Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Shake it! ~ Glitter It All Pouch

Glitter and shine and confetti! Fabric and vinyl and zip! That's what Laura's new pattern is made of. The Glitter It All Pouch is so good. One of those makes where you smile through the whole process. It is so fun and the clear instructions make it simple and quick to put together.

It just so happened that my friend Jayne had kindly given a LOAD of craft supplies to me for the kids (and totally helped my sanity over the summer!). Amongst the goodies was this cool letter confetti:

I mixed in some fine holographic glitter for extra sparkle and I had the perfect print to go with it, probably now unavailable as it is a couple of years old, Practice your Handwriting in Manilla Apple, School Days by American Jane.

I probably went a little overboard with the glitter, it would be more transparent has I used less but then I did shake it up to take these photos, the glitter freely moves around. I can't stop shaking it!

These would be such great gifts for kids, teens or any one that likes sparkle! You can get so many different types of glitter and confetti - you can find stars, hearts, flowers, smiley faces, Christmas, Easter, numbers, unicorns... the list goes on (and that was just a quick Google for metallic confetti!).

You don't even to have to buy confetti or glitter, remember the joy of emptying a hole punch? If you have any shiny card or even just different colours (it doesn't have to sparkle!), you could hole punch to your hearts content and use those shapes. Get creative and play!

You can download Laura's free Glitter It All Pouch pattern from Craftsy now!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

stashing + swaps

I just couldn't help myself!! Another beautiful package from The Weavers Mill and more scrumptious Liberty. The addiction is real.

I bought 3mm flat faux suede leather cord in light grey, brown and pink2, a square of Wild Perennial A (the bottom fabric) and Wiltshire B (as part of her Thank You offer), some lovely free scrap pieces and a great selection of Liberty bias binding because I have plans!! 

It is absolutely stunning and I can't wait to get to the point where this can be added to a quilt I'm working on. I just hope it works out like it looks in my head! Bias binding is the perfect way to inject a little Liberty glamour into projects :)

Next I got some very cool holographic glitter vinyl, impossible to take a good picture of but it's amazing! An Ebay find, click here for the listing - it is the silver glittery option.

My Patchwork of the Crosses BOM box arrived from Sew & Quilt, more gorgeous fabrics:

After my visit to Liberty I shared out some of my new fabrics and Liberty stash with friends on Instagram and here are some of the swaps I have received...

This bundle from @dittanym, some unusual and gorgeous Liberty prints:

A fabulous selection of bright and interesting Liberty prints from @jenniferletchet

Delightful dots galore from @piecedbrain, these are going to be so useful for lots of projects:

Thank you so much Dittany, Jennifer and Denise!! ❤❤❤

Now I should go use some fabric and make something ;)

Molli Sparkles

Saturday, 27 August 2016

pencil ✏ pens and quilt labels

I may have mentioned it before but I have big love for stationery! Depending on my mood it's a close call between stationery and fabric as my favourite thing. There is joy in using quality pens and pencils, especially in my sewing projects. Today I am sharing some of the uni-ball range and showing you how I have been using them.

The Shalaku mechanical pencil is the most comfortable pencil to use with a really cool button on the side to easily adjust the lead, a nice grip and a clear fine line.

I have been using it for hand piecing and it draws so smoothly on fabric! I usually use a washable ink fabric pen but I am converted to the pencil side now. It also can be used for marking out appliqué shapes and I noticed how well it blends in when I did some needle turn appliqué.

Next I wanted to experiment with using uni-ball Pin drawing pens on fabric because they have fade and water resistant ink.

I used the Pin 03 to create a label for my latest mini quilt and tested by writing it out once and going over it, then another one (after messing up!) which I went over twice. So on the left pictures below it was written once but the 'I' twice and on the right pictures it was written three times.

After a run through the washing machine while it was still wet (at this point I was worried!!):

Dry and much improved! There is still a bit of bleed  but the words written once or twice were fine. I think writing your label and then going over the letters once is perfect, three times is too much ink!

Next up I had some crafting fun with the kids using Posca markers.

We had a couple of different sizes and colours to play with and they draw beautifully, I especially like the metallic ultra fine Posca markers. They also wash off easily, which is fantastic when you have three kiddos making all kinds of mess!! My children love Posca markers because they aren't 'kids' pens and they like to be proper artists.

I tried them out on glass and enjoyed experimenting, super easy to clean up your design or wipe it all away with a baby wipe.

It takes some work to get the colour distributed how you want and build up layers but there's loads of scope for being really creative and personalising glasses and mugs and more! 

For me I am definitely sticking to using uni-ball pens and pencils for sewing, writing and designing projects. The Shalaku mechanical pencil is a favourite and the uni-ball Pin fine line pens are welcome additions to my sewing arsenal!

Uni-ball kindly sent me these items to review on my blog, all opinions and times spent crafting with abandon are my own.

