Wednesday 29 April 2015

WOW: How About A Cup Of ?

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I volunteer teach in a women's sewing circle. Each week I show them techniques on getting basic sewing things done and how to use different sewing machines, and feet and stitches and that kind of thing. Lately they've started giving me requests on things they'd like to make. For these young women, that mostly means Pinterest. I find this so interesting and it gives me a fresh insight into what inspires and gives younger sewers the desire to create with fabric. The latest thing they'd like me to teach them is making a fabric tea cup. Why would anyone want one of these? I have no idea. But I do like a challenge.

They gave me the blog '' which is what they're working from although there is no pattern. So I was unsure about the Copyright issues in that so I went looking and found the original source here and they have it up for free on the side as a kind of pattern image. So you can head over there if you're interested in making a cup yourself.

My task to to create the cup without the puffiness so I'll let you know how I get on.

I think its really great when people share their enthusiasm over on the internet for free, its very generous. This tea cup has really inspired so many people and now I find myself showing others how to make it too - it feels so nice to be linked in like that. I wonder how many fabric cups there are being made around the world right now?

What do you think? Does a fabric cup appeal?

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 28 April 2015

A Trip to Castlemaine

Phew! I'm finally back on my feet and not a minute too soon. There's so much I want to share with you all and I will...just as soon as I've caught up on my emails and caught my breath! Thank you to everyone who emailed me whilst I was sick; you sent me your favorite chicken soup recipes ( I have three now) as well as your much tested ginger and thyme tea ideas and honestly, they all helped. It's so nice to get so much love and encouragement from quilters out there, it really made a difference. I have eaten so much chicken soup that it was really getting boring for a while there so your ideas (anise in one and sesame seeds in another) really perked me up just when I needed it. Thank you for thinking of me when I was unwell. I think I must have the best blog readers out there - in fact, I'm sure of it.

On Friday my DD took a day off work and came to visit me to cook and help me out around the house as nothing much has got done lately. Although I was still feeling a bit under the weather I was determined to get to Castlemaine to satisfy a very particular fabric craving. There's a fabric shop there which, based on many recommendations, I was sure would have just what I needed.
Now, I know what you must be thinking - more fabric? aren't you trying to sell your stash? do you really need MORE? And the truth is no, I don't need any more fabric and yes, I am still selling and giving away my stash (mostly giving it away each week as I volunteer in a sewing circle). But I do have one allowance - and that is finding quilt specific fabric in a limited amount for a specific thing.

Specific is the word I have to keep in mind when browsing through gorgeous fabrics. You see, both my Love Entwined projects have reached a point where they need a very specific kind of fabric - which I haven't been able to find anywhere. And I was certain I would find it there. Castlemaine is 2 hour drive from where I live. So we ended up having a mini day trip, all in aid of my fabric craving.

The shop is full of beautiful fabrics and has a good range in there, I must say. And if I wasn't living by my self imposed rule of limited my fabric purchases to actual projects, I would have walked out with many metres of ideas. But that is just my problem. My stash is full of potential ideas...and not enough quilts. So I stuck to my resolve. And if I'm honest, my DD constantly reminding me about my excess fabric stash at home helped too!

You know when you really want to buy something...but you cant find anything suitable? That's how I felt. I really tried to pick up the fabric I needed, but there was nothing that worked for either of my LE's. What a shame!
I feel in love with this fabric but unfortunately it just didn't work with my red and white LE. I tried looking at it every which way - but finally had to admit that it was all wrong for my white background quilt! How I yearned to buy the whole bolt! But I stopped myself, I have plenty of reds at home. I even tried 'buffering' its overly dramatic impact with another fabric first - but neither worked. I had to walk away from this wonderful print and accept that it wasn't for me.
Hard but true. This whole shelf here was calling my name and I wanted a few metres of each one. But neither suited my LE.
After realizing that my red and white LE was too difficult to match, I pulled out my first heirloom LE as I also need some more fabrics for that quilt, and again - there were so many beautiful fabrics but nothing just right for my quilt. I tried and looked and re-tried but nothing zinged. Here I was, in the middle of Castlemaine and not a single fabric to buy. It seemed unbelievable to me. But then I had to remind myself that if I can't use it immediately I probably won't use it (as my stash has proven). So I had to walk away.
Being a historic old town which I hadn't visited in a while, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon looking through all the shops and stopping for lunch with my DD. It was a really enjoyable outing but not a productive one. Using a white fabric background definitely poses its own challenges. For one thing, many era style fabrics have beiged backgrounds that look too dull or just out of place with my quilt so far so I have to be careful in matching up tones so that the whole quilt is complimentary.

It's a challenge but I'm fairly sure that if I had opted for a light warm background, everything around now would be printed on a white, so it might just be the luck of the draw...or maybe I'm ahead of the trend (?!) We'll see.

Technically I keep telling myself that I have plenty of time,and I might just have to wait until white backgrounds come into trend again. There's no use buying beautiful fabrics if they don't zing, I'll have have to keep an eye out until I spot the right fabric for the project.

I'm impatient and want to progress on both these projects so I hope that's soon!

Wednesday 22 April 2015

WOW: Taking It Easy

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've had a full week since my last WOW. But can't shake off my lingering cough so today I'll be making lots of lemon and ginger tea and taking it easy. I'll take a long walk and then sit down and decide just what to do with my design folio. I'm in two minds about the next BOM.

I'm having difficulty deciding which one to release... or whether to just release them both. I'm behind on my emails (what's new?) and have lots of little things to take care of on my blog and website before I can focus on crafting any patterns for release again.

Its a case of tidying up everything so that I have more room for my future creative mess. Does that make sense? I'm really excited about the rest of 2015 - quilt wise- and I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas here with you soon.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 15 April 2015

WOW: Oma's Blues Part 4

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Oma's Blues is just flying by. I haven't made much of a start myself so I'm a bit shocked to be releasing Part 4 today. It seems like I just released this quilt yesterday and already we're in the fourth month. My goodness time flies when you get old! The more I see of Oma (and I'm so lucky that members are sharing images over in the Group of their work and ideas) the more I love this blue and white quilt. 

This month it's time for more charms. I like them all, but I think this cat really makes the charms homely- it's stolen a place in my heart. Our own much loved cat died a few years ago, at 15 years old. We discovered she had cancer after taking her to the vet's for a loss of appetite and she had to be euthanased the next day. Since then, we haven't been ready for another cat, but I really do miss having one around, inspecting all my quilting work. So this block is extra special to me as it really looks like her side profile actually!

What's Your WOW?

Monday 13 April 2015

Worst. Flu. Ever.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post about Delft. They still haven't apologized or credited me and I'm somewhat annoyed about it. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, I'm the first to accept that to err is human. But now that they know and have been advised - and have chosen not to rectify their error - its a very poor standard of business values to simply ignore this matter, which is precisely what they are doing.

Yes, there are things I could do about it. But I'm not going to. I'm not an argumentative person and its not worth my time to pursue this from the other side of the world.They aren't financially benefiting from the image, they're just being plain rude. And its so easy for them to rectify. And yet they haven't. It's disappointing.

Since Easter I've been battling the Worst Flu Ever. Its hit me hard and I've been spending all my time trying to recover myself for my upcoming classes at AQC in a few days time. I think its so disappointing to find that your class is being run by a substitute (even when it can't be helped) so I went to the doctor on Easter Monday to take serious action to get me back on my feet. Usually I'm the kind of person to let things run their course, but this time that wasn't possible. Two rounds of antibiotics, an injection and a 2 weeks in bed and I'm only now starting to feel human again.

I always feel that when you're sick, everything goes wrong. And in my experience it does! My pattern booklets for my workshops were printed wrongly and had to be sent back. Then the pattern sheets I'd spent months organizing were printed at the wrong size. Printers just don't understand that an extra few centimeters change an entire pattern, making it unusable. What a hassle. What this means is that I'm going to have to do it all myself and at the last minute, even though I had planned so that this wouldn't happen. It takes a lot of planning to run a workshop and its just been bad timing that I got so sick right when everything was coming together.

