Friday, 30 January 2015

satisfaction


Sometimes you just need a quick make, a satisfying little bit of sewing that takes hardly any time from start to finish. I was in need of such fulfilment this week and chose to make these cute little baskets using Ayumi's Organizer Basket Tutorial


It just so happens that they each fit six spools of Aurifil thread perfectly!



My tidying / decluttering / cleaning kick continues and I'm pleased to say my house is looking all the better for it! I still have a lot to do and am working my way round the house bit by bit. Each room is making me happy as it gets sorted out. Cute storage baskets that serve a purpose help too! I expect I will be making more and filling drawers with quilty goodness.

I taught a flying geese cushion class today and had such a lovely group! They were very productive and created gorgeous designs. I love seeing the mix of fabrics and everyone being creative with their layouts:


This week we enjoyed a little snow (which is already melting), the baby girl couldn't stop saying 'SNOW!' but my eldest girl was ill and grumpy :(


Wishing you all a productive and sewing filled weekend!


linking up:


at Devoted Quilter this week

and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Green Fairy giveaway winner


I have two poorly girls at the moment, so sorry this is late!

The winner of the Green Fairy Quilts jelly roll and pattern giveaway is...



Congratulations Kim! I have sent you an email.



Thank you to Green Fairy Quilts for the giveaway! Make sure you check them out, they have great deals and even more savings in the clearance section.



Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wip (Thursday)


Just sneaking in to show you my current wip...


My sewing table is covered in paper as I make rows of geese and spend too much time unpicking!!

Yesterday my littlest turned two, I may have spent the night before crying at the fact I no longer have any babies. I am so proud of her, she's such a clever girl and is a joy to spend time with. We got her this play kitchen and a heap of wooden fruit. She's been having a blast!


And that squishy face is what she does every time I try to take a picture of her!!

☆ Make sure you enter my fabulous giveaway to win a jelly roll and pattern from Green Fairy Quilts ☆

Happy Thursday all!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

brighten up January - Green Fairy Quilts giveaway!



**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**

I hope you are still feeling the glow of the new year, your sewjo is rockin' and creativity is abundant!

Green Fairy Quilts are kindly offering to sprinkle some fabric magic your way with a great giveaway ☆

You get to chose a jelly roll and they have a great choice...

How about these brilliant stash additions:


Or one of these jelly rolls, just perfect for baby quilts:


Of course you could always chose an ever useful jelly roll of solids:



Check out their full stock of jelly rolls to see which one you would chose!

But that's not all... it's always great to have a pattern to go with your precut so you get to pick one of these two patterns designed by Judy Madsen. One jelly roll is all you need to make the quilt top and binding!




Green Fairy Quilts specialize in always having 100% of Moda's Precuts, always on sale. They also have Riley Blake bundles and Quilting Treasures bundles. They offer free shipping in the United States and discounted international shipping. 


**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

To enter to win your choice of jelly roll and pattern:

1. Head over to Green Fairy Quilts and sign up for their email newsletter by CLICKING HERE, come back and leave me a comment letting me know you have signed up.

2. Followers of my blog get another optional entry, just leave a separate comment letting me know you follow (RSS/email/GFC/Bloglovin/Feedly etc). New followers are welcome and you can subscribe using the buttons up there on the right.

Please leave your email address in the comment to be sure I can contact you! No reply bloggers/comments will not win.

The giveaway is open internationally and will close on Tuesday 27th January, the winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here on that day.

Good luck!



Thursday, 15 January 2015

keeping it simple ~ 2015 FAL Q1


I am concentrating more, doing what needs to be done to feel good and productive. Sticking to a cleaning routine (following Clean Mama's #clutterfree30) and generally trying to make my house feel like a nicer place to be. I think I am naturally optimistic but I do have to work hard at being positive and a clean, organised space really does make me feel so much better. Thankfulness is also something I am mindful of everyday and I decided I would like to have some inspiration to keep next to my bed. 


I live in a 1930s house and I like mixing up vintage and modern things when I can. So when I saw this free Thanksgiving printable with a sweet nest I decided to frame it and put it on the bedside table, after all that's a nice way to be all year round! I already had this Acrylic Photo Frame (I've had mine for at least 8/9 years I think, but they still sell them at Muji! I LOVE that shop) and I like how it looks. Pretty and simple.
- About to start reading these two books my lovely husband got me for Christmas, I had been hankering after The Woman I Wanted to Be and he was obviously paying attention :)  

It was a friend's birthday last week so I made a card using some washi tape (saw the idea somewhere but can't remember where!):


It's fun making easy cards like this and good to have them to hand. Not that I go to many parties but the kids seem to have at least one to go to every weekend!