The uni-ball products mentioned are available in the UK at most supermarkets, WHSmith, Ryman, online from Cult Pens or to buy online from Amazon click here.

Friday, 26 August 2016

I left my heart in Colorado ❤️ Marti Michell Mini Quilt

I left my heart in Colorado is my pattern and tutorial for the Marti Michell Mini Quiltmania. There was an emotional journey taken in the making of this quilt but the beauty of the pattern is you can totally make it your own, perhaps inspired by a place or person that is special to you. 

The wonderful Angie of Gnome Angel has gathered an amazing group of bloggers to provide you with free mini quilt patterns over 13 weeks. We are all using the Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Sets A, B, N, D and S - the same sets that can be used for the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt Sew-along. There will be a wonderful variety of patterns and inspiration to use the templates so that you can create your own mini quilt and link up, with the chance to win prizes! You can see all the details at the end of this post.

My mini quilt is like a snapshot, framing the mountains and wildflower. It is a simple design with squares and triangles enhanced with appliqué and hand quilting. I knew I wanted to create a pretty picture, what I didn't realise until I started sewing was how much of me is really in this quilt, It became so clear after Kim of My Go-Go Life left a comment on my instagram about how she purposely adds "ME into what I am creating".

Boulder, Colorado was like a second home to me growing up. We went to live there for a short while when my Dad worked at CU and spent summers there nearly every year after, until I was 18. I met a lot of amazing people, had great fun and made a couple of life long friends. Tragically one of those friends passed away recently and I have been grieving hard. In a way this quilt is a small tribute to him but also a celebration of incredible memories and an immense love for Colorado. One day I hope to go back and take my family with me!

I chose to add red quilting to the flower as I remember the beauty of the prairie-fire flowers and if you look at the finished mini quilt you might see how I made parts of it spell CO (it's suspect but I know it's there!)

I left my heart in Colorado

Finished size: 20 x 20"

The fabrics I used were from Simply Solids and they are kindly offering a FQ bundle as one of the Marti Michell Mini Quiltmania prizes!

✦ Tutorial

You will need:

⦁ Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates Set B
⦁ Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates Set N
⦁ Seven different fabrics - I cut from fat quarters but you could use any scraps or strips that are 4.5" wide
⦁ Backing fabric - 23" x 23"
⦁ Wadding - 23" x 23"
⦁ Binding - 2.5" x 90"
⦁ a pencil
⦁ a fabric glue pen or pins
⦁ General sewing supplies

I am also providing a colouring sheet, to download it click here.


please refer to this diagram when cutting your fabrics, you need 5 fabrics for this part of the quilt top which are A-E. 

From fabric A
4 x Marti Michell Template B9

From fabric B
12 x Marti Michell Template B8
4 x Marti Michell Template B9

From fabric C
4 x Marti Michell Template B8
1 x Marti Michell Template B9

From fabric D
2 x Marti Michell Template B8
2 x Marti Michell Template B9

From fabric E
3 x Marti Michell Template B9

The appliqué flower is made up of two fabrics, a focal print and a 'background' print. Cut 6 x Marti Michell Template N78 from each fabric so you have a total of 12 'petals'.


Refer to the diagram above or your colouring page and sew together all the pairs of triangles to make squares.

Sew the squares in to rows:

Sew the rows together.

Take your six focal petals and for each one use the Marti Michell Template N78 to mark 5 dots on the wrong side of the fabric. Draw lines to join the dots (I used the side of the template to do this): 

On all 12 petals (focal and background) draw 4 dots on the right side of the fabric and draw lines to join them (this helps when you come to the appliqué):

Sew the petals together, you can do this by hand or machine. I find it works best to sew three petals together, repeat and then sew these two 'halves' together.


Arrange the six background petals in a flower shape, baste lightly using a swipe of fabric glue in the centres. Place your flower on top and baste in place, again just a couple of dabs of glue in the centre along the seams to hold it in position (alternatively, arrange the petals and flower and then pin in place).

Stitch down the flower and petals using needle turn appliqué. I sewed the petals first followed by the flower. I used Aurifil 80wt thread, which is fine and disappears beautifully. It helps to have the flower in place over the petals so you can see how much of the petal needs to be sewn down. I like having the layers of fabric on the quilt top because it makes the flower more prominent. 

You can absolutely chose to make a different shape of flower, or not make a flower at all but applique something else. You can machine applique, do some embroidery, add some beads or tassels, add lots of flowers! Really make that space in the centre of the quilt your own. Add some YOU into it!

You are ready to layer, quilt as desired and finally bind the mini.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, if you use my pattern I would love to see your version! Please share a link to your picture in the comments below, tag me @charmaboutyou on instagram or on facebook.

✦ Make your own Marti Michell Mini Quilt and win!

Create your fabulous mini quilt using any of the bloggers patterns and Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Sets A, B, N, D and S.

On Friday 18 November all the bloggers will post a linky on our blogs. You can submit your photo via this linky. 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 Marti Michell (@MartiMichell) in the photo. 

