26 December 2014

A Lovely Christmas

I think this year was the most relaxed I've ever been at Christmas, my present shopping was completed before I headed to Melbourne and I did the food shopping on Sunday and there were just a couple of last minute things I picked up on Tuesday evening.  The tip is to go around 5.30 when people are still coming home from work and I'm convince there is a mental thing to head out after tea, it was still busy but there were plenty of parks.

The Melbourne trip was a bit different this year, I decided I wasn't going to rush around shopping the next day.  Our Head Office moved into the city this year and the boss picked me up from the hotel and we went into look at the new accommodation.  They have spectacular views of the city, the Yarra, Fed Square, Rod Laver Arena and if only they removed that big building in front of it the MCG.

I went to luccello on the way to the hotel on Friday and purchased a couple of Christmas Decorations and some Valdani thread.  The shop has changed over the years and I think there is less vintage and more fabric now which is a shame.

Saturday I headed to the Aquarium and spent a couple of hours looking at the fish and then walked to the DFO just for some window shopping and then off to the airport and home.

I worked from home Christmas Eve and I was able to do quite a bit of prep work and just really chilled out and got up early Christmas day to put the turkey in the oven.

DH got a Webber Q for Christmas, he had no clue.  We talked about it this morning and he couldn't figure out when I purchased it and when I told him November he couldn't believe that the kids had kept their mouth shut for so long and how it had managed to be kept under wraps at my MIL as he had been in and out of the hiding place a dozen times.   I'm just glad that we weren't relying on it for  cooking Christmas day as it took him most of the morning to put it together.

The Turkey was perfect again this year, thanks to the moister plus setting on my oven,  but I did manage to over cook the dinner rolls for the 2nd year in a row.

I got a new phone for Christmas which arrived Christmas Eve and a couple of T2 gifts, a small ice tea jug and a tea flask which is amazing (keeps tea piping hot for about 3 hours) and the kids got more than enough to keep them busy for the holidays and beyond.

I'm off from work until the 12th and I have 3 quilts to finish.  I plan to allocate a couple of hours each day to get those done.    But today I need to head out to the sewing room and see if I can find that sewing table because I dumbed a heap of stuff there to get it out of the way yesterday.  Catch you soon and have a lovely break for the holidays.

20 December 2014

15 minute challenge - mid month review

The first half of the month has been very good for stitching.  There were a few hiccups in waiting for my favourite background fabric - Emma Louise but it arrived and I got to stitching the first of my quilts that needs to be finished by first week in January.

While I was waiting I also got started on putting together the chock sampler.  Though I have block placement decided and the sashing all cut putting it together stopped for the piecing of the skill builder sampler.  That quilt is all together and I just have to add top and bottom sashing. And one small border and it's ready for quilting.

I'm currently in Melbourne for yearly xmas party for work, got to say not feeling all that fabulous this morning it was a big one this year.  I left about 10pm and there was others still going (the festivities started at 12)  Plan to head out to the aquarium and watch some fish instead of hitting the shops and just have a chill day.

Sorry no pictures as I can't work it out on the iPad catch you soon

15 December 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Blocks 7 & 8

How are the blocks going?  I've been busy working on a new sampler to teach next year.  That quilt top is nearly finished and I'll post picture in a couple of days.

I hope to get back to putting Choccy Sampler together soon but you can't see that for a couple of months yet.  However, now you are a little bit closer because today I am unveiling blocks 7 and 8 so there are on four more to go after this.

We are doing some more connector corners this month and using that nifty method of creating pinwheel blocks again that I showed you in month 2.

13 December 2014

Bit of a Mixed Bag

The day job is winding down for the year and for the first time in about 3 years I am nearly up to date and have started archiving files (which I haven't had enough time to finish for about 3 years).  I'm half way through 2 years worth and then will have to go back and do the files due to be archived this year.

Friday I am heading to Melbourne for the annual Xmas Party and shopping spree though I don't think there will be much shopping, my Xmas shopping is pretty much all done so I might not shop at all apart from a detour to L'uccello and maybe do a tourist thing on Saturday before flying home.

While the day job is winding down, Seabreeze Quilts is ramping up.  I've just finished first draft of this months Choccy blocks.... OMG how late is that will edit it tomorrow ready to go up on the week on Monday.  I have interrupted putting the quilt together to do another sampler quilt which I will be teaching at Patchwork by Sea next year .  These lessons will follow straight on from the beginners class and will give the them a chance to move straight onto another set of blocks and learn a few more techniques and hone the skills they have just learnt.

Classes will be on a Tuesday night in term 1, 2 and 3.  If you know anyone interested in learning Patchwork you know where to send them.  

There are 2 more blocks to go and then I can work on putting it together and quilted and hopefully get it to the shop in early January to help advertise the classes.  Loving the way just changing the way the units are put together changes the whole look of the block.  

04 December 2014

15 Minute Challenge End of Month Report

The last 15 days have been more successful sewing wise for me and I have managed far more than my 15 minutes.

