'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)

Crossroads Quilt Along: Friendship Block

Welcome back to the Crossroads Quilt-along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop in benefit of March of Dimes! The third block pattern is now available on the Fat Quarter Shop blog, and it's the Friendship block. You can download the pattern here.

I loved this block - it's really great at showcasing your chosen fabric. In fact I would like a quilt made entirely of this block, showcasing each print in a fabric collection! I thought it may be hard to piece with so many points and flying geese, but if you starch your fabric well and take care to cut your pieces precisely it should be a breeze!

Hope you like my Friendship blocks! If you would like more inspiration check out the blogs / Instagram feeds of all the other designers participating in this quilt along!

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)

Getting my crochet on

I have been feeling pretty 'meh' this past week or so - maybe it's the changing seasons, or the insane workload of the last several months finally taking its toll. So my life has been pretty horizontal lately. I can't NOT craft even when I'm taking it easy, so it's been a few days of crochet, hot mugs of coffee, and Netflix marathons. In other words, homey bliss. And it reminded me how much I love (and miss) crochet!

Any crochet followers still hanging around here? I was wondering when I had last posted about crochet on the blog and I couldn't remember! So I looked it up - it's been almost exactly a year - yikes!! So today I have a few makes to share with you, and a little crochet inspiration too.

First up I'm going to show you my latest finish, a 'popcorn' cushion. I used this pattern from By Haafner - I modified it a little to add a few extra rows to make it big enough for a cushion (and instead of increasing the number of popcorn stitches all the way, I started reducing them after 5). It needed several blocking sessions to get the shape nice and square, but I am very happy with it now. So pink and squishy. I've also decided that single colour projects to showcase cool textures are pretty awesome.

For the back of the cushion I just made a great big granny square - kept going until it matched the front in size. The scallop edge is a fairly standard pattern (5dc in the same stitch, skip a stitch, 1sc in the next stitch, skip a stitch, 5dc in the same stitch, etc. etc.). Using 8 ply / DK weight yarn this cushion finishes at 14" square.

I also made some super-quick coasters, and since I'm posting about crochet I am going to show you an extra large pear I made a few weeks ago -it turned out almost as big as Alice's head! The cute mugs in the coaster photo are from Spotlight.

If you are following me on Pinterest you may have noticed the obscene number of crochet projects I have been pinning lately. So I thought it might be nice to share with you some crochet inspiration and do a little feature on three of my favourite crochet blogs! If you don't currently crochet, maybe this will give you the push you need to learn?

Cherry Heart - Sandra Paul

First up is the work of lovely Sandra from Cherry Heart. Her blog is one of my original crochet obsessions. I love her colour combinations and clever patterns, she has some pretty cool tutorials too! Everything you see below - I NEED to make.

Pink Milk - Heather Collins

Second up is a blogger who not only makes divine crochet stuff but also writes so well - her posts about the daily happenings in her life are so much fun to read. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Heather from Pink Milk (who is just about to open a yarn shop of the same name too - so jealous). Those pastels!!!

Coco Rose Diaries - Vanessa Harvey

Sadly for us, Vanessa is no longer blogging, but she has left her blog up and running so we can continue to enjoy all her beautiful works. And there is a LOT. When I look at my early crochet pins on Pinterest so many of them are from her blog - and I had no idea at the time! These ones below are some of my favourites. See that last blanket? I started making that yesterday (it's an Alicia Paulson pattern called 'Sunshine Day').

ps - I blame Heather entirely for the massive box of pastel Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that's about to land on my doorstep any day now. I hope hubby's not at home when the postman brings it.

pps - in for a penny, in for a pound, I also bought a set of pink Tulip Etimo Rose hooks! Eep!

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