geese in the corner

by Nova on April 12, 2014

Inspired by the gorgeous ‘in the clouds’ quilt  from the book ‘Modern Designs from Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink & Andie Johnson’ I made a more down to earth version in the form of a play mat.

geese in the corner

I used Kona Charcoal for the background with snippets of scraps & fussy cuts for the geese. It’s a gift for friends expecting identical twin boys & it was fun to pick out fabrics that the parents to be as well as the boys would enjoy.

geese in the corner 4

geese in the corner 5Backed with some scallop fabric from Spotlight

geese in the corner 2

& quilted with a mix of machine & hand stitches

geese in the corner 3

I really enjoyed making this one!

Finished size approx  60″ x 60″

The baby shower has been & gone and the play mat gifted but I had to share this recipe – my contribution to the pre-babies afternoon tea was a Lemon Meringue Cake. I reeeeeeally love to cook but rarely share recipes here, however this recipe was requested many times that afternoon so I thought I’d share it with you too :)

lemon meringue cake

If lemon is your thing then I encourage you to make this one (preferably this weekend, you won’t regret it I promise)  – it’s super easy & super scrummy! It’s a Nigella Lawson recipe from her ‘Feast’ book but you can find the recipe on her website too.  Homemade lemon curd is not essential but way yummier than shop bought & it’s not tricky. I like Ruby’s recipe, its a nice rich one using yolks only.

Happy baking!



Sneak Peeks & a Winner!

by Nova on February 10, 2014

I hope you enjoyed reading about  the wonderfully inspiring book,  Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May & thank you for taking the time to tell me what inspired you to quilt modern. I really loved reading your comments! Thank you :)

Storey Publishing were kind enough to send me some pictures from inside the book to share. Enjoy the sneak peek then pick yourself up a copy quick sticks! You won’t be disappointed.


[Page 67 – Photo – Gamma One Conversions.  Hope as the Anchor of the Soul(Mount Lebanon Series #3) by Denyse Schmidt, 85″ x 92″. Image courtesy of Storey Publishing]


[Page 47 – Photo by (c) John Polak.  Coal Fraction Quilt (2009) by Rossie Hutchinson, 74″ x 86″ quilted by Bernie Olszewski. Image courtesy of Storey Publishing]

Don’t forget to visit the next  spots on the book tour for more insights into Quilting with a Modern Slant…

29 Jan –  Patchwork Posse
30 Jan –  Inside Storey
3 Feb –  Craft Buds
9 Feb –  Dining Room Empire
11 Feb –  In Color Order
12 Feb – Pink Penguin

99Chris Pullman_WhitneyMuseumofAmericanArt_NYNY

[Page 99 – Photo by Chris Pullman, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York. From “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics episode 6, “How Quilts Are Viewed and Collected,” produced by The Kentucky Quilt Project. Image courtesy of Storey Publishing]


[Page 55 – Photo courtesy of Kyoung Ae Cho.  Fallen by Kyoung Ae Cho, 42″ x 42. Image courtesy of Storey Publishing]



[Page 175 – Photo by (c) John Polak.  Seattle Star, by Katie Pedersen, 60″ x 60″, machine quilted by Krista Withers. Image courtesy of Storey Publishing]

………& one lucky modern quilter gets a copy of Quilting with A modern Slant delivered to their door! Yay! That is commenter number 20….

qwams giveaway winner number

 That’s you Katy!


Drop me a line with your postal address Katy! Yippee!

Quilting with a Modern Slant is well worth a read, it’s a lovely book that you will find yourself dipping into over & again. It’s  available now at your local bookstore, library or online

Disclaimer: Storey Publishing invited me to participate in this blog tour & sent me a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions  within this book review are my own.


Quilting with a Modern Slant

by Nova on February 6, 2014

I was thrilled to be invited along on the blog tour of Rachel May’s book ‘Quilting with a Modern Slant’.


[image courtesy of Storey Publishing]

I really really like this book. I’ve read it twice already, cover to cover. It’s a book of stories & inspiration rather than a traditional quilting book. While it gives a comprehensive guide to quilt basics, supplies etc and includes lots of projects & tutorials from some of the 70+ (!) contributors, where this book won me over was it’s chats with designers from the modern quilting world.

Many of the names you will recognize & some may be new to you as they were to me.  There are a few of my personal quilty heros within the pages & to learn more about what inspires them is a treat. & the pictures! Oh the pictures are just lovely & like the contributors there are a lot of them which  is always a  winner.

The book is divided into 7 chapters including topics such as Play, Improv, Colour & Tradition – all music to these eclectic ears!

I noticed a common thread  that ran through many of the conversations with the quilters in the book.  That was to find your own style & make what you love. Be true to yourself – take inspiration from those around you and your surroundings but ultimately enjoy the make & find your quilty voice as it were. I love the whole ‘Inspiration Pay it Forward’ thing.

