'A Spoonful of Sugar' Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for my talented friend Lisa Cox' first book, which bears the same name as her adorable crafts & baking blog, A Spoonful of Sugar. And the name says it all, just like her blog, Lisa's book is packed with the sweetest zakka projects!

Please allow me to digress a little bit before I show you what I made from Lisa's book... Those following me on Instagram would have seen a few little snippets of my sewing for spring quilt market in Salt Lake City. I have been a busy little sewist these last few weeks, making things to adorn my booth for the launch of my debut fabric collection, Sweet Orchard for Riley Blake Designs. I haven't yet shared many of those projects yet as my collection is coming out in August, and I don't want you to get sick of them too soon! All will be revealed, in good time.

So, with only two weeks to go before I get on a plane to the States, time (and sleep) has become a very scarce commodity - therefore I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and make not just one but two projects from Lisa's book with my Sweet Orchard fabrics, and as a bonus I could take them along with me to display in my quilt market booth. Win win! If you would like to see these projects in real life, they will be up for display in my Sweet Orchard booth at spring quilt market in Salt Lake City, 20-22 May. I will be in booth 2123 in the Riley Blake 'village', so if you happen to be there too please pop over to say hi!

First up I made the retro hexie pillow. This cushion would have been so quick to make, only if I wasn't being such an overachiever by diverging from the book and having the bright idea to quilt the pillow front. Which is all fine and dandy, but hand sewing the blanket stitch around the perimeter was a total pain in the backside with the thickness of the batting. So learn from my mistake - if you are intending to add a crocheted edge, either skip the quilting altogether or use thin batting! Believe me, your fingers will thank you for it.

Despite the crochet edge setback, I really love the final result, and it gives me such a thrill to see things made with fabric that I've designed and being able to share them with you (cue soppy moment). I hope you like the pillow and fabrics too!

The second project I made is the 'Love to Bake' wall art. I think I will put this on the mini-wall in my sewing room rather than my kitchen, as I love it so much. And it may get me motivated to get out of my sewing room and bake more!

I have a confession here - I meant to make it as a hoop art, as it is shown in the book. But I had (yet another) mishap. I finished the applique, and when I tried to stretch it onto the hoop, I noticed that when I was marking the hoop on the fabric I traced along the inside of the hoop rather than the outside, and in pencil too. Arrrgh!! It was too big to stretch onto a smaller size hoop, so I decided to salvage it by turning it into a circular applique (using fusible interfacing) for a wall hanging instead. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out actually!

Sending a big thank you to Lisa for inviting me to sew in her blog tour. Here's a list of all the bloggers participating in the tour, so pop over to their blogs and see what they made!

April 26            Jodie Carlton                        Ric Rac
April 27            Minki Kim                             Minki’s Work Table
April 28            Melissa LeRay                      Oh How Sweet
April 29            Jemima Flendt                      Tied With a Ribbon
April 30            Beverley McCullough           Flamingo Toes

May 2              Sedef Imer                              Down Grapevine Lane
May 3              Nadra Ridgeway                     Ellis and Higgs
May 4              Amy Morinaka                        Chick Chick Sewing
May 5              Caroline Critchfield                Sew Can She
May 6              Kristyne Czepuryk                  Pretty By Hand
May 7              Bronwyn Hayes                      Red Brolly

May 9              Anorina Morris                       Samelia’s Mum
May 10            Peta Peace                             She Quilts A Lot
May 11            Faith Essenburg                     Sarana Ave
May 12            Angie Wilson                           Gnome Angel
May 13            Sharon Burgess                      Lilabelle Lane Creations
May 14            Stacy Olson                             Stacy Olson

May 16            Ayda Algin                               Cafenohut
May 17            Jennie Pickett                          Clover and Violet
May 18            Wynn Tan                                Zakka Art
May 19            Lisa Cox                                   A Spoonful of Sugar

If you would like to sew with Lisa's book too please join us for an Instagram Sew Along from June 1 – August 9. We will be making projects from A Spoonful of Sugar: Sew 20 Simple Projects to Sweeten Your Surroundings Zakka Style. There will be five rounds, each lasting for two weeks which will give you plenty of time to complete a project or two from the book.  Our good friend, Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company is the Guest Judge, with fantastic prizes for the winner of each round, plus a Grand Prize Winner, generously sponsored by Alisha from Ministry of Fabric. We really hope you join in the fun!

'Backyard Chicks' Mini Quilt

Another day, another blog tour post! Riley Blake / Penny Rose Fabrics have so many amazing collections coming out at the moment, I've certainly been a busy little blogger! Today is my slot on the 'Backyard Roses' blog tour - the latest collection by my friend and fellow blogger Nadra Ridgeway of Ellis & Higgs.

I enjoyed sewing with Nadra's first collection 'Bloom & Bliss' so much that I've been really looking forward to her new line coming out. It's beautiful beyond words! I also love the way it blends with her first collection so well, so you can mix them in projects very easily.

