Friday, 12 July 2013

Love Entwined, Compass Notes

Part 1 of Love Entwined consisted of easing you in with a simple centre applique compass. After all, I knew you'd be busy selecting your fabrics and getting your work spaces in order to create this stunning and laborious heirloom.

Naturally, it's all applique work. Many members mentioned that it was actually their first applique compass, so I must say, I'm doubly impressed with how many were made in such a short span of time. Many members made 2 or more compasses to choose from. How much enthusiasm can a single quilt inspire?

Thanks to Bunny and Michele for posting these in the group

Of course, I must be the slowest member in my own group because I haven't actually made my own one yet (of course I made a draft when I created the pattern, but I am still waiting on my fabrics. Yes! I'm really still in a fabric slump).

Luckily, our group moderators are both enthusiastic and highly skilled and they've allowed me to show you what they've created, and yes, it's fabulous.

There are hundreds of compasses over in the group now: each one is different and expresses a unique style. It's really interesting to see how this centre work of applique sets the tone for the entire square. There are going to be hundreds of Love Entwined quilts out in the world in the next 2-3 years and I am really looking forward to seeing them as they progress.

Now for the compass. This is the kind of post I like to blog a few days after the Part is launched, but this month has been so crazy for me and I have been rushed off my feet: I'm lucky our moderators are so generous with their time so that I can share it with you here, now.

Glenda had the wonderful idea to hand embroider rose bullions on her compass ring instead of the small applique circles. Glenda, I think you mentioned it was 8 hours work? Look at how marvellous these look, worth every minute.

I tried to keep my DD away from Glenda's photo because I knew that when she saw it, she's demand rose bullion too.! But I'm afraid I'll be sticking with the applique on this one, my embroidery techniques are a bit too rusty!

Bunny created machine embroidered roses which I also instantly fell in love with
and here is Bunny's ring for around the compass, they look stunning!

Of course, making your own ring for the compass doesn't mean you stop sharing you ideas! Here's the brass washers idea to help turn those small fiddly applique circles. Thanks again Bunny, I know a lot of members took this idea on.

a lot of us couldn't believe something so common could be so effective,
so Karen Van Dijk Nielsen helped us out with a photo

Yesterday I mentioned that group activity inspires ingenuity: well here's an example, the thumb tack method.  It's as simple as it is effective. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. I've since tried it and yes, perfect little applique circles. Thanks to Marieke Hordijk for sharing this for us.

Thanks to the members mentioned here
who gave me permission to share their photos on my blog.
There is so much sharing of ideas and methods over in the group that I can't wait to see how we approach and tackle each new Part.
Part 2 will be released on the 15th of July and I suspect the group will fall silent for all least a few hours whilst everyone keenly examines the work ahead: we're really stepping up in Part 2 and the quilt centre takes it central shape. I'm already excited and can't wait to work through it with you.


‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM.
Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15thof each month. All ‘blocks’ are available for free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

WOW: On The Road

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays  

I'm currently on the road
'Where to?'  
To Brisbane, to see the V&A Quilt Exhibition
Exploring over 200 years of British quilt making
Exhibition organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
I wasn't going to go, Brisbane is far away and it's a big chunk of time to lose, but since starting Love Entwined I feel compelled to see what I can of the era's quilts so that I can visualise amongst real quilts of the era what I think I saw when I spent so much time studying the original. I just had to find the time and go. I need to see these quilts myself, and most importantly, their authentic fabrics with my own eyes and this exhibition (which baffles me) isn't coming to Melbourne!

Since I launched Love Entwined, it's interesting how much Georgian I keep coming across. Like this hotel room, selected randomly as we drove. Of course, its the "Georgian Suite!" I think the only Georgian thing about it is the inspired green wall here.
Can't wait to see this exhibit and let you know what I think, fabric wise.
 WOW is extra early today as I will be on the road and out of wifi range.
What's Your WOW ?


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Group Activity Inspires Ingenuity

What's going on over in my Yahoo BOM Group?
Oh, it's just another typical day!

over 1000 new members in the last month
over 2000 messages posted in June
100's of photos posted in the last month

Progress photo's, questions and answers, advice, suggestions and brilliant technique ideas: what a fabulous place to create a quilt. Membership is moderated and we're assisted by a team of knowledgeable Moderators. We're a real community.
So if you're making any of my quilts, why not join us today? 
It's the only place to download my pattern for free each month.

See you there !

