Thursday, 27 August 2015

No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee 2 - Round One

If I didn't love John Q. Adams so much I'd probably be turning this into a mini quilt and keeping it for myself! John has given us members of the NGAQB2 carte blanche when it comes to adding borders to his centre block. After much deliberation, I decided to take inspiration from the seasonal, woodland colours of John's feathers. I imagined them drifting through the dappled light of the sun, falling to the ground onto a bed of golden leaves. I also wanted to reference the structured shape of these paper pieced feathers. To do this I chose to use all equilateral triangles and diamonds to achieve a controlled, improvisational vibe. 

Over 266 pieces later I have created the beginnings of a quilt top measuring 23" that I think will be right up John's alley. I mostly used my Bloc_Loc Diamond in a Triangle ruler, but also hand-drafted a few paper piecing templates for the corners. I have even surprised myself at what a wildly different look this is than when I used the same ruler to create my Shimmer 2 cushion! I knew I wanted it to look painterly, with large brush strokes, and thankfully after piecing it all together it is exactly as I had envisioned. (There was a moment half way through when I hated it, and thought it would never work!)

This is the first time I've participated in a round robin, medallion style quilt bee. I already think I'm going to love it! It is allowing me to bring my own creativity and style to each quilt top (unlike the prescripted nature of a block style quilt bee). Now then, let's bring on round two!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Bee Hive: Jagged Little Pill

"I want you to know, that I'm happy for you, I wish nothing but the best for you both." Oh Alanis, you give me chills every time! If you are a child of the nineties, there was no escaping this 1995 track [rumoured to be] about the breakdown of her relationship with Full House star, Dave Coulier. You Oughta Know was the lead single from her third album, Jagged Little Pill, which is where I took part of the inspiration for this quilt block and subsequent quilt.

It's about the physical difficulty of swallowing those plastic little capsules, but also swallowing the truth of a difficult situation. That's why they encapsulate the edge of the block, while also having an angled edge to make sure you feel it. Basically, the truth can hurt, but if you accept it and move on, it can become a thing of beauty. Truth tea, anyone?

You'll find my super simple Jagged Little Pill block tutorial as this month's selection in the Blossom Heart Quilts, The Bee Hive series. Each block will only take about fifteen minutes start to finish, and can make great use of jelly rolls, and scraps! As you can see in my blue and green version I raided my scrap bins to get a lot of varying depth in my chosen colour way. There's also a fair amount of negative space for you FMQ aficionados, or buck the trend and use a print instead of a neutral for extra visual interest.

I hope a few of you do decide to choose the Jagged Little Pill block (no offence if not, but you won't be getting a holiday card from moi!) so I can see how you put your own spin on it. I'm thinking a dark background with rainbow pills, or low volume backgrounds with yellow and red pills, or all solids in sea glass colours, or ... Or well, maybe I just need to make another one myself! Now that is a jagged little pill, indeed!

(P.s. If you're looking for a variation to make this block a little more challenging with some extra pieces ... I've got that one figured out for you, too.)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday Stash #140 - NGAQB2 + Liberty Winner

I told you a few weeks ago about how the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee 2 (#NGAQB2) was about to turn the fabulous dial way up. Well, when I received my first round package from John "Quilt Dad" Adams I was shocked, and some might even say appalled, by how much fabric he sent with it. His initial fabric pull must have included like ten yards of about twenty different fabrics. Gurl, you need  to settle down! It made my head spin with possibilities, and instantly created a creative block. I had to simplify that madness, so I gathered only his mustards and golds, combined them with the navies and indigos, and added some choices from my own collection. After regaining some focus, I've been able to start working with this luscious bundle for the first border of his quilt. I'll be share to post pictures once it is finished by the end of this month!

Okay, and we need a winner of the Liberty Bundles of Love, right?! There were sixty-one eligible entries, and I asked daughter Charlotte to randomly choose a number. Here's what she had to say, "Is this for a winner? Ummm.... foorrrttttyyy-three!" Well that goes to Lucy from Charm About You who picked the Sunrise Over the City bundle with the eponymous Lucy Daisy fabric. Congrats Lucy, I know you'll love these! Once again, thanks to The Strawberry Thief for supporting Molli Sparkles, the Glitterati and our love of fabric! Go say thank you by signing up for their newsletter, or grabbing your own Liberty bundle (hello, $5 international shipping!)