For the 3rd week of the month I hand quilted till my fingers bled (well not quite) while my sewing machine was getting a service.  It was good to just sit and sew every night watching the TV.

Week 4 saw me getting reacquainted with my sewing machine, can't get over how much quieter it is now its had a service.  All my sampler blocks are completed so now all I have to do is write up the patterns for the final 3 months.

Once that was done I picked up my Metro Twist Blocks which were cut ready to stitch and on the weekend pieced and squared up the individual pieces.  The quilt top is now finished but that is probably for the next report as I finished it on the 2nd.

If you want a specialty ruler you really need to try the Quick Curved Ruler, especially if you love curved quilt patterns.  Have to say they have been my weakness for years.  There are loads of patterns and you can purchase them for instant download which is great for Aussies and the blog is full of great variations and other peoples work to get inspiration.  There are about 3 more quilts that I want to try right now but I just don't have the time.  I know quite a few Aussie shops are stocking the ruler now and some of the patterns.


I'll be teaching Beginners at Patchwork by Sea again next year,  and I will also be providing a follow on class which I will be working the project for during the holidays.  At the moment the title of the Class is Beginners Skill Builder Sampler and will run for 3 weeks straight after the beginners class finishes.

Ideally you would attend the beginners class first and then do the follow on class (unless you were in my beginners class this year then just wait for the skill builder or do the beginners class again which a few of them were keen to do :).  In the beginners class I teach how to get a basic quilt together from start to finish, the skill builder class concentrate on piecing more complicated blocks.

If you know someone who would love to learn the basics and/or a bit more have them contact the shop and put their name down.  Classes start the 2nd week of the school term (first week of February).

25 November 2014

Lots of Stitching Progress

I have been trying to find time to put my machine in for a service and I decided that this week would be it, I will pick it up on Friday ready to sew again on the weekend.

I try not to machine stitch during the week anyway its easier to just do hand sewing but I thought it would be a good idea to use the forced layoff to give me the push I needed to try and finish the blocks for the sampler so I am a couple of months ahead again.  I managed some major sewing on the weekend and polished off 4 of the final 5 blocks of the Choccy Sampler .  I also think I have  decided on the sashing I would use and have started cutting out the strips just to see how it will look.  I'm loving the new blocks and can't wait to get them out into the world, I think the final product is going to look beautiful.

In other news I have been asked to contribute to Handmade Magazine and have designed a project for later next year which I will be starting on shortly.   I received most of the fabric for the project on Friday and just have to shop for background fabric this week and I can get stitching... I will need the machine back for this one though.  It's all very exciting.

I have started hand quilting the appliqué quilt  I purchased a new hoop today, as I have been trying to use my floor stand hoop without the floor stand as I have been finding that it hurts my back to lean over it and sew, but the hoop is just too big for that purpose and everything was starting to ache.  The smaller hoop will hopefully be easier to handle.

18 November 2014

Mid Month Report - 15 Minute Challenge

Don't ask me what happened to the end of month report for October, the end of October was a real disaster as far as sewing goes.

Apart from the first Sunday of the month sewing with the girls November has only really picked up this last week.  I'm way behind on finishing another 4 Ornies so I can make up a pattern  with the new version for Patchwork by Sea, will be stitching again tonight to finish the final 2.   My only excuse is to much work for the end of October and to much running around for the first week in November.

The final 5 blocks of the Sampler are all cut ready to sew and I plan to do those this weekend.  Then I can start playing with the block settings.  

I've booked my machine in for a service next week as I want to have it in good working order before I start quilting my appliqué quilt and it is probably 2 years since it was last done there was a time when I had it serviced every year.

Think from now until well after Christmas I will have plenty of sewing on the go to help me keep to the challenge.  

15 November 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Blocks 5 and 6

This month marks the half way point of the sampler.  Can't believe it, which means that I had better get on and make the last 5 blocks.   I have been really busy with none quilting activities like kids tennis and more work (day job) than I really need at the moment.  Thankfully that should slow down now and I can concentrate on the fun stuff.

The last couple of months I have chosen blocks that try and build on what you have learnt and then give a new technique that you may not be familiar with but because I was a bit later than I would have liked writing the pattern I decided to just choose a couple of the easier blocks for this month.  By easier I mean easier for me to explain not necessarily to sew.  A word of warning you will need to take care with block 6 as it requires you to sew triangles with a bias cut be careful  that you do not stretch the seam as you stitch if you can manage this the block will go together without a hitch.

I realised the other day that the quilt layout I had been showing on the blog was wrong as the quilt is 12 blocks not 16 so I have fixed that as well sorry for any confusion.  

I have had a couple of sales of block 1&2 so welcome to the recent participants and I hope you enjoy the quilt.  

Keep sending me photo's of your finished blocks and I will post them on the blog/instagram and Facebook for everyone to see.  

The link to purchase the instructions to this blocks are now on the Choccy Sampler Page.