Entries will be open from Friday 18 November 2016 @ 7am AEST (Sydney Time) and close Friday 25 November 2016 @ Midnight AEST. It’s open internationally and winners will be announced on Wednesday 30 November at 7:30am AEST. 

Click here to read the full Gnome Angel post, to get more details and ask any questions.

✦ Check out all the mini quilt patterns on each stop of the Blog Hop:

12/08/2016 Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
19/08/2016 Tonya @ The Crafty Mummy
26/08/2016 Lucy @ Charm About You
02/09/2016 Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts
09/09/2016 Cat @ Cat + Vee
16/09/2016 Nathalie @ Les Ouvrages de Nat
23/09/2016 Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts
30/09/2016 Peta @ She Quilts A Lot
07/10/2016 Lisa @ Sweet Little Pretties
14/10/2016 Rachel @ Wooden Spoon Quilts
21/10/2016 Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting
28/10/2016 Lisa @ In The Boon Docks
04/11/2016 And the lady herself, Marti Michell

☑ This mini quilt can be ticked off my fal list

Monday, 22 August 2016

Registration open for Patchwork in the Peaks! 📌

There is something so special about quilters coming together to inspire, learn from each and sew together. Even better when it's in stunning surroundings and I am super excited to share that I will be teaching at Patchwork in the Peaks 10

September always feel like a new start for me, as an ex-academic and now mother, it is the beginning of the school year and a time for fresh starts, setting goals and opening up to insights and creativity.

The lovely Elita of Busy Needle Quilting hosts this semi-annual quilter's retreat, a four day weekend in the French Alps. With classes and plenty of time to work on your own projects and relax in good company, it will be a rejuvenating creative get away. There is so much going on at the retreat and some lovely extras, like onsite shopping, massages and a nail service! To read all about Patchworks in the Peaks click here.

There are lots of exciting elements to the retreat; Secret Sisters - to provide encouragement, Finished Up Lottery - a chance to win a reward for finishing projects, and I am particularly looking forward to Show and Tell to see what everyone will be working on!

It looks completely blissful and I can't wait to meet everybody, do some sewing and enjoy the get away! If it is something that sounds good to you too, check out all the details and register now as there are few places remaining.

My class 'Fussy Cutting Snapshots' on Saturday morning will focus on the fun of fussy cutting fabric. We will be making make some Polaroid blocks and also explore how you can incorporate fussy cutting into your quilts. 


I've been pulling out some favourite fabric in preparation. I am also thinking about what projects to finish on the retreat, I have a couple of quilts in mind!

I would love for you to join us on this quilt retreat for a chance to unwind, quilt, chat and to have some sewing adventures! Click here to book your place:

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Trenton block mini quilt and a winner

I am very excited to share my Trenton block mini quilt, which is featured in Love Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 38 - out today in the UK!

Hand piecing has become a passion of mine, I have a tutorial here on my blog and now a technique focus in Issue 38. I would really encourage you to try hand sewing if you haven't before. It's a nice change of pace from machine sewing and it's fun to be able to take projects on the go!

I love making traditional quilt patterns with modern fabric and the Trenton block seemed like a cool one to try out. Curves are relatively easy when hand sewn and I have tips to ensure pretty points!

It took me a while to get the dimensions right and I pulled out all my school stationery!

Finally I had a draft of the block I was happy with and could use for templates:

The templates and a step by step tutorial with pictures, are in the magazine and it's really not a complicated sew!

There are so many ways you could quilt this mini. I chose to do some straight line quilting and echo inside the curves by hand quilting with black perle thread. I also added a few cross stitches for fun.

I really love the simplicity of the quilting, it works well with the fabrics and showcases the petal shapes nicely.

size - approx 19" square
fabrics -
The Essentials Graduations by Caryl Bryer Fallert for Bernartex from Patchfinders
Wild Goose with Black Spots, Just A Speck by Jen Kingwell
Ladder Lines in Sage, Doe by Carolyn Friedlander
backing fabric - Rock Salt with Black Spots, Just A Speck by Jen Kingwell
binding fabric - Mini Pearl Bracelets in Heather by Lizzy House
hand pieced with Aurifil 50 wt thread and hand quilted with Finca perle thread

Also in this issue, the Love Patchwork & Quilting team used my pattern to make a couple of Stitchy Pie needle cases with Cotton Candy by Dashwood. They are so pretty, love those fabrics!

To purchase the Stitchy Pie pattern click here or visit my Etsy shop!

And today Angela of Heart of Charnwood further brightened my day when she shared her impressive version on instagram...

I adore this so much and isn't her embroidery gorgeous?!

She also cleverly added a loop inside so you can hang it up or attach it to something.

When she sent me this picture I actually laughed out loud:

Funny, cute and beautifully stitched! Thanks for letting me share Ange :)

Finally I have to announce the winner of my Tilda giveaway...

Congratulations Martina! I have sent you an email.