Hello Hello! I’m so excited to be sharing some pretty fabric and a free tutorial as part of the Bountiful Blog Tour today. Bountiful is the latest collection from Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics and the best bit is this range is available in stores right now. Yay!
Bountiful celebrates the beauty and natural resources of the Midwest where Sharon Holland grew up. The collection has 20 prints across two gorgeous colour ways… Plant and Harvest. Click over to the Art Gallery Live website to take a look at all of the prints and check out the substrates (knit, voile and canvas) available. I’m sure you’ll find something you love.
I used a mix of prints from both colour ways to whip up this simple kitchen set… perfect for the gift giving season we’re about to head in to right! It was super quick to make and the little custom tea towel adds an extra special touch.
Truth be told I made a similar set a few years ago and thought it was high time I put together a quick tutorial! So, if you’d like to make your own kitchen set to gift or keep, you can download a PDF guide step you through the process by clicking here.
Just a quick word of warning, the PDF doesn’t include binding directions. If you need help with that step you can check out my binding tutorial by clicking here.
So far on the tour there has been a whole bunch of awesome projects including a fabulous quilt made by Silvia from A Stranger View and, in just a couple of days time, Sharon herself will be sharing a fun make with everyone. You can check out all the bloggers posts and find inspiration galore by clicking on the links shown here…
Sharon will have a giveaway happening on her blog on the 17th November to coincide with the end of the tour and, there is also a giveaway happening on Instagram thanks to the folks at the Fat Quarter Shop. Head over to Instagram to check it out under the hashtag #BountifulHolidayBlogTour.
Righto… I’m off to do some more Reno business. I need to pick flooring real soon which (like everything so far!) is turning out to be a big decision. I’ll provide some updates and pictures on the Reno real soon I promise.
For the final border of the quilt I designed a simple friendship braid style border to represent one of the things I like best about Australia…. it’s people and our beautiful multicultural heart. No matter when or how we got to be here I know that we’re all grateful to live in such a beautiful place. We truly are the lucky ones -:)
If you want to be in the running for this months prize just upload a picture of your progress to Instagram using the hashtag #girtbyseaquilt and one lucky person will win a little prize pack from me! Check out the full T&C’s on the Modern Makers blog.
Of course, there is still time to join in the fun if this is the first you’ve heard of the Girt by Sea quilt. If you’re looking for the pattern you can head over to Craftsy or Modern Makers to grab one now.
Just before I pop off again I thought I’d share a couple of tips to help with making the final border.
If you don’t have one already it’s worth grabbing a BlocLoc half square triangle ruler. The half square triangles (HST) in the pattern are made using the two at a time method so you’ll have a bit of trimming to do. The Bloc Loc ruler makes that trimming feel like fun….honestly!
Press the border rows in opposite directions (see image below). It’ll make things much easier when you come to sew the two rows together.
When you join two HST’s the ‘point’ (inset in image below) should be 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. That 1/4″ spacing becomes the seam allowance on the next join and ensures you end up with a nice pointy point.
Way back in January I did a post about moving into the house my grandparents built. I was so excited. We had a plan, we had a time frame, we had a good budget…..we had no idea! Eight long months later we are still living in exactly the same house and life just seems to get crazier. We thought we could stay here while the renovation and extension happened… as if! Clearly delusion was permeating our every waking thought! Good news though, we pick up the keys to a rental and next week the work will finally be starting. Yay!
Pat the Builder (ahhh yes we do call him Pat the Builder – all. the. time.) has me running around like a chook with my head cut off at the minute so there isn’t much time for sewing or social media. Insert sad face. So today, while I should be making a decision about external colours I thought I’d get on the computer and show you a little of our plans.
We’ve made a few changes to save some money like removing the pergola from the side of the carport but this is basically what the front of the house will look like. Pretty much the same as the original house.
The back is definitely very different. There’s a big extension and a big covered deck ready for lots of entertaining and parties. The shutters have all been deleted from the deck as another cost saving measure but I still think it’s going to be awesome out there.
The colour picking is hard though! I can’t decide whether I want a light, neutral look like this house I found on Pinterest which just happens to be in the next suburb from me (renovated by Hammers and Heels!).
Or like this one which has darker trims to go with the neutral weatherboards like this house by Evermore Designs.
If you have any thoughts, or alternatives, please shout! I’d be happy to procrastinate this decision a few more days by looking at more pictures :). I figure I need to make sure I get it right because we’ll be living with it for a very very long time.
