Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Minimus and Maximus Zebra

Just a quick post today as I am writing this while keeping half an eye on my mischievous 4 year old who is almost fully recovered from the nasty virus that he had last week.

I wanted to pop in and let you all know that the 40 inch Mega Zebra Mania pattern is now available for sale. You can find it in my Etsy Store and my Payhip store.

In case you are wondering, this pattern is similar but not identical to the 20 inch Zebra Mania pattern. I made some adjustments to make it easier to work on the large pieces. I have to admit that I have learnt a bit since I released my first supersized paper piecing pattern and in my opinion, this pattern is definitely easier to sew than the Big Bear pattern.

I have made the pattern available with a 25% discount for a limited time.

As always, I had a super talented group of testers checking my pattern for me. There are hundreds of tiny details in this pattern and many many ways that I can muck things up so it really sets my mind at ease to get their feedback and to see the results of their sewing.

Many of you know the talented Leonie who often tests for me. What you many not know is that one of her daughters is zebra mad. The moment that Leonie saw the pattern, she asked if she could test, there was no way that I could refuse! She used Mimosa fabrics in the background, don't they work perfectly? Like me, Leonie has kept this a secret from her daughter. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when this quilt is handed over!


Andrea is a real life friend and is one of a group of lovely ladies who recently welcomed me into their sewing group. It is really exciting for me to have real life quilty friends to bounce ideas off and to show my latest WIP's. I have no doubt that their collective experience, advice and encouragement is going to help me grow as a quilter and a pattern designer.

Instagram is a great way to meet like minded quilters. I have long admired Kim's beautiful work and so I offered her the opportunity to test the 40 inch zebra for me. I am glad to say that she accepted the challenge and did a great job.

After these three talented ladies had given me their feedback on the pattern, I sent it off for a final once over. I won't lie and say that I played it cool when Sarah Fielke offered to test my pattern. There may have been some dancing and shrieking!

Sarah's zebra is 99% complete (she just needs to sew the last few sections together) so if you want to see her beautiful interpretation of the pattern, hop over to her instagram account. (If you're quick you may even win yourself a copy of the pattern!). I love seeing how different her interpretation of the pattern is. To me that is the magic of releasing a pattern- setting it out into the world and seeing what other people do with it!

Before you ask, the other zebra is in the middle of the testing process. I'm not sure how long it will be until it is released. In the meantime, there have been some exciting zebras popping up on instagram. For example, have you seen this rainbow striped zebra?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

IN FLIGHT- Block 13- Thrush

This block is the first of the three extra blocks which were added to the quilt-along at a later date. It has a kind of simplicity to it and I really love the way that it turned out.

The pattern is provided in two sizes- 12 inch and 24 inch, but I mixed things up and sewed my thrush as an 18 inch block. I love the way that this extra size of block adds interest to the layout and strengthens the impression of a chaotic flock of birds milling around.
 You can find this block in my Etsy Store and my Payhip store. It is available at a reduced price for the first two weeks.

If you prefer, you can buy the three extra blocks as a bundle from my Etsy store or my Payhip store.

The winner of the sixth linky is Cheryl Emoto.

This was the last of the progress linky parties. The next one is for finished items. Although there are still two blocks to go, I will open the final linky next week and whenever you finish an in flight project, you can add it.

Remember, you don't need to make all the blocks to enter for prizes, but you will only be eligible for the top prize if your projects includes at least 9 In Flight Blocks. You will only be eligible for the second prize if your project includes at least 6 In Flight Blocks. The third prize is open to everybody.

Don't forget to support the amazing sponsors of this quilt-along who have supplied some awesome prizes! You can find links to each of the sponsors in the sidebar.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Scrappy Zebra

Ahhhh! Time to take a deep breathe and relax. 
I survived the school holidays. 

Don't get me wrong, normally I relish the chance to spend some quality alone time with my girl, but this time our fun was rudely interrupted by sniffles, ear infections, loss of appetite and general unwellness. By the end it was a battle to make sure that everyone was well enough to return to school and preschool today.

That said, we still managed to have fun and fit in some school holiday treats. My favourite part was finishing off the quilting project that my daughter and I started last holidays. She is now incredibly proud of the quilted cushion that we made and it has pride of place in her room!

