Wednesday, December 28, 2016

By the Bundle Giveaway

By the Bundle
I am not sure exactly where to start and you guys know that I have zero expertise in quilts, quilt making and therefore quilt books. But seriously .....

By the Bundle

The images alone in this book by Emma jean Jansen are enough to warrant the purchase (oh yeah and the stunning quilts).
 The quilt pictured above is my absolute favourite from the book. You guys know that I work with Emma though both Ella Blue and Creative Abundance but you may not know we live about 5 minutes from each other ! I was lucky to see all these quilts in the planning and making stages and this one was my favourite right from the start. In fact I currently have all of Emma's test blocks here at my house and was going to post them and pretend I made them.... but you guys are just not that gullible.

By the Bundle

Emma's book is designed to inspire quilters to use their pre-cut bundles to make stunning modern quilts. The book contains quilts for every level of quilter, from some simpler quick piecing methods with rectangles and squares, to curved piecing, raw edge applique and foundation paper piecing.

By the Bundle

By the Bundle is produced by Lucky Spool Media and can be purchased at all good quilt stores and the usual online places... I believe the author has a handful of copies in her Etsy shop if you were looking for a signed copy! (I won't tell you what she wrote in my signed copy !!!)

Image result for bundle emma jean jansen

See - total favourite!!!
Anyway, I have a copy of the book to give away (not the one with the cheeky inscription). There are no hoops to jump through- just leave a comment to be entered. You could tell me which of the quilts you like best.The winner will be chosen at random and emailed.

(photos borrowed from Lucky Spool Media)

Thanks everyone the winner is I am.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Hi guys I am feeling a bit ranty which is a sure sign that I am tired and grumpy. It seems to be my resting state these days.
My fridge is almost covered in those postcards from kindly vets and eye doctors, and ladyparts doctors and every other reminder known to man. You know, the ones reminding you that missed a vaccination, examination, posturation, or elevation some months ago.  I do appreciate them, because it would not be possible for me to get a pet or a ladypart to the doctor every year without them. 
I thinking " we just went to the vet" and suddenly the dog wouldn't be vaccinated four years. The same applies to the ladyparts doctors... Two years ? Are you serious? I'm still wincing. It can't be two years.
I know Christmas is coming, and I have documented my growing disassociation with it here on the blog before. Can I be arsed digging out the tree, assembling the tree, decorating the tree, protecting the tree from whatever weird cat cult ceremonies they want to perform on the tree, for it to sit in the corner until the big day, upon which folks will arrive, ignore the tree and spend the day eating foods in the garden ? 
Maybe I could just throw some tinsel in the cherry tree.... (It would be more than I managed last year)
How are you doing? You ok.? Have you started, finished, ignored or ticked non-applicable to the craziness? Are you sick of every retail person in the world asking how you are going with your Christmas shopping? (Just laugh and say don't you mean Easter?- it stops them talking to you)
 I finish real work on the 20th and then I am going to do some baking. i'm quite looking forward to day in the kitchen, in the quiet, on my own, baking stuff and drinking tea. In fact it sounds like freakin Nirvana right now. 
My kids have given me no instructions and look set to recieve a stocking full of nothing on the day but we will have lunch under the cherry tree (weather permitting) and there will be tinsel.
(Oh yeah pictures aren't working. They can't be arsed either)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quilt Petite

You might be thinking this has turned into a book review blog but I assure you it hasn't - I just seem to know a lot of 'book writing'  type people these days.

Sedef of Down grapevine lane has written the CUTEST book - 18 sweet and modern mini quilts and more. Her blog hop has been going great guns and you can join in and back and visit all the great projects that people have made from the book.

