Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WOW: It's Nearly Time..

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
The clock is ticking. It's nearly time to reveal my plans for 2018.
And it's a big WOW, that's for sure. In fact, it's like nothing I've ever done before. Interested? Stay tuned..

What's Your WOW?


Friday, 22 September 2017

Love Entwined by Chris Endrich

When I first saw progress on this quilt, I called the chosen hues 'sunshine on fabric.' Today I'm delighted to share Chris's finished quilt with you all. It's a journey full of dedication, love and colour.

Isn't it breathtaking?
Here's what Chris has to say about her journey through Love Entwined:

"I started my quilt when it was published as a BOM and wanted it to show off all the colours I like which is pretty much any colour under the sun, so it includes all possible shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, violet and purple for the flowers. The tone I love most is always bright and light, so I used batik fabrics.  

All the flowers produce so much lovely chaos on this quilt that  some element of order had to be introduced which is provided by the dark blue found in the borders and the zigzag. My favourite part was picking fabric but it was also the hardest part because I had to imagine what it would look like in the end when it all comes together and just hope that everything would be in balance. I'm particularly pleased with the lavender-purple/ red-yellow gradation in the third border that creates a pulsating vivid effect."

Chris, your favorite part is really the most difficult part for me and I love reading about how the shades used throughout inspired you. I definitely agree that the dark blue you have used, really grounds your quilt in just the right way. 
"I'm not much of a fan of broderie perse so I spent hours  on research for  techniques that could be used to create realistic looking flowers. 

I tried a lot of things, I ruched roses in three different techniques, folded calices, frayed daisies etc. LE was a huge playground for me. The wish for realistic flowers led me to change the design in various places, the one that stands out the most is the centre-piece with the four vases which are seasonal vases filled with flowers from my garden. When pieces became too small within the leaf helix of the second border I turned to embroidery and tried different stitches. I decided that the strange shapes at the crossings were butterflies instead of angels which seemed to go nicely with the flower theme and replaced the strange looking bird by a robin.  

After the second border I was fed up with leaves and  thought the double bows need loose ends rather than more leaves. I also wanted real tassels rather than embroidered ones so I made them out of wool."
"After so much appliqué I needed a break and put the top aside for an entire year. With this hand appliqué I wanted to hand-quilt it, too, and after visiting an exhibition comparing quilts I decided on a grid because that's what I think makes the appliqué stand out. 

I quilted a 5/8th inch grid, I quilted  for 5 months for two hours every day. I chose a leaf design for the green borders and an intertwining zigzag for the blue border."
"Now that I'm finished I can't really believe it, LE has been my steady company for four years in total. It encompasses all the workmanship I'm capable of, certainly an insane amount of work and displays my love for colour and flowers like no other quilt has done or ever will do again. 

There's no quilt like it and I'll never undertake such an enterprise ever again. It's unique and stands out amongst all my other appliqué quilts." 
Chris, your Love Entwined quilt is full of joyous light and energy that just floods the senses. When I see your colour scheme and consider how many hundreds of hours you have spent making this magnificent heirloom, I'm in awe. This quilt shines and I'm honored to add it to our Love Entwined Gallery. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. 

There are more images to see! Luckily for us, Chris sent through 16 stunning images (too many for a blog post) that you can view over on her Love Entwined Gallery Page. Click any of the images above to go there now, or click here.

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.

If you'd like to make Love Entwined yourself, you can purchase the pattern by visiting my online pattern shop, or click here now to go there.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

WOW: Time For A New Stencil Quilt?

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday
The answer is definitely maybe. You know I love stenciling, I've been doing it myself and teaching it to others for over 10 years. It's a technique I first got interested in right at the beginning of my quilting. I was so excited at all the possibilities of painting all my own fabric motifs, mixing all my own exact hues and being in artistic control. And it just made sense to create stencils so that I could repeat any beautiful designs I created.
This past week I found a stash of Tulip Delight Table Runners, and a sketchbook of stenciled quilts was in there too. Well, I can confess - when I pack away my mess, I completely forget about it..which is what happened here. But now I am renewed. And thinking about my next painted quilt. I suppose the term 'stencil' sounds rather stiff, but painting your own quilt top is anything but.

