Posted on

A week of Ups and Downs.

This week has been one of “Ups and Downs”.  It has been the first week of the school holidays, and in our family of 6, one by one our family has succumbed to illness.  Always a challenge to continue to work from home while dealing with sick children – but it has given me the opportunity to do a lot of hand sewing – allowing me to sit on the couch with the kids, yet still cross items off my to-d0 list !!  Multi-tasking in the “mum” way !!

There has been A LOT of incidents lately on the News involving Domestic Violence, and yet another partner this week murdered !! Unbelieveable !!  I love the call out by @jackiegillies I shared week #Quiltstohealviolence.  The Quilting Community is a buzz with Tic Tac Toe blocks and it is sensational to be a part of it.  While I was sitting on the couch I drew the cartoon below and decided that it will be part of my Bee Hive Sampler Quilt with all the blocks we have created this year.  The Quilt block The Jagged Little Pill designed by @Molli Sparkles has a middle 8″ Square perfect for a message !!  I don’t embroider very often (don’t look too closely !), but my Mum did teach me as a little girl.  I just used the threads that were in my stash.  And while I was being cuddled by sick children I embroidered this – with the “corny” phrase “Quilting binds us together”.  There are many occasions when the Quilting community will come together to support another – and I am very proud to be a part of it.  The Community’s generosity never ceases to amaze me !!

sewnbyleanne_upsanddowns_jaggedlittlepill

My daughter and I also made these gorgeous little pouches for one of her friends who’s Mum has just had another baby !!  Miss C choose the fabrics and we created the hexies !!

sewnbyleanne_hexies_upsanddowns

Love it when we can use the scraps and fussy cut them into something so stunningly beautiful <3.  I like a little bit of English paper piecing but I am not a big hand sewer !

sewnbyleanne_upsanddowns_zipperpouches

We used two of the hexies and quilted them to the front of the little pouches !!  4×5″  they are large enough to hold Big Sister’s special little items !!

sewnbyleanne_upsanddowns_improvherringboneblock

While they were all watching a movie or two,  I’d sit down at the sewing machine, and I created an “Improv” Quilt Block – this one based on the Traditional Herringbone Quilt block.  Ive created a lot of Improv blocks before without the sashing but this was the first time with all the fussy sashing.  Hmmm I’m not sure if I have become a fan or not ???  It does use a lot of fabric and takes quite a bit of time due to the pressing in between (as you know I’m not one who always presses a seam before the next !!)  I will have to try this again to see if there are any little tricks that I could cut down the time effectiveness !!

All in all, it has been a week of “ups and Downs”, but thankfully we are now back to the UPs, and writing this post has been very therapeutic in saying the week is OVER, now for the NEW one – where the LONG AWAITED  #FQSFarmerswife1930 begins !!!  Yay the first block has been announced – pop over to GnomeAngel’s Blog to find out more !!

Have a great week

Leanne 😉

Please like & share:
Posted on

Trying to get organised.

sewnbyleanne_jollymrclaus_organised_christmas

Organisation……

This week has demanded my attention to be ORGANISED.  When I am Organised, if the kids get sick or something doesn’t go to plan – I am able cope – but this week showed me, when I am juggling many things by the skin of my pants and then one of the kids are sick, then another and why don’t the other two join the boat too – everything heads down hill.  To the point I had to write a very embarrassing email to a lady – in which I had lost the names of her grandchildren she wanted appliqués to their Art Smocks :-(.  Thankfully this the last time it will happen as I have been organising my paperwork meticulously this weekend – partly to find the piece of paper I wrote my customer details on and secondly – so this NEVER happens again.  Ahhh !  It has been one of THOSE weeks.

Apart from this, in between I have met the deadlines of a couple of projects. Thankfully and just !!

Firstly,

Kylie from Little Moo Designs has created yet another stunning bag !!

sewnbyleanne_baybohobag_littlemoodesignsSince I made this bag I have LOVED it.  It fits everything, is COMFY, totally PRACTICAL  and I love the fact that it sits across the body.  This leaves my hands free to run after and grab my four year old when he is trying to escape !!  Thank you Kylie for another Great Bag !!  I saw this Aztec Denim Print in Spotlight as Kylie let me know the style of her new pattern – and instantly thought they would make a great match.  I decided on an Orange zip as I LOVE it as that special detail (plus my favourite colour is orange).