November 6: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane 
November 7: Wynn at Zakka Art
November 8: Sarah at A Little Happy Place
November 9: Bridgette at The Family Hearth
November 10: Heidi at Fabric Mutt
November 11: Minki at Minki's Work Table
November 12: Ange at A Little Patchwork
November 13: Lauren at Molly and Mama
November 14: Michelle at Cole & Taffy
November 15: Nadra at Ellis & Higgs
November 16: Amy at Nana Company
November 17: Faith at Sarana Ave
November 18: Debbie at Happy Little Cottage
November 19: Erin at Why Not Sew
November 20: Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl
November 21: Melissa at Oh How Sweet
November 22: Stacy at Stacy Olson Design
November 23: Ayda at Cafe Nohut
November 24: Peta at She Quilts A Lot
November 25: Amanda at A Crafty Fox
November 26: Keera at Live Love Sew
November 27: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane
November 28: Kate at The Homemakery
November 29: Jemima at Tied With A Ribbon
November 30: Jodie at Ric Rac
December 1: Anorina at Samelia's Mum
December 2: Alisha at Ministry of Fabric
December 3: Xanthe at Wife-made
December 4: Cheri at Tinker With This
December 5: Kristyne at Pretty By Hand
December 6: Kimberly at Fat Quarter Shop
December 7: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
December 8: Shari at Doohikey Designs
December 9: Jina at Jina Barney Designz
December 10: Emma at Emma Jean Jansen
December 11: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane 

I love Sedef's book but I had a hard time choosing a project- lots of quilty things and some EPP  ( which I do not speak at all). There are place mats, pot holders, sewing organisers, cushions and table toppers.  There are a few different techniques in the book as well;  foundation paper piecing, regular patchwork, three different methods of applique, hand-embroidery and hand quilting. The projects are all very and sweet and whimsical and I tossed up a few and procrastinated a lot before I set myself the challenge of making a gift from the book and gave myself only a morning to do it.

When I saw this project I immediately thought of a friend and knew that she would adore something like this. I also knew that this (for me at least) was not going to be a quick project so I used the templates for the bakery and made the cutest linen tea-towel ever !!!

This project was so much fun to make and so super quick that I have cut out the other two buildings and my friend will soon be the recipient of a little tea-towel trio. I also added my friends name to a little sign above the door !!!

I have a copy of Quilt Petite book to give away to one of you lucky people - to enter go for a sticky-beak on line and tell me which project you would like to make from the book. You can see heaps of great projects on the other blogs. Just leave a comment and I will pick a winner at random by the end of the week!

There is also a great giveaway on Sedef’s blog,  that is open until the end of the tour –  the winner will be announced on the final day.
Big cheers friends.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Free steak knives ! (not really)

I received some emails yesterday asking if I was offering discounts in my store.
 I thought it was a bit weird.... I had forgotten about the thing that is Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
I have never joined in before, because I am just not that organised (yep that's a surprise to no-one)but I did recently have a sale and may have forgotten to mention it here. 
(yes I do totally suck at business)

Everything is under $10. Everything is cheap. Everything comes with free steak knives... not really.
I'm pretty sure you get the idea.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'LL huff and I'll puff

and I'll blow your tree down.
and I'll take the fence and the clothesline with me ....

(no-one was hurt and everything is fine and I now know two very lovely arborists if anyone ever needs an arborist or two.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pass the Bex

Dudes, it was long and also short and freakin' steamy and I vomited on the plane for hours !!! There were good friends and diva tantrums and a few near misses on a borrowed scooter.

There was fabric and frivolity, lots of standing and lots of talking.There was the usual madness of sample spree and a bit of new madness just for fun.

I came home in dire need of a Bex and a good lay down.

Monday, October 24, 2016

At the starting line

The whole big adventure starts in a couple of hours and I still have one quilt to finish binding. To be honest, I just ran out of puff. I might finish it on the booth - (it would be a good excuse to sit down).

This is Sewing School (with thanks to Rita for the great photo).
I have made a whole bunch of stuff with it and other people have made some freakingly amazing stuff with it. The suitcases are groaning !
if you want to see it in all it's glory you can pop over to the Ella Blue Website and take a peek.
I won't be blogging while I am away as I am not taking the appropriate devices but I will pop some pics on IG and FB and tell you all about when I get back.
I am going to pace myself and keep my peopler intact this time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Madness revisited

OK, So I didn't make it back here as quickly as I thought but the excuse is a 100% cotton one.

Introducing Sewing School  (by Me)

This range will shown at Houston at the end of the month and it will be needles down and jump on a plane in exactly 12 sleeps.
 It is the same madness once again, staying up late, getting up early and the brain and explosion of deadlines and to-do's and maybe's. I am hoping for a less eventful trip this time and will be taking extra care of my people-er.

