Friday, 31 October 2014

How to pop your seams - a video tutorial

When I first learned to quilt, I made a nine patch quilt.  My mum taught me how to nest the seams in my nine patches, so the points of the squares met nicely, and the block could be pressed really flat.  

I don't have a black and white view on seam pressing - I think pressing seams to the side and pressing seams open are both totally legitimate techniques, and there are times where one is preferable over the other.

This is obviously not a technique I invented, but it's something I find really useful, and I wanted to share the method with you.  I also wanted to suggest that people use it in my patterns, but it's quite hard to explain in writing.  So, I made a video!

As usual, all the filming and editing for this video was done by my sister.  Thanks Jenny!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video!  I'd love to know whether this is a technique you were already familiar with, or whether it's new to you.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Introducing Southern Fabric (and a giveaway!)

Today I'm introducing my newest sponsor, Southern Fabric!

Southern Fabric is an online shop based in Georgia, USA.  They stock a great range of fabrics, mainly with a modern twist, but also some more traditional stuff.

I'm really crushing on this bundle of Utopia by Frances Newcombe at the moment.

Southern Fabric cut their own charm packs and layer cakes, which means you can get your hands on a charm pack or a layer cake of fabrics even where the manufacturer doesn't usually produce charm packs and layer cakes.

This Arizona layer cake caught my eye - what a great way to get a taste of all the fabrics in a line, without breaking the bank!

Southern Fabric is kindly allowing me to give away a $40 gift voucher today.  To enter, simply pop over to their website and follow them on one of their social media channels - then leave a comment here letting me know which one you've chosen.  If you follow my blog, leave a second comment for another entry.

This giveaway is open to everyone (including international participants), but if I can't contact you, you can't win. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in the comment. The giveaway will stay open until around 7pm on Sunday 2 November 2014 (New Zealand Time), and I will use the random number generator at to pick a winner then. Good luck everyone!

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - High Tea Quilt

Today I want to share a few more details of my High Tea Quilt.  If you're new to my blog, this is a new pattern that I've just released.  Make sure you pop over to my pattern release post to check out all the different versions made by my wonderful pattern testers.

High Tea Quilt 

My version is made with charm squares from a number of Bonnie and Camille's collections, gathered from the charm swap run by Ms Midge.  I really like the soft colours of Bonnie and Camille's fabric ranges, and I wanted to let the prints shine without too much distraction.  I chose white (Moda Bella White) to add brightness and freshness, and light grey (oops, I hadn't labelled this solid!) to add softness and contrast (but not too much contrast).

High Tea Quilt 

I came up with this design when I was thinking about a modified disappearing nine patch block.  I quickly realised that it would be much more efficient to strip piece the quilt, and came up with the design on that basis.

High Tea Quilt

I couldn't resist taking a photo with these gorgeous copper tea things.  They belonged to my grandparents but live at Mum and Dad's house now.  I have many fond memories of seeing them in my grandparents house when I was little, and playing with a miniature version of them.

This quilt was quilted by Sue Burnett - I'm really grateful to her for turning it around for me in a ridiculously short time frame.  With a fairly traditional layout, and very square piecing, I felt like baptist fans were the perfect way to add some curves to this quilt.

High Tea Quilt

This quilt has passed the most important test - it's Ralph (and Ivy) approved!  I can't wait to wash this quilt and see it crinkle up - I think it will make it even better.

It's that time of the year, when Amy from Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

It's definitely worth clicking through to check out all the other quilts that have been linked up - there's always a wealth of inspiration!

Quilt Stats 
Pattern: High Tea Quilt Pattern designed by me (find it in my Etsy shop and on Craftsy - on sale for only US$4 for another day)
Finished Size: 56" by 69"  
Fabric: Bonnie and Camille charm squares, Moda Bella in White, unknown grey solid
Backing: white on white unknown floral print
Binding: Orange Paisley from Bonnie and Camille's Scrumptious collection
Pieced by: me
Quilted by: Sue Burnett

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Monday, 27 October 2014

High Tea Quilt - pattern release!

Today, I'm really excited to be releasing my first self-published quilt pattern.  Called High Tea, it's fast to sew up, pre-cut friendly, and in the pattern I've given you all the information you need to make five different size options, from baby to queen size.

High Tea Quilt Pattern

This is my version - my original idea for this quilt came about when I was trying to decide how to use the Bonnie and Camille charms from the charm swap organised by Ms Midge (you should really nip over and check out all the other wonderful quilts made with charms from the swap here).  I laid the charms out on my design wall and my sister said they looked like a tea party - and the idea for the High Tea quilt was born!  My version of this quilt was quilted by Sue Burnett, and I love how it turned out.  It's both fun and elegant at the same time.  

I'm going to show more pictures of my finished quilt in another post, but right now I just have to show you all the different High Tea Quilts made by my wonderful pattern testers!