I hope you’re having a great week and that you are getting lots more sewing done than me! Don’t forget that the book tour for A Piece of Cake is still happening. You can check out all the bloggers makes so far and maybe even enter the giveaway Moda has organised by clicking on the links in the last post.
It’s been so exciting to see my book A Piece of Cake hitting stores around the world over the last few weeks and even more exciting to see some of the projects being made by you guys popping up on Instagram and Facebook. Talk about making my day!
To help celebrate the release of A Piece of Cake a whole bunch of my favourite bloggers are joining in with an online Book Tour. You’ll get to see some of the projects being made in different styles and fabrics and of course, there are sure to be a few giveaways happening along the way! I can’t wait to see what everyone has been up to and read their posts.
You can also follow along with the Book Tour on Instagram with the hashtag #apieceofcakebook. To make things easy that’s also the hashtag you can use for any projects you make :).
To kick off the Book Tour I have a copy of A Piece of Cake: Sweet and Simple Quilts from Layer Cake Squares to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to enter. The giveaway is open to everyone worldwide, entries close on the last day of the blog hop (September 10) and I’ll announce the winner the next day. Good luck with your entry!
If you love Halloween as much as I do I’m sure you’re going to be excited to see this new fabric collection by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Designs. It’s called Eek Boo Shriek and it’s absolutely adorable.
Carina has had a blog tour happening over the last few days and the other girls have made some awesome (and cute) things. Check out their posts to see what they’ve been up to!
Halloween is a bit hit and miss here in Australia. It’s definitely not a big thing but, I have noticed there are more and more people joining in the fun each year. I like to think I’m educating everyone in my neighbourhood one Halloween at a time by going completely overboard with house decorations. I get so excited just thinking about what a fun night it is and look forward to it every year. This year I’ll have a fun new Boo! Mini Quilt (aka Halloween banner) and a cauldron full of these adorable little treat bags ready for when the neighbourhood kids come Trick or Treating.
If you would like to make your own Boo! Mini Quilt you can grab a copy of the pattern from my shop by clicking here.
I’ve made these little treat bags before with little bunny fabric to use as Easter Treat bags and I thought that they would like just as great in Carina’s spooky Halloween prints. They are so easy to make that I’m sure you will be able to make a whole bunch of them in no time at all.
Here’s what you will need to make one 4″ x 7″ treat bag:
2 rectangles, 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for the bag exterior
2 rectangles, 5 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for the bag exterior
2 rectangles, 4 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ for the lining
16- 17″ piece of 1/4″ ribbon
a small pair of scissors
a chopstick or corner turning tool
1. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance sew the 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles to the of the 5 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles along the 4 1/2″ side to make the bag exterior pieces. Press the seams open.
2. Sew the 4 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ lining rectangles to the other end of the the 4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ bag exterior rectangles.
3. Place the two panels together with right sides together making sure that the seams are all correctly aligned. (That’s tricky to show in a photo so my seams are not aligned in the photo below).
4. Leaving a 2″ – 2 1/2″ gap on the short side of the lining pieces sew around the panels to join them. Backstitch at the start and end. Trim the excess fabric each corner.
5. Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the short side of the lining pieces. Use a chopstick or corner turning tool to make sure that the corners are turned out completely. Fold the seam allowance in the gap in the lining pieced inside the bag then give it a quick press and sew the opening closed with coordinating thread.
6. Push the lining piece inside of the bag exterior to finish off the bag. Fill them up with all sorts of delicious Halloween treats and then tie them with a 16″ piece of ribbon.
Optional:- I like to top stitch around the opening of the bag using a 1/8″ seam allowance but that’s completely optional. The top stitching doesn’t add any functionality to the bag, I just think it looks nice.
They look adorable don’t they!
You can customise these little treat bags as much, or as little, as you like. I made a couple with a single piece of fabric (the same size as the lining pieces) for the exterior and they look just as cute. You could also make them with small squares or a bunch of strips. The possibilities are endless.
Eek Boo Shriek is available in stores now. It’s such a fun fabric collection and one I’m sure you will enjoy sewing with.
Happy Quilting (I figured it was too early to say Happy Halloween!)
Hello hello! I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to play with Tilda’s new fabric range Harvest over the past few weeks. It’s such a pretty collection of colours and prints and today’s the day I get to share what I’ve been making as part of the Blog Hop 2 Green Zebras have organised.
When this stack of beauties arrived on my doorstep I thought I might remake one of my existing patterns. I even got as far as colouring up a couple of my existing designs (Bloom & Down South).
But then, I thought it’d be fun to see what I could come up with that could be translated into a mini tutorial for you all.
