Tuesday, March 1, 2016

29 February 2016 - Last Day of Summer!

It's not often that this day comes around, so it's worthy of mention!  29th February!   Or at least, it's significant enough to prompt me to create a new blog post to commemorate the occasion.   At the start of 2016, I had the best intentions of updating this blog at least once a month - yet where has the time gone?  Are the days going by faster?  Or is life just accelerating?

This Australian summer, in Melbourne, has been unusually hot and humid. And uncomfortable.  Like most people, I do not sleep well in the heat, or function well the next day.  So it's with some relief that I welcome the start of Autumn tomorrow, on the 1st March - clear blue skies, balmy temperatures and a refreshing chill in the air - bring it on!

My newest  laser-cut Acrylic Template set is the "Double-Sized Window (Fanlight) Version of Ballet with Kaffe", with an added 1/4 inch seam.   See, the 10 x diamonds on the left create the middle of the first star.  Compare that to the "Double Size Window" of that same shape, on the right!   In the "Window Version", the Inside edge represents the Stitching Line, and the Outside edge is the 1/4 inch fabric cutting line.

See my Etsy store - Sunset Seams. for details of this 4-piece set, in a choice of 4 translucent colours.

Full details and instructions for this pattern are available from the stunning "Milliefiori Book 2" by Willyne Hammerstein.   I was lucky enough to view the original quilt, up close, at the Australian Quilt Convention in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre last year.  It's featured on the cover of the book - a stand-out of colour and contrast.   The original pattern pieces are very small - which creates the intricate, mosaic-like colourful tiles.  

Sadly.... these pattern pieces are a bit too small for me to use (I'm not very accomplished at English Paper Piecing).  So I decided to  re-sized them so that each finished edge is "Double" the size of the original.  (ie, the main measurement is 6cm, instead of 3cm).  For those of you who enjoy mathematics, you'll realise that this means if you followed the original pattern exactly, then the final quilt would be FOUR times the SIZE the original!   Pretty big, right?

Alternatively, you could use the larger templates to make a similar quilt FOUR TIMES as FAST!  For me, the bonus is being able to hand-piece the bigger fabric pieces (using running stitch) - without having to bother with wrapping or gluing fabric onto paper pieces.

Yes, that fabric is from my small stash of Tula Pink "Eden" range. I'm looking forward to adding more colours, as the motif grows.    Maybe it won't end up being a full quilt - (if only I had that much time!) - but it may soon reach my favourite lap quilt size (1.5 x 1.5 metres).  Here's hoping!

Now that I finally have a new mobile phone (after having remained stubbornly loyal to my old one for far more years than it deserved), it should be easier and quicker for me to upload photos to my blog, and so create more frequent posts. (Again, hopefully!)

Anyway... Thanks for stopping by!  Do check out my Instagram account @SunsetSeams, if you get the chance.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell to 2015

It has been a HUGE year...!   "So Much to Tell You", as per the famous Australian author John Marsden's novel title. 

Where to start? Not tonight, on New Year's Eve.  Sufficient to say that it's been extremely busy & successful (work-wise), and sadly eventful (extended family-wise) and unexpectedly challenging (health-wise).

Instagram has proved to be a wonderfully easy way to connect with friends & customers, so this Blog has been a bit of an orphan this year.

However, hopefully 2016 will be a vast improvement on last year, and I will use the Blog to share more personal insights about my favourite aspects of quilting, sewing and acrylic laser-cutting of templates.

Thanks so much to all of my lovely, loyal Etsy & website customers...and Instagram & Pinterest followers! You make my day!

All the best for a happy, healthy & safe New Year to you, your precious family, and treasured friends!


Lisa & Andrew Smallridge
Sunset Seams, Melbourne, Australia
31 December 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Summer Holiday Time!

Vacation time! After a long, busy year, we are taking time out to refresh and rejuvenate. Thanks to our wonderful, creative, loyal customers, both in Australia and worldwide. We love what we do! 

Emails may (or may not) be checked and answered, every couple of days (subject to patchy internet access, while we are travelling).  Thanks for your patience - all queries will definitely be followed up on our return, after 21st January.

