Monday, 6 March 2017

Secret Garden: Making Birdy

Here's my bird, all ready in fusible for his fabric selection..
These are how the fabrics look against my bloom fabrics. I really like these tones, I think they work so well. I'm very fond of the eyes as they are drawn on the pattern, but sometimes you see fussy cutting possibilities you simply cannot pass up. And so, my birdy has slightly different eyes to the pattern:
He's watching over the Garden
 This is the back of my bird shape
 and this is the range I incorporated along side Jardin Gris
 I find the tones slot in so well, it's a good addition to draw from 
 And these are my little birdy legs
 You don't have to turn edge them, but I am addicted to turn edging wherever possible
and yes, it's entirely possible, just make sure you clip 1/8 in and turn with a orange stick or manicure stick or whatever you call them in your part of the world.

I have seen 'applique sticks' made of metal retail for over $50, but I have never preferred anything over this nifty tool. It makes perfect clean edges and doesn't threaten to poke a hold in the fabric weave.

Image result for orange stick
Anyhow, these are my feet, pre-turning
and after turning
and that's my birdy done
Now to finish my block! I am this block and even as I make it, my mind turns to next month and the excitement of each new reveal.

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


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Welcome to this wonderful new 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


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Secret Garden: Block 2

 It's time to create Part 2 and this lovely block has a fleeting visitor -a bird. In it's beak is the broken chain that was attached to the hidden key of Part 1. Here I've constructed the pattern and placed it on top of my slim light box, below. Then I traced my pattern on my background fabric. The red lines indicate where I will use embroidery stitches.
I much prefer this slim light to my old bulky light-box, but I do have one complaint - you have to have it plugged into an electrical socket at all times for use, it has no battery life at all! I bought it online, so I didn't know that when I purchased it. Next time I will get one with a charge. 
 Now that my pattern is traced, it's time to consider fabrics. You know how I always struggle with fabrics. I'm utterly indecisive and drive myself mad with fabric combinations and possibilities. I thought sticking with a single range would help, but I am still thinking and re-thinking all choices..
 I quite like this marble for the curved vase, for instance. I know I said I was going to stick with Jardin Gris completely, but the range is too limited for an entire quilt, I need some breakaway fabrics to keep it all harmonious.
 Yes, I think it works.. I'll show you how it turned out in the next post.. 
This bird is a tricky character. I had envisioned a sleek, black bird visiting into the garden and stealing away a key chain. But this bird refuses to be a sleek thief. He wants to stay around and blend into the foliage, not take flight. So I think a range of mid tone purples will work instead. This range is also a Robyn Pandolph range and it's from my stash. I think it might be just the thing..

I'll show you how I got on in the next post.
How are you getting on with your own Part 2 block?
Over in my Facebook BOM Group there are fabulous pictures of quilters making up this part in all tastes and styles, each as lovely as the last.. see you there everyone!

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


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to this wonderful new Mystery BOM 

This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!

Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey starts February 1st, 2017
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


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Secret Garden: My Dreamy Part 1 Block

Here is my first finished Secret Garden block!
The blooms look a bit flat in this image, so here's a close up of the bloom head details:
 It was tough deciding, but I just decided to go with the whole water colour dreamy flow
 Here's the laborious boring part of the whole block - all the tracing, ironing and arranging..
 And here are all the lovely block details
I really struggled with the pinks. To be completely honest, I don't love the pinks in the Jardin Gris range - don't get me wrong, I do 'like' them, I just feel that they don't work with the other fabrics as well as they should. One the one hand, they aren't soft enough, and yet they aren't dark enough either. They're kind of stuck in the wrong tone. Obviously color is subjective but I would have made the pinks in the pallette much softer than they are.
 Still, let's admire these blues. I think the range really got the blue tones just right
Here is my blue bow. It's almost a homage to Love Entwined's double bow border, but much softer.. as if it were billowing in a warm garden breeze..

 Do you see my key?
There'll be a hidden surprise in each vase for the next 4 months
It is a mystery after all!


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


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to this wonderful new Mystery BOM 

This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!

Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey starts February 1st, 2017
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, 3 March 2017

Secret Garden Weave Vase

I know how interesting it is to see how everyone else makes the part of each block, so here's how I made my basket for Secret Garden Part 1. The first thing is, I really lovve this golden beige colour but I didn't like the direction of the print pattern, it looked a bit flat. So I cut it on a diagonal to change the print direction. It's a small change but it made a nice difference as far as my own eyes are concerned. And I will just add that I had enough fabric to do it with. Don't go fussy cutting or making diagonal cutting choices with the fabric allowance listed in the pattern - you always need extra for these options. 
It's a tiny change, but it works for me

Normally I would have traced my 'weave' stripes from the pattern as pattern pieces to go ahead and applique using the fusible method. But, as I cut on the diagonal, I simply made strips instead

It's time consuming, but I really do take my own advice and number all the shape pieces and indicate their grain with arrows. Then I trace these shapes onto fusible, cut them out and stick them in envelopes in batches until I'm ready to iron them down onto fabric. 
I glue my pieces into position constantly checking against the pattern 
making sure my applique motif doesn't 'grow'
 Before gluing, I pin and check and then double check
 Looking good
 Now I add my vase backing
 Like this
 And there it is
 Ready for the florals and foliage now!


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


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to this wonderful new Mystery BOM 

This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!

Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey starts February 1st, 2017
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


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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Fabrics for my Secret Garden

Part 1 of Secret Garden feels like such an important start. For one thing, the fabrics I opt for now will set the tone of the entire quilt. 

This has been a challenge for me. I decided to do away with all the fabric indecision that was bound to happen for each block every month and thought I had achieved this by purchasing all my fabrics from one range - Jardin Gris by Robyn Pandolph. And in a way, it has helped me commit and knuckle down. But in another way, I'm finding it really hard to stay within such a soft and gentle pallette. 
There's nothing wrong with soft and gentle but I must admit I have wobbled and thought about changing my entire scheme since my fabric package arrived. My compromise? Having some mid-tones to add to the blocks as needed. I am decidedly mid tone, my eyes always favor this level of saturation and I find it challenging to go either lighter or darker. 

Funnily enough, the mid tones I've decided to add in are also Robyn Pandolph fabrics, I seem to have a soft spot for all her fabric ranges, I am hopelessly in love with them all. Right now, I'm aiming to keep the quilt within the originally planned 'Jardin Gris' scheme with just minor additions if needed, so I'll see how I go. This will be a soft romantic quilt, much like a watercolor. That's new for me, but I think, why not?
Here's my constructed pattern, all mapped out ready for me to start tracing my pieces onto fusible. After I've cut out the fusible shapes I need, I keep them in envelopes, assorted by area on the pattern or fabrics which I'm going to make them in. The next step will be ironing down these shapes onto my chosen fabrics for each part of the pattern.

OK, I'm ready to start Part 1, here I go !


Secret Garden is a 12 month Mystery Mainly Applique BOM
It costs $6.95 USD per month to take part

Everyone making Secret Garden is invited to join my Quilt BOM Group over on Facebook which is the perfect spot to share images of your work as you make the block each month. Simply click below to join us in the best quilting group on the internet!


Looking for a free BOM? You're in luck! My current free BOM called Diamond Hill is currently running and you can download the current and  previous blocks over in Quilt BOM Group over on Facebook. You'll find the pattern over in over in the files area. And yes, it's really free (there are no trick questions, trials or email mailing lists or complications of any kind.)