Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Stash #159 - Umbrella Prints

Umbrella Prints is a textile house in South Australia run by Amy Prior and Carly Schwerdt.  These  inspirational girls  have been designing and hand printing fresh patterns onto organic cotton and hemp/cotton since 2006.  
100% Quilter's Cotton :: from the Elephants Love Water Collection
Hearts in Persimmon 
Waves in Bakelite Blue 
Elephants on Kyoto Blue 

Hand printed on natural organic hemp/cotton (a mid-weight fabric) are these delightful designs in a range of neutral colors.  These remnant pieces are perfect for adding a sprinkling of unique prints to your handmade projects, including quilts - of course.  Umbrella Prints collate the most perfect remnant/scrap packs!
Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, September 28, 2012


A sneak peek of what's been on my mind this week.

A bundle of fabric in black and white,
 with letters, words, notes and dots
 from a range of collections and designers including (from bottom up):

Annie's Farm Stand - Seed Catalog - White on White.
Newspaper by Suzuko Koseki
Musical Notes
In the News - Authentic by Sweetwater for Moda
Sketch Words by Kumiko Fujita for Yuwa
The News - Kei Fabric

The feature fabric:  
100% Organic Quilters Weight Cotton

My photos don't do justice to this patchwork of black and white.   It's hard work at the best of times to photograph white on white, but even more so on a day like today - a dark, wet, and somber Melbourne day.    A typical Melbourne scenario: a glimpse of Spring, even Summer earlier this week, followed by a return to Winter today.

This quilt top  is  was complete, but on reflection I think it needs a border.  Perhaps a pieced border.

More soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Little Folks Baby Quilt

Last week a quilting and blogging friend welcomed a sweet baby girl into her family. Even though I know that this is one baby girl who will be surrounded by much handmade and quilted goodness, I figured a girl can never have too many quilts. 

My fabric of choice was Little Folks - Voile - by Anna Maria Horner.  This fabric is buttery soft and fly-away light weight, and therefore perfectly suited for little ones as well as being suitable for a warm/hot climate.

This design is a repeat of earlier Little Folks Quilts made in 2010 (see here and here), although this time I decided to omit the binding.  I have previously made quilts without binding using a "bagging out" technique by sandwiching the layers together, stitching around the outside edges, and then turning the quilt inside out through a gap left for this purpose.  (See detailed tutorial here:  A Quilt Without Binding).

I love the looks of these edges!  So sleek and modern, but also colorful when contrasted with the backing fabric.   I have used a 100% cotton batting, which is my standard batting of choice; it is a low loft, natural fiber, batting.

All of the images here are of the hand washed quilt (in a small tub with Soak Wash - a no-rinse gentle cleansing formula), and then tumble dried in a dryer on a normal setting.  I anxiously waited for the quilt to come out of the dryer however could not have been happier with the result:  the fabric stayed true to color (without color run) and a gentle crinkling of the quilt.  

Super light weight  - weighing in at less than 250 grams.

Happy Stitching indeed!  This baby quilt is now making it's way across the country, and ready for sweet baby dreams, baby cuddles, snuggling, even nappy changes ....

Welcome to the world baby Olive!

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Skip the Borders Giveaway ~ Winner!

Thank you for all of your entries to be in the running to win a copy of Julie Herman's Skip the Borders e-book, and especially your insight into "rule breaking"!

Without further ado the winner of the Skip the Borders e-book by Julie Herman is:

Congratulations Diane ~ Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Skip the Borders Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome!  This is the 7th stop on the Skip the Borders Blog Tour.   
Julie Herman is a quilter, teacher, pattern designer, blogger,
and "one girl on a mission to make life better with fabric".  
Yes, I can identify with that!

Just like the title of the book, Skip the Borders showcases 15 quilt designs all without borders.  The book is divided into three distinct section ~ One Block Quilts, Two Block Quilts and Outside the Block Quilts ~ and includes a comprehensive how-to section on piecing, making backings, and how to sew on labels. A whole chapter is dedicated to everything binding.  

Skip the Borders is Julie's first book and I imagine there will be more to come from this young designer.  Julie's eye for simple design and use of bold colors to support her designs is innovative.  This collection of border-less quilts showcases a modern aesthetic and is suitable for beginner as well as advanced quilters.

