Friday, 31 October 2014

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Section A

I pulled out all of my solids at the start of the month and decided to join in with the Moda Modern Building Blocks sewalong over on Kristin's blog at Gooba Designs
A sewalong is likely to be the only way I manage to finish a quilt top of this size, it is 84" x 96" finished. I'm also a bit worried about how I'll manage to quilt it on my own sewing machine. I'm considering quilt as you go but I haven't decided yet. I could send it out to a long arm quilter but I've never done that before either!
Cutting the fabric for the 6" blocks is a little daunting, take a look at the size of some of the pieces:

Yes it does say to cut a 1 7/8" square in half!
Here are the blocks in section A:
  • Block 8 (18" finished)
  • Block 10 (12" finished)
Block 12 (12"finished)
  • Block 17 (12" finished)
  • Blocks 20, 21, 42, & 44 (6" finished)
  • Blocks 19 & 38 (6" finished)

Block 10 is my favourite so far, and it just happens to use fabric I received from Kristin in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap which seems fitting.
Here are all the blocks all together:
I'm looking forward to starting the next section.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch

I have the Noodlehead pattern bug! Since I finished my Divided Basket for the Divided Basket sewalong I am co-hosting over on Instagram (there is still time to join us, details here) I have been pondering my next Noodlehead project.

I am tempted by the Road Trip Case and the 241 Tote but I've started on a slightly smaller scale with the free Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial.

This flower fabric came back from John Lewis' in Edinburgh with me after last years trip back to the UK and I was planning a mini quilt for my daughter at some stage but when a flight came up decided a pouch for her headphones was more pressing. The green dots were in my stash and I just had to pop some chicks inside to surprise her when she opens it up for the first time.

Taking a toddler on a plane on my own, even for a short domestic flight, gave me a case of the jitters so a bit of sewing calmed me down.

This is my first zip in a finished project and I think I did ok. The tutorial is so clear that I didn't need to change anything. I made the largest size following the contrast bottom instructions and used interfacing.

The pouch only took an hour from start to finish so I will be making many more if I ever start my Christmas sewing (I still owe a few things from last year so I really must do better this year!) It is filled to the top now with toys and treats to keep her happy, I should make myself one and fill it with chocolate next.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Baby shower gift - Noodlehead Divided Basket

I finished my first Divided Basket.

I had heard that Noodlehead patterns were clear and easy to follow and I found that to be the case for the Divided Basket.

I'm planning an aqua and orange quilt for a gift for a friend and I thought a Divided Basket in those colours would be useful for all the bits and pieces you need with a newborn.

I'm really happy with how the basket turned out even though I could only find 1 inch webbing (the pattern asks for 1.5 inch). I used a zig zag stitch to make sure I caught the thinner webbing securely though in future I would use Peta's tutorial.

The only other change I made was to add an interfaced panel to the front pocket and to move the optional sewn line to split the pocket to the edge of the panel.

Now I need to pull some more fabric for my own basket.

If you plan to join in the sewalong remember to post your finished basket to #dividedbasketsewalong on Instagram by August 10th for the chance to win a $25 gift voucher kindly donated by the guest judge - Anna Graham of Noodlehead.


Monday, 28 July 2014

Cotton + Steel Divided Basket

Today I have my very first guest blog. The Noodlehead Divided Basket sewalong I am co-hosting over on Instagram starts today and my co-host Peta is here to show you her gorgeous Cotton & Steel basket and share a tutorial on a handle detail she came up with which looks fantastic.

Thanks Kendra for letting me hang out on your blog today. Excited? Well yessiree I am!
How great is Instagram! I love checking through my feed each day to see what the wonderfully talented quilters and sewers have been up to around the globe. Instagram is such an inspirational and generous community and, of course, it’s how I met Kendra and how the Divided Basket Sew Along came about. I don’t have a blog (and really admire people like Kendra who do) but I’d love it if you came and said hi on Instagram, my user name is @shequiltsalot.
Now… onto the Sew Along. I love Anna Graham’s style and patterns. I’ve sewn a couple of items from her tutorials and have found the pattern instructions really clear and easy to follow. The Divided Basket is no different and I found that I was able to sew my first basket together in no time at all! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out using the new Cotton & Steel fabrics.

I ended up applying an additional piece of fusible interfacing to the pocket lining as I wanted to give the pocket some additional durability against sharp objects. To make it a little easier to sew I cut the interfacing a ½ inch smaller on all sides before I ironed it on to the reverse of my pocket lining. I don’t think there is any noticeable difference to how the bag sits, but its nice to know the pocket has some added protection.

The other slight alteration I made to the original pattern was the handles. I absolutely love the look of the cotton webbing handles in Anna’s baskets but couldn’t get webbing to match so I improvised using fabric from the pocket binding and exterior.

