20 October 2014

Wollongong Quilt Show 2014

We had an action packed weekend, which means I barely had a moment to pick up a needle and thread. For me, this is quite rare… but, it’s all good as I’ll be getting back to it today.

Saturday, morning began with the FlyBoy taking the kids to morning sport…  which meant that I was free to visit my local quilt show. Yaaaay!

I had a lovely time looking at all of the lovely quilts and chatting to some friends.




This quilt called My Procrastination Quilt  by Leonie Lever was one of my favourites. I’m not normally a fan of browns, but this really caught my eye.


My Procrastination Quilt by Leonie Lever

My Procrastintion Quilt (Centre) by Leonie Lever


One of the other quilts which I really, REALLY loved is called Jesy’s Choice and is by Franki Pinkerton.

It’s one of the more modern quilts on show and the way these Drunkard’s Path blocks are arranged gives the quilt a fun playful look.





You can’t go to a quilt show without buying some goodies, right?

I visited Kate from Kate Quilts. We’ve been online friends for a while and met through a Bee Group in Flickr a few years ago. We caught up and chatted for a bit while Iooked at all of the pretty things she had for sale. I came away with a couple of packs needles. I love applique so I bought some straws in size 8 and 11. Yes, size 11. I’m going to have some fun trying to thread these babies.




I then popped over and visited the girls at FabricDirect. They’re my go-to for beautiful Lecien fabrics and all of my Flower Sugar stash, I owe to them. I did restrain myself and not buy the new Flower Sugar bundle (even though I really really REALLY wanted it), but came home with a charm square pack of Tilda fabrics and some pretty trims. I particularly like that pink spotty one with the lacey edge. I have no idea how or when I’ll use it, but I just had to have it.


This was only the morning of the weekend, but I think I’ll have to return later to share what else we got up to. It involved big trucks and a lot of yelling, hollering, screaming, cheering, dancing, flag waving and general carrying on.

17 October 2014

Wonky Bird Coasters {Tutorial}

After finishing a few big projects, it’s been nice to create something small and fun. A quick finish project is always nice and I think it helps keep the creative juices flowing, and the old brain ticking over, planning the next big thing.

Last week, I posted about one of these small projects. I shared some images of the Wonky Improv Birds which I was playing with. I also shared an image on FB which received quite a few requests for a tutorial. The original source of the inspiration is an image by LauraJ on Flickr.

If you’d like to have a go at making some, here’s how I make my Improv Wonky Bird Coasters. Grab your scrap tub and let’s get to it.

I make the coasters in sets of 2 – mainly because the first step is to make a half square triangle block. To make one half square triangle block always results in 2 half square triangle blocks – right?

Begin with (2) 4.5” squares. One low volume for the background and one will be the bird body.

Draw the diagonal line across the low volume square, place them right sides together and sew a 1/4” on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the line and press to the dark side.

Wonky Bird Block - Pieces

Here are the next pieces which you’ll need:
A = the half square triangle blocks
B = will be the front of the bird. It needs to the be the length of the HST block and approximately 1.5” – 2” wide depending on the look you’re going for.
C = this needs to be a little wider than the bird body (B) but the same length. So let’s say somewhere between 2” to 2.5”.
D = this is the beak. 1.25” square.
E = this square will go on the bottom corner of the birds body. Around 1.5” square should work.

As I said, this is all improvisational, which is why I haven’t given exact sizes – just the rough guide. Your Wonky Birds will all look different depending on your fabric scraps and the “look” you’re going for.

Okay, let’s get back to it. Place the beak (D) square on the top left corner of the white (C) piece and sew diagonally across the yellow from corner to corner.

Wonky Improv Birds - Piecing

Trim these pieces 1/4” outside of the sewn line.
Flip the triangle piece over and press to the darker side.

Wonky Birds Piecing

Now sew these 3 pieces together and press. Here you have the bird (sans legs). Yay!

Now for the legs. You’ll need a piece of the background fabric approximately 2” wide and the same length as the bottom of the bird block PLUS 2 inches. So for example, if the bird block measures 6”, your piece should measure 2” x 8”. This extra will give some wiggle room and will be trimmed down at the end.

Wonky Bird Legs

At approximately 2” from the left side cut this piece. Measure another 3/4” (or 1” depending on the look you want) and cut again. This is where we’re going to sew in the legs.

The leg fabric is only 3/4” wide and the same height as that bottom piece.
Sew the legs into the spaces which we just created and then press.

Wonky Bird Legs 2

Sew the legs block to the bird block and then press and trim. It’s looking good, isn’t it?

Now we need a top bit. A little bit of sky. This piece needs to be approximately 2” and the same length as the rest of the bird block.

Sew the sky piece and then press the block completely.

Square the block (I trim mine down to 6” square) and here you have your finished improv wonky bird. Yay!!

And if you’ve been making 2 at a time like I do, it’s a double yay!

Wonky Bird Blocks

Place your bird on a square of batting and a square of backing and quilt with straight lines. I use my presser foot as my quilting guide.

Wonky Birds Quilted

For my binding, I cut my strip 1 3/4” (rather than double fold binding).
Starting a few inches from a corner and leaving a tail for joining, sew the binding to the right side, mitring the corners as you go.

Stop a couple of inches from the starting point and join the ends of the binding neatly with a 45-degree seam, trim the surplus and finish sewing the binding to the coaster.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I also hope that you now go forth and create lots and lots of wonky birds.


11 October 2014

The TM5

I bought a new toy. I saved and saved and saved and last night, my new toy arrived.

Here she is; my new Thermomix TM5. She is as yet unnamed, but I'll work on that. 

My lovely Thermo rep brought it over last night and gave me the demo.

We're out to a family lunch today, so I thought I'd take some tummies with me. After morning coffee, I got to work.

Garlic and herb butter from scratch and including herbs from my garden.

I then made a herb and garlic pull-apart loaf (and used half the butter).

A regular loaf of white bread (I needed something to smear the rest of the garlic and herb butter, didn't I?

Some chocolate chip cookies...

And some pineapple sorbet.

Not bad for a couple of hours in the kitchen. 

Now, I need your advice. 

If you have a Thermo, what are some of your favourite recipes?

And, more importantly, what should I call my new lady?

10 October 2014

Scrappy Improv Birdies

After finishing a big quilt, a quick little project is always nice, don't you think?

I was playing around on Pinterest and saw some cute improv mug rugs. I followed the link which led me to Flickr. I read the comments, which led me to an image drawn and colored in on paper. 

The old brain ticked over and I made a few blocks. I didn't have time to commit to these birdies, so I made 4 and they became coasters.

I love the quilting process. I played around with some heavy quilting, running in different directions. Fun, fun, fun!

I'm at the school canteen all day today, and going to a Thermomix demo this evening. It's going to be a fun Friday. 

Hope yours is fab too x

08 October 2014

Summer & Unicorns

My summer inspired 12" mini quilt arrived this morning and it's just gorgeous! 

Thank you Simone. I love love love it! And the choccie will remain hidden away in my sewing studio, away from children. Thank you Cheryll for organising another fun swap.

Today, I will finish binding this pretty quilt.

I've been happily binding it in the evenings, but now that I only have a little way to go, it's time to finish it and write up the pattern. 

Binding makes me happy and it's always a little sad when it comes to an end, don't you think?