12 November 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Update

Kate sent me a photo of her next 2 blocks.  Still loving that Chocolate fabric think its going to be a spectacular quilt when it is finished.  How are your blocks coming along?

Remember that the next two blocks are due to go up on Saturday so make sure you get your instruction downloaded and don't forget to send me a link or photo's of the blocks you have completed so that I can share with everyone.

06 November 2014

A Big Week of Tennis

This week Squid was to play tennis in the SAPSASA Tennis Carnival, this is for all primary school children in year 6 and 7 in the state.   Our district usually has trouble filling the team so we had a couple of grade 5's in the team as well.  Squid was only down to play 2 days which I thought would be enough for her but as there was a couple of injuries she ended up playing the whole week.

Things were reasonably slow at work my boss was still on holidays but we decided that it would be ok for me to have the time... actually I just told him I was having the time.  And I have been looking at emails and things when I get home just to make sure there wasn't anything getting out of hand.

I really don't know who is more tired me or Squid... well probably Squid but I have been pretty shattered at the end of the day... especially when you play just about every shot with them lol.

The kids have been having a ball and the ones that can try out again next year are eager to do it again.  Due to the success of the team last year (Maestro was in that group) their district went up to Div 1, and they have only managed to win 1 round so hopefully they will drop down next year to Div 2 and get less of a pummelling.  Even though most of the kids haven't had a win they still have been coming off the court smiling so they are just happy to enjoy the experience.

02 November 2014

Stitchen and Bitchen - Great Way to Spend a Sunday

Had another lovely day with the girls today, stitching and solving world problems (well our little world's problems) having a bit of a bitch about various members of our respective families and generally unwinding and doing a fare amount of talking and sewing.

I made a backing for my appliqué quilt found a lovely floral voile in the stash, then basted the quilt ready for quilting.  Then I turned my attention to the Metro Twist Quilt that I cut out last time we had a sewing day and got 6 blocks finished.

The blocks are super easy to piece I don't use pins at all to piece the curve and the clear instructions make easy to trim the blocks down to size with the Curve Ruler and then put the pieces together. I will be making more of the patterns using this ruler because the quilts are just so striking and so easy to do.

I'm up for another busy week, as Squid is playing in the SPSASA Tennis Carnival this week.  She is scheduled for the first 2 days only but that may change at short notice... which I know my boss has forgotten about which might make next week a bit challenging for him when he gets back from his OS holiday but I am sure he will survive.

How are your Choccy Blocks going, I saw another block today using repro's and I think the finished quilt will look fantastic.  

28 October 2014

Ta Da - We Have a Finished Quilt top

Last night I put the finishing touches on my appliqué quilt top.  Now it is all ready for quilting.  I'm planning on having a sewing day with the girls on Sunday, and I hope to get it basted as well as do a couple of other projects.

I did post a picture of the quilt on Facebook and instagram but I get the feeling the lens of my phone was a tad dirty as the colours were a bit washed out.  I cleaned it before I took this shot, and this picture is a hundred times better and is a pretty good reflection of the colours of the quilt.   I really enjoyed every aspect of this quilt, it wasn't rushed I didn't have a deadline and I just loved the process.  I'm planning a new appliqué quilt individual blocks this time I think.

I'm still debating wether to make this a pattern or not, I think it will be a great teaching quilt if any SA quilt shops are interested in a weekend class or over a couple of weeks for students to get a good grounding in needle turn because the pieces are relatively big and aren't too intricate.  You can contact me through Facebook or the blog if you are interested and I'll come up with a class plan.

Hows the Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler going? Kate sent me her first 2 blocks to show you.  I really like the fabric she is using.  Don't forget to email me your blocks and I'll post them here.

25 October 2014


No not me, work ... the day job that is, and it isn't even our office that is moving its our Melbourne Office.

A couple of weeks ago my boss dobbed me in to our IT guy in Melbourne saying I could probably help him out when he needed extra work done.  We now have only one IT guy that does everything for all the branches, we use to have another guy as his helper as well but I don't think it worked out.

I have been with the company for 6 years now, and I have always dabbled in all thinks geeky, though I don't know code and the real technical stuff, I know more about MS Office that most, had done technical writing and will get in a learn stuff if I really need to to get the job done.   My boss worries that I don't get challenged enough at work, I keep telling him that I don't come to work to get challenged but still he worries... especially when I started teaching this year lol we had the talk about are you leaving anytime soon.. I laughed and told him that is a long long way off.

So now I have home access to do work, and as Melbourne is moving all our templates and documents need to be updated with the new address details, which has turned out to be a bit more complicated than I originally thought and a lot more work than I anticipated.  This week I have been doing quite a bit at home as my boss rightly told Melbourne that I wouldn't really be interested in putting any more time in at the office because of kid commitments.  He has always been a very good negotiator for me, and because we have worked together for so long he pretty much knows how I tick.

Some of the work is pretty mind numbing stuff, but hey the pay will be good, and I know that I am helping out and I get to fix the stuff that bugs me when it isn't done right.  