As a side note, I'm almost done with a few secret sewing projects, and I promise I'll be able to resume some normal and frequent blog posts once they are out of the way! Kisses!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday Stash #139 - Liberty Bundles of Love - Part 3 of 3 - Giveaway

How about a little fabric drama today!? It includes a giveaway, so I think you'll be more than happy to give me a little 'tude! For the past few weeks I've been showing off some Liberty bundles with some hints on how to win your own by checking out The Strawberry Thief. I put this latest bundle together thinking about Fantasia, carnival nights, and American Bandstand. I can take inspiration from just about anywhere, mmmkay!!! I really want a shirt made from those paisley fireworks in the night sky! Imagine combining these with a rich, deep noir (or even mahogany!) and watch their colours jump out of your quilt. Drama, indeed!

Oh, but then there is this, may be my favourite Liberty bundle ever. If you were to give it a glance you'd be like, "Yeah, it's some blue fabric." It's only when you look closer that you see patchwork, snow covered mountains, jungle acid, the blue lagoon, and modernist art. It's really quite subversive in its representation, and takes the tone on tone aesthetic to a different place. This ain't your granny's Liberty; this is really for the astute fabric lover who wants to push the boundaries of pattern-play. It sucks you in and demands your attention for further investigation, and isn't that what you want more than anything when your create?

Okay, here's where the fun begins! I've been feeling particularly feisty this week (blame Kazaky), which means I'm gonna go pretty crazy with this giveaway. This is what you gotta do... pick your favourite Liberty bundle from Sunday Stash #137, #138, or right here at #139, then comment on this post with the name of one of the fabrics. You can find just about all of their names from The Strawberry Thief website (or sign up for their newsletter, or even buy some of your own--giveaway be damned!) So that's it, pick a bundle, name a fabric, comment on this post, and that entire bundle could be yours! Oh, alright, and those of you linking up this week can leave a second comment for a second chance to win! Ow! This giveaway is open for all, (tell your friends) and it could very well change your fabric life.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Cool For the Summer

I mean, this is everything. Shh... don't tell your mother. I got my mind on your body, and your body on my mind. Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite! Ow! Ow! Ow! On fiyah! As Mr. Sparkles says, "Phantasmagorical! God, I love that!" Well played, Demi, well played!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

What a Dick!

As the world laughs at our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, for blatantly disregarding the voice of the Australian people and his own ministers in regards to marriage equality, I can't help but think one thing: "What a dick!" Like seriously, how do you live your life at this moment in time, knowing you have denied happiness  (and the economic fortune that happiness and marriage equality has proven to create) to thousands millions of your citizens? Again I say, "What a dick!" When your own sister is in a long-term same-sex relationship, and you figuratively slap her across the face with your own out-dated predilections, all I can think is the dinner table conversation where she says, "What a dick!" I appreciate running a country is a tough job, and I know it must be challenging divorcing your personal religious beliefs to those of what should be a neutral government, but really, being a good human being is not hard. So Tony Abbott, let the world laugh at you, and let me join them in forever remembering "What a dick!" you are today, and forever will be.

Now, segue let's look at pretty pictures of this cushion I made! This is one of my all time favourites for several reasons. Firstly, look at the zillion pieces just in this 15" cushion. Even though I was using the amazing Bloc_Loc Diamond in a Triangle ruler (it's so rare, good luck finding it!) it still took oodles of time cutting all those pieces. A whole quilt like this, yikes!

But what is that amazing fabric, you ask?! Well, it's only the most magnificent Shimmer 2 by Jennifer Sampou which is hitting stores later this month. (You can sue more photos of its iridescent beauty in Sunday Stash #123). Start pulling the loose change out from underneath the couch cushions because you are gonna need some of this! This time around there are feathers and shiny disco balls -- need I say more?! Cue the Madonna video!!!

