'Perfectly Pretty Patchwork' Book Tour

Kristyne Czepuryk's beautiful blog Pretty By Hand was one of the first blogs that inspired me to buy my first sewing machine and learn to sew, back in 2011. Fast forward almost 10 years and here I am to show you her wonderful new book 'Perfectly Pretty Patchwork' and share what I made from it!

The book is full of beautiful patchwork projects ranging from the smallest (pincushions) to the biggest (bed size quilts). It's full of inspiring fabric selections and photography, and there's something in it for everyone. Now, for me, I have a real soft spot for Dresdens, so when I saw that blue Dresden on the cover of the book I knew immediately that's what I had to make.

For the Dresden Plate I used my Summer Blush fabrics, with only one other print, a pink mini floral, from my Sweet Prairie collection. The low volume background print is from one of Amy Sinibaldi's early lines. I turned my project into a trivet , by machine quilting the background in a fan pattern, and hand quilting the edge with DMC perle floss. Making this trivet was truly therapy for my soul - like most people around the world I'm struggling with all the bad news relating to COVID 19 and the massive toll it's having on everyone's lives. It's truly surrreal, and sewing really helps me to keep my anxiety in check and do something productive whilst we are in lock down.

Hope you are all doing well and keeping safe, dear friends - well as much as any of us really can at a time like this... At least we have sewing to help keep us sane in isolation, that's one blessing! Here is a list of all the other makers taking part in the book tour - go check them out and see some other projects from this beautiful book!

New Quilt Pattern: 'Pinwheel Duet'

It's release day for my new quilt pattern, 'Pinwheel Duet'!

Does this pattern look a little familiar to you? Well, those of you who have been following me for a while may remember it from here - I originally designed it in 2016 as part of a fabric club promotion I did with Westwood Acres. Over the years I got so many requests to share the pattern, I finally decided to publish it (with the fabric shop's blessing of course).

This pattern may look complicated, but it includes a single 6" block (see pic above), rotated and repeated throughout the quilt to achieve a double pinwheel effect. The fabrics I've used for the quilt top are mostly my Rhapsody fabrics, with the exception of the navy floral which is from an old Lori Holt collection.

The pattern includes two size options - baby size and throw size.  You can find it in my Etsy shop and with a 25% EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT till Monday!

In other news, my pillow for the 'Pillow Talk - Pillow Fight' promotion hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop has now made it to the semi finals! Thank  you for everyone who voted for me in the last round! Here are all the semi finalists - vote for your favourite pillow to win a pillow kit PLUS a charm pack of Laundry Basket Favourites!


Sweet Lily Cushion | Bookmark Mania !

It's been over 6 months since my mum passed away, but there are days when it feels like it was only yesterday. She's been in my thoughts a lot lately so I decided to make a special pillow in her memory featuring lilies - they were her favourite flower...

This is my modern take on the more traditional lily quilt blocks you may have seen before. For the fabrics I used pinks from my own Rhapsody collection for Riley Blake, and the greens are from a Vanessa Goertzen line.

The PDF pattern is now in my shop! For those of you who prefer paper patterns they are on their way from my distributor and I will list them as soon as they arrive. If you would like to see all the alternative colour schemes that my very clever pattern testers used in their own versions of this cushion, pop over to my Instagram post from a few days ago. I like to think my mum is watching from up above and smiling at all these lovely cushions being made in her memory - it's quite a comforting thought. <3

Those following me on Instagram would also have seen that I made some more of my incredibly popular sewing machine bookmarks that I shared back in January - this time I made them in pink and white as well as aqua. They sold out in MINUTES - sorry if you were trying to grab one and weren't fast enough! I have added some more stock since, and have more on the way, so you can grab one in my shop - available in pink, aqua, white, and black. As a book loving sewist I'm absolutely delighted by how much love these sweet bookmarks have received!

Also in the shop you can find my bookmarks with charm initials - a few letters have sold out but most are still available.

In other news, I have a new quilt pattern dropping next week, so get ready! It's currently with my pattern testers but here's a sneak peek for you...

Pillow Fight Time !

Today I'm joining the 'Pillow Talk Pillow Fight' event being hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop! This is a super fun event with selected designers making pillows from Edyta Sitar's new book 'Pillow Talk:  25 Lovely Pillows for Your Home Sweet Home', and then going head to head with another designer, with readers voting on their favourite pillows each week.

We are now in round 6 of the event in which I'm going head to head with my fellow Riley Blake designer Bev from Flamingo Toes. For my entry I made the Mother's Day pillow from the book. This was really calling my name, and I wanted to see how it would look in my own fabrics.

