Quilting on the Go Book Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Quilting on the Go book tour!

I was super excited when Sharon Burgess from Lilabelle Lane Creations announced on Instagram she was releasing an English Paper Piecing book with Tuva Publishing because her ability to fussy cut and paper piece is incredible.  So you can only imagine my excitement when she asked me to join the book tour celebrating her book, Quilting on the Go, English Paper Piecing!

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I have been practicing English Paper Piecing for the past two years, and I mean practicing.  There is still so much I have to learn but thanks to the fantastic step by step details written by Sharon I learnt quite a few more things within the first few pages.  I particularly liked the information on fussy cutting patterns to create your own new pattern.  I am now looking at fabric prints in a whole new fussy cut light.

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The hardest part of any blog tour is choosing which pattern to showcase.  Sharon’s book features so many gorgeous  blocks as well as projects to use them for.  I choose to make a mini quilt using the block from the Summer Star table runner.

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With a nod to Sharon’s ability to use and combine colours from all parts of the colour wheel, I decided to move away from my usual pink palette and instead used blues and greens as my main colours.

I hand stitched the paper pieces together using Aurifil thread in 80wt, it is such a fine thread your stitches practically disappear.  I then added hand quilting using various 12wt Aurifil threads including a Green Lana Wool.  It was the first time I had used the woollen Aurifil thread and I loved the texture it added to my block.

 

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I absolutely adore the final result and will definitely be making a few more Summer Star blocks to decorate my family room wall.

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and make sure you visit Sharon’s blog as she is doing a weekly recap of all the projects being completed.  Its a great way to see the various projects in the book while also having a look around Sharon’s inspiring blog.

Happy stitching
Ange

 

 

 

Made for Baby Blog Tour

Ayda Algin recently sent me a copy of her brilliant new book Made for Baby, Cute Sewn Gifts which she has published with Tuva Publishing. For a long time I have been a huge fan of the projects that Ayda features on her Instagram account and blog so I was so excited when she mentioned she was releasing her first book!

Ayda’s book features 22 projects from pouches in all shapes and sizes, an adorable wall organiser to gorgeous appliqued quilts. And while the book is designed for those wanting to make baby gifts, so many of the projects work for all ages and stages.  In fact one of the first items I made was a pretty drawstring bag  I made as a birthday gift for a little girl.

 

 

One of the first things I noticed about the book is the strong influence Ayda’s background as an engineer has had on the way she has prepared the patterns. Each project is paired with an intricate amount of measurement details, which means that even if you have never sewn fabric boxes or a stuffed toy  you will feel very confident cutting your pieces (and if you need any extra assistance the first chapter also features instructions on how to do a range of sewing techniques).

I also really appreciated the way each project is photographed from a variety of angles, Ayda’s styling is beautiful and the gorgeous photos also mean you can see all the details and exactly how the project will turn out.

I was so  inspired by Ayda’s book with Tuva I actually made a range of projects for the blog tour!

 

I used a combination of Liberty of London fabric and Japanese chambray to make a travel bag. The pouch is perfectly sized for taking a few toiletries into hospital or even to store a few items in the diaper bag .  Of course this pouch would also work perfectly  not just for a new parent but also as a gift for a friend, teacher or loved one

 

 

The Made for Baby book  also features a super cute
bib project.  I was so inspired by Ayda’s bib project I made three bbs using some of my favourite fabrics (because I wanted the bibs to be as cute as the baby outfits its covering).

 

 

It was the first time I added an applique to a project. But thanks to Ayda’s fantastic instructions I had no problems and am definitely going to add more appliques to my projects in the future!

 

 

Finally I made the super quick and sweet little star teething toy with a few pretty scraps and a cute ribbon tag. In the book Ayda used a wooden teething hoop (ideal for a teething baby) however I was unable to find any locally so instead I used a specially designed plastic teething ring which you can also use to hoop on to the pram or crib.

Made for Baby, Cute Sewn Gifts is as versatile as it is inspiring and sweet.  It’s the kind of book you will always have on your sewing table because of the range of projects and inspiration. The book is available to buy right now or you could also pop over to Ayda’s blog site and enter to win a copy plus a few crafty extras!

Tomorrow Lauren from Molly and Mama will be creating another project from Ayda’s book and I can’t wait to see what she makes! You’ll be able to see it on Lauren’s pretty blog (and while you are there definitely have a look some of the things Lauren has made in the past – you won’t be disappointed).

 

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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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

 

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.

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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Strawberry Biscuit Zipper Pouch

One of my favourite Fabric Designers Elea Lutz will shortly be releasing a new fabric collection, Strawberry Biscuit.  To me the collection is reminiscent of the Golden Books I had as a child, with kittens in bows, harmonising blue birds and sweet strawberries, its almost guaranteed to inspire.  And if you haven’t seen Elea’s work you should definitely have a look at her website.

Strawberry Biscuit is being released in Australia in May (and in even better news one of my favourite fabric stores Ministry of Fabric will be selling it!!)  However thanks to the generosity of one of my Instagram friends, who won a pre release bundle in a recent
giveaway, I managed to get my hands on some of the prints last week.  And it did not disappoint, it inspired me so much I actually tackled one of my sewing phobias – a zipper – to make a little zip pouch.

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Adding in fabric at either ends of the zippers prevents it disappearing into the edges of the pouch

To add in the zipper without it disappearing into the corners of the pouch, I used this tutorial which explained how to add in a piece of fabric at either end of the zipper to essentially extend the zipper length.  And ta da a completed strawberry zipper pouch.

Ohh and if you love fussy cutting hexies the cheater print in the collection makes perfect fussy cutting for 1/2 inch hexies!

 

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