Monday, February 29, 2016

Last Day in February.

A leap year so we have an extra day in February. I have wondered on and off during my life what makes February special for it to only have 28 days and every fourth year 29 days. Who selected February, it could have been any month couldn't it? No matter what- we have an extra day this year and we should not waste it. I don't know if other people have wondered about this or is it just because I am a February baby, born on the 28th February in a leap year. Today I thought I would share with everyone my latest finish and my current favourite. Catch Me if you Dare Quilt.

It is Project # 1 from the Stash Bash Sewing Party which is happening between the 12-14th March. There is 2 workshops in store and you have four quilt patterns to choose from to make in the workshop. One block four quilt. Raid your stash for the fabrics or purchase the Stash Bash Fabric pack which features La Vie Boheme fabric by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs. Join us online if you can't make a workshop. The fabric packs are available now at $70 from the website and the pattern will be available next week in PDF format and paper format.
A couple of close up shots of the fantastic quilting Valerie did for me using Glide thread that we stock.

Lastly my favourite shot of this quilt. Any questions about the Stash bash Sewing Party just ask. I am happy to help.
Until Next time Keep Stitching

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I Have a Finish for February.

February has been screaming passed. I haven't felt in control this month which is worrying me a little as my best laid plans have been going out the window. So all the things I was suppose to get done haven't been done or I started them and something happened like my machine break down which means I couldn't complete some of the projects planned but I have managed to complete this one. My Vintage Sewing Machine Quilt that matched the table runner I did late last year.

The plan is to write this up as a free tutorial like I did with the table runner. I just haven't had time so I promise I will do it and share with everyone soon. In the meantime you can purchase all these fabrics from my shop Cynthia's Ark  The range is Thimble Pleasures. 

I love the backing fabric, it is part of the range. The cream sashing and black around the blocks and binding were the only extras added.
 Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Friday, February 19, 2016

Stash Bash Sewing Party Update

It is 3 weeks until the first Stash Bash Sewing Party. There is still spots available if you want to join us in store on the 12th and 13th March. Ring me to book your spot soon.  We are going to make a little block that creates 3 larger blocks that feature in 4 quilt patterns. You get to chose which of the four quilts you want to make.The day workshop includes the 4 quilt pattern booklet, morning/afternoon tea, exclusive shop specials and there is a shelf of prizes to be won during the day and all for $45. On booking I will give you the fabric requirement, though they are listed at the bottom of this post too or you can book a Stash Bash Sewing Party Fabric Pack.
If you can't get to Cynthia's Ark you will be able to download a copy of the booklet over the weekend at a special price from my website. Plus you are welcome to Sew along and share your progress on our Facebook page.
Also I have put together fabric packs from the fabrics we used to make the samples from, if you prefer. You will need to be quick to book as there is limited packs available. Each Stash Bash Sewing Party will have a specially selected range. For our first Stash Bash Sewing Party we have selected Amanda Herrings La Vie Boheme which is a Riley Blake Designs range.

Stash Bash Sewing Party Fabric Requirements
1 metres Neutral Fabric
75cm Small print Fabric
50 cm Small - medium Print Fabric
1 metre Large print Fabric
60cm Tone on tone Fabric
or if you want a scrappy look combine the 75cm small print and 50cm small-medium print for an assortment of fabrics. I suggest a few larger pieces.
I have been generosity with the fabric requirement, you may not need the full amounts it will depend on which quilt you decide to make.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Under the Pressure Foot #20

It is time for some quilting. The pile is getting bigger not smaller like I had planned. So how every time I plan a quilting day something happens and my plans go out the window.
Finally it is quilting time. I started with this one as a warm up. This is one of my Project Uninterrupted  project earmarked for finishing. This is one of a set of 3 quilt from 2014 block of the month that I wasn't happy with all the blocks together. So 12 blocks become 3 small quilts. My cats will love them once finished but they make good Free motion quilting practice for me. They are all bias they love all my quilts.

I really enjoyed doing this figure 8 free motion quilting.  My favourite block out of the four I quilted. Once I had warmed up it was time to do some real work on my batik half square triangle quilt. I am playing with the circle ruler from Westalee Designs. The first block went along smoothly but on the second one  I started to have trouble with snapping thread and breaking needle.  I got through the second one but that was it. I tried everything I could think of but I had to stop it was getting worse. I turned the machine off and set up my  little Janome that I take to workshops to make some scrappy binding for the little quilt I did finish from my binding off cuts I save. It is good to use some of them up.
I went back to this one but no luck so it is time for someone to look at it because I had no luck getting it to sew even on an offcut. So if I want to quilt anything it will have to be on my little Janome machine because it will be 6 weeks before I get it back. The circles are looking good though. It is a shame I only got half way through.