I have alos commenced my Block designs using Blossom Heart Quilts –  DIY Block Design Book.  It has been great.  I now have about 6 pages of Block designs I will share with you.  I am currently creating the tutorials and will announce the tutorial series next month !!  This will be my first – so it is rather exciting……. here is a sneak peek !

sewnbyleanne_blocktutorials_sneekpeek

While I have been patiently awaiting the start of the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long – I have also completed my Christmas project for the year – Jolly Mr Claus.

sewnbyleanne_jollymrclaus_organised_christmasJolly Mr Claus is a pattern from Melly and Me – and He is Adorable.  He met our Elf on the shelf last night 😉  And I am hoping he will keep the Elf in line this year !!  I will be taking PRE-ORDERS for Mr Claus from the 13th September – so watch this space !!

Ms Midge has also announced the Cotton and Steel #aussiecharmalong this week, so I have finally finished the Quilt top.  Here is a sneak peak !!  I won’t show you the entire Mini Quilt 34″x36″ until later in the month!

sewnbyleanne_sneakpeak_organised_cottonandsteel

As you can imagine with all of this – life has been busy – I am still trying to keep up with the Blog-tember too!  Although I am a few days behind  🙁

Have a great week and Enjoy life !

Leanne

 

 

 

Please like & share:
Posted on

An Ideal day – hmmmm !

sewnbyleanne_frazzledmum_idealday

The blog-tember challenge posts for yesterday and today :

sept 2:  An Ideal Day !

sept 3:  Inspiration/ Mood Board for Sewn by Leanne

sewnbyleanne_frazzledmum_idealday         vs                 sewnbyleanne_idealmum_idealday

Yesterday, was a challenging day – and certainly turned me into the above “Frazzled Mum State”.  Shhhh!  I’ll gives you a heads up – with four children under 11 years – this happens all too frequently.

So now that the it is a new day :

An Ideal day.

A day of love, happiness and kindness.

A day of family.

A day of Quilting and Creating.

A day of admiring beautiful Quilts and being inspired by peers.

A day to relax and enjoy each other.

A day to teach and pass on crafts to the next generation.

A day not to make school lunches and negotiate children’s social schedules.

A day of sun and fun, at the beach and laughter.

A day not to make meals, not to clean or pick up toys.

This doesn’t sound like A LOT does it ????  Hmmm !  Maybe I newer MANY Ideal days to get through this list !

My Inspiration/ Mood Board  for Sewn by Leanne is really my Pinterest Page !!  Here I collect ideas, inspiration and am in absolutely awe of my fellow Quilters !!  I have recently created a board called Quilt Eye Candy – which I will post the Quilt I love !!

Here are just a few !!  I LOVE  Colour, Texture and Shapes !!

sewnbyleanne_inspirationboard_blogtember

I love to be inspired by others’ beautiful creations !!

Tomorrow, is all about PASSIONS !!  Until then…..  I’m off to read about your Ideal day.

Leanne 🙂

Please like & share:
Posted on

An Organised Quilt-a-long for now !

sewnbyleanne_farmerswife1930s_quiltalong_organisation

sewnbyleanne_farmerswife1930sewalong_bookandfabric

Organisation – is something I like to be, and something I loved prior to having children.  A Type A personality, I LOVED colour co-ordinated stationary and could spend HOURS colour coding, filing and being prepared.  Some may have called this “procrastination”, instead of doing the study I needed to do.  But I had convinced myself I couldn’t work without things being “pretty” (aka organised 😉 ).

Then children came and I learnt that the first lesson they teach you is – “you are no longer in control, they are”.  I tried after one, then two, maybe a little after number three and certainly not after number four – to maintain my love of colour co-ordinated stationary and the feeling of being organised !  However, kids craft took over !!  Therfore, it has been a while since I bought stationary for myself – the children’s school booklists have been as close as I have come….

