Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WOW: My New Free BOM Is Up & Running!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
If you haven't already heard, there's a new free BOM in town and it's here to keep you busy right up until Christmas, so raid that stash and create a gorgeous windowsill scene today. I'm making mine up in wonderfully cheerful Fassett's and can't wait to start showing off my vases.

If feels great to have another BOM out and I'm already excited because I know there'll be lots of eye candy all over the Group before too long. Phew! Another BOM out of my sketchbook and brought to life. It feels good to get it out into the world.

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom' is Launched!

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom' is launched!
Here’s  a windowsill straight from my  imagination—full of blooming flowers set against a shining sky, set in by an arched frame and studded with stained glass diamonds. 

As this is a short BOM, I've provided all the fabric and cutting and instructions this month, meaning that you can decide how to pace yourself in assembling the top over the next 4 months. You can put the whole 'background' together and then just add the flowers each month or progress steadily each month - the choice is yours.

Be sure to read through the pattern and understand it before making a start and don't forget I have lots of tutorials on applique techniques right here on my blog. Simply browse through my archives to find these. I'll also add a linky below to get you started. 

I can't wait to see how your own window comes together in a beautiful blooming scene, so please stay in touch via my BOM Group or here on my blog. 

 This is a Free BOM in 4 parts
Release Dates: August 15th - November 15th

Download it: 
Right here on my blog each month or over in my BOM Group

Click this image to start downloading the PDF file right now
this link will be live until the Free BOM period ends on November 15th 

Members of my BOM Group can download the file from the Group "FILE" area

Saturday, 12 August 2017

New Free BOM Sneaky Peek!

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom'

Finished size: 
38 x 48 inches

Free BOM in 4 parts: 
August 15th - November 15th 2017

Download it: 
Over in my BOM Group 
or right here on my blog, on the 15th of each month.
I promised you a sneaky peek, and here it is! Which one do you prefer? My simply lovely coloring or my Fassett stash busting one just above? My DD loves the first one but I must confess, the bold Fassett beauty is calling my name..

When I asked if you fancied another Free BOM to keep you busy right up until the end of the year, I really didn't think you'd take me up on my offer...but I was wrong! 

I really love the poll feature over on my BOM Group because it lets me know what everyone feels like doing. And you know me, I have lots of designs just waiting to be released, so whenever I get the opportunity to share another BOM, well, I'm over the moon about it. 

'On my Window, Flowers Bloom' says it all. I love this design. I love the flowers and all the fun to be had during fabric selection. Will you go sophisticated with a naturalistic pallette or bright and bold? And what about that sky peeking through? Will it be daytime? Night time? Starry or snowy? I couldn't decide. I kept going back and forth. In the end I played around with two main ideas; the top one is just lovely and I can already see it shining on my wall. The one below is made up from my Fassett stash - because it's about time I started putting that gorgeous stash to proper use in a fabulous wall hanging. 

Whichever way you decide to go with it, I can't wait to see your progress. So don't forget to share as you work and chat along with all of us over in my BOM Group - we're more than just an online quilting group, we're a friendly and supportive community. 

Love it? Make it! This BOM will be released in 4 parts and is completely 100% free. And when I say free, I mean it. There are no hurdles you have to jump or annoying things to subscribe to, no email lists and no junk or trickery involved. Either download it from the FILES area over in my BOM Group each month OR right here on my blog on the 15th. Simple.

'On My Window, Flowers Bloom' starts August 15th. 

Let all your friends know and get together to make this beauty right in time for Christmas. Yes, you can make this pattern together during bees and quilt shops are also welcome to take part. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOW: Slow Down August!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
I have so many exciting piles and nests around the house, each one a 'project' or WIP in progress that I'm playing with and tinkering on. Today I'm deciding what to commit to before the end of the year, and what to pack away as projects for another day.

Next week, my new Free BOM begins, so be sure to keep an eye out - I'll post more about it on Friday. That will take us up to the end of the year and before then, I'll have another free surprise to share too. Today, it's all about pulling out my diary and getting organized.

I must admit, I feel like the year is now basically charging head first into Christmas and before I know it, a whole New Year will be knocking on my door before I'm ready. Time to get busy!

What's Your WOW?

Thursday, 3 August 2017

'Thursday Flowers' is Launched!

