Friday, 26 September 2014

Flying Geese Cushion

I made this a little while ago and forgot to share it here. It's a flying geese cushion that I will be teaching as a class at Patchfinders.

I hand quilted it with Sashiko thread and I'm especially pleased with my covered zip on the back! I had to snap some pictures quickly while I was at work because it's on display. The class is full now but I've put a tab to list all the classes I'm teaching at the top of my blog. Hopefully I will be teaching more in the new year too.

I'm working on a couple of hand sewing projects right now and although I'm enjoying it, I am starting to feel the need for speed! I am actually missing my machine so I think I need a little quick make this weekend and I have the perfect project in mind.

If you live in the UK or Ireland enter my £100 Wayfair gift cerficate giveaway - they have everything you need for your home, from furniture to accessories and so many useful items! Please share this giveaway on social media too, I would really love to help someone get pretty and useful things for their home and even the postage is free!

Have a happy weekend!

Linking up:

at Glory Be Quilter

and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Thursday, 25 September 2014

£100 Wayfair gift card giveaway! {UK and Ireland only}


I have to preface this by saying that occasionally I am approached by companies that would like to partner with me to promote their products and most often I refuse because they have nothing to do with quilting or sewing and I don't advertise companies I wouldn't make use of myself or that don't concern my readers. And while they are not a craft company, Wayfair have such a great range of products that we all use I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share some of their products with you and offer you the chance to win!

Primarily home furnishing and decor, Wayfair have an amazing selection of items; with loads of different brands, styles and varying price points, it's easy to find the perfect item and the website has a super friendly layout that makes it fun to shop! 

You could certainly buy items for your sewing room (AKA corner of your dining room if you're like me!):

Wayfair stock these craft scissors that are manufactured in Sheffield and this brilliant craft light pad (I have one, it's really brilliant - so many great sewing uses!), it also comes in A2.

Perhaps some shelves for storing your fabric stash or drawers for hiding it away... maybe brighten up the dark evenings with a lamp while relaxing with a brew?

Or you could just chose anything to pretty up your house, I'm loving these beautiful mirrors:

And think this tea towel would make a sweet Christmas gift:

There are so many great products at Wayfair, you really can find anything for your home!

Wayfair are kindly offering one of my readers a £100 gift card to spend on anything on the site and they will take care of the shipping so you don't need to worry about that.


How to enter:

You must live in the UK or Ireland. No reply bloggers will not win, please leave your email address in the comment to be sure I can contact you e.g. bob (at) gmail (dot) com

- To win £100 gift certificate to Wayfair hop over to their website, find something you'd like to buy and then leave me a comment telling me what it is!

- As a thank you to my lovely followers, if you've left a comment on my blog in the past few months BEFORE this post (and I will check) then you can have another entry because I'm nice like that, just leave another comment saying you have commented!  ;)

New followers are welcome - you can subscribe/follow using the buttons up there on the right, stay and look around if you're interested in the sewing and quilting posts I usually write.

Open until Monday 29th September at 8pm BST, the winner will be drawn by

*This giveaway is only open to people in the UK and Ireland (sorry international peeps, there's another more fabricy giveaway coming up soon though!)

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

working and progressing

I'm feeling like a good girl today because I finished off Janet's Bee A Brit Stingy blocks and got them in the post:

Why is it I never spot those rogue threads before I actually take a picture??

I also had time for a play today and got on with preparing some more green tea and sweet beans blocks, even cutting into this gorgeous Cracking Codes print. I absolutely love the colours, the rectangles are really vibrant in real life and I love that simple pattern.

Tonight it's on with some hand quilting and serious chill time!

Back tomorrow with a slightly different giveaway :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 22 September 2014

winner and discount code

Thanks to everyone who entered the Splash Cotton + Steel Basics Fat Quarter Bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop. You all have set yourself some great challenges!

The number picked is:

who is:

Congratulations Hadley! One of my longest followers and one of the nicest bloggers I know :) I have sent you an email.