Seeing the many blogs and posts of the Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt-a-long of “Quilters Organisation 101” – inspired me to be organised with this Quilt-a-long.  I went to a local Stationary store – Officeworks – “browsed” as much as one can with a very excited 4 year old in tow……  I founds this gorgeous Orange three ring folder – matching the Sewn by Leanne Logo.  Then I ventured to the binding/ printing service to see how much Spiral binding the book would be – $5 – I was sold !!

sewnbyleanne_farmerswife1930s_quiltalong_organisation

Then I encountered printing dilemmas !!  I printed 1-50 – but I only set it to print “Actual Size” on the first block.  OH NO!!  So much paper wasted !!  I had to go into each individual file to adjust the printing size :-(.  After block 5, I decided I would take the disc to Officeworks and ask them to do this time investment !!  They groaned but agreed, and I left clear instructions for each file to be printed at ACTUAL size.  I arrived back the next morning – and alas – there was the pile of 100 blocks beautifully printed BUT ALL at least 1/8th of an inch smaller AHHHHHHHHH!   Thankfully the lady serving behind the counter was also a quilter and understood my dilemma.  So after all that, I asked for a refund and I went home and printed the remaining 95 out individually on my home printer.

Now I have a beautifully organised folder of all 99 blocks, including the rotary cutting instructions.  I printed out a colour copy of the above photo for the front pocket ! I am already to start creating starting the 28th September – it is marked in my diary Gnome Angel !!  How exciting. 

Meanwhile to stop myself starting to create this beautiful Quilt – I’m practising on other paper-piecing challenges……  Using 627 Handworks (aka Julie Hirt) 2″ hexie tiles I have started creating a fun Hexie-Quilt from my Cotton and Steel charms……  together with Charcoal Shot cotton !!

Here is a sneak peek for my next blog post later in the week….

sewnbyleanne_organisation_hexietiles

 

They are small and fiddly – yet stunning !!

See you later in the week.

Leanne 🙂 xx

 

Please like & share:
Posted on

Craft, Craft, Craft galore in August…..

sewnbyleanne_craft_colouringin_aprons

Craft has certainly taken pride of place in our home this month !!  I have been dabbling in non-quilting activities – such as creating my “One hour  and longer ……” Basket for Lil’ Pip Designs, pattern testing for Little Moo Designs, with yet another TWO patterns (Kylie is amazing with her designs), creating my children’s birthday cakes and making aprons as party favours for my daughter’ cupcake decorating party. The house has been filled with Glitter, Glue and Sugar.

But before I show you just how this month has got so busy – I must show you how perfectly the “One hour and longer…..”  Basket looks in my sewing space !!  It is just awesome <3 <3

sewnbyleanne_craft_onehourbasket_lilpipdesigns

I adore Quiet Play’s Paper Piecing Patterns.  This one has been on my to do list for a while.  It fits perfectly on top of my thread drawers !!  yep they are all filled with Aurifil threads !!  Thank you so much for the basket Jane – it is divine !!  Currently it holds my WIP Cotton and Steel Hexagons for the up and coming Charm Along.  More on this later though………..

Back to the craft……..

Here’s a look at the Frozen Ice Castle Attempt I made, with coloured toffee !!  I have stacked up a mountain of cupcakes and surrounded it with toffee shards !!  Not a bad attempt for my first attempt at making toffee – at least I didn’t ruin any saucepans !!

sewnbyleanne_craft_kidsbirthdays

 

The Party Favour Aprons for the girls to wear, also became the craft activity too.  I have used a lightweight canvas on the front, and the back I used Michael Miller Fabrics new Colouring-in Range Panels.  Each panel is 60cms.  The width was perfect for each apron.  At a local craft store I found Fabric Pastels in a little box – so each girl had one to take home and finish the colouring in also !!

 

sewnbyleanne_craft_colouringin_aprons

 

This Bombshell Bag is just one of the patterns I have made for Kylie from Little Moo Designs in the past couple of months.  I really enjoy pattern teasing for her.  The patterns are great – easy to read and follow and the best part is – the result is useful and practical !!

sewnbyleanne_craft_bombshellbag

This bag is great as a little girls toiletry bag, a make up bag or simply for there bits and pieces.  I quite like this pink laminated cotton print with the black cats and their green bow ties !  I found it in  Gail B’s Patchwork,  I work casually for.

As well as all of this, I have been working behind-the-scenes on my computer, on something very exciting !!  Which I will be able to reveal early next year.  Sometimes it is so hard to keep a secret…… shhhhhhh!  I find computer work quite frustrating most of the time.  I get an idea in my head of how I want something to look, but then it takes ages to figure out how to create it on the computer.  I guess it is a skill within itself though……….

Apart from all of this, Quilting remains my favourite craft and I have a couple of WIP which I will show you later in the week……….

Enjoy…..

Leanne xx

Please like & share:
Posted on

One Hour Basket Swap, that took many more !!

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_owl

The One Hour Basket Swap within the Quilt Block Boot Camp Facebook Group has been a lot of fun !!

I have always wanted to make the One Hour Basket – even if it was to see, if it really only took an hour to make !!  I have made more since this swap and the tutorial by Kelby Sews does only take One hour, however this is for the basic basket.

My partner in the swap is the organiser – Jane from Lil Pip Designs – so there was pressure right from the start to make sure she received a gift to say THANK YOU for organising this swap !!

I am delighted to say – she loved her treats !!  As she posted this collage on Facebook on the weekend !

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_janesreaction

We started with the brief :  Love Cotton and Steel, Owls and NO pink and red !!

Coincidentally, I was going through a phase of paper piecing and I found Elizabeth Hartman’s Owl Pattern.  Alas it was too big, so I shrank the pattern to fit the side of the one hour basket dimensions (by 60%!) .

I had just purchased a Layer cake of Cotton and Steel from Clair’s Fabrics – and found this gorgeous grey with teal brick pattern  – perfect !!

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_owl

The sides are a little higher than the dimensions Kelby Sews mentions – but these dimensions also accommodated a couple of outside pockets on the otherside too   !!

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_pockets

There are 3 pockets on this side – it is a little hard to see in the photo but there is a pen pocket in the centre !!  I reinforced the sides with medium interfacing and the pellon for extra strength.  I really hope Jane finds this basket useful.  I love this very Aztec Cotton and Steel print – funky and modern !!

Then the fun part of the swap started – what to fill the basket with !!  As I live at the “Gateway” to the Yarra Valley – it had to contain Chocolate (yes, I thought about wine !!  but the basket isn’t quite big enough to hold a bottle 🙁 ).

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_goodies

The Card is handmade by The Little Card Boutique – another Melbourne based business.  Helen makes the most stunning cards !!  I really recommend you take a look, I now buy all my special cards from her !  And the Charm Pack I bought from the Cotton Factory on an IG sale ages ago – and it was just the perfect treat to pop in !

The Umbrella Lady from the pattern – Spring Fling – by JMZ Blondze on Craftsy was then created for Jane – again using  Cotton and Steel Fabric.  It is such a lovely pattern to paper piece !

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_theumbrellalady

Unfortunately I didn’t get to the Craft and Quilt Fair this year to meet Jane and personally give her, her box of treasures.  Instead I was looking after children and doing many Mum things…….. so on the weekend I was creating and using the Triangular Pouch Pattern by A Spoonful of Sugar.  So as I was wrapping up the gift to send on Monday I popped two of these in as well !!  These were made from my stash of Liberty fabrics and using the Charcoal Shot Cotton.  These are fun little gifts to make – great to put chocolates or little items into !!

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_triangularpouches

All together the Gift looked great together and hopefully it said thank you enough for organising such a great and fun swap for us !!

sewnbyleanne_onehourbasket_gift

Thank you Jane for all your organising and ENJOY !!

Until we meet……

Leanne xx

 

Please like & share:
Posted on

Beaches in Australia ……..

sewnbyleanne_beach_seagull

The Beaches in Australia are renowned all over the world.  So when a Mini Quilt Beach Swap came up on Instagram, I took the challenge and started thinking of what the Beach means to a born an bred Aussie like me.

Most tourists would think of surfing, sun, yellow soft sand, sun baking, maybe our surf life savers (nippers too!) and resting !!  Well growing up in country Victoria and then Melbourne, to be honest I have visited the beach mostly in Winter.  I love walking along the beach or the numerous piers, all rugged up in the winter woolies, enjoying the sound of the waves, watching the kids collect shells and memories along the way.  I find the beach far more relaxing in Winter…  why??  because I don’t need to worry about the numerous applications of sunscreen so we don’t get burnt and watching four active young kids in the surf (much prefer the bay beaches with no surf).  The smell of the salt water, setting up the picnic rug and having hot chips from the local fish and chips shop watching the kids make sandcastles and tunnels are all family memories I will treasure.   My darling husband proposed in the middle of winter while walking along one of the amazing Great Ocean Road beaches – this always adds to my love of the beach in Winter xx

Don’t get me wrong – the beach in Summer is still an adventure, and the kids and I  love it even on a very hot summers day – but I guess now as parents we see it differently – but they LOVE it, even with me turning them into hat and “rashie” covered, water bloated, sunscreen smothered kids !!

