Wednesday 27 November 2013

WOW: Dog Sitting

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Can you have a grand-dog? They require a lot of fuss, love and attention and I have one! And today I'm dog sitting so it doesn't look like I'll be getting much WIP work done.

It's a good excuse to go for a long walk and enjoy some fresh air...

Sometimes I just need days like this, as all my favourite things usually have me sitting down so this is a nice new favourite thing to do with my morning. Now that my knee is better, I've been trying to get more active so maybe I'll have to make this a more regular thing. Last week I started on the 5:2 diet, although I don't really see it as a diet, I see it as an approach to eating (and getting 2 days a week out of the kitchen! which means more quilting time for me, a win win!). I'm giving it a go until Christmas when I'll consider if it'll work for me as a long term thing, have any of you tried it?

she's an english mastiff and she's still a puppy!

What's Your WOW ? 

Tuesday 26 November 2013

1790 Marriage Coverlet, an update

 Esther Aliu YAHOO BOM Group

I've been receiving requests to provide an update on the status of the 1790 Marriage Coverlet Quilt. Some of you wondered if my silence on this topic indicated that I was preparing to travel and see the quilt, or had some other exciting development going on. The answer is no; I know as much as you do. I have been silent about the quilt because I haven’t had anything to add, other than what we already know and I respect the current owner’s wishes to be left alone.

Jan Allston has been our quilt researcher on the ground in the UK and here’s her update:

"Unfortunately the owners of the quilt have categorically stated that they wish no publicity whatsoever and have not allowed us to see the coverlet.  Perhaps at some time in the future they may relent, but for the time being, we are not allowed to see it.  Esther and I would be grateful if we could all leave it at that.  If anything happens and there is a change of heart, you will all be the first to hear about it"  Jan.

I really appreciate the time Jan has taken, in the UK, to do as much for this quilt as possible and thank her for reporting back to us. All I can say here, once again, is that it’s my hope for the new year that the current owners come to appreciate that the eagerness we have for this quilt comes from a place of love and earnestness to see it take up its place in quilting history and that our intensity to see it is borne of that historic interest and welfare for its preservation.

Can you imagine what a treasure it would be to just once have the opportunity to see this quilt in person? In an exhibition? It would be wonderful and I continue to hope that one day it might be possible.

Whilst this news is somewhat disappointing because like you, I really want to see the quilt exhibited, I don't want to lose track of what has been achieved – because it’s a significant accomplishment:

This quilt was ‘lost’ to quilting, we didn't know where it was or if it still existed and this was a concern because it is a historically important textile and documents an extraordinary example of work in Georgian female and British history. It’s too important to forget or allow to be lost to time. And we found it.

We know it has survived to the present day and we know that the owners now know that they are holding onto an item of significant historic worth. This is staggering achievement and one I don't want to lose sight of.

I know many of you have felt called to make this quilt and I understand completely, it’s how I feel too. I had hoped that we would be able to discover something of the woman who originally made this quilt – we would need some serious quilt detectives on the case to uncover any such information. But this has not happened as it is not something that can be willed – it requires the active participation of the current owners.

I am focusing on the wonderful and positive energy this quilt continues to inspire in us – that certain something which seen so many quilters start the challenge which is Love Entwined.

Now, if you’re a member of my Yahoo BOM Group, you already know just how varied the Love Entwined quilts are so far – there’s a Love Entwined being made in almost every colour combination you can think of and each quilter is really making the pattern their own through pattern tweaks and embellishments, it is a real delight to see these quilts being made and to know that in the future there will be hundreds of Love Entwined quilts out in the world, shining and reminding us of the original – what a tribute to the forgotten woman who made the original coverlet. 

I hope one day to know more of her story. Until then, I respect the current owner’s desire for anonymity and invite you, if you are so inspired, to take up the challenge to make this grand quilt yourself.

This stunning block above is made by Jane Newble and is just one example of how beautifully and individually Love Entwined is being made and shared over in my Yahoo BOM Group. Jane has incorporated broderie perse in her block and I think it’s just stunning. As well as being an accomplished quilter, Jane is also a Moderator in the Group. 

In fact all our Moderators are highly skilled quilters and their work is simply breathtaking. We are so lucky, as a group, to have such inspirational and talented women give their time to help us out. They’re an inspiration in themselves.

I'm moving forward with Love Entwined and I trust that when the time is right, something special will happen which will allow all of us to see or know more of the original coverlet and it's maker. 

Wednesday 20 November 2013

WOW: Progress

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I'm nearly done with my 10 inch challenge piece and it's so nice to be working on a WIP and share the nearly done progress with you. With all my sewing machine issues (yes, there've been more), its a good start. I'm so glad I didn't start Love Entwined on my new Bernina (as I had so hopefully planned) because I would have had to remake everything - I wouldn't have been able to put up with the constant tension issues on such an heirloom quilt - I'm too much of a perfectionist and it would have turned out to be double work - something I definitely don't need.

You can see the stitches and tension are still a real issue and no matter what I do, and despite all my experience, there's always a frustrating problem. This means I always have to be in the right mood to put up with my machine's attitude - not a good thing for a quilter with a WIP list as long as mine!

In the end I didn't use the liquid stitch pieces I had prepared as I changed the applique shapes as I went along - as this is a downsized pattern from my original, the shape didn't look right when shrunk down so I went back to my usual method. 

