Friday, 21 November 2014

LE: Working On My Border Blocks

I'm working on another border today. I'm making LE out of turn (according to the pattern); so pattern wise this would be Part 12.
I just love these blocks and like all the blocks before and all the blocks to come, there is so much expression in the details. Today I'm focusing on the crosses which rest on a circle. Taking my cue from what I think are guardian angels 'guarding' these blocks, I assume they are crucifixes and that these blocks are an expression of spirituality or superstition of the maker. Of course, without some information regarding the life of the maker, we can only guess and those guardian angles might yet be candlesticks and these crosses just crosses... who knows?

I think we all personalise and create narratives that appeal to us based on the visuals available. Certainly, within the Yahoo BOM Group, I have seen many different interpretations of these borders are each and every one express the maker, and that's all any of us can hope for anyway - for the quilt to end up expressing us whilst paying homage to another. It's a very special process.
Before reaching this stage, I spent several days doing the prep work - yes, I'm talking prep again! Printing out all the pieces, cutting out all the pieces, lining them up alongside the selected fabric - if I posted all these details you'd completely lose interest, its a fairly dull routine of organisation which I have shown in earlier LE posts. All I can say about the preparation required is that it's a good idea to somehow try to enjoy all the 'build up' work because it makes the piecing together work fall into place so beautifully. One needs the other. If you start from the scratch point with every block, you will soon lose the will the finish - its just to much to take on in one step. Break it down and make each step neat, precise and ready to move on with. 
I snip between the cross, making a 'Y' shape at each corner of the curve
I use some Quilt Stitch glue at the corner of the fabric
and then saturate the middle fabric with Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue
Using a manicure stick, I like to twirl it at the 'Y' cut of the corners, and this twirling motion moves the fabric very nicely to curl over the edge, it creates a very neat finish
like this
and repeat all the way around
This gives you a better idea of what I mean by twirling - the wetness of the glue and the motion of the twirl pushes out the fabric with little effort in your part 
and now the the tips are folded over, you use the tip of your manicure stick to stamp down the remaining edges all the way around the shape. The reason I twirl before stamping is that if you try to stamp the 'Y' cut corner, it can tug or buckle, creating a tiny but annoying crease; using the give in the fabric grain to turn for you, makes your shape smooth and its much faster and easier to actually do than it is to blog about - so don't be put off by the length of this post, it will come together quicker in real life after a few attempts. 
all turned and time for more glue
now I put down my background fabric and 'press' it into place with my fingers
Now I turn it over and using my manicure stick tip, I press in at the corners to really fix it down and ensure that everything is smooth and no bunching is evident. Now I will just mention that this shape is purposefully naive; it isn't supposed to be symmetrical or straight, it is supposed to look hand drawn like this. 
When I'm happy with the front, I add some more glue to the seam allowance and start tucking it in around the circle, like below. 
All done 
Now I dab a tiny circle of basting glue around this finished piece, ready to be put down in position
like this
and now I'm ready to create the next piece and they will remain in position until I'm ready for a few gentle weeks of hand sewing them into permanent position. 

After this border is complete I will be taking a pause from LE for a few weeks and working on some other projects as I am finding it so intensive, I need a short break to pace myself. I know many people have had periods of stopping and starting and stopping again and in my opinion - this shouldn't be seen as a negative thing - this is a quilt like no other and only a very select few (and I am not included in that number) have the stamina to start and finish it in one swoop! Narelle Birchall did and my goodness, am I in awe of her energy to have completed this quilt in time with the BOM release - it's a staggering feat! But for me, I need a LE holiday and I find that having just entered the birthday and holiday 'season' in my own household, my mind isn't focused on this as a priority (in terms of progress) for the next few weeks. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WOW: Lily Rose: Making a Start

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I've finally started Lily Rose. What am I doing? Well, I'm full steam ahead with LE and I need a project to break up that intensity, and Lily Rose fits the bill perfectly as I want to hang it on a lonesome door in my house. I just love this wall hanging. I'm so lucky - I get to see my patterns made even when I'm months away from making it myself! I feel like this about all my patterns. In the beginning, with my first ever BOM Red Delicious, I was making it along with the monthly pattern release. Since then, I have gone through bouts of intense quilt designing which means that I am potentially years behind on actually making some of my own quilts. 

And yet, this doesn't bother me any more. The more quilts I make, the more sure I am that its best to wait until you're in the right mood or time to make any quilt. I learnt this lesson with Love Entwined. I just wasn't ready to start when I felt that I should ....but then, when I finally did start, it was a real pleasure and just felt right. 

