Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Perfectly Pretty Hoop Swap #1

You may not know this, but I don't do the whole "swap" thing.  It brings out all my insecurities about making things that will fall apart and be disappointing to others. Also, I'm terrible at time management and know that I will miss deadlines and then some poor person will be sitting by their mail box, wishing and hoping and praying, and their gift never ever arrives... Doesn't that make you want to have me in your swap group!!!

Well, I decided that it was time to suck it up and put myself out there - give it a go and see what I could do.  I signed up for the Perfectly Pretty Hoop Swap with A Crafty Fox and crossed my fingers that it'd all work out ok.

I got assigned a partner, and thankfully she was also from Australia, becasue I had visions of trying to ship something internationally in the weeks leading up to Christmas #nightmare.  She told me that she loved the colour blue and wanted a pocket hoop, and gave me a link to her pinterest board which was chock full of super cute hoops.  I also took the opportunity to stalk the rest of her boards a little to see if I could get a feel for her.

She seemed to really like the calico type fabric with colour, so I headed out to the local Spotlight (#timewarpzone) and did me some shopping.  And this is where I had my first little panic - what size hoop do you swap??? There were no rules when I signed up... There's no guidance... I can't make these kind of decisions!! What do I do?????

That's simple - buy all the hoops!

I ended up going with the largest one I bought, just becasue I was making pockets, so I felt a nice big space would work best.  I had a little plan about what to do, and so I cut and I folded and I made it way more complicated than it needed to be, but eventually I got it made.  And it was a little boring.  So I pulled out my random stash of embroidery floss and added some gold to bling it up - because who doesn't keep gold floss in their house?? What are you? An animal??

The rules for the swap were to keep any extras under $5, but I'd bought all these hoops, and had some leftover fabric, so I quickly chopped out another circle and put that pinterest stalking to good use and stitched up one of the quotes that my partner had pinned. It felt like something that might belong in a sewing room - a little reminder that we are making things that are beautiful and even when it doesn't seem like it right now to just trust the instincts and the beauty will come.

I stumbled upon this tutorial for backing the hoops, and voila! I was done. (In all honesty, I feel I have to admit that I had intended to glue felt on the back, but my house is a disaster and I lost my hot glue gun, so had to come up with an alternative.)

They're not super fancy, in fact, they're quite simple, but I like that.  Elegant, and minimal.  Now I only hope my swap partner likes them.

I also snuck in a packet of Skittles, just because I think it's a law that swaps need sweets, and I wasn't going to put chocolate anywhere near the package in the Aussie summer - felt that might be a recipe for disaster.

So there we go. My first ever swap, and I don't think I embarrassed my self, which was my only goal.


E xx

Monday, 23 January 2017

Penny Sampler - Stash update

So I mentioned the other day that I had picked my colours for my Penny Sampler and gone on a binge at Clairs Fabrics. Well I am happy to say that they have arrived and I *love* these choices.

I know that it's not much to look at because there all solids, but still...

It's all Kona cotton, and (taking a leaf out of all the grown up quilters I know) I have bought some little labels and plan to label every swatch so I know a) what I'm using and b) what to re-order... because we all know I'm gonna end up needing to order *just a smidge* more of at least one of these. Because I always do.

If you wanted to label your solids, Debbie, from A Quilters Table, recently did a great post rounding up all the different ways to make this happen, and one of those may be just the ticket for you! :-)

As you can see, there's *a lot* of grey going on. But I tried to pick greys that had a blue-ish or pinkish undertone... I think I ended up more on the blue side, but I'm totally ok with that.

The blues themselves, are not particularly saturated. I'm hoping they will blend in with the greys and just add that little bit of difference. 

My pinks, look like they blend well in the stack, but when you pull them out separately... Well... they seem more vivid... I still think they're the right pick, but it could all go horribly wrong.

Kona Primrose, Deep Rose and Rose
The plan now is to dive into stash for some coordinating prints, and then get my sew on. I have to get a wiggle on, because I want to stay up to date, which means I only have a couple of days to make my January blocks.

But now I have fabrics, so no excuses!!!

Hope you've had a fabulous weekend!

E xx

Linking up with Sunday Stash

Thursday, 19 January 2017

More feathers

Having dipped my toe with my blue feathers, I was ready to make a million trillion feathers.  Seriously, I am prepared for every quilt I ever make forever more to have feathers in it.

It seems like every person I know is currently expecting a little girl, so I thought a baby quilt with pink feathers could be cute.

Because I knew I was making more, and because one of the ladies in the BrisMQG generously lent me her feather templates, I went a bit more of a production line with this one. I made strips for the feathery side of the feathers and did much of my cutting and assembling, well assembly line style. 

