Monday 30 September 2013

Midnight Sun memory

If you are looking to enter the
You will find the Link up here

As regular readers will know the impetus for the Holiday Memories competition was an Arctic Circle cruise that my husband and I took in July this year. The scenery of the Norwegian Coast was truly stunning, but the most spectacular part of the cruise was sailing across a Norwegian Fjord with the Midnight Sun as our backdrop.

There was something magical about standing on the ship's deck watching the clock head towards midnight whilst the sun dipped towards the horizon. If you ever get the chance to experience anything like it, take it, it is definitely a sight worth seeing!

Needless to say this was the memory that I wanted to capture for my own Holiday Memory mini quilt.

I initially thought about using the New York Beauty Block to represent my photo but couldn't settle on the right pattern. Then I thought about some free-form curved piecing but decided that was maybe a step too far :)

When I got the Pillow Pop book for my birthday I found the perfect solution to my problem. One of the patterns, Crystallized, was for a cushion entirely composed of HST's with contrasting warm and cool toned fabric that gave a kind of shimmer/ripple effect.

Using the Palette Builder from Play Crafts I generated a list of fabric colours for my cushion, and set to sorting out fabrics from my stash. Needless to say as I started on the cushion some other fabrics crept in! I had to have some green to represent the Norwegian forests, then some blue to represent the Fjords so my final palette was a bit removed from the original photo, but the memory is still there.

Midnight Sun Cushion

I embroidered a clock face with the hands pointing to midnight in the middle of the cushion front, and echo quilted the diagonal lines of the HST's with a pale grey thread to represent the ripple of the water as the boat sailed through the Fjord.

I was delighted with the cushion cover, which already has pride of place in our living room, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

If you haven't yet entered the Holiday Memories Mini Quilt Competition there is still plenty of time as submissions will remain open until 23.59 GMT on Friday, October 4th. There are some great prizes up for grabs, including several randomly drawn, but if you aren't in it you can't win it :)

All the information you need to enter is available here

Check back tomorrow for more details on one of the wonderful prizes up for grabs.

Linking up to

Fresh Poppy Design
and to the great monthly link-up Beth hosts to encourage us to learn and stretch ourselves with photography at

This post is for the colour palette inspiration theme, naturally :) 

Thursday 26 September 2013

Holiday Memories Mini Quilt Competition - Now Open!

Welcome to the first ever

I can't wait to read all of your Holiday Memories and to see them represented in fabric and thread.

Here is a quick recap of the Competition rules

Competition Rules 

The Competition is for a mini quilt based upon a Holiday Memory.

  • Mini quilts submitted must be at least 12" by 12" in size and no bigger than 24" by 30" 
  • Submissions can be made in one of these three categories (A link for each category can be found at the end of this post)
  1. Mini Quilt/ Wallhanging
  2. Cushion/Pillow
  3. Bag/Accessory
  • All submissions must be complete on entry
  • Submitted entries must have been completed since 1st January 2013
  • Submissions can be either from a blog post or Flickr photostream
  • All submissions should include details of the Holiday Memory they relate to in the blog post or Flickr photo description
  • Entrants can only make 1 submission in each category, but may enter all 3 categories with different, individual entries if they wish
Important Dates

  1. Submissions open on Thursday, September 26th
  2. Submissions close on Friday, October 4th
  3. Voting for the Viewers Choice winners in each category begins on Saturday, October 5th
  4. Voting closes on Friday, October 11th
  5. Winners in all categories will be announced on Tuesday, October 15th
Here's a quick recap too of the fabulous prizes up for grabs.

Shop online

A £25 gift voucher from the Village Haberdashery

This gorgeous Fabric Bundle from Sew Me a Song
Made with Oakshott  

An Italy Fat 8ths pack of Oakshott Cottons 

A box of Aurifil threads

A jelly roll to the value of Aus$44 from Jelly Roll heaven at Fabric Patch, 

Tanabata Japanese fabrics


6FQ's of Japanese Fabrics from Blossom Heart Quilts

My Photo  

Choice of 3 paper-piecing patterns from Quiet Play's Craftsy store

A copy of Patchwork Please 

 1 x 5 spools Aurifil Thread (4 lucky winners!)

