Monday, August 22, 2016

Playground

I'm working on a few big projects at the moment and one of them is a gorgeous quilt for one of our Australian magazines. I can't share any of it with you until its published but I really wanted to show you the fabrics I've chosen, to bring this new design to life. You may have seen them already but if not, here's the beautiful Playground fabrics by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics:
For this quilt, the design came first and then I was on the hunt for the right fabrics. As I soon as I saw these, I knew they would perfect for my quilt. The range is gorgeous and I'm in love with the dainty floral designs and the beautiful colour palette.
From sandboxes and tyre swings, to hopscotch and Ring O' Rose's, the Playground fabrics depict the simplicity and beauty of childhood. I love the plum and blue He Loves Me prints and these will feature a lot, throughout my quilt.
The lighter fabrics are super sweet and will add some lovely contrast to the design, plus a couple of them are perfect for a little fussy cutting.
I love them all but I think this Jumpsie Daisy one is my absolute favorite:
There's a lot of work in this new design, some of it quite complex but seeing it slowly coming together and how beautiful it's becoming, keeps spurring me on :)
Happy sewing :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Fabric Requirements

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and emails regarding my Chatelaine Sampler Quilt. I'm so thrilled you love it as much as I do. I did have a few inquiries regarding fabric requirements and thought I would address them now, as my quilt is finished and I can make a clearer calculation.
I gave you so many options for making this quilt so I'm using my quilt as a guideline for fabric requirements. I'm always generous when calculating fabric yardage but there are a few variables you need to consider:

  • Paper piecing and using templates makes it trickier to estimate yardage. You need to allow a little extra, just in case, as we all cut and piece differently, especially with paper piecing.
  • You may substitute some of the Bonus Blocks in your quilt, which will require less fabric than some of the more complicated blocks.
  • I have given a couple of easier options for some of the blocks, so this will affect your requirements.
  • You may choose more or less blocks for your quilt. I used 83 blocks, set on point (3A in the On Point Layout File) and I used the border option HERE.
It's important to remember to use my fabric requirements, as a guide only. I have divided the requirements into sections ie. blocks, layout, borders and binding, so you can see where the fabric is allocated and make adjustments accordingly.
I used a mix of Bonnie and Camille fabrics from their Vintage Modern, Marmalade and Scrumptious range, using Jelly Roll strips, fat quarters, charm packs and a little yardage plus the lovely white homespun.
You can download the Fabric Requirements file, with both metres and yards HERE.
I think I have covered everything you need to know, to make your own Chatelaine. If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help. And email me some photos of your blocks/quilt....I would love to see them :)
Way back in 2007, I started my first ever sampler "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler". At the time it was a free pattern on the internet, so kindly shared by Jennifer Chiaverini  It sparked my love of pieced blocks and I learnt so many new techniques. My grandma always said "give when you receive and teach when you learn".  Chatelaine is my way of giving back and sharing free patterns and imparting what I have learnt from that very first sampler quilt :)
Thank you again for being a special part of my Chatelaine Sampler journey xxx
Happy sewing :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Photo Gallery

Words can not express my love for this quilt, nor how special it will always be to me. I'm going to let the pictures do all the talking (and its inside pics I'm afraid, the weather just didn't want to play nice):









Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for each and every comment, every email, every like/share on Facebook and Instagram, over the last 94 weeks. Sharing this whole journey with you, has been an experience I will treasure for ever. You are sooooo supportive and encouraging and just amazing ♥♥♥
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chatelaine Free BOW Sampler Quilt - Quilting Facts

Yesterday afternoon, I finally finished the quilting of my Chatelaine Sampler. Quilting big quilts like this one on my domestic machine, always makes me question my sanity.  In the beginning they are so heavy and awkward and difficult to maneuver under the machine but as the quilting takes shape and the pins are slowly removed, there's less weight and more control. The end result makes the whole process, worthwhile. My Chatelaine quilt is beautiful ♥
Just for fun, I decided to keep a bit of a tally for this quilt, recording how many hours I spent quilting, how many bobbins I used etc., so here are the results:

  • I quilted my Chatelaine in 11 sessions (ranging from 1 hour to 6 hours) for a total of 41 hours at the machine.
  • I used 27 bobbins.
  • I used 2000+ metres of top thread (2 and a bit spools)
  • I used a packet of 5 machine needles
  • I cleaned my machine 10 times during the process.
  • And I watched/listened to around 41 hours of television while I was quilting :) YAY for Netflix!!
So there's my fun quilting facts. It was interesting for me to see the stats and I thought you might enjoy reading them as well.
Today I'll sew on the bindings and hand stitch them down over the next night or two. Over the weekend, hubby has kindly volunteered to be my assistant and take my Chatelaine out into the wild, for a photo shoot. Cross fingers for good weather and dry surroundings so we can take some great outdoor shots. Quilts always look lovely in natural surroundings :)
Until then, happy sewing :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Maple and Walnut Cookies

When I was younger, my mum baked a simple sugar cookie which had a whole walnut pressed into the top. They were super sweet, with a gritty texture, and I'd eat the biscuit around the walnut, , saving my favorite piece till the last mouthful. There were times when I'd just steal the walnut but trust me....you get caught :)
I've played around, trying to find something similar but yummier than mums and these Maple and Walnut Cookies are a bit of a twist on her original recipe:
Maple syrup and brown sugar give these cookies a wonderful flavour without being too sweet and without that gritty sugar texture. They are buttery and soft and loaded with crunchy walnut and dark chocolate chips and they have that warm golden colour which makes a cookie look inviting, I think.
Every bite yields a mouthful of the delicious walnut and chocolate so there's no need to eat around the edges and save the walnut till last :) They are perfect to have with a piping hot cup of your favorite tea or coffee and they store well for 3 or 4 days in an airtight container.
Its a quick and easy recipe and yields around eighteen large cookies, so you can quickly fill your cookie jars or make batches and freeze them for lunch boxes or picnics etc.
You can download the recipe for my Maple and Walnut Cookies, HERE or right click on the picture below and save it to your computer for later:
I hope these cookies bring a little piece of deliciousness to your next morning or afternoon tea.
Happy baking :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Border Inspiration Part 2

In Part 2 of my Border Inspiration, I'm going to share how I bordered my Chatelaine Sampler (and give you a few sneak peeks of my quilt). Firstly, I set my blocks on point, which is a lovely, classic layout for sampler quilts. I used Option 3A in the On Point  Layouts file, which can be found HERE:
Once the quilt centre was complete, there were a few things I needed to consider before adding my borders:
  • I wanted a simple, scrappy border, incorporating all the fabrics I had used in the blocks.
  • There would be no fabric purchasing; stash busting only, so I was working with fabrics and quantities I had on hand.
  • I wanted the border to frame the blocks, not overpower them. Those blocks must shine.
  • Large border elements would look out of proportion to the tiny piecing in the blocks, so I wanted smaller elements to compliment..
  • I wanted to float the quilt centre and give the quilt lots of lovely negative space.
  • The finished size of the quilt centre (a little over 59" x 79") meant I had a little fudging to do to make the borders fit.
With those things considered, I chose a simple, scrappy checkerboard border, with some pretty baby pinwheels in each corner:
Borders like this, work so well with quilt tops that finish at a size that isn't easily divisible by 2,3,4,5 etc. but they also give the quilt a lovely frame, without overpowering the blocks. My quilt centre finished at a little over 59" x 79" and with the added borders, my quilt top finishes at 77 1/2" x 97 1/2".
So here's a rough idea of the look I was hoping to achieve:
I love how open and uncluttered the quilt looks and feels. I did consider doing something dramatic and fancy in the corners but instead I kept it simple and added the pinwheels, which break the checkerboard and to add another element of interest to the borders.
So instead of going into all the details/measurements etc. with you here, I have compiled a file for you to download which has all of the information included. (Please note, if you have chosen a horizontal layout, you will need to adapt the lengths of the borders to suit)
You can download and print the file by visiting HERE.
I hope I have provided some inspiration for your quilt borders. You can find Part 1 of my Border Inspiration, HERE. I'll keep adding ideas to my Pinterest board, as I find them, so you have another point of reference to use for this quilt or any other quilt you make in the future.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I am quilting my Chatelaine but as soon as its finished, I will take it out for a photo shoot and share as many photos as you can bear to look at :)
Until then, I'll get back to that quilting :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wings Mini Quilt + Your Free August 2016 Calendar

July has been a sickly month for us. It always happens during the winter school holidays; the lurgies come to visit and our bodies just say enough, time to rest. There has been limited creative energy around here but now that we are fully rested and mended, I've been busy in the studio, catching up on all of my projects. 
My Chatelaine quilt is all basted and the quilting has begun but progress is slow as this quilt is huge and heavy! I can't wait to share all of it with you, but first its time for my new Monthly Mini and your free August calendar. So, let me introduce you to the gorgeous, Wings:
This mini quilt is a sweet and simple design based on the gorgeous "Vintage Butterfly" quilt block. It has a paper pieced centre, which comes together quickly and easily and then I've added some simple pieced borders to frame the block perfectly.
This is a lovely design which incorporates one of my favorite star blocks, the Ohio Star. Can you see it there? The added wings, create those beautiful butterflies in flight.
We all love the breathtaking colours of a butterfly and for this mini, I raided my stash for a bright and bold palette. Rarely do I design anything without basing my choices around a blue fabric but I really love this colour combination and I think that cheddar fabric, really makes this mini pop! 
The border is a simple checkerboard and you can piece these quickly and easily by strip piecing and cross cutting, if you prefer. I quilted my Wings mini, with my favorite all over flower design, which gives it that gorgeous texture and I finished it all off with a lovely frame of dark purple binding..
Wings finishes at around 17" square, so its a nice size to use as a table topper or lamp mat but its also a lovely quilt to hang and enjoy in your home.
The pattern includes full step by step instructions and diagrams, paper piecing templates and a colouring sheet for your fabric/colour selection, plus optional instructions for hanging your mini.
If you would like to make your own Wings mini quilt, from today until the end of August, PDF files will be available at the discounted and introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, patterns are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
And I also have your free August 2016 Calendar, featuring the gorgeous Wings:
To download and print your free calendar, just visit HERE.
Things around the blog will hopefully return to normal now. I'll be back on Wednesday with Part 2 of my Chatelaine Border Inspiration and I'll have some sneak peek pics of my quilt to share as well. I know I'm mean, but this quilt is soooooo gorgeous, I'm going to make you wait until its finished for the full reveal.
Until then, happy sewing :)
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