For those that didn't win don't despair, there is going to be a couple more exciting giveaways very soon!

And this week there's a sale on all Robert Kaufman Fabrics at the Fat Quarter Shop with the code RK2014. This includes Kona, Ann Kelle, Carolyn Friedlander, Darlene Zimmerman, and many more!

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

Sunday, 21 September 2014

random stashing

**Enter my Cotton and Steel FQ bundle giveaway, closes 22/9**

I've acquired a few additions to my stash recently, nothing huge but fun little bits I thought I'd share. The first is this gorgeous Triangularity Stardust from Chromatics, Art Gallery Fabrics that came home with me from Patchfinders. The Triangularity prints are gorgeous and I had to have this colourway just because. I also bought a little ruler, which is perfect for marking 1/4" lines for my hand sewing and I think will prove useful when I'm marking lines for little bits of hand quilting too.

A colleague at work very kindly gave me these two Acacia by Tula Pink prints that will be stashed away for future use and we just got some of the Paint collection by Carrie Bloomston in the shop, not my usual taste but I'm falling for this cool woven print - need to think of a project I can use it in so I can justify buying some ;)

I recently visited my wonderful Nan and she passed these old sewing magazines on to me, probably not a whole lots of projects I would be inspired to make but worth a flick through and there's something kind of cool about that cross stitch Clarice Cliff (or am I losing the plot?!):

My stationery love has totally taken hold, I bought more stickers (that I failed to get a picture of) and these fun goodies from The Journal Shop. The Iconic Colour twin pens are so lovely to write with and great colours, the Otegami Memo Pads are super cute and washi tape is becoming an addiction.

Hurry and check out Pink Castle Fabrics, you can get an extra 40% off the Super Sale section with code SUPERSALE but it ends today so be quick. And this isn't one of those 'get rid of the horrible fabric' sales either, there's loads of great stash builders, basic prints like spots, stripes and gingham and some of my favourite prints and lines, quick go look!

Enjoy what's left of the weekend :)

Molli Sparkles

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I Love Quilting and Sewing Blog Tour + a GIVEAWAY!


The Fat Quarter Shop are celebrating National Sewing & Quilting month with a fun blog tour and I was happy to take up the challenge and answer a few questions!

I decided to make myself a laptop bag from the fantastic book Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis. I challenged myself by changing the English Paper Pieced shapes to 60° diamonds and squares, which Jessica used so beautifully in her Tanuki stripe throw, and adding magnetic closures. I have never used magnetic snaps before, it was super easy thanks to this noodlehead tutorial, but I did have to wrangle with turning the lining through to install them rather than adding buttons at the end as per the pattern!

The book shows you how to easily make a laptop case based on the measurements of your laptop and mine fits perfectly.

I used Cotton and Steel scraps to make the case and hand quilted it using #8 perle thread in simple straight lines.

I also decided to add some detail to the flap by stitching some pluses, inspired by Rachael from Blue Mountain Daisy and her beautiful stitches.

This was #10 on my FAL list (though I'm not going in numerical order unfortunately!!).

I spend most evenings (and nap times) quilting and I always feel happy and satisfied when I've been able to have time to sew. The Fat Quarter Shop created this banner for me, it's my nod to the famous Goonies* 'it's our time' speech - quilting is my time; to relax, create and do what I love and get excited about the possibilities.

How did you start quilting/sewing?

I started quilting just before I started this blog, encouraged by my cousin and my Aunty. I remember doing some blackwork embroidery when I was young and using a sewing machine at school. I love trying new techniques and currently hand quilting, hand piecing, EPP and cross stitch are my favourite. I like the slower pace and have a couple of hand sewing projects lined up to take me through the winter!

When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?

I think after I had made a few quilts and wasn't about to stop!

Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories or faux pas?

I am constantly making mistakes but none of them too horrific and honestly I don't care if I mess up, it helps me learn. I do know I have to stop when I'm tired, too often I sew things back to front, upside down or just wrong!

