Wednesday, 18 April 2018

April 2018 Block Round-up

I’ve made a start on my Pantone Color of the Year challenge quilt. This year’s colour is Ultra-Violet. I decided I was going to make a mini quilt with a few blocks from the Neighborhood quilt pattern from Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth HartmanI love love love the way these blocks are looking so I’ve decided to make the full quilt which means making another 8 and maybe not getting it quilted in time. No problem since there is a “tops only” section. Anyone else thinking of entering? There are famous judges and lots of prizes. It’s possible to win a prize just for turning up and entering and I have my fingers crossed for one of them. All the details are on posts at No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts. There’s still a few weeks left to whip something up.

Bee blocks for this month are all about foundation paper piecing. The April  Stash Bee block was chosen by this month’s queen Rochelle (@mcallisterwench). She picked the Global Concepts block by Julie Hirt done in three shades of pink and a black and white print. The pattern for this block and 12 others in a series are available for free from Craftsy. I tried my hardest to match the seams but all I managed was a 1 in 4 success rate, the others are okay… Rochelle asked for the sections to be kept apart so she can decide whether to make it scrappy or not so I get to fool around – I like this setting that I'm guessing is the secondary pattern      (v)

Rochelle gave us plenty of wiggle room with her cutting instructions which I appreciated when I came to sew it, although it was a bit of a fabric eater. Having said that, part of me is overjoyed since I downloaded the Stash Shrinker spreadsheet from Sewjourners a few weeks ago after seeing it on a Hyacinth Designs post. I have set it up to shrink my stash at a rate of 2x (2x is the default) and it’s enormous fun to add the sewn fabric in and see it add up. You don’t need to count how much you’ve already got you just need to use twice as much as you buy and you still get to buy fabric along the way!

Emily from The Darling Dogwood is this month’s queen in Bee Inspired. She asked us to make foundation paper pieced stars using this pattern from fellow Aussie Wombat Quilts in blue and red on a white background. Finished size is 8 inches. I decided to use two blue fabrics for the star and luckily there was a bit of chat in our Facebook group about potential hazards so I was able to make sure to avoid placement problems.

Finally, I just wanted to let you know that my Curated Quilts mini is part of the gallery in the latest magazine about Minimalism. I was surprised to be selected, in fact I was just about to start using it as a pot plant mat when the email arrived, and I kept expecting them to let me know that they’d changed their mind once it arrived in their office. But no.

I even spotted it hanging in their booth at Quiltcon on Instagram (see the arrow on the bottom row?), which was thrilling and if I never get a quilt into the actual show it is something I can count as having been sort of ticked off my bucket list. It was totally worth entering this challenge, especially since there’s a complimentary copy of the magazine on it’s way. That’s a valuable gift once exchange rates and postage to Australia is added so I’m definitely going to be doing another one!

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

March 2018 Bee Block Round-up

The March Stash Bee queen is Jen (@jentexas). She picked the paper-pieced Geese Trails block from Piece and Press. She asked for blue or grey background and a transition across the geese colours. We could decide on the layout and the number of sections with geese in them ourselves. I decided to use a blue grey and transitioned my geese from coral to orange to melon and back to coral again. That was the idea anyway, I think it worked. It’s a great looking block but there are loads of seams.

This month we have two queens in Bee Inspired. First to post was Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter who designed her own shamrock block which will be the border for the quilt we made blocks for last year. Her tutorial is here. Unfinished size is 4 ½  inches.

And on the other throne is Paige at Quilted Blooms who asked for a rectangular teenage version of the I Spy block for a charity quilt. You can find the tutorial here. These were quick and easy to put together.  I suppose I could have used my Dr Suess fabric again, but I resisted. I found these alternatives that I think will be fine for a teenager.

And after two months in a row of requests for the use of novelty fabric in bee blocks I’ve bitten the bullet and bought a couple of fabrics that have a bit of novelty value and appeal to me without being especially juvenile. Here’s one. Cup of tea anyone?

I hope you took it easy with the buns and chocolate, I didn't. Happy sewing

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Modern Plus Signs book hop ++ Celestial ++

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Modern Plus Signs book hop. I’m Sue and I live in Perth, Western Australia. You’ll see no snow covered landscapes here, since we are just heading into autumn J.

I first met Paige (QuiltedBlooms) and Cheryl (Meadow Mist Quilt Designs) through the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop, although I was already a keen follower of their blogs, and I was thrilled to be offered the chance to participate in this book hop.

This quilt is Celestial. I love the way it looks on a bed with its random minimal smattering of plusses.

