Tuesday, 29 July 2014

July Giveaway + Sample Pack date


Oh yes, my friends, THREE Sample Packs to be won this month! I think I actually missed last month (or maybe the month before?) so I thought I'd better go big this time. There is one Sample Pack to giveaway here on the blog, one on Instagram and one winner will be chosen from my newsletter list. All you need to do to enter this one is leave a comment on this post, maybe tell me what your favourite colour is, one that I print or one that you'd like me to print. To enter the newsletter Sample Pack giveaway, just type your email address into my newsletter signup form over to the right there, hit 'Subscribe' and you're in! (If you've already signed up, you're already entered.) And for Instagram, head over to the giveaway post and tag a friend who you think might be interested. Easy peasy, three chances to win!

The giveaways are all open to anyone worldwide and include shipping, entries close midnight, July 31st, 2014 and winners will be randomly drawn on August 1st, 2014, Sample Packs may not be exactly as shown but will be a similar collection of colours/prints/basecloths.

And if you not the lucky winner (there can only be three after all...) you'll be happy to know that I'll have a new batch of Sample Packs in the shop on Friday, August 15th at 10am, AEST (Melbourne time). I should have the new Block Printing on Fabric Kits available then as well, just in time for my next Block Printing on Fabric workshop at the studio on August 16th - still about three places left in that one if you'd like to join us!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Craft Sessions registration closing soon

foldover tote

Registration for this year's The Craft Sessions is closing soon (early August, I believe) and I've started gearing up for my workshops. I'll be teaching two new ones this year, a half day workshop on Block Printing with Repeats and a full day workshop to create a foldover tote with leather handle as shown above but customised to your needs with a few pocket options. I'm really looking forward to teaching this workshop in particular, it will be nice to send the participants home with a completed project and hopefully a few new skills as well.

And I'm SO looking forward to this weekend in general. Last year was completely amazing, wonderful, cosy, delicious and all things good, really and this year I'm even going to bring some KNITTING so I can hang with the cool kids* (or at least have something to do with my hands while I hang by the camp fire). I hope you can join me! 


*in case anyone is missing my humour, there are no 'cool kids' at The Craft Sessions (or rather, we were ALL cool kids - cool, crafty, super cool kids), everyone is amazingly warm and welcoming and open and on the same page. It's awesome.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Ta da!! Introducing the Maze & Vale Textile and Print Making Studio...

The studio early this morning :)
Working in this lovely space today. A bit chilly but so happy :)

It's been a typical reno project with mishaps and about turns and new solutions and way more money spent than initaly budgeted for but... the studio is done and I LOVE IT. My husband is an absolute superstar who put in countless hours on top of his full time job to patch, plaster, paint and floor the place with not one little complaint, totally supportive and completely awesome (pretty cute, too) - he's a gem and I couldn't have done this, really ANY of this, without him. (Big thanks, buddy. xx) There are still a few tweaks to be made to the space and I'm still getting used to having my workspace split up (my work room at home will become a sewing/quilting room as the new studio isn't really big enough for both) but all in all, it is EXCELLENT and I am very happy :)

I had my first day of workshops last Saturday to a full house and had a fantastic group of ladies (and one very skilled 12 year old) taking part. I think everyone had an excellent time and I personally couldn't have asked for a better start to this new phase of my venture.

The next day of Block Printing on Fabric and Freeform Patchwork is on August 16th and there are only a couple of spots left (you can even sign up for the whole day for a special price and use your block printed fabric for the patchwork as many did this past weekend). But fear not, I have another day of the same on September 20th that is still pretty open and will be putting dates for the rest of the year up soon, along with some other workshop (yes, screen printing). A little note too, if you're part of a group (min 8) who would like to organise your own day of workshops at my studio (or yours), please email me at leslie@mazeandvale.com for my special group rate!

