Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sunday Stash #136 - What a Pickle!

So I'm here to give you a tip. The reign of Kona Wasabi is coming to a close. It's been a glorious ride, but some things can't last forever. You see, I was perusing the fabric walls of Intrepid Thread on Friday, when owner, Julie, walked up to me and said, "I feel like a pickle." Now, you have to know that I am all about a good pickle: bread & butter, sweet & sour, dill, kosher, jumbo to mini and back again! I do not discriminate, because I will eat them all. Sadly though, Julie wasn't talking about an afternoon snack, instead, she was drawing my attention to new-to-me fabric, Kona Pickle and Carolyn Friedlander's Crosshatch Pickle. 

We both agreed that this good-enough-to-eat fabric was the way forward, and Wasabi was soooo 2013! Just to make sure I had plenty of deliciousness to go around, I bought two yards of each. I'm telling you, get on board the Pickle express train! I also picked up two yards of Yarn Dyed Essex in black because it's such a great staple to keep in the fridge. Now that I have it back home, I'm even thinking how sharp, sweet and tasty it is looking with a Pickle. 

Finally, I had phoned ahead to make sure there was a bolt of Art Gallery Pure Elements in White Linen waiting for me. Fifteen yards on that bolt, and I've already got a project with its name on it. Now that I am back home to my sewing studio, I can hardly wait to grab a tasty snack, and start creating again!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Sunday Stash #135 - When Doves Cry

I think we've had this discussion before. I'm usually an Aurifil White 2024 type of gal. Simple and classic. However, Kim from My Go-Go Life and Aurifil Social Media Content Coordinator recently told me I needed to try a little update to my wardrobe. Not many can get away with a comment like that, but I took it on board and asked her what she had in mind. "Listen to me darling, we all love white. I get it, I really do. But what you need right now, more than anything, is some Dove 2600. It's like white with an edge, and we all know you got some of that! Don't let your thread drag you down!" That Kim really knows how to make you feel special! 

So on Friday I got this fabulous sampling of the new white, Dove 2600 in the mail. I can't even wait to use all those different weights! That wooden spool one -- how rustic! Kim was right, maybe it was time for a little thread spruce me up. To make sure I always stay in the know, I also got one of those fancy Aurifil thread charts. I might be loving it more than the thread because of all the potential. I know variegated thread can be a bit passé, but I lurve them. Seriously, that side of the chart keeps calling my name like a Dunkin Donuts buffet! 

Just to let you know, I'll be away for work all this week in California, so there won't be much activity on the blog. However, make sure you catch my free design workshop, T-Shirt Quilts: Off the Grid at Intrepid Thread on Friday! I'm sure I might (haha) pick up a few things for Sunday Stash as well!

One more thing, the winner of this week's Fabric Floozy Giveaway: Jane at lilpipdesigns. Stay tuned for more up and coming Fabric Floozy Giveaways!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

This Little Light of Mine

Welcome to my work in progress Wednesday! I've been silently working on a new project the past few weeks in my skinny, spare time. You see, I've had an influx of Liberty prints in recent months. You only have to look at the Sunday Stashes of recent memory to get my drift. (Sorry for the non-Liberty lovers out there, but this phase of my quilty-life is. what. it. is!) What to do with all this slinky minx?! All I ever hear about Liberty is people being too scared to cut into it. It's just fabric, people. Yes, expensive fabric, but fabric just the same--no reason to be scared. 

So my challenge with all the F16ths I had collected was to find an original way to use them so they didn't stagnate in the stash. Because of this "fear" I turned to paper piecing with these scaremongers. Paper piecing, wha?! But doesn't paper piecing create a lot of fabric wastage? Exaaaaactly! I thought I'd try to make the illogical, logical. Here's the thing, it doesn't have to waste all your fabric to bits! If you pre-cut your pieces smartly, you can eliminate virtually all wastage. On my search for the perfect idea, I found this amazing paper pieced pattern on Quilters Cache called A Japanese Garden. I used the Liberty prints--just enough from an F16th, eek!--for the focal fabric of each lantern.  

I then found these donated fabrics in my stash that I had just about thrown away. (Note to self: never de-stash. Period.) So once I got my stitching plan in order, I've been making lanterns out my wazoo!  Trust you me, as these finish at only 8", there are many more to show, and many more to come. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine! Plus, I've got a few more surprise ideas with this project that I'll be sure to share next time I give you a little oooh-pdate. Wink wink, nudge nudge!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

T-Shirt Quilts: Off the Grid Workshop

I have some exciting, stupendous, sparklelicious news to share with you today! Next Friday, 24 July, I'll be at Intrepid Thread in Milpitas, California doing some hardcore fabric shopping. Oh wait. That's not news, that's just a day in the life of Molli B. Sparkles. But, there's more! 

Come join me from 10am-12pm, where I'll be holding a workshop called T-Shirt Quilts: Off the Grid. Come see my t-shirt quilt, Passing Notes In Class, where I'll be discussing what each of the blocks mean, where I took inspiration, how I pieced it, techniques used, fabric selection, and all those other good bits. If you would like to bring some of your own t-shirts, I would love to help with some design inspiration. Let's face it, it's hard to get off the grid, so I'll be there to give you a big, giant push! 

