Monday, 2 March 2015

Sunday Stash #115 - California - Part IV - Bonus Edition

Okay, okay, okay, I'm late! I'm currently in holiday mode for the next two weeks which means my days are all starting to blend together. I woke up late this Monday morning to realise I hadn't published Sunday Stash yesterday. My saving grace is that I believe it's still Sunday is some parts of the world. (I'm sorry you have to go to work tomorrow -- I don't! Yay!) Originally, this California series was going to include three parts (onetwothree). Then as I was reorganising my fabric stash this week, which is a typical Tuesday night affair, I looked up to see a few bundles I had completely missed! 


So this week is California - Part IV - Bonus Edition! And what a bonus it is. Y'all know I'm working on an AMH Feathers quilt in Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou. I actually have to have that quilt top done by this Friday (eek!) Mr. Sparkles has been lusting over it so much, that before I left on my trip to California he said to me, "I want you to buy more of that Shimmer fabric. As much as you can." Exsqueeze me? Trust that I didn't ask any questions, except for "Where's are our extra suitcase?"


Even though my name may be Sparkles, I haven't been hugely enamoured with the metallic trend in fabrics as of late. I often find them a bit too trendy and over-worked. Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer range though, is just so spot on for me. By using base fabrics in earth tones that are slightly muted, but still containing a range of values, it makes them more timeless. The metallic embellishments are more geometric which gives the whole range more sophistication and luxury.


So instead of just buying one fat quarter bundle, I bought two! I mean really, Mr. Sparkles said so! I picked these up from Auntie Pami on Instagram and she also has an Etsy shop. She's always got strange and terrific fabrics showing up on her Instagram, but you have to be quick because they get snatched up by people like me! 

The other bundle that I had completely forgotten to show you really needs no introduction. This is of course the infamous Doe by Carolyn Friedlander. I've never bought a fat quarter bundle of her previous collections, but I love all of the various pieces I have so much, I thought it was certainly time to do so with this one. I had Julie at Intrepid Thread reserve this for me as soon as she was taking pre-orders because I knew they wouldn't last long! I can't wait to mix and match Doe with Botanics and Architextures because they coordinate so well together. Can you even believe I've hardly touched any of them?


So tell me, what's in your stash that you've been hiding? Link up below!


Monday, 23 February 2015

Winners' Circle

It's time to announce the winners of two recent giveaways. Now normally I'd just head to Random.org, grab a number and it'd be a done deal. Well not today, folks, not today! I'm bored with random numbers so it's time to do things differently. The first giveaway was for a copy of Amy Garro's new book, Paper Pieced Modern.


I asked you to tell me what colour(s) you'd use to make this quilt. Well, my favourite response was from americanadian, so I'm declaring her the winner! I think with her clear vision of this quilt, she definitely deserves a chance to make it. Americanadian, I'll be in touch via email!


The next giveaway was for a fat quarter bundle of Kim Anderson's new fabric range, Tidal Lace. I've now made 16 tide pool blocks, and started piecing my own quilt top together from this range. I'm quite chuffed with how sophisticated it feels, while still maintaining a traditional vintage vibe. I think you'll have plenty of opportunity to let your creative hearts wash over you with this range.


For this giveaway, I asked my AU/NZ readers to simply provide a colour palette or design style that makes you uncomfortable. Well, I laughed out loud when I read Mel's comment below. A broccoli quilt?! Can you even? I have to agree, though, some fabrics should not be allowed to go into production, and broccoli fabric is certainly one of them! So for providing the most interestingly bad suggestion, Mel wins this round!


Thanks everyone for playing! Who knows how the next round of winners will be selected, but keep your answers interesting and it might just be you! 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday Stash #114 - California - Part III

You know what all this orange Comma fabric means? It's time to get that t-shirt quilt out again and finally finish it! I found all these goodies from a flash sale The Materials Girl Hermiston were having on Instagram. (A huge shout out to Colleen who alerted me!) They were clearing out the rest of their Comma stock at $6 / yard, and you certainly can't complain about that. I bought nearly all they had left, and have the last of the bolt stickers to prove it! I ended up with an extra 3/4 of a yard, so it pays to take it in the end, ow!



I'm going to use this yardage to make a large portion of the back of the t-shirt quilt. Since it is about 100" square, it is going to take every bit of it. I really can't wait to show you guys this quilt because I'm so very proud of it. While it is largely made of t-shirts (obvs.) I think it has a very modern feel to it due to the crazy, randomness of all the other bits. Okay, so maybe it's just a hot mess, but I know my brother will love it. You know you'll always be able to truth tea me though!


I also picked up this yellow Comma yardage just. because. I have a vision in my head of another yellow quilt as an update to my very first quilt. I'm itching to be a bit more political and graphic with my quilt making though, so I'm trying to find a way to marry my two ideologies. All the #QuiltCon pictures on Instagram have definitely got my creative wheels spinning. This is going to be quite a year of creative changes!



Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tide Pools - The Inspiration

I briefly mentioned on Monday how I found using Kim Anderson's new fabric range, Tidal Lace, challenging, and that was part of the appeal. What do I do with a collection called Tidal Lace that is primarily a pastel palette? I don't normally live my life in the realm of pastels, so this fabric bundle had me stumped. 


My go-to neutral is bright white, but that only served to intensify the softness of this collection. It seemed to actually make it more pastel like I was living in an awful Meghan Trainor video (you know I'm all about that bass!) I stared at these fabrics for days waiting for inspiration to strike, and it would not come. It was time to take matters outside the sewing studio. 


The inspiration for Kim was the coastal waters of San Francisco, so I figured I should go explore the coastal waters of Sydney! (Fun fact: Australia has more sunny beaches than any other country). I could have gone to Bondi, Coogee, Tamarama, even a ferry to Manly beach. Nah. I went to the nude beach, La Perouse. Ow! Before you even ask, yes, I got my gear off like the rest of them, and no, I didn't get burnt ... anywhereIt was a fun afternoon frolicking in the waters, sun baking and walking around the cliff rocks as the tide lapped at my heels. 


I looked and I looked--at a lot of things--but still, the inspiration for this quilt would not come. It was dusk before I left; I literally shut the beach down. As I walked across the white sands away from the water, I turned around to see the moon shining, and the sun setting, both casting reflecting lights across the gentle waves. The colours! The ocean was a celestial blue, while the tips of each wave were bathed in varying pastels from reflective light bouncing across from the rocks, vegetation, beach, and sky. 


In that moment, the whole day rushed back into my consciousness, and I knew exactly how to make this fabric bundle work for me. The colour story was there before me, and I thought about the many tidal pools (aka rock pools) I had walked across during the day. Each tidal pool was full of small sea life, and they were all connected by slivers of water draining between them. Combine that with the flickers of light capping the waves at dusk, and it culminated in this block I have aptly called Tide Pool.


I raced home and began to cut and sew, as a new project and inspiration was born! I combined Kim's collection with Kona Celestial (thank goodness for Sunday Stash #112) which gave the blocks the brooding contrast I was hoping for. I also managed to find near-enough coordinating solids for the draining and reflecting colours already in my stash! I'm wise enough to know that this block has probably been previously created, and has a name dating from 1834. That's cool. I'm hoping though, that by adding the randomly placed lines of coordinated solids that it provides a new modernity that is uniquely me.


The inspiration was difficult to find, but it came in the most logical and likely of places. While you're searching for yours, don't forget to enter the AU/NZ only giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Kim Anderson's new range, Tidal Lace. Check out Monday's post for details on how to do that. I'd love to see how it inspires you, even if you didn't have to get naked to figure it out! 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Tidal Lace Giveaway

Late last year I got an email out of the windy blue from Kim Anderson of I Adore Pattern. Normally, I have my personal assistant slash shirtless pool boy respond to the fan mail, but for some reason on this particular day, I was picking up some of his slack. (Double entendre, I dare say!) I'm so glad I did though because that aforementioned pool boy probably would have just popped a headshot in the mail and went about making me a drink. Come to think of it, why am I emptied-handed right now?!



Despite all of this, Kim was actually emailing me to let me know about her new collection for Windham Fabrics called Tidal Lace that came out in January. She even went so far as to offer to send me some to play with, and a fat quarter bundle to giveaway to my AU/NZ readers. Well, hello Ms. Generosity! (Sorry for the rest of world readers, you'll have to sit this round out). The full range should be hitting your LQS very, very soon as it is currently at sea on its way here; the irony!


Now, for those of you who know me well, you're probably thinking, "Tidal Lace... hmm, that doesn't really seem to fit Molli's aesthetic per se." That my dear Glitterati, is exactly why I said, "YES, I need me some of that!" I saw this as an opportunity to stretch my creative wings and work outside my bright colour palette and typical design flair. I haven't worked with pastels since the early days when I made Bartering for Flowers, and that one still hurts my eyes a bit. Redemption was upon me.


As Kim and I conversed more, I discovered she's originally from Sydney, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. I began to see how she would be so influenced to make a collection called Tidal Lace with all that time living near coastal waters. I also explored her website to find that her aesthetic is much broader than this lovely collection of subdued and peaceful hues. There's a reason her site is called I Adore Pattern, and I am totally on board!


The Tidal Lace collection contains mostly blender fabrics in multiple colour ways, so they actually make really wonderful stash additions for all those bee blocks and swaps you signed up for (and are now wondering, what have I done?!) There are also a few feature prints included showcasing hand drawn shells, coral, and other sea life you'd find in the shallows of tide pools. Now these aren't my personal favourite, but I have seen some really wonderful kids clothes made out of these, so the collection gives you lots of options.


The netting fabrics are my favourite because of their versatility. They'd work equally well in the background or the foreground. Plus, if you're looking for traditional gender colours, they're all here but with a more sophisticated twist. I've started making a few blocks from these fabrics that I'll share later in the week. (I may have already let the dolphin out of the net on IG: molli_sparkles). I had to search hard for my inspiration, but when it came, it was like a wave washing over me.


