New Skills

More than I thought

I was talking with a friend the other week, and she said it made her the happiest as a quilty-educator when she was in a position to watch people push themselves, and learn new skills. At the time, I grimaced with the thought that I’m not usually the best at getting outside my comfort zone.

But then I was thinking about it, and I realised that I’ve done quite a bit this year – and most of it involved learning new skills.

I’ve made my first ever piece of clothing.


This skirt was a pretty big deal for me! I hadn’t really tackled anything beyond the standard straight-line before this. It includes a zipper and everything! I am so happy with how it turned out! And it has the perfect amount of fabric to be a great twirly-skirt ūüėÄ

I ran my first quilt class.

People actually came! And made quilts! That’s amazing to me!
I also ran some highschooler classes, and had a LOT of fun in the process!

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I have another two quilt classes lined up for October and November, and I’m SO keen.

I conquered curves and made a hoop quilt.

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Originally, I joined Gen X Quilter’s Hoop-quilt-along, which was meant to take about 4 weeks. I took about 2 months, and those drunkards path blocks were a significant factor in my procrastination! I also made bias binding for the first time in this project. I think it all turned out pretty well, though!

All of the fabric used in this hoop quilt is from Dapper by Luke for Moda and Moda Bella White

I made my first ever English Paper Pieced hexies.


This is definitely an addiction… they are just SO pretty! But what to do with them all???


I’ve learned how to Foundation Piece.


I attended one of Marcelle’s skill-builder workshops, and I’m really glad I did. I made the above circle of flying geese during the class, and then got a bit adventurous and attempted a Scottie Dog (pattern from Love Patchowrk and Quilting Mag) the following week. I love it! Those accurate points just make it so worth it!


So there¬†you have it, apparently I really can push myself outside of my comfort zone! At least, I can where sewing is concerned ūüėČ

What new skills have you learnt this year?



Quilts I've Made

Anything is better than nothing!

Have you ever played the game Articulate? It’s my all time favourite, and it’s a bit like Taboo, or Pictionary (using words instead of drawing). Now, I confess, I’m a tad on the competitive side when it comes to board games… but nothing riles me up more in any of the above-mentioned games when it’s my teammate’s turn to describe or draw, and they sit there wasting precious moments just thinking in silence! I can’t work with nothing! Anything, even a scribble, or a few¬†vague words, anything at all can get me started to build some momentum!

So here I am, months since my last blog post, and I’ve spent all that time fretting about just what I’ll it with… and all the while, wasting precious opportunities and losing momentum! So I’m sorry if this post seems a little random, but I figure that anything is better than nothing!

I thought I might share a little history.

My first ever quilt was an improv baby quilt for a dear friend, back in 2013. Because I’ve given it away, I only have a few (rather poor quality) photos.

Elijah Quilt

It was improv on so many levels – right down to the fact that I hadn’t intended to make it! I was doing a 3D artwork for an assessment in my Honours year at uni – which meant I’d brought my ancient Elna sewing machine to college. I had scraps of fabric lying around my dorm room, and I liked the way the colours looked together, so I started sewing. Before I knew it, I had a quilt top, and I was hooked!

With great hesitation and a lot of persuasion from family, I gave that precious first quilt top over to Marcelle from Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage to have it quilted, and you know what? I was STOKED with the outcome. It totally transformed my simple little quilt into something spectacular ūüôā

Now, I’m working with Marcelle, and helping to run her site as well! She’s teaching me how to use the long-arm, and I’m so totally blessed to spend so much time on things I love.


My goal for the next few weeks is to be a bit more disciplined about sharing here, at Tinker and Stitch. You’ll see a great deal of my adventures over at Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage as well, but here you get to see some of my more personal projects and adventures.
We’ll see how I go with that ūüėČ





I must be crazy…

So, I did a big thing this week. I have taken¬†a year¬†off my “day job” (which was working as an OT). I did warn you something big was in the works! After weeks of angst-ing over whether my application would be approved, it’s finally done, and I’ve had my last day at work for the next 12 months.
The primary reason for the leave is that even though I really love my day job, being an OT is emotionally draining. So, I’m taking some time out for my own health – to recharge properly before my brain turns into a mushy puddle with exhaustion. Secondly, though, I’m excited to be using my brain in a different way for a little while.

So enter Tinker and Stitch as my little pet project! And things are kind of exploding here!

The Facebook page is finally live and active! We’ll be keeping you up to date on bits and pieces, and sharing pretty photos there.

Speaking of pretty photos, my Instagram account is the go-to for regular photos of my current crafts! My beautiful husband is being amazingly patient with me while I get my head around this photography stuff ūüėČ but I’m having some fun – so go check it out! I’m @nicoleelisew

I’ve also started selling some little bits a pieces over at the Pink Orchid Caf√© and Florist, in Parkes. Mostly little fabric earrings and some notebook¬†with quilty covers, but I’m hoping to add more items¬†in the near future.

You can find the Pink Orchid’s website here and their facebook page here! Alice and Jarryd run the Pink Orchid; Alice makes the most beautiful flower arrangements – they’re just divine! And Jarryd makes such delicious sweet treats. Make sure you check them out.

And finally, I’ve got some classes happening over at Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage! Two classes for highschoolers:¬†notebook covers (4th July)¬†and tote bags (11th July).

And then there’s a¬†patchwork¬†class/excuse-to-sew¬†for everyone! Remember that sneak preview picture of a quilt with the Labrador? Here’s the finished product! We will be sewing up April Rosenthal’s Positively Perfect Nap Quilt together. It’s a free pattern from the Moda Bakeshop. Mine is made using V & Co.’s Spectrum fabric.


This quilt is seriously good for beginners, so if you’ve ever thought about giving patchwork a go – I highly recommend this class! We’ll be running it on 29th July, 2017.


The details for all the classes are on the blog¬†at Marcelle’s web page and on her Facebook page. Over the next little while I will keep helping Marcelle out on her blog, focusing on all the shop-related fun, there,¬†and this blog will be more centred on my¬†personal crafty creations.

So as you can see, life is turning slightly upside-down in our little household! But I’m feeling incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to try something different for a while! I hope you’ll all join me on this adventure. See you soon!

Quilts I've Made

Round Two!

I can’t believe that it’s been 3 weeks since my last post! It’s been hectic around here, and I still pretty much work fulltime, so¬†my “spare¬†time” slips by so swiftly!

I’m also suffering (yes, suffering) from equal parts frustration and excitement with a few plans in the works that I can’t talk about yet… I think my own emotional swings are giving my whiplash!

Having said that,¬†one of the things I’ve been working on that I CAN talk about is making some sample quilts for my local quilt shop, Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage. The goal is to both display some of the beautiful fabric they have in stock, as well as to hopefully teach the patterns as weekend classes.

The two quilts below are both patterns by Allison from¬†Cluck Cluck Sew. I’ve been a fan of Allison’s blog ever since I committed to making and finishing my first quilt back in 2013.


This one is called “Lucky”. It’s made with Tucker Prairie by One Canoe Two for Moda, with Moda linen (not sure on the exact shade, sorry!) for the background. You can see more about it on the shop’s blog here.

I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty stoked with how this one turned out…


I’d never worked with linen before. I was surprised how much stretch it had, and because I’m an overly cautious person, I found myself painstaking cutting strip by strip – I wasn’t game to cross cut in case it all pulled out of shape. Is this normal for linen? Or is it just me?

Anyway, although it took longer, it was definitely worth it. The linen has a divine texture and drape to it, and it quilted up so beautifully. I’ll just endeavour to give myself a little more time to work with it, next time around!


This quilt is called “Powwow”, and it makes me SO HAPPY. This is the second time I’ve made this quilt, and it’s really fun. I wanted to use a layer cake, so I had to get a little creative with the cutting, and it meant I had 42 finished blocks (placing it between the baby and throw sizes from the pattern). It amazed me how the variety in the fabric completely altered the look of this quilt, as compared to the versions that have fabric repetition. Don’t get me wrong, I like it both ways!

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This was the first time I’ve ever completely machine bound a quilt (normally I machine bind to the front and hand-stitch to the back).¬†I think I pulled the binding further onto the front than I normally would have :-/ but that’s ok! It’s just a wider frame, right!? Again, if you’d like to see more pictures, check out the shop blog here. The fabric is Grand Canal by Kate Spain for Moda, and the backing is a sparkly green weave from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous collection.

I currently have a third quilt underway (just needs the binding on!), which I hope to share soon. In the meantime, here’s a little taster of it strategically placed next to my Labrador, Westley.

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If only he was that well behaved ALL the time!!! He looks SO innocent…

I hope to report back with more grand plans soon! Until then!


We all begin somewhere

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for years… all the witty things I would say that would immediately endear me to the online quilting community. I thought about how I would ‘wow’ them with my beautiful photography of my masterfully pieced quilts!

Then I realised, I’m really not there yet. I’ve been sewing quilts for about 4 years, and in so many ways I would still call myself an amateur. My photography skills are improving, but still awkward at the best of times, and my piecing rarely ventures beyond straight lines. And let’s face it, it took me forever just to come up with a name for my site¬†– don’t get me started on how long it takes me to write a pattern!

But, I’ve been blessed with some pretty exciting opportunities to expand my skills, and¬†it’s time to dive in!¬†I’ve started a business, I’m learning to long-arm quilt, and I’m thrilled to have a space to brag about my creations ūüėČ

And so, I plan to use this blog to share my successes and blunders along the way!

Example A: Success –¬†half-way decent¬†quilty photography,not to mention a successfully finished quilt¬†(pattern is Powwow by Cluck Cluck Sew, and fabric is Grand Canal by Kate Spain for Moda)


Example B: Blunder – what happened this week¬†when¬†I was¬†not paying attention while chain piecing (left: what the block is meant to look like; right: …oops…)

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I hope you enjoy reading the Tinker and Stitch chronicles. I apologise in advance for the steep learning curves ahead of me, but I also thank you in advance for bearing with me on the journey! ūüėČ

I look forward to sharing my creations with you. While I’m getting things started, I’ll probably do some looking back at the quilts I’ve already made, as well as looking ahead as I begin new adventures.

Let’s do this! Here’s to new beginnings.