Scenes from the Block Printing workshop
Block Printing on Fabric Workshop
Block Printing on Fabric Workshop
Just starting Freeform Patchwork, lovely him of sewing machines
More beautiful patchwork by Josephine of @flownthecoup using pieces she stamped in the morning workshop
Freeform Patchwork Workshop


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Craft & Quilt Fair round up (a week later...)

My booth at the Craft & Quilt Fair last week
All set up at the Exhibition Centre in South Wharf for the Craft & Quilt Fair last week

I had an absolutely fantastic time at the Craft & Quilt Fair last week, so many lovely people with so many nice words about my work, I feel totally validated that this path I am running on is the right one (and I'm loving it). Thank you so much if you were one of those lovely people, it truly was a pleasure meeting you! (and yes, as the top photo shows, I met Shelley Craft! She was lovely, too.)

I've updated the shop with some new prints that I debuted at the fair plus the Clothpot kits and some new DIY oobee kits:

Photographing the Clothpots for the shop listing, hope to get the kits online tonight, along with a bunch of new panels, the DIY oobee soft toy kits and yes, a few Sample Packs

I have a TON of reprinting to do and loads of basecloth arriving at my doorstep tomorrow (and the next day. and possibly the next day) along with some other goodies I have ordered for the studio ( plus a few art book type treats for myself, I deserve them). The studio is coming along excellently after a setback with the floor and is all set to be ready and waiting for my first sold out day of workshops this Saturday - yay! I've set up August and September dates for Block Printing on Fabric and Freeform Patchwork and will have dates for Screen Printing at Home and Quilting Basics in the next few weeks. It's all just so good, folks, so very good :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Craft & Quilt Fair + new studio, new workshops, new, new, new!


I'm not even going to mention the fact that I haven't written here for weeks (months) on end (except that I did just mention it), I'm just going to say that I've been working my little buns off getting plenty of pretty stock ready for the Craft & Quilt Fair next week here in Melbourne.

Introducing Maze & Vale Clothpots! I'll be launching DIY kits for these handy little fabric buckets in four different, reversible designs at the Craft & Quilt Fair at the end of the month, online shortly after :)
Putting together Clothpot kits to launch at the Craft & Quilt Fair at the end if the month, another slowly but surely.

I'll be launching a new kit to make these lovely, reversible fabric buckets, perfect for dressing up a plant pot or storing any manner of goodies (would make a perfect yarn holder for you knitters). There are four different kits available with two different prints in each, all handprinted on a sturdy hemp/organic cotton. I completely love these and hope you guys do too.

The state of my printing table: piles and piles of fabric as far as the eye can see!
This is a 50 litre container almost completely full of Sample Packs and specially priced handprinted fabric panel bundles!

I will also have a ton of Sample Packs and specially priced, fabric panel bundles plus oobee soft toy kits, dropcloth artwork, advent panels and plenty of fabric panels to peruse. There are a lot of other excellent makers attending the fair for the first time this year, including RicRac,  The Crafty Squirrel, L'ucello, Melly & Me, Treehouse Textiles, Emma Jean Jansen and Sew Well Maide so it's well worth a visit.

Slowly but surely.

My other massive news that has been keeping out entire household quite busy is that I took over the lease on a little shopfront in West Footscray at the beginning of the month which will become my new printing and workshop studio! I have been searching for a space for such a long time and, although ideally this space could be slightly larger, it's so close to my home and fairly reasonably priced (for a commercial lease, which I've discovered are horrendously expensive and now as I drive around town, I ponder how all these little businesses are even keeping their doors open) that I had to jump on it. I love the fact that it's a shopfront as I have extra incentive to make it all pretty and apparently a cafe is opening up next door so really, that's just about perfect in my books.

Flyers to hand out at the Craft & Quilt Fair - my first workshop sign ups are open now! Learn Block Printing on Fabric and /or Freeform Patchwork in my new studio on July 12th, link in profile

My husband has been working ridiculous hours over there, painting and now pulling up all the cracked vinyl tiles. Once the fair is over, I'll be spending the following two weeks setting it all up just how I want it (sooooooooo exciting) before my first set of workshops on July 12th. Yep, that's right, I opened sign ups last week for Block Printing on Fabric in the morning and Freeform Patchwork in the afternoon or a special price for attending the whole day and the workshops are already half full, which makes me so smiley inside. I have plans for many more workshops, including lots of screen printing ones, up my sleeve so keep an eye on my Facebook page or in the Workshops section in my shop for more details (as I'm not super reliable with posting here, obviously).

And yes, of course, we still have the sweet Pepper puppy adding to the fun and craziness:
Miss Pepper, 16 weeks and cute as ever.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Project journal: 15.04.14

It's slow times around here on the project front, I'm afraid. I feel like this year, work-wise, just hasn't even officially started. Despite having an extra day and a half a week to work, I think there have only been one or two weeks that I've been able to actually use all that time for work stuff. I either desperately need groceries or to do some kind of errand or there's some school activity that I want to check out (swimming, assembly, Easter parade, etc). So anyways, this trend will continue for the next few weeks as we just added THIS sweet face to our family:


Meet Pepper, our new dachshund moodle (Maltese/poodle) cross puppy. Pepper who is the sweetest little pea of a doggie but can't bear to be left alone for very long and must be within sight of me all the live long day (and a few times each night). So I've been getting not too much sleep and although today is one of my only work days during these school holidays, I'm camped out on the couch listening to the Feist and Ben Gibbard station on Pandora and getting some internet stuff done (including this miraculous and overdue blog post!) while puppers sleeps on her blanket beside me. I don't trust her amidst the chaos of my sewing room and I'm missing getting in there to do printing and sewing (even though my BRAND NEW and EXPENSIVE sewing machine had to be sent back to Janome for some super annoying sensor error so I'll have to use my old machine if I do manage to snag some time). I'm working on training Pepper to be alone for a little bit of time here and there so hopefully it won't be too long before I can get some good chunks of work time back in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the meantime I'm working on a couple of new designs and making plans for the Craft & Quilt Fair which is only 10 short weeks away (sounds like a long time until you realise that is only 20 official working days for me... 20 official working days that I'll also be taking care of a puppy...). I'm scheming all sorts of new fabric goodies and waiting for some time to actually produce them!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Project journal: 05.04.14

Um, where did March go? Two weeks of everyday swimming at school for the five year old, a couple of Saturdays teaching, four weeks of my porcelain course and a head cold/flu for the past two weeks made the month completely fly. Luckily I did take a few photos so I can catch up with my project record:

Custom single quilt
Custom single quilt

I finished the custom single sized quilt I was working on and have since received beautiful photos of a gorgeous one year old girl snuggled up with it in it's new home - the best reward for creating, I think. OH! I was just about to talk about the quilting and I realised I haven't even shared the news here that I bought the new sewing machine that I was coveting!!

Is there anything more exciting than a new sewing machine???
I got a Janome Horizon 8900QCP and it is soooooooooo lovely. I can't believe the difference when quilting, it's really so much easier. And it comes with fun new stitches like this wave stitch used on my latest quilt, the picture below shows it really well.

Custom single quilt

So that was a bit of fun for my busy March days. I also made some custom oobees who went off to their new homes and had way too much fun creating porcelain vessels and beads in the workshop I was taking with Abby Seymour (about half of the goodies I created shown here):

These three custom cuties are almost ready to go too, I'll finish them off and wrap them up tonight. Big day at the post office tomorrow :)
A few of my finished pieces from the porcelain workshop I have been taking

And I did a whole lot of teaching with a great Freeform Patchwork workshop at Handmaker's Factory:
Freeform Patchwork workshop at Handmaker's Factory

A full day of Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork at the super amazing Treehouse Textiles (they have the most fantastic studio space, I highly recommend experiencing it!):
Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork at Treehouse Textiles

And I just did a great day of Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork with some wonderful members of the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild, who produced some amazing work and were great, great fun! For some crazy reason I did not take a single photo of the Freeform Patchwork creations (I'm blaming coming down from my head cold meds) but you can find some taken by other members at their Flick site:
Stamp Carving workshop with the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild

Whew, okay, I think thats me all caught up on projects. I'm just starting a couple of new things right now, will share them this week, along with some fun news of the puppy variety. Yes, I said puppy :)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

March Giveaway : newsletter!

