Sunday 30 September 2018

No Fool Like An Old Fool?

Have you been suckered into buying any of the products advertised on Instagram? I have! And the evidence is all contained in this bright silver postage satchel. No fool like an old fool? I think so.

Over on Instagram the ad for the INVINCEABLE power cleaner totally won me over. I mean, who wouldn't love a spray solution so effective and so powerful that it practically does all the work for you? Not me, that's for sure! Just the possibility of spraying some dirty surface and then miraculously wiping away a cloth full of grime with zero effort on my end was to good to pass up. As it turns out, it was also too good to be true. But as my cleaning style is already that of a spray and go kind of woman, so I was putty in their hands before the video even ended. The only question I was left pondering was how many miracle powdered tablets was I going to need?
It's true to say I don't exactly have a grip on housework. It's a daily necessity that gets in the way of what I'd rather be doing (which is anything else at all). But that doesn't stop me having mid scrolling daydreams about being a marvelous cleaning wizz with all the new gadgets. I somehow convince myself that I could really be on top of these chores if I just had the right tools. And those tools must pass my first level of inspection - the AS SEEN ON TV badge. If it has that, it's pretty much on my wish list. Fortunately (although I will admit I have begrudged them at times) my family has, up until now, swooped in just seconds before I hit the 'buy now' button countless times, and followed up with why such and such product is a fake, a bad idea or just plain impossible. 

But this purchase slipped the net. I just went ahead and spent over $35 on an empty plastic bottle and 5 baggies of powdered washing detergent. 
My heart sank when I peered into the bag. I had a gut feeling that this invincible spray and wipe cleaner wasn't going to be so invincible after all. Trying to salvage some self respect, I made up the formula and gave it a go on a small bench top area. It fizzled slightly and then just sat there in pool of what looked a lot like $35 dollars worth of detergent. I gave it 4 hours to work it's magic like the bottle suggested. But 6 hours later it was the same puddle of detergent and it really hadn't cleaned a jot. 
 At this point I would have said that I'd paid $35 for an ANY ANGLE SPRAY BOTTLE as declared on the front label. But that isn't entirely true. You see, the bottle won't spray on any angle other than directly upright and the screw top nozzle is already cracked.

So if you see this advert on Instagram, scroll on..

Saturday 29 September 2018

Morning Glory: My Bird Eyes

Here's how I stitch embellished my bird eyes. 
I stitched around the eye with a brown thread, and then created a larger inside eye circle with that same brown and finished it with a white dot. 
I just think that white dot adds a spark of life
And I did the same thing for the second bird
They're such characters, I love them

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Friday 28 September 2018

Morning Glory: Still Stitchin'

Right now I feel as though I've been stitching for a hundred years. I completely underestimated how much time it would take for me to tackle all this hand embellishing. It feels like every time I look up, there's an extra inch I hadn't noticed before.
Today I'm working on the berry stems because I think the red detailing just adds something extra. And this quilt can really take all this extra embellishing and special touches so beautifully.
I'm just weaving a few specks through, but they are gorgeous..
I love how this looks....

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Wednesday 26 September 2018

WOW: You Know What Flowers Mean!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've been designing again! And another bouquet means another quilt pattern is on it's way. These blooms are just jumping with fragrance, they are so sweet and meadow fresh. I really think I should take up gardening as I am so obsessed with flowers and plants of all kinds. But then I think about how much sewing time it would eat up.. and I decide to stick with the fabrics instead.

I'll leave beautiful blooms to the experts and keep rewarding myself each time I tick another item from my Quilty To Do List. I'm feeling so productive this week, it's wonderful.

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Morning Glory: Hand Stitched Details

After stitching the centre down, it's time to add some little embellishments. Although it's such a minor thing, a touch of hand stitching can really add dimension to the block. On my vase, I felt that the gold ornamental petals should be outlined with red thread to bring it all together.
I'm using this Aurifil thread. It's become my go to brand my stitching these kinds of details and embellishments on my blocks.
It was lovely before but the red just adds a little something..