Just in case anyone else wants to give these handles a try I’ve included a quick tutorial you can use here.
You’ll need the following to make two handles:
2 - 1.5" x 8.75" strip of exterior fabric
2 - 2" x 8.75" strip of binding fabric (you could also use interior fabric)
2 - 3.5" x 8.75" strip of binding (you could also use interior fabric)
Optional - for super sturdy handles add cut 2 – 1 3/8" x 8.5" strip fusible fleece

1. Sew the 2" x 8.75" binding fabric piece to the 1.5" x 8.75" exterior fabric piece and then the 3.5" x 8.75" piece of binding fabric to the other side. Press seams closed towards the binding fabric (trust me!) and then trim the pieced block to 6" x 8.5".

2. Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the pieced block.

3. Fold the pieced block in half and press well with your iron. Next, using the seam allowance as a guide (told you could trust me!), fold the outside edges in towards the centre. Make sure you line up the outside folded edge really well and press again. Use binding clips or pins to hold everything together.

Optional – if you want to add the fusible fleece do so now – the fleece will need to be fused to the back of the section which has the exterior fabric.

4. Sew 1/16th of an inch from the joined edge to secure the open side then add additional stitching lines ¼ of an inch in from both edges. Your handles will look like this when you are done and are ready to attach to your basket!

Have fun sewing this week. I can’t wait to see all of your gorgeous baskets on Instagram!

Thank you Peta for joining us and sharing your tutorial. If you plan to join in the sewalong post your finished basket to #dividedbasketsewalong on Instagram for the chance to win a $25 gift voucher kindly donated by the guest judge - Anna Graham of Noodlehead.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt - Part 2

Yesterday I shared the mini quilt I made for the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap. I had so much fun making it that most of the time I forgot I also had an unknown partner who was also making a mini quilt just for me.
I was delighted when I did receive my surprise mini as it was this gorgeous envelope quilt. I'm in Australia and my partner, Kristin of gooba designs, is in America so it seemed very fitting to have a text print that has 'beyond the seas' featured.

I had mentioned my favourite fabric line is Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics in the sign up form for the swap. I didn't dare hope I would be lucky enough to be matched with a partner who would use it so well.

The quilting is so lovely I had to get close.

And in black and white you can really see how it finishes off this mini perfectly.

One of the extras I received was this little purse. I am saving it to use for best so it has only been out with me a few times so far. Each time I do use it though I get a lot of comments on how special it is.  I've had it taken from my hands a couple of times so it could be admired up close.

I am so happy I took part in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt and I can't wait for the next round.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap - Part 1

I recently took part in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap. Now that I have both sent and received I can share them here. Today I'll show my mini and tomorrow the wonderful mini that arrived to me.

I made a Modern Hexies mini wall quilt using the Modern Handcraft tutorial. I will definitely be making another one of these for myself.

My partner requested her favourite colours teal, orange and purple. I shared a photo of these colours in hexie form while they were sat on my grey couch and I had that many positive comments on the grey background that I switched from the white I had planned to a fat quarter of cotton couture in dark grey.

Quilting this mini was so much fun, though I did get a bit creative with the straight lines towards the end to ensure I was still creating triangles.


I went with a scrappy binding (partly due to not having enough dark grey and my local quilt store being out of stock) and I'm really happy I did in the end, I think it added something to the final look of the mini.

My binding skills are definitely improving. I backed it with a fat quarter I recieve in a Quilt Club Australia swap at the Victoria members meet up. I've since spotted this fabric in Spotlight so I may need to buy some more soon.


The quilt label was my first attempt at machine embroidered letters and I think I did ok.

Are you a swapper?


Monday, 21 July 2014

Noodlehead Divided Basket Sewalong

I have recently discovered Instagram (I know, I know I'm late) and that hasn't helped with my plan to blog more often but it has led to something quite wonderful.

Reading the always wonderful Noodlehead blog on Saturday night I spotted Crafterhours were having a Friday Fiver offer on the Divided Basket pattern. I've longed to make a Divided Basket for quite a while now but I had a self imposed pattern buying ban as I have a million other patterns (at least) to make first.

But $5 was too good to miss (craft economics at play here as the pattern is very reasonable even without the discount). So now we come back to the IG connection, I happened to mention I had bought the pattern and asked if anyone had any tips for me before I started or wanted to have a sew along. Well a few messages later my brand new IG friend Peta (we are in a birthday swap together too) suggested we open the sewalong to anyone who wanted to join us and check with Anna Graham if it was ok to use her pattern.

Now comes the wonderful part, Anna not only gave us permission she also agreed to be our guest judge with the prize being a $25 gift voucher for Noodlehead which she has kindly donated!

So now I'm all kinds of excited and every time I check IG I spot even more fantastic people joining in the fun. Want to join in? We would love to have you - here are the details:

  • 21st - 27th July - grab a copy of the pattern and decide which lovelies from your stash you will be using.
  • 28th July - 3rd August - Sew,sew,sew
  • 4th-10th August - Show off your fantastic finishes with #dividedbasketsewalong on Instagram so they can be in with a chance to win (and we can all admire your fabulousness).

How many will you be making?