Archive of ‘Gifts’ category

QAYG Cushion Tutorial


Ms Midge
Welcome to Pretty Bobbins! I’m stop number two on the Cushion for Christmas bloghop and today I’m sharing a QAYG cushion tutorial. The lovely Ms Midge came up with the great idea to feature cushions that can be made in a day – the ideal Christmas gift! Speaking of Ms Midge, I’m pretty sure she is freaking out right about now as my modem died over night and I have been offline for over 24 hours leading up to my stop on the hop… Amazing how long the battery lasts on my iPad when there is no wifi in the house ;)

I am sharing a cushion that I made yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself but I started after breakfast and finished before lunch, so it is definitely do-able in a day :) I am familiar with the techniques though, so it might take a beginner a bit longer :) I find the key to the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method is to be organised. I set up my machine, ironing station, cutting mat and fabrics (in order) within reaching distance. I used a 16″ cushion insert. I pieced together cotton wadding and cut backing both at 18″ square.

Now my QAYG cushion is technically not QAYG as I didn’t quilt the sections other than to sew them in place. Usually with QAYG you will sew your strip down as I describe below, flip it right side up, then quilt it in place. I have done this and it does look rather lovely but I find it to be an unreasonably time consuming and thread hungry method. So I cheat a little ;) Below you can see a lovely QAYG iPad pouch I made last year. I keep meaning to FMQ over a cushion that I’ve made using my cheats QAYG method but I always love the end result too much to add any extra quilting :) The choice is yours :)

I started with a reasonable sized scrap off center and then added a piece that covered the width and over hang 1/4″ each side. I cut all my pieces 1.5″ wide and worked out the length as I went along. The key being to ensure that each piece overhangs by 1/4″ at both ends.

I used my walking foot which has 1/4″ marked on it and I secured my stitches by going back and forth a few times at each end. I didn’t use any pins, I just lay my wadding on my backing and they stayed in place while I was working. After sewing each strip in place I trimmed back any overhang from the previous piece to the 1/4″ seam allowance. After trimming I ironed the most recent piece flat. Ironing after adding each strip will give you the best outcome.

I was trying to be clever with colour and laid all of my prints out in order and then checked as I went along. I didn’t quite get the affect that I was aiming for but I’m still really happy with the cushion.

After finishing the teals I laid out the purples. So pretty :)

I found it easiest to use my ruler to measure the required size of the next strip. You need to ensure that you strip has 1/4″ seam allowance from any raw edges.

In the above example the strip would need to be 7.25″ x 1.5″

I started to fall in love with this cushion when I was about half way through adding the purples :)

There’s something about pink that I love. In hindsight I should have gone teal, pink then purple but in the end I added the pinks starting from light to dark (both purple and teal were added lightest to darkest).

I realised after adding a few pinks that I didn’t have enough to continue with only 1.5″ strips so I laid out my remaining pieces to finalised the placement. I started with an 18″ square piece with the intention of a finished 15″ cushion cover.

After adding all of my pins I trimmed back my mini to 16″ (width) x 17″ (height) and cut a backing piece the same size.

I decided on a zipper closure in the bottom seam and I always like to add an extra inch for this purpose. I don’t have access to my overlocker/serger at the moment so I used a flatlock stitch on my sewing machine along the bottom edge (17″ edge – important if your prints are directional).

Lay both your backing fabric and mini right sides together and stitch 1/2″ in from the edge. This will be where you insert your zipper. You want approximately 1.5″ at both ends in your normal stitch length and the area in between in the longest stitch length possible. You can sew these three areas separately, but I’m lazy and just secure my stitches and adjust my stitch length without trimming :)

After timming your threads press the seam open. Because we’re making a cushion cover that involves quilting I always fuss with the pressing. You want a nice straight and flat seam :)

Select a zipper longer that the width of your cushion (I think I used a 21″ zipper) and pin in place so that the teeth are ligned up to where the front and backing meet. I use pins to remind me where my basting stitches begin/end. Grab your zipper foot and sew your zipper in place. Don’t forget to make sure that the tab is within the sewn area. I cross over the zipper just outside of the basting stitches and sew back and forth a few times.

Trim your zipper ends and secure with a few stitches. Next you want to grab your seam ripper and carefully rip out those basting stitches. I usually use tweezer to grab the tiny threads left afterwards.