Cheers, Lisa & Andrew, 4 Jan15

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Reflections on Christmas Day, 2014

Another year has passed... and Christmas Time is a good time to reflect on what has been happening, and what is to come.

First, let me wish all my family, friends, acquaintances and customers all the Very Best for this Festive Season!  Thank you to all of you for your love, friendship and support this year - which has been Very Busy!    

I've really enjoyed participating in meetings, retreats and workships arranged by my Quilt Guilds: Patchworkers' & Quilters' Guild, IvanhoeBay Quilters, Beaumaris, and Vic Quilters, Inc.  Thank you for the warm friendships, stimulating conversations, and wonderful inspiration - especially as these groups all feature a strong, lively 'Charity Quilt' aspect.  I'm proud to be a member.

Christmas Lights, on a house, on the street where we live.
For our business "Sunset Seams" - we have made Acrylic Templates for over 500 Etsy Store customers.... far exceeding expectations!  Thanks to everyone who "passed the word" via Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and all those wonderful reviews on Etsy.  I am truly humbled by your generous comments, and am glad that I've helped to enhance your quilting and patchwork and sewing experiences.  We now have 31 separate items listed for sale (including multiple copies, and different versions with either No Seam allowance, 1/4 inch Seam Allowance or 3/8ths inch Seam)

Thanks so much for all the suggestions from customers for new template sets or variations of old favourites - hopefully next year I will list even more.

Hopefully, 2015 will be a time for more blog-posting.... I've been a bit lax, as Instagram is far easier to use!    However, I will try to be more diligent next year.  We are also in the process of commissioning a new Logo... which should be finalised early in the year.  This is a pretty exciting development for us, using a professional graphic design company in Sydney.  Stay tuned!

It's great to see "returning customers", and to see the fantastic final quilts from quilters who have used our templates.  Please email your photos to me at SunsetSeams@hotmail.com, and with your permission, I'd be happy to display them on this Blog.

Finally, I wish you and your loved ones Peace, Harmony and Good Fortune as we come to the close of this "eventful" year.... worldwide, there have been many difficulties and tragedies, but with hope and prayers and good wishes, hopefully 2015 will be a Great One!

Cheers from Lisa & Andrew, here at Sunset Seams.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spring Quilt Show - at Beaconsfield 13th September

This Saturday, 13th September, I will be attending as a Market Trader at the Beaconsfield Quilt Show, in O'Neill's Road, Beaconsfield - 10am to 4pm, only $5 entry, and with funds raised to go the CFA (Country Fire Authority)... a very worthy cause, given how close we are, again, to the summer bushfire season.  As our on-line business is becoming busier, I only attend one or two Markets per year - so it's exciting to be preparing for this one.   Also attending, among others, are Sarah from Sew Materialistic and Karen from Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop.  Hope to see you there!

It has certainly been a busy couple of months since our (short) holiday in July, with LOTS of Custom Acrylic Template orders.  This keeps  me busy 6 days out of 7, and often late into night (which is when I usually communicate with the international customers).  Heaps of thanks to all the new customers who have found us (via word of mouth), as well as a very warm "welcome back" to our "repeat customers" who just love using our Acrylic Templates to help with their quilt-making.

On 6th August I was invited to give a short presentation to the Southern Cross Quilters group at Carrum Downs (SQuilters) - thank for your warm welcome, and lovely flowers - it was great to meet you all.  

Several quilting teachers  and a Quilt Shop have approached me to make up Class Sets for their workshops - usually between 10 & 20 sets of Acrylic templates.  These are all reasonably priced (discounts apply for 10 or more sets), and using custom-made templates does speed up the fabric-cutting process for the participants, so that more class time can be spent on learning the actual sewing technique.

Once this upcoming quilt show is over, I'll be working on some new template design ideas - stay tuned.  In the meantime, I've recently added Acrylic Templates for the traditional block "Flowering Snowball" to my Etsy site - these are available for both a 9 inch and 6 inch finished block.

See you soon, and remember:  Happy Quilting!