Saturday, February 27, 2016

What does the Fox say?!

Twinkly eyes, twitchy whiskers, slinky fur and fluffy tail
Red or white, sighs and whispers, keeping still to watch your trail
Shy or sly, the jury's out, wish I could keep you safe and warm
pat your back, stroke your snout, marvel in your perfect form.

My little ode to the humble fox.  Gosh I love them.  I know they're pests in a lot of farming communities, but aren't they magnificent??  If you share my adoration of this humble animal, then I know you're going to love this post.  If not, then please pop back again with a cup of tea in hand next week when I share another of my loves... (I'm being a minx and not telling!)  ;-)

Let's start with some great fabric finds!  I'm a sucker for the duck-egg blue and burnt-orange colourway especially!  Which is your favourite?

Rustic colourway

From top Left to bottom right, clockwise:
  • Mr Fox by Tara Put, can be found over at Spoonflower, here
  • Foxen by Holli Zollinger, another Spoonflower fabric sold here
  • Meadow - Vine, organic knit fabric by Monaluna, found here
  • Socks the Fox by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics, found here
  • Red Fox Paw Prints by mrshervi on Spoonflower, here
  • Fox Family Tangle by Micklyn on Spoonflower, here

Did you know that the Spoonflower prints are available in wallpaper as well as fabric?  It's a really cool site!  See the Foxen print in the top right?  It is featured in this tutorial from Spoonflower on how to re-invent furniture with wallpaper!  Click here to follow the tutorial.


Blue colourway

From top Left to bottom right, clockwise:

  • Foxes and hearts, by kickywiggles, on Spoonflower, here
  • Dancing Fox by els_vlieger, on Spoonflower, here
  • Mr Fox, curtain fabric found here
  • Socks the Fox by Patti Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics found here
  • Foxes on Copses fabric by nouveau_bohemian, on Spoonflower, here
  • Foxes - Cambridge blue by Andrea Lauren, on Spoonflower, here

Tula Pink's latest release has a dramatic fox print , it's called Chipper and is being released in stores next month.  I tend to like individual prints in Tula Pink's fabric ranges, and have ordered the Fox print in the three colourways pictured below.  

I'm still kicking myself that I didn't pick up the fox Acacia print (pictured, bottom left) when it was readily available in store. I used to pick up the bolt, admire it, then think, what am I going to do with it?  Undecided, I'd return the fabric to the shelf until the next time I'd ponder its beauty.  Now I know that if I love a fabric that much, I should just buy it and decide later!  Do you do that too?  Have you ever kicked yourself for not making a purchase?

The Acacia print is so hard to find, so if you see any at a reasonable price, please let me know!  I like all of the colourways  ;-)

I thought I'd show you a couple of my recent fox fabric purchases...

Print from Forest Frolics range by Heidi Boyd.  It can be found on Etsy, here

This print is called Forest Fellows - Foxes in Wild, by Sea Urchin Studio for Robert Kaufman.  I purchased mine from Clair's Fabrics, here.  Clair very cleverly puts together fat quarter bundles, here is her "Fabulous Fox"  FQ bundle (foxes with moustaches, awesome!).  You can find it for purchase, here.

Okay, so now we've got the fabrics covered, here are some patterns and hand-mades I think any fox-lover would covet!

Can you knit?  I'm learning!  I need to learn quicker because I so want to be able to make these  Foxy Mittens by JennyPenny!  The free pattern can be found on Ravelry, here.  I tell ya, I'm squealing with delight over these!!

How's this for a fun and easy sew?  If you're new to the craft - this pattern and tutorial would be a perfect project to get you started!  It can be found over at Pretty Prudent, here.

If you're a more experienced sewer and a lover of EPP, this inexpensive instant-download PDF pattern by SchenleyP is, I'm sure you'd agree, totally adorable!

Sewn by Katrina, image courtesy of Make Something
Perhaps you like to spend time relaxing on a Saturday afternoon with some cross stitch?  Love the abstractness of the Argyle design in this pattern by Winsome Stitches!  It can be found on Etsy, here.

Are you more in to papercraft?  I've got you covered!  This free origami pattern is kindly offered by Daniel Chang of Keep Folding On.  It can be found, here.