It was only fitting that for the back I used a faux suede called Sensuede (from Sunday Stash #100 -- see, I do use my fabrics!) I had never sewn with Sensuede before, but it acted just like any other cotton fabric, except don't iron it! :::sideways glance::: Don't ask me how I know that. Now here's the part of the story where I come full circle. Last week I gifted this cushion to my female jeweller, Foebe, as a thank you for her constant support in helping me find the perfect engagement ring for the man (gasp!) that I love. She was completely enamoured, even going so far as to say how diverse her current collection of cushions is!! Perfect response, right? Suffice to say, if you're a dick, you don't get a cushion.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sunday Stash #138 - Liberty Bundles of Love - Part 2 of 3

Give me Liberty or give me ... um, well, just give me more Liberty please! These coffers are running over, but trust me that is a good thing for the giveaway that's going to be happening next week. I hope you can name something you like because it could soon be yours! (hint, hint) When I was standing with Robyn from The Strawberry Thief pulling oodles of fat quarters from her Liberty stash, we came across this graffiti like floral in two colour ways. It's second from the left in the photos below. I was immediately drawn to it because of its hand drawn nature, originality, and deep saturation. Plus, someone got all Jackson Pollock on it, and Lord knows I love a good alcoholic painter with an ego trip.

So anywhooo, I just thought these two pieces really had potential to be so very different, just like those turquoise belts in The Devil Wears Prada. I set about trying to create fabric bundles that had a masculine versus feminine vibe. I can see pairing this first one with some Art Gallery Pure Elements in Nocturnal or Moonstone to give it a serious, winter sophistication. And those crazy, fuzzy, stripes! Can you imagine using that as a background or neutral? Imagine the pulsating and textural rainbow it would create. Gah! Where is my rotary blade? You could also see any of these as hanky squares in a  suit. 

On the flip side of that masculinity, its sister fabric wanted to be more ribbons in my hair, fields of daisies, and bold saturated colours. She's a saucy minx and wants everyone to know about it! Y'all know I'm not all about cutesy florals, but there's a time and place, and I think the colours in all of these mesh well. When working with this bundle I'd really want to pull out the yellows and teals, so I'd combine them all with both, alternating between each as a neutral. My daughter Charlotte would love pillows like these filling her room, so that may be on the to do list soon!

So again, I show you all these because Liberty is so much more than Liberty. It's a crazy minefield of colour, boldness, man, woman, old and young and The Strawberry Thief has them all. Which ones do you like? I hope you're starting to figure that one out! (hint hint)

Friday, 7 August 2015

Will You Marry Me?

So yeah. We need to talk about something. I freakin' got engaged on Wednesday. Then Thursday I had cereal for breakfast. Exciting week, eh? Goodness, how long have I been wanting to tell YOU, the Glitterati for Charo's sake, about how many times I've been shopping for diamonds! Let me just tell you now how much fun, and stressful it is buying diamond rings: the best and worst! I started shopping around November of last year, finally purchased from Australian designer Canturi in May, and after being custom made, they were delivered in early July. So yes, I've been sitting on this little secret for quite a while. Over brunch on Wednesday, 05 August, in the presence of two close personal friends (who ironically have both received quilts from me) I dropped to bended knee and asked the love of my life to marry me. Thank the Holy Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone he said, "Yes!"

This is the chorus of a song by Jessie Ware titled You & I Forever that I recited as part of my proposal. It's a bit of a sentimental song for us. Of course in all my nerves (yes, Molli gets nervous too!) I messed up part of the lyrics. I had a swift recovery though, and I think Mr. Sparkles was so shocked at what was happening he didn't notice too much!

I don't wanna try alone
We could dream it all
Don't wanna stop the thought
With you and I forever
I only wanna team with you
We could dream it all
Don't wanna stop the thought
With you and I forever

This is the base design for our rings from Canturi -- of course I bought me one, too. Are you crazy? Imagine this ring, but with more diamonds scattered around it and you'll get an idea of our engagement ring. The wedding band? Oh yes, there's definitely more diamonds to come. Molli can never sparkle enough! So that's that, sorry ladies and gents, I'm officially off the market. Now once the Australian government believes in marriage equality, Mr. Sparkles and I will be getting hitched. I guess I better start making that wedding quilt!