I had three new designs in mind for this collection, and it took me a while to make up my mind on which one to make for this blog tour. I settled on this cute mini quilt design, as it reminds me of little chicks in the backyard in a feeding frenzy, and I could call it 'Backyard Chicks'!

I couldn't decide which colour to use for the binding, so I used them all. Every time I make a scrappy binding I wish I made them more often. They look so cute, especially in colourful projects such as this one!

After I finished the mini I couldn't stop playing with Backyard Roses, so I made three applique circles with flowers, just because they looked so cute. I have no idea what I will use them for, perhaps on a journal cover or something like that. Do you have any suggestions?

I hope you liked my mini quilt. If you would like to make one, I have written a pattern for it which is now available in my Etsy shop, at a discounted price for the duration of the blog tour.

Thank you for visiting! Here is a full list of all the bloggers participating in this blog tour. Check out their blogs for more 'Backyard Roses' inspiration. Happy sewing!


Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop

Welcome to day 1 of the 'Strawberry Biscuit' blog hop! Over the next two weeks 20 very talented bloggers will be sharing their projects made with this gorgeous new fabric collection by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics - and I get to be one of the lucky bloggers to kick off this journey today!

Elea is known for her sweet repro designs and she didn't disappoint with this collection. These fabrics are just too cute for words - sweetest retro puppies, bunnies, birds, strawberry doilies, and pretty florals in bold colours. My fingers were itching as I was taking the obligatory fabric photo - I couldn't wait to start cutting, and I knew exactly what I had to make first: hexies.

I made a whole bunch of 1" hexies, without really knowing exactly where I was going with this (every now and again I get a kick out of starting to sew without a clear plan. Yes, I do like to live dangerously). When I had a whole bunch of hexies I piled them on the table and quite liked the way they looked all bunched together, and then found a cute red dot lace edged bias tape, of which I had just enough left for a cushion binding. Decision made!

It turned out pretty cute, don't you think? I hand quilted it with DMC perle cotton to accentuate the vintagey feel of the repro prints.

I also wanted to make a small quilt, and kept thinking 'economy block' (that's the block below) - such a retro block and really perfect for this line. All the fussy cut centre cuteness - oh my goodness. Bring it on.

I had originally intended to turn my economy blocks into a cot quilt, but half way through sewing Alice came into my sewing room to keep me company (as she frequently does), and started stroking the animals and flowers in the centres of my finished blocks. Light bulb moment - a quilted playmat / picnic mat would be a pretty cool addition to our growing quilt collection! So that's what I ended up making.

If my kids were younger, I would have sewn in a layer of crinkle material between the batting and the quilt top, which I think would be a great addition to a playmat such as this. Babies go nuts for that stuff!

I kept the quilting simple and light. Just straight line diagonal quilting in the ditch, with a little hand-quilting around the centre motif of each block. I didn't want to quilt it too heavily as I want it to get that "puffy-vintagey-much used-much loved" look over time.

As a final touch, I added a little applique washi tape detail on each corner of the quilt.

If you would like to make this playmat, I have written a tutorial / pattern which is now available on the Penny Rose Fabrics blog - you can access it here.

Alice's nap time was drawing near as we were taking these photos - she was quite tired from a morning of cycling all over our small wine town. However she refused to go to bed, as she wanted to "sleep on the pinkic mat today". Sadly this quilt and cushion will be on their way to quilt market tomorrow and I couldn't risk any damage or stains, so I had to disturb her to transfer to bed. Arrggh - evil mum - bless her, she looked so peaceful!

'Strawberry Biscuit' is now available at fabric stores, worldwide. If you would like to see what the other participating bloggers will be making with these fabrics, here's the schedule with links to their blogs and Instagram feeds. Enjoy!

18 April - Karen of Creamcraft Goods (@creamcraftgoods)
18 April - Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
19 April - Angel & Amy of TaDa! Creations (@tadacreations)
19 April - Lindsey of Fort Worth Fabric Studio (@lindseymweight)
20 April - Sarah of Pretty Fabrics & Trims (@sarahedgarprettyfabrics)
20 April - Megan of Quilt Story (@quiltstorymeg)
21 April - Minki of Minki's Work Table (@zeriano)
21 April - Heidi of Fabric Mutt (@fabricmutt)
22 April - Kristyne of Pretty By Hand (@prettybyhand)
22 April - Gina of Party of Eight: Our Story (@partyofeightourstory)
25 April - Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
25 April - Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
26 April - Jemima of Tied With A Ribbon (@tiedwitharibbon)
26 April - Stacy of Stacy Olson Design (@stacyolsondesign)
27 April - Ange of A Little Patchwork (@alittlepatchwork)
27 April - Glenis of Gee's Projects (@glenisebbettsews)
28 April - Megan of Sew Style Love (@dollyhenryau)
28 April - Stacy of Farm Road Quilts (@farmroadquilts)
28 April - Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop (@fatquartershop)
29 April - Christa of Cotton Berry Quilts (@cottonberryquilts)
29 April - Elea of Elea Lutz Design (@elealutz)

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