 What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Two Bad Birthday Cakes and a disappointing loaf of bread

I've just returned to my emails and I've noticed that a few of you have been asking about my birthday cake. Well, I do usually post about it each year so I thought I would post about this years cake too, even though its a few weeks late and doesn't have a happy ending!

Each year, my DDs get together to bake a cake for me and I'm so unaccustomed to even thinking about my cake that I simply didn't this year. And, with both my DDs away, my DH and I decided it would be best to go out for a piece of cake, which I thought was a great idea because it meant I wouldn't be snacking on leftover cake for the rest of the week (I have started the 5;2 diet and don't need the temptation). And I wanted a good sourdough bread too (as I haven't been baking at all lately) so we headed off to Healesville for what we wanted to be a good coffee and cake and some quality bread to bring home.

Unfortunately the cake range was suddenly very limited - my DH went for the eclair and I went for this pink cheesecake below. The first warning sign was that the coffee wasn't any good - you know that sinking feeling when you take your first sip? And the cakes were just OK, my DH only took 2 bites of his and I only finished half of mine. We walked around for a little bit and then decided to head home.

10 minutes later, on the way home, I felt suddenly ill. My DH was also feeling suddenly off colour and we both felt so sick, we had to stop at a petrol station to buy water and stop for a minute. We both felt dreadful. When we got home, I decided to make us both some toast with the bread which is usually so good. Except that it wasn't good at all, it wasn't sourdough or rye it was a plain, bleached flour loaf - which we don't eat.

Then, in the evening we had to cancel my birthday dinner reservations at my favorite restaurant because we were both feeling so ill.

So the tasteless cakes were a bad idea and the place I can usually rely on for good bread when I'm not baking, and cakes (when I am visiting) is now off my list. I dont know if the management has changed or if they have just dropped their standards, but I will not go back.

So my birthday cake post this year is not a happy one or even one I want to remember, but birthday wise I don't mind. I'm happy to be alive and feel incredibly blessed to be able to do what I enjoy and have the love and support of my family and that is the best birthday gift I could ever ask for - even if the day itself was awful.

Friday 15 November 2013

Love Entwined Part 6 is Launched

It's time for: Flower Vase 3
You've done so much work! The workmanship on these flowers has been stunning: it's become a habit to look through our New Photo's Area before I do anything else online. And the colours - so many great ideas, so many interesting combinations, I love each and every one. There's so many great ideas and beautiful applique works being made. Thank you so much for sharing it in our group, I know it takes time to upload photos and share them with us and for that I thank you! We love them all!
So this month, it's more of the same. Take you time, enjoy each vase and its unique little personality and embellish. I learnt the hard way on my previous BOM Forget Me Not that it's so much easier to embellish and detail as you go along - don't leave it to the end.  Flower Vase 3 and 4 (next month) have an added shape next to the four hearts shape - so it's the perfect spot for some fussy cutting or borderie perse.
This is where we are up to:

No! it's not too late! 
Usually my patterns stay up for free for only 1 month, but Love Entwined is a very special quilt and I mean it when I say that I want any quilter, interested in making this historic BOM, to be able to do so for FREE, so for this reason; all the BOM parts up to the current block are still available for free over in my Yahoo Group. Go ahead, join us as we make it!

No, I haven't started yet!
With one thing and another, this quilt has conspired to stop me making a start on it! At least once a week I'll have an email from an interested quilter wanting to know if I've made a start yet. Well, the answer is, no I haven't. My year has personally been unexpectedly busy and I simply haven't had the space to make a start. This quilt is so special, I intend to make it my own way and in my own time and...hopefully...sooner rather than later.

Can't wait to see what you do this month...

‘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

Wednesday 13 November 2013

WOW: working on a 10inch beauty

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I feel like my computer troubles are never ending - every WOW seems to be more of a technological update than a WIP one so I've decided to do something fun to get my mind off my computer. Today I'm happy to have something positive to share with you - and yes it's a WIP. 

My challenge is to create a 10 x 10inch piece. Although a new project is the last thing I need right now, this one is short enough to tackle without taking time from anything else. I've decided on making the scaled down centre of a new design of mine- with my predictable favourite colour scheme of red and white. I'll let you know more about it when I reveal it finished next week...or thereabouts.

I always like to try new things and for this project I'm using liquid stitch, waiting for it to dry and then cutting around the shape. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am taking a holiday from my computer until my repair person can finishing restoring it - apologies if I have not responded to your emails, I know there is something of a backlog at the moment, but I have had to get back to what I love - quilting - and away from the frustrations of the screen. 

What's Your WOW ?

Wednesday 6 November 2013

WOW: Another Year Another Birthday

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

I'm taking it easy after my birthday and tidying up today. This year my DDs reminded me of a WIP I promised myself many years ago. I decided that at my  current age, I would work on embroidering an entire wool robe in thread and silk embroidery, from the collar all the way down to the hem. I was thinking of a dark blue robe with full coloured threads that I'd wear for many years to come. Of course, I had this idea before I started quilting and somehow assumed that I'd have plenty of free time by now..?? I don't think I have free time, I don't know what I was thinking those years ago, I never thought I'd be busier than ever with my children grown up!

So these birthday slippers are especially sweet because they remind me of what I'd be doing if I wasn't a quilter and they satisfy my need for some embroidery without adding another WIP to the pile!

What's Your WOW?
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