Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Medallion - The finish line and a giveaway!

Here we are at the end. It's been a lot of fun watching your quilts come to life and I am looking forward to seeing many more in the future. They are all so amazing - the personality in each is such a joy. Keep up the great work!

Bonus Blogger - Jo Loves to Quilt

Jo was one of my very lovely pattern testers and she has finished her Modern Medallion. Pieced, quilted and bound. It is so very fabulous. I loved (as always) watching it come to life and it was facinating to see it start as a very bold floral number, to end up quite sot and pretty. And did I mention the quilting? Love, love, love it. Have a look at her blog to see more photos and read about her quilting journey - it's a great read.

Blog along giveaway!

I promised a giveaway and here it is. Polka Dot Tea have generously offered a $30 gift voucher for you to spend in store - on anything you like! What would you choose?

To enter, all you need to do is link up your quilt. It doesn't need to be finished, just link up wherever you are up to. Link up your blog, instagram or flickr easily using the link tool. If you don't have a public forum to link up, you can still enter, by uploading your image and using my blog URL. I can't wait to see them all!

Link up love

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Making childhood memories in the autumn leaves

I love autumn when the leaves fall and turn brown. There is something about making a big pile of leaves and jumping in them. This is the stuff childhood memories are made of, right? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Downtown quilt - a challenging journey

Grab a cuppa, this is a long post! This quilt was something of a journey, and I wanted to [over]share it with you. If you follow me on Instagram or facebook, you would have seen lots of posts along the way.

When I saw the call out for the Quilters Companion Under 35s quilt competition, I knew I wanted to enter. Hey, I'm under 35, so why not? The theme was 'outside my window'. I immediately started thinking of trees and birds, and a very literal interpretation of the theme. But I wasn't happy with that. It just seemed to obvious.

So I thought and thought, searched and searched. I kept coming back to something very urban. And then I came across this graffiti by Matt W. Moore. You can see it and many more on his website here. It's well worth the visit! I absolutely loved it and thought I could translate this into a quilt.

I set to work and designed a city scape in illustrator, with a city scape set against the graffiti inspired background. Here is the design I made on illustrator, it look me a long time to decide on how I would complete the buildings, I tried lots of different style, finally settling on something really simple. I am so glad I decided to go simple! AS fate would have it, I ran into Helen Godden (in Perth of all places!) and spoke to her about my idea. I still wasn't sold on it, but she encouraged me to go for it, so I did. She also pointed me in the direction of some ombre fabrics which were so perfect and would have saved my sanity no end. The rainbow solids were from Polka Dot Tea, what a prefect bundle to use!

Once I had the idea all drawn up and scaled to the right dimensions, I printed it out and set to work foundation piecing  it all back together. Lots of different sections and a few swear words later, the sky was done. And that's when it all started to fall apart for me. I was divided. On the one hand, it was exactly as I imagined it to be and spend hours drawing. But it just didn't feel... well... me. I don't know why, and I still don't. I think some of it was self doubt combined with not knowing how this represented me as a quilter. I posted my feelings on Instagram and Facebook and so many people gave me such great encouragement, I decided to complete it, whether I really wanted to or not.

And so I persisted. I put on my big girl pants and just kept going.

I applied some heat bond paper to the black fabric, cut the shapes and then the little windows out. I then put the ombre fabrics under the window and attempted to fuse them to the quilt. Annoyingly my heat bond paper must be out of date because the glue wasn't attaching to the fabric and was becoming all yucky. Ugh, I hate it when that stuff happens. It is so frustrating, but for me it was too late to stop. I just did my best with what I had.

Once the top was all together, I basted it ready for quilting. As I wanted the quilting lines on the building to be really straight, I used my walking foot and just manoeuvred that sucker around. Lucky it's not a big one! For the sky I put my new found FMQ skills to the test with a metallic thread in a triangular pattern. I didn't really mean it to be, but they really look like fireworks. Instagram to the rescue again as my friends helped me choose a facing binding to finish it off.

The Under 35s competition has been and gone and I was awarded with third prize for the quilt. I learnt a few things along the way, like foundation piecing (which I am going to use in another upcoming quilt) and faced binding, so not a complete loss. I'll be honest and say, I still don't know how I feel about the quilt. 

Quilt Label

Quilt name: Downtown
Made for: Quilters Companion Under 35s quilt competition 2014
Finished size: 29 x 37 inches
Fabrics used: Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids and Ombre fabrics (sorry I can't remember the maker)
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight lines with a walking foot on the buildings using a gutermann cotton. FMQ with metallic thread in a triangular design.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Auditioning for Sew-vivor

Deep breath.

I have decided to enter into Sew-vivor

This year is a quilter's edition and as a quilter, I am thinking this will be challenging, hectic and a heap  of fun. I am always looking for ways to stretch myself and I really believe this will be a a great way. I have lots of ideas brewing for the challenges too... If only I could shut it off sometimes! There are also some really great judges, including Sarah Fielke, Jeni Baker and Amy Newbold.

What is Sew-vivor? 

It's a sewing competition run by Rach on the Family Ever After blog and its loosely inspired by the show Survivor (obvs). This is the third season and the main idea is that anyone can audition, judges help choose the 16 contestants there are 4 weeks of sewing competition with specific challenges and a couple Sew-vivor "twists" along the way. The judges and public vote for their favorites after each challenge. The winners score some amazing prizes at the end. Sounds fun, right?

I'm entering the Modern Medallion quilt as my audition piece

This quilt represents me and who I want to be as a quilter. Modern, fresh and a bit cheeky. 

The Modern Medallion is designed from the centre out. Multiple borders surround the central medallion using a variety of modern quilting techniques, such as improv foundation piecing, wonky piecing and free hand curves. One thing I love about modern quilting is letting go of perfection and precise points. I  love embracing the improvisational nature of creating one of a kind quilt. You could make it ten times over and always end up with a different quilt. I love that.

Fingers crossed that I get into Sew-vivor season three! I can't wait to see all the awesome quilty goodness that comes from the competition.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Modern Medallion quilt along - equal rights and I was framed

We are heading to the finish line with our quilt along! This week we finish off the quilt top with all those lovely triangles and the final border. I love 60 degree triangles and wonky ones are even better!

Week five host - Gnome Angel

Angie from Gnome Angel has made a beautiful solid rainbow version Modern Medallion. I love the ways that she has made it her own too. She decided to swap the wavy border out for a stripy black and white one, which continues her theme ever so nicely. You can head on over to her blog to check out her dash to the finish line.

She also has a great tip for young players. There is a line drawing of the quilt in the pattern and you can use that to plan your quilt by colouring it in. Then once you have finished your quilt you can look back at it and see if you stuck to your plan. I rarely do, but you have to start somewhere!

Bonus blogger next week!

I have an surprise blogger joining us next week - Jo blogs at Jo loves to quilt and she does the most amazing work. Her free motion quilting is to die for! She will be sharing her finished Modern Medallion, I know you won't be disappointed.

Link up love

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chloe's choc chip biscuits

Chloe recently made a presentation at school, on a 'process'. She wanted to share how she makes choc chip biscuits, so we took some photos for her to put into a power point presentation. She did all the cooking herself, as well as all the typing. It's hard to believe she will be seven next month!

How to make the best Choc Chip Biscuits Ever, by Chloe


375grams Choc Chips,
335grams Plain Flour
1 egg
250grams softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
165grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
165grams firmly pack brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease oven trays  
2. Beat butter, vanilla extract, sugars and egg in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in flour and soda. Stir in chocolate, cover; put in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls; place about 3cm apart on the tray, cook for about 12 minutes; cool on trays.


The End!