Friday, 31 October 2014


Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

working on it

I feel like I'm working on a lot of stuff right now, not just quilty or sewing projects but my life and myself. Paying attention to what I want to do and what I need. Going through hard times and determined not to let them get the better of me - literally. Trying to not even make the most of things but make the best. I'm a work in progress too.

Anyway no time for philosophy, there's crafty work to be done and my mojo is gaining momentum. Here's what I've been up to...

I was very excited to see my Hanging Triangles Bag in Quilt Now (Issue 4) - this is my first published project and seeing myself in a magazine was all kinds of funny!! If anyone makes one I would absolutely love to see it!

This is the same as the buggy bag I made a while ago, and we use it everyday!

I totally have a thing for zip bags (or maybe quick finishes?!) because I knocked up a couple more using a couple of mini charm packs. One is Caroline Friendlander's Favorites, mixed with a little Best Day Ever by April Rosenthal, and this is already stuffed full of my stuff :) 

I did simple straight line quilting because it just looks so clean and pretty

I used the rest of the Best Day Ever mini charms to make another little bag, fun and girly:

I've been cracking on with my le challenge project, obviously I chose cross stitch for the X theme...

but sadly it hasn't all gone well and, despite me usually recognising mistakes quickly or being able to fudge them, this time there was serious unpicking required:

I will press on though and hopefully get it finished in time for the le challenge link on November 15th. Oh and you must go and read the guest post by Mr X Stitch, very interesting read and it totally motivated me!

I treated myself to some cute little bow earrings this week, from BK & JIO. Quick delivery and super sweet packaging. If you're looking for gifts, they have a gorgeous selection - perfect for all ages and you can get 15% off orders over $20 until 14th November using code HOLIDAY2014. (Not sponsored in any way just sharing the joy because I love the earrings I bought!)

And finally, since it's the half term holidays here, most of my time is being spent doing stuff like this:

Fun and games!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

p.s. check back soon for a very useful giveaway!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

flying geese and stash

not the most exciting title but it's been a good week in my quilting world.

Firstly my beautiful 1930s fabric swap fabrics arrived from Missouri Mel and they are absolutely gorgeous! She is fabulous at organising these swaps, I recommend following her or joining the flickr group because it's so worth taking part and I know I would love to be included in the next round. It's a perfect way to get a beautiful selection of 30s fabric and these are destined for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt.

I've also been working this week and couldn't help but snag some of Leah Duncan's new line Gramercy (available online here and here), I got the NY Circuit in Ashen because it's such a perfect low volume print but I'm sure I won't be able to resist some of the other prints too!

And my lovely boss left me a nice treat, a box of white perle thread. I can't get enough of this stuff and we are now stocking Valdini and DMC perle threads at Patchfinders. I am trying to get as many people to try hand quilting with perle as I can!

Le Challenge

Oh and I've just realised that Gramercy print would fit perfectly with the new theme at le challenge. This month the theme is X and there are two great prizes - a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and your choice of any 25 closed end zips from Rickety Rose Crafts! It's really simple to enter, any finished project (since Oct 15th) that ties in to the X theme can be linked up on November 15th for a random chance to win those prizes! Find out more here.

I was also teaching at Patchfinders this week and, although I didn't manage to photograph them all, here's some of the cushion covers that my class starting making:

We had a lot of fun and I love that they came up with their own patterns for the geese based on the cushion I made.

I have a lot of WIPs on the go but I've begun working on my le challenge project and I'm really pleased with it. In fact it's amped up my creativity and I'm full of ideas, which has really lifted my spirits so yeah for crafting therapy!

Hope you all have a lovely week :)

Molli Sparkles

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

mixing my interests - le challenge

Since I've developed a stationery addiction along with my sewing addiction I thought it appropriate to 'mix' my two loves and create a home for my pens, washi tape, notes and stickers for this months le challenge.