I will do my best to jump back in and share some photos but right now I am heading off to boil the kettle and get back to it.
Yes it is a madness, yes there must be a better way, and no, nobody has the time to think of it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wistful winds

I have to start by telling you that I practically begged my friend Shari of Doohikey Designs to join her blog tour. It wouldn't matter to me if her fabric was purple and brown - she is one of the nicest people in the universe and I am so happy to be able to tell you about her fabric.

It is a great collection !! !!!

I really had a hard time deciding what to do with it - and even though quilts are not my thing I did start on a few blocks (no idea why this is upside down). Don't you love the little girl? But of course I soon tire of flat sewing and want to make fun stuff...

So I made a pair of overalls for Ginger,

 and then I made myself a giant knitting bag for my giant knitting needles (no, I don't knit but I like to be prepared).

I had to make up a bit of binding just so I could add it to these cute little Binding Babies that Shari gave me when I visited her in Salt Lake City.

I really love the little girl in this print and so I fussy cut a couple and used my badge machine to make a needle keep ....or six. With two magnets on the back, I can magnetically hold this little button on my fabric and my needle will stay attached too. I feel like some kind of genius !!

My favourite print has to be that floral I think. The white background version makes me think of crisp pillowcases and bed linens. I can't wait to get my hands on some yardage !!

You can follow along the blog tour and see all the things people are making with the range and at the end of the tour Shari will be sharing a bit about how she designed the range and her inspiration.
              3rd:  Amy Sinibaldi -

                      Kristyne Czepuryk -

               4th: Amanda Niederhauser -

                       Amy Smart -
               5th: Meagan Taylor/Kristi Jones -
                       Christine Cook -
               6th: Elea Lutz -
                      Jodie Carleton -
               7th: Sedef Imer -
                       Jina Barney -
               10th: Elizabeth Evans -
                        Kimberly Bourne -
               11th: Jemima Flendt -
                         Nadra Ridgeway -
                         Amy Chappel -
               12th: Katie Skoog -
                        Amber Johnson -
                13th: Angie Wilson -
                          Clare Horsman -
                         Deanna Wall -
                14th: Melissa Mortenson -
                          Jessica Stewart  -
                          Shari Butler -

Thanks so much for letting me join in Shari and congratulations on a fantastic range !!

See you guys tomorrow !!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tilly & Ginger & swears

I am flying in on the last day of school holidays to introduce Miss Tilly. She is the cutest little thing - well actually she is quite big at 23 inches high.
 Tilly is one of my new patterns and she comes with her dress and cardigan
 as well as her shirt and shorts,
and her romper.
Her best friend Ginger comes with a dress and coat,
overalls and handbag
 and her shirt and skirt

The best thing is, they can swap clothes so you can create a whole little wardrobe. I am so glad these two huge patterns are done !!
These patterns will be available in all good stores any day now and the PDF versions are available in my Etsy shop....

along with a bit of fun ! I had these enamel pins made and there are a few up for grabs in my shop as well. This has been a whole new ballgame but I am happy with how it worked out and have another (crafty) pin due in a few weeks.
I am becoming obsessed.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I've been to Bali too

Only I haven't really. 
But I did go to Tassie and I slept a lot and I wandered around a bit

 Great view with a side of ugly fence

A boat

A person who doesn't know how to use her camera

I also taught a super-fun elephant class at Frangipani fabrics

 It was a great day !!! Look at these happy folks !!

It was a quick trip and now I am home waiting impatiently for my new fabric to arrive so I can once again sew a million things for the booth at quilt market (26 sleeps but who is counting). My roof is still leaking like a sieve because ironically it is too wet to fix it, my house is a bomb site and there is not enough tea in the world to keep things on an even keel this week.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Patty's Piecing Makeover review and Giveaway

I want to tell you about Patty. Last year in Houston I went along to one of the 'event' things. You know, everyone is invited and you get a free drink and stand around awkwardly cause you don't actually know anyone. There is some air-kissing (and arse kissing) and smiling politely while trying to sneakily read people's name tags.

 I was busy doing just that when Patty said Hi, and the rest is history. She is a bubbly, fun little-bit-loopy woman and all that time ago when she asked if I would like to see her book I said yes.

