Saturday 27 September 2014

LE: Working On Vase 1

I'm working on my first vase. I'm thinking of mid pink and dark pink flowers, but I know by now that there's no use planning ahead - I will select whatever works after much auditioning of fabric in the right spots. I'm finding that my 'auditioning' method of colour scheming is working out the best for me - its by far the most successful method and it means I'm not waiting around for fabrics to arrive after I've purchased them online. I did do this at the beginning of my LE journey but I've made a complete U turn on my original colour scheme ideas and now I'm not scheming anything, I'm just letting it happen. I will let whatever fabrics I have guide me for the vases as well. I am planning at this stage to make this vase and its diagonal opposite more pink and the other side more yellow, to have a balance of variety, but I'll see how I go. It's too hard to predict at this stage.

 These fabrics are all very saturated so I've colour tested all my fabrics to be on the safe side (see my blog post on Colour Testing on the sidebar if you don't know how to do this). I don't always colour test - it depends on the fabric (and quilt) in question - but when it comes to LE, I am colour testing EVERYTHING. It's just too much work, time, love and commitment to take silly chances with it. I would be devastated if my LE ever bled out. So I'm not taking any chances and if you don't mind me insisting - either should you.

 I'm pretty much following the pattern colors at this stage, as you can see from my pieces here. I have a concern that these reds and pinks might be too dark for my LE center, so I will try them out and see how I go. Even though I swatched these fabrics on my LE center before I cut them out, I personally find that you cant really "see" if a fabric will work until its cut down to size and in position. I'm going to have a lot of leftover, fusible applique pieces when this quilt is done - but that's OK. I'd rather have more pieces and find the right fit then settle with something that doesn't feel right to me eyes. Of course, I'm making this quilt to please myself, so I'll just keep making and re-making until I'm happy with the result. I am planning, when both my LE's are finished, to make a little coverlet of all my leftover pieces - just for fun. So I don't really mind having all these left overs.
Hmmm, I like it but I'm wondering about the darker red background on this bloom
I have to leave it on my design wall for a few days to really decide
I think I might lighten it up with brighter reds
 I really love these dark, coordinated shady fabrics - but, although they are beautiful, they don't harmonize with the rest of the center. So it will depend on whether I darken the rest to fit in, or change these to something more mid tone. I haven't decided yet. 
 sometimes fabrics really look great, but they don't suit the actual project, I have this problem a lot
a real problem is that I love ALL fabrics, choosing between them is too hard 
I'll keep auditioning and let you know which fabric shines for my Vase 1 options. 
Have you made your Vase 1 flowers? How did you select your fabrics for these blooms? I'd love to know. 

Wednesday 24 September 2014

WOW: LE: Pepping Up My Crosses

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

I love the fabric choices for my LE crosses, but I was thinking that the yellow on pink was a bit lost, it needed pepping up. I used the rusty coloured thread, which I just loved and had wanted to use on my polka dotty crosses before I found the pink I finally settled on. So I used it here, to outline the inner cross hole.

This is my "before" shot

this is my "after"
 It's a small difference, but I think it makes a big impact!

What's Your WOW ?

Monday 22 September 2014

LE: My Flower Leaves

I was thinking of applique from a range of green fabrics for my flower leaves, and although small, I was planning to needle turn each and every small shape into a leaf. I was umming and ahhhing over several greens when I found this fabric - isn't t gorgeous? And luckily, the leaf print here - including the vein impressions are ratio correct for my vases. I am delighted with this unexpected find! Of course, I still have to needle turn tiny pieces, but the fabric is wonderfully detailed and saves my stitching in or drawing the vein details I set my mind on. For some of the pattern pieces I am cutting the smallest leaves directly from the print, and for the larger leaves, I am fussy cutting across the print for the desired effect. I am following the pattern throughout. 

This is a fabric from my stash, so I can't tell you if it's still available. I'm sorry about that as I would have loved to direct you to finding some for yourself - I think its such a simple and elegant solution. But you can recreate this idea with any suitable leaf print fabric. 

I am cutting out the tiny pattern shapes using wash away fusible and then cutting around the leaf shape, enough to turn. The method is the same as my Freezer Paper Applique Method (see my tutorial side bar) - the main and time saving difference is that I don't remove the paper afterwards. It washes away. It's time consuming and fiddly, like so many pieces in this quilt, but definitely worth it. 

Have you made your leaves yet? How did you do it?

Saturday 20 September 2014

LE: My Berries

They're done! All hand stitched and looking lovely. I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I even like the fabric more now then when I first chose it! It fits in beautifully with my other fabrics. The berry shapes are lovely and round. It feels so good to be ready to begin the flowers. 

I have to say that I am loving my Hungarian Stitch more and more as time goes on too
I'm so happy with how it looks
the yellow dots in the fabric make a tiny, but lively difference
It feels so good to be here and have all this work behind me. I've been thinking about how long each stage is taking me: the berries alone took over 16 hours of dedicated attention. I don't know if it's a good idea to quantify the quilt in time allocation because personally, I think its a bit daunting! 

At over 16 hours, that's about 10 minutes each on average for every single berry. This includes the tracing, cutting out, circle shape pulling, application and hand sewing x 100 odd berries (actually I made 104, but you know, roughly). There are probably faster ways...and possibly slower ways too. 

 How did you make your berries? 

