February 2013 archive

A few more finishes for Febuary


I don’t often post twice in one day and I would love to say I have a grand plan.  In actual fact I have a headcold and I’m not really thinking very straight.  For example I parked the car on the street today, got the kids out and started to walk off only to remember that I’d left the keys in the ignition. Gah!  Let’s not tell Mr Husband…

Even with a headcold I managed to piece Feburary’s block for Kristy’s Sew On BOM.  Seriously people, if I can manage this block without any unpicking when my brain is NOT functioning.  Well, then I give it the stamp of approval LOL  Kristy’s patterns are so well designed, very straight forward and the end result is always impressive.  How does that girl do it? :)

sew on bom feb block

I’m going with a bit of a colour scheme here are my January and February blocks together.

sew on collage feb

The other pretty finish that I achieved this week was a set of pillowcases for a lovely lady.

two pretty pillowcases

They are to match the triangle quilt she bought from me late last year :)

triangle quilt collage

I think they look lovely on my bed :)

two pretty pillowcases on bed

They are made with the same fabrics as the quilt (I had to order more as I had used every last scrap of the originals).  I personally thought it was a stroke of genius to bind them just the same as the quilt :)

two pretty cuffs

Being a total novice, when I sent her the quilt I forgot to include a quilt bag.  So I made one of those too :)

quilt bag empty

I kind of suspect her gorgeous daughter might steal this bag for her toys, but it is in the same colours as the quilt so she can always claim it is hers ;)

quilt bag on bed

Do you like the writing?  I had a lot of fun with that, it was a good way to practice some FMQ as I haven’t had a whole lot of luck writing with my FMQ foot in the past.  I’m really happy how it turned out this time, although in hindsight some tearaway stabliser on the back would have been a good idea.

FMQ writing

Did you participate in the Sew On BOM this month?  Don’t forget to link up :)  The March block will be up soon, I’m really looking forward to the next one :)

I’m linking up with February’s Sew On linky party over at Quiet Play.

Another Washi Dress


It appears to be a week of finishes for me which should be uplifting, but having just spent the morning on hold to various businesses I am feeling kinda flat LOL  But enough of that, let’s look at my most recent Washi dress :)

washi dress front
Washi dress front.  Me feeling like a total poser LOL

I love this print.  It is part of the Nottinghill range and this voile is so insanely soft.  It’s almost like silk and was easy to work with and an absolute delight to wear.  (Side note: I bought the yardage at Pink Chalk Fabrics which is a lovely online store and the only place I could find the right colourway in the voile.)

washi dress photo bomber
My darling daughter needed Mummy’s attention NOW.
Love this little photo bomber :)

I love this pattern.  When it first came out it was all over blogland and I did my usual, “I love it but I don’t want to be a sheep” thing.  But then common sense prevailed and I bought a copy and I am so glad I did!  You can see my first version here and there is even a Washi group on flickr!  The pattern is very easy to put together with a number of handy tips in the pattern instructs ions   I also love that the fabric requirements are listed on the website, a little thing, but very handy!

I altered the pattern (again) slightly.  The neckline is lower than the pattern calls for, I went with what suits me :)  This time I didn’t do the little cutout and I’m happy with it this way.  The other change I made was dropping the shirring rows a little.  The first time around the bottom line of shirring lines up perfectly with the bottom of the bodice.  Second time around there are a couple of rows of shirring below the bottom of the bodice (on the back) which gives the dress a better shape on me.

washi dress side
side view: Washi dress

The main reason I love this dress (and let’s be honest) is that it hides my belly.  Any extra weight goes straight to my tummy and there has been a fair amount lately with me being unwell.  This dress will fit if I manage to lose those extra kilos (shirring is so forgiving!) and the pleats on the front manage to hide my tummy without it looking like a maternity dress.  Win – win :)  If you’re considering the Washi dress, I would say go for it!  I’m already planning to make another soon.  They are just perfect for our sticky, hot days here in Nouméa.

And just so you know :)  All these opinions are 100% my own. I paid for the supplies myself and was not asked to provide a review.  I just like to share things I love :)

Have you made a Washi dress or is there another very forgiving dress pattern that you love?

