Wednesday, 6 August 2014

WOW: LE - Embroidered Details Around The Crown

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I've been working on the flowers between my compass crown shapes. I fussy cut the fabrics in the first place and I thought they were so lovely. But then, I decided to embroider them too. I don't know why I did this, I hadn't planned to. I just like how it looks.

When I first started creating the pattern, I was interested to see (from the black and white image in 'Patchwork'), that the original looks like it has embroidered spots and flourishes in any spare spots. That really spoke to me. After all, is is a busy quilt! For me, I just felt like embellishing these. I guess you could call it a 'warm up' because I am going to embroider my stems on this quilt too. I don't know what I'll do with my red and white version yet, but having seen how embroidered stems look, thanks to the ladies sharing their images over in my Yahoo BOM Group, I've fallen in love with the look. I think it works especially well with a scrappy style LE too.

My hand embroidering has a distinctly naive look to it, and that's fine with me. I haven't embroidered this much work in years and I definitely needed a refresher. I love how LE is making me use all my skills, in whatever level they fall, at this stage in my life. It's a challenge and I love that.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

WOW: LE Zig Zags

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

I'm making progress on Love Entwined. The Zig Zag border is so important. It sets the colour tone for much of the middle fabrics and you need to get it down accurately before you can fill in the center or else your pieces won't fit. It is a busy center and the borders really balance out the applique.  

To make sure that all my zig zags are accurate, I am hand sewing the pre-prepared pieces into position and aligning them with the master template I created. This helps me stay on track. It's vital. I know some of you were thinking about piecing this border for accuracy and line (and I know some of you did and it looks great) and whilst I completely understand this inclination (I thought of that myself!) I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It has to be all applique. All the way. 

Love it! I'm really looking forward to spending the day progressing with Love Entwined

 What's Your WOW

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

LE: Ziggity Zag!

No matter what other project I tinker with, and I do love to start new things, my mind keeps wandering back to Love Entwined. Once you start LE, you can't stop for very long. It wont let you. I always said there was something special in the makings of this pattern and the longer I spend with it, the more sure I am that this is true. I've been progressing with my zig zag border.

As mentioned in the pattern, I think a contrast of light and dark shaded fabric is the way to go. Mind you, I did start out with a plan to make my border in just two tones; that of light and dark blue, but LE changed my mind and the longer I worked on it, the more certain I was that this heirloom wanted to be a patchy style. I wish I'd known that at the beginning as I'm sure I would have made some different fabric decisions. But anyhow, I am settled on this look and over the last few weeks I've been separating fabrics that I thought would work as my lights and darks for this border.

Preparation is key. In everything. LE demands as much work and time in preparation as it does in assembly. Maybe even more. This little box is the result of weeks of fiddly tedious work and I'm only ready now to put it all together. And by 'together', I mean hours of more tedious fiddly work. It's an intense quilt, no doubt about it and every single block demands so much attention and skill but I do think there is something so special in working on a creation like this. I am making another red and white LE and thinking about that quilt all the time too (although I haven't made much progress on it yet). I do wonder if when I get to my red and white quilt - if I commit as much time as I have with this one - or if I will just raw applique the whole lot??! I have no idea. I'm just going to do what feels right at the time. I know I'm never going to make another quilt like this again - I don't think I could. It's a once in a lifetime quilt.

I will just mention that this month I released Part 14 & 15 of LE however I am making LE in my own time and out of order, so this is not a guide of where the pattern is up to. I'm behind in some ways and ahead in others. So don't worry if you feel confused seeing my 'progress'. At the top of this blog I have added a Love Entwined Archive where anyone making Love Entwined is invited to add specific blog posts linking to their own methods and working progress. Go and have a look at what and how everyone else is tackling each month, its a real treasure to be able to re-visit these posts and connect with other LE makers. And of course, you can discuss LE anytime over in my Yahoo BOM Group. Because I have so many LE posts that are out of logical time line, I am planning on creating my own LE archive in my own working order just as soon as I have completed it, and that too will be found in the archive page above.

I worked really hard in creating distinct light and dark contrasts for my zig zags. Something that interests me is how my natural eye always selects a mid tone to work with in each colour value. Even when I try not to, it happens. I notice over in my Yahoo BOM Group that some quilters have distinct light and darks, some are mid tone like me and some are gentle gradients. I think its so interesting how we interpret colour. Obviously some colour schemes have been selected on purpose, but I can really see my mid tone bias in my selection here. I love it.

 Tomorrow I'll be putting the zig zags into position.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

WOW: Now I can't stop!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

Since last Wednesday, Patchwork of the Crosses has really ignited my imagination. It's been a good opportunity for me to use up some fabric without tiring my hands. I've done so much hand sewing lately, I need a break from active LE work. It's just so effortless to play around with fabric options and then slot them together. I'm cheating by using an easy method, I simply glue (lightly) the fabric directly down on top of the paper. I have created 15 blocks so far and am already thinking about what fabric to use between all the blocks as a joining colour. But first I'm trying to decide when to stop. 15? 21? 30?

