Friday, 13 May 2016

Homeward Bound

 Recently I was fortunate enough to do a little bit of pattern testing. Usually it's the other way around and I'm sending out patterns for testing. It was a bit fun to be on the other end of the pattern, so to speak! My gorgeous friend Keera from Live Love Sew has just released 4 brand new patterns - and I got a sneak peek to test Homeward Bound.

Here's my version of the block:

I couldn't resist making a rainbow version with Alison Glass prints - and paired with the grey. Oh so pretty right?!

The centre I made with Ex Libris panels - which I just adore! It wasn't easy to cut them up - but I think it was worth it for how pretty it looks.

Then.  I had to add my newest obsession. Little hexies I've been making out of Sunprints (also by Alison Glass). I had quite a collection and it just seemed right to add them to this block.

The quilt block from Homeward Bound is quite large - 24" square. So I decided to add just a little bit, with the hexies and call it a finished lap quilt around 35" square. Perfect for my Miss 5 - nearly 6. She has quite a collection of quilts these days!

Here's how it finished up! I so love how the dark grey for the background makes the rainbow just sing! It's a nice little comfy quilt and the fun part is my gal helped me sort out the hexies and was involved in the layout. Always a bit special when you can work on something together!

Keera has just released this one as one of four new patterns last week - so now's your chance to nab a copy of Homeward Bound (in either PDF or paper version) and give it a try yourself! You can find Keera's blog and pattern shop here and on IG as @livelovesew.

Also anyone going to the Sydney Craft Fair at the end of June - let me know! Keera and I are meeting up, and also planning an IG meetup dinner one of the nights. We'd love to meet anyone else going along! Drop me an email if you're interested!

Happy sewing, quilty friends!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

New patterns released!

Hello lovely quilters!

I've been busily working behind the scenes of late to bring some new patterns to the Quiet Play shop. I've released three new patterns this week that I'm very excited about! It's been a busy week!

The most recent (and perhaps most anticipated?!) one is the large unicorn block! That's right - now you can make your very own 25" unicorn block. Because everyone needs a giant unicorn right?!

So I've done a little bit of tweaking with this pattern. Because it's so large, some of the pattern templates print over two pages. Because of this, and the difference in printing on A4 vs Letter size paper, I've done two versions of this pattern. In my Payhip shop, the files download at once (with A4 or Letter noted in the file name). In my Craftsy shop, they are listed separately so you need to look for the one that is the right paper preference for what you want. By having two versions of the pattern, I'm hoping this makes it easier when you print out the templates and tape them together!

And now for the other patterns! The geometric lowercase is ready now to join the uppercase version in my shops! I had a whole bunch of fabulous testers who helped out and made sure this one is all set! Hope you love it as much as I do!

And lastly (for now! Because you know I'm always dreaming up new patterns!), I have a new little helicopter pattern! My sister and brother in law are both helicopter pilots, so when they announced they were adding to the family, naturally I had to come up with a helicopter quilt design! So a new little helicopter in honour of my darling new little nephew!

 You can find these patterns all listed in my Craftsy shop or in my Payhip shop. A little heads up - if you nip over to my Payhip shop, I have a little sale going on where you can save 25% on all of my patterns. Just use code "QP25". Please note that the code ONLY works in the Payhip shop as Craftsy doesn't allow for coupon codes unfortunately. But hurry - code expires 3rd May!

If you make any of my patterns, I'd love to see! Feel free to share them on Instagram and tag me with @quietplay and #quietplaypatterns. Happy sewing!!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Rainbow Unicorn Quilt

My Miss 5 is soon turning 6 and naturally a birthday calls for a new quilt. Particularly as she's had the same quilt on her bed for *gasp* 3 years. It wasn't hard to decide what should feature on her quilt as she's a little bit unicorn obsessed. Preferably rainbow unicorn. So what's a rainbow-loving quilty mother to do but design a new unicorn pattern and use all her favourite rainbow prints to bring it to life!

(Please note, there are like a gazillion photos coming, but consider yourself lucky that I pared that back from a bazillion to a mere gazillion). 

Ah this does make my quilty heart sing. It's the biggest quilt I've made in some time and wasn't exactly fun to quilt, but so worth it. My Little Miss was involved in every step of making this quilt - from choosing fabrics, and helping decide on the layout. I love that she is so interested in what I make and do - and I'm hoping this means she'll love her quilt FOREVER. She better.

I used a mix of SunPrints from 2015 and 2016 for the unicorn's mane and tail - in colour order, naturally. I'll admit, I was pretty happy with how it was going at this point, but I felt it needed something else. So I had a bit of a play with my EQ7 sketch before I committed to anything more on the quilt block.

 Aha! It needed a wreath! Obviously! As you can see my original plan for the unicorn was one with much pink and purple - but my Little Miss had other ideas - and I think she was so right in choosing a rainbow theme!

So after deciding the unicorn needed a wreath - which would be too hard to piece,  and I don't like applique - I cracked out the old embroidery skills. I'll be the first to admit it's not perfect, but my daughter loves it. There are 6 flowers in each colour - because she's turning 6. Of course.

