Saturday, 31 October 2015

Pattern Making Leaves

Nothing inspires me more than nature. Actually, most of my designs are based around a desire to showcase designs styled and interpreted on and around natural floras and the fabrics that make those designs shine throughout the year - be it frosty winters, bright springs or warm, woody autumns, 
Naturally this means I press just about any leaf I come into contact with! Whenever I go out, I scan any foliage around me for interesting shapes that I can use in the future. Sometimes I even send my DH to complete strangers' doors to ask for permission to take some leaves from their front yard trees. Up until now, they've always said yes, which is lucky for my design kit.
Mostly, I wipe the leaves down, place them between clean sheets of paper and pop them into cook books (these are always the books that I seem to open up the least and are always 'heavy' enough to do the pressing. And then, voila!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Proper Care & Storage Of Sewing Needles

When I was a girl, I used to store my favourite sewing needles on the collar of the blouse I was wearing. Now that I'm teaching a children's class in hand sewing, I decided that the perfect end of term gift would be a a sewing case for each child. They're about to progress to real sewing needles now (advancing from plastic needles) so the timing is perfect.
I purchased this fabric 15 years ago and at that stage you can see it had already been waiting around in someone elses stash. In fact, I do wonder how many stashes it's been in since 1988?! I'm quite pleased that it's being put to good use after all these years.
 I really like that it's the perfect template for my little cases, it even has a 'spine', it's stash busting serendipity :)
I've used bright fabrics for the insides and batting for the needles
I love the applique design style animals, its a little nod to my passion for quilting
Hmmmm, feels like it's missing something...
...and it was! After these photos were taken, I stitched button holes and added a button on front - and then it felt 'just right'. I hope the class likes them.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

WOW: The Green Bowl

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Since my last Pinterest fail, I decided that I would find an easy 'do-able' cake recipe that I can make up for my DH without having to pull out the cake mixer and make a big deal of it. Interestingly, I do own a cake mixer (that gets used only yearly), as well as a gorgeous set of mixing bowls that are sitting in the cupboard, nested perfectly and gathering dust. When I need to mix, I always pull out this bowl which is 35 years old. How old?! I can barely believe I just typed that.

In this bowl I have mixed cakes for all my children's birthdays (back when it was the norm to bake your children's birthday cakes yourself) and made countless Easter and Christmas mixes too. It's interesting how a plastic bowl can have so much value, but the truth is, no matter how many times I replace it, I just can't bare to let it go.

It looks like I'll be using it until it falls apart. Unless it goes on to outlive me. It's German made, so anything's possible!

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Patricia Stephans' Love Entwined

Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet by Patricia Stephans of QLD, Australia (and her long suffering DH helping hold it in place during the photograph :) ) All hand stitched and quiltedPatricia chose the colors of purple and gold as they depict the colors of the jacaranda and silky oak trees that are out in blossom in Queensland

What can I say? It's beautiful and inspiring, Here we have yet another Love Entwined -hand sewn- that reflects the life and nature surrounding the quilter who created it. What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your work with us Patricia, it sure is motivational for those of us stitching along on this extraordinary heirloom.

This quilt will be added to the Love Entwined Gallery so it can be enjoyed alongside other LE's as and when they're made. If you've made LE, please consider sharing it with us all via the gallery.

Details on how to do this are listed on my website, click here for the link.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

'Nelke', my new FREE Quilt Pattern

When I saw Di Ford's new fabric range 'Cloverdale House' I knew I HAD to have it. Then, when I'd purchased enough to make 'something' (I really wasn't sure what it would be quite yet), I left it in my sewing room to keep looking at and pondering over. Well, it started to remind me of 'Nelke', a sketch I'd created and hadn't turned into a pattern yet. And, the more I thought about it, the more I was decided. 
I was certain I would use the beautiful minty blue fabric as the main, but as you can see, I didn't. I think I'm saving it for I don't know what. All I know is, it will come in handy for something, I can just feel it. 