So you wanna wanna win this fat quarter bundle of Tidal Lace by Kim Anderson? AU/NZ readers should leave a comment below over the next week sharing with me and the world a colour palette, design or style of fabric that makes you a little bit uncomfortable to work with. Trust me, once you say it out loud, half the fear is gone, and you'll be on your way to stitching it out! It's a good idea to leave your email address with your comment just in case you are a no-reply blogger. My pool boy will have no extra time to try and track you down because he is going to be too busy refreshing my drink! Work, mama, work!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sunday Stash #113 - California - Part II

I'm slowly, yet feverishly, working on finishing up my queen-sized AMH Feathers quilt. It wasn't until I sort of got half way through constructing the blocks that I thought to myself, "Um, this shit is real and you need to start thinking about a backing." Do you do that, too? It's like I can't commit to buying backing material until I've fully realised that the front is gonna happen. Then I had a small freak out thinking I wouldn't be able to find yardage of Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer range. All was not lost though. Hawthorne Threads had plenty, so I got the white for the backing, and the bronze for the binding. This quilt is gonna be dripping in luxe.


Oh, and do you even see what's in this picture? Yes, that is a rotating cutting mat! AAAH! I'm so excited by this. It actually makes me want to go make some half square triangles, so that it and my Bloc_Loc rulers can make mad, sweet love. There's ten new rotary blades for me, and a new rotary cutter for daughter, Charlotte. (<--pictures and post pending on that last note).


This is the part where it gets all random, and not even crazy-cakes-me knows what's going on. I think my stash must be having babies. That happens, right? Surely I can't be responsible for all of this fabric buggery? Oh, that's right, yes I am! (Go figure.) I just found these Jeni Baker half-yard cuts that I purchased from Intrepid Thread during last year's Black Friday sale. Only three months later, but they're still fabulous!



Someone stop me! But then, Sunday Stash would never be as fun! 



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Missouri Star Quilt Co. & Me (WHAT!)

Oh look, there's the cover of Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s latest edition of Mod Block magazine. Better yet, it's all about one of my favourite things, colour! Now check out that turquoise bar on the left. Mmmhmm, that's my name! When MSQC contacted me last June--the week before my Today Show appearance nonetheless--I had a bit of a fanboy moment, not even gonna lie. My first thought was, "Have they got the right Molli Sparkles?" Um, yeah, that seriously was my first reaction. So after Mr. Sparkles slapped the silly out of me (he's a die hard Jenny Doan fan, for reals) I basically responded via an email that said something like, "Shit yeah! I love Jennnnn-naaay!!!" Way to play it cool.


Thankfully, the team at MSQC understood my own brand of crazy, and it was exactly what they were looking for. So on one of the many flights to Japan I took last year, I began to write an article about colour tone. It slowly evolved into the satirical, yet informative piece in the magazine called, Watch  Your Tone. You can read all about my smart alec mouth, colour inspiration, and how to use tone in your own quilts.


There's also ten modern quilting projects featured that anyone could successfully complete. I'm considering a few of them for some fat quarter bundles I have stored up. You can get your own copy from the MSQC Shop for like six dollars in print or digital (great for international readers!) I am telling you now, my article alone is worth that much! Gurl, you know its true! I hope this is the beginning of a long working relationship with MSQC, because it is time for me to spice up their life with some severe sparkle!


P.s. Happy Valentine's Day to you! Love yourself silly!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Sewing for Sydney - Have Your Say

What an emotional week, and it is only Wednesday! On Sunday evening, I sat down to watch the Australian 60 Minutes television special about the Sydney Siege that happened last December. I got about fifteen minutes in, and I literally had to turn off the tv and walk away. I think my emotional reservoir is at capacity due to being hyper-aware of this tragedy over the past two months while working on the #SewingForSydney project. So I thought I would take an opportunity this week, to give you a super-brief update, and ask you to have your say.


You want some numbers? How about the 2,169 hash tag blocks you've sent to my door?! Or the more than 350 packages they came in from 14 countries and 4 continents? Oh, and there's the 60-odd or so people involved in constructing and donating materials for these quilts. But finally, that has all come together to allow us to make 13 quilts. What?! My original goal was 2 quilts, so Glitterati, you have truly outdone yourselves!

Now I need your advice. I'm trying to compose the words for the labels. The lovely Connie Goldfinch from Perth has volunteered to embroider all of them for the quilts, and this is what I have so far. What do you think? What would you change? What would your write? Don't hold back, because it needs to be perfect. 

#SewingForSydney

Over 400 people from around 
the world worked together 
to make these quilts as a
way to express their love for you.

A quilt is a hug
that lasts forever.

Molli Sparkles &
The Glitterati To the Rescue


[first edit]



#SewingForSydney
2015

A quilt is a hug that lasts forever.

Over 400 people from around 
the globe worked together 
to create a hug for you.

Molli Sparkles &
the Glitterati Team