Sunday 25 October 2009

Fighting the flu

Well, haven't done much, as I'm fighting the flu. Have some exciting Red Delicious developments taking place - will update in the next few days.

Thursday 22 October 2009


Thank you to everyone who left a comment on Sunshine & Shadow, my Quilt Festival Entry. I love stenciling and was hoping to share my enthusiasm for this technique by offering 25 free PDF patterns for Tulip Delight to randomly selected posters who left a comment.

After writing down all names and popping them in a teapot - 25 winners have been selected. Actually a few more because some names 'popped' out or 'latched' onto other drawn entries and we decided to let both win in those instances. Ok, I say both, actually I got my youngest DD to do the honors while I watched on with a coffee, its been a busy busy week in my house!

For the lucky 25, I hope you enjoy stenciling as much as I do and I'd love to see the results!

Carrie p

F. gina



Julie Q

Mrs Moen
Quilt Rat


Costa Rica

* Winners: If you have NOT received an email invite from me, please email me directly at

The Quilt Festival is finished

The Fall Quilt Festival is now finished and I'm pretty sure that a lot of you probably spent as much time as I did browsing through all the great sites and admiring all the inspiring quilts out there. A great idea and so rewarding to be part of it all.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment under Sunshine and Shadow, I hope it did something to invoke interest in stenciling for those who had to chance to scroll through.

Since my last post, I attended a wedding and made TD as a gift. I think it turned out beautifully. My DD prefers the new colour scheme to the original, she's not keen on the lime green. Frankly, I love them both!

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Red Delicious Mystery BOM upload 12

This month the Red Delicious upload covers
BORDERS & SASHING for finishing your quilt top.

It's an exciting time! Those of you who joined in my free Red Delicious Mystery Block of the Month these past 12 months will know that the blocks have now all been posted. But Red Delicious isnt quite finished yet... as well as finishing the quilt top, there are a few more Red Delicious suprises in store. More to come later...
Have you been keeping up? Is your quilt top nearly ready? Why not join the free Red Delicious Yahoo Group and look in on some great images of what others have done with this BOM? If you need some motivation, there's plenty to go around in the 'picture' file!

Tulip Delight is re-visited

Blending the hues on the fabric directly

Organising the medium, brushes and paints

Laying out the stencil for working (notice the tidy surface?:)

I've been wanting to re-visit Tulip Delight since I made it. It's one of those designs which can be worked in so many different ways. As a stencil table runner, I'm especially interested to see the difference colour can make. Last week I was working on a design for an upcoming wedding when I received an email from an Etsy shopper who wanted my opinion on whether it was suitable as a Wedding gift for her best friend- worked in the Bride's favourite colours of (cornflower blue, butter yellow and magenta). Did I think it was suitable? With a wedding of my own to attend at the end of the month, it got me thinking about how much use I've had from this table runner and how practical table runners are. (Obviously quilts are my first preference - but my own DD has demonstrated that taste can vary significantly). So I decided to take my own advice and set to making Tulip Delight myself for the wedding I will be attending.

Today I've gotten down to business and will keep you posted as I progress through. I am working in Fuschia, Green, with Gold highlights on a hand dyed marble background (yes, technically this beautiful piece is a stash buster!)

Tuesday 13 October 2009

The Studio Gets Tidied

First things first - look at that beautiful work surface! CLEAR!

I ran out of bench space so I really had no option but to get my act together and tidy my studio. The most important item in there is my design table which was looking like a great shelf. But not any more. Now it is free! I have been thinking about the next Mystery BOM as well as my other pending projects - and sometimes you just need to lay your work out flat and take a good hard look at it.

This is the area beneath my desk - boxes of bundled projects and UFO's - some which are more than half way completed. I have them shelved and ready to be actioned. I know, I know, it could be tidier, but for me - this is organized. And I'm so delighted I can see my floor. It was a carpet of threads only yesterday.

This is my 'immediate' design shelf. As you can see, it still needs a bit more work. The only problem is that everything in there is -vital- and can't be sorted away any further.

This is my shelf top of rolled up patterns, designs and master sheets.

Now it's time to turn out some work!

Monday 12 October 2009

Inspiration in Natural Shapes ... Updated

I too, love seeing a bouquet reach it's full here are a few snaps of the pink lillies in full opening. I love the hue of pink here.

I know that technically speaking, lillies arent the best flowers to celebrate with, but sometimes you have to overide traditional flower language for the sheer beauty of it.

As for the delicious cake - it was from a cake bakery my DD works for on the weekends. The cake is called a croquembouche - its a stack of profiteroles held together with caramel.

Last year both my DD's actually made an impressive croquembouche (held together with chocolate instead of sugar) and it was equally delicious. And it turned out great on the first 'try'. It's such a pretty cake - but definitely achievable at home. If you havent tried to make one - go ahead, it's delicious. The only draw back (and the reason we purchased one this year) is because it is time consuming and as it was my DD's birthday, she didnt want to spend all day in the kitchen (and you do have to eat this cake the day it is baked).

The Fall Quilt Festival is underway and I have spent so much time browsing through the great sites that I havent really done much else.

But ohhh, the inspiration!

Friday 9 October 2009

Tulip Delight Stencil Table Runer

Tulip Delight Stencil Table Runner PATTERN
This is a pic of the Tulip Delight Stencil Runner which you can make by either winning the pattern via the Fall Quilt Festival 2009 (see previous post) or purchasing online via my Etsy Shop. To be in the running to win this pattern, simply leave a comment on the Sunshine & Shadow Post. 25 winners will be randomly selected at the end of the fair. Good luck all who take part!

QUILT FALL FESTIVAL 2009 - Sunshine & Shadow

(click on the logo at top of this page to join in!)

Sunshine & Shadow

by Esther Aliu (2009)

2m x 2m

'Sunshine & Shadow' is my latest stencil quilt. Inspired by ironwork and french motifs, particularly the Fleur- de-lis, it is an original design.

I love stenciling - as a technique it allows you, as a quilter to create original designs from beginning to finish. This design started out as a sketch in one of my journals and grew from there. After some drawing up and defining lines, I transfer my designs and stencil them directly onto fabric. A really rewarding aspect (although sometimes frustrating too!) of this stage in the work is that you have total control over your coloring and hues. With stenciling, you create around your own sketches, blend your own colors and control the whole process.

Although a lot of quilters have met stenciling for the first time in 'modern quilts' and designs, stenciling is actually an heirloom technique. It was used as a technique in the first generation of New England quilts - a method which arrived with the European settlers who were in the midst of a 'stenciling craze'.

Unfortunately, due to the paints available for use during this era, few stencil quilts have survived. Paints available today however will last as long as commercially available 'printed' cottons, so there's no reason not to get stuck in!

Obviously I'm biased - I love stenciling! If you havent tried stenciling as a technique...what's stopping you? If you want to try stenciling, but arent ready to take on a whole quilt, why not try stenciling a table runner?


To celebrate the Fall Quilt Festival, I will be giving away my Stencil Tulip Runner pattern (PDF format) to 25 viewers who comment on this specific post. At the end of the fair, I will place all names in a teapot and draw 25. Please ensure you include your email address at the end of your comment.

A pic of this table runner is available on my blog!

Why Not Try A Stencil Quilt Today?

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Inspiration in Natural Shapes

This is a snapshot of some flowers that I wanted to share with you. I have been lucky enough to spend a day sketching stash busting ideas with this glorious bunch in front of me.

The colours are just superb. I can see the most magnificent quilt in these green- grays, dusty & deep pinks ad splashes of butter yellow.

And I love the shapes too. These discs on a line are so simple and evocative.

It's so reviving to see the mastery of detail in flowers. I love it.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Fabric Dilemma

Loves the green vine print (new) & the chocolate print (old stash)

Hates the rose and stripe print! (new)

I broke my own rules last week because it was my DD's birthday coming up and I saw fabric online that I knew she would just love. So I purchased it online (I didnt plan this, I was just browsing to see what was new out there - to jog some inspiration from my own stash) and the perfect prints for a beautiful quilt just appeared. I had to buy them! Easy, I though, this quilt is going to be so easy...

The only problem is, she HATES the rose and stripe print (which is actually the perfect match for the vine print). I explained this as patiently as I could, but she has declared an absolute NO on those two prints. So now my easy design is stuck... I have a green vine print (the only print I bought that she loves) and some left over chocolate prints that I've always wanted to use somewhere...and thats it. Now I'm really stuck. I have been through my stash and...nothing!

This is incredibly frustrating. Especially as I am now -2- birthday quilts behind - I just never got around to making last years, its still on the list, and I was planning on using the beautiful rose print in the 2nd quilt as well, as a sort of running theme.

How fussy are non quilters?

I am going to wait a week and then go through my stash 'again'. I will not be purchasing any more new fabric for this quilt.

I will also not be browsing online fabric stores either.

Monday 5 October 2009

Where do the years go?

I'm always saying on this blog that the months seem to flit by...and before you know it, another year has passed. Well it happened again - this past weekend was my DD's birthday.

Still, as everything seems to be moving so fast, it's nice to stop and admire a cake, almost too beautiful to eat...almost... and think about how quickly the rest of the year is going to pass. In my family, we have now entered the birthday 'season' where it's going to be very busy until the end of Feb 2010.

This means I am going to have to really keep to my schedule.

Wish me luck

Friday 2 October 2009

My Quilt Midnight Garden

See, sometimes I do finish quilts!

Like this quilt? Why not make it? The project is in No. 39 (Vol. 8.5) of Quilters Companion - now available.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Knitting UFO

Uh oh, the UFO's in my house are not limited to my quilting... we also have a knitting UFO stash.

About 2 weeks ago, I came acros some beautiful yarn and enlisted my DD to knit me a scarf. 'Sure' she said 'no problem'. The only problem it turns out, is that the yarn cannot be worked in crochet and she doesnt like knitting. I knit and crochet so I really couldn't see an issue, but she assured me, you're one or the other. She persisted on needles for 2 rows before giving up. Going through the wool box, I found the yarn I had selected for last year's scarf and predictably... two rows knitted and abandoned. But that's not all. There is plenty of abandoned crochet work in there too. Half spirals, assorted flowers or as she likes to refer to it all : 'samples'.

Yes, I have passed on my bad habits.
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