In fact, I think this next creation might be one worth blogging through, step by step.

Watch this space..

What's Your WOW?




Friday, 15 September 2017

OMWFB: Part 2 of 4 is Launched!

On My Window, Flowers Bloom 
An applique wall hanging, finished size 38 x 48 inches.

This is a FREE BOM
Running from August 15th - November 15th 2017

 This is a Free BOM in 4 parts, we are up to Part 2 
Release Dates: August 15th - November 15th

Download it: 
Right here on my blog each month or over in my BOM Group

Click this image to start downloading the the Part 2 PDF file right now
this link will be live until the Free BOM period ends on November 15th 

Members of my BOM Group can download the file from the Group "FILE" area

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOW: Secret Garden Business!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
Today I'm plodding along with my Secret Garden blocks. This is what my Part 8 looks like. I've opted for contrast fabric on the outside ribbons and a beige on the inside. Looking at this pic right now, I realize I have put my little bud in upside down - whoops!

Whilst I've been enjoying my Secret Garden blocks this past week, two groups of women who meet privately decided to host a Christmas Workshop 'sew along' where they will each work on the same pattern together and get a wall hanging finished within the time frame of a 2 day workshop. Well, what's odd is that these two private groups don't know each other and aren't connected and both decide to make Gracie at exactly the same time! I thought that was so unusual, I had to double check - and yep, it's just synchronicity...or perhaps serendipity or maybe even both those things mixed in together. What's even nicer is knowing that there's going to be a whole lot more Gracies out in the world real soon.

What's Your WOW?


Monday, 11 September 2017

'Gracie' Christmas Workshoppers Pattern

For those of you taking part in the Gracie Christmas Workshop (along with anyone who's interested in snapping up a bargain), you can purchase the pattern right now by clicking below. The heavily discounted price will only apply until Wednesday morning, so finalize your orders immediately. Remember, digital downloads are instant. You will receive a link with your download instantly when the PayPal payment completes.

For anyone else who is interested in getting together to make Gracie, you can organize your own sewing bee or retreat using any of my quilt patterns. Shops are also welcome to contact me regarding yearly licenses to run classes. Feel free to contact me for further info by clicking here now

Happy Quilting everyone ☺

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

WOW: Catching Up With Myself

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
After dutifully prepping all my pieces for part 4 of Secret Garden, I tucked the envelope away in the wrong folder and have been wondering these past weeks, where it could have got to?! With all the hours of prep in every envelope, losing it was never an option. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Luckily I found my stash of pre stitched ivy leaves and can get my block in order today.

Phew! Not a minute too soon.. I want these blocks completed before I launch the center block.

What's Your WOW?



Wednesday, 30 August 2017

WOW: Magnolia Madness!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
It's winter down my way and the weather has been weird and it's confused my magnolia tree. A lot of the buds have been destroyed by frost and look like they won't be developing any further. This poor tree has been hit by several false start seasons in a row over the last few years and I'm wondering when I'm going to get to see it in full bloom again.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to make my own 'Monday Flowers' vase installment and get my magnolia fix that way!

I've been photographing bits from my garden to add to my colour files which I always like to leaf through when in search of inspiration.
I have three quilt designs on my desk at the moment and I'm torn equally between each one. The hardest part of releasing each new quilt pattern is deciding which to 'bring to life' via the pattern sheet as I simply don't have enough lifetimes to do them all.

Today I'm doing the laundry and rearranging some plates before I can get back to finishing up some applique prep work. Chores are boring but necessary. I keep telling my DH that I need staff, so that I can dedicate myself to quilting full time. But he doesn't take my staffing requirements seriously. What's a quilter to do?!

