Friday 31 March 2017

Hop to it with Egg Hunter Bunny

We still have 2 weeks until Easter - plenty of time to make Egg Hunter Bunny a part of your yearly festivities. And yes, this greedy bunny celebrating his chocolate conquest under a celebration of bunting is still available for free. So hop to it and make your own Easter wall hanging!

Easter Blessings is available to members of my BOM Group for free (it's over in the FILES area). For those of you who don't want to join the Group over on Facebook, you can download it right here, right now, simple click the link below and a PDF download will begin. 
 Yes, it's currently completely free. 
No signups, email lists, hurdles or other scams, simply download and enjoy.
After Easter 2017, it will no longer be available for free, so if you love it, get it!

Wednesday 29 March 2017

WOW: 5790 .. and growing

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
My BOM Quilt Group is an online quilting community that's just over a year old -and today we have 5,790 members. What an achievement! The stats show that the majority of downloads still happen right here on my blog so I wanted to share this wonderful information with those of you who read my blog but haven't joined the Group yet. I know many of you won't cross over and join us because the Group is on Facebook - and I completely respect that. It's why I make my patterns available right here on the blog as well as in the Group - so no one need miss out. But I wanted to say hello because I know you're reading this and are downloading my patterns but are not connected with the daily ongoing chat and friendship happening over in the Group itself. You're still an important part of our 'community' and I'm always interested to know (and see!) what pattern of mine you're making and how you're getting on. So please keep in touch via comments or emails. Some of you do take the time to email me your pics and I love that, so thank you.

I never thought that my quilting would have so much of the good stuff focused online, so that aspect of connecting with others has been a pleasant surprise! I hope that one day the technology will catch up with our requirement and I'll be able to host all the features of a Facebook Group on a private website, but until that happens (and I am always looking), Facebook will have to do.

Most thanks of course belong to our Moderators. Our Group is private and moderated - it keeps out the Facebook riff raff that post nonsense and allows us to focus on all the good stuff. Many thanks to you: Anne Marieke, Glenda, Bunny, Pat and Eleanor (and not forgetting Jane who will always be a part of our Moderating team in spirit for everything she did before she moved on) for all the friendship, resilience, love and devotion you volunteer in sharing your time, knowledge and blocking / deleting know-how with us.

As for me, I'm currently drafting up another pattern. It looks like 2017 is my year to release all those patterns that have been gathering dust in my folio for the last 10 and get them out into the world. More on that later..

What's Your WOW?

Sunday 26 March 2017

Easter Blessings: My Applique Top

This is my top so far. I'm deciding between these two print fabrics for the border instead of eggs. Or I might add some newspaper eggs on top of the print if I feel like it at that stage.
I really love both these two prints and presently can't decide.
I knew straight away that I wanted this newspaper print for the background
and here's my basket and trim fabric
with all my flower heads created, cool and set aside, I created my basket in the same way
Then I positioned my stems and leaves in accordance with the pattern
I used my light box beneath my applique top 
whilst it was still on the applique matt and not yet ironed down
This allows me to see any overlap
Ii don't want 'ridges' showing through my applique front
And if there's too much fabric layering, it can appear obviously from the front after ironing
If you look closely, you can see I have cut away the excess basket handle length 
behind the bunny ears as they were showing through
and the background fabric over the overlapped basket back to cut down on bulk
And my block front.
Voila! What do you think?!

Saturday 25 March 2017

Easter Blessings: Using Release Paper

It's time to put my Easter Blessings applique top together and for this, I'm using Vliesofix fusible webbing. To create my motifs from all the cut out applique shapes, I used a 'release' matt which is the brown semi transparent sheet you can see on top of my constructed pattern sheet throughout these images. At this stage of creating the motifs, I already have all my fabric pieces numbered, cut out and backed with the webbing. Then, just before creating each motif, I peel off the webbing and place each shape onto its position corresponding with the pattern.

I start with the centre, layering from the background up
in between placing each piece into position, I quickly and gently apply heat from my iron
it's important not to over iron and / or overheat the applique during these stages
Next up I iron the side furls down because the following piece will overlap it
This is because you put the background pieces down first
and work 'forwards' in this way until you add the last 'topper most' piece
Having the pattern beneath my release matt allows me to keep to the pattern 
and make sure my shapes are accurate
like so
and again on the other side
Once all down, allow to cool completely.
I'm not adding the tulip stamen and seeds on this sheet, 
I will do that on my actual quilt background to save me double handling
Once cool, gently peel the motif off the release matt
It's important not to force this step or to peel when warm or you might warp the fabric
It should be completely cool and come away easily when you roll the release matt between your fingers
It's been a while since I used Vliesofix instead of turn edge applique and I forgot how messy it gets!
I like the look of raw edge on this mini quilt so I'm very happy with the result
Be sure to come back tomorrow when I show you my quilt background and applique top..

Friday 24 March 2017

Easter Blessings 2017

Each year I like to release an Easter Project and this year it's Easter Blessings
A bouquet of parrot tulips, a mischievous bunny and plenty of charm—it must be Easter. I just love this abundant basket of bulbs and it's admiring hopper in the tradition landscape layout (above) but I also know that there'll be those of you who have a perfect spot that would suit a portrait design rather than the original landscape option, so I've made another version. In face, this project offers you three styles: the original landscape layout, a portrait option and an Easter Egg bonus for all those chocoholics out there who want to celebrate the fun of garden treasure hunts along with bunny and bunting to boot! Speaking of bunny, this little fellow is too sweet to kick out of my garden patch, with his twitching ears and possessive taste in tulips, he’s the star of the show.