What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in sewing/quilting?

I think it helps to have someone teach you in person, a friend or a class. There's so many amazing bloggers that post tutorials and tips that you can learn from. It's important to sew things you love, using fabric and combinations that make you happy, and don't worry about getting it 'right', play and enjoy!

The Fat Quarter Shop have released a super cute 'Color My Heart' quilt pattern that you can download for free here.

Hop around and see more of the 'I Love Quilting and Sewing Blog Tour':

Sherri of A Quilting Life

Charise of Charise Creates

Lucy of Charm About You - you are here!

Rachel of Family Ever After

Anne Marie of Generation X Quilters

Marni of Haberdashery Fun

Melissa of Happy Quilting

Elizabeth of In the Boon Docks

Jana of Jana Machado

Lynne of Lily's Quilts

Maureen of Made by Marzipan

Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs

Melanie of I Heart Stitching

Kaye of Miss Print

Natalia of Piece N' Quilt

Denise of Pieced Brain

Stephanie of Quarter Incher

Jane of Quilt Jane

Heather and Megan of Quilt Story

Cheryl of Quilter Chic

Michele of Quilting Gallery

Allison of Quilting Mumma

Leslie of Seasoned Homemaker

Liz of Sew4Home

Sara of Sew Sweetness

Leanne of She Can Quilt

Vickie of Spun Sugar Quilts

Tonya of The Crafty Mummy

Erin of Why Not Sew?

Here in the UK it is National Cupcake Week and although I've not done any baking I do have a sweet treat for you!

The Fat Quarter Shop is kindly giving away this Splash Cotton + Steel Basics Fat Quarter Bundle to one of you! I chose this bundle because obviously I've been working with the lovely Cotton and Steel fabrics and love them. The basics are totally beautiful, that metallic print on the top is one of my favourites, and this bundle has gorgeous colours from the minty greens through to navy blue.


There are 3 chances to enter the giveaway but I MUST have a way of contacting you, so please leave your email address if you've not commented here and had an email in reply before (I will stop the no reply drama!!)

1. Leave a comment, say anything or tell me how you would like to challenge yourself in your crafting.

2. Follow my blog and leave a separate comment - the subscribe / follow buttons are on the right somewhere up there! (optional entry)

3. Share this giveaway on social media and leave another comment telling me how you shared. (optional entry)

The giveaway is open until Monday 22nd September at around 8pm (BST). The winner will be chosen by and announced here on the blog.

Good Luck!

* I am overly excited at the prospect of the Goonies sequel. Never say die.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

little bits

Tonight I'm working on hand quilting my Arizona quilt:

I found the most brilliant tutorial for making your own quilting templates by Steffi this week (click that link!). It's really quite simple and I love that you can make your own designs and have long lasting templates. Very clever Steffi :) I will definitely be making some soon so I can get to work on Joan's butterfly quilt.

I'm also making do and mending by patching my son's favourite jeans ready for 'Jeans for Genes' day on Friday. I think this Rocket Age fabric will be perfect!

We have announced a new theme at le challenge, this month the theme is MIX. I hope you will all come and join in!

Le Challenge

Pop back tomorrow because I have a pretty finish and a splashing giveaway!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 14 September 2014

a start not a finish - le challenge

This is the fifteenth challenge link at le challenge, which means I've successfully finished fourteen makes since we started, but this time... well you've probably already guessed... I have no completed project to share.

I was exciting by the theme 'era' and had lots of ideas but it's been such a busy summer (blah, blah, excuses, excuses!), I had grand plans but as time ran on I realised they were not feasible and I just couldn't find the love for hurriedly cobbling something together.

So instead I made a start and finished the first block of the Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern by Jen Kingwell

The fabrics I'm using are mostly 1930s reproduction, though I think this block looks a bit 1950s too. The fabric on the bottom left corner was given to me by my wonderful cousin in America, I absolutely adore the print and have been saving it for a special project. I think this hand sewn pattern is the perfect way to use up my most loved vintage scraps.

