Fat Quarter Baby Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Baby blog tour! This week we are celebrating the release of Fat Quarter Shop's latest book, 'Fat Quarter Baby', which is full of 20 adorable baby quilt designs.

The quilt I was assigned is called 'Ryan'. The book has 10 girl and 10 boy quilt designs, though truth be told a lot of the patterns are unisex so depending on your fabric choices can be made for a boy or a girl. I chose feminine fabrics for my quilt, so it's a girl's quilt!

Most of the fabrics I used in this quilt are from Windham Fabrics 'Nostalgia Storybook Vacation' range. Sweetest repro designs, which I have paired with a mint solid cotton.

This quilt is very beginner friendly, with large blocks, so the quilt top comes together really quickly. For quilting, I first machine quilted in the ditch between the squares, in a grid pattern. Then I added some hand-quilting around the centre of each block to add a little bit of that sweet vintage 'squishy' feel.

If you would like to see the other quilts in the book pop over to Fat Quarter Shop's blog Jolly Jabber, and also visit the other bloggers taking part in the blog tour to see their quilts. Thank you for stopping by today!

November 16, 2015
Anne -  Caroline of Sew Can She
Claire - Melissa of Oh How Sweet
Elizabeth - Pam of Pam Kitty Morning
Laura  - Greg of Grey Dogwood Studios

November 17, 2015
Andrew - Anne of Bunny Hill Designs
Christopher - Christina of Emily Ann's Kloset
Hunter - Nadra of Ellis & Higgs
James  - Corey of Coriander Quilts
Kevin  - Lucy of Charm About You

November 18, 2015
Katharine - Natalia of Piece N Quilt
Kimberly  - Lori of Bee in my Bonnet
Kristen  - Erin of Why Not Sew
Sarah - Angie of Gnome Angel
Emma - Melissa of Happy Quilting

November 19. 2015
Matthew - Jane of Quilt Jane
Paul  - Pat Sloan
Peyton - Megan and Heather of Quilt Story
Ryan  - Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane
William - Lisa of Vintage Modern Quilts
Gerri Robinson of Planted Seed Designs

Lori Holt's Cozy Cottage Calendar - A Blog Tour

Have you guys seen the new 2016 Cozy Cottage Calendar by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet?

It's a monthly calendar with each page featuring beautiful photos taken inside Lori's own vintage style cozy cottage in Utah, decorated with colourful quilts and other projects from her books.

As if the calendar is not pretty enough it also comes with patterns for the Cozy Cottage Block, Cozy Cottage Mini Quilt, and Cozy Cottage Pillow. The book's cover shows the mini-quilt - so dang cute. These patterns are not available to purchase elsewhere, and it's a limited collection calendar (just saying).

As one of the bloggers taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the calendar's launch, I decided to make the Cozy Cottage Pillow-mini (a mini quilt version of the pillow pattern). I started by making an 8" Cozy Cottage block.

I then added the borders, leaving the pillow backing out, and finished it as a mini quilt to add to the growing collection of minis on my sewing room wall.

For the quilting I used a decorative stitch that I recently discovered on my machine. I raved about it on Instagram when I shared a picture of another quilt, and there was so much interest that I wanted to recap it here as well. It's a wavy stitch (stitch #19 on my Janome Horizon Memorycraft 7700 QCP and #20 on my entry level Janome DC2050). I set the stitch length and wave width to the highest possible settings to get the biggest waves. I marked a single quilting line down the centre of the quilt and quilted outwards from that mark. Then turned the quilt around and quilted outwards in the other direction.  I didn't mark any other quilting lines other than that first one down the middle - I just lined up the edge of my foot with the peaks of the previous line. The distance between the peaks is close enough that you can traverse from one peak to the next quite easily without actually having a marked line to follow. I didn't try to get parallel wavy lines as I like the more organic look of random waves, which to me looks a bit like free motion quilting at first glance. But if you wanted parallel lines you would have to pay attention to your needle's position when you start each 'wibbly wobbly' line.

Back to the matter in hand, I can't wait to start using my new calendar - it will be so lovely to look at Lori's beautiful makes for inspiration every day. And look here - I have a very special event marked in my calendar already - I will be at the market!

Copies of the calendar are now available over at Fat Quarter Shop. The lovely folks over there have also sent me an extra calendar to share with my one of my readers - leave a comment at the end of this post and I will select a winner by the end of the week. And make sure you pop over to other bloggers taking part in the Cozy Cottage Calendar celebration if you would like to see their Cozy Cottage projects! Here's the full list: 

Monday, November 2, 2015 
Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet 
Jessie of Messy Jesse

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Sherri of A Quilting Life
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (me!)
Jane of Quilt Jane

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Renee of Sewn With Grace

Thursday, November 5, 2015
Daisy of Ants to Sugar
Michele of Quilting Gallery

Friday, November 6, 2015
Erin of Why Not Sew
Melissa of Happy Quilting
Sinta of Pink Pincushion

Until next time, happy quilting!

On My Bookshelf: Sweetly Stitched Handmades (part 2)

Today I am going to share more of my makes from the book 'Sweetly Stitched Handmades' by Amy Sinibaldi (see my previous projects here). I love this book and I literally want to make everything in it - if only there were more hours in the day!

First up is my version of the 'mouse house' doll quilt.

The fabric range I used is 'Posy' by Aneela Hoey, a favourite of mine. Sadly it is now out of print so I reserve it for extra special projects such as this one.

