Archive of ‘Blogging’ category

I quilt and think


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It’s Thursday and it’s time to linky up your quilty process here at Pretty Bobbins!  Sometimes I think too much, I always have.  In fact one of my favourite things to do is quilt and think (I’m not one to watch TV and piece, I prefer the company of my own thoughts).  This week I’ve been thinking a lot about being a professional quilter and blogger and what that means.  But first up I want to feature the incredibly talented Jess of The Elven Garden.

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden

I remember first coming across Jess and being so incredibly impressed with her quilting.  Seriously amazing stuff!  She is now teaching and has been published in magazines and is generally a bit of a quilting superstar in my books :)  I’m looking forward to meeting Jess in real life and sharing a room at QuiltCon next year!!

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden - saw this in person, it's AMAZING!!

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden – saw this in person, it’s AMAZING!!

Yesterday Jess wrote a post about thinking and quilting.  Now I’ll admit that I quilt and think, the two go hand in hand for me.  Jess talked about how some of us are mindful quilters and some aren’t and how she’s realised that she is totally happy “just” making pretty things and being happy <3  Jess, I’ll be happy if you keep making pretty things!  The world needs more quilt candy, be it mindfully made or thrown together with purpose rather than deep thought involved ;)

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden

Image used with permission from The Elven Garden

Seriously, this kind of talent kills me!  ABSOLUTELY stunning!  If you haven’t already, please head over to The Elven Garden and say hi to Jess.  Her work is all things wonderful <3

Quilting with my Miss

Quilting with my Miss

The only quilting I’ve been up to lately is a super simple quilt for Francois, my daughter’s class mascot.  The children in her class laid out the charm squares and we made the quilt together at home.  We added photographs to the Francois’ scrapbook and I have hung a few copies in my sewing room <3

Triangle quilt in progress

Triangle quilt in progress

As usual I have been thinking a lot about my business and I’ve decided to aim to have a market stall.  We all know that pricing is arguably the hardest part of quilting and I very much believe that we should charge what we’re worth.  I have a super hard time following through with this and generally tend to sell myself short.  I have decided that everything I make for market will be properly priced.  I’ve been timing myself as I’m working and you may be interested to hear my progress.

Cutting:  50 minutes

Layout: 40 minutes

Piecing: 205 minutes

That’s almost 5 hours of work before basting, quilting and binding and this is only a cot sized quilt.  Of course I will probably chicken out and charge far less than the finished quilt is actually worth, but at least by figuring out an accurate cost based on time, materials and skill I can educate myself.  In this same vein I urge you to visit this post by Mandalei Quilts on working for free.  It is definitely food for thought and fits with my own experience of realising that as much as I love to accept free fabric, the work that I put into my work is worth far more than the say $50 worth of free fabric.  As a business I just don’t think I can afford to work for free anymore.  I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one :)

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So that’s my thinky quilty Thursday :)  Please link up your quilty process below <3

An InLinkz Link-up


I Quilt online


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It’s Thursday, yay!  It’s almost the weekend :D  I hope you’ve got your quilt on and you’re ready to link up to this week’s I Quilt party.  This week I’m talking about how I quilt online.  But before I get started I want to feature the amazingly talented Christa of Christa Quilts!

christa quilts spiraling_out_of_control_fi

“Spiraling Out of Control” image used with permission by Christa Quilts

Christa has her own fabric shop so I’m terribly jealous from the outset ;)  She is also a talented and successful quilter and her blog is the place to go if you’re seeking inspiration, insights and how-tos.  I’m sure you all know Christa, but if you don’t, please pop over and check out her work and say hi!

Christa quilts modern_x_cquilts_mqg

“Modern X” image used with permission by Christa Quilts

Last week Christa shared some binding tips (and y’all know how much I love that part of the process!).  I love Christa’s modern Christmas trees series, you can find the main post here, but definitely check out the posts on the quilting, it’s super impressive!!