Checkerboard Dots by Julie Herman
: :  Now for some Questions as set by Julie : :

Question 1: Do you skip borders on your quilts?
I have had to go back into my archives to answer this question, but it seems like I do generally skip the borders.  There are a few designs that do have borders - like Labyrinth Quilt  and A Quilter's Palette Quilt, both have white sashing around a block design and a border was needed to complete to look of the quilt.

Question 2: Do you break some quilting rules? What’s the number one rule you break and why?
I am blissfully ignorant as to what most of the "rules" are, and advocate doing whatever work best for you.  I am largely self-taught and march to the beat of my own drum:  I am heavy handed with my steam iron, I don't pre-wash all of my fabrics, and probably my biggest ruler-breaker:  I don't pin.  Gasp!  I only use pins when machine stitching the binding, or when sewing the seam of a large quilt back.

Question 3: Do you use bias or straight of grain binding?
I use straight of grain binding.  My current phase of using stripey binding doesn't lend itself to bias binding either as I like my stripes to run perpendicular to the quilt edge.

One lucky reader will win a copy of the Skip the Borders ebook by Julie Herman.

To be in the draw all you have to  do   is leave a comment on this post  (please ensure that an email address is available on your profile or is included in your comment -  NO EMAIL ADDRESS = NO VALID ENTRY).  International visitors are very welcome to enter!  Only one comment per person/email address will be eligible to enter the draw.

The draw will take place at 11am (AEST) on Wednesday 26 September 2012, at which time comments to this  post will be closed. The winner will be announced here on my blog the same day, and will also be contacted by email.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Stash #158 ~ More Text and Novelty Fabrics

Words words words words words words ...

I just can't seem to get enough of these text fabrics right now - they are so popular : : letters, words, numbers : :  particularly text fabrics in the context of sewing and crafting!

Polka Dots Stitches - Words in Blue, Grey and Red -
by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs

Polka Dots Stitches = Words = available from:

And I am training my eye to spot some fabulous novelty prints:

Timeless Treasures Novelties:
from left to right:

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Low Volume Scrap Quilt ~ A Finished Quilt

I don't easily get attached to my quilts, but this one is a little different.  The eclectic mix of fabrics used for this quilt, both fabric type and style, make my heart sing.  These subtle colors and delicate designs are a combination of my special stashed fabrics; the zealously hoarded kind.  I am however not afraid to use them.

The patchwork squares (all 374 of them) are small - just 3 inches finished - and make for an overall scrappy look.  I estimate that I have used at least 150 different fabrics to make this quilt, turning my fabric stash upside down in search of the right patch of fabric.  I have also mixed up fabric types, and have included designer quilting cottons, linens (and cotton/linen blends), feedsack, recycled vintage bed linens, and hand screen printed fabrics.  

This quilt is all about the fabrics and I have kept the quilting simple by only outlining all of the seam lines, no cross-hatching required.  Still, it was a lengthy process, with over (a quick calculation here for my numbers obsession) 90 yards of quilting, one stitch at a time, and plenty of quilt wrangling.

For quilt backing I have used a red polka dot on a white background (from the Delilah Collection by Tanya Whelan) which I have had in my stash for quite some time, and now feel the need to immediately re-stock!  

I auditioned numerous fabrics for the quilt binding however found myself again drawn to the grey/white Lecien (Color Basics) fabric which I have used for several quilts in the last few months.  All other - more saturated - fabrics framed the quilt too heavily and with too much contrast.  

As usual, I have listed this quilt in my Etsy Store.  
You can find the listing here :  Modern Patchwork Quilt. SOLD

And as always, thank you for stopping by,

Monday, September 17, 2012


Saturday, Sunday and Monday in pictures ...

I have had a wonderful time on the weekend digging through both my stash and scrap bin, creating huge piles of messed up fabric.  My search was for just the right prints to create the vision of a quilt that has been whizzing around in my head.  Something "low volume" but with a hint of color and definitely scrappy, very scrappy.

It feels like I am on the right path.  It's definitely scrappy, and I have included a wide variety of fabric designs, styles and fabric types, including hand screen printed, vintage (reclaimed bed linens), Japanese imports,  feedsack fabric, as well linen, and modern quilting cottons.

I finished sewing the quilt top on Sunday evening, but promptly decided that bigger would indeed be better.  So, today was spent going through my fabric stash once again, cutting more squares and re-jigging the layout.  

An usually productive weekend!

For now ... it's back to my design floor.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Stash #157

Havana by Monaluna

These sweet designs arrived in my mail box this week. A surprise package of the very best kind ~ fabric! ~ in a cool color palette of teal, blue and green that I don't think will ever lose it's appeal.
Havana by Monaluna
On the Go in Blue
Scoot Scoot in Blue

Havana by Monaluna  is a collection of fresh, modern designs printed on 100% GOTS certified organic cotton using low impact dyes.  The fabric is made from medium weight poplin weave, it has a natural drape and a soft, smooth hand.

My pick for stashing:  
Buttons in Blue 
Waffle in Green

The Havana collection is expected to arrive in stores in October 2012.  

Havana by Monaluna in both the cool and warm color palette
(image from

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweet Daisy Quilt II - A Custom Quilt

 A Custom Order Quilt using
The Sweet Daisy Quilt Pattern - an RPQ Pattern

Finished Quilt size:  52.5 inches x 65.5 inches

I have been burning the midnight oil this week to get this quilt finished.  I imagine it's not terribly exciting to see me reproduce this quilt, however it has been interesting to make a quilt from a pattern; and even more interesting to read and follow my own instructions!  

Fabrics Used:
  • Amy Butler - a selection of prints from the Lark and Soul Blossoms collection.
  • SOLIDS: Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in White, Ash, Aqua, Banana, Cactus, Medium Pink and Putty
  • Kei Honeycomb in Blue for binding

The Sweet Daisy Quilt Pattern is an ideal beginner pattern; it requires experience in rotary cutting and basic straight line sewing.  The finished size of the quilt can easily be modified by adding/omitting rows/columns to suit your needs.  This quilt was made according to the exact pattern instructions, and a more comprehensive list of fabric requirements forms part of the pattern instructions.

And so whilst this quilt is ready for shipping, I think it is time to the tidy the trail of destruction that I have left behind in this whirlwind of sewing, preferably prior to starting the next project. 
Thank you for stopping by,

Relevant Links:
Sweet Daisy Quilt Pattern (Etsy Store)
Sweet Daisy Custom Quilt - in Progress
Sweet Daisy Quilt and Quilt Pattern - blog post
Sunday Stash #81 - Soul Blossoms  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

[Added to my collection of Selvages]
 -- Wishing I'd always cut my selvages a little wider
 just to keep that edge of color ... and pattern --

And excellent Wednesday.  I hope your Wednesday was - or will be - too.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

[workinprogress] in Pictures

I am beginning the week with a new project. This, a custom quilt project, using a bundle of stash fabrics; most by Amy Butler, from both the Soul Blossoms and Lark Collections interspersed with solid fabrics.

.... a project you may well recognize.  I am stepping out of my usual design routine by following a quilt pattern, and more strangely still, one of my own quilt patterns: the Sweet Daisy Quilt Pattern 

I impatiently printed the pattern and read the instructions before getting started with the rotary cutter.  I didn't take long to find my rhythm; cutting, sewing and pressing.  

The blocks are done.  I now just need to try and ignore the beautiful Spring weather that's beckoning me to sit outside and enjoy the Melbourne sunshine.  I think I can hear my knitting needles calling ...

More soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Stash #156

Riley Blake ~ Cotton Dots (Small)

Small Dots by House Designers for Riley Blake:  another great selection of regular dots in a rainbow of colors.  From left to right :  Lavender, Aqua, Green, Yellow, Orange, Hot Pink, Red, Black, Brown and Navy.

Cotton Dots - Small - by Riley Blake Designs ~ available from:
Fort Worth Fabric Studio

And also ...  (these graphic prints are fantastic) ~

GeoCentric by Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud 9 Fabrics
100% Organic Home Decor Cotton Canvas
Clock-wise from top: 
 ZigZag in Coral
Trident in Daffodil
Circles in Turqoise and Metal

I am thinking pillow covers for these bold prints!  

Geocentric - Cloud 9 Fabrics ~ available from:

Enjoy Sunday!