So, link up your projects for a chance to win!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

New to Me in September

September is always a month for new beginnings in this part of the world and although I no longer have boys to get ready for new school terms, there is still a new school feel around with the prospectus for the Local Authority evening classes landing on the mat tempting me to learn a new language or even take up dancing!

It's the perfect time then for this month's

The big New to Me for this month doesn't actually start until tomorrow, September 26th, when submissions open for my first ever hosted competition!

I will be waiting nervously for the first submissions to link up I can tell you.

As well as hosting the competition this month I have also created my first carved eraser stamp

First stamp

and had a go at a Bargello quilt for the first time too.

So that is what I have been up to, now it is your turn to link up and share your New to You activities in September.

Link them up below and share your triumphs and/or disasters.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until September 30th so if you haven't already tried something new you still have time :)

More details of the Holiday Memories Mini Quilt Competition can be found by clicking the link at the top of this post too.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

A day out with Bargello

A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to a class at my LQS, it was an early birthday present from me to me!

The class on offer was for a Bargello quilt top, which is something I have long wanted to try. A whole day cutting, sewing and chatting with quilters wasn't to be sneezed at either :)

So armed with my fabric, 7FQ's of Madrona Road, my sewing machine (its first ever day out!) and enough food to keep me going for hours I set off.

I was very relieved to find that I wasn't the only one there who was a bit nervous about things like accurate seams and matching points!

We cut six 2" strips from each fat quarter, then joined them together to make 6 identical strip sets. These were then sewn together in two sets of three and the seams were pressed in opposite directions for each.

Then we really had to start concentrating, so the chatter stopped and peace descended!

Cutting the strips into various widths ranging from 0.75" to 2.5" really kept us on our toes. There was no let up after that though as we had to really concentrate again when stitching the strips together lengthways to make sure that we kept the pattern shift correct.

This must be the quietest stitching class I have ever attended!

All that concentration was worth it though as I have now managed to complete all of the Bargello strips ( we ran out of time in class) and now have to decide what to do about borders.

I am thrilled to bits with my first ever attempt at Bargello, even although not all my seams are perfect or my points matching, it is recognisably Bargello and that will do for me :)

Linking up to

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Stamping it up!

Nicky of Mrs Sew and Sow was so inspired by a stamping class that she took at the FQ Retreat that she set up a hand-carved rubber stamp swap.

Stamp It Up!

Now as you all know I love to try out new things, so this was right up my alley, however, we are going on holiday to France soon so I reluctantly decided to pass up the opportunity. Then Nicky started posting photos of the stamps she had created, and the Flickr group started filling up with mosaics of the sweetest little stamps and my resistance crumbled :)

I ordered a linocutter from Amazon and bought some rubbers and set about carving my first ever rubber stamp.

First stamp

And here it is, not perfect by any means but at least recognisable! The image was copied from an embroidery pattern and traced on to the rubber, then carved to create a relief stamp for the inked image.

Sadly this stamp proved to be the first and only use for the Amazon linocutter, as the rings holding the blades in place failed to perform after the first few changes, so I am heading off to the local Artist Suppliers to invest in what I should have bought in the first place, a Speedball Lino Cutter!

Friday 6 September 2013

Comfortable Cafe Cushion

The Cafe de Paris cushion is finished!

Completed Cafe Cushion

It went together fairly quickly in the end, especially as I decided to do some simple straight line quilting rather than any fancy, complicated FMQ type stuff :)

Cafe Cushion quilting
Cafe Cushion quilting
I used my Hera marker to draw out the lines before quilting, and it was definitely easier to see the marks when I was sewing in the daylight!

The plan originally was to space the lines evenly around the centre diamond but a slight muck-up (sorry design decision!) early on meant that the spacing was irregular at each side. Fortunately, I actually liked how that turned out so went with it and mixed up the measurements on all of the sides!

