August 2012 archive



That’s what my kids yell out when they win something and I couldn’t count how many times a day I hear it.  It’s French for “won!” and it’s pronounced “gah nay”.  Now I’ll wait for a proper French speaker to correct me ;)

My boys are 22 months apart, they are best friends, often mistaken for twins (and enjoy dressing in the same clothes and pretending to be each other) and compete over everything from who gets to the school gate first to who pours the milk.

Today Alyce B will be yelling shouri!  Which google tells me is the Japanese equivalent of gagner (Alyce is based in Japan).  Now I’ll wait for a Japanese speaker to correct me :)  

Alyce was lucky number 12 and the winner of my first giveaway.  I recently bought some lovely fabric from her etsy shop, if you like Japanese fabric, then she is your girl.  A funny coincidence that I’ll now be sending fabric to her!  Thanks everyone for entering, it was a lot of fun!  Alyce, I’ll pop your parcel in the post on Monday :)

Feeling the love!


Earlier in the week I was having a love hate relationship with a wall quilt.  Trying my hand at some improv piecing I found I kept over thinking it.  I have found the solution!

For about a year now my one real life crafting buddy, Angelique of La Petite Chouette (formerly of No Life Without Wife), and I have been getting our craft on each week.  Well, that’s the plan, but we both have kids and lives and these things often got in the way of our weekly catch up.  A recent arrival to our balmy Island decided she was keen to join us, a mutual friend of mine mentioned that she would love to come along and then another lovely girlfriend mentioned that she might just pop over with her preschooler as she had a project she was working on.  Et voila!  We had our first crafty get together with more than just two of us.  And it was!

How cute is that strawberry beanie?  So cute you get a second pic :)

Even better, I found that the distraction of these talented ladies totally got me in my groove and my improv came together!  Hoorah!

OK, looking at this photo it doesn’t look so exciting, but I’m happy with how it’s coming along.  I really love this bit above the sun.

I do think the sun looks better in real life than this photo shows.

This is the night sky, obviously more work required here.

Here is the beginning of our very own New Caledonian mountains.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t realise that New Caledonia would have really tall mountains.  I was so surprised the first time I saw them.  It truly is a beautiful place, although I don’t think my wall quilt does it justice, but it is nice to be paying tribute to this place.

And keeping up with Kristy over at Quiet Play I’d like to pay tribute to my Quilty Gals, although I probably need to say my crafty gals :)  You know who you are, the ones who comment on my posts, who read my blog, who craft with me on Thursdays, who encourage me and whose work inspires me.  You gals are awesome!  Thanks for being part of my creative journey :)

A bit of this and a bit of that


First up, I have to mention that Quokka Quilts are having an AMAZING giveaway and you have to go over and enter.  (And yes, this blog post counts as an entry for me, but dammit, that fabric is AH MAZE ING *yells Oprah style*.)  Run over there right now, you won’t regret it!  Once you’ve put yourself in the running for some Storyboek II (I know!  EXCITING!) don’t forget about my modest giveaway of six of my favourite fat quarters, you still have a couple of days to enter :)  Spread the word, only 27 entries so far, so still a great chance at winning! My giveaway is now closed.

The giveaways don’t stop there!  It’s like Christmas has come early this year!  Make sure you pop over and visit Fiona at Finding Fifth, she is giving away a charm pack of Summersville.  The lovely Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts is giving away some gorgeous Kokka Matrushka fabric and a gift voucher to her etsy shop (yummy Japanese fabrics!).  Kristy at Quiet Play (I love the name of her blog by the way!) is giving away a moda Pure charm pack and 4 of her paper pieced patterns.

Moving right along…  What have I been up to this week?

Birthday celebrations.

My middle Mr turned four and Little Miss turned two.  Mr 4 got two cakes and the most elaborate gift to date.  He got two cakes as his party was on a week day so we had a second evening celebration on the weekend.  Ah look, I’ll tell you the truth, it’s been a tough year and I just wanted my kid to be happy, so I threw him two parties and bought him a ridiculously expensive gift.  Mother guilt *sigh*.  He has been playing with the castle non-stop and we haven’t had a request for TV since he got it, so that is money well spent in my opinion (so far!) :)

All tuckered out from partying

After all the partying I finally got back into sewing on Monday this week (let’s not discuss Mr 4′s birthday quilt WIP, it is still unbound…)  I decided instead to try my hand at some improv piecing.

Got too focused on those pretty owls.  How I want to use them!
Take 2, some bits here are just laid on not pieced.
Slightly different, still not quite right.

It has been two days of love-hate with this wall quilt.  It was destined to for a brand new baby girl and as much as I still love it (at this point in time) I am not sure that it is right for a baby.  So the baby girl will get something much more baby-like and Mr Husband will get this for his office wall (he has been bugging me for a wall quilt since he saw my Colour Therapy quilt).  It all works out beautifully, Father’s Day is this weekend in Australia so I can aim (and most likely miss) for that.  This way I don’t feel like I’ve wasted two days of sewing time (and when I say 2 days, that is mixed in with looking after a grumpy, sick two year old along with the usual school runs, sick Husband, providing food, etc).   Win-win :)  This is where I’m currently at.

That sun has been a right pain.  I like it now but gee I have spent some time cutting, sewing and unpicking.  To add in the extra rays I had to do some total fudging, but hey, I’m making it up as I go along and learning on the way, so that’s OK :)  In fact, I find myself moving more and more toward quilting and away from dressmaking as I love the challenges that quilting can present.

So there you go, one stubborn WIP that is slowly coming together, one that I’m not going to talk about ;) and one that I need to start as this beautiful baby girl will be a week old tomorrow.

I’m linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



This month marks one year of blogging at this blog, I’m pretty excited :)  My baby girl also turns 2 this month and my middle monkey turns 4!  But the excitement doesn’t stop there.  I recently published my 100th blog post and earlier this month I hit 10,000 page views!

I’m so proud of my blog, it isn’t the biggest or the best, but I pour so much of my creative energy and enthusiasm into it.  Through blogging, sewing and quilting online I have met some fantastic women.  Women whose creativity inspires me and friendliness has genuinely touched me.  It is such a huge compliment every time I see another person has started following my blog.  I love seeing a comment notification pop up in my email, it really makes my day!
To celebrate how wonderful you all are for supporting me and my crafty blog I’ve searched through my stash and come up with a few fat quarters to giveaway.  They are a combination of fabrics that I have bought over the last few years, some you will recognise, some you may not, but I love them and I hope you will too!
So, what am I giving away?  Six fat quarters to one lucky person.  We have a boys pair. 
The blue and red fabric is not a quilting cotton, I bought it when I lived in Beijing, it has a lovely soft feel to it and I have used it for both clothing and quilting.  It does not have any information on the selvedge, but it is a favourite and I just had to include it!  The grey is a recent purchase and part of Ed Emberley’s Happy Drawing Range for Cloud 9 Fabrics.
A cute girly combo.
The purple swirls are part of “Where the Wind Blows” by Melanie Hurlston, another favourite.  The flowery hearts are Cocoa Berry Hearts and Flowers by Michael Miller. 
The third pair are two recent favourites.  A little hard to see the detail perhaps, but the pink is covered in prints of lots of sewing notions, I LOVE it!  Great for making gifts for other sew-ers and swaps :)

The dress forms are by Michael Miller and the pink (which is a lovely dusty pink) is by Timeless Treasures.
This giveaway is now closed.
To enter all you need to do is comment on this blog post and tell me how you follow my blog :)  Simple!  I am happy to post worldwide, just make sure I can contact you.  If you are a noreplyblogger please leave your email address with your comment.  If I can work out how to use I will do it that way, otherwise it will be one of my kiddos pulling a number out of a hat :)  The giveaway will close at midnight August 30 Nouméa time and I will announce a winner on the 31st of August.  My decision is final, no correspondence will be entered into.  I take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage of the fabric once sent.
Yay, my very first giveaway!  Good luck :)

Volume Quilt AKA Colour Therapy


Make sure you pop back later today visit this post for all the details for my first ever giveaway :) :) This giveaway is now closed.