What's Your WOW?





Monday, 28 August 2017

'Monday Flowers' is Launched!

I'm so in love with Magnolias right now. My teacup magnolia tree is budding and promising a whole window full of blooms and I've got my fingers crossed for a bumper magnolia season so I can bring those gorgeous branches indoors for arranging. When I designed my weekly vase range, I just knew magnolias would feature for my 'Monday' vase. Because, after the real thing, there is something just as satisfying - and that's fabric painted magnolias on my wall. 

So here it is. An applique arrangement for any wall you think could use some floral colour. Will your magnolia's be soft and gentle like my own colour scheme? Or will your magnolia's be bold like my fuchsia ones below? Florals are so versatile, you can set the mood and match any interior theme that suits you. 
 
This is 'Monday Flowers' and it's a flower gallery style wall hanging. I’ve designed seven vase designs, one for each day of the week. Each is a stand alone wall hanging, designed to showcase my love of vase arrangements for the home.

Monday Flowers finished size is 23 x 33 inches which feels like a perfect 'painting' size on my walls. The pattern also includes a 50% reduced option for anyone wanting to make it smaller. It's perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to make a statement in applique.


Monday Flowers 
Complete Digital Pattern
(Digital Downloads are INSTANT)
$12.95 USD

Friday, 25 August 2017

OMWFB: Showing Off The Vase 1 Blocks

Oh WOW, take a look at these beauties! I haven't even started my own On My Window, Flowers Bloom yet, but I am very fortunate that I get to enjoy watching everyone else makes theirs over in my BOM Group. It's a hive of activity over there, whenever I drop in there's someone doing something incredible. I just sit down with a cup of coffee and swoon.

I only just released Part 1 of On My Window, Flowers Bloom on August 15th, but already some eager quilter's were quick to get started. So I asked them if I could show off their blocks here on the blog, and they generously agreed. So here we go:

First to get her block up and going was Jenny Henry. She even posted her process over on her blog (click here to visit her blog now). No regular readers of this blog will be surprised to hear this as Jenny is super quick with all my projects and each one somehow ends up being prettier than the last! I don't know how she manages it. 
How gorgeous is her fussy cutting for the centre bloom with just a dash of green? And I love that sky cloud print behind the window too. And her frame fabric is tiny bricks! It's all just so perfect.
Now for another Vase 1 that is equally beautiful but oh so different - take a look at Nancy Randy Paris's block. WOW! How absolutely beautiful are these colours? My goodness I was all in a swoon when I saw these pics.
The background is a scene of (birch?) trees that work perfectly and the balance of yellow, warm orange and brown along with the green foliage is just spot on. It's not easy to get such a harmonious balance that still shines so brightly, but Nancy did it!
And this fabulous color pop below reminds me of the Kaffee Fassett version I have in mind for my own OMWFB. Isn't it just so stunning?! It belongs to Valerie Giles. The foliage has been fussy cut to perfection - look at those leaf veins. The blooming heads are so cheerful and the vase along with that great blue background is just wonderful.
What more can I say? On My Window Flowers Bloom has only just launched and already the blocks being made are all so different but so beautiful and inspiring. WOW!

Thanks Jenny Henry, Nancy Randy Paris and Valerie Giles for allowing me to show off your blocks at this early stage. What eye candy!

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Like it? Make it!
This post is related to On My Window, Flowers Bloom which is my current Free BOM. 
It runs from August 15th - November 15th 2017. 

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

WOW: Prep & Conquer

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
People always ask me how I get so much applique done and I always give the same answer - turn edge applique is a game of preparation. You must prep. If you don't like prepping, then applique is not for you. There simply isn't any way around this - although people have asked me if there is a secret more times than I care to count. The secret is prepping. So don't be daunted, just get stuck in. And once you do, you too can prep and conquer!