Christa quilts _modern_trees_finis

“Modern Trees“, image used with permission by Christa Quilts

I love the crisp, sharp lines that she tends to favour and I adore her quilting, especially as she is a real sharer of process, something that this linky party is ALL about! :)


This week I wanted to talk about being an online quilter.  You may be aware of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival run by Amy of Amy’s Creative Side.  If you haven’t participated before or you’re nervous about being “good enough” I strongly encourage you to throw caution to the wind and just jump in!  I’ve found some of my favourite bloggers through the festival (I’m looking at you Susan of Canadian Abroad) and aside from anything else, it is such a visual feast!

You’d be surprised to hear that I don’t spend as much time online as I used to ;) but I still LOVE all the fun, creative blogger things happening out there.  This week I came across “me made May” on Instagram (check out #mmm14 and #memademay) which is all about wearing clothing in May that you’ve made yourself.  Inspired to join in and make myself a fabulous outfit (I firmly believe that if you feel good in what you’re wearing and love how you look, you can conquer the world) I got busy last night and stitched up a tova tunic.  I’ll post about it later in the week, but you can see a sneak peek ;)

Pink and yellow giraffes! Love my new tova tunic!

Pink and yellow giraffes! Love my new tova tunic!

Some of my other favourite online quilting activities are Work in Progress Wednesday, Fresh Sewing Day and TGIFF.  Please, please, please add your favourite online quilty/creative/stitchy link ups/activities below.  If a hashtag inspired me to sew a fabulous dress then I think we need to share more of them! ;)

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Now let’s get linky!  Share your quilting process and don’t forget to visit three other linkers, we all love comments!!


An InLinkz Link-up


I Quilt: Proud to be a Quilter


It’s Thursday, yay!  That means I get to quilt all day tomorrow and read your linkys <3  Firstly, thank you so much for all your comments last week!!  You’ve really made me think about what it is that I want, how we’re all going through a similar journey and how much I have to be grateful for.  Thank you!!  Following on from the theme of last week; (re)defining success, I want to talk about pride.  A few times recently I have almost said, “I’m a quilter” but have ended up saying something like, “I’m a textile artist/designer”.  Today I’m going to shout it out; I’m proud to be a quilter!  Don’t forget to link up your quilt process and feel free to share your thoughts about being a quilter. Quilters rock!

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This week I’m featuring the hugely talented Midge of Ms Midge.  Midge and I have never met but are very close online friends.  I’m not sure how that all started, but it did and now we chat online most days and help each other out, sharing advice and lending an ear when needed.  Midge has been quilting for 2.5 years (and is super organised and has all of her quilts in two pages on her blog 2013 and 2014) and holy heck, she is good!  With four kids, a successful handmade business and a job outside the home, I don’t know where she finds the time to quilt!  I suspect she has a clone or robot or something, because the rate at which she pumps out her amazing projects is truly astounding!!

Image used with permission from Ms Midge

Ages ago Midge wrote a thinky post (she’s good at them, you should follow her blog) and among other things she wrote that I was the first person to call her a quilter.  I’m pretty sure that was around the time that I also called her crazy for taking on a quarter square triangle quilt as (I think) her second ever quilt ;)  The point is, I was so touched and so proud that my encouragement meant so much to her.  She is awesome, she doesn’t need me to tell her that, and yet I’m compelled to do so.  We NEED to encourage each other, it feels good to make others feel good and we can take pride in being not only awesome quilters, but a community that encourages, shares and connects at a meaningful level.

Image used with permission from Ms Midge

In keeping with the theme I asked Midge to share three quilts that she is most proud of.  She selected the above two and the following quilt.  Midge is most proud of her triangle quilt below because the quilting looks perfect from the back.  Only a quilter would get that, the pleasure at not only having a beautiful quilt from the front, but knowing that you’ve done a damn good job and the back is worthy of being put on show.  You should be proud Midge, all three quilts are beautiful and a testament to your drive, determination, skill and good taste!!

Image used with permission from Ms Midge

I don’t know if I can choose one quilt that I am most proud of.  I guess it was probably mean of me to ask Midge to select only three!  Every quilt is special, a learning experience, a meaningful gift, a profitable sale.  There is pride to be found in each quilt and we should be proud of what we do.