Then you want to sew your cushion cover together. Make sure you leave the zipper open so that you can turn it right side out. I like to use a 1/4″ seam allowance, first with a straight stitch and then with the serger or a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
Et voila! You have a brand new cushion ready for Christmas!

I used a lovely Kate Spain fat quarter (from her line Good Fortune) for the back.  LOVE.

I hope you have found my tutorial helpful. For me, as always, this was an exercise in colour play as much as it was in quilting and whilst I didn’t end up with exactly the affect I was after, I do love it :) In case you’re wondering, yes, it will be a Christmas present for a very special friend :)

Ms Midge
Don’t forget to head over to Ms Midge on the 14th of December to link up your cushions. You can find all of the details here and links to the other fabulous bloggers below. I can’t wait to see what everyone has been up to!

 Sunday 1st December – Ms Midge

Monday 2nd December – Me!! at Pretty Bobbins
Tuesday 3rd December – Kristy at Quiet Play
& Ms Midge
Wednesday 4th December – Joshua at Molli Sparkles
Thursday 5th December -Rachel at Little White Dove
Friday 6th December – Fiona at Finding Fifth
Saturday 7th December – Abby at Things For Boys
Sunday 8th December – Lauren at Molly & Mama Makes
Monday 9th December – Jodi at Tickle & Hide
Tuesday 10th December – Adrianne at On The Windy Side 
& Ms Midge
Wednesday 11th December – Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts
Thursday 12th December – Gina at Party of Eight
Friday 13th December – Jane at Quilt Jane
Saturday 14th December – Round up of Blog Hop and link up YOUR projects at Ms Midge!
Wednesday 18th December – Winners Announced at Ms Midge!

Patterns Only - $20 Voucher
The Oz Material Girls - $20 Voucher
Fat Quarter Shop - $50 Voucher!
Polka Dot Tea - Fabric Bundle!
Intrepid Thread - $25 Voucher!
Blossom Heart Quilts - Ornamental Quilt Pattern!
Quiet Play - Winner’s choice of 3 Paper Piecing Patterns!

Let the cushion madness begin!

I Quilt Linky Party – Confidence


Welcome to I Quilt linky party at Pretty Bobbins, it’s Thursday (in Nouméa) and time to link up your quilting process.  Please link up, visit a few other linkers and grab my button (code at top right or down the bottom if you’re on a mobile device) and link back in your post.  Let’s spread the quilty love <3 :)  We had some seriously impressive linkers last week and as I was visiting all of the blogs I started thinking about quilting with confidence as quite a few people mentioned this.  Last week a Facebook friend shared a quote that said something like, “don’t compare your middle to someone else’s high point”.  It really struck a cord with me (as did the response that we should never compare our middles ;) ).

i quilt blog button

The online quilting community is great, blogs are great, craftsy and flickr and instagram are great.  But every now and then I catch myself comparing my work rather than being inspired.  Don’t get me wrong, 95% of the time I am surfing the web I am being inspired but there is a small part of me that every now and then thinks, “I’m not that good.” rather than “I look forward to being that good” or “I’m going to try that”.  Of course there are better quilters than me, there always will be!  And that’s great, it gives me something to aspire to.  But my point is, compare yourself to yourself.  To how far you’ve come, to what you achieved during your quilting time today, to the skills that come easily now compared to that first lesson when EVERYTHING was a challenge. (I remember being totally perplexed by how to use a rotary cutter and ruler and cutting all my blocks .5″ wrong!).  I used to sometimes feel like blogland was too happy and no one ever said anything real or negative.  But I have come to understand that the encouragement that we give each other is far more important than saying, “it would have looked better if you….” or “those really aren’t my colours…”  I read every comment I get and whilst I can’t always respond, those comments all build my confidence and that makes me a braver and better quilter.  Share the love people! :)

Photo used with permission from Marelize @ Stitch by Stitch

This week I am featuring the lovely Marelize from Stitch by Stitch.  I think I originally “met” Marelize on Instagram and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing her work.  She also quilts on a Bernina and is super amazing at free motion quilting.  Seriously, check her out if you love quilting candy!   Last week she linked up the most BEAUTIFUL quilt in progress and was talking about how it just wasn’t how she imagined.  Marelize, the rest of us can see how stunning that quilt is, your work is divine!  The back really shows the detail. AMAZING!

