christmas etc!

Christmas in this house usually means handmade, but I ran out of time! I suppose that's not a surprise with two small, dependent children, but ugh. I always feel like such a jerk buying gifts when I could have made them instead.

So, on to what I did manage!

My brother-in-law and his wife got a little quilt for napping under. It's for couches and I tried to stay in their color scheme, which is to say, mint and navy and purples. (I had to add pink. It needed it.) Some Denyse Schmidt fabric from her Shelburne Falls range came in really handy for this color scheme - you can find this at Kim's. The rest of the colors are Konas and I am way too tired to drag out my color card. :)

I Deserve A Nap

I love the simple line quilting I did. I'll be honest, I was half and half between stippling loosely and doing straight line quilting - I'm glad I went with the latter.

Here it is all washed, tumble-dried and crinkly.

I Deserve A Nap

Simon's Grandma lives an hour or so north of us, but taking the kids up is super tricky, so we don't often make the drive. I was determined to do it this Christmas, though, and even more so, I wanted to take her a quilt. What better than a quilt I started as a challenge with Sel more than a year ago?

Many Mountains

This is Many Mountains. Made with Kate Spain's Terrain and Kona Snow. I backed this with the infamous Ikea number fabric and I did an all-over very loose stipple with Aurifil in a coral shade. It came out 67" x 70". My favorite parts were the flying geese! I think they make nice bright borders.

This quilt was hard to finish for a lot of reasons but I am so happy it has gone on to a new home and I rather think it suits Grandma Jean perfectly.

We took the kids up a few days after Christmas. Owen and Grandma got on great.

Owen Meets Grandma

She was absolutely delighted to meet her first great-grandson!

Owen Meets Grandma

Few things are better than deploying my charming baby in order to make someone's day. I think it worked very well in this case. :)

Tonight I wrapped up another embarrassingly long WIP. This has been quilting with a cross-hatch pattern in the center and the outer border is loopy FMQ. I used the same Aurifil coral because it was actually pretty perfect...and I had bobbins to use up! Haha. :)

Quilting doooooone! #achievementunlocked

Tomorrow is binding. :) I am feeling exceedingly productive this week.

Oh! And the biggest change of late - I decided to bite the bullet and do something I have always wanted to do: I gave myself mermaid hair.

I love this derpy picture my husband took. :)

It involved bleaching, toning, dyeing, and now upkeep. I'll write a post about it at some point just for reference but suffice to say I LOVE it! I feel more me with bright blue hair. :)

I expect all my last-second purchases to be arriving in the postbox in the next few days. panic-ordered show quilt fabric, another bolt of Michael Miller for backgrounds (Fog, to go with Bright White and Soft White), more magazines, and a new color card, to name a few things! I am also thinking about a New Years' Eve destash sale. I'd like to shift some fabric to start the new year correctly - but we'll see if I can get organized!

Hope you have all had a happy holiday season :)


Penny x



the no more manifesto.

Hi, my name is Jenn*, and I'm a fabriholic.


Having seen this pop up on Jess's and Rebecca's blogs, it seemed like a good idea, but not for me. I shrugged and thought, I'm not so bad. Not really. But, like most things, it clung to my brain like a burr. I thought about it a lot. And I started to really examine my craft habits.

I did not like what I saw.

So, I buy a LOT of fabric. I sew as much as I can, but I definitely buy more than I can sew. Earlier this year, I committed to culling and curating my stash life, and I do think my fabric purchases have been more mindful. It's just that there were so many.


Part of my fabric-hoarding is a genuine love of textiles: I really am the kind of person who walks into fabric shops and takes a long, deep breath in. I often buy whole collections, I haunt designer blogs, I stalk my favorite people and companies on Instagram; I am as nuts about fabric as some people are about shoes. I don't just sew with my stash; I dive in and swim around for hours/days, emerging only when the right combinations appear. Textiles are a genuine love.


But, I have to confess, part of why I hoard fabric is because I can. I like having the latest, greatest, newest. I love being able to show the girls in my guild a new half-yard bundle and have them see for themselves why I can't stop rhapsodizing. I love being a resource! But my fabric sits there. Unsewn. Insured, and named in my will, for heaven's sake, but unsewn.


This misses the point of fabric. Fabric is meant to be cut, sewn, admired in projects, not just in stashes.