Here’s what I came up with…
It has a lot less white than my normal style but it was really fun to just go with the flow and see what I could do by cutting a whole heap of 2.5″ strips. Even the linen sashing strips were cut as 2.5″ strips!
And, it couldn’t be easier! To make a quilt the same size as the one shown above (47.5″ x 47.5″) just follow the simple steps below, add some 2.5″ sashing strips and a border also made with 2.5″ strips and you’ll be done in no time!
My one tip for this quilt is to make sure you take a little bit of time to pin before sewing. By cutting the squares diagonally you’ll be creating bias edges and they can stretch if you’re not careful.
Tilda Harvest will be available in stores in Australia on the 1st of August. Get in quick though because this collection is sure to go quickly!
The Tilda Blog Hop continues until July 30. Stop by these other awesome blogs for even more fun and inspiration!
I have a fun little tutorial to share with you today. This sweet Tiny Christmas Stocking Bunting is a great way to decorate your festive table or room. It’s perfect for Christmas in July celebrations and just as great for anyone wanting to start their Christmas sewing early this year!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Tiny Stocking Bunting:
scraps of fabric approximately 8″ square
stocking template (click here to print yours now along with the step by step tutorial)
coordinating embroidery floss to make the stocking hangers
coordinating string, ric rac or ribbon
a skewer or small crochet hook
general sewing supplies
Ready to get started? I’ve been trying out a little bit of video editing (be kind to me!) so today’s tutorial is coming right at you in two forms. The first is this quick video…
DIY Tiny Christmas Stocking Bunting - YouTube
And of course, there’s step-by-step photos you can follow as well -:).
For each stocking you will need one 1 1/4″ x 8″ strip and one 4 1/2″ x 8″ strip. With right sides facing sew the strips together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams open when your done.
Pop the template (if you haven’t already you can do so by clicking here) on to the pieced strip. Make sure that the top edge of the template is lined up with the top edge of the pieced strip. Trace one stocking then flip the template over and trace a second stocking in the opposite direction as shown.
Carefully cut out each shape.
Pop the two stocking shapes together with right sides facing. That’s always a tricky photo to take so make sure yours are correctly aligned! Pay particular attention to make sure the seams on both sides match. Once you’ve done that pin everything in place to make sure it doesn’t slip while you are sewing.
Reduce the stitch length on your sewing machine to make it easier to manage the curved sections of the stocking. Starting at the top of the stocking shape sew around the stocking shape using a 1⁄4″ seam allowance leaving a gap in the top of the stocking so you can turn it out the right way. Backstitch at the start and end.
Turn the stocking out the right way. These stocking are pretty teeny so it’s helpful to use a skewer or small crochet hook to make sure that all of the seams are turned out properly. When you are happy with the shape give the stocking a quick press making sure you turn the raw edges at the top of the stocking inside.
Use a small amount of wadding to puff the stocking shape out. Less is definitely more when it comes to the wadding, you’re going for slightly puffy not overly stuffed.
Cut a length of coordinating embroidery thread approximately 4″ long. Fold it in half and then double it over and tie a knot in it. The knot will need to be no more than 3/4″ from the top of the loop and is used to hold the ‘hook’ in place inside the stocking.
Place the knotted end of the looped embroidery thread inside the stocking. Pin to hold the hook in place and the opening closed.
Sew the opening at the top of the stocking closed using a scant 1/8″ seam allowance.
Thread lots of tiny stockings on to a piece of string approximately 5″ apart and then hang it everywhere!
The number of tiny stocking needed depends entirely on the length of bunting you’re making. Make them as long or as short as you like!
If you like the look of the fabric I used keep an eye out for Makower Fabrics Modern Metallic range. I love how it works with the decor in my house. Christmas without being overly Christmassy and super cute for little pillows as well as bunting! The pillow here was made using my Christmas Tree Mini pattern, I left the borders off to give it a cleaner, modern look. PDF and paper patterns are available in my shop which has a new look and easy to navigate menu’s! You can check out the new look by clicking here.
Quilting tool are a must have for quilting but, how do you know what to buy and just how many ‘things’ do you need???
I’m a fairly non gadgety person, I like to keep my life pretty simple (and I’m also fairly adverse to spending money unnecessarily) so today I’m sharing my Top 10 Tool Tips. These tips are things I do and tools I use every day so, hopefully, they’ll help with the tool queries and make your life a little simpler too. Where brands are mentioned it truly is because these are the products I use, not because I receive freebies or payments from these companies.
In case you missed it on Facebook, I also made a little video this week. Complete with a jingly little tune about the Tool Tips.