At the moment, I have three quilt designs in different stages of being turned into patterns. But in my spare time, I'm working on Lily Rose. I just feel like making it right now.

How do you decide which quilts you work on? Do you set them aside and select which ones you feel like making? Or do you feel called to make them as soon as you meet them?

What's Your WOW ?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

WOW: LE Border Choice

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Thank you for commenting on my border fabrics post. I always love sharing what I do and its so nice to read other peoples opinions when you're busy working along at home. 

I changed my fabrics every day, pinning LE with the potential borders up on the wall each day. I loved them all, but this mustardy gold just kept shining through. 

Its also in the centre compass, and I just liked the continuity of it and how it looked alongside all the applique and scrappy style fabrics

Now I just have to finish my borders...

What's Your WOW ?

Friday, 7 November 2014

LE: Auditioning Border Fabrics

Having the centre completed fills me with so much enthusiasm, I can hardly wait to move on now. I have been working on bits and pieces of the pattern out of turn (according to the monthly pattern release) so once I have the border on, it's all going to feel 'nearly finished'.

But you know me, another quilting day = another fabric dilemma. I have whittled it down to three most likely potentials with a few wild cards thrown in for good measure. Actually, I think they all work in their own way. The challenge is staying sympathetic to the centre and the overall scrappy feel as each fabric pulls attention in and from different elements in its own way.

This green looks more complimentary in real life than it appears in the pics and is definitely a smooth choice. It really blends.

And it kind of grows on you as well. The more I see it, the more I like it. 

I've been really taken by the HopeChest range and this tone of red just settles right in with my scrappy style.

It does take the quilt in a different direction, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. And I like that I can potentially fussy cut for the border too. It's lively...but maybe too lively and I'm not sure I want to take any attention away from the hundreds (thousands?) of hours of work on the applique of this quilt. And yet, I keep pulling it out as a potential. There's something about it which really appeals to me. Mind you, I am making another LE - in red and white, so maybe this is too much. 

It's not as stark as you might first think when it's in position
yes, it's charming, isn't it?

This is the leading fabric. Having been used in the compass, it blends. And the mustardy gold keeps it decidedly scrappy and Georgian. I do keep returning to it. Nevertheless, I find myself wanting to experiment with other options to be really sure before I commit. There's just too much at stake in this quilt to use the wrong border fabric. I wish I wasn't so indecisive when it comes to fabrics - I must admit that quilting fabrics and colours are my weakness. I'm not so undecided about anything else in my life. I really annoy myself with all this fabric auditioning sometimes. The problem is, I just see too much potential in everything!

This fabric is from the same range, but a different colour.

And I can't help myself, from day one, I have wanted to use polka dots somewhere significant on this quilt and yet they have never worked in my scrappy style. I think the problem is that I have such a soft spot for polka dots generally and am always trying to incorporate them into my quilts. I am going to design a polka dot BOM to get it out of my system - and use up all my polka dot stash at the same time. I've been thinking about this for a few years now and can never resist another spotty or polky fat quarter. 

I'm sure I can't be the only one??

Much too busy. Finally I can strike one option off the list.

Even when it's an obvious 'no', I can't help but give the fabric every opportunity to shine!

Isn't this pink toned beige gorgeous? I love this antique style print. Although, seeing it now in a picture makes me realise that it's better suited to another quilt project. Maybe something more like Lily Rose.

I've narrowed it down between my mustardy gold, the light green and red. I will put LE up on my Design Wall, pinning the border fabrics in position and wait to see which looks best throughout the next three days when I'm not so intently thinking about it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WOW: Afternoon Delights

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I didn't expect so many well wishes yesterday for my birthday - thank you everyone who stopped by and took the time to comment, it really made my day!

I always think chocolates are the prettiest things. I'm looking at these today, because I actually received them on my last birthday, over 12 months ago! I don't really eat chocolate so much as admire it (and I have no idea who enjoyed that missing one?) you can see from the bloom on the center round chocolate that these are now a bit old and stale. But still so pretty.

Why am I showing you these lovely old chocolates? Because they actually inspired a WIP of mine that I'm finally getting around to pattern drafting for release. The design is a sweet cakes sketch, but the inspiration was all chocolate. I'll let you know how I get on and hopefully have these sweet jars filled with delights and released over in the group very soon.

What's Your WOW ?

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