Buying so much puts pressure on me, too. I feel guilty when I purchase fabric and it goes untouched. I get frustrated that I still haven't saved enough for my quilting frame. (Fabric and Grace Frame budget are in the same pile.) I even feel guilty at how often I wait for the postman, and don't take my kids outside!

Ahhh. Much better. I love a clean sewing room and a beautifully organized stash!

And, as much as I love to shop locally, since I had babies my purchasing is about 65% online. I browse/buy online during breastfeeds or naptimes, when the kids don't need me but I want my hands and brain occupied. This means I'm not supporting local business as much as I like, which is hugely frustrating for me. I am letting myself and my community down. Patchwork shops in Australia are rare, and I want to support the amazing ones.

Fat quarters ahoy!

Something has to change. I need a big shock. I need to be forced out of my comfort zone. I need to, instead of deciding I want to make something with new fabric, make the same project with the fabric I already have. I need to love and embrace using what I have, not yearn for new fabric.

Charley Harper fabric arrived! So great!!

So this is it. My commitment. From January 1 to July 1, I will not buy any more new fabric for my stash. Here are the rules, as laid out by Jess & Rebecca:

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   

2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.

3) Create a UFO list and complete them!

4) Exceptions

  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception - who can blame you?

Now, I personally don't have quilts in magazines but as I am teaching this year (!!! yes, and I will talk about it later), my stash might fall short for those. Same goes for anything for the guild. But within those exceptions, I will stick to a budget, and I will stay local. I also plan to buy batting and notions as needed. (Suddenly rotary cutter blades, interfacing, and zippers seem heaps more exciting, haha.)

The point of this is to use what I have, and in a larger sense, to be happy with what I have. I might even go so far as to destash a little. (If I don't love it, why am I keeping it?) And I love the idea of stopping and evaluating at mid-year. 

I'll write out a quick WIPs list just for posterity. I'll count anything I've started by 1 January as needing to be finished by 30 June, but unstarted projects don't count, yeah? :)

Tops that need piecing:

  • Terrain challenge
  • Kat's quilt
  • O quilt
  • trade winds II
  • triangles

Tops that need quilting:

  • spool quilt (scalp and requilt)
  • picnic rug (quilt, simple lines)
  • blue Marcelle Medallion

Projects to be started:

  • hexagon quilt
  • third marcelle medallion
  • pixel quilt
  • show quilt
  • voile quilt
  • cushion covers

Plus whatever else is in my ideas bag. Gah I want to make all the things!

Okay. So that's me. I'm linking up. I'm in this thing. Let's do it. :)


*it really, totally, actually is. But you can still call me Penny.


A Swoon in the Woods.

I started this quilt a long time ago.

Swooning along

We had just closed on our house, and I was getting into quilting in a big way. In lieu of planning the renovation the house so badly needed, though, we went for one last hurrah to visit family. To not take advantage of the much-cheaper shipping within the US seemed like a waste, so I sent a bunch of stuff to myself while we were there, including a fat quarter bundle of A Walk in the Woods and a paper Swoon pattern. I started cutting this quilt out in January of 2012, intending to make it for my sister W, who didn't get a quilt before that trip because I ran out of time.

I made a block after we moved into our newly renovated house (May 2012), then it sat there.

Then I had friends get married in October 2012, so for their wedding, I made two more Swoon blocks, for huge cushions, as a refresher...

More Swoon :)

First ever Swoon block! I pulled the pattern out, ready to get it started again. And it sat there.

(You can see where this is NOT going.)

I forced myself to make two more blocks in the intervening year, always with the best of intentions to finish the quilt...until a new half-yard bundle came through my mailbox and I was distracted. Or I suddenly had a project with a deadline that I absolutely needed to finish! Before anything else! RIGHT NOW!11!!!1!!

The problem was, I really disliked making this block. I think it is so beautiful, but the method really irritated me. Maybe because it seemed like a lot of effort that cound easily be circumvented with a few clever tricks. (And, it totally can. I just bought the Mini-Swoon pattern which is entirely different, and works much how I thought the pattern originally did, which is to say, MANY FEWER STEPS.)

However. Last month I got so sick of myself that I pulled it out again and said ENOUGH. I did nothing else until it was done. I had help, of course, in the form of television (thank youuuu Arrested Development and Community) and I had already vowed I could send this off to my longarm quilter. I finished the top, and I was delirious, so I decided to make the back extra nice and I even added a strip of HSTs.

