Friday 15 July 2011

Hearts Desire: A Mystery No More

Here we are, at Part 6: the final installment

This month you are finishing the quilt top. You will be adding a few finishing touches to the first centre block, embellishing your applique if you wish and joining the blocks together.
Hearts Desire was designed with 1 outlay, however my sample sewer put it together another way and I have offered this option to you as well. Once you have decided which ‘way’ suits your style, you will then be joining all the blocks together and adding the borders.

I have been guilty of growing this quilt – it is now 83” at it’s finished size. This is thanks to the borders I could not resist adding. I really felt, having looked at the finished quilt top for a few months, that the extra curvy pink border was needed. Of course, whether you add this border is completely up to you.

Really, I don’t feel I even need to say that anymore because when I see what has been created by you talented women, I just know you will make it your own and make it suit you. That is a real treat of the Yahoo Group – seeing the surprises and interpretations that come with each new listed photo.
I know this mystery was difficult for some of you at times (so many pieces, so much applique!!), time consuming all the time and being a mystery it was somewhat frustrating too.

It was quite difficult laying out the monthly schedule when I sat down to do so because this quilt could very easily be a 12 month mystery – but therein is another problem. With work of this intensity, there was too much potential to meander and then relegate to the WIP pile. I did feel that the best approach was intense diligence. This is mostly because of my own schedule – I’m already on other projects and am moving at a slighter faster pace than usual.
Many of you are still working through blocks in your own time, and interpreting blocks...and this is all wonderful and I do want to take a moment here to thank you for deciding to join me in the mystery. It takes a lot of trust to cut into beautiful fabrics and go along with someone else’s design, especially  when you can’t see the end or even be sure that you’re going to like it. I hope that it has been as rewarding for you as it has been for me.

In the next week or two, I will be posting updates as I work through quilting this quilt. So if you interested in how I take my quilt tops into finished quilted quilts, stay tuned. I will be domestic machine quilting Hearts Desire.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

WOW: a little Hex

What’s so satisfying about a hex? I don’t know, but I do think they are somehow irresistible and charming. This WIP is part of a bigger WIP and is a small piece that needs to be completed so that the whole project can come together…

I’m beginning to feel that Wednesdays are my ‘drop by my blog’ days now, especially as I’m not managing to find the time to blog between WIPs… but it’s all for a good cause, I’m busy finishing old things and starting new things. I sit down in the morning and by the time I look up it’s dark outside. All this work will have to result in some projects…soon…

UPDATE: yes, I will be sharing this super easy puffy hex crochet pattern when I have completed the project. Stay tuned!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

WOW: Tuscan Crochet Shawl

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
add your own WIP below!

I did say I wasn't going to do any new crochet projects this winter - well, not until I had my WIPs seriously under control. But then I found a crochet WIP (so that's an exception to the rule). I knitted it to be the same size in one hue stronger. When it was finished, just yesterday afternoon, I hung it alongside my favourite shawl in front of my Camellia bush. I simply worked rows of wide shells and narrow shells until I reached my desired length.

I blocked it last night. Now, I have differing thoughts on blocking. Sometimes it can deflate the natural 'loft' in the wool and you can end up with a (still beautiful) but flat work. My last afghan never 'bounced' back after blocking and whilst I still love it, I wouldn't block it again. I thought I might skip the blocking process here, especially because I quite like the 'texture' of natural wool.

Yesterday, I realised that I had to gently block it to stretch the pattern into shape. I simply pinned the shawl straight against a table edge (it was resting on felt, you can use a clean towel or blanket) and pinned the entire 'square' into position. Then I lightly misted with warm water. A blocking trick which has always worked for me, is adding a trusted starch to the warm water - just a little bit. By trusted, I mean a starch that you have used before and know does not flake or stain or chalk your fabric. I always use and can recommend Crisp Spray Starch or the quilter's brand Mary Ellen. What's a little? Well, a very light misting over the warm water misting. I have found that it lightly repels dirt, dust and staining and keeps it's loft and spring better - without feeling or behaving starched at all.

