Friday, 26 May 2017

Love Entwined: By Patricia Henderson McLaughlin

Here's what Patricia Henderson McLaughlin shared over on Facebook today:

"My quilt guild's quilt show (Hill Country Quilt Guild in Kerrville, TX) is this weekend & my LE won 2nd place in the Kit/BOM category. I machine quilted it on my domestic sewing machine. A labor of love for me & I'm so proud of my work. Again, thank you Esther Aliu for a beautiful pattern.If you're in the Kerrville, TX area, please come by & see the beautiful quilts!"

It makes my day when quilter's share the progress of their quilt updates, thanks so much Patricia for sharing your good news with us all.

If you're making LE yourself, don't forget to share it with us all - it's too special not to show off! And if you're making LE, we now have a dedicated Group over on Facebook where you can share info and updates as you quilt along..


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WOW: Linky Fun For Everyone

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This week I did the most important seasonal thing possible for my WIP pile: I resisted the urge to start knitting an afghan. I love knitting and crochet and have lots of ideas for a crazy, colourful yarn eater afghan for the corner of my lounge room. My favorite chair is in a cold spot and my existing ripple afghan has been keeping that chair warm for 5? 6? 7? years now. I feel like it's time for a new one. And given that it's so cold down my way, the temptation to put away my applique prep board and start knitting is very strong. It doesn't help either that Anne Marieke, one of my Group Moderator's has just hooked up some gorgeous crochet blocks that have my fingers twitching. You can see her blocks by clicking here. 

But I cannot start yet another WIP.  Even if it is impossibly warm and cozy at this chilly and gloomy time of year. I'll just have to rely on my quilt blocks to cheer me up and keep me warm. I don't need the distraction. Or an excuse to buy yarn. I'll just have to make do with a warm cup of coffee and a browse through my favourite knitting blogs for those feelings of cosy inspiration and satisfaction.

Speaking of blogs, if you haven't added your blog to my Creative Blog Directory, then you really should. It's simply a linky blog list to link creative blogs according to interest - to help us all find and enjoy them. It's free to link up your own blog so be sure to stop by and let your favorite creative bloggers know too. 

As for me? I have a quilt block to finish..

What's Your WOW?



Thursday, 18 May 2017

Bloggers, Let's Connect & Create !

I've gone ahead and started another blog! 
It's actually a blog for other bloggers to join 
It's called 'Creative Bloggers' and it's now open. 

You simply add you own blog to the creative linky list the best describes your blog. If your particular interest isn't there yet, simply let me know (via the comments on the page) and it can be added. Sounds simple? It is. The site is completely free and it's purpose is to list creative based blogs only. It will be moderated to keep out spammers and inappropriate content, but that's it.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine my creative schedule before blogging. When I started out, I had no idea how much it would become part of my daily routine. Now I just snap images as I work without even thinking about it - I just assume I'll be blogging it.

I've been doing it so long now that I can keep my screen time to a productive minimum without feeling like a slave to the computer.  There's something so satisfying about having a record of work practices at the click of a button.

I did think I would outgrow blogging, but it hasn't happened yet and I doubt it will. In addition to my own blogging habits, there are hundred's of blogs I love to visit each week on a whole range of topics - from gardening to painting to rug making. It really has become a kind of worldwide 'meet up' of creative people sharing what they love.

Blogging has had a huge impact on my creative process - it's kept me accountable to WIPs, reminded me of my progress and most important, it's been the reason why I've met so many wonderful new friends. So, to celebrate creative blogging spaces  I've started up a Blogger's Linky Site devoted to Creative Bloggers. 

So if you're a blogger interesting in finding other creative bloggers, or if you're a keen reader looking for inspiration, go ahead and visit Creative Bloggers!


