'Sew Illustrated' Blog Tour & Giveaway

It must be the season for blog tours! I'm back again, this time to share some sweet makes from the new sewing title 'Sew Illustrated', by the fabulous duo Minki Kim and Kristin Esser.

I distinctly remember when I first discovered Minki's incredible sewing 'art' on Instagram (her IG name is @zeriano). It was a revelation! I am calling it art as that's exactly what it is, it's art made with small, vibrant pieces of fabric and dark thread. I didn't even know if the technique had a name at the time, I have since learned that Minki refers to it as 'sewing illustration', I have also heard it called 'drawing with thread'. If you have a spare afternoon grab a cuppa and spend it browsing through these ladies' blogs: Minki's Work Table and Kristin's They Grow Up Too Fast. Sew much inspiration!

(projects and photos above by: Minki Kim)

Remember these? Minki was kind enough to make some projects with my fabric collection Sweet Orchard for my spring quilt market booth - she had the teeniest amount of fabric to work with (as did I) but managed to create a gorgeous mini quilt and the sweetest tags! Therefore I knew her technique worked well with the sweet colours of my line, so I used Sweet Orchard to make a coaster set, and a dessert mat.

I had originally intended to just make the coasters, but I was enjoying myself so much I couldn't stop. I had admired Minki's dessert mats on her Instagram so I had to make one of those also! I did a bit of mixing and matching with the patterns - the macarons and some of the coaster drawings came from other projects in the book. That's one of the great things about this book though, it's so versatile.

If you've never done sewing illustration before don't be intimidated, as there is a big (and very clearly explained) section at the front of the book about the techniques, the materials to be used to achieve best results, and lots of tips and tricks. Talking trade secret level stuff. So good! There is a really sweet story behind the book as well, and about how this fabulous duo met. You can read it here.

And there you go! Thank you so much for visiting today. Here's a list of all the other stops on the tour, pop over to see what everyone else is making!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at zakkaArt
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane (me!)
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz


C & T Publishing are generously giving away a copy of Sew Illustrated at every stop on the blog tour. If the winner is in the USA, they will receive a hard copy of the book. If the winner is International, they will win an eBook.  To enter just leave a comment below :) Giveaway is open World Wide until September 3, 2016 . The winner will be notified by email (if one is available) and announced here on this post. Good Luck!

Apple Farm Blog Hop

It's my day on the Apple Farm blog hop, featuring the latest fabric collection by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. Remember the balloon quilt I made with this line for my slot on the Penny Rose Project Design Team? Well I loved the fabrics so much I simply couldn't stop at one project, so here's what I made with my remaining fabric: an Apple-licious mini quilt / table topper.

The apple quilt pattern is from Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun - bringing the fabric of one RBD/PRF designer with the pattern of another is always such a pleasure, especially when they are as good a match as here!

I hope you liked my project! Here's a list of all the other bloggers taking part in the blog hop, pop over to their blogs for more Apple Farm inspiration.

8/8/16 Jemima @tiedwitharibbon www.tiedwitharibbon.com
8/8/16 Anorina @sameliasmum www.sameliasmum.com
8/9/16 Kimberly @fatquartershop www.fatquartershop.blogspot.com/
8/9/16 Bridgette @thefamilyhearth www.thefamilyhearth.com
8/10/16 Taunja @taunjalynn www.carriedawayquilting.com
8/10/16 Nadra @ellisandhiggs www.ellisandhiggs.com
8/11/16 Shari @doohikeydesigns www.doohikeydesigns.com/blog/
8/11/16 Heidi @fabricmutt www.fabricmutt.blogspot.com
8/12/16 Lindsey @fortworthfabricstudio www.fortworthfabricstudio.blogspot.com
8/15/16 Ange @alittlepatchwork www.alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
8/15/16 Lauren @transientart www.transientart.com
8/16/16 Jessica @euphoria_jessica www.euphoriajessica.blogspot.com
8/16/16 Kristyne @prettybyhand www.prettybyhand.com
8/17/16 Melissa @ohhowsweetco www.ohhowsweet.com
8/17/16 Sedef @downgrapevinelane www.downgrapevinelane.com
8/18/16 Faith @faithessenburg www.saranaave.wordpress.com
8/18/16 Veronica @vividfelicity www.vividFelicity.wordpress.com
8/19/16 Megan @dollyhenryau www.dollyhenry.blogspot.com
8/19/16 Amanda @jedicraftgirl www.jedicraftgirl.com
8/19/16 Elea @elealutz www.elealutzdesign.com

Sweet Orchard Blog Tour

The day has finally arrived - my debut fabric collection for Riley Blake Designs, 'Sweet Orchard' is hitting stores as I type this! This has been such a dream come true, I still have 'pinch-me' moments every day and I am so proud to work as a fabric designer for a company as amazing as Riley Blake Designs.