Instead, I've gone for the beautiful greens, browns and beiges which makes it a perfect blender to show off gorgeous fabrics- you can go into brights or mute it right down. This naive sketch is really versatile. Of course, I've set my heart on using the Cloverdale House range, but I do wonder what fabrics you can imagine working with?!
I can't really put my finger on what spoke to me from this range, I thought it was the minty blue, but the rest of the range slotted in so perfectly with my sketch that I didn't want to fight it. I just went with it. In case you're curious (I know I would be), I purchased Cloverdale House on my own at my local quilt shop, this isn't a sponsored post. Frankly, I wish I had been sent the range because with a little bit of forewarning, I would have had the perfect project for the minty blue which I am just itching to use. As it is, I'll have to allow my inspiration to brew a little longer...

This past week, I've been fighting my copier, scanner and PDF software (which died of course). I think I have a new pattern bug - whenever I attempt to release one, something in my house 'retires'.
Hopefully I'll be able to iron out these time zapping annoyances - I've got a line up of patterns ready for release as well as my annual Christmas Project coming soon, so I could really use a bit of technological relief!
This complete pattern is available right now for free in my Yahoo BOM Group

Patterns like this don't suit BOMs, so I'm releasing the entire pattern as a once off. The pattern will be free for a limited time, so if you're interested, the time to download it is now.

Thanks for your support everyone. This year my readership has skyrocketed and I'm humbled by the support and continued kindness that readers of this blog keep showing and sharing with me. Thank you! Sharing what I do with like minded quilters is a passion of mine and giving anyone who's interested the opportunity to take part in my patterns is my pleasure.

Yahoo Group Members: some of you have asked me to start offering A3 options for the pattern template printing and this is something I'm looking into. I know how annoying it is to paste down and construct all those A4 pages when you know you could do it faster in A3. I'm all for saving time! I'm hoping to upload A3 templates this week, so sit tight and I'll notify members over in the group when I get this done.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

WOW: Finishing the Patterns

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Where did last week go? I can hardly believe it's Wednesday again already?! I've been adjusting my 'processes' since my favorite copier broke down on me and it's taken me longer than usual to find a system I can use to release my patterns. Technology feels like such a pain sometimes.

Anyhow, it's been quiet on my blog as I've been busy creating several new patterns and will be releasing a few of them before the end of this year. The rest are lined up for 2016 - it's going to be an exciting year, so if you're thinking about starting a new quilt project, stay tuned. I've ventured through my sketchbooks and have finally added some of my more modern (and easier) designs as well as more piecing to my regular applique obsession. I can admit it - I love applique and too much is never enough.

I've already started tracing the pattern onto fusible as I hope to get the top done - this is the new aim for my designs, getting the tops done even if it looks like there's no feasible time to get the rest done!

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Valerie Harmer's Love Entwined

Valerie Harmer saw Love Entwined on my blog and decided that she needed a challenge. Well, I think she succeeded! But let me tell you how - this stunning quilt you are looking at is hand sewn (applique), hand embroidered and hand quilted. What a feat!

And it just won:  Mixed Techniques: 1st Prize at the Queensland Quilter's Quilt and Craft Show

This incredible heirloom will be going to a grandchild. She's made all her children quilts upon their marriages and is continuing the tradition for her grandchildren in turn (she has 10!).

I'm in awe of her workmanship and just so in love with this beauty. Thank you Valerie for sharing your images with all of us. We all love seeing the work, time and passion that goes into making Love Entwined and I'm grateful to you for being generous to share it with us all to swoon over.

This quilt will be added to the Love Entwined Gallery so it can be enjoyed alongside other LE's as and when they're made. If you've made LE, please consider sharing it with us all via the gallery.

Details on how to do this are listed on my website, click here for the link.

Personally, I'm surprised that so many LE's are starting to appear all over the world - you all work so fast! I must have the most talented quilt readers on the internet.
 The joy of sharing beautiful quilts
thank you for sharing your quilt Valerie :) 
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