Sunday, February 27, 2011

Everyone is good at something

Personally speaking, computers are my weak point. I’m not really interested in them and use them as a tool at the end of my creative process only…a means to an end.


This means that I take as little interest in them as possible most of the time. And it also means that when I want really want to do something I am often stuck.

Well, at the moment, I am stuck:

Does anyone out there know how to create
a code button to share amongst users?



You know the type where they cut and paste the code and the picture and the link magically appears and works?

I have a button pic and I link it to the right spot, but that is not what I am talking about. My ‘method’ is a bit old fashioned and I would like to provide the code to quilters making this BOM.

If anyone knows how, would you please tell me? Or point me in the right direction? I am happy to purchase software (if such software exists). Any advice would be much appreciated.

Red Delicious in Down Under Magazine



It's so nice when people tell me things that you might think were obvious, like-  'you're in a magazine!'

This month I was really delighted to discover that Red Delicious was in Down Under Magazine.
I'm so glad someone told me because I purchased the last copy on the shelf!

As usual, the photography is excellent. My scanning has diminished it somewhat but in the magazine it appears as 'true'

I don't know how they managed this during show lighting (which is usually so poor) but I am so happy with the picture.

Thank you Down Under Magazine!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cake and Fabric

The Kenwood's back (from the repair shop) and has been put to use mixing up our traditional February Birthday Cake: The Pavlova.

My DDs bake a Pavlova for my DHs birthday each year. It's a tradition of sorts - and every year they promise that they will find a new cake to bake because they are sick of meringue fussiness.

Of course each year passes and they forget all about their Pavlova Promise... so here we are again.

What I really love about this cake is the drama associated with baking it. There is so much potential for failure, so much drama associated with each step of it's creation...that I always end up asking my DDs -why didn't they just bake a sponge?

There must definitely be an allure in wanting to get this recipe right.

What I really love each year is watching my older DD send my younger DD to get their father in front of the cake ...before it collapses!

It's very funny and we all enjoy this yearly ritual.


Here is this years:
you can see the top collapsing as the knife cuts its first slice...


but we don't care, it tasted great 


I've been back in my studio, looking over my fabrics 


I've seen several finished block 1's. They are all quite different and all work in their own way.

Funnily enough, I was considering a black and white version, a lilac colour version, a traditional stash version - and these have all been made so far by Yahoo Group Members. I have really enjoyed looking at these blocks.

It's great to see the same pattern expressed in these different ways.



There's been a lot of fabric choice talk and I returned to my Windham stash to decide on the greens I would be using for the next block.

None of them really worked for me...I keep returning to the lovely rusty reds. I think, despite my best efforts that I will be working this quilt in washed, rusty reds. I don't feel I can resist.


 

This is my background fabric lined up with a potential fabric for stems (the black strip) and my applique leaf.

I am still deciding if I will work my leaves in green...like I thought I would.

Oh fabric dilemma...too much choice!

 

I'm still deciding.

Should you fight your fabric instinct and do something different
...or go with what feels right?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Glenda, you're an inspiration


Glenda has finished Be Still My Heart, Block 1 of Hearts Desire.


I do believe that she's the first quilter to get this done and I am delighted to share a pic of her block here. Yes, black and whites definitely work...and the red just finishes it beautifully.

I'd like to take a moment and mention that Glenda is still cleaning up from CYCLONE YASI.

Fortunately I am happy to report that she suffered no major damage but is still cleaning up a her garden which in her own words 'was wrecked'

I'm sorry to hear about your garden Glenda, but happy to hear that you're safe and got through the cyclone.
Just surviving YASI is a major feat and the fact that you still have time to quilt...well, I applaud you!

And I think everyone reading this post will applaud you too.... 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Applique by Freezer Paper

The Freezer Paper Applique Method is popular, surprisingly easy and completely satisfying.

It attends to all those important details which are so important: like smooth edges, clean tucks and sharp lines. Whilst traditional needle turn applique is my favourite and most cherished technique, this is the technique I use the most. It's so practical. If you haven't tried it - I can only recommend that you do.


 Simply brush fabric edges with starch

 Turn with a hot iron, using the freezer paper insert as your edge guide

 Remove the freezer paper easily

 Inner view of turned piece

the completed applique shape


I know many of you are familiar with this technique, however from the emails I have received this week I realise that there are still some quilters who are not confident using this method.

This is the technique I will be using throughout Hearts Desire and as there is so much applique in this BOM, I have decided to show some more detail in the slides below.

Coming up in this BOM, you will be creating applique leaves ...so I have created a leaf in the tutorial below which shows exactly how I do it.




Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hearts Desire is launched


Hearts Desire
a FREE MYSTERY BOM in 6 parts
Feb 15 – July 15 Finished size, 74 inches




I’ve always wanted to create an applique quilt which, although full of applique, is not a Baltimore.
With Red Delicious my first BOM, the theme was red things in life that I love.