Cafe Cushion back

The cushion back is an Envelope back with binding as in the pattern, but I am not sure about having an envelope back on such a large cushion. The cushion cover is 20.5" x 20.5" as in the pattern, and I think if I was making such a large cushion again I would go with a zipped or button closure.

I didn't have a big enough cushion insert when I finished this and had to go out and buy one. The cushion inner is 50cm x 50cm to give that stuffed look that I like.

The cushion pattern is from this book

There are several more projects in the book that I would like to make, but I will be checking the instructions carefully as there were a couple of errors in the measurement instructions for this cushion. The instructions lead you to cut the pieces for the back to be 20.5" wide but the cushion front is trimmed to 21" x 21" and the measurements for the solid strips for the top and bottom of the cushion front are 17.25" long when they should be 17.5". Neither of these were a particular problem for my cushion, but might be an issue if you were fussy cutting the squares for the top left and bottom right corners and then had to shave 0.75" off to make the pieces fit.

Apart from those minor blips the cover went together really well.

Not only is this a finished project so I can link up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Confessions of a Fabric Addict Stitcher Link Party Button

but it is also my first finish for Q3 in

she can quilt

and my first project to link up for the Craft Book link up at

 Craft Book Month                   
and finally because this project is actually for me

The me me me bee

So many birds with one project :)

If I had actually been to Paris on holiday I could even have made it my contribution to the

Sadly I haven't, but if you have and haven't decided what to do for the competition, to be in with a chance of winning some of that gorgeous fabric that's been posted about recently, then this might just spark off an idea or two.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Introducing Janeene and Fabric Patch

Today, I am delighted to introduce you to Janeene, the proud owner of

Janeene Cooke                   p. (07) 5442 4613  

Janeene is very generously providing a Jelly Roll to the value of Aus$44 to one lucky winner in the

I was really delighted when Janeene agreed to be a prize sponsor for the competition as I was keen to have the Southern Hemisphere represented fully in the list of prize sponsors, and Janeene certainly came up trumps.

If you haven't come across Janeene's store before you will not be disappointed, she carries a great range of stock and her service is second to none. I'll let Janeene fill you in on how she came to be a Quilt Shop owner.

" I am a mum of 4 lovely children (young adults now) who has a love of sewing and craft.I have been sewing since the age of 12, making my own clothes (without  patterns). In 2000 the family moved to Indonesia to live and this is where I learnt to make my first patchwork quilt.  We lived in a small oil field camp, with mostly American families. My lovely American friend taught me the art of patchwork.  In the following 4 years I made about 13 Quilts, then in 2004 we moved back to Australia and settled on the Sunshine Coast.

Fabric bolts

With a busy life at home on the Sunshine Coast with 4 children and a husband that worked away overseas I did not have much time for sewing.  My husband and I often talked about buying a business and in 2012 I saw a business for sale in the paper.  Now, my husband always wanted a ‘manly’ type of business like a Steel Shop….  So when I told him on the phone I had found a business that I would like to have a look at.  I said to him “I have found a business I would like to have a look at, but it is not very ‘manly’” And the rest is history.  We bought my dream business…….and relocated it to our home at Cooroibah.
My favourite quilt

I am a patchwork, quilting and sewing enthusiast, which helps me understand my customers’ needs and requirements. I love what I do and my aim is to please my customers by providing great products, service, price and advice…. "

Fabric Patch stocks an extensive range of Moda Pre-cuts, Patchwork & Quilting fabrics and a huge range of sewing, quilting, clothing and stitchery patterns and books from the world’s leading designers, such as Amy Butler, Amy Bradley, Kids Quilts, Bunny Hill,  Cinderberry Stitches, Coach House Designs, Favourite Things, Gail Pan Designs, Hatched & Patched, It’s Sew Emma, Janelle Wind Collection, Leanne’s House, Melly & Me, Natalie Ross in Stitches, Rosalie Quinlan Designs, The Birdhouse, Zen Chic and many more…  You can browse patterns by designer or by category.  These include Bag, Quilt, Doll, Soft Toy, Stitchery, Embroidery, Pillow / Cushions & Christmas patterns. 

