Archive of ‘Stash’ category

Using Scraps


It’s about three weeks until I pack up my house and I currently have about five in progress WIPs (let’s not count the ones that are being ignored).  So what’s the best thing to do?  Start another!

I finished sewing together my Primary Plus quilt top (above) and I LOVE it (I haven’t had a chance to properly photograph the finished top yet)!  I’ve just paid for my long arm and this baby will be packed away ready to quilt on the long arm early next year.  I ended up with a pretty pile of scraps and seeing as I require a reward for cleaning I decided to play with them this afternoon.

I was originally thinking a cushion cover to match the plus quilt but I just had a light bulb moment and have an idea for a mini :)  One can never have too many minis, right? ;)

I have two piles of fabric sitting here patiently awaiting my attention.  First up is a twin sized butterfly quilt for my son’s love (they are both five and I have finally convinced him that they can be in love without having to kiss!  This Momma isn’t ready for that!!).  This pile of pink will become a flutter of butterflies on grey <3

Second up is a gender neutral baby quilt and I have all sorts of fun modern ideas floating around in my head.  This one is for my son’s (same son) teacher as a farewell/baby gift at the end of the year.  We’re moving away, she’s pregnant, I quilt.  You get the idea ;)

And with that I must get back to the roast chicken.  We have a dinner guest tonight and it would appear that I need to vacate the sewing/dining room so that we can entertain ;)

I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!  I’d love you to pop back tomorrow for my I Quilt linky party <3


Cascading Color Quilt


I’ve finished my son’s Cascading Color (Colour) quilt top and can I say, I LOVE it!  This is destined to be a winter quilt with a flannel back and I really think it is going to bring such lovely colours into the house in winter.  But for now I have folded it up and put it away to quilt once I have my long arm next year.

The quilt is supposed to have a cascading tetris look to it, hence the lighter columns.

My husband kindly gave me five minutes to photograph this beauty before he headed to work this morning.  We have bright mornings in Nouméaa!  I love the affect of the colour cascading down the quilt.  I used so many favourite prints and it really was an exercise in admiring my stash :)

Colour comes tumbling down

I actually remarked to my husband last night that I’ve been really good and haven’t bought any fabric lately (he pointed to a large box of wadding that I claimed doesn’t count because it’s boring and essential).  He poo-pooed me and claimed to have seen fabric arrive of late.  Of course he is right, but again it doesn’t count because what he is referring to is my stash subscription from Pink Castle Fabrics and I don’t choose those, it’s more like a nice surprise each month ;)  Yup, total fabric ban happening here folks ;)  Seriously though, most of the low value prints in this quilt are from my subscription and I really find it so very useful.

The light spills from top left with the bottom right of the quilt being the darkest area.

In complete contrast, possibly my favourite area of this quilt top is the dark areas down the bottom.  I really think that this quilt will have longevity as it offers a variety of hues and only a few novelty prints.

Lots of fun prints including a French text print referencing our time here.

I actually pulled the prints for this quilt months ago and had been planning a Plus style quilt but I really love what I have here.  Essentially a heap of 5″ (cut 5.5″) squares and some rectangles that make up a 65″ x 90″ flimsy.  A great size for a twin bed and there is fun to be had in the quilting!  After having ten days of sewing I really enjoyed getting back to my Bernina and piecing this beast.  I used my Sewline gluepen rather than pins and the points are perfect.  I highly recommend it, although I’d be interested to hear if anyone has had trouble with it gumming up their machine (no problems here so far).  As always I used Aurifil thread, 2000 in 50wt which is one of my two favourites for piecing (it’s a golden cream and disappears quite well.  My other favourite for piecing is 2605 in 50wt which is a grey and good for darker colours).  With the mix of organic cottons, art gallery fabrics, linen blends, quilting cottons and Aurifil thread this baby feels like silk.  Some seriously good texture in there!

Unfortunately my iron (I only bought it a month ago!!!) died just as I finished sewing the rows so you may notice some wrinkles.  And when I say died I mean I walked away and came back to find it sitting in a puddle and then felt the current in my arm when I touched it.  So yeah, that’s it for my Philips 2860 (I had the same model previously and it last about 18 months, even surviving multiple drops onto the tiles).  Tomorrow I will send the husband out to try and get a refund or swap without the receipt (I’m quite certain I didn’t keep it).  That will be an interesting exercise I’m sure!

It’s even bright in the shade at 8am in Nouméa!

I’m calling this a finish as I only planned to get the top pieced at this stage :)  It feels like a finish! I’m linking up to TGIFF over at Missy Mac Creations this week.


