30 June 2012

magnets for ratz swap

I finally finished the little magnets for the June ratz swap today - this is such a fun little swap with a different theme every month.

I'd been impatiently patiently waiting on magnets for the little buttons I made - they finally arrived yesterday - just in time :)

I also made some itty bitty magnets - from a pattern by Nova in the Zakka Style book - I'd made some of these a little while ago and they are very cute.

meanwhile, this week I received my magnets - made by Susan aka chickenfoot - aren't they gorgeous little monster magnets ! and all wrapped up in some cute tape ribbon.

the July theme is needlebooks - hopefully I can send this one off a little earlier as I should have all the supplies I need already in my stash !

have a great weekend :)

29 June 2012

hexy mf quilt-along

have you heard about the hexy mf quilt-along happening over at the fat quarterly blog ? Katy from i'm a ginger monkey is doing a quilt-along for her paper pieced hexy mf quilt.  When I first saw the quilt-along mentioned I tried hard to resist - really I did - but you know where this is going, don't you !!

hexy mf  (photo i'm a ginger monkey)

Katy decided to rename her quilt just for the quilt-along - as she says "if you’re wondering what the MF stands for it’s from the Prince song Sexy MF. This is why we need a more polite name, to better represent LillyBelle’s elegance and sophistication!"

so Katy and the fat quarterly crew put out a call for suggestions for a new name and were offering a fat quarter bundle of Lillybelle which is a new line by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics that Katy just happens to be using for the quilt-along.

LillyBelle (photo fat quarter shop)
I really like the hexy mf name - but I left a comment with my suggestion of just changing the mf bit to hexy modern flair - you know - nice and clean :)

Well, Katy liked my idea as well as Teresa's suggestion of hexy multiple flowers and she couldn't decide which one so we both receive a bundle of Lillybelle and I'm very excited 'cause I just LOVE Art Gallery Fabrics :)

so of course when I found out I'd won the fabric - well, I just had to join the quilt-along - I mean, really - I just had to !

off I went lickety split and bought a template kit from Katy and stocked up on the paper pieces as well !

now, the icing on the cake is that the July Blogger's Choice fat quarter bundle that I get from the Fat Quarter Shop has been put together by Jeni from In Colour Order and it has four LillyBelle fabrics as well as other Art Gallery Fabrics that I'll now be using to make Katy's hexy mf !

blogger's choice (photo fat quarter shop)

so how about it - are you going to quilt-along too ?

27 June 2012

Transparency Quilts

I'm back with another book review for C & T Publishing ... this time Transparency Quilts - the follow up to Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.

As with Weeks and Bill’s other books – colour is the main event - and the technique using colour in Transparency Quilts is quite magical – on first glance you would think that Weeks and Bill have used a fine see-through fabric over cotton as a sandwich to create their quilts – which is what I thought when I first glanced through this book especially looking at Share and Share alike (below) – but this is not so!

Share and Share Alike

What Weeks and Bill do with these quilts is combine fabrics so cleverly that they literally appear transparent!  It is quite an amazing technique and one I’ve not seen before.

Weeks and Bill talk about the relationship of colour to create a convincing transparency, they walk you through fabric selection and what doesn’t work and why, as well as giving quite a few colour palette samples.

Mint Julep

They then present 10 quilt projects so you can try this fabulous technique yourself – the quilts range from adventurous beginner to advanced level however there are also two beginner quilts.  A few of my favourites are Mint Julep, Share and Share Alike, Whisper, and Next In Line.


As with Quilts Made Modern, Weeks and Bill give each quilt an introduction and tips on fabric selection, quilting, and colour variations, and there are also size variations.

Next In Line

So while I might need to make a few more basic quilts before I jump in, if you are an adventurous beginner or above – these quilts will give you a new way of thinking about and using colour that you might just love.

you can find Weeks and Bill at FunQuilts and Weeks blogs at Craft Nectar.

I hope you've enjoyed these two book reviews this month - I'm thinking I might just have to make it a monthly series !

