Monday, 25 April 2016

Color Brigade

Happy Monday!

I am so excited to finally being sharing photos of a secret quilty project I have been working on. Lots of behind the scenes shots have happened but now the real photos have been taken, edited and are ready to venture out into the internet.

Last year I had the amazing chance of working with Jennifer Paganelli's Nostalgia fabric before it was released for sale - it was so exhilarating and nerve wracking at the same time. Luckily she loved the photos and I still get a thrill whenever I see them shared around social media. You can see the Nostalgia blog post here.

When Color Brigade arrived earlier this year I was equally excited. This is one range where you can easily say the photos do not do it justice. In true Jennifer Paganelli style it is rich in colour and design, the perfect range for a mum. And as mother's day is just around the corner I decided to spoil myself with a quilt just for me!

The moment the fabric arrived and I had had a squeal and rolled around in it for a bit I started designing my quilt. I wanted something that was different to standard squares but still showed off the fabric, for some reason circles and clamshells jumped straight to mind and I, in true Sarah style, ran with it. I also knew I wanted to use a solid fabric to make the fabric really pop, I am pretty confident I drove my friends crazy with the constant colour debate. I chose navy and I am so glad I did because it worked perfectly! I am really getting attached to working with solids, prepare to see so many more of them through the year.

For quilting I got the crazy idea I wanted to try matchstick quilting. I have never done it on a large quilt before and this seemed perfect for the navy sections. I loved the idea of keeping all the Color Brigade parts a bit softer and once I washed it I was glad I made the decision as they almost puffed out. That said though I have never EVER unpicked a quilt as much as this one. It took 3 attempts to get the scallops quilted in a way I was happy! I was going slightly crazy by the end of it. For binding I used the navy solid but put occasional pops of fabric in there too, extra detail just because I wanted to use as much fabric as possible.

Did I mention 3km of thread went into those tiny little quilting lines?

Next up was accessories. Of course I made my signature apple pie cushion, it turned out beautifully and really matches in with my scallop quilt. I also created a navy cushion which was again densely quilted with raw edge applique circles on it and I just had to make a journal too, they are always a favourite of mine.

With all my pretties ready it was time for the photo shoot. I knew straight away I wanted to go somewhere where the view is spectacular and really shows the best of the Fleurieu Peninsula, something I am passionate about. Last year I had been at an amazing business event at Chapel Hill Winery and I really wanted to go back, the place is seriously beautiful and the staff incredibly friendly! I spoke to Kath who works at the Retreat and she immediately said yes, which was a big thing considering that weekend she had a corporate function and two weddings! Seriously if you need a beautiful place then this is for you!

I was incredibly lucky that my fabulous friend Charlene from Fleurieu Gifts came along to help on the day as well. She bought her stunning plants which you can see in most of the photos and her camera. Considering she is way better at photos than I am that was a huge relief. Many of the photos I am using today were shot by her. It was so much fun doing a photo shoot with someone and getting a different perspective, I will definitely do a lot more. Everyone has something different to bring to the table and when you get the right personalities together it just works.

So without further ado it is time to share the photos that were taken, edited and agonised over. I narrowed it down from over 300 to my absolute favourites and then with the help of patient friends I narrowed it down even further. I really hope I have been able to surpass expectation this time. Working with Jennifer is such a thrill and I am desperately hoping to do so again {hint hint}

First up the whole quilt - clamshell design on navy solid with patchwork sashing and scrappy border.

Next up I had to get some of that gorgeous view into my photos and there was this gorgeous barrel sitting on the end of the patio. I love the setup of this shot hence the crazy amount of photos lol.

Picnic anyone?

Or how about sitting in a sunny spot on the perfect Autumn day with your favourite magazines and a cup of coffee? It sounds perfect doesnt it!

And a gratuitous chair shot with the quilt looking all folded and fancy on the back there

Finally that journal needed its own photos - an outdoor desk on a gorgeous day would be the perfect place to record your thoughts.

I hope the photos show just how much fun was had! I still have more to share and a wee giveaway too so stay tuned for part two of my Color Brigade blog post, I seriously cant stop playing with this beautiful range. Please make me feel better about the millions of photos I just shared by leaving a comment telling me which one you love the most. You know just so I dont feel like I am talking to myself over here ;-)

Till next time

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Remembering my Etsy Store

Some weeks it is so hard to find time around custom orders to sew the bits and pieces that keep my Etsy store stocked and not looking so neglected, and for the first few months of this year it seems like every week was one of those!

One of the things that I know is frustrating for people who follow me on social media is seeing constant pictures of things they cant purchase, it is really pointless to be saying "hey look at this thing you cant have" and it bothers me no end I promise!

Then there is the issue of the fabric collection sitting here on my shelf looking at me sullenly. Fabric is designed for use, and it pains me to see it sit there not being loved and played with. What pains me even more is the fact that I cant justify buying even more pretty fabric while I am not currently sewing with what I already have here.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to face the fabric shelf and start playing. My aim was to create some pretty pieces for my Etsy store from fabrics I have been dying to use. It is a bit of a win win for everyone really - I get to be creative, my fabric pile decreases so I can buy more fabric (lets not argue with that logic lol) and I FINALLY get to put up pictures of pretty things people can actually own!

The first range I had to pull out and stare at was Sommer by Sarah Jane Studios. I had only purchased a small fat quarter bundle so I was limited in what I could make. I decided it was perfect for sweet nursery items and got to work making a pram blanket and apple pie cushion, I couldn't bear to part with the scraps so they were turned into a patchwork baby bib. I was so happy with how it all turned out and of course I automatically turned around and ordered more fabric from the lovely Cristy at Muddy Ruffles

This week saw me stick with the small pieces idea, mainly because I knew I could get them finished and listed, I am finding time is so limited these days and I have to keep priorities straight, seriously my to do list is ridiculously scarily long! I had made a fabric basket a few weeks ago and it was well loved so I decided to make a couple and see what the reaction was. One thing for sure I absolutely loved making them so they wil be a regular feature from now on. Practical AND pretty - who can go past that for a child's room!

Let's not talk about the rushed pictures - photography is next on my to do list I promise!

Earlier this week I was asked to make an apple pie cushion for a lovely customer, the reaction was huge and I had just enough fabric left to make another, so that was the next thing to hit the sewing machine, followed closely by one in the metallic feather fabric because seriously - too pretty!

Last but not least I realised that many people actually visit my store because I claim to make quilts. The ready made versions have been seriously lacking in the past few months and that feather fabric was still staring at me ...... so voila! I am so in love with how it turned out especially the quilting. I am experimenting more and more with straight lines and loving myself sick for it.

So that was my adventures into the world of sewing this week. Of course I have other things I am yet to show you but I realised that it is these small pieces that rarely get talked about. We are heading into school holidays now so fingers crossed I can keep up the pace! I am being cautiously optimistic about it all!

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