Photo used with permission by Marelize @ Stitch by Stitch

I’m actually in the same head space as Marelize at the moment.  I love the quilting I did on my “Dream” mini (below) but it isn’t quite there, it’s not how I imagined it would be.  I need to add a bit and I think by attaching the binding next I will be inspired to stitch on those words like I envisaged and decide whether or not to outline the word “dream” or leave it subtle.

As often is the case, the back is the show stealer here…

My other current quandry is the table runner I am making as a thank you/farewell gift for Mr 7′s teacher.  (Thank you for all the useful suggestions and kind thoughts yesterday.  Apparently he was improved this morning but lost focus this afternoon.  That in itself is a HUGE improvement.  Funny that my son is stubborn… ;) )  After so much dense SLQ on the Dream mini I just couldn’t do it again even though it was my first thought for the table runner (this girl needs curves!).

Triangle table runner in progress

I LOVED this baby during the piecing and felt oh so clever how I’d used all teal and placed it from dark to light with the bold pink thrown in.  I actually really thought this one needed some harsh geometric quilting but I didn’t want to quilt over the triangles.  I pondered it for a day and then decided to just jump in.

Stuck in a rut!

I kind of got stuck on the same pattern.  Does that ever happen to you?  Completely not loving it I gave up the idea of something I would love and decided to throw in some half swirls spewing out into pebbles.  I like it a lot more now, but it looks really beachy to me and that wasn’t at all what I was going for….  Ah!  I need to think less and have more confidence in giving hand made gifts!!  Do you give handmade gifts confidently?  It’s that real conundrum, do you give handmade and put in lots of effort and then maybe it ends up at goodwill or in the rubbish…  Or is it only me that is lacking in confidence on the handmade gift front?  Spill the beans people! :)

Adding swirls and pebbles for interest

Now it’s your turn.  I’d love you to link up below.  Please remember that this is a quilting process linky.  We all want to hear about your process, we want to learn and be inspired and share your quilty journey <3  Please remember to visit a few other linkers and add my button to your post or sidebar.  Happy quilting!! :)

i quilt blog button



Dense quilting


I’ll concede that you’re probably going to get tired of my countdown until our move, but it’s what is taking up all of my brain space right now and the shipping container arrives in less than two weeks!  Of course top priority is to get sewing projects finished…  I may be a master at the art of procrastination…  It seemed very important to tackle some dense quilting today… But let’s ignore that and look at some progress photos ;)

I finally put together a top using my bee blocks from QCA Bee1.  To be honest it was a challenge.  The quilt is for my friend who is very special to me but has a difficult life.  She lives in a shack without electricity or running water and I will be very sad to say goodbye when we leave Nouméa.  I really want to give her something special and I had the idea that bee blocks would be great as they were from a group of Australian women and I thought she would love that idea :)  I had to fix quite a few of the blocks and some of the prints were really not so awesome, it really took the wind out of my sails. The whole experience was a lesson for me.  I’m not sure I’m suited to traditional bees.  I should have said I wanted modern prints (I just assumed which is silly).  If I think about it I generally don’t sew traditional blocks so being part of a traditional bee, whilst fun, isn’t really me.  Anyway, I’m super happy with how it all came together in the end.  I spent hours auditioning fabrics and thinking it over and then I remember there dark grey print with the bright birds on it.  I actually pieced it to get the length that I needed but I liked the look so much that I pieced both sides.  I can’t wait to see how the quilting pulls this baby together.  I’m thinking I might use a fun teal thread :) :)  And just so you know, I am glad that I have been in the bee and I have learnt a lot from it :)  I don’t mean to sound whingy, it was just disappointing to find a block with holes in it and other blocks with seam allowances so small that I had to resew them or there would have been holes after the first wash.  But enough from me, I love it and I know my friend will too :)

It would appear that it is birthday season and I’m therefore on a cushion/pillow making crusade.  First up is a superhero quilted cover for Isaia.

My eldest son turned seven today and whilst his Mummy made gift is a day late I’m sure he is going to love it :)

You could say that I like free motion quilting ;)

The above panel is only 13″ x 16″ so the dense quilting was kinda insane, especially black on black where I had to sort of feel the thread as I couldn’t see it very well.

Super tricky to see and I probably should have changed to the open toe…


Next up will be a princess cushion cover, but I’ve only cut the front panel so far, must get cracking!!

