'Rainbow Swirl' Mini Quilt in Rhapsody

Gosh, it's been an absolute age since I blogged a project! I've been busy with magazine commissions and some other secret sewing, as well as putting the finishing touches to a new collection coming out in 2020. Gone are the days when I could just sit down and sew something on a whim... just because. I guess that's the price you pay when your one-time hobby turns into a full time career - business commitments and design deadlines take over, and there is literally ZERO time for leisurely sewing - not that I'm complaining!  But anyway, I finally have a project that I can share with you, and it feels so good!


My Rhapsody bolts arrived a while back and I got to cutting some Fat Quarter and Fat 8th bundles straight away (which you can find in my Etsy shop for a fabulous price by the way - including free delivery within Australia). My cutting table was so cheerful that I was inspired to remake one of my oldest patterns: my 'Rainbow Swirl' mini quilt. And because I know you will ask, the little sewing machine charm is from Etsy. You can also get the Rainbow Swirl pattern here.


I pieced this mini on my Brother Luminaire (aka 'Lumy'), and quilted in 50wt Aurifil thread in a spiral fashion using straight lines - just following the pattern really. I love it so much - and my little quilt-holder-in-training did such a good job too, don't you think?


Oh my goodness, my kids are getting so big - STOP GROWING! As you can tell from the pics we are in the middle of summer here in South Australia, where Christmas day is typically 40C and many people celebrate it on the beach (still cray cray to us Brits, even though we've been here 10 years now!). Anyway I would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and happy new year (and new decade!). As a final note, I wanted to share my 2019 #bestnine on Instagram - so many great quilty memories here!

See you next year!

Backyard Chicks QAL - Week 6 (FINISH)

It's the last week of the Backyard Chicks QAL! 

Wow, didn't the last five weeks just fly by?! I blinked and this QAL is almost over already. I've loved seeing all the finished quilt tops this week - so many fabulous finishes and such a lovely array of fabric choices.

The winner of the week 5 prize is @offthepincushion! Congratulations - please email me at sedef@downgrapevinelane.com (or DM me on Instagram) to arrange delivery of your prize.

In this last week of the quilt along we will be finishing our quilts, by quilting and binding them. So there's quite a lot to do! I know some of you prefer to send your quilts to a long armer for the quilting process (as I do from time to time) so please do share your quilts on Instagram once you get them back - I would love to see everyone's finished quilts! 

Week 6

  • Finish your quilt top if you haven't already done so.
  • Piece your backing, following the pattern instructions, and make a quilt sandwich
  • Quilt as desired - I straight quilted mine for a superfast finish. Trim off excess fabric.
  • Bind your quilt, following your preferred binding method. Remember that the cutting instructions are for a binding that is 2 1/4" wide - if you prefer to have a wider binding cut your strips accordingly. 
  • Share your finished quilts on Instagram tagging them with #backyardchicksQAL, and you may win the grand prize!!

Grand Prize:

On Sunday evening I will pick a winner from all the finished quilts on the Instagram hashtag #backyardchicksQAL. The winner will receive:
  • Bundle of 5 fat quarters of quilting fabric (from my own fabric collections)
  • A Zakka notion set carefully curated by me
  • 5 patterns of your choice from my pattern collection
Thank you for joining me in this fun quilt along, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Please do come and join me again at my next QAL, which I will be announcing soon!

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Backyard Chicks Quilt Along Details

Dates: 16 September - 27 October 2019 (6 weeks)
Block size: 10" finished
Finished quilt size: 60" x 80" (throw)
Experience level: Beginner

    Schedule

    Week 1 - Planning, fabric selection, cutting
    Week 2 - Make 16 blocks 
    Week 3 - Make 16 blocks
    Week 4 - Make 16 blocks
    Week 5 - Sew the quilt top together (+ catch up!)
    Week 6 - Quilting and binding

    Materials

    Here are the fabric requirements for the quilt:
    You will also need the pattern!