FMQ fun with my Color Wheel


I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having with this project.  It is the wheel quilt project as part of the Curves Class that I took at Stitched in Color.  I decided it was the perfect Baptism gift and went with a rainbow theme.

curves wheel 2

As much fun as it was to piece the top I set it aside for a few days.  We recently bought a new home and I’m having to rationalise spending.  I needed to decide whether I could spare the wadding for a gift right now.  In the end, I knew how much fun this project would be so I went ahead and basted it up.

I have a small collection of lovely Aurifil threads in rainbow colours and based on this decided to quilt each cog differently.  Each FMQ design is inspired by the scraps in that cog.  Of the 18 FMQ designs in the cogs I’d say I’d only done 4 of them before.  I’m really pleased with how well they turned out!

colour wheel cogs quilted

That left me with a lot of negative space.  Negative space = FMQ fun!

colour wheel quilting negative space

I have three books that feature quilting designs, my favourite is probably Free-Motion Quilting by Angela Walters.  I think I was channeling my inner Angela with this quilt LOL

colour wheel negative space

At the last minute I changed the design for the diamond shaped area and I’m so glad I did.  To me it has a real artdeco look and I love it.

colour wheel quilting in progress

The next photo will make your eyes burn (it’s bright LOL) but it shows the FMQ a little better :)

colour wheel back

I love a pieced back (this quilt is only 40″ x 40″) and I didn’t need to piece this back, but I’m not sure whether the recipient will use it as a baby quilt or a wall hanging so I wanted to make the back fun and girly.  In hindsight, with the amount of quilting I did I should have kept it whole.  Ah well, you live and learn :)

I can’t wait to finish this quilt and pop it in the post!  Did I mention that I love it? :)

On a complete side note, I was posting updates on Instagram.  I feel like such a loner over there LOL  If you’re on Instagram, please let me know so I can follow you and if you like what I do, please feel free to follow me back :)  Inserting an Instagram icon is mucking up the formatting, but hopefully there is an icon below that will take you to me on Instagram.  Otherwise just search for prettybobbins :)

 I’m linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)  Do you have a super fun WiP this week?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday Stash


It’s been a little quiet around here the past few weeks.  First we had my Dad visiting, then he left and I came down with a migraine right as Mr 6 was starting school.  Then a humoungous coldsore and then a tummy bug.  In actual fact, this post was written for two Sunday’s past but things have been so hectic that I just didn’t get it done.  It has been so long since I’ve linked up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth that I just have to make this happen! :)

Fiona is celebrating a year of Sunday Stash Linky Party and is having a giveaway, so if you’ve ever thought about linking up, this is a good week to give it a go :)

Recently I received a lovely package from Pink Castle Fabrics.  They had a sale on bundles so I lashed out and purchased a liberty scrap bundle (or maybe it was 2).  Just lovely!

sunday stash liberty scrap pack

These are probably my favourites.  I don’t know how I’ll use them, but I know that it will have to be for something special :)

sunday stash liberty favourites

I squeezed a few other prints into the envelope. I’m not sure exactly while I photographed these together but I do like them both. Seperately LOL

sunday stash 1

I’m actually really excited about the dumb dot (I think that’s what it is, but I’m writing this on the laptop on the sofa and the thought of walking 10 feet to my stash is a bit much LOL).  It is the PERFECT binding for my Rainbow I Spy quilt!!  Yippee!!  In fact I’m so excited about it that I’ve started work on that quilt again :)

Another recent addition to my stash was this little torch from Carrefour.  It actually has a sticky patch underneath and you press the centre to turn it on.

sunday stash torch

I paired it with a slightly damaged food storage container and created my own little light box :)

sunday stash diy lightbox

It works a treat and lives on my sewing table for paper piecing at night time.

sunday stash diy light box works
So there you go, a few pretties, a DIY lightbox and a Sunday Stash on Monday :)  Have you added to your stash recently?  I encourage you to join the weekly confessional over at Finding Fifth, you don’t need to actual use your pretties, just share them :)
I’m linking up to Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth
Finding Fifth

Photographing quilts


I’ve pieced the colour wheel top that I’m making as part of the Curves Class at Stitched in Color.  I’m loving it and not sure whether to forge ahead or set it aside.  My mind is wandering to another bundle that I pulled together recently and I think it needs my attention…  But before I disappear into musing the next quilt design here are some photos :)

I use a digital SLR (Nikon D40X) of which I am fairly ignorant.  I recently thought it was broken and returned it to factory settings.  Which kind of sucks because I can’t remember exactly how I had it set before.  I am overjoyed that the camera isn’t broken though!

