Saturday, 14 May 2016

Sweet 2016, Part 4: Chocolate Cake for One

This month it's time for a little self indulgence..and who could blame a sorely tempted quilter for tucking into a treat this charming? There's a Chocolate Cake for One under the glass dome and it's adorned with a too cute strawberry and garnished with a pansy. Yes please!
This past month I've eaten more chocolate cake than I care to admit, so it's an unusually fitting month and my mouthwateringly delicious chocolate hued fabrics have me craving yet another slice!
I always knew this Cake for One would feature in the Mystery. In fact, it was the first treat I sketched and became the Mystery mascot - so if you recognize it, that's why!
Be sure to copy and create your template pieces accurately. The Mystery is beginning to grow into a visual delight and it's easy, as the months go on, to get a bit careless with accuracy. The most important thing is that your finished applique block neatly matches the pattern. 
I still haven't sorted out my background fabric. The problem is, I love all the ideas - floral, plain, light, checked, barn wood, grey. black and jet blue. Oh, and I was rather taken by a red velvet also. I've set my many possibles aside and will re-visit them when I've finished my blocks. Or when inspiration strikes - whichever comes first. I've purchased more than 8 separate fabrics for my background and none of them are 'just so' when they arrive, so I've had to put a stop to background daydreaming and stick with the blocks themselves. I'm sure the right background will speak to me when it's least I hope so! Fabric selection is my downfall. I can never decide. 
Here are my stash fabrics for the cake, strawberry and pansy. I had planned on making my pansy from the pattern - putting down a larger outline and then drawing in the small inner pansy shape that is just too fiddle for turn edge. This could be easily done with Indian Ink and penwork. But then I remembered my pansy stash. When I started out in quilting, every quilter I knew had a pansy stash. Lately I haven't seen much evidence of pansy fabrics, but I know they are out there!
 Here's my own favorite. Isn't it sweet?
Of course, if you have any other flower from a fabric in your stash, now is the perfect opportunity to fussy cut and allow it to adorn your cake. It just needs a little flower and I suspect I will get to see lots of different pansies and roses when this block gets made in the Group. I can't wait.
It's a little dome this month. This dome is the smallest size that occurs in the Mystery and it's set aside for the little morsels that need to shine all on their own. Most importantly, be sure that your dome doesn't grow and is an accurate match to the pattern.
I'm still undecided on whether to fringe my domes with flourished edges or not. I can't decide, I let the sweets sway me one way or another each month. This month, I've opted for decorative detail and I just think it makes the stand look so much cuter.
 to make it really tempting, I went in with my permanent fabric pens and enhanced some colours and in lines in the fabric. These little touches can just add the finishing touch, so don't be afraid to play.
 This is where we are up to in the Mystery..
As you can see, I've opted to pin my blocks onto the paper template each month rather than a fabric. It helps me put my fabric indecision to one side and focus on the gorgeous desserts instead.
Understanding the pattern release schedule: anyone can join Sweet 2016 at any time and when they do, they will receive a new block each month from that point onward. The day they receive each new block will depend on the date they signed up and made their first payment. Everyone who starts Sweet 2016, starts at the beginning, Part 1. Specific blocks cannot be purchased out of turn. This means that the Group can be up to Part 4 whilst some members have only received Part 1, 2 or 3. Only the first BOM starters - those members who signed up before and during the launch are up to Part 4.

Whenever you choose to start this BOM, be sure to keep us updated on your progress by sharing your work over in our Sweet 2016 BOM Facebook Group, see you there!

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

Friday, 13 May 2016

Hazel & Little Hazel: Part 5

With everything that's been going on in the last month I've been in something of a time warp. I can't believe it's been a month since my mother passed away - and I'm also shocked when I  consider all the travelling and goings on I've got through in that time too. No wonder I'm exhausted! Luckily the Moderator's kept the Group going like they always so, and I'm reminded all over again that we're so lucky to have them.

I was really surprised to see so many Hazel Swirl blocks completed over in the Group. I couldn't believe how many of you have progressed along each month without skipping a beat! When I fist came across the working from the reverse method (which I showed you in Hazel Swirl), it took me a while to get my head around the whole idea - but you all seem to have taken it in your stride!

It's really impressive and I was cheered up to see all the centre blocks and swirls waiting around so patiently for this month - and the color and fabric ranges out there - WOW! There's so many of you that every taste, mood and scheme is just about covered. I love to browse the pics and see what you've all been getting up to. And I love the ease of Facebook for doing that - sharing, commenting and linking in is so easy. Actually it's the only reason I love Facebook and I wouldn't be there otherwise. But the ease of connecting with you all over there is just too good to pass up.