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WOW: Calm after the BOM?

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Was it naive to assume there'd be calm after the BOM? 
I thought that once I'd launched I'd go back to my sewing pile (some shirts I''ve been meaning to make for the last 6 months), maybe finish my winter afghan and think about the best date the launch the next BOM (don't want to overwhelm the group message board); Rose, Cherry & Lily...
Not So! Things are just getting busier! Our Yahoo Group has grown by 500 members this fortnight and our activity in the group has been busy and excited. I'm waiting to hear back on some fabric I'd inquired about and want to use for this BOM and lastly, I've decided that I simply have to seen some 1790 quilts with my own eyes. So I'm hitting the road, it's early this morning and I am heading out to Brisbane to see the V & A exhibition for myself as it's not stopping in Melbourne. A roadtrip!
Slowing down? Hardly!
What's going on in your wednesday?

Monday, 1 July 2013

Love Entwined: 4 Colour Ways

With an undertaking like Love Entwined, deciding on a final colour scheme can be fraught with indecision - just ask me; I'm still undecided on my final colour scheme and here's four reasons why.
1.Dark background, full colour applique
This was one of my first colour schemes and one I am having trouble letting go of it as a possibility. I love it and the dark background means the applique shines and really comes into its own. My only apprehension is that it doesn't ring true (in my opinion) to the original. Or does it? Who knows. I've spent alot of time thinking about the original and have created something of a set idea about it which has come from studying the design so closely. Of course, I really don't know anything for certain because I've never seen the quilt.
A lot of discussion has taken place over in my BOM Group regarding colour choices for this quilt and I've been giving out the same advice each time: do what speaks to you, make it authentic to your own style that way you will do the quilt justice.
Only problem is, I cant take my own advice because I love all the possible colour options!
2. Pale green background
There's no denying a pale green background just works; it's subtle and it lets the applique take centre stage whilst setting a sophisticated tone. And tone here is the issue for me; because it asks for the applique fabrics to be in complimentary hues and colour families which means purchasing a lot more applique fabric than ordinary, but I do love it...
3. Classic scrappy
It's become my opinion that the original is something of a scrappy. Like before, I can't determine this with any authority given that the quilt hasn't been seen in public since 1956. Whatever the original is, a scrappy quilt can not only seriously stash bust your fabric but put it to seriously good use too, what a stunning heirloom this would be.

4. Light French Blue with pinks and yellows
This is the colour way I finally decided on. The light french blue really speaks to me and I have been wanted to make a significant quilt with this blue/light aqua tone for a few years. The added bonus here is that it is such a Georgian colour too. I'm actually waiting for my fabrics to arrive so my final choice is not definite, it will all decide on seeing the fabric in the flesh and making the final call then.

These images are only coloured in sketches, not real quilts and this means the colours used are guides only. The fact is, the yellow is appearing out of tone in these pics and not showing up as true - this is especially the case with the light french blue and pale green background. So the colours above that look out of place - they are out of place, they've been distorted via imaging.
I think though, that these colour ways give you a good idea of the real possibility your own Love Entwined can take in feel and colour theme.
The top 3 colour ways take over 158 separate applique colours each, with a set background. My final colour choice is this last one and it's the one used in the pattern; it contains significantly less fabrics.
Determining fabric usage in a quilt such as Love Entwined is difficult. I have done so in the pattern but what I really want to say is; set your background fabric and after that, it's anything goes. How many colours you use, how many prints, how complex, how diverse, it all depends on what you want to create. Some quilters are talking about making a 2 tone quilt and this could certainly work too.
When my fabric arrives I will share my 'final' selections; whilst I wait, I am really enjoying looking through everyone elses colour palette and am so pleased that you're sharing your own progress in the Group- it's really interesting for the rest of us to see what you're up to and how you're interpreting the design.  
What do you think?
Which colours would you choose? 

‘Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet’ is a Free 18 Month Historic BOM.
Each ‘block’ of the month is released monthly, on the 15thof each month. All ‘blocks’ are available for free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Love Entwined is launched!

