Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012


Page 1 of 212


So I just realised that I never showed my half of the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap (#3) that I sent out to my partner, and this swap was nearly a whole ago! Sheesh guys, talk about slacking!



This quilt was made very much at the last minute – my own fault really, I thought the mail-out date was a month later than what it actually was! Oops! So there was a few long nights work in this one, especially because I decided that of course it needed to be hand-quilted as well!

I’d had the idea of a sewing themed mini in my head for a while and I’m not sure if I’m happy with how it turned out, but I do really love the super crinkly, puffy texture of the hand quilting, and that was without a go in the washer and dryer. It (almost) makes me want to hand-quilt a whole quilt like that. Almost.



My fingers got so sore while hand-quilting that I had to resort to pliers. I’m pretty sure using pliers to pull your needle through the fabric is against some kind of quilting rule but at that point I really felt that pliers were the way to go! I know that ‘Modern’ Quilting is all about breaking the rules and reinventing traditionalism, but I’m really not sure pliers was what they had in mind! It’s a little embarassing, but I hadn’t actually heard of leather thimbles until I was posting these pictures on Instagram so now I know these magic little devices exist I might try one next time, but if I’m honest (again) the pliers actually worked really, really well.



The DUDQS is on again for another year and I’ve signed my name up again. Now that I’ve got my sewing stuff unpacked at my new house I need an excuse to dive back in, and I can do with the excuse to take pictures so I can actually update my IG and blog some more, too!

I can’t wait to find out who my partner is for this round, and do a little sneaky stalk of their Flickr page! I love the excitement of a blind swap!


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!


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!


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.


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!


Cheers to the weekend


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!)



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


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


DUDQS3 received

There is something exciting about participating in a swap. The nervousness of making something for someone you (usually) haven’t met before. Will they like it? Is it their taste? And then the excited wait for your own package in the mail.

Recently I participated in the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap (round 3, hosted by the ever-lovely Quilted Tortoise this year) and boy did I get spoilt!



I can’t believe this quilt is really mine! It was made just for me by Cathy of Cabbage Quilts, and I feel very very spoilt. How amazing is it! It’s all of my favourite things in one mini quilt just for me – gorgeous linen, paper piecing, stars, greys and yellows, and mustard yellow binding. Eek!

Usually I hang my minis in my craft room, but this one is going to go in the lounge room so everyone can see it! Thank you so much for this perfect mini quilt, Cathy. I still can’t believe it’s mine!

And the best thing about the DUDQS – meeting fellow crafty Aussies!


(also how amazing is this backing fabric?! yes please!)

Page 1 of 212


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!


Other Places To Visit Me


Follow on Bloglovin

Be Respectful

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

Want To Read Way Back?

May 2019
« Nov