To celebrate the launch of Sweet Orchard, we are of course holding a blog tour - you know how much I love them! Join us each day over the next two weeks as these incredibly talented makers from around the world share their Sweet Orchard projects. I don't know about you, but I am just a wee bit excited to see what they've all made!

                                  15 August
                                  15 August
                                  16 August
                                  16 August
                                  17 August
                                  17 August
                                  18 August
                                  18 August
                                  19 August
                                  19 August
  Liz & Elizabeth   
                                  22 August
                                  22 August
                                  23 August
                                  23 August
                                  24 August
                                  24 August
                                  25 August
                                  25 August
                                  26 August
                                  26 August

Follow the blog tour on Instagram and Facebook each day with the tags #sweetorchardblogtour and #sweetorchard, where we will also have a few fun giveaways! Hope you find lots of inspiration, and feel free to use the tags to join in with your projects also - I would love to see what you are making!

Poppy Needle Case

When I was at the US spring quilt market in May, I had the great pleasure of meeting the lovely ladies from Zakka Workshop - a really cool publisher specialising in reproducing Japanese craft titles in English. Not only new titles but also classic coveted ones that used to sell for a small fortune on ebay and Etsy (such as the 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko Fujita and the soon-to-be-published-in-English-FINALLY Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama). I couldn't resist picking up a couple of their new titles, one of which was Simply Stitched by Yumiko Higuchi.

Yumiko is one of the most renowned embroidery artists in the world, having published multiple embroidery books. Her wool stitcheries are simply to die for - go check out her social media feeds or her website www.yumikohiguchi.com if you would like to see more! So much inspiration!

I've made multiple wool needlepoint projects on canvas in my pre-Down Grapevine Lane days, but had never embroidered on fabric with wool before. Kinda kicking myself that I haven't tried it sooner - the thicker wool gives a lovely padded three dimensional finish that makes the embroidery designs really 'pop' off the fabric. I am a convert. (Tip: if like me you embroider a fair bit and sometimes are too lazy to use a hoop to stretch the fabric, don't do it for wool embroideries. This photo is my second attempt at this embroidery - the fabric warps WAY too much without a hoop).

The project I made was the needle case project in Simply Stitched, but instead of the thistle pattern I used the poppy pattern from one of the other projects, as I loved its simplicity. It paired up beautifully with the dark grey background fabric (from Riley Blake's new range of basic cottons called 'Shades' - I love the velvety washed look - it's just cotton folks!).

My inspiration for the decoration of the felt pages came from Amy Sinibaldi's beautiful needlebooks - a little lace, a button or two, edges trimmed with scallop pinking scissors - just the right amount of Zakka sweetness! The cute strawberry buttons are from Ministry of Fabric and the pale peach fabric under the needle case is also available in the same shop here.

I hope you like my needle case and are inspired to give wool stitchery a go. This book is full of so many amazing patterns, and it's very clearly illustrated and explained so suitable for all levels. Highly recommend!

Collaborate For A Cause - A Book Nook

This year's Collaborate for A Cause (C4AC) charity auction has just kicked off, and I wanted to share with you this awesome event and the collaboration that I have proudly taken part in this year.
In case you aren't familiar with C4AC, it's one of the highlights of the Australian hand-made calendar,  whereby hundreds of hand-maidens get together to make items which then get auctioned off over one weekend, with all proceeds going to charity. I have taken part in it since the early days of Down Grapevine Lane, and I love the buzz and excitement that surrounds the whole event. Seeing all the pretty things made by so many talented makers, and the hand-made community coming together for a good cause - it really is the best feeling in the world and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

Without further ado, here is the collaboration that I was part of: a 'Book Nook' curated by the lovely Fiona who is @fee_loves on Instagram. A true lover of 'hand-made', Fee has a real talent for putting together items to create little 'hand-made' heavens! She also took all the photos below under her new business Little M.E Images.

Don't you wanna curl up in there? The fabric is we used is the amazing Sommer collection by Sarah Jane Studios which was kindly donated by the fabulous Deanne from Fabric Pixie, a great Australian fabric store. Here are some close ups of the items that come in the set, and the fabulous businesses that donated them:
~ A hexagon quilt, hexie cushion and apple pie cushion by Piccolo Studio ~

Floor pillow by the Toffee Tree & doll face cushion by Blooms and Butterflies Doll Studio ~

~ Stunning dress by Ellie's Handmade ~

~ Dr Seuss wall art by Silent Little Whispers ~

~ Hair bow by Creative Butterfly Designs ~

~ Poodle book cradle by Bear and Sparrow ~

~ and finally, my contribution - a padded name bunting ~

All proceeds raised from the sale of this book nook set are going to Rett Syndrome Australia. Collaborate for a Cause album is here and you can find our collab here, make sure to read the description on the album first before you bid on anything, especially for buyers outside Australia. Bidding closes 8pm, Sunday 31 July. Also do check the rest of the album as there are some unbelievably stunning collaborations this year, and all for a good cause. Enjoy! :-) 

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