Saturday, 9 July 2016

Quilt Stenciling: Have You Tried It Yet?

Stenciling is not  new; in fact, it is one of the oldest and most authentic quilting techniques.

The European migrants arriving in New England brought the craze of stenciling with them to their new land. At that time, stenciling was popular on walls and furniture, eventually making its way onto textiles and whole cloth quilts. At it’s peak, the demand for stenciling saw ‘travelling stencil craftsmen’ make a living moving home to home with their stencil designs, working during the day in exchange for board and food. 

If only we could go back in time, I would love to unpack the settler’s luggage with them so I could see their beautiful stencil quilts and stencil patterns. We just don’t know what a rich legacy we’ve lost as the paints they used were either corrosive or food based and did not survive. From what little evidence exists from their walls and furniture, they were highly skilled and creative people and we’ve lost a lot. Today, stenciling is undervalued. This is a great shame as it demands workmanship and creativity and deserves respect as an authentic technique with a rich heritage.

Thanks to advances in fabric medium and paint, stencils made today will last as long as commercially printed fabric. And stenciling is so versatile, you can also achieve these results using paint sticks.

Do you have a journal full of design ideas?
Maybe you just want to try something new?

Stencilling allows you to really 'own' your quilt, from designing to technique and through to quilting. It forces you to really know your work whilst allowing you to run free of conventions. When I stumbled across stencilling, I was delighted with the results. Whilst not wanting to replace beautiful appliqué, the effect is beautiful and unique and allows a quilter to really make their mark in design and quilting. What a wonderful technique.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

WOW: Roses Galore!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've got roses on my mind this year: rose fabric, rose lace, rose prints, rose fragrance and now, rose patterns. Oh yes, we're rose crazy in my house. I have three upcoming patterns, each one rose based and I have no idea which one to release next as I love them all equally, so I decided to take some time out and relax - by colouring in a page of my own rose head designs. It worked!

Today I'm 'tidying' up my WOW piles and clearing out my folios - those patterns 1/2 and 3/4 near finished need to be finally completed and released so I can move on with new pattern adventures. I also have a Nelke update I need to get done and am looking forward to have some new designs float out into the world very shortly.

I can't wait to share more with you, but for now, it's back to my roses and pattern making.

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

July Glad Tidings!

Happy Christmas in July!
I just received an invite to a dinner party celebrating Christmas in July. What? When did all this happen? It's July already and my head is spinning!Where has the first half of the year got to?! I've been in a bit of a daze since my mother's death and I'm shocked at how quickly the months are rolling by. I had planned on releasing a 'Christmas in July'  pattern, but look at me now, it's already  the 5th and I haven't even looked at the Christmassy side of my folio.
Have You Made It?
Last year I released 'Glad Tidings' as my free end of year pattern set and after Christmas, I released the table runner over on Craftsy for free where it's been downloaded every day since then. Last night I received an email alert like I usually do letting me know how many downloads there have been. Well, there's been a sudden peak in downloads and the totals are now over 6,000!
Do You Love It?
I suppose everyone else is more organised than I am - July is the perfect month to start a festive quilt. And you  know what? As much as I love each piece of Glad Tidings, I haven't even made one for myself! So here's my request, if you've made Glad Tidings (any item) please send me a pic, I'd love to see it all made up :)
Can I see it?!
And if you haven't you still can, the complete table runner is available for free over in my pattern shop.  You can download it by clicking here now. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Dear You Know Who You Are

Dear you know who you are,

You read my blog and became excited about my upcoming project - so excited that you joined my Yahoo BOM Group the very same month my pattern was first launched in June 2013. You know the one: the historic, epic, heartfelt work I spent years drafting just so I could share it with the world - and did so, -freely- in order to revive interest in it's legacy. You know all about that too, because you faithfully downloaded my free patterns each month alongside thousands of other quilters. And like many others, you opened an album in my Group and shared images of your progress on the quilt I had released. You enjoyed working on such a historic and beautiful pattern.You were moved by the story behind the once lost quilt - but not because of its historic value, no, you were motivated by other factors.

Like many members making the pattern, you were inspired. But then you went and did something very different to all those other quilters. You waited. And once my pattern release was complete, once all 18 parts had been freely given and downloaded, you decided that it was now time for you to start your own historic quilt. Coincidentally, it was of course the very same historic quilt which I had just released. It was, you would point out, very different from mine. And yet, not really.

For this time around, you had the luxury of using my pattern as the foundation basis from which you could work from and tweak to suit. You pretended to create a pattern in the manner I had documented several years before. But you forgot to mention that you already had my pattern available to copy from. And copy you did. To you, Copyright meant nothing. Sharing my skills was simply a platform for you to take from. And you took. And you made superficial changes which you thought made you a new original, but it did not make you any such thing. You made a counterfeit in the truest sense of the word, for you copied without acknowledging the source design, you copied without respect for me or my work, without respect for the original, without respect for the first quilter who had labored and who's identity was lost and without respect for yourself.

You know that I strongly encouraged quilters to take my pattern and 'make it their own' with my best wishes on one condition - that they acknowledge the source of their design. Many did this with increasingly wonderful results. But not you. You refuse to acknowledge and credit the source of your design.

Now I get continuous emails letting me know you're selling this pattern of yours. And I wonder: do your students know the source of your design? Do they know the legacy of the work? Do they know the original was found and potentially saved because of the free pattern release? Do they understand what Copyright means? Do they know what a destructive domino effect occurs when quilter's start turning a blind eye to Copyright? With all these documented facts recorded, I'm shocked and disappointed by your brazen, dishonest behavior.

Quilter, you know who you are.
But, I wonder, do you know what you are?

Friday, 1 July 2016

LE: Month by Month, Part 5

Well, what a week for Love Entwined, it's been one good event after another for this this quilt this month! As I type this Month by Month installment, I'm still over the moon for Narelle Birchall who won 3 awards at the Sydney Quilt Show for her extraordinary Love Entwined. And the best bit? The LE quilt explosion has only just started warming up. There are thousands of LE's out there and I can't wait to see more of them in the years ahead. What a lovely start to July.

Now, time for covering part 5. Last month I went over what starting the vases looks like from a technique point of view and I also listed lots of links full of information and lovely pics to help you decide how to fashion your own. With the 4 vases, each of the four months is relevant, so don't forget to re-visit the Part 4 link for inspiration and techniques. 

The vases are so special, and you have so much scope to fine tune them to your own style. They're a focal point for the eyes and they're surrounding the main centre, so you can make each unique and standout in its own corner, or style them to all harmonize. The fabric choices you make here can really impact your borders to come. That's why the colours are so important. A few well placed blender tones introduced in the centre now will allow you to reintroduce those colours later in the quilt. 

For me, I chopped and changed my vase flowers multiple times, I just couldn't settle. And each new idea worked in it's own way, but I couldn't stop fiddling until it 'felt' right. LE has that effect on it's makers, you can play around for hours before the quilt lets you know what works. You can read all about how I got through the always difficult fabric auditions in my posts related to Part 5 linked below. 
Love Entwined is an extraordinary historic quilt pattern with it's own dedicated Group over on Facebook. You can purchase the pattern outright, or sign up to a monthly subscription that delivers a 'Part' to your email in-box each month for just $9.95. If you're interested in this once in a lifetime heirloom quilt, there's never been a better time to start. We've gone before you and have the blog posts, pics and experience to show you how we did it. Also, with an encouraging online group making LE themselves, there's always someone to connect with and chat to about this quilt.

What's stopping you?

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

WOW: What a Week!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm still all in a swoon about Narelle's Love Entwined looking so magnificent at the Sydney Quilt Show this year. I love all my quilts but it's a extra special feeling when they start showing up at Quilt Shows around the world and looking beautiful. I know there'll be a Love Entwined hanging at Houston this year too and I can tell you, I'm over the moon about it.

A few people have asked me if I'll release another free BOM after Hazel (which is nearly finished) and I'm happy to tell you that yes, I certainly will - so stay tuned. I'll announce the next free BOM when Hazel is completely done and dusted. Once again, I will be showing you what the completed quilt looks like because lots of members told me it was too hard to plan for a mystery, and I can appreciate that. So it will be a full reveal.

Thank you to everyone who supported me and purchased either Goldi, Bed of Roses (or both!) in the last 48 hours. I have a lot of patterns which I have decided to release and will be offering them for sale as and when I draft them for PDF patterning. Due to some loyal copyists out there, I'm no longer showing my design process here on my blog. This is because I design numerous quilts at once and it can be months before I get around to completing something I started months before - plenty of time for someone to take my idea, run with it and pose it as their own. So I'll only be showing them when they're ready for sale. And the next one? It's lovely, I can't wait to show it off..

What's Your WOW?

Monday, 27 June 2016

Narelle's 'Love Entwined' wins Viewer's Choice!

Narelle Birchall, Love Entwined

I'm thrilled to bits to hear this morning that Narelle's Love Entwined has won Viewer's Choice at the Sydney Quilt Show! It is an extraordinary piece of work with a breathtaking standard and intensity of workmanship. I know, I've been lucky enough to see it in real life.

Not only was Narelle the first person to finish Love Entwined, she finished it to an excelled standard of beauty and dedication and really did the pattern proud. Can you tell I love it?

Judging is a fickle thing, so it's all the more wonderful when quilters get to cast their own vote for their own quilt of choice - and it's no surprise to me that Narelle won Viewer's Choice. Frankly, I would have been amazed if she hadn't.

See more pics of Narelle's amazing quilt over in the Love Entwined Gallery by clicking here now.  

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