My son’s Rainbow I Spy quilt is probably one that I can pick out as being super proud of.  It’s not my favourite quilt of all time (although I’m pretty sure it was at the time), but I was/am proud of myself for working out the layout.  It is pieced and was made by fussy cutting every novelty print I had in my stash at that time, placing them in a rainbow gradient and then working out how to piece them.  I learnt a heap from that project and gained a lot of confidence.  Plus my son loves it and sleeps under it every night <3

So next time I find myself talking to someone outside the quiltosphere about my passion I’m going to tell them that I’m a quilter and not feel the need to hide behind a cool title, explain that it really is for awesome peeps or talk it down as just a hobby.  Maybe I’ll get it printed on a t-shirt…. ;)

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Now it’s time to link up your quilty process <3  Big love to all the quilters out there xxx

An InLinkz Link-up


Modern Quilt Show


If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a few photos on the weekend of the Modern Quilt Show in Berry, New South Wales (check out #modernquiltshowau)  It was an amazing day out!!  Prepare yourself for gushiness :)

My quilt, "Hues of the South Pacific" hanging at the Modern Quilt Show in Berry.

My quilt, “Hues of the South Pacific” hanging at the Modern Quilt Show in Berry.

This is only the second time I have had my work on display and was the first time that this show had run.  It was AMAZING to see so many beautiful, modern quilts all together in one place.  The place was buzzing, or at least I was (car sickness induced!) and I nearly peed my pants when I turned around and nearly ran into MolliSparkles (who won best in show) and the lovely Mr Sparkles.

Me and Molli

Me and Molli

Penny Poppleton snuck around the corner a moment later and there I found myself with a bunch of amazing modern, Aussie quilters.  Seriously, check out my hysterical grin, I was on cloud nine!  Meeting Penny was surreal, finally she is a three dimensional person in my memory, rather than an online friend that I think I connect well with. I really wish we had days together rather than minutes, I look forward to meeting again, I’m keen to check out her frame and talk more about it and all things quilty!

L-R: MolliSparkles, Penny Poppleton, Procrasticraft, Me and Scrappy Quilts.

L-R: MolliSparkles, Penny Poppleton, Procrasticraft, Me and Scrappy Quilts.

I was lucky enough to travel down to the show with a group of awesome Canberra quilters and spend the day with them.  Our youngest road tripper won Best in Show in the Children’s category which was fantastic and possible made up for the constant talking from the old ladies in the car.  (I did tell her that all quilters talk that much, not just us!)

Canberra Modern Quilters hit the road!

Canberra Modern Quilters hit the road!

Berry itself is a lovely town, but I didn’t get any pics of that!  I can share with you some gorgeous fabric I bought though…  I had a ball chatting to the lovely Kate of Kate Quilts, her fabric selection was divine and had Molli and I completely distracted from a very meaningful conversation.  I’m not sure what happened but we went from, “must pursue happiness, quilting and greater meaning in life” to complete silence for at least five minutes whilst we put together our bundles.  I’m thinking of making a triangle quilt with mine <3

From Kate Quilts

From Kate Quilts

I also met the lovely Kim of Simpson and Scarlett (her website is under construction but she has a FB page here) who had a great selection of fabric and totally tempted me with her bundles of Modern Domestic.  She saw me coming and offered to break her bundle which was very kind and I ended up with these pretties.  I went for fat eights as I have lots of pinks, but seriously, her stall was wonderful!


From Simpson and Scarlett

The very funky and talented Kathy of Material Obsession gave away a number of her books as lucky door prizes and this little red hen scored some candy!  To be honest I don’t buy quilting books anymore, I’m on too tight a budget and I don’t make quilts to a pattern, so it was WONDERFUL to be given a beautiful quilt book.  I would love to paw over her earlier books and encourage you to check them out if you have a chance, she has a great eye for design and colour.  She also has great hair!  (One notices these things when one is desperate for a haircut…)

I’m so glad that I made it to the Modern Quilt Show and met so many inspiring people and kindred spirits!  It has left me really excited about QuiltCon (yes, I’ll be there!  I’ve booked my flights) and looking forward to the second Australian Modern Quilt Show.

