She Sells Seashells

She Sells Seashells

I am done! My seaside quilt using the Wyndham Fabrics Tidal Lace range (see http://baumtextile.uberflip.com/i/374386) is quilted, bound and shipped off to the mag, awaiting publication.

The best thing about this quilt (other than the gorgeous prints that I got to stitch up before anyone else) was the quilting. I invested in a free motion quilting foot and this was my guinea pig quilt for free styling the quilting. I did tiny pebbles all over the background and scallops on the seashells. Being able to move the quilt in any direction is an incredibly creative feeling. Liberating. Free. Exciting.

It is the beginning of new things for me.

I think the best advice I read about free motion quilting before I began was: “go slow and always look ahead of the needle, not at the needle itself”. I totally concur.

What tips have helped you free motion quilt? I’m interested to know.

Anyway, before my new baby left home, I took it down to my beach (in my hood) to take a picture. Here it is. (Lucky I’m good at craft because I’m certainly no stylist.)

She Sells Seashells 1So, have you seen the Tidal Lace range yet? What did you think?

I saw a gorgeous quilt showcasing the range on Pinterest. Check it out here. It uses the full range of prints, and the contrast it achieves is beautiful.

Excited, a little!

Never have I been as happy with a design as now.

And boy that is a nice nice feeling.

I’m designing a quilt to showcase the spectacularly pretty Wyndham Fabrics Tidal Lace range which hits stores in January 2015. Check out the look book at http://baumtextile.uberflip.com/i/374386. With a palette so delicate and with hues a tiny bit murky and unexpected and beautiful, it really is just like the sea…

Tidal Lace

But (ahem) that’s right – me, designing for an upcoming range! I feel so excited to have this opportunity (handed to me by Handmade magazine https://www.facebook.com/handmademagazine where the quilt will feature).

I’m working with shell shapes in piecing and needleturn appliqué, then precise quilting lines for the feature elements and watery, uneven quilting lines in the backgrounds. It’s traditional but a bit modern too, and purposefully a little bit messy about the backgrounds  to give a washed over kind of effect throughout.

It feels good to work without hesitation, and to keep loving it along the way.

Dreaming and planning this design even tipped me over the edge to buy a new quilting table attachment for my Bernina. (I couldn’t bear to under-deliver on the quilting of such a pretty piece of work!) And hopefully by the end of this week I’ll be onto the quilting.

Yay!

2013 yearbook cover pic

Published!

An unexpected early delivery has given me the excites today!
Seven months of the occasional night in front of the TV has finally culminated in this thing of great beauty: our first family yearbook.

2013 yearbook cover pic

Last year I made the decision to put into order my digital memories and that in itself was like a life’s work. But I did it. And was proud. Today is the next step completed. And I am proud again. I love it. I love the page-by-page growing up of my children. I love the happy smiles in my face and Dan’s. I love the places we go. I love the way even our home changes in one year. What a journey of pictures. And what a fabulous year. Seriously. everyone should do a yearbook – just to get happy.

So let it be the first of my many.

Knowing the time it took and the pleasure it brought along through the process, I will be beginning my 2014 yearbook now (to hopefully complete it early in the new year), plus I’ll aim to document years past too, at least to the year after we got married.

The happy side effect of this visual productiveness will be a faster-running computer and more room to upload the gazillions of pics waiting on my beautiful SLR (which currently don’t fit on my mac).

And while I’m on published things, I also received my first project published in a decade, thanks to the lovely Lizzie on Handmade magazine. A smally, but a goody (and something that has inspired a future large quilt), I present you with a mini quilt block made into a bookmark! Ta-dah!

It feels good to be in print.

Zen Reading

 

Sketchings cont…

Oh I am really liking the pen and paper time! When did I last draw just for the sake of making something up? I can’t remember… My land creatures have begun to form. River’s favourite dino, the Brachiosaurus, and the gold ol’ Stegasaurus (which no dino quilt could be without!)

That is all now. Night night.

Sketchings

River is dinosaur obsessed. Which means I too have become, to some extent, dinosaur obsessed. They are pretty amazing creatures. Sort of unfathomable. I hunt for new dinosaur content for us to watch on You-Tube, I have bought dinosaur encyclopaedias and I read them to River, he describes dinosaurs to me all the time, we roar like dinosaurs. River is always a Brachiosaurus when he’s in a soft mood, or a T-Rex when he’s wild. Summer is always a baby T-rex. I am a Mummy dinosaur!

So he’s inspired me to a new challenge. A dinosaur quilt. And River is keen. He is helping me work out which dinosaurs to put on it. Fortunately, he’s in a double bed, so I have a big canvas to work with (I’ll need it for the number I’m supposed to include).

I’ve started working on the block layout, but the real fun this time is on the appliqué.  I’ve begun to sketch and every day during Summer’s sleep, River and I hang in the front room, me drawing, him playing with buttons, talking to me, taking photos with my camera or just chilling out. It is such a beautiful time in my day.

