Friday 30 January 2015

Lily Rose: Finishing the Flower Heads

I'm very happy to report that I'm on a productive roll. My flower heads are just falling into place. This is all down to much preparation beforehand. It's really paying off now. After the template markings and allocating the light and dark shading, there's just a few minutes of fabric selection needed before I start cutting away and turn edge applique-ing all the flowers.

The first bloom I made, with the moody purple batik background, has really set the tone with a splash of yellows that are going to be repeated in the lillies and some purple hues - but brighter- which will happen in the lower flowers. I'll have a splash of pink in there too and of course, my rosebuds will be classically red or fuchsia, depending on how dark / shady the bouquet looks overall.
 Here I've lined up my fusible on various fabrics. because I always make repetitions for my flower applique stash, there may be duplicates here, so don't try to count them!
It's my pattern, but even I need to properly prep beforehand. I know it can be repetitive, but it's the best use of your time and resources.
 I can't wait to show you my bouquet!
Hopefully in time for WOW...

Wednesday 28 January 2015

WOW: Lily Rose, a better bloom by far

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

After much umming and ahhhing I decided that the batik fabric belongs behind the bloom head. So I remade the bloom with a bright mid yellow and I think it looks great now. Sometimes it takes a bit of playing around to find the look you know is waiting for you. 
Because my blooms have a habit of growing, I'm keeping strictly to the pattern and checking it up against the template and background. Everything fits beautifully and its time to move on to the lily. 
What do you think of my leaves? I have fussy cut them from an old stash piece and the stroke work looks just like painted leaves. I love it, its a great touch. 
What's Your WOW ?

Tuesday 27 January 2015


I just had to make a quick post to celebrate the fact that my Yahoo BOM Group now has over 5,000 members! The very first pattern I ever released was Red Delicious. I still LOVE that quilt. And I love knowing that there are hundreds of Red Delicious quilts out there. A few years ago, I was sent images from a 'Red Delicious' show that took place here in Australia and another over in the US. That really made my day and it's really what we're all about - making quilts!

We're more than just a quilting Group, we're a friendship Group as well, and I love seeing members from all over the world comment and and share images of their quilts, it's such a blessing to share in the pleasure of quilting with others from all walks of life. If you're a member, thank you for being part of my Yahoo BOM Group, I'm so glad you are.

A huge thank you to our Moderators who keep our Group spam and nuisance free as well as providing endless advice, tips, suggestions and encouragement. We're so blessed to have moderators who are also skilled quilters as well as being Yahoo Group savvy. And I really mean that, because without Moderators there would be no Group, I simply couldn't do it without them and simply wouldn't.  Thanks to our current moderators: Anne Marieke, Bunny, Pat and Glenda for being such a great team. And many thanks also to Jane who was such an important member of our moderating team for a while too. Of course, Moderators have busy lives like the rest of us and I'm grateful for the time they do or have spent making our Group work. It's a sacrifice and commitment I know we're all grateful for. Thank you.

My Yahoo BOM Group is open to any quilter who wants to or is making any of my patterns. Members are asked to follow Group Rules to keep communication friendly, on topic and spam free. Each year I release my original patterns in the Group for free to members. Membership is free and joining is free.
5,000 and growing !
Are you a member yet?

To celebrate 5000 members, I'm offering the Red Delicious & Cherry Thieves Table Runner patterns (my first free BOM patterns) at 50% off. Simply use coupon code "wow5000" in my shop at the checkout. All other patterns in my shop are 25% off this week only to allow members who missed out on any past free BOMs to buy any patterns they love at the best possible price. Simply use coupon code "wow25" at checkout to activate.
Red Delicious was my first ever free BOM. I still love it today and would make it again in a heartbeat (if I had the time) in a new colour scheme. Luckily for me, many of you did make it and this means that I've enjoyed seeing it made in many hues. The Cherry Thieves Table Runner below goes with Red Delicious and was also released for free back in 2008.

Monday 26 January 2015

Lily Rose: Applique Bloom

Time for some fun! I think applique-ing flowers and bouquets is the best bit about Lily Rose, I'm really looking forward to getting creative with the centre and it all starts here, with the first bloom.

Now, I have measured my oval template against the pattern and I am certain that everything fits. Please take the time to do this and double check your accuracy. If your oval frame is a little bit out, you have an opportunity to resize or re-position the vase bouquet to make it all work. If you have mis calculated, making an adjustment is preferable to re-making the oval frame, so check everything twice. As you make your flowers, keep checking them against the pattern as they have a habit of growing when they are away from their intended background!
I am using wash away fusible again as my template and ironing it down onto this dyed fabric. I have specifically chosen it for the rich colours. I'm essentially fussy cutting to get a more orange yellow graduation through the flower.
It looks like this: purple with some tinges of orange, gold and yellow.Now I just have to select the background of the bloom by changing what fabric will go beneath my batik bloom shape.This means auditioning several fabrics from my stash. I want the blooms to pop out but I also want them to harmonise with my patchy HSTs (that's why I created my HST border before starting the flowers). 
The one above is too dull for the batiks and
the one below I like, but is probably too mid tone
I keep going between muted pink, light and dark lilac
these are actually two distinct colours in real life although on my monitor they look the same
I'm beginning to think that maybe the fusible part of the bloom might be what's wrong, I think I will make several bloom and try auditioning those to see how I go. I really like the batik purple bloom, but there's something amiss with it at this stage.

