Friday, 22 November 2013

Mini Blocks - and a Free Pattern

Hello! Though things have not been as active on the sewing front around here lately as I would like, I have had the chance to do a little sewing - and I do mean little. Two little miniaturised Farmers Wife Sampler blocks actually. Each one is two inches square and will finish at 1.5 inches.

Here we have Block 80 - Single Wedding Star (also known as Rolling Stone):


And this is Block 73 - Rainbow Flowers: 


I find these so much fun to make, and they're so quick compared with their bigger cousins. Having given away the mini sampler I made with my first mini blocks (you can see that here) I thought I'd make myself one. No rush, just the odd block now and then.

After posting my first mini sampler last year I was asked for a tutorial on some mini blocks, so I thought I'd do up a free instruction sheet for each of these, and for more as I make them. If you're interested, the Rolling Stone Mini Block pattern is now available for (free) download at my Craftsy Pattern Store. :) There are step-by-step instructions and diagrams, as well as a few "Tips for Success". It only takes the smallest of scraps to make these blocks, so why not have a go? There's nothing to lose really :)

Bye for now, and happy sewing!

Hope x


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Pattern Sale!

Sale now over. Thank you :)

Hello! Long time no see. I've just looked at the calendar and realised it's only 6 weeks till Christmas, thereabouts. So, just because, I thought I'd have a little pattern sale. For a limited time both my patterns will be $6 instead of the usual $8 - that's 25% off. Sale ends Sunday 24 November 2013.

Thats ZigZag Love:


And Zigzag Run:


Both patterns are available either at Craftsy, or at my Big Cartel site.

It's the perfect time to buy and start making some Christmas presents, don't you think? Or either one would look great in Christmas fabrics... :)

Happy sewing!

Bye for now x

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Zigzag Run - a New Pattern

Hello, and Happy Wednesday! I have a little sewing project to share with you today, something that started as a sketch in my journal and ended up a touchable, usable item - love that. And another thing to love: it's also my newest pattern! I've called it Zigzag Run.


I have written the pattern with beginners in mind, including lots of diagrams and detailed step-by-step instructions. I am always available if you have any questions - the email address is in the pattern. This would be a great project for more experienced sewers too, the scope for colour play and the smaller pieces keep it interesting. :)

The pattern neatly uses a 42 piece charm pack, but I had a definite colour scheme in mind for this table runner so used charms from a few different ranges as well as a few fabrics from my stash. I love the bold colours and the way they look in our dining room. See the aqua/blue colour in there? That's pretty much the colour of our dining room walls. 


The greens are mostly Hello Luscious by Basic Grey for Moda. There is a lot of Domestic Bliss in there, and the blacks are from Half Moon - both also from Moda. I also used a couple of purple solids left over from the first quilt I ever made. 


The backing and the binding are both from my local quilt shop. The binding fabric is one I'm using for a lot of my Farmers Wife Sampler quilt blocks. I should probably get more actually, just in case I use it all up before I finish the sampler. ;)


I've listed the Zigzag Run pattern for sale on Craftsy and also on my Big Cartel site. You'll be able to download the pattern after payment at either site. Or, you can Buy Now.  

So, what do you think? Could you see yourself making your own Zigzag Run? I would love to see one in fresh Spring colours, or a graduating rainbow of colours marching from one end of the runner to the other. Alternating dark and light fabrics would be fun too... so many options.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Bye for now x 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Card for Dad

It's Fathers' Day tomorrow here in Australia, and last night and today I got busy with my coloured pencils and made Dad a card. I sometimes find it tricky to make cards for males, mainly because most of the stamps and so forth I have are not very masculine. So, with cards for Dad I usually try to think outside the box and do something a little different to my usual.


I did most of the 'Dad' and the green last night. I was so into it that eventually my hubby had to tell me "pencils down" in a school examiner's voice to make me stop and go to bed...

Today I finished off the green and did the background. I was going for a wood grain effect... I do hope that's stating the obvious? All up I used about four different browns, two greens, dark blue and black.


I had a bit of trouble getting the colour right in the photos. It's probably somewhere between the first and second photo.

On the back of the card I did this quick little heart:


I think it's safe to assume that Dad will like it. He likes the colour green, he loves wood and working with wood, and he likes that "Old English" style of writing. Plus he's my Dad and as such he will love it because it's made with love - I'm sure that's what's most important to him. 

Thanks for visiting me here. I hope you and the dads in your life have a wonderful day tomorrow.  

Bye for now x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Nature's Chorus

Hello! Goodness time flies, doesn't it? I knew I'd been away from my blog for a while (again) but hadn't realised just how long. Well, I thought it high time I shared a quilt that has been finished since my birthday at the end of April:


This fabric is Nature's Chorus by April Cornell for Moda. The brown is something I bought from my local fabric shop that I thought went rather nicely with the fabrics.


The quilting is all free-motion, even the straight 'in-the-ditch' quilting. I wobbled off course now and then but I would have to search to find where. I quilted it with a few different designs. This on the centre section:


This on the borders (you can see where I wobbled off course into the brown slightly here):


And this flower design on the corners:


As you can see, I decided on a pale binding, and I really like how it looks.

So, there you have it. I am so pleased with the quilting, even with those wobbles. I think the texture is lovely and so different to the straight line quilting I've mainly used in the past. I am dying to quilt another quilt, so I guess I should get on with some WIPs and get something ready to go!

Bye for now x

Monday, 8 July 2013

Back Again - with Star Gardener

I'm back! Back after an extended period of no blogging and no sewing. I had a hand operation in May, a month earlier than I was scheduled to have it, on my right (dominant) hand. Consequently I had to resist using it for a long while. It is almost back to normal - well, almost almost - so I am happily back into my sewing.

Among other things, I've sewn a Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt block. This is block 87, Star Gardener.


I have mainly been sewing rectangles to rectangles lately, so it was really fun to do something a bit more intricate. The cutting took me a long time, but the block went together quite quickly. There are a couple of points I'm itching to re-do, but I'm letting it sit for a bit to see how I feel about it later.

I was planning to do the centre square in the same fabric as the star points, but I cut it too small and didn't have enough left to re-cut. So, after trialling a few different options, I ended up with a rose centre.

Of course, having done this block I'm dying to more. They will have to wait for another weekend though.

Bye for now x


Friday, 31 May 2013

It's a card!

I started this blog, way back when, to share the cards I was making with my family (mainly Mum) who lived 4 hours drive away. Now, I have ended up sharing mainly fabric items because, well, that's what gets made these days. Today though, I've got a card to share! :)

I made this card for a friend's birthday last month, and it is the first one I've made in quite some time. The bird is a stamp from October Afternoon, part of an alphabet set called Rosie's Diner.



The pretty background paper is from K&Company.

After making the card I thought the bird would go nicely on the gift wrapping too, along with some washi tape.


It was good to get back to a bit of paper crafting. Patchwork and quilting takes over sometimes - most times - and the paper and other goodies I have in my cupboard just sit there, neglected. I'm glad the birthday gave me a push to make something papery again, I enjoyed it. 

Bye for now x 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Little Online Shop

I have just finished setting up a little online store where I will be selling my patterns. The address is hopesquiltdesigns.bigcartel.com 

At the moment there is just the one pattern, ZigZag Love, but as I do more patterns they will be added.



I decided to do this because it seems you have to create or sign in to your PayPal account when buying patterns through Craftsy. I have had someone let me know that this is not ideal for them, and thought it might also be inconvenient for others. With this new bigcartel site, you should be able to pay by credit card without having to have or create a PayPal account.

Bye for now x




Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Quilting, quilting, quilting...

Hello, and happy Tuesday! I have been absent from my blog longer than I realised... I have not been idle though. Among other things, I've been free-motion quilting! I signed up for Leah Day's Craftsy class a while back, Free Motion Quilting a Sampler, and it gave me the confidence to have a go.

I have just one photo to show for the moment, a little corner of the back of the quilt, but I hope to have it bound soon and then I will share more. 


I am so pleased with it, and with the fact that I refrained from unpicking when I 'wobbled' off course. Those mistakes just melt into the background when you step away from it. 

Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon with a finished quilt!

Bye for now :)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Flickr Group

Hello, just a quick note to let those of you who have bought my pattern know that I have created a group on Flickr. I would love to have people join and post photos of anything they make with my patterns. Progress shots and fabric choices would be great too. Here is the address:



I hope you will join me there, it is a little lonely being in a group of one! ;)


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Flock - A Farmers Wife Sampler Block

Good afternoon!

I actually made another Farmers Wife Sampler block today. It has been SUCH a long time since the last ones.

This is block 33, Flock:


This was quite quick to make - not many pieces compared to a lot of the other blocks - and went together pretty well. I started cutting it out last night, and finished it up today. I do so love these Rose Parade fabrics from Moda. LOVE them.

I am sort of considering putting the blocks I've made together into a quilt top now... I don't know if I want to make a queen size any more. There are a couple of reasons. One, I feel like it will be a million years from now before all the blocks are done for it. Two, I can't help but feel the blocks will get a bit lost in the crowd with a big quilt, and a smaller quilt will make it easier to see each block - and can be used more often. Still, no need to rush into a decision, I've got plenty of other projects to keep me busy!

I would also like to say, if any of you lovely people are reading, thank you to those who have purchased my pattern. It is such a thrill, and I can't wait to see some heart quilts made from it.

Bye for now :)

Monday, 11 March 2013

Hatchlings

Hello, and Happy Monday!

My sister-in-law brought this little quilt over for some minor repairs today, so I thought I'd take a couple of photos and post them on here. I made this quilt for her when she was pregnant with her first child. It was a Christmas present, and I remember sewing the binding on on Christmas Eve.... Nothing like the last minute for getting things done.

This is the third quilt top I ever made, but my second fully-complete quilt. It was my first ever appliqué, my first time following a pattern and my second attempt at binding.


The original pattern was from a magazine, I can't remember which at the moment, and was in country colours with little bunny rabbits popping out of the hearts. I had bought the purple dragon print (click on the pic to hopefully see that better) to make the quilt so decided to turn the rabbits into dragons to go with it.


Unlike the talented Suzitee, who does a lot of blanket stitch by hand and does it very well, it really is not my forte. There was no way I was doing all that blanket stitch by hand, so I used my machine blanket stitch, which I was really pleased with. I remember I didn't have any fusible web like the pattern called for, so I used a light-weight fusible interfacing on the back of each shape, and the odd bit of hemming tape here and there to hold it in place while I stitched.

I did try a bit of free-motion quilting on it, aiming for some spirals, but only managed really tight little spirals which were no good at all, so in the end I quilted it in the ditch.

I kind of muddled my way through the binding, which I wasn't really sure how to do at all. I decided to do it all by machine, mainly because I was in a hurry to get it done! I stitched in the ditch along the binding at the front, catching it at the back a couple of millimetres from the edge.


The backing fabric I picked with the help of my hubby. It seemed to go well with dragons, and we thought it would be sure to keep bub warm, being all flames. :)

The best thing about this quilt is that nearly six years later it's being used for baby number three, and I'm sure that in four or five months when baby number four comes, it will be used by her too. The repair is just a little one - I didn't poke one of the dragon bodies far enough under the heart, so it's come out from behind. Just need to sew it down to stop it fraying really. :)

Gosh, lots of writing today, I must be feeling talkative. Thanks for bearing with me, if you did. :)

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

ZigZag Love Pattern is Ready!

Hello everybody!

I am very excited, and more than a little nervous, to announce that the pattern for my ZigZag Love quilt is now up and available for purchase on Craftsy! Click HERE to see (and buy, if you'd like, I'd love you forever if you did). ;)

I have done my best to ensure a comprehensive pattern, proof-read many times, with lots of diagrams and pressing instructions to help match the seams effortlessly. Different sizes are included in addition to the main little quilt, each using a pre-cut, with sizes going up to a single bed quilt using a layer cake.

Here is a block I made using my jelly roll instructions:


I am very grateful to all those people who have asked me about a pattern, giving me the push I needed to dip my toes into the pattern writing pond. I hope that what I have produced in response meets with your approval. It is a lot of work creating a pattern, but I am hoping to do many more - I have so many ideas I'm running out of paper to sketch them on!


Special thanks too, to Suzitee, for checking things over for me and making suggestions. x x :)

If you do happen to buy my pattern, and make something from it, I'd love some feedback and photos. My email address is included in the pattern. 

Well, here's hoping that all that time has produced something people will find valuable. It would be amazing to see little heart quilts popping up here and there. Fingers crossed!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pattern Update :)

Just a quick note to say that the pattern for my little heart quilt is done, and in the process of being tested!


Getting there... :)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Spots, Project Life, and Patterns

So, a few things to talk about today. First up, here is a quilt top I finished on Thursday:


The two spots with low contrast bug me a little, but I'll get over it. The pattern is Spot On, from the book Simplify by Camille Roskelley. I changed a few things... First, I trimmed all the layer cake squares down to 9.875 inches, because they were not square straight from the pack, which makes it hard to sew an accurate quilt. Second, I made the sashing a little narrower, and third, I made the outside border wider. 

The fabric is all Etchings by 3 Sisters. I love their fabrics, wish I could buy them all! I ordered a 108" wide fabric for the backing, but ended up using a lot of it for the sashing and outside border, so will have to piece the back. The outside border is actually the back of the fabric. I just love the way it looks. 

Next up, some more Project Life. I tried something different this week, just one photo, some stamping and a freebie printable from Prima. The background is glimmer-misted too...


No days specified this time, no lengthy write-ups, just a list. I think I like doing it this way.

And finally, I am writing a pattern for my little Marmalade heart quilt. I'm calling it ZigZag Love. I have had some requests for a pattern, and started writing something by hand quite some time ago. That proved too laborious, so now I've done it all on computer. Nearly finished, just a little bit more to go then it is ready for testing and proof-reading.

Oh, I haven't actually blogged the quilt yet, so here it is:


I'll keep you posted, and be sure to tell you all about it when the pattern is ready. I want it to be just right, so bear with me. :)

Edit: ZigZag Love Pattern now available here or here

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Project Life Week 2

I was very keen and eager to get my Project Life done this week. I had my photos all printed, except Sunday's, earlier in the week so was all set to go this morning.

I was wordy this time for some reason, and used four pages rather than two. It is very easy to be flexible when using a notebook though, so that was fine. Once again, simple and no-frills is the way I went, except this time I used some colour for the writing, just because.

Here are the first two pages:


And with the Craftsy card 'open':


Here are the last two pages: 


Nothing terribly exciting, but that is the way my life goes thank goodness. ;)

All done for another week. Roll on week three! I am ready to cut and stick and write some more!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Project Life Commences - Week 1

Helllo, long time no blog! I am going to be a bit wordy here, so be warned. ;)

I finished 2012 as I do a lot of years, struggling to think of what I had achieved over the previous 12 months. I couldn't think of a lot really, and as a solution to this problem (for surely I have done more than I thought) my friend Susan suggested, or rather insisted, that I should start doing Project Life.

And because we should always take the advice of our intelligent and insightful friends, I did! Instead of using the kits and page protectors and so forth that are available, I decided to do mine in a very no-frills way in my 'Scrapbook', an A4 size, hard cover notebook, properly bound with pages tied together, not just glued into the spine. I have had this book on the go since November 2000, filling it with everything from photos and letters to chocolate wrappers and movie tickets. It went overseas with me. I also put some thoughts in it which are quite amusing and slightly embarrassing to read back on. I stopped doing anything in it in 2008.


So, what better place to document the everyday and get all those blank pages filled? I have not done much at all in the way of embellishment, and it went quite quickly. I don't know what I was thinking with that bit of colour in the bottom right, but it's there now, so she'll be jake.


You can click on the picture if you'd like to read the words. It should come up big enough.

Because I am still in awe over those ice crystals I mention in the bottom right, here is a bigger picture so you can see. Aren't they amazing? Unfortunately it was so hot that the hexagon stack started to keel over through melting by the time I took the photo. Aren't the partial hexagons cool too? (No pun intended)


Well, there it is. My first week of Project Life. Already I am looking at things differently, and keeping a journal every day so I don't forget anything. I have always admired Susan's Project Life pages, and thought of how I'd love to do PL myself. I always thought I just wouldn't have enough to put in it though. Now I realise that they don't have to be 'important', or even particularly interesting or unusual things - it's about life. Life is made up of so many small details that really, we should never run out of things to document. And since it's being documented for me, not anyone else, there's no pressure.

Bye for now :)