The 15 minute challenge has taken a hit this week but I have made up for it on this weekend as I have started putting the final borders on the appliqué quilt.  Chatting with Pip on Facebook I think I will be adding a small newsprint border on the outside as well and then have really scrappy binding.  I have an excess amount of flying geese cut as I originally planned to do a double zig zag border but I've scrapped that idea.  I see  a mini quilt with the leftovers... well that's the plan anyway, fingers crossed I finish the borders tomorrow then put the quilt together next week as I am having another sewing day with the girls.

18 October 2014

15 Minute Challenge

Kate has brought back the 15 minute challenge a bit differently.  We only report twice a month which is fine.

I really haven't been trying even though I have done something every day for the last 2 weeks, its amazing what happens when a few things slow down, especially the day job and then I feel like doing some stitching in the evening.

Achievements this month: I haven't actually finished anything major but have moved along on a couple of ongoing projects and started a X Stitch.

  1. Started new Blackbird Xstitch which is inspired by the anniversary of the Beatles appearing on a TV show in the US.  I have 3 patterns and I have started on Elinor Rigby because I had suitable colours in the thread stash to start.
  2. Finished half the flying geese blocks to finish my appliqué quilt
  3. Finished cutting out Metro Twist Quilt
  4. Finished 1 block for the Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler (only 5 more to go).  Hoping to report all the blocks finished next time. 
  5. Finished Class samples for a class to be taught but looks like the class will be cancelled, but shop will purchase patterns so not all is lost.  
You can join the linky party here.

15 October 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Blocks 3 and 4

Woke up this morning and realised that I had forgotten to set up a scheduled post last night.  Sorry guys.  So with out further ado here are blocks 3 and 4.

These are 9 patches and they had a similar look and feel but the cross units are different and I introduce another shortcut to make the hour glass blocks.

I find it is best to join 9 patches in rows and with careful pressing of your seams and the unit intersections your blocks will go together easily.

Block 3 is a variation of a block called Blueberry Pie and Block 4 is my variation on Contrary Wife which I am sure my husband will agree with.

Block 3

Block 4

These blocks can now be purchased from my Etsy Shop

13 October 2014

Holidays are over once again

And routine is returning to the household.  Squid had a pupil free day today so she starts back tomorrow.  Even though I work most holidays it is good to come home and not have to rush anywhere and now we have daylight saving so it feels like there are so many more hours in the day.
However thoughts of summer appears to have deserted us today with the temperature dropping to 14 degrees today, can't believe just a couple of days ago it was 33 and the kids were swimming at the beach.

We had a luna eclipse the other night, I had the camera out and got a few shots most weren't that good.  It was a bit chilly out and I ended up giving up about half way through the proceedings.  Here are the best of my shots which look a bit blurry I was a bit hampered by street lights and the townhouses next door.

My applique quilt is moving along slowly but I am enjoying the process.    I have started on the flying geese border and half the required geese have been stitched.  I need to make the negative ones, these are all cut out ready to stitch.    I am kind of glad that my appliqué class got cancelled because I would have just rushed to get this quilt finished if it had gone ahead and I think I have done a better job by not rushing and pushing myself which at this time of year with my day job isn't a good thing.  

I think I will end up writing the pattern to this quilt  which means Squid can't have it for a little while yet, but as she already has a quilt on her bed so I am sure she can wait.

I've also now been asked to take on more work with my day job for our Head Office, it will be different work from what I do for the branch and it is helping out with IT.  They are happy for me to do this from home as I really didn't want to increase me hours in the office as it means I wouldn't be able to pick up and drop kids off at school and their sport commitments.  The boss sees it as a win win situation as it will also mean that I can work from home when the kids get sick.

In other news I will be teaching my Forest of Tree Ornies at Patchwork By Sea on the 1st of November so contact the shop if you are in Adelaide and would like a fun day of stitching and ornie making.  These also make great gift tags for pressies.  I am currently stitching alternative colour versions from some Lynnette Anderson Christmas Fabric and they are going to look lovely in burgundy thread.  I have posted a few pictures on instagram head on over and check them out.

The Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Blocks 3 and 4 instructions are all written up and are ready to be posted on Wednesday so make sure you have downloaded last months instructions prior.

Remember to let me know if you have any questions and send me photo's of your finished block and I will post them on the blog.

Just a reminder

I planned to do a blog post all weekend but I was sewing and doing housework instead.  So all this is, is a reminder to get your Sampler Blocks 1 and 2 downloaded the instructions come down in 2 days and the next 2 blocks will be released.

06 October 2014

Amazing Day

We have been talking for months about having a sewing day.  Every couple of weeks I meet up with my quilting buddies, we have coffee, chat and generally catch up with stuff including quilting but it doesn't involve sewing anymore as it all gets too hard sometimes.