Vive le Stash


Today I’m hosting Sunday Stash for the lovely Fiona of Finding Fifth.  Fiona mentioned to me that she was thinking of doing an American related stash post to celebrate the 4th of July earlier in the week.  I hope you don’t mind Fiona, but I’m totally stealing your idea ;)

RWB prints
Rouge, Blanc, Bleu or Red, White and Blue :)

As some of you will know I live in Nouméa, Nouvelle Caledonie (New Caledonia), a special territory of France.  My children were 4, 2 and a few months old when we arrived in Nouméa and two and a half years later they all identify strongly with France.  I’m often asked questions such as, “Can we go to the Mountains in Suiss?” and “Is the Sydney bridge as big as la tour Eiffel?”  In fact my eldest is often heard chanting “rouge, blanc, bleu!” whilst his brother will argue that Canberra is not in Australia…

Bastille Day march 2011
Evening street march as part of National Day celebrations in Nouméa, 2011

So today I am going to share some of my recent rouge, blanc et bleu stash additions to celebrate both the 4th of July et La Fête Nationale which is on the 14th of July.

rouge stash

Recently I received my Red Stash Stack bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics.  I seriously love that store and their monthly fat quarters never fail to disappoint (no sponsorship deal folks, just good old fashioned loyalty based on great products and service).  As always there are a couple of favourites that jump out at me.

rouge sketch
I love this Architextures in red (I also have it in black and grey)

Blue makes up the largest part of my stash, not surprising really as blue has been my favourite colour as long as I can remember.  Here are some of my favourite blues.

bleu favourites
L-R: Lou Lou Thi, Little Folks (voile), Good Folks, No idea but I love it, Hope Chest, Kona Lagoon, I think it’s Japanese

The solid is Kona Lagoon and I have used it again and again and everytime I use it I think of the Foona Lagoona Baboona, yes I grew up with that great American Dr Suess and “The Sleep Book” was a favourite.

Spiderman rouge Spiderman bleu

My sons LOVE Spiderman, another famous American, and I recently stocked up on some Spiderman prints.  These are one of the most important parts of my stash, I have made a pillow or cushion case for almost every little boy we know as a birthday gift.  Always a winner and as popular in France as elsewhere.

superhero squad

Whilst I am completely unfamiliar with Captain America and his fellow superheros this print is another firm favourite and one I restocked this one recently, more birthday presents coming up (one this week in fact!).

bonjour blanc

Another recent arrival in two colourways is this fantastique Kauffman print.  How cool is this?  I have no idea what I’m going to make with it, but I knew I had to have it :)

bonjour noir

Whilst I could never have enough fabric I recently purchased two notions that you need!  First up is a clover unpicker.  This thing is sharp and makes unripping much faster and easier.  If you’re considering a new seam ripper I’d recommended you give this one a whirl, I bought it here.


The second notion which I mentioned on Friday (and yes, I did survive the sleepover, the last child standing was the 4 year old who finally fell asleep at 11.30pm) is my new Machinger gloves.

machinger gloves

AWESOME.  These are SO much better than my last quilting gloves which were so much better than nothing.  Seriously, they fit well, they breath, they grip the fabric.  The make the job of quilting easier and more pleasant and that is a BIG WIN in my book.  If you don’t have quilting gloves or you’re not happy with the ones you have, try these, they really are the bees knees of quilting gloves!

Last week the most popular linked up post was by Em at Sewing by Moonlight which is no surprise considering her beautiful new Liberty of London prints!  Have fun playing with your new prints Em, I have some Liberty scraps that I’m hoarding but have really enjoyed using the few times that I have :)

Now it’s your turn to share your stash.  I’d love to see some of your most recent additions, some favourites that you can’t bear to cut into or if you’re feeling full of national pride feel free to join the party and share some national colour themed prints :)  Thanks for stopping by xx

Less quilting more children


Today I planned to quilt all day, or at least make significant progress.  In reality not much quilting happened but I had a nice day :)

butterfly quilt wip

I won’t be catching up on quilting this evening as we have two extra kids sleeping over.  I have a few games planned and some emergency back-up DVDs.

machinger gloves

Pop back Sunday to see if I survived and to check out the latest additions to my stash.  I’m hosting Sunday Stash this week for the ever lovely Fiona of Finding Fifth.  My favourite recent stash addition is my Machingers Quilting gloves.  LOVE!

Bonne weekend!