I Quilt – my quilt process


i quilt blog button

Happy Thursday and welcome to I Quilt!  After getting up at 5am this morning to chat with the adorable Mark Lipinski, I am about to fall flat on my face at 5pm!  You can listen to our discussion here (it’s the 30 April 2014 show if you’re reading this later), please be kind, it was early, I hit three coffees in rapid succession and started out pretty nervous!  One thing that Mark asked me about is the process pledge which has left me thinking about my quilt process in the bigger picture.  If you haven’t noticed, there is a lovely little button over there —>  (unless you’re on a mobile device and then it might be down the bottom)  If you don’t know about the process pledge, go read about it.  It really resonates with me.

I LOVE the process pledge and it is an intrinsic aspect of the I Quilt linky party, but I find that as I get busier and busier with my business I have less time to share my process.  I have no idea what the solution is.  In actual fact I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what it is I want to do – run a business that contributes to our family income and grab any opportunity that comes my way, OR slowly build a business that is true to what I really love and want to do.

That might sound like a pretty easy decision.  Even I know what it is I really want.  I want to be true to my artistic inner soul, stuff the money and maintain complete creative control.  But saying no to opportunities is hard.  Super hard.  I’ve done it twice recently and I couldn’t really believe that I was doing it.  My husband tells me that I need to decide whether Pretty Bobbins is a hobby or a business.  Being creative is such an integral part of who I am (believe me when I say that five years ago I would have claimed that I was not at all creative) that I find it hard to assess opportunities based on potential fiscal gain or business growth.

South Pacific Dreaming trio (wall quilts)

My all-time favourite quilts.  When I think of the quilter I want to be, I think of these.

I think that being passionate, pouring yourself into your passion and being happy are key.  Surely success cannot be had without these aspects.  But I guess I really need to define success.  I think I have been defining the success of Pretty Bobbins by whether or not it contributes to paying for our family needs.  I have not contributed a single cent through Pretty Bobbins, in fact I’ve spent a bunch of our savings investing in the longarm and supplies, let along all the time invested.  My day job is a much greater success at contributing to the mortgage, but it gives me no joy in my soul.  So I think I’m going to redefine success and because I’m a social-media-holic and therefore a chronic over-sharer, I’m going to start by listing my quilting successes here.  I’m not showing off, believe me.  This is making me anxious in the pit of my stomach.  So do me a favour and share your successes related to your passion in the comments or on your blog or even by email if you prefer :)  (be it quilting, family, art, farming, car racing, whatever lights your fire!)

  1. Making beautiful quilts and having the confidence to know that they’re damn good.
  2. Making a heap of wonderful online and real life quilty friends who share and understand my passion.
  3. Having a studio (I’m damn proud of my studio).
  4. Maintaining my blog, even though I don’t blog as often as I would like.
  5. Being contacted by (quilty) industry types to work with them.
  6. Receiving an email from Mark Lipinski to be interviewed – that was totally out of left-field and a HUGE faith builder.
  7. Having quilts accepted into quilt shows.
  8. Seeing how proud my husband and children are of my work (the kids show their friend’s my quilts when they visit!).
  9. Having over 800 Instagram followers.

(the above are in no particular order, rather of equal importance, although seeing my children proud of me is the best achievement ;) )

Me in my studio - not so warm now that we're in Autumn!!

Me in my studio – not so warm now that we’re in Autumn!!

All those things, they are HEAPS more important to me than whether or not I contribute to our mortgage through quilting.  But I guess the thing that I can’t list as a success yet, but I think is possibly the most important aspect of Pretty Bobbins, is maintaining artistic integrity.  At this stage there is no sponsorship on my website.  There is a Craftsy affiliate button in the sidebar and I do work with designers that I respect and admire, and I do promote products that I have purchased and believe in.  This is something I need to think about some more.  Do I want to remain a quilt artist who only promotes things they believe in and only makes the things I’m inspired to create, or do I want to grab every opportunity and turn my passion into a business and find myself making things for other people?  (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by the way!)

