Tuesday 30 December 2014

Secret Squirrels on a Mission

Ok, before you start to read this post I really want to get you in the mood.  Please turn your speakers up and enjoy this film clip before reading on:

Eiffel 65 - Blue (Da Ba Dee)

Yes, my squirrels were happily singing this song and dancing as they worked on this project.  Who said that you can't have fun whilst you work?
The recipient had no idea that the squirrels were making this for her, and we all had a little chuckle each time that we saw that she liked one of these photos on Instagram. 
Our friend loves blue.  She deserved some spoiling, and secret squirrel sewing and spoiling is something that my squirrels and I enjoy doing. So do it we will!

Snowy & Woody selecting fabric.

Snowy & Woody show off the first completed quarter.

Snowy & Woody show the completed block.

"Goosed Up" in blue (da ba dee)

Hand quilting the centre.

Hand quilting the geese.

The mini quilt is bound and the label is sewn on, but who is it for?

The squirrels are very proud of their accomplishment but who is it for?

A close up of the finished mini quilt - "Goosed Up" in Blue.
And a few days later as I was stalking this person's Instagram feed I heard a loud squeal of excitement as she opened her mail and discovered this:

Yes Annabel, of course it is for you!  And you know why. :0)

So, are you still singing that song?  I warn you, that song will be in your head all day now! ;)

"Goosed Up" by Jeli Quilts can be purchased from Craftsy. 
Please click on Craftsy logo above to access the pattern.
Easy to piece and no tricky angles, this block would look great in a cushion, quilt or even scaled down to make an intricate pincushion. Pattern includes two sizes of templates to make 12" and 4" finished blocks. Please note that this pattern does NOT include instructions on how to foundation piece. The template has clearly labelled sections and includes a 1/4" seam allowance.

Sunday 28 December 2014

1000 Instagram Followers!

Once again I am absolutely amazed and stoked that 1000 of you have chosen to follow me over on Instagram!  Your friendships and encouragement mean the world to me, and as my way of thanking you I am having a "1000 Followers Giveaway".
The Prize:
This fabulous loot could be yours!
What's Included?  Well all of this...
Your very own "Bruce"!  Because every lady should have a Bruce in their lives! Bruce is a fabby little craft carrier.  Designed by Ric Rac but made by me.
A 5" Charm Pack of "Winterlude" by 3sisters for Moda (42 squares)
A Scandinavian Art Needlework Snowflake/Star kit (includes fabric, yarn, needle & instruction chart)
A Ric Rac designed Felt Birdie (made by me) and a Wristlet Key Fob
Some Naughty Yummies
And your very own Secret Squirrel Card made by Willow Fox Designs here in Bendigo.
 How to Enter:
There are two ways to enter (and you can do both!).  Either repost the following picture on Instagram and type the hashtag #Fionas1KFollowersGiveaway and/or leave me a comment on my blog below
Don't forget to subscribe to my blog.  I promise not to spam you, I usually post 1 - 3 posts per week.  You can subscribe by email, or follow me via Bloglovin' (the links to do both are toward the top right hand side of my blog.
Repost this photo on Instagram and/or leave a comment on my blog below.

Who Can Enter?
Because I am a sucker for donating my pension to Australia Post, I have decided to open this up to my friends worldwide.  ANY of my friends can enter, yes even my non-quilting friends! Bruce has many uses!!!!!
When Is It Drawn? 
Entries open as soon as my follower counter hits 1000 (Sunday 28 December 2014) and will close at 9pm on Sunday 11 January 2015 (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time).
The winner will be announced both on Instagram and also on this blog once I have had a chance to register all valid entries.  All entries will be assigned a number and I will use the Random Number Generator app on my iPhone to select a winner.  Each person is entitled to one Instagram entry and one Blog entry.  The winner will then be asked to contact me directly to provide their postal address details.  The prize will be posted on or after Tuesday 13 January 2015 (which is my next pay day).  I will advise the winner when the parcel has been mailed together with any tracking details if they are supplied by Australia Post.  Australian postage will be by regular parcel post, overseas postage will be by airmail.  I am not responsible for the parcel once it has been handed over to Australia Post.  If you have actually bothered to read these Terms & Conditions congratulations, you are a legend!!!  Pat yourself on the back. :0)
Thank you all once again for your friendship and I look forward to reading your comments!!
All my love,
Fiona @BendigoLioness

Congratulations Michele T!

