Friday, 31 January 2014


Over the last few months, my sewing and blogging has been a lot slower paced than normal, but it's been unexpectedly enjoyable. After a pretty steady string of deadlines last year (self imposed or otherwise) I was feeling a bit unmotivated and blah about all things sewing related, and needed to slow things down a bit and regain my desire to create. It has also been really great to spend lots of time as a family, as the mister has had the last three weeks off work. We have been staying at the beach all of this week, and I'm feeling incredibly invigorated and ready to get stuck back into sewing again. I just need to wait for my machine to come back from her service when we are back home so I can dive in!

It has also been really nice to step back and think about all things blog related. I love blogging; I love having a platform to share my creations on a broader scale than my family and friends (I'm pretty sure they love not having to listen to me talk quilts all the time, too), and I love the amazing online community I've found. At the same time (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this), blogging and social media have a tendency to become too much of a focus for me at times. It's incredibly uplifting to publish a post and get feedback from my lovely readers - and it is also quite addictive. I'm a pretty insecure, shy person and blogging has enabled me to gain a lot more self confidence in regards to my quilting and sewing (so a big thanks to all of you!). I guess anyone who blogs enjoys the validation it entails, I just wonder sometimes if I place too much importance on it. Although I try to make what I like and not worry about what other people think, how a project will be received is always at the back of my mind. Am I alone in this, or do other people feel the same? I'd love to know! 

Aside from sharing my makes in this space, I do have a couple of ideas of series I'd like to run on my blog this year - but before I launch into anything I'd love to hear your thoughts. One idea I've had for a long time is to run a series on how to draft quilt blocks (either original designs or working out measurements for more traditional quilt blocks). This is something I love to do (certified maths loving geek here), and would love to share if it is something that people are interested in or struggle with. I'm thinking of starting really simple, and working up to some more complex block examples. Would this kind of thing appeal to anyone? 

Apologies for the brain dump, but I'd really love to hear your thoughts on all of this :o)

xx Jess

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous: Flickr Group and Linky!

Since it's nearly a month into our fabric fast (seriously? how fast has January flown by?), we thought it might be a good idea to have a check in linky so we can share how things are going with each other, and offer support if needed.

I'm really surprised how easy it has been so far (I know it's only been 3 weeks, but I was worried it would be way worse). I think once I'm starting projects later in the year it will become more difficult to resist buying some new shiny fabric, but right now I'm having fun playing with my stash. It probably also helps that there haven't been any massive fabric sales yet ;o)

We have also started up a Flickr group if anyone is interested in joining. You are welcome to use the Flickr group to post photos of your WIPs and finishes throughout the year, and also to add photos of any fabric you are looking to destash or swap. Swapping fabric is definitely not against the rules! I'm also thinking the Flickr group will be a good way to get to know each other.

Oh, just because I feel weird having a photo-less post, this is my three year old and me Go-Karting last weekend :o)

xx Jess

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Paint, projects and play

We are heading into the last two weeks of our summer holidays here, which I'm a little sad about. It's been a pretty great holiday so far - the kids have been (mostly) nice to each other and we have had a bit of sun which is always a bonus! We have been painting more of the house over summer and it's almost done, so I'll hopefully have some photos to share of that in the next week or so.

I'm starting to think about what I want to work on once the kids are back at school and I have a bit of day time sewing again. I'm still not sewing a whole lot at the moment, but I have been working a little bit on a couple of projects. Most of my time has been spent working on my Liberty Charm quilt (which I haven't managed to photograph well yet) and tutorial, although I did start a new project last week. This is the centre of the medallion quilt I've designed. It did require a bit of crafty unpicking to get the centre square points matching up, but I'm happy with how it came together. I can't wait to add some more borders to it! I'm thinking about writing this one up as a pattern - so if anyone would be interested in testing a medallion quilt pattern, please let me know :o)

In other exciting news, I finally organised my new design wall in my sewing space. The wall next to my sewing cabinet was a large sheet of chipboard, so we just nailed some large scrap pieces of batting to the board, et voila!

It's pretty huge (around 80" high by 90" wide) and I'm hoping that by leaving my WIPs hanging on it and seeing them all the time, it will motivate me to work on them ;o) It's certainly working for my winged square bee blocks - I can't wait to put them together!!

We are heading off for a week long break at the end of this week, and my machine desperately needs a service, so I'll probably be a bit silent again for a few weeks. I'm hoping to get most of my MATO applique done and more of my Bring Me FLowers blocks as well.

I hope everyone is well, and apologise if I haven't responded to comments in a while - I am planning on getting up to date on my emails this week!

xx Jess

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Lipari Stars (A Finished Quilt)

A month or so ago, Lynne asked for project suggestions using the bundle of Oakshott Lipari cottons on her blog and to my utter delight she chose my idea. If you'd like to read more about my quilt and read the block tutorial, head over to Lynne's.

I've shared a few photos here as well ;o)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Reflections and Predictions

Yes, it's another 2013 review post! I've done a post like this at the beginning of the last couple of years, and I've found it to be a good way to reflect on how I'm growing as a quilter and to find a focus for the coming year. Last year my word was balance. We had a major life change early last year when my partner changed jobs, meaning he was home all the time (rather than working away about 50% of the year). It wasn't a difficult transition, but it did involve a change in how I balance my time (especially going from essentially having evenings by myself (to sew) to actually having another adult around who I love spending time with). We seemed to find a happy medium somehow - I've managed to spend time with all my loved ones, keep the house in a reasonable state and make stuff. I call it a win. As for a word for this year, I'm still thinking on it. 

I made quite a lot of stuff last year. There were bags, cushions and mini quilts.

1. DUDQS finished, 2. doll quilt, 3. Forest quilt side shot, 4. PTS 10 Finished, 5. Knitting Bag Front, 6. Tardis Mug Rug, 7. Reflected Textures Pillow, 8. Sashiko cushion, 9. Tesseract

There were quite a few quilty finishes, and more quilt tops - although three finishes are still secret until they are published this year (two hopefully in the very near future.) One of the biggest things I've noticed about my quilts last year is that I've definitely moved away from quick finishes toward more complex piecing and quilting. Although I still don't know where I really fit in terms of exactly what kind of quilter I am (and I don't feel the need to) I feel like I'm really starting to find my groove in terms of what I really love to make. Being challenged by what I'm working on makes me happy, and I think that will be a big focus again this year.

1. Full quilt - Retro Flowers, 2. Mario full, 3. colour blocks quilt top, 4. Full moon lagoon quilted, 5. Marcelle Medallion finished, 6. Once Upon a Time

Apart from that, I'm hoping this year will see me making more quilts for publication and releasing more quilt patterns (I will be looking for pattern testers so please let me know if you're interested!). I'm also looking forward to knocking over some of my long term WIPs as part of Fabriholics Anonymous, and will be linking up with the lovely and hilarious Katy for the FAL.

I'd love to know if you have any big plans for this year!

xx Jess

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Catching up

Somehow, it's been nearly two weeks since I blogged. I have hardly been sewing, and have barely looked on any social media in that time either. A belated happy new year and happy holidays to you all, though :o) It's actually been a really nice break as all my children are at home until early February, and we've been spending heaps of time playing board games and playing outside (when the weather has actually been okay. Worst summer ever so far.) 

Huge apologies to you who are joining in the Midnight at the Oasis QAL for my complete lack of posts in the last month. I haven't touched mine in a long time, but Sharon has completed her quilt top and has written great posts about the final two borders. We have a few trips away over summer, so I'm hoping I'll at least get the applique done while we are away. 

Fabriholics Anonymous is in full swing, and we've had lots more people interested in joining us over the last week, so Rebecca has reopened the linky party if anyone else wants to join us. I'm feeling incredibly positive about the whole thing at the moment (yes, fully realise it's only day five) especially after reading Jodi's post reflecting on her fast last year. 

The little sewing I have done over the last few weeks has mostly been piecing and quilting my Oakshott Lipari stars. 

I'm quilting it using a combination of straight lines and pebbles/swirls, in a similar way to how I quilted the final border of my Marcelle Medallion. Hopefully I'll get it finished in the next week or so..

I'm hoping to get back to reading blogs again this week, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!

xx Jess