If only hand stitching wasn't so time consuming! As I sew I listen to audio books and it really does help the time go along. I often find I'm so engrossed in the story that I forget all about the time and don't even realize that an hour or two has passed. It's definitely a good hand sewing trick and I recommend it to everyone now. I don't really know how I entertained myself during these hours of hand detailing before audio books (I don't generally listen to the radio). However did I keep myself entertained? I can't even imagine being without it now.

Anyhow, back to another shift of stitching..

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Monday 24 September 2018

Morning Glory: Sewing Down The Centre

I've gone up a gear in my Morning Glory routine. With BOM 2019 right around the corner, I want this gorgeous quilt top finished and that means sitting down and sewing on. 

I'm stitching down my applique shapes on an old Bernina 440. This is actually my 'travel' and workshop machine but I'm still in between machines (can you believe it?!) so it got the job! I'm using a 37 size foot and stitching with Superior brand invisible thread. This is an extra fine polyester thread rather than a nylon. I don't use nylon threads because they melt under my hot iron - and I don't have time for that. 

My trick is to release the top tension and stitch in a small zigzag stitch with the invisible monofilament. 
There's so much sewing down to do 
I have to work in 'shifts'
So, it's 2 shifts down and a few more to go.. 

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Thursday 20 September 2018

'Cherish' is Launched

Meet my newest quilt pattern. It's a blooming beauty! Here we have a quilt that's just inviting itself to cozy up a bedroom. The centre is an applique arrangement of beautiful flowers, freshly cut from a garden teeming with ladybugs, bees, daisy chains and blooms! 

And the colours - oh the colours..where do I even start? This is a pattern you can really trust with those prints you love to pieces but don't want to cut up because they're so pretty. I know you know what I mean!

To make things even better, the shapes are large and easy so that even applique novices can feel confident and the simple hourglass blocks bring all your favorite fabrics together to frame your lovingly made applique blocks. Are you in love yet?

Quilts this pretty are simply impossible to forget. You've already seen my idea for a grey chambray background (above) to make your fabrics pop. But what about a creamy light background to play up the charming blocks that just beg for your attention with all their little details? And I can also see this quilt coming into it's own in reproduction fabrics too. Fabrics old or new, this is a beauty that's just waiting for your special touch. 

The finished size of 68 x 80 inches makes it perfect for a single bed. And who wouldn't love a bed covered in this cheerful, loving quilt?

'Cherish' (68 x 80 inches)
Complete PDF Pattern
$12.95 USD

What you need to know:  
Payment is securely completed via PayPal
You don't need a PayPal account to pay as PayPal also securely processes Credit Card payments 
Pattern downloads are INSTANT and followed up with a live link to your email inbox
Check your email for the follow up email (and check your spam / junk folders if you can't see it)
The pattern will download to your computer directly.
You will REQUIRE an UPDATED PDF Reader in order to open and print the PDF Patterns.

*If you don't know how to download computer files, open PDF's or print, please don't buy this pattern

When you receive your download, be sure to SAVE it to your computer.
If you print it directly from the browser download screen, it will not be backed up to your computer and your print out might be missing pages, depending on your internet memory and download speed. 

Wednesday 19 September 2018

WOW: Working On Cherish

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
So many designs, so little time! It's hard picking and choosing between what to work on, what to design and which sketches should make it to the pattern drafting stage. And to complicate matters further, I'm constantly changing my mind. Oh well, I suppose it's all part of the creative process. And I can't complain because I do love it so much.

It's been months since I worked on my about to be released design 'Cherish', so I'm double checking the fabric requirements and getting it all ready for release. I love this design - it's so lively and happy that even working on it puts a grin on my face.

I can't wait to share it with you..

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 18 September 2018

My Pick! Book Of The Week #3

My pick this week is as easy as it is fun. After all, who doesn't love a bit of folk inspired whimsy? After the week I've had (despite it being only Tuesday) I definitely need some mood boosting colour and this cutey is coming off my shelf and under my crayons for some art therapy, pronto!

To be honest, I fell out of love with colouring books about 2 years ago. Perhaps it was because I received so many of them. They make such easy and appropriate gifts (what could be better than gifting some creative down time?), that between the activities and classes I run, volunteer and meet at, somehow I ended up with a whole stack of them. Or more accurately, a whole car boot load of them. I don't ever remember telling anyone I liked or collected colouring books. I mean, I'm sure I didn't. But somehow word got around that I did .. and then it got out of control. I suddenly had so many. They didn't even make it into my house. 