I love those peek-a-boo house flaps! My quilt has little girls reading books underneath them (instead of mice). The quilt is completely hand-quilted which complements the hand-embroidery perfectly.

The second project I want to show you is the 'stacked hexagon mug rug'.

The hexie flower was English paper-pieced by hand. I used some of my favourite Yuwa prints here. The leaves and the patch are raw-edge applique.

And last but not least is the 'many pockets house hanging'. Perfect for all those little treasures that I cannot bear to put away into a box or drawer, and they just seem to forever float around my sewing space. Now they have a home!

For this project I have used fabrics by Dolly Henry - a cute Aussie fabric shop I recently discovered. Megan (who runs Dolly Henry) has a real eye for colour and pattern combinations and curates the sweetest bundles! The great news is that she kindly offered to give this pretty fabric bundle to one of my readers. If you would like to enter the giveaway pop over to my Instagram account and follow the instructions. Open worldwide, winner will be selected on Monday, 2 November.

I am also so happy to tell you that I won one of the rounds of the Sweetly Stitched Sew-Along, and as a prize Amy herself sent me this AMAZEBALLS parcel full of goodies. That teeny tiny sewing machine! The sweet pincushion hand-made by Amy herself! And of course the beautiful fabric !! And everything so beautifully presented, like anything Amy does. Thank you Amy!

I will hopefully come back to stitch more projects from this gorgeous book, but it's going back on my bookshelf now as I embark on a very exciting new project which will keep me busy for the next few months. I am dieing to share it with you all (like shout it from the roof tops), I promise I will do so as soon as I am permitted to. And share little sneak peeks of my secret squirrel sewing of course - keep an eye on my Instagram feed for clues!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Two Mini-quilts

A pretty fabric bundle arrived on my doorstep recently, containing two new Riley Blake lines: 'Fancy & Fabulous' by Fancy Pants Designs, and 'Chatsworth' by Emily Taylor. This was a surprise bundle courtesy of Millhouse Collections, our local Riley Blake distributor here in Australia. So when I opened the parcel I thought it was all one line! Don't the colours complement each other really well? (that's Fancy & Fabulous on the left and Chatsworth on the right).

As the fabrics worked so well with each other I decided to make two coordinating mini quilts to hang next to each other on my mini-wall. I chose patterns from two very talented Australian quilters (and whom I am proud to call friends, even though we've never met in real life as they live in different states): Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon and Peta from She Quilts A Lot.

For the first mini I used 'Fancy & Fabulous' and Jemima's Kaleidoscope pattern, which is a foundation paper piecing pattern.

I was a foundation paper piecing virgin before this mini, but the pattern seemed clear enough and I thought 'how hard can it be?'. Very hard as it turns out, if you don't read the pattern carefully. So after getting myself all confuzzled for an hour or so and wasting way too much fabric doing trial-and-error, I finally figured out the mistake I was making. Once the penny dropped and the technique 'clicked' it was super easy.

Pretty satisfied with the accuracy of my points considering it was my first time doing foundation paper piecing (don't look too closely!). No wonder so many quilters around the world love this technique so much. I am so glad I learnt how to do it as I will be using FPP for some of my Farmer's Wife quilt blocks soon.

For my second mini I used 'Chatsworth' and Peta's pretty mini quilt pattern, 'Down South'. My seam ripper got a bit of a workout during the making of this mini (see how teeny tiny those pinwheels are!) It was worth the extra care though and I am very pleased with the result. Peta also has a full size quilt version of this pattern in her online store.

Two wonderful additions to my mini-wall! Thank you Jemima, Peta, Millhouse Collections, and Riley Blake Designs!

'Sugar Kisses' Quilt

I was recently invited by Lecien to join their newly launched Flower Sugar world ambassador program - which means I am one of the lucky few designers who get to play with the new Flower Sugar ranges before they are released to the public. Such a privilige! The first collection I got to sew with is Flower Sugar Fall 2016 which is making its debut  next week at the International Quilt Market in Houston. I made a baby quilt. Covered in kisses. Sugary kisses!

The pattern I used is the 'Raspberry Kiss Block' by Rachel of Wooden Spoon Quilts - she has a great tutorial for it here. I wanted a lot of white in this quilt to balance the bold, saturated Flower Sugar colours, so the final design did not become too 'hectic'. I also really love the fact that the fabric in each block is really the 'star of the show' here without having to compete with the other prints.

I straight line quilted it in the ditch in a criss-cross pattern. After reading about all the horror stories concerning Frixion pens (the lines reappearing in the cold!) I used a Hera marker to mark the quilting lines for the first time. I can't say I am a convert. I found it quite hard to see the marks when I was quilting late at night, so there was an element of blind-sewing. Does anyone have any tips on working with Hera markers? Maybe my technique needs improvement!

(My little helper is getting pretty tall!)

I only had a fat quarter bundle to work with, so for the backing and binding I used Flower Sugar Spring 2015 which is in stores now. That hexie print makes the most wonderful backing, don't you think? I also love how well all the Flower Sugar collections work together.

If you would like to win a 10" stacker of this collection and have the chance to sew with it before everyone else, please leave a comment either here or on my Instagram feed telling me what you would make with it if you won! I will pick a winner on Wednesday. Open worldwide. Good luck!

UPDATE - GIVEAWAY CLOSED: The winner of the 10" stacker is @coleandtaffy on Instagram! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone else for entering! x

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