Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Introducing The Block Library

I would like to introduce  everyone to The Block Library by Cynthia's Ark. Each month we are going to explore a quilt block with instructions on how to make it in a couple of sizes, a couple of quilt layouts featuring the block. We will explore different techniques, lots of blocks can be pieced using a variety of methods and  you still come out with the same block at the end. We are going to feature some blocks that are well known and most likely use regularly and some are going to be new creations.  There will be easy blocks and more challenging blocks. Plus there will be some blocks that will be appearing in some of my new pattern releases. You are welcome to suggest a block and I will add it to the schedule.

Now the important bit, these will be PDF files so you will need a PDF reader to open them.
Where to find them when I release them? Sign up for my Cynthia's Ark newsletter which is at the top on the right hand side of my blog and you will receive them in your inbox attached to my monthly newsletter where you will find out what is new in stock, workshops, patterns and events. So if you have already sign up in the last month, you are all set. They are free.
 When does it start?  February's newsletter will have the first one attached to it and my plan is for the newsletter to go out in the second week of the month.
Any other questions or suggestions please  put them in the comment box and I will address them ASAP or email me on
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Allietare Mystery Quilt #8

I have reached my final goal of 20 blocks, no more will be added as there is too much work on other projects that needs to be done.

Now that was what I thought at the beginning of my day as I planned to sew my set in triangles blocks. Boy did I get it wrong. What happened I can't say, beside the fact I should be working on something else. I should know better, it is not the first time I have set blocks on point. So what could I do?
As far as I could see there was two options for me. First option is make a skinny quilt, which meant I had enough blocks but it just didn't look right. The second option is to make more blocks and really it was the only option I could live with.

 What got me was I had cut enough for the set in triangles for the larger layout without realising I had stuffed the amount of blocks I needed up. So it was meant to be this size. So now I need to make 5 more blocks to complete this layout. Then I will be able to sew the blocks into rows.
                                          Until Next Time
                                          Keep Stitching

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sewing on Australia Day

Today is Australia Day here in the land of OZ. So it is a public holiday here. No work so let's sewing. That means it is time to pull out my Project Uninterrupted list and do some work on on something so it is closer to been finished. While I am sewing I am doing some slow cooking for dinner.
You can join us in the Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook Group and share what you are working on too.
This is one is #9 on my list.

My Allietare Mystery  quilt is a newer project and it is on the first list ahead of some older project because some of us are still working on this project and while I still working on it it is wise to continue. Once I stop working on a project is when the project is in trouble.  So I think this one  will join my quilting list before I quilt any waiting to be quilted. Then I will have to quilt some of the pinned projects, I think.
Until next time
Keep Stitching

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Princess and the Zombie Killer

I spent the weekend with the Princess and the Zombie Killer. Better known as my niece and nephew. My sister and her family live in Melbourne but the extended family is in Adelaide so often during school holidays my nephew will visit and makes the rounds of the family, then at the end of the holidays he has to go home. So what we do is we get together at Horsham which serves as a mid way point between us. Along for the trip is my parents with William (my nephew), my sister and Kira (my niece) and Ian and myself. We catch up on everything, have lunch, do some shopping, chase Kira around who has more energy than the lot of us and just hang out. She is the Princess, bossing everyone around, making demands and generally she is super charged.

Then we have dinner at the local RSL Club to end the day and return to the Motel for the night. Kira's new friend had to come to dinner and was well behaved at the dinner table. The princess wouldn't even sit down.

 This year I got to learn all about killing zoombies, the latest game William is in to. I can't see me playing it but it was nice to spend the time  with him. On Sunday we have breakfast say our goodbyes and head home. Now I promised myself to take some photos but I am hopeless. I did get a few with my phone but I get carried away with what is happening and plainly forget.
I always take my sewing but rarely do I get any stitching time. This year I didn't sewing anything but I did glue baste a dozen piecing for an English paper piecing project I am working on but my paper scissors got a work out cutting tags off some new items purchased in our shopping trip.