There won't be any sewing, because I have gots to have time to shop! However, I'm happy to help you shop for fabrics that will compliment your t-shirts and turn them into a truly unique memory quilt. Best of all, hell-ooo, it's free! (If you'd like to bring baked goods I certainly won't say no!) This is my first time holding a workshop on this topic, so we'll see how we go, but I think all in all, there's going to be some major creativity flowing through Intrepid Thread.

So to recap:

What: T-Shirt Quilts: Off the Grid workshop
When: Friday, 24 July, 10am-12pm
Where: Intrepid Thread, 1709 S. Main Street, Milipitas, CA
How: No registration necessary, and it's free! 
Why: Because really, I just want to taste your baked goods.

See you then!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sunday Stash #134 - Liberty Fondu + Fabric Floozy Giveaway

I've been holding onto these for a while. I'm telling you, there is a serious backlog of fabrics waiting to hit the Sunday Stash parade. These are the June instalment of my pseudo-subscription to a Liberty fabric club, via Danielle (IG: collectstitchloveliberty). If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would be using Liberty fabrics, or that I would even be collecting them, I would have told you to put your crazy suit back on. Oh but Lord of the Flies, here I am. 

Florals. I know. I know. Trust me, I know. How did this happen? What have I become? It's a slippery slope, y'all, so you'd best be careful. While I don't need yardage from a lot of these, the little snippets of colour feel really fresh. They all have a painterly quality to them and it is appealing to my art history geek-brain.

All of them except this brown floral. Yes, some children are harder to love than others. Wouldn't you agree?

BUT. I have a plan. These F16s are actually great for my plan, and I'm hoping to unveil the beginnings of it to you this week. It involves small bits of Liberty and paper piecing. Are you scared? Waste not, want more, as I always say!

These three are giving me all shades of seventies chic. Pass the formica and fondu and it could be a par-tay! These are slightly smaller cuts, but as with any fondu, a little goes a long way! 

But now it is time for a Fabric Floozy giveaway! Boo-ya! This is another one for my Aussie / Kiwi brethren -- so make sure you spread the word. It's not often you find local giveaways, so a big, giant thank you to all of the participating sponsors. This week's Fabric Floozy prize is brought to us by Robyn from Patchwork on Pittwater which is a fantabulous little shop over on Sydney's northern beaches. To enter, head on over to Instagram where I'll post a picture of the prize, and follow me (molli_sparkles) and Robyn (robyn_evans47). You can even tag a friend for an extra chance! Okay,  okay, since you asked nicely, I'll leave you with a little sneak peek as I'm sure you'll be drooling over this very famous designer's latest collection!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Return of the NGAQB!

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. The amazing success of the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee has spawned a sequel: NGAQB-2. Yes, mama, yes, the band is back together and we are about to rock the bee world. Good ole John "Quilt Dad" Adams is leading the charge this time, and has coerced seven of us into a medallion style bee. Our centre blocks are due to our fellow bee mates by 01 August, and guess what, I already had mine ready to go. Eager, much? Uh, yeah. 

This paper-pieced unicorn comes courtesy of a pattern by Kristy "Quiet Play". I asked her ages ago if I could pattern test it for her (and by "asking" I mean grovelling) and I finally have the perfect use for it! I told my bee mates that I want this quilt to be spontaneous, magical, shiny, and frivolous. This centre-block captures it all! I've included lots of that navy background, along with scraps of pinks and Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer fabric to send along with my block. Our bee mates don't have to use these, but I'm hoping some scattered throughout will create some continuity.

I'll be shipping it off to Nicholas "Quilts From the Attic" Ball this week for him to work what will undoubtedly be the most amazing improv magic. (Have you seen his work? Seriously, his quilts made me start eating vegetables). Plus, I'll be completing the first round on John "Quilt Dad" Adams's centre block, which is already on its way to me. These quilts are going to be unreal, and I promise to share all the action along the way! Sorry ladies, this ones for the boys!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Stop, Collaborate & Listen

Y'all know I love me a charity quilt. I love it even more when it is a collaboration amongst quilty friends. It's like you get to be a superhero and combine your powers for the greater good. (Anyone remember Captain Planet? That was my cartoon jam!) So when Ms. Midge asked if I would be interested in assisting with a craft charity auction project called Collaborate For a Cause, I was like, "Uh, Y to the hell yeah!" She roped in some of my other favourite people, and connected us all with Michele Conroy of My Georgie Boy handmade goods. 

Michele was our fearless leader for this Collaborate For a Cause project, and together we elected to make a checkerboard quilt using a tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts. She asked each of us to make ten checkerboard blocks with fabrics she sent us, supplemented by our own scrap bins. By some standards, I may have got a bit carried away, as I ended up making forty-three blocks. What can I say? It's for charity! As I was rushing to grab a photo of a sample of the blocks this morning, I inadvertently grabbed four blocks that are quite similar, but I promise there is more variety amongst the sum of them. Besides, those Emma Jean Jansen kangaroos: should be in every block!

So that's what I've been working on for the past few days. Now, you have to forgive my photo. My MIL decided she needed her camera back to take away on vacay (whatever) so I had to use my camera phone. Plus, it seems like Sydney is in perpetual darkness this time of year so I'm grasping for every minute of semi-daylight I can find. Even in the dark, if you're looking for a great way to use up some scraps, this block pattern could be just the one for you! 

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!