Monday, 6 October 2014

LE: This is What Just About Finished Looks Like

This magnificent quilt has been made by Narelle Birchall.

Narelle is an Australian  member of my Yahoo BOM Group and has been posting her progress pics over there for us to all enjoy. I do believe that Narelle is one of the first 'finished' LE quilt tops (and is the first as far as I am aware), so when I asked her if I could share this image below with you all - she very graciously agreed.

What can I say? I'm in love with it.

When I started Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet, of course I knew that someone, somewhere would finish it. Eventually. And I knew that of those quilters, some would share their progress either through blogging it in steps here on this blog in the LE Archive Page (top of this page) or through messages and photos over in my Yahoo BOM Group.

But to actually see that someone has made it - and so soon- in line with the pattern, is remarkable.I mean, I should just point out that we aren't finished yet BOM wise - the pattern is still being released! She's obviously been working overtime on this wonderful, captivating and so so beautiful quilt.

 I am delighted. It's a real honour for me to see this quilt made. And many thanks to Narelle who has allowed it to be shown and shared.

I know there are many of you who read this blog and aren't making LE, and its always a curiosity to see how BOMs turn out so I know you'll be in awe of all this work! I am too. Never did I imagine that this quilt, in all its splendour, would be 'entering the world' so soon.

What more can I possibly say? Beautiful. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

LE: Finishing Vase 1

I've decided that the darker flower reds do work when all bunched together in the top first vase. So my reds and pinks are finally selected. Which leaves just the process of fussy cutting for my lily:

I love these tropical pink hues and this lily would have worked if I had stuck to the lighter pinks for my vase, but I thought the pinks were either too bright or there was just too much 'pinkness' when they were all put down together ...and I didn't want colour blind spots (or distracting areas of colour) in the center. My LE is more towards scrappy and antique-y looking and I have to theme with that. Sometimes, I have two or three quilts happening at the same time in my mind - a bright one, a pink one and a scrappy and I always seem to be choosing between these opposing colour teams. Its hard to choose between very different - but equally beautiful- options. 
Do you find the selection process of other quilters interesting? I do. I really love seeing what and how other quilters make their choices. I'm really spoilt for choice too, because over in my Yahoo BOM Group, there are so many varieties of Love Entwined and each one becomes my new favorite for a few minutes. It's really exciting to see the pattern expressed in so many different ways. And I love seeing how other quilters 'think' about the same pattern moments - we're all so different. 
I should have saved time and just 'listened' to the pattern, I went with white after all!
 But I did fussy cut the stamen!
I just think that the white lily balances the darker red and pink flowers well. Origially I wasn't going to, because the background is white and I didnt want the lily to be lost, but when I auditioned it in place, it wasn't lost at all, it was just right. 
 Here you can see my bloom fabrics: darker than I expected but working beautifully
 and the white lily has really found its home here too 
Looking forward to Vase 2 now...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

WOW: LE Still Making Leaves

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday 

Today is all about more of Vase 1. Did you see my post on Saturday? I'm still deciding between Vase 1 fabric options. And when I'm not doing that, I'm making leaves and fussy cutting for my lily - there's plenty to do!
they look so lovely, I love the fabric colour graduations too

What's Your WOW ?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

LE: Working On Vase 1

I'm working on my first vase. I'm thinking of mid pink and dark pink flowers, but I know by now that there's no use planning ahead - I will select whatever works after much auditioning of fabric in the right spots. I'm finding that my 'auditioning' method of colour scheming is working out the best for me - its by far the most successful method and it means I'm not waiting around for fabrics to arrive after I've purchased them online. I did do this at the beginning of my LE journey but I've made a complete U turn on my original colour scheme ideas and now I'm not scheming anything, I'm just letting it happen. I will let whatever fabrics I have guide me for the vases as well. I am planning at this stage to make this vase and its diagonal opposite more pink and the other side more yellow, to have a balance of variety, but I'll see how I go. It's too hard to predict at this stage.

 These fabrics are all very saturated so I've colour tested all my fabrics to be on the safe side (see my blog post on Colour Testing on the sidebar if you don't know how to do this). I don't always colour test - it depends on the fabric (and quilt) in question - but when it comes to LE, I am colour testing EVERYTHING. It's just too much work, time, love and commitment to take silly chances with it. I would be devastated if my LE ever bled out. So I'm not taking any chances and if you don't mind me insisting - either should you.