The first paper pieced item I have made is one of a Seagull.

sewnbyleanne_beach_seagull Seagulls are everywhere on Australian beaches – especially where there is food !!  I remember one of my first trips to the beach with friends and throwing a chip at them, as they just hovered beside us !!  My friends quickly explained that this action was not done, as they then scavenge for more and they did.  One Sea gull was even brazen enough to pick one up from the paper itself.  Some will call Sea Gulls pests, but it looks amazing when you are lying on the beach looking up and there is a large flock flying overhead !!

The second piece is a Sea turtle.

sewnbyleanne_seaturtle_beach

Sea Turtles are amazing creatures.  This comes from my time living in Northern Queensland and seeing these amazing creatures on the beach!  This was a joy to paper piece from a tutorial by Sew Hooked on Craftsy.  The block is only 5.5″  square – so a great way to use those “little” scraps of this Cotton and Steel Basic.

The third block is a Starfish.sewnbyleanne_starfish_beach

Starfish remind me of the endless walks on the beach and over rock pools searching for Sea life.  Finding these amazing Starfish within the rock pools and seeing their colours glistening in the sunlight !

The beach is such an amazing environment that is viewed by so many of us in different ways….  I’d love to hear from you and see what you think makes Australian beaches unique !

I’m not quite sure how these blocks are going to come together yet, but it is a work in progress and I’ll be sure to let you know !

Have a great week

Leanne x

 

Please like & share:
Posted on

Owls and Paper piecing

sewnbyleanne_allietheowl_paperpiecing

Paper piecing is a new skill I wanted to work on this year……..  and although it is not my favourite way to quilt, it certainly allows you to work with those very little pieces of fabric easily.  Or should I say easier than without the paper backing, rather than easy !!

My swap partner in the #quiltblockbootcamp One hour Basket swap – is a lover of Owls.  So over the weekend I sat on pinterest – which isn’t that rare 😉 – and made a secret board of Owls…..  Quilted, Appliqued and FMQ.   WOW !  Owls are popular little animals….  So this morning I started practising on some techniques, colours and arrangements…….  have to be careful what I say and show, as I’m sure she will read this post !  Maybe just read between the lines a little.

Anyway while I was searching and the minutes on Pinterest turned into hours (as usual!) ,  I found a technique of turning regular patterns into paper piecing when you want smaller blocks !!  I have to say I like!!

One of my favourite Quilt Pattern Designers – Elizabeth Hartman – has an Owl Pattern I purchased a while ago – and has been on my LONG to do list.  However the Owl block is 16″x28″ – this is a BIG block……

sewnbyleanne_owleye_paperpiecing

Using my photocopier tis morning I reduced the pattern by 60%, and decided to paper piece it – as you can imagine how small 2 1/2″ blocks become when reduced by 60%.  I tried the Owl’s eye first to see if I was going to pull this off – and guess what – it looks like an Owl’s eye !! Yay !!  Im not sure whether the navy Cotton and Steel Tanagrams works for her eyebrows – looks a bit fierce, but I was just sooooo excited that it looked like an eye !!

So I decided to continue !!  What do you think ??

sewnbyleanne_allietheowl_paperpiecing

 

There are a few things I would do differently next time round !!  Here are my tips !

1.  Have all your pieces/ chosen first before you start, as the little pieces I was using started to get lost amongst the pile of scraps and fabric piling up !

2.  Cut your seams as you go, as the seams can get bulky when working with little pieces – you can see the stitches pulling a little bit at the nose.  it is because I wasn’t careful enough at snipping my seams with each fabric addition.  So there were a lot of layers to sew through when joining the nose 🙁

3.  Make sure you have a small stitch length so the paper rips easily, without destroying your work! I used the 1.8 setting on my Janome.  (I only remembered this half way through creating my Owl).

4.  Have fun !!

My Allie isn’t perfect but I think she looks rather good – frowning – but the cotton and steel aqua and gray border, almost gives the impression She is looking through the window !

My advice – just give it a go – it works sometimes !! <3

Enjoy your week!

Leanne

 

 

 

Please like & share: