Wednesday 26 July 2017

WOW: Plugging Back In !

WOW = WIPS On Wednesdays
I've been offline for a week.. but it felt like time travelling back before the advent of the telephone. How did I even exist before the internet? Would someone please tell me? Of course, now that I'm back up and running I have a whole days worth of emails to deal with and there's always a few needles in those haystacks, so I'm brewing my coffee and will get stuck for a morning's catch up. If you're waiting to hear from me, I'll get back to you either today or tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

In more interesting developments, I asked members over in my Facebook BOM Group via a poll if they would like another quickie BOM taking them from August 15th to November 15th this year ... or a rest to start again in 2018 refreshed? Well, the results are in and there's another Free BOM starting August 15th. Stay tuned, I can't wait to show it off soon.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 19 July 2017

WOW: Diamond Hill is Finished!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Well, that 7 months went by real quick, didn't it?! In case you missed it, my Free BOM Diamond Hill finished this month. That's right, it's all over. And I have been bowled over by all the Diamond Hill beauties coming along wonderfully over in my Facebook BOM Group. WOW, there are some stunners over there, I just love feasting my eyes on all the colour combinations and styles each quilter has brought into the quilt design.

This stunner is made by Jenny Henry. Check out her blog by clicking here, she has plenty more Diamond Hill images over on her blog, including detail shots. She has let me show it off here on my blog because I didn't make Diamond Hill myself (I've been making Secret Garden). Isn't it gorgeous? Jenny always impresses us with her dedication and talent (and speed!) and her Diamond Hill is no exception. Thanks for sharing it with us all Jenny, it's a shining example of how good Diamond Hill can be.

I'm going to miss releasing Diamond Hill each month, I've really enjoyed letting it loose each month and waiting to see what all our talented quilters do with it! I asked over in the Group if they had had enough for the year and wanted to rest before starting up a new BOM in the new year next year but they weren't having any of that! They voted for yet another Free BOM to take us all from August - December this year. So, their wish is my command. I'm drafting up the next 'mini BOM' right now. Stay tuned, it will be released on August 15th.

Phew! It makes me wonder where they all find the time?!

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Love Entwined by Judy Hogg

Last month I shared the happy news that Judy Hogg's Love Entwined won awards at the Sydney Quilt Show. Well, today I'm delighted to announce that Judy Hogg's Love Entwined quilt is now in the Love Entwined Gallery. I love all the excitement and expectation of waiting for all the LE's out there to come 'home' to the gallery when they're ready and Judy's is no exception. What a beauty!
She combined machine embroidery with her favorite fabric colours to create her masterpiece. It took her three years to complete and like many of us, she too wondered about the original quilt maker’s motivation, identity and techniques.  It’s a real beauty and I’m delighted that Judy had finished and shared it with us. Here’s what she has to say about it:

Why did you decide to undertake this project? I needed a challenge
What's been your favourite part? all of it, but I did enjoy digitising for my machine embroidery
What's been the most challenging? the zig zag borders
What inspired your fabric and colour choices? Used my favourite colours
What range did you opt for? my stash
Have you ever thought about the original maker? often wonder what she used and how long it took her
How long did it take you to make? 3 years in total

Judy thinks the zig-zag borders were the most challenging, but I think the 'dewbies' were much more fiddly!
I'm in awe of Judy LE and so happy to have another finished LE to enjoy. What a visual feast!

What about you? Are you making Love Entwined? Have you joined the Love Entwined BOM Group? Go ahead and join us as we share friendship, quilting tips and creativity.

Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet is a historic, heritage applique quilt made in remembrance and legacy of an original coverlet of no name, referred to only as a 'fine marriage coverlet' by Averil Colby in her publication printed in 1958. I created Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet in homage to the original because I knew that this quilt needed to be remembered, acknowledged and recognized by all quilters everywhere as a work of magnificent ingenuity without peer or equal in its era. This quilt was originally released as a Free BOM over 18 months. The BOM is now finished. The pattern can be purchased via my online pattern shop. 

Saturday 15 July 2017

Diamond Hill Part 7 of 7 is Launched

And we've reached the end. WOW! that just flew by! If you're downloading the Parts via this blog, click the above image to download the last installment, Part 7.

If you've missed any Parts, be sure to download those now so that you will have them on file. These file links will be de-activated next month, so be sure to save any files you need.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

WOW: It's 'Shumper' Time Again!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
What do you think of this cosy merino wool jumper I'm showing off in the above pic? It's in a shade called "mulberry" which is supposed to be a masculine version of lavender, I think. I purchased this fetching knit for my long suffering DH 2 years ago. Actually I found it in a catalogue (I love catalogue shopping) and fell in love with it, but it was in the menswear section and I was supposed to be minimizing my walk in wardrobe, so I bought it for my DH, for him to wear over shirts in winter. I thought it was a great buy. But when it arrived, it was too big for him.

'I think it would look better on you' he said as he tried it on. And I couldn't disagree. My DH has impeccable taste.