The biggest problem I had was that I ran out of grey when I was only halfway through adding sides to my feathers. It’s Kona Medium Grey, so not a rare or valuable fabric, but, as always, it took me time to get around to ordering more (and then because I’m in Australia and ordering from the US, it takes even longer).

And then once they were all finally properly pieced, I forgot what layout I had assigned them to :-/  You see, they had been up on my wall and I had been totally happy with it, but then I had other things to sew, so I took them down and they got mixed up and it was all everywhere… I know #firstworldproblems right here.

And now that they had their sides on them, they seemed bigger than they had before. My original intention was to do 6” strips in between columns with 1 feather free floating up above, but when I laid them all out that way, it took up half my lounge room. And it didn’t feel balanced.

I rearranged and sewed and rearranged and sewed. And rearranged and sewed some more. I finally had something that I felt was almost maybe right. It’s still got the same 2 direction thing going, but the groupings have changed, and that odd duck in the bottom left is more adrift than originally intended (although not as wonky as he was going to be – turns out I should have totally ordered more of that grey if I wanted to use it up with fancy angles).

I think that quilting this will really help it to sing.  The grey feels a little flat when there’s this much of it (although I love the pink against the grey – it makes me happy).

And even though I made these in a batch, each one is unique and different and has different fabrics.

I am calling it a Flock of Pink Seagulls - because feathers everywhere means it’s a flock of birds, and the phrase “flock of seagulls” kept going around in my head (possibly the result of listening to too much bad 80’s music as a child), but seagulls are white and these feathers are pink – it has been suggested that Flock of Flamingos or Flock of Galahs would be more appropriate, but it’s too late. Flock of Pink Seagulls is stuck in my head!)

I don’t think I’m done with feathers yet.  Hopefully Kim doesn’t mind that I am holding her templates hostage for a little while longer.  I have 2 more feather-y quilts in my head that I might try to bring to life if I can.

As far as this baby, it's been tucked into the cupboard of shame, along with all my other completed tops that I am too scared to attempt to quilt. Because it turns out, I'm bad at making baby quilts because they end up growing and growing, and being far, far too big for babies, so this is no longer a gift.  I think there's so much negative space, the quilting on this could be incredible, but I am just not confident I can do it justice myself.  And I know the only way to improv my FMQ is to practice... but maybe not yet.

E xx

Monday, 16 January 2017

Penny Sampler - January 2017

As you can probably already tell from the title, that I signed up for the Penny Sampler class over with Rachel at Stitched in Color. It's a project she made a couple of years ago, and I thought it was really cute then, but wasn't the right time for me to sign up for yet another thing. But when Rachel mentioned late last year that she was planning n re-running the class, I jumped at it. Well, not so much jumped as started strongly encouraging my husband to sign me up as a Christmas present... He didn't bite so I had to sign myself up, but no complaints! ha ha.

Penny Sampler

Rachel is offering the class as a 6 month or 12 month course, and because I know that I am slow I went with 12 months. We're only just starting now, so if this seems like something you'd be into, I'm sure Rachel is accepting late admissions ;-)

The first task of the course is colour.  Both my happy place and my nemesis.

I wanted something that felt very Scandinavian (becasue the piecing really does have the effect for me, but maybe I'm reading into it too much) so did some pinterest-ing on all things Swedish, Norse and Finish. Once I had some pictures that fit the vibe I was after I went to the amazing palette builder and started to throw those images through it (P.S. If you're ever looking for  a way to while away an afternoon, this is the shiz. I spent about 2 hours just putting in every photo I could lay my hands on and then playing with the little buttons to see what colours I could pull. Fun!). I ended up with a lot of similarities in the Kona colours picked from the images..

Ok, you may now have OD'd on my colour palettes, but this was super helpful for me in working out what I needed.

In ordering my fabrics I think I veered more towards the greys and away from the browns/creams. I think the browns look perfect in the inspo photos, because the're coming from woods and pottery, but I'm not sure that I can translate that through fabrics. We'll see. I may need to order more fabric.  Hopefully not though, as I just dropped a bomb at Clairs Fabrics (Aussie based, with an excellent range of Kona and reasonable shipping to Brissy, just fyi) so am now awaiting the delivery of a giant bundle of fabric.

One thing I have done (or am planning to do) is changing out a couple of blocks. The original design includes "Dala horses" which are just not me. I've swapped them (in theory at this point) with some dogwood/orange peel blocks. Hopefully they should still keep that vibe of busy and detailed without the slightly character element of the horses.