Quilt photography, behind the scenes

I machine bound it, because our other sister's kidlets are little and grabby and sticky so I figured my sister would want something she could throw in the washing machine at any time. I prefer to machine bind, for durability. The backing is Michael Miller Cotton Couture which is my favorite backing fabric ever. It's so soft and smooth to touch, it makes it nice to snuggle under.

And now it is done.

A Swoon in the Woods

I really wanted to make a quilt for my sister. She's creative, an artist, loves foxes, and when I bought the fabric, blue and bright red where totally colors she loved. (I hope they still are!) I would say that this quilt challenged me, but in truth, the first block challenged me the most. Once I picked it up again I found that I'd learned so much in the intervening months that it was just sewing by rote to get it finished! I felt overwhelmingly guilty at not being able to finish this for my excellent sister, who is clearly deserving of a nice snuggly quilt.

Here's hoping it gets there in time for Christmas!

Name: A Swoon in the Woods
Finish date:
December 2013
Made with: A Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey for Moda Fabrics, background & sahing Kona Snow, Backing Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Wedgewood
Patched on: Bernina 440QE
Quilted by: Jeannette Bruce of The Quilting Platypus



Catching up!

Geez, I didn't mean to leave it this long between posts. I sure got swallowed up by a few tasks in the interim!

Our charity quilt raffle was a resounding success! We made over $1000 to donate to the YWCA and the quilt is very happily situated with its new owner Laura! Congratulations Laura and thanks to everyone who bought a ticket. (Soon there will be an official SydMQG blog post and then I will hang up my official guild blogging hat and pass it on to Sel!)

I am so proud of what we've achieved. Our little guild does great things.

On to what I've been working on! Nearly two years ago, we bought our house, and knowing that we'd be soon pouring all our extra money into mortgages, renovations, etc, we planned a Final Big Trip to see my family. I took over a suitcase full of quilts but I didn't have time to make quilts for two of my sisters (Whitney and Jillian, though Jillian's kids all got their quilts!) I decided to start Whitney's quilt over there, so I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Aneela Hoey's Walk in the Woods fabric, bought a Swoon paper pattern, and in the US I started cutting it out.

And it stayed cut out for two years.

Swooning in the woods

I made a total of three blocks in 22 months. It was ridiculous.

3/9 Swoon blocks done. Bedtime now.

It's so unfair because I really love my sister and think she is great, and I have been avoiding mentioning that I have a quilt totally cut out and ready for her...but I was too busy to make it! HORRIBLE SISTER ALERT. Anyway, a week after pulling it out again, it was done. And a week later, it has been sent to my longarm quilter, quilted in a gorgeous baptist fan pattern, and sent back. This weekend is for binding it and I want to walk it up to the post office on Monday morning!

Here is a picture of it still in the design wall phase but as soon as it's bound I'll get a proper picture taken!

All the Swoon blocks. Sashing can wait until Sunday!! Tomorrow is the grand opening at Kim Bradley Creations...I'll be there with bells on!

It was Piper's last day of school today too. She's been attending a local Montessori toddler community and she's really enjoyed it. Though she's still not much of a talker, "scoo!" is one of her words and last week, when I had to pull out of the carpark and pull in a second time, she cried because she thought we were leaving before she could get out and go have fun. Big, huge tears. Lip trembling, heart broken, please let me go to "scoo"! I thought I would give her directress, Geraldine, a little thank you gift. Of course, knowing me, it got out of hand and ended up being rather large. Like 85" square.

About to start pin basting. (Obviously not like this! I was just double checking that the backing was big enough!) #teacherquilt #quickfinish

I sent the camera with my husband on his journeys hunting for hobbits, so there is no picture of this finish, just what I put on Instagram. I must make another one of these - the blocks are dead easy. I scaled up Film in the Fridge's block with a neutral sashing - the last yard of which Sel was kind enough to share from her stash of Kona Stone! Thank you for sharing Sel. Mr Poppleton suggested using Kona Stone for the binding as well so the blocks would float - he was brilliant of course. It looked great!

Done!! One teacher quilt finished. Phew

I was very happy to hand it to our wonderful Geraldine today and she was so very happy. (I like this quilt a lot, but I worry about orange! It's one of those divisive colors. Luckily she liked it.) :)

I am still working on the Spool Quilt for Kim's. I need to unquilt several puckery patches and that has greatly discouraged me. Here's the top finished - I absolutely love it.

Unpressed but impressive. :)

I did this the whole way down but some of the corners got puckery. I'm super bummed out. I love this top and my ability to wrench a top through my Juki is not as good as my vision!! I need a quilting frame, that's for sure.

Mmmm yasssss #quiltforkim #juki

Sigh. I need to get on this. I love this quilt and can't wait to get it finished!

Not sure if Sydney folks knew this, but Greta's Handcraft Centre moved a few shops down the road, and she decided against keeping up the patchwork side of things. Viv and I are friendly and she casually mentioned that she had these gorgeous shelving units for sale. When she told me how much, I'm pretty sure I panted a little. Real timber, tall enough for bolts of fabric, beautifully constructed... YES PLEASE. I told her I'd take four, and she ended up throwing the fifth one in for free.

Three new shelving units! Real timber! Former fabric shop! So pretty! Can't wait to get my stash in there!!

Look how great they look in my sewing room. I love them. I do need more shelves in each bookcase, so I'm asking my good friend Clark the Builder to fit me some new shelves. I am decided whether or not to paint them white. What do you think?

I made a few more of Kat's blocks! I am so proud of those cars all going the proper direction. YES. Only 60 of these left...yikes haha. Good thing I have a month and a half to finish this one! I have already decided to send this one out to be quilted, so the top is my focus. It's a relief to be able to plan just to assemble blocks!

Four down, 60 to go :) #quiltforkat

Finally, my bee blocks have been trickling in. I've only got three people that I'm waiting on and then I can put the quilt together. I just had to put it up on my design wall to give it a test drive. I scaled this block smaller for my bee mates (and did all the cutting, more or less, and threw them right in the deep end so I wasn't giving away any pattern details!) but you can find the original pattern here. The fabric choices are Constellations, the white backrgound fabric is Pearl Bracelet white on white (both by Lizzy House), and the blue fabric is Breeze in Michael Miller Cotton Couture. I am going for a 5x6 configuration and I'll probably float it on a fat border to make it sufficiently single-bed sized!

I LOVE this! I'm still missing blocks from 3 people but so far my bee month has been a glorious success! #ausmodbee #iloveyouladies

And of course, I've been watching TV while I sew... GILMORE GIRLS!! I am giving the series a second chance. I watched two seasons and it just frustrated me - I am finding it much better the second time around. Though I still wish Lorelei wasn't so twee. She's like a Manic Pixie Dream Mom. And I still want to wring Jess/Dean/Tristan/Paris's neck. (Be nice to Rory, okay?!) And Emily, oh man, I really ache when she and Lorelei fight because it's so obvious that they both want to communicate and they just don't know how.

Anyway after I am done with Gilmore Girls I will rewatch Veronica Mars with my friend Lewix. That should be fun! I have a few quilts to bash out before then, and there are 7 whole seasons of Gilmore I should be all caught up on my WIPs by then!

Okay, phew, all caught up - now time for sleep. Zzzzzz


Penny xx




the rainbow connection.

So I suspect that many of you who read this blog don't know I am the president of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild. I try to keep my personal and barely-professional lives separate but that is kind of an unavoidable fact. :) The guild is going strong now after two years and we are just now raffling off our first ever group quilt.

The Rainbow Connection.
You can see it in person if you want - it's at Kim Bradley Creations, in Castle Hill, NSW.

I stole this picture from Selina. SORRY NOT SORRY.Did I mention I LOVE this quilt? I do. I pieced hexagons for weeks months and I was the first person to make the cut when the blocks were all ready to be put together. Talk about scary. It is so beautiful and wonderful and I love it. I love that it took us so long to make it. I love that we were all complaining about sore fingers and that everyone had hexagons in their handbags and that we used an entire bolt of white fabric to make it. I love that Sel quilted it herself. I love that Marilyn bound it so beautifully in that black and white stripe fabric. I love that from so many hands, in the end, it came together under my Bernina, one row at a time. I am extremely fond of this quilt.

So I am asking you, my readers, to buy raffle tickets. I'll ship it to you, anywhere in the world, for free. If you live in Sydney I may even drive it over! You can have it by Christmas if you win it. Because as much as I love it, we want it to be even greater than it is. We want to raise money by raffling this quilt and donate that money to the YWCA in NSW. We want to be women who come together to help other women. From a place of creation, love, even sometimes frustration (!) to a place of giving back. Community. Caring. Quilting.That's what this is about.

If you're interested in raffle tickets, they are:

$3 each or 2/$5

You can send money through Paypal - just shoot me an email and I'll get an invoice to you straightaway.

