Thursday, 27 August 2015

Modern Background - Paper ~~ Green Fairy Quilts Giveaway!

Let's have a little back to school giveaway! I feel like September is always a great time for planning and deciding what projects to work on for the upcoming months. I was one of those kids at school that loved having timetables and using highlighters, I covered all my exercise books and stationery is still one of my favourite things. 

The newly released Modern Background - Paper by Zen Chic for Moda is perfect for paper lovers and the low volume prints are gorgeous. All of the prints are versatile backgrounds and blenders. It's not often I see a range where I know I can easily separate prints to use in different projects. I think Zen Chic have done a fabulous job building a usable and beautiful collection.

There are some great subtle text and graphic prints, though I think these two bolder prints are my favourites:

And as if these aren't gorgeous enough, Zen Chic will also be releasing Modern Background - Ink in September and you can pre-order bundles and precuts from Green Fairy Quilts at great prices!

★ Also check out the amazing sale section at Green Fairy Quilts with up to 50% off moda precuts, click here to grab a deal ★

Green Fairy Quilts are very kindly offering you the chance to win a layer cake of Modern Background - Paper!

You have four possible chances to win, please leave a separate comment for each...

1. Tell me your favourite thing about September, anything you like!

2. Sign up for the Green Fairy newsletter, click here to subscribe or let me know if you already receive it (optional entry)

3. Follow my blog or let me know you already do.  You can follow in a reader using the buttons up there on the right sidebar or click here to subscribe to Charm About You by email (optional entry)

4. Spread the news - share this giveaway on facebook, instagram, blog, twitter, pinterest etc - then leave a comment letting me know how you shared (optional entry)

The giveaway is open internationally and ends 3rd September 2015. A winner will chosen by
Please please leave your email address in the comment e.g. mslaptop (at) ipreferpens (dot) com - unless you are totally sure you are not a no reply blogger!!

Good luck :)

p.s. I usually do respond to comments but forgive me that I can't always reply during giveaways

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


There's an awful lot going on in my world. I feel like doing a Bill and Ted, shouting 'excellent!' and playing air guitar... well I would if the kids hadn't totally worn me out ;)

I have a lot of upcoming sewing related things and plenty to do, so I have been trying to crack on with getting my WIPs done. First 'to sew' on my list is my Star Crossed Quilt. I had my pieces already all cut out and sitting on my desk and today was spent chain piecing:

This is a great pattern and should come together quickly.

I also finished up an Etsy commission this week. It was a custom order for a very special and personal embroidered cushion, I didn't ask permission to share so here's a peek of part of the embroidery:

I had an exciting delivery today, The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book:

Having seen the book all over social media I thought I had an idea of what it would be like but I was blown away. This book is STUNNING. I haven't really had time to sit and digest it yet but even a quick flick through impressed me. The colours and fabrics are beautiful and the blocks are fabulous. And hello?!! A block with my name!  If you don't have a copy I would highly recommend buying one or seeing if it's available at your local library.

I am thrilled to be part of the upcoming Sew-Along with the Fat Quarter Shop and Gnome Angel as a guest blogger. I will be sharing my blocks and, most likely, either hand sewing or English Paper Piecing them.

You can read all the details here and discover all the guest bloggers here - I'm in amazing company and it's really worth checking out everyone's blogs and social media for inspiration. There is also a very active facebook group; it's supportive, inspiring and fun to see where everyone is from!

The Sew-Along will begin 28th September so there's still plenty of time to get a copy of the book and join in.

Of course a new Sew-Along was a good excuse to get some more fabric so here's what I got...

These are going to be my basis for the colour theme, I will throw more colours in but I'm going to try and use these in most of the blocks - at least that's the current plan!

I have a heap of repro 30s fabrics that I'm using for my green tea and sweet beans quilt so I will likely use some of those but I really want a mix of modern and repro. I'm doing the same with my gtsb but this time I will use more modern, mostly Cotton and Steel, fabrics. Based on that I ordered these beauties:

Since the blocks have some little pieces I couldn't resist getting a Zephyr by Rashida Coleman Hale charm pack as well.

Undoubtedly this will be an eclectic mix of fabrics but then that's kind of become my style and I'm happy with it! My general way of working is to look at each block and decide on the fabrics as I go along, rather than an overall scheme or specific plan, then find a way to pull it all together at the end ;)

And that's about all the planning I have done. There are some great resources on the facebook group and fabulous ideas for prep and organisation. I still need to decide the best system for me but I'm sure a folder and plastic wallets will be involved.

I'm excited to get started! 
Are you joining in or have you ever done a sampler quilt like this? Do those of you that did the original Farmer's Wife have any tips?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


It's been a productive week and I'm happy I managed to sew anything with the crazy kids around!

I finished this Bee A Brit Stingy row for Nicky. The blocks are Castle Walls by John Q. Adams from the book Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters:

I switched out the arrangement of grey / white squares so the row would have more movement, which Nicky requested.

