Monday, 28 March 2016

Modern HST Quiltalong - the first quarter!

Happy Easter!

I hope you all had a great break from the hustle and bustle of life and managed to spend the holiday break doing the things that made you happy. We had a very necessary quiet one, a chance to recharge our batteries is always appreciated as usually our week is so full of appointments, sports and life in general. Our eldest, Miss Abby, had an amazing opportunity to go on a cruise with her Bestie and her family. The rest of us bunkered down at home and ventured out into the world as little as possible. So much sleep, laughter, chocolate and coffee was had - just what (my) doctor ordered!

And the highlight of it all was the ability to sit in front of the sewing machine frequently. I am lucky my kids are getting old enough to give me pretty decent stints in front of the machine and so I got a good chance to play. This weekend was not about orders or things I knew how to make but stepping out of my comfort zone and improving my skills as a maker. Some things worked and some things went straight to the bin with a filthy look, the journey of a creative can be a bumpy yet fulfilling one.

One of the things I was most excited about was catching up on my first ever quiltalong! I have not been brave enough to try one yet but something grabbed me this year and I realised I needed to just go with it! The lovely Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts fame started a modern quiltalong based on the half square triangle and I decided to jump in and see how I went. I have a lot of learning to do on this journey but I am managing not to embarass myself completely! Alyce has said the blocks will get harder so I am not at bragging stage yet but I think the resulting quilt is going to be pretty cool when it is finished, it helps that the fabric is by one of my absolute faves Bari J. Her range Anna Elise was gifted to me by her so it is precious, I knew I had to use it for something like this so I could enjoy the process every step of the way.

Now things I have learnt so far as we wrap up the first quarter:
- always make sure your fabrics are right sides together when you sew them, and check every time. Otherwise you end up with a lot of pretty fabric in the bin ESPECIALLY if you wait until it is all cut and being ironed before you notice. This may have happened to me **cough cough** once or twice (ok 3 times but who is counting)
- invest in a sharp rotary cutter blade and a good ruler, they are things you cant eke out to save money. Trust me.
- always use fabric you love, it makes the finished product so much more satisfying

And now the first quarter is finished and I have 6 blocks I would never have made otherwise! I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. Anyone who wants to join in can find all of Alyce's tutorials here - I recommend giving it a go!

Don't they look pretty!

xxx Sarah

Friday, 25 March 2016

Emmy's nursery - Brambleberry Ridge

There is nothing I love more than getting a message from a pregnant mama asking me to help her create her nursery. I know a lot of people don't rate the importance of decorating a baby's room but in my mind it is more than just a bit of pretty. A nursery doesn't need to cost thousands of dollars, it isn't about magazine spreads and Instagram posts. It is a personal connection to your baby and a place you are allowed to have hopes, dreams, fears and unbridled excitement. After all this is the place that is soon to be filled in a very big way by a tiny little person that will change the course of your whole life. Never underestimate the emotional importance of a nursery and what it means every time you run your hands along the edge of that cot in quiet reflection.

Renee contacted me last year about creating a nursery set for her daughter, Emmy. She knew exactly what she wanted for the cot - a quilt, apple pie and personalised pillow in the divine Brambleberry Ridge fabric range. Pink, mint and gold have definitely been the most popular colours I have worked with in the past 12 months and it really is no surprise. Soft, delicate and pretty it creates such a calm and beautiful space for a little girl. The hint of metallic detailing adds a touch of elegance and a hint of special.

Renee really wanted her nursery completed and looking gorgeous before Emmy arrived. Hannah's health threw in the standard curveballs but we made it just in time! It seems Emmy understood the importance of needing everything ready before she made her grand entrance. Renee sent me the most divine photos of the nursery set up and waiting for her little girl too - how sweet does it all look!

And then the most divine photos came through! Emmy had arrived and was perfect in every single way! No nursery created looks perfect until a little person is safely sleeping in it. How grateful am I that Renee took the time to send me these beauties through and allowed me to be part of such a special time in her family's life.

Welcome to the world Emmy - may it be filled always with music love and laughter

xxx Sarah

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Addie's patchwork set - beautiful florals

Yesterday I got the message from the lovely Mel that Addie's bedding set had made its way home. She had opted to be surprised rather than get a glimpse via the blog so I had to sit on all the pretty photos until I knew it had been unwrapped. For someone who can be impatient when it comes to sharing the pretty I think I lasted remarkably well lol!

Mel wanted a special set for her daughter Addie, one that she could keep forever. Pretty enough for her to love as a little girl yet classic enough to not date. She had already decided that Tanya Whelan ranges would be the focus so with a bit of polishing it was easy to put together a stunning quilt palette. I love working with these florals, they make sewing a joy. Mel decided on a patchwork single bed quilt, pillow case and apple pie cushion for her set, such an awesome combination.

Mel was so patient with me - I am always so grateful when customers get how quickly life around here can throw us a curveball. Hannah's sudden admission to hospital definitely slowed things down at this end but she was so gracious and understanding the whole time. It makes running my business so much easier - piccolo customers rock!

Throughout the whole time I kept photos to a minimum, and what Mel did see definitely did not do the set justice at all. Unfortunately the day I took photos Adelaide weather took a bad turn and light was uncooperative but I think everyone will agree that pretty shines through even on the bleakest of days!

One of the best things about an apple pie cushion is that I can fussy cut each segment and maximise the pretty. The details in Tanya's fabrics are always amazing so it is perfect to work with. A coordinating pillowcase behind just adds to it. I couldnt resist a butterfly button for the cushion which perfectly matched the pillowcase and dont get me started on that gorgeous pom pom trim!

So with everything finished and photographed it was time to send it on its way home. I am always really restless until I know for sure that a set has arrived safely and is loved. I am known to stalk tracking until I am sure things are where they should be. Then I have to wait for the response, not getting one is stressful. Fortunately Mel gave me an answer immediately in the form of this sweet picture! I think it is safe to say Addie and her sister Lilia are happy customers!

Now I cant believe I have written a blog post 2 days in a row! I still have so much more to show you all too, nurserys, quilt swaps, working for designers - life here is hectic and busy and amazing, I wouldnt swap any part of it.

xxx Sarah

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Darcy's nursery - cotton & steel

It seems that when life gets hectic here the first thing to go is blogging, the time to sit and think is a luxury I used to take for granted, now I relish even 10 minutes to gather my thoughts and sit with a cup of tea and my screen open. 

I spent the past few weeks in an insanely busy state, now I can breathe out knowing my orders are as caught up as can be and work through my business to do list - updating the blog with all my recent pretties is of course top priority! 

One of the nurseries I completed and managed to send on its way home is Darcy's - it was so much fun to create for a boy, and Cotton and Steel always provides the richness of colour and pattern I love to create something striking and unique. 

The brief was for a comforter cot quilt, personalised pillow and pillowcase. With the leftover pieces I created a wee basket too for all the little bits that seem to come with a little person. Not having a cot here means that I don't get to do the set up shots I love but usually my mamas send some great ones through when they get time. There is nothing better than seeing a quilt in its home, in the spot it is intended for. 

So half decent photos on my normal background it is for this post! I think the story is stil told pretty well though. 

A comforter cot quilt is a squishy piece of goodness, not technically ever a perfect sew but such a great quilt for snuggling with and for babies that is a definite win

The back of the quilt was done in lion - I love this print so much!

And accessories - I love that Robin chose things that are not nursery specific, Darcy can use his pillowcase and personalised pillow for years, and they are in designs I am sure will appeal for any age too!

A late addition to the set was these gorgeous wall hoops - simple to make but they will look amazing on the nursery wall.

Now comes the nervous part - waiting for it to be delivered and hoping I exceeded expectations!

Now hopefully life stays this calm and uneventful so I can share all the other pieces  I have been creating behind the scenes. 

Talk soon 

xxx Sarah

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