I'm so excited right now, it's infectious! I'm in the middle of moving around my lounge room to change wall focus. Well, when I say I'm doing it, I should probably clarify that it's my DH doing it for me. Don't worry, he loves changing around all our household furniture to accommodate my quilts 😉! Because, whilst some people hang painted artwork in their home, I prefer to showcase applique. And right now, I've got a new range to showcase! 

This is 'Thursday Flowers' and it's a flower gallery style wall hanging. I’ve designed seven vase designs, one for each day of the week. Each is a stand alone wall hanging, designed to showcase my love of vase arrangements for the home.
I especially love it when my quilts are at first mistaken for paintings or murals and are then found to be textile on closer inspection. And that's what this set of wall hangings is all about. In many ways, stylized applique is a form of painting—with fabric! And I do love it. What better way to show off my passion for all things textile?  

Thursday Flowers finished size is 23 x 33 inches which feels like a perfect 'painting' size on my walls. The pattern also includes a 50% reduced option for anyone wanting to make it smaller. It's perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to make a statement in applique.

Finished size 23 x 33 inches OR 11.5 x 16.5 inches
Complete Digital PDF pattern for printing at home
**Digital sales are instant**

$12.95 USD

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

WOW: Look at the Birdy!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday
This lovely pigeon was in need of rescuing from my neighbor's roof - she was lost, sore and scared. There's something wrong with her wing and she spent two nights out in the howling wind and rain before I managed to coax her into my laundry where she showed herself to be super calm, gentle and sweet natured. I was sure someone was missing her so I called around all the local vets. They told me that if I brought her in, they would kill her because she was an introduced species. Well, I couldn't have her killed just when I'd rescued her, so I went onto a Lost Bird site in my local area.

Lucky for her, an animal rescuer with a pigeon aviary let her join his gang. Phew! That was a close call. Between vets wanting to kill her and people wanting to collect her so they could eat her, she's ended up in a kind of Pigeon Heaven.

And I have my laundry back, so it's time to get washing. I'm afraid that with all my creating lately, the laundry usually lapses and then I have to wash back to back for 2 days to bring it back under control, so I'm going in, wish me luck :)

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Secret Garden Part 7 is Launched

Part 7 is all about these applique motif triangles. From this block I'm working on, I'll cut 4 x triangles and set them aside until it's time to assemble the top. It's a Mystery and some quilters are asking me where on earth do these fit in? What can I say? Surely this is half the pleasure of a Mystery?! You really have no idea what's next and in the case of Secret Garden, believe me - no one knows what's next. There's more to come, each even more intriguing than the last..until the final reveal. So just wait and see, it will be worth all the suspense..
Once again it's all about the prep. First I made my stems. I used a 6mm bias maker for this which saved me lots of time. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I have a 6mm and 12mm maker but haven't been able to find one that makes 8mm or 10mm and now that I know how useful they are, I want every possible size. I don't think they exsit but live in hope that someone somewhere has bothered to make them. I've been looking online without luck, so if you have these inbetween sizes or know where I can get them, please let me know as I could really make use of them.

Anyway, I cut strips, feed them through the maker and then pin the edge to my ironing board (which is covered with this super busy print, sorry)
and then I simply drag the maker with my iron following along
It's quick and easy
 Now that I have all the stems I need
it's time to applique my stems into position
for now I'm using basting glue to keep them in place before stitching them down
and when all my applique is completed, I'll cut this square into 4 x triangles and set them aside 
These are the fabrics I've opted for, as my background is light green, I decided to mix in some pink with these blocks. They will appear evenly around the quilt, so I want them to pick up the shades I've used in my main applique blocks. I've opted for harmonious, but contrast would work too - especially if contrast elements will show up elsewhere in your fabric selections.

I have 16 x triangles to make, from 4 x squares so I'm busy getting it done. Can't wait to see how you are making yours. If you're not already a member of my Free BOM Group over on Facebook, be sure to join - it's a busy hub of quilters sharing their work each day and I love dropping in and getting inspired.


Welcome to this wonderful Mystery BOM 
You can join right now!

Digital pattern downloads are instant!
The BOM runs for 12 months and you can catch up on all missed blocks right away.
The remaining pattern installments will be emailed to you directly each month
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches

Friday, 28 July 2017

Swooning Over Eleanor's Coverlet Progress

Eleanor Montgomery Smith is a talented quilter who's on her own journey towards creating Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet, in her own special way. Eleanor is also a Moderator in my Facebook BOM Group (lucky us!) and when I saw some progress shots of her LE quilt, I immediately asked her if I could showcase her progress here on the blog for all to see. She has generously agreed and I don't know about you, but I'm swooning!
As you can see, Eleanor has a beautiful way with flourishes. When I released the Love Entwined pattern, I really hoped someone would take it and make a heavily embellished version - just so I could see what it would look like. Although I am a lover of classic applique, I could already see during the design process that this was a quilt that could take as much embellished flourishes as anyone could care to incorporate into it. And look at this - someone has!

