Wednesday 31 July 2013

WOW: Back behind the sewing machine

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Well, I’ve been meaning to stitch up a few garments for about 6 months now. I just never seem to find the time, or momentarily forget or get swept up in the excitement of something new, like a BOM or two or three. So I decided to warm up with a little project and finally finishing my stripe sweater which has been waiting for its little makeover.

A few months ago I selected newspaper print cotton and even cut it out. So all I had to do was sew it in. Sounds easy enough?
so I sewed in my new collar, and when I finished, I stopped to admire my work
and there it was...can you see it?
I knew it was newspaper print, but I didn’t see that writing when I cut it out and I couldn’t have positioned so skilfully if I’d wanted it there. Which I don’t.
What do you think? Is it still wearable?
My DD's say 'no way' but I say ' 2 hours work'

What's Your WOW ?

Wednesday 24 July 2013

WOW = Thank You Lucia

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
What's the first thing you do when you see a calendar?
I always flip to my birthday month to see what the picture is!
Lucia Martins of Brazil kindly sent me this beautiful calendar which she and a group of ladies taking embrodiery class together, created to represent scenes of their city. It's a beautiful calendar and I'm very happy to have it hanging in my kitchen. Thank you Lucia for thinking of me!
I think photos of sewing, quilting and embroidery never do the real work justice, but this calendar shows up some stunning detail and I love the idea behind it too.
Lucia worked on April (her birthday)
and this is the November scene (my birthday)
Here's the back of the calendar:
What is it about receiving something in the post that makes it extra special?
What's Your WOW ?

Monday 22 July 2013

I'm Around Here...Somewhere....

Here I am outside the exhibition holding a notebook for notes; armed and ready!
Given that it's been over a week since I returned from Brisbane I thought I'd finally share my thoughts on the exhibition. It was a great eye opener. My main draw was to compare quilts of the late 1700's because of the influence Love Entwined has had on me.
I wanted to see some similar era quilts and get a feel for the period. I didn't see many quilts with what I supposed a typical  'Georgian' colour scheme would look like - the fabrics were a lot more muted (I mean colour value, not fading due to age) and scrappy than even I expected (and I did expect a lot of scrappy style quilts). However I don't mean to imply that this lowered their value in my eyes - it didn't. Many were accomplished and beautiful.
I would have loved to show you all the quilts on exhibition - it was a fascinating range and every quilter I know who went along was overall very glad that they did.
It did help me to re-evaluate what the fine marriage coverlet would have looked like...and for this, the drive and effort to see the exhibition was definitely worthwhile. So what do I think the coverlet would have looked like, colour wise? A scrappy with lots of print fabrics ranging in values of dark  backgrounds and lighter backgrounds - which is exactly what Averil Colby describes in the book 'Patchwork". But seeing other quilts of the era helped place it much more firmly in my mind.
I know someone mentioned that no green fabric was around in Georgian England however I have been advised that there certainly was green fabric available - it just doest seem to have been used much in quilts. This limited edition print fabric was all that was left in the gift shop when I was there - a big disappointment as I secretly harboured ideas of stocking up on period fabric. As it was, I left with the last bundle pictured here.
I purchased the Exhibition's accompanying book "Quilts" and was surprised to realise (when I got home) that the quilts listed inside do not include quilt size measurements. Which I almost can't comprehend as being possible. I only wish I'd noticed sooner as I would have gone back in and manually added all the sizes inside my book for reference, they were actually listed next to the quilts on show. It seems a major oversight and I wonder what the reason is?
Overall, the exhibition has changed my mindset and I am much more keen to use more fabrics than I first considered 'too scrappy', I don't think 'too scrappy' is possible for this quilt.

I'm back home, and since my accident and dramatic end to my trip, I haven't done any quilting or sewing at all. This is me at the dining table - what a mess! This is me collating the pattern for some ladies who don't go online. They were worried that they might miss out. I assured them that not being Internet savvy means that they're more likely be ahead! I spend as much time on the computer these days than I do quilting. It's such a (necessary?) distraction!
I'm hobbling around the house at the moment and still not up to staying in one spot for very long. I'm a few hundred emails behind and I still have unpacking to do, but at the moment I'm recovering. Everything else will have to wait.
Love Entwined where are you?? For those of you who have been emailing me questions about the fine marriage coverlet; I don't have any news: rest assured, as soon as I know anything it will be posted up here on my blog for everyone to know. I know there's too many interested parties out there to keep any of you waiting a moment longer than necessary!When I know, you'll know. I just hope that there will be something to know. I feel as impatient about it as you do.
I'm planning at this stage to be at Showcase later this week (doing what I can from a seated position) so I know I'll be catching up with many of you.
See you there!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Which Applique Book?

I'm an applique enthusiast, and Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet is a real applique enthusiast's quilt. There's just so much applique to be done that I can't wait to get stuck in.

Since launching the BOM however, I've had a lot of requests for applique advice and book recommendations. There are thousands of applique books on the market and I certainly haven't read them all. Coincidentally, I've been thinking a lot about 'core' books lately. Firstly because I've been minimising my sewing studio and giving away many books I didn't need. And secondly as a reference guide for my own DDs.

When I started quilting, I already had years of fabric experience and a specific skill set so I approached techniques and methods in a certain way. But I'm always taken aback when my DDs see what I'm doing and ask 'what are you doing?' it made me realise that I wanted to find a definitive guide to applique for them (because, who actually listens to their mum?).

These are my top two books and I believe these are the only two books you need to create applique and have bought 2x sets, one for each DD. I know that if they ever want to get into applique at any point in their lives, this is all they will need. Everything else comes from practice and perseverance.

If you're making Love Entwined and you're feeling a bit lost, stop what you're doing, buy these two books and I guarantee that all will become clear to you

ISBN 13: 9781607054801
ISBN 10: 1607054809
I have a real soft spot for this book because it was the first one which had me saying, 'thats exactly how I do it' throughout each page and my DD instantly recognised techniques in there as ones she's seen me doing. So, it's a perfect pass down book for me. The only down side is that my DD is in love with all the projects in there which means her first quilt probably won't be one of mine!
I use the Book Depository a lot for well priced books and free worldwide shipping.
Well, I used to, I've really slowed down my book buying
as I ended up with overhwelmed bookshelves.
ISBN 13: 9780972121828
ISBN 10: 097212182X
This is just a really great beginners book for knowing how to make everything by hand

Do you have a favourite applique book?
If you're an applique enthusiast who can recommend any great applique technique books, please do, in the comments.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

WOW: Back and Getting Better

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm back in Melbourne and finally feeling and getting better
Last week I was on a roadtrip up to Brisbane to see the V&A Quilt Exhibition for quilts from the 1700's. After seeing the exhibition I was in a restaurant with my DH when I slipped on wet soapy tiles. I fell backwards and somehow twisted my knee and badly bruised both my wrists. I was taken to hospital by ambulance and that was our mini break dramatically and suddenly over!
Thankfully I didn't break anything and I'm currently resting, wearing a leg brace, hobbling around on crutches and waiting for the swelling to go down.
I have so much going on at the moment that it's an especially inconvenient time to be unable to sew or sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. And, on top of everything else, I still don't have my fabric yet! I know this is really a minor thing but I can't believe I'm going to be the last person to make my own BOM block!
I'm so eager to get started but then I have to remember what I tell everyone else: it's not a race and applique can't be hurried along. So I'll take my own advice.

What's Your WOW ?

Monday 15 July 2013

Love Entwined Part 2 is launched

It's already a whole month since this BOM started! 

I feel like I only launched Part 1 minutes ago; the excitement around this quilt means we are seeing a lot of Works in Progress over in the Group and that is always a great part of sharing a BOM with a community of quilters: sharing what we do and seeing what everyone is up to.

Now, if Part 1 was a tentative step towards the beginning of a historic heirloom, then Part 2 is an excited leap into the pattern. All of a sudden the centre square takes shape as we create the template which will guide us for the applique ahead.

Can't wait to see what you do this month...

‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM

Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15thof each month. All ‘blocks’ are available for free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only

Saturday 13 July 2013

Part 2 Printing Notes

Part 2 will be released on the 15th.
With all the activity over in the group since this BOM launched I want to remind everyone of the simple and effective steps you can take to ensure your pattern prints completely and accurately

Please read the Printing Tutorial above
by clicking on the image

Also, please ensure that you have the latest PDF reader and that it is updated. You can download Adobe's latest PDF reader for FREE. Every month I hear from members who's printing issues were resolved just by updating their PDF Reader software.

Remember that the pattern is available, free, for 30 days, so if there is a file rush over in the group, try again later.

I definitely recommend, with our current volumes, that you "save" rather than "open" the file to your own computer as some members found that pages were lost when they simply 'opened' the file and this could have been due to memory lapses due to high demand and usage. So, download the pattern to a location on your computer and then print from your saved file.

Please read the Printing Tutorial listed here because every month I get the same emails: so many PDF readers automatically 're-scale' documents and this can be adjusted so easily and save you so much "inch square test" difficulties.

A few minutes reading now may save you irritation with your home copier later

Friday 12 July 2013

Love Entwined, Compass Notes

Part 1 of Love Entwined consisted of easing you in with a simple centre applique compass. After all, I knew you'd be busy selecting your fabrics and getting your work spaces in order to create this stunning and laborious heirloom.

Naturally, it's all applique work. Many members mentioned that it was actually their first applique compass, so I must say, I'm doubly impressed with how many were made in such a short span of time. Many members made 2 or more compasses to choose from. How much enthusiasm can a single quilt inspire?

Thanks to Bunny and Michele for posting these in the group

Of course, I must be the slowest member in my own group because I haven't actually made my own one yet (of course I made a draft when I created the pattern, but I am still waiting on my fabrics. Yes! I'm really still in a fabric slump).

Luckily, our group moderators are both enthusiastic and highly skilled and they've allowed me to show you what they've created, and yes, it's fabulous.

There are hundreds of compasses over in the group now: each one is different and expresses a unique style. It's really interesting to see how this centre work of applique sets the tone for the entire square. There are going to be hundreds of Love Entwined quilts out in the world in the next 2-3 years and I am really looking forward to seeing them as they progress.

Now for the compass. This is the kind of post I like to blog a few days after the Part is launched, but this month has been so crazy for me and I have been rushed off my feet: I'm lucky our moderators are so generous with their time so that I can share it with you here, now.

Glenda had the wonderful idea to hand embroider rose bullions on her compass ring instead of the small applique circles. Glenda, I think you mentioned it was 8 hours work? Look at how marvellous these look, worth every minute.

I tried to keep my DD away from Glenda's photo because I knew that when she saw it, she's demand rose bullion too.! But I'm afraid I'll be sticking with the applique on this one, my embroidery techniques are a bit too rusty!

Bunny created machine embroidered roses which I also instantly fell in love with
and here is Bunny's ring for around the compass, they look stunning!

Of course, making your own ring for the compass doesn't mean you stop sharing you ideas! Here's the brass washers idea to help turn those small fiddly applique circles. Thanks again Bunny, I know a lot of members took this idea on.

a lot of us couldn't believe something so common could be so effective,
so Karen Van Dijk Nielsen helped us out with a photo

Yesterday I mentioned that group activity inspires ingenuity: well here's an example, the thumb tack method.  It's as simple as it is effective. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. I've since tried it and yes, perfect little applique circles. Thanks to Marieke Hordijk for sharing this for us.

Thanks to the members mentioned here
who gave me permission to share their photos on my blog.
There is so much sharing of ideas and methods over in the group that I can't wait to see how we approach and tackle each new Part.
Part 2 will be released on the 15th of July and I suspect the group will fall silent for all least a few hours whilst everyone keenly examines the work ahead: we're really stepping up in Part 2 and the quilt centre takes it central shape. I'm already excited and can't wait to work through it with you.


‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM.
Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15thof each month. All ‘blocks’ are available for free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

WOW: On The Road

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays  

I'm currently on the road
'Where to?'  
To Brisbane, to see the V&A Quilt Exhibition
Exploring over 200 years of British quilt making
Exhibition organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
I wasn't going to go, Brisbane is far away and it's a big chunk of time to lose, but since starting Love Entwined I feel compelled to see what I can of the era's quilts so that I can visualise amongst real quilts of the era what I think I saw when I spent so much time studying the original. I just had to find the time and go. I need to see these quilts myself, and most importantly, their authentic fabrics with my own eyes and this exhibition (which baffles me) isn't coming to Melbourne!

Since I launched Love Entwined, it's interesting how much Georgian I keep coming across. Like this hotel room, selected randomly as we drove. Of course, its the "Georgian Suite!" I think the only Georgian thing about it is the inspired green wall here.
Can't wait to see this exhibit and let you know what I think, fabric wise.
 WOW is extra early today as I will be on the road and out of wifi range.
What's Your WOW ?


