Sunday, 8 November 2015


The first fabric I ever fell madly in love with and had to own was created by the Queen of Fabric herself Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom fame. I think her collections have spoken to me on every level and she can really be credited for cementing my love of beautiful fabrics and bold pattern and colour.

Over the years I have played with most of her beautiful ranges and each one has been a pure delight (if only my photography skills at the very beginning did it any justice)

So, as I am sure you can imagine, when Jennifer herself gave me the opportunity to work on our new line Nostalgia before it was released my heart skipped a beat and the crazy dancing ensued!

Nostalgia was every bit as beautiful in the flesh as I knew it would be. The tones are not standard Paganelli fare but they still have the special something which makes all her fabric stand out from the crowd. The patterns are beautiful and it has a romantic quality which can still be used in a modern way, so it is very very versatile.

Doesn't it make you want to wrap yourself up in it and roll around for a while? Beautiful.

The minute it arrived I knew I needed to make a quilt, now I have NEVER used a quilting pattern, I am more of a wing it kind of girl but in this case I wanted to make sure I got it right. Enter the Fat Quarter Fizz Pattern (free to download) from Fat Quarter Shop. I loved that it gave me the chance to keep the patterns large but still had interest. I think it suited her fabric perfectly. I used every single fabric in the range and it shows them off so very well both as a cohesive collection and as individual prints

Look at those colours - I die!!

Once finished I sent to Elaine at Quilting in the Vines to be long arm quilted - we chose a floral pattern to tie in with my favorite folksy print in the range. Binding was done in a simple mint print I had in my stash.

I took her down to my local beach at Sunset - my 3 little people helped with the photos hence the fingers and toes. This was the very first time I had ever taken a quilt out into the wild to photograph and I learnt so much. My head is already full of ways to make it better if I ever get this opportunity again!

So here she is all finished and lovely

My eldest daughter Abby agreed to be in the photos with minimal bribery - happy days!

Just as we were leaving I shot this last pic and I think it is my favourite too - the sun going down on Port Willunga Beach is always a beautiful sight.

So that is my journey with Nostalgia so far, I say so far because I still have other smaller things to show you soon.

Oh and Jennifer liked so much I got to be a guest on her blog - I think she heard me yelling from all the way here in Australia!

Such a great experience and next time I will be even better!


ps Nostalgia is sold out at factory level but you can still get it in quilt shops. In Australia try here and here

pps I am ticking this off my bucket list for now but I am not finished yet - Jennifer  I have so much more to show you about who I am as a maker :-)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

the business bucket list

Its Bite the Bullet time!

Late last year I wrote a business bucket list. It was the list of goals I felt I wanted to achieve professionally, the things I thought I could measure success on. It has sat there looking at me for some time now and invaded many of my nightime thoughts. It is hard with what I do to quantify success. It isnt just about how much money I make, it is more than that. I get satisfaction from making people happy. I feel successful when people I admire take the time to acknowledge what I do and who I stand for. I feel joy when I collaborate with like minded people.

if only all buckets could be this pretty! - image courtesy of pinterest

It has helped me through all those times that I just don't feel I fit in. I am by no means a traditional quilter and I don't choose to be an overly modern one either. I don't know if I see a future in designing fabric lines or publishing patterns, although I have learnt to never say never if opportunity arises. I just want to play with pretty fabric. Full stop. And I want people to send me pretty fabric too. And then I want people to buy the things I make from said pretty fabric and feel an incredible sense of joy when they are holding it in their hands. It seems so simple, no? Yet quantifying that in a world of bottom lines is not always easy. I feel I have a great little niche and I know I can push myself further to achieve even more of my goals. I am a fabric lover who wants everyone to love fabric too. Not just the makers. I want someone who would never ever have even previously considered buying handmade to stop and fall in love and have to have one of my pieces in their homes. And, lets be honest I want to achieve a bit of fame and maybe a touch of world domination along the way. Sometimes I lose my way a bit and end up stressing over the minute details, comparing my success to others. And yes in reality I know that I cant but when your goals are murkier than most it becomes easy to attach yourself to the vision of others. That is why I wrote them down and that is why I am going to share them with all of you and be more accountable for them.

And look at that I have already crossed one off, guess I am on my way hahahaha

So tell me what you think, do you have a bucket list too? If so tell me all about it!

Or can you help me achieve mine, I am open to suggestions.

xx Sarah

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Who is me?

I wrote this introduction earlier this year for a Love Local talk hosted by the lovely Claire of Project Work Life fame. I remain grateful that she encouraged me to step out and talk about my thing. I credit most of my bravery since to her and the safe space she created for me that afternoon.

So, who is me?

My name is Sarah and I am so close to 38 I can no longer deny that 40 is looming. I live on the Fleurieu Peninsula with my husband Peter and 3 children Abby (14), Cooper (9) and Hannah (7). We recently added Daisy the labrador to the family which, while being an endless source of amusement for us, has not gone well with our 2 spoilt cats Superman and Lilypilly. My family have had their fair share of bumps in the road which will weave its way through this blog no doubt but we get through the day mostly with grace and humour. I say mostly because bribery also has a significant role to play.

I am the proud owner of Piccolo Studio, which I started in January 2014. I make anything to do with beautiful fabric - quilts, journals, cushions, pillows, buntings etc. I work mainly to custom order at the moment and when I can I fill my etsy store with one off pieces. But what I do is more about my passions than my makings because I think they are the reason I wake up every morning and can't think of any other way I would rather spend my day.

I am passionate about
- handmade
- about creating beautiful spaces for children that reflect them and their loves
- about working with fabric - a tangible thing that holds memory, emotion, feeling. Creating things you can wrap yourself or your loved ones up in. Beautiful things.
- Forever pieces - not buying something you will throw out in 1 year because it was poor quality, doesnt match anymore, not used etc. I want everyone to have pieces in their home they love every time they look at them.
- to that end I am passionate about getting rid of the throwaway and licensed toy mindset. I love a world filled with handmade dolls, quilts, cushions and things you cherish.

And there is more, so much more I have to tell you all yet. But the coffee cup is empty and my sewing machine beckons.

Oh hang on, one more thing. I have an insane love of quotes and memes - funny, poignant,about coffee - they appear in my life frequently. This is my current favourite and has been printed out for my sewing room wall.

xx Sarah

Quote image courtesy of Kat Kinnie

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A new day and a new blog

Nerves Nerves Nerves!

Building a blog for Piccolo has been on my to do list for over 12 months. You know THAT to do list. The one that grows and grows and never ever gets crossed off.

I have been angry at myself though for not starting one because in order for me to complete my Business Bucket List (and yes that is a thing as you will all eventually see!) I need to have a blog. Eventually fear of starting something new has given way to basic necessity - hopefully this will be the most important part of my new direction. Although it isnt really a new direction, I've honestly been building up to this point for some time - wanting and needing more from my business. I am so lucky to have a passion for what I do but amongst all the pretty I really miss words. I want to talk to people, and quietly I am hoping someone out there will talk back!

So here she is - a new space that is all mine, to make my own and to help me reach out more into the very giant world that is handmade and be inspired by the incredible talent I find along the way.

I've got this!

xx Sarah
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