Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Boo! Have fun and stay safe!

find the tutorial for my spooky flashing hoop here

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

three ladies and a thank you ~ Old Maid, Susannah and Katherine

More work on my Farmer's Wife 1930's sew along blocks. These three blocks were all hand pieced. I decided to rotary cut the pieces and used Marti Michell's templates for the triangles, which made it so easy! As the pieces get smaller it really helps to not have dog ears and I found the points came together as well as when I was English Paper Piecing. I will be doing a tutorial for hand piecing soon.

#78 Old Maid
I love this block! It looks so fabulous on point. The letter from Miss Homemaker was a nice testament to the satisfaction of keeping house for your family (provided they are grateful!). I chose homely feeling fabrics for this block, gingham is perfect for a Farmer's Wife homemaker!

#94 Susannah
A great lesson in saving and business! Wouldn't it be great if you could buy a Ford for $15?! I decided to use colours to represent elements of the letter - the green for money, the brown for wood and the pink for the children's pigs! I hope my children will be as resourceful.

#49 Katherine
One of my middle names. The letter was a tale of hard work, struggle and also contentment. I tried to reflect this in my fabric picks; the black and white for the toils, the brown for the fields of the farm and the flowers for the "well earned" rest as her children grow and leave home.

Now for the thank you! I received a package the other day from the lovely Amy, I had put my name down to get a gift from her and then I would pay it forward. You have probably seen this idea around blog land and social media. The first three people that comment to say they would like a handmade gift from me will receive a package within the next few months BUT only if you agree to pay it forward in the same way.
**EDIT - Thank you! I now have three people but stay tuned because I will have more giveaways coming soon!

Monday, 26 October 2015

love those little clips

It's always hard to photograph Bee A Brit Stingy rows, they don't fit neatly in a picture and at 48" long I have to stand on my tiptoes to get it all in!

I'm really happy with how this turned out and I hope Collette likes it. Her sewing themed quilt is going to be gorgeous! The other bees have already made her rows with scissors, sewing machines, button jars and spools of thread.

I used instructions from the book Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci to form the letters and improvised the background. The heart was made using this tutorial and I enjoyed making a rainbow of clips using the Clippity Clip Block pattern by Amanda.

I did think about writing a few words but those little clips took quite a while and ultimately I'm glad I went for a one word statement because I think it keeps it modern and unfussy. Also 'sew' just sums everything up!

We only have one more row to make (it seems to have gone so quickly) and I'm excited to find out what our bee mamas have planned for next year!

Friday, 23 October 2015

gifts and tots ~ Belle and Coral ~ and more

Catching up on my Farmer's Wife 1930's blocks for the sew-along, I have been working on my Bee A Brit Stingy row and I'm sharing some great fabric deals...

#13 Belle
The theme of this letter was Christmas and family. I liked the idea of sharing the Christmas cooking and the fun of sharing packages of gifts. I chose these fabrics because I think the squares in the block now look like little ribbon tied presents! The metallic Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House adds to the festival feel too.

#24 Coral
I try to implement the philosophy of enjoying the "little whiles" of each day, to spend time with each of my kids - really focusing and engaging with them and that exhausting magical bed time routine when they finally seem to want to open up about their day. We spend a lot of time outdoors as a family so these were obvious fabric choices for me.

These blocks were English Paper Pieced but I think they might be the last ones I do using this method. I am now hand piecing this weeks blocks and really enjoying it. It's easier and since that's how Laurie Hird, the author, constructed her quilt it makes sense to do the same. I may still EPP some blocks in the future but I now think the blocks lend themselves better to being hand pieced. If anyone is interested I could do a post to show you how I hand piece?

Most people in the sew-along seem to be paper piecing the blocks, I am not a huge fan of paper piecing but occasionally I do a bit...

Collette asked for sewing theme rows for Bee A Brit Stingy and the rows so far are gorgeous, it's going to be such a fun quilt! It took me a while to really decide what I wanted to do but I'm halfway done with the row and hope to finish it off this weekend. Here's a sneak at my favourite block so far:

I used the Clippity Clip Block pattern by Amanda - What The Bobbin? It's a really fun block to make and you can play about with fabric.

A little sponsor news:

There is a massive sale on Charm Packs at Green Fairy Quilts, most individual packs are $6.96 and there are crazy deals on packs of 10 or 20 too! Click to see all the Charm Packs!

They also have some great new releases, including Canyon by Kate Spain - and yes charm packs are also only $6.96!!

You will always find stunning fabric and bundles at Pink Castle Fabrics, they have an amazing variety. The new Carolina Gingham by Robert Kaufman is the perfect stash addition and there are new Cotton & Steel stash boxes available, I adore the Limited Edition Au Naturale Stash Box!