I am linking up with the Free Motion Mavericks so pop over and have a look at what others have been up too.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scrap Dance Tango #1

Now I have been a little slow starting this one. Scrap Dance Tango Quilt Along can be found on the      From My Carolina Home Blog and Carole is hosting us again after last year's Scrap Dance quilt Along. She is doing a great job looking after us even us that are a little slow off the mark.

This year I am doing things a little different as this is a scrappy project. I have selected one of the mixed off cut bundles I sell at Cynthia's Ark. They have at least a metre of fabric in variety of prints from a range. I want to see how big a project I can make from 1 bundle. I am starting at the smallest size Carole has given us, the table topper and I will see how far I get. Plus I have added a white for my light neutral.

So for the first step I needed to make a lot of half square triangle units with my neutral and my colours. That is a nice easy step 1. This is my first batch of half square triangle units, ready for trimming. More to do at a later time.

Step 2 uses some of the HST unit with a square to create these blocks and at this stage I need to make 10 of these units.

So I have made a start and it shouldn't take too long to make them up as I making them as I am chain piecing on special project. The first 2 blocks made, only 8 more to go. The plan is to be caught up by the time Step 3 is released next month. Fingers crossed, you know how easily I can be distracted.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Project Uninterrupted Help File

At Project Uninterrupted our plan is to finish projects we started and then move on to the next one because our list of projects we want to make is most likely longer than our unfinished projects list. So we are being realistic by trying to move our unfinished project along towards completion. Here is where we started with Project Uninterrupted and attached to this post you will find your free Project Uninterrupted List so you can make your own list.

Now I have 7 Tips to help you along the way. Please feel free to add your own tip in the comment section  you may just help someone. This is one of Project Uninterrupted key points helping each other.

Here are 7 tips for you to help you get closer to complete your projects.
    1. There is a reason there is only 9 spots on the Cynthia’s Ark Project Uninterrupted chart. We want a manageable list to work with. I am sure there are people with big lists out there and some will find their list too large and overwhelming so they don’t do anything.  So by keep the list to 9 it is more likely you can focus on them and complete them some of them. We want realistic goals.

 2.     You can pick one on your list and work on it until you complete it or you can jump around on your list. You can do some on one project then swap to another project on the list when it takes your fancy.  As long as you are working on one of your List projects you are achieving progress.  That is our goal.

 3.    If you have to work on deadline projects, have one of your List project handy and use them as Leaders and Enders as you work on your deadline project. You will be surprised how much you can do chain piecing on two projects this way. I tend to use a project that is in the block making stage for this so it doesn’t slow your deadline project up too much. 

     4.     Schedule a regular time slot where you can spend time sewing. This can be set to what you can fit i to your life. Once a week, once or twice a month etc. and session time may vary too. It all counts in the long run. You may only have a spare 30 minutes one week, another week you may have 2 hours. It doesn’t matter. We just want to see some progress.

  5.     Have a regular sewing day with friends. This is great to keep the motivation up because you can share your progress, encourage and help each other if someone gets stuck.

   6.    Getting stuck on a project is a common cause for a project being put aside. Ask someone for help- a friend, or your local quilt shop or online. There are a number of groups you can post a question and get some advice or help.

   7.   Repurpose a project- You don’t want to finish it to the original pattern, too big, don’t like it anymore, whatever the reason it is still hanging around. Let’s do something with it to finish it. Just sew the blocks you have made and finish it. You can always donate the finished quilt if you no longer like the design or you may gift it to someone who said they liked the quilt. Turn lots of blocks into smaller quilts. 

   I hope you find these tips help you. You are welcome to join the Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group where we share our progress,  finished projects, help each other.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

What is New at Cynthia's Ark

I thought I would share some of the new arrivals at Cynthia's Ark today. If you receive my newsletter you will have seen some of this but there is alway more on offer here at Cynthia's Ark.

Fabric wise there has been a good mix arrive including Boro by Parson Gray. If you loved Katagami last year you will love Boro too. These fabrics are a fussy cutters dream with their geometric designs I can see all sorts of English paper piecing projects happening. Of course we have a large selections of papers and templates from Patchwork with Busyfingers in stock too. Boro is $26 per metre but is on special  for $22 per metre until the 16th February so be quick to get some.

Next we have two more bolts to add to our Kaffe  inspired collection. There is Zig Zag Stripe and the Large  Floral Vine and the flowers are 10cm in size and different colours. I want to fussy cut some large block centres from this one for placemats. Both are $26 per metre.

We have 3 bolts from the In Stitches range from Maywood Studio. I did order more but I missed out. The redwork panels are 3 1/4 inches in size and there is 8 per row across the width of the fabric. I will only cut this bolt in 10 cm increment after the minimum 20 cm cut so you receive full rows of panels, No panel cut through the middle and being wasted.The 20 cm cut gives you 2 rows of panels at $25 per metre.

Along with these beautiful redwork panels there is this Butterfly & Bee fabric and cream fabric. both are $25 per metre.

Also there is two new precuts in store from Free Spirit designer Joel Dewberry. This range is Atrium and we have the 2 1/2' design rolls at $60 each and the 5' Charm Square packs for $20 each. be quick they won't lasted long.

We have added a new range of threads to Cynthia's Ark also during January. It is  the Glide Quilting thread which is a trilobal polyester. It has a lovely sheen and it glides nicely through the machine. I wonder if that is where the name came from.  We have started with 12 colours but there is lots more in the range so every time I place a new order I will add a few more new colours to our stock. So far we have  White, Linen, Yellow Whisper, Pearl, Khaki, Battleship, German Granite, Blueberry, Cardinal, Merlot, Bright Gold and  Turf.   They are currently on a special introductory price of $7.50 per 1000metre spools. Normal price will be $8.50 per spool.

Now all of these products are now available to purchase at Cynthia's Ark online and in our Mallala store- Book a visit today or check the website site news for when we are open.
Just remember the specials won't last so get in early so you don't miss out.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More blocks.

Yes I am working on more blocks. What is going on around here? I may just win the most blocks made if there was a competition. There must be a point where I will have to start sewing the blocks into rows and turn them into quilt tops. This leads to my next sticking point quilt tops waiting to be quilted. That pile is not getting smaller and if I keep making blocks it will eventually get larger in theory at least. I will have to do some quilting eventually.

This is what I have picked up to sew, my Scrap Dance Mystery quilt blocks. All the component are made and the blocks just needed to be laid out and sewn together. As I am busy sewing Stash Bash projects with their deadline looming I just need something small for chain piecing purposes.
Here are the first two blocks completed.
It is really scrappy for me, though a couple fabrics are a little too light but that is life. My third block is in the reject pile already waiting to be unpicked.
So on I go. This will bring another Project Uninterrupted project closer to being finished.

To see more scrappy goodness pop over to She Can Quilt  and have look at what others are working on.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Project Uninterrupted #2

Today was Project Uninterrupted day in store and online. We get together on the first Saturday of the month to work on our unfinished projects.

Lots of hand work today with only one machine in the classroom. Brenda brought in her finished I spy quilt and was working on her Farmer's Wife Sampler.

Julie was continuing with her Patchwork of the Crosses.

Maureen was working on her Pies & Tarts blocks.
Angela joined us in person for the first time though she is a member of Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group.
Angela was working on the second of two stitcheries.

Mandy was working on her second Christmas quilt top.

Lastly there is my Project, I was working  on completing the binding on my Vintage Sewing Machine quilt. I nearly made it half way. Hopefully I can finish it before next month session.
Project Uninterrupted is our stitch and chat sewing sessions where we all work to finish projects. No teacher but we will help each other if needed. We had lots of fun today. Great company while sewing makes for  a fantastic day. Thanks ladies for you company today. I look forward to next month.
You are welcome to join the Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group and share what you are working on. Our aim is to finish Projects.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wandering Camera Post #1

Soma from Whims & Fancies has started the Wandering Camera series so we can share our life in pictures and maybe pick up some tips on taking better photos. We are all taking more photos as the phone cameras are so good these days. I wonder if my tablet camera is better than my actual camera. It may be time to upgrade the camera. It is getting a little old.
 So each month Soma is sharing her month of photos with a linky party for us to share a post with what photos we have been taking over the last month.
My plan is to take my photos as I normally do and then the week of the post go through the photos and select the ones I want to use. So here is January picture diary.
My first finish of the year. My Random Ohio Star Quilt (A Bonnie Hunter free pattern from Quiltville)

A trip across the border to Horsham, Victoria for a family weekend away. Dinner at the local RSL Club. Sun going down and reflecting off the building.

Had a bit of fun taking some photos from the car as we came home- 6 hour drive.

At a lookout looking out over the Murray River.

 Had a play with taking photos with my table runner and one of my vintage sewing machines.
Beside the first and the last 2 photo I have left the photos as they were taken, no cropping or editing. I just wanted them to be as they were taken so you see what I saw. I might have to do a month of really bad pictures for the fun of it. Some of the photos I took were hopeless and not usable.
Here is the link to Soma post if you are interested.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching Cynthia

Fabric Clubs

Are you a member of a fabric Club? Have you thought about joining one? At Cynthia's Ark we have two for you to choose from. Let me tell you about them if you haven't heard about them.