The next part of the plan was to add in more rainbow! My favourite Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis to the rescue! I just adore the bright happy colours of Blueberry Park and they play so nicely with SunPrints!

So with some lovely simple patchwork that shows off the prints beautifully, I added Blueberry Park Rainbow stripes to the top and bottom of the quilt. And while we're on this photo, let's briefly discuss the quilting. I'm no good at free motion quilting. For me, I like to show off the piecing and design more than the quilting as that's where my heart lies. So it was my standard straight line quilting (1" lines apart) to the rescue. I'm rather happy with it!

The backing is pure rainbow unicorn vomit. My daughter chose it at the shops and could not be talked into a more subtle rainbow stripe, or something with a white background. I tried, really I did. But it's her quilt, and it's the back.

So rainbow unicorn vomit it is. I actually kinda love it now. As you can see it wasn't quite big enough so I added some pink solid in - which formed a giant L. Appropriate as that's the first letter in my girl's name. Let's call it deliberate piecing. Uhuh.

We went off for a wander into the great Aussie bush to find a spot for photos. We braved itchy grass, kangaroo poo and potential snakes and ticks - but Miss 5 was very brave and keen for the adventure. She's responsible for the full length photos of the quilt - doesn't do a bad job does she!

A last few details! The block is a 25" square. I've decided to keep it at that size when I release the pattern in both my Craftsy shop and Payhip shop (which will be very soon). It's fairly detailed around the mane, so a bigger block makes it a little easier to piece. Final quilt size is 52" x 90".

So there you have it! A rainbow unicorn quilt for a rainbow loving, unicorn obsessed nearly 6 year old. I'm a bit in love and so is she. Now to wait for the next month until her birthday and we can actually put it on her bed!

Usual disclaimer: While I do not have direct paid sponsorship on my blog, I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive commission payments based on affiliate links that I may include within my blog posts. A girl's got to help fund her fabric addiction somehow ;)

Friday, 15 April 2016

Blueberry Feathers

You might notice that of late I've been rather obssessed with feathers. I don't quite know what it is - the shape, the look, but it's all just so pretty and appealing and I want to make like a million of them. So I did close to it. I made 28 feathers for one quilt. Because. Feathers.

All of the prints in this quilt are from Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis. There are 75 different colours and prints in the range and they are all absolutely gorgeous and stunning and every other superlative you can think of.  I used 52 of those gorgeous prints in this quilt.

I don't think it'd be any great leap for me to say that this line is one of my most favourite fabric lines ever. I use it in most all of my projects of late - I may be starting to run short...

Nor is it going out on a limb to say this may be one of my most favourite quilts I have made to date. All those pretty paper pieced feathers. All those pretty colours. All those gorgeous prints. What's not to love seriously?

I paired it with a geometric print for the backing - which just seemed to match so perfectly with the jewel tone feathers. Ah this makes my quilty heart sing.

I stuck with my tried and true straight line quilting. I quilted it with white thread with the lines 1/2" apart. It just seemed the perfect way to finish off this quilt.

You can find the paper pieced pattern for the feather on Craftsy or Payhip. There are two versions - a more complex one, and a simplified one. I used the simplifed version and then cut down the number of fabrics I used to just two fabrics per feather. This way I could show off all the pretty so much more easily!

The hardest part of this entire quilt? Taking photos. I had to bribe my children with ice cream to help me. They weren't the best help - in the end I held the quilt, my 5 year old snapped the photos. I think she did fairly well! Though just to prove that it didn't all go so smoothly, and because it's fun, here are some of the outtakes from the Blueberry Feathers photo shoot!

However I got some lovely photos of it, which I'm thrilled about as this lovely quilt now belongs to Karen Lewis herself (talk about pressure making the quilt for the designer of the stunning fabric!).

Ah so much pretty and happiness all in one photo. Quilty bliss.

Usual disclaimer: While I do not have direct paid sponsorship on my blog, I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive commission payments based on affiliate links that I may include within my blog posts. A girl's got to help fund her fabric addiction somehow ;)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Paper Piecing Tips

I've been paper piecing for a few years now, and I think there are little hints and tips that you pick up along the way. You know - the little things that make your paper piecing life just a tad bit easier. It seems like it's my duty as a paper piecing fanatic to share some of these with you! So here are a couple of things that will make your paper piecing less of a chore.

Stitch Length
Now we all know the basics - shorten your stitch length. I usually shorten mine down to 1.5 on my Bernina. Which is great for when it comes to tearing off the papers, but is a pain in the bum if you have to unpick it. If you do have a seam to sew that you're a bit worried about (like when joining sections or angles), whack that stitch length up to max, use it as a basting stitch and then see how your pieces line up. If it's all good, then you can resew it with the short stitch length. If it need unpicking, trust me, you'll be glad you used a longer stitch!