1 Cutting Mats
Over the years I’ve tried many different types of cutting mats. I sew and quilt a lot (no really, a lot!) so I need to make sure I have a cutting mat that will last the distance. For everyday use I have an Olfa 24″ x 36″ cutting mat. It’s not very pretty to look at so I’ve popped a picture of a few of the mats I use in photos and for small projects here.
To extend the life of my cutting mat (because they aren’t cheap!) I make sure:-
to rotate the mat on my cutting bench. You don’t want to cut in the same place all the time as that will wear out that section of the mat in no time flat. Spin it around regularly and you’ll find it will last much longer.
never use it as a coaster for hot or cold drinks
clean it with a non scratch scourer to remove thread and fabric
if it’s got grooves…. it goes: cutting mats don’t last forever so whenever I notice the grooves getting a bit unruly I replace it with a new one
2 Rotary Cutters
Where would we all be without the rotary cutter?!? Probably not quilting anywhere near as much as we do! These things are a pleasure to use but, if they’ve got a blunt blade they can become quite a pain.
Buy blades two at a time. That way you never run out and, as soon as the blade starts to catch on fabric or not cut properly, you can change it over.
Take it apart every now and again and clean out all the fabric dust that inevitably builds up in any nooks and crannies. You’ll get longer out of your blade that way.
3 Speciality Rulers
Speciality rulers like Dresden Blade templates or my favourite, the BlocLoc half square triangle rulers can save a lot of time and energy. You don’t need to have a draw full of speciality rulers but it is worth getting a couple. Choose one or two that match your quilting style. e.g. if you’re a paper piecer you probably don’t want to live without an Add a Quarter ruler or, if you’re addicted to easy corners you might want to look at Doug Leko’s Simple Folded Corners Ruler.
4 ‘Drawing Lines’ Ruler
Quilting rulers have a square edge which is perfect for rotary cutting but not so friendly for drawing lines. A run of the mill, everyday ruler like your kids have for school has a tapered edge which is perfect for drawing lines for half square triangle and flying geese sewing.
A 20cm ( 8″) ruler is a great size and will work for most occasions.
Make sure you have a white pencil on hand for marking lines on darker fabrics
Save the piece of cardboard that comes with Laker Cakes to use as a drawing board! It provides a nice stable surface that can easily be replaced when needed.
First and foremost… if you aren’t using them it’s a good idea to start! Pinning your fabric together before heading to the sewing machine will improve your accuracy immensely. I’ve been sewing quilts for 16 years and I still pin EVERYTHING!
I’ve tried a lot of different types of pins but it wasn’t until I came across fine gauge pins that I really felt like I was winning. These fine, mostly glass headed, pins glide through fabric smoothly and never ever leave nasty holes in your fabric. My favourite fine gauge pins are:
Little House pins
Clover Fine Quilting pins
6 Seam Rippers
No matter how long you’ve been quilting you’ll definitely need a seam ripper or two on hand for those times that a whoopsie appears in your sewing. The vast majority of seam rippers are made the same way. There’s a pointy bit for getting under the stitches and a ball bit for stopping you from going to far but, not all seam rippers are created equal! Seamfix Seam Rippers come with a handy tool on the cap that makes getting all of the loose threads out of your fabric a breeze. After I found this little gem of a seam ripper I threw out all the other ones I had and haven’t looked back since.
7 Bobbins & Thread
I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s cheaper to buy thread on a cone rather than a spool. Yep, really. I just restocked my white thread (Rasant 50wt Cotton Thread) and paid $19.50AUD per 5000m cone. Compare that to a 1000m spool at $5.90AUD (aka 5000m would cost me $29.50) and you’ve saved around 33%. That’s a pretty good saving if you ask me! (Just a little note: not all sewing machines can take a cone of thread but there are add on products available for most machines which will let you use one).
Once I have the thread I load it up onto a whole bunch of bobbins. The bobbins for my Janome sewing machine are relatively inexpensive so I have about 100 of them. 75 odd are dedicated to white thread which I load in one hit and then, I have plenty on hand for when the bobbin runs out while I’m sewing. It definitely saves a lot of time and hassle while I wait patiently for someone someone to invent a sewing machine with a bobbin that holds 5000m of thread -:). You don’t need to have 100 of them though! Even loading 4 or 5 bobbins at a time will make your life easier.