Monday Stash – South Pacific Style


Vanuatu tiki

I could say that I meant to write this post yesterday for Sunday Stash, but actually I meant to write it the previous Sunday *sigh*  Better late than never, right? :)  I just wanted to share some textile goodies from our recent trip to Vanuatu.

Vanuatu colours

I mentioned recently that my family took a short holiday to Vanuatu, it was our first trip there and our first time staying at a big resort with a kids club.  Boy did the kids love that!  We managed to drag them away from kid’s club a couple of times, but they spent most of their time enjoying the climbing equipment and various activities.  I enjoyed the novelty of eating quiet meals with my husband and not cutting up someone else’s food ;)

Vanuatu street art

We stayed not too far from the capital of Port Villa, it really is a small place but for us it was a nice change of scenery.  The colours are striking and the street art was really impressive!

Vanuatu street art 2

We popped into the local markets a few times and bought some T-shirts and dresses.  I really loved the markets, the women sit in their stall with their tredle singer sewing machines (new ones) and spend the day sewing between sales.  They will whip up an item to order if you have time to wait and whilst I already need to make a few repairs after the first wash, I just loved the experience.

Vanuatu sewing machine
Photo by Trevor: Me in my made by me Washi Dress and a lovely lady
 in her handmade dress <3

We found an indoor market that had a lot of textile products and seemed to feature the colourful dresses that the local women wear.  In this market they had the most rudimentary overlockers/sergers, it really was a visual feast.

Vanuatu traditional dresses

I did go on a bit of a hunt for some local prints but it’s really hard to find good quality 100% cotton in the South Pacific.

vanuatu flying fish tea towel
close up of Flying Fish teatowel

We did find a very cool little store that featured the designs of an expat woman.  I purchased a few of her t-shirts for the kids and husband and some tea towels that I plan to cut up and make into something for our house.  I’m thinking some kind of wall hanging or table runner as a keepsake of our time in the South Pacific (we head back to Australia in seven months).

vanuatu bislama teatowel
A tea towel featuring the local language, Bislama.  If you read the words aloud you’ll work it out :)
vanuatu teatowel
Tree tea towel

I’m not sure that we’ll head back to Vanuatu, there is still so much of New Caledonia that we haven’t seen and it was actually a bit more of an adventure than we bargained for.  I’m just going to list for you the hilarious set of incidents that we experienced that made me convinced that we were on the set of some prank TV show LOL  (honestly, we had a great time):

  • 1am fire alarm (false alarm)
  • cancelled flights
  • hotel full and unable to offer extra nights accommdation due to cancelled flights
  • 4am wake up call for our cancelled flights
  • 5.4 magnitude earthquake only 75km directly beneath us
  • food poisoning
  • delayed flights
  • locked out of our house at midnight
Can you believe it? LOL  I’m glad we took our holiday in the first week of the school break and had the second week to recover ;)

Vanuatu fire dancers
Fire dancers in Vanuatu.
Late edit:  I forgot to share these gorgeous woven bags that I bought in Vanuatu.  I plan to use them in my sewing room to store some of my stash.  I was thinking maybe threads or fat quarters.  I love how delicate they are.

Vanuatu woven bags

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth.  Have you ever had a holiday that took a week to recover from? :)

Finding Fifth

Sunday Stash – a beautiful bouquet


Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there :)  It’s not an easy day for everyone, but I hope that whether you’re celebrating with your loved ones or thinking of those that you can’t be with, that you have a special day.

The closest I got to flowers was admiring this bouquet.
SS bouquet
I did spend some time photographing quilts which was fun :)
SS stack of quilts
Top to bottom: Colour Therapy, Kitchen Windows, not yet blogged, Rainbow I Spy

If you haven’t received anything for Mother’s Day yet Craftsy is having a sale on classes I’m thinking about Angela Walter’s FMQ class, I have her book (I reviewed it here) and love it.  I’d love to hear what you think of her class if you’ve taken it :)

Recently I went on a bit of voile and Art Gallery Fabric bender at Hawthorne Threads and Pink Chalk Fabrics.  How can one resist?  So soft an lovely!  I’ve used both for dress making before but I decided that I NEEDED to make a voile quilt.  But before I get onto the voile, this Sunday I want to share my new stash of Art Gallery Fabrics.  How can one resist these pretties?

I love Pat Bravo’s line Indie.  I’m slowly building a collection and happily added to it.  It’s getting harder to come by though but I’m resisting that urge to buy absolutely every yard I come across ;)
SS AGF Indie

Art Gallery Fabrics are so rich in colour and I find them to be so versatile, I’ve already used these two.

SS AGF more

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth.

Finding Fifth

Sunday Stash


I’m hoping that next Sunday I’ll have a lovely new stack of voile to share with you :)  This week I’m going to share the most recent stash mail that arrived from Pink Castle Fabrics.

Stash Stack Club Green

Green is not a colour a naturally favour and that’s why I love having a subscription to a monthly stash club (there are lots around now but I’m happy with Pink Castle so will stick with it for now).  I think this contour print from the fabulous Architextures range is possibly my favourite fat quarter this month!
stash stack green 1
Second favourite would have to be this small scale print.  I also have it in purple and orange and it is great for paper piecing!
stash stack green 2
I used the orange version here in my Lucky Stars BOM block.
lucky stars up to march
I have no idea what this print is but I can see it being used sometime soon.
stash club green 3

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash over at Kate Quilts today.  Have you added to your stash recently?  Do you have a stash club subscription, or one that you recommend?

Finding Fifth

Sunday Stash – confession time


This morning I decided it was time to spend a couple of gift vouchers that I received recently (thank you Quiet Play and Pink Chalk Fabrics!) I also decided that I needed to add to my stash of Art Gallery fabrics.  Then I decided to talk to the Wombat girls about how much I love Art Gallery and how I actually needed to place two orders.  It turns out that a few of the girls share my love so I decided to pull my Art Gallery stash and confess my addiction love to you all ;)  (And please let me know if I’ve misnamed any of the lines below, I did some from memory as some selvadges were missing.)

I love Pat Bravo’s line Indie and bought a few fat quarters from this collection awhile ago.  I’ve dipped into them a few times, but I would love to make something special with them.
indie bundle
Before I even really knew how wonderful Art Gallery is I bought some yardage from Hawthorne Threads that I thought would be nice for kid’s clothes.  These are from the Poetica range and I still have a fair amount of these left. Poetica is probably not quite me, but the pink blender is one of my favourite prints and I use it all the time (and I may have ordered more today LOL).
poetica yardage
Around the same time I bought two prints from the Paradise line, I would love to make a quilt based around the deep purple, but that’s in the distant future :)
Earlier this year I ordered from The Intrepid Thread for the first time and wanted to fill out the envelope and popped these two prints into my order.  I love the depths of the colour and I know these will be a good fit in a quilt
You might have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for Pink Castle Fabric‘s bundles.  Just before the US postage rates went through the roof earlier this year I bought this Art Gallery bundle and have added a few more Art Gallery prints that I already owned.
bundle plus yardage
I’m not sure if this selection is right yet, but it’s sitting on my cutting table waiting for me to make a decision and turn it into a quilt.  I think I’ll wait for the two orders that I placed this morning as I tried to select a few prints that would blend in well.
If you’ve never sewn with Art Gallery you may be wondering why I have collected so many prints.  The drape of the fabric is just beautiful, it is so soft and the colours are so vibrant.  They have some AMAZING designers working with them and their collections are spot on.
To be fair, whilst I love Art Gallery, I also adore Cloud 9 fabrics which are similarly soft and subtle.  Westminster Fabrics voile is also a favourite, for the same reasons as is Liberty of London but I only have enough pocket money to buy the occasional scrap bag of Liberty LOL
Do you have a fabric fabric?  Do you hoard collect a particular style or type of fabric?  I would love to hear your recommendations, a girl can never have enough prints to lust after LOL
I’m linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth.

Finding Fifth

Sunday Stash


Thanks so much to those of you who linked up with Sunday Stash when I hosted last week :)  Today I really wanted to blog about a quilt that I’m working on (that you will have seen if you follow me on Instagram) but it’s Sunday Stash so I’ll save that post for tomorrow :)

Earlier this week I sketched up a wall quilt with four different sections.  I’ve pieced three sections and decided that actually I think they should be separate pieces, I’ve completed work on one section (that I’ll share tomorrow) but the first section I started work on was this black and white improv piece.

BW improv top

I had a lot of fun with it although I’m not sure that it’s finished or if I will actually turn it into something.  I pulled all of my black fabric to work on this piece.  In my stash I store brown, grey and black together so it looks like I have a fairly sizeable stash.  In reality I don’t have too much that is really appropriate for a black and white piece.

sewing text print white

I bought the above piece a little while ago (from Pink Castle Fabrics I think) and like it so much I then bought it with white text on black.

sewing text print black

I think I prefer the white on black.  Either way it is a fun text print and I particularly like that it is quilting related.

close up quilt text print

I recently added this black and white text print as part of Alyce’s monthly Japanese fabric bundle.  I have it in one or two other colourways and I really like it.

sewing notion print

I have a small collection of sewing themed prints that I love but don’t use that often.  I might have to work on that… ;)

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth.