 I'm pretty much following the pattern colors at this stage, as you can see from my pieces here. I have a concern that these reds and pinks might be too dark for my LE center, so I will try them out and see how I go. Even though I swatched these fabrics on my LE center before I cut them out, I personally find that you cant really "see" if a fabric will work until its cut down to size and in position. I'm going to have a lot of leftover, fusible applique pieces when this quilt is done - but that's OK. I'd rather have more pieces and find the right fit then settle with something that doesn't feel right to me eyes. Of course, I'm making this quilt to please myself, so I'll just keep making and re-making until I'm happy with the result. I am planning, when both my LE's are finished, to make a little coverlet of all my leftover pieces - just for fun. So I don't really mind having all these left overs.
Hmmm, I like it but I'm wondering about the darker red background on this bloom
I have to leave it on my design wall for a few days to really decide
I think I might lighten it up with brighter reds
 I really love these dark, coordinated shady fabrics - but, although they are beautiful, they don't harmonize with the rest of the center. So it will depend on whether I darken the rest to fit in, or change these to something more mid tone. I haven't decided yet. 
 sometimes fabrics really look great, but they don't suit the actual project, I have this problem a lot
a real problem is that I love ALL fabrics, choosing between them is too hard 
I'll keep auditioning and let you know which fabric shines for my Vase 1 options. 
Have you made your Vase 1 flowers? How did you select your fabrics for these blooms? I'd love to know. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WOW: LE: Pepping Up My Crosses

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

I love the fabric choices for my LE crosses, but I was thinking that the yellow on pink was a bit lost, it needed pepping up. I used the rusty coloured thread, which I just loved and had wanted to use on my polka dotty crosses before I found the pink I finally settled on. So I used it here, to outline the inner cross hole.

This is my "before" shot

this is my "after"
 It's a small difference, but I think it makes a big impact!

What's Your WOW ?

Monday, 22 September 2014

LE: My Flower Leaves

I was thinking of applique from a range of green fabrics for my flower leaves, and although small, I was planning to needle turn each and every small shape into a leaf. I was umming and ahhhing over several greens when I found this fabric - isn't t gorgeous? And luckily, the leaf print here - including the vein impressions are ratio correct for my vases. I am delighted with this unexpected find! Of course, I still have to needle turn tiny pieces, but the fabric is wonderfully detailed and saves my stitching in or drawing the vein details I set my mind on. For some of the pattern pieces I am cutting the smallest leaves directly from the print, and for the larger leaves, I am fussy cutting across the print for the desired effect. I am following the pattern throughout. 

This is a fabric from my stash, so I can't tell you if it's still available. I'm sorry about that as I would have loved to direct you to finding some for yourself - I think its such a simple and elegant solution. But you can recreate this idea with any suitable leaf print fabric. 

I am cutting out the tiny pattern shapes using wash away fusible and then cutting around the leaf shape, enough to turn. The method is the same as my Freezer Paper Applique Method (see my tutorial side bar) - the main and time saving difference is that I don't remove the paper afterwards. It washes away. It's time consuming and fiddly, like so many pieces in this quilt, but definitely worth it. 

Have you made your leaves yet? How did you do it?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

LE: My Berries

They're done! All hand stitched and looking lovely. I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I even like the fabric more now then when I first chose it! It fits in beautifully with my other fabrics. The berry shapes are lovely and round. It feels so good to be ready to begin the flowers. 

I have to say that I am loving my Hungarian Stitch more and more as time goes on too
I'm so happy with how it looks
the yellow dots in the fabric make a tiny, but lively difference
It feels so good to be here and have all this work behind me. I've been thinking about how long each stage is taking me: the berries alone took over 16 hours of dedicated attention. I don't know if it's a good idea to quantify the quilt in time allocation because personally, I think its a bit daunting! 

At over 16 hours, that's about 10 minutes each on average for every single berry. This includes the tracing, cutting out, circle shape pulling, application and hand sewing x 100 odd berries (actually I made 104, but you know, roughly). There are probably faster ways...and possibly slower ways too. 

 How did you make your berries? 

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