'Winter Tales' Blog Tour

Hello hello! I'm so happy to be blogging again after a little break whilst I worked on my new book, Zakka Home. It's coming out in September so not long to go! I've got to say, I'm really proud of this book - every single project in it was a labour of love.

Today I wanted to show you what I've been making with Minki Kim's latest collection for Riley Blake Designs, 'Winter Tales'. Such a sweet winter-inspired collection and those soft pastel shades are just utterly scrumptious.

The first thing I made was this mini quilt - the pattern is called 'Backyard Chicks' and available in my Etsy shop in PDF and paper formats. This pattern depicts a group of little chicks in a feeding frenzy, but squint and you can also see snowflakes!

We are actually in the midst of winter here in Australia, so I couldn't stop at just the one wintry project! However I was running out of time for this post, so I had to find a super cute project that was also SUPER fast. Voila - sweet little mittens! They literally took an hour to make.

The pattern is a free one by Amy Sinibaldi available on her blog, Nana Company. I modified it slightly by adding fabric to the front side of the mittens, below the fold line - I backed the fabric with fusible web and appliqued it in place by machine, before constructing the mittens.

I hope you enjoyed my projects today! A big thank you to Minki for inviting me to be a part her blog tour - check out the other participants' blogs to see what they've made!

July 9 - Christopher Thompson - The Tattooed Quilter
July 23 - Kim Kruzich - Retro Mama

Simple Sprocket Pincushion Tutorial

The lovely Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter asked me recently to write a guest post for her fabulous blog - a real treasure trove of free patterns, sewing techniques and lots of inspiration. Today on Diary of a Quilter I'm sharing the steps to make a very simple round sprocket pincushion. You can read the full tutorial here.

If you've ever made round pincushions you will know that it can be a little tricky to get that perfect circular shape with no bumps and lumps around the edges (especially at the stuffing point). So I'm sharing a very simple technique that I use to achieve that perfect round shape every time.

The style of this pincushion is known as a 'sprocket' design in sewing literature as the slices resemble the spokes of a wheel - this is typically achieved by sewing wedges of fabric together (like a Dresden plate) to form a circular shape. That can be a little time consuming, so I cheated and used half square triangles to make the top - could you even tell at first glance?

Pop over to Amy's blog now to read the full photo tutorial for this super quick pincushion. The fabrics I used are from my 'Summer Blush' fabric collection for Riley Blake Designs, and will be on the shelves this August - you can ask for it at your local quilt shop. Happy sewing!

Topiary Quilt Pattern | Cluckingham Palace

My Topiary quilt has come back from the quilter and the PDF pattern is now in the Etsy shop (30% off till Tuesday noon). Paper patterns will be available in a week or so. Thanks to all of you who asked to be notified about the pattern's release - I appreciate your patience and for making beautiful heirloom quilts with my patterns!

The long arm quilting was done by the lovely Elaine from Quilting on the Vines in my local town, McLaren Vale. She is seriously my life saver sometimes!! I love the petals in the quilting reflecting the applique petals on the quilt. The fabrics I used are the new Grandale collection by Keera Job for Riley Blake Designs.

In other news I have been very busy sewing for spring quilt market where my newest collection 'Summer Blush' will be launching. Let's just say that my sewing machine is in desperate need of a service after so many hours of use (and I'm in desperate need of some sleep).  I will save photos of what I made for the Riley Blake booth in Portland for another blog post.

Life on our little hobby farm has also been super busy - the new chicken coop aka 'Cluckingham Palace' is now operational and we've expanded our brood - we have 17 chickens now and 5 guinea fowl (which are the funniest birds ever). The guineas are quite young so they 'adopted' one of our Araucanas as their mum - who had absolutely no say in the matter - and follow her around everywhere, much to the poor chicken's annoyance. It's impossible to tell them apart as they are all black with grey mottling so we called them 'Dave'. Yes, they all have the same name - they're not even all males! "Oh look there go the Daves" is a common phrase in our house. We sometimes sit out on our porch and watch the chickens going about their business, shuffling around with their cute fluffy bums - hours of endless entertainment. The multi coloured eggs are pretty awesome too!

