Saturday 30 March 2013

BIG NEWS for Sew Fresh Fabrics!

Some very exciting news! Sew Fresh Fabrics has gone from strength to strength of late, so much so that Peg is launching a stand alone website on Monday 1st April -!

To celebrate the launch of the new website, Peg is offering a couple of brilliant incentives. 

* The first 50 customers will get a 25% off gift certificate, good at the new site.
* "A Hundred for a Hundred" - a $100 gift certificate will be awarded to one of the first 100 customers, winner drawn at random.

So please stop by and browse her awesome new store!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Sashiko Cushion {Finish}

This one finally made it's way across the sea to the UK today, so I can show you the cushion I made for Nat in our little swap. After a few stumbles (and abandoning my original idea completely), I decided to use the sashiko panel I made for my tutorial in the Something New blog hop and make it into a cushion.

I cut a piece of batting the same size as the cushion insert (14" x 21") and used simple QAYG to add off-centered borders around the panel. The teal fabric is an Art Gallery solid - I've never used these solids before, but I definitely will again. They are just gorgeous - they have a really soft hand and remind me more of a voile than a quilting cotton. The texture once it's quilted is just to die for.

For the back, I used some Melody Miller typewriter fabric - which coordinates so perfectly with the solid on the front (and works really nicely with the thread colours I used in the sashiko).

Thankfully Nat likes it - but still, I'm pretty sure I got the sweet end of the deal with this swap :o)

The kids are on Easter break until next Wednesday, so I doubt much sewing will get done in the next week or so. I hope all of you who celebrate Easter have a great holiday!

xx Jess

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Aspen Grove {Forest QAL Block 3}

This is another project I've been working on slowly over the last week (I lost count of how many hours it took - maybe 8?) - the amazing Aspen Grove block designed by Caroline of Trillium Designs. Living in Australia, I've never seen an actual aspen grove, so I had to do a bit of googling to find some images as inspiration. Some of the tree trunks in the pictures I found were mostly white with black markings, which is why I used the Madrona Road text print for the trunks. It is a little warped from all the long, thin pieces, but I think once the paper is off it should flatten out with a good helping of steam.

The background is quilter's linen, which I love - it gives a really subtle texture without distracting from the trunks and leaves. I really love this one :o)

I'm really happy I'm keeping up with the QAL so far - although I'm now going to be rushing to get my March bee blocks done over the next few days. Whoops. This paper piecing thing is totally addictive though, and I can't wait to get started on the next block.

xx Jess

Monday 25 March 2013

A growing medallion

I've been working on this one on an off over the last week or so in between a few other projects - although I must admit it's been keeping me awake at night. Most of the decisions about where it's heading seem to be made pre-sleep :o)

The second border is pieced and on (it is actually square, I just need to learn to take better front-on photos ;o) ). Obviously I'm a bit obsessed with the whole text/low volume thing.

The next border is being worked on at the moment - there will be a narrow 'something' added before the triangles (not sure what yet, possibly black again?). I can't get my head around how long each of these pieced triangle strips will end up, so I'm making them first, and then I'll add the narrow 'something' (descriptive, hey?) to bring it up to the correct size. Not quite sure how I'll handle the corners either - but I think it will need to involve y-seams...

I have never enjoyed making anything quite as much as this one - it is just so much fun deciding what to do with each border.

xx Jess

Thursday 21 March 2013

Amitie Textiles Bring Me Flowers BOM

After seeing this image pop up in blogland a few times recently, I've taken the plunge and signed up for the next BOM at Amitie Textiles. I'm kind of excited and nervous at the same time - it will be my first foray into hand piecing and applique. 

There are a few spots left - if you're interested in signing up, all the details can be found here

xx Jess

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Once Upon a Time {A Finish}

I've just finished sewing the binding onto this one, and I'm really happy with how it has turned out.

This was really enjoyable to quilt. I quilted it using Aurifil 50wt in a pale blue (5006), which matches the lighter blue in the jewel fabric really nicely, and blends beautifully into the quilt top. I quilted each of the squares with straight(ish) lines, and left the story squares unquilted.

When I pressed this one I pressed all my seams toward the story squares (which really helped me match up all those seams). This, combined with leaving them unquilted, means they really pop out from the quilt.

Simple pieced back using the same background fabric as the top, plus some Michael Miller fabric I had in my stash (Bloomies by Pillow and Maxfield I think?).

Bound using the same Lizzy House stripe as the story lines in the quilt top.

Design - from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr's 'Modern Quilt Workshop' book (Once Upon a Time)
Size - 40" x 60"
Pieced and quilted using Aurifil 50wt cotton mako thread. 
Fabric - Lizzy House jewels in candy green, various novelty prints for the story squares, Lizzy House stripe for binding and story lines. 

Hope everyone is having a great week!

xx Jess

Monday 18 March 2013

Feathers {Forest QAL}

Over the last week I've been working on the second block in the Forest QAL - feathers. I honestly think this is one of the most beautiful paper pieced patterns I've ever seen. If I thought I could do it with my sanity intact, I'd make a whole quilt of these.

Fabric selection for these was so very tricky. I looked at countless feather photos online trying to decide what palette I wanted to use, but nothing really clicked for me. I decided to make up a feather (not based on a real bird feather) but use colours that could be found in nature.

I'm pretty happy with how it came out - it doesn't sit especially flat, but I think once I remove the paper (after piecing it into the quilt top) and lots of steam, it (hopefully) should be okay.

xx Jess

Schoenrock Cross #2

Given the fact that my first quarter FAL list has been a no-go (although mostly due to the bush fire appeal, so I'm really not phased about it), I've decided to carry them all over to the next quarter. And start something new. I'm definitely a hopeless case when it comes to shiny new projects ;o)

This quilt has been in my head for a long time, but I didn't have a clue what fabric I wanted to use. Or what block I wanted to use at the centre for that matter. And then I had a light bulb moment over the weekend - I pulled a giant stack of fabric out and began playing. This is the mess stack I'm using (horrible badly lit photo!!):

It's destined to be a medallion style quilt (yep, jumping on that bandwagon too). No real idea where it's heading really, it's a making it up as I go along project. So it may end up awesome, or really really ugly. I'm really hoping it'll be a not-ugly quilt though, as I'm using a tonne of very treasured favorite fabric. The centre block is done, and I love it. I used Leila's Schoenrock Cross pattern again (love this block so much!), and bordered it to bring it up to 12.5".

I have other priorities to work on this week, but once they're done I'll be back to this one. And I really can't wait :o)

xx Jess

Winning and swapping

Over the last month or so I've been incredibly lucky in winning a few giveaways and such on the interwebs.

Glimma and Architextures from Katy.

This one was a bit of a shock (in the best possible way.) Each month, one person doing the Aurifil 2013 BOM wins an Aurifil prize (you just have to have one of the blocks made and up in the FLickr group). I won February's and was expecting a sample pack of thread. So you can imagine the squealing and dancing that ensued when I opened the parcel to find this:

It's Pat Sloan's designer collection for Aurifil, all 50wt big spools. A perfect rainbow of thready awesomeness :o)

And finally, my amazingly perfect vintage headband from my lovely friend Nat. I decided to be brave and photograph myself wearing it rather than just photographing the band. I don't do makeup (ever. I don't own any), and I have a bit of a cold (hence the rudolph nose). But I needed to show you how perfect that green is - it matches my eye colour almost exactly. And it is so, so soft and has the best button to do it up. Thanks so, so much Nat I love it (and weirdly can't wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear it!!)

You should also pop over and visit Nat and Lu at their new blog Le Challenge - monthly theme, any kind of craft (knitting, sewing, whatever). It should be fun!

Sunday 17 March 2013

Giveaway Winner and some sponsor news!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Twenty Three giveaway from I Don't Do Dishes. The lucky winners are Cynthia Brunz Designs and Jennyroo. I'll send you both an email shortly :o)

There are a few notable arrivals and special offers around at the moment.

Sew Fresh Fabrics is offering a flat rate shipping deal this weekend (I'm late in letting you know Aussies!) - just $12 international, regardless of how much you spend. No code needed, Peg will refund any overcharge on shipping. There is a tonne of stuff in the sale section too, just saying ;o)

Caitlin still has her 15% off code running for the rest of March at I Don't Do Dishes. Just enter MARCH13 at checkout.

Frances has recently added a load of gorgeousness to her shop, Miss Matatabi. Melody Miller's Ruby Star Sparkle has arrived. I particularly love this one (especially after seeing Kelly's fabulous lampshade.)

 Frances also has a heap of new Nani Iro in. 

At Sew Me A Song, Becca has some fantastic low volume bundles I'm coveting at the moment. They come in a range of colours, too!

Enjoy having a peek!

xx Jess

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Once Upon a Time {WIP}

Over the last week or so I've been intermittently working on a commission quilt for my bestest friend. She chose the fabulous story quilt from The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr (seriously great book - this is the first one I've made from it, but there are some really great patterns and ideas in there. Plus loads of info on choosing fabrics and coming up with palettes etc.)

I love the idea of this quilt, and I wish I had started quilting early enough to make one for my kids when they were small (and I still might for the wee one!) Essentially the idea is to weave your way around the 'story lines' and make up a story as you go. It involved a lot of fussy cutting for the picture squares, and planning on the design wall, but other than that it came together reasonably quickly. In retrospect I probably could have used more story lines to give a few more choices along the way, but even so, the options are endless!

The top measures about 40" x 60". The teal-ish fabric is Lizzy House jewels in candy green (from Outfoxed I think?) and the story lines are an orange/pale grey stripe also by Lizzy House. I have a few ideas on how to quilt it - although nothing definite so I'm hoping it 'speaks' to me while I'm basting it ;o) I'm hoping most of that will happen tomorrow while I'm child-free for the day. Although my feather block for the Forest QAL is calling me too, so we'll see what happens!

xx Jess

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Bush Fire Appeal Update

Since my last update, lots more quilts have arrived for the Bush Fire Appeal and been sent off to new homes.  That's nearly 40 quilts!! I've been terrible at keeping up with photographing them all - but I did get a photograph of this beauty today. 

The quilt top was made by Laura, who sent the top, pieced back and binding over from the United States. My lovely friend Jane offered to quilt up one of the donated quilts for me, so I sent this one off and she worked her longarm magic on it. Excuse the massive shadow there - this was the only dry spot in the garden after a weekend of rain.

I honestly don't know how someone could donate this one (although I could say the same about all the quilts people donated. Seriously massive thanks to you all!) It's made with Kate Spain's Central Park, one of my all-time favorite collections. A huge thanks to both Laura and Jane for this one!

xx Jess

Sunday 10 March 2013

Welcome I Don't Do Dishes and a Giveaway!

I'm excited to say I have another fabulous fabric shop to welcome as a sponsor.

I Don't Do Dishes... I Sew Instead is an etsy based store run by Caitlin. Caitlin stocks a whole bunch of awesome fabrics, including collections from Free Spirit (Tula Pink, Joel Dewberry, Parson Grey), Michael Miller (Madrona Road and cotton couture), Moda and Andover (including the fabulous Constellations by Lizzy House). 

Just in is Maritime Modern from Riley Blake - there are some really great prints in this collection. 

I especially like Hands on Deck

The fabric collection I'm lusting after most and the moment is also just in - Comma by Zen Chic. Caitlin offers bundles from 1/16th up to one yard. And she loves making up custom bundles if  you just like a couple of prints. 

If you'd like to keep up to date with I Don't do Dishes, you can find them on Facebook and Flickr.

Caitlin is offering a discount code for the rest of March for you too - enter MARCH13 at checkout and you'll receive 15% off your order! 

Not only that, I have a fabulous giveaway from I Don't Do Dishes for you! Caitlin is offering two charm packs of 2wenty Thr3e by Cosmo Cricket for two winners (one charm pack each). 

To enter, simply leave me a comment on this post - if you'd like you could let me know what you're favorite up-coming or new collection is? The giveaway will be open until next Friday 15th March at 9 pm Australian EST. 

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

xx Jess

Friday 8 March 2013

Woodpecker {Forest QAL}

I've decided to join the Forest QAL hosted by Julianna and Joanna as I adore their designs. There are twelve blocks in the QAL, all paper pieced and the sneak peeks are spectacular.

The first block is a woodpecker (cause of much sniggering in our house. Yes, we really are that mature.) My points are a little askew in places, but overall it came together really well. There are some incredibly tiny pieces in it, but the detail is just amazing. The fabric I used for the body is really fine cotton (almost like a lawn), so I don't have too much bulk where the seams meet. I've been working on this over the last few nights, and finally put it together tonight.

I'm looking forward to seeing the other blocks they design!

xx Jess

Thursday 7 March 2013

The Boxer

I've been in a bit of a blogging slump of late. I'm doing a heap of sewing, but I either can't blog about them yet or I've been slack at taking photos. So there'll probably be a lot of blog posts in the next week or so ;o)

Thanks for all the applique ideas last week - I ended up making something completely different for Nat (which I will blog about once she's received it :o) ) But I'm going to persist with the other project too when I get a chance!

This block is my Aurifil BOM March block. It's called The Boxer, and was designed by Jeni of In Color Order. I went a bit crazy fussy cutting for this one - Jeanean Morrison's prints are so great for fussy cutting! I'm not totally in love with it, but it looks good with the other blocks, so I don't think I'll remake it.

I have a heap of other stuff to show you too, so I'll be back very soon :o)

xx Jess

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Welcome Fat Quarter Shop!

I'm super excited to welcome my newest sponsor on the blog, The Fat Quarter Shop! Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you have experience the awesomeness that is the Fat Quarter Shop already ;o)

Run by Kimberley and her team, the Fat Quarter Shop stocks a massive range of fabric, patterns, notions, quilt kits and more. They are responsible for a large chunk of my stash - the website is really easy to navigate, they ship incredibly quickly and their service is superb.

Fat Quarter Shop run a large number of Block of the Month (BOM) programs. One of my favorites (and one I'm very tempted to join) is the Toes in the Sand BOM, designed by Julie Hermann of Jaybird Quilts. I'm in a triangle loving phase right now :o)

The range of fabric they carry is astounding. Some of their new bundles include Grunge Basics by BasicGrey for Moda. These would make such great background fabrics!

Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt. Droool.

Fat Quarter Shop also have loads of free quilt patterns available on their website. And there is a great sale section (one of the first places I look for backing fabrics). 

You can find links to all the Fat Quarter Shop's social media on my sponsors page. It is definitely worth checking out their blog, too - there are constantly amazing giveaways on offer.

Happy shopping!

xx Jess

Friday 1 March 2013

Welcome Sew Fresh Fabrics!

I'm so excited to have Sew Fresh Fabrics come on board as a new sponsor!

Sew Fresh Fabrics, run by Peg, have been feeding my fabric addiction almost since I started sewing. They offer a fabulous range of modern designer fabrics, a huge selection of basics and an amazing organics section. One of my favorite things that Sew Fresh Fabrics offers are their collection-inspired Kona bundles - such an easy way to get a bundle of solids that coordinate with a particular collection.

Just arrived are such lovelies as Ruby Star Sparkle from the queen of retro Melody Miller.

Sew Retro, part of the Henley Studio Collection:

and The Sweetest Thing by Riley Blake:

Peg also has a huge selection of Architextures, Art Gallery Fabrics, and Honey Honey by Kate Spain. Honestly, that is just the tip of the iceberg - there is an amazing range of basics in stock, and a massive range of organic cottons. Not to mention the fabulous sale section! You should totally head over and check out the awesomeness :o)

You can find links to all Peg's social media and her blog on my Sponsors page.

Happy shopping ;o)

xx Jess