I totally fell for the 'Fly the Flag' quilt by Katy Jones in Issue 2 of Quilt Now magazine. I love that they look like sticky page flags, so I resized them and used some of my favourite Moonlit by Rashida Colman-Hale, Cotton and Steel prints to make little flags and a cute banner.

The background is the most gorgeous mint fabric that I picked up on a trip to Abakhan, I wish I knew what it was!

So now my stationery has a pretty place to live and I can happily decorate my organiser and get my 'to sew' list under control ;)

We would love you to come and join in the link party over at le challenge, it stays open until 8pm BST on 16th October and you can link up any finished project that fits the theme 'MIX', so long as it has been made in the last month.

One random winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop!

Le Challenge

And if you're not already then head over to the le challenge blog, check out the other links and start following us, we have some awesome themes lined up!!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

FAL Quarter 4 to avoid the sorrow

Ok so I'm not in a good place right now. At all. It's all too personal and private but I'm working through it. It's hard to find motivation for anything but I am clinging to this hobby with all my might because I can't stop now and I honestly don't know how bad it would be without having creativity in my life. I may go a bit quiet or I may pour myself into making, I'm not sure what I will do. So with that said I'm putting my big girl knickers on (à la Moira) and writing my Q4 FAL list. What with my doomful mood most of this is just copied from Q3. I hope that's allowed!

I have managed to finish my le challenge make and will be posting about that on Tuesday - there's still time to finish making something with the theme Mix if you'd like to join in and link up!

So here's my Quarter 4 list...

#1 - Hand quilt Vintage quilt - I haven't done as much of this as I should and this needs to be a priority since it's a commission. Hand quilting feels so therapeutic to me that I know it will be good for me to work on.

#2 - Flowering Lone Star - top done, needs quilting.

#3 - Two pillowcase dresses - these ones are for my girls using pretty Essentials by Pat Bravo prints. - This will probably run into next years list!!

#4 - Skirt - I got this bargain fabric from Minerva Crafts and am going to attempt to make myself a skirt! They have lots of clearance sale fabrics, great for dressmaking and most under £3 a metre. - I really should make myself something, my wardrobe is sad!!

#5 - Scottie Dogs - using more mini charms - these might make fun Christmas pressies for the kids!

#6 - Japanese x and + Quilt - using Arizona by April Rhodes because I love it! Nearly finished hand quilting and the binding is ready to go.

#7 - Liberty hexies - for f***s sake.

#8 - Butterfly Quilt - The top is all done and I'm excited to hand quilt this but it's unlikely it'll get done this year realistically.

#9 - Star flower quilt - whatever... ran out of wadding... more excuses... languishing. Same old, same old.

#10 - A commissioned baby memory quilt. It's all arranged but I've yet to collect the fabric so I will just use a picture of my babies for now

I'm probably going to kick myself for not putting other things on the list that I need to do but right now that's enough.

Oh and huge apologies for not replying to emails, I'm afraid it's been pushed down the list of priorities. I promise I'm usually way more positive and hope to return to form soon, thanks for bearing with me.

Linking up with the Finish Along:

Finish Along 2014

Monday, 6 October 2014

can we just not talk about it

I haven't been at work for a couple of weeks and the return to full time mummyhood is pretty hard. I usually only work about one day a week but for me it's like a holiday. A glorious day spent with fabric, talking to customers, cutting, tidying and generally basking in the love of quilting. I can't wait to get back in the shop! Not that I don't love being at home, being the one to take and collect the kids from school and having the chance to spend the day with the little one, I am so fortunate. Sometimes it just feels a bit like ground hog day, I hate moaning so I will stop and show you this beautiful poem, written by Jodi that I embroidered.

I love it. It reminds me of what's important and the value of motherhood.

I haven't decided whether to keep it in the hoop as it or frame it, I suspect I will frame it when I find one that fits.

I just wrote the poem on the fabric with a biro (that's probably breaking lots of rules but I don't care, it works!) and it's stitched using one strand of embroidery thread.