Piecing Angles
I've actually done a tutorial year ago about how I piece angles. It's still my go-to method for angles. You can always just get a large chunk of fabric and hope for the best, but I've found using this method is pretty accurate. You can see the tutorial here.

Joining Sections
Now I also have a tutorial for those new to paper piecing about joining the sections together (which you can see here).   But there's one thing I mentioned briefly, that I think deserves a bit more attention - and that's removing paper from the seam allowances as you join sections together.

You might be wondering why I'm making a song and dance about this - surely you can just remove the paper all at the end? Sure. You can. But. With this method, it's a lot easier and you're less likely to need tweezers to get the paper out of cross seams. Also your block lies flatter when your join the sections, less bulk, and it looks prettier. But the main bonus is it's easier at the end when you're removing the paper!

Here's one I prepared earlier! You can see I have joined sections together in this photo. I like to take the paper off as soon as I've stitched the two sections together (so I do it while I'm still at the sewing machine, photos are just on my cutting mat for a better background!).

Here's the seam allowance I'm talking about. To make it easier to tear off, fold it down first along the seam line, then tear it off.

You need to do this for both sides of the seam. So you'll end up with two skinny bits of paper torn off for each seam.

Here's how it looks when all the seam allowances are removed and the block has been ironed. You can see without the bulk in those seam allowances, the block lays quite flat.

But the best part of doing this as you go, is when you sew all the sections together, you don't have tiny bits of paper caught in the cross seam. Those are not fun to try to remove!

Hopefully these tips will help with your paper piecing. I know not everyone loves the process as much as I (and that's ok! Sometimes I like to regular piece too, believe it or not!), but these ought to make things go a little more smoothly and take some of the pain out of the technique!

And for the curious - this is the above block when it was finished. A little miniature Millennium Falcon, of course!

I've added miniature Star Wars patterns (5" blocks) into my Craftsy shop as a free download for fellow Star Wars fans ;) 

Good luck and happy paper piecing!

Usual disclaimer: While I do not have direct paid sponsorship on my blog, I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive commission payments based on affiliate links that I may include within my blog posts. A girl's got to help fund her fabric addiction somehow ;)

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Geo Geo Everywhere!

I don't think it's any kind of secret that I have a major geometric crush of late. You only have to look at my patterns over the last 6 months (or longer?!) to see proof of that. One of my favourites is the geometric sewing machine. I think it must also be a favourite of quilters as it's my best selling pattern!

So now I have big exciting news! It's been hard to keep this one a secret. I've teamed up with Patchwork Threads and you can now get a geometric sewing machine tshirt. Oh yes, you can declare your love of all things geometric AND sewing, all in one shirt! Woohoo!

Even better - right through til Thursday US time, you can pre-order this shirt and get a 20% discount. Just use the code "GEOSEW". Awesome right? Hurry though, not much time! Clicky clicky.

And because I like more pictures in my posts, here's a quick revisit of the two versions of this patttern I've made. A 16" mini quilt, and then a 5" mini mini version!

You can pick up this pattern in my Craftsy shop or Payhip shop so you can make your own version. If you're on IG and make it, I'd love to see. Tag it with #quietplaypatterns and #geometricsewingmachine so we can check it out!

Usual disclaimer: While I do not have direct paid sponsorship on my blog, I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive commission payments based on affiliate links that I may include within my blog posts. A girl's got to help fund her fabric addiction somehow ;)

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Nuts About Rainbows

A few months back, I saw sign ups open for a Rainbow Mini Quilt swap (hosted by @katebasti). Well. Rainbows. Mini Quilts. Really, how's a girl to say no to that? So I signed up faster than you can remember the colour order to "I Can Sing A Rainbow" (which could take awhile if you're like me - I always get the words wrong).

It was a secret swap - which is something I love. I get to put my stalking skills to good use and try to come up with something tailored just for my partner. That's seriously my favourite part about swaps. It's not about receiving goodies, or stalking the feed to try to guess which one will be mine... it's about pushing my skills to make something special for my swap partner.

This time round, it took me a few attempts but I came up with the perfect pattern for my partner - who now that she has received her mini - I can reveal was Fiona of Bendigo Lioness. She has a bit of a fondness for squirrels, so it seemed only natural that a squirrel pattern happen. And voila!

I dug into my precious Blueberry Park stash to make this little geometric squirrel. Seriously. I know I rabbit on about Blueberry Park - but it just makes the best rainbow. Add in some cross hatch quilting (you know how I love my straight line quilting!), and the perfect rainbow binding. I've had a few people ask about the binding - it was a random purchase at Walmart when I visited the US last year. So perfect for a rainbow swap!

Here's one of the sneak peeks that I shared - I was worried that it would be obvious what it was, but I think I managed to keep it secret!

If you're keen to make your own geometric squirrel, I have listed the pattern in my Craftsy shop. Look forward to seeing some secret or not so secret squirrel projects popping up!

Usual disclaimer: While I do not have direct paid sponsorship on my blog, I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive commission payments based on affiliate links that I may include within my blog posts. A girl's got to help fund her fabric addiction somehow ;)