Friday, 28 February 2014

A picture... a rainy moment


 Another rainy day... waiting for spring (or for a carrot).

Weekend Doings

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Library Project QAL: February Report

I am so glad to have joined The Library Project over at Adrienne's Chezzetcook Quilts because at last I've started a quilt I've been wanting to make for ages. The Zakka Block Quilt by Leslie Good in the book Zakka Style. I have just the fabric I wanted to use and a lot of motivation through the quilt a long, so here's to a good beginning...

..well nearly a good beginning because only when I ironed the piecing did I realise I'd sewn two identical charms one on top of the other (the blue trees) and now I'm going to have to unstitch this part!

This is the piecing I was meant to sew there instead of one of the top blue trees square, it must have been hiding somewhere on my sewing table. Does this only happen to me? I'm lucky it's not much to unstitch!
I've changed the pattern a little bit because I had two beautiful charm packs I'd bought from Mad about Patchwork that I really wanted to use and they are 5"x5" squares. The pattern in the book is for 6"x6" squares so I switched to the charm squares and added another column to make up the difference. It works really well with the width of the background material too and sewing charms makes this a really fast quilt to piece. You only have to cut the background material!

The wind was blowing while I was trying to take photos and I wish I'd taken one with it half lifted into the air, it was so pretty! But I was in a rush as the sun was setting and only afterwards, looking at the photos, did I notice that somebody must have been sitting on the piecing just before I photographed it!

Linking up with The Library Project QAL. Love looking at everyone's projects and getting a good peek at all the quilting books I haven't bought (yet)!

Chezzetcook Modern Quilts

This quilt top is my goal for March for A Lovely Year of Finishes!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Stash: Spoonflower free swatch and Grow Your Blog giveaway winner

Spoonflower recently had a very clever publicity idea: Free Swatch Day. You could choose a free swatch of their new fabric "Silky Faille" in any print on their site (or even design your own), with free shipping (even to Italy!). I love shopping for fabric from on-line shops, you have so much choice, but the drawback is you don't always know what the quality of the fabric is going to be like. That's why I like Spoonflower's free swatch idea. 

This is the print Ella chose and it appropriately arrived on Valentine's Day! I was surprised how thick the "Silky Faille" fabric is and this will make it a lot easier to sew than I thought. Great for sewing clothes... I'd love to make an infinity scarf with it.

Spoonflower is soon having another Free Swatch Day for it's new fabric Modern Jersey, so keep your eyes open (or sign up for their community emails)!

And now for the winner of our Grow Your Blog Giveaway:

Congratulations Emily C @ Callenderscreations!

 We'll be sending you your prize:

Happy Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Molli Sparkles

      Knotted Cotton

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A picture... a moment

Thought I'd take these photos before my neighbour repaints all these beehives. I love the texture and the colours of the wood, worn out after months under the rain and the sun.
Just went out to take the photos again because the weather has been so bad... but they're gone. The moment has passed.

Weekend Doings

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentine's Day Home Decorations: MIHO and mine!

O.K. I couldn't resist all the hearts making their appearance in Blogland, so I had to add a few myself. First of all a brilliant idea by MIHO Unexpected Things. It's not actually just for Valentine's Day, it's a very clever home decoration you can hang up where you like with masking tape or a nail to make a feature on a wall.
They're called Ex-voto and they're inspired by votive offerings, transformed into an appliquè decoration.

On the back it explains how to hang them up using the ribbon on the package. It's a clever and thrifty packaging idea. The Ex-voto come in different colours (if you're fed up of red hearts) and you can buy them at Porrini Moda (if you live in North Italy!) or on-line at Zuloh (super fun on-line shop!).

And here's my little Valentine's day Home decoration: a reverse appliquè with cross stitch writing (Italic courtesy of Ella!) and some pretty trim in a beautiful deep frame by Jardin d'Ulysse.

Just a few photos:

Linking to:

Linky Party 2014

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Barn Door Quilt Along

This month I'm working on my Barn Door Quilt and I'm also super happy to be pattern testing a fantastic one-block quilt by Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts. More about that in another post.

So here are just a few photos of the (slow!) progress on my Barn Door Quilt designed by Sarah @ Sarah Quilts. Planning on speeding up in time for the next link up though! Fingers crossed...

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Monday, 3 February 2014

Sunday Stash: Sweets for Chocolate!