Until recently I always photographed my quilts in the yard, in the early afternoon out of the direct sun but with lots of natural light.  Then I took this photo:

rainbow road in situ

The above photo of my Hues of the Pacific aka rainbow road quilt made me appreciate that sometimes direct sunlight can really bring out the best in a quilt.  So now I play around and photograph quilts and flimsys in the shade:

curves wheel in shade

In the direct sun:

curves wheel in direct sun

And even with the sun behind which creates that gorgeous stained glass effect:

curves wheel with sun behind

The stained glass effect can be terribly difficult when there is a breeze and clothes on the line LOL  Can you make out the washing and clothes line in the top corners of this photo?

curves wheel 2

After taking about fifty bazillion photos I then select the best.  Which are sometimes appalling LOL  I’d love to hear how you photograph your quilts or any tips you have!

Happy sewing!  It’s Thursday here which is almost Friday – yippee!

Not so much progress


Sorry for the silence!  Although if you read as many blogs as me you might not have noticed LOL  My Dad headed back to Hong Kong last Thursday and I promptly came down with a migraine for two days, then a huge coldsore, then a tummy bug!  Whilst I still have the remains of the coldsore (I hate those nasty things!) I am otherwise feeling good again :)

Due to Dad’s visit and feeling unwell I haven’t really sewn much until today.  The only sewing I was able to muster the energy for was to make Mr 6 a new pencil case for school.  Of course Mr 4 had to have one too (I made a total rookie mistake of not making one for Miss 2 and have been constantly reminded since!).  Mr 6 was happy enough to select his fabrics and head back to the lounge, Mr 4 had his first sewing lesson.

sewing lessons
Lucky boy learning to sew on a Bernina with Aurifil thread!  Only the best will do!

Mr 4 is going through some major jealousy issues. His big brother has started Primary School and will get his photo in the paper.  This is a HUGE issue of contention and I felt that a one on one sewing lesson with Mummy might help things a little.  You should have seen his face light up when I said he could use my sewing machine!

sewing lesson 2
Quilting his pencil case.

So much fun and of course I was secretly imagining him growing up into an amazing designer LOL  I know lots of people buy a cheap machine for their kids to learn on but I would really like my kids to learn on a good machine.  So for now I will work with them on my Bernina and when they’re ready to go solo I’ll break out my old girl, a trusty old Husky that is pretty much bullet proof.

pencil cases
The finished pencil cases.  Mr 4 did all of his own quilting with a *little* Mummy help :)

Today I finally made it back to the sewing machine and started to piece together a wheel quilt as part of the Curves Class at Stitched in Color.  Curves Class has finished but I will continue to work on the projects in my own time.

wheel quilt wip

Rachel produced a beautiful wheel quilt and seeing as I have always wanted to make a colour wheel I decided to go with a rainbow themed wheel.

made in France
Just a reminder that it was made in France.

The segments were entirely pieced from my scraps.  Isn’t that an awesome feeling? :)

cute mice
Aren’t these mice the cutest?  And using scraps I’m OK with half the Mummy mouse missing.
Really, I’m OK ;)  Not OCD at all LOL

I think I’m going to go with a solid grey background and quilt the heck out of it.  Nothing like a little FMQ to raise the spirits! :)

lovely scraps
A favourite scrap from the lovely Ms Midge!

This little quilt will be a Baptism gift for someone super special.  I plan to stitch some meaningful words onto the quilt and would love any suggestions.  I have a few ideas (which I won’t write here because I think baby’s Mum reads my blog) but I’d really appreciate any suggestions you might have.  The beautiful babe who will receive this gift is Catholic and I’m happy to go with something biblical or a more modern blessing.

liberty scraps
Even some Liberty scraps slipped in!

Here’s hoping everyone has some colour in their day today :)

colour wheel wip
Looking good!
I’m linking up with Work In Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

A Quilted Canvas


canvas in chair

My Dad is on his way to the airport.  He just spent a week visiting us here in Nouméa.  His visit coincided with the last week of the school holidays which turned out to be perfect.  His presence prompted us to do all sorts of holiday activities; swimming at the beach every day, visiting the aquarium, lots of meals out, picnics.  It’s very hard to see him leave, but that’s the reality of living far from family.  We only see him every 18 months or so.

