Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sunday Stash #123 - Shimmer 2: The Sequel

Oh the glitter Gods have been good to me this month! I think I'm going to use up all my fabric karma pretty soon though because look what came in the mail. That's just a little package from Ms. Shimmer herself, Jennifer Sampou. But wait, something doesn't seem quite right here. I just made a whole queen-sized quilt out of Shimmer, and I certainly don't remember that sparkle on white fabric below being part of the collection. Hmm, you saucy minx, what type of rouse is this?

Wait a minute... Oh! No you did not! Y'all, stop your lives.

[dramatic pause]

This is Shimmer 2: The Sequel. 

Flip me over because I am done. I can't even deal with this right now. Here I thought I was going to be happily living with Shimmer for the rest of my life, and all of a sudden his hot younger brother shows up. Dilemna! I need a Sonic burger, onion rings, and a cherry limeade slushy to go, because binge eating is the only thing that's gonna get me through this emotional roller coaster! 

Sparkly disco balls anyone? I need it as wallpaper on my ceiling and I'll never sleep again! Do you even realise how difficult it is to find black fabrics in fabric collections these days? Low volume has taken over the entire quilting world. It's time to crank up the volume and keep the club rocking 24/7 at the Haus de Sparquel! 

Obviously, Jennifer knew I'd been yearning for a turquoise colour way because she went and added one! She's clearly in tune with her peeps! I'm already thinking about being totally dangerous and using that as a neutral. Yes, in my world, turquoise is a neutral! Black, turquoise, and navy ... gaaaaah ... silver me timbers because I'm about to fabrigasm right here on the spot!

Okay you low volume lovers. Jennifer's got you covered as well. She must be an equal opportunity fabric enabler! I expect to see these in your projects come September when the new Shimmer 2 collection will be available at all fine fabric retailers. Start asking your LQS shop owners for it now though, so they can start making space on their shelves. Well, not like they'll need much space because if you're anything like me, you'll be buying all the fabrics. Now excuse while I go and continue hyperventilating in the corner.

Friday, 24 April 2015

TGIFF - Echo

The echo of silence still sounds like silence.

Title: Echo (original post here)
Size: 64" x 64"
Pattern: Bright Sky, pattern by Blossom Heart Quilts
Fabric: Tula Pink's Saltwater, aqua blue colour way 
Quilting: Pantograph Royal Jewels, using Aurifil 5006 Light Turquoise, by Pretty Bobbins
Binding: Pure Elements Lemonade, hand stitched with Aurifil 50wt, colour 2024 White
Backing: Tula Pink's Saltwater Stripe in coral
Favourite Part: These photos.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

AQC 2015 Recap

An AQC recap? Where does one even begin? It's like I got glitter in my eyes, and before I could shake it out, it was time to go home! As this was only my second time representing at a craft show, I still felt a bit green. However, by the end of it all, I felt like I was part of the quilt circuit party! Holla!  The other exhibitors were friendly, the Juki behaved, I bought some fabrics, got to meet some Glitterati, had some future opportunities presented, and got to hang with some other awesome quilters and industry folk. I mean really, what more could a boy like me ask for? I'm supremely grateful for all of these opportunities; sparkly top hats off to you!

Okay, so we need to take a moment here. This gem, this diamond, well her name is Marina. She quite possibly could be Glitterati member of the year. She walked into the show, walked by me, turned, jaw dropped, and proceeded to completely lose her shit. I mean, the crowd collectively turned with a, "WTF is going on over there and how do I get some of it!?" I was actually giving a Juki demo to another Glitterati member named Erin at the time, but I just had to excuse myself to run over to Marina and congratulate her for having such wonderful taste in men! Ow! She's not on Instagram so I just had to share this #selfiewithsparkle here on the blog! You glitter Marina - keep sparkling!

I had the chance to meet Helen Godden, who was demonstrating around the corner at the HandiQuilter booth. To be honest, I fell asleep during Quilt History class, so I wasn't super aware of who she was, but from what I gather of other people's reactions, she's got some skillz! I think she had made like the first ever quilted couch in the world. That doesn't seem exactly right, but  there was lots of brightly coloured yarn involved so I was all smiles.

This is the head executive of the Domestic Sewing Machine branch of Juki. He's just gettin' his free motion quilt mojo on. I told him to relax the shoulders, but he is Japanese and there is no relaxing. Ever. That was until at dinner time when we kicked back with a few Asahi beers and he told me all about his EPP hexie addiction. True story.

