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Paper piecing – a new love !!

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Paper Piecing has definitely become a new love of mine.  I have just completed this Giraffe.  This Pattern is made by Tartan Kiwi, and it is a big project – but look at the results !!

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Tartan Kiwi’s Pattern has a completely black background – and I just love how you can change the fabric – and therefore change the personality of the Quilt.  This Quilt is now hanging from my bedroom door, until I decide how to Quilt it.  I’m thinking something to distinguish the character of the sky and the grass !  Tartan Kiwi has also made a Zebra – Paper piecing pattern which I think is next on my to do list !! The size of this Mini Quilt is 25×34″ so it is not small !!

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This is an example of my planning stage.  I have my colouring pencils (which I borrow from my daughter) and the perfect giraffe fabric I found at work !

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Gradually the features and personality of the giraffe come together.  I have my scraps colour coded so I often have by blue box just sitting there and dig deep to find the right size piece.  So the piecing is very much trial and error.  When you start paper piecing it is quite difficult sometimes to determine how much fabric you need, so it is a bit of trial and error.  I read in a pattern recently that you should cut your pieces an inch larger than the shape on your paper – but that is quite large and you will waste a lot of fabric this way.  I’m not sure what the answer is, but I will give you a guide as I learn also…….  Paper pieced Patterns don’t often include the amount of fabric needed, which I find interesting.

Two other paper pieced projects I have completed lately are the beach scene which I have created for my #beachboundswap partner and another is the owl by Elizabeth Hartman.  The owl pattern is not an original paper pieced pattern.  I have reduced it’s size substantially (~60%) so that it fits on the side of an one hour (and the rest….) basket.

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Once the Owl was significantly smaller there were a lot of very small pieces to work with, and I find paper piecing allows me to manage the pieces and even seams better!

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This Australian Beach Scene I have created for a swap, and this Mini Quilt will be sent overseas.  Hence the little bits of Australia in it – the golden beach, seagulls, starfish in rock pools, yellow/ red to represent our lifeguards and a touch of Terra Australis – representing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  My mission this weekend is to Quilt this Mini so it is ready to send in September.  To create this scene I have used the “Spring Fling Pattern” by JMZBlond on Craftsy, and the Turtle is by SewHooked  .

Definitely give paper piecing a go -you can find patterns for any animal, Frozen characters that would make great pillows – it is really like sewing a picture !!  I love it !!

Have a great weekend !!

Leanne 🙂

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A Whale of a Time for two beautiful boys

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I created “Whale Of a Time” last month for a very special arrival in my extended family.  We weren’t sure whether he would be a he or a she – so Elizabeth Hartman’s Preppy the Whale pattern seemed ideal !  I had completed the top of the quilt a couple of weeks earlier but was awaiting the arrival of this gorgeous baby to choose the backing – as I have to confess if Master P was not a boy the backing would have been pink !!

These rainbow whales just make me smile every time I look at them – a great quilt for tummy time.

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For the Quilting I used swirls but included on each whale the splash of water coming from their blow holes – it looks really effective .

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Last week, my cousins sent me a photo of their gorgeous boys enjoying their arrival gifts !!

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Isn’t Master P so cute ??  So little when they are a week old !  The Size of the Quilt 60×45″ is an ideal size for a play mat or a cot quilt, or both.

Now for Master H who is just about to turn 2 – I thought how do I make him feel special too – so I created this double sided super hero cape – on one side it has the Batman logo and the other Super Big Brother.  Apparently he was Super Big Brother for days – fantastic !!

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Being a Mum of four – it is always that fine line, giving them the attention while everyone “goo and gahs” over the new arrival.  Im glad the cape made Master H feel brave and super !!

Congratulations T & C on your beautiful boys.

With lots of love

Leanne

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Kids and Sewing – School holidays

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Kids and Sewing.

Well it is school holidays here for two weeks.  It is when I try desperately to balance Sewing and the kids needs and desires !!  Do I achieve this balance ??  I guess the answer to this fabulous question depends on the day, hour, and minute.  When it all goes pear shaped – do I reassess – yes;  do I have the solution – No; and do I try to achieve too much – always.

Kids and Sewing

For years now, I have been a list person.  There is a LONG LONG to do list, a weekly to do list and a daily to do list.  There are many days, even when the older three are at school, when I look at my daily to do list and think – well that was ambitious to even think I was going to achieve ALL that !!  So I have tried a different tact these holidays – to make the kids feel like they are the centre of my universe – which of course they are (always) 😉  and so that I feel like I’m not getting behind in my orders and quilting, and therefore getting VERY stressed, snappy and those those “wonderful” characteristics of a frazzled Mum.

I have forced myself to choose 3 things that I want to do,  so – whether it be, making that binding, making dinner early or cleaning the bathrooms – only three of my jobs come off my daily list, to my essential list.  The kids also get to choose one thing from their school holiday wish list each day (within reason – my three year old, has visiting a police station and going to the moon on his wish list !)

So far we have been able to complete their wishes, and most days I have been able to do some work, and the older three know they haven’t been forgotten – or Mum hasn’t disappeared into the “land of quilting” (as my 8 year old calls it!).

I don’t know what it is like in your home, but the first few days of the school holidays seem to be the most challenging for my crew – each one getting used to the fact they have three siblings in their face 24 hours a day without the structure and constant stimulation of school!!  The lounge room couch seems to shrink as they all want to sit in the same space !!  What the ??????  After a couple of days, they have found their own little niche, their own games to play together – these holidays it seems to be  – the tickling war !!

Now after Week One I see that we have accomplished quite a bit !

