Thursday, 29 September 2016

Quilts for sisters - Sommer

Hi there!

Adelaide weather is hideous today, I can honestly say I cant remember a worse winter in all the years I have lived here. Last night saw massive tornado like thunderstorms hit the state and the power go out for everyone! We were lucky to have ours restored 10 hours later but many thousands of homes are still without, with the worst far from over we are crossing fingers everyone keeps safe and as dry as possible.
 Now the best thing to do when the kids are as crazy as the weather is to immerse yourself in pretty and today I am so lucky to share not one but TWO gorgeous quilt sets I made for Jemimah and her sister Abigail. I am a long term follower of  mum Bec's  page B in my Bonnet and it always blows me away when talented handmaidens ask me to create for them, especially when they make the gorgeous pretties Bec does!

Aren't they the sweetest looking girls and yes Abbie is in blue and Jemimah in pink! Love that they are both in handmade too with Abbie's navy dress made by Leilani and T and Jemimah's flamingo dress made by Bec.
When Bec and I started talking Jemimah and Abigail shared a room and she wanted something similar but different enough to speak to their personalities. Abigail is a blue girl and Jemimah a pink one so we wanted sets that would incorporate those colours but still match. Sommer by Sarah Jane Studios was the perfect combination! We added in touches of Amy Sinbaldi's range Paperie as well finding it had the perfect colour tones. We also decided to use the gorgeous feature panel in both quilts and I have to say I am in love with the addition!
Our initial quilt design changed a fair bit over the weeks and really when you are working with such beautiful fabrics the possibilities are endless! In the end though Bec fell in love with the hexi style after seeing this gorgeous set made for C4AC this year. So hexies it was and what an amazing decision it turned out to be.

I love how just with a basic tweaking of colour we have two sets that look incredibly different and I have to admit that at this stage I still cant choose my favourite!

To match the quilts I added in personalised pillows and of course apple pie cushions! I used my 2 favourite fabrics from the range for the cushions - I do love me a hint of bunny!

A sweet feature added to both quilts was this little turn down top. This may have had something to do with my backing not being the correct length but at the end of the day it makes a gorgeous additional detail and ties in perfectly with the stripping on each side of the feature panel.
And finally quilting! As you guys all know I do all of my quilting myself and a huge benefit to this is that I can make decisions on the spot. I decided to do a wavy stitch through the centre panel, when this is washed I know that it will create a gorgeous crinkly effect, you can already see it starting.

 Now just for a second I think it is really important to show these gorgeous quilt sets in their own light, not as a side by side view so you can appreciate them in all their glory (plus I may be a wee bit in love with the pictures!)

So without further ado introducing Jemimah's quilt set:

And finally Abigail's:

Now I am not going to lie but probably the very best part of this blog post comes from Bec herself. When I messaged her to say the parcel was on its way and it was a BIG one this is the reply I got back.

I like big parcels and I cannot lie, you other mothers can't deny that when a van pulls up with an itty bitty slip and a big box in your face, you get {sprung}, want to hide your glee face, cause you know that box is stuffed, deep with the goods you're buying
I'm hooked and I can't stop spending.
Oh Insta, I wanna get witcha, come take my picture.
My hubby tried to warn me, but with that free post you got makes me so (me so crazy)

Told you it was gold! Now the song will be in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour

Why hello there!
Can anyone tell me how it is the end of September already! It seems I blink and another month has zoomed by. Christmas is starting to appear in stores and I have made the big decision to bury my head in the sand for a bit longer and just ignore it all. Usually I like to be organised but this year I am throwing caution to the wind and going for the last minute look. Be on the look out for posts full of regret in the week before Christmas ;-)

Anyhoo welcome to my stop on the Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour. This book has been written by a quilty idol of mine Kerri Horsley who I have followed for years, I was even a regular fabric purchaser when she had that gorgeous little Etsy store and used to voraciously devour her blog and wish I could create such pretties! I wont lie when I was invited to be part of this I may have squealed and hyperventilated more than once!

Kerri's book lives up to all expectations - so many pretty projects to sew and the photos are to die for! Initially I thought I would struggle deciding on what to make but then I saw the deer quilt and my mind was immediately made up. In fact that minute I saw it I knew that quilt block needed to be a cushion.

Interestingly I thought I was going to floral it up like Kerri's quilt and create a similar look but my eye kept getting drawn to all the monochrome prints on my shelf. I decided to go for it and create my cushion using the on trend colours of black, white and mint. Now this is a complete departure for me as you all know but I am so glad I took the leap because the cushion turned out super cute!

I used Moda Thicket for the monochrome prints and added a touch of Nordic (ears) and Hello Bear for the mint backdrop. Once the block was made it was easy to add more mint and I loved adding the black inset border to lift it all up.

Piecing the cushion wasn't as hard as I thought and I am so grateful I had just read a tutorial by Sedef of  Down Grapevine Lane where she had mentioned starching fabrics before cutting, it absolutely made a difference to my block in terms of precision. I was pretty nervous to start but it came together pretty quickly and with only one need for a seam ripper (always remember right sides together!)

For quilting I decided to stick with the modern theme and I love the look and the texture it gave. I am getting so much braver with my quilting and I really am happy being a straight line girl. I just love how it looks on both modern and traditional pieces.

The cushion size I used is 50cm so she is lovely and large, I am a bit obsessed with big squishy cushions these days. They are popping up all over the house.

 But the best thing about this cushion was it was finally something handmade I could put in Cooper's room. 10 year old boys are hard to decorate for and I was worried showing him, assuming it would just end up on the couch with all my other pretties. But that morning after I dropped him at school I went looking for it only to find this in his room - definitely a win in my book!

He had even made his bed which believe me is an absolute first! Tonight he is fast asleep cuddled up with it, it is the best feeling to see things I make being used and loved!

Now there are lots of amazingly talented bloggers out there creating amazing pieces from Kerri's book so make sure you go and have a look at all of them! Here is a full schedule of the tour so you can visit the other makers to see their fabulous creations. You can also follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour. Thank you for visiting and a massive thanks to Tuva Publishing and Kerri for giving me the opportunity to take part.

07.09.2016Ayda Algı
20.09.2016Sharon Yeager@daisycottagequiltingInstagram
23.09.2016Kristin Cobb@goobadesignsInstagram

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Lishy's quilt - Brambleberry Ridge

What a glorious day!

Don't you love it when the sun starts to make its presence more felt? It has been such a long, wet and freezing winter and while I do love my layers there is nothing like the energy that comes with warmth, especially in late afternoons. Spring is definitely my favourite season of the year especially on these beautiful mild days.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of posting Lishy's quilt and now I get to hold my breath for a few days until it safely arrives and I know the customer is happy. Lishy's mum Tanya is an incredible sewist (find her at Sewvolution)  so I am even more nervous than usual. I am always so grateful when handmade friends order but it definitely makes me that much more stressed lol.

Still when I put the quilt on Hannah's bed I was extremely happy with her - a new pattern for me (still working outside my comfort zone hahaha) and a very intensive quilting process created something very sweet and I cant wait to see it in it's new home.

We used the Michael Miller range Brambleberry ridge for the quilt, to date one of the most popular fabric ranges I have used, my Etsy store is always busy with cushions made from it. I wanted to do something really special for Lishy's quilt so decided on a sweet pattern that would show some detail of the range but in a soft and pretty way. Tanya choose the mint, peach and mauve colours for the quilt and then due to a small mathematical equation mix up I added the white edging which I bloody love! It adds a lovely detail and matches in with the coordinating apple pie cushion.

There are some flowers on Hannah's tree - it is spring after all!
As always I completely underestimated just how long the quilt would take me. I seem to have some warp speed idea of my sewing prowess but luckily Tanya was ridiculous patient with me (I wont lie that becomes a theme with ALL my quilty customers in the end) and let me play. I am glad I went in this direction though because the fabric works perfectly.

To coordinate with the quilt I made an apple pie cushion in the 4 main Brambleberry prints - I definitely don't tire of making these cushions and have another four on my sewing table to finish and send out this week so I think it is safe to say you guys don't tire of them either!

Beautiful pussy cat from Butterfly Belle Handmade
Now for the quilting! I had this awesome idea of quilting all the strips matchstick style but leaving the centre squares soft and untouched. I LOVE the look but wow the time it took was crazy. Keep in mind this is a double bed size quilt! I used 20 bobbins on this baby and with each holding approx 55m of thread that equates to over 2km of thread sitting in this baby. I washed and dried her to get that gorgeous crinkly look and now she will soften over time and be perfectly durable and snuggly.

Lets take a closer look (can you tell I am proud of my efforts lol)

So now I wait patiently for it to make its way home. I religiously monitor tracking on all my quilts to make sure they travel safely. Plus it builds my excitement too, that moment when you know it is about to hit their door step is incredible.