As footy is finished, maybe forever except for Crow games I decided to put it on the agenda again and yesterday was the day.  I got a leave pass from the family and headed off with 3 projects because I couldn't decide.  DH made the comment that we would probably just talk all day.   Lots of chatting was to be had but lots of sewing too.

You will be pleased to know I did another block of the sampler, the girls got a sneak peak of all the blocks I have completed and gave it the stamp of approval.  I showed them my appliqué quilt, more oohs and ahhs so maybe it is on the right track also.  I then started on my Metro Twist cutting, because I was a little unsure how to go with this and Helen had done  class on the ruler I thought it would be good to have her give me some tips.

I finished one block and then cut the rest of the quilt out.    One amazing day and I think we will be planning more because it is so much better to share the creative air and bounce ideas off each other.  It did take me quite a bit to pack the car in the morning and unpack it last night but it was well worth it.

02 October 2014

Sampler Blocks to Share

Mrs Pyjamas sent me pictures of her blocks today.  I think it is going to be amazing seeing all the different variations of the theme.

Its not too late to join in original post is here and get all the details of what you need are here you have until midnight on the 14th of October to get block 1 & 2 for free then you can get them from my etsy shop for $3.

And don't forget if you have a questions drop me an email and you can send me your block photo's if you don't have a blog.

28 September 2014

The Perfect Storm

It's been another busy week.  This week every September is the busiest week for the year at work,  I keep the office rolling while the boss goes visits all our biggest clients, preparing all the paperwork for all this is very time consuming.  Usually it involves more interstate travel for him but it hasn't been so bad this year for one reason or another.  I haven't felt much like stitching when I get home though I did manage a few leaves on the border just a few more to go and that section will be finished.

Another thing on the agenda for this week was Maestro's 14th birthday party.  His birthday is still a couple of weeks away but he decided he wanted a AFL Grandfinal party for some of his friends.  There was originally a guest list of 6 but that grew to 11 by the end of last week,  I was kinda of dreading the chaos that a dozen 14 years olds could unleash but we did survive.

There was a very little bit of football watching, computer games, some eight ball, table tennis, pin the porcupine on the pineapple tree (don't ask where that comes from), watching a few Youtube videos, then back for who could can eat the donut hanging from the washing line the quickest, a balloon popping relay and last but not least a charades game using an iPad app which was nearly as noisy as the balloon popping relay.  The afternoon was very busy, very noising but the kids seem to have lots of fun.  We finally got rid of the last kid at 8 o'clock (party finished at 6pm).  Poor Squid hardly had time to touch the pillow and she was out DH & I weren't long behind her.

Now I get to the title of the story.  The Perfect Storm that is was a postage delivery storm.  We all love happy mail and I had lots of it on Friday.  The only problem is DH had a sick day, he is still struggling with that bug that we had the other week and he decided 3 days at home might just kick the end of it.

The normal mail guy arrived with a large envelope with a pattern I had ordered (research you understand).  Next  a courier arrived with my Moo cards which should have come weeks ago but had to be reprinted because they went missing and then Moo kindly sent them by express and they arrived Friday morning.  The guy remarked that there usually isn't anyone home to sign her and DH told him "She is always buying something so I am not surprised" DH asked me if I was on first name basis with the courier guy and I looked at the package and I can't honestly remember receiving anything coming from that Courier Company before.  Lastly (at least I was home to usher it into the door before DH saw)  came my Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Adjustable Square which was delivered in a huge box to keep it safe.  I had been waiting a couple of weeks for this item as it had to be  reordered because when Maree at Ozquilts went to send it the first time she found that the one in stock was damaged.

Can't wait to design my next appliqué quilt with this, there are holes in the corners where you can string thread through so that you can line up your appliqué templates.  I see another sampler in the making this time appliqué blocks.  

I'm looking forward to a planned sewing day with the girls next weekend, can't wait. 


21 September 2014


How's the sampler going? haven't had any questions so far so I'm hoping you are all finding the instruction clear. make sure you send links or email photos to share.

Both dh and I are still very flat from this bug we have been battling, it's seems as soon as I do a bit too much I feel terrible again, today was one of those days.   Squid has come down with a sore throat as well. At least next week is the last week of term, so we can all have a break from running around so much.

I have managed to make up my steps for steptember, and am just under the 10000 average a day.  I've been walking late afternoon, so I can stay in bed a bit longer in the morning and avoid the cold air, I'm going to try for a couple of long walks this weekend to get ahead. This blog post has taken a couple of day so I can tell you yesterday I walked 16.5k so my average should be good this week.

It's birthday season here and Maestro has been invited to a couple of girls parties over the last few weeks.  Parties have been strictly all male affairs up until this year but I guess that changes from now on.   he's having his party on afl grand final day, not everyone will be interested in the footy so there will have to be a few other activities planned.  DH usually has pin the something on something, (there is never a donkey involved) and a few other party games lined up.   I would have thought they would be getting too old for the party games but apparently not according to maestro because that's the best bit.