I have a habit of being overly ambitious (not necessarily a bad thing) but with family, part-time work and general life stuff, I can't always do as much sewing as I would like! My FAL lists last year were unrealistic and I didn't even manage to link up with the last quarter, even though I think I did manage to finish a couple of things. So new year and a way more focused approach to everything. Listing all the things I'm working on tends to stress me out and there's no point listing three quilts I haven't even got basted and will probably be hand quilting because that's utter craziness (hopefully I can list them when it's time to quilt them and have a chance of getting them done)! 

Here is my simple list of what I would like to get done this quarter:


1. Baby quilt commission


2. Vintage Quilt commission - I didn't make it but I'm hand quilting it, which is a big job!


3. Le Challenge project - this has to be finished by 14th February. I'm excited to get started as I've never used fabric paint before (or not since I was a girl). I got this cream jersey fabric and the gold Dylon fabric paint from Minerva Crafts. This is going to be fun!


Le Challenge

Nat and I just announced the new theme over at the le challenge blog - so please head over there and follow us. We have a giveaway every month for one person that links up and this month's theme is easy peasy!

Linking up to the 2015 FAL:


2015 FAL at On the Windy Side




Sunday, 11 January 2015

some more stashing


I'm late showing these, they actually came a little while ago but here's what I've added to my stash recently...


I won this pretty bundle of Calico by Dear Stella from Cuts of Cotton in an instagram giveaway. A beautiful rainbow of colours and the print is so cute!


I ordered these cute lace zips from My Fabric House, they have lots of great colours and free UK p&p.


And then I couldn't help but get these beauties from the Fat Quarter Shop: Edith in Good Luck Green, Follie by Lotta Jansdotter - love that soft green; Coral Dot, Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille (currently on sale and it's adorable!); Green Field, Horizon by Kate Spain; Navy Garden Focal; Green Leaf Ringie Dingie; Apricot Lottie Dots and Garden Green on White Garden Text, which are all from Pam Kitty Garden by Pam Kitty Morning - I especially love that focal print and the text one, so pretty.


Tomorrow is my birthday and I doubt I will have any sewing time because I will be seeing friends, eating cake and going out with my husband, which sounds perfectly wonderful to me!

Hope you've all had a great weekend :)


Molli Sparkles

Friday, 9 January 2015

Fresh Flowers Cushion


I finally have a finish to share, although this was actually completed last year I'm only getting round to blogging about it now.

I was inspired by Jen Kingwell Designs and Collette's Full Bloom Wall Hanging, and after a quick flick through Alison Glass Applique: The Essential Guide to Modern Applique (which gave me yet more inspiration), I decided to make this cushion. It's a combination of everything I love; simple patchwork, English paper piecing, appliqué and hand quilting.


I used some 30s repro fabrics, combined with a nice bit of Cracking Codes by Anna Maria Horner for the stems. The low volume patchwork background adds interest, I tried to pick out some greens for the bottom row and threw in some bees and raindrops for fun!

The flowers were all English Paper Pieced using Paper Pieces. I usually cut my own but thought it wise to buy precut papers for the curves and then added some smaller shapes just because.


I used Aurifil 50wt in 2600 for all the piecing and appliqué because it blends so nicely. I did some hand quilting using white and dark green perle although the white kind of blends in a bit too much for my liking, next time I think I will be bolder and use a darker or brighter colour. It has a hidden zip back and I backed and bound it in the beautiful Teal NY Circuit, Gramercy by Leah Duncan.


I have already prepped some more EPP shapes because I want to make another (slightly different) version.

I will be teaching this 'Fresh Flower Cushion' at Patchfinders in Cheadle Hulme. I've updated my classes HEREif you'd like to book a place just arrived at work and found out this class is full but you can still check out my other classes!



Linking up:

at Quilt Matters this week
and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

a good start ~ art, biscuit tins and cleaning routine


Is anyone else experiencing that thrill of the new year and a fresh start? I'm feeling oddly motivated and so ready to make changes. This is a bit of a 'mish mash of stuff' post, I will start with the sewing so you can skip the rest if you're so inclined!