Yesterday afternoon I decided I had to give him a handmade gift in addition to the other gifts I’d already organised (family calendar, favourite chocolates).  I had made this orange peel block as part of the Curves Class and Dad mentioned he liked it.

orange peel block

It was crying out to be quilted but I had held off as I didn’t feel like another cushion cover and it didn’t jump out as a wall hanging.  I asked the clever folk in QCA for suggestions.  One lovely lady mentioned mounting it on a canvas.

pretty block, pretty threads

I selected some favourite Aurifil threads to match the orange peel segments (1100, 1135, 2235 and 2810 in 50wt).  I love how Aurifil threads glow, they are so vibrant and fun.

My Husband thought I was a little crazy when I told him the quilt told me how it wanted to be quilted.  Do quilts ever talk to you? ;)

fmq fun

I flipped through Free-Motion Quilting by Angelia Walters for inspiration and then asked Dad to choose his favourite FMQ designs.  I quilted each segment in one of the designs his selected.

yellow peel

pink peel

orange peel

blue peel

I echoed the curves in corresponding colours but it felt a little contrived.  I was really racing the clock, but I listened to the quilt and FMQed the heck out of the negative space using my all time favourite Aurifil thread (2000 in 50wt).  I wanted to keep the texture of the Essex linen blend so I went with an uneven (verging on messy) skinny back and forth design.  I love how it turned out, it really brought back the texture of the linen.

orange peel texture

I managed to purchase a staple gun yesterday afternoon (it will be returned toute de suite as it does not work properly, but I managed to get the job done) and I had an old canvas hanging about that was the perfect size.

quilt block mounted on a canvas

I love this wall hanging.  The canvas is about 19″ x 19″, I used scrap wadding pieced together, my favourite threads (on hand) and a block that I loved but wasn’t sure what to do with it.  It was my first time mounting a block on canvas and it won’t be my last!  It was actually easy other than the totally dodgy staple gun!

quilted canvas on wall

Dad loves his gift.  We’re very sad to have seen him off this morning but it’s nice to know that he is taking a piece of us with him.  I’m also rather excited to have found a new use for orphan blocks :)

Do handmade gifts adorn the walls in the homes of your family and friends?

A Summer Holiday


It’s been rather quiet around here the past week.  It’s four days since I sewed but I have been swimming at the beach the last three days in a row.   My Dad is here (all the way from Hong Kong!) for a week, it’s 18 months since we last saw him and we’re totally focused on Poppy time.

l'ile aux canard marine reserve
Great snorkeling at l’ile aux canard.  We even saw two turtles on the way over!
The first few days Mr 6 woke at 6am asking if he could wake up Poppy.  Cute.  Well kind of, also somewhat annoying to be woken at 6am when I could have been sleeping in.  The kids are all over Dad and he is loving it.  I have pointed out to him that he certainly wasn’t this cool when I was a kid, but I guess that happens ;)

Watching Mulan after a big day of swimming and snorkeling at the beach
(sorry for the dodgy iPad pic)

Dad is a teacher, one of those teachers that live for the job.  He is incredibly passionate about educating children and I’ve asked him to spend some time with Mr 6 encouraging his literacy.  It’s a joy to see and I only wish he could spend more time with us.
But back to sewing.  Not much No sewing has occurred over the past few days, but I do have a few new things to share.
I made this orange peel block as part of the Curves Class.  I don’t know what to do with it, Dad likes it so I might try and find the time to whip it into something for him before he leaves.  I’m frustrated that the points aren’t perfect in the middle and next time I will pick a smaller print for the “windows” as the charm of this gorgeous print is lost.  I do love the block though.  It was time consuming but worth it.

orange peel block
I finished my February bee block for QCA Bee 1 (we need a better name LOL).  Fiona will use our blocks to make a gender neutral Polaroid quilt to be donated to a 9-12 year old child who went through the recent Tasmanian bushfires.

polaroid block
I also completed a little pattern testing for Kristy.  Her patterns are always easy to put together and look great.  This one is no exception, there are however some fiddly pieces (these blocks are 5″ finished) and I could not make an entire quilt from these blocks.  Happiness is about as far as I could get.  This will be sent to Kristy to put together into another charity quilt for the victims of the Tasmanian Bushfires.

happiness paper pieced
The last bloggy thing I managed before Dad arrived was playing with a new App called SimpleBooklet. I want to play around with it a bit more before I go into the details, but I think it will be great for crafty/quilty/sewing bloggers.  If you look up in the top of the right hand side bar you will see a Photo slider that I put together in about ten minutes (pasted below for the benefit of those reading in a reader).  It doesn’t have many photos in it yet, I just wanted to have a play, but I’m really pleased with it.
Now I better get back to it.  Dad is up and we need to go and buy Mr 6 some flippers today to capitalise on all the snorkeling he has been doing.  I feel like I’m on a summer holiday!

l'ile aux canard
Living on a small tropical island means everything gets shipped in.  The view is only spoilt momentarily.

January done and dusted!


Looking through my albums from January I was feeling super productive.  During January itself I was feeling somewhat stretched LOL

I am currently participating in two BOMs, Lucky Stars and And Sew On…  A Bee orgainised through QCA (a facebook based Quilting Group), Curves Class and am doing a little pattern testing (well, that hasn’t happened yet, but it will this weekend!).

Did I mention the kids are on school holidays?  Thank goodness for Summer Camp which both they and I are loving!  They have actually asked to stay at camp all day so we have compromised, every second week I pick them up at midday, every other week they stay all day.  I still have Little Miss (2 years) with me who swings between being really easy going and a great helper to being some crazed dictator who is rather indecisive but very loud.  What can I say, she’s 2 and I love her.  I look forward to an age where she is somewhat more reasonable…

But moving right along, here is January…

January round up
1. Oh Christmas Tree Mini, 2. Dare to Dresden, 3. Scallop Cushion, 4. Curves of the Pacific, 5. Measure Twice, 6. Lucky Stars January, 7. Lucky Stars Practice, 8, I Spy Rainbow quilt in progress, 9. Triangle Teapot block, 10. QCA Bee 1 Jan block, 11. Washi dress for me! 12. Scallop bunting, 13. My first EQ 7 pattern, 14. Bibs.

If you want to see (or read!) more click on the titles :)  I plan to share my paper pieced teapot block very soon, this month week just ran away from me!

I’m linking up with Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily’s Quilts.

Lily's Quilts

Still no cigar


I would so love to be sharing Mr 6′s rainbow quilt today.  I really thought I had a good chance of finishing it this week.  But to be honest, the hand stitching is just a killer.  I am trying to do a little each day so at least there is still progress, albeit slow!  I’ll include a progress pic as I noticed there are quite a few new followers :)  Welcome to any newbies and thanks for reading about my creative adventures *waves*

I Spy Quilt top complete
This photo is a little out of date, I’m up to the final hand embroidery
 and binding but this photo gives you a good idea of why
 I’m so keen to finish this beast and share it with you all :)
I did have two finishes this week though :)
First is the rainbow road quilt I shared earlier this week.  It is a project from the Curves Class that I’m taking.  Each week there are three projects and I actually completed all three projects from last week (this week LOL).  I love how this one turned out.  There were lots of panic moments when I thought it would be pure vomit but I really, really love the final result :)
rainbow road front on grass  rainbow road back on grass
My second finish for the week is another Curves class project.  It felt very strange to be making at Christmas themed mini in January LOL  I actually used some of the Kate Spain fabric that I won recently which was nice, I had thought it would be 11 months before I was using Christmas fabric!

oh christmas tree mini
I kept the quilting to a minimum (Aurifil 40wt 2024 and 50wt 2884) which is rare for me.  I still might go back and do a little quilting over the hills.  I have read that wall hangings need to be heavily quilted to hang flat, so I guess this will be a good test.  Do you like the little snowman I added?  The snowman was stitched with Aurifil 12wt, the blue is a lovely verigated thread (3770).
oh christmas tree close up

I’m glad I decided to make this project in addition to Rainbow Road.  I didn’t get as curvy this time around and I also wasn’t quite as happy but I did learn a lot and have fun :)  I used greys and some white scraps to piece the sky.  I wish I had used paler greys for the sky under the tree.  The trunk kind of gets lost in all that dark grey…

oh christmas tree

I do really like this mini though and it will definitely be used (or gifted) this coming Christmas.  I also discovered that I need to build up my stash of greys (both scraps and yardage).  Any excuse to build the stash, right? ;)

I’m really hoping I’ll have a big finish to share next week :)  I’m struggling a bit with my thyroid condition at the moment (fatigue big time) so it is somewhat frustrating to be doing some slow handsewing rather than zooming away at the machine.  It would be nice to be zooming even if stationary LOL

I’m linking up with TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts this week.