26 June 2012

Quilts Made Modern

When I was in Queensland recently and attending my mum’s sewing group (Buderim Patchwork) I was fortunate to be able to borrow books from their wonderful library and one of the first books I borrowed was Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr - so when C & T Publishing asked me to review it as a Creative Troupe member I jumped at the chance – it really is a fabulous book.

Weeks and Bill are a quilting husband and wife team who have written numerous books on colour theory and quilt design, they both have degrees in design and decades of experience and they also teach - reading this book was like being in one of their classes but you're the only student !

As a relatively new quilter I found the first section of the book invaluable – it's all about design - with information on colour theory and proportion, layers of design, developing a fabric palette,  and even looking at the inspiration for making the quilt - which I must admit I’ve never really thought about in detail (apparently I’m the same as a lot of their students !)

big circles
There are also sections on understanding the fabric with handy hints about working with different scales of fabrics and then looking at the design aspects of constructing the quilt - border vs no border, backings, batting and selecting the right thread along with quilting options.

birds on a wire
Weeks and Bill then present 10 quilt patterns that use various design elements from large blocks in Fashion District, small blocks in Beach Glass, to circles in Roundabouts and the aptly named Improv.  Big Circles uses freezer paper applique and hand applique is a feature of the gorgeous Birds on a Wire.  Each pattern has an introduction, ideas on fabric selection, as well as with different quilting options and colour variations.  Multiple sized patterns are also offered for each quilt.

small change
The final section of the book is all about the construction of the quilt – this section is just as detailed - showing the methods used in each quilt as well as the quilting process and there is also information about the importance of labels and caring for your quilts.  The templates for Roundabouts, Big Circles, and Birds on a Wire are also included in this section.


Quilts Made Modern is 160 pages of fabulous inspiration with lots of hints and design ideas to think about and lots of different techniques and methods that will suit various skill levels.

If you haven't seen this book yet you're missing out !

you can find Weeks and Bill at FunQuilts and Weeks blogs at Craft Nectar.

25 June 2012

finished wonky stars

thanks so much for all your wonderful comments about how I should finish my wonky stars !

it seems that the best option was to do some of both ways - one colour stars and stars with different centres so that's what I did.

they're currently on their way to the USA - flying across the oceans - and I know one of them will be flying across another ocean to England after a quick rest in Illinois - gee those little blocks are such world travellers :)

22 June 2012

wonky stars

the wonky star blocks are the last swap in the wonky house blocks swap that was started by Jane six months ago.

its been a great swap with wonky houses and wonky trees and now wonky stars.

I need to send these off on Monday but I was wanting others opinions - do you like the blocks with matching centres (except two)

or would you prefer these blocks ? all with unmatching centres

I like them both but I'm thinking maybe the unmatching blocks will better suit the other wonky blocks - love that I've got a design wall that I can keep them on while I decide !

I've had fun doing these wonky blocks - I loved making the houses - and I've learnt a heap of new techniques including my first curved piecing and with the wonky trees I used mum's sewing machine to do machine applique with buttonhole stitch which I can't do on my machine (its a bit old !).

I also met some lovely people through this swap including Nicky who blogs at Mrs Sew and Sow so I'll be sad that its over but Nicky and I are in a couple of other swaps now so that friendship will continue.

I'll still keep in contact with Jane too as she is helping Madame Samm by coordinating the red, white, and blue blog hop that starts in July - Madame Samm was behind my other two blog hops - the ghastlies in November last year and the table topper blog hop in April this year - so I'm looking forward to that - my day is 14 July !

anyway, decisions, decisions - I hope you can help me out - I'd love your opinion !

have a great weekend ♥

21 June 2012

june ratz swap

I spent some time today making magnets for the june ratz swap.