I finished my pretty lap quilt earlier this week.  I love it.  Every part of the process was a joy.  Well, maybe not the aching muscles after 6.5 hours of quilting!  It was worth it though :)

rainbow top

I will warn you up front.  You are going to be subjected to a LOT of photos.  I love this quilt and I want to show it off :)  It has a pretty back too!


When I was about half way through a friend popped over and I showed him what I was working on.  He studied fine arts a lifetime ago and even though he doesn’t sew I appreciate his comments and suggestions.  He is also a pretty cluey guy and pointed out that I was giving myself some colour therapy.  He was right, it helped me find a happier place, hence I have renamed this quilt Colour Therapy :)  I see much more colour therapy in my future (that’s what quilting is, right?) :)

During our recent trip to Maré I picked up a couple of shells, I’ve put them next to my sewing cabinet, the shape of one inspired the quilting.

quilting inspiration
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the worlds biggest Dr Suess fan (I am a fan).  I wanted to spiral to be off centre and I loved the idea of featuring these two pairs of hands knitting.  Nothing like getting crafty with a friend!
centre spiral

I’m really pleased with how well the top and back go together.  Well, I think they do :)

Yes, I have a hedge growing through my clothes line!

Do you like the binding?  I cut into some precious Lou Lou Thi!  It was a tough decision but it was a perfect match and I just had to :)

binding LHS
I love that it goes with both the light and dark parts of the quilt.
binding bottom RHS

I didn’t intend for this to be an iSpy quilt, but my kids are loving spotting all the different pictures :)  I’m loving seeing so many of my favourite prints together.  Fabrics that I’ve made baby sleeping bags, rompers, dresses, shorts and toys from as well as some which feature in their quilts.

fav reds oranges
fav mater
fav blue
fav peacock
I even love seeing it all folded up.


See that pretty binding again? :)

folded binding

Details ~
Pattern: “Volume” from the book Scrap Republic by Emily Ciel
Size: I didn’t follow the pattern so mine turned out a little bigger, 40″ x 60″ (the pattern is 40″x48″)
Top: The majority of fabric is from my scraps, most of the cream and pale colours up top come from the scraps of the fabulous Ms Midge who recently sent me some scraps.  Gotta love blogging buddies!  I won’t lie, I did cut into some yardage as I wanted to use some favourites.
Back: Pop Garden by Heather Bailey, I only had a yard of this and it was perfect for this project.
Lotus Wall Flower Cherry by Amy Butler.  I was so disappointed when I bought this fabric.  It is a washed out orange/red whereas all the photos I’d seen online were a really great red.  It went perfectly with the Pop Garden though; all’s well that ends well!
Good Fortune Dragonflies on Blue by Kate Spain.  Oh goodness, this was hard to use, but it was the best match (very hard to match the yellowy creams of the other two) and I wanted something special.  I’m glad I used it and I only have a very small scrap left now.
Binding: Lou Lou Thi by Anna Maria Horner for the binding.
Wadding: summer weight cotton.  Perfect for snuggling under during winter in Nouméa :)

So, do you like it?  Is quilting your colour therapy?

Happy Sewing!

I’m linking up to Thank Goodness it’s Finished Friday over at Mama Love Quilts.

Why the binding, always the binding?


I had so much fun linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday last week that I’m doing it again.  This time I really need to be held accountable :)  My second baby (they’ll always be my babies!) turns 4 next Tuesday and I need to finish his quilt.