The appliqué quilt is moving along and I am up to the leaves on the last appliqué border.  I am thinking about adding some more bits to the bottom corners, it just looks a bit bare in spots.  Then I can start working on the final pieced border.  Squid has her eye on this quilt but I'm thinking of making it into a pattern which means it will be off limits to her for a while.  Though I still have a few difficulties in getting it ready as an epattern to overcome before I finalise that decision.

Quite often I find myself buying patterns by other designers just to see how they put their patterns together.   I have to tell you most of the time I'm disappointed with how it is all presented apart from the cover so maybe I am over thinking it all.

Catch you next time.

15 September 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Month 1

Here we go Blocks 1 and 2  

These are traditional blocks and where possible I have simplified the piecing.  This month I introduce connector corners (which is a technique devised by Mary Ellen Hopkins many years ago).  For my beginners this is a new technique to add to your growing skills.  Some people don’t like this technique because there is a bit of waste but if you are careful with your trimming you can keep the offcuts and make small half square triangle units to use in another project so then there is no waste.

What you will need for the whole quilt

All blocks are 12" finished.  You will need approximately 16 fat quarters or 4m/yards of fabric, with a good mixture of light, medium and dark values.

I plan to sash my blocks for a finished quilt size of 48" x 63" (121cm x 160cm) and I will probably want to add a border as well.  If you decide just to make the blocks the finished size will be 36"x 48" (91cm x 121cm).  

If you are adding borders and sashing allow extra fabric (1m or 1 1/8yard for sashing) and at least 6 strips of your chosen border size for the border.     

To make it simple I will refer to brown fabrics and pink fabrics in their various values throughout but replace these with your chosen colour scheme.  If you are making a scrappy quilt, brown and pink can be different colours in each block.  It will all work as long as you are careful about your value (dark, medium and light).

If you want to make your quilt bigger, think about making a negative of each of the blocks by swapping the lights with the darks or simply add another colour variation.  Each month I will add to the virtual version of the quilt below.  Block placement is not fixed and I won't decide where blocks go until I put the real quilt all together.  

For the first week of the month the link to the file will be on the months blog post then I will remove it and leave it on the Samplers page which you will find in the tabs above.  There will also be a link to my etsy shop where you can purchase any of the months that you may have missed.  If you remember to follow along the sampler is free.  

If you have any questions just leave a comment under the post and I’ll get back to you.  If you find an error do the same and I will make some changes.  Anyway its all about having fun and for the beginners out there stretching your knowledge and learning new skills. 

Head to the Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler Page for the Month 1 Link
Don't forget to save the instructions to your computer.

13 September 2014

Are you ready?

I've just been putting the finishing touches on the first lot of instructions for the Choccy Sampler.  It was a good job that I got the first lot of instructions done last week and I only had to edit today as I have had a virus all week and been really under the weather.

The virus also managed to bring on a migraine, and DH had to try and get me into the Drs for a maxalon injection which are ever so enjoyable but at least it made me sleep most of Wednesday.  Although I still have a head cold I feel 100% better and managed a good long walk this morning in the sunshine  which did me a world of good.

Back to the Sampler I've finished 5 blocks and they are looking pretty georgious so I can wait to share them with you over the coming months.  I'm hoping to do another later today.   On a couple of the blocks I've used some Pat Sloan fabric from her very first fabric range which has been in my stash for just so long.  I decided to use it not knowing it was the last piece but it just looks wonderful in the blocks so I'm glad it will end up in this quilt.

I'll schedule the post to come up just after midnight on Sunday, so fingers crossed it all works.

Last week Coco and I walked along Linear Park from my MIL house, we didn't quite get to the beach as I was getting sunburnt but it was a beautiful day and there was a bit of different bird life to see.

01 September 2014

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler

Inspired by my Beginners Class and thinking about what they might do next I have decided to embark on a Mystery Sampler Quilt running over 6 months.  Each month I plan to give instructions for 2 blocks for the Sampler. 

The Sampler will be called Chocolate Marshmallow as I am choosing a pink and brown colour scheme.  You of course can choose whichever colours you like.  Mine is going to be pretty scrappy and I will use fabrics only from my stash however you may choose to purchase fabrics specifically for the project.  

All blocks are 12" finished.  You will need approximately 16 fat quarters or 4m/yards of fabric, with a good mixture of light, medium and dark values.

Step by Step Instruction for the blocks will be available for free for 1 month and will be replaced by new instructions on the 15th of each month (Aussie time).  If you come to the party late instructions for previous blocks will be available at my etsy shop as and instant download for $3AU per month (2 blocks).

I plan to sash my blocks for a finished quilt size of 48" x 63" (121cm x 160cm) and I will probably want to add a border as well.  If you decide just to make the blocks the finished size will be 36"x 48" (91cm x 121cm).  Remember to allow extra fabric for borders and sashing (1m or 1 1/8yard for sashing) and at least 6 strips of your chosen border size for the border.    

Block designs will not be released in advanced and will only be revealed once the instructions have gone up though you may get a peak if you follow me on social media.      

