Thursday, 21 March 2019

Blogs I Love: The Pioneer Woman

I've been blogging for over ten years now. It feels like an enormous thing to have accomplished - especially given that I'm sticking to it as my longest ever Work In Progress! I only set out to document my work and designs; when you spend all day creating, time becomes 'relative' and it's nice to have a journal to access as the years roll by. The early years were less organised than my posts today, but being online is a learning experience and I'm still learning what it means to be online - even now.

When I started blogging, there weren't many quilt blogs around and over the years, many have fallen away or become inactive. This is such a shame as really nothing compares to the 'unedited' voice of creating and managing your own blog. One of the first blogs I followed when I set out on my own journey online was 'The Pioneer Woman' by Ree Drummond and I've been reading it for well over 10 years now. I found it completely by accident - via links from one blog that led to another blog and finally ended up at her ranch. Boy am I glad those winding links led me there. 
This might sound strange, but when I see Ree on a magazine cover or on the TV, she feels so familiar, it's like recognizing a friend. I suppose that's the power of the internet and blogging. It's hard to read someone for so long and not feel connected to them in some way - even though I've never been to Oklahoma or met her in person. This might explain why I'm so thrilled with her homewares range, it's like congratulating a friend on their success, you feel so happy for them and that happiness is contagious. 

And here's the weird thing: the items in the range are exactly the kind of thing I would have designed, I just love them so much. My DDs and I have been creating a wishlist of items we simply MUST HAVE but it's a futile enterprise, I just want to back up the truck and take two of everything. Sigh. How can I even decide?
About 20 years ago, I actually 'folk painted' our rice cooker, which is the nearest I have come to finding the kind of home and kitchen ware I want - boy am I tired of white and metal finishes! This just steals my heart. If it wasn't for the electrical differences between the US / EU and AU, I'd already own this. 
and this..
but I'll just focus on what I can have, like this
and who doesn't need these?

And I just love that Barbie have created a Ree doll in her own kitchen; can it get any cuter than this? If Barbie made a Quilter playset, they'd have to bury the doll under layers of fabric swatches to make it lifelike; and scatter the toolkit randomly. It could be a kind of treasure hunt to find the rotary cutter, matt, ruler and threads. Ha! The idea really appeals. 
This post is not paid or endorsed or requested. I have no connection to the Pioneer Woman, she doesn't even know who I am. I'm simply posting my love and happiness at another blogger's success and fawning over her knockout homeware collection.

You can visit the Pioneer Woman here
You can visit her recipe posting site her (you can be sure I do!)

I'd love to know, who's your favourite blogger? What blogs do you LOVE to visit? 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

WOW: What A Mess!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
There's actually quite a few things I'd like to do today, but I can't find any of it - there's fabric, patterns, freezer paper, fusible and general mess in the way. So that's my task - tidy up and put everything away.. just so I can create a whole new storm of creative mess for a different project. Sigh. I need a bigger sewing room!

What's Your WOW?



Sunday, 17 March 2019

Tiptoe Through The Tulips..

Tulips have featured in my designs from the very beginning. In fact this quilt, 'In The Pink' was one of my first patterns and I still love it as much today and when I first made it over 9 years ago. Yes, I said NINE years ago. Wow, time travels fast when you're a designer. But you know what? When I look at this beauty, I realize that I have learnt a lot and I've made many more patterns since, but I would still design this stunning quilt today - I love it that much.
This is one of the rare quilts I actually use on my bed. I shake it out of the cupboard every March and I love how the pink brightens up my room. It reminds me of spring gardens, and of tulips on the dining table and of family and of course, of Easter. This is the quilt that's always on my bed come Easter and I'm always reminded that Red Tulips represent passionate love. I made this one in pink tulips because my DD is a pink girl and she loves this quilt as much as I do and she has had her eye on it for years! We all know it's really 'hers' I'm just borrowing it until the next bed quilt comes along.

Unfortunately for her, she has to wait because most of my quilts end up as wall quilts - they're so beautiful I want to look upon them as art pieces, which they rightfully are, even if I do say so myself!  I did start 'Tickled Pink' for her, which is a stunning one block wonder that's still in the WIP pile. And now that I think of it, every quilt with the work pink in it is.. somehow all down to her!

I love the language of flowers and as each tulip colour has it's own meaning, you can change the mood by changing the colours.
I still have plans to make this quilt again using monochromatic blues with Indigo tulips, a kind of 'black tulip' theme, I think it would be so cool and sophisticated.
Because it would take several lifetimes for me to make all my quilts in all the colorways I dream of, I always secretly hope that someone out there will make it in that pallette so I can ooohhh and ahhhhh over their beauty without having to create it myself. Well, I can dream, can't I??
   In The Pink   
Complete PDF Digital Pattern 
Finished Size 87 x 87 inches

$12.95 USD

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Friday, 15 March 2019

HOYH: Part 3 is launched

'Hold Onto Your Heart' : Block of the Month, Part 3
This month it's time to create the frames for the Heartfelt Centre and Pansy blocks. 