Also managed to finish two more hand pieced flower blocks for my green tea and sweet beans quilt:

I adore that little Cocoland cat!

The next block is clamshells, which I have never done before. I'm going to do needle turn appliqué because I'm feeling brave. Here's my fabric pull for the clamshells:

Wish me luck!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 17 August 2015

just keep adding

Sometimes I buy fabric with intention and then other times just because! Last week was a little mix of both...

At Patchfinders I got some Acid Green, Bella Solids because I can't resist that gorgeous colour and Coquette Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics, which I am thinking might be backing for my gtsb quilt. I also stocked up on glue refills (turned out I had some already but I know I will use them!) and another Styla water soluble pen.

Today I met up with my cousin from America, Jackie. We had a lovely lunch at my mums house and I got to take her to Patchfinders so she could see where I work and also buy some fabric. 
She had very kindly agreed to be my fabric mule and bring over an order from Imagine Gnats that I had sent to her address (saves postage!). I won a voucher from quarter 2 of the Finish-Along so I got some beautiful Artisan Cotton in yellow-copper - no real reason except I like the colour, some Chambray Union in indigo dot by Robert Kaufman that is so soft and beautiful - I think I might make a dress (easy pattern recommendations welcome!) and some hand sewing needles - because I had $1 left :)

Jackie is staying with my Dad's cousin who also very kindly brought me a treat today, these incredible vintage patterns. They belonged to my Great Aunt. I haven't yet checked all the pieces are complete, though I suspect they are. I need to try some very basic dress making before I can even attempt these! I shall just admire the pretty illustrations for now:

At the weekend I got my hair did. Very pleased with it! It is so much faster to dry :)

I have made some progress on my Bee A Brit Stingy row for Nicky, I'm making Castle Walls blocks from the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters. The kids keep interrupting me though so I'm hoping to have them finished tonight.

If you're looking for charm packs Green Fairy Quilts are currently having a brilliant sale and all charm packs are only $5.75-$6.89, be quick though the offer ends tonight! (17/8/15)

I hope your week is off to a good start :)

linking up a day late to Molli Sparkles (who is having a giveaway this week!)

Molli Sparkles

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

sweet stitchings

The best feeling when I'm sewing is loving the process. Enjoying each stitch, seeing my work come together and loving the result. Sewing satisfies me for different reasons and I enjoy machine projects but hand sewing is another level for me. It has a comfort and calm to it, my hands working away while my mind relaxes. It feels so good to get back to working on my green tea and sweet beans quilt.

I finished the appliqué on this Berry Basket:

And I hand pieced the first Flower Block:

The other two are cut out and ready to go, I couldn't resist this adorable cat:

The print is Hiding Cats, Cocoland by Kokka and all the Cocoland cats are so sweet.

I'm looking forward to putting these together :)

     Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 10 August 2015

whitworth {and a FQS discount!}

We had a 'family time' weekend and yesterday went to the Whitworth Art Gallery. It's been awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2015 and rightly so. I love it, we had our wedding there, and I've been going with my family for as long as I can remember. 

I went to see the Cornelia Parker exhibition 'Magna Carta (An Embroidery)', here is the blurb from the website:

"Magna Carta (An Embroidery) is a major new artwork by the acclaimed British artist Cornelia Parker that celebrates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015. Fabricated by many hands, it replicates in stitch the entire Wikipedia article on Magna Carta as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary. Hand embroidered by more than 200 people, a large part was stitched by prisoners supervised by Fine Cell Work and members of the Embroiderers Guild. Other contributors, selected to represent a cross-section of society, range from barons, baronesses, MPs, and lawyers, to human rights advocates and activists."

It was so incredible on every level and I was overwhelmingly inspired - definitely see it if you can. It's on from 8 August – 1 November 2015.
There was a really interesting documentary about the embroidery running too and Cornelia was fascinating, I enjoyed learning more about the whole process and the people involved. This was an epic project and the skill (or not) to produce such work is immense.
I chuckled that Jarvis Cocker actually embroidered two words, common and people!

Outside I discovered these fabulous stitchy benches:

and the adjoining park provided enjoyment too:

It was the kind of day that life is all about.

Today was the opposite, I was a mardy so and so. Hormones blazing, too many annoying jobs, missed calls, kids not listening to me, etc. It really does seem like I'm having a summer of good days followed by bad! Hopefully that means I'm due a good one tomorrow ;)

And in the spirit of goodness Fat Quarter Shop currently have 15% off all Robert Kaufman fabrics, use code RK2015 at the checkout. Valid until 16th August:

Stock up on lovely solids (I vote pickle, creamsicle and goldfish - is it weird that those are all also snacks?!) or whatever fabulous RK prints take your fancy! I will just point out that includes Architextures :)

I'm going to do a little bit of stitching before zonking out. Hope your Monday was better than mine?!