This week I gave up (some of) my chocolate for sweets. Well they looked just like sweets to me, with their bright colours all lined up in a box in Francesca's shop Tessilesa. Even better than sweets. I'm not a big sweet fan but I do have a sweet tooth for pink fabrics!

Questa settimana ho rinunciato ad (un po') della mia cioccolata in cambio di caramelle. Almeno sembravano caramelle a me, con quei bei colori vivaci tutti in fila in una scatola nel negozio Tessilesa di Francesca. Ancora meglio delle caramelle. Non mi piacciono tanto le caramelle ed invece ho un debole per i tessuti rosa!

I'm working on a little something for my daughters, but don't tell them! A glimpse at some bits and pieces that I'm going to use...

Sto lavorando ad una cosina per le mie figlie, ma non diteglielo! Una sbirciatina ad alcune cose che userò...

If you live or are visiting north-west Italy this week, don't miss the event organised by Francesca in her shop Tessilesa on Wednesday 5th of February. Veronica Ferrari will be presenting her books and running workshops all day:

Se vivi oppure ti trovi nel nord-ovest dell'Italia questa settimana non perderti l'evento organizzato da Francesca presso il suo negozio Tessilesa. Veronica Ferrari presenterà i suoi libri e ci saranno dimostrazioni per tutta la giornata:

This weekend there will also be the first trade fair "Passatempi e Passioni" (Hobbies and Passions): 

Questo fine settimana ci sarà anche la prima fiera "Passatempi e Passioni":

Happy Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Molli Sparkles

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Saturday, 1 February 2014

One Block Project: Stack of Books Block for a Magazine Rack - Tutorial

Welcome to our first One Block Project for 2014 - the Stack of Books Block Magazine Rack. The One Block Project is all about finding fun (and useful!) ways for using up single blocks. Don't you often just want to try out a new block that catches your eye or you don't know what to do with stray blocks left over from a quilt you've been making? You don't have enough time or fabric to make a whole quilt starting from one block? This often happens to us and that's why we've decided to try finding different ways for using single blocks.

The One Block Project is also about using scraps from your stash, joining this year's blog awareness on economising, see:

What better way to keep your favourite magazines handy than a Magazine Rack decorated with a fun patchwork block? Inspired by... the pile of magazines next to the bed! We've transformed that untidy pile into a wobbly Stack of Books Block and upcycled a wooden box to keep all our magazines in order.

Here's a tutorial for making your own Stack of Books Block Magazine Rack.

  • First of all you need a box. We used a wooden box, washed it, let it dry and then painted it white using white acrylic paint. If you don't have a wooden box you can use a plastic one or any sturdy box you already have.

  • Making the Stack of Books Block:
The block is easy to make. Use text fabric charms to cut out strips 5" wide (the width of the charms square) and with different heights. The text fabric strips represent books with different thicknesses so they shouldn't be too "thick". Measure the box's width and then sew together the text fabric with strips of Essex Yarn Dyed in Black (or a solid fabric in your stash) on either side to make strips. These strips, with the text fabric in the centre, should be about an inch wider than the box on each side. 
Remember to give the stack effect by making the text fabrics hang in or out from one strip to the next. Sew all the strips together (with a quarter of an inch seam allowance) and press the seams open. This makes the seams less bulky. Check the final block is high enough to cover the whole box. 

Iron Bondaweb or Heatbond on the back of your block before cutting it to size (following the manufactures instructions). 
If you're using a plastic or cardboard box, skip the steps for using the Bondaweb and use fabric glue to stick your block onto the box, making sure to line up the block at the bottom of the box and to smoothen the fabric as you glue it towards the top of the box.

Peel off the paper from the back of the Bondaweb or Heatbond.

Now iron the block on to your wooden box, lining up the bottom edge and making sure the stack is centred. You'll have some extra fabric on both sides of the box (not shown in this photo).

Now use your rotary cutter to cut off the excess fabric on the sides of the box, using the box as a ruler. This will make your block match the edge of the box perfectly.

And now just put your favourite magazines in the box and enjoy admiring your Stack of Books Block. It won't fall over, not like that pile of magazines near our bed used to...! 

We would love you to join the One Block Project Flickr Group. You can share photos of projects you've made using just one block (or a limited number of blocks), your ideas, tutorials and posts related to your own One Block Projects.

Ella & Nesta’s Little Room

Don't miss our giveaway for the Grow Your Blog Party here (open until the 14th of February): you could win a useful and inspiring prize

Linking to:
Linky Party 2014

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