Wednesday 14 January 2015

Introducing Oma's Blues: my FREE new BOM

Are you ready for a new BOM? I am! 

I've been in a Love Entwined cloud for the last 2 years and I'm ready to share some new quilts with you all. Whilst LE will continue to have a place in my heart forever, there's enough room now for me to dust off those quilts that have been waiting in the wings. I am hoping to release several this year. The first for the year is Oma's Blues. This is a quilt based on my love for blue and white tableware, specifically delftware plates. I've always wanted a quilt that somehow incorporated my love for dishware and plates - and now I have! What do you think? 

This quilt starts off with Oma's Plate - the central panel block which is the focus of the quilt. Surrounding Oma's Plate is a selection of smaller hanging charm plates and finally we have 'stacks' of plates all around the quilt. These are framed by ornamental plates in the top corners. In my minds eye, I'm imaging an old fashioned large kitchen with stone floors, an aga, shelves of plates and a wall beside a window for seating - and this quilt taking pride of place. I think it's important to give quilts an imaginary life when we're creating them and this one is especially vivid for me.

Oma's Blues will run from January - November 2015

Blocks are released on the 15th of each month. To take part and download the patterns each month, you must be a member of my Yahoo BOM Group. It's free to join my Group, you simply have to be willing to abide by our Group Rules.

‘Oma’ is the German word for Grandmother and is also used throughout Northern Europe. When I was child, my own Oma would task me with the seasonal chore of carefully dusting and wiping down her blue tableware and fine china. I can still remember gazing into the rich motifs of florals, animals and flourishes—some naïve, some highly decorative. It’s a memory that’s stayed with me all my life.
In Oma’s Blues, I’ve recreated a series of designs as a tribute to my own childhood and the charming blue drawings that captivated my imagination. I have designed a decorative central applique plate, surrounded by smaller design plates and centered it all in with piecing that looks to me like much arranged pottery and china.

These images are off the internet, not my own. I'm sad to report that I didn't inherit any of the beautiful blue china from my memories and I don't have any photo's of them either. In fact, I have no idea what happened to them. These images I have found are very close to the plates in my mind
You can see what I mean about the variations in blue. From mid tone to dark. Personally, I've noticed that blue and white quilts don't photograph terribly well - unless under the right lighting conditions. I have found this to be true for red and white quilts as well. It's just one of those things.
I am disappointed that I can't express what I see in my mind with you colour wise, but I think you get the general idea. Capturing the 'right shade' of blue has been very difficult for me. Although I had a delft shade of blue in my mind when creating this quilt, I feel in love with a cool Wedgwood type shade of blue right after. But both posed a drama for me - neither shows up well in the images I have created to share this pattern with you. The image used above is a tone between the two colours I had my heart set on. Of course, in real life colours are always different but for the purposes of sharing this quilt, I had to modify my original vision - at least for now. When I get around to making Oma's Blues myself, I will certainly stick to either a true dark dutch blue (so classic and so perfect) or a cool light blue as below:
and the colour I choose will be based on the decor of my home as this quilt will hang. I have a very bright room which I am thinking about painting in either warm earthy tones or cream - two very different styles. I will let my furnishings and colour scheme decide when I get to that point. After all, I like my quilts on my walls and this means I have a whole room to think about. I think this could be a superb scrappy stash busting all blues quilt lets see how I feel about it when I get there.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how you use the pattern to suit yourself. I think that's the best bit about sharing my quilting folio with my blog readers - I get to see so many of my quilts made up in different styles and colours - something I don't have enough lifetimes to do myself. 

WOW: Lily Rose HST Positioning

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

I actually thought this would be the easy bit, but its proving just as difficult to arrange my patchy HSTs as arranging any scheme of fabrics always is for me. I think I'll have to pin them to a wall and get a visual on it, although its so much work and I was hoping to sort it out faster than that. 

What's Your WOW ?

Monday 12 January 2015

Lily Rose: Patchy HSTs

I've cut some strips from assorted fabrics that I've decided to use for Lily Rose. I'm going for a patchy look. Although I now think it would be faster for me to have rotary cut my strips in HSTs, I pulled out my GO Baby to have a play with it.
When selecting my fabrics, I tried to go for an assortment that graduated in light to dark intensity. However, it now appears to me that I am 'mid tone' blind. I always return to selecting mid tone in colour schemes. I don't mind it, I just think it's a curiosity that keeps appearing throughout my quilts and this one is no different. 
and here they are, lined up after cutting
I actually really like my GO Baby cutter and would use it more if I had more dies. The reason I don't is because the shipping from the US to Australia is usually more than the price of the dies themselves. The actual dies are fairly reasonably priced and if I could get free shipping all the way down under, I certainly would use this machine more. There are dies sold closer to home, but they are marked up too high for me to want to support such disparity between pricing. This is one of those realities quilters in Australia have to face a lot - many great products simply cost so much to get. 

