Wednesday 23 April 2014

WOW: After Easter

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

How was your Easter? I'm at that time in life where my DDs have finally taken over celebratory baking, so I'm somewhat free of the kitchen. The cleaning? That's another matter, and it looks like I have some extra vacuuming to do before the house is back to normal. 

I think I'll get on with some hand sewing today. I can spend hours on LE and have nothing to show for a whole days work, it slowly inches along...

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 16 April 2014

WOW: Love Entwined, spread the word...

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I probably don't have to tell you that the Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet has really touched my heart. It's an extraordinary quilt and I think it's so important to Georgian, Women's, British, Textile and Quilting history. I could talk about it all day, but I've already discussed my thought on this quilt at length in previous posts and you can find these in the Love Entwined Page at the top of this blog if you are interested. 

Let's not forget that this quilt was found after the efforts of ordinary quilters like you going out there and looking for it. That's an extraordinary accomplishment. 

I want everyone who is interested to be able to take part in this adventure. For this reason, I have left all the missed blocks up in my Group and they will remain free and available until the BOM is completed. This means anyone who is interested can make this quilt for free.

I don't want anyone to miss out on making this extraordinary quilt, so if you've been looking on, go ahead and try it for yourself

If you're new to applique, consider incorporating a LE block into your next quilt (acknowledging the source). Or, consider using an LE block for a project such as a table runner or cushion. The quilt is full of beautiful motifs you could use in smaller projects and as long as you acknowledge their source, you are perfectly welcome to do so.

If the quilt is too large for you, consider making just the centre square (blocks 1-7 as pictured above) as a beautiful wall hanging. 

Perhaps you or your local quilt shop could start a LE Quilting Bee in your area? It's full of applique techniques for the learning and the pattern is free to all my Yahoo Group Members. Why not get together to make it? 

It's my desire to see interest in this quilt revived - I believe our only hope in ever discovering more about its maker and her life is if more quilters discover just how special this heirloom quilt is. That might spike the interest of a historian or someone who has access and experience in searching out specific records. This quilt is full of clues, we just need to have access to the tools which would allow us to read it. 

Please, if you can, be a part of spreading the word on this quilt and a part of making the discovery of its maker happen.

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Love Entwined Part 11 is Launched

Here we go again: we're back to making two borders
this month, and what a beautiful set they make!

Border 3 is all about entwined leaves; and in Part 11 this month, the top border has an ongoing flower / element / angel design whereas the bottom of Border 3 finishes with a bird. I have been charmed by this bird in the bottom corner, it's the only difference between the two blocks and immediately caught my eye when I first came across this quilt. Maybe because I always sneak a bird somewhere in my quilts designs too. Of course, this bird isn't so much snuck in as it is simply an extension of the elements of this design.

I have spent a long time looking at Border 3 and I still don't have answers to the questions it has posed, so I'd love to hear your opinions

You might wonder, as I often have when considering the original, what the elements used in border 3 stand for? It’s interesting to consider if the shapes running along all of border 3 are angels, guardians...or something else? These were drawn from the original as closely as possible and they do have this head/wing shape.

Originally I thought they were candlesticks,
then I changed my mind to Angels. 

What do you see?

Of all the borders, Border 3 speaks to me as being the work of a person: someone with beliefs, values and ideas about their world. Someone who sat down and actually made this coverlet. It's easy to forget sometimes, that this coverlet is imbued with someone's personality. Sadly, I can't tell you anything more about that woman, so we'll have to let her design choices speak for her.

I don't know why I like this block so much, perhaps because it's so unexpected and modern looking

This is the central element, I think it's so charming

Of all the blocks in this quilt, those in border 3 strike me as the most hopeful and remind me that this was the marriage coverlet of an unknown woman; someone very real, not just an idea. These design elements are a direct extension of her hopes and fears for the remaining days of her life.

More than any other part of the quilt, these blocks remind me that we are re- creating a piece of history; handling an unknown woman’s legacy whilst creating our own heirloom.
So I invite you, as always, to make these blocks meaningful to you.

‘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 
All ‘blocks’ are available for download via my Yahoo BOM Group only

Monday 14 April 2014

Pomegranate at Sydney Royal Easter Show 2014

I love it when members send me pictures of quilts they've made using my patterns, its a real honour to see what's been made and how. I also love it when I stumble across quilts out there, by chance.

I really appreciate it and I have to take a moment to thank everyone who sends me quick emails to let me know where they've seen a quilt or where I've been in a magazine, many don't realise that I don't always know my quilt's been re-published or that one of my patterns have been exhibited. Honestly, I'm often the last to know!

Thank you for taking that moment to contact me!

This morning I was sent this image of my pattern 'Pomegranate' behind glass at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I wish I could tell you who made it, but I don't have that information.

If you do make anything of mine, consider sharing it in our Group so we all ohhh and ahhhh over it! It's too good not to share.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

WOW: Free Easter Rose Table Runner

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

It's that time of year again and this year I'm delighted to offer Easter Rose as the 2014 free Easter Project 

Blue and gold is such a classic combination and I have some beautiful gold stash fabrics that would really pick up on the dinnerware and vases we have on the table at this time of year... but the pink patchwork style below could look so good all year round. And then there's the red and pinks option of the first image..You see my dilemma? Of course, it wouldn't really feel like a pattern of mine without some colour scheme deliberation, would it?!
Each year I offer a free Easter project to members of my Yahoo BOM Group, this year I am releasing this table runner pattern. You can find it in the Group files area. It will be available for free to members until April 30th. 
What's Your WOW ?