I've used a mixture of my last two collections for Riley Blake - Rhapsody and Summer Blush. I'm really pleased with how well they go together and how the colours 'pop'. I free motion quilted the pillow top on my Brother Luminaire - still finding FMQ a bit nerve wracking but the more I do it, the easier it gets. For the applique, I followed Edyta's advice in the book and used invisible thread (a clear polyester monofilament - available at most big sewing stores). Generally speaking I would never use a polyester thread, but I've got to say, it was a revelation. With so many different colours on the pillow front, it was great not to have to change the top thread every few minutes as I moved from one shape to the next. I also quilted the pillow with the invisible thread, so the quilting does not detract from the pretty flowers!

Would you like to win a prize? If so, please visit the Fat Quarter Shop blog to see Bev's gorgeous pillow too, and then you can VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE PILLOW! The winner from this round will go head to head with the other quarter final winners, as you can see in the table below, until an overall champion is declared! Fat Quarter Shop are giving away prizes each week to one lucky voter, so get clicking.
Thank you so much for visiting dear friends, I will be back soon with two new patterns which are both in the testing phase. Can't wait to show you!

Butterfly Heart Wall Art Tutorial

Today I'm back as a guest blogger on my friend and fellow Riley Blake fabric designer Amy Smart's blog Diary of A Quilter, where I'm sharing a tutorial to make this sweet butterfly wall art!

There is something about butterflies that are just so cheerful, don't you think? I loved making them in all these mixed colours, using some of my favourite fabric prints. The butterflies are backed with felt, and the fusible web used to adhere them to the felt adds an additional layer of stiffness. So they are quite durable, and stand off the quilted the background so the finished art has a 3-D feel to it. Laying them out in a heart shape like this was inspired by a greeting card - I'm so happy with the ombre rainbow effect.

You can find the tutorial on Amy's blog - including the templates, positioning guides for the butterflies, and a step by step tutorial with photos.

Please tag me or email me if you make this wall art, I would love to see your finished creations!

Feeling Blue...

... in more ways than one! The new year brought with it a rejuvenated sense of sewing mojo, for which I've been incredibly grateful. Truth be told I had been finding it quite hard to sew since losing my mum a few months back, so it's been great being back at the sewing machine for long stretches of time and actually enjoying it. I also did manage to get an incredible amount of design work done over the last several months, both in the way of new fabrics and some cool new patterns - lots to look forward to in 2020!

My first sew for the new year was a blue version of my Desert Windmill cushion, which is one of my oldest patterns, dating back to 2015. The original version (below) was pink, and I wanted to see how it would look in a different colourway. The blue prints from Rhapsody worked pretty well! You can find the cushion pattern here, there is also a matching quilt pattern.

The second reason I've been 'feeling blue' is because of the horrific bushfires in every state in Australia - the whole continent is literally on fire!! The beautiful illustration below is from @melanippe_art on IG - it's so beautiful and sad at the same time. We are incredibly thankful that there have been no fires immediately near where we live in South Australia, so we have been safe so far - and in a bit of a blissful ignorance too if I'm honest. But last night the wind changed direction and the smoke from the bushfires on Kangaroo Island (over 100 km away as the crow flies) descended on our area. Oh boy. We woke up coughing at 2 am with the bedroom full of thick, rancid smoke. After running around and ascertaining the house wasn't on fire we hit the internet to discover where the smoke was coming from. It was suffocating, and we were SO far away - I can't even imagine how bad it must have been in the actual fire zones!

To do my little part for the bushfire relief and recovery effort I've made personal donations to the following two organisations. There are so many different fund raising efforts all over Facebook / the internet right now, and it's hard to know which ones would be the best to support!  I've had a lot of followers from overseas contact me asking where they should donate to, so I wanted to share these links with anyone else who may also find them useful. There are obviously many other worthy relief efforts out there, these are the two I have chosen.

Red Cross Australia (disaster relief & recovery fund) ----> donate here
WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue (for animals / wildlife) ---> donate here

Also as every little helps, I made some silver plated bookmarks with those cute sewing machine charms from my last post, as well as some initial charms I had. I've popped them all in the shop - I will be donating all proceeds from the sales of these to Red Cross Australia. These were made following a tutorial from An Enchanted Life blog.

Sewing machine charms ----> buy here
Initial charms ----> buy here

Till next time, dear friends, and please keep Australia in your thoughts and pray for some rain!

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