I often make extras of flowers and applique bits and pieces when creating my quilts. In fact I have a box of all these extra blooms and one day I will sew them all down on a single cloth dark background as a dramatic wall hanging. So I really don't mind making the extra, I'm just surprised that I have to this time as I had such a clear impression that I was going to make a bloom with the batik.

I'll keep playing and let you know how I go...

Friday 23 January 2015

Lily Rose: the Hearts

I decided to do all my hearts at once. Of course, I did opt for the heart blocks in the Lily Rose border which are optional. I think these blocks really add something special to the quilt and I have a real soft spot for them.
It's just a simple method of tracing out my hearts onto wash away fusible, ironing it down my chosen fabric, cutting it out with a small seam, and then gluing the edge fabric with Elmer's disappearing purple glue and turning the edges over with a small cuticle stick, keeping the whole shape smooth.

You can also create this process with freezer paper using my freezer paper applique method (see my tutorial on the sidebar), but in that case you need to remove the freezer paper. I'm very fond of the freezer paper technique, the reason I use wash away fusible is because I find it easier to work with in terms of speed. Also, I print out my pattern on a copier that prints the pattern directly into the fusible and this saves me time too.
My Bernina 820 has been very bad today. I'm having ongoing trouble using anything but the plainest thread. With this machine, thread, tension and stitch troubles are the three key issues with it. It's the same issue over and over. I am determined to have my gold stitched hearts, but its becoming more trouble than its worth. 
 I have a lot of experience stitching in metallic thread so I go through my thread stash trying them all out until one is accepted by my temperamental machine. Once again, the simplest sewing endeavours become a struggle.
 the Bernina 820 ruins this heart with poor stitch work so I have to remake it. Like most quilters I don't have time to re-make otherwise perfectly good blocks and I certainly don't expect my sewing machine to be the reason why I should! It's remarkable to me that a machine this 'advanced' could chew up and spit out stitches like this
I'm surprised anew at how badly my 820 is performing. It has a knack for turning what should be the simplest work into messy, unusable work. Thanks Bernina. 
I got ahead of myself when I thought the Bernina 820 could be used for a simple blanket stitch - it can't. I'll be changing my plans for the rest of the quilt now. Decorative stitches are out.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

WOW: Lily Rose Patchy Border

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I'm having one of those weeks. My copier has died with a tricky CE40 error code and being the one tool I most rely on, its totally thrown out my schedule for January. I'm really unhappy about it, however there's nothing I can do so I've decided to take my frustrations out with some repetitive sewing, that way something good will come from my January set back. Having three patterns sitting on my copier desk ready for scanning in just makes it worse. What else can I do but sew? I'm going to make the most of my computer downtime by getting behind my sewing machine. Seeing that I need to finish Lily Rose ASAP, it might even be auspicious. At least that's how I've decided to think about this pause to my BOMs progress and hopefully, if nothing else, I'll have Lily Rose up to date and perhaps even finished before February. 
Apart from two greens meeting up (how did that happen?) I'm really pleased with the balance of patchy fabrics making up my Lily Rose HSTs. Who would have thought such a simple border would cause me so much time and (over) thinking? The good news is that I really love this effect, it's so complimentary to the centre design. And now I can re-focus on my applique bouquet in the centre. 

What's Your WOW ?

Thursday 15 January 2015

Oma's Blues: Part 1 of this Free New BOM is Launched

We're starting Oma's Blues with the central plate, "Oma's Plate'. This is a digital image of the design. As mentioned in the Introductory Post, I'm having trouble settling on the right blue to show this pattern off in its best light, but you get the idea.

The pattern itself contains extra flourishes and lines to enhance the design - this image is of the pattern pre embellishments. I just love everything about this plate and plan on making two - one for my quilt and one for a matching cushion.

In this first part of the BOM, you receive the fabric requirements for the whole quilt and from the blue fabric allocation, you create the applique on a white background to complete this block. For those of you with beautiful blue fabrics in your stash, pull them out and search for any motifs suitable for broderie perse, this quilt is perfect for showing off fussy cutting and embellishments.

This is where we're up to, quilt wise:

Oma's Blues is a free BOM made available to members of my Yahoo BOM Group. 
Schedule: Jan - Nov 2015. New blocks released 15th of each month. 

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