This weekend I made sure that everyone was comfortable and then sneaked away to my sewing room. An exciting package had arrived in the post on Saturday morning and I was keen to use it.

When I sewed my very first zebra, I made a passing comment that it would look amazing made up in Karen Lewis Textiles beautiful screen printed fabric. It was one of a hundred ideas that I had for fabric usage, but the idea would not disappear. Finally when I saw that Karen selling scrap packs on instagram, I decided to jump in with both feet and buy two. This itch needed to be scratched!

Once the fabric arrived, I knew that I would have to downsize the block. I played about with scale for a bit but decided that I should be able to create a 16 inch block. In addition to the colourful scrap packs, I used about five low volume Karen Lewis fabrics that I had from one of her recent fabric clubs and some solid black (which I have quite a bit of these days!)

It was fun sewing. I didn't have a plan as far as fabric placement, but just went for using the fabrics as efficiently as I could.

I love the finished block and have decided to turn it into a tote bag. I think it's about time that I make myself a new bag. My last homemade bag was made years ago!

My job for the rest of today is to write the pattern for this zebra and get it ready for pattern testers. Wish me luck!

I'm linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

IN FLIGHT- Block 12- Osprey

 
I think that I have confessed before that as the youngest member of my family I didn't alway have the best attention span for birdwatching. Being one of two members of the family who didn't have their own pair of binoculars, it was very easy to lose attention and to become a bit too noisy and restless.


That said, there were some birds that were guaranteed to catch my attention. Owls and Ospreys were two such birds.

The Osprey is a bird of prey which lives on a diet of fish. It was once close to extinction in the UK, but in the 60's, a pair of Scandinavian Ospreys settled at Boat of Gartan in Scotland. There have been breeding Ospreys there ever since and as a result an Osprey centre has been built to monitor and protect these amazing birds and to help keep them accessible to the public in a way that is sustainable to the species.
I remember one time as we were driving towards the Osprey centre at Loch Gartan, an Osprey swooped down into the loch (which was within easy sight to the road) and reappeared out of the water with a shining fish in its talons. The silhouette of the swooping bird with its talons outstretched was incredibly majestic and it was one of the first birds that I thought of when I began the In Flight Quilt-Along.

This block is the reason that there are 24 inch patterns in the quilt-along. Those talons had to be included and making them much smaller would have been silly. I love the way that the Osprey translated into fabric and seeing the amazing blocks that you have all posted in the flickr group I am really proud of how well you guys have all risen to the challenge!I know that I have said this many times during the quilt-along, but this is definitely one of my favourite blocks.

Sorry for the lack of decent photos of my Osprey, but it is off being quilted at the moment and I forgot to take photos before sending the block away- sorry.

I can't wait to see more Ospreys!

As always, you can find the Osprey pattern in my Etsy store and my Payhip store.

Don't forget to link up and of the first 12 blocks to latest Linky Party.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Zebra Mania! A Pattern Release


When the idea of a zebra block was first suggested- I laughed... I mean that would become insane wouldn't it?!

... but then I started thinking... If I didn't make the stripes too complicated, it might just be possible. So I experimented and I played and I got the pattern to work. Then, I involved my colour loving child in the design process- a touch of genius if I do say so myself!

This zebra is the result of a collaboration with my daughter and judging by your overwhelming reaction to it, I think it's fair to say that you all love it as much as we do.

I am releasing the 20 inch version of this pattern today. A 40 inch version is being tested at the moment, if that's the one that you want, you will have to wait a few more weeks (sorry!)

You can find the pattern in my Etsy store and my Payhip store.

As a thank you for the enthusiastic reception that this pattern has received, I am releasing it at a 25% discount for a limited time. No coupon code is necessary.

My testers did an amazing job with this block, and I thought I'd share pictures of their work:

Joanne did an awesome awesome job. I love the way that she interpreted the block. (On a side note- just look at the number of zebra print fabrics that she owns!)
I always know that my patterns are in safe hands when Patti tests for me, once again she did not disappoint!
I love the beautiful way that Carin crafted the background of her block, the colours blend so beautifully.
Just look at all the fun fussy cuts that Amanda included in her block! My favourite is the wee unicorn, although I do kind of wonder what those whales are doing in the Savannah!
Each and every one of these testers has given their own unique help in the release if this pattern. I'd like to take a wee moment to say a huge thank you to all of them!

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