20 November 2014

Vintage Vibe Book Winner!

Congratulations Angela Garrett!! You are the winner of the Vintage Vibe e-book! You will be contacted by Martingale in due course to claim your prize :-) thank you to everyone who entered! xo

19 November 2014

Sizzix Christmas Blog Hop! Pincushion Tutorial - Quick Gift Idea

Hello friends, and welcome if you're joining me for the first time from the Sizzix blog. So do you fancy a quick gift idea you can whip up for your quilty friends? Great, because I have the perfect pincushion you can make in a jiffy with your Sizzix machine! 

You will need: 
Fusible Wonderweb (iron-on, double sided adhesive paper)
Fabric; (2) 10" square, approx. + scraps for leaves 
Polyester stuffing

1. Cut out four scrap pieces of fabric large enough to cover the leaf shape, iron the wrong side of the fabric to the shiny side of the fusible paper.

2. Run the fused fabric through the Sizzix machine to make up four leaves.

3. Use a side plate or compass to draw out two circles to make up the pincushion top and bottom, allowing enough space to fit the leaves. 

4. Cut out the two fabric circles. 

5. Peel off the paper backing and adhere the leaves so the centre points meet - don't worry about it being too perfect as the button will cover up the very centre. 

6. Press into place, and use a decorative edging stitch on your machine. 

7. Place the two circles right sides together and sew - leaving a small gap for turning. 

8. Trim into the seam allowance a little to ease the bulk. Turn right sides out and stuff. Whipstitch the gap closed. 

9. Using a small length of wool and a tapestry needle, sew a button to the centre, pulling tightly to create a puffy look. Volia! Now make some more for your friends ;-) 

I hope you enjoyed the little project, if you're after some more Christmas idea's to make be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour … here's the lineup! 

Monday 17th November - Jo Carter 
Tuesday 18th November - Katy Jones
Wednesday 19th November - Me!
Thursday 20th November - Angela Southey
Friday 21st November - Trudi Wood
Saturday 22nd November - Mercedes Jiménez Campuzano

13 November 2014

Vintage Vibe Book Tour

Hello, hello! Long time no speak, wowee I have a lot to catch you all up on - most importantly, I'm now officially married! More on that soon ;-) As today is all about Amber Johnson's new book 'Vintage Vibe', now of course the title grabbed my attention immediately. 

… and then that gorgeous cover quilt. "Traditional quilts, fresh fabrics", sounds perfect right? Agreed. 

You probably follow Amber's blog already, like I do. I'm pretty sure she was one of the first quilting blogs I followed all those years ago? Maybe you follow her on Instagram as well, I do! Although for some reason I hadn't quite put to and to together and realised it was Amber from the blog!? until more recently, doh!! Sorry Amber!  

Back to the book ... There are 14 quilts to make in the book; everything from a traditional flying geese quilt with a unique twist, to a super-sized quilt block ideal for baby quilts, to beautiful Dresden Plate's and charming appliqué and more. Amber says the projects marry's modern, fresh designs with vintage undertones. They all give a little nod to the past, whether in the fabrics, the design, or the quilting itself. They really do, and the quilting for each quilt is perfect too. 

My favourite project from the book is the Rainy Day table runner, I instantly fell in love with those raindrop shapes, and I've been itching to try out some appliqué for so long. The styling for the project is just perfect too, propped in the hay bails with the jams and preserve's made me think of classic American country kitchens so I pulled out some small scale, vintage style floral prints and got to work!  

First block done! aaaaand I'm planning on finishing this one too! It's so cute, and I'm dying to have it in my kitchen! If you're new to appliqué, or quilting in general you can most definitely complete these projects. Amber has a great in-depth guide on quilt-making basics at the back of the book, and each project has clear step-by-step instructions. I found the appliqué information invaluable.

Photographs are courtesy of Martingale Publishing, photography by Brent Kane

You can purchase this fabulous book here. Be sure to follow along on the blog tour as each blogger will be highlighting a different project so you can get a good feel for the book. 

11/11/14 - April @ http://www.aprilrosenthal.com/
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @ http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/
11/25/14 - Sherri @ http://www.aquiltinglife.com/
12/11/14 - Heather @ http://quiltstory.blogspot.com/
12/16/14 - Andy @ http://www.abrightcorner.com/
12/23/14 - Melissa @ http://www.polkadotchair.com/

Martingale, the publishers of the book are kindly offering a FREE e-copy to one reader! 

Just leave a comment on this post telling me …. 
"How many WIP's do you have going on at the moment?"

I'll announce the winner next Thursday, be sure to check back! Best of luck. xo

14 October 2014

Quilty Fun 1st Birthday!

Wow, can you believe Quilty Fun is a year old today! Where does the time go!? I for one have had a ton of use out of the book in the last year, maybe you have too? To celebrate Lori's fantastic book turning one 'we' - being the blog tour gang ;-) have each made this outrageously cute birthday cake, complete with birthday bow and candle! Designed by Miss Lori Holt herself. You can find the FREE pattern to make yourself one here! I'm planning on finishing this once I'm back from my wedding / holiday next month as I'm up to my eyes in last minute planning and packing! Speak soon friends, xo

30 September 2014

Sizzix Team

Hi guys! I have some fun news today, I've joined the Sizzix UK team blog! I was invited to their head offices in North Wales over the summer and spent the day with them testing out the machine's and dies. Of course I fell completely in love, and I'll be posting on their blog each month so you can expect to see some exciting projects from me using my new Sizzix loot I got recently! That definitely was a gooood post day! Tell me, have you got a Sizzix machine? Do you use it regularly for sewing and quilting?

My first intro post is up today, and I'll be back in October for my first project idea. Hope you can stop by! xo

25 September 2014

'Fun Of The Fair' by Melanie McNeice - Book Tour & Giveaway!

Doesn't this cover look so fun and inviting?! I thought so too! It's Melanie McNeice's latest soft toy book offering; Fun Of The Fair and today is my stop on the book tour to celebrate it's upcoming release next month with a giveaway for one lucky reader!  

The book features six ridiculously cute fairground inspired animals, all of which I'm dying to make! You can expect to see loveable lions, mischievous monkey's, sweet seals and more.  

Melanie states that the patterns are suitable for all skills levels, and although I've not had the chance to sew one up myself at the moment, I think they would be very straight-forward to sew. 

Each pattern has very helpful step-by-step instructions that even a very novice sewer could tackle, along with helpful tips to keep you on track. You can also hop over to tutorial section on Melanie's blog where she really goes into some detail for toy making techniques. 

Before I was contacted about this book I wasn't aware of Melanie and her hugely successful company; Melly & Me. If you have been living under a rock, as I clearly have!  Melanie is multi-talented business women who has created over 100 sewing patterns, designed multiple fabric collections for Riley Blake Designs, travelled across Australia teaching sewing, author to five books, all while running her Melly & Me online shop, oh and looking after her family with two children! Yowzers, I'll have a glass of what she's having! ;-) now I know you want to hear more from this wonder woman don't you? Over to you, Melanie...

How did you start your sewing career?

Well I always say that it was my sister who MADE me!!  :) About 10 years ago my sister, Rosalie Quinlan, was already a successful pattern designer and it was when I was home with my baby/toddler children that she persuaded me to start sewing.  I had always believed that I didn't have a creative bone in my body after working in Insurance and Information Systems, but she convinced me it would be a great hobby to overcome my feelings of "lack of accomplishment" and boredom.  I took to quilting overnight and purchased a sewing machine 24 hours after she started me trying - It was love at first stitch!  I think it was about 6 months later that Rosalie started her attempts to convince me to start designing.  I kicked and screamed for a while, but eventually started my hand at original designs - the rest is history! (thanks sis!!!!)

When did it go from hobby to full-time business?

I think somewhere in the first two years the tide suddenly turned very quickly.  It went from a lot of fun and just a hobby business to fund my growing fabric addiction to a full time focus.  That said I did put a lot of effort into getting my name known and promoting Melly & me.  We even went to the "International Quilt Market" in the US in an attempt to expand into the international market.  I think even when it was a hobby I took it pretty seriously and was fairly determined to make a go of it.

You have accomplished so much; from starting a successful sewing pattern company, teaching, designing fabric, writing books and more! – how do you manage it all?

Well that is an awfully good question!  I think being a work-a-holic helps, haha!  I have just added part time study to the mix and am finding time management pretty hard at the moment, but I seem to always get it done.  I am a pretty driven and self motivated person so I think I just always make the time and make it work.  I am also a compulsive over-comitter which gets myself in trouble - but I look at this as a positive at the end of the year when I see how much I have achieved.  Loving what you do helps tremendously - you always find time to do things you love and that excite you!

What do you enjoy most about your creative job?

I love the feeling of anything new coming to life!  Whether this is a new book being published and finally available, a new toy created in the studio, or new digital artwork for that next fabric collection!  I just love seeing something fun and new coming from nothing.  I love it most when those creations make people smile - I think that is my business plan - to make people smile!!

Your new book is just delightful! How did you come up with the theme?

Actually at the time I came up with this theme I was playing around with some "Fun Fair" based fabric designs for a possible new fabric collection.  The fabric collection was never completed and was never meant to be, but it birthed the ideas for this book!!  This book was instantly in my mind's eye and it was almost effortless to put together as I could see all the designs so clearly in my imagination.  You can actually find the digital artwork that I had been playing with for fabric as decoration within the book!

What big things do you have planned for the future of Melly and Me, can you share?

I am actually looking forward to seeing what the future might bring!!  I am just starting work now on my next book which will be available in about 12 months or so - another toy based book with 10 "fantasy" themed  projects which is super exciting!.  I am always working on the next fabric collection and the next pattern design, but outside of that I am looking for that great new idea to branch into something challenging and new!  I am not sure what it might be just yet, but I am hoping some new journey and direction for Melly & me will be just around the corner!

- - - - - - - - - - GIVEAWAY - - - - - - - - -

Melanie sounds like an sewing and organisational dream! This makes makes me want to get my butt in gear, and with my wedding happening next month I need all the organising help I can get!! 

With that in mind, for your chance to WIN a printed copy of the book sent by the publishers at F + W Media, simply leave me a comment on this blog post with any tips or ideas you follow to keep organised? It can be sewing / or non sewing related. Anything!

For an additional entry you can follow me on Bloglovin for all blog updates! Drop me an additional blog comment to tell me so I can count the extra entry. 

Competition closes Thursday 9th October 2014. Best of luck!