We also stock Olfa & Clover Products, Felt, Pom Pom, Lace Daisy and Ric Rac Sewing Trims, Bias Binding, Fabric Kits, Lunch Bag Kits, Creative Grids, Rulers, Rasant Thread, Batting, Parlan, Designer Pins, Lecien, Michael Miller and Riley Blake Fabrics.

We aim to have the most comprehensive range of Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes,  Charm Squares, Fat Quarter Bundles and matching fabrics.

Thanks Janeene. So if you are still dithering about selecting fabrics for your Holiday Memories Mini Quilt entry then you should definitely be checking out Fabric Patch :)

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Paris Cafe Cushion - progress

Now that I can tick the SMQ Bee blocks off of my list, it is time to turn my attention to some of my own WIP's.  Perhaps it is because we are heading off to France soon, but the next project to surface from the WIP pile just happened to be this.

The embroidery was started at a class at my LQS just over a year ago! I finished the embroidery and even ordered some appropriate fabric from Sew Me a Song to make the panel up into a cushion but that had been all the progress made since the class.

When I received a copy of Pillow Pop , compiled by Heather Bostic, for my birthday recently I discovered the ideal project for my embroidery. The third project in the book, Photogenic, is for a cushion cover that incorporates an embroidered panel on the cushion front, so the wait to start this project was obviously meant to be :)

And here is how my embroidered panel looks now with suitably French food and wine themed fabrics for the borders!

With some straightforward quilting and an envelope backing I might even have a finish for Friday out of this too.

So this is how my WIP list looks now

  • In Color Order HST BOM - quilting started!
  • Sunday Morning Quilt Bee blocks received, 2 more to be added by me
  • Sunday Morning Quilt2 Bee 279 blocks made, 311 to go!
  • Sunday Morning Quilt2 Bee - COMPLETED AND SENT
  • Star of Africa Bee blocks completed and sent (only 2 left to make!)
  • Scrappy Trip Around the World Bee Q2 - COMPLETED AND SENT
  •  And Sew On BOM - eight blocks completed (One left to make!)
  • Paris Cushion - top completed 
  • (Almost) Irish Chain quilt basted  
  • 5 blocks of NY Beauty QAL completed and fabric cut for remaining 5 blocks 
  • 20 blocks of Craftsy BOM completed 

So, that's my progress this week, hope you have had a productive week too.

Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Maybush Studio

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Sew Me a Song

My poor wallet takes a hit from all of the fabulous fabrics on sale at Sew Me a Song every time I check out the shop, so I was thrilled when Becca agreed to sponsor a prize for the Holiday Memory Mini Quilt Competition.

Sew Me a Song has loads of inspiring fabrics just perfect for representing that special Holiday Memory.

Here's what Becca had to say about her Etsy store and prize for the Competition.

"What a fun way to create a memory! I think Fiona’s Holiday Memory Mini Quilt Competition is such a wonderful idea and I am thrilled to have Sew Me A Song be a sponsor!  Sew Me A Song specialises in Japanese, text and other quirky prints. 

A move to Maine meant leaving Sew Fresh Fabrics,which I had started with my friend Peg, and the opportunity to build a business focusing on those offbeat prints that I love.

SMAS new home!

 After a crazy year of temporary living we have just moved into our new home and are in the process of rebuilding the future home of the business. 

For the Holiday Mini Quilt Competition I have put together a bundle loosely based on a travel theme. The bundle is made up 7 fat quarters and includes prints from Clothworks, Lecien, Yuwa and more. Enjoy!

Prize bundle


Good luck Everyone! I can not wait to see all your creations!"

Aren't they lovely? Becca has put together a great bundle for the Competition so, if you want to be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous fabric bundle you know what you have to do!

All details of the Holiday Memories Mini Quilt Competition are available by clicking on the tab at the top of the page. 
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