Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Free BOM: Diamond Hill is Launched!

Welcome to Diamond Hill: a quartet of field bouquets surrounded by diamonds and framed with tumbling vines. Feel the breeze rustle through the leaves and sway the petals under a sun dappled sky. Can you feel it too? Diamond Hill is everything that is both lovely and simple. 

I’ve created  floral applique and framed it with classic piecing which offers so much potential for personalization. Will you make the diamonds shimmer in contrasting shades? Or tone them down to blend into a gently shaded scheme? There’s plenty of movement to keep everything interesting whether you decide to go with the flow ..or go over the top!

In this quilt you’ll find a satisfying balance of both applique and piecing which will keep you busy for seven months. I’ve opted for the hopelessly romantic theme of cream, pink and green because, why not? Of course, the pattern lends itself to many styles based on your fabric choices, so let your imagination run away with you. I can’t wait to see what you do with your own Diamond Hill. As always, if you’re not already a member, be sure to join my BOM  Facebook Group to share your own thoughts and ideas as you make your own blocks. I’m excited about the months ahead and can’t wait to show off all my blocks and ideas with you.
For those of you who don't want to go on Facebook, 
you can click the image above to download the PDF file right now.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WOW: Sorting Out My Sketchbooks

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm sorting out my design sketchbooks. With a new BOM coming on the 15th, I like to put my notes in order and move on, design wise. The image above is not the new BOM, it's just a random page as I glue down my design ideas. Here's what I designed when I thought up Gracie:
and after I release each pattern, I come back and glue in the actual finished quilt. Sometimes they are the same, sometimes they have evolved into something quite different. 
I've received lots of emails asking if I will release another BOM this year? - yes!
For now, all I will say is this: this year there will be something for everyone. First up will be the Free BOM which will be released, as always on the 15th of the month. So stay tuned. It's only next week :)

Are You Ready For My New Free BOM?

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Stash Busting the 2017 Way

January just continues to be super hectic! Today was my 42nd Wedding Anniversary, so we all celebrated with a family lunch. Unfortunately, today's lunch (just like Christmas and New Year's) happened during a stinking heatwave so we all stayed indoors and kept cool with the air con on.
My New Year's fabric resolution is to make a new tablecloth for every family occasion. That should give me 10 this year. And today was a good time to put my plans into action. I've been trying to make this cut of fabric into a tablecloth for years, and even thought I would create a table runner as a compromise when there wasn't enough to cover the table completely.
But then I found this speckled gold which perfectly matches the shades in the print so added it to the sides. There was just enough and I had less than an inch left over, so I'm very happy with my make-do cover. Now I'm keeping an eye out for the dusty dark teal that shows up throughout the print for some napkin rings and place settings for hot pots, and I'll be done.
I'm also planning on making at least 4 table runners this year, to run the whole length of the table during the week when I don't have a tablecloth down. With so much beautiful fabric on my shelves, I can't believe I haven't got around to doing this already.

Although I will mainly be stash busting, for our next family event I have my heart set on making a tablecloth from a fabric print with large fish on it. I'm after a Kaffee Fassett style and am sure I have seen such a fabric in his range in the past, so I've been looking for it online and hope to get it done before the end of February. 
As for the rest of my day, it was lovely.
There were flowers (of course, I always love an excuse to receive flowers!) and a trifle. I don't really understand trifles, basically they are cakes soaked in jelly topped in cream. Nevertheless, this one was delicious. And my DH and I even got a custom heart design to celebrate our Anniversary!
I like to change over all the quilts in my house each January, but I've been so hot and bothered this month so far, that I haven't given my yearly switch over much thought. Perhaps it will have to become a bi-annual thing!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

WOW: Out With The Old, In With The New

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This is me on Christmas morning, ironing my festive stenciled tablecloth. For those of you who wondered what an adaption of Red December looked like in a tablecloth - here it is. These are the exact same pattern motifs arranged over the space. I love this tablecloth, but I ruined it by adding a red fabric trim one year to the edges and then threw it in the washing machine - the red fabric bled and now my favorite tablecloth is tinted pink. I tried many formulas to save it, but it wouldn't budge. Whilst I was ironing it I realized that it would be for the last time - the fabric fibres are now distressed from all the dye removal solutions I tried and it's lost it's lustre. It's time to let it go. Mind you, the actual stencil paint I used didn't move at all - even after a last ditch attempt at bleaching. I'm seriously impressed. So for those of you feeling nervous at stencils, don't be. They last. As long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions, they last as long as commercially printed fabric. So, I'll be making another tablecloth sometime this year and I'll be stenciling it again too.

As it's now 2017, and I am so glad to welcome in a New Year, I've been thinking about WIP priorities. It looks like my WIPs for 2017 are all going to be about releasing new projects rather than finishing old ones. I certainly don't need any more WIPs, but I don't think that will stop me, I'm on a creative streak and will just go wherever my creative mood takes me! I hope that this year you'll join me on those adventures, I can't wait to share my new projects with you..

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

WOW: Phew!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Phew, it's over! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas but when it's scorching hot and there's so much going on, it's easy to lose track of things - like time for instance. I had no idea it was Wednesday today. I only just realized a few moments before blogging this post which is why it's so late. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that I've lost track of the days, but it's true.

How was your Christmas?

Ours was hot. We had turkey and were hoping right until the last minute to do everything inside, but a forecast of 36c meant that we decided to cook everything outside on the BBQ. It was the only way to go. In my household, Christmas is always hectic, for right after the day itself it's straight into preparations for my youngest DD's birthday and it's a super busy time all round. The stinking heat just makes everything seem harder. Mind you, we have air conditioning so I shouldn't complain, but we do all feel fatigued and I can't wait for this hot spell to pass.

Hope you're all having a beautifully calm, family focused break. As for me, I'm grateful that my DH stocked up well before Christmas which means we don't have to venture out into the crazy sales and rush that's going on right now.

It's the last Wednesday for the year! 
What are you up to today?

Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Very Hot Christmas Eve

The wafers are made and resting (below), and the dough for our once a year 'mlinci' is finally done too. I'll post the full recipes later in the week. 
Today I've been cleaning and setting the table for what will be a scorching Christmas Day - 36c!
Today was also 36c although our outside house thermometer, which is always more accurate that the news report, reached a reading of 38c. Yes, it's going to be a very hot Christmas!

There are some dishes we only make and eat at Christmas which I always look forward to making with my DDs in the week leading up to the day, but this year we scaled back our cooking plans at the last minute to just the essentials. We have air conditioning and it's fine inside our house, but I find the weather makes cakes and other baked goods misbehave. So we're keeping it as low key as we can this Christmas.
With the temperature soaring, we've decided to bake our Turkey on the BBQ rather than indoors, and will keep our oven working to a minimum.

Now I'm off to water the poinsettias before bed, I don't want them expiring before Christmas Day lunch !