8 Scissors/Thread Snips
Right beside my sewing machine you’ll find a small pair of scissors. I use them every time I’m at the machine to cut thread when I’ve been chain piecing and just like cutting mats, over the years I’ve tried many different types and brands. I was quite fond of the cute little spotty scissors for a while but that all changed when I found out about Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors. They’re light weight and have cushioned handles so they never hurt your fingers or hands and they have this tricky micro serrated blades. Sounds fancy but that just means that they pull the fabric into the scissors rather than push it away like traditional scissors, and that my friends, makes all that snipping a lot easier!
9 Binding Clips
These little wonders aren’t just for holding your binding in place while you sew it! I have them in two sizes and use them whenever I can instead of pins. They’re perfect for bag making tasks, holding bias binding in place and even keeping your fabric grouped and ordered!
10 Self Threading Needles
Last but not least is a tool I like to use while I’m machine quilting. These little self threading (or easy thread) needles mean that I can quickly and easily bury threads ‘on the go’. Pull the bobbin thread up to the top of the quilt, pop both threads through the easy thread notches and then bury the threads inside the layers of the quilt (without going through the backing). It’s a much nicer finish than using the knotting function on my machine and, with the threads buried, its highly unlikely they’ll ever come loose.
I hope this list helps you out with your own quilting and sewing. If you have a good tool tip to add to these ones please leave it in the comments. I’d love to see what little tips and tricks you’ve come up with and I’m sure other quilters would too.
I have three new patterns to share with you all today! They have all been uploaded to my shop and, if you’re a subscriber to my blog you might want to check your email to find the special coupon codes I sent yesterday.
First up, say hello to Happy Harvest, a fat eighth friendly quilt pattern that comes in two handy sizes. Baby – 40″ x 50″ and Lap – 53″ x 59″.
The rectangular shaped block gives this sweet design an extra touch of cuteness. It’s perfect for soft pastels like the ones I used in the scrappy version (right). Or, just as perfect for happy brights (left) like the First Romance collection from Kristyne of Pretty by Hand for Moda Fabrics which will hit stores October 2017. (You might want to keep an eye out for early release precuts though because I’ve seen a few in stores right now.)
You could also try a coloured background with some pretty floral prints like these Sweet Prairie prints from Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane for Riley Blake Designs. In stores August 2017. You might notice there’s extra space between the rows in this version (no your vision hasn’t gone wonky!). I made this quilt for Sedef’s market booth and then changed my mind about the pattern when I started making the other two. If you like the extra space you’ll just need an extra half yard or so of your background fabric.
Next is Summer Scoop a 60″ x 85″ twin sized bed quilt made with one simple 15″ block and some sashing. It’s fat quarter friendly so you can dive into your stash or, you can grab a bundle of your favourite fabric collection. The quilt I made has fabrics from Corey from Little Miss Shabby’s Flower Mill collection for Moda Fabrics (in stores this October).
Perfect for lazy summer days under a tree reading a good book. Of course, you’ll have to make one first! I love a quilt I can chain piece easily and this one really fits that bill. Just three simple units that come together to make a gorgeous quilt anyone would be happy to have.
By the way, how cute is that gingham stripe binding??? It comes in about 5 colours and I think it might just become my favourite binding fabric ever!
Just one more to share with you…
Pointed View another fat quarter friendly quilt pattern, I designed it based on a quilt I’d done for Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The pattern includes everything you need to know to make a 70″ x 70″ but this one is super easy to upside to a larger quilt if that’s what your little heart desires -:).
I made one with a bunch of coral, teal and navy fabrics I had in my stash so you could see how the design takes on different looks depending on the fabric you choose. This one is a bit bolder than the one you’ll see in just a second and if it wasn’t for the couple of floral prints I used I think my husband would have already claimed it! Don’t tell him but I needed a new couch quilt so I put the florals in just for me -:)
The second one I made has already had a little trip overseas where it was displayed in the Moda/United Notions booth. Vanessa from Lella Boutique who designed this pretty Farmer’s Daughter fabric line for Moda gave it a thumbs up when she saw it (phew!). I love how soft this version is even though it uses one or two of the darker prints in the collection.
Pointed View looks like it could be a bit tricky but this is seriously one of the easiest and fastest quilts I’ve ever pieced. I made each of these in just one day and I didn’t even crack a sweat!. The large pieces make it super easy to piece quickly once you have everything cut and ready to go.
More information about the fabric requirements for each of these patterns can be found in my shop. Don’t forget to use the coupons in your inbox! If you’re not a subscriber don’t worry I still have something special just for you. Use the coupon code “30OFF” to save 30% until next Monday, June 26th, 2017. PS You can also click the sign up button at the bottom of this post to make sure you don’t miss out on any coupons (or free patterns) in the future.
Happy quilting everyone,
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