First up is this soft and deliciously sweet baby version made by fellow kiwi quilt blogger Rebecca from One Wee Bird (find her on Instagram as @oneweebird).  I love her choice of quilting design as well - it's simple and keeps the quilt looking nice and squishy.  What baby wouldn't want to snuggle with that quilt?!

Next we have this great gender neutral baby version by Jessica.  I really like Jessica made the sashing stand out and the central squares fade into the background a bit more.  You can find Jessica on Instagram as @jmarrizle.

This fun graphic baby version is by Jas (@jasminesews on Instagram).  I think her use of the chevron in the sashing is particularly clever - I never would have thought of it but it works amazingly well.

Speaking of graphic, this knock-out black and white cot version by Amanda (aka @muchoxoxo) is exactly that.  You'll find mucho gorgeousness on Amanda's blog, mucho xoxo.

Shelly (@shellyjennifer) also made the cot version, but went a totally different route!  I think her multi-coloured sashing worked perfectly with those vintage sheets.

The throw size was really popular with my pattern testers! Mary (@maryemmens) created this vision of scrappy rainbow yumminess.  Mary used a couple of different prints for her sashing and it's really changed the look of the quilt in an interesting and delightful way.  Mary sent me lots of lovely photos and you should check them all out on her blog Handmade by Mary Emmens.

Leanne (aka @daisyandjack) made this sweet and pretty version, inspired by the name High Tea and thoughts of scones with cream and jam (I like the way Leanne thinks!).  Find more deliciousness on Leanne's blog, Daisy and Jack.

My long-time bloggy friend Kirsten from Gemini Stitches made this elegant throw size version using What a Gem fabric.  Kirsten (aka @67kirsten) is super speedy and finished the whole quilt - I love being able to show you another option for the quilting design!

Katie (@zipsnipvroom) made this bright and ultra cheerful version.  Katie, did somebody tell you that I love yellow?  Katie has demonstrated the versatility of this pattern by using a mixture of charm squares and layer cake squares to make her quilt top.

You know it's nearly that time of year!  Melissa (@babystepsquilts) does, and she made this very merry Christmas version.

My next pattern tester is Debbie, who blogs at Life in the Doghouse.  Debbie made not one, but two single bed size versions of this quilt, both to donate to children in need.  Awesome work Debbie!  The first one is a really fun and bright boy version, using Zen Chic Barcelona fabric and Moda grunge for the sashing.

This is Debbie's second quilt top, a super pretty girly version, using prints from Jeni Baker's Dreamin Vintage line.  Debbie modified the pattern for this quilt, simplifying the sashing and including a mixture of plain and pieced squares.  The plain squares are for Debbie to show off her long-arm quilting skills, and I cannot wait to see this one finished!

Abby (@colorbarquilts) also made a single bed size version using Moda Grunge for the sashing.  I love that purple and it really sets of the soft colours in the Persimmon layer cake Abby used.  See more of Abby's quilts on her blog, ColorBar Quilts.

Shelley (who blogs at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts) made this really bright and fun batik version.  I'm sure it will provide a nice tropical vibe over the coming winter months in the northern hemisphere.

I have to give a massive shout-out to my pattern testers who took on the largest size option - it is a BIG quilt!  Heather (find her on flickr here) made this very beautiful scrappy rainbow version inspired by her own High Tea experience during Airbourne at Eastbourne last summer.

Last but definitely not least, Jeanne from Grey Cat Quilts made this beautiful calm queen sized version using a very restrained colour palette of blue, grey and soft yellow.  Jeanne's quilt is another great example of how this pattern can work for anyone, depending on your fabric choices.

Wow - I hope you've enjoyed seeing all the lovely quilt tops made by my wonderful pattern testers.  I can't thank these ladies enough - I couldn't have done it without them, and I'm really grateful and very moved that they took the time to make these quilt tops and give me lots of great feedback on my pattern.  

I also have to give a big shout-out to Ann Humphrey, who proof-read my pattern for me.  She did a great job and really added value with her suggestions.

You can find the High Tea Quilt pattern on Craftsy and in my Etsy shop.  To celebrate its release, it is on sale for US$4 for the next 48 hours.  After that, it will go back to its normal price of US$8.

If you make your own High Tea Quilt, I'd love to see it!  You can share it in my flickr group or on instagram using the tags #highteaquilt and #onthewindysidequilts.

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Caturday Wisdom #91

I feel a dark presence... Ralph

These dummies. Adrianne was actually trying to take a photo of Ivy in one of her favourite hiding spots (we had been looking for her again, to make sure we didn't shut her in a room before we went out) but Ralph deemed the shot lacking in Ralphs and made sure he was included. Ivy is like a vampire, it was so hot on the day this photo was taken and she was sitting in the stuffy darkness. Halloween really is Ivy's holiday.