Patchwork Quilt Along - Block 1

Welcome! Fat Quarter Shop's annual charity quilt-along has just kicked off, and it's called 'Patchwork Quilt Along'. As with last year's quilt, I am so honoured to be one of the guest bloggers who will be sewing along again this year!

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the quilt we will be making. It consists of 12 simple classic blocks, so it's a really great project for beginners! And the pace is very slow, only 6 blocks per month, so it shouldn't be a struggle to fit in. My first six blocks this month only took me a couple of hours to make, to give you an idea of the time commitment you would be undertaking.

You can either use your own fabrics, or order a quilt kit from Fat Quarter Shop if you would like to make the same quilt as above, featuring Bonnie & Camille Basics fabric.

This quilt along benefits Make-A-Wish. This fantastic organization grants the wishes of children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Make-A-Wish believes a wish experience can be a game-changer. Granted wishes help children feel stronger, more energetic, and more willing to face their medical battle, and for many the wish marks a turning point in the fight against their illnesses! And this year, Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $20,000 of donations raised too!

The Patchwork quilt blocks are FREE to download on the 15th of every month on the Fat Quarter Shop blog, Jolly Jabber, starting today. We only ask a suggested donation of $5 to the Make-A-Wish campaign for each time you download a block pattern.

The first block pattern has just been released, and it's the 'Souvenir of Friendship' block - you can download the pattern here, and there is a video tutorial on Jolly Jabber also.

I've always wanted to make a pink, red, and grey quilt, and thought this would be just the thing for this quilt along. I will be using a mix of red and pink fabrics from my personal stash - though all of this month's prints come from the Little Ruby collection by Bonnie & Camille. The grey dot background print was from Ministry of Fabric.

I hope you like my blocks! You can also check out the quilts other guest bloggers are making by visiting their blogs, here's the full list:

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
Amy of Diary of a Quilter (@diaryofaquilter)
Andy of A Bright Corner (@abrightcorner)
Bonnie of Cotton Way (@bonniecottonway)
Camille of Thimble Blossoms (@thimbleblossoms)
Debbie of Happy Little Cottage (@happylittlecottage1)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies (@buttonsandbutterflies)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweet)
Pat Sloan of (@quilterpatsloan)
Renee of Sewn with Grace (@sewnwithgrace)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
Tina of Emily Ann's Kloset (@emilyannskloset)

If you are inspired and would like to join this quilt along, bookmark the quilt along page on the Fat Quarter Shop blog, and visit on the 15th of each month to download that month's block pattern. Easy peasy! You can share your progress with other quilters  in the Patchwork Facebook group and post your blocks using #patchworkquiltalong on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Enjoy!

A Day At Home With Bearhug & Honeybun

Meet Bearhug & Honeybun - the stars of a baby storybook I designed for this month's Homespun magazine! It seems this year's got off to a great start already, as these cuties made the cover - squee!

Designing a fabric 'quiet book' was on my to-do list for a looong time and I was so happy when Homespun magazine gave me the opportunity! A little known fact is that I would not be sewing and designing today if it wasn't for a friend showing me the quiet books she had made for her kids. This was about 6 years ago and I was heavily pregnant with Alexander at the time. I absolutely LOVED the books, so as soon as Alexander arrived I set out to make one for him. As I didn't know how to machine sew at the time, it was made from felt, and all hand-sewn, with over 20 pages of scenes and activities, collated in a big ring binder. I am proud to say that it was enjoyed by both my kids, and whilst the pages are looking a little tired and worn out it's still knocking around and regularly played with! That quiet book was the beginning of my creative journey, so it holds a very dear place in my heart. I'm so happy that hopefully, with this project, other sewists can experience the joy of creating a treasured heirloom for a cherished child as well!

This quiet book represents this teddy and bunny's home, so in the morning they have breakfast in the kitchen, they can take a quick shower and dry off with a towel in the bathroom, followed by a day's play, and at the end of a busy day they get tucked into their individual beds for story time and a lovely night's sleep. 💖 There is a template to add a personalised label on the back cover also, should you wish to do so.

The fabric I used is all Tilda, from my personal stash so mostly older lines. I love the soft and ethereal feel they give the book.

There is an interview with me in there also! This issue is now available at all major newsagents in Australia, and digitally from Zinio for readers worldwide (for only $3.50 - now that's a bargain!).

In other news, I am still in a bit of a holiday mode. Both kids are at home for the summer holidays so not much sewing is happening lately! We seem to spend the days in a blissful haze of bike rides, milkshakes / ice cream, walks around our lovely wine region, followed by dips in the pool to cool down. Though I did take a nasty tumble into the pool at the weekend, and bashed my knee. It was a pretty comical fall - I was scooping up some leaves when I tripped on the edge of the pool whilst walking along quite fast with the scoop. I had momentum so I thought I could regain balance by running along the edge of the pool for a few metres, flailing arms wildly. Then I tried to jump across diagonally to the other edge of the pool. Yeah, didn't quite make it, fell in (with clothes and shoes on), and hit my knee on the pool edge. I have a bruised kneecap bone which is a bit ouchy but no major damage luckily and I am hobbling around slowly - and it's my left leg so I can still sew. Small mercies!

I am determined to make this year as stress-free as possible, so I have carefully planned and mapped out my work schedule for the next few months. First up on my sewing table is a modern ombré quilt that I am making for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Aren't these Riley Blake Confetti Cottons simply delicious? I will love this quilt, I can tell!

'Heart of the Home' Mini Quilt in Sew Cherry 2

Just before Christmas I received a gorgeous bundle of Sew Cherry 2 from Millhouse Collections, the Riley Blake wholesale distributors  in Australia. This collection is a reprint of Lori Holt's very first fabric collection, Sew Cherry, and the colours and patterns are right up my street!

I decided to pair this sweet collection with a mini quilt pattern designed by my incredibly talented blogger friend, Lisa from A Spoonful of Sugar: it's called 'Heart of the Home'. This fabric and pattern were a match made in heaven!

You can order the pattern from Lisa's shop. It's a foundation paper pieced (FPP) pattern, and suitable for even FPP beginners. You may notice that I added sashing between the blocks, and also decided to follow the outlines of the hearts when I bound my mini. This pattern is really so much fun, and it would also be gorgeous as a cushion, a tablerunner, or even a quilt!

Hope you enjoyed my first make of the new year. Thank you for visiting!

Cozy Christmas Quilt + Happy New Year!

Hello dear friends! Hope you had a lovely festive period with your loved ones. I've had a glorious week's holiday, recharging batteries and enjoying lazing about in the company of my lovely family and dear friends (and nursing a hangover from our Boxing Day party - oops!). It felt so good to be able to put my feet up and relax, do some lazy sewing when I felt like it, and not to have the crazy rush of meeting urgent deadlines, every single day. It was bliss!

2016 has been such a roller coaster of a year! It's been the best year for me professionally, as I not only signed as a fabric designer with my dream fabric company (Riley Blake) but also published my first quilting book! As far as quilty dreams go, it doesn't get much better than that! But of course, my learning curve was literally vertical, which meant a lot of insane working hours till silly o'clock every night - I can honestly say I've never worked so hard in my life (and that's something coming from an ex-management-consultant-investment-banker who used to regularly clock 90 hour weeks!). The year got more challenging after my husband had a serious bike crash in May, and the few months that followed whilst he was in recovery were difficult and traumatic for all of us (he has luckily made a full recovery, but boy, what a wake up call that was!). So 2016 was a mix of highs and lows, and I am so grateful for not only all the incredible opportunities that came my way but also the challenges - as they taught me what's really important in life, showed me how strong I am and that I can get through anything with the neverending love and support of my amazing life partner (and our two lovely kids). They really are my whole world 💖💖💖.

In the last few weeks of 2016 I set out on a mission to complete as many UFOs as possible, starting with the festive Christmas-sy ones. The last one I completed was my Cozy Christmas quilt (pattern by my quilty idol and fellow Riley Blake designer Lori Holt which is a free download here). I fell in love with this quilt when I saw it at the spring quilt market and absolutely had to make it, exactly the same, using Lori's Cozy Christmas fabrics. Isn't it the cutest quilt, ever? Alice is head over heels in love, as you can see!

For the backing I used a sweet pink dotty print that I bought from Ministry of Fabric, and machine bound this quilt. I learned how to do this recently by following this tutorial by Rita from Red Pepper Quilts - I now bind all my big quilts on the machine! It's so incredibly fast! And you stitch in the ditch between the edge of the border and the binding, so no stitches are visible at the front of the quilt.

I have one more day's holiday to enjoy, then I get back to work all freshened up and ready to rock'n roll! I have some great things coming up this year, including my next fabric collection, the roll-out of my paper pattern collection, and another huge project that I can't quite talk about yet. So many good and exciting things in store! And our year got off to a great start - after family cuddles in bed, I made pancakes for breakfast. Hubby declared them 'the best pancakes he had the whole year!'. Ha!

Wishing you all a very happy new year - may 2017 be the best year yet for all of us, and bring everyone lots of love, happiness, hope and peace!

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