Monday, 15 December 2014

Le Challenge: Ink

Last month over at Le Challenge the theme was 'X'. I made a start on this, but failed to finish in time. I was lucky however that the fabrics I had chosen work well for this months challenge: Ink. 


I used the great tutorial by Svetlana for this drawstring bag, and while I was at it I decided to turn two other orphan blocks that I had into bags as well. 


So three Christmas presents made, all from scraps, and already filled with little gifts for three gorgeous girls who we are visiting this weekend.

Linking up with Le Challenge and Scraptastic Tuesday.

Friday, 12 December 2014

A year (plus a bit) in the making!

A few stitches here and there while watching soccer, or sitting in traffic jams. Embroidering a whole block on the evenings my husband was out of town.  Hand quilting while watching episodes of 'The Paradise'. This quilt has been a long but completely enjoyable process. 


The pattern is from the book 'S is for Stitch' by Kristyne Czepuryk. Initially I was following along with Liz's Stitch Along, but I couldn't even keep up with stitching a block a week and in the end just took it at my own pace. 

I used fabrics sent to me by the lovely Hydee, and added in a few of my own. I hand quilted using a light grey perle cotton. The backing is a fun chevron print and the binding is a plain Klona cotton.


And then, thankfully, my sister had a baby girl and I knew this was the perfect gift for her!

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday. 
This is my fourth finish for the 2014 Finish Along Quarter 4. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It's nearly Christmas!

I decided last week that it was time for me to make an advent calendar that would last! Over the years I have made advent calendars from envelopes, toilet rolls, muffin trays, cardboard boxes.. and those are just the ones I remember! This year I wanted one that would mean there would be no more panic at the start of advent in the years to come!


I also wanted it to be small and light as some years we don't have Christmas at home. I found this great tutorial by Trillium Design and thought it would work really well because when we are travelling we can just take the stockings for the days we are away.


I used fabric from a Christmas fabric swap that I was involved in earlier in the year, and the numbers came from a scrap pack from Maze and Vale (I realised too late that I didn't have all the numbers so I had to make some of them myself with a Sharpie pen!). 

I have had the pegs and tinsel wire for a while. It is supposed to be for hanging up Christmas cards. However we seem to get less and less of these as the years go by so I decided to use it to hang up the stockings instead. 


Each stocking contains a Bible reading, an activity (this year chosen by my boys so they include things like a family nerf gun fight!) and of course some precious sweets or chocolates from home. We all look forward to reaching the end of dinner and enjoying this precious family time, remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, 21 November 2014


After my mammoth quilt finish last week, I needed a couple of smaller projects to finish up this week. 

First up was this drawstring playmat for a precious friend who just had a baby girl (finally there are some baby girls in my life - it seemed for a while there that everyone I knew was having boys!).  I used Jodi's pattern for this and it was brilliant - really easy to follow with lots of photos. The great thing about it is that when you are ready to go you can just pull the strings and it becomes a bag to carry around all that baby/toddler stuff!

Secondly I needed to whip up a quick birthday present and decided to try my hand at making a boxy pouch.

Boxy pouch

Another great pattern, although I probably should have used some interfacing. I love that this fabric needed no embellishments or patchwork to make it look fantastic - I am finally appreciating the Tula hype!

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish it up Friday.
The playmat is my third finish for the 2014 Finish Along Quarter 4

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Bright Sky

What a journey I have been on with this quilt! I feel like it has consumed me over this past month, as it has been a path of intense learning, some frustration and a lot of joy! I am so thrilled to be able to share with you the progress I have made with my Free Motion Quilting especially.


As soon as Alyce announced that she was going to run a QAL of her Bright Sky pattern I knew I wanted to join in. I love this pattern, and I thought it would be a perfect quilt for me to really get going with my FMQ. At the same time Jess (another of my favourite Aussie bloggers) was making video tutorials showing different FMQ designs - the timing was perfect!

I started with flowers in the central square - these were very wobbly and quite sketchy, but after agonizing for a while I decided to just keep going. There were long meanders in the points of the central star, followed by curves and then branches of leaves. For the outer star I tried pebbles, spirals, more branches and a spider web design!

I definitely made lots of mistakes, but I also improved so much as I progressed from section to section, and I have to say it was a lot of fun! I used very thin batting/wadding which made my life a lot easier too.

I love the overall texture of the quilt.

As for the colour scheme, I had a specific friend in mind who loves green so I was immediately out of my comfort zone! I started with the central square fabric and worked outwards from there. I decided to go for a yellow binding because it brightens the whole quilt up and makes it feel a little more 'happy'!


Also linking up with New to Me in 2014
This is my 2nd finish for the 2014 Finish Along Quarter 4. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Le Challenge - Mix

So many ideas swirling through my head for this challenge, but in the end I went with one of my favourite sewing mixes - Liberty, Linen and Perle Cotton thread. Yum!

I envisage this as a small table topper but will gift it to a friend who loves Liberty and see what she uses it for! 

I am happy to say that all the fabrics used to make this were pulled out of my scrap box, so I am linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday as well as Le Challenge.

This is my first finish for the 2014 Finish Along Quarter 4 (see my original list here)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Get it together!

I am completely lacking motivation to sew at the moment. I think it is a combination of the heat and 90% humidity, hubby having been away, and being at a stage of life (about to turn 40 - aagh!!) where I am having to make choices about what direction I want to take (decisions like this exhaust me!). So I keep walking into my sewing room... and walking straight out again! Hopefully I will get it together soon.

In the meantime, here is what I should be working on (sorry for the poor photos - again no motivation to get out my camera, they are just off my phone). 

1. My Bright Star Quilt - I have selected the fabrics and started cutting, but want to get this finished by Christmas!

2. A memory t-shirt quilt. I have no idea how to make this, but I need to stick with my commitment, keep my fingers crossed and give it a go! It needs a paper pieced killer whale so i think I will start with making that!

3. My ABC embroidered quilt. I am hand quilting this now, so it should be finished in time for the arrival of my sisters baby (fingers crossed it is a girl!)

4. I started basting these hexies a few weeks ago when I lacked energy to do anything. The plan is to make them into a cushion cover for a friend who offers us such wonderful hospitality from time to time

5. My mini quilt for the IG miniquiltswap. This is all cut - waiting to be sewn together.

6. My LeChallenge entry for this month - will be finished by tomorrow, it really will! 

7. A secret gift for mother and baby (I know what I am making, just can't show it here yet!)

I think that is enough to keep me going! I also have grand plans to make quilts for my boys for Christmas, but realistically ... I don't think I will make it this year! 

I am linking up with the lovely Katy.

Finish Along 2014

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A few small finishes

Its been quiet on this blog, but I do have a few small finishes to show!
First up this Christmas table runner.


I offered to test Aylin's new quilt pattern 'Diamonds in Diamonds'. I was looking for a new hand piecing/quilting project, and I wanted to use up a lot of Christmas fabrics that I had, and these two ideas came together perfectly with this pattern. It is a simple pattern, but very effective, and looks very different depending on what fabrics and layout you choose. You can check out what the other pattern testers made here.

Secondly, a little embroidered needle book as a prize for a giveaway that I held on Instagram. The embroidery and design come from Aneela Hoey's book 'Little Stitches'. This is the third needle book I have made like this and I really enjoy putting them together.

Hope you like @nessahux :)

Next up another baby ball. I have too many friends having baby boys at the moment! Bring on some girls because I have lots of pretty pink scraps! This my new favourite go-to baby present!

Finished just in time. Off to visit my friend now!

And finally some cushions that my friends ordered using fabric panels from Cat and Vee. I love putting these together, and am secretly hoping that some more friends place orders for these!


Linking up with Craft Book Month (for the needle book), Ho Ho Ho and on we sew (for the Christmas table runner) and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Le Challenge - 'Era'

After a couple of months break from linking up with Le Challenge, I am back with my interpretation of their latest challenge - 'Era'. 


This was actually quite an easy one for me. A while ago a friend of mine had given me some scraps of Liberty fabric that were precious to her. Her grandmother had used the same fabric to make a blouse for her, many years ago. The blouse is now very faded and well-worn, but my friend asked if I could make something for her using this fabric, to remind her of her grandmother.

As my friend is a big tea drinker this is what I came up with.


I adapted a pattern from Pretty Bobbins for the tea-pot, and used a pattern from VeryKerryBerry for the tea-cosy. I am a bit disappointed that I didn't do a great job of fussy cutting the Japanese tea-pot fabric along the bottom, but I now know better for next time!



Linking up with Le Challenge, using fabric from another era!

Friday, 12 September 2014

One scrappy, one planned.

A finish today with this baby quilt I made using only scraps. Rachel at Stitched in Color has been motivating us over the last couple of months to use up our scraps, and so I jumped on board and I couldn't be happier with the result.

Love this little baby quilt - going to gift it to my friend today.

I gathered all my blue/aqua, orange and grey scraps and got to work cutting strips, or joining scraps together to make strips and then sewing these together to form blocks that were 12" square (I took the idea from here). I then joined 9 of these together to make this small quilt - perfect for a little Indonesian baby!

I decided that, after practicing FMQ for a couple of weeks on scraps of fabric, I just needed to jump in and try to FMQ this one. I attempted a meandering loop, and I was very proud of the finished result (and I couldn't believe how fast it was!).


Obviously there are lots of imperfections, and I struggled with the lack of throat space on my machine, and with uneven motion (I definitely need to get something to help me grip the fabric better), but it looks great as an overall impression and I love the texture it gave the quilt. I see more FMQ in my future!


As a complete contrast, this week I also finally put together a quilt top that I have been working on for the past year. No scrappiness here, instead lots of precise embroidery and piecing. 

Woo hoo! Quilt top is finished :)

I loved making this, and want to thank Liz for suggesting and co-ordinating the ABC sew-along. I don't think I would have finished it without her encouragement. I am going to hand quilt this one, so it won't be finished for a little while yet, but I have a recipient in mind (depending on whether the baby is a boy or girl!).

Monday, 25 August 2014

Why I do what I do!

The lovely Mara from Secretly Stitching invited me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop, and it has helped me reflect a little about this relatively new, but immensely important part of my life - sewing, quilting and blogging! 

What am I working on?

Although I would like to work on one project at a time I get bored and restless too easily! I am currently working on two baby quilts that I am making as gifts - one is scrappy and came together very easily (you can see it here). The other has taken me many months of embroidery but I have finally started piecing the blocks and hopefully will have the top finished soon.


I have also just last week started to teach myself Free Motion Quilting. Ten minutes practice every day (following the #dailyfmq hashtag on instagram) has been a great motivation for me and I can already see a tiny bit of progress. Happily though I can sense that this is a part of quilting that I will really enjoy and I am loving a new challenge.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I don't really think it does! I follow a lot of sewing blogs and friends on instagram and pull so much inspiration from them. I like to use bright colours and love adding embroidery or hand quilting to add a personal touch to what I make. I am a bit of a perfectionist and try to finish off what I create as well as possible.


Why do I write/create what I do?

I create because after 38 years of declaring myself a 'non-crafty person' I have finally found a creative side and a hobby that I can immerse myself in and enjoy. I create as a way of escaping from the harshness of life - as a means of relaxing and unwinding. I create because I love the joy that comes from creating for others - and I most easily express my love and appreciation of others by giving them home-made gifts.

Mini quilt from scraps

I write as a way of contributing to the blogging community where I have made many friends - I love that I can connect so easily and readily with friends around the world who share my love for fabric and sewing.

How does my writing/creating process work?

I usually come up with who I want to make a gift for first, then search around until I find a pattern or idea that I think they will love.  My favourite part is then choosing the fabric before I sew it together.

Komebukuro Bag

Thanks for reading. Next week I have asked Jess from The Elven Garden to share with us. Jess is one of my favourite quilters. I cannot believe the awesome quilting she does on her home machine, and I love her style of improvised piecing. She is also really down-to-earth and has an obvious love for creating beautiful things. Thanks Jess!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Rainbows through the Rain

Maybe it is because I am back in Indonesia, trying to communicate in 3 different languages, or maybe it is because my kids have been on school holidays for 11 weeks, but I am finding it seriously hard to write anything that is comprehensible. So I will just show you some photos!


First up a scrappy baby quilt top, made entirely from my 'scraps box'. I actually love how it has turned out and am linking it up with 'The Purge' at Stitched in Color. I think I will make some more like this to get through my scraps!

I have also made a couple of cushion covers. One for a friend, from gorgeous Japanese vintage style fabrics, and a rainbow one for me.

 I have found it hard to express my emotions recently, especially over the many horrific and tragic events being reported on the news. When I made the rainbow cushion I was trying to express my belief that even though we grieve now in the midst of so much darkness and tragedy, there is always hope. There are glimpses of mercy shining through, like sunshine shining through the clouds and the storms. And every now and then we see a rainbow. This cushion now sits in my sewing room as a visual reminder to me of this.


Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, The Slow Bloggers Linky and The Purge.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Time to create

I've had a bit of time these last couple of weeks to think about what I want to sew next. I drew up a list: of commissioned projects (only a few, but it is a start!), of gifts that I want to make for people, and a wish list of things that I want to make just because I want to! I hope that over the next few months I can get a good balance of sewing from each of these categories, and keep the creative juices flowing while at the same time creating for others, which I love to do.

I started with a gift for a new baby boy who was born a month ago to some friends here.

A new project. Time to use up some scraps and get throigh these baby gifts. Thanks for sharing the pattern @patchworkdelights

I used a pattern by Fiona in the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It took me a couple of days (unlike the half day suggested in the magazine!) and I managed to use scraps, which is one of my bigger aims at the moment, to get through that scrap box! 

It took me longer than a morning but I loved making this baby gift

It came together really easily and hopefully they will appreciate a hand made gift. 

I was about to start a scrappy baby quilt next but my eyes were drawn to some strips of fabric that I had ordered from Karen while I was in the UK. I love her hand printed fabric and had chosen these colours for something else. But in the end I just had to play with it. I ended up making three things. The first isn't finished yet, but the other two are thank you gifts for some sweet quilting friends.

One little mini all finished #blueberryparkmakes #finishitfriday

A Mini Quilt

One little pouch finished. #blueberryparkmakes #finishitfriday

and a rainbow pencil case.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and the Purge!

the Purge