I would LOVE to hear your opinions on these issues!!!  In this online, social media based, constantly shrinking world, how do you decide which path to traverse?  I’m very conscious of my own mortality, there is only so much time and so many quilts to make.  Should every single one count or can we all jump on the sponsorship/money chasing/making bandwagon?  Does it impact our voice, our integrity?  Does it even matter?

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Share your thoughts people and link up your quilty process :)

An InLinkz Link-up


I Quilt Linky Party – growth


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First up, thank you for all the kind words and support on my post yesterday.  You reminded me once again that when I put myself out there I get it back ten fold.  Thank you xx  Today has been chaotic (I got all ready for my first walk post packing and discovered that my shoes and hat have been packed!) but I will start to respond to comments tomorrow <3

Greek Cross Cushion by Aoife of thREDhead

A big thank you also to everyone who linked up last week!  I finally got around to visiting everyone’s blogs last night :)  I hope everyone linking up is showing some of the love and visiting other linkers, we all love comments and traffic :)  This week I am featuring the talented Aoife, I LOVE her blog name, thREDhead.  Seriously girl, how long did it take you to come up with such a great name?!  I thought about mine forever and I still question it LOL  Make sure you pop by Aoife’s blog, last week she shared her Greek Cross cushion which is absolutely stunning in bold solids with some AWESOME quilting to boot.  Aoife pointed out how dense quilting dramatically shrinks your quilt and she used this as a clever design feature and densely quilted half of her cushion back (photo below).  Aoife, you may have completely inspired my current work in progress ;) Thank you xx

Greek Cross Cushion (back) by Aoife of thREDhead

My post yesterday probably left you thinking that I’m somewhat introspective at the moment.  Yep, it kind of happens when you go through the moving process and touch every item that you own.  Left with an empty house I put up our advent calendar that I made two Christmases ago.  My idea was to make a Christmas tradition/symbol that was portable as we are often in transit during December.  I had very little quilting experience (and confidence!) when I made this wall hanging.  The wadding is synthetic felt, the white fabric is a super high threadcount sheet (NOT fun to quilt through!) and I did all the blanket stitching and binding by hand.  Yep, I have grown a lot since I made this baby!

Quilted Advent Calendar with felt decorations

Growth is good.  I love the quilts I make now (I love my early quilts too).  I’d never use synthetic felt as wadding now (never say never!!) LOL  I rarely mark my quilts anymore and for this quilt I even marked all of those straight lines in chalk.  I didn’t even own a walking foot so I dragged that sucker through my old Husqvarna.  Yep, I don’t do any of those things anymore, but I love this wall hanging and so does my family.  If I hadn’t jumped in and made that wall hanging and lots of other projects, I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now.  Marking quilting lines gave me the confidence to quilt.  Quilting gave me the confidence to not mark lines.  Not marking lines gave me the space to get creative and play.

my current quilt in progress 12″ x 27″

I would love to hear about how you’ve grown as a quilter.  How did you build your confidence?  Do you still have your early projects?  Did you have lessons and learn methods or did you just jump in and give it a go?  As much as I am a perfectionist, I don’t think there is really a right or wrong when it comes to quilting.  Sure, you might not feel every piece is “show worthy” but we learn from each piece we make and that is invaluable.  My Blessings quilt (below) was a major turning point in my quilting journey <3

I have also become a better photographer since then but I gave this quilt away so I can’t photograph it again.  You can see the quilting better from the back (where I learnt that sometimes whole cloth is better) ;)

Blessing Quilt back (I thought a pieced back was fun, but in hindsight it took away from the quilting.)

How is your quilting journey progressing?  I’d love you to link up below.  I ask that you visit at least two other linkers and link to me in your post and/or add my button to your sidebar/post.  You can find the button html code near the top right of my blog or, at the bottom if you’re on a mobile device.  Remember that this linky is all about quilting process, I’d love to hear all about your process!