That's the final check from this quarter's FAL list and I really just did crap this time around. I think maybe I need to not be so ambitious with my list next quarter, though where's the fun in that?! A lot of big projects need finishing so maybe I just keep rolling over until they're done but getting sick of writing the same list!! I need a big kick up the bum next time, feel free to shout at me if I show finishes that aren't on the list please!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

wonderful stashing and a discount code

It's been a great week for my stash all because of one very lovely blogger; Jamie of Busy Bee Quilts sent me the most amazing parcel of repro 30s fabric for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt. I nearly screamed when I opened it and saw all the gorgeousness! She's really spoilt me and they will all be so perfect.
These are seriously stunning!

And I couldn't help but pick out my top five just because!! I mean look at how adorable they are!

I know this bottom pink one is Jamie's favourite print too, which makes it even nicer of her to share it with me. I am really so grateful Jamie, thank you! :)

My only buy was some cute stationery from Hema (I did also get some nice Christmas stocking fillers for the kids. They have really fun toys and I couldn't resist but I didn't take any pictures in case the kids saw them on my phone!). These stickers are such great colours:

I've been working on a couple more little zip bags and I certainly need to stock up on zips, I like to have a variety of colours to hand. I bought some this summer from a lovely Ebay seller who has now opened an online shop and is kindly sharing a discount code with my readers to celebrate!

Rickety Rose stocks zips, bias binding, ric ric, pom pom trim, buttons, felt and lots of other fun haberdashery! Prices are really reasonable, with zips between 50-65p (lots of lengths and colours) and quantity discounts too, so if you find you use a lot of one colour this would be the perfect place to stock up. She posts worldwide and postage rates are priced well too.

There's a lot of useful haberdashery products so check out Rickety Rose and use the code WELCOME to get 10% off your first order.

You're welcome! :)

Molli Sparkles

Friday, 3 October 2014

for the love of kawaii and using small scraps

I've been doing so much hand quilting recently that I definitely needed a little escape and I've spent some time at my machine whizzing up some quick makes. I'd come across this pattern 'Double Zippers Pouch' and thought I would give it a go. I needed a little bag and a larger one so I changed the dimensions from those given in the tutorial. I got it a little off with the first small bag and the lining is actually too big really but since it's stuffed inside and no one can see I didn't bother to fix it!! It is now home to my wonder clips and basting pins - those two separate zipped compartments are really useful.

The lining worked out better for the bigger bag (I guesstimated after making the outer part! I also didn't use wadding just interfacing) and I adore the cute woodland print. I got the fabrics awhile ago from Pink Castle Fabrics and they are so perfect for this pattern.

I've picked out some of my favourite prints that would work really well for a double zip bag because the prints run in different directions, of course there's lots of cute florals that would work well too but I can't help my love for the sweet cartoon kawaii prints:

Pink Castle Fabrics has the best selection of Kawaii fabrics, they even have a Kawaii fabric club so you can get a monthly bundle of cuteness!

I've been making good progress with my Le Challenge 'mix' make (link up opens 15th October) and when I finished cutting I had some scraps that I couldn't part with. So I sat and looked at them and, as I was at my sewing machine, I realised I kept looking at the ugliest plastic bag that holds my extra machine feet and that just won't do! So I started folding and sewing and before I knew it I had made this little handy bag:

Complete with pretty Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton and Steel selvedge:

The outside fabric is Netorious, Cotton and Steel Basics and I adore the gold with the mint! The lining is a remnant I got from Abakhan that I hand stitched to the outer bag.

Now my machine bits look a little more loved!

Finally I will leave you with this pretty Autumnal picture of my youngest with pockets full of conkers - we literally have a house full since she collects them on our morning walk back from the school run!

Have a great weekend!

Linking up:

at Quokka Quilts - with a giveaway!

and finish it up friday at Crazy Mom Quilts