all of her previous collections being a big part of our handmade home – from nursery bunting and curtains, first birthday dresses and now our Christmas.

 

As soon  Pixie Noel arrived at my home I started making 1 inch hexies (seriously how could I not – hedgehogs AND deers ), but then I needed a project to display my sweet cheery hexies!  Suddenly I was inspired by a previous and well loved item I had made – a pillowcase! Growing up we would leave out pillowcases (not stockings) on Christmas Eve, and with this sweet Christmas themed collection now my daughters will be able to do the same.

IMG_1751I used Lisa from A Spoonful Of Sugar free tutorial for a hexie pillowcase, adjusting slightly to make the cuff completely out of hexies. The Pixie Noel illustrations are perfectly sized for 1 inch fussy cut hexies and even better a  charm pack easily makes 42 hexies – all you need for the cuff on a standard pillowcase.

 

 

 

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With the little pieces of fabric I had left over I  made a little sleeping bag for my daughter’s favourite bunny. I used the Honey Bear’s sleeping bag pattern from the S is for Sewing Book by Belle and Boo.  A seriously cute idea, that is so simple to make I look forward to making more for gifts.
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Of course I couldn’t let the tiny pieces left over from making hexies go to waste (seriously those tiny blue birds are adorable).  So I made fabric stamps using Amy Sinibaldi’s tutorial and then using Svetlana Sotak’s  free pattern for a drawstring pouch I made a super cute and handy pouch to leave out  – perfect for those tiny gifts that sometimes get lost on Christmas morning.

 

 

So thanks to Tasha’s sweet illustrations Christmas in July has well and truly arrived in our home. My girls are  already using the pillowcase, sleeping bag and tiny pouch (currently on a roster as I need to make one more of each item).  And the best part is all these items featured in my blog hop post were made with 1 1/2 yards of Pixie Noel fabric and a single 5 inch charm pack!

Ohh and it is also Jemima from Tied with Ribbon’s turn on the blog hop today and her beautiful Let It Snow wall hanging is as pretty as it is inspiring, so you definitely need to pop over to her blog.

And if like me you love all things Pixie Noel, tomorrow the blog hop will feature makes from Andy from A Bright Corner and Lindsay from The Cottage Mama.

Happy Creating!

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English Paper Piecing – A few tips

 

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Most nights I enjoy relaxing with some simple hand sewing, and more often then not I’m working on a english paper pieced project.  So after 18 months of almost daily practice I have discovered a few tips that I thought I would share and hopefully help you with your next project.

 

 

 

Glue vs thread basting

I have tried both glueing and thread basting and for me IMG_0202
thread basting wins out for any paper piece over about 1/2 inch.  Thread basting helps maintain the shape (no more yanking at seams and fabric to become unstuck) and means I can get at least two or three uses out of my paper pieces as the papers aren’t torn when I remove them.  With 1/2 inch and smaller shapes it gets fairly tricky to work with the tiny pieces so I do find glueing easier.

 

Thread

For months I struggled with threading my needles but then I discovered Aurifil 50 weight thread – its thin enough to fit through the eye of any needle but has enough structure it doesn’t collapse when you are trying to thread with it.

Needles

I had no idea there was special quilting needles but once I discovered size 11 needles my stitches improved straight away.  Their small size means they slip through the fabric far easier than a longer length needle.  And as you sew your shapes together you can also get in between the edge of the paper piece and the edge of the fabric (see below image), which means your stitches won’t be visible at the front of your project.IMG_0205

 

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Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop

When Elea Lutz contacted me and asked if I wanted to join the Strawberry Biscuit blog hop I was so excited (and fairly nervous).  This collection was a firm favourite the moment I saw it on her Instagram feed.  IMG_9353

I knew that with such pretty and cheery fabric I wanted to make
something for my daughters. I then thought about why I adored this collection so much. It wasn’t just the fact it features sweet baking kitties, singing blue birds, tiny flowers and a divine cheater print perfect for making 1 inch hexies.

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It was Elea’s perfect eye for details and colours. Her beautiful illustrations are reminiscent of my favourite vintage prints and I find each and every piece of the collection sweet and inspiring. Suddenly the answer came to me – for this arts and craft obsessed family I would make a children’s travelling art case!

A ‘go anywhere’ art case would be a great way to display the sweet prints, as well help encourage my daughters to keep creating, no matter where they are (who knows, maybe one day they will be fabric designers!).

Open art case

 

I couldn’t find an art case pattern so instead I came up with a simple design that I then embellished with fabric stamps, hexies and a fussy cut quilt block. I even took the cheater print and turned it slightly so that the squares became diamonds! Such a simple twist and the result is so sweet

 

Below I have a little step by step tutorial on how I made the case. You can make the case as simple or as intricate as you like.  I have a place for pencils, a pouch for treasures and a section for an art pad.  I encourage you to make the case your own by adding the little touches you love creating and as a result it is sure to be a cherished piece that encourages the next generation of creators.

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There have been so many amazing bloggers featured in this blog hop and tomorrow is no exception.  Make sure you have a look at the projects by Megan from Dolly Henry and Stacy from Farm Road Quilts you are guaranteed to be inspired by what they have made with Strawberry
Biscuit!

Art Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travelling Art Case Tutorial

Fabric requirements

Inner Cover
Cover – 12 1/2 inches by 21 1/2 inchesIMG_9355


Pencil Section

Outer Fabric – 7 1/2 inch by 5 1/4 inch
Lining – 7 1/2 inch by 5 1/4 inch

Pouch with Flap
Outer Fabric – 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch
Lining – 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch

Flap 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/4 inch
Flap Lining 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/4 inch

Notebook Section
Outer Fabric – 9 1/4 inch 9 1/4 inch
Lining – 9 1/4 inch 9 1/4 inch

Outer Cover
Cover – 12 1/2 inches by 21 1/2 inches
Batting (I used a stiff bag batting) – 12 inches by 21 inches
Handles – 2 x (2 inch by 8 inch)

Instructions

Please note these are the basics for preparing the case. Remember to personalise it!

