Plans

I’ve got some good quilt plans in the making for this year! A few very close friends having babies in 2016 so I’m really excited to make some new little quilts for them. I think I’ll be using made up patterns and also some from the book I mentioned late last year in this post.

I haven’t been buying fabric much, due to the insane exchange rate in the US right now- whew! That gladly forced me to buy from Japan instead : )

I am a huge sucker for constellations! My favourite thing, I’ve got a pretty good cotton constellation collection now, but this fabric is a gorgeous double gauze – that’s best to wear!! I can’t see myself making clothes again, been there, tried that (disliked) but look at this little dress!! I want it. If only Japanese patterns weren’t so hard to follow. Plus this is a mystery pattern anyway, but my perfect dress style (those cuffs ♥).

Maybe you have to be Japanese to wear something so cute successfully. Or at least someone who wears/owns dresses? I think I’ll work on that this year. Yeah dresses… I still have to make that little one for my niece, that’ll be good practice for my dreaded sewing in 3D!

January

While I know it’s been a while between posts, most of you know that my last project was a big one and a secret one at that. Which really doesn’t make for interesting blog posts does it!? So finally the year ended with a woosh. Did yours? I worked like a fiend trying to fit everyone in, before I flew home once again for a glorious Christmas and New Years in Australia. Of course upon arrival, I got the flu and spent Christmas day feeling lagged and gross, but who cares! I was on holidays. At least it was warm and not busy!

Canberra skies are really lovely, you forget sometimes when you live there, but they’re something special for sure. I spent time with my wonderful family as well as a few good catch ups with friends, but mostly I hung out with my niece, Lois. Which was the best.

And finally for Mums big 70th birthday I got to gift her and Dad the quilt that’s taken up most of my life for the last few months. It was a gift for both of my parents birthdays, but my Dads was in October and I was nowhere near done then. Plus it was fun to just pop it on their bed and then bring them upstairs to see it.

It is really hard to photograph a king sized quilt. Ha, my poor sisters standing on chairs with their arms in the air! It’s much bigger than it looks!

As usual I’m feeling mixed emotions about returning to the other side of the world. It still amazes me that you can travel that distance in a day or two and fly so far so relatively easily. Happy 2016 to you all, bring on the projects : )

 

Sleep over quilt

I know it’s been forever. Work is kicking my butt! It’s so so busy, which is excellent for a small business owner, but not for my clients, who have to wait longer! Hopefully it’s just the season (only 6 weeks until Christmas- whaaaa?) and things will ease slightly for 2016!

Still sewing a secret quilt that I can’t show yet. And I was so ashamed at not having a nice twin sized quilt to give guests staying on our couch over the summer, that I made one. It’s from my favourite fabrics purchased this year, mostly Honeymoon, by Sarah Watts and more Cotton and Steel. I drafted a 18″ version of the Antique tile block.

Best thing about the Honeymoon fabric? Sloths!! They’re so cute. The blues are perfection in this line, I love an almost violety blue with black. I made a few little star blocks for some of the centre squares too.

It’s backed in the slightly trippy Ikea fabric that’s been popular lately, sadly my Ikea is not stocking anymore quilting weight cotton, only canvas. So I’ll have to find another affordable option for later. Pity because they were a good width too. Bring back the numbers!!

 Now if you stay at my house in the future you may well be sleeping under this beauty (it’s in the wash as we speak softening and crinkling nicely!)

Most exciting, I ordered a couple of quilting books online. One I returned (too simple) and the other is AWESOME. I love all of Nancy Purvis‘ quilts, I’ve been following her on instagram for a while (she’s @owensolivia), so I knew I’d love her book.  It’s full of my style of quilts and ones I’m happy to have patterns and advice for. While usually I enjoy planning out patterns and dare I say it, quilt math, it’s really nice to have it done for you too.