With Hearts Desire, the theme is old town folk style, a place where life is simple, time is plentiful and days are full of sewing and quilting. This quilt is almost a still life of admiration, the design is purposefully full of understated opulence and richness in detail.

I have chosen The Windham range of fabrics, mainly due to their lovely rusty reds which look washed with time. These reds are a strongly unifying color throughout the design. I had plenty of fabric ideas, but could not pass up these tones and hues – they perfectly invoke the traditional spirit of my design. They just belong together.

Having said all that, I don’t want you to feel too nostalgic before you’ve even made it.

Of course, this quilt can be made with modern prints and fresh vibrant fabrics; the design really does lend itself well.

There is an enormous amount of applique. So I suggest that you choose your fabric theme and let it inspire you to select colors that work for you, block by block.

I have aimed to create a classic design which draws you in and invites you to experience the moment. You can let me know if you agree in 6 months time!




Block 1: Be Still My Heart


Be Still My Heart really is the heart of the quilt. However, this center block is also a teaser because it does not indicate what is coming next.

I would like that to be a surprise month by month.

When the quilt is finished you will see that this block is the stopping point of the whole design and the place where the eye draws to rest. It is the calmest block and I have offered it here first to ‘warm you up’ for what is ahead.

Will you be joining me?


This is my applique technique, using freezer paper to create neatly turned shapes


I love the smooth lines that result from this technique, it's so satisfying


I had enough fabric from my fat 8, so I decided to fussy cut the hearts.
This is optional, but I couldn't resist.

I love these fabrics!


These are the corners of the block.
You can make these and put them aside if you don't want to put them down now.



Remember:
This block will be free until March 15th.

and: this is boring but it comes up every BOM:
the pattern is a PDF document, and is set to print at 100% A4 for easy home printing
All printers are different and some printers like to re-set PDF pages to 95%

Please note:
Ensure that your printer is set to print to 100%
If your print preview shows you set to print at 95%, ensure that the default to “shrink to printable area” box is not checked. If it is, uncheck it.
Select: Page Scaling: none

Sunday, February 13, 2011

FREE New BOM for FEB


Hearts Desire
Applique MYSTERY BOM
Starts Feb 15th

 



My new Free BOM starts in 2 days
Releasing this design is a wonderful feeling…actually each BOM feels wonderful once it’s out there. It’s the feeling of creativity. There have been some wonderful fabric ranges released in the last 6 months or so, and of course we all have stashes that need seeing to as well. If you have been waiting for the right project to put your fabrics to use…maybe this is the one.


Yes, it’s a mystery, but it’s definitely worth the journey.

Will you be joining in to make Hearts Desire?





The Fabric:


This is my fabric palette. I have decided to stay with an heirloom-ish and charming feel for this quilt. I think these fabrics capture that essence perfectly. Actually, I was very tempted to work this quilt in reds…I know it would look stunning in reds….but I have another red quilt on the way this year and don’t want to completely exhaust my red stash…yet. I am waiting for an inspirational, extensive red range to be launched. And I know it will be sooner or later, the red cycle seems to repeat every few years. I am waiting for the replacements before finishing off all my red ideas. (What chance does my stash busting have?)


The fabrics I am using in this quilt are from the “Washington’s Legacy” range by Windham fabrics. They have a 1700’s feel and dip into Jacobean florals and herringbone stripes. It blends together beautifully and I also have Windham DAR Eagle Medallion fat quarters to pick and choose from here too. I have just realized these are all from Windham fabrics.  

You can see from the colors, the direction I am moving into. I buy all my own fabrics so I take a lot of time considering my purchases…fabrics have to lend themselves to several potential ideas – especially in my studio.




One of the great pleasures I receive from sharing my BOMs is seeing my patterns made up in a whole range of fabrics – I spend hours looking through the blocks on the Yahoo Group and seeing how everyone has made the quilt with their own special ‘eye’. That’s inspiration!





So, what fabric will you be using?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back to routine...

Restored, rested and ready for the year ahead!


The year charges on (February already?!!) but I was lucky to find a few quiet weeks away with my DH.
He wisely left telling me of our journey until the very last moment – which is probably best. I would have probably spent a week preparing…and been as prepared as I was anyway.

No internet, no tv, no radio (well, some car radio). Bliss…

I’m back and when I say I’m ready for the year ahead- I sure mean it. I have projects lined up, a studio tidied to make way for the whirlwind of ‘getting done’ I have planned. I hope you’ll be joining me and maybe even taking part.

snaps of flowers...
I can never have enough of 'flowers in their natural surroundings'


Of course there was a bird involved....there is always a special bird...this one had a real look in his eye and followed me, skipping all around and showing off ...

... so I shared some lunch with him



no words necessary


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