Inner Cover

  1.  Sew each of the section and pouch pieces to its corresponding lining by placing the two pieces right side together. Sew around each piece using a 1/4 seam and leaving a 1 inch gap to allow you to turn the pieces out. Turn them out and then press.
  2.  Lay out your inner cover right side facing up. On the upper left side of the cover lay your pouch section and then the flap piece slightly above the pouch section. Below the pouch, position the pencil section (Hint: remember the pencils will stick out the top so you need to make sure there is enough space between the bottom of the pouch and the top of the pencil section).
  3. Place the notebook section on the right side of the cover making sure you place it low enough that your notebook won’t stick out of the top of the case.
  4. Check that you are happy with the layout of each of your sections, and that they are far enough away from the outer edge that they won’t be caught up in the hem when you sew the outer and inside cover together.
  5. You will now sew each section in place to the inner cover. For all pieces (except the pouch flap) top stitch along the two short sides and along the bottom. You will then top stitch just along the top of the pouch flap.
  6. You are now going to make the slots for the pencils to go into. We are using quite IMG_9098thick pencils so I measured 1 inch intervals along the length of pencil section. (Hint: if you are using thinner pencils you might be able to fit in extra pencils). I then top stitched a straight line down each inch interval (from the top to the bottom).
  7. Depending on what you are putting in your pouch with a flap you can either add snaps or just leave it as is.

Outer Cover

  1. Quilt the Outer cover to the batting however way you wish. if you want to keep it really simple you could just sew 1/4 inch around the edge of the batting so that it is secure to the front cover.
  2. Take the two strips of fabric for the handles. Take the fabric and fold in in half length ways so it measures 1 inch by 8 and then press. Open up the strip and then fold each 8 edge so that they meet at the centre fold. Now fold the entire thing at the original fold so you end up with a 1 inch by 8 inch strip with concealed edges. Repeat for the other strip. Then top stitch 1/8 inch in down the length of of each strip along both sides.
  3. Now we are going to attach the handles to the outside cover. Measure 3 inches down and attach the handle shorter (1 inch) edge to the cover. Measure 7 1/12 inches down from the top and attach the other shorter edge. You should now have a handle! (Hint: make sure the handle is laying against the cover so that it is out of the way when you sew the front and back cover together). Repeat on the other side for the other handle.

Final Construction

  1. You are now going to sew the outer cover to the inside cover. Lay the two cover right side together and pin. Sew around using a 1/4 inch seam and leaving a 4 inch gap at the bottom to turn the case out.
  2. Turn out the case and press, making sure you push out each corner.
  3. Hand sew or machine stitch the opening closed
  4. Fill up your case with lots of fun bits and pieces! And in our case remove all those art pieces and replace them with your tiny vintage dolls and their pet dinosaur. Enjoy!IMG_9343

A Lovely Little Patchwork Heart Coaster

kerri_horsley_LLPOne of my favourite bloggers, Kerri Horsley, has just published an amazing new book – Lovely Little Patchwork (available on Amazon and Book Depository).

Kerri, knowing what a fan I was of her sweet style, was kind enough to send me a copy of the book. And let me tell you, it is a brilliant!  A bright and cheery book that includes 18 lovely projects from a cute doll to quilts, cushions and even a strawberry shaped backpack.

 

What has me really excited (well, other than Kerri knowing my name, which is pretty amazing) is that even for a novice like me all the projects are achievable.  This is thanks to each project having beautiful photos and clear instructions, accompanied by super cute illustrations to further explain the steps (and even feature such sweet drawn details such as flower pinsIMG_8909).

In fact, one of my first projects I made was the heart coaster using some precious pieces of Seder Imer’s new fabric range Sweet Orchard.  Sedef sent me a few little pieces of her upcoming first collection and thanks to Kerrie’s brilliant instructions I felt comfortable enough to launch myself into this coaster project.   And yep, just as I am with the book I am smitten with this heart coaster!

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A Little Patchwork Basket

I IMG_8741.jpgwas recently searching for a simple (and free) pattern to make  baskets to give as Teacher thank you gifts.  And found this perfect pattern by Amy Smart from the blog Diary of Quilter.

The instructions were so easy to follow and the sizing was perfect, so the biggest challenge was choosing the fabric (which is actually my favourite partof any new project).

I choose Elea Lutz’s Milk Sugar Flower collection for one basket and then a combination of Sarah Jane’s Sommer collection and Sprinkle from Cotton and
Steel.

IMG_8713The baskets turned out really well, and I even added a couple of french knots to create a little floral crown on the Sommer leaping bunny.  And here’s a hint – as well as being a cute little basket they also make the perfect bassinet for a teddy or doll.

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A Patchwork Coin Purse

IMG_8773I recently discovered 3/8 hexies,  fussy cutting and paper piecing tiny pieces can be very time consuming so I really wanted to find a great way to display the final piece.  And for me a patchwork coin purse was the perfect way!

I used a 4 inch sew in frame, which I personally find a lot easier to IMG_8563work with compared to the glue in frames.  You don’t have to worry about glue sticking to your frame (or fabric) and I simply use sticky tape to can hold the fabric in place while I sew it into the frame (I even just sew through the tape and then remove the tape once I have finished).

If you haven’t tried making a coin purse you should definitely give it a go – they make a perfect patchwork gift that can be used everyday!

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