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Thanks for linking up xxx



I Quilt Thursdays Linky Party Announcement


i quilt blog button

So I had an absolutely brilliant idea recently and I’ve been dying to share it with you, I just had to ponder on it for a while (I’m a thinker!). ;)  Today I’m announcing a brand new linky party here at Pretty Bobbins.  Now I am living in fear that it will be me all by myself, so please feel free to link up every Thursday (starting next week, 3rd October) so that I don’t feel like it’s me and my imaginary quilting buddies ;)

Create Quilt

So what’s it all about???  I love quilting.  I mean I really love quilting.  For the last twenty years I’ve known that I wanted to go to University, learn languages, get married and have babies but I really didn’t have have any sort of passion for a career outside of being a Mummy.  For about twelve months I’ve known that quilting is it for me.  It took awhile to be brave enough to say it out loud (and a few times I had people look at me like I’m nuts) but if I quilt every day for the rest of my life I will die a happy and satisfied woman.

In addition to quilting I quite enjoy blogging.  Admittedly I do prefer the making of quilts to the sitting at the computer editing, but I really love the sense of community there is in the online quilting/crafting world, and my blog is a big part of how I connect to that.  I had been brainstorming trying to think of ways that I can give back to this community.

Celebrate Quilt

So the idea I have come up with is a weekly linky party here at Pretty Bobbins that is all about quilting.  Whilst my focus will be on free motion quilting on a domestic (and later a long arm) sewing machine, I would also love to see your quilting be it free motion, hand-quilting, or straight line quilting.  Do you use pantos, do you sketch your designs, do you just jump in and start stitching?  Come link up and share your knowledge!  All I ask is that you talk about your quilting process.  For example, how you came up with the design, any challenges you had, how you overcame them, anything you would do differently next time.  What weight thread worked for you, do you find one type of batting shows your quilting better than another.  The idea is that by sharing your quilting experience we can all learn and improve ours :)  We’re talking process baby!

Single my Aunt

Does that sound like fun?  It sounds like fun to me!  You don’t need to write an essay, just as long as your post has some focus on your quilting process.  Please don’t feel your quilting has to be perfect, the whole idea is that we’re all learning :)

Flight of the Butterflies

I then plan to have a theme on the last Thursday of the month.  For example, if the theme is feathers I would share my tips on quilting feathers and show you some examples of my feathers.  You would be welcome to join in by trying out quilting feathers or even just sketching them.  I want to encourage you to expand on your quilting.  That might be trying free motion quilting for the first time, trying a new design or trying a new technique.  I hope to learn as much from you as you do from me.  I also plan to share my experience getting to know my long arm next year as well as continuing to quilt on my domestic machine.  This party is for all quilters! :)

When a quilt is needed

I would love to hear from you.  Is this something that you’re interested in?  Are you excited?  Do you have a quilting question that you’d like me to address?  Any suggestions?

Starry Skies

I look forward to seeing you next Thursday!  Feel free to grab my shiny new linky button <3  The code is over there on the top right ->

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Let’s get busy quilting! See you on Thursday xx

South Pacific Dreaming


Cascading Tetris Quilt in progress


Phew!  That’s a mouthful but I really do have an image of a kind of colour-clever cascading tetris for this twin quilt.  But before we start on the WIP I must apologise for the silence.  I’m unwell (sinus infection) and am really struggling with fatigue and just haven’t had it in me to blog.  Keeping everyone fed and clothed and food at the ready has been enough for the last week.  But before the sickness I was in Australia test driving long arm quilting machines and it was so wonderful and exciting and fantastic and great and…  Well, you get the idea ;)  But I’ll save all that for a post of it’s own!

Months ago I pulled out fabric to make a winter quilt for both of my sons.  Mr 5 has a light-weight quilt that is big enough to sleep under but doesn’t drape over the sides of the mattress at all.  Combine that with the big move back to Australia at the end of this year where we will be experiencing four seasons and I definitely NEED to make winter quilts for at least two of my three babies!  (Miss 3′s princess quilts has a flannel back and wool wadding, the boys currently have cotton and bamboo).

Adding in some low value prints

The thing I love about quilty blogs is the process, seeing how other people work and taking some of their methods and trying them out myself.  It is slightly ironic then that I often find myself hesitant to share a quilt in the earliest stages of progress.  I tend to have a very clear image in my head of what the finished quilt will look like but I worry that people won’t get my vision and will preemptively judge a quilt.  So what am I saying?  Trust me, this quilt is gonna be fab! ;)  (From lack of self confidence to in your face in two seconds folks, that’s me!)

Sewing the rows – the cascade affect taking shape

So whilst I’m here to show you my current work in progress I guess I’m also talking about self confidence.  Mine in particular.  A few months back I was interviewed by Kathreen Ricketson who was travelling Australia with her family.  Two days after I sent off my finished interview and photos, Kathreen and her husband tragically passed away.  The news was gut wrenching, completely unbelievable.  Not only do online connections make people seem more real and close, but I’d only just been corresponding with Kathreen.  Like many in the craft world I was swept up in the outpouring of grief for Kathreen and her family.  It isn’t my place to tell her story, we weren’t close friends, but she did do something really important for me.  She made me face the world and put into words what my hopes and dreams are.  I had thought that the article wouldn’t go ahead and to be brutally honest I thought it would be rude of me to ask the magazine if they were going to run the story.  So it was a big surprise to hear that the article has been published in the current issue of Quilter’s Companion, an Australian quilting magazine.  I haven’t seen the article yet but I did see an image (below) by Siobhan of Beaspoke Quilts on instagram this morning.  That’s my mini quilt there!  So big thanks to Kathreen for making me step up and share my dreams with the world.  After I’d typed it up for Kathreen it was much easier to share it here, and now I’m at the point where I’m just about to invest in a long arm machine and start my quilting business in earnest next year!

Image with permission from Beaspoke Quilts

So what’s the moral of the story?  Be brave.  Voice your dreams and pursue them relentlessly.  Accept that good things happen in time.  Cherish every moment.

That’s where I am right now.  Have you got a dream that you don’t have the confidence to share?  I encourage you to shout it from the rooftops!  Write it down, tell a friend, mention it over a cup of tea.  I’m finding that everyone I tell only has positive and encouraging words and that just helps me on my way :)

I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Curves Cushion Cover Giveaway



Hurrah for August!  I’m celebrating one last time by giving away a quilted curvy cushion cover.  I shouldn’t really be celebrating as August is nearly over and I still need to complete my bee blocks and prepare for a double birthday party this weekend…

Improv curvey quilted cushion cover

As a final celebration of August I’m giving away this 15″ cushion/pillow cover (insert not included) that I made yesterday.  As always I used my lovely Aurifil threads (2810 and 2605 in 50wt) and had a lot of fun free motion quilting on my Bernina 440QE.  The grey is kona steel and the prints are some favourites that are fast becoming scraps!  This giveaway is to say thank you to all of you lovely readers here on the blog and the wonderful bunch over on Instagram.  Whilst Instagram is definitely dampening my blogging mojo somewhat I really encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t.  There is so much inspiration and a really nice quilty/crafty community.

I used nearly the last of a favourite print on the back

Just leave me a comment letting me know why you like to read my blog (or follow me on Facebook or Instagram).  As I’ve mentioned before I have a dream to turn Pretty Bobbins into a business quilting for other people whilst continuing to make quilts for family, friends and for sale.  Being online is a big part of what I do, I love the social interaction with other crafty types.  I love meeting like minded people all over the world.  As much as my blog is a place for me to share my makes with you, I also want to make sure that I’m actually sharing things that interest you.  There are lots of posts that I’ve hesitated about writing because they were too wordy, I was worried I’m not qualified/an expert or I just didn’t think it was a good fit.  I would love it if you could tell me what keeps you coming back.  The pretty quilts?  The visual inspiration?  The posts about colour or process?  The tutorials?  Is there something that I’m not blogging about that you would like to see or something that I could do better?