I'm also planning on removing a little mitten and swapping it with an extra tea cup.  I live in Australia, we never have snow so mittens don't feel like me either, and I'm a tea addict, so it feels right.  Hopefully I don't ruin it with these changes, but they make sense in my head, and I can always change my mind again later, if it seems silly while I'm putting it together.

The other thing I'm wanting to be mindful of is *not too much pink*.  I don't want this to feel like a baby quilt. I want the pinks and blues to feel like really elegant, sophisticated additions. Hopefully lots of white and grey will help.

I guess we'll see!!

As I said this is supposed to be a 12 month project, so Long way to go before we're done, and lots of time for me to change my mind but fingers crossed it works, and that I can keep chugging away at this.

E xx

Linking up to Main Crush Monday, Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.

Saturday, 14 January 2017


So in real life, I am not a fan of snails. Or any kind of slug really.  Things with slime are generally a no go area for me, in fact.  But then I stumbled upon the #gardensnailsquilt - Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen!!!!

Image source: @penandpaperpatterns
So I am putting aside my loathing for these garden critters and getting on board the snail paced slow-along sew-along being run by Gnome Angel. There's a whole bunch of rules and prizes and stuff, but I'll leave all of that to Ange to explain.  Suffice to say, that I can totally inch my way along with these little guys. And don't they say a #snailday keeps the doctor away!! ;-) (I make my own fun...)

I haven't figured out my colours yet, but I'll be posting them to insta every week to try to keep up with the challenge, so follow me along there and see what's what :-)

E xx

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Making for Me - #1 2017

Here we go!! The first attempt at a link up, in I can't remember how long...

Have you got your selfish sewing ready??  Have you got your selfish sewing steady??  Then let's go!!!!

Let's stop constantly giving away everything we make and make things just because we want to. Ideally things that we'd then keep because it brings us joy. I'm very big on the doing things for joy. In accordance with my patented *no rush philosophy* you can be mid way through your project, or even just beginning, but it has to be something you're sewing just because you want to.

Sewing is fun and you're allowed to indulge in quilting for you and nobody else .

Take your time. Enjoy your sewing!!! And get ready to see some perfectly selfish sewing :-D
E xx

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features something you made just because you wanted to - preferably something that you intend to keep.
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is Please hashtag your IG post #making4me.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post, because that way we can spread the selfish sewing bug - always a good thing.

**And I think I've worked out how to make a button!! If you grab the code below, let me know if it works ;-)

<div style="width:100%;text-align:center;"><span style="margin:5px;padding:5px;border-radius: 5px;border:1px solid lightgrey;display:inline-block;"><a  rel=_nofollow href="">           <img style="border: 1px solid gray;width:px;height:px;" src="">           <p style="allign: center;"></p></a></span></div>

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Finish Along - 2017 Q1 - Opening List

All righty. 

I don't normally do the Finish A Long, because I'm not a finisher. i'm a part-timer. But I'm on a mission for the new year to get my butt moving and get going so I'm going to try...

Feel free to check out my progress on Insta via - #2017FALQ1quinnyquilts

This quarter I will finish:
1 - Community trees (piecing top - give to long armer)
2 - Secret Squirrel (piecing top - give to recipient) 

3 - Gigi's quilt (quilting & binding)
4 - Trish's Hexies (piecing top then decide on hand quilting or long arm)
5 - Big Pineapple (binding)
6 - Pink Bubbles (quilting & binding) (so not getting done, but might as well include it, right!)
7 - Orange Blossoms (piecing) 
8 - Blue patches (piecing)  

Plus I need to be up to date with:
1 - the Penny Sampler
2 - #SnailDay
3 - Swoon-a-long

Yes, I know you've never heard of some of these projects before, but that's becasue I'm crazy and have signed up for more since writing my WIP list... a week ago. I know. I'm a terrible influence on myself.

So wish me luck.  I'm diving in. And I'll have posts on all of the new stuff coming out over the next few days :-)

Meanwhile, I'm linking in with the FAL list, and adding the button to the side bar (thanks to everyone who gave me linky tips too - there are some great ones out there, that I am going to try to join in with). And don't forget that if you're making something just for you, you can link up right here, tomorrow!!

Ok, talk to you soon!

E xx

Monday, 9 January 2017

River City Round Robin 6 - Laura's Crosses

The last quilt in our Round Robin to tell you about belongs to the lovely Laura, Laura was one of my first quilty friends.  And I'm not sure how she puts up with me.  Laura is another quiet little worker bee.  I must drive her bonkers.

Laura's request for the robin was very simple.. Blue and green crosses please. And she did the quilt maths for us (always love that).

I kept threatening her that I was going to add big pink circles to it, just to mix it up, but when first one person, then the next made crosses, I realised I was outnumbered and needed to join in.

