Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Meeting the 1st Love Entwined!

Last week I blogged about Narelle Birchall and her LE - she is an extraordinarily talented quilter and the first person, as far as any of us know, to have finished Love Entwined. Am I serious?! Yes I am! Just thinking about it leaves me a little breathless. But Narelle isn't just talented, she's also generous and giving too. Last week we met up at Quilts in the Barn over in Wonga Park and I was able to see her work firsthand. This has been the first moment I've had to blog about the whole experience.

Oh my.
(L-R) Narelle, Brenda Papadakis and yes, that's me grinning in admiration and awe. It was cramped in there for a quilt as big as LE, but we were keen to unfold it and have a look at its beauty and it wasn't long before everyone present was desperate for a better look...
So it was taken outside and pegged to the tennis court fence. It was an incredibly bright day and the glare was overwhelming for me, all my photos turned out blank or washed out and I got one of those instant sun headaches, so I was very grateful to Linda who knew my camera better that I do and put it on the right setting so that I could capture a photo with Narelle in front of her majestic quilt. We are both somewhat stunned by the light in this image, but I think you can see how spectacular Narelle's Love Entwined is. Narelle, you are talented beyond words.
I can tell you that it truly is spectacular and that Narelle has accomplished years worth of work at a rapid pace. And yet, it's incredible in every way. Her fabrics, her workmanship, everything just left me speechless.

I'm already at that stage with Love Entwined, where I just don't know what to say about it anymore. It has been an epic and heartfelt journey for me and I feel in many ways that I have done what I felt I needed to when I started this project. With the last installment released this month, I feel somewhat 'finished' emotionally with the drive that was needed to release it. From this point onward, it belongs to whoever makes it and takes on its own character at each hand. Seeing Narelle's quilt made me fully 'realise' that this quilt is out there in the world now and this leaves me deeply contented.

Did I mention Narelle's excellent workmanship? She really is talented. This is perhaps the most difficult block in the entire quilt and she has made it look effortless and simple.
It's very difficult to photograph a quilt like LE because there is so much detail and these details are not distinguished in overall quilt front pics. So here is a close up shot. I can tell you first hand that every inch has been made extraordinarily well, this quilt is a masterpiece. 
My deep thanks and gratitude to Linda who allowed us to unfold LE and then peg it on the tennis courts, and for taking the images I am in when I couldn't manage my own camera (honestly, I'm hopeless with those things), and to Brenda Manges Papadakis (that's a whole other post!) and of course to Narelle Birchall - its incredibly generous to take the time to show your quilt and to have allowed me to see it in real life. Thank you so much for thinking of me.

Yes, Love Entwined is officially out there. What do you think?

Monday, 20 October 2014

LE: Vases 3 & 4, the yellow flowers

These last two vases just flew into being finished. 
I really loved working with the sunshiny yellow too.
I'm so glad I found this fabric for fussy cutting the flowers

and this cute print for a little bit of broderie perse
Here I am, auditioning the fabric for the best spots to pick. You can see that this print from my stash is actually a flower print, so the colour graduations are just lovely. 
 working from the pattern as a guide
 fussy cutting the tones I wanted to use
 creating blooms full of tone variation and 'life'
this one is so sweet
and overall, I love the look and it all balances with my compass and fabrics.

I've completed my four vases and I'm so pleased with how they look. My center is done now. It feels remarkable to have reached this point. It's been exhausting at times and when I hold this center square of fabric, I can't believe how much time, work and labour has gone into creating it. I have a bit of hand stitchery to do for embellishing and about a 2 weeks worth of hand sewing to stitch all the applique down into position. What you see here is mostly held into position with Elmer's Glue in disappearing purple. This is a starch based glue which simply washes away. I use it all the time - actually its the only glue I use for applique when quilting. That's the calm before my storm. Which storm? My creativity storm for the borders! I can't wait!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

LE: Vases 3 & 4, the purple flowers

These are my opposite diagonal vases 3 & 4. They're very similar and I have chosen to make them both purple and yellow. The top vase being darker and the bottom slightly lighter. I don't usually use a lot of purple, but I think it really works between these vases.
Bloom details 
As you can see, I was auditioning the purples before I even stitched down my berries. I put these purple blooms aside very early on, deciding I wouldn't use them. But now, with my berries stitched down, it works. 
 Tomorrow I'll be showing my yellow flower choices

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

WOW: Love Entwined Part 17 is Launched

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 

Well, I think reaching the last installment of Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet is a pretty big WOW! Don't you agree?!