The finished size is 32 x 24 inches which is a perfect golden ratio number whether you opt for the landscape or portrait layout. With the 2 inch border, you have multiple options. The pattern shows a layout consisting of 2 x 2 inch border blocks which when turned, create an egg shape. However if piecing these 2 inch blocks doesn’t appeal, simply add your 2 inch border and applique the egg shapes into position or leave the egg shapes out completely and replace those motifs with an interesting fabric print. It’s up to you! Which will you choose?!
It's a real honor for me to keep up this free Easter Project tradition. When I started out in quilting, I wanted to connect with other people who were passionate about the art of creating and who wanted to be part of a 'creative bubble' with me. A place where we could create and inspire and dream- all in fabric. I didn't know then that this creative hub would indeed happen, but that it would happen unexpectedly and online of all places. But it did and I'm so grateful that it turned out that way.

Another thing I didn't expect was that the Group would attract the most perfect people to it - our Moderators - who, as well as being skilled and committed were also prepared to volunteer their time for free - just to help others get what they needed in order to get on with creating. What an unexpected surprise it is when I look back on how all these events turned out. What a blessing!

This Easter is a reminder to me that life goes on and what time we have is both precious and fleeting. This time last year, I was completely oblivious to the fact that my mother was about to die. In the time since, I've thought a lot about what a blessing it is to have life and to be in a position to share life's passions with others. I do indeed believe in Easter and in the power and beauty of acknowledging that blessings abound. 

It's an honor for me to share my Easter Blessings with you this year 
 I hope that you'll love it as much as I do!
Be sure to come back as I'll be showing you how I made my own Easter Blessings in a tutorial post tomorrow. You know how much I love seeing your work, so be sure to join my BOM Group and share your own thoughts and ideas as you make your block.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

WOW: A Lovely Beesting

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
When is a bee sting lovely? When it's a cake slice .. delicious :)

Today I'm in a Springtime kind of mood. I've just finished the pattern for my free Easter Project which will be released on Friday, (be sure to come back and download this lovely project, it's a real gem) and now I'm preparing a plate to take to my end of term sewing class. I've been volunteer teaching a group of young ladies to sew (general sewing, not quilting) and it's been great fun. Today, we're finishing up after a successful 10 weeks of sewing essentials and it's a perfect excuse for some slices, pastries and biscuits during morning tea.

As you can see, I'm cheating. I didn't actually bake this bee sting slice, I bought it - along with some other lovely morsels to make up a 'plate' to take in with me. I'm afraid that I am mostly beyond baking sweet things. I just can't be bothered and shop bought tastes and looks so much better. I probably shouldn't admit that, but it's true. Nowadays, my DDs bake all the celebration cakes in our household and they are much better than shop bought in those instances. But when it comes to slices and morning teas, I have no knack for homemade cupcakes, macaroons or things with custard and cream.

My talents are better spent with fabric creations. And speaking of fabric creations, I can't wait to share the 2017 Easter Project with you. See you on Friday!

What's Your WOW?

Monday 20 March 2017

Secret Garden: Colouring In Block 2

Last week I showed you how I made my bluebells. Well, I've accepted that they're bluebells, I like to keep it ambiguous - they can be whatever you envision them to be. So, after making up my bluebells I started rethinking my yellow print stems. I felt they took away all focus from the beige toned leaves. Then I thought it was actually the leaves that required enhancing. I couldn't decide how to balance out the block.
So I took out my coloured pencils and crayons to play around with my block and get things more how I 'see' them in my mind. I love colouring over fabric prints with coloured pencils and water soluble crayons. Once you heat seat these quality pigments, they're permanent so there's no need to worry. And, the little touches you make can really impact a big difference. Usually I highlight areas of an applique block with a tiny amount of white, yellow or block matching colour to make certain areas stand out more than others - but this time I'm creating a gentle wash to change the tone of an existing print.
This is my usual colouring in work for applique blocks - a simple enhancing of the existing colour - in this case blue with some added highlight in white to give my flat fabric some dimension. I think the Prisma pencils work best for this.
It just adds some overall subtle visual movement
For the gentle tone wash, I move over to my favourite crayons. They're Caran D'Ache which is the gold standard in pencils, crayons and colouring in pigments. These are water soluble crayons and like the Prisma pencils, they are permanent once heat set. They are pricey - this set cost me AU$160, but they last for years. I've had this set for several years now and I've no doubt I won't exhaust it for a few more years yet.
Being water soluble, I can mix a small amount of pigment with some water and use this to 'paint' with
This is my 'before'
and this is my after
It's a small change which blends in the stark print which was glaring at me.
And that's it for now. It's time for me to get on with making Part 3 so you can actually see what I've done by the time it gets released April 1st. 

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 

Welcome to this wonderful Mystery BOM 

This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!

Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey started February 1st, 2017
You can join right now
Digital pattern downloads are instant!
The BOM runs for 12 months
The pattern will be emailed to you directly each month
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches
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