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

WOW: Blooming Wednesday Again?!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
How do Wednesdays keep coming around without feeling like it's been 7 days in between? I can't believe it's been a whole week since my last WOW and yet here I am. On Sunday, I rolled out of bed for Mother's Day which was very nice as I didn't have to do a thing. I've been battling a nasty cold and ulcer for the last 2 weeks and have been generally under the weather, but managed to get up for lunch on Sunday and just generally take it easy. All the flowers in the house have been an inspiration and I love having them around, but they always make me a bit sad because it's cold down my way and with the heating on, they simply won't last! My DD's always complain that -I- complain about this, but I can't help it. I like seeing flowers in the garden! And on quilts :)

Otherwise, I've been working on my DD's wedding wall hanging - prepping all the pieces so I can just WOW them into position one lovely afternoon (and make it all look so quick and easy!). People always ask me how I get my applique done so quick? There is no quick, I just prep at every available opportunity and it somehow comes together.

I also unwound Lily Rose this past weekend and had a little 'changing of the quilts' on my walls. I missed Lily Rose and like having her back up on my walls (behind me in this pic). Now I just have to buy a different mounting system so I don't have to look at the hanging stick. It's something I've been meaning to do for a while but never find the time. Anyway, speaking of time, I have applique prep to get on with!

What's Your WOW?



Monday, 15 May 2017

Diamond Hill: Part 5 is Launched

Diamond Hill is my Current Free BOM for 2017
It runs from Jan - July 2017
You can take part in this BOM by joining my Facebook BOM Group (which is free)
Or by downloading the pattern directly from my blog on the 15th of each month


Members of my BOM Group over on Facebook have access to Part 5 of Diamond Hill via the 'FILES' area of our Group. For those of you not on Facebook, you can download Part 5 right here and right now by clicking the Diamond Hill Part 5 button above. The download (in PDF format) will automatically begin downloading.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

WOW: Back to Block 3

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
There are already stunning examples of Block 4 of Secret Garden being shown over in the Group as marvelous progress shots, but I am still playing with Block 3. I don't mind. I went enthusiastically into stitching my peeking cat face. A bit too enthusiastically as you can see from the buckling around the cat ear! I will fix that up today and also get my vase finished which will see my block finally done.
I'm so addicted to applique, I could just keep on like this each month indefinitely. But that is not the plan - next month Secret Garden takes a different turn and I can't wait to share the next step of the mystery with you. But for today, it's all about finishing Block 3.

What's Your WOW?


Monday, 8 May 2017

'Mia May' Three Other Ways

Once I design a quilt, I just can't stop swatching all the options!
Here are three completely different colorways for Mia May:
Stone Pink

Antique Pink

Aqua Newsprint

OK, now I have to step away from the computer and get some actual quilting done...

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Fancy Some Modern Chic? Meet Mia May!

Look what I just launched! Mia May is everything that’s bright and fun about new fabrics and uncomplicated applique. Whilst I’ll always love designing intricate applique, some fabrics demand a ‘let loose’ modern twist in the design to show off cheerful prints and Mia May really fits the bill. The applique is simple and the finished quilt size is perfect for a weekend project. Finished size:  49 x 65 inches

I know most of us have a stash of gorgeous prints we want to showcase with minimal fuss and whether you’ve fallen in love with these tones or have a completely different fabric scheme in mind, this lovely design is sure to please.

Releasing patterns from my folio is always such an exciting venture, I'm thrilled to launch Mia May today and hope you'll love her bright enthusiasm for fabric as much as I do.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WOW: Still Plodding Along

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm still plodding away with Part 3 of Secret Garden - that's the block with the cat peeking through the foliage. I would have been done by the weekend, but I came down with a winter cold and have been working away at little bits of applique here and there in between chicken broth and recovery naps.

Normally when the cooler weather arrives, I like to dig out my knitting or crochet in the evenings. My ripple afghan is super cosy and warm and the perfect snuggle blanket for these frosty nights.I'd quite like another one, in completely wild contrasting colours. But this year I've decided to resist the temptation and instead work on my WIPs. They're getting out of hand actually. I do hope to get them under control by the end of 2018 and this means no 'new' arts or crafts. No matter how bad the temptation..

What's Your WOW?


