Friday, December 19, 2014

Quilted Hexie Mug Rug

I joined the Festive Mug Rug Swap hosted by Gnome Angel last month and was inspired to try something different for this project. I love swaps for that reason - an excuse to make something and send some happy mail, and a chance to flex some creative muscle and try new techniques.

I love the aqua, red and white colour combination, and together with this tutorial from Modern Handcraft, I came up with this festive quilty good thing.

I have to confess that I was STOKED with the outcome. It's so pretty. The quilting is really striking and very easy to achieve by following the shape of the hexagons.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Swoon Block Mug Rug

A good friend of mine has recently started a new job and she was feeling a bit unsure about it all and told me that her office environment hadn't turned out to be as friendly as she'd hoped. I decided to do something to help make her workplace more inviting, so I made her this little mug rug to go on her desk.

I used the Mini Swoon block pattern by Camille Roskelly. I love her designs and all her quilts and fabric choices are consistently beautiful. In many Swoon blocks I've seen (do a pinterest search on Swoon quilts - there are LOADS), white is the most popular background so I decided to change it up and use an aqua solid.

I had a bit of trouble making this - it was my first time using the pattern. It's much more detailed than any block pattern I've sewn before and on such a small scale it's quite fiddly. I thought I'd made a bit of a mess of it once all the block elements were done, but spending some quality time with the seam ripper and trimming it up before sewing the block elements together salvaged it.

The feathers print is a recent purchase from my local Spotlight and the grey spot I bought online a few months back. I can never have too many polka dots!

The finished block is about 8" square but I added a small border before I quilted and bound it, so the finished mug rug is probably about 9". The quilting is minimal, just an outline around the star shape.

I'm kinda late to the party with the Swoon pattern, it's been popular for a few years now. That's fine - let's just call me fashionably late! It's good to get a pattern after it's well established, because I like to search around the internet and look at the different variations other quilters have made. It allows me to pick my fabric combo more carefully and identify things I like or things I would change.

I also bought a pretty mug and I remembered a conversation where she mentioned that her office has an Aldi coffee machine, so I picked up a pack of coffee pods for her as well. 

I'd love to make a whole quilt from these mini swoon blocks. They are just so pretty. I also purchased the original quilt pattern, the blocks are much larger, so maybe I'll start there and see how I go. 

I've made several mug rugs in this past month - I'll share another with you in the next post. I do love the quick finish and the possibilities are endless design wise. Quick quilty goodness!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Scrap Fabric Key Fobs

I've seen loads of those pretty key fobs around on Pinterest and decided that I wanted some! Why did I wait so long - making these took about 10 minutes and it is so much easier to find my keys at the bottom of my hand bag now!

They are pretty basic and next time I will probably use some scrap batting in between the fabric layers to give them a bit more oomph. I do really love them though - I can put my keys around my wrist and be hands free when I need to carry shopping or carry one of my kids!

You only need a really small amount of fabric for these - you'll have what you need in your scrap basket. I purchased this style of key fob hardware.

I folded my fabric in the same way I make binding then added quilting style stitches along the length of the fabric to secure it. Once I did that I folded the fabric strips and attached the hardware using a pair of pliers.

Super simple, practical and a great way to use up scraps. There are lots of tutorials around but Angie from Gnome Angel has this one which is really great.

Small projects like this are really great for getting the sewing mojo back if you are out of the habit, like me at the moment!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Summer Reading Recommendations

The warm weather is upon us, Christmas is almost here, so for Australians that means hitting the beach over the holidays. Beach holidays (or the summer holiday period in general) always means lots of reading.

Need a good book? I've got you covered. These are my can't put it down, page turning favourites. If you haven't read these yet RUN DON'T WALK.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I don't know how to describe this book, only to say that once I picked it up I pretty much ignored my husband on our holiday in Bali until I finished it. Set in post WW2 Britain, a writer discovers the story of the locals living in the formerly German occupied island of Guernsey through a series of correspondence with locals. Read it if you haven't already. JUST DO IT. Seriously. I haven't read it since 2010 and I've been meaning to read it again soon so it will definitely be a summer read for me this year.

You'll like this if you liked The Book Thief and Unbroken.

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