I did still toy with the idea of  throwing the whole thing off kilter ;-)

But, in the end, I made my crosses too. At one point, it felt like my sewing room was being overwhelmed with little blue crosses, there were so many.  And as much as I love Laura, I hated those little crosses.  Everyone else seemed to love making them, but I found them fiddly and annoying. I actively wanted them to go away.

And oh, Laura, if you didn't know that I love you before, the amount of my low volume stash that is in this quilt should be proof of my love.

Putting it together was both awesome fun and an absolute nightmare, and I'll tell you why.  It was great fun, because it was like having a big jigsaw puzzle, trying to get the right mix of sizes, colours and blank spaces.I spent days if not weeks shuffling it around to make it fit the way I wanted it to.  And everytime I'd think I had it close, I'd realise I needed, maybe another 5 little blocks, so I'd hoick myself back to my cutting table and sewing machine and make another couple, muttering under my breath and cursing at the stupid bloody things, and then I'd spread it all back out and re-place everything and think... hmm I need, maybe another 5 little ones... And repeat until insane.

The other reason it was a nightmare, was that there were so many seams!!!! And while I did my best to nest them, there were so many interlocking at went the same way, that it was an impossible task.  I've already told Laura, that I am not volunteering to quilt this, because it's guaranteed to be lumpy in spots.

You might notice that I went rogue and added some grey.  Not a lot just half a dozen spread across the whole thing. I hope Laura likes it, but for me, I just felt like it needed that to break it up a little bit. Also, because I was putting it together, I put my favourite of the blocks right smack dab in the middle - it's a big green one with bugs in jars.  I know it's not classy like the rest of the quilt, but I love it.

Once it was all together, it's quite a big quilt.  I'd say close to Queen size. And, in my humble opinion, it looks amazing. It looks like a grown up quilt, all cool and crisp and straight lines, but the placement is still random and haphazard and organic. I think it's a really happy quilt.

it's actually Ashley's favourite quilt that I've ever made.  When I was packing it up to deliver it back to Laura, he asked me where I was going with ti, and was all "but I *like* that one". So there may be another one of these in my future for my house... Only maybe not with those little tiny crosses ;-)


E xx

Friday, 6 January 2017

Modern Maples

I mentioned previously that I have a beautiful friend who moved to Canada (and has subsequently moved to the UK). When she moved, I felt like  should make her something that she could have that would let her know that she was loved and missed back home.

Canada, being the land of the maple leafs, it seemed like a given to make a modern maples quilt.

I went super gung ho and cut up a squillon low volume squares, and then pulled browns, oranges, yellows and reds and started chopping into them.

The picture below is where I was starting from.

The problem is, once I had made, like 4 of the brown ones, I didn't really *feel* it anymore.  It felt flat, and not like a gift og love.  And every time i laid out those precut yellow squares and tried to work myself up into getting 'em made up, I just gave up.  I was just not feeling it.

So I abandoned those blocks in a box and it sat on my cupboard for over a year... I guess I hoped I'd become re-inspired at some point.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was on a tidying mission and going through the mountains of *stuff* that had collected in my sewing room and decided, this was not going to Jess, so i should just finish up what was there.

Before I knew it I'd finished another 2 leaves (that were literally already 90% pieced) and was laying it out on the floor to work out size and placement.

I used quite a bit of those low volume with colour squares, and that brought through the reds, mustards and oranges. And I kept that nice random placement that I had in my original sketch.  What's funny is that even though I really fell out of love with this quilt in the process, I ended up really liking it.  And I wonder if it would actually suit Jess after all...

E xx

Monday, 2 January 2017

Making for Me - Back again


So before I went on my crazy hiatus, I tried to implement my very own link up.  One that would encourage as all to stop constantly giving away everything we make and to make things just because we want to. Ideally things that we'd then keep because it brings us joy. I'm very big on the doing things for joy.

So I made this link up...

Making for Me.

And the goal of this is simple:
        Link up something you've made for you

I've attempted to make a button (but I'm a bit special when it comes to this bloggy stuff, so it's not *quite* working, but it'll get there eventually... feel free to teach me, or send me a link to someone who knows this stuff).

In accordance with my patented *no rush philosophy* you can be mid way through your project, but it has to be something you're sewing just because you want to.

I want to suggest the 12th of every month, and I'll try to work out how to keep the link open for as long as possible, and in an ideal world, I'll eventually be able to offer prizes (or at least token prizes...) but until then, hopefully the monthly reminder that sewing is fun and that you're allowed to indulge in quilting for you and nobody else is prize enough ;-)

So I'll post the link in a couple of days!! and remember, take your time. Enjoy your sewing!!! And get ready to see some perfectly selfish sewing :-D

E xx