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

WOW: WIPs and Cake

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I made a birthday meringue for an afternoon tea yesterday and let me tell you, it's been a while since I baked any cakes. I forgot how much work was involved. And it was quite funny because I spent most of the morning looking for a whisk attachment for my beater- and I made a big fuss about it, looking everywhere, searching high and low, and even went through all the kitchen drawers and was at my wits end (and about to go to the store to buy a new one) when I found the missing whisk in my apron pocket. How ridiculous! And the worst thing was that it was my DH who pointed it out to me. 

Needless to say, I needed a cup of coffee and a few minutes quiet after that episode! 

Still, all's well that ends well and yes, it was delicious. I don't think things get much better than a crisp meringue with lots of whipped cream and mellow strawberries. 

Today I'm going to finish my Secret Garden Block 3 - that's the one with the cat peeking through the foliage. I am loving all the stunning blocks being made up and shown off over in the Group, it's a lot of fun to drop in and see what's going on as we have members working on everything: from Love Entwined to Tickled Pink to Hazel to Diamond Hill. It feels like everyone is in a hugely productive mode at the moment. Sometimes I go into the Group and I can't believe how much progress has been made from one day to the next. It's a real motivator. 

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

My Secret Garden Cat

The Secret Garden Cats that have been created over in the Group are all gorgeous- in fact, we even have a tiger in the mix! For my own SG Cat, I couldn't decide what fabric to settle on, which is completely typical for me. Instead, I decided to draw and colour my cat as I went along - a kind of adult colouring in book version of applique. They're all the rage right now, aren't they? Why not just play around and let the crayons decide?
 I actually thought I might have a white cat, but somehow ended up with a blue gray-blue cat.
I traced the outline from the pattern and then painted in the shading I wanted. When I was finished, I turned the edges of my plain background fabric, clipping the seams to keep them neat and tight.
And here is my finished feline! She looks a bit odd without a mouth or whiskers, but this is the area that will be covered with a bloom and I will stitch in whiskers later when everything else is in place. 
 I've been spending my evenings in front of the TV making up the bloom heads, so I will show you my progress with those once I get them all down.
How are you getting along with your SG Cat??

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome to this wonderful Mystery BOM 


This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!


Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey started February 1st, 2017
You can join right now
Digital pattern downloads are instant!
The BOM runs for 12 months
The pattern will be emailed to you directly each month
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WOW: Paint Brush Fabric Roll Done!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
A few years ago I realized that I was spending far too much money on paint brushes that I could somehow never locate. Whenever I needed them, they were nowhere to be found. I'm sure I left a few at workshops here and there, but the rest simply vanished without explanation and I wasn't happy at the constant replacement expense. Back then I was buying them after much fussing and deliberation in art stores. I thought that if I put together a 'set' I would have many long years of enjoyment from them and that, this way, it would be worth the investment. Ha!

Since then I've purchased paint brushes everywhere - the supermarket, paper shops, toy stores, newsagents and discount variety shops. I have a whole assortment of them now and most of them work perfectly fine for my uses - which is fabric painting. My latest collection came from Ebay and it's actually better that the expensive art set I had beforehand. But expensive or not, I have had enough of constantly replacing them, so I've finally gone ahead and sewn up my brush roll WIP. This is one of many 'little' projects that I know would be so useful if I actually got around to doing them...but usually I leave it for a few years before I bother. Well, no matter how long it took, I have zipped up several for my different brush sizes and grades and even offered to make my DD a cosmetic brush roll (which was rejected). Yes, it's been a productive WIP day.

Done!

And just in the nick of time too, I'm taking a class this weekend and expect to put them to use with some fabric touch ups. For once, I'll be the student and not the teacher so I am glad to take a back seat and allow myself to play around a bit.
What's Your WOW?



Sunday, 16 April 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Diamond Hill: Part 4 is Launched


What an April it's been. And now, it's time to launch Part 4 of Diamond Hill. Wow, these Hill quilts are shaping up to be real beauties, I just love seeing the progress each month over in the Group. 

                

For those of you who haven't joined the Group, you can download Part 4 right here and right now by clicking on the bade below, the download will start as a PDF instantly.



Thursday, 13 April 2017

How To Make: the 'Tickled Pink' Block

This is my first Tickled Pink block (and it hasn't been ironed yet) 
but as you can already see, this block really shines!
Once you've decided whether to opt for the 16 x 16 inches or 20 x 20 inches block, it's time to make a start on your block. Here's how I made my own Tickled Pink.
'Map out' your block before sewing anything and make sure you understand the pattern arrangement. It's really important to follow the grain indicated on the pattern pieces to prevent buckling and warping as you sew your pieces together too, so pay attention to these pattern details. I think it makes a real different whenever you are piecing stars to pay extra attention to grain lines.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tickled Pink Is Launched!

Tickled Pink is a one block beauty - you simply decide what size block you want to make and then make it, sixteen times. Voila! Isn't it striking? I love the satisfaction of a perfectly pieced block and a touch of applique for the stems and leaves adds a nice finishing touch too.

I've been meaning to make this quilt for years and right now I'm feeling completely smug that I've managed to cut and bundle the entire quilt up into stages to make it an ongoing 'slow quilt' for those times when I'm in the right mood and place for an 'installment.' This is one of those quilts that's been in my design folio for years and I am over the moon to be finally sharing it with you today.
The finished quilt size is either 68 x 68 inches, or  84 x 84 inches, depending on whether you want to make 16 x 16 inch blocks or 20 x 20 inch blocks.

Tomorrow I'll be posting how I made my Tickled Pink block, step by step. So be sure to come back and see it for yourself if you're interested in this quilt.

WOW: Tickled Pink

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Can you believe it's Easter already? This month feels like it really snuck up on me. Today I'm getting the dining room ready and generally tidying up (and putting away all my fabric piles from around the house) so that the weekend and meals to come can flow as smoothly as possible. I'm so pleased to have finished my latest pattern, Tickled Pink, just in time for the Easter weekend.

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I post my step by step guide to making the Tickled Pink block. 

What's Your WOW?



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tickling for some Slow Quilting

I've been thinking about a Slow Quilting project for ages. Well, yes, I might have hundreds of UFO's on my WIP pile, but that's different. I wanted a specific project all cut up and ready for me to pick up and put down as when the mood and location suited. And I had just the pattern in mind too - a classic pieced block repeated over and over to assemble a gorgeous quilt top. And I was thinking about this project on and off when I saw the perfect fabrics for it:
This range is Marseille by Robyn Pandolph. It's much brighter when viewed on screen, almost neon actually, so opening the package that arrived late last week was a bit of a surprise - but a good one. These tones are gorgeous. I've been using a lot of Robyn Pandolph fabric just lately, I really love the colour combinations, especially in Marseille. Well, the minute I saw it I knew it was the perfect range for my Slow Quilting Quilt which I've named Tickled Pink because I'm hopelessly in love with pink and green colour schemes in all their tonal variations and also because the block itself just looks tickled pink, if you know what I mean!
So I've gone ahead and made a block which is stunning and now I'm all excited to have something to pick up and put down. It's a great project and yes, I really am going to take my time and do it whenever the occasion arises. Today I finished all the cutting for the entire quilt. I really think packaging up the various stages is the best way to take on Slow Quilting. Now I have bundled each block with all it's bits and pieces and I'll just grab each block at a time, until I've completed 16 of them sometime in the future.

I'm so pleased with myself today. I got this project all cut up and bundled and I did it just in time for Easter too. Phew! What a week it's been.
If you're interested in your own Slow Quilting Project, come back tomorrow as I'll be putting my Tickled Pink pattern up for sale. And like always, it will be heavily discounted for 48 hours to allow everyone who's interested in it an opportunity to have it for the price of a cup of coffee. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

WOW: Part 3 Progress

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I have been spending every spare minute working on my pattern designs - I have a huge folio of designs, so whenever I have a chance, I work at getting another one done. But today, I'm all inspired to get my own Secret Garden Part 3 started. I've seen the stunning progress shots over in my BOM Group and now I'm all eager to add my own up there. Yesterday I posted Bunny's block pic with the ginger cat and today I'm deciding between a blue or white cat. Decisions, decisions. 

