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Happy Flower Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome to my turn on the Happy Flower Quilts blog hop!

Happy Flower Quilts was originally written in Japanese by Atsuko Matsuyama over 5 years ago, and like many people I owned a copy of the original book. Of course I couldn’t understand the instructions however the photos and projects are so beautiful they provided me with lots of inspiration.

You can imagine my delight when Zakka Workshop contact me to say they were releasing an english version of the book AND would I like to join the blog hop!

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The book has stayed true to its original release – it still features over 30 projects and contains such beautiful colourful photos, however I can now actually create the projects from the book just as Atsuko intended thanks to the english instructions!

img_3643The first project I made from the book was a super cute patchwork placemat for my 6 month old great niece for her first Christmas. I paired it with a feeding set, so when she started learning to eat it would be in cute patchwork style. Like most projects in the book it is all about the sweet details, and although I didn’t add lace I did added a hand stitched hexie in one of my favourite Atsuko Matsuyama strawberry prints.

 

For the blog hop I decided to make to make the lunch tote, however instead of filling it with snacks I’m going to fill it with sewing supplies!

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Lecien Fabrics were gracious enough to supply me with their gorgeous Antique Flower in Pastel collection along with their sweet and soon to be released strawberry handles.

Seriously have you ever seen prettier handles, can’t you just imagine them being featured on makes for family, for friends, for yourself!

 

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The tote turned out slightly smaller than I originally thought however it is perfectly sized to carry all my sewing essentials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  paired the tote with the patchwork scissor caddy from the book. I used a img_4609combination of machine and hand stitching and made my own bias binding (making sure I cut it on the bias so it sat nicely on the curves). The caddy is ideal if like me you take your sewing on errands with you as it keeps your scissors safe and protected whilst in a pretty little package.

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The sewing tote is going to be perfect when I join along the Happy Flower Quilt Along (QAL) that commences on March 6. Keeping all my sewing supplies together along with the tiny pieces for the embroidery blocks.

 

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For further details about the QAL have a look at Kristyne from the Pretty By Hand website. Kristyne, aong with Melissa from Oh How Sweet Co, Wynn from Zakkaart and Zakka Workshop have got lots of super fun planned for the QAL.

And don’t forget to continue following along with the Happy Flower Quilts blog hop (details below)!  There are so many talented makers who will be making items featured in the book and quite a few that have already been featured.

January
25 Lisa from www.aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com
27 Sarah from www.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
30 Minki from www.minkikim.com

February

1 Heidi from www.fabricmutt.blogspot.com
3 Clara @claralovestosew (Instagram Account Only)
8 Erin from www.whynotsew.blogspot.com
10 Lauren from www.transientart.com
13 Sedef from www.downgrapevinelane.com
15 Ayda from www.cafenohut.blogspot.com
17 Renee from www.sewnwithgrace.com
20 Heather from www.vintagegreyhandmade.blogspot.com
22 Melissa from www.ohhowsweet.com
24 Greg from www.greydogwoodstudio.com
27 Stacy from www.stacyolsondesign.com

March
1 Wynn from www.zakkaart.blogspot.com

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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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.