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced :)  Tomorrow I will be talking about thread issues and free motion quilting.  I’d love you to pop back and link up your quilting process <3  If you have any questions you’d like me to (try and) answer please let me know :)


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Superhero cushion for the birthday boy


Congratulations to Amy C who won the Celebration Paper Pieced Pattern giveaway!  Yay Amy!  I’ve sent you an email.  Thanks to everyone for entering.  The patterns are available for purchase in Kristy’s Craftsy store :)  I will have two more giveaways to celebrate this month with the next being announced tomorrow.  For the third giveaway I’m thinking of making something.  Is that something that appeals or would you prefer something that you can use like fabric or notions or patterns?

But moving onto this week’s makes so far :)

You may remember that two of my babies have birthday’s this month.  My second child will turn five tomorrow (seriously, I can’t believe I have been a parent for nearly 7 years!) and after a busy morning at the aquarium the boys headed to a friend’s house for a play so I could get busy.  I’ve made big progress on the Princess Quilt but I decided that Mr (almost) 5 needed a Mummy made gift so I cut into my precious superhero fabric ;)

Superhero cushion front

I can’t wait to give this to Mr 5 tomorrow, we have given most of his friends similar cushions and I think he is going to love having his own :)  The back is a mix of scraps (including from my original superhero print) and Essex linen blend.  I felt in the mood to FMQ so I stitched out his name in Aurifil 12wt and then played with swirls around his name.  I even included a subtle message :)

Superhero cushion back

It’s hard to read, but it says, “Happy 5th Birthday, love always, Mummy”.

“Happy 5th birthday. Love always, Mummy”

I’m not one to get super personal online but I did a little questionnaire with the birthday boy just before bedtime this evening and I thought it would be cute to share his final answer. He is such a sweetie!

Me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Mr 5: “An inventor who makes potions and helps people if they’re crying because someone did something to them”.

Miss (almost) 3 answered “cheese” to this question!!!  Too cute.  Much cuter than the haircut she gave herself yesterday…  Yes, you can see that on instagram *sigh*

I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread.



A couple of cushions


Pirate cushion

My most recent finishes are of the small variety.  Cushions for birthday gifts.  I love to make them and they are always well received :)

Cushion for the adorable Victoire

Ironically after two and a half years in Noumea, just last weekend I connected with some local crafty types.  Rue Bon is a lovely sewing blog by a mother at the same school as my middle child.  Fancy that!  I am totally inspired by her liberty tunic.  It’s put me in the mind to sew a few more items for myself…  I love that we weren’t the only family giving a handmade gift last weekend, yay for handmade!

Pirate pillow

Whilst I am not over the finish line for my daughter’s Princess Quilt yet, I did finish the top this morning.  I LOVE this quilt top!  I love everything about it.  I love those low value borders, the fun curve, how the colours tie in but don’t overpower the centre.  It is not an easy quilt to photograph though, I’ve fiddled with the photos to try and show you what it really looks like, but you might have to trust me, it is lovely in real life :)

Princess Quilt top

I love the floating squares (some Liberty in there too!), I have no idea how I’m going to quilt this one but there is so much room for fun!

Pieced Princess Quilt

I’m a 2″ short on my backing fabric (a gorgeous AMH flannelette that I used recently for a cot quilt).  The top measures in at a whopping 100″ x 70″. It’s meant to be twin/single size and I was aiming for closer to 90″ in length.  But at least it will cover the pillow and drape nicely over the end of the bed.  My daughter turns three in a week so I’m hoping to baste this beauty tonight and get some quilting in over the weekend.  Wish me luck!!

Curvy pieced border

I’m linking up with TGIFF over at Amy’s Crafty Shenanigans.


A Princess Quilt in the making


We are in the first of two weeks school holidays here so not much sewing is happening.  We have been to the beach, the aquarium, the playground, a few playdates and visited a toyshop or two for some fun window shopping.  My babies are growing up and I’m savouring every moment that I am still the coolest person in their universe :)  Speaking of growing up, my two younger babies have birthdays next week and I really need to focus on finishing this Princess quilt for my almost three year old!

Princess quilt top in progress

I have finished piecing a large section of the top and have a pieced border ready to add.

Princess quilt top in progress – first border

Another border is cut and ready to sew.  I’m using a selection of these low value prints and have some fun curves planned.  Hopefully I’ll get a little done tomorrow or panic will set in…

low value prints for Princess Quilt border

Don’t forget the pattern giveaway, it closes this Sunday that 18th of August.  All the details are here on the giveaway post.

PDF Paper Pieced pattern bundle giveaway

I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)


Celebrate with a Paper Pieced Quilt!


***August is a month of celebrations for Pretty Bobbins.  It is my two year blogiversary and two of my children have birthdays this month.  There will be a giveaway for each of these events, you will find the first giveaway at the bottom of this post.***

Back in April I was Queen Bee for Wombat Stew, a paper piecing bee.  I struggled with a theme from the beginning, I really wasn’t sure that ‘celebrate’ would work.  I put together an inspiration board and by the time my month rolled around I hadn’t thought of anything better so I decided to go for it.  I asked the girls to make blocks of any size to fit the theme ‘celebrate’. I planned to make a wall quilt to hang every time we have a family celebration.  I also like the challenge of making a quilt from different sized blocks.  I asked the girls to stick to fun, bright and relatively gender neutral colours (so pink is OK but not all pink).  You can see some progress shots here.  Today it’s all about the big reveal!  (And if you really like the patterns you should keep reading right to the end *HINT HINT*)

Celebrate – a paper pieced quilt

I LOVE this quilt!  My kids love this quilt and August is a month of celebrations so as soon as I buy some dowel it is going on the wall :)  I quilted the heck out of the quilt and had soooo much fun doing so!  You can see the quilting better on the back.  It measures 37″ x 37″ and was put together and quilted with Aurifil threads by me on my Bernina 440.  Full credit to each of the bee members below <3

Celebrate – quilting details on back

I had my own little party quilting with a rainbow of Aurifil 50 wt threads (really, what’s a party without Aurifil? Alex seems to be everywhere if you follow him on Facebook LOL).  I used 2000 on the cream/off white areas and I love how they sparkle.  Can you see the word PARTY popping out in Kristy’s party hat blocks (Kristy of Quiet Play designed most of these blocks, isn’t she AMAZING???)?

Party hats by Kristy

Marieka baked me a delicious cake.  I was really unsure of how to quilt this block but really happy with how it turned out.  My icing is never that neat LOL  There is enough cake here for everyone, LOVE!

Tiered cake by Marieka

I had a lot of fun playing with Alyce’s pom poms (and I’m sorry, I had to make that joke LOL).  She very cleverly used a flying geese pattern, you can see her tutorial here.  I’m still considering adding a few beads to the pom poms but for now I’m sticking to the star in the middle (and yes, more micro-stippling there).  Aren’t they fun?!

Pom Poms by Alyce

Jane’s block is immediately apparent to Australian’s but some of my readers may be wondering what it is.  This is an absolute classic and staple of children’s birthday parties.  Known as “fairy bread” it is sliced white bread, spread with butter and then covered in sprinkles.  Jane obviously took a bite out whilst piecing and left her party blower behind as evidence ;)

Fairybread by Jane

Fiona’s cups (pattern by Ayumi of Pink Penguin fame) had a real retro feel so I quilted the wall paper to enhance this vibe.  Possibly better seen from the back, but aren’t they the cutest drinks ever? (There is a fourth block, you can see it in the larger photos)

Paper Pieced cups by Fiona (pattern by Ayumi Mills)


What party would be complete without bunting?   The adorable Lara (she is completely adorable, you should check out her instagram – luellabella) made me rainbow bunting.  LOVE!  I went a little nuts and quilted pebbles with each dot being inside a pebble.

Rainbow bunting by Lara

Whilst the wonderful Ms Midge wasn’t in round one of Wombat Stew she decided to join the party early and brought the candles.  Can you believe she tried to tell us she was a novice paper piece-er when we asked her to join us????

Candles by Ms Midge

And whilst we’re on the topic of Ms Midge, she sent me the cutest scrap EVER!  I LOVE this fairy and I quilted her in a micro version of the the FMQ design that I used on my daughter’s quilt. I’ve saved the last skerrik of this scrap and plan to make my daughter a cushion with it.  Thank you Midge xx

Cutest fairy scrap EVER complete with micro quilting

I totally got my FMQ on and micro-stippled this fantastic cupcake print (did I mention the girls sent the most amazing scraps with their blocks?!).

scrap love from the Wombats

I think every block/print features a different FMQ design.  I must admit I went a little crazy quilting around each candle (print in the bottom right of the above photo) this scrap is only  1.5″ x 4.25″. I was so impressed with the affect that I then quilted around the jellybeans and balloons too LOL