Unpacked and all wrong. :(
Here's what my dining table looks like.
And there are my tea towels, off the line and waiting to be ironed. 
A woman's work is never done..

Wednesday 8 April 2015

WOW: 'Oma's Easter' and the City of Delft

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

How was your Easter? I spent mine rugged up, battling a cold. Luckily my DDs took care of Easter Sunday lunch and I spent most of the weekend trying to recover. During religious occasions and holidays I never go online or use my computer so I was surprised to find out (thanks Anne Marieke) that, on Maundy Thursday, the official City of Delft Facebook page published an image of my 2015 Easter project - Oma’s Easter. As many of you know, I have released a quilt design called Oma’s Blues which is inspired by Delft tableware. And my Oma’s Easter project was designed in the same style. I can see why they used it; it really has the ‘Delft’ feel to it.

But here’s the problem: the City of Delft went ahead and did what so many businesses, agencies and individuals do nowadays –they grabbed an image without the owner’s permission and used it to suit their own purposes without any credit or acknowledgement to its maker. How rude!

I would have loved for them to mention that it was my design alongside a link to my blog. They could have even mentioned it was my free Easter Project, inspired by Delft and that everyone was welcome to create it.

Is it so hard to be polite? To be considerate?

The irony of this situation is that I would have been delighted to allow the City of Delft to use my image, if they had only bothered to ask me. In fact, I would have considered it an honour. Delft is a place I have always wanted to visit and sharing my work with them and their readers could have and should have been a real pleasure.

What Do You Think?
Is it really so hard to credit someone?

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Lily Rose: QUILTED !

'Mum, CAPITALS mean you're shouting.'

Well, I don't mind. Do you mind if I shout about it?
I just finished quilting Lily Rose and I am delighted about it!

As I was quilting Lily Rose, I thought a lot about the elements that were on my mind when I designed it. Really, Lily Rose is just another ode to Love Entwined. In many ways, I just can't get over Love Entwined - in the sense that something about it feels so unfinished. To have come so far and found it, to have discovered that it is still around, and yet have no further information about its origins is so frustrating. And I think about the Love Entwined coverlet design over and over and I know that the woman who made it, or instigated it, could not have gone un-noticed in British Georgian Society circles. And knowing that somewhere, the answer to our questions is out there makes it all the more tantalizing for me.

I designed Lily Rose after visiting the V&A 1700s exhibition and Lily Rose is bit of everything I love from the Georgian era quilts that were hanging there - condensed into one bouquet! That's how I think about it anyway. 
I purposefully chose gaudy colours because it felt so right in a Georgian tribute quilt and looking at them now, I am in love with the shouting vibrancy of them. 
And yes, the turquoise and gold have been used for the same reason: so Georgian and so right in my eyes. I am inspired by most things turquoise and gold at the moment, I still don't have the Georgian influence out of my system!

 I'm finished!
Doesn't it always feel so good to finish a quilt?

Lily Rose will be on display at AQC this year in Melbourne (which is just around the corner now) so if you're coming, make sure to keep an eye out.

Look out for my pattern too! I know there's been a demand for this pattern in hard copy so I'm currently looking to see if its possible to sell this pattern in hard copy through any interested stall holders who'll be there.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday 6 April 2015

Lily Rose: Quilting Flower Details

This is how I chose to quilt my flower heads. I  felt they needed some emphasis and I've provided it with stitching throughout the petals and leaf veins. 
I also felt that the lillies were missing something. The petals were so large that I decided what was missing was a vein up the middle. I added this simple stitch with an embroidery thread by hand. I think it makes a great visual difference even though its such a small, basic detail. 
I'm nearly done now and I really do love the look and feel of Lily Rose. I can't wait to hang it up and enjoy it every day.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

WOW: April Fool's Day

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I know I say this every month, but can you believe its April already? 
Are you ready for Easter?

Today I'll be quilting non stop, I'm nearly there and hope to have Lily Rose finished today
Wish me luck!

What's Your WOW?

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