So far I”ve done sky and sea creatures. Next onto the land creatures. Of that there are many.

The challenge begins.

Thinking mini (and other things)

This week I’ve been giving mini things a go. It’s actually very tricky. It’s hard to make the block make sense and it’s hard to work the sewing machine when some pieces are just 1in square. And its hard to bind with a tiny binding. Mistakes can’t hide… Why? WHY? Why am I doing it?

Because,

I bought Summer’s birthday present agonisingly early. Her birthday is in December, but I saw a beautiful wooden Doll’s house complete with furniture and I had to have it. (Now I live in hope that she develops a love of dolls in the next six months. Here she is from Thursday, with Doll in hand, so maybe that’s a start?). She took Poppy walking. Poppy is made by Cleo and Poppy. They make very nice things.  https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/CleoAndPoppy?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Summer with Poppy

But I digress! I have some gorgeous mini charm squares – Moda’s Lily Ashbury High Street story – which I have NO IDEA what to do with. And it is bothering me.

I thought mini quilts might work for them and, perfectly, for Summer’s doll house. So I gave a tiny bed quilt a go. And I discovered that two blocks does not a mini bed quilt make. It does however, look pretty cute as a bookmark. So now I have a bookmark.

Mini quilt bookmark

But still no plan for my dolls set. And I want to make two bed quilts, two pillows, two floor cushions and a tiny little softie. It might end up being a hand-stitching project for my upcoming holiday. Hmmm.

So then I made a second bookmark (doesn’t everyone need multiple bookmarks?). I did this one to practice a block I want to make into a quilt. Made with gorgeous scraps left over from a bed quilt I made eight years ago. Finally, a good idea!

bookmark 2

I’m going to do something similar to this design, many times over, to make a modern quilt. I like this idea. I really like it. It’s a no-mistakes, use-any-scrap-you-have type design. And it works perfectly with the fabrics. I look forward to a weekend when I can clear my sewing table and start it.

I guess from these pics it is evident that there is a book i long to read. The Luminaries. Oh how I long to read it with a cup of coffee in my favourite IKEA Poang armchair, in the sun, one quiet afternoon… Or more realistically, in bed for 10 minutes in the night before I crash because, seriously, there is no reading on the sunny afternoons in this house. There is colouring in, there is beach time and park time, there is watching dinosaurs, but there is absolutely no reading novels for Mummy! Maybe that’s another holiday activity. (I’ve clearly got high hopes for this holiday – Dan-hubby better be prepared!)

And here is Dan-hubby today, in our afternoon quiet time while Summer power-napped. River has a button fettish. I find it adorable. I think Dan finds it interesting. Here are my boys – from today.

button dadThis is my favourite photo of the day! Happy times:)

So apparently today I feel chatty. It’s been a very nice Saturday.

starting

How to start?

Apparently I’m bad at this because I keep trying to write a post and then not. So today is my day! First I did this (with my three-year-old who loves dinosaurs more than life itself):

At least River thought it looked like a dinosaur.

At least River thought it looked like a dinosaur.

But then I did something that I think I am infinitely better at. I finished Calm Seas, my February project! I’m chuffed because I finished something and still really like it (not always the case I’m afraid).

Calm Seas, made by me.

Calm Seas, made by me.

These are nice colours, it caters to my appreciation for nautical things, and it is actually a very calming thing to look at. I want to make a big one for River, but I know it’s not his thing. Shame it doesn’t go at all with my house. So I will sell it or give it to the next baby boy that comes along in my friendship circle (I’m the one that makes quilts for the new bubs).

And the best bit about my crafty day – better even than finishing something I love: receiving a  much-anticipated package in the mail – these lovelies:

I finally got me some crafty labels.

I finally got me some crafty labels.

You see, I’ve decided to brand my stuff just because I can. The first one has been lovingly attached to above mentioned quilt already.

So, for this first blog I should absolutely say, it has been my new years resolution to get my blog going. I want it for reasons yet unknown to me, but probably to give myself a kick-start to get some nice things made and to record them, and to get better at my craft because I’ve recorded them.

I am also going to write how-to’s for stuff I make. Not the instructions, but the technique. An old one is already posted here, but I’ll explain that next time. (It’s my eternal hand-sewing project. It may never be completed, but I hope that one day it is).

So, maybe this crafty stuff will merge a little with homely stuff like being a mum to my beautiful kids, and what it means to be at home lots of the time (why I have the opportunity to get crafty in the first place I guess). Let’s just see. I’ll have to watch this space.

I’ll also have to hope I have time to post more than once in a blue moon.

And I’m not going to edit everything I write. I’m just going to post whatever gets penned in the instant when I have the time to pen it. That’s ok, isn’t it.