I have been working on my green tea and sweet beans quilt whenever I feel like some 'me time' so over the past few weeks I've finished these blocks:


A churn dash block, Poppie block (I deviated from the pattern and decided to English paper piece a clamshell and leaves and then appliqué it on) and two Drunkards Path blocks.
I need to finish my first appliqué block and I'm also working on the Tulip blocks. I love hand sewing so much, really relaxing and rewarding to see the blocks coming together.

Before the return to the monotonous school run we managed a family outing with my mum to the Reading Museum to see an exhibition of my great-great-grandfather's artwork and prints (that's my kids great-great-great-grandfather).


We didn't realise you weren't allowed to take photos until we were told after snapping these ones, but since we're family I'm sharing. You can see a picture of Allen W. Seaby on the official poster (bottom left) and there's our son (top right). I've grown up with Seaby prints in our house, I have a toy bear that he carved in our living room (well out of kiddies reach and so not a toy!) and my mum has a collection of his books. I even remember my grandpa reading me his stories when I was a little girl. It's really only as I get older that I realise how wonderful it is to have this connection, these memories and how very creative and artistic my family is. I felt so proud to take my children there, my son pointed out all the pictures he's seen at Granny's house and even our youngest was thrilled looking at all the beautiful bird prints. I'm also glad to have Seaby as one of my middle names (well done mum!).

The Reading Museum was a lot of fun, there's some great exhibits and 'hands on' stuff for the kids, which kept them happy. I was really taken with the Huntley and Palmers Collection, they were once the worlds largest biscuit manufacturer and, although I'm not a huge cookie monster, I was fascinated by all the amazing biscuit tins:


I totally understand why people become collectors! There were so many tins and it was cool to see how they changed through the years.

Apart from the fact I can't afford to hoard biscuit tins, there's another reason not too and that's my de-cluttering and cleaning mania. It started with me and my husband decorating the hall (just a splash of paint; Statue of Liberty, Valspar) and various DIY bits around the house. Once you start you just can't stop and I have to fix and tidy all the things I've been ignoring for too long. I want to keep going because it feels so good. I know I'll never have a show home and I wouldn't want one (and I have three kids so realistically it's impossible!) but I still want to feel happy with our stuff and get into a better routine.


I was happy that Instagram led me to Clean Mama - a great site full of advice and cool things like printables (I am totally using them) and recipes for home cleaning.
She is currently doing a #clutterfree30 challenge to kick start a declutter and provide a simple cleaning routine - check out this blog post for more info and to get a free printable routine for January. Clean Mama makes a lot of sense to me, the ideas are completely realistic and I would like this routine to become habit.

And if anyone knows a good way to hold on to this fresh new year feeling please let me know!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced




Friday, 2 January 2015

onwards...


I had a lot of heart break towards the end of last year and it has certainly been hard to deal with. I have had to question so much and now I'm looking forward to a year full of growth and understanding.


My word for 2014 was 'better', I don't know how much of that I achieved but regardless I will continue to strive, to learn and to work hard. 

I thought a lot about what I want to focus on this year but I struggled to come up with one word to encapsulate it all... until I realised it's all about more.

Not more actual stuff obviously but more of what's important and more 'me'.

Throughout my quilting journey I have struggled with my style but more recently I feel comfortable with trusting my taste and just creating what I love. I would like more of that.


Along with more creativity I also need to concentrate on spending my time doing things I love, with love and that will provide happiness to me and my family.


I tend to be selfish, I guess we all do occasionally, but my happiest times recently have been when I've just let go and stopped worrying about what needs to be done and really enjoyed the time I have with my children. When we've been being silly, or reading together or colouring or whatever and I'm truly in the moment it really does make all the chores I have to do that much easier. Having time with them and fully allowing myself to be present allows us all to be happier and more connected.


I would like to spend this year loving more. Myself, my family, my friends. Taking time to connect and enjoy these relationships; when they are nurtured my spirits are lifted.


I'm hoping if I can create more happiness in my life it will come through in my sewing and I can be productive. I don't want to push myself this year though. I would like a year of enjoying more, loving more, and doing things with clear intentions.


Happy 2015 everyone!