If you are a Sydney local, you might recognise Margaret here from the Sewing Machine Warehouse in Penrith. I wanted to rip that jacket off of her and stash it in my own wardrobe! She was my wing-woman whenever someone would approach and ask about sergers or garment sewing. I'd look up with fear in my eyes, mumble something about how important overlocking is to our society and then quickly hand them over to Margaret. Whew!

Then I met this fierce bitch! That is Ms. Cherie Bobbins and sidekick for the day Erika. Now, I thought I had a wicked mouth! I think Cherie and I could do some tongue tangoing that would make your grandmas' beehives shudder! I've toned it down on my blog lately (for my potential standards at least!) but she's left me inspired to bring some of the naughty back. Erika, Cherie, and I had coffee together and it was really intriguing to hear all of their future plans about to explode all over the crafty and mommy-blogging universe. Brace your knickers.

It was such a thrill to spend some time with Crystal of Raspberry Spool fame! We were like teenagers smoking out the back of the school shed in between classes. "You come here often?" "Actually I'm just here for the quilts." "Yeah, me too." "You been to Houston?" "73 times." And I die. If you don't get that it's okay, but suffice to say Crystal and I may have had to hush ourselves a few times!

People kept asking me, "Why are you wearing gloves? Are you cold? Are you a magician?" 

No, I'm actually a gardener. Seriously.

This wacky lady has been my first foray into art quilts! Neroli had a gorgeous quilt in the AQC as part of the True Blue exhibition, that featured friends of Jesus and some rocks that went tumbling down. (Get that one? Have I had too much to drink? Not enough?) Anyway, anyone who uses reflective thread is a bit of aight in my books, so we are conspiring to work on something a bit left of centre in the future. 

Here are a few other recounts of the AQC from friends Jo Butterfield and Kaye Sauer. Their posts actually feature things like, you know, quilts. Unfortunately, I was so busy at the stand that I hardly got a chance to get a good look at all of them. What I did notice though was that there was a whole lot of variety! Art, traditional, modern, modern traditional, fine art, collaged -- seriously, I could have stitched myself into a quilt and it would have been well hung in this show. Kudos to the AQC for bringing something for everyone!

So well, that's it! I had an amazing time, met fantastic people, and would do it all again in a golden, glitterbeat! Thank you to Chow, Juki, Sewing Machine Warehouse family, Expertise Events team, Victoria Findlay-Wolfe, Kathy Doughty, the Glitterati, Melbourne, and the ever fabulous Mr. Sparkles!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Sunday Stash #122 - The Strawberry Thief

Y'all knew I wouldn't be strong enough to resist a little fabric temptation at the Australasian Quilt Convention, didn't you? But can I tell you, I made my only purchase as we were packing down the booth after closing time on the last day? I see you shaking your head out there, thinking, "Mmm hmm, as if Molli could walk out of that fabric honey pot without gettin' sticky!" Here, let me z-snap that for you while we're at it!

The thing is that I didn't really need any fabric, and as I looked around most stalls, there wasn't a lot that left me inspired, or (let's be honest) that I didn't already have. However, there was one beautiful beacon of fabric light in my line of sight every day: The Strawberry Thief. In other words, Liberty. Tana. Lawn. I met owner, Robyn on the first day, and she had me seriously intrigued with her genuinely, warm personality. Then she had me pet the gorgeous Liberty fabrics that her shop specialises in. Then she went and brought along her adorable, Liberty-shirt wearing son, Abe, and it was all over. I knew I'd be getting me some of that. (The fabrics, not her son!)

I've shown you some recent Liberty additions in previous Sunday Stashes, but this was the first time I had seen such a large collection for my own perusal. I did not like them all. I quickly scanned by florals, cutesy animals, and muted shades. What I did not expect to find though were extreme levels of saturation, funky textures, and painterly aspects combined with the photographic. It was a whole new Liberated world before me.

We all know that it feels wonderful. Totally. But if you still think you can't find modern Liberty prints, I think you need to re-evaluate! Have a look through The Strawberry Thief website, and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. Remember that old mantra of mine, "You don't have to like everything, to like something." And let me tell you, as the southern hemisphere's largest online retailer of Liberty, I think there's a pretty good chance you'll find something not only to like, but to love!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

When Juki Met Molli

Well here I am! Today was bump in for the Australasian Quilt Convention being held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. What a glorious start to the week! Have you ever walked through an airport terminal with a blue sequinned top hat and a suitcase full of quilts? Oh, you have? Well, then you are fully aware of the intrigued looks and mandatory autographs you have to sign along the way. The airport security screening attendant wanted a #selfiewithsparkle, but it just didn't feel right holding up the line for that. Instead, I gave him a whisper of glitter and went along my merry way. 