Can you believe that this quilt has been waiting on binding for months?  I wanted to hand sew the binding on and that kind of completely stalled the process. I love the look of hand sewn binding, I hate doing it.  I did it all, pieced it, basted it, quilted it.  Then folded it up and ignored it.  You can read about the progress here and here, but here are some photos to remind you as I haven’t blogged about it for a fair while :)  It is the Kitchen Window quilt pattern from Elizabeth Hartman’s book, “The Practical Guide to Patchwork”.

I had so much fun stippling that I kinda went a bit crazy.  I’m not so sure I love it over the black strips anymore, but that’s what happens when  you walk away from a project and come back to it MONTHS later.  He will love it and that it all that maters.  I do love it, I’m just not sure I would have quilted it like that if I sat down and did it today.

Anyway, it has been patiently waiting on my hanging rack and this is the week that I have to bind it!  I’ve even already selected a fun orange pindot to bind it.  I can’t wait to see it on his bed.  Next is a quilt for Mr (almost) 6.  I’m hoping he isn’t too disappointed that he’ll have to wait two months until his birthday.  I have been collecting fabric so I can show him that I’m committed (both to making it and purchasing fabric!).  When I say next I mean after a few orders and a few other bits and pieces.  Well, I have a deadline of mid October, so let’s just stick with that ;)

I did finish my scrappy volume quilt from last week.  I worked like a woman possessed.  It made me so happy, every part of the process.  I feel a little empty now and it rained for 48 hours after I finished so I only got to take some photos this morning and haven’t had a chance to go through them yet.  No fear, I will be posting about it in the next day or two :)  Oh, and when I say it’s finished, I still have to put a label on it LOL It’s for me and I’ve been through a really tough time lately and I need to put some meaningful words on that label :)  I have a quote in mind but I want to break out my new stamping gear and the lovely linen twill that I bought with, so I need to think about how to work it in without having a label that is 50 feet long!

Scrappy Volume quilt waiting basted and ready for quilting.

I’ve also been selecting fabrics to put together a fat quarter bundle to giveaway to celebrate a number of milestones.  Keep your eyes peeled over the next day or two :)  You can find my giveaway here.

I’m linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Grab a button:

One, Two, Four, 100, 10,000!


I can count, I’m just a little excited about these numbers.  This month this blog turns one!  My baby girl turns two!  My fun loving middle child turns four!  I will hit 100 posts on Pretty Bobbins and I’ve just hit 10,000 page views!


I feel really proud :)  And excited.  And I want to share some of the love with you!  Between finishing up my lap quilt (something I am very excited about!) I am pulling fabric out of my stash and putting together a giveaway.  So make sure you pop back later in the week and I’ll announce the giveaway (once I’ve selected the fabrics) :)  I’m thinking a selection of fat quarters or a charm pack.  Any preferences?  It will be taken from my stash and a mix of some of my favourite prints (not from a single range).  But first I have to get back to this quilt :)

Excited?  I am!!

Edited to add: You can find my giveaway here :)

Sunday Stash and a whole lot of quilting


I mentioned yesterday that I’m a woman with a mission, I’m really enjoying working on my “volume” quilt.  This morning I pieced the back and basted it, I really didn’t want it to move around during the quilting process so I used a lot of pins.

Not sure if you can see them, but there are a lot of pins!
This afternoon and this evening I have been quilting it and am really happy with how it’s coming along.  But I’ll save (most) of those photos for tomorrow :)
I really had no firm idea of how to quilt it so I got out all my quilting goodies, a few of which are new to my stash :)
Some of my hand quilting goodies.  The big hoop I’ve had for
about 20 years!  The little hoop is a recent purchase and great
 for small designs and smaller pieces of fabric.
I bought some Aurifil thread a little while ago (which is what I’ve ended up quilting with today, can I say I LOVE IT!!!) and this week purchased some King Tut Quilting Thread.  I know nothing about it but it is beautiful and I love trying new things.  I decided not to use it for this project.  
King Tut Quilting Thread on the left, a lovely verigated blue.
I also purchased a Sewline Trio pen this week which is GREAT!  So much easier than my tailors chalk, purple air soluble pen and blue water soluble pen.  This is a new stash favourite :)
This week I received some fine clover quilting pins.  I had some trouble with pining some beautiful Art Gallery fabric and wanted to try a better/finer pin.  Hopefully these will solve the problem as I have the Art Gallery fabric is so fine and I am looking forward to quilting with some since my initial hurdle.  
I also bought some hand quilting needles.  These are not exactly what I was after, but that happens sometimes when you buy online rather than being able to see them in person.  I’m sure they’ll come in useful though!
I’m linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth and then I’m collapsing in bed after 4.5 hours of quilting this afternoon and evening!  Hoping to finish it off tomorrow, but without Mr Husband around I might not get so much done.
What’s new in your stash this week?  Are you similarly obsessed with a project this week?
Finding Fifth