I can’t wait to get started on some of these super designs. Just trying to figure out a way to use up some of my stashed fabric and fighting the urge to buy some more especially for these projects. I’m most looking forward to making the Desert Blooms Medallion (my first medallion quilt!), the Colorblock, the Mesa and the Fossil quilts.

Happy Autumn and Spring all!

sewn

I have been busy as a bee, sewing like mad. But it’s for my parents big birthdays later this year and I want it to be a surprise!! I’ve been wanting to make them something substantial for ages, but I think I mentioned before the pressure of how and what was killing me! In any case I did decide (already an impressive start for me) and I have been sewing tons for the last couple weekends, trying to make a dent in the 288 blocks I need… Phew. (here’s a sneak in progress pic)

It does involve my stash of Liberty I got from the Liberty of London Club at Westwood Acres last year. Luckily I did it then because the American dollar right now is INSANE! I am on a fabric diet (although I couldn’t resist these few new purchases, from a closing down sale, so it was OK!)

I’ve decided to make a couple of little dresses for me niece Lois from a couple of these sweet Heather Ross fabrics (those ballerinas!) using Made by Rae’s geranium dress pattern, which is a classic.  I just bought the pattern today and I’ll hopefully make one this weekend.  You know it’s so cheap to make them, especially when you can use second hand fabric, I figure the speed she’s growing, might as well make them fast, cute and affordable : )

I’ve had a rough past week or so. These things happen you know, that’s life.  I often struggle with homesickness as most of my friends are aware and it’s a weird sort of thing to feel.  Often I must seem ungrateful for how good my life is, especially at the moment with so many millions of refugees fleeing their homes, it’s ridiculous that I’m even mentioning this. But it’s not about how lucky I am (and indeed I am) it’s just an ache for something constantly missing.

Bonne Septembre.

 

Wax printed fabric

I’m seeing more people than usual wearing or sewing with these gorgeous African wax prints lately. Aren’t they amazing? This fabric is most recognizably found throughout mid and west Africa, it goes by many names however, as the process has migrated internationally through history. Dutch wax print, Real English Wax, Veritable Java Print, Guaranteed Dutch Java, Veritable Dutch Hollandais and of course African Wax Print.  It’s basically the same process as Javanese batik which means it must be insanely time consuming to actually produce meters of this fabric. I’m guessing most of them are prints, not actually done with wax these days, which is more affordable I’m sure.

Can you see yourself wearing some of this? It’s pretty bold, but I would! Now all I need to do is travel to Western Africa to get some. Yes please fabric safari.

Most images here.

Wandering and wondering

As I write, I’m thinking of my Dad, travelling alone and lost in Latvia, apparently (he’s often lost though, I think he likes it). He’s quite the character, Poppy, always really in love with travelling the world and meeting people. He started off young, leaving Germany on a ship after the war to start a new life in Canada first, heading west to the land of golden opportunity, California. Where he grew up. After getting married he travelled for a long time around Europe in a van with my Mum. Lived for a while in Germany again, where my brother was born, returned to California years later and then decided Australia was where their family future lay. They’ve been Australians for many years now, quite proudly so and while they still travel back to the US and beyond, their home is definitely Aus.

You’d think after all that he might tire of planes and ships, my Mum did, but I guess it’s just part of some people. After trying to cycle up the Ganges in India last year, this years trip seemed much more appropriate for a man his age, Helsinki down to Istanbul, back up to Berlin. I’m not sure 3 months travelling alone is easy for anyone, but it sure is nice to have an adventurer in the family. He’s a good example of not getting stuck in routine, especially with aging. Showing me that the world is an amazing place, that people always have something interesting to share, that there’s no time like the present.

I do worry about him though, for a few reasons, but I’m happy he’s going for it. Do you have a bucket list? Somewhere you’re dying to go? Something you’d love to do or see? It’s time and money stopping me, but I wonder whether that’s a valid excuse.

If you’re reading Poppy, take care of yourself! Love you xo