Friday, 11 July 2014

.: patchwork house-block swap :.

The lovely Angie, who blogs at GnomeAngel, is coordinating a house-block swap.  I've signed up for the international swap, so these six little houses will be heading off to three lovely ladies both here and overseas.  

I followed the basic pattern that Angie shared on her blog, with a few little changes so I could ramp-up the fussy-cutting opportunities, the TINY fussy-cutting opportunities - the windows are a half-inch square, finished!  Each house is 6 1/2" unfinished.  Here they all are one by one. 

I think this next one is my favourite - not one, but TWO Laurie Wisbrun giraffes!

They're all pretty busy, I know, but I do find it very hard to tone things down sometimes.  Too much colour, all the patterns, throw them all in together, I say!  I even had to specifically buy plain, white, solid fabric for the borders - I just never use a solid white, ever! 

The swap houses are due to be posted by next Friday, so check out all the happy little houses that are now popping up on instagram and Flickr - search for #patchworkhouseblockswap and #thefussycuttersclub.  Pop across too, to Angie's blog, to join in with her second Fussy Cutters' Club linky party, and take a look at all the fun fussy-cut creations that some very clever peeps have been making! 

Hope you have all had a great week - the school holidays have been perfection here in Brisbane.  Happy weekend to you all.  xoxo cat

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

.: my finished Social Tote! :.

The fabulous Lorena flew up from Sydney to teach a couple of Social Tote classes here in Brisbane over the weekend.  I went along to Lorena's Sunday class, along with lots of lovely ladies from the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild. 

I can safely say that I would NEVER have been able to finish this little Tote without Lorena's help - she explained and demonstrated all the tricky bits in the pattern so well.  Constructing the lining is particularly difficult without a few extra tips - Lorena helped it to all make sense.

Lorena was really helpful on our little Social Tote Facebook group in the weeks and days leading up to the class too, and answered lots of questions about the prep work we all did before the class.  I enjoyed all the preparation for the Tote - choosing the fabrics, cutting everything out and quilting the side panels.  I was SO HOPEFUL of finishing my Tote completely on Sunday, since I'd completely over-prepared - this is what I'd packed to take along - finished side panels, including handles, pockets and quilting DONE - pincushion DONE - binding READY.  Plus all my pattern pieces cut, interfaced, labelled and ready to roll.

And I nearly got there - at the end of the class, I had my binding sewn on - very badly, with the lining all bunchy - but still, it was ON!  

{{my table buddies Jane and Lynda}}

Now for some fabric details.  There are four different designers in this little Tote:
- PennyCandy Amy (the black/white chalk letters on the outside of the Tote + the 'love letters' on the handles and pincushion + the 'King of Cups' on the sides of the pincushion).
- Erin McMorris (the 'Hello' lining fabric).
- Aunty Cookie/Shannon Lamden (the blue Cookies on the pincushion and the pockets).
- Martha Negley (the green feathers on the handles and binding).

I've filled my Tote already with a stack of unfinished hexie-flowers, and plan to slowly stitch away  during the school holidays with a glass of wine (or mug of herbal tea) and night-time television. 

Here are all our Totes at the end of Lorena's class - there were so many fabulous fabric choices, I had quite a few favourites!

And here is gorgeous Lorena (on the right) with gorgeous Jane, who was her host for the weekend, and who finished her Tote completely during the class - that's Jane's up there with the fabulous Echino fabrics, hot pink lining and Melody Miller clock pincushion. 

I'm so happy that Lorena was able to come up for the weekend and that I was able to go along to the class, it was a lot of fun, and I'm very happy with my little Tote ... despite its wonky binding and bunchy lining!  If ever you get a chance to do a class taught by Lorena, I'd jump at it, she's so talented, lovely and very generous with her time and knowledge.  Hope your week is going well.  xoxo cat

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

.: koala trio :.

I haven't yet shared all three of the koala minis I made!  If you've been here before, you'll have seen the minis I made for Camille and Holly already.  Reading Camille's awesome Australia Part 1 post last night has reminded me that I haven't shared all three of them together! 

If you follow me on instagram (I'm @hellofromcat), you will of course have seen all three of them already.  I started the middle koala up there, for gorgeous Pam, weeks and weeks ago, as a little thank you for such a lovely time when we met up in San Francisco way back in January!  I just never actually sewed him up into a finished mini though.  And then when I found out I'd be going along to Camille's trunk show and Red Letter Day class - and that her gorgeous friend Holly would be coming along too - I sewed up another two koalas! - and then set up a little koala-quilting-production-line to finish all three of them together. 

This one is Camille's - all in Bonnie+Camille fabrics, including the koala-grey - except for the Pam Kitty Morning white on white 'Recipe for Success', and the black/grey sketch.  And the tree-branches! - that's from the Lush Uptown line. 

And this one is Pam's - all the greens are Pam Kitty Morning, and the 'Recipe for Success' white.  The koala-grey is a gorgeous yarn-dye chambray from PolkaDotTea Fabrics.  His eyes and nose are the same black/grey sketch.  And the binding is a Lizzy House print. 

And this one is Holly's!  I should have mentioned by now, that the fabulous koala pattern is by the very-talented Kristy of Quiet Play.  I love all Kristy's patterns, they are very clever, well written and super-straight-forward to follow.  

And here are all the koalas together, before heading off to their new homes!  I loved making them for Pam, Camille and Holly, and I love that they are now living happily in different parts of America.  

Hope your week has been a good one so far.  It's a truly gorgeous day here in Brisbane today - not a cloud in the sky, and only about 20 degrees - just perfect.  xoxo cat
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