    Follow Along

    • You can follow the QAL via my Instagram account here. Use the hashtag #backyardchicksQAL to post pictures of your progress and to see how others' quilts are coming along.
    • Sign up to the weekly QAL emails here
    • I will share a new blog post every Monday so feel free to check my blog each week for updates. 

    Backyard Chicks QAL - Week 5

    It's Week 5 of the Backyard Chicks QAL! 

    We are almost at the end of this quilt-along! This week we are sewing our quilt top together. Congratulations to all of you who have finished all their blocks last week. If you haven't, hopefully you can finish them all this week, and finish sewing your quilt top also.

    The winner of the week 4 prize is @lmm3417! Congratulations Lisa - please email me at sedef@downgrapevinelane.com (or DM me on Instagram) to arrange delivery of your prize.

    Week 5

    • Catch up - finish all blocks! You should now have all 48 blocks finished (for throw size). If you fell behind go ahead and sew those final blocks up now.
    • Plan final block placements, if you haven't already done so. You can download the printable colouring page if you would like to plan on paper rather than on a design wall / floor. Make sure you follow the quilt diagram in the pattern carefully to make sure all blocks are oriented correctly.
    • Sew the quilt top together. Sew the blocks in each row together, pressing seams in alternating directions, and then sew the rows together. Your quilt top is ready!
    • Next week will be a busy week with quilting and binding, so if you are an overachiever feel free to go ahead and get a head start on the quilting! Remember, your quilt needs to be finished by the last day of the QAL (27 October) to be in the running for the grand prize. 
    • Share your finished quilt top (or any other progress) on Instagram tagging them with #backyardchicksQAL, if you want to be in the running for this week's prize! 

    This week's prize:

    On Sunday evening I will randomly pick a winner from all the entries on the Instagram hashtag #backyardchicksQAL. The winner will receive:
    • 3 fat quarters of quilting fabric (from my own fabric collections)
    Next week is the last week of the QAL where we will be finishing our quilts. It's going to be a busy week! Looking forward to seeing everyone's finished quilts.

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    Backyard Chicks Quilt Along Details

    Dates: 16 September - 27 October 2019 (6 weeks)
    Block size: 10" finished
    Finished quilt size: 60" x 80" (throw)
    Experience level: Beginner

      Schedule

      Week 1 - Planning, fabric selection, cutting
      Week 2 - Make 16 blocks 
      Week 3 - Make 16 blocks
      Week 4 - Make 16 blocks
      Week 5 - Sew the quilt top together (+ catch up!)
      Week 6 - Quilting and binding

      Materials

      Here are the fabric requirements for the quilt:
      You will also need the pattern!

      Follow Along

      • You can follow the QAL via my Instagram account here. Use the hashtag #backyardchicksQAL to post pictures of your progress and to see how others' quilts are coming along.
      • Sign up to the weekly QAL emails here
      • I will share a new blog post every Monday so feel free to check my blog each week for updates. 

      Backyard Chicks QAL - Week 4

      It's Week 4 of the Backyard Chicks QAL! 

      We are more than halfway in this quilt along already! This week we will finish making our quilt blocks. I have been enjoying seeing everyone's blocks on Instagram - so many different colour and fabric choices!

      The winner of the week 3 prize is @sewsayshelley! Congratulations - please email me at sedef@downgrapevinelane.com (or DM me on Instagram) to arrange delivery of your prize.

      Week 4

      • Make 16 blocks. This week we are making our final 16 blocks. Same as in the previous weeks, we are using four different fabrics, 4 blocks from each fabric. 
      • Finish all blocks! You should now have all 48 blocks finished (for throw size). If you fell behind hopefully you can put in some extra time this week to finish them all as next week we will be sewing our quilt top together.
      • Share your blocks on Instagram tagging them with #backyardchicksQAL, if you want to be in the running for this week's prize! You can share your photos on Facebook with the same hashtag if you wish, but I will only be selecting winners from Instagram. Reminder - I pick an account randomly from Instagram from everyone who posted their progress that week, regardless of whether you have completed the week's tasks or not! So feel free to post any and all progress you make, even if you are just joining the QAL for instance, and you will still be in the running for that week's prize. However to qualify for the grand prize at the end you will need to have finished and bound your quilt by the finish date of the QAL, which is 27 October. 