This month we're creating the Hazel Star block. In comparison to the last three months, it feels like things just got easy. Most of you know how to piece and will have no trouble at all with this block. I love how it comes together, it's really striking and in the quilt design, it moves the eye along to create a visual flow and connection. Last month's Hazel Swirl blocks represented the winds, this month the Hazel Star blocks represent the sky and surrounding the compass centre point, it all comes together to make me think of journeys, pathways and movement in general.

Remember to read through the pattern before making a start and take your time prepping the pattern Templates. Here's how I made mine:
 the first thing I did was to create 'units' as per the pattern
be sure of your fabrics and Template pieces before attempting to group them
 and then sew these 'units' together to create larger units
 which slot into place 

Hazel & Little Hazel are my current Free BOMs  
You can join my BOM Group my clicking here now. It's full of fabulous, talented women sharing their work, ideas and inspirations as they make my quilt patterns. Join us and our friendly, supportive community today. 
Wait until the 15th of each month and download the available pattern right here directly on my blog. The choice is yours. My old Yahoo Group has closed due to limitations on the platform. If you haven't come over to the new group, now is a good time.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

WOW: Comfort Food

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
The last two weeks have been completely surreal. I'm just about over the flu, although still over tired. All my plans to get back into a routine are still just plans and I haven't even finished unpacking our suitcases or tackled the washing. I'm torn between taking it easy or getting back to normal and find I still can't decide to do either most days.

On Sunday it was Mother's Day, and also a month to the day since my mother passed. Although I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I had been craving cake all week so we splurged on a beautiful and decadent chocolate mousse which we ate off my wedding plates. I found them when I sorted through my mother's things, and they made the journey home in one piece which was a nice surprise.

I don't know why food tastes so much better when it's beautiful to look at, but I find it is. 
Today I was hoping to catch up on some emails, but my email server, GoDaddy is down. I've googled it and am relieved to know it's not just me, it's worldwide ( I couldn't handle any new tech issues on top of everything else). So I might try and get some laundry done. It's about time.

What's Your WOW? 

Friday, 6 May 2016

Love Entwined: Month by Month: Part 3

In Part 3 it's time to create and put down the centre elements; these motifs take place around the centre compass and position themselves as markers indicating North, East, South and West. This strong repeat reference after the actual compass block is one that still intrigues me. Is it simply stylistic? Or is there a more romantic statement being pieced and stitched down? 
These 'hearts and crosses' have always made me wonder about the makers sentiment's of love making the world go around and I always make a point of noticing where each maker today places her motifs - some have opted to start the Hearts in the North point and I love noticing how and why this happens with each quilt. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

WOW: May Already?!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Well I've been home a whole week now and the flu has hit me hard. When I first arrived home, I was tired and a bit flat, but I didn't feel unwell. In fact, I felt inspired to pick up my Love Entwined and get some serious hand stitching done. But before I could make a start or even unpack my suitcases, the flu hit and hit hard. I think now that my body was waiting until I was home again to fall sick. The shock, grief and virus has come all at once. Both my DH and I have been ill for the past 8 days and I'm completely sick and tired of being sick and tired. So today, it's more bed rest for me and looking forward to a week ahead. A week free of illness and full of calm reflection. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

WOW: Home Again

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
After all the turmoil, sadness and travel of the last 3 weeks, it feels good to be home again and sleeping in my own bed. The downside is that I have come down with a full blown flu and it's severe. My DH has it too, so we're both taking it as easy as can be expected. I'm hoping to feel better enough to finally dig into this parcel from the Fat Quarter Shop which arrived just before I left and still hasn't been fully unpacked. Since arriving home yesterday, I've really enjoyed seeing how far so many of you have progressed with Hazel and I've been pining for Love Entwined. With several newly finished in the Group, I suddenly feel in the right frame of mind to pick it up again. But I'm much too sick for any sewing today. It will be tea, bed rest and plenty of lemon and honey for me.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

WOW: A Week So Soon

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Today I'm trying to stay as well as possible; it's hard to create small familiar comforts during travel, but lemon tea always helps and I hope it will nip my head-cold in the bud before I have to get on a plane again. Travel during sickness is always tedious and I'm doing everything I can to avoid it. It's hard to consider the routine and ordinary when my mother's funeral is so fresh in my mind, but I'm doing well and the love and support of family and friends has been a great support during this sad time. Thanks to all of you for your kind words and prayers, they make all the difference.

What's Your WOW?

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