In the version in the book which  graces the cover as well, this quilt is made using a dark blue background and print plusses. I really like the use of prints.

Mine was made using Moda Bella solid 'Etchings Stone' for the background and a variety of other solids from my stash for the plusses.

I’ve used 9 blocks to make a 72” square version and quilted it with a simple grid two inches apart. 

It gives great texture and it made sense to use the seam lines as a quilting guide.

The book is a must-have if you are a fan of the plus block. Patterns range from modern and minimalist through to a more modern traditional look and techniques include pieced, foundation paper-pieced and applique. You are sure to find more than one quilt to put on your to-do list, I certainly have. 

The book is divided into sections according to project size and one feature that I really like is the thumbnail photos on the contents page. It makes it so much easier to find which project you’re looking for.

I came across an old, short, timber A-frame ladder in a second-hand shop a few weeks ago and, in my pursuit of the better quilt photo shoot, bought it. I’ve dragged my very on-trend mother-in-law’s tongue plant inside too. 

The book on the side table with the suffering and bedraggled maidenhair fern is Home Comforts – a book written by someone whose hobby is housework (a hilarious thought!). It makes a good prop. Buy Modern Plus Signs instead you'll be glad you did! 

Signed copies of Modern Plus Sign Quilts can be purchased at here:

Meadow Mist Design  Etsy Shop
Quilted Blooms  Etsy Shop

And digital and print versions from

Modern Plus Sign Quilts (C&T Publishing)

Thanks for visiting and make sure you check out the other stops for a look at different versions of all 16 patterns in the book. 

Here's the complete Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop schedule:

Monday, March 12th 

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelly @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! Quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey Day Quilts
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey Day Quilts
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ TheDarling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's LifeSampler
Karen @ Tu-NaQuilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From my Carolina Home
Alison @ LittleBunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms


Monday, 26 February 2018

February 2018 Bee Block Round-up

The February  Stash Bee block was chosen by this month’s queen Tracy (@tracysbitsnpieces). She picked the Vintage TV block by Lori Holt. She asked for a novelty fabric for the screen and two different fabrics for the TV and accents on a light background fabric. I have a limited stash of novelty fabrics so it was out with the Dr Suess fabric again for this block. After seeing everyone else’s TV screens I’m wondering if I should add at least one more to my stash…

This month’s colour in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge hosted by Jen over at Patterns by Jen is blue. I’m keeping up with my scrappy 16 patch blocks so far. I’ll be linking up for the end of month check in.

Anne from Brown Paws Quilting (@brownpawsquilting on Instagram) is this month’s queen in Bee Inspired. She asked us to make scrappy strips and then slash a white background square at least twice and insert our scrap strips. I decided on an X. It was tricky trying to get the arms to match up after the second cut. Her tutorial is here. Finished size is 12 inches.

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hold the Pickle Quilt Block Tutorial

As I promised last week here’s my quick and cheap tutorial for the Hold the Pickle block.

The block is effectively a  Pickle Dish Variation variation and once I modified it to remove the Drunkards Path units it lost its dish shape. I’ve named the quilt I’m making already as my Hold the Pickle Quilt, thus these are Hold the Pickle blocks.

I’ve given myself some parameters for fabric choices that you can ignore completely for your version. I’ve decided that I’m trying to achieve a sweet and pretty vintage effect so I’m using pastels for the backgrounds (B1 and B2) for the simple quarter log cabin units (not sure what to call these bits), low-volume prints as background for the star sections (B3) and checks, dots, and small scale florals for the focus prints in the centre (F). Star points are S. That’s what you’ll see in the photos.

I’m also using a tri-recs ruler these days to cut the fabric for the triangle in a square unit but I started out doing them as paper-pieced. You can find a pdf here from Generations Quilt Patterns for paper-piecing templates and paper-piecing cutting templates.

For this block we make 3 inch finished units.

So now that we’ve all got our templates ready we can start cutting.


For the triangle-in-a-square units, start with strips of your chosen fabric (S and B3) wide enough to fit your templates on and cut 8 star points and 4 background triangles. 

Cut two 3 ½” squares from the B3 fabric.

From the B1 and B2 backgrounds cut one each
          3 ½” square
          3 ½” x 6 ½” rectangle

From the F fabrics cut a total of four 3 ½” squares


This part’s pretty easy.

(Notice how suddenly my fabrics have gone all wrinkly? That’s because a gust of wind blew them all over the garden and I had to chase them and grab them quickly in my sweaty little hand. Thoroughly annoyed I took the photo ANYWAY. Notice also that I have the far left star point section upside down - don't do that.)