How to quilt this baby?


I have to say, I am so over the moon with how my scrappy quilt is coming along.  A big thank you for all of the lovely comments earlier in the week. I need to sit down and respond to them all, but I can’t drag myself away from the actual quilt top at the moment ;)  I’m a woman with a misson! :)

This week I have added pretty much a colour a day to the quilt top.  Last night after adding the last pieces I laid it all out and realised that the strips were all different lengths.  That’s what happens when you don’t follow the pattern LOL  So I cut up a few extra pieces and I’m just about to add them on.

I can’t wait to have this baby finished!  But right now my mind is turning toward quilting it.  (No need to point out that I need to piece the back first LOL)  And I would LOVE your thoughts.  I am completely open to any suggestions from hand quilting to tying to FMQ or SLQ.  I would love to hear your suggestions (both things you think would or wouldn’t work).

About to tackle these last add-ons :)

And on that note I must run back to my machine and keep working on this baby.  Fingers crossed I get the top and back done today (breakfast cereal is OK for lunch and dinner, right?) and onto quilting tomorrow.  Can you hear my excitement? :)

Everything is a WiP!


I think that might be my new mantra.  Whilst I have at least 5 WiPs that I can think of off the top of my head, it is this scrappy quilt top that is the itch I have to scratch.

To give some perspective, each pieced strip is 2.5″ wide.

It’s called “Volume” from the book, Scrap Republic.  This is my first (but definitely not last!) quilt from Scrap Republic.

I sorted my scraps last week which is making it easier, but it is very slow going, which suits me just fine at the moment! I love working with scraps, although I am also cutting into some yardage for this quilt as it is for me to sit under on the sofa and therefore I figure I should use some of my favourites along with general scraps :)

I just added yellow today, I’m trying to do a colour a day so that I feel like I am making some progress.  Blue is next and in addition to my bag of blue scraps I just pulled out some yardage that I’d like to use.

I’m obviously a girl that likes blue LOL  Some of these are recent purchases for Mr (almost) 6′s quilt.  Must get started on that, it is for his birthday in two months…  Another WiP…

Whilst I love standing back and admiring my progress so far I do have a few favorite patches so far.

As much as I love this quilt in progress, the thing that has got me really excited is my new system for keeping my strips in order.  I keep all my scraps, including those with interfacing ironed on (handy for when applying snaps).  I was about to cut up and number some paper and pin to my rows but was worrying about Little Miss 2 playing with them as I am laying the pieces on the floor.  That’s when inspiration struck!

I cut up some fabric scraps that had interfacing ironed on, wrote numbers on the interfacing side then using some perle 8 scraps (see, I told you I keep all my scraps!) I attached the numbers to the fabric with two small stitches.  They are stuck on quite firmly (I’m picking them up, sewing with them, ironing them and moving them around regularly) but will be super fast to remove when the top is finished.  How cool is that?  I will admit that someone probably already patented this idea, but hey, I’m feeling rather clever right now LOL

Edited to add: Mr Husband pointed out this morning that green comes after yellow in the rainbow not blue!  Not feeling quite so clever LOL

I’m linking up for the first time with Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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