A Look Back At 2019

It’s that time of year when Christmas and New Years have just whizzed by, the Summer school break is well underway and none of us really know what day of the week it is. 2020 arrived way too quickly. And whilst I should already have my planning and ideas down for the coming months, I have been distracted by the unfolding Australian bushfire disaster.

Our country is burning and it’s heartbreaking. We’re very thankful that the fires we experienced in our own neighbourhood in November were quickly brought under control. But the decimation and disaster in the southern states is heart breaking. So many of us feel helpless, but there are so many ways we can help. Kristy from Quiet Play has written a terrific blog post outlining many of the ways you can assist in the bush fire relief. So please be sure to TAKE A LOOK.

Ending the year with so much uncertainty in Australia, has made me grateful for the year that was 2019. It was definitely a busy one, with lots of social media posts. And I can’t tell you how amazing it has been to have your support and encouragement, especially on Instagram.

Here are the ‘Best Nine’ Molly and Mama images for 2019 on Instagram. Basically this means these are the photos that the community liked the best. And although this collage contains some surprises, it really sums up my feelings about what I do.

  1. The first image showcases the embroidery details from my Simple Sewing Folder pattern.
  2. The Quilted Carry All is a tote bag pattern that can be found in my book, Pretty Handmades*.
  3. My Night Before Christmas Stocking was super popular and I even hosted my first sew along with the pattern. I’m hoping to run another one in July!
  4. I made this sweet Liberty sewing mat using the pattern in the Text It!* book. You can read all about it in my review.
  5. The centre image features my Hettie Hexie Mini Quilt pattern, which is the perfect introduction to English paper piecing.
  6. English paper piecing featured a lot on my Instagram feed this year, as I continued my weekly sewing party called #sipteaandepp with Larisa from Stitching Notes. We’re bringing you more EPP goodness in 2020. In the meantime, you can learn more about EPP at my Beginner’s Tutorial.
  7. The Busy Bee Pin Cushion and Honey Hive Stitchy Kit are my two most favourite projects and both patterns features in my Pretty Handmades book*.
  8. You all loved making felt bunnies at Easter with this popular free tutorial.
  9. My Spring Fling Pouch Set provides a pattern and instructions for a hand embroidered lace-zipper pouch and matching glasses case with a flex frame top. This pattern has always been popular!

*If you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, I will earn a small commission that doesn’t change your purchase price, but helps me to continue to bring you free content. Thanks for your support!

All of these images represent teachable moments and my love for sharing the joy of handmade. I feel so privileged to be able to share this love with you!

Another way of reflecting back on the year that was, is to use the Year of Colour tool. This image represents the colours most widely used on the Molly and Mama instagram account in 2019. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it’s an interesting thing to look at regardless. And it has made me consider the way that colour plays a role in conveying a message about what I do and what my projects, and sewing patterns, look like. I’d like to think the delicate, pastel colours feature the most. To me, they represent the words simple, sweet and soft. But there’s some bold colours at play here too. So interesting!

If I look back at the blog for 2019, the biggest things that stand out are the release of new sewing patterns, new tutorials and lots of book reviews too.

Four new patterns made it into the shop; the On Point Pouch, the Simple Sewing Folder, the Night Before Christmas Stocking and the Milly Mouse Cushion. These project patterns are all also available in paper format from my distributor Creative Abundance.

the On Point Pouch
the Simple Sewing Folder
the Night Before Christmas Stocking
the Milly Mouse Cushion

And the Forest Family Quilt made its debut at the Australian Quilt Market in November. You can purchase this pattern in paper format via Creative Abundance or it will be available in PDF format very soon!

I also contributed two sweet projects to a collaborative book showcasing 50 different designs for making toys out of fat quarters. You can read more about 50 Fat Quarter Toys* at this blog post.

Books featured a lot in my work last year. I was asked to participate in some blog tours for new book releases by some of the sewists and makers that I admire the most. Such a lovely feeling! You can learn more about these projects by clicking the link in the caption and reading the corresponding blog posts.

Liberty Sewing Mat from the Text it! book
Mosiac Mini Quilt from the Quilt Big book
Hexagon placemat from the Learn How to English Paper Piece book
Appliqué projects from the Mini Masterpieces book

I also created some popular tutorials. You might like to click the link in the caption to learn more.

Simple Hexie Flower Pouch with a lace zipper
Cutting Hexies with the Cricut Maker
Felt Swan Hair Clip
Felt Swan Softie

Looking back has helped me think about where I want this year to take me. And I have some terrific ideas. Now to bring them to fruition!

I’d love to have you along for the continuing journey. Thanks for being here! Happy stitching, Lauren.

Mini Master Pieces Book Tour

Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts very kindly invited me to join the blog tour for her recently released book, Mini Master Pieces with Lucky Spool. Welcome to my stop on the tour!

Alyce’s book teaches you the basics of quilting with lessons that cover how to sew twelve essential blocks. These skills can then be put into practice as you use those patchwork techniques to create a modern mini quilt for each block.

Alyce asked if I would join her book tour for the appliqué chapter, so I am sharing two appliqué blocks I made using slightly different techniques.

Raw edge appliqué is my thing, so I created the sample ‘orange peel’ block in the book using this technique first. The Liberty prints used here give it a dramatic look!

Then I also created a similar block but followed the instructions Alyce provides for using single side fusible interfacing to create a needle-turn appliqué effect. I love the dimension it gives to the delicate florals.

Next year Alyce will be hosting a sew along and I’ll be back to showcase the ‘Rising Sun’ mini quilt I will be making from the book. So stay tuned!

Thanks for joining me today. Happy stitching, Lauren x

Fabric, Patterns and Projects in July

This month has started with so many projects and patterns on my list. And in the midst of working on some secret sewing and project planning, I have rearranged my sewing studio and sorted through my entire fabric stash! It was a huge effort, but the benefit was that I created a basket especially for all the ‘Work in Progress’ pieces and projects that I have accumulated. They might be embroideries, English paper piecing panels, half finished sewing patterns and more. I’m determined to work through the pile and make some practical use of them.

Last year I embroidered this adorable strawberry using the pattern from Lolli and Grace. Anne’s patterns are so detailed and beautifully laid out. I have wanted to use the embroidery for ages so decided to sew up a simple and sweet pincushion. It was a great way to use the panel and make something pretty! I created a tutorial for something similar here.

This morning when I was letting out the chickens and collecting the eggs, I noticed some sweet snowflake flowers popping up. It prompted me to pick a pretty bouquet. However, we’re in the thick of winter right now so the pickings were slim. This posy will brighten my studio for a few days though. It’s pictured here with Cinnamon Kitty. I created a tutorial for her last year which you might like to try.

You can also spy a sweet hexagon. The embroidery also came from my ‘Work in Progress’ box. I got as far as glue basting it onto a hexagon paper. You can find out more about hexies and English paper piecing in my beginner’s tutorial. It’ll go back in the pile to be used for something special… I hope!

Larisa from Stitchingnotes very kindly sent me her ‘Wonky House’ foundation paper piecing pattern to try. Not having tackled FPP before, I decided to English paper piece it as well. Isn’t it sweet? I combined Liberty and linen here. I love the effect. But this block will have to go back into the WIP basket until I decide what to do with it!

My lovely friend Candice from My Felt Lady sent me the new glitter felt shades she has just released; Wisteria, Periwinkle, Light Orchid and Champagne. Can you guess my favourite? I buy all my felt from Candice and it is amazing. I can’t wait to dream up something to make with these! My felt Christmas bauble tutorial would be perfect.

More fabric goodies have arrived recently too. This fun and modern fabric was created by Mable Tan Designs. We met on Instagram. Aren’t those friendships fun?

The first range is Urban Jungle and the second collection is Modern Farmhouse. I can’t wait to use them. Both ranges have a good mix of colours, print patterns and sizes, and basics. So stay tuned for more with these!

Walking the floss aisle in my local sewing store prompted me to pick up this DMC threads bundle, simply because I loved how the colours looked together. I bought the whole lot, even though I probably have some of these colours at home already. Do you do that too sometimes? I always stick with the same types of colours, so it is inevitable really. It’s funny how the top three colours work perfectly with the image above.

And finally, Ava and Neve sent me this 10 inch stacker of Memoire a Paris prints from Lecien. It’s the softest lawn and so delicate. I have a pretty quilt in mind for this I think. It’s too lovely to languish on the studio shelves.

What are you making at the moment? Be sure to share. Pop by instagram as I’m there most days.

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.com.au

Is It Half Way Through The Year Already?

I can’t believe it is nearing the end of June already! I haven’t been sewing too many pretties lately, or at least projects that I can share. So it’s been far too long since I’ve been on the blog too. I have some fabric showcases and blog tours coming up though, as well as some new pattern releases and tutorials also. I can’t wait to share all of that with you.

This Saturday marks the start of the ‘Plum Garden’ Showcase. It’s the latest fabric collection release from Tilda, which is due to hit Australian stores on the 1st of July. Organised by Tilda’s Australian distributor, 2 Green Zebras, there’s a range of Aussie designers and makers involved. I’ll be showcasing a new project that I am just putting the finishing touches on. You can see more on my Instagram.

The Plum Garden Collection comes in four different colourways. I chose these three pretty pink prints. And I can’t wait to show you what I have designed.

One thing that I am really enjoying right now is the weekly ‘English paper piecing party’ that I co-host with the lovely Larisa from Stitching Notes over on Instagram each Sunday. We call it ‘Sip Tea and EPP!’ Anyone can join in! We post an image each Sunday to start the sewing party. Some weeks we have a theme and sometimes we have little prizes too. You’re encouraged to grab your favourite cup of tea (or beverage), post a photo of your current EPP project, tag @mollyandmama and @stitchingnotes, and use the hashtag #sipteaandepp so others can find you. You can join us whenever suits you best. We love building an encouraging community that is there to support sewists of all levels, from all over the world. We’re all learning something new each week. And we’re supporting so many on their sewing journey. It really is lovely! Please join us if you can.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please visit my tutorial on sewing hexies and English paper piecing. Once you start this beautiful form of hand sewing, you’ll find it is addictive!

I’m also really excited to announce that I will be writing tutorials for projects that I design for Thermoweb. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Heat’n’Bond adhesive products, but Thermoweb also create interfacings, stabilisers and more. I’ve signed on as one of their Education Designers because I use so many of their products, so frequently. You can read more about me in my designer profile on their site.

For my first tutorial I’ll be using this bold and bright ‘Butterfly Dance’ fabric produced by Windham. It’s a departure from my normal style, but sometimes that’s just what you need to be inspired to try something different! So stay tuned on that one.

As a brand ambassador for The Strawberry Thief, I am lucky enough to receive beautiful bundles of Liberty fabric to play with too. They recently sent me their stunning Bespoke Collection. Robyn has created this collection of favourite Liberty prints that have been specially re-coloured in bright and fresh tones, to reflect the hues of our Aussie summer. I have to say that I am just a little bit smitten. I have something special planned for these!

And the monthly Love Liberty Club subscription keeps arriving too. This is my favourite way to receive fabric. You never know what you are going to get. And you’re always pleasantly surprised. I love that I am building a beautiful collection of prints that I can use for any Liberty project I can dream up.

My Etsy store also has a fresh new look. And the Stella Cushion might be a new addition from the last time you looked. It’s a lovely English paper pieced cushion pattern, designed just for beginners. It contains three different embroidery designs for the centre hexagon, as well as lots of tips and tricks, clear instructions and step-by-step photos. It’s one of my favourites. I hope you like it!

Well I best get back to the sewing machine, so that I have something to show you on Saturday. Stay tuned.

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama https://www.mollyandmama.com.au

And just like that, it’s 2019!

Well we’ve finally made it to 2019. The end of the year was a blur! And I have to say that it’s wonderful to start a fresh new year, full of promise and opportunity!

The last months of 2018 saw lots of preparation to attend the Australian Quilt Market in Melbourne at the end of November. I showcased samples of my sewing patterns at the booth of my new wholesale distributor; Creative Abundance. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the other designers in the team, and to meet some friends I have made in the industry whom I have only ever chatted with before. It was a whirlwind weekend trip, but so much fun!

Me and my little corner of the Creative Abundance Booth at AQM 2018

Then the start of December saw the end of the school year for the kids. Holidays started and things only got busier. Cue the concerts, carols and gift giving fun!

I love my homemade Liberty baubles made with PVA glue and fabric scraps

Christmas was a truly magical time. We were blessed to all be together, to spend time with lots of loved ones, to exchanges gifts and well-wishes and really just enjoy the festive season. And the weather was perfect. I love a warm Aussie Christmas!

A new tree and theme colour this year. It might just be my favourite, ever!

And here we are at the start of 2019. It’s such a funny time of year really. Everything between Christmas and New Years becomes such a blur.

I love to look back at the year that was, and remember the projects I made and things I worked on. The Best Nine app pulls your most popular images from Instagram and creates a collage for you. It’s always a bit of a surprise to see what comes up. But I really feel like this one represents Molly and Mama in 2018. And it contains some of my most favourite makes from the year!

Molly and Mama 2018 – Best Nine images on Instagram

And then the Year of Colour app does something similar. It pulls all the colours from your Instagram feed and makes a colour collage. Don’t you think these colours are me? It’s a nice reminder to use more green next year though!

The last few days have been spent updating my new planner and sketching ideas in my notebook. There’s a number of new release sewing patterns on the list that are almost ready to share in the store. And there’s more on the way. So stay tuned.

Planning with my diary and gorgeous mug from Dolly Henry

If 2018 showed me anything, it’s that it is best to create what you love and follow your heart. I’m really looking forward to spending time working on sewing pretty things that make me happy and that add a bit of joy to the world.

What will you be making this year? Have you set some intentions, resolutions or made plans? Or will you wait and see where the creative winds blow?

Wherever you are, whatever you are making, and wherever you end up this year, I hope it is a special one. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a wonderful year in 2019. Thank you for joining me on this creative journey and for being here!

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama https://www.mollyandmama.com.au