Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Letters from Australia – a top!

A little while back I saw a blog hop featuring the ‘Bush Gum Blossoms’ line from Amanda Brandl Designs

Amanda specialises in Australiana fabrics and her designs feature Australian birds, animals and plants. 

This line reminded me of the May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series of kid’s stories from my childhood and I’m a sucker for my own personal nostalgia so promptly bought a fat quarter bundle.

When I was rummaging through my stash to see what else might work with it I came across a yard of chocolate brown solid and a charcoal text print and went to work to make the You’ve Got Mail quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

The tutorial shows how to make it using a layer cake and there is a charm pack version as well, Love Notes.

The quilt top finishes at 40 by 48 inches and is made up of 4 inch finished half square triangle units. 

Finally, in an already photo heavy post - the real thing.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

June 2018 Bee Block Round-up

I have two blocks to show you this month for  Bee Inspired since I didn’t post a block round-up last month. First up this month’s queen is Jen from A Dream and a Stitch. She asked us to choose a block to make up in tertiary colours that she can turn into a mini. When I posted my Stash Bee Geese Trails block from Piece and Press for March on Instagram Jen said it was on her list of makes. I know my own list is huge and it rarely stays the same between morning and night so I made her one. I used a different pattern this time around, the Circle of Geese from Piece by Number, and increased the size by 133% so that it turns out at 16” finished. I wasn’t intentionally going to place the geese in rainbow order and that’s just as well because somehow the plan I did have went awry anyway.

The second block from last month is for Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery. It’s a cake block from a free pattern by Patty Sloniger (link to download page here). Velda wanted us to make our favourite cake and for me the most important ingredient is chocolate. My other inspiration was an ex-work mate who likes to cook and always says he makes his dishes with love (somehow he makes it sound slightly unsavoury) so I put some love in as well with the printed heart fabric. I’m calling it as red velvet cake with a chocolate Smarties frosting, giving me a good excuse to buy Smarties for photo styling!

And in Stash Bee Em from Moonlight Sewing asked us to make improv single colour squares with a couple of strips of the adjacent colour on the colour wheel, then add white triangles to the side and add the central colour to the corners (tutorial here). I definitely prefer the efficiencies of a planned block but I love the way this turned out, it’s so citrusy!

Happy sewing

Linking up to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Curated Quilts: Flapping of Butterfly Wings (a finish)

Improv is not really my thing so when the latest Curated Quilts Mini Challenge was announced I thought I was going to sit it out. The theme is ‘Connections’ and like a dog with a bone I kept trying to brain storm ideas. Eventually I came up with this idea: in chaos theory small events can make big differences in outcomes and a common analogy is the connection between the flapping of a butterfly’s wings and the occurrence of a tornado.

That off centre section in the navy background is my attempt at a cyclone/ hurricane/ typhoon symbol. 

Note, also, that like a real meteorological map my quilted spirals are closer and more organic around the cyclone symbol? That wasn’t exactly intentional but more a product of the difficulty of quilting a tight circle. It gets better as it goes further out and the circles are larger.

The challenge colours are yellow, mustard yellow, navy, cream, grey and moss green. I made a moss green butterfly as well but I couldn’t fit it back into the mini within the size limitations I set myself. Finished size is 10 ¾ inch square.

I’m trying to keep track of the issue with Blogger and comment notification but so far there has been no fix and time marches on. They say they are working on it but in the meantime I won’t be able to reply – my apologies, it’s one of the best parts of blogging.

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Regatta Cushion – a finish (with faux binding)!

It’s taken me a ridiculously long while, but I have finally finished my Regatta Quilt Along project – this cushion.

I wrote about it when I finished the top back in early February. The QAL is being held by Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us. This is a Quilt Along with a start date but no set finish, so you can pick it up whenever you like throughout the year. I decided on a seaside inspired cushion, so I downsized the pattern by making the strips only 1 inch wide finished and reducing the number. I love the stripe variation this pattern gives. The free pattern is by Block M Quilts and is available here. You can see a number of different versions on Instagram here (you don’t need to sign up to see them).

I took these photos on a bit of a dull day (finally some much needed rain) so I wasn’t sure if the lighting was going to be okay in them. As it turned out they were all fine so now I have a lot of photos of a cushion in various spots around my house, that probably definitely look extremely similar.

Except this one. I made an envelope backing (my favourite method) and used a faux binding. In this shot you can see the seam where the front and back meet.

And you can see in the others that I added a border around the central block after quilting and before trimming (yes, there is batting in there and you could definitely quilt it if you wanted to). I made the border size wider than I would ordinarily end up with if I was binding it, from memory I think it is ½ inch finished. The backing is sewn right sides together to the front section and then turned right sides out before stitching in the ditch.