Even though part of me thinks it is so 2002, I've decided to set up a Maze & Vale monthly newsletter. Once a month, if you're interested and sign up, it will arrive in your inbox with a short update on what designs and colours have been added to the shop and share the date Sample Packs will be listed that month along with the odd surprise sale, discount code, free pattern or giveaway. Sound good? Head to the sidebar on your right where it says "Join the M&V monthly newsletter" and pop your email address in -->

To kick this newsletter business off, at the end of the month I'll be giving away a mystery pack of FIVE handprinted fabric panels to one lucky member of the mailing list. Sign up for the newsletter and you're already entered, easy peasy.

I've started a Maze & Vale newsletter and there is a giveaway at the end of the month involved! Head to my blog or Facebook page to join the making list :)

And to further whet your appetite, I'm also going to be doing a SURPRISE shop update in the next week or so with Sample Packs, new panels and a few other treats I have up my sleeve – I will be sending a note out to the newsletter mailing list a good 12 hours before I share the update anywhere else online so if you want first dibs, sign up pronto!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Workshop news

Teaching Freeform Patchwork with @handmakersfactory today but you can join me next weekend at @treehousetextiles - such fun!
Baskets of fabric, ripe for the picking! Teaching Freeform Patchwork with @handmakersfactory today but you can join me next weekend at @treehousetextiles
Patchwork scraps
Freeform Patchwork happening @handmakersfactory

I had an excellent day today, teaching Freeform Patchwork at Handmaker's Factory to a lovely group of women. Everyone did such a great job and was super keen to just dive right in which I love! I also love teaching so but I'm going to be taking a little break after my next few classes as I just found out I got a space at the Craft & Quilt Fair this June which mean mucho printing and designing work ahead of me. I'm teaching next weekend at Treehouse Textiles for a full day session (with lunch) of block printing and freeform patchwork (only two spots left!), a full day of the same classes in a private session for the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild in early April, then a Block Printing workshop with Handmaker's Factory at the end of April and then a break from teaching until The Craft Sessions in early September (registrations should be opening soonish). It'll be a cozy winter, working on quilts and printing :)


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Project journal: 11.03.14

image

I just spent the most splendid evening learning all about and playing with porcelain clay under the tutelage of Miss Abby Seymour (go check out her work, people, it is incredible) and I had SO MUCH FUN. It was so nice to play with an entirely new medium - okay, not entirely new, I've done quite a few ceramic classes over the years but never before with porcelain, which I found really great to work with, especially with all of Abby's knowledge and tools to help out. But it was just so nice to play with something creative with no real outcome expected, you know? I don't plan on becoming an ceramic artist or releasing a line of porcelain vessels or beads, I just wanted to create something entirely different for my own use and enjoyment. Loved it. I have three more sessions to go and can't wait to go back.

This quilt top is finished!!! Freeform Patchwork in bluey/greens and neutrals for a sweet almost one year old. If you'd like to hang with me and learn this super fun style of patchwork, check out my upcoming workshops with Handmaker's Factory and Treehous
I made the binding last night for the custom quilt I am working on, the last of the cotton I had digitally printed last year.

In other crafty news, the quilt top in muted teals and neutrals is finished and I've made the binding, just need to have the backing decided upon and then I can get quilting. Over the weekend I managed to convince myself that I really do need a new sewing machine but it's going to require the savings of quite a few pennies so it probably won't happen it in time to do this quilt, which is a bit of a bummer. My current Janome works just fine but it's 8 years old and was only ever a very standard mid-range machine (I think it was $599 when I bought it), not really designed for quilting or the completely ridiculous amount of work I've put it through over the years. To it's credit it hasn't missed a beat and I've never even had it professionally serviced (I do clean it out periodically) but the thought of having a super fast machine with a big open throat and lots of perks has finally won me over, especially with all the quilting I intend to do over the next few years. I foresee a massive drop of Sample Packs at the end of March to help nudge me towards sewing nirvana... :)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Project journal: 04.03.14

dropcloth + linen quilt wip

I should have just titled today's entry, 'too many projects, too little time (and brain capacity)'. I have my fingers in quite a few pies but took a bit of a break last week to hang out with my mom before she headed off on further New Zealand and Australian adventures (lucky duck). So I'm back into it this week, working further on the custom muted teals + neutrals single quilt and the dropcloth bits + linen quilt tops (the latter shown here) and trying to plan my markets and teaching for the rest of the year.

dropcloth + linen quilt wip

I'm only just unpacking my goodies from what was a most splendid Craft Camp the other weekend (Craft Camp is a group of fantastic women, gathered by Suzie a few times a year at Sewjourn in Lancefield; an enriching, amazing experience that I am so very thankful to be a part of) and need to put a few finishing touches on the Wiksten Tova top and Merchant & Mills Dress Shirt that I made so I can wear and show them. Never did find a good quality, cotton french knit to make my Lola dress, might have to put that one on the list for next time...

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Project journal: 20.02.14

Thanks for the great response to my reinvention of this space, it's so nice to know people are still reading, I already feel more inspired to post and share here :) And I had a lovely message from someone who discovered the great patchwork shop Amitie through my last post and found that they not only loved it but were a long lost friend of owner Jenny Kingwell! And see, that is what blogging is really all about to me. Connections, tips, sharing and inspiration.

image
image

Speaking of Amitie, I finally popped in there today so rifle through their bins of fat 1/8ths to grab a few more prints for the teal/neutrals single quilt I'm working on (it's happening, Kirsty!!). The selection did not disappoint, as usual but unfortunately my trip to nearby(ish) Darn Cheap Fabrics wasn't as successful. I'm after a french terry knit to make a Victory Pattern's Lola dress at this coming weekend's Craft Camp and found nothing of the sort, total bust. I'll have to divert to Rathdowne Remnants on my way out of town and see what I can dig up.

So anyway, yep, off to Craft Camp this weekend and can not wait, although I'm feeling a wee bit guilty as my mom is here from Canada and I'm heading off. But who am I kidding, she's really here to see the kids and is probably pleased as punch to have them all to herself for the weekend. And I will be more than pleased to work on a few garments for moi and get some work done on a few quilts including the one above. I have a cot quilt, started last year, that is ready for binding so that is on the list for tomorrow (I'm attempting to make continuous bias binding for the first time, using a fat quarter of my Biased print - wish me luck) and I started a freeform patchwork* in linen and linen/cottons with small sections of my cotton canvas dropcloth, excited to get a bit more done on this one.

image

And speaking of Freeform Patchwork, I have two workshops teaching this technique next month and I cannot stress highly enough how FUN this class is. When I taught it for the first time at The Craft Sessions last year, I was initially worried that people would find it too easy, like they'd feel ripped off that they wasted workshop time on such a simple concept but in actuality it was amazing. Folks were challenged and confronted, not by the physical task of the patchwork but by trying to overcome their own perceptions about what piecing should be. I think everyone found it to be a truly valuable and inspiring exercise. I ran into one of the participants recently who told me the workshop last Spring had completely changed the way she thought about quilting (for the better) and if that isn't the highest praise there can be, I don't know what is.

So come play and stretch yourself, even if you've never done any patchwork, even if you've done patchwork for years. I bring all the scraps you need and you just know there will be some choice Maze & Vale gems in there! It's all happening at Handmaker's Factory on March 15th and at Treehouse Textiles the following weekend, March 22nd.

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