Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sunday Super Stash

I never win anything. Usually. During the last month I won three different giveaways! Our corner of Blogland is so generous, there are so many wonderful giveaways, we're really lucky. I have enjoyed hosting quite a few giveaways myself and I'm planning another one soon... It's so fun giving and it's great winning too!

Thank you to Pink Chalk Fabrics:

Thank you to Quilt Taffy:

You filled my sewing room with lovely fabric I can't wait to start using!!!

All this wonderful fabric deserves to join Sunday Stash, doesn't it?!

Molli Sparkles

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

50's Style Placemats: Le Challenge

Once upon a time I bought two tea towels from IKEA and they stayed for a long long time folded in a draw. I liked them so much I was afraid that the Evil Marks of the Kitchen would attack them. The spell I cast to protect them made them fall asleep for one hundred months (?!), hidden away in that draw until...

Fairy Le Challenge arrived and magically opened that draw, freeing the two tea towels from their long sleep...

with a wave of her wand, Fairy Le Challenge transformed the tea towels into four pretty 50's style placemats and made the Breakfast Table their new reign.

And they lived happily ever after.

P.S. Fairy Le Challenge also cast a spell by which the four placemats shall never be attacked by the Evil Marks of the Kitchen... how I wish!!!

Fairy Le Challenge lives here 
(in case you need help with something in one of your draws...):

Le Challenge

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Kawaii Jar Ring Pin Cushion

Have a peek at my Kawaii Jar Ring Pin Cushion, courtesy of a free Spoonflower swatch of Faux Suede:

Isn't it fun? I love pin cushions made with Mason Jars and I have pinned quite a few on my Pincushions and Needle Books board. I can't buy Mason Jars here in Italy as far as I know. The make they sell here "Quattro Stagioni" are pretty but don't have the fancy lids! I even tried looking how much it would cost to ship Mason Jars... maybe I'll buy them when I become a millionaire! So not being able to make myself a Mason Jar pin cushion, I decided to make a Kawaii Jar Ring Pin Cushion.

And no, those aren't my nails. My colleague was kind enough to lend me her hands again for modelling this Ring Pin Cushion, which happened to match the colour of her cool nail art!

I have been taking advantage of Spoonflower's free swatch for new fabric releases because it's a great way of feeling the texture of material before choosing to buy some. So the Kawaii toast came from this fabric swatch called "Bread for Breakfast!" by Bora.

As you can see, there are quite a few jars in the swatch so soon you'll be seeing some more fun Kawaii ring pin cushions and a tutorial on how to make them!

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Linky Party C'e' Crisi

Monday, 8 September 2014

5 Sewing and Quilting Ideas you don't want to miss!

The more you look around sewing Blogland, the more you find fantastic projects to try out. Here are five sewing and quilting ideas you don't want to miss. They are original, fresh and modern (with a little vintage/traditional thrown in too!).

1. The first project I want to show you is by Ali Burdon: Jar Covers! They are foundation pieced with selvedges. This project is included in Love Patchwork & Quilting - issue 12Aren't they pretty? You can put a tin or a vase inside and voilĂ , you have a quilted flower vase.

2. I have fallen in love with this pouch: Double Exposure Zippered Pouch by Amy @ Amy Made That! Why do I love it? Because it has zips trimmed with lace that remind me of those beautiful Japanese lace zips that are impossible to find at the moment here in Italy (will somebody please import them?!). Another reason I love this pouch is that you can fold it in half and open it when you need to, so it's really handy and very pretty.

3. This project is a very clever and useful wall organiser with lots of pockets by Monica Solorio-Snow, who blogs at the Happy Zombie. This project is also included in Love Patchwork & Quilting - issue 12. I love her new fabric collection Sew Yummy (Cloud9). I couldn't believe my luck when I won a set of five inch squares of Sew Yummy thanks to Quilt Taffy's weekly giveaway post. Looking forward to receiving it in the post!

4. This month's Across the Pond Sew Along is featuring very pretty fabric origami butterflies. A part from deers, there are also butterflies fluttering about in the latest fabric collections. This origami version is too beautiful not to try out. 

You can find instructions and examples on how to use them here:
Don't miss the Across the Pond Sew Along Flickr page, where you can add your butterflies too!