We're finally here.

I knew this day was coming the moment I released the pattern, and yet, I never really thought it would come. It's such an epic quilt. It has touched me in so many ways. It has occupied my thoughts for so many hours. It has taken up a place in my heart as a story, as a moment, as a reminder of quilting, and quilts and quilt makers who have been before us. 

And I feel like I need a lie down, or a glass of champagne, or something to really mark this point. Because here it is; the last installment of Love Entwined. And whilst I have many hours ahead of me yet, to applique and create this masterpiece, the journey of releasing it out into the world - in order for it to be revived and remembered, has come full circle and closed. I've done what I needed to do.  

As for the pattern this month: there's only the last borders to add and any final assembly of the quilt top. And whilst this is the last installment, don't worry - there's months of LE blog posts yet as I share my journey right until the end with you all here.

What else can I say? I'm feeling so many things. Thank you for embarking on this special journey with me. I know LE is the kind of quilt that takes time and many of you are progressing at your own pace. And it's been a privilege for me to see your work and enjoy it as much as I do my own. I'm delighted to be sharing the journey with so many quilters who decided to come on board and join me by sharing what they do and how they do it over in my BOM Group.

I was planning to release several BOMs this year, but I had to put those plans aside when LE was launched - it was so much so fast, I couldn't handle having more than 1 BOM out there! I had no idea LE would capture so many hearts when I released it and I have a heartfelt thank you to the Yahoo Group Moderators who currently volunteer and have volunteered their time and expertise to moderate our quilting group for free and for the good of everyone who wants to be there. 

The fact is, I'm at a stage in my life where I don't have much time to be online and if the moderators didn't moderate, there would be no Yahoo BOM Group and I would keep making my quilts, but I wouldn't have a platform in which to share them with you. Thank you Anne Marieke, Glenda, Bunny, Pat and Jane, you allow me to share what I love with so many. How generous of you.

Are you making LE? or using any LE elements in a table runner, cushion or project? I encourage you to share your own quilting journey with all of us via your blog, in your sewing groups and in exhibition both now and in the years to come: for this is a quilt which wanted to be remembered - after all, that's where our journey started. 

I think we can all say, we've done our best to contribute to reviving it's legacy. The pattern might be finished, but the Love Entwined journey is far from over: I'll be sharing how I finish and quilt this coverlet and remember- if you have any Love Entwined progress or achievement of your own to share, let us know via my Yahoo BOM Group and via the Love Entwined Page at the top of this blog.

If you've made this quilt, or a part of this quilt, or a project based on this quilt, please take a moment to leave you name in the comments section of the Love Entwined Page at the top of this blog, with your  name and country. It would be nice to keep track of where these coverlets are.

And stay in touch, I'd love to see pics of all these completed quilts! In fact, I'm currently thinking of a Love Entwined coffee table book for our members to contribute to and enjoy so that everyone who wants to can have their own legacy of this project. Personally, I'd love to be able to flick through the many different looks, colours and styles of LE in one beautiful book and I think this is a quilt which really calls for it. I'll blog more about that in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.

Of course, a journey like this doesn't just end: I will keep posting about my own LE journey as well as my working methods as I also come to complete my two quilts, so stay tuned. 

What's Your WOW ?

Saturday, 11 October 2014

LE: Vase 2

My second vase has moved along much faster than the first - I think its because I had so many cuts out ready to audition by the time I got to this stage. Here is what I finally decided on. Like it's opposite diagonal, its based on pinks and reds - lighter and darker.
and this is a detail of the main flower head I finally opted for 
but before the bloom head (above) I was actually considering this one (below)
I really thought it looked good, but luckily my DDs both ousted it - they hated it. 'Too retro' they said. Whatever that means? Maybe it is too colourful, but I'm sure I'll find another use for it in another quilt. I ended up auditioning three different fabrics for this bloom (below) and none of them worked until I settled on my final one (in the first picture). As you can see, I haven't finished inner lining the hole of my cross next to this vase, so I have some extra stitchery to do before I can start on Vase 3. 
Finally happy with my selection, and the leaves just slotted in from my pre prepared stash
I'm almost surprised how quickly it all came together
Now I'm ready for the lilacs and yellow to balance out these pinks...
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