Once the clouds parted and I dropped into the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, I got to meet the wonderful Juki team. It was like showing up to a blind date, except there was one of me and five of them! I know I've got the love, but whew, I had to put on the charm offensive to break that ice quickly. These are my new peoples for the week, and we've got a quilt show to impress!

I promptly set about hanging the six quilts I brought with me: Shudder, #MSBHQAL, Sparkleworks, Union Jack Surprise, On the Flipside and #SelfieWithSparkle. The immediate feedback I got from the Juki team, "Your quilts are so big!" Well, um, yeah. I guess compared to the smaller, intricately-pieced quilts of Victoria Findlay-Wolfe on the neighbouring wall, mine are ginormous. I just see them as quilts that need to be big enough to cover my toes! By the way, how unbelievable is it that I have quilts hanging under the same banner as Victoria? (I just peed my pants a little bit, right then). Completely different styles and presentation, but well that's Juki, bringing out the best in every quilter!

Day one is already a success and the Australasian Quilt Convention hasn't even started! I've got all of my outfits ironed and laid out for the week (cute!), the sequinned hat ready to go, and a blue glitter pen on-call. Tomorrow promises to be another historic milestone in my quilt career, and I hope you can share it with me. Make sure you catch all the latest on Instagram (IG: molli_sparkles) as I'll probably be chasing my proverbial tail until Sunday Stash. Melburnians: If you want to test drive the best straight line sewing machine on the market, the AQC is the place to be, and my Juki is ready to work hard for his money! 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sunday Stash #121 - Can't Hardly Wait

This week's Sunday Stash is completely Naomi-Campbell-without-makeup, basic. But listen, not every week can be full of fat quarter sales, half yard bundles, nifty notions and unicorns. I'm actually saving all of those things for next Sunday when I'll be at the Australasian Quilt Convention! I've been told it is the biggest collection of sellable quilting goodness in the southern hemisphere. Can you even imagine the Sunday Stash possibilities that will be within my grasp? I'm giddy just thinking about it, and I haven't even started drinking yet today!

Oh, but woe is me, this week, I'm just showing you some zippers. Plain ole 22" white, navy, and electric yellow (!) zippers. I'll be taking these with me to the AQC, along with some cushion samples I've whipped up for demonstrating at the Juki stand (104). Come see how I put a quick, exposed zipper in a pillow on my Juki TL-98P, then we can rip it out and you can try it out too! Or, or, or, let's just go buy some more zips together!!! Eek, I can hardly wait to see you there!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Creative Fear

Today I'm sharing the start of a new project that terrifies me. In my head it has such potential for global super-stardom, but in reality, I'll probably be the only one that likes it. Not only is it a quilt, it's a series of quilts I can envision taking my career in an entirely different direction. I think that is why there's some trepidation with this project: it's the start of a new creative journey. If I've learned anything about creative fear, it's that if you conquer it, those projects become your biggest successes. So with that in mind, I'm not going to hesitate anymore, even if I am sewing with one inch squares!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sunday Stash #120 - In Your Triangle

The fabulous fabric fairy Danielle (@beautifulhandmade) has once again delivered a surprise package of Liberty cuts to my door. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude every time I open one of these packages! The more of them I receive, the more I want to put them all together into a scrappy, half square triangle quilt, then rub it all over my naked body! Glorious, yes, indeedy!

Completely unrelated, and just for something a little bit different, today I thought I would share a poem I wrote fifteen years ago. It's a bit melancholy, but it still strikes a chord with me today. If there's interest, I'd be happy to share other written pieces I've amassed over the years. Variety is the sparkle of my life!

In Your Triangle

Dilute my need for your necessity. 
Resign your ravenous warmth and feed it to me;
Damage demands I be selfish with you,
because I'm cavernous, and in your arms
is where I crave to be.

I doubt you've known my apprehension--
Your touseled head and heroine's been turned away.
But if you decide to graze my eyes,
Don't gaze too deep, because I'm aghast
at the words they’d say.

If it’s unknown to you, it’s understandable.
I’d be unable to command this full-fledged absurdity. 
Blistering wind would blow my sails
To a bank of blue that I detest, and we’d
lose to our own adversity.