Tuesday 9 July 2013

Group Activity Inspires Ingenuity

What's going on over in my Yahoo BOM Group?
Oh, it's just another typical day!

over 1000 new members in the last month
over 2000 messages posted in June
100's of photos posted in the last month

Progress photo's, questions and answers, advice, suggestions and brilliant technique ideas: what a fabulous place to create a quilt. Membership is moderated and we're assisted by a team of knowledgeable Moderators. We're a real community.
So if you're making any of my quilts, why not join us today? 
It's the only place to download my pattern for free each month.

See you there !

Wednesday 3 July 2013

WOW: Calm after the BOM?

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Was it naive to assume there'd be calm after the BOM? 
I thought that once I'd launched I'd go back to my sewing pile (some shirts I''ve been meaning to make for the last 6 months), maybe finish my winter afghan and think about the best date the launch the next BOM (don't want to overwhelm the group message board); Rose, Cherry & Lily...
Not So! Things are just getting busier! Our Yahoo Group has grown by 500 members this fortnight and our activity in the group has been busy and excited. I'm waiting to hear back on some fabric I'd inquired about and want to use for this BOM and lastly, I've decided that I simply have to seen some 1790 quilts with my own eyes. So I'm hitting the road, it's early this morning and I am heading out to Brisbane to see the V & A exhibition for myself as it's not stopping in Melbourne. A roadtrip!
Slowing down? Hardly!
What's going on in your wednesday?

Monday 1 July 2013

Love Entwined: 4 Colour Ways

With an undertaking like Love Entwined, deciding on a final colour scheme can be fraught with indecision - just ask me; I'm still undecided on my final colour scheme and here's four reasons why.
1.Dark background, full colour applique
This was one of my first colour schemes and one I am having trouble letting go of it as a possibility. I love it and the dark background means the applique shines and really comes into its own. My only apprehension is that it doesn't ring true (in my opinion) to the original. Or does it? Who knows. I've spent alot of time thinking about the original and have created something of a set idea about it which has come from studying the design so closely. Of course, I really don't know anything for certain because I've never seen the quilt.
A lot of discussion has taken place over in my BOM Group regarding colour choices for this quilt and I've been giving out the same advice each time: do what speaks to you, make it authentic to your own style that way you will do the quilt justice.
Only problem is, I cant take my own advice because I love all the possible colour options!
2. Pale green background
There's no denying a pale green background just works; it's subtle and it lets the applique take centre stage whilst setting a sophisticated tone. And tone here is the issue for me; because it asks for the applique fabrics to be in complimentary hues and colour families which means purchasing a lot more applique fabric than ordinary, but I do love it...
3. Classic scrappy
It's become my opinion that the original is something of a scrappy. Like before, I can't determine this with any authority given that the quilt hasn't been seen in public since 1956. Whatever the original is, a scrappy quilt can not only seriously stash bust your fabric but put it to seriously good use too, what a stunning heirloom this would be.

4. Light French Blue with pinks and yellows
This is the colour way I finally decided on. The light french blue really speaks to me and I have been wanted to make a significant quilt with this blue/light aqua tone for a few years. The added bonus here is that it is such a Georgian colour too. I'm actually waiting for my fabrics to arrive so my final choice is not definite, it will all decide on seeing the fabric in the flesh and making the final call then.

These images are only coloured in sketches, not real quilts and this means the colours used are guides only. The fact is, the yellow is appearing out of tone in these pics and not showing up as true - this is especially the case with the light french blue and pale green background. So the colours above that look out of place - they are out of place, they've been distorted via imaging.
I think though, that these colour ways give you a good idea of the real possibility your own Love Entwined can take in feel and colour theme.
The top 3 colour ways take over 158 separate applique colours each, with a set background. My final colour choice is this last one and it's the one used in the pattern; it contains significantly less fabrics.
Determining fabric usage in a quilt such as Love Entwined is difficult. I have done so in the pattern but what I really want to say is; set your background fabric and after that, it's anything goes. How many colours you use, how many prints, how complex, how diverse, it all depends on what you want to create. Some quilters are talking about making a 2 tone quilt and this could certainly work too.
When my fabric arrives I will share my 'final' selections; whilst I wait, I am really enjoying looking through everyone elses colour palette and am so pleased that you're sharing your own progress in the Group- it's really interesting for the rest of us to see what you're up to and how you're interpreting the design.  
What do you think?
Which colours would you choose? 

‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM.
Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15thof each month. All ‘blocks’ are available for free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only.
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