Friday, February 27, 2015

Spike The Echidna Cushion

I know this pattern is called Hazel the Hedgehog...but being Australian my kids are not too familiar with hedgehogs. As soon as the block was finished they named her 'Spike the Echidna' and it stuck!

When Angie from Gnome Angel announced that she was hosting a Hazel Quilt-A-Long using Elizabeth Hartman's pattern during February I decided to join in. This year I am making a point of trying new things and participating in more sewing events. It's a good way to push myself and try new things, and also join in and connect with the online sewing community.

I started off with just one block and it took some time. I love this orange leaf print and knew it would be perfect for Spike's spines. The leaves give it some additional pointiness (is that even a word?) and then I went for solids for the body and a low volume grey spot for the background. Despite the accuracy of the block, it's not paper pieced. (making it more appealing for me!)

I knew that making a series of these blocks for a quilt would be too much right now, so I decided upon a cushion. First I added more of the background fabric to make the block large 16" x 16".  I basted it and I used my hera marker (a little device that draws a crease into projects rather than a pencil or pen mark) to draw up a simple criss cross (Kriss Kross - jump jump!)* design for the quilting and I quilted in a pale grey thread.

Finally I bound the cushion (my first time binding a cushion!) with the same fabric as the spines. It finished it really nicely as I didn't want to add any other colour.

The back keeps the colour scheme but I used a grey with larger white polka dots that I had floating around in my stash. To conceal the zipper I used this tutorial by Ms Midge.

Spike was very quickly claimed by Anna and now has a happy life living as a feature cushion on her bed next to her pet pillows!

Make sure you pop over and check out all the other variations of Hazel from the QAL over at Gnome Angel's link party!

*yep I was a teenager in the 90s and now that song is stuck in my head.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How To Host A Successful Craft Swap

I've noticed lately that there has been an explosion in the number of craft swaps hosted by bloggers, particularly on instagram.

I've hosted The Sweet Pouch Swap several times now over the past couple of years and have built up some experience about what works well and what doesn't.

If you are considering hosting  a swap of your own, these tips might be helpful for you!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Raspberry Kiss Cushion

Could this be one of favourite projects EVER? Yes I think so!

As you might remember from this post, I found a gorgeous mini quilt on pinterest that used these blocks. After some detective work I discovered the maker and followed her information over to the Raspberry Kiss block tutorial by Wooden Spoon Quilts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What is Fussy Cutting?

Some feedback I've been getting lately is that many people who read here are beginners or intermediate beginners. {Welcome! *waves hello*} Knowing that I've decided that every now and then I'll write a blog post based on simple skills that can really take your quilting and sewing projects to the next level.

Confession. When I first started sewing I had to google "what is fussy cutting" and I wish someone had written this blog post for me!

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