Join me on my facebook page and instagram.

I still have a couple of technical issues to work out but they will all be sorted by the 15th of September so come back and join the fun.  You can see up on my menu bar I have a tab for the Sampler that will be where you can find all the details and download the blocks on the 15th.

28 August 2014

And we have a finish

My beginners class wrapped up this week.  They were all enthused and wanted to know what the next class would be I was teaching, unfortunately they weren't into needle turn appliqué. By the end of Tuesday's class they all had their quilts basted and were starting quilting in the ditch.   We had a bit of fun with all the various walking feet and having them work out how to go on the machine.  I have to say a couple of them were not exactly easy.

I think next time I will have a follow up class in the pipeline.  I will be running another beginners class in the new year, so if you have been thinking about learning to make a quilt and want to know all the basics contact Patchwork by Sea and put your name down for next year, who knows if they get enough interest they might run another one next term.  However with my beginners in mind I have been working on something in the background.

Mid September I will be launching a free sampler BOM.  I have a bit of a sneak peak.  It will be called the Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler and will run for 6 months.  Patterns will be available for free for one month and once the month is up the blocks a new set will go up and the previous months will be available sale at my Etsy shop as an instant download.

I should have most of the details finalised on the weekend so watch this space.

20 August 2014

It's nearly Thursday and I have a busy day planned

Don't think I am going to fit everything in tomorrow.  I was thinking this morning on the way to work it would be wonderful to slip back to the 3 day working week and go back to having a day dedicated to sewing, unfortunately the amount of work at work especially this time of year and the bank balance really needs that extra day.

Maestro found out his braces can come off "at the next available appointment" which is in 2 weeks time at which point we have to pay off the balance.  As he has only had them on 16 months and payments were calculated for 2 years there is still quite a bit to pay off and the permanent "gold" wire isn't included so that's more on top.  Every time I look at Squid's smile I know she will be following down the same path in the not too distant future.

Have to say that my Beginners Class is going great guns, and the girls are in various stages of finishing their first ever quilts and all enthused to learn more.  As I think I have said the first week I was pretty nervous but I have been doing my notes as the weeks have gone by to make sure I cover everything they need and I am sure they will come away with a completed (or nearly completed) quilt at the end of the course which they will be able to finish on their own if they need to.  

I am really pleased with how this weeks lesson went as I had girls on 3 different stages in the process.  I did a bit of show and tell with my quilts to show different border options - No borders, pieced borders and plain borders.  We did pin baste one quilt this week and we talked about spray basting (my preferred method) and had the other girls start to add their borders.  The class went really quickly  for me as there was talking on my part and helping with the various stages instead of just watching them sew blocks.

I'm heading to the class room this weekend as a student, I am doing a class on foundation piecing at Hetties Patch as the kids have a break in tennis this week.  Maestro is finished for the season, and Squids team went straight to the Grand Final so they get a weeks break so I get to play this weekend with my sewing machine.

I'll leave you with a picture of Maestro's footy team, it was team photo time.  This was straight after another loss ... only one more game to go not that I am counting but it will be nice to have Sunday's back again.


12 August 2014

Christmas in July Trio

My last pattern was unveiled today.   Here are the 3 patterns made from Home for the Holiday fabrics by Riley Blake.


07 August 2014

Feeling Inspired

Feeling really good about my Beginners Class this week.  I wasn't a bit nervous starting out this week and we got into learning about half square triangles.  It has got me thinking about what is the next step for the beginner once they have made their first quilt and it has inspired me to start another project in the next few weeks.  In fact as soon as I finish this blog post I am going to have a play in EQ7 to start drawing a few blocks and put a plan of action in place.  So watch this space over the next few weeks.

Christmas in July at Quilt Fabric Delight's continues this week and my second project was unveiled you can catch all of weeks 1 action here.  I have to admit I drafted this pattern not really thinking about how the blocks would come together and ordered the fabric then realised it might be hard to piece and get it right.  However I did a couple of test blocks and they came together amazingly easily. I think I am going to do a jelly roll friendly version down the track and I'd love to do a scrappier version of the big blocks as well and of course make it just so much bigger.

Well that's it for this week, who knows I may have further news next week on that other thing I'm going to be working on.

03 August 2014

Another Busy Week and Weekend has passed us by

Had a great time teaching my first beginners class this week.  As it was the first time I have taught it I wanted to make sure that all those vital bits of general info that you don't get from a Youtube video got passed on to my students.  Like rotary cutter safety, the right way to look after your equipment and other general bits of info about the wonderful world of patchwork and quilting.  I admit at first I was a bit nervous but soon got into the swing of things.

I really should be getting my stuff ready for Tuesday night, but I think I will leave it till tomorrow night to get myself all together.  I actually just feel like sitting and stitching tonight.

It was back to full time kids sport this weekend with a chunk of both Saturday and Sunday taken up with watching the kids play.  Squid played a couple of really good games of tennis and her team won every one of their matches.   I think all coaching over Winter is paying off and she is growing in confidence. What was great was that she came from 0-3 down to win 6-4.

