Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sunday Stash #133 - Lost & Won

The goodies just keep rolling in! (Maybe that's because I just keep buying them?!) I promise they are not going to waste though. I'm on this new kick to make the greatest effort to use the things that I buy rather than just stashing them. I've got a closet full of fabric that has been stashed for another day, and I feel so guilty for those poor fabrics. There are some good ones hiding away in there, and they will get their turn, if I have to quilt until I'm 87. The thought of that is both terrifying and hilarious! 

So this week let me show you how I lost and won at this scenario. I bought these four fat quarters at my LQS, The Remnant Warehouse, during BOGO Free Fridays a couple of weeks ago. I'm not really sure what they are, but don't they look pretty together? I was having a downer day and needed a little pick me up--fabric always seems to do the trick. Loser part: I haven't used them yet, and I'm not really sure how why when or where. Buying them did make me feel better though, so that's surely worth the twelve dollars I spent! (Cheaper than therapy, or a bottle of vodka, that's for damn sure!)

Conversely, I'm totally winning with this thread. I bought this Wonderfil from the Tutti variegated range called Citrus at the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair. It's a blend of yellow, white, lime, and let's call it, um, burnt lemon. And how am I winning? Well, you may notice that isn't even a full spool, and no, I didn't get ripped off. You see, I started free motion quilting my I Sleep On the Bottom Bunk quilt! This is the first full quilt I've FMQ-ed myself, and while it's not perfect, I am rocking it harder than Debbie Harry's bangs. Y'all know I would normally use Aurifil, but they didn't have a similar enough colour way. (Sorry, Alex!) I find this 50 wt a bit heavier than the Aurifil 50 wt, but so far no major dramas. I'll keep you posted.

The other bit of hot news, is this week's winner of the Fabric Floozy Giveaway sponsored by Sydney shop, Material Obsession. This is one of my new fave places which is why it is too dangerous to visit often! Mr. Sparkles randomly picked kerrlamb to receive the 2.5m KM Studio for Free Spirit fabric bundle.

I didn't manage to get another sponsor lined up this week for a Fabric Floozy Giveaway, but I'll endeavour to do so next week. If you are a shop owner and want to play along, feel free to give me a shout! Otherwise, make sure you've got me on the 'Gram at molli_sparkles to always know what the latest uppity up is!

Friday, 3 July 2015

TGIFF - Passing Notes In Class

Passing Notes In Class, that's what this is all about. It's a quilt of secrets and hidden treasures that can only be deciphered by the sender and the recipient. I started it nearly a year ago, and it has brought joy, frustration, knowledge and loop de loop craziness to the extreme. I'm starting to think my quilts are like my children, and this one I just couldn't kick out of my house. That's probably because of its intense personal nature, as an open letter to my younger brother in Oklahoma and all that history. But mama, eventually even the kids has gots to go! I know you can feel that! I won't take you through a full tour of the quilt, block by block, as I did most of that when unveiling the quilt top. However, below you'll find plenty of photos to give you the full Molli experience, and hopefully some inspiration when you embark on your own t-shirt quilt (it will happen).

This quilt is non-transferable.

These transitional flying geese are probably my favourite part of the quilt.

Autumn in Oklahoma is when football season starts.

The science corner with fussy cut atoms, a spinning churn dash, constellations, algebra, levers and fulcrums.

Orange and black, green and purple: work that colour wheel!

Easier said than done, right?

I need to make some rainbow tornadoes!

The oversized hexagon quilting is a sly nod to athletics while also maintaining the masculine vibe.

This quilt should come with a secret decoder ring.

Title: Passing Notes In Class
Size: 92" x 95"
Pattern: Improvisation by Molli Sparkles
Fabric: t-shirts and various quilting cottons
Piecing: t-shirts interfaced with Pellon featherweight, blocks pieced with 273 partial seams
Quilting: Hexagons 4" by Gemma "Pretty Bobbins" Jackson, Matilda's Own bamboo batting
Binding: Comma, hand stitched with Aurifil 40wt, colour 2620 Stainless Steel
Backing: Widescreen in Flame by Carolyn Friedlander
Favourite Part: My most personal quilt to date.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

V Hair

Yes, V Hair you get your very own blog post. My delicate sensibilities are racing with all the possibilities of what that "V" stands for!? But girl, you are a no-reply blogger and it is bugging the shit out of me so I can't even ask ya proper. You're also leaving some fierce comments, and I just want to be able to holla back. Please fix yourself so I can stop crying and wipe this glittery mess off my face. Thanks, love you, bye!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair 2015 - My Faves

Oh man! What a great time I had last weekend at the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair! I saw familiar faces, met beautiful new ones, took lots of #selfiewithsparkle, purchased way too much but not enough, and shared the gospel of Juki to the masses. The five days were full to the brim, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you so much to Sewing Machine Warehouse for the great company and letting me show my quilts in their booth. They're the official NSW distributor for Juki, so if you haven't got yours yet, you're totally missing the party.

The actual quilt show this year was phenomenal. There were many styles represented, with half of the show dedicated to a special red and white quilt challenge. Below are just some of the amazing quilts I had the opportunity to witness. These would all be on "My Faves" list! As I took my last photo, and was walking out of the quilt show area, I saw a sign that read something like, "Photos are for personal use only. Do not post online without the permission of the artist." Oh.

Are you kidding me? You have to know I'm all about artists getting due credit for their work (obvs), but we live in the land of social media. GET. ON. BOARD. What then frustrated me even more by this request, was that there was no contact information on the artist's cards. So this week I contacted about a dozen quilters by tracking them down on Facebook, Instagram, and Google to ask permission. The ones that returned my call, "Hi, it's Molli..." all gave a resounding "YES!" However, most I couldn't find, didn't respond, or I got exhausted and didn't ask. So I'm bracing for the quilt gods to strike me down, but I'm posting the photos anyway--Photoshopped together with their artist card. I hope this shows I have done due diligence to give credit where credit is due. (I could have made a quilt in the time it took me to Photoshop all those images!) If any artist sees this and would like me to remove their quilt image, I am more than happy to oblige. For those that couldn't make it to Sydney this year, I hope this allows you to enjoy the show!

(Bob James is a male quilter extraordinaire!)

(did not have an artist card)

(Terry Minchinton is another male quilter!)

Besides all the quilts, it was such a highlight to see so many friends show up! This crew really made the day shine, and I wish I got to spend more time with them on a regular basis. They definitely deserve a space on "My Faves" list as well!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday Stash #132 - You'd Betta Ruler Work & Fabric Floozy Giveaway

While at the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair last weekend, it is safe to say I may have picked up a few things. Being surrounded by quilt enablers and their wares for five days is prone to leave one helpless, especially a fabric floozy like me (giveaway at end of post)! Some things were gifted (swag: woop! woop!), while some were purchased (bank account: boo!), but if you know me at all, you know I'll be telling you the Truth Tea all the way home. 

Before I even set foot at the show, I had a HRT Bloc_loc ruler on my shopping list. I have some secret sewing to do that this little piece of plastic heaven should totally assist with. I love me some HRTs, but damn if they aren't an inconsistent lot. Just a small cut to the left seems to always give me a gaping hole on the right, if you know what I mean!

While I was visiting with the Bloc_loc team they somehow convinced me I needed to buy the Drunkard's Path Bloc_loc and the Triangle In a Square Bloc_loc. They are a crafty (literally) bunch! I've never made a Drunkard's Path block so maybe this will get me started. I just finished paper piecing a whole bunch of Triangle In a Square blocks like two days before the show, so the latter set felt like it was meant to be. Once I give it a whirl I'll report back with my preferred method. 

The other person I had the pleasure of meeting at the show was Bill West from Westalee Design. We were standing around talking about the Juki and he mentioned he had a high shank foot that was designed for ruler quilting work. This static foot has a thicker circular plate which allows you to guide it along a similarly thick, quilting ruler. I'm sure that is all of the correct quilting terminology!

Bill also hooked me up with some of the quilting rulers so I can start exploring other options when I want to do the quilting myself. (Long armers of the world, don't be scared, I'll still be sending you my quilts for quite a while!) I'm not exactly sure how I'll get on with this, but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot for the sake of quilting humanity.

These both aid in quilting circular motifs, but they'll probably be running circles around me for a while! Okay, I promise, right here and now, I'll try one of them out on my next cushion. Then if that cushion doesn't work out, I'll just pretend it never happened and we'll never speak of it again. We'll call it creative editing!

So I obviously have a lot of cutting and stitching to do now! Trust me, there's a lot going on behind the scenes around here--secret sewing, and now even secret writing! I'll tell you about some of that later, but now, let's get into our Fabric Floozy Giveaway! Last week Gold Coast shop, Fifi's Fabricology (IG: fifisfabricology) offered up a full pre-cut Drunkard's Path quilt kit for following us on Instagram. Mr. Sparkles chose a random winner, LittleLollyQuilts: Congratulations!

But this week, we're taking things up a notch! Material Obsession in Sydney has been totally crushing on this new fabric range Byzantium by KM Studio for Free Spirit Fabrics. They even got me to fall for some KM Studio back in Sunday Stash #130. So now they want to give one lucky AU/NZ reader a 2.5 metre fabric bundle worth $60.00 to share the love!

To enter, open that Instagram app, make sure you follow molli_sparkles and prize sponsor matobsgirl and leave a comment on the prize photo. Wave your hands in the air and tag a friend for a second chance to win. I'll leave it up to Mr. Sparkles to randomly choose a winner next Sunday Stash. Now, let's dance!