I'm actually hoping to simply stitch over the blocks as is -and then tear the paper off afterwards.
 I'll let you know how it works out for me. 

It' such a versatile block and pattern and I love the idea of using the same fabrics over and over in different arrangements, which is what I would be doing right now on a dark background if I didn't have such a large stash. Mine will be a mix, a bit of everything.

What's Your WOW ? 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WOW: Patchwork of the Crosses

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

I've been wanting to make my own Patchwork of the Crosses since 2009. You might know from this blog that I've been sidetracked and swamped with WIPs galore but this project is so charming that I always intended to get around to it one day. I think we all know how that is? Too many ideas, not enough time?

Luckily for me, on Sunday I had the opportunity to attended a workshop and had an enjoyable day making my own crosses. I say luckily because we have had a nasty virus at home and I didn't think I would be up to going (and certainly didn't want to be sitting there feeling miserable). But on Saturday I felt better and on Sunday I tool some tablets and got through the day just fine - not my usual self, but not sick. Then, on Monday I started feeling unwell again. It seems like this virus has come back for round 2. My DH is now recovered but I am unwell again. I intend to spend today taking it easy and tinkering around with my blocks when I feel up to it.

Although I am usually working on LE every spare minute I have, the fact is that it is an intense heirloom full of finicky pieces. I'm not complaining, but it does mean that I have to pace myself as its hard work on my hands and eyesight. Patchwork of the Crosses is an ideal in between project. Actually I've noticed that a few LE makers are also making other projects and I understand completely - it finds its own time. Another issue with LE is how addictive it is. I can work on it 9 hours straight and this puts strain on me- which I know I need to avoid. But what can I say? Its so addictive..

It's so popular and fun, I think almost everyone has made Patchwork of the Crosses by now - have you?

 What's Your WOW ? 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Love Entwined Part 14 & 15 is Launched

It's time for the double bow borders of Border 4
There's 4 to make in so it's a double month

The original was made in light and shady prints and I will be alternating light and dark also, as I have done for the zig zag border throughout.

If you observe the original quilt, you’ll notice that it is not as square as mine is. Up until this double bow border, which is border 4, the original and my own are drawn in the same (or as close to as possible) ratio and scale.

In the original however, the 4th border develops longer and narrower sides and the applique appears somewhat squashed. The bows are positioned to the seam and there is a visual embroidery line in between the bows to visually correct the size difference and disguise the difference between the top and bottom borders and the sides (which are all double bow borders).

Did the maker run out of fabric? Most probably, but she still managed to finish all the applique; although the last corner baskets appear to be out of alignment. You only see these differences on close examination and it in no way detracts from the beauty of the quilt. In fact, it’s these details which make the quilt so endearing.

Throughout the quilt design, I have purposefully tried to keep the stylistic lines of flowers and leaves, natural, imperfect and looking somewhat hand drawn—and this has been done to stay true to what I see as the elements of the quilt design.

This is a busy quilt which demands so much investment in time, embellishing and detail. Every corner is full of details and you can just feel the energy which was spent creating it.

Hopefully now, in border 4, your own quilt has absorbed your own style and is already reflecting the time and energy you have invested in making this interesting quilt your very own.

This is where we are up to
Part 16 will be released on September 15th, 2014

 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 download via my Yahoo BOM Group only

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WOW: At It Again

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

It's a gloomy Wednesday here in my corner of the world, its morning but dark outside and the light is gloomy. I'm relying on my 'natural daylight' lamp and thank goodness I have it - I would not be able to do a stitch of sewing today without it. It's really liberated my sewing. You don't realise how invaluable these lamps are until you own one and can sew any time you feel like it, regardless of the lighting conditions. I've had a sew free week since last WOW as we've had a virus in the house - the long lingering knockout type. First my husband and then when he was feeling better, I went down with it. It's been hard to shake off and yesterday was the first day I felt 'normal' again. This morning I've wasted no time getting started on my next shumper. It's a gorgeous tree of life style design which reminds me so much of Klimt's artwork and mixes beautiful greens and beiges, I'm going to get so much wear from it.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last shumper post, just before I went down with the virus. You were all so supportive and helpful regarding my Bernina 820 issues. I am at an impasse with this machine and will have to do something. It's the something which troubles me. You see, its not like the 820 is a good machine with an actual fault that can be remedied. Its clear to me now that the 820 model itself should not have been manufactured to begin with. That makes it hard to remedy. If I trade it in, I lose a significant amount of value and money. And I feel that this is a further insult - to be punished for buying the machine in the first place. But if I keep it, I have an overpriced machine which is, in the truest meaning of the term; unfit for use, unfit for purpose and as far as I'm concerned, unfit to carry the Bernina label.

It was very hard for me to admit that this machine model is just dreadful but now that I have, I'm glad about it. I have been contacted by numerous 820 owners who are tearing their hair out and facing the same issue as I am - this machine should never have been produced. I would just love to spend an afternoon with the engineer who manufactured it and talk him through why this machine is not worthy of the Bernina name. But for now, I'll have to make do with dusting off my trusty 1950's Elna. It's true what they say: they just don't make them like that anymore.

What's Your WOW ?

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