The first one is our most popular Stash Building Fabric Club. Each month you receive 1.5 metre of fabric generally it is all from the same range but we have done some themed months which I am happy to receive suggestion for. Eg Christmas, florals, Halloween etc. We have had a spotty month featuring the humble spot and we have had a stripe month. Plus 4 time a year you receive a bonus product with your fabric pack. eg thread, pattern, notion etc. Each month the cost is $38 plus postage. You can start anytime. It is easy to join. You can log into the website and you will find all the clubs listed under the New Products section or you can ring me if you live in Australia on 08 8527 2120 to join. If you live overseas you are welcome to join also. I am happy to ship to you. You can email me at if you would like to me to work out the postage first for you.
Now February's pack contains fabric from Faye Burgos  Collector's Gallery. So if you join up before the 22nd February you will receive this pack after that date you will start in March.

The second club is our Batik Fabric Club. Each month you receive 1.2 metres of hand dyed batik fabric. Colour tends to rule this club so often a colour will be featured but that is not set in stone as January pack features some stunning  batik stripes. Plus 4 times a year you receive a bonus product with your fabric pack. eg thread, pattern, notion etc. Each month the cost is $30 plus postage. (In Australia the postage is around the $6  mark.) Once again you can start anytime.
Now February pack is themed with the colour orange. So if you join before the 22nd February you will receive this pack, after that date you will start in March.

A question that was asked in store last week Can you be a member in both clubs? The answer is yes. When you see the packs it is hard to choose which one so the bonus product in each club are now different as we  have quilters in both clubs. So if you join both clubs you will not get 2 bonus products the same. 
Last month the bonus products were a Sew Easy 14 x 1 inch acrylic ruler for the Stash Building Club and the Batik Fabric Club got an extra 30 cm piece of fabric as their bonus product as there were 5 new striped batiks I couldn't leave one out now.

It is not hard to join, pop over to Cynthia's Ark and select the club you want on the homepage under the Club heading tab and follow the directions through the checkout. I look forward to having you on board. Any questions just ask.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

PS Have you signed up for our newsletter and The Block Library? It is free. Each month you will receive a newsletter telling you what is happening at Cynthia's Ark, new products, newsletter specials, workshops etc and you will receive an edition of the The Block Library where we will explore all sorts of quilt blocks with a How to make the block and a couple of quilt layouts using the block. The aim is to inspire, try something new, learn a new technique and may be push a boundary or two in our quest of making beautiful quilts.
Top Right hand side of my blog is the newsletter sign up.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cynthia's Ark Stash Bash Sewing Party

As promised here are the details for the Stash Bash Sewing Party. It will be held between the 12th-14th March 2016. These are one day workshops and you  have 3 days to choose from. Now the Stash Bash Sewing Party is an in store sewing workshop where we are going to raid our stashes for fabric to make one of 4 quilts. Don't worry there will be Stash Bash fabric packs available to purchase if you prefer.  The fabric will be the same fabric I have made the samples from. So this Stash Bash Sewing Party fabric line is from Riley Blake Designs The Quilted Fish La Vie Boheme range. Each quilt features the same block used in different ways with various degrees of difficulty. Though the hardest is not too hard, plus there is one support block for a couple of the quilts. The idea is to complete projects not just start them. So some workshop sewers may complete their tops in one session.
The cost is $45 for the day and includes the pattern booklet with all 4 patterns, morning/afternoon tea, raffle, good company and some exclusive shop specials. There is limited spots so you want to book early with your $20( non refundable if you don't turn up) to reserve your spot and on paying your deposit you will be given the fabric requirement or you can reserve a La Vie Boheme fabric pack. To book a spot ring me on 08 8527 2120 or email me at 
Now I hear some of you saying- we live too far away to attend,  don't live in South Australia, have something else planned etc. You can still join in, the Stash Bash booklet will be available as a downloadable booklet on the webshop between the 12th- 14th at a special price then on the 15th March it will go to it normal price. Also there will be a paper version available to purchase as well. So you can arrange you own Stash Bash Sewing Party and join the Cynthia's Ark Project Uninterrupted Facebook group to share some pictures of your Stash Bash Sewing Party. I may arrange a give away or two if we get enough interest on line.
What you need to bring if you are attending, sewing machine, fabric if you have not reserved a pack, rotary cutter, 24' ruler, 6 1/2' ruler if you have one, cutting mat, general sewing notions and your lunch.
Any questions just ask. I am happy to help.
A couple of the fabrics that are featured in the packs.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching