New cutting table | Crochet makes

My incredibly talented husband built me a fantabulous cutting table and I cannot be happier with it!

It's based on these free DIY plans by Ana White - though hubby changed the dimensions for me to the precise size I needed for my space. I bought these white containers from Kmart Australia which are a steal at $4 each, and I love how neatly they fit into the shelves. There is more shelving and white containers on the window side of the table, and the opposite long side is empty in the middle so I can use it as a sewing desk when I'm quilting a big quilt. It's also on castors so I can move it out of the way if I need the floor space. This desk is seriously a dream come true - it's transformed the way I work already!

When I shared the pics above on Instagram yesterday it broke my all time record in terms of number of likes and comments received by a post! Everyone loved it! This morning I told my husband: 'Oh my goodness, they like what you've made more than they like what I make!". He replied: "It's understandable - they're only human." Oh he does have a cheeky wicked sense of humour sometimes - seriously though, he is a keeper!

To show you the other side of the room, I have a long desk that's a computer desk on one side  and sewing desk on the other. The desk and drawers are from Ikea, so are the glass cabinets on the other side of the room. This picture was taken a few months back whilst I was still using the desk for cutting too - the mat is now on my new cutting table in the middle of the room, and I've moved the sewing machine to the middle of that leg space on the right. So much room now for everything, and I can just scoot on my chair between my computer and sewing machine as I need. The chair is white leatherette from Freedom and about 2 years old, and still looks brand new! It's wearing so well even though I'm on it most of the day, every day. Any stains wipe clean and no sign of yellowing - highly recommend.

I love how white and clean the space is - and very minimalist (though of course it doesn't always look as tidy as this!). I realised that as a designer I work much better in a neat and clean environment with as few visual distractions as possible.  A big contrast to my old sewing room where the walls were covered in mini quilts. It was sad packing them up into storage but they simply had to go! The only decorations adorning my walls now are a framed watercolour picture and my Scandinavian style wall clock (both from Temple & Webster).

In other news, I realised there were a couple of crochet things I made recently that I haven't had a chance to share here on the blog. I discovered the whole world of crocheting with packaging twine, thanks to Wendy @sewknotcrochet on Instagram. I simply had to drop everything, go to the hardware store to buy some twine (cotton variety, not the rough jute variety), and make the same basket and bag that Wendy had made!

Wendy has now published the pattern for the basket which you can purchase from her Etsy store. The bag pattern is from a YouTube tutorial by Fiber Spider - I made my handles longer to use it as a market bag. The basket and the bag both cost just a few bucks each, and they feel so strong and sturdy, and I'm sure will last a long time.

Thanks for visiting today and hope this post gave you some sewing room and crochet inspiration! 

Aurifil Designer of the Month

I'm so proud to share the news that I am Aurifil's Designer of the Month for March 2019!

Each year Aurifil hand picks 12 designers for their prestigious 'Block of the Month' programme, with each designer coming up with an original block design following a central theme. This year's theme is 'Traditions' - we were asked to use red and white fabrics to create a block inspired by a tradition.

Where I live in Adelaide, South Australia, March is harvest time (think September for those of you from the northern hemisphere) and that’s the tradition that keeps us busy! As well as wine grapes a lot of different varieties of fruit and other crops are grown in the surrounding farmland – this region is often referred to as the ‘food bowl’ of Australia. March is vintage time for all the vineyards surrounding us and for a couple of weeks every year the town comes to life at night with most of the grape picking taking place at night. We are talking hundreds of thousands of tons of grapes, so it’s all hands to deck time! We ourselves have a 50 tree fruit orchard on our farm where we grow lots of different types of fruit. Our fruit picking starts in March and continues through till April and May. I designed this block to represent our newly adopted tradition of joining in harvest time with the rest of our town at this time of year.

The fabrics I have used in my block are from my 'Summer Blush' collection for Riley Blake Designs, which is  available in stores worldwide.

Visit the Aurifil blog where you can download the free pattern for my 'harvest' block (as well as all the other blocks published so far) where you will also find an in depth interview with me about my home life and my work! Here are some of the images from the interview.

There is also a challenge you can take part in to win a 12 large spool box of Aurifil thread - just make my 'harvest' block above and share it on social media.  I'm told only 25-30 people enter the challenge every month so the odds of winning this awesome prize are pretty great! You can find all the details on how to enter on Aurifil's blog. Good luck!

"Quilt Big" by Jemima Flendt + Giveaway!

Blog tour time again my dears! Have you heard? Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon has a new quilting book out and it's all kinds of awesome. All quilts in this book are made up of super-sized quilt blocks which is perfect for beginners and those after a fast finish.

I love the concept of this book so much - the blocks are all traditional quilt blocks but the extra large block sizes is what makes the book unique. There are some great block combinations and quilt layouts too. Oh she is so clever, that Jemima!

For my project I chose the Mosaic block and made four of them in the pink colorway from my Summer Blush collection for Riley Blake Designs. The size of this quilt is perfect as a picnic rug or a playmat for a little one.

Clearly someone didn't get the memo that she isn't allowed in my sewing room and had to get involved when I was taking these photos. Our ragdoll kitten Sugar, she is such a cheeky little minx!

Here are a few other projects in the book that have caught my eye - to give you a feel for what else you may expect to find inside the covers.

Now, how about a GIVEAWAY ? Courtesy of Aurifil, I have two spools of 50wt thread from Jemima's thread collection that will go to one lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment on the Mosaic quilt post on my Instagram feed. I will randomly pick the winner on Monday - good luck!

Here's the rest of the blog tour schedule if you would like to see more projects from this lovely book! Enjoy!

28th Jan · Jemima Flendt – @tiedwitharibbon –
29th Jan · Melissa LeRay – @ohhowsweetco –
30th Jan · Ange Hamilton – @alittlepatchwork –
31st Jan· Nadra Ridgeway – @ellisandhiggs –
1st Feb · Alyce Blyth – @blossomheartquilts –
4th Feb · Lauren Wright – @mollyandmama –
5th Feb · Aurifil – @aurifilthread –
6th Feb· Amanda Castor – @materialgirlquilts –
7th Feb · Samantha Dorn – @aqua_paisley –
8th Feb · Sharon Burgess – @lilabellelane –
11th Feb · Peta Peace – @shequiltsalot –
12th Feb · Elea Lutz – @elealutz –
13th Feb · Shannon Fraser – @shannonfraserdesigns –
14th Feb· Saija Kiiskinen – @saija_elina –
15th Feb · Sedef Imer – @downgrapevinelane –
18th Feb · Kate Basti – @katebasti –
19th Feb · Minki Kim – @zeriano –
20th Feb · Ayda Algin – @cafenohut –
21st Feb · Elizabeth Chappell – @quilterscandybox –

Bluebirds On Roses by Elea Lutz

One of my favourite fabric designers Elea Lutz has a new collection out and it's sweet as can be. Flowers, strawberries, bluebirds - and a lovely mix of blues, pinks, reds, and yellow. Sweetness indeed!

I made two projects with these fabrics. The first is an 'Ultimate Pincushion' - the pattern for which is in my book Zakka Home. This is a large pincushion at 6" square - I designed it extra big like that as I was tired of having a multitude of pincushions on my desk, for all the different types of pins I use (regular pins, fine patchwork pins, long quilting pins, decorative pins..)

The pattern in the book has a patchwork design for the pincushion top - I decided to leave out the patchwork so I could showcase this beautiful blue floral fabric. Isn't it lovely?

I also made a bag with a drawstring cover, which I will be using for my crochet WIPs. We've had a sweet little addition to our family recently - a ragdoll kitten called 'Sugar'. We are all absolutely smitten with her! She is a clever little minx, and boy does she love my yarn! I needed something to keep my crochet safe from those cute little fluffy paws.

I did not use a pattern for my bag - I kind of winged it as I went. But there is a good tutorial here to make a very similar one. My bag is a slightly bigger size.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I made with Bluebirds on Roses by Elea Lutz for Riley Blake Designs - this collection is now available in stores worldwide. Tomorrow I will run a giveaway for a bundle of these fabrics on my Instagram feed - keep an eye out if you would like to enter!

Free Pattern 'Reflections' + Newsletter!

Some of you may remember this old project from many years back.  It's a modern applique wall art, and I think it must be doing the rounds again on Pinterest as I've been getting requests for the pattern. I meant to publish it at the time, but never got around to it - better late than never, right?!

This was a quick morning's sew amidst a heap of fabric design deadlines at the time - I was very happy with how it turned out despite being put together so fast. My friend Amy of Nana Company was running a triangle-themed design challenge, and I was inspired by a modern art print I had seen recently, which would be perfect for the challenge. I decided to take the design in a slightly different direction - mountains reflecting over water, so I could use two different colours in graduated shades.

I named my wall art 'mountains-in-sunset-reflecting-on-water' (I told you I am terrible with picking names). Luckily my friend Xanthe from Wife-made came to my rescue again and suggested 'Reflections' instead. Much, much better.

I made this wall art using the fusible web applique technique, as it was for display purposes only so the edges wouldn't fray. It would also look great as a foundation paper pieced project if you are a fan of that method!

To download a free copy of the 'Reflections' pattern please subscribe to my newsletter.  By subscribing you can also keep up to date with my new pattern releases, receive exclusive discount codes and early bird shopping, and get notified of new blog posts and free patterns. I promise not to flood your inboxes with annoying daily emails - I hate getting those also. Thank you dear friends!

'Toy Chest' Cot Quilt Tutorial

I made this cot quilt and wrote the tutorial for the Penny Rose blog back in 2015 - before I was a fabric designer for Riley Blake! Someone recently reminded me of it and gosh I love it so much!

The collection I used for this cot quilt is called 'Toy Chest' - it is long out of print now but if you look around you may be still able to find it. I heard Fabric Pixie still has some in stock. It really is the perfect fabric for a cot quilt, with frolicking lambs, fluffy bunnies, and birds on see saws!

And here is the quilt I designed. I went for a simple design with a vintage feel, and no fiddly points so it's beginner friendly.

It has been quilted on a long arm machine, in a sweet floral swirly pattern.

Here are the steps to make this sweet quilt.

Toy Chest Cot Quilt Tutorial

Finished size 35" x 47"
All seams are 1/4"
RST = Right sides together

Fabric Requirements

All requirements based on fabric 42" wide (WOF)

Fat Quarter bundle of Toy Chest (patchwork centre and pieced border)
3/4 yard Toy Chest Little Lambs Pink (border)
1/2 yard Toy Chest Bunnies & Balloons Aqua (binding)
1/2 yard Ivory Solid Quilting Cotton (border)
41" x 53" batting
41" x 53" backing fabric (1.5 yard if using Toy Chest)

Cutting Instructions

From the Toy Chest fat quarter bundle
24 - 4.5" squares in mixed colours (A)
120 - 2.5" squares in mixed colours (B)
20 - 4 1/4" x 1 1/2" rectangles in mixed colours (C)
14 - 4 1/2 " x 1 1/2 " rectangles in mixed colours (D)

From ivory solid
2 - 24 1/2 " x 1 1/2 " strips (E)
2 - 38 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips (F)
2 - 40 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips (G)
2 - 30 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips (H)

From Toy Chest Little Lambs Pink
2 - 42 1/2" x 3" strips (I)
2 - 35 1/2" x 3" strips (J)

From Toy Chest Bunnies & Balloons Aqua
4 - 2 1/4" x WOF strips (for the binding)

Quilt Top Assembly

The central patchwork of this quilt consists of 24 blocks, laid out in a 4 x 6 grid. Each block consists of a large square surrounded on two sides by two small squares. These blocks are rotated throughout the patchwork to give an overall random effect.
Layout the fabric squares on a flat surface / design wall until you are happy with the configuration of the blocks and colour distribution. Pay attention to directional prints during layout and assembly, so you don't end up with upside-down ducks in the finished quilt.

To make one block, sew two B squares together, then place along one side of the A square RST, sew in place. Press seam towards the B squares. Sew the remaining three B squares together, place along the other edge of the sewn rectangle RST, carefully pinning and checking that the seam intersections match. Sew in place. Press the seam towards the B squares.

Make 24. Place the finished blocks together on a flat surface, rotating them as required. Sew the blocks together in rows, press seams in alternate directions, then sew the rows together, nesting the seams at the intersections. 

Sew an E strip along the top and bottom edges of the central patchwork. Then sew an F strip along the right and left edges.

Sew 10 C rectangles together for the strippy border. Make two. Sew each strippy border along the right and left edges.

Sew 7 D rectangles together. Make two. Sew along the top and bottom edges.

Sew a G strip along the right and left edges. Then sew an H strip along the top and bottom edges.

Sew an I strip along the right and left edges. Then sew a J strip along the top and bottom edges.

Your quilt top is now complete.


Make a quilt sandwich with your quilt top, batting, and backing, and quilt as desired. Join the binding strips using diagonal seams. Press the entire binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing. Starting half way down one side of the quilt, place the binding strip on the quilt, raw edge to raw edge. Sew it onto the quilt, mitreing the corners. Join the ends of the binding, fold it over to the back of the quilt, and slip stitch it by hand along the back edge of the binding.

And your sweet quilt is ready! Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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