Some days…

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I made this quilt (currently named ‘Matchsticks’) about 6 months ago. It was an experiment in staggering my measurements, the piecing was all vertical and it was fairly straightforward to graph it out.

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The thing that’s driving me batty with this quilt is what design to quilt it with…

Do I go full custom? Geometric? Swirls? Find a pantograph that has elephants on it?

The backing is a chocolate brown with baby pink spot and the binding is a multi-coloured stripe (pink, blue, brown and white).

If you have any thoughts on what I might quilt on it please pop them in the comments below.

Do you want to win?

If you would like the chance to win a $20 gift voucher to use in the web-store please comment below with your suggestion for a name for this quilt. I will choose the winner at 5pm AEDST on the 22nd of February 2015.

Rules:

Gift voucher will be valid from 6 months from the date of winner announcement. This prize is a one off and the voucher cannot be redeemed for cash. This voucher cannot be used towards machine quilting costs (if you need a machine quilting voucher they are available for purchase). Your information, submitted for this competition will not be used for any other purpose except this competition and will not be passed onto any third parties.

To ensure that you are able to be contacted in the case of you winning please make sure you comment with a profile/avatar that has an email address.

If in case of the winner not responding within 24hours of the announcement a second winner shall be chosen.

 

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Quilts for sale!

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Since moving the shop I’ve found myself rather low on space. It’s always been at a premium but now it’s top priority.

SO

I’m having a massive quilt sale on all the pre-made quilts that I have ready to post.

The quilts are all listed here in a Facebook album and to purchase all you need to do is comment SOLD and message me your email and postal details and choice of payment method (Paypal invoice, credit card over the phone or direct deposit).

There is an assortment of quilts from cot size, to double bed along with a few wallhangings and table runners AND they are all 50% OFF!!

I want these quilts to go to good homes that will use them, throw them on the floor, on the lounge, use them as a picnic rug or even buy one for your favourite furry friend. I put a lot of work into them and I want people to enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. 🙂

These quilts (with a few exceptions) are ready to post now – you purchase it and I’ll pop it in the mail. These quilts have been made over the past few years, some as recently as a month or so ago.

A few pictures below of some of what’s available.

As I unpack I will load more quilt pictures of what I have available.

And as always if you see something you like but it’s not in your colours or theme I can make a custom order quilt for you. Just get in touch with your ideas. 😀

 

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Totes mah Goats

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Part of a blogger’s duty to her readers is to occasionally divulge a bit of information about her life. I’ve done that with things like what happened with Dad, birthdays and a few other bits and pieces but I feel like you should know ‘me’, know odd little things about Marni. I like to think that I am friends with my customers – whatever varying degree of friendship that may be, we are all different and that’s a good thing but we don’t have to be everybody’s BFFs and live in each others pockets.

So what I’d like to do is open up the comments below this post to you – ask me something that you’d like to know (keep it reasonable, but I will reserve the right to not answer some things), I am pretty open about most topics.

So here is a little confession of one of my many, many quirks…

I love goats. I’ve always wanted a pet goat. They just appeal to me for some unexplainable reason that seems to baffle and bemuse my friends and just quietly I think it stresses out my mother…

I am a Capricorn which may explain the initial attraction as I dabbled with all of that astrology stuff throughout high school. I love the glorious drawings and artworks that people create, showing the mystery and fairytale nature of our birth signs. So I guess I was going to head towards a goat from the start.

I even have a pinterest board dedicated to them and their cuteness.

I love their cute faces, weird eyes and cheeky nature. If I had room (read farm) I’d have a whole bunch of them along with every other animal I’ve ever wanted to own (Clydesdales, ducks, a heap of cats and maybe an Alpaca or two). People think I’m nuts because it isn’t a normal pet to own, but I don’t care.

I’ve even started to collect a few goat knick knacks.

Below is Greycliffe. I used to work at Craft Depot at Pennant Hills and one day I was taking the mail orders over to the Post Office. While I was waiting in the queue I glanced over at the sale bin they kept near the front and it was full of toys. Reached out to see what the quality was like and as I lifted the top toy off the pile, there he was. His little beardy face staring up at me and I knew he’d be coming home with me. The poor lady at the counter thought I was a bit odd as there were much cuter more normal (there’s that word again) toys in the bin and why would I want a goat one?

He now lives in my bedroom along with Koala who is my childhood toy – one given to me by my brother when my sister was born so I didn’t feel left out. I think that was the start of my koala obsession. 🙂

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Then I have Gilly who lives on my craft room desk.

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Gilly is the tiniest ceramic goat I ever did lay eyes upon. She was purchased for me by my friend Ellie while we were away on our annual Stitch & Bitch Brigade’s Stitchmas in July holiday. We traveled to Blackheath for a weekend away. The group of us (9) rented a house for the weekend, ate, drank and crafted. We went into town and shopped, lunched at cafes and then stopped at the tea house where Gilly was to be discovered.

I love these weekends away with the girls – they are a mix of friends  – Susan is my oldest and dearest friend from kindergarden, Fi, Alison, Dimity, Nicola, Jocelyn and Camille are friends of Susan’s that I’ve appropriated and Ellie was my plus one. There are more of us in the S&B Brigade (53 in total) but we don’t all go away together. I am not a part of a guild or quilting group. I’ve always been a bit of a crafting loner, the lone wolf really… I don’t crave social interaction while I’m crafting like many quilters do, it’s just not in my nature.

Anyways, along with Gilly I also purchased a small grey and white cat because… well… cats…

The last piece in my goat collection is this stamp.

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I picked this up from the craft show last year at Darling Harbour. Cecile from Unique Stitching had these in a sale bin on her stall and there just was NO way I was walking past this goat. I was only buying felt from her (lovely luscious felt) as she stocks bamboo felt which is great for me because when I want to make felties I want to use good felt. I’m allergic to wool so can’t use the really good stuff and the acrylic sheets pill and fluff up too much for a good finish on a feltie. But now that I’ve tried the bamboo that’s all I will use. It’s perfect in every way except for 2 small things – it costs a little more, but so worth it and that it doesn’t come in the large selection of colours that the acrylics do. But time will fix both of those things and I will be using it regardless.

I’d like to collect more goat things but for now these are enough. My mission at the moment is de-cluttering my life. We are drowning in stuff on this planet and it’s just not practical.

 

So ask below, what you would like to know about me, as I am the person you trust for fabrics and other quilting paraphernalia and you have the right to know who I am and what I’m all about. 🙂

Marni x 

 

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Hurtling…

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And so here we stand a mere week out from Christmas 2013.

I’m not quite sure I believe we got here as fast as we did – it really does seem like a blur. Especially since we had so many big things happen in the last 12 months –

– The shop front closing and the restructuring of the business

– Dad being home for more than a year!

– New directions with the 55 Fox Fiasco

– And all the other random good stuff that happened.

Also in that time I started a new job… I’m doing some freelance work for the College of Law which is the complete opposite of the work I do in the shop. I’m working on word documents, behind a computer all day, not behind a sewing machine. My brain is finding the balance a little hard to come to terms with but the work is important as it is legal information for up and coming law students.

Nothing will take me away from the shop permanently, I’m just doing this job to help them through their busy time as I have the necessary skills and the flexibility with my time.  🙂

So to catch you all up with what’s happened since I last posted a blog entry (eep! the 21st of October) here’s a quick montage of pics –

I think that about covers the majority of what happened.

I’m not closing over the holidays – so if you need anything please feel free to ring, email or place your order through the shopping cart. I’ll only be going to the post office on non-public holiday days so please allow a couple of extra days for your deliveries.

 

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May…be…

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I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. We are past the 6 month mark for the shop, we’re into market and show season and the weather is turning particularly chilly.

Housekeeping….

The shop is no longer open on Saturdays. There is a sign on the door at the shop, I’ve changed the details, here and on Facebook and I’ve made several status updates announcing as such.

We are at the Wyong Quilt Show this weekend – come along and say hi.

In the latest copy of Patchwork & Stitching Magazine my Punk Princess quilt is published. I have 5 kits left of it for sale and will have them with me tomorrow at the show. $85 for the fabrics just to make the quilt top and the binding or $120 if you want backing as well. You’ll also need 2m of Vliesofix which is sold separately.

 

I’m also about to release the pattern for In Flight. It will be available as a pattern, will be taught as a class from the end of June and also comes as a tailored kit.

The tailored kits are where I work with you to create a kit to your liking, we liaise via email with photos and colour swatches to create a unique quilt for you. I can only do a limited number of these as they take more time to compile so if you are interested please send me an email frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com

There’s lots of other things happening over the next few weeks. I’ll have to keep you updated after the weekend.

 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Marni 🙂

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Rain

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I can hear some of you thinking that this post will be a whinge about the rain… well I hate to disappoint but it will be nothing of the sort… see I LIKE rain…  except when I have washing to do or have to catch public transport.

I love the smell, the sound and the look of it. I love the way it makes me want to curl up with a hot chocolate and a good book under my favourite quilt. How it makes my cat snuggly. How it makes the fog and mist hang around the tree tops at the end of the street behind my house and how I always feel like I get a good nights sleep when I can hear it falling outside.

I also like BIG storms – with lots of lightning and thunder. I love the energy of a storm and I always feel like this recharges me and that my creative impulses are renewed and revitalised….

You might have realised that I am a bit weird.

No worries….

The rain today seemed to bring out a lot of customers. In fact it felt like the busiest day since we opened. That was fantastic! But was it the rain? What made you all come out today on such a miserable, soggy day? You all had to traispe inside from your cars, dashing across the sodden grass to get to the door. I was pleased to see you all regardless of the weather and I thank you for making today a good day. 🙂

Onto other things…still rain related….

Rainy weather is the perfect weather to get some sewing done. And the rain today was a perfect start to my sewing to do list….

– commissioned lap quilt for customer (needs border, quilting and binding)

– lap quilt for magazine project (which will then be my winter quilt) needs quilting and binding

– finish binding on a playmat, table runner and one single bed quilt (playmat and table runner will go up for sale)

– double bed quilt top (finish piecing, then quilt and bind) then will be up for sale

– quilt top for magazine project (quilting and binding)

– girls lap quilt – fairy themed (border, quilting and binding)

– 2 x single bed UFO quilt tops (currently sitting in box in blocks and borders…. but when done will be up for sale)

– single bed made from fat quarters (finish appliqués, quilt and bind)

– start on competition quilt

– 1x boys, and 1 x girls single bed quilts for Darling Harbour (possible kits)

 

If I can get a lot of these things out of the way this week I will be a happy woman and can sort out the other odd things I need to get done. I’m starting to get very, very, VERY excited for Darling Harbour. I have sooooo many ideas and things that I want to showcase but I need to sit down and nut it all out properly. I have some surprises and some interesting things planned, so you’ll need to mark it down in your diary to come and see me.

Anyways, its still raining so I’m off to get into bed with my book and a hot water bottle.

Night,

 

Marni

 

 

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Wearing two hats…an auction and a custom order…

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I know, I know most women wear half a dozen hats at any given time. But in my life my hats are only my work hats – I don’t count my ‘home’ hats. And there’s a heap of hats that I won’t be wearing for many years and some I don’t think I will ever wear. 🙂

So back to the hats – I wear a shop hat and a magazine editor hat. Today is the last day that I am ‘in design’ for the issue that will be on sale in May. We run about 3 months ahead with magazines. On my days off and at night I work on the magazine. So by day I am Marni, shop owner at Frankenstein’s Fabrics and by night I am Marni, Editor for EMG’s beading series. It could almost be a double life except for the fact that my lives overlap so much that it really is just one.

For those of you out there in Blogland who do a bit of jewellery making on the side, this is what I do –

 

I do all the paperwork ‘behind the scenes’ and a graphic designer does all the fancy computer stuff. We have stylists and photographers who do all the images. I work with a talented group of people. Each issue has a different title in the series.

So after today it’s back to the shop and more sewing.

Then in about a week’s time I’ll have to check the colour proofs, make sure everything is correct and then it gets sent off to be printed.

Last night the auction hosted by the Handmade Craft Market closed. The bidders were generous, the items were gorgeous and now all have new homes. We raised $600 towards Walk for Zoe, so that Brodie can complete her aim of participating in the London Marathon.

Bec picked up her custom order on Saturday.

This is how it started.

One cartoon character and some fabric….

Then …

Didn’t take any step shots of piecing so we then skip to ….

Close up of the stippling…

 

And finally the front…

and the back…

Am now down to the last order for a baby quilt. So that’s on the cutting mat this week.

If anyone would like to order a custom quilt please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com, come and see me in store or ring (02) 4325 2638.

Marni

 

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Procrasti-sewing…

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What is procrasti-sewing?

Procrasti-sewing is sewing that I do when I don’t want to do what I HAVE to do. Such as my BAS. Like I was doing this week.

My poor brain had a bit of a rebellious meltdown and went ‘nah we are not doing this, go do some sewing!’

So I did, mainly because one does not argue with one’s brain. Especially when said brain is in that kind of mood.

So I’ve done some sewing – I have been (slowly) piecing a custom order. It is using a large drunkards path block and I’m am happy to admit I am not the best at curved piecing, so I am cheating (not really) and using a curved master presser foot. To see it in action click here. The colours for this quilt are lemon, lime, two-tone mid green and dark emerald green. I was laying out the pieces on the table at the shop and realised that this quilt is a couple of firsts for me – a curved design and a green quilt. I mean I’ve used green but not for the whole quilt.

I have also been making Frankie’s girlfriend Bridie.

She doesn’t look like much…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She really was a bit of a mess this morning but she is starting to look the part. I’ll finish her tomorrow after my new (shiny) toy arrives in the morning. I am SO excited. I will post pictures so you can all admire it with me.

Pin the fabric and trace 2 arms and 2 legs - and yes that is a monkey pencil....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week has been a mad rush of deliveries – there was fabric arriving left, right and centre. All the images have been uploaded to Facebook – there are still some technical issues with the shopping cart here on WordPress so any orders are still going through FB, etsy and hand-made.com.au. My apologies for the dramas!

 

Anyways – I am about to have dinner, bit of a rush dinner (because there’s things that need doing) of fish and chips.

Marni

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Sometimes…

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I surprise myself sometimes. I make silly little toys like Frankie and the act of making something so simple and cute makes me feel better. Or at least distracts me from how I am currently feeling. Toys are good when I have quilters block or if I just don’t feel like sewing a big job but still want to do some sewing.

So on Thursday I made Frankie (his girlfriend still needs stuffing) and he made his appearance in the shop this morning. He came home with me on Thursday night because for some reason in the mornings I am not the most organised of people. I quite frequently leave things at home when I need them (coffee mug, toy fill, mobile phone). So when Frankie came home, he got stuffed (haha!) and mum stitched his head closed.

For those of you who don’t know me I am the most atrocious of hand sewers. Mum enjoys it so she gets the work. It’s not so much that I won’t do it (and believe me there are a few quilts with the bindings sewn by me that look like a drunk spider crawled across it) but I don’t like to do it. Hand-sewing is not my forte and I don’t push the issue.

So Frankie is part toy, part cushion – definitely in the spirit of Frankenstein’s monster. His girlfriend will be finished on Tuesday so I’ll upload some pics of her. Her name is Bridie.

I am going to make them up as patterns/kits so if anyone is interested please email me.

Here’s Frankie helping out at the shop today –

Frankie looking at the halloween quilt.

Helping on the till

Looking at the new fabrics - Bella Butterfly.

So this week – new stock is pending, some cute things and something for the bunting fans. Maybe even slightly Hipster. 🙂

Australia Day on Thursday – please note we are closed. Any public holiday we are closed.

I have orders to fill and quilt tops to stitch. 🙂 But that’s par for the course.

I am also looking at starting a swap – anyone interested please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com – I will send you the information. It will be patchwork postcards made and sent (like to a penpal) every two months. Anyone can be involved and are more than welcome. The more the merrier.

I’m off to be now to read my book.

Marni

 

 

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Progress

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Over the last few weeks I have had several requests for personalised quilts for babies (some already born and some pending).

I thought it would be nice to share some progress shots and talk about what I am doing with these quilts.

This first quilt is for Isobel. She is about to have her second child –  a little girl due in a few weeks time.

This is the colour scheme. There are 9 fabrics.
Using the owls from the border print I created 3 owls shapes to embroider on some of the blocks.
I used some cardboard to make a viewing window to ensure the owl embroideries fit inside each block.
DMC embroidery threads in 3845, 5200, 703, 917, 414 and 791
My nice little stack of pellon squares to back each of the embroideries.
Using the viewing frame to make sure the owl is centred when tracing the design onto the block using a light box.
Blue washable marking pen
Pellon backing.
Pin the corners to secure while you are stitching.
Backstitch using 3 strands of thread.
Finished embroidery.

As the quilt progresses I will take more photos.

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