We also renovated my sewing room after deciding against having a separate sewing studio erected on the property - we simply couldn't justify the cost when there was a perfectly good spare bedroom.  I actually adore this space which has the best light in the whole house, plenty of fabric storage, and I'm really loving the crisp white walls and hardwood floors. I realised over the years that I work much better as a designer in a minimalist workspace - so no more mini quilts on walls or other visual distractions. It was sad packing them all into storage but I'm loving how clean and uncluttered it feels now!

Time for me to get back to sewing now - for the next few weeks I will be concentrating on my new book as my deadline is approaching fast. Thank you for visiting today!

Grandale Blog Tour: 'Topiary' Quilt

Today is my stop on the blog tour for 'Grandale', a new Riley Blake fabric collection that is now available in fabric stores worldwide. This pretty floral and farm inspired collection was designed by fellow Australian designer Keera Job. I love the subdued soft colours of these prints so much that I designed a quilt inspired purely by these fabrics!

Here's my new quilt pattern, 'Topiary', which will be available in PDF and paper formats. The quilt depicts flower beds divided up by garden paths - it's mostly traditional patchwork with the flower petals being the only applique element.

The pattern is currently being checked by my pattern testers and the quilt is being long armed - I expect to have the quilt pattern available in two weeks. Send me an email at sedef@downgrapevinelane.com if you would like to be notified when it's out - it's going to be on sale at 30% off for the first 48 hours!  If any fabric stores are interested in stocking kits for this quilt, please do get in touch also.

Thank you for stopping by today. If you would like to see more projects in Grandale fabrics please visit the other makers taking part in the blog tour, and of course Keera's own website!

Primrose Cottage Quilts (3 April)
Fabric Mutt (13 April)
Carried Away Quilting (19 April)

'Little Traveller' Blog Hop

Hi friends! It's my turn today on the blog hop for Simone Gooding's new book, 'Little Traveller', published by Tuva Publishing. This darling book is out now at most retailers!

Simone is a felt artist and graphic designer whose work I have admired for so long... So imagine my excitement when I heard she was writing a book for my own publishers Tuva - I just knew it would be incredible, and boy was I right. This is one of those rare books you can't just flick through just once. Off-the-scale adorable projects, immaculate photography and illustrations, and all the design details make this book the 'must buy' book of the year for anyone who enjoys working with felt and/or sewing cute softies.

For this blog hop I made two sweet projects from the book. Meet Twig and Daisy - they are off to the woods to gather acorns (well OK, not the woods but my dining table, cause it was too windy outside for the photos! :-D). Cutest!

I just love the detailing of these dolls - Twig's snug cape, the home made basket and the acorns, Daisy's braids and accessories... A lot of the projects in the book have little sewn or knitted accessories - such as a scarf, or a satchel, or a little basket like in this project. Alas I can't knit so I had to improvise and crochet the basket and acorns - I think they came out OK.

For my projects I used beautiful 100% wool felt from Winterwood - who are Simone's own preferred felt supplier. This felt is beautifully soft and has great strength so that it doesn't disintegrate at the seams (the dolls are stitched with a tiny 3mm seam so cheap felt would just fall apart during stuffing).

And here are a few of the other projects from the book that caught my eye! Just in case you needed more convincing to order your copy today. #enabler #sorrynotsorry

Thank you dear friends for visiting today, and thank you Simone for inviting me to join your blog hop. Here are the other makers taking part so please check out their creations on Instagram if you are intrigued and would like to see more!

15th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
16th March – Winterwood (@winterwoodcraft)
17th March – Kerri Horsley (@sewdeerlyloved)
18th March – Shelly Down (@gingermelongirl)
19th March – Mimi Kirchner (@mimikirchner)
20th March – Lauren Wright (@mollyandmama)
21st March – Anne Sutton (@bunnyhilldesigns)
22nd March – Jennifer Goldsmith (@frazzydazzles)
23rd March – Manuela Trani (@nuvolinahandmade)
24th March – Jess Cunningham (@pastyourporchlight)
25th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
26th March – Jo Molony (@deerdarlingdolls)
27th March – Minki Kim (@zeriano)
28th March – Jooles Hill (@sewsweetviolet)
29th March – Sedef Imer (@downgrapevinelane)
30th March – Ayda Algin (@cafenohut)
31st March – Katy Livings (@katylivings)
1st April – Jodie Carlton (@jodiericrac)
2nd April – Melinda Hume (@mooseandbird)
3rd April – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)

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