However one thing to be said for it is that it does use a lot of fabric. I think the wastage is huge. That said. I have a lot of fabric in my stash and I really don't care if I use a lot of it up in this way. There's so much I have had to get rid of some already, so wasteful stash busting doesn't concern me. You might feel differently if using designer fabrics or starting out with a new stash.
On the fabric scraps that I don't have enough of, I do cut these by hand as I want as many repetitions from them as possible. 
The funny thing is, as I get up and close to these fabrics, I fall in love with them all over again. After folding and refolding fabrics over and over in the meterage, I think they're even nicer in small doses!

Now I just have to arrange their position on the quilt.

Friday 9 January 2015

Lily Rose: the Oval Frame

Its early morning when I take these images, apologies for the light quality. Today I'm working on the oval frame. I selected a gold fabric for my frame as I am after an antique patchy look. This is a fabric from my stash, its a few years old now but I always knew it would come in useful for something. I'm really pleased I didn't throw it out of my stash during my latest clear out in December. 
As you can see, I have created an oval frame from my template. Here I have selected my fabric. It's really important that your template is accurate, you don't want to have your oval cut at the wrong size. I'm actually gluing my template down onto the fabric to prevent warping. I only use Elmer's disappearing purple glue for this as its not a true 'glue' but rather a starch which makes it suitable for this purpose. You can also pin the template down accurately if you don't have the Elmer's.
Cut away the inside of the oval, 1/4 inch away from the seam (that is, the template)
I made my oval 'template' from Stitch n Wash fusible (that I had stuck together to create a big sheet before cutting out the oval template). This allows me to turn the edges of my seams and go ahead later and add batting (optional) without having the remove the template. I did this for ease and stability. And also, I happen to have a lot of fusible at the moment. If you made your template from paper, you would remove it now, and turn your edges over carefully according to the crease lines made by the paper when it was in position. This is another reason I can't recommend any other glue than Elmer's, because with the Elmer's, your paper template (if that is what you used) will release easily and won't skew your fabric or shape at this stage. 

With the fusible down, I don't need to remove it and this is what you see here. So I clip all the way around the oval carefully and not too deep. This allows me to turn the fabric without any buckling or creasing or ripples. 
Clip and turn all the way around. Your oval should be smooth with no bubbles of other turn indications on the front. When you place it over your paper pattern, it should fit perfectly.

It's time for me to make breakfast now - is a quilter's work never done??- and then I'll be returning to take take over the table once again and make my patchwork HST blocks.

Thursday 8 January 2015

Downsizing Fabric Sale

Well, it's come to this. I have more fabric than I could possibly use in a lifetime. Specifically, in my lifetime. And its been hard for me to accept this as, over the years, whenever I've considered selling any of it, I've fallen in love with it all over again....and simply couldn't part!

But enough is enough. The fact is I have too much fabric and I'm making a start on selling it. In fact, I have too much stuff generally. And I'll be putting those items up for sale as well, including threads and tools. I'll be updating my sales items every few days and will leave them up until they sell.

I have created a specific page to deal with selling these items, and you can view it by clicking here, or simply linking from the top of my page.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday 7 January 2015

WOW: Back to Work on Lily Rose

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I don't actually like deadlines, but they do have their advantages. The biggest one for me is that when I have to get a quilt done, I usually do it. I've been looking at my diary for the year ahead and its occurred to me that if I don't make and finish Lily Rose this month, then I won't be finishing it before 2016. And given that it will be on display in April this year, that just won't do!

My biggest problem is that I take too much on. I always have 'hungry eyes' concerning my quilts. My biggest solution is that I'm a perfectionist, so even when I'm creating at the last minute, I can't settle for less than perfect and this means that my quilts are always a high standard of workmanship- whether I make them in leisurely afternoons over the course of a year... or in a week or two. 

What about you? 
Last minute race or slow and steady pace?

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Marsala: the Pantone Colour of 2015

What do you think about Marsala as a colour?
It's the Pantone Colour of the year for 2015. Back in November, I decided that whatever the Pantone yearly colour was, I would use it in my next quilt.But that's not going to happen. My next quilt, released on the 15th will be Oma's Blues which is inspired on the theme of a blue based quilt. Still, I am thinking of ways to use this hue.

Personally I love the shot of it in the banner above as it looks slightly metallic and full of life. In fabric however, I think it might look too muddy or muted. I'm really not sure. Below are the recommended marsala colour pairings.

I think number 5 is my favourite as I am often drawn to warm, woodsy, autumnal tones. Instantly when I see these colours, all I can think about is a quilt full of leaves. Whether or not I want to spend time on such a simple design, I'm not really sure. 
This might be one 2015 resolution I'll put on the back burner for now. 
You can see these images and learn more about the colour selection process over on the Pantone site by clicking here now. 

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