I also enjoyed the tips & snippets that are scattered in bite size bits throughout the book.

We quilt for all sorts of reasons; inspiration strikes & we are hooked. I’ve sewn for years but can remember discovering the world of modern quilting & just knowing it was going to be a good fit.

What inspired you to quilt modern? Maybe it was  blog you stumbled upon or a quilt magazine, an exhibition, a friends quilt, a gift or maybe it was some fabric that lead you on the path to modern quilting?

& what inspired me to quilt modern?  I remember back in the day discovering Amy Butlers Lotus fabric range, most notably the Full Moon Polka Dots & Wall Flower designs –  I have had a love affair with those dots ever since! I’m not quite sure what it was about that particular range – the designs, the colours,  the scale & most probably the nostalgia of them being the first modern quilting fabrics I owned.  Interestingly, in the book one of the designers cites this fabric as being a bit of a springboard for them too.

As I felt my way in this brave new (well, not so new but it was all new to me!) world  there were a few blogs I followed that I just couldn’t get enough of  & still read to this day, among them are – Tallgrass Prairie Studio, Film in The Fridge, Sew Katie Did  , Sew Mama Sew  (many, many more followed in quick succession!) …. all of whom feature in the book.  A while  later I was lucky enough to visit an exhibition of the Quilts of Gee’s Bend when they visited  Brisbane & I was smitten.

The very best thing though is that the inspiration sources are ongoing & that is the exciting thing about this world of modern quilting we are lucky enough to sew in :)

I’d love to hear  your story about what inspired you to quilt modern – whether you’re a seasoned sewer, a newbie or  you haven’t sewn a stitch yet! Leave a comment about what has inspired you for a chance to win a copy of this delightful book courtesy of Storey Publishing.  I’ll pick a winner this coming Sunday evening Brisvegas time. GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Catch up with more stops on the book tour at these inspiring spots:

29 Jan –  Patchwork Posse

30 Jan –  Inside Storey

3 Feb –  Craft Buds

9 Feb –  Dining Room Empire

11 Feb –  In Color Order

12 Feb – Pink Penguin

Quilting with a Modern Slant is available now at your local bookstore, library or online

eta: a sneak peek at some pictures from inside the book here!

Disclaimer: Storey Publishing invited me to participate in this blog tour & sent me a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions  within this book review are my own.



by Nova on February 2, 2014

First quilt finish of 2014. Hurrah!

Umbrella Prints Quilt

The main fabrics are from Umbrella Prints, from their Floating Worlds collection with some stash fabrics & solids mixed in. Pattern & fabric notes are back here.

I found a great big piece of linen blend fabric at the opp shop just after I completed the quilt top, talk about serendipitous as it was the perfect match for this quilt & the perfect amount with plenty to spare. Love that.  I wonder who throws out such huge quantities of linen fabric but I’m kind of happy they do!

Umbrella PrintsI used iron on cotton batting for the first time & it is ace. LOVE it. No more pins, no more spray! Gotta be happy with that. It was super simple to use. I was a little worried using it on a fairly large quilt but I had no dramas at all with it  & no puckers. *

I quilted it with relaxed lines &  bound it with some Ume print from the Floating World range in Russian caravan colourway. I love the dark & dotty effect for the binding :)

Umbrella Prints Floating Worlds quilt

I really really love this quilt –  the colours, the prints,  the mix of textures, the size,  the quilting. I love that most of my corners match up (thanks to the nifty little seam guide on my Feathrweight). Just needs a wash now to get the crinkle happening & i may just love it a little bit more then.

Thanks Carly & Amy for inviting me play with your beautiful fabrics. I had a ball!

*eta: I had quite a few comments about the iron on batting so wanted to add a bit more info. I’m not sure of the brand, sorry.  Basically you sandwich your 3 layers together & give it all a good iron with steam & all 3 layers adhere together. Much like spray baste though you can pull the fabric back to reposition it.

Here’s what I did – I have a cutting table that I use as an ironing board also, it’s pretty big but not as big as a quilt (Approx 62″ x 40″). It’s covered with thick batting & calico. I guess the floor would be ok too? I ironed the backing & laid it out across the cutting table. Next I laid out the batting over the backing & smoothed it over with my hands, if it’s been folded it’s a good idea to open it out on a spare bed for a day just to relax the fold marks.  Next came the quilt top (which I’d already ironed). I smoothed it out by hand & when I was happy with the position I gave it a slow press with the iron on steam. Once I’d done the table tops worth I moved the quilt over & pressed the rest with steam until all the top had been pressed.  All 3 layers were stuck but just to be sure I flipped it over & gave the back a quick press.  I did do a Google search & found some folks pin around the edges but I didn’t worry & it was fine.  AS with spray baste you will want to wash your quilt before use to remove the adhesive.