I'm on cloud nine just taking it all in with my eyes! Ribbon embroidery is something I have always admired and it really finds itself in this design - these enhancing touches are so special and give the eye so much to take in - it makes an already special quilt extra special, wow. 
The borderie perse Eleanor opted for looks custom designed - and I suppose that in a way, it is. How beautiful!
I'm also loving Eleanor's blue background and vase choices, her colour balance between the fabrics is just perfect.
Each time I see another Love Entwined, that one becomes my current favorite because honestly, each and every single one of them speak with their own accent of beauty. They each have something different and special about them. And this somehow makes the journey extra special all over again.

'Special' is a word that keeps coming up over and and over again in connection with Love Entwined - the mystery, the intrigue, the tantalizing Georgian facts around the textile that make us pause for thought..and then carry on with our legacy. Anyone who's making their own Love Entwined understands - there's just something about this quilt.
I found this border tricky, getting both zig zags, border and zig zags just so within the spacing, 
but you've done it beautifully Eleanor! 
this pot of broderie perse pansies has stolen my heart!
Love how you incorporate your ribbon flourishes in this block, gorgeous! 
Thank you for sharing your progress with us Eleanor, I know this inspirational boost will be push some quilters out there need to pick up and carry on with their own LE WIP!

As for myself, I was working on my own LE during the time when mother died and because of this, I haven't been able to get back into the right kind of mood to complete it. At least, until now I haven't felt it was the right time. I'm beginning to feel a little differently just lately. It's been over a year now and I'm thinking that it's time to finally complete and show off my own coverlet. Of course, when I do, you'll know all about it - every step of the way. I'm so lucky that until then and up until now, I've been able to feast my eyes on all the beautiful LE's being made by so many other quilters. Thank you everyone, for being so generous with your talent and motivations; it makes our creative hub on the internet a extra special place to belong - and having you all there makes all the difference.

And an extra special and repeated thank you to Eleanor because as I mentioned at the top of the post, she's a Moderator in our Group and we all know, Moderator's make the BOM Group keep turning!

In addition to my Facebook BOM Group, there's also an extra Love Entwined Group (because it's so epic it needed it's own space with it's own pace) for makers to connect and create.
What about you? Are you making Love Entwined? Have you joined the Love Entwined BOM Group? Go ahead and join us as we share friendship, quilting tips and creativity.

Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet is a historic, heritage applique quilt made in remembrance and legacy of an original coverlet of no name, referred to only as a 'fine marriage coverlet' by Averil Colby in her publication printed in 1958. I created Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet in homage to the original because I knew that this quilt needed to be remembered, acknowledged and recognized by all quilters everywhere as a work of magnificent ingenuity without peer or equal in its era. This quilt was originally released as a Free BOM over 18 months. The BOM is now finished. The pattern can be purchased via my online pattern shop. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

WOW: Plugging Back In !

WOW = WIPS On Wednesdays
I've been offline for a week.. but it felt like time travelling back before the advent of the telephone. How did I even exist before the internet? Would someone please tell me? Of course, now that I'm back up and running I have a whole days worth of emails to deal with and there's always a few needles in those haystacks, so I'm brewing my coffee and will get stuck for a morning's catch up. If you're waiting to hear from me, I'll get back to you either today or tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

In more interesting developments, I asked members over in my Facebook BOM Group via a poll if they would like another quickie BOM taking them from August 15th to November 15th this year ... or a rest to start again in 2018 refreshed? Well, the results are in and there's another Free BOM starting August 15th. Stay tuned, I can't wait to show it off soon.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

WOW: Diamond Hill is Finished!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Well, that 7 months went by real quick, didn't it?! In case you missed it, my Free BOM Diamond Hill finished this month. That's right, it's all over. And I have been bowled over by all the Diamond Hill beauties coming along wonderfully over in my Facebook BOM Group. WOW, there are some stunners over there, I just love feasting my eyes on all the colour combinations and styles each quilter has brought into the quilt design.