A couple pictures  of the main street  as we head home.
Now we are home it is time to do some work and catch up so I don't fall behind. Here is what I did get done.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What is going on around here!

I thought I would share a little bit of what is happening around here. I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster this month. I have reached some high points but have hit rock bottom a couple of times too. All in all I have spent lots of time doing computer stuff that has no immediate results. I know in the long run it will be worth it but at the moment learning the new programs than having to fix it because a made a mistake is driving me crazy. So bear with me while I learn how some of this new software works and hopefully you will be seeing a much better e-newsletter with a little help from my email tester and better patterns when I release the new ones this year. So if you haven't signed up yet for the new newsletter, here is your chance to join us. You will find it on the top right hand side of my blog. That will put the Cynthia's Ark newletter in your in box at least once a month with the new products in stock, new workshops, events, fairs, exclusive offers, freebies and more.
Note: If you have been receiving the old newsletter through my webshop you need to sign up for the new one if you want to continue receiving the newsletter, as shortly that one will be no more and I am giving everyone on that list the choice to resign for the new one.

Project Uninterrupted is well under way with a successful January workshop and the February one is nearly full. I was very pleased with the results for the first workshop as it was the the second day of the new year and it was hot. I have a few inquiries about another day for Project Uninterrupted. What about a Sunday group? Let me know what you think, especially if you are interested. If you can't join us in person you are welcome to join my Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group and share your progress with us and encourage others as we try completing some of the projects that may be holding us back from starting new ones. I am planning some surprises in the future. You are welcome to become a member no matter where in the world you live.  Here is the link Lets encourage each other and who know what we may learn and the friends we will meet.

Now I have been working on a couple of new designs you may have seen a couple sneak peeks of them on Instagram and Facebook. All will be reveal soon, but I will give everyone a heads up on a special upcoming event. It is the Stash Bash Sewing Party. More details very soon.

Look out for this logo for more details in the near future.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Allietare Mystery Quilt # 7

There has been lots of finished tops and quilts posted. Where do these quilters find the time to sewing so much. I wish I could report more progress here but it just hasn't been possible with returning to work last week and the other stuff that need to be done. I did manage to get 4 blocks sewn together by Friday. I really wanted to see what the blocks were going to look like together.

Hopefully I will get some blocks made. There is some UFO projects that need my attention. I want to get a couple of projects pinned and quilted before February Project Uninterrupted session on the 6th February. One is my Grand Illusion quilt. It will be a challenge quilting it due to the size but I am ready to do it.
I wrote this a week ago. Too much to do and not enough sewing or blogging time. I sat down at the machine on Friday night for some sewing.
By the time I was ready to published this post I have finished  6 more blocks. The plan was 16 blocks for my Allietare quilt but I ready like this pattern and I now find myself considering an extra row.

Until next time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Christmas Reproduction Sampler Block of the Month Update.

I have been preparing the first month packs for the Christmas Reproduction Sampler. Have you sign up yet? You can still join us. The cost is $30 per month plus postage. Each month you receive a pattern for  blocks  or a section of the quilt with fabrics. Also with the January pack you receive a folder to keep your patterns together. Here is January's pack.

Here are January's blocks. We are starting off with some easy blocks followed by some more challenging blocks as we go. The blocks will be 6 inch finished in the quilt.

I am finalizing the quilt layout and once I am happy with it I will release it, so it is a little bit of a mystery. Who doesn't like a good mystery? I know I do.  There is still time to join us, pop over to Cynthia's Ark and order the Christmas Reproduction sampler  Block of the Month from the home page. Please join us, as it will be a lots of fun and there will be a few surprises along the way, but you have to join up if you want to receive a surprise or two.Take note of these mystery presents, they will turn up again and to take advantage of the presents you need to be a Christmas  Reproduction Sampler Block of the Month member.

Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Friday, January 8, 2016

Under the Pressure Foot #19

It is time to sit in front of the sewing and doing some sewing. The machine had the walking foot on as I was joining some batting piece together to make pieces larger so I can use them up. So that made the decision for me on where I should start. I need to finish my Vintage Sewing Machine Quilt that matching the Table Runner I made late last year and did a tutorial on. I just wanted to do some stitch in the ditch work on it. Decision made off I went. It was pinned ready for quilting. 
With Quiltcam playing on the laptop and Ponchee my sewing offsider for company. I was set for a Friday night of sewing. I must play around with some more FMQ work but I didn't think this was the project for that. Sometime the simple stitch in the ditch is all you need. So basically I let the cream strips throughout the quilt govern where I stitched.
Once quilted I just had to do the binding as well. So close to finishing I couldn't help myself. On the table runner I used the tape measure fabric for the binding but the great effect of that binding was a lost against the busy thimble fabric, as you can see in this picture.

 So I used the black this time for the binding. I cut my strips, joined them together and pressed. There was one strip I joined the wrong way so the seam was on the outside of the binding. I unpicked it and fixed it and got stuck into sewing it on. Look what happen! I didn't quite make it. I didn't want to cut a full strip for a 4 inch piece of binding.  I have been trying to use some of my left overs up. There will be a post on that to come. I pulled the scrap bin out and had a look for a suitable piece to use.

 I found this piece. I think it is a pretty good match and from the picture below it looks almost the same. I can tell you the binding is a plain black and the other piece is actually a black blue batik fabric but it is so close I used.
There is a slightly difference but I think if you didn't know you won't notice it. It is only a small piece and I don't have a 38 inches binding strip left over. 

Now to just finish the hand stitching on the binding. I will shared the finally quilt when I finish it and do a free tutorial for anyone who would like to make this quilt next week. These fabrics are from the Thimble Pleasures range of fabrics and are available from me at Cynthia's Ark 
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

A Little Box of Thread.

I have been playing around with putting a new thread collection together and I would like to share the progress with everyone. There is a few questions I would like to ask and get some feedback on, so I can fine tune the collection before release. This is what it looks like.
There is 15 spools of Aurifil 50wt thread in this boxed collection and they will come in this box.There will be a label added to it once I have settled on the colours.

Now the questions I have for you. Would you change any of the colours? Is there a colour I have missed?
Would you want to purchase the whole collection at once? or Would you prefer it to be split up over 3 or 5 months to make it more affordable? 
Please share your thoughts with me so I can finish this collection off and prepare it for market.

Don't forget we already have the Cynthia's Ark Batik Bright Thread Club going if you prefer more colour variety. There is 72 small spools of  Aurifil 40wt  thread in this colourful collection for $39 per month plus postage for  12 months. I know I have used a number of colours from mine and when you use them you can order replacements from me  so you can keep box full.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cynthia's Ark Christmas Reproduction Sampler BOM

If you have visited my Facebook page recently you may have seen the post on my new Block of the Month.  This project started out as a special customer request and as I worked on it I could see it running as a Block of the Month program, so the last few weeks I have been working on it flat out to get it through the design stages ready for sewing and instruction writing.
Here are some of the basic details for you to get things started. It will be a mystery to start with but I will reveal the quilt design once I am happy with the final block placements. There will be 35 blocks x 6 inch in this quilt and it will be a machine pieced sampler but it wouldn't be hard to do it by hand if you prefer. The colours will be an assortment of reproduction reds, greens and creams. Here is a guide to the layout of the quilt and the first 3 blocks. There will be a mix of blocks at different skill levels. As you can see January's blocks are at the easy level but I will mix them up as we go along. The finished size of the quilt is approx. 50 x 64 inches.

So each month over 12 months you will receive a parcel that will have the fabrics for your blocks with instructions on how to piece the blocks. Most months there will be 3 blocks but a couple months you will have 4 blocks. Plus over the 12 months you will receive your sashing and cornerstone fabrics, border and binding fabrics. The fabric will be spread over the 12 month to help keep the postage cost down. Plus there is bound to be a little Christmas gift at the end of it. The cost will be $30 plus postage(Australian Dollars) but I am happy to ship overseas, just note the postage maybe be different. This Block of the Month will be dispatch about the middle of the each month (so around the week of the 15th).
Any questions just ask me. I hope you will join me in sewing this quilt. You can sign up for the Christmas Reproduction Sampler at now. You will find it at the bottom of the homepage under the Clubs/ BOM heading. Limited spots, so be quick.

Now since we are speaking of Blocks of the Month I asked late last year about doing the Pemberley Quilt as a Block of the Month and I got some good feedback and there was enough interest. So it will go ahead. I will post more about it soon but at this stage it looks like it will be an April start for this one. It will be a little dearer than my Christmas Sampler as it is an English Paper Piecing quilt and the papers will be included with your fabrics and pattern. I will let you know when you can sign up for it but here is a picture of it if you haven't seen it.
It looks like it will be a busy year here at Cynthia's Ark. I look forward in you joining us in all the sewing adventures planned. Don't forget Project Uninterrupted has start and we are work on finishing some of our UFO project. You can join us in person at one of our workshops in store or work from where you are and join our Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted group on Facebook to share what you are working on to encourage each other to finishing some projects off. For more details about Project Uninterrupted click on the button on the right hand side on my blog to get you going.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Allietare Mystery Quilt #6

The big Reveal happened this week just as I caught up on the last clue. So I was a happy quilter knowing I had some of all the clues to make up the blocks. The last clue made up.

I have been seeing so many beautiful versions of this pattern and I have loved them all. I was very happy with this reveal and if I can get it all together nicely it could be my favourite Bonnie Hunter pattern for a while until the next one I make.
So I did lay out the two blocks so I could see what they would look like and hopefully I can find some time to sew them together before the link up but it wasn't possible with Project Uninterrupted starting and work on the Cynthia's Ark Christmas Reproduction Sampler. Time was disappearing fast over the last week. At least you can get some idea of what my blocks look like.
I was never going to get my top completed before today anyway as I think I will need to go shopping for the black outer border as I don't think the large piece of black in the project box is big enough. As I am typing this I justed looked up at the fabric shelf and spotted a bolt of black that has a little red and blue design over it. I can't believe I hadn't spotted it before, maybe it was destine for the outer border and not the blocks as it is a larger piece. So I will check it out later.
Here is the link so you can have a look at all the beautiful Allietare quilts in all the different colourways and I can't believe how many have completed their tops already. Hopefully I can finish mine sooner than later this time.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Friday, January 1, 2016

Project Uninterrupted #1 - Where to Start

We are starting Project Uninterrupted on the 2nd January in store but if you can't join us for whatever the reason you can still join in with us as we work on our UFO over the year. I have attached a Project Uninterrupted chart for you to download at the bottom of this post. It is same chart if you manage to attend one of our Project Uninterrupted Session. This chart is your starting point to tackle your unfinished  projects.
Start with a black piece of paper.
1. Make a list of your unfinished projects. Leave some room next to each one for the next step.

2. Next  review each project one at a time and write next to each one what stage they are up to.

3. This is the hard step. Work out what order you want them in and marked them in the order you want to work on them. So you might want to start with the one closest to being finished or you might want to do an easy one followed by a hard one and so on. There is lots of ways to work it out. The key to our success is there is no wrong way. Just make the list up in the order you prefer. Put a number by each one and when you are happy Fill in your chart. For my chart I started with a couple that were up to the quilting stage so I could finish the quickly then I put one that needed more work and a easy one and so on. I didn't want all the harder ones at the end of the year as you know there is a chance of not having enough time later in the year with other commitments.