Tuesday 8 April 2014

LE: Your Questions Answered

How am I tracing my background? I'm tracing directly onto my background fabric for precise placement. This is especially helpful as there is so much hand sewing on this quilt and the constant gathering of material can mean small differences in applique positioning. Unfortunately, its just those little details that always catch my eye, so I'm making doubly sure  it doesn't happen to me by tracing the pattern out, accurately, onto my fabric. I'm making  a point of this because its something I routinely don't do. I usually stitch in guidelines and position by eye and then remove the guideline stitches when I'm finished. In addition to this technique, I recommend that on patterns as crowded as LE, that you do also draw down the design. If you are out just a little bit with your positioning, it will create troublesome crowding or disharmony elsewhere. You can see from the pattern that there isn't any 'extra' space to play with. I don't believe in perfection, but I do believe in precision and with preparation, you  can produce the quilt you want. And I think, considering the hours you'll spend making it, it's the least you owe yourself!

What light source am I using? Normally I recommend using a light box - they are great, especially if you are building up layers. I don't need one in this particular instance because, although you can't see it in the photo, I have strong lights above me that angle in such a way as to allow me to trace without one. That's just a matter of luck!

What pen am I using? All importantly, I trace onto my fabric using a friction pen. This 'pen' irons away and does not require washing or wetting first - this means a lot to me as I frankly don't trust some of the other pens on the market which promise to wash out. I've seen (on other quilters quilts) a few 'come back' after quilters were washed, quilted and packed away. In a project this size, stick with what you know.

Over in the comments, Patricia has mentioned that ink sometimes re-appears in freezing temperatures but that this can be solved by using a steam setting on your iron. I actually do steam press all my quilts, so this isn't a new thing for me to try, but it is an interesting one and I wonder, regarding the science of it all, if that is what makes the end difference? Whatever you do, pre-test.

The specific pen I am using (as in picture above) is PILOT Frixion ball 'remove by friction' in 0.7 black. It looks like a normal pen, slightly thicker and has a kind of tattoo scrawl on the barrel in silver.

Before using anything, especially for fabric tracing, please test and double test it yourself, on your chosen fabric!

If you do use a friction pen, don't expect to iron your work as you go. Keep the applique pieces neat and don't iron the main body of the background until the entire area is sewn down because the friction lines really do disappear once ironed!

What applique technique am I using? I am turn edge applique-ing all the applique. Well, so far I am. This quilt has a mind of it's own and I will wait for the quilt to 'tell me' what it wants me to do with the bow borders. I turn edge the applique using the freezer paper method tutorial whcih you can view on this blog. The key difference is that instead of using freezer paper, I am using fusible (details in the pattern)which means I don't have to 'remove' the freezer paper part. Otherwise, my freezer paper tutorial is a good indication of how to do this method as the actual turning is the same. I am then hand sewing the applique down for precision. On some parts, such as the compass points, I hand turned all the points with needle, on the spot. It depends on the area I am working on. 

Do you really think I could get away with raw edge applique and satin stitch? That's what I really want to do. Then please, do it and make it yours. I know that if you make it with love and dedication, it will be incredible. I don't think the original was needle turn applique, I think there are indications that the bow border certainly wasn't. Obviously I just don't know.  I think you should make it according to your own heart, I don't think any applique technique is 'better' than another - it's your workmanship and personal style that makes or breaks it. Of course, this is just my opinion- if you have ideas on creating a faster quilt, but prefer the idea a classic applique quilt, then you have a decision to make. Again it's all personal, I don't think there is a 'fast' method for this quilt. Although I say that and someone in the Group might just go ahead and prove me wrong!

What am I up to? Well, at the moment I only have 1 or 2 days a week to spend on quilting, so I am working in areas that interest me on that particular day. Right now, I've set aside my patchwork LE and I'm still needle turning my compass points on my red LE... but I am nearly there now... just a few more to go. As I keep telling my DDs, you can't rush these things. Hand turn edge applique is an art and dedication, it takes time.

It's taken days of hand needle turning these 36 points to be so close to finishing today. This is a quilt worthy of heirloom hours, that's for sure. I'm glad my DDs are keeping a keen eye on my progress, I want them both to know how valuable this quilt is - I don't think I'll ever do so much handwork again!

Wednesday 2 April 2014

WOW: Preparing my Red LE

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

I'm afraid that the dishwasher is going to have to wait to be unloaded, I've got things to do!
Today I've started early and I'm planning on drawing up my Red and White LE onto my background fabric so I can go ahead with the crown, if I'd known I was going to make two, I would have drawn them both up at once as it would have saved so much time and energy, I like getting parts done and moving ahead so its hard to go back to this prep stage. But it will be worth it once my compass is stitched down into the centre position.

It's hard to believe I've turned the calendar page to April yesterday, it feels like just last week that I was unpacking the Christmas decorations.  The fleeting weeks remind me that its what I do in little bits that adds up so quickly, so a few evenings here and there in addition to my Wednesday quilt days will really help me have a productive year.

How do you plan your year? Do you plan around your interests or hobbies or goals? 
Or do you enjoy them as and when you can?

Don't have a blog? No problem, add your WOW as a comment in the comments section today

Whats Your WOW? 

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