This stunner is made by Jenny Henry. Check out her blog by clicking here, she has plenty more Diamond Hill images over on her blog, including detail shots. She has let me show it off here on my blog because I didn't make Diamond Hill myself (I've been making Secret Garden). Isn't it gorgeous? Jenny always impresses us with her dedication and talent (and speed!) and her Diamond Hill is no exception. Thanks for sharing it with us all Jenny, it's a shining example of how good Diamond Hill can be.

I'm going to miss releasing Diamond Hill each month, I've really enjoyed letting it loose each month and waiting to see what all our talented quilters do with it! I asked over in the Group if they had had enough for the year and wanted to rest before starting up a new BOM in the new year next year but they weren't having any of that! They voted for yet another Free BOM to take us all from August - December this year. So, their wish is my command. I'm drafting up the next 'mini BOM' right now. Stay tuned, it will be released on August 15th.

Phew! It makes me wonder where they all find the time?!

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Love Entwined by Judy Hogg

Last month I shared the happy news that Judy Hogg's Love Entwined won awards at the Sydney Quilt Show. Well, today I'm delighted to announce that Judy Hogg's Love Entwined quilt is now in the Love Entwined Gallery. I love all the excitement and expectation of waiting for all the LE's out there to come 'home' to the gallery when they're ready and Judy's is no exception. What a beauty!
She combined machine embroidery with her favorite fabric colours to create her masterpiece. It took her three years to complete and like many of us, she too wondered about the original quilt maker’s motivation, identity and techniques.  It’s a real beauty and I’m delighted that Judy had finished and shared it with us. Here’s what she has to say about it:

Why did you decide to undertake this project? I needed a challenge
What's been your favourite part? all of it, but I did enjoy digitising for my machine embroidery
What's been the most challenging? the zig zag borders
What inspired your fabric and colour choices? Used my favourite colours
What range did you opt for? my stash
Have you ever thought about the original maker? often wonder what she used and how long it took her
How long did it take you to make? 3 years in total

Judy thinks the zig-zag borders were the most challenging, but I think the 'dewbies' were much more fiddly!
I'm in awe of Judy LE and so happy to have another finished LE to enjoy. What a visual feast!

What about you? Are you making Love Entwined? Have you joined the Love Entwined BOM Group? Go ahead and join us as we share friendship, quilting tips and creativity.

Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet is a historic, heritage applique quilt made in remembrance and legacy of an original coverlet of no name, referred to only as a 'fine marriage coverlet' by Averil Colby in her publication printed in 1958. I created Love Entwined: 1790 Marriage Coverlet in homage to the original because I knew that this quilt needed to be remembered, acknowledged and recognized by all quilters everywhere as a work of magnificent ingenuity without peer or equal in its era. This quilt was originally released as a Free BOM over 18 months. The BOM is now finished. The pattern can be purchased via my online pattern shop. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Diamond Hill Part 7 of 7 is Launched

And we've reached the end. WOW! that just flew by! If you're downloading the Parts via this blog, click the above image to download the last installment, Part 7.

If you've missed any Parts, be sure to download those now so that you will have them on file. These file links will be de-activated next month, so be sure to save any files you need.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

WOW: It's 'Shumper' Time Again!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
What do you think of this cosy merino wool jumper I'm showing off in the above pic? It's in a shade called "mulberry" which is supposed to be a masculine version of lavender, I think. I purchased this fetching knit for my long suffering DH 2 years ago. Actually I found it in a catalogue (I love catalogue shopping) and fell in love with it, but it was in the menswear section and I was supposed to be minimizing my walk in wardrobe, so I bought it for my DH, for him to wear over shirts in winter. I thought it was a great buy. But when it arrived, it was too big for him.

'I think it would look better on you' he said as he tried it on. And I couldn't disagree. My DH has impeccable taste.

So now I have a new favourite jumper. But you know how I hate to have a cold neck. And that means it's time to create another 'shumper' which is my own magical word for what happens when I insert a shirt collar into a jumper. I just look better in shirt collars. And look, I found this scrap of Fassett fabric and there's just enough for a cute collar. It was meant to be!

I can't wait to show it off when it's finished. I hope to make it up today.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

WOW: On the Hook Again

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Meet my new yarn stash! It's cold and gloomy down my way and whilst I don't have time to do anything other than my quilt WIP pile, I've made an exception for these cold nights. It's too much strain for my eyes to work on my applique at night. This is also why I don't read at night anymore either, both activities give me a headache. Although I have a crafting daylight lamp, I find it perks me wide awake...which makes going to bed hard. So I need a new activity for these long cold evenings that's calming and doesn't require too much eye attention. I was thinking about a new crochet afghan and then I saw Anne Marieke's gorgeous crochet mandala and knew I needed to make something warm myself. I love her mandala but don't want to count rounds or be paying attention, if you know what I mean. I intend to work in a kind of 'crochet trance' with one eye on the TV and my hands busy handling this gorgeous yarn.

