Tuesday, 27 December 2016

plan together ~ Mrs Keller and Carrie

I have been quietly hand stitching in the evenings and have finished a couple more Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along blocks. Both of these blocks were hand pieced, to see my hand piecing tutorial click here.

#69 Mrs Keller
As someone that doesn't do well with change, I really admire the author of this letter for her determination and acceptance of the fact that her and her husband needed to return to the farm. "I was determined that I would go to that farm and like it, in spite of myself". The grey Carolyn Friedlander print represents the town and the Cotton + Steel Sprinkles is for the farm. The central fabric is both sad and happy, it looks like tears but the colours are very pretty. It turns out that she was not unhappy living on the farm, "We work together and plan together. To be sure we have had disappointments, but they are part of life, so we meet them together".

#21 Carrie
Another letter that focused on triumphing over adversity. I used Liberty fabric for this block. The brown pixels and the blue swirls are for the "the dust [that] fogs over us when it blows". The roses are for the fact that the family felt "blue" until they decided to go to Sunday School and the lesson was a "balm to our tired souls]... Now we sing as we work, and next year is another year".

I am still catching up on blocks though I'm choosing to skip a few here and there. I currently have 52/99 blocks and suspect I won't actually sew them all, preferring instead to make a quilt when the sew along finishes rather than to try and make all the blocks. The OCD part of me really hates that but I think it's more realistic and enjoyable for me to just make the blocks I like and actually have a quilt*! Does anyone else have this struggle?! Would you make them all or prefer to finish with what you had?

* I have decided on a layout, other than the one in the book, that doesn't require me to have all the blocks completed. I'm ok with that.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

teacher's gifts ~ snappy coin purses + ornaments

It's a bit panic stations over here, madly sewing presents for people. I have a couple of other gifts to finish but I actually managed to complete all the teacher's gifts just in the nick of time - it's the last day of term tomorrow!

These cute little coin purses are a great way to use up scraps. I had a lot of fun diving through my big scrap bag, mixing and matching prints. 

I added my favourite Kam snaps - I got a selection of different colours and handy snap pliers from a set on Ebay - for those of you in the UK a quick google has just shown they also have them on Amazon, there is a dedicated online shop Kam Snaps UK and Plush Addict stocks the snaps.

I love the way the little purse opens; perfect for holding coins, business cards, maybe a little emergency kit (plasters, safety pin etc).

The tutorial is the snappy coin purse by Rashida Coleman-Hale and I definitely recommend it, even after making 10! There is a bit of hand sewing to finish them off and it was a nice evening sofa job.

Each of the kids made ornaments for their teachers too. Just glitter felt, cut out circles and some shapes, confetti and pens! I punched a hole and added some baker's twine.

They wrote their names and the year on the back of the felt. I think it's a nice gift and I hope the teachers do too!

Monday, 19 December 2016

denim + Pam Kitty apron šŸŒ¹

Today I finished this cute apron, a commission for a lady that loves gardening. I was given a couple of pairs of jeans to use and I decided to combine it with some gorgeous Pam Kitty Garden fabric.

I appliquƩd her name to the front of the pocket using a simple zig zag stitch. Since the apron is going to be used in the garden it seemed a good idea to line the pocket with the same waterproof canvas I used for my Geeky Flying Geese Bag. To line both sides, I constructed the main panel of the apron like patchwork, I put the canvas in the centre and surrounded it with denim.

The apron is backed in the same fabric as the appliquƩ letters. I sewed the right sides together leaving a gap, turned it through and stitched around the outside, as well as stitching around the pocket so the lining wouldn't be baggy!

Originally I was going to use denim for the straps but it would have been a little too 'utility' and decided instead to use the same as the binding fabric.

It's nice to have that seam showing from the original jeans and I stitched vertical lines on the pocket to create three separate sections in the pocket (before sewing the lining on!).

I hope the recipient likes it! I certainly enjoyed making it.

This is a check off my FAL list 

Now I've got a zillion things to sew before Christmas and very little time to do it so I better get back to sewing! 

I hope everyone's week is off to a good start. Anyone else panic sewing?!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

shiny sunday stash

Like a magpie I can't resist nice sparkly fabrics and there's a fair bit in my latest haul from Simply Solids. I saw the new Luster by Zen Chic and had to get some!

They are even more gorgeous in real life and just look at these selvedges:

To add more shine I picked up some Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic in Sand, it's really pretty and quite subtle, though it does sparkle when it catches the light:

And then just because they are sweet I picked up a couple of Dashwood prints:

 top to bottom: Washi, Paper Meadow by Jilly P and Midnight Spot, Paper Meadow by Jilly P

This week I also bought a comic book. A really special one. My friend Robin Scott draws comic strips about his daily life and they've been published as a collection by Good Comics.

I inhaled it. Literally sat and absorbed it in one go. It is normal life, thoughtful and observant, and also amusing, familiar and comforting. His artwork blows me away and conveys so much just with a pen.

Get a copy of Every Life I Ever Lived for yourself (or as a gift!). My son is currently reading it and it's opened up a new world for him. Since he's used to action / superhero comics, now he is thinking about drawing in a different way, which I think is excellent.

A lot of crafts and drawing goes on in our house, here's Lois thoroughly concentrating. It's hard to see but she also made pen holder out of a juice bottle by covering it in feathers and lollipop sticks.

 And finally I finished this:

except that I didn't! I put the binding on my rose star quilt and all the time I kept looking at the back and the front and thinking I should have quilted the hexagon shape around the central hexagons in the 'roses'. 

I can't not do it because I think I would regret it. As nice as it would be to finish it now it wouldn't sit right with me.

So you'll have to wait a little longer for the final finish as I'm adding more hand quilting!

Molli Sparkles

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Gilmore Girls mug rug ☕

Whether you are a fan of the show or not, this free pattern from Anorina at Samelia's Mum is adorable and you could easily add your own quote. I happen to love the show and the new series. I listen to the theme song Where You Lead by Carole King on every episode!

It was a lot of fun picking the fabrics. The soft Make Drafts, Maker by AGF Studio is a sweet cup and I tried to balance it with the bold Shadow Dot, Hadley by Denyse Schmidt, which also fits nicely with the coffee theme!

I enjoy doing embroidery and a little project like this is a nice quick make. I used two strands of Aurifloss #2530 and a simple backstitch for the text. 

I added some hand quilting, steam coming from the cup and some little crosses to mimic the fabric print, using Aurifil 12wt #2021.

This is my first time doing reverse appliquĆ© and, while it's far from perfect, I'm really pleased with it and definitely want to do more. I had no clue what I was doing so I used this Fons & Porter video tutorial to help me. I had the perfect brown Aurifil 50wt #1285 to do the top stitching. I did needle turn appliquĆ© the cut out of the handle but it looked odd without the top stitching so I added it! It would be super quick to make this and just do raw edge appliquĆ© but it was nice for me to try and challenge myself.

I loved Anorina's mug rug so much that I decided to add in some trim. I have a bag of it that someone gave me and is the perfect finishing touch!

Now I'm not sure I want to put my coffee on it so it might live on my bedside table instead!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Marti Mitchell Mini Quiltmania Link Up!


I'm excited to share with you all the details for entering the Marti Michell Mini Quiltmania competition organised by Gnome Angel and to tell you about all the fabulous prizes on offer! You have two weeks to enter and create your own mini using one of these amazing mini quilt tutorials. There's 13 quilts to choose from with varying degrees of skill required for each. The thing they all have in common is that they use Marti Michell Templates to make. The tutorials for all the mini quilts are ready and waiting, so you can just enjoy making!

Here's the complete list of all 13 quilts and where to find their tutorials:

  1. A Tree Quilt Mini Quilt by Rachel at Wooden Spoon Quilts: Click here for tutorial
  2. There's a Bear in There Mini Quilt by Cat at Cat + Vee: Click here for tutorial
  3. Rainbow Triangles by Tonya at The Crafty Mummy: Click here for tutorial
  4. Coral Mini Quilt by Kristy at Bonjour Quilts: Click here for tutorial
  5. Beach Boxes Mini Quilt by Peta at She Quilts A Lot: Click here for tutorial
  6. I Left My Heart in Colorado Mini Quilt by Lucy at Charm About You: Click here for tutorial
  7. Thanks a Bunch Mini Quilt by Angie at GnomeAngel: Click here for tutorial
  8. Bear Paw in the Bee Hive Mini Quilt by Marti at Marti Michell: Click here for tutorial
  9. Nebula Mini Quilt by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts: Click here for tutorial
  10. Whirlwind Mini Quilt by Nat at Ouvrages de Nat: Click here for tutorial
  11. Fall Pumpkin Mini Quilt by Lisa at In The Boon Docks: Click here for tutorial
  12. Pineapple Slice Mini Quilt by Lisa at Sweet Little Pretties: Click here for tutorial
  13. Butterfly Mini Quilt by Raylee at Sunflower Quilting: Click here for tutorial


The lovely lady herself, Marti Michell, is sponsoring a fabulous prize for one lucky winner. You can win a $50 gift voucher to spend online at the Marti Michell shop. This is such a great prize for adding to your template collection and taking advantage of some of the great template pattern books Marti has written. Go window shopping by clicking here.  

Simply Soilds who are simply awesome are offering one lucky reader a mystery FQ Bundle. If you haven't heard of Simply Solids you need to remedy that quick smart. Here's a little history on Simply Solids for you.
Established in 2010 Simply Solids has been providing the UK sewing and quilting community with designer cotton solids in a vast rainbow of colours! We remain as one of the UKs premier destinations for Robert Kaufman's Kona Cotton Solids and our rapidly expanding blenders division is allowing us to introduce many more designer fabrics to our mix. Here you will currently find manufacturers such as Michael Miller, Art Gallery Fabrics, Makower and Riley Blake to name but a few!
Still not convinced, check out their Fat Quarter Bundles section and start dreaming about what's coming your way! Click here to drool.

Make Modern is an Australian-based modern quilt magazine written by quilters, for quilters. Make Modern is published digitally which means you can get your copy anywhere. One lucky entrant will win a 6 month subscription to Make Modern. Want to see what you could be reading, click here to see the Make Modern Pattern Gallery.


Enter by submitting your photo of your finished mini quilt made via one of the 13 tutorials to the link up below. Alternatively you can submit your photo to the specific album in the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt Facebook Group or you can post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MartiMichellMiniQuiltmania and tag @gnomeangel and @MartiMichell in the photo. So many ways to enter there should be no excuse for you not to be in the running! Entries will be open from Wednesday 30 November 2016 @ 7:30am AEST (Sydney Time) and close Wednesday 14 December 2016 @ Midnight AEST. (That's two weeks to make a mini quilt, you can totally do it!)

Enter Here!


We have a secret panel of judges that will choose their favourite entries which will go in the running to win a prize. It’s open internationally and winners will be announced on Friday 16 December at 7:30am AEST. (Judges decision is final and discussion will not be entered into.)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

laughter and a winner

I just got off the phone to my husband. We had a really funny chat, it's one of those stories that if I tell you about it you won't find it funny at all - so I won't bother. What I will tell you is I couldn't stop laughing. A proper laughing fit. It felt so so good! I encourage you all to laugh today. Talk to your partner, a friend or watch something funny and have a really good laugh. Master of None on Netflix is hilarious, I'm currently watching it and would recommend it.

This little parcel is a full of secret sewing and is on it's way today, but sorry I can't share until next year! Admire the pretty washi tape though :)

In other cuteness, this little ball of joy is constantly cracking me up! She is so theatrical and loves singing all the songs she's learning at nursery. Adorable!

So on to the winner of the Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory giveaway...

69 Dude!! 

Congratulations Jessica! I have sent you an email :)

I hope you're all having a great week and that you can find something to smile about today! xx

Friday, 25 November 2016

come sew with me

I am super excited to be teaching 'Sew a Stitchy Pie Needle Case' at Simply Solids in Huddersfield on Saturday 11th March. You will learn some embroidery stitches and create a cute needle case for organising all your sewing needles. It is perfect for hand or machine needles, allows them to be neatly labelled and stored securely.

I finished the class sample using Aurifil floss in a limited colour palette and a touch of metallic Aurifil Brillo thread. I am loving grey and yellow together at the moment but wanted to lift it slightly so added in the turquoise for another pop of colour. 

I also discovered I could use my cute banner stamp as a frame for writing in the types of needles. I would like to get an alphabet stamp set so I can do the lettering too, these were written on with a permanent pen.

Simply Solids will provide all the materials for the class, as well as a copy of the Stitchy Pie pattern. I will give you tuition, all my tips for easy embroidery and how to achieve a neat finish on the case. They are a lot of fun to make and a really helpful part of your sewing kit! To book your place, click here!

linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Bobbie Lou's fabric factory ~ Giveaway! ⭐

**Giveaway now closed**

I am delighted to welcome Bobbie Lou's fabric factory as a new sponsor! Full of gorgeous and vibrant fabric, this modern online shop is the perfect place to discover fabulous prints. The owner Chelsea finds fun, bright fabrics for endless beautiful creations.

You will find lots of the popular fabric designers and quality manufacturers in the shop, like Art Gallery Fabrics, Cotton & Steel, Dear Stella, Cloud 9 and many more. Chelsea has amazing taste and all the products chosen for the shop are really beautiful! There are lovely dress making patterns and these incredible embroidery kits by Kiriki Press:

The site is easy to use, with excellent menus to help you pick out fabric by brand, designer or colour, as well as style - which is really usually if you want to search for a particular type of print. I would like everything in the Polka Dot section! 

Bobbie Lou's fabric factory also sells fat quarters, which means you can get smaller cuts when you need them or buy more variety easily! It's nice to be able to get fat quarter cuts of any print.

I encourage you to go and take a look at all the ranges she stocks but here are just a few of my favourites...

This pretty moon print is so striking and I love floral designs:

 clockwise from top left: Moon Phases in Navy, Moon Garden by Rae Ritchie, Collage Poise in Glam, Millie Fleur by Bari J.; Rosa Floral, Les Fleurs by Rifle Paper Co. and Clear Skies in Strawberry Kiwi, Slow and Steady by Tula Pink

There are lots of fun prints and fabric perfect for children's projects too. These are the cutest penguins and I can't resist a great text print:

It is a great time to visit the shop because from tomorrow there is 20% off the entire shop, from 25th November - 28th November 2016. The sale will be both on the shop website as well as the Bobbie Lou Fabric Etsy shop.  The code is: SweetPotato20  
And even better the discount can also be used on sale items! Definitely check that out!

As if that weren't enough, Bobbie Lou's fabric factory are offering you the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the shop!


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

1. Let me know in a comment, what are you thankful for today?

2. Sign up for the Bobbie Lou's fabric factory newsletter - visit the shop and sign up in the box on the bottom left, or let me know if you already receive it (optional entry)

3. Follow @bobbieloufabric and @charmaboutyou on instagram (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 29th November 2016. A winner will chosen by random.org.
For the love of luck please please leave your email address in the comment - the last couple of times I picked winners that I could not contact so they missed out!!

Good luck :)