Saturday 27 December 2014

Bee Hive Wall Quilt for sweet Carolyn

Bee Hive Wall Quilt. 21"

Earlier this year I was privileged to meet a lovely sister on Instagram via the "Quilty Sisters Instabee".  I recently had some challenges to face and my sweet sister Carolyn had truly been a "loving friend and sister during times of distress" (Proverbs 17:17).  I knew that Carolyn was my bee block recipient for December and I intended to include some extra special loving in her parcel as my way of thanking her for what she has done for me. 
I know that Carolyn loves orange and that she loves bees.  I had slowly been squirrelling away some items for her over the past months, but when I discovered this pattern on Craftsy, I knew that I had to make it for her (pattern link below). 
I headed off to my local quilt store as I remembered seeing some bee related fabric the last time that I was there.  The light brown background fabric & the small hearts is "Secret Garden" by Lynette Anderson Designs (printed by Lecien); and I have used "Bees Pls" by Saffron Craig on the back (purchased from Spotlight).  I believe both are Australian Designers.

Laying out my fabric selections for piecing.

Machine sewing the borders and background pieces.

The flowers, beehive and bees were all hand sewn using needle turn applique.

This quilt just cried out to be hand quilted with Perle 8.

The back of the quilt.

A close up of the hand quilting detail.  I colour echoed a 1/4" outside of the applique.

I hand quilted the borders in orange and yellow 1/4" inside the top and bottom solid triangles.

A close up of the hand quilting detail.  I colour echoed a 1/4" outside of the applique.

The bees' flight path was hand quilted in black perle 8.

Cards by "Willow Fox Design" in Bendigo
It is no longer a secret that I have been making each of my Quilty Sisters a bible cover which I am sending out with their bee blocks. I had a bit of a giggle when I discovered some orange Tula Pink bee fabric amongst my stash and found some bee ribbon to match, therefore Carolyn also ended up with a specially tailor made bible cover.
The bible cover that I made for Carolyn featuring Tula Pink fabric
~ ~ ~
As this bundle of love has now safely arrived with Carolyn in America, I can now share all of these photos with you.
The Quilty Sisters portion of the parcel contained: Carolyn's Quilty Sisters Bee Bock, a Bendigo magnet, some Australian Tea tea bags, ANZAC biscuits, a Caramello Koala, my signature block & her bible cover.
Oh yes I can assure you the bible covers fit - I personally test each one before I send them off!
Some extra loving for this special sweetheart!

~ ~ ~


Bee Hive Wall Quilt Pattern by The Patchsmith
Please click on the Craftsy logo above to access the pattern.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Would You Like To Build A Snowman?

I recently helped out a friend in trouble who was a bit swamped time wise.  She had started to paper piece an "Olaf" from the movie "Frozen" (which I am yet to see) but ran into trouble.  Being the paper piecing junkie that I am, I offered my help which she gladly accepted. 
The completed Olaf block
The fabrics were all chosen & supplied by Sharon.  They were dropped off together with some chocolate & Aurifil and I set to work.  This block is definitely rated at an advanced level, because some of the pieces are quite small. However, they are necessary to achieve the level of detail.  The completed block finished at 10.5" with seam allowance.  
Sharon collected Olaf last Friday and the following day I was pretty excited to see this post on Instagram, she had turned it into the most adorable cushion for her daughter.
If you would like to find out more about her cushion, please visit Sharon's blog post:


Would you like to build/sew your own snowman?  The pattern is a free digital download by Sew Much Mischief.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

December Bee Blocks

Well December has finally rolled around and 2 out of 3 of my monthly Quilting Bees have now come to an end.  The Quilt Club Australia Stars Bee for 2014 has now ended, and I have a month off before the 2015 round kicks off in February.  I have resigned from the Quilt Club Australia's Hive #5 so this is my last bee block for that group.  Our Quilty Sisters Instabee continues with 2 new members joining us in January.  I will set up new page tabs for the 2015 quilting bees...

Meanwhile, here are the three bee blocks that I have made for December 2014:

Quilt Club Australia - Stars Bee (paper piecing)

This month is Alissa's queenly reign. Her chosen colours are Lime green & Grey on a solid white background.  I chose to make the Ohio Star for her:

Quilt Club Australia Hive #5
This month is Judy's queenly reign. Judy loved the Mondrian blocks that we made back in May so she asked us to make her a 16" Mondrian Block with blue & turquoise and a sparkly print to coordinate with a fabric range that she loves called "Tree of Life" by Chong A Hwang for Timeless Treasures.
This is Judy's inspiration print - "Tree of Life"

The block I made features a lovely peacock feather print.

Quilty Sisters Instabee
This month I made Carolyn's block which is the Come Together Block. Carolyn sent out the grey, teal & white fabrics and asked us to use whatever we wanted for the inner squares.  I used my Dashwood Annali fabrics.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Utter Schmadness....!

You may have noticed that I was missing in action from my blog for the past 10-days whilst I have been busy with some secret squirrel sewing projects (many of which I cannot share with you yet).  There are a number of very special people whom I am madly trying to create special thank you presents for - some of which have already been sent & received so I will blog about those shortly - some are still in production and/or still in transit through the mail.
Recently I have also been doing some pattern testing for Juliet at The Tartan Kiwi and Kristy at Quiet Play (neither of which I am permitted to share with you yet), and I am currently assisting my friend Sharon with another sewing project.

Next Year's Swaps:
There are a number of swaps via Instagram set up for early next year and I seem to have gone slightly insane by joining "just a few" of them:
The "Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap (round 3)" is being hosted by Schnitzel & Boo and is due to be completed & dispatched by 23 January 2015.
The "Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap" is being hosted by SoooCharming and is due to be completed & dispatched by 02 February 2015.
The "Kitten Mini Quilt Swap" is being hosted by Marni at Frankenstein Fabrics and is due to be completed & dispatched by 31 March 2015.
The "Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap" is being hosted by Kate Basti and is due to be completed & dispatched by 06 April 2015.
The "IG Mini Oz" swap is being hosted by Michelle Rees and is due to be completed & dispatched by 10 April 2015.
There was also a "For the Love of Bonnie & Camille" swap which I *JUST* stopped myself from completing & sending off my application once I had realised how many swaps I had already committed to.

I have also been in discussion with a quilting friend in New Zealand about the possibility of starting up a Trans Tasman mini quilt swap, however we decided to put those plans on hold until at least mid next year due to the large number of swaps already set up for the start of the new year.  Meanwhile I have offered my services as a "Swap Mama" in one of the above swaps so that I can gain some more experience, however I am yet to hear if my offer has been accepted or required.
I have a lot of stalking and sewing ahead of me....

Existing Bees:
The current round of the Quilt Club Australia Bee 5 (QCA Bee#5) concludes this month and I have decided not to continue with this group next year.  Although it was good experience for me and helped to improve my sewing skills, I feel that I have enough commitments and something had to give.  Despite my queenly rule being back in August, I am yet to receive a quarter of my bee blocks from this group...
I have been promoted to assistant administrator in the Quilt Club Australia Paper Pieced Stars Bee (QCA Stars Bee).  We have a few of this year's members who are either retiring from our group at the end of this year, or are taking a sabbatical next year, so Carlie and I have been busy recruiting new members.  We now have 11 members for 2015 so we are taking a break in January and commencing the monthly bee in February 2015. I thoroughly enjoy this bee and we had a wonderful group of ladies this year.  I know many of the new recruits so I reckon next year should be just as much fun.
The Quilty Sisters Instabee continues and we have two new members joining us in January.  I have completed all of my blocks & gifts for this year and have already made a few bee blocks in advance for next year. 
So there you have it.  Utter Utter Schmadness!!!
If you need me I will be in the sewing room...