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Fairy Gardens have been created……..  with many thanks to Kylie from Little Moo Designs.  I purchased these adorable fairies in November and have stored them away for a quiet time – and little Miss found them.  She spent hours in the garden playing and was very excited to hear a fairy or too chatting to them !! Ahhh !  It is great to see her imagination explode with delight !

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We have taken a couple of walks down by the river to see the ducks, and the enormous rapids (Hmm The Yarra doesn’t have rapids – but in my children’s eyes the ripples were rapids!  They will get a shock one day if they ever want to go White Water Rafting in Tully, Qld!).

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Master O even wrote his own name for the first time !!  Yay !!

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Playgrounds have been found along the way !!

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Cousins have come to play!!  While the boys were outside playing, Miss H and I created this foxy Cushion.  It is a promise I made her last holidays, and we and so much fun creating it.  Thank you Elizabeth Hartman for your gorgeous foxy pattern !

And what have I created you ask – hmm title kids and sewing – well I was so excited when one of the members of the Quilt Club Australia FB group posted “the Umbrella lady” from JMZ Blond on Craftsy, that I just had to try it.  I have developed a real love for paper pieced quilting, finding it allows you to work with small pieces with ease.

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I really love this pattern – and find it has so much scope to imprint your own personality into it !!  This little one is going to a very special lady !!

Although the shortened and child involved lists have worked for one week, there is no guarantee it will work for another – but here’s hoping (fingers crossed!).

There are many other projects and quilts on the go, but I haven’t been able to photograph outside for a couple of days due to Melbourne’s inclement weather !!  Stay tuned as when the Sun comes out – there will be loads of pictures for me to Show and Tell !

I hope holidays are going well for everyone !!

Leanne

 

 

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Owls and Paper piecing

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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……

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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 ??

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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

 

 

 

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Sunday Wrap up

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The Sunday Wrap Up ….

I’m starting a series of Sunday afternoon wrap ups, where I will be showing you what has been going on at Sewn by Leanne.

This week involved Quilt Tops, Quilt Blocks, receiving a gorgeous handmade gift for my daughter from KBS Designs, working with gorgeous fabrics, organising an 11 year olds birthday and just enjoying being a Mum.

Mothers Day 2015

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There were lots of cuddles and kisses this morning, a sleep in and gorgeous sweet pressies to greet me today !!  Gifts that they had made at school and kinder, along with mothers day stall purchases and of course shh – my favourite Maltesers ! (Chocolate without being overtly chocolate!)  Candles, Zipper Purse, key ring, pens, chore vouchers – I can cash in on anytime – and cards to treasure …. all making a great Mothers Day.

Together with dear friends we spent the day, playing and chatting – with soup, bread and chocolate pudding !  Thank you <3

Quilt tops

This weeks aim was to finish 4 quilt tops that 3 gorgeous clients have requested !  The first two Quilt tops are part of my favourite Equilateral triangle Cot Quilt Range.  I love how the different colours pop, especially outside in the gorgeous sunshine that popped through the clouds in Melbourne earlier in the week 🙂  The colours are all from Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton Solid Range.

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See how the second Quilt has the warmer colours – with a touch of Amber, Latte and Chocolate !!  These Quilts are stunning to brighten up a nursery <3.

sewnbyleanne_equilateraltrianglecotquilt2The third Quilt top is filled with loads of character….  Each fabric gives each fox, it’s very own personality ….

sewnbyleanne_foxyquiltAll the fabrics were created using fabrics within my stash, oranges, yellows and reds are some of my faves !  With a couple of contrasting colours to liven up the “foxy pack”.  Can’t wait for my client to receive this Quilt 😉  I have used Elizabeth Hartman’s Fox block Pattern to create the faces, and altered the sashing and layout to fit the Quilt dimensions I am working towards.

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This King Single Quilt top is even more stunning and glamorous in person.  I have seen this Michael Miller’s Glitz Fabric range in online fabric stores frequently, but now having seen it in person – it is simply stunning.  Many would say “No, don’t put spots and chevrons together”  but I think these work perfectly.  And the white sashing allows this little girl to treasure her Quilt into her teens and beyond.  The pinwheel blocks create interest amongst the Squares.

Alice in Wonderland Clock by KBS Designs

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On Friday this gorgeous clock arrived for my daughter and it will look AWESOME on her wall.  Being in First Grade, she is obsessed with the time at present.  When I saw Alice I just knew she would be a perfect fit into Miss C’s Room.  Karyn has gorgeous high quality bespoke decor for all ages – make sure you go and have a look at her page  here !

Quilt Blocks

This week’s block was “The Busy Block” at Blossom Heart Quilts.  I am loving learning how to paper piece !  This block has an amazing transformation depending on how you organise the four parts of the block.

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In the end I choose the third arrangement, as I liked the way the light blue frames the “leaves”.  This Busy block would make an amazing Quilt, with the impression of leaves and wonky stars !

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My Hive’s May Queen Choose “The Double Star” block for her choice in greens and aquas.  This is one of my favourite blocks so far that we have created.  I am excited to send this one to my Queen and look forward to seeing her final Quilt top.
sewnbyleanne_doublestar_mayqueenAnd as I LOVED creating Elizabeth Hartman’s Foxes so much, here is a close up of a FOXY Fox !

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Last night as I ran out of Kona cotton solid White – I played with a few scraps – and created this “Sweetheart Block”  it is not finished yet -I aim to get it to 12.5″, making it “Three hearts in One”.  but we will see how I go !  it is a bit fiddly with half inch blocks – and might be better as a paper pieced block – but I shall let you know !

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I hope you have enjoyed the Sunday Wrap up – I hope to make this series a weekly post, so that you can see what is being created and designed at Sewn by Leanne.  Again I hope everyone enjoyed their Mothers Day.  Give your Mum a huge Hug……..

Blessings as always,

Leanne

 

 

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