Now off to the sewing machine I go - this is a big sewing week for me as I work on a custom quilt order for 2 gorgeous sisters and also work through my individual Etsy orders. Luckily that shining sun on my back will keep the energy levels flowing, oh and multiple cups of coffee too of course!

Till next time

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Elsie's Room - Wonderland & Cotton Couture

Happy Sunday

I have been busting to talk about Elsie's room for ages and ages and am so excited that tonight is finally the night. I have so many amazing pictures to share but I know you guys wont mind, after all you can never have too much pretty.

Elsie's room makeover started with a wall. This very wall to be exact. After having one of the most sought after nurseries on Instagram, Elsie's fabulous mum Fiona (Instagram account fee_loves_) was ready for a change and this feature wall absolutely set the tone for an incredible room. I love Fiona because she always chooses handmade first. The industry is lucky to be supported by women who have a strong voice on social media and are generous with their photos and information, Fee is absolutely one of them. Many a business, myself included, have experienced a boom in followers and sales following one incredibly taken photo. We need more Fiona's choosing us first, supporting and celebrating local talent. But I digress .....

When Fee first approached me to make Elsie's very special first bed quilt it was an idea that ended up being one million miles away from our final destination. I am confident I drive many of my customers crazy with my ability to change my mind, it is fair to say that very few of my custom quilt orders start at one point and stay there. It is also fair to say I am enthusiastic, full of ideas and driven to create the perfect order. At least that is what I like to think they say over the thousands of messages we normally exchange.

Anyway after much talk, debate, inspiration and idea sharing we chose a very simple style for Elsie's quilt, although never mistake simplicity for lack of wow factor! Simple solids were mixed with a couple of key fabrics to create a sweet feel that wont date. Pastels were the theme and selecting our fabrics involved holding up lots of swatches to the beautifully painted wall and bedhead, we needed to coordinate, compliment and also stand out.

Elsie's final fabrics - a mixture of Riley Blake Wonderland and Cotton Couture solids

The idea to use triangles came almost immediately, I am not sure which phone call resulted in the decision but once we had discussed it we both knew there was no other option to be had. I had never made a triangle quilt before but those that know me know that rarely stops me. I am working far out of my comfort zone this year and loving the direction it is taking me as a result.

The hardest part of working on the order was not sharing peeks. It is rare for me to pack something off that I have not photographed and shared myself but I knew the quilt deserved to be introduced to the world from its new home first and foremost. This year Fiona has started a business called Little M.E. Images which provides photography and product styling for Baby and Children's' products so I knew the pictures she took would be a squillion times better than mine anyway. Plus that amazing wall was needed to tie it all together.

See how right I was!

In regards to accessories we decided on a large pillow, name cushion and apple pie cushion. A matching dolly set followed soon after as well after Fee found a sweet little vintage bed.

Once it all arrived Fee got to work and nearly every day the most amazing images arrive, so many I struggled to choose, hence the photo bombardment you are about to experience. Elsie is as happy with everything as her mum and in my mind that is the most important thing, remember I believe rooms should be about the children who live in them first and foremost. Beautiful photos are nice to have but they are not the mark of a successful order. There is nothing worse for me than seeing a picture of a room that is completely devoid of the occupant's personality, I don't care how well styled it is. Fee and I are on exactly the same page when it comes to this and we worked incredibly well together as a result, so much so we are already in the planning stages for a quilt for her son Michael lol.

I think it is safe to say that Elsie is pretty happy with her own little pocket of the world. I know I would have trouble leaving if it was mine!

Tucked into Elsie's set was a personalised towel too. I love practical gifts, it is important to have beautiful things that are functional as well after all motherhood means you can never have enough towels no matter how old they get (just trust me on this!)

And finally something special for brother Michael too. A floor pillow with his favourite quote on it, said by Mum every night at bed. I have mentioned before how much I love my job haven't I!

And once again I received phenomenal photos back - huzzah!

Now I know I am going to get bombarded with questions about many of the pieces in Elsie's room and I am not surprised, they are amazing! I am working with Fee on a supplier list and will add it to this post as soon as it is complete, with links to purchase of course. I would hate to leave anyone out and as you know I really really believe if we all share the love then we can grow all our businesses, how amazing would that be!

And that my friends is sweet Elsie's room - such a pleasure to create and the best thing that came out of it was a fast friendship with Fiona. You really cant share over 8,000 messages (no I am not joking!) with someone and not develop a bond. We are even planning on working on some exciting stuff in the new year but of course Mum's the word on that until we are ready for the big reveal.

And now I leave you with one last incredible picture for the night because like I said, you can never have enough pretty!

Till next time

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