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Secret Garden: Part 3 (made by Bunny)

This gorgeous block was made by Bunny, one of our Moderators over in my BOM Group

Bunny has completed Part 3 of Secret Garden and has generously allowed me to show it off here on my blog. How cute is this ginger cat peeking through the foliage?! 

This month we find a feline friend in amongst the flowers as well as plenty of lush, veined leaves. So, so beautiful. How is your Secret Garden coming along?


“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome to this wonderful Mystery BOM 


This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!


Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey started February 1st, 2017
You can join right now
Digital pattern downloads are instant!
The BOM runs for 12 months
The pattern will be emailed to you directly each month
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches

Friday, 31 March 2017

Hop to it with Egg Hunter Bunny

We still have 2 weeks until Easter - plenty of time to make Egg Hunter Bunny a part of your yearly festivities. And yes, this greedy bunny celebrating his chocolate conquest under a celebration of bunting is still available for free. So hop to it and make your own Easter wall hanging!

Easter Blessings is available to members of my BOM Group for free (it's over in the FILES area). For those of you who don't want to join the Group over on Facebook, you can download it right here, right now, simple click the link below and a PDF download will begin. 
 Yes, it's currently completely free. 
No signups, email lists, hurdles or other scams, simply download and enjoy.
After Easter 2017, it will no longer be available for free, so if you love it, get it!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

WOW: 5790 .. and growing

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
My BOM Quilt Group is an online quilting community that's just over a year old -and today we have 5,790 members. What an achievement! The stats show that the majority of downloads still happen right here on my blog so I wanted to share this wonderful information with those of you who read my blog but haven't joined the Group yet. I know many of you won't cross over and join us because the Group is on Facebook - and I completely respect that. It's why I make my patterns available right here on the blog as well as in the Group - so no one need miss out. But I wanted to say hello because I know you're reading this and are downloading my patterns but are not connected with the daily ongoing chat and friendship happening over in the Group itself. You're still an important part of our 'community' and I'm always interested to know (and see!) what pattern of mine you're making and how you're getting on. So please keep in touch via comments or emails. Some of you do take the time to email me your pics and I love that, so thank you.

I never thought that my quilting would have so much of the good stuff focused online, so that aspect of connecting with others has been a pleasant surprise! I hope that one day the technology will catch up with our requirement and I'll be able to host all the features of a Facebook Group on a private website, but until that happens (and I am always looking), Facebook will have to do.

Most thanks of course belong to our Moderators. Our Group is private and moderated - it keeps out the Facebook riff raff that post nonsense and allows us to focus on all the good stuff. Many thanks to you: Anne Marieke, Glenda, Bunny, Pat and Eleanor (and not forgetting Jane who will always be a part of our Moderating team in spirit for everything she did before she moved on) for all the friendship, resilience, love and devotion you volunteer in sharing your time, knowledge and blocking / deleting know-how with us.

As for me, I'm currently drafting up another pattern. It looks like 2017 is my year to release all those patterns that have been gathering dust in my folio for the last 10 and get them out into the world. More on that later..

What's Your WOW?



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Easter Blessings: My Applique Top

This is my top so far. I'm deciding between these two print fabrics for the border instead of eggs. Or I might add some newspaper eggs on top of the print if I feel like it at that stage.
I really love both these two prints and presently can't decide.
I knew straight away that I wanted this newspaper print for the background
and here's my basket and trim fabric
with all my flower heads created, cool and set aside, I created my basket in the same way
Then I positioned my stems and leaves in accordance with the pattern
I used my light box beneath my applique top 
whilst it was still on the applique matt and not yet ironed down
This allows me to see any overlap
Ii don't want 'ridges' showing through my applique front
And if there's too much fabric layering, it can appear obviously from the front after ironing
If you look closely, you can see I have cut away the excess basket handle length 
behind the bunny ears as they were showing through
and the background fabric over the overlapped basket back to cut down on bulk
And my block front.
Voila! What do you think?!