So there you have it, the first fail for me. Ok not a fail but this wouldn't count if I was actually linking up to le challenge. Since Nat will be having her baby towards the end of this year, we've agreed we are both allowed a couple of passes and this is mine.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's actual finishes and if you've made anything over the past two months that fits the theme 'era' in any way then feel free to come and link up your finished project. A random winner gets a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop as well as a special giveaway this month of 10 FQs of vintage sheets from Mary Emmens.

Hop over and check it out!

Le Challenge

Friday, 12 September 2014

fast approaching

We had an extended challenge over the past two months and now the time to link up your finished 'Era' projects is nearly here! The Le Challenge link party opens on the 15th and you can link up for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop as well as a beautiful vintage sheet bundle of 10 Fat Quarters from Mary Emmens. Check out the blog for more details. It is NOT a competition, the winner is random and it's just a fun way of showing your finished makes that tie in with the theme - the best thing for me is seeing how creative everyone is and the cool ways people interpret the themes!

Here's a sneak peek of my project:

Your don't need a blog, you can link up a picture of your finished project from Flickr or Instagram. Please be sure to link back to the le challenge blog or use #lechallenge. 

If you haven't linked up with le challenge before maybe you could sew a little something this weekend and join in the fun!

How would you interpret the theme 'Era'?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I love a good headband

You know the kind that stays on, doesn't give you a headache after an hour and obviously looks cute too!

Well I whipped some up and you can see my tutorial tips on the Simply Solids Blog. There is also a code for 15% off the fabrics I used, so check it out (there may also be a picture of a freaky glass head, you've been warned)!

I picked fabrics that I think are really wearable and each headband only uses 1 fat quarter. They have a cute retro look and are really comfy. I am loving wearing them and as the weather turns cooler they'll be nice to keep the tops of my ears cosy too, bonus.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

in a pastel mood

Maybe it's the summer ending or the fact that it was actually warm and sunny today but I've developed a sudden crush on all things pastel. Evident in the fact that I'm going to be quilting a small English Paper Pieced project and, rather than pick the dark navy or black I was originally intending, I've pulled some pretty pastel shades of perle:

There's lots of lovely bright colours in the Cotton and Steel lines (available here and here) but there's also some soft and beautiful pastels so I'm hoping these are going to play nicely together.

Pastels often feature in 30's repro fabrics, which I'm a huge fan of, and I am joining in the fabric swap hosted by Missouri Mel. You can see all the details and join in the swap here (if there's still any places left!).

I've noticed my follower numbers have been creeping up so I think a thank you giveaway (international) will be in order when it's a nice round number and I've got a really great giveaway coming up (just for UK and Ireland) peeps very soon too!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Nordic bee blocks

Nicky was queen bee of Bee a Brit Stingy last month and asked us for Nordic inspired blocks for her mostly red and white quilt. I had lots of ideas but not lots of time. I knew my blocks would be a little late but I still wanted to do something special for Nicky. They aren't the most adventurous blocks but I enjoyed doing them and think they'll work well with the blocks she already has.

The one at the top is a 6" block called Pentagon Flower by Brioni Greenberg from the book Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters. You are supposed to enlarge the templates by 200% to make a 12" block but I hate enlarging and thought it works well as a small block as is! It is English Paper Pieced and then machine appliqu├ęd onto the background fabric. 
The two smaller 3" blocks are Cross Stitch blocks, made using this great tutorial by Pile O'Fabric. I have wanted to make them since she did the first tutorial and I love them so much I will definitely make more! Thrilled that the crosses line up too, phew!

I hope you like them Nicky :)

It seems to be turning into a last minute panic each month but since I've had two months to prepare you think I would have started my 'era' project by now wouldn't you?! But no, I haven't. You've got seven days before the Le Challenge link opens, this month you could randomly win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and a 10 FQ bundle from Mary! She's also offering a 15% discount code to her shop until 15th September, read her post here. Find out all about le challenge and how to join in here!