I've opted for earthy muted shades with a few jewel shades thrown in. There is a shade missing, it's a teal based blue that slots right in, but I'm waiting for it to arrive in store next week as they only had one ball left when I made my choices. The yellow you see is an old antique gold shade in real life and as soon as I get a few rows down I will photograph it in daylight so you can see the colour for its true beauty. They look a bit off under my strong winter inside lights. It's hard to photograph anything at the moment as the gloom is everywhere.

I'm thinking about a zig zag afghan with a texture in it - a kind of ribbing. And I'll be popping these under my favorite chair and just making my process slowly. This afghan will be more of a pleasure project for winter rather than a 'must do' and I'm in no particular hurry to finish. I have no idea how long it will take, be it one or two or three winters doesn't matter. This is one of those satisfying slow projects. I'll share updates when I have something to show.

What's your winter comfort craft?

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Secret Garden: Part 6, How I Made the Block

--UPDATE-- The pattern block outline page has been updated due to a scanning error that made it a % too small. Please ensure you are checking your block against the updated pattern block page. The template unit page has NOT been effected. The pattern update was sent out an hour after release and the pattern page is clearly marked as updated. 

This means that if you started making your block according to the templates, they are accurate, but when you come to check them against the page, they would appear too large. This is because the pattern block page you need to check them against is a % too small. Please make sure you have downloaded the updated pattern. 

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone, gremlins in the system :( 

This month the suspense is really building up, but you know - that's half the pleasure of a mystery, isn't it?! This block frames the centre equally at 4 points and is a perfect opportunity to use up the scraps from your applique blocks or new harmonious tones. Whatever you decide, don't overthink it, just enjoy it as the spot of beauty it is.
Here's how I made mine. 
Fabrics were easy for me in this block because I'm working within a single range (and phew, has that saved me some hours in deliberation!). These fabrics all work with each other and I added a pink for the bud from my stash.
I traced my shapes from the pattern without seam allowance onto wash away fusible. You can also use freezer paper if you want to.
As always, I mark all my pieces to help me reconstruct everything when ready
these are my pink buds above
and background segments below
When it's time to cut my shapes from the fabric, I add a seam allowance and then turn edge the allowance using glue and set the pieces aside until ready to construct the pattern. I use Elmer's Glue for turning the seams. 

I do this because Elmer's Glue is a starch that washes out easily. Or at least I thought it was, someone has corrected me with the info that apparently Elmer's is in fact, not a starch. Whatever, I still love it. Although, if I'd known that before I probably wouldn't have started using it, but now that it's a part of my tool kit, I have to say that I don't care that it's not a starch, I really like it and it has always performed perfectly for me. I don't think I'll stop using it anytime soon, unless they change the formula. 
Now it's time to start constructing the applique of the block. 
For this stage I use droplets of basting glue. 
As I arrange the shapes, I pin them against the pattern block. I make sure each shape is neat and accurately placed. I use pins and constantly wiggle the shapes into line. 
Like this
(ignore my personal marking on the pattern)
the buds, back and front
building up the applique, step by step
this is the finnicky part because you have to check and double check 
as you introduce every single new shape. 

This block is actually a geometric shape and it's impossible for mere mortals to have perfectly geometric applique, so don't stress, just keep as much to the lines as you can and keep wiggling the applique until it looks neat.
once the pinned position is double checked, I keep it in place with basting glue and continue building
this is the final applique step before I centre the applique onto the background
and here's my applique flipped. Phew!
It takes care and concentration and there's really no substitute for the time and attention you need to get it right. But what can I say? It's worth it!
To position my applique centre to the background, I each diagonal corner as a placement guide
pay special attention to the overlap between the bud leaf and background leaf so that they cross neatly
Like so
Make 4 x blocks and set aside
This quilt is growing in beauty and I can't wait to share the next reveal with you on August 1st.

This post related to the Applique Mystery BOM Secret Garden. 

Read more below if you're interested in taking part. It's not too late, start anytime.

“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!
Join now and receive ALL downloads so far!
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