I hope you win it.

Peace out!

Penny x



MMQAL: Wrap Up & Grand Prize

Hi everyone!

I can't believe this is the end!! WOW! We've had such amazing fun making this quilt together!

I just want to take a moment to thank Alexia for writing the pattern and giving so many of us inspiration. If you haven't caught up with her new endeavor, you really should take a look. She's on to great things and I can't wait to make another one of her quilts (in fact I'm working on one now)! Thanks Alexia!

I would never have done the Marcelle Medallion Quilt-Along if Danielle and Jeannette hadn't encouraged it - thanks so much girls!

Thanks also to Samantha who offered to be a prize sponsor! Thank you!!

Okay now that I've said all the thank-yous, let's see who won the GRAND PRIZE! I put everyone's names into a fabric bowl (including the commenters who missed out on the linky - sorry! I should have mentioned it was on Australian time!) the correct amount of times...

MMQAL Winner

Then I visited the Tiny Blonde One during her "lunch hour"...hence all the avocado!

MMQAL Winner

I asked her to choose one piece of paper.

MMQAL Winner

And she did!

MMQAL Winner

Congratulations to Ali of Ali Makes! Soon your excellent prize packs will be on their way to you! Just quickly, that's this fabulous bundle of fabric from Polka Dot Tea Fabrics:

And this lovely pile of goodies!!

Giveaway final

Those will be in the post soon Ali!

Finally, some of my favorites.

I really loved every single Marcelle I saw. The fabric choices were all so different but I truly believe it is impossible to make this quilt unattractive! That said, there were a few I kept my eyeballs on as they were being made! So I went ahead and I made a mosaic of some of my favorite pictures from the Flickr Group. It's a great place to search for ideas if you're still going and there are so many great quilters still working hard on their Marcelles! I can't wait to see these all finished. (Please let me know if you want your photo removed!)

1. marcelle, 2. Finally got these darn geese on my Marcelle medallion. #mmqal #marcellemedallion, 3. Brick border, 4. Making Crosses--Marcelle Medallion, 5. Center Star - Marcelle Medallion, 6. Marcelle Medallion Quilt, Border 2, 7. Marcelle Medallion Finish, 8. CM2, 9. Marcelle medallion border 5, 10. Marcelle Medallion, 11. Marcelle Medallion- another border down!, 12. mmresize, 13. Marcelle medallion finished top, 14. 2013-10-22 16.00.00, 15. Medallion quilt / WIP, 16. marcelle medallion

Thank you so much for joining in this Quilt-Along. It has been so much fun and getting to know more fabric-hoarders quilters has been a blast!


Penny xx


MMQAL: Putting it all together

Hi everyone!

This is the second-to-last post for the QAL - it feels like we just started yesterday! Can you all believe we've been working toward this since August?? Wow!


Today we're going to talk about how to finish your quilt.

Putting it all together

As I'm waiting to quilt my own Marcelle, I haven't finished my back or basted it together. (And of course I didn't take a photo of my first Marcelle!) Instead, if you are planning to machine-quilt this, I must point you in the direction of this excellent tutorial by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. I can highly recommend the taping, and even though I just survive with sore fingers, I do have a Kwik Klip and they are quite handy for pin basting.

Alexia suggests an all-over stipple, to let the piecing shine through, but, having done that with my first Marcelle, I would suggest taking your time and really having a play. It's a manageable size for free-motion quilting - most machines could comfortably take this quilt - and the piecing is little which means you can really enjoy yourself and try out new patterns!

I love Jess's quilting here so much. Also check out Jeannette's finish! Both of these ladies BLEW ME AWAY with their quilting, and inspired me to take a step back and plan better for my own Marcelle.

If you are thinking of hand-quilting, I really loved Svetlana's traditionally hand-quilted Marcelle and Cassie has a great Marcelle she quilted with perle cotton.


It's the very final giveaway for our Marcelle Medallion Quilt-Along, and it is CHOCK FULL of some lovely things!!

Firstly, I'm going to rather shamelessly plug my friends Danielle and Jeannette. These girls started out as Instagram friends and constantly inspire me with their amazing taste in fabric as well as their gorgeous quilts! Imagine my excitement when they decided to put their great taste forth and open a quilt shop, Polka Dot Tea!

You can find their gorgeous shop here: and their blog here:

They have so generously donated a fat quarter bundle of these gorgeous cotton-linen print fat quarters from Kei for the final giveaway!

And for more of the final giveaway...

Giveaway final

Two teensy cute stamp sets, cloud sticky notes, a ball of Valdani perle 8 to get your hand-quilting started, a journal to record your hopes & dreams, Paper Towels by dirtsastudio, a personal library kit so you can keep track of your quilting books, and a copy of Feathering The Nest by Bridgette Giblin!

Linky Rules:

  • Please link to a photo of your Marcelle Medallion Quilt. It can be on Flickr, on Instagram, or on a blogpost.
  • You must have started your Marcelle or completed most of it during this QAL.
  • You get TWO entries if you have a finished quilt top and THREE entries if you have already quilted your Marcelle!
  • You can also get another entry if you follow @polkadotteafabrics on Instagram and let me know you did so in the comments!
  • It should go without saying...but if you're not participating in the QAL, then don't bother linking up - we'll check each entry twice, like SANTA does. :)
  • International welcome of course!

Happy linking! Can't wait to draw this giveaway - closes at midnight on 4th of November so you have a few days!

Cheers, P xx


MMQAL: Winner (and a quick tutorial link!)

Hi everyone! Hope you are all going well!

We are so close to the end of this quilt-along! Last week, we talked about border 7. I didn't really get a chance to talk about Border 8, but it's quite important, isn't it, if you end the quilt there! If it is your last border, remember that it will frame the quilt, and in my opinion, simpler is better. I chose a small blue spotty fabric for mine. It echoes the blue in the middle of the quilt and anchors it together.

DONE. Whew! #marcellemedallion #mmqal

But if you aren't stopping at Border 8...and you are making your quilt EVEN are certainly not alone!

Since I am making this one for my son, I didn't need it to be larger than the pattern size, and I chose not to keep going. But I love the idea of making this big - taking it to a double, queen, or even king size quilt is such a delicious idea! I was not up to the task, but Chelsie was!

Chelsie created a gorgeous tutorial for making tiny churn dash blocks to become a 9th Border - please visit her blog and have a look. Also I stole a picture from her blog post. Aren't these GREAT?!

They are teensy and I think they capture the spirit of the quilt VERY well - I can't wait to see Chelsie's finished quilt!

There are MANY MORE excellent quilts in the Flickr Group - please head on over if you please and have a look. I am as always completely gobsmacked at the gorgeous quilts this QAL is turning out!

Another great border inspiration is Debbie over at Juniper Quilts. She took hers to 98"...and it is her SECOND Marcelle Medallion!

Yay. You are all so awesome. :)

Giveaway Time!

Last week we were offering TWO giveaways.

This sweet Nordika fat eighth bundle with accompanying perle cotton and mini Seam-Fix:

Giveaway October 22

And this Briar Rose charm pack, Hello Tokyo buttons, perle cotton and a tiny Turkish pin bowl:

Giveaway October 22

And this I did something a little different to had my husband choose his two favorites! He is not a quilter but he has had to put up with this QAL so I figured he deserved a little input! His two favorites from last week's linky were...

Mary on Lake Pulaski!



Congratulations! I've sent your emails out - as soon as I have your address I'll tuck those prizes in the post! Hooray!

Stop by tomorrow for the last giveaway and a few lovelies too!


Penny xx




MMQAL: Assembling Border 7

Hi there cuties! I can't believe it's over halfway through October. In three days, my little man will be five months old. He's currently practicing rolling over on the living room rug. I suppose that's a sign to get his Marcelle Medallion quilt basted and quilted!

But we'll talk about that next week, shall we. There are only two more weeks to go! Wow!

This week we're going to talk about Assembling Border 7. I have a few tips and tricks for chain-piecing those fiddly little cross pieces and then at the end of this post there are TWO giveaways!! Because I missed last week, I wanted to make up for it, so I made them a bit extra special. :)

To business!

Assembling Border 7

By this point, you should have all your little bits cut out. I put them on a post-it note and stuck it to the window in front of my cutting area, and then I put on an episode of Grand Designs and just cut, cut, cut. Dr Penny does not advise this strategy. Dr Penny suggests lots of rests and/or intermittent cups of tea so your hands aren't all stiff the next day. :)

Here they are organized by crosses (so each row is a finished cross).

MMQAL: Crosses

There will be an equal number of square background pieces and square cross pieces. Go ahead and separate these out.

MMQAL: Crosses

Put the squares right sides together. Chain piece as shown!

MMQAL: Crosses

Press them with the seams toward the background. Normally, you'd go toward the darker seam, but I have made enough of these that I can say they lay a lot flatter if you press the seams here, outward.

MMQAL: Crosses

Now there are the larger background pieces. Match those up to the pieces squares, right sides together of course!

MMQAL: Crosses

Chain piece these too!

MMQAL: Crosses

Now, when you've snipped your chain apart, press. Press these outward again, toward the background.

Add the second side, making sure you add that piece to the two-squares piece, and not the square-rectangle piece (as I have done several times, haha). Press outward after chain piecing.

MMQAL: Crosses

Now for the cross centers! These need to be mostly centered on the cross so if there's a little bit of extra fabric just try and keep it centered and you'll be all right. Chain piece.

MMQAL: Crosses

Press these seams toward the cross center.

MMQAL: Crosses

Now you can add the top of the cross! Chain piece these exactly like before.

MMQAL: Crosses

Press them, again, toward the cross center. They should now lie super flat.

MMQAL: Crosses

The cross blocks have skinny strips in between them - you can chain piece those, but remember that the last cross block on each row has a large block on the other side, closest to the cornerstone block, so be mindful.

They do look nice, don't they!

MMQAL: Crosses

Now, this week's GIVEAWAYS!

Link up (linky is below) and be sure to link up to an existing Marcelle Medallion quilt. It can be an instagram weblink, a flickr photo, a facebook page - whatever! It simply has to relate to this quiltalong and show where you are up to!

We will be choosing TWO winners this week!

The FIRST giveaway is a charm pack of Briar Rose, green perle 8 cotton quilting thread to match, two lots of Hello Tokyo buttons, and a special Turkish bowl (perfect for safety pins)!

Giveaway October 22

The SECOND GIVEAWAY is a fat eighth set of Nordika (designed by Jeni Baker of In Color Order!), two balls of coordinating Valdani perle 12 quilting cotton thread, and a miniature Seam-Fix seam ripper!

Giveaway October 22

Just link up below and we'll choose two winners by next week! Can't wait!!


Penny xx


A slight detour.

Aside from having bronchitis, and hosting the most fun Quilt-Along EVER, a few things have been happening in Chez Poppleton!

Such as: one of my best friends was in a bicycle accident and broke both her arms. Poor Kris! She is better now, after surgery and two different casts and a lot of my fretful hovering (not helpful) and Kat's excellent nursing (actually helpful). Look how cute we are. (This is one of the days I bullied her into coming over so I could keep an eye on her.)

Jenn & Kris

Also: my children were being excessively cute. I can't help it. I just think they are the most adorable ever.

The Wee Poppletons

And: Owen has officially earned the nickname "Holepunch"...he decided four months of age was quite old enough to sprout a couple of teeth. You can just see them in their bumpy baby-toothed glory poking out of the gums. Wowzas.

My baby is now officially a holepunch. #chompchomp #biteallthethings

Also: I sewed myself a skirt. I like it. And it's too big. Hoping it'll shrink in the wash.

Unpressed and haven't sewn a hem yet but LOOK! I made a SKIRT! #itsbeenawhile #selfishsewing #loulouthi

Plus: I finally used Piper's special roll of craft paper to draft a pajama pants pattern for myself...and then for her, too. (There was just enough! IT WAS FATE. Matching, super cute fate.)

Matching pyjamas for Mama & Piper.

And: FINALLY getting out to Kim Bradley's shop. Have you met Kim? She's awesome. Her shop is amazing and it deserves its own full post, which I plan to do once I get back there with more than just my iPhone. She's a gorgeous human and a gorgeous quilter. And she's a fabric addict, too. Always a plus!

Kim Bradley Creations

Also: I revamped a few weeks ago. Amazing how a proper clean-out refreshes the entire mind, heart, body, soul? Of course it was like that for approximately ten seconds. Heh.

There we go. Feeling a bit better. #propermuckout #honestcraftroom

Also, in slightly sad things I am rather in denial about: Kat went off to Europe on her adventures. I won't see her again until DECEMBER. Woe to me, my friends. Woe to me. The good news is, there's something I can work on while she's gone. :D

The fabric stack and the girl in question. ❤

And she did promise to go by Shaukat for me if she got the chance. Bless.

Also if you want to see Kat get thoroughly owned by her sailboat, there is video...


Have a great weekend!

Penny x

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