5. Check out the fantastic quilts Michelle @ Factotum of Arts is making, they are incredible, front and back. This is just one example, "Neighbourhood" quilt: 

And the back:

Have a look at her blog, if you haven't yet, because she is designing fantastic quilts!

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P.S. If you're interested in buying a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting or subscribing to this magazine, be kind and use the affiliate link button in my sidebar. Any little money earned goes towards my fabric addiction! The links in this post are not affiliate links and I only write about things I really like!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

8² Fabric Swap Group - Text fabric for Sunday Stash (Giveaway)

This week some super happy mail arrived in the post from Greece. It was the wonderful text fabric from the 8² Fabric Swap Group organised by Mara @ Secretly Stitching.

I am really happy with this fabric! It worked out so cheap. Buying fabric here in Italy is becoming impossible for me it's so expensive. On the other hand, paying the shipping costs from the States is also frightening! Paying over $23 shipping? I could buy a metre (just over a yard) of fabric here and it wouldn't take over two months to arrive in the post (that really happened to me!). It's money (and time) thrown away for me. That is unless...

1. I manage to buy fabric I won't be able to find here because it's too new and no local shops seem to have the same tastes as I do anyway;
2. the next trade fair is in three months time (there is more choice in these fairs and sometimes there are shops from other countries) and I'm not sure I'll find what I'm looking for anyway;
3. fabric costs so much less in the States that I can compensate the shipping costs with the lower prices. In the end I'm even, I suppose.

The 8² Fabric Swap Group solved this problem for me as we had a discount offered to us by two shops, thanks to Mara. Some of us also bought the fabric together, meaning we divided the shipping costs. Mara also cut my fabric for the swap, so that was fantastic of her too!

Looking forward to the next round of this swap, which could be "low volume" fabric. If you're interested, you can read more about the swap here.

By the way, Mara @ Secretly Stitching is giving away a bottle of Jet Set 2000 (ends 2nd of September). A bottle of what? Read her fabulous tutorial here if you don't know what it's for (I didn't know either until I read it!).

P.S. If you'd like to have the possibility of recieving a Fabric Bomb, don't forget to leave a comment on this post: Would you like a Fabric Bomb?!

Linking up to:

Molli Sparkles

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Would you like a Fabric Bomb? Giveaway with a Make - Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop of the Around the World Blog Hop! I know you've been reading a lot of Blog Hop posts lately but I have a few surprises for you, so stick around to see what's going on...

First of all, I would like to thank the wonderful Mara @ Secretly Stitching for inviting me to join in. You must go and see the photo of what she is hiding in her backyard in her Blog Hop post, it's incredible! 
Mara has, in a few months, become such a good bloggy friend and she is always surprising me and bringing me joy! Last week I received this special packet in the post from her, covered with stunning Greek stamps. It's a Fabric Bomb! 

I couldn't believe my luck, I had only recently joined the Fabric Bomb "movement" over at Elizabeth's Quarters and you never know when one of these peaceful bombs is going to hit you.
But what is a fabric bomb? Find out more, in Elizabeth's words: 

What would you do if someone threw (not literally, of course) a small bundle of fabric and thread at you and said 'make something of that, see what happens, then show me the results'. Would you be freaked out? Do you prefer the comfort of a brief, where you're directed towards which fabrics to buy and how to put them together? Or would the opportunity to be totally unrestricted, and let serendipity take its course, excite you and get your creative juices flowing? [...] what if one person gathered a little bundle (small enough to fit into an A5 envelope) of threads, fabrics, beads–whatever–and sent them to another person, who in turn made their own little bundle and sent it to a third person, and so on, and so on? Eventually, perhaps thousands of little bundles would be whizzing through the mail and we'd all be sewing creatively.
If you want to play along, here's what you do…
  1. The fabric bomber should try to be as creative in their selection of materials, buttons, beads, threads and whatnot, as the recipient will be in their use of them.
  2. The fabric bomb must fit into an A5 envelope, to keep postage costs to a minimum, and to make life easy for the postman.
  3. The recipient can make whatever they like with their fabric bomb–patchwork, toys, bags, collages, doodles, fabric books–anything goes. However, in the spirit of fabric bombing, the packet of scraps should be used creatively, preferably to try out something new, or something you wouldn't usually turn your hand to.
  4. You can add other fabrics to your make, but please don't just incorporate the fabric bomb into an existing make.
  5. You don't have to use every item in the fabric bomb in your make–but it would be great if you could!
  6. It isn't just about getting: once you've received your fabric bomb, please make a bomb of your own to send to someone else. Perhaps photograph the fabric bomb you've received, or the item you make with it. 
  7. Once you've done that, grab the fabric bomb button, post about your make, and prepare a fabric bomb (it must be a surprise, so don't reveal what's inside it) to send to one of your readers, so starting the process all over again.
  8. If you like, you can post pictures of your make on the fabric bomb Flickr page. 

Would you like to receive a fabric bomb and make something unique with the contents? Would you like to surprise somebody with a special Fabric Bomb? Then leave a comment on this post saying you're interested in joining (with your email address) and I will ask Mr Random to choose a name to send my bomb to. I will also send on all the names of those interested to Elizabeth to update her list. Remember you have to be willing to send on your own Fabric Bomb to someone else.

Back to the Around the World Blog Hop: I have to answer some questions now. It's like being back at school! OK, so here goes...

1) Where I live or have lived?
I live in the north of Italy. I have lived in the States (Minnesota), in the UK and in Holland. I have fallen in love with every country I have lived in and am very privileged to have had the chance to travel and learn so much from the different places I have visited.

2) What am I working on?
It would be easier to answer what I'm not working on at the moment! Let me see... I am working on four quilts, some luggage/gift tags, a key fob, two pouches, my Mum's blouse, Bee Blocks I am guilty of being super late with, a tote for my daughter Lucy, a Tilda teapot... Oh dear, is this only me or is there someone else like me who would like to sew a hundred things but only has two hands and not much time?

3) How does my work differ from others in its genre?
This Blog is helping me a lot to answer this question. I had never thought about it until I started seeing my projects adding up in the posts. I started wondering what those projects had in common. I'm still working on the answer but for now I've noticed I prefer small projects, mainly because I don't have much sewing time but also for the possibility to try out something new and see the results in a short time. I love adding my own ideas to a project or inventing something new. Every project has to be a challenge. Take a look at Tutorials page to see what I mean...

4) How does my creating process work?
I think a lot or maybe you could call it daydreaming! I often find myself thinking how I can make something I need and haven't been able to find in a shop. Or I see something and I think how I could change it to suit my taste. I might not like the fabric or the shape or it might inspire me to make something quite different. I always carry a Moleskin around in my handbag (one of the things that weigh down my bag!) and especially when I'm in a queue or waiting I jot down my ideas with little sketches and a few words to remind me the details. I've noticed that when I transform these ideas into a project they are very often a precise copy of the sketch, very close to the original idea.

I now have the honour of inviting some very talented Bloggers to the Around the World Blog Hop. I'm supposed to invite three and that is what I am going to do. I am also going to mention two other names, I'm not really inviting them but their names just happened to drop into this post! Things that can happen!!!

Let me introduce you to the wonderfully talented:

Aylin @ ayliN-Nilya:  Her work was recently featured by Jeni Baker in her blog and how can you not feature this stunning pattern?

She also co-hosts the European linky party MondayMakers, anybody in the world can join!
Fran @ PatchyRose...: She is the Queen of cushion covers and has a talent for pouches and bags. You just cannot miss her tutorial for making a Zipped Pouch here.

Catherine @ Knotted Cotton: the stunning photos Catherine takes explain her incredible eye for colours, textures and patterns in her quilts. Pure joy for your eyes! 

Catherine is also the founder of the Slow Blog Manifesto and Linky Party (on the 15th of each month): "The aim of the Slow Blog movement is to take the pressure off by reminding ourselves who we blog for - us!"

Knotted Cotton
Sandra @ Hohenbrunner Quilterin: OK, her blog is in German but just look at that pile of hexies and you know you want to work out Google's translation to see what she is up to. Sandra is super active in many QALs and her work is exquisite.

Vera @ Neglient Style: she is so creative, you can't miss her blog. Who else would transform a detailed mini quilt into a note board? You never know what she is going to come up with next. What you do know is that it's going to be a winner!

Remember to leave a comment if you're interested in receiving (and sending on) a Fabric Bomb. Mr Random will pick a name on the 8th of September. 
Leave a comment anyway because I love reading them! And thank you for reading this far!

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