Yes, I'm afraid I must admit that I passed 99% of them on because I could see that they just weren't my thing. I didn't even re-gift them. I simply became that person who gives things away to almost anyone at almost any opportunity. Any friend walking me to my car to say goodbye after a quick coffee or lunch would inevitably end up with 2-3 colouring books tucked under their arm. And this went on for a while. And the worse thing was, the more I gave away, the more I seemed to receive. At one point I had 57 of them in my boot and I didn't know why.

Then, one day my DH was tidying up my car and he discovered my colouring book stash. He was totally perplexed how I'd managed to accumulate so many without purchasing a single one. I told him I didn't know what to do with them all and he promptly delivered them to our local Op Shop. To this day, I have no idea why I didn't think of that myself? 

Of that whole colouring book chapter in my life, this pick of the week was one of the very few I decided to keep for myself just in case the mood to colour in ever took me. And now it has. 

So now I'm off to sharpen my crayons..

Monday 17 September 2018

My Instagram Account Has Been Hacked!

Update: After many emails, in app reports and stress, I have now been un-hacked, have taken back control of my account and am happy about it! This has been a huge cyber security wake up call. 2 step verification for everything from now on. My Instagram account is cosy, it's only 4000+ followers so I am super fortunate. Browsing Google I can see that hundreds of users with many more followers than me did not get the happy ending to their hacking saga that I did.

My Instagram account has been hacked!

It shouldn't have happened to me. I do all my own blogging and Instagram-ing, so it's not like my password is compromised, stored anywhere or easy to crack. My mistake is that I didn't have 2 step verification activated. If I did, this couldn't have happened. Please, if you're reading this, go and update your Instagram password. I would hate for anything like this to happen to you.

This morning, I received an email from Instagram advising me that my Instagram password had been changed. This worried me immediately as I knew I hadn't changed it. This is the email:

So I immediately clicked the link to 'reset my password here'. When I got on the Instagram platform it was obvious that whoever hacked my account had also deleted my email and my username. So technically, my hacked account didn't even exist. This loophole meant that I couldn't take back control of my account. It also makes the email above completely useless. Because if you have changed your password, you wouldn't need to reset your password and if someone has hacked you, you CAN'T change your password anyhow. So what's the point? This email link doesn't give you any special overriding powers at all. 

I tried to log into my hackers username account, thaddeu_waltons2p, hoping that this email generated link would work just the once to seize back my account, but that was wishful thinking. 

After 45 minutes of reading everything on the help and support section of Instagram, I filed a complaint that this hacker was impersonating me. Because he is. He hacked my account and changed my user name to his own and deleted my email. But my images are still there as is my name, image and details. As part of my report I had to take a photo of myself holding up an ID and send this to Instagram too. I was anxious but hopeful. Then this afternoon, I got this reply from Instagram:

Thanks for contacting us. It looks like you're having a problem logging in. To get help with login issues or learn about what you can do if you think that your account has been compromised, visit the Help Center:

So, it looks like someone devoted exactly 3 seconds to my filed impersonation complaint before binning it. I'd already read everything over in the help centre concerning 'compromised' accounts and they all advised the account user to LOGIN to their account and update the password. Something I can't do.

So, thaddeu_waltons2p hacked my account and is now impersonating me and I can't do anything about it. I tried to secure my original username "esther.aliu" and breathed a big sigh of relief that it's available. This is good news. The bad news is that this new "esther.aliu" account is empty. I've lost all my posts. I've lost all the wonderful and tangled connections I made over the years. I don't want to let my old account go. And I certainly don't want anyone to impersonate me. I'm just so annoyed.

And Instagram? After making me file a complaint, upload a picture of myself holding up ID and explaining everything in detail.. they just think I'm having 'trouble logging in.'

Wednesday 12 September 2018

WOW: Basket Case Quilter Alert!

WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays
If you follow my Instagram account, you'll know that the minute I set eyes on this fabric, it was MINE! Sometimes fabric just calls out to me and this fabric was shouting. There's something about the baskets, I'm crazy for baskets and as I stood there I was wondering what I would make from this fabric.. and also if there was enough fabric on the bolt?!

