Wednesday 29 November 2017

WOW: Not Another WIP!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I am determined to get my Secret Garden top together before Christmas. I cannot start 2018 with Secret Garden in pieces - it must get done! This is the challenge I have set myself and right now, it's full steam ahead. Obviously my working frenzy has had an effect on my mental calendar because somehow I lost an entire day. This morning I got up convinced it was Tuesday and packed and dressed as if I was about to take on my usual Tuesday routine. I feel like a quilter lost in the Twilight zone, I must have worked so hard I simply forgot myself (and the days of the week!). I'll blame it on this time of year - with Christmas just a few weekends away now, I suppose I must have entered the silly season early.

Here I am working on my Secret Garden centre block on a lightbox so I can trace in the lines I want. I will go over those lines with either hand embroidery flourishes or with a thicker thread in my bobbin as I did for the leaf veins in my last post, time will determine which one wins.

What's Your WOW?

Monday 27 November 2017

Secret Garden: Leaf Stitch Details

Secret Garden is so saturated with detail 
that I knew my leaves needed a special touch to complete them
 And I wanted the look of embroidered veins without all the handwork, so I used my sewing machine to do all the work for me. Ii used AURIFIL in the 12 weight, this is a thicker thread and perfect for this kind of work. This is my Victoria Findlay Wolfe pack, as you can see I haven't even used most of the spools yet.
I used the gorgeous gold colour
I loaded the 12 weight thread into my machine bobbin. Now, when you purchase a sewing machine, always ask for the extra bobbin which takes thicker threads. You do not use the regular bobbin or your thread loading might jam.
 This is what my thicker bobbin looks like. 

My machine is a 35 year old Toyota straight stitching only machine. No fancy business here! 
It's all metal parts and this is why it does so well. I'm currently 'in between' sewing machines at the moment. The problem is that I grew up during an era when sewing machines were made to last a lifetime and metal parts were the norm. Today, many machines demand high prices for plastic parts and lacklustre warranties. It's really left me between a rock and a hard place. 

People assume I have a selection of the latest sewing machines at my fingertips. But this is not the case and frankly, isn't necessary. You can sew and quilt on pretty much any machine you have. I quilted all my award winning domestic machine quilted quilts on a 1950's Elna. So don't let what you think are limitations with your machine stop you from thinking creatively about your quilting potential.
I mention all this to let you know that you could also use the Aurifil 12 weight normally as your top thread as well with an ordinary bobbin. But if you did this, you would need to play around with the stitch tension of the machine. And I didn't want to do that.

I used the 12 weight thread in the extra large bobbin and used regular thread in the top spool. I adjusted my stitches to a large size 4 stitch and let the bobbin do the work.
Then I simply stitched over marked lines on my fusible
 I stitched them down on my machine using AURIFIL thread and lots of patience..
 I simply stitched over my fusible papers
 Like so
 to create my stitched in leaf veins
 And then continued with the usual turn edging process
Using Elmer's glue and a manicure stick 

I just love the finished result.. another lovely detail in a design that oozes lovely details

Saturday 25 November 2017

Secret Garden: My Centre Block Details

First thing to consider was the centre. From my fabric selection, the only combination that anchored the centre was blue print with a dark gold ring. 
 Taking into account the strong use of pinl and blues in the surrounding blocks, I went with yellow outside and pink inside bloom heads.
 Like this
following my usual fusible applique technique, here's the back view
 and the front view

and still working.. 

Friday 24 November 2017

Secret Garden: Working On My Centre Colours

Today I'm looking at my fabric choices to determine what fabrics should make up my centre blooms. I have some strong pinks in the surrounding blocks, so I need to balance these out without making the quilt lean too much on any side visually due to the colours (if you know what I mean).

I painted myself into a corner by selecting such a soft and delicate fabric range, my own eye always prefers mid tones and I really thought limiting my pallette would help me get over my constant and frustrating fabric deliberations.. but it just means that I relied too heavily on introduced shades to make the existing ones work.

Fabric selection is definitely something I need to work on. I yearn to make crazy colour clashing quilts but then can't find the fabric to do so and feel stuck with whichever selection I opt for. When it comes to my relationship with fabric, the grass is always greener on the other side!

Fabric battles aside, the delicacy of this pallette is dreamy and feels so gently and romantic, like a swaying breeze. I can't wait to have my own Secret Garden to show off.

Thursday 23 November 2017

An Attitude of Gratitide

I was sent this card today, and I decided that I must share it here on my blog and take a moment to thank you all. For reading my blog, for supporting my work, for giving me kind words of encouragement. I'm grateful for all of you. 

Thank you so much. 

Wednesday 22 November 2017

WOW: Shine On!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
So, I've been doing a little fabric shopping to get me in the 'zone' for all my BOMs and projects and bonuses that are coming in 2018, and this beauty just stood out. 

And, as I can't show you my bonus projects just yet, I thought I would share this gem. And that's the perfect word for it, isn't it? I decided to use these jewels in the making up of flowers for applique. But as soon as my DD saw it, she had different ideas, and this reminded me that I have to design some extra easy quilts that just show off fabric. Because I don't even want to cut this beauty up!

It's been a while since a fabric offered me this much fun just for existing and I am loving every minute of it! What do you think? 
What's Your WOW?

Monday 20 November 2017

BOM 2018: Introducing 'Daisy Blue' (3 of 3)

Beginners, fear not! I have not forgotten you in my BOM 2018 offerings. As you know, my BOM 2018 includes 3 x BOM quilts (and a few extras to boot) and whilst I'll always show you how to navigate the blocks of all my quilts each month, I know there are some of you starting out who just want things easy.

'Daisy Blue' is a quilt custom designed for all you beginners out there and is approachable, achievable and a perfect quilt to 'step up' your skills with.

I'm thinking of making my own Daisy Blue from my Fassett stash, which explains my riot of colour below, but as always, the potential to create your own style with your own favoured fabrics - be they bold or gentle, is limitless.

Make your 2018 the most creative yet, join my BOM 2018 now to secure your Early Bird Discount (expires Thanksgiving). You can pay in full once or in monthly installments. Simply click the early bird to learn more and sign up.

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