I'm so happy with the direction my 'gentle' is taking, the fabrics are so dreamy and the floral of the contrast fabric feels perfect. My scalloped pansy frame looks beautiful against my pansy background grunge polka dot. This quilt is really taking shape and I'm looking forward to each new installment.
HOYH Makers, the Part 3 pattern files are already waiting for you over in the Members Only Download Area. Click here to LOGIN.
'Hold Onto Your Heart' is a paid BOM 
It's a breathtaking quilt full of meaningful symbols and beauty. The floral border is a triumph which offers an additional pieced option - making it versatile for all skill levels. Perfect for lovers and enthusiasts of applique.

You can start this BOM today!
Be sure to visit my Online Quilt 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, 13 March 2019

WOW: My Heart Shaped Stash

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
2019 is really turning out to be a busy year for me, design wise - my feet haven't touched the floor!

My Hold Onto Your Heart progress is making a nice dent in my stash mountain and I love seeing things take shape like this. 

Today I'm working on Hold Onto Your Heart; this quilt grows on you. I find myself really digging in and taking my time over every little thing. I had been planning on making Wrapt In Love, my newest design, but have my hands are full with my two HOYH beauties. I think today I'll do some more prep work. Applique is always about the prep. Time to get stuck in!

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Still Fussing Over Pansies

I feel like I have been making pansies for about 100 years. With two HOYH quilts on the go, it just never ends. And look what I found at the bottom of my KFC stash! Yup, a gorgeous pansy print. If I had known I owned this (and I most certainly didn't know), I would have fussy cut the gorgeous heads instead of making them.
aren't they so pretty??
Which isn't to say that I don't love my created pansy motifs - because I do,
there's a skill and satisfaction in finding just the right fabrics making these characters come to life.
It's just that I have SO MANY things I'd like to make that anything to save me time is very welcome
Oh well, I suppose I can't complain about making my own pansy pattern, right?!
As Part 3 of HOYH approaches, I'm thinking non stop about my bright version of the quilt.

You know my gentle one? The one on the left hand side here in the pic, well that one is behaving beautifully. Sure, I still have to pick fabrics, but they behave themselves so well. Whereas I thought my 'bright' HOYH quilt would be the easy one, it's turning out to be a ridiculous circus of fabric switching. I have changed the background 7 times and I'm exhausted. You see that purple polka dot print? I'm back to that one. It's come full circle and was momentarily replaced by hot pink, pink stripes, olive stripes, the orange polka dots in the pansy images above, the yellow and grey polka dots in the image above and the KFD Aboriginal Dots. Phew, I'm exhausted. 

The only thing I can agree on is that 2019 is the year of polka dots. They just keep on happening. 
 'Hold Onto Your Heart' is a paid BOM 
It's a breathtaking quilt full of meaningful symbols and beauty. The floral border is a triumph which offers an additional  pieced option - making it versatile for all skill levels. Perfect for lovers and enthusiasts of applique. 

You can start this BOM today! 
Be sure to visit my Online Quilt Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

'Wrapt In Love' My New Free BOM!

OK, let’s talk big bold blooms because this design is all about abundant flowers!
Wrapt In Love
Free 9 month BOM: March - November 2019
Finished size: 82 x 82 inches

Wrapt In Love is a quilt that demands your attention. The florals are large and showy, dominating the centre with their whimsy and style. Here are four unique flowers bursting with personality—for each one wants to be picked by you, wrapped up and finished with a bow. Each bouquet is titled after a woman’s name that means ‘love’: Amoris, Carita, Delaris and Elska.

Now, let’s talk about that bow—it takes pride of place in the centre of the quilt as a puffy looped beauty that is repeated in a smaller size in the border. And the fun doesn’t stop there: the centre sashing is a ribbon block and you can play this style element up or tone it down—it all depends on the colour you choose to run through your statement centre. And the surrounding squares are also the perfect spot to use up your favourite fabrics in some gorgeous stash busting, or simply fussy cut to make a real statement.

The border is made up of basket blocks that are topped with twirling vines—a real opportunity to show off those fabrics with either a complimentary or contrast scheme. Those baskets are big enough to let your favorite fabrics breath without taking over the design and the vines are ready for you to play with. Green? Red? Blue? It’s up to you!

Be sure to share your progress with us all, I can’t wait to see your very own Wrapt In Love quilt top take shape as you start on this fun adventure.

Wrapt In Love is my Free BOM for 2019: at this stage, it's only available to my online Quilt Group Members. It can't be downloaded anywhere else and won't be available for sale until 2020.

Members, find the Pattern Intro and Part 1 in the Group Files area. 

This BOM started late, so although Part 1 is released today, Part 2 will be released on March 15th in accordance with the BOM schedule. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

WOW: More Pansies!

 WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Well, it's true - you can't have too much of a good thing. These pansies just prove it. I've been working on these beauties (all 12 of them!) for hours and they still delight me. I just see little characters in those faces and I feel like they have a personality of their own, thanks to the fabric.
I have all my subtle heads and stems down. Today I need to embroider the veins on the leaves and add the tie that binds them too. Over in my Group, Bunny actually used some thin bias to 'bind' the stems and I really liked the look of it, so I think I will embroider one set and tie off the other, I'll see which works best with my fabrics. Then it's time to do the same for my 'bright' bunch. What was I thinking, taking on 2 quilts at the same time??

Phew, I'm all about these sweet little posies and I'm glad to me making progress. February was a hiccup month for me and I'm glad to see the back of it. Now, I'm back on track and happy to announce that the Free BOM Wrapt In Love will be revealed on Friday.

What's Your WOW?



Saturday, 2 March 2019

HOYH: My Pansy Progress

 
I'm making progress; with the light box out, I'm tracing the pattern on my corner squares
The pen I'm using is a Frixion pen. There's been a lot of discussion about these pens in the last few years - some people are concerned that they can 'ghost' stain the fabric. For me, I've never had this issue so I continue to use them. 

Another reason why I'm so at ease with using them is that when I trace the pattern onto the fabric, I trace the lines a tiny fraction inside the pattern outline. This means that when the applique motif goes down, it will cover up any drawn pattern lines completely. Actually, my lines simply brush off, but if there were to be any lines threatening to stain in the future, they're hidden under fabric anyway.
After prepping the background fabric squares, I move onto the pansy parts. I work in 'sections'. All good applique is a process of steps. Sometimes I work methodically through a design, other times I prep the individual pieces and bring them all together at a later stage. There's really no way to bypass the prep work. 
For me, all this prepping used to feel like such a chore. But now I have a different opinion about it - I don't impose deadlines on my work. This means I can really enjoy the process involved with each step without feeling like I have to reach some finish line within a set time idea. This allows me to treat each prep step with pleasure instead of 'process'. Here I'm ironing down the fusible shapes that will make the side petals of my pansy. I'm cutting them out on a 45 degree angle for the sake of fabric print arrangement. 
For my gentle colour scheme, I've gone with dark grey pansies. Actually, I think it's a dark blue, with it works well with the grey tones throughout the beige of my pallette.
I'm still playing around with the centre overlay motif. I might use this yellow as pinned above, or I might stitch the area with yellow threads on my machine to create some stitch painting instead. I'll see how I feel when I've got all 12 completed. 
 'Hold Onto Your Heart' is a paid BOM 
It's a breathtaking quilt full of meaningful symbols and beauty. The floral border is a triumph which offers an additional  pieced option - making it versatile for all skill levels. Perfect for lovers and enthusiasts of applique. 

You can start this BOM today! 
Be sure to visit my Online Quilt 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, 27 February 2019

WOW: Pansy Production Line

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
It feels so good to be playing with applique again and I have lots to get through - because I'm making 2 x Hold Onto Your Heart quilts, I have 24 x pansy heads to make! First up, I'm working on the subtle quilt heads and after that, I'll run riot with some Kaffe Fassett prints for my bright version. There's nothing like cutting up some KFC to lift the mood after a grim week.

For my subtle heads, I'm heading towards darker pansies. I was really surprised to learn that a black pansy exists. As pansies represent thoughts, I liked the idea of moving into dark shades to represent strong ideas and definitive thoughts and it makes sense on my subtle quilt because I don't want my pansies washing out into the background, I want them to stand out. As you can see in the pic above, I'm still playing around with how to balance the streak of yellow. I'll be experimenting today.
What's Your WOW?



Tuesday, 26 February 2019

HOYH: Magic Applique Mirrors

Do you have one of these mirrors? I love them for helping me pick my fussy cuts and for finding potential in fabric prints - and you know how much I like playing with fabric. Well, this mirror method is addictive.
I have a few of these mirrors in my stash, this is just the one I pulled out today. I find that they're each as good as the other and I don't have a preference.
When it comes to picking out fabric for fussy cutting, the mirror method really helps. Especially for me, because sometimes I just love a fabric because it's beautiful and I have a hard time letting it go.. even though it won't work in the design. The mirror shows me the NO before I make any cutting commitments.
Nope, this fabric doesn't want to be used in my centre star.. NEXT!
 Oooh I like this potential star design, it's looks so folky - bit it doesn't feel right for HOYH.
This one below creates a kind of wild flower motif which is so lovely.. but again, doesn't 'feel' right
You can see I really loved this print because I refused to give up on it!
I tried it several ways
And each way changed the mood and feel of the strar
Nope, I didn't like this option either..
but I couldn't stop trying to get this fabric in the centre..
Until I stumbled across this beige foliage mix. 
Although the fussy cutting is so subtle, I do love the effect. 
And that grey that I was determined to get into the star found it's home in another layer.
Yep, sometimes you've just got to let the quilt tell you what it wants. 
HOYH definitely has it's own mind and I'm loving each step in the learning curve as I get there.

And the Applique Mirror is a real help and must have for fabric enthusiasts like me!



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