      This week's prize:

      On Sunday evening I will randomly pick a winner from all the entries on the Instagram hashtag #backyardchicksQAL. The winner will receive:
      • 3 fat quarters of quilting fabric (from my own fabric collections)
      See you back here next week, below is a recap of all the details for the QAL!

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Backyard Chicks Quilt Along Details

      Dates: 16 September - 27 October 2019 (6 weeks)
      Block size: 10" finished
      Finished quilt size: 60" x 80" (throw)
      Experience level: Beginner

        Schedule

        Week 1 - Planning, fabric selection, cutting
        Week 2 - Make 16 blocks 
        Week 3 - Make 16 blocks
        Week 4 - Make 16 blocks
        Week 5 - Sew the quilt top together (+ catch up!)
        Week 6 - Quilting and binding

        Materials

        Here are the fabric requirements for the quilt:
        You will also need the pattern!

        Follow Along

        • You can follow the QAL via my Instagram account here. Use the hashtag #backyardchicksQAL to post pictures of your progress and to see how others' quilts are coming along.
        • Sign up to the weekly QAL emails here
        • I will share a new blog post every Monday so feel free to check my blog each week for updates. 

        'Happy Sewing' Cushion & Mini Quilt Pattern

        I'm thrilled to introduce you to my first pattern designed in partnership with Brother Australia - the 'Happy Sewing' Cushion!


        This cushion finishes at 20" and the technique used for the sewing machine and notion shapes is raw edge appliqué. The pattern also includes alternative instructions to finish as a mini quilt. I have used my Rhapsody fabrics for the cushion above.

        The pattern is now available as an instant PDF download in my shop - with a special introductory offer (20% off) till the weekend! Paper patterns will be available soon also.


        I've made a second version of the cushion too, using pastel shades this time, and finished it with pompom trim. Love this colour combo!

        As a special bonus, Brother Scan N Cut users can download the appliqué template files and Brother Innovis XP1 'Luminaire' users can download the stitch-lines as embroidery files, so they can sew the shapes on to the background with a single press of a button! The links to download the files are included in the pattern.


        In case you were wondering, the sewing machine in this cushion is my Luminaire of course - or 'Lumy' as I call it.  Here it is in my sewing room, set up in quilting mode with the quilting extension table attached. The combined quilting / embroidery functionality of Lumy has absolutely transformed my work and opened new horizons in terms of design possibilities. Lots of exciting things to come!

        Rainy Day Sewing Book Tour

        Guys! Have you heard? Amy Sinibaldi (Nana Company) and Kristyne Czepuryk (Pretty by Hand) have a new book out, published by Tuva Publishing. And it's good. Like really, really good. Makes-me-green-with-envy-as-a-fellow-author good. Uniquely clever projects, beautiful fabric selections, and photography to die for. They've really knocked it out of the park!


        I struggled to pick a project for the book tour (today is my day but I think you figured that out already!) It's the kind of book that makes you want to make everything in it. In the end I settled on the doll quilt / mattress / pillow combo. It's my daughter's 7th birthday today, and I thought she would appreciate a new bedding set for her Ikea doll's bed.



        Most of the fabrics I used are from Amy's fabric collections, with the deep pink foliage print from my Rhapsody collection for contrast. The doll and bunny are from the retail chain Mamas & Papas. I really enjoyed making this project - and it was a huge hit with the birthday girl also.


        Today also happens to be the last day of the book tour! To mark the occasion I have an extra copy of the book to share with you, courtesy of Tuva Publishing. Go to my Instagram for a chance to win! Here are the other makers who took part in the tour - check out their IG feeds or #rainydaysewingbooktour to see their projects. Thanks for visiting today!