Hope that helps :)





by Nova on January 31, 2014

a couple of knit finishes from late last year that were sent across the globe.

First up, some pretties for my mum…

welted mitts 1

The pattern is ‘Welted Fingerless Gloves’ by Church mouse yarns. Details on yarn & pattern used via Ravelry.

mitts 3

I stitched on some buttons as suggested in the pattern. I used some vintage shell buttons from the stash with some silk thread to match the yarn.

mitts 5

Next up some practical man mitts for dad.  I wish I had got a photo of my hand beside them as they looked comically large but they are a perfect fit I’ve been assured.

man mitts 1

The pattern is from this great book ‘Knits Men Want’ by Bruce Weinstein which I borrowed from a friend. My yarn & pattern notes are over on Rav.



by Nova on January 23, 2014

needlecase 1

a little needle keeper (much like the ones that came before it) for a friend x

needle book

A lovely snippet of Umbrella Prints Fanflower organic cotton fabric with chocolate linen, a vintage shell button, a couple of pockets, & doctors flannel to keep needles safe.

& on the topic of Umbrella prints, this beauty is half quilted. yippee! Almost there, the recent near 40 degree days have been a bit prohibitive to quilting though!

project notes:




(Belated) Happy New Year

by Nova on January 14, 2014

Goodness! 2 weeks into January already & here I am bringing up the rear with belated new year wishes. Better late than never though eh.

Christmas whizzed by in a blur of work & the usual silly season goings on which was all great but left little space for craft time. Then I got a bit sad thinking 2013 hadn’t really been a year that I got to spend much time in the playroom at all, but a look back through flickr made me feel a bit  better & showed  me that I had achieved some finishes at least (& a whole lot of w.i.p’s!).

I’ve got 2 or 3 finishes from the end of the year that haven’t made it to the blog yet so I’ll be back with those another day, meanwhile & more for my sanity so I know I did actually get a little bit crafty in 2013 here’s a collage of makes, 1/2 makes, finishes & beginnings …


1. for Hadley, 2. tiny pink patchwork, 3. dotty butterfly hot pot holder, 4. kerry’s berry block, 5. scrappy chevron quilt, 6. take care, 7. lotta jansdotter lavender bag, 8. diy pattern weights, 9. wrap it up bag side 2, 10. tessuti gabby dress, 11. Liberty snippets quilt top, 12. Line Break, 13. cyclone hat, 14. rosebud, 15. x stitch scarf, 16. hipster fabric zip pouches, 17. scrappy to & fro across the globe, 18. fly the flag quilt, 19. ouch pouch, 20. first socks, 21. zumthor hat, 22. tiny bunting, 23. plain spoken, 24. Liberty love, 25. more flex frame spec cases, 26. rose, 27. x, 28. blue, 29. Liberty doll pillow, 30. kerry’s friendship block, 31. mini lavender bags for the knitting basket, 32. quick fix :)

Thanks for reading the somewhat intermittent posts last year & all the lovely comments & chats.  Here’s to 2014 & more time in the playroom for us all!



♥ Liberty

by Nova on December 17, 2013

Strippy, Scrappy, Quilt-As-You-Go, Raw Edge, Heart Ornament Tutorial
Phew. That’s a bit of a mouthful for a simple little tute!

I find it hard to part with even the tiniest of scraps, especially ‘special’ scraps like the very last pieces of a favourite fabric or  Liberty.

Liberty love

I made these little hearts a while ago with teeny strips of Liberty scraps & snapped some pics along the way in case you were hoarding  some teeny strips  that you were wondering what on earth to do with too.

As the strips were quite narrow I thought I’d make something that had raw edges so that as much of  the fabric was still on show as possible & there were no seams hiding the precious scraps away.

It’s an all round good tiny scrap user-upperer project that also makes a really pretty little ornament. You don’t have to make hearts, you could make a different shape that takes your fancy. Turn them into a pincushion or fill with lavender, hang them from a door handle or bedpost. Once the strips are all sewn down you could even turn it into a little dolls quilt.  I really love how the strips look all sewn down with their uneven edges & if they were stitched to a lovely piece of linen rather than a scrap of wadding  they would make a nice little piece of scrappy art to frame I reckon.

What you will need:

  • Some  strips of fabric scraps, varying widths & lengths (mine were about 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ wide & 7-10″ long or thereabouts, it doesn’t really matter, just use the strips you have, no need to trim – that’s the idea)
  • A scrap of wadding or pelon or similar – big enough to accommodate all your strips (mine was about 14 or 15 ” x about 11 or 12″, again it doesn’t really matter & depends entirely how big your strips are & what you want to turn your sewn down strips into)
  • paper template (I drew a heart) – remember to allow for your seam allowance of 1/4″
  • Stuffing of choice.

How to:

Gather your scrappy strips & give them a quick press if needs be.


Don’t worry if they’re not that straight, it all adds to happy scrappy wonky love :)

Place your first strip right side up on the right hand side of your piece of scrap wadding.  Lay your next strip, again with right side up so it overlaps your first strip a bit (approx 1/4″ or thereabouts) .  Remember, we are leaving the raw edges exposed so go ahead & sew that strip down approx an 1/8″ from the raw edge.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 1

Then add another strip in exactly the  same way, overlapping & then sewing approx 1/8″ from the raw edge

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 2

& keep adding those pretty little strips….raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 3…until you run out of strips or reach the other edge of your wadding

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 4

So pretty!

Next grab your templates & pin in place. You can pin them straight or at an angle. For this little lot I did them straight but on another piece I cut them at an angle (you can see one of those in the first pic)

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 5

Cut out your shapes & then add a ribbon for hanging (if you’re makign a pincushion you can skip the ribbon). Pin the ribbon in place & baste it in position

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 6

Then pin the dangly bit out the way so it doesn’t get caught up in the seams

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 7

Take another heart – you can use one of the scrappy strippy ones you just cut out or you could cut out some hearts from scrap fabric to use as the backing.  Whichever you decide place your 2 hearts right sides together.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 8

Pin in place & make a couple of marks approx 2″ apart  so you remember to leave a gap for turning it right side out.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 9

sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance, back stitching at the start & finish.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 10

trim the point & dippy heart bit & clip the curves being careful not to cut into the seam.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 11

Carefully take the pin out that is holding the ribbon out the way. Turn your heart right side out & stuff it. You can add some lavender at this point too if you like.

raw edge quilt as you go tutorial 12

Slip stitch the gap closed & hang your hearts!

Liberty Hearts

If you make some Strippy, Scrappy, Quilt-As-You-Go, Raw Edge, Heart Ornaments/ Pincushions/ lavender bags I’d love to see! Please share them in my Flickr group!

& if your scrap bucket is not overflowing & you’re after some Liberty scraps, then Jo from the Greene Stitch Co is your girl with her awesome Liberty scrap grab bags!

Liberty fabric hearts


Plain Spoken

by Nova on November 16, 2013

umbrella prints

I finished piecing my Floating Worlds quilt top :)

I ended up with the twin size from the Plain Spoken  pattern (approx 63″ x 91″). A very useful size. (Pattern is in the Modern Quilt Workshop  book)

I love this colour combo so so much.

plain spoken

As well as fabrics from the Umbrella Prints Floating Worlds collection I mixed in some chocolate linen, natural essex linen, 3 Konas ( 2 greens & a rust, no idea of specific colour names sorry!), a bit of Heath, a spot of thrifted beige seersucker,  snippets of some old Lush paint dots, a hint of some woven flannel in chocolate & green, a spec or two of some Kei honeycomb & a whisper of a quirky japanese print which I forget the name of.

Now to find the perfect backing & decide on quilting…..



floating worlds & design ponderings…

by Nova on November 8, 2013

I love a bit of chain piecing, especially when  scrummy prints & colours are  involved.


The gorgeous gals from Umbrella prints kindly sent me some of their new collection ‘Floating World‘ to play with. The colours are really beautiful  & an interesting mix to inspire a quilt or smaller project.

I’m a girl of simple (if a tad eclectic)  taste & I haven’t met a Plain Spoken quilt (pattern from the Modern Quilt Workshop book) that I didn’t like yet & thought it would lend itself perfectly to the Floating World  prints allowing for a few additions from the stash too of course :) I really love to see what mixes of fabrics other crafters put with a designers range don’t you?

I didn’t want to add too much as I really want that incredible green of the  Bird in Paradise print to glow through but still remain balanced as a whole – the touch of rust colour being the ‘mustard on the plate‘ as my mother always says!

I’ve been popping the blocks  up randomly on the design wall as I iron them & I’m pretty happy so far.

plain spoken umbrella prints

I’m loving it  a little too much though  & it’s still growing! It started out at the Nap size quilt  but it’s  quickly outgrown that!

It’s been ages since I sat & just sewed sewed sewed & it feels  rather wonderful!  It got me thinking too about fabrics & patterns & all sorts of other design & fabricy thoughts. I do love a bit of pattern & fabric  matchmaking –    Have you coveted a quilt pattern (more than one  I am sure!!!), just waiting for that perfect fabric to come along? Or vice versa?  Are you a purist that likes to sew  ‘neat’ with a designers range or do you like to add a little sprinkle of something else from the stash?

Have a great weekend whatever crafty shenanigans you’re getting up to!