Sew the B1 and B2 squares to two F squares, then attach the B1 and B2 rectangles to make the quarter log cabin units.

Lay out the star points S around the B3 triangles to make sure you’ve got everything lined up okay and then stitch together.

Arrange the different bits to make sure everything’s pointing in the right direction. Sew together two triangle-in-a-square units to the two B3 squares and two triangle-in-a-square units to two F squares (black arrows). Sew these two sections together (red arrows).

Sew the sections together like a four patch and *ta-da!* one block done! The block is 12" finished.

I hope this all makes sense to you. If you have any questions or need some clarification, please comment and I’ll endeavor to fix it.

I’ll be linking this up to Cheryl’s (Meadow Mist Designs) and Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) new quarterly tutorial link up.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Making Progress #1

I have made a start and finished the flimsy for my Regatta Quilt Along project. The QAL is being held by Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us. This is a Quilt Along with a start date but no set finish so you can pick it up whenever you like. I need a seaside inspired cushion for my front lounge room and this is the perfect design (front lounge sounds very formal but it functions more as a casual neat (rarely used) study slash storage room than lounge since it has only one over-sized lounge chair in it, a desk and lots of shelves). I downsized the pattern by making the strips only 1 inch wide finished and reducing the number. I love the stripe variation this pattern gives. The free pattern is by Block M Quilts and is available here.

Modern Plus Sign Quilts book, co-authored by Paige from Quilted Blooms and Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is out NOW(!!!) and I can show you a smidge of what I’m working on for an upcoming blog hop. Yep, it’s got plus sign blocks in it. I love them! And if you do too, you should definitely check the book out.

I have made another two Hold the Pickle Quilt blocks. 

I’ve had a bit of interest in these blocks and I’m in the process of writing a tutorial. I’ll be posting that next week.

I’ve included a photo of the pattern for my latest knitting project to avoid confusion ;-). So far the shaping (I think it’s the rabbit’s stomach) is looking very suspect and I think by the time I come to knit the head and nose area it should be hilarious. I’ll keep you updated. My aim is to finish this by Easter which should be very do-able even for someone who knits as little as I do. The pattern is available for free here and uses DK yarn.

And finally. I have a product recommendation for you if you come across fabric that bleeds. This stuff, Retayne, really works. I had some dark purple good quality well-known brand solid that was bleeding like a haemophiliac (yes, I’m a confirmed pre-washer). I was thinking I was never going to be able to use it until I came across this product – it really works wonders! In Australia I bought it from Punch with Judy. You can buy it from a lot of on-line stores but you can’t post it internationally, well not to Australia anyway. Perhaps it’s explosive.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January 2018 Bee Block Round-up

I’ve stayed with both my bees from last year again. I really enjoy the variety of sewing challenges being in a bee brings every month. All my other bee mates from Bee Inspired have stayed on in the group and Sharon at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs has started us off in January with the Blossom Hearts Quilts Bee Hive version of the Quatrefoil block. This one is designed by Clover and Violet. Sharon is making a quilt for Project Linus and asked for pink, green and blue with a white background. I love the way this block turned out and wanted to keep it, it’s so sweet.

I have changed hives this year in Stash Bee. Diana (@reddeliciouslife) has organized everyone into hives based on preferred communication platform, either Instagram, Facebook or blog and email, and it is working out superbly. I have gotten to know my fellow bee mates quickly, although I already knew Jen from last year (@jentexas06), Velda (Freckled Fox Quiltery) from 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop and the Bee Inspired group and Jan (Cocoa Quilts) from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Hop. Everyone seems right friendly.

Hive Mama Cyndi (@thegrinch1964) chose the Sparklers Quilt block from Jedi Craft Girl in shades of pink, navy and grey on a low volume background. I made two blocks because I put the first one in the post without adding a stamp (forehead slap) and I’m not 100% sure it will ever make it across to her.

I’m participating in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge with Jen over at Patterns by Jen this year. All the details are here. Jen and Jen from Dizzy Quilter are both designing blocks for a sampler quilt but you can link anything in the colour of the month. I’ve decided to make simple 16 patch blocks. The upcoming colours are listed in advance here and Jen at Dizzy Quilter has colour coded her list. I used my snipping tool to turn it into a picture and sent it to my phone for quick and easy reference. I’ll be linking up for the end of month check in.

What about you? Have you joined any of the many QALs or bees?

Happy sewing