Wednesday 17 September 2014

WOW: LE Stitching Down the Berries

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

I've completed turning my berries, and now it's time to sew them down. I'm really happy with their shape and I have 96 to sew down. This will take me all of today and probably another two or three days too. It's slow going, but I'm going to put the Quilt Show on my computer in my sewing room and enjoy myself, listening in, whilst I work. Its a nice distraction I often use to help me get through the hours.

I've talked about my habit of running my computer for company whilst I work on these long repetitive tasks before. When my cat Mooshy was alive, she would keep me company and have a good inspection of everything I was doing. I must admit, I do miss having my quilting companion cat nearby at times like these.

How do you entertain yourself when performing repetitive tasks?

What's Your WOW ?

Monday 15 September 2014

Love Entwined Part 16 is Launched

It feel so good to be this close to finishing Love Entwined... this month we make the last applique blocks, the corners for border 4.

As we approach the end, remember how important details are. So relish your last zig zags and flowers for we have reached the end of the applique required to make this quilt. Wow!

This is where we are up to:
the final borders will be added next month in our final installment

See you over in the Bom Group!

‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM
Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15th of each month. 
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only

Saturday 13 September 2014

Embellishing My Vases: 2 of 2

I'm really happy with my poky dotty vases embellished with pink embroidery and stitchery. Here's what I did with my other two vases: I just adore this fabric and think it fits right in with the whole LE feel and theme. I fussy cut it so that the pearl necklace and rose bouquet were center and this is what I chose to embellish - the sweet central rose. 

 I'm just going around the rose with simple stitches to define it

 so simple, but so effective, I've gone around the leaves too

These little details enrich the design with so much interest. 
I really love the idea of seeing something 'new' each time you take another look at the quilt - there's so much going on. 

and now I'm ready to take on my flowers...

Wednesday 10 September 2014

WOW: LE Broderie Perse Cut Outs

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

Today I'm taking it easy: I've been setting aside some interesting fabrics as I've been making LE with a mind to sort them out later. So every few weeks, I cut out any shapes that take my fancy for potential broderie perse. I think (from the original black and white photo in Patchwork) that there is broderie perse or embroideries scattered throughout the quilt in 'empty spots'.

You can see that LE is a very full quilt and every spare space has something lovely added to fill it in. I am aiming to have a box full of broderie perse 'ready to go' for when I need it. When I reach the stage of having my quilt top finished, I want to spend a few days just picking through my cut outs and 'auditioning' them in different spots throughout the quilt top. I don't know if I'll use any of them until that time comes, but I want to be ready with a good varied selection before then. 

So I'm cutting out any shapes that interest me: I just don't know what will work at that final stage so I'm not limiting the range - whatever appeals is in. Today I have selected some trumpet lilies on a black background and I'm going to iron them and wash away fusible them in readiness. None will be wasted; whatever doesn't end up on LE (most of the pieces I assume) will find its way into another project. It's just another small project that compliments LE and you can do it any time when the pattern becomes too intense for you. 

What's Your WOW ?

Saturday 6 September 2014

LE: Embellishing My Vases: 1 of 2

I've loved this polka dotty fabric from the beginning. It was one of the original fabrics I considered for the quilt from the very beginning, and its survived several colour scheme changes, so I'm happy to see it take pride of place as two opposite vases. I'm thinking of making the polka dotty vases a bit more feminine as this quilt is unashamedly romantic and can take all the embellishments you can think of. 

I really love seeing how everyone is choosing to embellish their own elements of the pattern design, so here's what I did:

Just a little detail, but I think a touch of gold lifts it

Now I am in love with this rust coloured thread: I'm just looking for an excuse to use it! I really had to think and rethink using this colour here or elsewhere (because my 'crosses' need some attention and I think this rust would look perfect there).

stitched down, but just a touch too plain

This pink is perfect and compliments my hearts too: I'm embellishing the base with just a few knots and going around the vase in a simple blanket stitch

that's better

 This is almost too much but wonderful all the same
I'm having great fun making this quilt and the only think more enjoyable than making it myself, is seeing how everyone else is choosing the express themselves through the pattern. I love them all. 

Wednesday 3 September 2014

WOW: LE Stems Finished

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday 

I've had some serious quilting time open to me these last few weeks, and I've put every spare minute to use. My hand embroidered stems are completed. And I love them. They don't look like  much right now, but I can see the bigger picture and its wonderful.

The only thing is, the vases look a little plain to me now. I've just pinned them for this pick, they aren't sewn down yet. So today, before I start thinking about my flowers, I'm going to embellish them in harmony with this quilt: which is fussy and embellished and full of love. I think they need it. And I'm going to work as I go, I don't have any firm ideas yet...

What's Your WOW?

Monday 1 September 2014

Just Playing Around

My DDs think its so funny that I convert so many everyday objects into 'containers' but the fact is, I never seem to have enough, so I'm always looking at everyday things to see if they'll be suitable for my needs. 

This was a tissue box, now its my portable sewing kit for when I move around the house.

This was a tea jar and it's really handy, so no doubt I'll be covering this too with a fun fabric when I get a chance

as well as this old coconut oil tub
and it probably won't stop there

Speaking of fun fabrics, this cat panel fabric below has caught my eye as something really cute and fun. I especially like the mustache and busted cat and I think it would make a gorgeous pencil case - and I always need more of those about. I found this fabric over at I haven't purchased anything from them before, but prints like this are just too cute. 

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