little apples

bearpaw

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Yesterday I stitched up the courthouse steps blocks I've made so far and then promptly put them to the side.  They produce such a lovely textured effect but they are so energy draining to put together that I had to go and have a lie down.  And while I was lying down, I started thinking about how some blocks are so much more enjoyable to put together than others (which has no correlation to the finished result just the stitching up part). I think I would rate the CS block as a 2 out of 10 for block making enjoyability rating.

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This block on the other hand is what I started piecing once I'd done the lying down and pondering thing.  These are bear paw blocks and I'd give these a pleasing 12 out of 10 block making enjoyability rating.  Do not be fooled by all those half square triangles they come together ever so quick.  Like magic ta da quick.
I used lots of my Little Apples fabric line mixed in with some low volume fabrics from various lines of mine.
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I've pieced these into a panel to cover a pillow.  And right after I have finished making that, I'll be making a bear paw picnic blanket then some bear paw placemats and once I get myself some Hello Petal, I'll be putting together a bear paw quilt.
And if you just so happen to be wanting to do a little bear paw ing yourselves, there will be a free PDF how to available right here on the blog in a few weeks time.  Plenty of time to work out what you want to make :)

shells

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Yesterday I got on with pin basting my Skip quilt.

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I haven't free motion quilted a quilt for a long time now.  I keep meaning to try some different quilting designs and even bought Angela Walters'  Free Motion Quilting book last year to give me some idea's.  But every time I get to the quilting stage I chicken out of trying something new and go for easy styles that I go to time and time again.  And there's nothing wrong with that except I really really want to try branch out and get quilting more creatively. So that is how I came to quilting this one in Clamshells, using an idea from Angela's book.  

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And despite feeling a little anxious I am really REALLY enjoying it.

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I love how doodle-y they look, they fit perfectly with the playful nature of this quilt.  I am already three quarters done and can't wait to show you the finished quilt!




slicing

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This is what I am up to today.  I've finally sliced up a little time out for myself and have been busy cutting and chopping up fabric.  Bliss.

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I'm doing something I've been itching to get on with for a while.  Making a quilt (or two or three) using a mix of fabrics from all of my lines.

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It's fun to see the fabrics all mingling and hanging out together, it will be interesting to see them in new combinations.

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These two pictures are what I have been up to the last couple of days - making kitty blocks!  I thought up this idea a while back to make out of hello petal but since fabric is a long way off from arriving, I thought I'd make one up from my current fabrics for now.

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I'm loving how the blocks are looking together, so much fun to make too!  More details coming soon.


step inside

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As promised last week, I'm back to show you around a little of my new home.  Unsuprisingly it was my sewing room most of you wanted to start with so here we are.  As expected there is a ton of fabric.  In fact there is a whole wall of fabric ;) 

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It's nice to finally be able to have it all out displayed on shelves instead of shovelled into many drawers.  The shelves are Billy Bookcases from Ikea and they are ideal for storage because only the middle shelf is permanantly fixed, the rest are easily adjusted, which is good if like me you are always chopping and changing your mind.  Annie at The Village Haberdashery very kindly saved up the bolts for me and it only took me about a week of ironing and pinning to get things done.

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In complete contrast to the colour explosion belonging to the wall of fabric, the opposite side of the room is stark in it's whiteness.  I intended to add some colour in the form of accessories but I kind of enjoy the plainess over here.

(Cupboards and desk are Expedit, drawers are Alex, from Ikea)

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Next to Alex is my sewing table (at least it will be soon, I haven't sewn a stitch in over two months).  The table is Liatorp (again from Ikea) and I have it at the full extended width.  I am revelling in it's hugeness, which will be a welcome relief after years of coffee table quilting.  The chair is Ingolf.

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See what I mean about the whiteness (even matches my radiator).

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Which takes us over to the big window (still no curtains after two months, although we have got around to ordering them at long last).

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Over the other side of the big window, more shelves, more fabric and more colour.

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And another little window.

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And more fabric

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And back to the wall of fabric.

And that's it.  Kind of turned out exactly as I'd planned in my head all those months ago.  I'm sure it's pretty much what you expected too?


This little quilt went to market - part 2

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Do you remember this quilt?

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Well, this little quilt went with me to quilt market last spring and promptly got picked up!

That's picked up as in by Better Homes and Gardens 'Quilts and More' magazine.  At last you can find the pattern for this little baby sandwiched in amongst the pages of the Spring 2012 issue (it's one bumper packed issue, crammed to the staples with patterns by the likes of Kate Spain, Monica Solorio-Snow, Vanessa Christenson, Joanna FigueroaCamille Roskelley and more).

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I'm kind of more than a little super excited about this because it's my first time having a pattern published in a big time US quilting magazine :))))

Today is going to be a tough day to beat, now excuse me whilst I go gush some more.


take it away

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Today, I finally started packing for my imminent trip to market.  The clothes bit didn't take too long - 3 pairs of very similar jeans, 5 cardigans, a handful of tops and a pair of boots or thereabouts - The most important bit I have to consider is what I should take with me to pass the time for the 10 hour flight.  This involves taking lots of pretty stitched bags crammed with stitchy goodies, although no scissors and only short needles are allowed on the plane so you can see why this takes a bit of thinking and preperation beforehand.  

Thankfully I am travelling in the company of Katy and Lu on this trip and for some reason or other they have decided I am some kind of crochet whizz kid and asked me to teach them the art of the granny square, you can see a little yarn and a crochet hook peeking out of the pouch above right.  The cute little hexagon pouch is what I always use to house my camera when I'm out and about and I have Katy to thank for stitching up this little beauty for me.  On the bottom right you can see the clutch I made earlier this year and use all the time on account of it's many handy compartments inside, pattern can be found here.

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I'm also taking this handy tote bag again too, theres lots of pockets inside and out and its just a handy size, I used the tote bag pattern from Cath Kidston's book 'Sew' to stitch this up.

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These are a couple of handy pouches that will hold some embroidery and hexagon bitty bobs to keep me happily stitching between take off and landing.

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I whipped up these cute drawstring bags the other day using Jeni's pattern which is very well explained and super easy to follow.  I need to make lots more of these, perhaps a little red one next?

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I also had a go at making some handy needle book's, I made up my own pattern and included a zip pouch at the front to add even more stuff.

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Very handy, inside...

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and out!!


welcome home

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On Friday we welcomed back a long gone traveller.................my 'fancy' quilt!

Missed by some more than others (see photo above).

I made this quilt back in April for my eldest daughter, telling her it would be hers as soon as market was over.  Only it didn't end up coming straight back home with the other goodies but went travelling around on a non-stop trade show party extravaganza instead (there's work to be done, even if you are a quilt).

And now at last it has come home to retire to a life of........

something to snuggle up in (again, see photo above) technicolour dreamcoat style,

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a comfy place to rest on whilst doing your homework,

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and of course, keeping a certain young lady's bed warm, day and night.

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Quilt pattern here

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There is but just one thing to add to this post, the small matter of the raggedy rag blanket my eleven year old daughter loving-ly refers to as her na-na.  

Everytime my daughter asks for a new quilt, I say yes on the pretext that she finally throws her long beloved (raggedy rag thing) blankie in the bin.

Can you guess if this has actually happened yet?

If you said 'no' I'll give you a clue, you might be right.

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Here's a closer look so you can see how ragged those edges really are.

So.  Today's question is.....should I put raggedy rag blankie in the bin one day when she is not looking (ie. at school)???????

After all she has got several quilts out of promising to do so and she has only had it since she was about 2 months old but really the thing is falling to bits and she will never be short of blankets.......


A is for A+

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A quickie little post for you today to indulge those of you avoiding the housework or the in tray in the name of indulging your inner thirst for inspiration of the fabric eye candy sort of thing.

All these little beauties were found in my Flickr group, I am simply humbled by the amazing talent out there creating awesomeness with fabric ingrediants.  First up is the charming little tea set (above) by Lydia, how irrestible is this quirky combo?

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This pretty little 'dumpling' (how appropriate!) bag by Amy had me shaking with excitement (note to self - must sew faster...)

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Now this is what I call sewing.....won't you just look at that and drink in the heavenly taste of this bathmat brilliance by Patti?

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Don't even get me started on trying to explain how I feel when I look at this patchwork beauty by Lorena.  I especially heart this colour combo - perfect for Fall.

There's lots more inspo. in the group on Flickr, go take a look for all the inspiration you may ever need...

Or check out this cute idea by Carrie.

Or how about this one?  Pure creativity.

So.......................... how are you feeling???  Inspired???


moda country fair

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Welcome to my day of the Moda Country Fair blog hop!  For this stop on the hop, you find yourself in good old England, so won't you come in and join me for a cup of tea? (trust me you'll need it to get through this post).  My name is Aneela Hoey and I've been designing fabric for Moda for around a year now.  

My hop tute - A Quilted Tissue Box Cover

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Make one of these and approach your next winter cold in style!

You will need -

A 15" x 10" piece of double face/ready quilted fabric (alternatively use two 15" x 10" pieces of regular fabric and a piece of batting the same size, sandwich together, quilt and you're ready to go).

A 55" strip of 2 1/2" wide double fold binding.

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Cutting

From the double face fabric, cut -

Two - 9 1/2" x 5" pieces

Two - 4 3/4" x 3 1/4" pieces

 

From the binding strip, cut -

Four - 9 1/2" long pieces

Two - 4 3/4" long pieces


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Instructions

Use 1/4" seam allowance throughout

 

1. Take one of the long quilted fabric pieces and two of the long strips.  Align the strips to the top and bottom edges of the fabric (matching the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the quilted fabric).  Sew binding to fabric.

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2. Fold binding over to the wrong side of the quilted fabric and slip stitch in place at the back.

3. Repeat with second long quilted piece and remaining two long binding strips.

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3. Place the two pieces one above the other.  Join the bottom edge of the top piece to the top edge of the bottom piece by slip stitching the first 2 3/4" on the left and right sides together (see detail pic below).

This will leave an unstitched central 'mouth' or opening.

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4. Machine stitch a short binding piece to the bottom of each of the two small quilted fabric pieces.  Slip stitch the folded over binding to the back of each piece.
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5. Fold one of the small quilted pieces in half widthways.  Position pieces as above, aligning the newly made 'crease' on the small fabric piece with the central opening on the large joined piece.

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6. Flip the small piece over onto the large piece and pin the pieces with right sides together.  Stitch along the bottom (raw) edge of the small piece, starting and stopping 1/4" from each of the side edges (see pic above).

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7. Repeat on the opposite side of the large piece with the second small quilted piece.

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Your cover should now look like this from the wrong side.
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8. Bring together each of the two raw edges at right angles to each other and stitch together to make each corner.

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This is what your cover should look like wrong side out.....

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And this is what it should look like when you turn it out!

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