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Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012

Holly

Enjoying the process :: hand piecing Marcelle Medallion

 

Now that my Scrappy Trip Around The World is almost finished (just waiting on choosing backing and binding – and then quilting that big sucker!), my hands were itching for a new project. Although let’s be real – I’m pretty much always dying to start somehing new! I can’t be the only person with crafting/sewing ADD can I?!

Marcelle Medallion is the newest IG -along (follow #marcellemedallion or #medallionalong on IG for some gorgeous eye-candy!), and I’ve decided to piece mine by hand. I love hand piecing, because I really enjoy the slow progress and feeling like I’m a complete part of the whole quilt. I make each stitch, I tie each thread, I thread each needle.

 

 

It’s also a great technique for harder blocks (like the centre star, which requires 4 Y-seams – everyone’s favourite!) because you can go slower and have more control over your sewing, rather than my usual technique of “shoving it through the sewing machine”. But mostly I love hand piecing because it’s letting me piece this quilt during my breaks at work.

 

 

 

I have all my centre quadrants made and now I just need to sew them together and then I will have finished my centre star!

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Project Life

I really enjoyed taking part in the 30Lists in September project last year, but  but I don’t seem to be very good at sticking to a daily (or even weekly) challenge like that. I know some people enjoy the challenge and discipline, but with my hectic life it always seems to turn into another stress for me. So I’m really excited at starting a just-for-me, in-my-own-time Project Life journal.

I want to remember birthdays and parties and events and whirlwind interstate weekends. I want to record the journey in mking some of my favourite projects. I want to do more with my IG photos than just clog up my phone memory. And I just genuinely enjoy cutting things out and sticking them into books!

I think the best thing about the Project Life idea is that you can do it completely your way. Chronical each day, each week, each month, or as often as you like. I’ve chosen not to use the official kit because I’ve always wanted to start a Moleskin. And I love the way books get all fat and crinkly and jammed full of stuff as you stick notes and photos inside. I guess my journal is a little bit of Project Life and a little bit of a Smash Book (watch the video here), and I completely love it! I cant wait to journal more things – I’ll share them up here when I do.

 

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Madrona Road

I haven’t bought fabric since August 2012, and for someone who loves sewing that’s a LONG time! Unfortunately for 2012, new fabric just wasn’t really in the budget. Enter Mr Cheese, who came to the rescue with a timely birthday/Christmas present of some lovely Madrona Road that I’d had my eye on for months!

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Because I have a nasty combination of no free time and too many unfinished projects, of course all I want to do is start new quilts/softies/pouches/etc! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a New York Beauty quilt ever since I saw Jeni from In Color Order’s NYB block and tutorial. I love me some foundation piecing, and finicky points and tiny little fabric pieces. (Luckily, because the Dear Jane quilt has 225 of these blocks – and I’m making two of them!)

I only picked a selection of the Madrona Road prints, not because I didn’t like the whole line, but because some of them were quite large prints and I didn’t think they’d work very well with the small sections in the NYB (like the donkeys – totally cute, but knowing me I’d end up with an ass’ ass in half of my blocks!)

And a confession here: I’m a bit of an anal planner. (I prefer the term ‘tightly bound’, haha!) I’ve sketched out the quilt and coloured it the best I could with the 7 coloured pencils to my possession, and changed a few things around (like I don’t think I will include the star in the centre of block 6 – middle row, far right – because I want all my centres to be solid tangerine), and you can see the arrows I’ve drawn on to switch the order of blocks around.

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I really admire people who can just sit and cut and sew and it all falls into place! I think maybe I’m not free enough in my creativity to do that. And I’m also too stingy to waste my precious fabric, especially when it takes so long to save up for it and get it shipped all the way to Australia!

So I’m not sure whether I love my sketch plan or not. Pink and blue are not really my colours, and yet I love the fabric when it’s stacked all together. I’ll of course be pulling coordinates from my own stash so hopefully I can insert more of ‘me’ into the quilt as I make it.

I got about 5m of the charcoal sketch-style print to use as the background between blocks, but now I’m torn about whether to use that – or try some yarn dyed essex. Although I think part of my indecision might just be because I want an excuse to buy some essex linen!

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Cheers to the weekend

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Can I just pause for a second and say I’m so glad it’s Friday! Because that means tomorrow is the weekend, and I so need it to be the weekend tomorrow. The last couple of weeks have been R O U G H. Between full-time work, roller derby practice (which I didn’t even make it to this week!), gym, housework and pushing through chronic fatigue, I am BEAT! I’m spending tonight chilling with my mama, and then on the weekend I want to have a proper crack at finishing my (ok, mum’s) Scrappy Trip quilt.

If you’re on Instagram I’m sure you’ve heard of the Scrappy Trip Around The World quilt and quiltalong (#scrappytripalong – check out that hashtag to discover how huge this quiltalong grew!)

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You’ll have to forgive the photos. These days I snap everything on my phone because then at least it gets done! I do have a camera, but then I have to get it out, take the photo, transfer the photos to my computer, colour edit, crop, resize, watermark, save, upload to Flickr, etc etc… and THEN blog. Instagram just makes it easier (and that means I might actually get a blog post out once a month!) This photo is particularly dodgy though, so I might have to retake it over the weekend if I have time to make myself a design wall! (I had to lock all the animals out of the house just to snap this pic last night, because as soon as I start laying stuff on the kitchen floor the cat (in particular) suddenly wants to run around like a nutter and scatter everything!)

I’m actually (trying to) blog this from the wordpress app on my phone right now so fingers crossed it actually works! My laptop is with Mr Fixit right now, trying to clean off a horrible STD, but I’m excited to get it back so I can show you some more things I’ve been working on lately!

Project Life

Cross stitch samplers

Amigurumi

And I even managed to find room in the budget for a little fabric shopping for a new quilt!

What are you guys up to this weekend? xo

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Little Owl

I have a feeling that 2013 might be the year of the soft toy! I finished Monkey just in time for Christmas (I know that’s technically last year, but really.. it still feels like Christmas was just “sometime earlier this month”!) and then just last weekend was the first birthday of a very special little boy, so of course any excuse will do to make another softie!

 

 

This little guy was made from a rescued tweed skirt with an impossibly small waist (seriously! It was about a size -6!), felt eyes, and a super squishy soft angora belly and face. I’ll be sad to use up the rest of that cream jumper, because it’s just the softest!

 

 

I think my favourite thing about this little owl is definitely the feet. Stripey feet are the cutest! They remind me of old fashioned stocking socks. I’m also pretty fond of the eyes too, although it wasn’t always this way!

 

 

Another thing I want to work on in 2013 is to show more of my process, instead of just finished projects (I also want to blog more so that you can actually SEE finished projects!) I do post a lot of my WIP progress on Instagram, so if you’re an Instagram user (hands up all addicts out there! It’s ok to admit it – I check it in bed when I wake up, and before I go to bed. I check it when I’m on my lunch break, and I may have been guilty of checking it on toilet breaks too, ssh!) please feel free to add me! My username is the same as my blog: TwoCheesePlease. For those who don’t have Instagram, here is a little collage of different owl eyes that didn’t work. 

 

 

I think I’d like to call these guys “Jumper Buddies”.  ‘Jumper’ is the Australian word for ‘sweater’, and I’ve made all of these softies so far using reclaimed and recycled clothing from op shops (‘thrift stores’!) that I’ve laundered and felted in my washing machine at home. I like “Sweater Buddies” too, but I think I should stay with the Aussie word – yes?

 You can get some fantastic woollen jumpers from the op shop in gorgeous mixes of wools (angora, rabbit, cashmere, oh my!) and they just make the cuddliest toys. And a welcome side benefit – because the ‘fabric’ has been through the wash a few times to felt it up as much as possible, you can just chuck these guys in the washing machine when they get grubby and you know they’re not going to shrink anymore! Totally wash-safe – how great can you get for little pals who sometimes go on grubby adventures!

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Hello

My name is Holly and I live in Australia. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly quilts, stamps & plushies). Sometimes I also write about things that inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!

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I hope your visit here has been inspiring, but please respect my designs and idea as my own. You are welcome to use my patterns & tutorials for personal use (for you, for gifts, etc.), but not commercial use. Please feel free to link to my tutorials, but please do not reproduce them in full on your site. Thank you! © HOLLY McGUIRE 2008-2014

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