Finding Fifth

Fabric Selection


I’m a little late linking up with Sunday Stash this week, but I really wanted to because this coming Sunday I am hosting Sunday Stash :)  I hope some of you pop back to link up.  Sunday Stash is most often about fabric, sharing your latest fabric purchases.  However, it can also be about your favourite fabrics in your stash, or those special gifted or thrifted fabrics, you can also share other special stash items such as books or notions, it’s all about sharing :)

My stash is out of control at the moment and I’m on a buying ban (although I need to break that to buy some more wadding, that doesn’t count, right?) except for my monthly subscription to Pink Castle’s Stash Club.  I’ve spoken about how much I love their monthly packages and this is why:

brown stash

I almost never buy brown prints.  I’m not a brown girl, I can’t wear brown clothing, I rarely use brown in my sewing.  But it does have a place and this bundle is gorgeous.  Big win for me.

I also like buying bundles that someone else has put together, I’ve bought lovely blogger bundles from The Fat Quarter Shop, Pink Castle Fabrics, Pink Chalk Fabrics, scrap packs from Hawthorne Threads and bundles from The Intrepid Thread.  I never stick to the original bundle.  I find it is a great starting point or sometimes I completely break it up and don’t use any of the prints together.

I love reading the art of choosing series by Jeni over at In Color Order.  I try not to read it when I’m selecting fabrics because I find it slows me down, makes me question everything and invariably I cannot finalise a selection of fabrics for a project.  I do go back to it at regular intervals and read it, it has been really helpful for me in improving my ability to put together a nice array of fabrics.  On the off chance you haven’t seen it you should definitely pop over.

These fabrics started out as a bundle from Pink Castle. I removed a few prints, added some yellow and some blue.  Then added some more pints and a few blenders as well as a couple of solids.

pinks yellows blues

I played around a bit more.  Not trying to match the blues to each other, but checking to see if they work with each of the pinks and yellows.

checking blues

Whilst I thought I’d come up with something I liked I pulled some purples just to have another option and for comparison.

pinks purples blues

At this stage I think I’m happy with my selection. However I have a few more steps that I go through before finalising my selection.  Firstly I take my glasses off and see what the blur of colours looks like.  Then I photograph it and see if I like it in the more abstract mode on the computer.  If I’m still happy with it I walk away for half an hour and come back with fresh eyes.  I already have a design in mind for this quilt, a baby girl quilt to offset the baby boy quilt top I finished over the weekend.

final pink yellow blue

I’m always playing at putting together fabrics for quilts.  In fact I would say for every quilt I make I would put together 10 bundles that I think would work as a quilt.  This was my floor for a few days last week.

stash raid in progress

I ended up packing it all away but have kept three of these bundled, ready to go.  I really want to work with the prints below but there is something not quite right about it.  I haven’t been able to figure it out, so instead of make a quilt I don’t love, I’m sitting it aside for now.

not quite there

I am fairly certain I will turn the below prints into a twin quilt for a teenage girl (not that I know one, that’s just what I’m imagining LOL) but again, I wasn’t 100% certain on the fabric selection, so I have set it aside.

purples pinks yellows

When I was pulling all of these fabrics and putting together gorgeous girly hues I was actually meant to be pulling fabrics for a baby boy quilt for someone super special.  Just to prove to myself that I could put together some fun boy prints I came up with these.

boys selection

I went with the middle of the three options and came up with this quilt top.  The blocks are 6″ finished but they were a bit random, I fussy cut each of the robots individually and added the main prints.  I’m planning to do a heap of FMQ in the white sashing, I hope it comes together, right now it looks a little blah which is disheartening because it is for someone super special to me.  But I had fun pulling the fabrics and that’s what it’s all about right, enjoying the process and creating something useful and hopefully beautiful.

baby boy quilt top
Sorry for the poor lighting, we’re on pre-alert for a cyclone and the weather is windy,
grey and raining. Not great for quilt photos!

Do you have any tips for fabric selection?  Do you have a process you go through when coming up with the prints for your next quilt?  Do you have any tips on how best to build your stash?  I’m rather tardily linking up to Sunday Stash.  Please feel free to pop back later in the week and link up when I’m hosting :)

I’m very tardily linking up to Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth :)

Finding Fifth

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