Finished size is to fit a 16-inch square insert.

Happy sewing

I think this qualifies for UFO busting with Tish

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Pantone Challenge 2018 Neighborhood Quilt – a top!

This is the third year I’ve entered the Pantone Color of the Year quilt challenge (other posts are here and here) and I admit to being a big fan of the process.

Putting a quilt together using a colour you wouldn’t ordinarily choose is often a stretch but I’ve always been surprised at how much I like the finished result.

This year’s is no exception. I used the Neighborhood pattern from Elizabeth Hartman’s book Modern Patchwork.

It feels good to actually make something from the books on my bookshelf for a change and I will definitely attempt to do more of it, since I’ve got a stack of them.

I had the quilt magnetted (is that a word?) to the shed for at least half a day while I waited to see if the light would be just right for the photos. Eventually my patience was rewarded but I kind of like the ones with the dappled light playing on them too.

I was hoping that this quilt would suit my sewing room as a wall hanging so I taped it up on the wall and, yep, it got the big tick of approval. The quilt top finishes at 45 inches by 60 and is now placed somewhere amongst the others waiting to be quilted.

Many thanks to Sarah and Rebecca of No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts for making this possible. To assist in putting me into the right prize category - I'm in Australia.

Once the link up closes you get a chance to vote for your favourites so head over and have a look!

Happy sewing


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

10-inch Toadstool Tutorial

This month I’m queen in Stash Bee and we’re making a toadstool block. I figured I might as well share the tutorial here as well.

The block has been tweaked – up scaled, turned into a square, simplified slightly, and the tiny HST units have been removed (you’re welcome) – from this tutorial by I am LunaSol. It turns out that it now looks very similar to this block by Patty Sloniger. When I couldn’t find the pattern in her shop I checked with her and she has given her consent to me using it so long as I let you know that she came up with it first. I’m more than happy with that!
I’ve chosen a red and white print for the toadstool top, low volume prints for the background, a mid grey print for the stem and a pale grey print for the gills.


From the toadstool top fabric
          Cut one rectangle 5 ½” x 10 ½”
          Cut two 1 ½” squares

From the gills section fabric
Cut one 1 ½” x 10 ½” rectangle

From the stem fabric
          Cut one rectangle 4 ½” x 3”

From the background fabric
Cut two rectangles 4 ½” x 4 ¼”
Cut two 3 ½” squares


Mark the diagonals on the two background squares and the toadstool top fabric squares
Line the background squares up in the corner of the toadstool top rectangle so the line cuts across the corner, and the same for the toadstool top squares on the gills section rectangle. Stitch along the marked line. Trim ¼” from the stitched line and press.

Stitch the two background rectangles to either side of the stem fabric rectangle. Stitch the three sections together to form a toadstool.

And we’re done!

If you make any of these I would love to see them! Tag me on Instagram @sevenoaksstreetquilts or #10inchtoadstool or email me.

I’ll be linking this up to Cheryl’s (Meadow Mist Designs) and Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) bi-yearly tutorial link up.

In the meantime, I’m linking up to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

April 2018 Block Round-up

I’ve made a start on my Pantone Color of the Year challenge quilt. This year’s colour is Ultra-Violet. I decided I was going to make a mini quilt with a few blocks from the Neighborhood quilt pattern from Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth HartmanI love love love the way these blocks are looking so I’ve decided to make the full quilt which means making another 8 and maybe not getting it quilted in time. No problem since there is a “tops only” section. Anyone else thinking of entering? There are famous judges and lots of prizes. It’s possible to win a prize just for turning up and entering and I have my fingers crossed for one of them. All the details are on posts at No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts. There’s still a few weeks left to whip something up.

Bee blocks for this month are all about foundation paper piecing. The April  Stash Bee block was chosen by this month’s queen Rochelle (@mcallisterwench). She picked the Global Concepts block by Julie Hirt done in three shades of pink and a black and white print. The pattern for this block and 12 others in a series are available for free from Craftsy. I tried my hardest to match the seams but all I managed was a 1 in 4 success rate, the others are okay… Rochelle asked for the sections to be kept apart so she can decide whether to make it scrappy or not so I get to fool around – I like this setting that I'm guessing is the secondary pattern      (v)

Rochelle gave us plenty of wiggle room with her cutting instructions which I appreciated when I came to sew it, although it was a bit of a fabric eater. Having said that, part of me is overjoyed since I downloaded the Stash Shrinker spreadsheet from Sewjourners a few weeks ago after seeing it on a Hyacinth Designs post. I have set it up to shrink my stash at a rate of 2x (2x is the default) and it’s enormous fun to add the sewn fabric in and see it add up. You don’t need to count how much you’ve already got you just need to use twice as much as you buy and you still get to buy fabric along the way!