This envelope is my work for the morning, here I go!

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Making Secret Garden Part 7

In my last Secret Garden post on the 1st, I showed you what the Secret Garden Part 7 block looked like (above). Today, I'm going to show you how I make the leaves using a turn edge method. Now, I prefer turn edge, so this is the method I'm showing. But you need to know that using a raw edge is also perfectly fine. In fact, I had planned to raw edge this entire quilt but found myself turn edging without really thinking about it. This happens when you prep as much as I do. I have so many quilts on the go that I sometimes lose track of myself. And when I realized I had gone ahead and turn edged so much..I decided to stick with it.
 Here's my fusible leaf shape with a fabric seam allowance, cut out and ready to turn
My preferred glue is always Elmer's disappearing purple but when I work on these small pieces, I use a glue stick I purchased at a local quilt store because it's smaller and drier to work with. This particular stick has no branding, but it is very dry and tacky - this makes it perfect for working on such a small piece. I could have also used the Elmer's, but it's wetter and when I turn the fabric edges they can roll back out. I usually keep a 6 gram tube of Elmer's next to my applique tools with the lid off to have a 'tacky' and slightly dry stick on hand for the same reason.
 So here's my piece with the glue smeared across it
 Using a wooden orange / manicure stick, I turn the first edge down one side of my shape
As I work the turn, I 'pleat' any excess fabric by bunching it close together as evenly as possible as I turn the shape
 When I reach the tip point of my shape, I dab some glue
 and before turning the other side, I flip the tip point up now
 like so
 Now I add some more glue to the side and hold the shape between my thumb and finger
 And sharply turn the other side so that the side turns over the tip point
 which leaves a little spot a bit higher up which I;ll need to pleat as I glue it down into position
 and this is what the finished piece looks like
 and this is the front
 and this is what it looks like when it all comes together
There is no cheat way around this process; if you're going to turn edge, your points have to be secure and neatly tucked away.
Turn edge applique is all about the prep: I have so many projects on the go that I keep my prepped pieces in envelopes, then bundled together. Often, I will spend days cutting out pieces to ready them for this turning step. I can turn pieces like this on a lap table in front of the TV or radio in the evenings and I usually have a few quilts worth of pieces on my WIP shelves to do during winter. In fact, I often discover prepped pieces for quilts I'd even forgotten I'd started years ago!
and now I have some buds to turn..

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WOW: My New Free BOM Is Up & Running!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
If you haven't already heard, there's a new free BOM in town and it's here to keep you busy right up until Christmas, so raid that stash and create a gorgeous windowsill scene today. I'm making mine up in wonderfully cheerful Fassett's and can't wait to start showing off my vases.

If feels great to have another BOM out and I'm already excited because I know there'll be lots of eye candy all over the Group before too long. Phew! Another BOM out of my sketchbook and brought to life. It feels good to get it out into the world.

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom' is Launched!

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom' is launched!
Here’s  a windowsill straight from my  imagination—full of blooming flowers set against a shining sky, set in by an arched frame and studded with stained glass diamonds. 

As this is a short BOM, I've provided all the fabric and cutting and instructions this month, meaning that you can decide how to pace yourself in assembling the top over the next 4 months. You can put the whole 'background' together and then just add the flowers each month or progress steadily each month - the choice is yours.

Be sure to read through the pattern and understand it before making a start and don't forget I have lots of tutorials on applique techniques right here on my blog. Simply browse through my archives to find these. I'll also add a linky below to get you started. 

I can't wait to see how your own window comes together in a beautiful blooming scene, so please stay in touch via my BOM Group or here on my blog. 

 This is a Free BOM in 4 parts
Release Dates: August 15th - November 15th

Download it: 
Right here on my blog each month or over in my BOM Group


Click this image to start downloading the PDF file right now
this link will be live until the Free BOM period ends on November 15th 


Members of my BOM Group can download the file from the Group "FILE" area