Love Entwined is already shaping out to be a marvellous adventure; the energy and enthusiasm this quilt has generated prior to launching is breathtaking. I haven't been this excited about a quilt in years. I know a lot of you feel the same. Together, we're going to have a wonderful adventure making this heirloom. Today we've made a start and I'm looking forward to the finish line when we call look back and say, we did it!
Does it feel like I've been discussing this quilt for weeks? Well, I must admit I have. So let's get straight down to business and take a good  look at the centre square as this is where the quilt really begins and where our BOM starts it's journey.
Now, neither of these mock up sketches do the pattern or my colour options any justice, but I think it gives you enough idea of where this pattern is headed. In Part 1 which just launched over in the group, we start with an introduction to the quilt, it's fabric requirements and the centre compass. Don't be fooled, it may not sound like much, but it's plenty to be going on with and next month (July 15th) we really step up a notch in terms of getting the centre square together. Due to my late launch, you have just enough time to think about your colour ways and select your favourite applique method.
I have posted the centre square (instead of just the compass this month) for good reason: a lot of beginners have contacted me. You want to make the quilt, you want to join in, but the idea of making the whole quilt is just too daunting. I suggest that you make the centre square only. This centre square (with, say, a 2 inch added border to finish) would be a stunning wall hanging on it's own. It's a real option for those of you who aren't experienced in applique or don't have the time to invest in the entire quilt.
You already know what this means,
there's something in this quilt for everyone!

You'll notice that I am between a rock and a hard place, colour wise. Should I stick with the faded linen or brighten up with the white background? Red and pink vases? Or blue and yellow? I can't decide! I keep going back and forth. I have tried to be Georgian True but there is so much conflicting advice about British Georgian colour schemes, and then; do the cool, sophisticated interiors of subtle tones and striking hues work in quilts? Is the original really created in 'Georgian' colours? I don't know. I've never seen it. After all my intense scrutiny, I don't want to make a call either way. The more I look at the original the more I think that it's actually a scrappy quilt. Will we ever know?

oh 'a fine marriage coverlet' where are you?
I've had a lot to say about the original 'fine marriage coverlet' in the past weeks. You all know that Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet is my ode to ‘a fine marriage coverlet’. I have created this quilt pattern as a historic interpretation of this important quilt and it is my hope that the popularity of this BOM will renew interest in the original quilt.

Now the focus shifts to the actual making of a new heirloom and I find that I don't have anything more to add about the original because there's no more information to go on. So, lastly, before we move ahead, I want to make one last statement about the coverlet:

It is my hope that it will be found and afforded its place in both British and quilting history as a fine example of women's work and as a legacy of workmanship respectively. It’s my opinion that this can only happen if it is found and preserved in a Museum for future generations to come. This quilt is an ode to the legacy of quilting and to women, known and unknown, who have contributed to our rich and combined quilting heritage; for whilst this is a British quilt, quilting belongs to the entire quilting community and does in that respect, inspire and ask us to maintain its preservation, regardless of our geographic location.

So, who's ready to start this BOM ? 

‘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 free during the month of their release. Any missed ‘blocks’ may be purchased.
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only.

Ready? This Free BOM Starts Tomorrow

Are you ready for Love Entwined?

The earliest surviving coverlet dates from the end of the eighteenth century and the patterns are full of the life and colour found in the best tradition of applique. It seems at first only to have been done in the well-to-do houses.’
‘The earliest example which has come to light so far is also one of the best’
‘The patterns in early wood-block prints were sewn originally to the fine unbleached linen with loop stitch with thin brown wool, but during many repairs (some as late as 1835), coloured silk and cotton thread have been added. The majority of the original “dark and shady” cotton prints of red, madder brown, purple and rusty black are lightened by twigged and sprigged patterns in rose, coral, indigo, and pale blue, but many later prints are among them’
‘Other patterns show carnation and various daisy heads among sprays of leaves and flowers—eight slightly different plant-pots and four flower arrangements in two kinds of vase patterns: the centre square is lavishly adorned with hearts, denoting a marriage coverlet, but nothing is known of its history'

These quotes are from 'Patchwork' by Averil Colby (if you dont already own this book, it's a quilting staple, I urge you to seek it out) and are discussing a very special and historic quilt, known only as 'a fine marriage coverlet'. The whereabouts of this coverlet is not currently known, nor has it been seen or exhibited publicly (to the best of my knowledge) since being featured in this 1956 publication. 

This BOM Starts Tomorrow!
This quilt is a historic quilt and of great importance to both women's work and quilting history. It is my hope that this BOM will revive interest in this quilt to the extent that its whereabouts will be discovered so that it may be preserved and archived and acknowledged for future generations as the piece of history it undoubtedly is; this quilt is a legacy.

Making the BOM? Grab the button!

Esthers BOM Group
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