Have a great weekend everyone :)

linking up:

and to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Thursday, 22 October 2015

soothing a cold

It's that time of year where colds and flu abound. I seem to get a sore throat, which I usually try to soothe with hot water, honey and lemon. I came across this brilliant remedy recipe from Simple Green Smoothies and decided to give it a whirl.

So organic lemons, organic ginger and some honey my mum recently brought back from Greece (yes that's honeycomb) have been combined in a lovely jar and are currently in the fridge. I will let you know what the verdict is when I try it.

I also signed up for the free 30-day challenge so I've been getting green smoothie recipes emailed to me each week. I definitely feel a difference already. My hair is definitely shinier and a couple of people have said I look like I've lost weight (I haven't but that felt nice!).  I don't use them as a meal replacement, though I don't ever eat breakfast and have been having smoothies in the morning so it kind of is!  They really fill you up and I've been experimenting, adding chia seeds and coconut oil when I fancy them. 

Check out the Simple Green Smoothies website, there are loads of great recipes to try! It's not one of those 'don't eat food' kind of sites, it's really an honest and inspiring place to get healthy inspiration. They do have a recipe book available to buy but the website is still full of lots of information and free recipes.

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

market bag - Purse Palooza 2015

Today I'm over at Sew Sweetness, reviewing the Market Bag pattern by Sharon Holland as part of Purse Palooza.

Head over to check it out, there are loads of fabulous bag reviews and giveaways!

This is a check off my finish-along list ✓

p.s.  I don't recommend putting this pretty bag on the handle of your bike... I can't even ride a bike... this is my husband's bike... I just thought the picture looked cool... safer to let your kid carry it.

Monday, 19 October 2015

flashing hoop tutorial ~ Halloween Haunts 2015 ~ giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Halloween Haunts 2015 Blog Hop organised by Marian at Seams To Be Sew and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.

Thanks for dropping by, I'm excited you're here because this may just be one of the coolest things I have ever made! If you can please watch the video because it shows it to full effect (turn the volume off if you are at work though!) and if it won't play check out my instagram because I will post it there too (you don't need an instagram account to watch it). Warning, as the title suggests the video contains flashing images.


It is simple to make and a fun way to decorate for Halloween, so I'm going to run through how to make your own flashing hoop...


·  embroidery hoop - The diameter is dependant on the light strip you use, mine is 5"
·  light strip - I bought this one LED Light RGB Strip 50cm 19.7in.  (batteries not included so be sure to check and get batteries if you need to)
·  a piece of fabric, larger than the hoop
·  white felt
·  black thread and white thread, use embroidery thread or perle thread
·  a needle
·  a pen
·  a rubber band
·  pinking shears (optional)

1. Put the fabric into the hoop, making sure it is nice and taut.

2. Draw a ghost shape onto felt or use the adorable ghost template from the Flying Felt Ghost Toy project by the talented Mollie at Wild Olive (please note the template is for personal use only), which I used here. Cut out the shape and draw on eyes and a mouth.

2. Position the ghost on the fabric. Using the perle thread come up through the back of the fabric and stitch the eyes (French knots) and mouth (backstitch).

3. Write Boo! and stitch (backstitch).

4. Trim the excess fabric, if you use pinking shears it stops the fabric from fraying.

5. Undo the embroidery hoop, place the rubber band around the back part of the hoop so it's horizontal.

6. Put the fabric back in the hoop and make sure it's taut. Take some thread, tie a knot and do a running stitch around the fabric, pulling slightly as you go so it gathers and tie another knot when you reach the end. 

There are different ways to finish a hoop but I recommend this one as it helps keep the battery pack in place. It's also the best way to ensure the fabric remains taut and can be readjusted in the future.

Take your strip and see if you need to trim any of the LEDs, if you trim make sure you trim the right end! Peel back the paper and stick the strip to the outer edge of the hoop, pressing with your fingers as you go. Tuck the battery pack in behind the elastic. Add a loop of ribbon to the top, hang it up and your flashing hoop is good to go. 

I will be hanging this in the window on Halloween to encourage the trick and treaters to knock!

The cool thing is you can easily change this up, replace the embroidery with whatever theme / holiday you want and you can twinkle all year long.

Do let me know if you make a flashing hoop, I would love to see!

This is a check off my finish-along list ✓

***sorry this giveaway has now ended***

Now how about that giveaway...

Fat Quarter Shop are offering a $25 gift certificate to one random winner, enter using Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Hop on over to the other featured haunts today:

 See the full blog hop list at
  Seams To Be Sew for more Halloween Haunts and giveaways!

Halloween Haunt 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

get real ~ FAL Q4 2015

There are so many works in progress around here it's kind of ridiculous. For the last quarter of the finish-along I'm abandoning all those things I would like finished at some point and knuckling down to get the things I need done done!

1. Tote bag. So despite my declaration above, this doesn't have a deadline but I want to make it for myself using these yummy fabrics:

2. Next up is my project for the Halloween Haunts Blog Hop, which starts tomorrow! Mine involves this:

I'm not ready to attach that yet and I'm nervous I won't get it right! Wish me luck!

3. And another bag for the Purse Palooza at Sew Sweetness, using this pattern:

4. A quilt using these lovely fabrics:

5. A cozy cushion using Lori Holt's pattern from the Cozy Cottage 2016 calendar.

6. I've had an idea to make a pincushion using the crazy tiny liberty hexies I started working on forever ago and haven't touched since (just checked and they were on my FAL list last year)!

7, 8 and 9. Lastly but most important is #therearenowordsquilt for Nat. I am making one for her family and one for both sets of grandparents. So three quilts. There has been such a kind response to my call for blocks and I hope to have enough to complete all three. I've also had donations of wadding, fabric and help towards costs so I'm really grateful and will pour love into these quilts.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

gold ~ le challenge ~ vintage christmas ball

I am always so last minute with my le challenge makes, next month I need to get started earlier! 

The theme this month is gold and I knew I wanted to use one of my metallic fabrics because they are so pretty. I had this tutorial bookmarked for a while and decided now was the time to try it.

I had some issues, not the fault of the tutorial, more my own silliness. I made mistakes along the way but the biggest was towards the end.

It started ok, you need to cut circles from fusible fleece and I had the brilliant idea to stamp them using the bottom of a plastic cup and an ink pad. That worked well! 

When it came to sewing the circles though I kept messing up. Getting the fabric the wrong way round and then my circles not being circular! I decided not to worry too much though and just got it done. The diameter of the circles is 5cm, next time I will go a bit bigger.

At the final stage I thought you had to make them all into the shapes shown in the tutorial, when actually you make one and keep adding rows to make it a circle. Now I know. So instead of one ornament I will have two. I only managed to finish one in time for this post but that's fine! It still needs a press but you get the idea - though it's one of those things that looks so much better in real life. I used a bit of ribbon that also had some gold. The blue isn't really the best colour option but it still looks cute and I'm not matchy matchy with my tree decorations anyway!

I would love to try this again. There are so many fabrics that would suit this pretty bauble! I also want to get it right ;)

Have you made a gold project? Link up with le challenge for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate for Fat Quarter Shop and check out the other projects:

Le Challenge

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sweet Marvel ~ Betty and Caroline

This week I made some more blocks for the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along, I picked up quite a bit of fabric to add to my stash and I started trying to help a friend...

#14 Betty
I enjoyed reading this letter, I like the idea of working at something and practising to become better - like with my quilting! Although I haven't hooked my husband on it yet ;) My own Aunt Betty was a wonderful woman, I have fond memories of visiting her in California and eating cinnamon toast for the first time. Her daughter Jackie encouraged me to quilt and so this block was created with memories and love. It allowed me to think about how my life has been "greatly enriched". 
I don't have any musical themed fabric so I instead I replaced a musical 'score' with the bowling themed Score Card, Lucky Strike by Kimberly Kight. I thought the Koi by Rashida Coleman Hale that I've used on the outer triangles looks like volume buttons too! I used to be an avid bowler so this felt more personal but I like the nod to the music in the letter.

#20 Caroline
What a thought provoking and beautiful letter this was. I chose fabrics to represent the sunrise, the "soft crystals [that] fall from the heavens" and combined them with the black and white Cotton & Steel print, which I feel represents the universe. To me the block shows the sense of being part of something bigger and of how incredible life is. I am on a journey with my faith but I recognise "the everyday wonders". 

There were some fabric hauls this week:

To add in to my Farmer's Wife 1930's quilt I picked up this Three Tone Stripe print by Lakehouse from Patchfinders and Pink Memory, Playful by Melody Miller from Fat Quarter Shop.

I also got this bundle for an upcoming project:

Top row: Butter Churn in Navy, Feed Company by Sweetwater; Subdivided in Grey, Doe by Carolyn Friedlander

Then I picked up a 'just for fun' print and a couple of yards for backings from Pink Castle Fabrics:

I haven't used Lawn as a backing before but it's so silky and gorgeous I really want to! If you have let me know and is there anything I need to know before I do?!


I have to say a huge thank you to everyone that has contributed to Nat's #therearenowordsquilt. It's been hard getting through the door as the blocks arrive and it is so generous and kind.

There is a donation page to help the family get a memorial bench so they have a place to go, sit and talk to the little one. If you are able to contribute please click this link: 

We are currently at 22% and, while I feel uncomfortable asking for money, I am reaching out for help. If you could please share the link above I would really appreciate it.

Thank you xx             Molli Sparkles