Anyway, sometimes you've got to stop what you're doing and just make a little something special just for the pleasure of it. I decided to use one of these gorgeous baskets for a special little something below. I just had to pair it with the green fabric. It was the first fabric I thought of to match it up with in the shop too. Isn't it funny how some fabrics just slot into an idea straight away?

Now that I've got the first play out of my system, I'm thinking about a table runner with some naive applique fruits and sprigs in between for an easy table length. Hmmm, I'm still deciding. One things fore sure, whatever I make - it'll be devoted to theses abundant baskets on blue. Sigh
What's Your WOW?

Friday 7 September 2018

'Australis' by Jenny Henry

It looks like we're starting to gather a flock of Australis birds at the moment! Look at this beauty! You won't be surprised to find out that this gorgeous project is created by Jenny Henry. As well as being a Moderator in my Group, I'm always showing off her work because she is so talented and prolific. Jenny makes more of my projects that I do, so I'm doubly lucky that I get to show off her creative flair and see the results! Jenny has a superb eye for colour, I am always saying so over in the Group when she posts progress pics because I am always so impressed with her ability to use fabrics together to their best potential.

Anyhow, look at this wonderful bird. Isn't he just a sight! It looks like creative backgrounds will prove to be a feature of this pattern. Although I envisioned a plain background when I designed Australis, boy was I wrong. These textured, interesting backgrounds are really adding another dimension to the wall hanging and I love it!
Here's a close up of the fabrics Jenny used on the body, aren't they super effective?!
I love everything about Jenny's incredible wall hanging, it's a masterpiece.

Thank you so much for once again allowing me to share your creative talent Jenny. 

Wednesday 5 September 2018

WOW: Morning Glory Progress

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Today I am busy finishing my Morning Glory borders, left and right sides. I did 4 earlier in the week and now I have 4 left to do before I stitching them into position.
I can't wait. I am loving Morning Glory more and more each time I work on it. 

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 4 September 2018

'Australis' by Valerie Giles

Talk about swooning! I'm all in a flutter over how Valerie Giles has created her very own 'Australis'. Not only is Valerie's the first to be made, but she's gone ahead and improved the pattern with a background that simply inspires. Look at the details in her leaves. I just love the dappled nature of her background selection and frankly couldn't have done it better myself. I should mention too that my pattern 'Australis' is for the creation of the bird. This incredible background is all down to Valerie's own flair and style, I had nothing to do with it! So far this image is of the project sewn together, ready to be layered and quilted. I can't wait to see the 'final' result as this wall hanging is already perfect in my eyes!

It makes my day when quilters as talented as Valerie make my patterns and I'm doubly lucky when they share their work over in my Group. It's truly an inspiration to us all and a huge motivation for anyone looking on and learning. 

'Australis' is one of two bonus projects I'm releasing to paid members of my BOM 2018 program. It's an art quilt project and I know many members were pleasantly surprised when it was released because it is so different to the usual 'bonus' offerings. I love trying new things and experimenting with techniques, so to see Valerie create the pattern and then take it one step further with a stunning background is just my jam. I'm over the moon, can you tell?

Thank you for allowing me to share your work with readers beyond our Group,Valerie.

Monday 3 September 2018

Morning Glory: Making Part 9

Yes, we really are up to Part 9 and isn't this quilt coming together beautifully?! We're well on the home stretch now and the finished top is very nearly in sight. This month it's time to create the setting triangle blocks according to the quilt layout in your pattern. You'll make all 4 sides and add in the applique petal pieces put aside earlier. When you sew in the triangles, take care not to stretch the fabric which is tempting to do as it's on the bias and will give easily.
These previously set aside blocks come alive when they're set in with the triangles, I am really loving the dark blue background of my own colour scheme. Usually by this stage of construction I think about what other fabrics I could have used, but this range has been gorgeous from the get go. And, somehow, it keeps growing on me. It was love at first sight and I still love it now. This is a new fabric experience for me!
And now I'm stitching the left and right sides of each of the four sides. I can't wait to move past this step. This quilt top is quickly nearing completion and I can hardly believe it..

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!
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