I made some button magnets that I think are just so cute - I did some practice ones ... the fussy cutting needed a bit of work :)

and then I made four to send away as that's how many little round magnets I had !

then it was time for some itty bitty magnets from the Zakka style book - my secret partner likes pink which is pretty handy as that's my favourite colour as well !

as I made some of these a few weeks ago they were pretty quick to make - just need to do some quilting then sew them up, put in a little piece of magnet sheet and they're ready to go!

hope you had a great day :)

20 June 2012

and fabric too !

want to see what was in the rest of the parcels that were waiting for me !!

yardage from sewfreshfabrics....

and this gorgeous art gallery fabric which is the backing and binding for my uber-fest quilt!

a flea market fat quarter bundle from amy at westwood acres....

along with some fat quarters of red tufted tweets, heather ross pink guitars and a loulouthi charm pack - yum :)

and some scraps from starlit nest ... these scraps really come in handy with the swaps I'm in - lots of different fabrics in very useable pieces

and other little parcels with key fob hardware, button making kit, pins, wonder clips, and some iron on vinyl ...

pretty happy with that lot !

now ... off to the sewing room !

18 June 2012

swap blocks galore

well, after ten weeks away, pippi and I have finally made it back home and we were welcomed by a typical winter day - I left a 23 degree sunny queensland day and got home to a cold and raining 10 degrees - oh well, its nice to snuggle up in front of the fire :)

and when I got home it was better than christmas with a heap of parcels from the postman !! so many that I even got a box to carry them.

so I thought I'd share some of the mail with you.

I received some wonky and colourful trees from the girls at the wonky houses swap...this swap is finishing up but not before some wonky star blocks are done :)  I love these blocks - they are all done with different techniques and so fabulous.

I also received a very cute owl keyring from Kris in Germany for the May ratz swap...along with a postcard and german chocolate !!

isn't this owl just so adorable - and I love the brown with pink dots - thanks so much Kris :)

another swap I'm in over at flickr is the long distance quilting bee and it was my month in May - I did get a couple of the blocks forwarded to me in queensland but was really excited to see so many more - I'd asked for red (any shade) and white pinwheel blocks and I received fabulous blocks from the bee members - some even made me two !

I just love them ... thanks so much girls :)  my mum decided that she wanted to add a block and I'll do two so I'll be able to make these into a gorgeous quilt very soon.

the fabrics for June's design camp 2 bee also arrived - Tiff has asked for an improv robot block which sounds like fun (if somewhat daunting !) and I'll be starting on it just as soon as I've caught up on the May design camp block - maybe I'll use the no.reply blogger button as my inspiration !

I received quite a bit of fabric as well that I'll show you later as I have to go and thank everyone for the wonderful blocks and of course that cute owl.

I go back to work tomorrow which will be a bit hard after such a wonderful holiday but I need the money for my fabric addiction!

11 June 2012

weekend sewing

its been a long weekend here in Australia and I've been working on the geese around the world mini quilt for our care circle @ do.good stitches swap.  I've finished the quilting so now just need to bind and post it off to its new owner !

it was great to have the extra day to get this project finished which I needed as I didn't get back from Brisbane until late Saturday and I played cards with my sister and her friends yesterday afternoon (which may have included some eating and drinking too !)

I also went to (a long) lunch today with my mum and some friends from the "cottage" which is a weekly patchwork get together that I've been attending since I've been here - it will be sad not to see those fabulous ladies every Wednesday.

So now I only have a couple more projects to get finished before I leave on Saturday but as soon as I get home I'll be starting on the June swap projects - it never seems to end but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Hope you got some quality sewing done over the weekend too :)

09 June 2012

in the frame purse swap

I've joined another swap ... yes, I can hear you gasp !

but I couldn't resist this one - its being run by my friend Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow and its her first swap ... Nicky is also being assisted by the lovely Helen from Archie the Wonderdog and of course I suspect Archie will be lending a paw as well (wonder if he's been promised lots of extra biscuits) !

swap button mini get-attachment

The swap is for purses made with little frames and I've wanted to do one of these for quite a while ... I figure joining a swap is a great way to get these little to-do projects done!