A simple zippered closure so you can feature the front or back (but I hope you like the front enough to show!) :)

I don’t talk about myself very often so I’ve decided to share a few things about myself today :)  Feel free to just scroll down and enter the giveaway ;)

I’m an only child who has three children and an incredibly patient and supportive husband.  I have crazy hair, I’m forgetful, I always try to do too many things at once and I never knew what I wanted to do until I started quilting.  Now I get anxious at the thought of not realising my dream of being a full time quilter.

It’s seriously hard to giveaway a cushion cover that looks so good on my sofa! ;)

I speak four languages (English, French, Indonesian and Mandarin) but my Mandarin is pretty basic these days.  I always wanted to live overseas but now that I’ve done it a couple of times I’ve realised that actually I love holidays overseas.  I’m a homebody who needs a haven in the suburbs and a job that gives me time with my family.

I don’t remember learning to sew, but my Mum, Grandma and Aunt all sewed and I was always around sewing growing up.  My Aunt is the only other quilter in my family but we have very different styles (her quilts are beautiful!).

Quilting detail up close

Whilst I’m not one for pigeon holes, I would put myself in the “modern quilter” camp.  I love colour, creativity and improvisation.  I LOVE to quilt.  I am much better at drawing with my sewing machine than with a pencil and paper!  I’m a perfectionist and I love the absolute perfection and micromanagement that is part of piecing.  Free motion quilting and improv curves make me happy.  I crave simplicity.  I want a vegie patch and chickens and I want to quilt day after day after day.

So there you go :)  That’s me in a nutshell (and now I have Austin Power’s nemisis in my head crying “help! I’m in a nutshell” LOL)

Improv curvey quilted 15″ pillow cover

If you’d like to be in the running please leave me a comment letting me know why you like to read my blog/instagram/facebook or what else you would like to see me post about.  If you follow me on Instagram you can have a second entry over there, just share the photo that I’ll load shortly with the hashtag #prettybobbinsgiveaway and tag me  I will combine the number of entries with blog comments first, ie. 1-50 then followed by IG comments in order ie. 51-90.  The giveaway will be open until midnight AEST (Sydney time) Saturday 31st August.  I will use to draw a winner and announce it on Monday 2nd September.  Please leave your email address (if the winner is on IG I will tag you there) so I can contact you.

This giveaway is open wordwide (it’s for the cushion/pillow cover only).

Good luck and thanks for supporting me on this creative journey xxx


Why the move


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A stack of Pretty Quilts

A stack of Pretty Quilts

Thank you so much to everyone that replied yesterday that they can see me in their reader!  Yay!  I am trying to figure an easy way to reply via email without cutting and pasting, so please be patient :) (if you have a wordpress blog and you know of a plugin that can help, please let me know.) I would much rather be at my sewing machine but am still at the computer trying to get my site as user friendly and pretty as possible :)

My sewing space

I had a few questions asking why I made the move and seeing I need to add a new post to claim my new address on bloglovin’ I thought I would answer that question :)  The simple answer is that I have found my passion in quilting and I want to take it from being a hobby to being my profession.  In the last six months I have bought my domain name, business name and set up an Australian Business Number, I have ordered business cards and spent a lot of time thinking and planning how to turn Pretty Bobbins into more than just a blog.  Most importantly, I spend a lot of my time quilting.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Plus, I love playing with colour and producing lovely quilts!

Next year I will buy a longarm quilting machine and the dream is to make quilting my full time job.  I love blogging and I will continue to blog, but by having my own domain name I plan to incorporate my business into my site.  At this stage I am planning to just add another tab up top where you can see my business details.  What services I will offer and important details that potential clients will want to know.  The blog will continue as it is, but by moving from blogger to wordpress I have more options in terms of what I can do here.

A girls gotta dream, right? ;)

In the meantime I will continue this STEEP learning curve (I didn’t even know how to add an image or html code when I started writing this post LOL) and hopefully make it back to my sewing machine ASAP!!  I’m having withdrawals…

Have you made the move to wordpress?  Do you have any tips?

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