Celebrate paper pieced quilt

I added in some three dimensional bunting down the side (left over from another project) and at the suggestion from a friend quilted words underneath (sing, dance, encore, cake, secret, surprise, kiss).  The idea being that the birthday person must choose an activity to complete ;)

You gotta dance! (then shout hooray)

Well done if you’ve read this far!  Possibly my favourite part of quilting this beast is the words in the border.  I used 12wt Aurifil (2250) for top thread and the same colour in 50wt on my bobbin.  The stitches are perfect (I suggest going slow and smoothly and dropping your top tension a few notches).  Can you believe that I didn’t mark the words first?  It was all done free hand and I’m so pleased that it filled the borders perfectly and looks rather neat :)  YAY for machine quilting with Aurifil 12wt.  I will be doing this again and again and again <3

FMQ writing in 12wt Aurifil in the border, woohoo!

Did I mention that it was worth reading to the end?  Well, the fabulous Kristy of Quiet Play who designed most of these patterns has come to the party with a giveaway of most of the patterns seen in this quilt!  Thank you Kristy xx  I highly recommend that you give her patterns a go if you’re thinking of trying out paper piecing.  I’ve made quite a few of them and they’re always easy to follow and very well designed. You can find her shop here on Craftsy.

Pattern giveaway thanks to Quiet Play

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment letting me know that you follow both Pretty Bobbins and Quiet Play blogs. (Head over to Quiet Play and follow Kristy here.)  You can have an additional entry if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Flickr, just leave me a comment letting me know :) You have a chance to win a bundle of paper pieced patterns by Kristy of Quiet Play as seen in the collage above (bunting, candles, hat and cupcake). The giveaway will close at midnight 18th August Australian Eastern Standard time (google Sydney time).

***This giveaway is closed***

Bravo if you made it to the end.  What a mammoth post!  I’m taking my celebration to the Paper Piecing Party at Quiet Play and TGIFF at Bedtime Quilting.

A Cluster of Cushions


TGIFF is at Molli’s place this week, how could I not link up?  If you haven’t checked out Molli’s blog, please do, you’ll find quilty talent, humour abundant and sparkles for all.

Single Aunt on wall

I shared my most recent quilt finish earlier in the week.  A huge thank you for all the love, I was somewhat nervous of the reaction as it has a naughty word quilted into it.  Well, it turns out I’m not the only potty mouthed quilter! ;)

Single aunt quilting details
In case you missed it, the quilting is a little easier to read side on :)

I have had a couple of other finishes this week and recently that seems to be turning into a bit of a staple for me.  Call them cushions or pillows (in Australia we sleep with a pillow and have a cushion on the sofa, I think it’s the opposite elsewhere), I have a plethora to share with you this week :)

butterfly cushion front

First up is the butterfly cushion cover that I made as a test run for the Flight of the Butterflies quilt.  My friend bought both the quilt and cushion cover and they’ll head off to Ireland soon.  I used a lovely Kate Spain print on the back which also features in the quilt

butterfly cushion back
Flight of the Butterflies quilt and cushion back

I’m obviously losing my mind (no need to comment) because I cannot remember whether I shared a photo of this finished cushion…  It is for one of our favourite families who is moving to Florida next week.  I made this cushion cover for their son who is 5 and included an appliqué hand print of each of our children and him as well as some meaningful words.

farewell cushion

It seems that we’ve hit birthday season and have two 5 year old girl birthday parties this weekend!  I’m sharing these early and hoping that they’re not surfing the net hunting down their gifts ;)

Girly pillowcase

I’m a total sucker for appliqué names on gifts for kids.  It makes a simple pillowcase so much more special and meaningful :)

applique pillowcase

I REALLY need to get to the store and buy some more cushion inserts.  I only have one left and have three more parties coming up which I plan to gift similar cushion covers.

girly cushion cover

I know not all girls are girly girls, but I totally am and I so channelled my inner princess this week in sewing ;)

applique cushion cover

I really considered changing my name and keeping this cushion cover and pillowcase…  In addition to over the top girly gifts I also sewed a princess dress, some princess bling and two prince crowns.  Yep, we’re sparkling over here at Pretty Bobbins too but you’ll have to wait for next week for those photos (unless you follow me on Instagram, I’ve already shared progress pics there) :)

I’m linking up to TGIFF over at Molli Sparkles.  Have you been sewing up a storm this week?  Thanks for having us Molli!

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?

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