Emily from The Darling Dogwood is this month’s queen in Bee Inspired. She asked us to make foundation paper pieced stars using this pattern from fellow Aussie Wombat Quilts in blue and red on a white background. Finished size is 8 inches. I decided to use two blue fabrics for the star and luckily there was a bit of chat in our Facebook group about potential hazards so I was able to make sure to avoid placement problems.

Finally, I just wanted to let you know that my Curated Quilts mini is part of the gallery in the latest magazine about Minimalism. I was surprised to be selected, in fact I was just about to start using it as a pot plant mat when the email arrived, and I kept expecting them to let me know that they’d changed their mind once it arrived in their office. But no.

I even spotted it hanging in their booth at Quiltcon on Instagram (see the arrow on the bottom row?), which was thrilling and if I never get a quilt into the actual show it is something I can count as having been sort of ticked off my bucket list. It was totally worth entering this challenge, especially since there’s a complimentary copy of the magazine on it’s way. That’s a valuable gift once exchange rates and postage to Australia is added so I’m definitely going to be doing another one!

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

March 2018 Bee Block Round-up

The March Stash Bee queen is Jen (@jentexas). She picked the paper-pieced Geese Trails block from Piece and Press. She asked for blue or grey background and a transition across the geese colours. We could decide on the layout and the number of sections with geese in them ourselves. I decided to use a blue grey and transitioned my geese from coral to orange to melon and back to coral again. That was the idea anyway, I think it worked. It’s a great looking block but there are loads of seams.

This month we have two queens in Bee Inspired. First to post was Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter who designed her own shamrock block which will be the border for the quilt we made blocks for last year. Her tutorial is here. Unfinished size is 4 ½  inches.

And on the other throne is Paige at Quilted Blooms who asked for a rectangular teenage version of the I Spy block for a charity quilt. You can find the tutorial here. These were quick and easy to put together.  I suppose I could have used my Dr Suess fabric again, but I resisted. I found these alternatives that I think will be fine for a teenager.

And after two months in a row of requests for the use of novelty fabric in bee blocks I’ve bitten the bullet and bought a couple of fabrics that have a bit of novelty value and appeal to me without being especially juvenile. Here’s one. Cup of tea anyone?

I hope you took it easy with the buns and chocolate, I didn't. Happy sewing

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Modern Plus Signs book hop ++ Celestial ++

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Modern Plus Signs book hop. I’m Sue and I live in Perth, Western Australia. You’ll see no snow covered landscapes here, since we are just heading into autumn J.

I first met Paige (QuiltedBlooms) and Cheryl (Meadow Mist Quilt Designs) through the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop, although I was already a keen follower of their blogs, and I was thrilled to be offered the chance to participate in this book hop.

This quilt is Celestial. I love the way it looks on a bed with its random minimal smattering of plusses.

In the version in the book which  graces the cover as well, this quilt is made using a dark blue background and print plusses. I really like the use of prints.

Mine was made using Moda Bella solid 'Etchings Stone' for the background and a variety of other solids from my stash for the plusses.

I’ve used 9 blocks to make a 72” square version and quilted it with a simple grid two inches apart. 

It gives great texture and it made sense to use the seam lines as a quilting guide.

The book is a must-have if you are a fan of the plus block. Patterns range from modern and minimalist through to a more modern traditional look and techniques include pieced, foundation paper-pieced and applique. You are sure to find more than one quilt to put on your to-do list, I certainly have. 

The book is divided into sections according to project size and one feature that I really like is the thumbnail photos on the contents page. It makes it so much easier to find which project you’re looking for.

I came across an old, short, timber A-frame ladder in a second-hand shop a few weeks ago and, in my pursuit of the better quilt photo shoot, bought it. I’ve dragged my very on-trend mother-in-law’s tongue plant inside too. 

The book on the side table with the suffering and bedraggled maidenhair fern is Home Comforts – a book written by someone whose hobby is housework (a hilarious thought!). It makes a good prop. Buy Modern Plus Signs instead you'll be glad you did! 

Signed copies of Modern Plus Sign Quilts can be purchased at here:

Meadow Mist Design  Etsy Shop
Quilted Blooms  Etsy Shop

And digital and print versions from

Modern Plus Sign Quilts (C&T Publishing)

Thanks for visiting and make sure you check out the other stops for a look at different versions of all 16 patterns in the book. 

Here's the complete Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop schedule:

Monday, March 12th 

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelly @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! Quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey Day Quilts
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey Day Quilts
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ TheDarling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's LifeSampler
Karen @ Tu-NaQuilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From my Carolina Home
Alison @ LittleBunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms