Introducing: 'Sweet Orchard'

I am so thrilled and excited to finally share the news that I am now officially a fabric designer for Riley Blake! It's a HUGE dream come true for me, in fact I am still having 'pinch me' moments, especially when I first wake up in the morning! When I bought my first sewing machine three and a half years ago if someone had told me that I would be working for an amazing company like Riley Blake and designing fabric, I would have laughed. Seriously, I couldn't even begin to fathom the idea of sewing with fabric that I have designed back then! And then in 2015 it became a reality. So many months of hard work going on behind the scenes, but so SO worth it.

Without further ado, I am so happy to present to you my first fabric line, 'Sweet Orchard'. It's a sweet floral and fruity line, mixed with bias stripes, dots, and text. It arrives in shops in August, with pre-sales in full swing already!

When designing this line I brought together all my favourite fabric elements that I couldn't easily find out there in the market. Fabric that brings flowers and fruit together, not just strawberries and cherries but other orchard fruit also - apples, oranges, and pears. Bias stripes (especially in pink, red, and grey) - the unicorn of blenders. Also random dots, and sweet text fabric - this line is truly my quilter's' dream come true!

You may have spotted that the line includes a cheater print in three colourways, with lots of fussy cutting potential. I received my first fabric samples of it this week and I love it so much already. I hope you do too! Also, a BIG thank you to everyone for sending me sweet notes of congratulations when I announced this news on my social media a few days ago - I am truly thankful for all your support.

Crossroads quilt along - are you ready?

Fat Quarter Shop's Crossroads Quilt Along is kicking off in a few weeks! This is a year-long charity quilt along in benefit of March of Dimes, an amazing organization whose mission is to prevent pre-mature births. The quilt blocks will be FREE to download on the Fat Quarter Shop's Crossroads quilt along page on the 15th of every month starting on 15 February 2016. Please consider donating just $5 to March of Dimes when you download the patterns.

Fat Quarter Shop have created a limited supply of quilt kits and pieced backing sets using the Strawberry Fields Revisited collection by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics. If you want to use your own fabrics, the Fabric Requirements PDF is now available to download on the quilt along page.

I ummed and erred for a long time about my fabric selections for this quilt. In the end I couldn't pick a single fabric collection, so I decided to go completely the opposite way and make a super scrappy quilt using some of my all time favourite fabrics. This will be a quilt for me to curl under on the couch on cold days, so I'm going to use lots of mini florals, both retro and modern, mixed with natural Essex linen. Have you discovered the #tinyfloralsanonymous hashtag on Instagram yet? If not you should go check it out. That hashtag basically describes my concept for this quilt - pretty and feminine.

Here is a list of all the bloggers and designers taking part in this quilt along. Follow their progress on their blogs and Instagram feeds!

Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts (@figtreequilts)
Pat Sloan (@quilterpatsloan)
April of Prairie Grass Patterns (@amrosenthal)
Tina of Emily Ann's Kloset (@emilyannskloset)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweet)
Angie of Gnome Angel (@gnomeangel)
Vanessa of Lella Boutique (@lellaboutique)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Erin of Why Not Sew (@whynotsewquilts)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)

2015 Round-up

Oh boy have I been busy this year!

Whilst making this collage I thought I might try to select my top three favourite projects to share with you. But no way Jose, there's simply no way I could pick just three! It's a little like trying to pick a favourite out of my children. Nope, love them all. So many memories here - and lots more happening behind the scenes, what an awesome year it has been. I still have a few projects in work-in-progress mode (let's face it, who doesn't) - specifically my alphabet quilt, my Farmer's Wife quilt, and my Storytime cross-stitch sampler to mention just three. All are favourites, and none of them are abandoned, but working to some hard deadlines recently has meant that I had to put all discretionary sewing on hold for a little while. Hopefully I can get them all finished in 2016! (me = ever the optimist).

I took advantage of the Christmas break and did a major tidy up of my sewing room and fabric stash, and my computer files. I came across several pictures that I had shared on my Instagram feed but forgotten to share here on the blog! So let's catch you up.

~ cute star ornaments, pattern from Wild Olive ~

~ hexie trays, pattern from A Spoonful of Sugar ~

~ strawberry pincushions using my tutorial ~

~ WIP shot of my storytime 2015 Annual Sampler by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ~

~ Pam Kitty Morning fabrics - so happy and cheerful ~

~ my new vintage style shopper bike, great for riding all around our small town ~

~ adult colouring books whilst my sew-jo has gone MIA ~

~ beautiful turquoise Liberty of London tana lawn from Ava & Neve ~

~ this is what I do to pears who have been naughty! ~

~ Homespun magazine's 2016 diary, I am one of the designers featured in it ~

~ pretty fabric pull for a secret sewing project ~

~ pear pattern testing for the lovely Frampuna on Instagram ~

~ pretty fabric bundle from a Japanese shop ~

~ love these gorgeous books featuring covers by Anna Rifle Bond ~

~ an EPP mini quilt, hexie tray, and pincushion I made for my secret swap buddy ~

~ another happy fabric bundle ~

~ pile of 28 blocks I made for a Liberty postage stamp block swap ~

~ another fabric bundle - this time pastel coordinates ~

That's it for now - see you next year folks! Sending you all my warmest wishes for a new year filled with love, laughter, and lots and lots of crafty time!

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