Thursday 28 March 2013

Easter 2013

Yes, it's a chocloate mother hen with chicks. No, I won't be eating it, it's for decoration purposes only! Really!
I always love Easter, it's such an important time of year; a time of priorities, thankfulness, families and friends. It also reminds me that the year is a quarter over already, and those first three months just seem to go by faster and faster each year.

Whatever your plans are over this short break,
I wish you a beautiful Easter 2013


Wednesday 27 March 2013

WOW: First Front Cover !!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've made my first front cover! It wasn't expected - in fact I didn't even know about it. A friend let me know she'd seen my Pomegranate Wall Hanging Quilt in a sealed pack at the newsagents two weeks ago. Well, I went looking and didn't see a thing. 'hmm' I thought, 'she must be mistaken'. And then I forgot about it. I assumed that if a magazine re-published my project, that they might send me an email just letting me know. And as I hadn't heard anything, I didn't think anymore about it.
Then my DD stumbled across it while she was out of town in a somewhat obscure little newsagency.
'I'm pretty sure it's yours' she said on the phone
'what do you mean, pretty sure? Is it or isn't it?!'
(I mean, it is hanging in our lounge room!)
'Well, it's hard to say without a name on the front cover and its sealed in plastic...I can only see the top bits, I'll buy it anyway'
Oh yes, it's mine!
and it got me to thinking how easily I would have missed this magazine edition and that I've probably had another first front cover - and simply didn't know about it! For Australian readers, this magazine is out now and is sold in a 3x magazine pack for $9.95. It's not in every newsagent's (as I found out when I went around visiting as many as I could think of), but if this is a project you are interested in, it's a great price to pay for it. I haven't actually drafted this pattern for my own pattern shop (yet) and I do routinely get asked for it, so here it is!

  It was first published in Patchwork & Quilting, Applique Special, VOL 19 No 3
Unfortunately, I don't know what the year (3 or 4 years ago?) is as it isn't listed anywhere
(has anyone else noticed this about Quilting Magazines?)

What's Your WOW ?

Wednesday 20 March 2013

WOW: Patiently Recovering

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Last week I fell over and hurt my knee and shin, I was bruised quite badly. Since then the bruising has spread, and whilst I could walk about fine (if a bit uncomfortably) right after the fall, this week I have been in bed with my leg propped up, waiting for the severe bruising to go down. My pain and swelling has actually got worse. It hurts more today then it did when it happened! The worst thing is sitting around when I have so much I'd rather be getting on with.

I did have a few visitors around yesterday to cheer me up and they brought chocolate and macaroons, so I can't complain.

The macaroons taste as good as they look!
It seems such a shame to eat these, they're too pretty to look at.

I'm hoping to be back on my feet this week so I can go and enjoy the Melbourne Flower Show.
What's Your WOW ?

Friday 15 March 2013

Forget Me Not: Part 14 is launched

It's an exciting and busy BOM month this month in Part 14. I was torn over extending the BOM to 15 months to pace the work between adding the contrast trim and frames and then (next month) adding the sashing. The contrast trims and frames are a lot of work and it probably makes sense to split it from the sashing ...but we've reached the point in this mystery where I know so many of us just want to finish it, that it felt unfair to make those of us who wanted to press ahead wait another month.

So, although I think this final installment Part 14 is probably 2 months work BOM wise, I also know that as I near the end of a quilt, I like to keep going and see it finished. So whatever you do, set your own pace and don't be daunted. Forget Me Not is a quilt all about details and pleasure so finish it in your own time.

I definitely recommend making transparent templates from your pattern this month. I always do this anyway, but this month it's doubly important for you to see the block beneath you as you draw in your guidelines and mark your position for the contrast trim and block cutting line too

As you can see here, I've gone a tiny bit over the design space (I got distracted and didn't follow the original pattern as tightly as I should have) and will nip a bit of my forgetmenot flower with my contrast trim over on this side. Over on the other side I would have lost a whole flower head, so I fiddled the positioning guide to get my block looking its best.

My contrast trim is off white so it isn't showing up as clearly as I'd like in this pic, however you can see that I have ironed down Floriani Stitch n Wash Fusible on the wrong side of my fabric

and cut away the contrast trim with a seam allowance

 and clipped the seam allowance all the way around the curve line

and this is where you can needle turn your edge if you are needle turning.
I am turning my edges with Elmers disappearing purple washable glue
and an Orange stick for neat, tight curves all the way around and the time
and effort you take here is really rewarding when you see how important a clean neat
contrast line is in showing off your applique block

curved lines are so satisfying!

and when I've finished my curve contrast trim
I keep it in position until I slip stitch later on
with tiny dots of Roxanne's Basting Glue all around
and put the trim into position over my block

It's not a difficult technique but it is time consuming; because the contrast trim frames
your applique block, any mistakes you make here will distract from the applique.
Take your time and get it right.

Now I measure everything against my Template again to make sure I'm happy with the positioning. I always say, measure twice and cut once. You can see here that I appliqued my block (actually all my blocks) slightly over size, knowing I would be trimming them down at this stage

and after a final measure, I cut my block (with the contrast trim correctly in place) down to size.

Now repeat with all blocks in both sizes B & C.
Do make sure that your pattern template is correct when you print it out too, check it against the 1inch square box. I know how much time and effort you've put into your applique blocks, so these details really matter at this final stage!

Here I am work, working patiently and watching the Quilt Show for company!

With your contrast trim in place, it's time to add your borders. The borders have an optional applique motif embellishment which you can see on my Forget Me Not Block here. Whether you opt for the extra applique embellishment will depend on the style and colours and fabric choices of your quilt top. On some quilts, the extra frame applique will be too much and too fussy, whereas on other styles of quilt top it will add a decorative touch or unify an otherwise understated style. It's optional and something for you to decide.

I've made 2 x Forget Me Not Quilts and have decided on adding the embellishment on one and not the other. My yellow quilt is already quite busy but I think the brown frames offers enough contrast to break from the sashing print. I like the 'picture frame' applique throughout. Whereas on my dark quilt with the red polka dot sashing, it just doesn't work.

Forget Me Not has been such a pleasure to make. I've really enjoyed the floral applique blocks and it's been a real treat to see you make them as well. Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to post their blocks and progress over in my Yahoo BOM Group, we all love seeing pics in progress!

The real excitement of course, is that each quilt of 12x blocks had an option of 24x blocks to choose from; so no two Forget Me Not quilt will be alike. Each is a unique applique quilt with it's own options and flourishes.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the different quilt tops. The next time you see my quilt tops will be as I am quilting them in the next few months, so stay tuned and don't forget to head over to my Yahoo Group where you can share ideas, pics and questions.

 This is the final part of my free 2012 -2013 Mystery BOM Forget Me Not
You can download this month's block via my website or my Yahoo Bom Group

Wednesday 13 March 2013

WOW: The Best Spot for Your Flower Blocks

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This week I've been looking forward to ending the Forget Me Not mystery BOM. We're nearly there and whilst I've enjoyed every stitch, I'm so eager to see everyone's finished quilt top and get a good look at the flower blocks you've selected each month and also how you will be arranging them?!
I can't wait to see what the best spot for your flower blocks will be...
I spent hours positioning and re-positioning my own blocks. I couldn't stop changing them around. They're all set now. I can't show you my quilt tops because that would reveal too much before the 15th, however here are my two Forget Me Not Quilts and here are the flower positionings I have opted for in each one.

this is my yellow print Forget Me Not top with yellow background
and here's the fabric I selected at the very beginning of the mystery to make up the top
I still love the cheery yellow flower print and expect the brown to anchor the blocks enough
so that it isn't too busy

This is my red polka dot Forget Me Not top with a dark background
How could I resist red polka dots on beige? I love them!

What a week it's been! Just as I was getting somewhere with my new sewing space, I suffered a fall and have spent the last few days with my leg up, doing very little. It's been so hot this last week, not a day under 30c and with no rain in sight, so I decided to water some of my languishing pot plants one evening and tripped over and slipped in the wet! It's been really painful and especially could I have been so careless?!

The next installment of Forget Me Not is March 15th

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 5 March 2013

WOW: Easter 2013 Project Started

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm posting my WOW a little early this week
because I'm going to be offline tomorrow for most of the day.
Luckily, this week I have got back into gear and taken charge of my TO DO LIST which has been looming ever large since Christmas. I finally found and sketched out my

  Easter 2013 Project: 'Easter Blessings'  

It's a little applique block that I'm going to make into a miniature wall quilt to grace a small space of wall above our dining table for Easter. Of course, I quite like the idea of turning it into a cushion too...or maybe even a quick table runner. Or maybe all three! It depends on my final choice of fabric and if there's enough to stretch - today I'm thinking of applique in wool and I have a small wool stash that could work. Of course, it could also make a lovely red work. But I will have to narrow down my ideas and just get one finished by tomorrow. I don't remember if there were enough brights in the stash so I'll have a better look and get on with finishing this newly designed WIP pronto!

Of course, like so many of my patterns there are birds included and this design features a couple, the female bird is the chirping one!

What's your WOW?

This mini pattern was released for free to my online BOM Quilt Group back in 2013. It is no longer available for free. You can purchase it for $2.00 USD as an instant PDF download.

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