Saturday 30 October 2010

Cherry Thieves Table Runner

It's Festival Time Again!

First of all, thank you to Amy for doing this, it's so wonderful to see all those great quilts out there and to hear the stories behind them.

For my entry this time around, I thought of several quilts I have made in the last year... as well as a few WIPs that are nearly done...but I ended up deciding on a 'daily' quilt. A work that I enjoy everyday and get so much pleasure from. Introducing...

Cherry Thieves
Applique - Reds Stash Buster
An accompaniment to my quilt Red Delicious
both designs are based on red things that I love

This quilt is actually a table runner...I think of it as my table quilt.

Cherry Thieves is a complimentary quilt to my earlier work (and BOM) Red Delicious.
Red Delicious proved to be very popular and I had so much fun making it, that when it was finished, I didn't want to stop! I decided to create a few complimentary projects to accent Red Delicious and Cherry Thieves is one of these. Together that make up a lovely 'Red Room' feel.

I have found that Red and White is somehow very tricky to photograph! Although Cherry Thieves is in active use on my table, here I pinned it up and held it outside to try and capture it as best as possible. Anyhow, I always think red and white are a charming combination.

I always say...'quilting is what makes a quilt a quilt' and I really enjoyed free hand quilting this piece on my trusty domestic. Red Delicious and Cherry Thieves both keep in with a folksy feel and I incorporated that in my quilting by swirling in some hearts amongst the feathering.

A great advantage of making smaller quilts and table runners is that you can experiment and let loose... and have something practical to show for it afterwards.

I love designing my own quilts, it's so rewarding to see those sketchbook doodles come to life in something lasting and useful (and hopefully too, beautiful). I didn't think I had a specific 'look', however looking over my applique I notice strong leanings towards naive and folksy elements. They just keep appearing in my work and they feel so natural.

Red Delicious and Cherry Thieves are both based on 'red things that I love' and Cherry Thieves continues this with the two birds thieving cherries between branches. We have a lot of birds where I live and I could watch them for hours. They are both calming and invigorating - what more could I ask for directly outside my studio window?

Thank you for visiting
Link to the festival via my sidebar or here:

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Wednesday Part 5

This week we create the applique scene beneath the tree
and stitch down the diamonds.

Just one week left...

A Wish on Tuesday

For some time now, it has been my quilting dream
to own a GO!Fabric Cutter
I won't even go on about all the wonderful things I could do with this machine because it would be a verrrrry loooong poooost. Suffice to say, I really want one and have done for years.
Why am I telling you this? Because the lovely blogger Irish Muses at is GIVING ONE AWAY!!


Head over to her great blog and enter this comp yourself.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Missed blocks for sale

Missed a block? No problem...
Missed blocks are now in my shop!
Apologies to those of you who have been waiting for this, I am very busy at the moment and it just kept slipping to the bottom of the list.

click here for quick link

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Part 4

Wednesday, Week 4

Here are the last 4 baubles
They are also my personal favourites

By now you will have mastered the art of applique onto gets easier doesnt it? The first week I was using tweesers, by bauble 10- I was flying into my scraps and getting them down in no time at all.

The method is the same as last week. Fabric scraps and getting it all down neatly.

Next Wednesday week we will be increasing our pace just a little ( I can't wait)!

You'll notice I left my faces blank... don't be put off by this. At the time I scanned these images, my sharpie pens were packed away for a workshop. I WILL be drawing the faces in. I won't let last week's squinty milk maiden defeat me.

Monday 18 October 2010

Where are the blocks?

For those of you wondering and asking where to get files,
this is the button
you need to click if you want to download the current PDF file
(it's also on my sidebar)

Friday 15 October 2010

Halfway there

Last night I made afghan motif number 45.
Halfway there now!
I can visualise this blanket now, so I am going to speed up and make 2 of an evening so I can get this afghan finished ASAP.

I am a bit frustrated because I am at the hardest part...which is the repetition...and I am eager to see some results. Seeing them bagged up is encouraging. Looking at the wool (and I always buy some over) I do wonder if there will be enough yarn. It could be halfway panic as I havent made an afghan in a while, and crocheting does use more than knitting, but I hope I have enough. I followed the book exactly and then added a few balls to round up the grams, so I should be fine. I guess the difference comes down to hand tension.

Luckily we have returned to a a coolish weather change and the rain and gloomy clouds have inspired me to get busy.

What are you knitting? / crocheting?

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Part 3

We're at Part 3

This week is more of the same. You are creating the bauble fronts for another 4 baubles. This is done in applique from assorted scraps - or embroidered if you prefer.

For the '5 golden rings' I went with some gold cord ribboning instead of applique. You could also embellish with gold beads. There is a lot of freedom in this BOM so don't be afraid to try something new.

Here is my laying goose...

 ...and my swimming swan....
And here is my milkmaid. As you can see, I could use some help with drawing faces. I know many quilters are very good at drawing faces so I know you will all do better at this than me! My milkmaid leaves much to be desired, infact my DD suggested that 'no face' would have looked better. I agree!

The pleasure in the BOM is that it is not too serious and it's OK if your detail isnt perfect.

Many of you have asked me about what prints to use.
This bom is perfect for SCRAPS. Obviously small print scraps will work well, but so will block colours. Go with what feels right.

I have seen cute utensil buttons at craft fairs but never purchased any on my new pre buy condition of  "what do I need it for?" (to stop my craft mountain growing!). Well I know there are some very nice 'milk jug' buttons out there so if any of you have these in your stash - go ahead and use them. Change the applique to suit you.

The last 4 baubles are next week...

Thursday 7 October 2010

Recipes Please

This is a mere picture of the world's most fabulous chocolate cake!

It's officially birthday season and on top of the usual things I have planned to do around the house and in my studio as the year comes to an end, there is also the obligatory birthday projects to think about as well. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am a few quilts behind on current birthdays. This isn't because of lack of time, but moreso, lack of will. Those of you who follow my blog will know that last year my DD outrightly rejected the beautiful fabrics I had gone to such lengths to purchase in secret online....only to be told that she would not tolerate a quilt made up of those prints.

It sounds awful (and it was a blow to my stash busting shelf) but at least I saved myself the effort of making the quilt. Some of you have children who might in time grow to love their 'not wanted quilts', but this simply isn't a possibility in this case. So I still have the fabric and here we are again. Another birthday. The fabric is still sitting on my shelf in need of a good project. So when my DD requested a Sacher Torte for her birthday, well, that was something I knew I could order online and know that she would LOVE.

It was so easy. My only annoyance was that the postage cost as much as the cake itself. And after calculating for worldwide shipping (it can take up to 14 days) it actually arrived 4 days later, immaculately packed and chilled. This cake actually improves with age so the extra days sitting packed in our fridge made no difference, and probably improved it.

I was planning on taking a photo of the cut cake - but forgot all about photographs when it came to the eating. Sorry!

It's a flatish cake - a true torte and if you've ever had a real Sacher Torte you'll know that it's difficult to describe justly in a world of mud cakes and fudge cakes (which can also be good) but Sacher is of course, in a league of its own. There are a few cafes around that claim to have the recipe, but after tasting the original again (the last time I tasted it was in Vienna a few years ago), they really don't come close.

So now I just have to decide what cake to have for my birthday next month. My DH has claimed The Meringue (my daughters make him this cake several times each year, always changing the recipe!!) and the cake I would dearly love to enjoy "the Dobos" is beyond our cake making skills, so this is still undecided...

Actually, talking about cakes gets me thinking that it is really so hard to come across great cake recipes that actually work in home settings. I'm sure we've all made 'cook book' cakes that just didnt live up to their promise. For myself, I often bake old recipes from memory - and they turn out fine, but I should probably commit them to paper for my DD's.

Do you have a trusted cake that you have each year on your birthday - or at any other time? Please share the recipe if you can, I would love to try some new favourites...and with Christmas baking around the corner, now is a great time to grease the cake tin

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Hobson's Bay Quilt Fest 2010

That's where I was on the weekend.
The weather was beautiful and I had a great time looking at all the quilts. It was an honor to judge a section of the Fest as well. The ideas were just wonderful.

It was a nice change for me as I have spent the last week indoors mostly, designing a few new things and trying (I havent lost hope yet) to work my EQ7 software.
As so much of my work is based on my own sketches, transporting that into a design is proving tricky. In some ways it's much quicker to draw up a design by hand...but of course, I do want to strive for improvement and printed designs look better.

I always feel as though I have something better to do than go through the EQ7 lessons but I am going to set aside a whole day and force myself through it. My computer reluctance is getting out of hand. I am hoping that all this frustration will pay off in the end with a faster design turnaround (that's the idea).

It's starting to get warmer so I am in a 'hurry on' mood with my crochet blankets. I am at that stage where I could put them down until next season.... but I don't want to slide into another UFO (and by next winter I will have new ideas) so won't want any finishing up work to start up with. I am getting a few lines in whenever I find the chance... Like always, things speed up for me towards the end of the year, design wise - and I don't know how this keeps happening as each year I decide to stop in November for a break.

I never do though, and I won't be this year either. Back to work..

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Part 2 is launched

This week: 4 baubles and applique

a partridge in a pear tree
a turtle dove
a french hen
a calling bird

The first four have found homes this week (as above).

Yes, my inspiration for this wall hanging is limited to singular characters. You can see that the fabric you choose will make a big difference to the style of your wallhanging.

You will be cutting out pairs of the baubles and creating the applique fronts for 4 of the characters from fabric scraps.

It's week 2: are you keeping up ?

PS. Follow the pattern. There is a Template B in your pattern PDF - if you're wondering why... we will be padding the bauble with pelon or batting and Template B is the template to use when doing this. You can ignore it for this week.
Cut Template A as directed.

Also, my applique drawings are drawn inside Template B for the simple reason that it keeps me inside the seam allowance of Template A easily.

Template B is the finished size (no seam allowance)
Template A includes seam allowance

And it does not matter if you have not reversed your diamond template. It will be fine.
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