Maestro's footy team has really struggled this year and they have only won 1 match all year and most of the other matches have been mercy rule.  They are also struggling with players as some have dropped out.  There were no subs this week and Maestro played with a recovering sore shoulder, he'd hurt his hamstring at tennis and managed to get kicked in the ankle during the game, but he had to stay on.  The coach sent him to the forward lines for a rest, but 5 minutes later he was working his way down to the back lines.  To their credit the boys didn't once look like giving up and played out the game and tried right to the end.  All I can say is the ice packs have been well used this weekend.  There is only 3 weeks of the season left and it can't come to soon.

Time to finish up now, have to give DH a hair cut then I'm sitting down with another cuppa (T2's limited edition brew Chunky Chocolate mmm)  and some appliqué stitching for the bottom border of my quilt.

28 July 2014

Xmas in July Has Begun.

Xmas in July at Quilt Fabric Delight's is up and running.  It started on Friday with a lovely project by Amanda Herring from The Quilted Fish.

And today it's my turn.  With this project for some Xmas Tree Ornies.

These are super quick to make and of course you don't have to use bright fabric they would be perfect in more muted christmas colours.  Great for Xmas Swaps and to put on your gifts instead of a label.  

I have to admit I am a little nervous but well prepared for teaching my first beginners class tomorrow evening.  I have written lots of notes for newbie quilters and I am really looking forward to welcoming a new group into the wonderful craft.  On the weekend I pieced ⅔ of a class sample quilt to help show the girls how to put it all together in week 4.  

22 July 2014

All good things must come to an end

Today we are back to routine again.  Maestro had a pupil free day yesterday, but Squid went back toschool.  As much as I hate having to go to work when the kids are on holidays at least it makes it a little easier when there isn't that rush to drop them off before heading out.

Friday I knocked off from work and headed to the Sewing Stitching and Craft Show, which had grown exponentially since last year and had quite a good selection of vendors.  I just hope Adeladian's have spent up so more vendors will come next year.  Cheap entry helps and I certainly spent the money I saved on the entry ticket in the show.  I managed to blow my budget pretty quickly because Can Do Books where there and Unique Stitching.  I really wish I had a bit more cash because I really could have picked up a few more mixed media supplies.

I've picked up my applique quilt again now that Xmas in July, which kicks off on friday, is all done.  I got a heap done last night, I seemed to power through the flowers last night.

I also cut out another version of my beginners class quilt evening and pieced half the blocks yesterday.  Bit slower today, my neck and shoulder is playing up... roll on Thursday were I will be have a torture session remedial massage.

The beginners class starts next Tuesday so if you have been toying with the idea of learning how to quilt or would like to brush up on the basics contact Patchwork by Sea there may still be a spot or two.

16 July 2014

Only 9 more sleeps

Apparently there are only 9 more sleeps till the start of QFD Xmas in July.

Lou is continuing with the traditional Bingo competition and there will be a door prize on the first day the only catch is you have to be all signed up before the 25th to be in the running for these two competitions.

Where do I join? I here you ask... Well just follow this link.

The all important bingo words go live tomorrow.  So head on over so you don't miss out on all the fun.

12 July 2014

Busy Busy Busy

It school holiday time, I am enjoying the break from schedule and I managed a couple of sleep in this week.  This morning I finished the last of my Xmas in July projects and they have headed up to Lou so that she and Sarah can work their magic and put the event all together.  The roll off designers is all new apart from me and Cheryl so it is bound to have a fresh new look this year and I am really looking forward to seeing what they all come up with.  There is still the usual chat to meet the designers and competitions so roll on 25th of July.   I have a few sneak peaks on my Facebook page  and if that wets your appetite you can head here to sign up.

Did I mention that I am teaching at Patchwork by Sea.  The projects are all done and I just have to finalise the all important class notes which I will be working on over the next couple of weeks.  The details are:

Raw Edge Appliqué (Tis the Season) is on the 26th of July

Introduction to Patchwork (5 week evening class) commencing 29th July

Needleturn Applique with a choice of 2 projects on 20 September.

You can read all the details on Patchwork by Sea's newsletter which pictures of the projects and contact details for the shop.

I am really excited about this opportunity.

In the next 3 weeks I have to also finish some study for work, that might be next on the list as it is bound to be mighty boring and really just needs to get done.

DH and I both have a day off together next week and we are planning a trip to Monarto Zoo with the kids... we haven't mentioned it yet to them.   It is all dependant on the weather which has pretty bad lately so if the forecast is for rain we won't be attempting it.

I tried to pick up this quilt last night and I had completely lost the plot on where I was going with it, I managed to sew on one leaf and thought I had better stop and have a look at notes and templates that I have abandoned for the last few weeks.

Its quiet here at the moment squid has a friend over and the boys have headed out to visit my MIL probably a good opportunity to get on with the TODO list.