Sunday, 19 February 2017

First Quilt ever made!




I am on a quick trip back to the UK to catch up with my family when yesterday my sister-in-law kindly uncovered the first quilt I ever made. I was grateful she still had it and hadn't chucked it away (although she was a bit vague about its where about when I asked if she still had it!!)

. . . anyway, she did still have it and I'm pretty convinced I have learnt A LOT since I made it 16 years ago!

I made it for my niece Tilly . . . seen below with her favourite Aussie auntie! ;-)
I took a traditional applique pattern and change pretty much all the blocks. I am fairly convinced had I not come across fabric by the truly amazing Jan Mullens I would never had bothered.




It hasn't quite stood the test of time and the corners of the binding are decidedly dodgy but hey, I was a beginner!

Anyway - a big shout out to my brother Matt and my best friend and super sister-in-law Amy, thanks for having Tilly as she has unintentionally led me to where I am today!

x x Claire


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

HOMESPUN BLOCK OF THE MONTH

Finally the cat is out of the bag or should I say the monkey is out of the cage! . . . my big project that consumed hours of my time last year is finally out in the world! I am very proud to say I, along with my sewing bestie Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon have designed this years block of the month for Australian homespun magazine!


We had quite a clear directive from the magazine to design a kids quilt with an interactive zoo theme - from there Jemima and I brainstormed some ideas and not content with producing just a plain quilt we had the crazy idea to turn the thing into a play mat come toy bag thingy and why not make it a weird shape whilst we are at it! Thankfully it turned out brilliantly & I am pretty sure even a relative beginner will cope making it. We have incorporated an interactive element into each month so as well as perfecting your appliqué skills there will be some toy making too.

We designed the quilt as a quilt-as-you-go so hopefully by the end of the year you will a beautiful quilt ready for christmas. It was a great project from start to finish and I hope that lots of you get on board and make one for yourself. There are plenty of stores around the country that are running classes and a full list is in the february edition of the magazine.


Over the next ten months the instructions and patterns to make the quilt will be published in Homespun. Jemima and I will also be sharing some helpful tips, instructions and other surprises on our blogs so keep an eye out. 

Jemima kicks off month one with a tutorial on how to make the softie train so head over to her blog feb 1st at tiedwitharibbon.com



If you are on Instagram please keeps us up to date with your progress by hash tagging your picture #homespunzoobom 

happy stitching

Claire x

Monday, 10 October 2016

Goldilocks - Homespun Magazine Oct 2016

A long long long time ago I was asked by Homespun magazine if I had anything I could contribute for this years children edition. Now, I always have a stack of designs waiting in the wings as I am much better at getting ideas on paper then I am at getting them made!

Goldilocks has been sitting on my computer for a year or so just waiting for the right time to surface and as my brief was to do something with not a lot of appliqué in nice soft colours it seemed as though it was her time to wake up and go exploring!!




Its not like me to do something with such gentle colours but Amy Sinibaldi's Paperie fabric was just the perfect find for it. I added in some soft linens and a few touches of bright orange here and there. My Bloc-loc came in handy for the trees and I quilted around them to make them puff up! I also quilted in the shapes of the porridge bowl, chair and bed - evidence of Goldilocks crimes!





The pattern is available in the October 2016 edition of Australian homespun. If you get around to make one for yourself I would love to see a picture.

Happy stitching!

x Claire

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 tiedwitharibbon@gmail.com

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

TOO BUSY TO POST!

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