Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sweet 2016 Part 2: Raspberry Charlotte

Our dessert this month is the classic Raspberry Charlotte, with outer biscuits and inner raspberry mousse, jelly or pudding—depending on how you prefer your own recipe. This is an iconic dessert that always looks so impressive on the platter. I always think Charlottes are almost too pretty to eat, so creating one for Sweet 2016 was an easy choice - I don't think any dessert platter is complete without one! So here is my own.
Charlottes evoke so many pleasurable memories for me—I have always made mine in a berry flavor but you could also consider a peach, lemon or chocolate version to suit the colour scheme you have decided on. 

When making the biscuits, remember to keep any eye on your edges—the shapes and pieces have a habit of growing, so after constructing your pattern accurately, keep checking all your pieces against it to make sure your own dessert isn’t enlarging!

Each dome in this mystery is a different size, so approach each dome along with the dessert each month as a unique installment. You’ll also notice that this lower dome doesn’t have a decorative fringe. I have selected to have just three domes with lacy fringes in this mystery—and you can decide yourself whether you’d like none, some or all of them to be embellished in this way.

As in Part 1, I strongly recommend that you continue creating your motifs and setting them aside or pinning them against your chosen background—don’t sew anything down yet. 

As you can see, I'm still playing around with background options. I have been set on the idea of a light, possibly floral, background. But now I've seen Glenda's deep red and it really set my heart aflutter, it's gorgeous! Perhaps I will try out some moody dark backgrounds next - dark blue? velvet red? We'll see. The background it turning out to be a real mystery to me, there's always something and I do find it nearly impossible to select and then stick with colour schemes - there's just so many possibilities and I want to day dream over all of them! I've been lucky as there are so many colours and styles being made and shown over in my BOM Group over on Facebook that I've been able to consider many more variations than I originally would have done. Although I had a soft pastel idea in the beginning, I think that the style of my cakes will determine the background ultimately. The shades I choose and the stylistic tone will determine what I finally set my hear on. Until then, I'll keep playing around each month until something sticks. 

Tomorrow I'll show you just how I made my own Raspberry Charlotte, step by step. 

'Sweet 2016' is my current Mystery Applique BOM
It's just $3.95 per month
Delivered digitally, to your email inbox each month

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

WOW: Look Where I Showed Up!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I'm delighted to be featured as a domestic machine quilter in this month's Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine. It's always fun to be featured in a new magazine as it usually means new blog readers to connect with - I have such a large readership now that it still amazes me - especially over on Facebook where everything feels more live as it's so immediate. In many ways I feel that blogging has become a new kind of magazine, so many people pop in each day to see what's new and these days many of us (myself included) have an almost daily blogging read list. But still, there's something special about sitting down with a magazine and cup of coffee and I haven't yet found a laptop, tablet or mobile phone that beats it for comfort! I was really happy that this magazine arrived in the post yesterday - I actually did have a cup of coffee in my hand when the door bell rang and it was a lovely surprise - some exciting new reading!

What's your favourite quilting magazine? I'd love to know. At the moment, I'd have to say that mine is Quilt Mania as it's certainly the one I purchase most regularly. But then again, I surely haven't read them all - although I'd like to. Any suggestions most welcome :)

What's Your WOW?

Friday, 4 March 2016

Love Entwined: Month by Month: Part 1

'Month by Month' is all about sharing the original Love Entwined experience with new makers. There's just so much available to you now that it can be hard to find it - you can't see the wood for the trees, so to speak. Well, with all the new Love Entwined's that are starting up, I thought now would be an ideal time to re-visit the valuable info that was shared here on my blog, the first time around.

On the first Friday of each month I'll be re-visiting the blog posts that detailed my ideas, tips and techniques which cover how I went about making each part of the coverlet. Today I'm starting at Part 1 which makes it the ideal time for you to make a start yourself. Have you started this historic heirloom BOM? With all the info, experience and friendship built up around this quilt now, there's never been a better time.

This post archive below lists posts that are not always in date order - this is because I started my own Love Entwined outside of the first ever released BOM schedule and continued making it 'out of order'. This archive will help connect you with all the info you need to create your block. I suggest you read all the 'compass' posts listed below, once you have you'll be ready to take on the first block with complete confidence. Remember to keep us all posted on your progress over in my LE 1790 Marriage Coverlet Group over on Facebook.

Part 1: The Centre Compass Star
Looking back, I think the Compass requires the most focus compared to any other block for the coverlet centre. I didn't always feel that way, but considering the time I spent on it and the gained understanding from passing time and other people's experiences, I have to admit it can be tricky for applique devotees like me. Interestingly, many quilters who regularly paper piece just went ahead and got it done on the first attempt, so I suppose it all depends on how you usually spend your quilting time and focus your most technique effort on. When I made the Compass, I really wasn't spending any time on piecing so that may be why it took me a while to 'get warmed up'.

The Centre Compass Star tested my patience and I had to create several before making one I was satisfied with. I always say practice makes perfect and this compass put my words and nerves into practice! Oh boy, did I have some bad luck the first time around! I'm not sure exactly what happened with the very first one, but everything was just 'off' somehow. So I put it aside and started afresh. I'm rather prone to not always following my patterns exactly as I have a habit of getting ahead of myself and I suspect that's what happened with the first one, so I can tell you now - save yourself the time and trouble - follow the pattern exactly. Near enough will never be good enough. The eye is continually drawn 'in' on this design and you don't want to always be reminded of a not so perfect compass for years to come. Take your time, only start once you are settled on your fabrics (and completely in love with them as a scheme) and then practice patience, accuracy and careful construction. Once I actually went back and followed the pattern, step by step, it worked perfectly.
Speaking of construction, make up the pattern into quarter segments first and then join these segments to complete the compass. If you haven't made one before, make a sample first. Or, jump into the deep end and be prepared for a few lovely compass cushions!

Once completed, you can be doubly satisfied - that you have finished such a beautiful focal point of the centre and also that, best of all - from here on in, the rest will feel like applique play in comparison!

These posts below cover what you need to know, so take the time to read and learn from them. I've added all the relevant posts to help you complete Part 1 with ease and confidence.And remember, if you'd like to connect with other quilters making LE, we're all looking forward to warmly welcoming you to our Group.

See you there!

'Month by Month' is all about sharing the original Love Entwined experience with new makers. On the first Friday of each month I'll be re-visiting the blog posts that detailed my ideas, tips and techniques which cover how I went about making each part of the coverlet as well as listing a post archive for new members to browse and read up on. 

Love Entwined is a historic heirloom applique quilt now available as a monthly BOM. You can take part in Love Entwined as a monthly BOM for $9.95 USD per month. You can start any time. Visit my online pattern shop for more info by clicking here and whether you're starting out on a new LE journey or picking up where you left off, be sure to join the Love Entwined Quilt BOM Group.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

WOW: Get Your Brushes Ready!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday
Look what I found! I think it's about time to cover stencils again. The first time around, 7 years ago, when I had just started blogging, I covered this exciting technique and I got a lot emails from interested quilters who had no idea how rewarding it could be. Fast forward a few years and my blog has grown so much that I know some of you reading this post have no idea how passionate I am about stenciling as a traditional quilting technique. Yes, that's right, I said 'traditional'! 

Well, I'm about to share it with you - stay tuned because this weekend I'll be stating my online tutorial guide to stenciling, and you don't want to miss it!

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Phew! What a Year Already!

March is upon us and I am stunned at how quickly it seems to have arrived. Easter is now just around the corner. It's been a really busy start to 2016 here on my blog and I can tell you that I can see no signs of that slowing down!
In January I launched Hazel and Little Hazel (and I've got to tell you that there so many being made out there, it makes my head spin!) Over in my BOM Group on Facebook, there are images and styles aplenty to feast your eyes on - from bright and brash to soft and dreamy and they are all completely gorgeous. I can't wait to release Part 3 just so that I can see even more of them!
Also running right now is Oma's Blues over in it's own dedicated Group and, be still my beating heart, there is even one being made in red and white. Yes, can you believe it! How lucky am I? I get to see every possibility without having to live 50 lifetimes to fit it all in!
This Friday and each first Friday of the month, I'll be re-visiting Love Entwined, Part by Part for new makers. There are a lot of you out there and I noticed that you were all asking the same kinds of questions and technique tips that were covered in blog posts the first time around - which most new followers haven't read. So, starting at Part 1, I'll be covering how to make each part. If you've been thinking of making your own historic heirloom, the time is NOW! Join in and make 2016 your year to begin the coverlet.
And let's not forget how deliciously tempting Sweet 2016 has proven to be, it started last month - and the next installment is on the 15th of March. If you haven't joined us in this chic and sweet Mystery - what's stopping you?!

I've only just started, so stick around and be sure to join my Quilt BOM Group over on Facebook.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Back to the Future - Month by Month

As I go around and meet people, the thing I get asked the most is, 'do you think I can?' This question is asked by quilters who want to make a historic quilt, want to undertake this epic applique achievement and want to make a start on it - but feel daunted by the size and significance of Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet as a project.

And here's what I always reply because it happens to always be true: you can do anything if you break it down, step by step. If you want to create a once in a lifetime quilt or complete a family heirloom, this is it. For not only are you creating your own masterpiece, you're also weaving yourself into a story - of mystery, intrigue and historic value. What more could anyone ask of a quilt?! 

2016 is a wonderful year to start your own LE journey. And it's never been easier. For the first time ever, I have released the LE 1790 Coverlet pattern as a monthly pay as you go BOM. This means you sign up when you'r ready and receive a new block monthly. As a new starter, you'll have the added advantage of seeing how each block was made the first time around and learning from the experience and tips of those of us who have done it before you. This year Love Entwined has a new hub for sharing progress, ideas and asking questions - the LE Group over on Facebook. We already have over 400 members since launching last month and its the place to be if you're making this quilt and want to connect with other interested quilters who are making it themselves.

Remember, the quilt image you see above is created one step at a time, as you see below. And, as an added advantage, I have blogged my LE progress right here on my blog, so you'll be able to look up just how I tackled each block through my archives and see how it's done before even making a start yourself. That's a huge advantage and only bettered by the fact that we have over 400 LE Group Members on Facebook interested in this project. 
This year I'll be revisiting all my LE posts on the 1st Friday of each month 
starting with Part 1 on Friday March 4th

These posts will revisit the original launch posts and link to all relevant posts since then that are associated with that block. It's a way of connecting new makers to the wealth of skill and technique information available. And that also makes it the most ideal time to become of those makers yourself. 
So, have you made up your mind yet? 
If you'd like to start a LE journey yourself, now is the perfect time to do so.
It's just USD $9.95 per month 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Shop the Sale this Weekend with Craftsy!

Craftsy is taking an additional 20% off their existing clearance prices to give you great deals on their project kits and supplies for only a few days. Be sure to check out the deep discounts on your favorite brands before their Winter Clearance sale is over. Remember, the good stuff goes fast!

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