If you reside in Australia, and you love sewing, it will come as no surprise to you that Homespun magazine launched it's BOM this month.  Designed by the gorgeous Natalie Bird of The Bird House, this quilt is nothing short of stunning!  I am gathering up materials to make it!  If you can't find Homespun magazine easily in your country, did you know that you can purchase digital issues through Zinio?  

Isn't that great?  Here's a pic of the cover:

I have a wee fox keeping me company in my sewing room.  Heathcliff was a gift by my sweet friend Simone, over at May Blossom.  He's a bit shy, but agreed to let me take his photo so you can meet him!

Photos by SEW Useful Designs

Isn't he cute?  If you'd like to make your very own Heathcliff, you can find the pattern by Simone Gooding of May Blossom, here, where you can also find the soft-toy pattern for Foxglove, too!

I am currently working on a fox design for my sister-in-law.  Her father has called her The Fox since she was a little girl, and since last year she has been known as Nanna Fox, with the arrival of her first grandchild, Lily.  My sister now lives in Greece and is writing stories for her grandchildren... so I have something in mind to make and send her.  It's a big secret at the moment though!  But you now know why I've been thinking about foxes a lot, of late!

Okay, before I go I will leave you with the theme tune to the title of this blog post!  A crazy novelty song by Norwegian band, Ylvis, that hit the charts in 2013.  Just click on the caption to take you to the video - very tongue-in-cheek and a bit of a giggle!

Click here to play song
Stay foxy!  ;-)
Vikki xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tilda dolls donne their posh frocks!

The Tilda doll, and her wee toy dolly, are ready for an afternoon out in their posh outfits!  Where do you think they might heat out to?  I've got them down for a visit to the theatre... maybe a fruit smoothie taken al fresco by the marina before they take their seats?

It's certainly the type of weather for cold drinks... 38 degrees today in Melbourne and I'm sat with the fan going in the study!

Till next time!
Vikki xox

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tilda's Toy Box

I've been busy in the sewing room this week working on a new design with the latest fabric line from Bonnie & Camille.  It's called Vintage Picnic, and yardage is just hitting the stores in America now... shouldn't have to wait too much longer in Australia!

I'm also working on a Tilda doll from the newest in the series, Tilda's Toy Box.  I'm making this little sweetheart and her toy doll, plus an array of outfits... all body parts have been stitched and turned right sides out... now to get on with the stuffing!

What are you up to this week?

Hugs!! Vikki xoxo

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Strawberry delight - have you bitten?

It's no big secret that the humble strawberry has taken centre stage in the fabric industry; its association with sweetness, cute-as-a-button form, and vibrant red tones - have the majority of us drooling with more than just hunger - but with sheer delight!

I have to admit, I am head over heels in love with the cute strawberry prints that are on - or about to hit - the market.  But there are other cutie-patooties out there in the big wide world to relieve your cravings for this sweet red fruit, and I've found a few of them to share with you today...

I NEED these shoes!!!  Don't you??  You can find them for sale here. I'm not affiliated with any of these stores, just so that you know :-)  But a girl has to share the love!!  I picture these heels with a 50s style red polka-dot dress... very kitsch, and to be honest, something I'd never have the courage to wear let alone the conviction to pull it off!

These little sweethearts were a find on eBay, here.  I love shoes that do not match... I'm a big fan of Birkenstock and Papillio, both of which produce ergonomically-designed shoes with some designs that complement, rather than match, each other.

When I'm not daydreaming about cute shoes, I'm at home drinking tea... ("You can take the girl out of England, but you can't take England out of the girl!" as my husband likes to remind me!!)  I'm not being stereotypical at all (wink!)

I discovered a new shop in Melbourne before Christmas called, MOZI, and  I LOVE it!  I'll have more to show you in a future blog post pertaining to the shop, but in the meantime, this strawberry tea-pot is on sale and you can find it here.

Not forgetting the littlies, how cute is this little tea-set?  It's called 'Strawberry Feilds' and designed by Tiger Tribe.  I found it here.

Of course, you need some dessert to go with your tea, don't you?  My daughter, Rose, has Coeliac disease, which means that ingested gluten attacks her body.  Unlike an intolerance, there is no chance of 'growing out of' this condition, and no known cure as yet.  But there are some terrific recipes out there, and I'm keen to try this one so graciously offered freely by Audrey Snowe, author of Unconventional Treats.

The recipe for this Strawberry Lime Macademia Cheesecake can be found here.  Thanks Audrey!!

So now we are donned in our new shoes, we've enjoyed some tea and dessert... I think it's time to head in to the sewing room, don't you?!  Come and grab a seat, I've fluffed the cushions for you especially!  Let me show you my strawberry stash!

I keep my stash in this wooden box that I picked up from my local thrift shop.  I think it must have housed a child's tea-set or something similar.  Just love the cut-out shape in the lid!  (Take note of the little pink button - will share more on that in a tick!)

These prints are from the Vintage Market range by Tasha Noel.  You can view the full range here.
Tasha is one of my favourite fabric designers, I'm really excited about an upcoming Christmas range she has coming out soon called Pixie Noel - but that's for a whole 'nother time!  :-)

There are two prints pictured here, but I'm focusing on the strawberries still... (those bees on the Art Gallery print just couldn't stay away!!!)  The 'Strawberry-cream' print is from the Everyday Party range by Emily Isabella for Birch fabrics.  it is the softest most exquisite textile... as soft as a tana lawn, perfect for dress-making and quilting, alike!  I purchased mine from a close friend who has just opened an online fabric store called Ministry of Fabric.  Her service is exemplary!  She makes me coffee and feeds me cake while I browse through her collections... but I know she offers the same high standards to everyone else - because we no longer have fluid conversations, they're interspersed with messages from her valued customers, and she always responds promptly.  She is a real sweetheart to boot, and I have mentioned her here on my blog many times in the past as we've shared lots of fun and quilty days together.  I'm chatting about the adorable Alisha Orlando.  Doesn't her name rock?!!  Alisha stocks beautiful dressmaking and quilting fabrics along with some dressmaking patterns and notions, and the most adorable buttons designed and produced by Barb Smith of Theodora Cleave.  I believe that Alisha and Barb collaborated on the colours of these buttons which are exclusive to the Ministry of Fabric (MOF).  Remember that little pink strawberry button?  You can find that at the MOF along with some cute sewing-related buttons... and mushrooms that are the cutest I've ever seen!  To view all of the buttons in Alisha's store, click here.

So this is my bundle of my fruitiness in its entirety!  The two prints I haven't yet mentioned are pictured in peach and aqua blue (a bit difficult to see, sorry), and they are part of the Hello Darling range by Bonnie & Camille for Moda fabrics.  I am secretly coveting these ranges too...

The Shabby Strawberry is available in stores now.

Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz will be available for retail in April this year.

The Berry Sunrise Studios #2 range by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse is for sale at the Fat Quarter Shop, and is without a doubt, one of my favourites.  This is my favourite print from the range:

Then of course there is the delightful Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree & Co for Moda.

Did you know that The Fat Quarter Shop is having a quilt-along using this divine range?  It's for a great cause, here is a pic of the finished quilt and you can find out more on the Quiltalong blog here.

This next range has been around a while and possibly quite difficult to come-by, but it is so gorgeous that I just have to share it with you.  Alisha introduced me to this world-renowned Japanese fabric designer named Atsuko Matsuyama.  Her prints are so delicate, kitsch in a very cool way...  I borrowed this next photo from Krystyne Czepuryk, author of  Pretty by Hand.

Alisha made me a very special birthday cake last year which featured some of these prints, here it is again for those of you who are new to my blog (you can read about it here):

If you're looking for a sweet strawberry quilt pattern, you can't go past this one by Margot Languedoc Designs, available as a pdf download from the Fat Quarter Shop.  It is called Strawberry Social.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading about this sweet little fruit!?  Did you know that you can buy heirloom strawberry plants/seeds that come in a variety of colours?  There is the White strawberry, known as Pineberry; a blueberry version,  as well as black, yellow and even PURPLE fruits!!!

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted thinking about all the possibilities that this little fruit has to offer, so I'm going to go and put my feet up, take off my glasses, and indulge in some social media on my IPad... any guesses what's on the cover???

Aww!  You guys know me too well!!! (wink)
See you next time!!
Much love!  Vikki xoxo


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