There is already lively and fun discussion over at the flickr group along with some great mosaics of purses... although putting together mosaics on flickr seems to just lead me to put more amazing little goodies on my to-do list :)

06 June 2012

care circle swap

over the weekend I've been working on another swap item - this time for our care circle at do.good stitches - we usually make blocks to be made into quilts for charity but this month we're doing a swap between members of our group which is a lovely idea from the do.good stitches founder Rachel :)

I'm making a circle of geese mini quilt for my secret partner.

I bought some fabrics (can't wait to get back home to my stash !!) and when I got them together I wasn't that happy as I thought they might be too dark but started making it anyway as I knew my mum would love it - I also bought some more fabrics just in case - but now that the top is done I really like it - I think the darker fabrics makes the circle really stand out on the white background - just hope my partner likes it as well !

I'm going to hand quilt in white perle thread but not sure what colour to bind in yet - maybe I can work out enough of the EQ7 to be able to preview red, white, and blue bindings !

I'm off to Brisbane for a few days again to visit some of my family as I go back home soon.  Pippi is staying with my mum and dad which means I'll be able to do things and maybe get some shopping in without having to worry about her :)

I'll be back in a few days - have a great week :)

04 June 2012

may fresh sewing day

gee, another fresh sewing day - they certainly come around fast!

I think I've got a few things done this month and surprise surprise I even managed to get a quilt top done - not bad when I'd hoped to get five done over the past two months ! although I've had the excuse of visitors and the big birthday :)

I've had another fun month doing swaps and learning new things - using nifty little snaps for one and making sure I read instructions and cut more accurately being another !

I hope you made some great things in May as well and join in with Lynne's fresh sewing day.

Lily's Quilts

03 June 2012

winner winner chicken dinner

sorry, but I just love that saying - it makes me giggle everytime I hear it :)

its time to draw the winners from pippi's happy birthday post !

I really wanted to have a giveaway for my followers to say thanks for following me and giving me support and encouragement - so I thought why not have a birthday giveaway as I got a heap of great pressies as well !

I purposely didn't mention the giveaway word in the post or the title as I really wanted it to be just for those of you who are regular visitors to my blog - so thanks for visiting and leaving comments ♥

It also meant that the chances of winning a book were pretty good too with just 12 comments - yay !

I know I said pippi would draw the names but it turns out she wasn't interested ! and I have issues adding mr random to my posts (I can't get it to work !) so I enlisted the help of mum and dad and did it the old fashioned way - with names on pieces of paper drawn out of a hat...

drumroll please ...

the winner of zakka style is ... rachaeldaisy

and the winner of modern minimal is ... dolores (who just happened to celebrate her birthday on Friday !)

congratulations rachael and dolores - I'm sure you'll really love your books - they're both fabulous !  I'll send you an email very soon to get your post details.

again thanks to all my very special followers for your kind comments and cheering me on :)

01 June 2012

ratz swap

I've joined the ratz (rapid and tiny zakka) swap over at flickr which is a follow on from the doll quilt swap I was in earlier this year - doing monthly swaps with small items of a zakka nature !  We get secret partners allocated in the first few days of the month and have to post our items by the last day of the month - just hope I can keep up.

the first month was may and the theme was key fobs - I made two for my secret partner and sent them off on the deadline day yesterday - nothing like leaving things to the last minute !

I did a wrist key fob and also made a little key pocket/wallet based on those old leather numbers that I haven't seen for quite some time.

hope my partner likes them !

Last week I also made a little card holder for my friend Nicky who ordered some mini moo business cards recently.

Nicky is one of the lucky ones attending the fat quarterly retreat in London this weekend so I thought I'd make something to hold her little cards - I kept it a secret and only just got it in the mail in time - thankfully she received it yesterday !

can you tell I'm loving my discovery of snap closures !

I did attempt to do some free motion quilting on the front but wasn't happy with the result so just did straight line quilting instead - I'm thinking I should start with quilting bigger items until I get some practice :)

things have settled down on the home front after nearly a week of birthday celebrations so I'm looking forward to getting some sewing done over the next week - I've only got a couple more weeks in queensland then its back home to the freezing cold and of course back to work - eeeek !

have a great weekend :)