So, time passes as it does and eventually I get a message from Patty saying the book is done and would I like to see it ? I can't even remember what the book is about so I give an enthusiastic YES and hope it is not a knitting book.
Ok ! The thing is, this book was written for me. I mean it. I know that I sometimes make quilts but I really do just wing it every time and there is a lot of fudging and swearing and unpicking. There are often tantrums and blocks getting tossed in the bin from across the room.
There is so much fantastic information in this book - stuff that I didn't even know that I didn't know - like the magical little sewey up thing for mitred binding - Seriously !!!

Not to mention the crazy idea of checking that your 1/4 inch is in fact a 1/4 inch 

The book is basically a manual that shows you how things go wrong and what to do to fix them. The day it arrived I jumped into the ironing Vs pressing section (cause I suck at both) and ended up reading about seam setting, open or closed seams and whether or not to use steam.

The book takes you through a whole bunch of different quilt blocks, each with a problem, diagnosis and solution. With sections like "Is my wonky strip still useable?" this book really was made for me.
if you would like a bit more of a look inside Patty's book you can visit the folks below

9/13  AnneMarie

9/15 Teri Lucas/Gen Q Magazine

9/16 Sandi Hazlewood

 Patty has kindly offered to give away a copy of the book here on the blog so I want to know what your quilting problem is ? do you pucker? are you leaning to one side? are your middle bits all congested?

Leave a comment and I will draw a winner by the end of the week.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

L is for Lion and litres

I had a plan. 
I was going to release at least two of these little friends every year. 
But this is my first little alphabet animal for the year - number eight. I have 16 letters left to go. I think I'd better get moving because I find it hard to believe anyone will still be listening to me in 2024 !

He is completely hand sewn and suitable for beginners.

He just needs a final final final proof read and he should be available pretty soon.

Things are busy here as usual. I am working on two new pattern releases before the next lot of fabric arrives and the crazy market sewing takes over. 

The hot water service went on the fritz, 
The dog is limping
 The bathroom ceiling has all but caved in with a massive roof leak.
The grandpuppy chewed the tap off the water tank so we have 5,000 litres of water trapped inside the tank.

 When asked what could be done about it , the lovely plumber said. 
"That's fixable but man, someone is going to get really wet"

Stay dry friends !

Thursday, September 1, 2016

dudes - it was meant to be a giveaway

It really was meant to be a giveaway, but I got carried away sharing my angst with you all. Thanks for your comments about your lack of balance it makes me feel better to know that we are all listing to one side.

After I first found Helen's blog I bought a copy of her book and through no real fault of my own I may have ended up with two copies. (I blame red wine and Uncle Google.)

So, I have a copy of Simple Sewn Gifts to give away to you , along with four Fat quarters of Bunny Trail fabric.
(photo courtesy of Helen's blog)

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post- tell me anything you like.
Actually tell me the first thing you think of when I say "sewing school".

(There was a boy called Peter in my sewing class in year 8. In politically correct times we might say he exhibited inappropriate behavior, at 14 I can tell you he was a grabby little grub and I stuck him in the thigh with a quick unpick).
I spent a lot of time outside the textiles room 'thinking abut my behaviour'.)

The winner is Bluebird !!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

this is not where I was going

Some time ago I sent some of my Bunny Trail fabric to Helen Philipps.

Do you know Helen? I don't but I do follow her blog.
 It is the prettiest blog in all of blogland, full of great photography and sewing and flowers.

Helen made a bundle of the cutest things with BunnyTrail - but I thought I had better wait until the fabric was actually available  before I shared .
(The timing stuff with fabric design is bonkers )

Check out Lettuce - isn't she awesome ? You know how much I love a good name for a softie!
You should do yourself a favour and pop over and see the little quilt and the hexie ball as well as a great block that Helen made.

I have been glued to my computer for what feels likes weeks, finishing off two HUGE patterns. I have been working on another little alphabet friend, making suitcases, and watching the days fly by on the calendar.
I got an email this week asking me to teach in 2018 !!!! It totally fruck me out friends, and don't think it will surprise you to hear that I am failing at any semblance of a work/life balance these days. I keep saying things like "Oh it's just busy now because of the fabric, or because of market, or trade show"....but I think I need to realise it is always like this. this has become my normal.
How do you do it? Do you balance stuff?
 If you run your own business, large or small- how do you stop working?
Even if you don't run a business, do you struggle with the elusive 'balance'that we all must have in our lives?

(Must we have it? Is it in fact haveable? Is is a crock of shit?)