I left it overnight and as the house is warm inside, it set beautifully. This morning I unpinned it carefully and shook it out.  Here it is, folded and ready to wear!

Wednesday 29 June 2011

WOW: WIPs On Wednesdays

Do you like my new Kaffee Fasset knit shirt??
It's this week's finished WIP !

This is a light knit jumper that I’ve always liked wearing. It’s a good shade of red…but the white collar and cuffs have never excited me. Just lately I’ve been having a major clear out and stock take of my wardrobe. Buying a few new things….and trying to ‘release’ other things….Well, I love this jumper and decided it just needed a revamp.

before and after shots:

 It’s been a while since I sewed a shirt collar and cuffs, but why let that stop me? I really love Kaffee prints so my eyes instantly went to my Kaffee stash….but then I was distracted by a few other prints…

These red spots on white were a close call, I seriously considered them ...but finally decided they were too close to the old white.
Then I found some larger pastel dots that I really like….but which don’t really work.
I really loved the blue with orange in this, it would have been a bright flash of colour...but perhaps too bright
I just like it and pink with red can work really well...I especially liked the lime accents...
I did love the bold lines of this print – but my DD stepped in with a 'No Way', so that was the end of that. Actually, looking at it now in the photo, I'm sure this print would have been fine...
Then I found this Kaffee bright I had plans for (I have plans for all my fabric) and instantly fell in love with it. 

Yes, I knew I’d love wearing this print
and I think it’s very complimentary.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Getting on With It...

A whole week since my last posting! I’ve been caught between doing what I do or blogging about doing what I do – and I find that although blogging looks so quick and easy, if I blog about what I do, then I don’t get very much done. Of course I’m not complaining, I do love blogland…but with my limited skills, it takes me longer than most to share what I’m doing!

I’ve been attempting to catch up on my emails today; it’s almost infeasible how quickly your email inbox becomes 300 unread messages waiting for me to get typing. That’s another reason why I love the Yahoo Group so much – members don’t often have to wait long for an answer, there’s usually someone helpful that answers their question before I’ve even read yesterday’s emails. I do love helpful members!!!

I’ve also been very excited, looking at Hearts Desire Blocks in my Yahoo Bom Group. There’s going to be some spectacular quilts being finished soon. I really do love each colour scheme; they all work in their own way. Today I got my next BOM quilt back from my ‘sample sewer’ and that motivated me to get up to speed with Hearts Desire so I can get stuck into the next quilt. I like to make one along with everyone else taking part…but do think I need to reconsider whether I will be able to keep on doing this as I have got quite a lot on and need to get ahead. Anyway, today I finished the centre block and I really love it.

One less thing to do...

Wednesday 22 June 2011

WOW: WIPs On Wednesdays

Well, Volcanic Ash has blotted out my Sydney Show plans this year - with my flight cancelled, I won't be attending. Oh well, there's plenty to do right here at home!

Today’s WIP is one Work In Progress that will likely take years. I am teaching my DD to paint. There is just no fast track around these lessons; they take years of time, patience and practice. It’s very gloomy in the photo because we were seated in front of her bedroom window for natural light. So no room lights were turned in. You can’t find tone with light globes interfering. We were very lucky that there was an ample stream coming in through the window. I have several painting WIPs (of course I do) and she has just started her own, so I was talking her through one of my own pieces before she carries on with her own.

With quilting being so much on my mind, I have purposefully neglected painting – I just feel that there isn’t room for both. Well I know there is no room to do both. Unless I win the lottery and can purchase another house to store all my things in. Then I would just need more time...

Tuesday 21 June 2011

See You In Sydney (flight permitting)

I'm hoping to make it to The Sydney Show tomorrow (volcanic ash permitting!). It doesn't look good on the fly out front, but I will remain hopeful until the last minute. If you don't see me at the show, you know why.
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