Better get cracking on my project now!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

I need to write it down

Thank you to everyone that sent me some 'ade' yesterday to help battle the lemons, I appreciate the kind support :)

I'm deviating from my usual sewing posts to show you a little of my first love... stationary.

September fills me with joy, I'm a natural organiser (though baby brain has trashed that of late), and to quote one of my favourite films it makes me want to buy "a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils" (You've Got Mail). With a brain like a sieve I have to make notes about everything and, even though I've tried the technology method (iphone calender, reminders and the like), the best way for me to stay organised is to write things down. 

I've seen the 'bullet journal' system (that Trudi is proficient in!) and it appeals to me but since I already have a organiser that I love it makes sense to me to use that. I have used Filofax organisers since I was a teenager and my very favourite thing growing up was stationary. I still love stationary shops and all things cute and useful. Before I had kids I treated myself to a beautiful Smythson Bijou Organiser, small and perfectly formed. I carry it around with me all the time, it's chucked in my bag daily and it's still looking good. The twist closure is one of my favourite things about it, as well as the gorgeous orange colour. All the rings close perfectly and the original card dividers show no sign of wear or tear, which is pretty amazing.

So armed with my organiser I came up with a way for it to work best to suit my needs; a realistic way for me to keep up to date with what I need to do and my schedule. I came across one of the nicest online stationary shops I've seen, full of gorgeous things at reasonable prices: The Journal Shop. I shopped the sale section and got this cute Mnemosyne note pad, which has graph paper perfect for to do lists! The yellow first page has now been been torn out (and kept because it's nice!) and I love that I can open my organiser and see my 'to dos' straight away.

The only thing my organiser was missing was a 'today' tab/bookmark. I thought about getting a Filofax ruler page marker but they're so boring (I totally would get a clear one if they made them for pocket size though). It was fun to find these cute Midori Arrow Magnet Markers and they work perfectly as tabs at the top of my organiser so I can find the important stuff like what day it is! (...reminds me of Reality Bites where she hasn't used her filofax for years!!). I also couldn't resist buying a super sweet Midori Otegamo Memo Pad, notes that turn into hexies?! Yes please! They also have bows, fish, hearts and more. It also meant I had just more than £10 in my basket so I got free delivery, I love that! The Journal Shop offers free UK delivery on orders over £10 and has free delivery worldwide if you spend £75.

I already had a photo sticker of Fred as a baby on the front of the diary and decided just to go for it and make it more personal with kawaii stickers from this Etsy shop and washi tape. I've been using the stickers as a fun way of adding cuteness to my schedule and to do list.

I adore the quality of the Smythson paper but since I'm not working full time and now have 3 kids there's no way I can justify buying the refills. Instead I have used the Filofax diary refills in the past (the pocket size fits my organiser perfectly) but while googling alternatives I came across the Paperchase own brand refills so I snagged a pocket week to view refill for £4. Total bargain considering it comes with divider tabs, some note paper, graph paper and spare address pages. I'm not using the dividers because obviously I like the Smythson ones and also since I have a pocket size organiser I really don't have space for an agenda, planner and diary (nor time to write all those things?!). Obviously you get what you pay for and the quality of the paper isn't great but it's not terrible either and it will do the job. I really like the plain layout of the pages, not full of holidays etc that aren't relevant to me and I can just add those dates in myself. My organiser also has two slip pockets, which I have kept sweet notes and pictures of family in. 

It's early days but I'm hoping to stop scribbling notes everywhere and really use my organiser to the full. By having my to do list in there I might even remember to keep my appointments as well, that is if I can get out of the rabbit hole that is watching YouTube videos of how people organise their organisers... really Lucy get a life!!

*just so you know I bought all this stuff myself and I've provided links should you want to go get yourself some new stationary, this is not a sponsored post.