So now I have a new favourite jumper. But you know how I hate to have a cold neck. And that means it's time to create another 'shumper' which is my own magical word for what happens when I insert a shirt collar into a jumper. I just look better in shirt collars. And look, I found this scrap of Fassett fabric and there's just enough for a cute collar. It was meant to be!

I can't wait to show it off when it's finished. I hope to make it up today.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 5 July 2017

WOW: On the Hook Again

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Meet my new yarn stash! It's cold and gloomy down my way and whilst I don't have time to do anything other than my quilt WIP pile, I've made an exception for these cold nights. It's too much strain for my eyes to work on my applique at night. This is also why I don't read at night anymore either, both activities give me a headache. Although I have a crafting daylight lamp, I find it perks me wide awake...which makes going to bed hard. So I need a new activity for these long cold evenings that's calming and doesn't require too much eye attention. I was thinking about a new crochet afghan and then I saw Anne Marieke's gorgeous crochet mandala and knew I needed to make something warm myself. I love her mandala but don't want to count rounds or be paying attention, if you know what I mean. I intend to work in a kind of 'crochet trance' with one eye on the TV and my hands busy handling this gorgeous yarn.

I've opted for earthy muted shades with a few jewel shades thrown in. There is a shade missing, it's a teal based blue that slots right in, but I'm waiting for it to arrive in store next week as they only had one ball left when I made my choices. The yellow you see is an old antique gold shade in real life and as soon as I get a few rows down I will photograph it in daylight so you can see the colour for its true beauty. They look a bit off under my strong winter inside lights. It's hard to photograph anything at the moment as the gloom is everywhere.

I'm thinking about a zig zag afghan with a texture in it - a kind of ribbing. And I'll be popping these under my favorite chair and just making my process slowly. This afghan will be more of a pleasure project for winter rather than a 'must do' and I'm in no particular hurry to finish. I have no idea how long it will take, be it one or two or three winters doesn't matter. This is one of those satisfying slow projects. I'll share updates when I have something to show.

What's your winter comfort craft?

Saturday 1 July 2017

Secret Garden: Part 6, How I Made the Block

--UPDATE-- The pattern block outline page has been updated due to a scanning error that made it a % too small. Please ensure you are checking your block against the updated pattern block page. The template unit page has NOT been effected. The pattern update was sent out an hour after release and the pattern page is clearly marked as updated. 

This means that if you started making your block according to the templates, they are accurate, but when you come to check them against the page, they would appear too large. This is because the pattern block page you need to check them against is a % too small. Please make sure you have downloaded the updated pattern. 

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone, gremlins in the system :( 

This month the suspense is really building up, but you know - that's half the pleasure of a mystery, isn't it?! This block frames the centre equally at 4 points and is a perfect opportunity to use up the scraps from your applique blocks or new harmonious tones. Whatever you decide, don't overthink it, just enjoy it as the spot of beauty it is.
Here's how I made mine. 
Fabrics were easy for me in this block because I'm working within a single range (and phew, has that saved me some hours in deliberation!). These fabrics all work with each other and I added a pink for the bud from my stash.
I traced my shapes from the pattern without seam allowance onto wash away fusible. You can also use freezer paper if you want to.
As always, I mark all my pieces to help me reconstruct everything when ready
these are my pink buds above
and background segments below
When it's time to cut my shapes from the fabric, I add a seam allowance and then turn edge the allowance using glue and set the pieces aside until ready to construct the pattern. I use Elmer's Glue for turning the seams. 

I do this because Elmer's Glue is a starch that washes out easily. Or at least I thought it was, someone has corrected me with the info that apparently Elmer's is in fact, not a starch. Whatever, I still love it. Although, if I'd known that before I probably wouldn't have started using it, but now that it's a part of my tool kit, I have to say that I don't care that it's not a starch, I really like it and it has always performed perfectly for me. I don't think I'll stop using it anytime soon, unless they change the formula. 
Now it's time to start constructing the applique of the block. 
For this stage I use droplets of basting glue. 
As I arrange the shapes, I pin them against the pattern block. I make sure each shape is neat and accurately placed. I use pins and constantly wiggle the shapes into line. 
Like this
(ignore my personal marking on the pattern)
the buds, back and front
building up the applique, step by step
this is the finnicky part because you have to check and double check 
as you introduce every single new shape. 

This block is actually a geometric shape and it's impossible for mere mortals to have perfectly geometric applique, so don't stress, just keep as much to the lines as you can and keep wiggling the applique until it looks neat.
once the pinned position is double checked, I keep it in place with basting glue and continue building
this is the final applique step before I centre the applique onto the background
and here's my applique flipped. Phew!
It takes care and concentration and there's really no substitute for the time and attention you need to get it right. But what can I say? It's worth it!
To position my applique centre to the background, I each diagonal corner as a placement guide
pay special attention to the overlap between the bud leaf and background leaf so that they cross neatly
Like so
Make 4 x blocks and set aside
This quilt is growing in beauty and I can't wait to share the next reveal with you on August 1st.

This post related to the Applique Mystery BOM Secret Garden. 

Read more below if you're interested in taking part. It's not too late, start anytime.

“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!
Join now and receive ALL downloads so far!
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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