Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lightening Bug/ Munki Quilt finished

Some of you may have noticed that this was the quilt in my "extreme quilting" pictures. It is Jennifer's fun pattern from her quilt-a-long, and it's entirely hand quilted. You can read more about this quilt on this post and this post.

If you look closely you can see that the hand quilting wasn't entirely finished when this pic was taken

I'm glad I'm finally using some of these precious Heather Ross prints. What a fun "I Spy" quilt for Grace.

Now, how are those extreme quilting pics coming along? Are you ready to share yet?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You made me smile - and a winner!

Thanks for all of your great "Extreme Quilting" suggestions! They certainly made me smile...

I haven't tried quilting while nursing yet, but I'm sure its on the cards.

I'd love to see some pics of you trying 'extreme quilting'. I'll set up a Mr. Linky soon, so that you can link to your blog and we can all have a laugh together. If you don't have a blog, just send me your extreme quilting photo and I can put it on my blog post. (It was lots of fun taking the pictures - thankfully my brother, Matt, brought back the ladder so I could get down from the tree. I wonder what the neighbours were thinking!)

The winner of the Umbrella Prints fabrics and my patterns is...

ellen said...
Hahaha! Extreme ironing! How about quilting while teaching a class of kindergartners? That's like herding squirrels on a quiet day. Thanks for the giveaway. Love your quilts.
Congratulations! I'll be in touch soon. Thanks again everyone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway Day - Yay!

I've been worried. For the first little while after having Grace I not only had no time to quilt, but I have to admit I really didn't have the desire to quilt. I was getting a little nervous that maybe my quilting days were over.... that I was no longer obsessed with it. But I needn't have worried! When a little pile of Umbrella Prints fabrics arrived on my doorstep, an idea for a fun, quick baby quilt popped into my head, and I just had to get it out there. So I strapped Grace in the Hug-a-Bub and whipped this up in a few hours.

I absolutely adore these fabrics by Australian designers, Amy and Carly. It's their first collection of quilting weight fabric, and I'm in love with all of them, but particularly that shade of blue! They drape beautifully and feel wonderful. I love them against a sea of white. Hopefully they'll be available soon (I'm waiting on some for the back).

I've taken lots of step by step photos so I can write up the pattern (eventually!)

I'm giving away 10" each of these three (yet to be released) prints...

as well as two of my quilt patterns (I'll also send you the pattern for the above design as well when its done).

So, how to enter - here's the fun part... I used to have a calendar of "Extreme Ironing". It was hilarious. There were people ironing on mountains, cars, tightropes etc. So that got me thinking about "Extreme Quilting"! Here's some pics of me attempting extrem(ish) quilting (hubby said "wow, you're extreme" when saw these).

Oh yeah, I'm so cool - not!

I've finally found a place to quilt where the kids can't get me!
But ofcourse that doesn't last for long
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment for an idea for extreme quilting (it can be really extreme - like on Mt Everest - or not quite so - like while applying makeup)! Giveaway closes 25th May, and I'll post internationally.

Enjoy the rest of the giveaways going on for Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day. Good luck! Giveaway closed - thanks!

By the way, if you like Flea Market Fancy you wont want to miss this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More presents!

I received another two packages in the mail this week for Grace!

First, a gorgeous little handmade gift from Toni. She's such an inspiration - running a very successful business from home and being actively involved in chuch service while juggling a young family. I can't believe Toni wrote a book at the same time as being pregnant and then having a newborn!

What a darling friend to send me these handmade slippers. They fit Grace beautifully already (thanks to the elastic at the top), with a little room to grow! They have fleecy soles so they are so snuggly.

And this key holder has made it so much easier to find my keys at the bottom of my ginormous baby bag :)

I've also been meaning to show you some of the gorgeous earrings and clips Toni sent me for Christmas. I love earrings and these are just perfect (they're from her Citrus Pop range).

I wear them all the time. Thanks a million Toni.

Another good friend, Ally, made Grace this cute little quilt. Ally is also super busy teaching quilting classes, writing tonnes of patterns for quilting magazines and being a mum!

What a sweetie to think of me when she is about to give birth any day now herself!

It fits Grace really well, not too big and not too small. When she outgrows it on the floor it will work perfectly in the car or pram or hammock. Thanks Ally - good luck with your birth!

Grace gives the most beautiful smiles and so Sarah and Dane constantly try to make her smile. Hopefully she can survive their love (particularly when they compete to be the one in front of her face). I got out of the shower yesterday to find Dane in the hammock with Grace and chocolate custard everywhere. Fortunately Grace was quite happy. Maybe I'll have to start showering in the evening.

Just one more thing - the link to my Blogger's Quilt Festival post wont work, so I've linked to this post in the hope that it will work this time. Go here to see more about my "Climbing Curves" quilt. It seems the link to my original post is working now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Climbing Curves - not destined to be a pattern

I've saved this quilt to show you for Blogger's Quilt Festival. "Climbing Curves" is a bright little quilt that I think would suit a baby boy or girl equally well.  I used Saffron Craig's adorable Beetle Bugs range, and the inspiration for the pattern came from her fabric, Snails and Ladders.

I started off with a bunch of sketches of straight ladders with lots of bugs climbing up the sides.

But then, after the curved piecing on the back of this quilt turned out so well, I decided to stretch myself with some curved piecing of the ladders.

It was quite tricky (for me), and I had to unpick and try different techniques before I was happy. There was still a little bit of puckering, but nothing the iron couldn't take care of. Curved piecing isn't difficult on smaller cuts of fabric (like in my Sea Views or Sherbet Dreams patterns), but on large pieces its easy to get out of hand resulting in lots of puckering. That's why I decided that this wouldn't become a pattern. I would hate for someone to buy my pattern, and then have difficulty following the technique and not be happy with the result. If I have time though, I might write a tutorial sharing what I did, so you can give it a try if you like.

Originally, I planned to applique bugs climbing up the sides of the ladders,  but when I auditioned the bugs it looked too busy to me. I liked the clean line of the curves by themselves. So I opted to hand quilt a few bugs and I really like the overall effect (you can find my hand quilting tutorial here). I tried using a Hera Marker to mark the line of the bugs and it worked perfectly! It was easy to see the line and there was no mark to remove at the end.


I think a cute quilt deserves a cute model - Grace wears it well don't you think!

Thanks for visiting - be sure to check out all the other quilts at Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A present from Saffron

I'm lucky to have such a talented and genuine friend like Saffron. I remember the day well that I first spoke to her on the phone. It was about 18 months ago, and I was talking to her about one of my first patterns - Dandelion Windows - that I made with her beautiful fabric. I was sitting on the back porch. Todd had told me not to sound too eager, that I may come across as a little pathetic if I just gush about her fabric. But ofcourse I couldn't help myself. I tried to sound professional, and like I knew what I was doing - but really I kept thinking - I'm talking to Saffron Craig!. Right from the start we had heaps to chat about, and we quickly became good friends. She has been a great sounding board and has given me such confidence in my work.

I was blown away when this arrived in the post this week. A gorgeous wall hanging for Grace hand made by Saffron with some of her brand new fabric! What a wonderful surprise, and isn't that fabric lovely!

I love the hand-stitched detail in the letters too. I'm going to steal borrow that idea for one of my quilts.

I was just so touched that she took the time to make such a personal and beautiful gift for Grace, as well as a card....

and a scarf.

I miss hanging out since I moved, but I'm looking forward to catching up when I come across for the Darling Harbour Craft and Quilt show in June. I'll be the one wearing a baby. If any of you recognise me, come up and say 'hi'.