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I found a lovely new space via Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts – who is rejoining the bloggy world after she thought she was finished – so glad she’s back!!  I’ve followed her blog for a few years now, and have learnt sooo much from her about quilting.  She’s been blogging for about 3 1/2 years, and she has provided a wealth of inspiration and guidance for the quilting world!

She’s recently posted her latest bird quilt, which is stunning, as usual.  If you look at the picture she’s posted, you’ll notice little birds hanging from her chandelier – perfectly matching the quilted theme – and you’ll also find a link to the bird pdf pattern in her post.  Well…I clicked and was taken to the world of Spool, a lovely place that reminds me a bit of Purl in Philadelphia…instead of New York.

Spool Sewing boasts a blog, online shop, and a schedule of classes at their base in Philadelphia.  There are several freebies in their bloggy section – so go take a look!

I am joining the Pattern Challenge over at Come and See the Seitz and my first goal is to craft the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap for a few of my friends with little squirts around the house!  If you haven’t been to see Meg over at Sew Liberated, I would pop by now and enjoy her many-faceted blog – including topics like simple and green living, Montessori approach, and sewing…  Pick up your own copy of the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap Pattern to stitch up for all the little lovelies in your life.  And see a few more sweet pics of her darling son Finn sporting said cap:

Sweet Pea Pilot Cap, photo via Meg at Sew Liberated

moda love quilt

I found a new toy tool!!  Its a project creator that lets you choose your favourite Moda fabrics and patterns and put them together into a visual masterpiece {like the above}!  Its sooo great!  I know its probably a ploy to get me to show Moda more love…but…well…its working!!  I am such a sucker for visual aids!  I don’t have any quilting software {and don’t plan to anytime soon} so this is really great!  I have such a hard time figuring which colours will work from different fabric lines when looking online.  So, there we go!  Go on over to Moda Fabric Matcher to start your own little project folder…and have fun!!

{As you can see, I’ve squeezed in a little turquoise here and there…ok…so I’m a little attached to that particular shade…so sue me…!}

Cheery patchwork pillow

I have been having so much fun making pillow covers! I use a mixture of thrifted and new fabrics {I love mixing old with new} and each is a little different, but very comfy!  There is something satisfying in making a pillow cover…  Something about an empty shell of fabric being plumped to fullness with a squishy softness!  My Man likes them too {always good}.  We both like soft cuddly things over here!

In other news, I have been learning Swahili {slowly} and this morning was very funny as my Man put on his generic ‘African’ voice and spoke nothing but Swahili to me as I got ready for the day…  Yeah, my most productive part of the day is the morning, but I still can’t keep up with him…!  {The giggling probably doesn’t help…}  Oh well, at least I have another year or so to learn all I can…before I am surrounded by Tanzanian folk…!  Hakuna matata!

Thrifted book envelope

Here’s a peek into what I have been sewing up lately!  This is an envelope taken from a vintage book called ‘The Everyday Game Book’!  The text is so fun and festive, it would be great for party invitations! I especially like the stitching – everything is better with a little stitching… I think I’ll use this design for my Christmas cards this year – a great companion to this, I’d say!  Fun +frugal!

Looks like a fun game!

In fact I have a fresh bundle of 6 envelopes to give away if I have any takers!  Just leave a comment with a link to your blog {if you have one} and I will select, at random, a winner to have these little gems!  I will close the giveaway by announcing a winner when I wake up on Wednesday morning about 8 am UK time, Tuesday at midnight US pacific time.

Pinwheel quilt

Well, the quilt I am posting for Park City Girl’s Quilt Festival is about to fly this nest to live with another family…  Its amazing how attached you become to your labours of love…oh, where’s my hanky?…sniff..sniff. ; )  I’ve had a brilliant time sourcing materials, choosing patterns, piecing and quilting this baby sized quilt for a colleague’s first baby.  I have learnt so much through the process, and I am so glad!

For this quilt I sourced all of my fabric online from Sew Mama Sew and had it flown over from the States {to my home in England} with my family’s luggage when they visited this summer.  While I love each and every fabric I selected – not to mention the great service at Sew Mama Sew – I learnt that I prefer to choose my fabrics in person, rather than online.  I am learning that I am at my best creatively when I can use my senses intuitively – especially touch.  It is exciting to see my creative process develop more and more…

Label

I followed a specific pattern for this one, and I was very glad I did.  Being relatively new to the quilting scene, I felt it gave me foundational principles {i.e. machine stippling, colour-work, etc.} and expanded my knowledge of what works – which is always good!  These foundations give me the confidence to brave my own designs and bring in the organic creativity that I so love in all my crafting!

DuckiesI guess the thing I loved most about this quilt is that it was made for a fellow wife who also has a cross-cultural marriage {she is Finnish + he is English} and is, for the moment, raising her first child in a country that isn’t her home and in a language she continues to learn.  Being in an American/English marriage, myself, and living in a country I didn’t grow up in, we have a connection even though we have nearly nothing in common culturally.  We understand each other.  And it makes me happy that through the everyday challenges of living and being married cross-culturally we can encourage each other through the differences we share together.  And I think this quilt is my way of giving a little piece of ‘home’ while she’s in this strange place called England.

Behind every quilt is a story!  To see more quilts and some of the amazing stories behind them, click on the Park City Girl’s Quilt Festival button at the sidebar.  And grab a box of tissues – you’ll be in tears as you hear these people’s stories! Enjoy!

spring frock in full

I just finished this dress this morning…and soon it will be in the wash getting all comfy and broken in!  I upcycled a curtain because I really liked the feel of the fabric and wanted to try out the design on a woven rather than a knit…  I made a tie to go around the gathering as well, although I haven’t got it pictured here.  I really like the way it turned out, and will undoubtedly be wearing it around anywhere I can…!  See more detail at my flickr

Home from the nice Bank Holiday weekend away at Hubby’s parents’ house… Now on to create and sew… I have so many ideas ~ excited to get them under way!

Now for some home~grown inspiration to get my juices flowing:

light through glass

light through glass

pink calm

pink calm

There is something remarkable about woven textiles. Something in the feel of the individual strands of a linen that reminds you that its functionality is a result of uniquely created pieces brought together to make a whole. Ahh yes. Now what shall I do with these leftovers…?

woven

woven

linen inspiration: i heart linen

Picnic blanket preview

I started this little lovey a few days ago because it was on my list of a million things to do before we leave the country to Burkina Faso for July…and then host my family flying in from the States for a couple weeks in August.  I just thought it would be nice to have something to sit on in the hot English August days as we slurp down that juicy watermelon California style!  {Hey, I can dream right?}

While I wasn’t too particular about the colour combos on this one, but more the practicality of her getting all dirty in the fresh-cut grass, I do really like the effect overall and can’t wait to try my hand at some free-motion quilting on my Silver Sewer!  For a great tutorial on a rock-pocket picnic blanket, check out this one by Erin at House on Hill Road for clear and charming instructions.  Thanks Erin!

Our Little Family

today at the nest

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Pattern Challenge