        Backyard Chicks QAL - Week 3

        It's Week 3 of the Backyard Chicks QAL!

        It's been such fun seeing everyone's first blocks on Instagram - I'm loving the huge range of styles and fabrics everyone's gone for. And some of you have started laying out those first blocks on a design wall already, so we can begin to see what the finished quilts will look like. Exciting stuff!

        The winner of the week 2 prize is @sewlindini! Who also pointed out that she could see cats in her quilt instead of chickens - once you see it, you can't unsee it ! :D Congratulations @sewlindini - please email me at sedef@downgrapevinelane.com (or DM me on Instagram) to arrange delivery of your prize.

        Week 3

        • Catch up with cutting / making the week 2 blocks. It's not too late to join in on the sew along, especially once you see what a fast sew the blocks are! To give you an idea I made the whole throw size quilt top in less than 2 days (including cutting) so don't fret if you haven't had a chance to start yet or fell behind last week! Plenty of time to catch up.
        • Make 16 blocks. This week we are making 16 blocks again, using four different fabrics, 4 blocks from each fabric. Remember that this is for the throw size quilt - if you are making the baby or bed size you will need to make fewer or more blocks each week.
        • Share your blocks on Instagram tagging them with #backyardchicksQAL, if you want to be in the running for this week's prize! You can share your photos on Facebook with the same hashtag if you wish, but I will only be selecting winners from Instagram. One clarification on prizes - I pick an account randomly from Instagram from among those who posted that week, regardless of whether you have completed the week's tasks or not! So feel free to post any and all progress you make, even if you are just joining the QAL for instance, and you will still be in the running for that week's prize. However to qualify for the grand prize at the end you will need to have finished and bound your quilt by the finish date of the QAL, which is 27 October. 

        This week's prize:

        On Sunday evening I will randomly pick a winner from all the entries on the Instagram hashtag #backyardchicksQAL. The winner will receive:
        • 3 fat quarters of quilting fabric (from my own fabric collections)
        See you back here next week, below is a recap of all the details for the QAL!

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Backyard Chicks Quilt Along Details

        Dates: 16 September - 27 October 2019 (6 weeks)
        Block size: 10" finished
        Finished quilt size: 60" x 80" (throw)
        Experience level: Beginner

          Schedule

          Week 1 - Planning, fabric selection, cutting
          Week 2 - Make 16 blocks 
          Week 3 - Make 16 blocks
          Week 4 - Make 16 blocks
          Week 5 - Sew the quilt top together (+ catch up!)
          Week 6 - Quilting and binding

          Materials

          Here are the fabric requirements for the quilt:
          You will also need the pattern!

          Follow Along

          • You can follow the QAL via my Instagram account here. Use the hashtag #backyardchicksQAL to post pictures of your progress and to see how others' quilts are coming along.
          • Sign up to the weekly QAL emails here
          • I will share a new blog post every Monday so feel free to check my blog each week for updates. 

          Needle Card Tutorial

          Today I'm a guest blogger on fellow Riley Blake designer Amy Smart's blog Diary of A Quilter, where I'm sharing a tutorial to make fabric covered greeting / needle cards!


          Although sewing is a solitary hobby, most of us are part of a sewing circle of friends, be it virtual or real. We take part in swaps, gift or sell our hand-made items, share our fabric stash with friends, and generally form a social group around this beautiful hobby of ours. And there are so many occasions when you are sending something to someone where you want to include a special card with some 'extras' - a cute pin or two or some buttons perhaps. This fabric covered needle card is just the ticket!


          There is a 'Thank You' message on the inside cover and a cute sewing drawing on the other side. There is room to write your personal message also.

          You can find the free tutorial to make these cards on Amy's Blog. And because I know you will be asking, the fabrics I've used in this post are mostly rare out of print fabrics, which I have been collecting for years and use very sparingly... I love the sweet colours and floral / cherry designs!


          Thanks for visiting today and if you make these cards please tag me @downgrapevinelane on Facebook or Instagram as I would love to see them. Happy sewing!

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