As you can see there is more projects that haven't been numbered on my list. These are newer projects so they can wait a little bit longer. Plus part way through the year as I completed some off my my list I might do a new list add the other projects in.
On my list I have also marked some of the projects with H/P which stand for hand piecing so they need special consideration as they take longer to complete. So I have include 2 in my list of 9 to start with.

The order you chose is not set in stone you can skip a project or two and return to them later. The key is to work with the projects you want not because it is on your list and you have to do it in that order. Who know you may have to repurpose a project because it no longer feels right in the original format, like I did with my Aurifil 2014 Block of the Month. It was never going to work as a scrappy quilt for me so I have turn it into 3 smaller quilt tops. They will become cat and dog blankets for some lucky pets when I finish them.

We are only highlighting the projects so we know what we have. We don't want to reach December 2016 with the burden of more partially made projects on top of the ones we already have.

 I have set up a Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted group so we can share our progress on our unfinished projects. Pop over to our Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group and join us online sharing our projects, knowledge, fun and spirit while working on our unfinished project.
Also don't forget to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the right hand side of the blog for more news, specials, offers and lots of more good sewing stuff. I would hate you to miss out on something great.
Plus I have included the Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Help Chart for you to download and print off so you can kick 2016 off with a plan to finish some of your projects.

So please join us making a difference one project at a time.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

UFO List -2016

It is January 2016 and it is time to make some sewing plans for this year. When creating this list I realised that I was mixed unfinished projects with new projects that I have only started and this was blurring the list into a large scary mess.  It is time to sort the mess out and create 2 lists. One will be UFO list and  will feature in our Project Uninterrupted sessions in store and online and the other list will be the Current Project list

In no particular order see upcoming post on Project Uninterrupted  #1 to see what order I am going to tackle this monster list.
1. My Dahlia quilt. This one I have started but there was no progress on it in 2015.
2. Grand Illusion Mystery quilt. The has been completed and I am up to the quilting stage.

3. My Aurifil block of the month from 2014. This quilt has become 3 small quilts as I am not happy how they look all together and are ready for quilting.

4. Scrap Dance Mystery quilt. All the parts are made but I need to sew them into blocks.

5. My latest Inklingo hand piecing octagon quilt. Maybe 6 blocks made.
6. My black and white hexagon quilt another Inklingo project. Halfway through.

7. Forget Me Not Sew Along EPP hexagon quilt. Up to Step #9 which is about 3/4 through the top.

8. Allietare Mystery Quilt only started this one 5 weeks ago. It is Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt. I have added this one to the list as we are a good way through the clues and as I am waiting on the final reveal to work out the size mine quilt will end up I am sure there will be more blocks to be made. Know me it will be put to one side for more important Cynthia's Ark projects.
9. Quiltmaker's 2015 New Year's Mystery Quilt. Blocks are made.

10. Vacation Time 2015 Block of the Month. Halfway through the blocks.

11. Circle Chic quilt. I have decided I am going to baste the quilt with the circles in place and quilt them in place.
12. Bitty Blocks from Quiltmaker blog. I'm just over halfway through the blocks.

13. Paper piecing Quilt Along. I started this one hoping to improve my paper piecing I made 1 block and cut lots in preparation but couldn't find time to work on it.
14. Craftsy 2015 Block of the Month I think I made 2 blocks. Kept meaning to cut the next blocks out but it never happened. This is block 1 no photo of block 2. Oh boy.
15. My Victorian Fling Quilt which I had forgotten all about until I was looking for something else, which I didn't find. So here is one more and I have no pictures even though all the blocks are made.

Wow this list is longer than I thought it was going to be. This doesn't include the projects I want to make that I haven't started. I think I need to book myself into all the Project Interrupted in store sessions to make a dent in this list. If you can't get to us for a session in store consider join our Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group where we will work on our unfinished projects and make a difference.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching