Sunday, 25 September 2016

Pinpal's,Mystery projects and Retreat for 2017

It has recently been retreat time in my world. Twice a year I run a sewing retreat with my sewing pal Jemima of Tied with a ribbon fame. It is always a fab and creative weekend sandwiched between lots of late nights! There are always new faces to get to know but always some regular faces who I have really come to look forward spending time with. A shared passion always warms the soul!

anyhow . . .

. . . at retreat Friday night is Mystery Project night!

Its a non compulsory event that has become secretly very competitive to be the first one to the finishing line! Over the past nine retreats we have come up with some cool projects and some, not so cool but there have been a few winners. My challenge is always to come up with something that can be made in an hour or so, that we can kit up easily and everyone can follow the instructions even if a few glasses of wine have been consumed! . . . 

. . . this retreat Jemima put together a cute fold over clutch bag. This is my version using a selection of totally gorgeous liberty fabrics from the Strawberry Thief. These would make great Christmas pressies. Nobody struggled with it as a project thankfully, and no one broke a needle trying to navigate the metal zips! (Jemima has a tutorial on her blog here)

a few retreats back we all made this little gem - a pouch for your embroidery scissors.

and this is actually a gem . . . a Tiffany diamond coaster!

A few retreats ago I put together a pin cushion with an attached thread catcher - I think I was trying to 'work tidy' myself at that point and thought I'd spread the love. I'm pretty sure it was Jemima's idea as she is the master at 'work tidy' and I am shamefully lacking in that talent! It was one of the cooler projects we put together with everyone making their own amazing version.

anyhow . . .

. . . at the last retreat we launched the pin thingy as a Sew-Along pattern out into the world and we had a little competition to name it. 

. . . and the winner is - 'PinPal'!

Our Pinpal Sew-Along pattern is totally cute, totally easy to make & totally available in all good patchwork stores and my Etsy shop as a PDF download. 

(how cute does this one look in Tula Pink fabrics sitting next to Jemima's Tula Pink sewing machine!) 

If you would like to come and see what Mystery project we are doing in 2017 then bookings are opening for our September retreat next week on Monday October 3rd (my birthday!!) We are only doing one retreat next year as we have a few other exciting things happening. If you are keen to come along check out the details on our Sew-Along blog and on my retreat page here. Bookings are made with Jemima at

Happy stitching

x Claire

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

All The Hens

I had a blast with this new quilt! . . . mostly because I got to dip into my Liberty fabrics as well as maybe sneaking in a few extra ones!
Everything was cut on my Brother Scan N Cut & machine appliquéd onto a linen background. All the appliqué fabrics are Liberty and having not ever used Liberty to appliqué with I was pleased with how surprisingly easy they were to use. The nature of the design means that it can be made bigger or smaller by simply adding more or less blocks. I am about to make another one but this time I think I might raid my Kaffe fabric stash!

24 hens, 1 rooster + 1 very sneaky fox!

there may not have been much thought given to the placements of the rooster & his 'friend'!!

The fun extended to a pair of cushions . . . 

Both patterns are available in plenty of stores across Australia and everywhere else. I have spied some shops putting together some fabric kits too.

Pattern are available wholesale through Creative Abundance + Checker distributors in the US

. . . if you can't wait, they are also in my Etsy store here.

Hen house Appliqué Quilt pattern - buy here
Chooks Cushion pattern - buy here

happy stitching x x 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Salt Lake City

I never got around to post about my trip to Quilt Market . . . came home and just about collapsed for five weeks and reacquainted myself with my family.

The Trip was AWESOME!

Salt Lake City was surprising. . . genuinely a fabulous place to visit, Quilt Market was surprising . . . I though the show was going to be much bigger, but grateful that it wasn't. I got to meet some really gorgeous people, got to hear some wisdom from some very clever designers at School House, got to meet some lovely people that actually like my stuff and buy it for their shops (thank you). I managed to pick up some cool fabric bargains from Sample Spree & of course I had a blast with the all talented team in the Creative Abundance group.

This was me!
View inside the booth with some new designs. I redid my Birdsong Quilt in fabulous bright fabrics from Emma Jean Jansens new range 'Matilda' - fabric is about to hit stores very soon!
I also had a a mad moment and made a whale and shark cushion - pattern is called 'Whaleshark'

The quilt that was a bit of a favourite was 'Hen House'. Unfortunately a fox got into the hen house so not sure how well those hens are going to do!! I also made two cushion to go with it called 'Chooks' and a pair of foxes.

I made sure they knew why I had come from ;-)

'Catface' lap quilt using Karen Lewis Textiles fabric + 'Fantastic'

My 'Count on Me' quilt got to hang out with Jodie Carleton over on her booth at Ella Blue Fabrics. It was made with her new fabric range Bunny trails.

Just some stuff from around the show . . . there were some amazing things to see x

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


good intentions and all that . . . .

dreadfully lacking in Market updates on this blog but its not because I have been idle - absolutely not, nor is it because the wheels very nearly fell off, which they did!

but . . . 

I have five new quilts made . . . and seven new cushions . . . fancy new cards are at the printers & even fancier bunting for the booth is just about finished.

There has been a LOT of late nights, a lot of egg on toast for tea, a lot of threads on the floor, a bit of unpicking, a bit of replanning, a few surpises (like my passport expired!), lots of encouragement from my fabulous family & despite the crazy state of exhaustion I'm in, I have actually enjoyed the journey and am really pleased with the results - fingers crossed everyone at Market likes my efforts too!

Anyhooo . . .  I am going to showcase all the new designs in the next week on my Facebook and Instagram pages . . . probably won't blog about them until after market when I am back to being a real living human person again!

wish me luck x x 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Spring Market - 5 weeks to go

So I am one week in and all going pretty well. Things are getting ticked of the list, the sewing machine has been humming along nicely, my back is being looked after by a team of very handy professionals, all is well with daughter number 1 in France (in fact, so well I don't think she is missing me at all which is a tiny bit upsetting!!) I have fabric arriving every day & team of enthusiastic sewing helpers all lined up and raring to go.

I had a plan of what I was going to take to Market. I have been sitting on a pile of new designs for a while and have been waiting for just the right fabric to come along and inspire me to take the designs from paper to actually being something real and then this happened . . .

Liberty fabrics new Garden of Dreams print fell into my lap!

Sometimes something sparks an idea and you just have to run with it. I raided my Liberty stash and found a 'few' prints that worked well with it & an idea was born! . . . Hens!

I worked on a couple of cushion ideas, then it turned into a mini quilt and then morphed into a huge quilt. I currently have 26 stitched hens up on my design wall with a few more details to be added before you get to see it. I love it. . . it makes me smile!

Here's a sneak peak . . .

There is of course a very magnificent rooster which daughter number 3 helped with - you know, the kind of help that is not very helpful!!!

Things are also getting a bit posh - fancy new labels arrived!

There has also been a bit of planning and sewing for Sew-Along, the collaborative venture I do with Jemima of Tied with a Ribbon. New designs for christmas working with Leciens really lovely Sugar Flower Holday as well as some revamping of some existing patterns ready for market.

A little bit more Liberty fabric crept into my stash! Then there is a whole load of other stuff but its top secret & I cant share . . . yet!

. . . off to fill in the forms for my visa.

Au revoir for now

Monday, 4 April 2016


It is precisely six weeks until Spring Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. My flight is booked so I have just six weeks to get my self organised and ready. I would have had a lot longer had I not 'fip-flopped' on the decision to go but there again the decision would have been easier to make had I not had overseas visitors staying with me for seven weeks (it's OK, it was my folks so plenty of coffee and procrastinating occurred) as well as crappy pain in my lower back from a bulging disc leaving me in a state of hideously constant pain. Also there has been the looming departure of my 16 year old daughter heading to France and the UK on an exchange visit for a month.

The visitors have now gone, I have had a big fat needle in my lower back so my machine pedal foot is back in working order & Lucy has safely arrived with a very lovely French family so, I am now America bound.


I have an awful lot to do!

Fortunately, I thrive on short deadlines so, not unlike an army of other designers heading to market, I am going to be sewing my little butt off!

. . . . So the dream is I am going to exhibit at the worlds biggest trade fair in a booth space of my own, I will have an astonishing amount of awesome new quilts, I'll get to meet or at least stalk some of my uber favourite and inspiring designers, I'll get to hang out with the creative talent on the Creative Abundance stand space & I'll be well, rested and calm and totally living in the moment of pure bliss.

. . . . The reality is more likely to be that I arrive knackered, with maybe one new quilt & I'll be totally overwhelmed by the the whole experience.

Either way, I have decided that I have nothing to loose and only lots to gain.

So here goes . . . . this is my list of what needs to be done


1.  Make a time plan of the next month (taking into account it is school holidays for two of them!)

2.  Make quilts! . . . obviously!!! I have four, actually no five designed and ready to go (hahahahaha)

3. Chase fabric for quilts as that would be helpful!!

4.  Plan stand space and how I am going to hang the quilts (In my previously life I was an exhibition stand designer so you'd think that this one would be a cinch)

5.  Get made quilts photographed.

6.  Write patterns and get them checked by at least three good peeps

7.  Drop five kilos (again, hahahahahaha)

8.  Confirm hotels

9. Organise Visa, and money

10. Keep on top of house work, feed family nutritious food and stay a nice person

Hang on to your hats people . . . the next six weeks might be a bumpy ride x x 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Bear Buddie Cushion

Missing bears in our house are a regular fixture - it is part of our nightly ritual to find 'bear' . . . and it drives me just a little bit bonkers!!

So when Melanie from Melly and Me fame sent me sampling of her new range of fabric for Riley Blake fabrics, 'Teddy Bears Picnic' I had a little notion . . .

ta dah! . . . Bear now has a bear buddie cushion to tuck neatly into for his 'rest period' during the day! 

It might be a little too much to hope that my evenings will now be free from the frantic search for 'bear' and I will instead be able to have a calm and peaceful night time ritual putting my eight year old to bed, but one can hope! (& at least the cushions look very cute in her room)

Bear buddie cushion has a foundation pieced pocket to the front in which to tuck a soft toy. I also appliqued 'Hello Bear' above the pocket but you could applique a child's name or some fun shapes.

I seem to be designing in pairs at the moment so the pocket cushion is matched with a bear applique - I love this one as I used some very cool linens for his face and a patch of soft brown velvet for his nose.

My Bear buddie cushions are available as a PDF pattern in my Etsy store and sold wholesale through Creative Abundance so you can ask your local patchwork shop to get them in stock.

Happy stitching x x Claire

Teddy Bears Picnic will be available in stores from April 2016