Saturday, 24 June 2017

'Sweet 2016' by Valerie Giles

Sweet 2016 by Valerie Giles

Feast your eyes on this beauty! Valerie Giles has generously allowed me to show off her own Sweet 2016 here on the blog. I wanted those of you who aren't in my Facebook Group to simply set your eyes on her gorgeous wall hanging. Isn't it sweet? The fabric options are perfect and this wall hanging just shines.

Love the fabric your picked for the strawberries Valerie
 and the swirled topped mousse looks irresistible too!
Valerie's celebration cake
 Valerie's Rosette Cake. 
Lots of quilters told me this was their favourite and I really loved making it too!


Sweet 2016 is a deliciously fun and fabulous applique wall hanging. Read all about it and view each blog back when it was made over in the Sweet 2016 Quilt Archive and if you do make this quilt, be sure to join the Sweet 2016 Facebook Group!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Judy Hogg's 'LE' Wins at Sydney Quilt Show

So delighted to just find out that Judy Hogg's 'Love Entwined' has won awards at the Sydney Quilt Show. 

Judy's LE was awarded 2nd place in the appliqué section for amateurs in the Sydney Quilt Show, then to top it off was awarded Best Traditional Quilt (amateurs).

This pic is one I found on Instagram, I can't wait to see even more higher resolution pics - already I can see how beautiful Judy's choice of colour and tone have worked to make this quilt shine. 

Wow, what a beauty and what an extraordinary quilt you've made Judy. I'm in awe. Congrats on your wins!


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WOW: New Projects

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
I've finally got a grip on my vertigo and am feeling back in the swing of things. Thanks so much for all your comments and suggestions here, on Facebook and via email. It all helped. I'd never had vertigo before and when I woke up with it one morning, I thought I must be having a stroke. It was so sudden and debilitating, I really thought it was something serious. Finding out it was just a crystal in the ear put it all into perspective.

I'm still in shock to find out that almost everyone I meet has suffered from it themselves. Who knew it was so common? I felt much better knowing I wasn't alone when I read through the comments, thanks for letting me know how you dealt with it, it put me on the right track.

I ended up following several head twisting protocols on YouTube before finding one that cleared the crystals away by leaning forward (video here) and have been feeling almost back to normal. A few times I suffered dizziness whilst out and about during the day, so sitting down and moving my head side to side got that under control too. Phew! What a lot of fuss!
Anyhow, back to quilting. This week I've been enjoying my morning coffees outside with a few colourful visitors peeking through the leaves. Usually Glenda (our Moderator over in my Group) has lots of exotic things to show us from her corner in tropical QLD, but down my way this is a real treat!

I've been making scallops in my spare time for my Shelly quilt. Finding my Shelly pattern was a real treasure as I found some other patterns I thought I had misplaced and I can't wait to share them with you. Next up, the other design I was working on before my vertigo lull, Koi Garden is now back in full focus. My DD spotted it the other day and would like it as a wall hanging in her home. So I'll be making it as an art quilt and am getting my supplies together for another adventure.

Stay tuned!

What's Your WOW?



Sunday, 18 June 2017

'Shelly' my Clamshell Quilt is Launched!

Shelly is my newest clamshell quilt pattern. Isn't she gorgeous? I have been loving clamshells these last few weeks - they're so easy to pick up and put down and now I've almost got enough to make my very own Shelly - and I cannot wait. Shelly is a clamshell quilt with a twist: the central block consists of four clamshell stacks that meet in the centre with a foliage motif. Between the stacks, you have the option of slotting in some contrast fabrics to create a visible central crossing element and the border repeats the clamshell appeal with more foliage motifs to tie it all together.

I love making clamshells—they’re so quick and easy yet look so great.

I've been shelling away making stacks from my monochromatic stash. I'm still going and have about 50 more to make now. I can't get wait to get this top together. Of course, you know me and yes, I considered lots of different colourways for my clamshell quilt. Red and white was a really strong contender, as was a muted stash of civil war tones. But in the end, I had this really stunning assortment of black and white and grays that just needed to come together. I played around with the idea or a black / white & red theme, but somehow went with a newspaper print instead.

Me? I love it! What do you think?!

'Shelly' finished size 57 x 57 inches

'Shelly' $12.95 USD
Complete PDF pattern


This pattern is being sold as an instant digital download. The moment payment is processed by PayPal, you will be redirected to a download page. You will also be sent an email with download details so you can download this pattern instantly. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Diamond Hill: Part 6 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 6 of Diamond Hill via the 'FILES' area of our Group. For those of you not on Facebook, you can download Part 6 right here and right now by clicking the Diamond Hill Part 6 button above. The download (in PDF format) will automatically begin downloading.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

WOW: Scallops, Scallops Everywhere..

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I adore scallops (or do you call them clamshells?) I've always thought and referred to them as scallops and now I can't get out of the habit. Anyhow, I have a whole stash of gorgeous black and white and grey fabrics that I decided to just start scalloping and stacking up to make a new quilt top.

It's a gorgeous way to stash bust and I'm loving every minute of it. Right now, it's not too demanding on my eyes or mind either which is just what I need. I have a wonderful I pattern designed for scallops and I'm using my Template from that pattern, the only problem is I can't show it to you as I don't know where it is - I simply cannot find it! It's called Shelly and when I come across it, I will be putting all these scallops to use. The only thing I know is the number of scallops I need because I wrote it on my template! For now I will just keep making scallops until Shelly shows up.

Last week I was all excited about Koi Garden and planned on releasing it but then I came down with a 2 day vertigo attack. I'm still not 100% after that and am taking it easy. It means my exciting art quilt plans for Koi Garden have to wait until I feel well enough to tackle it. My vertigo attacks and ear aches are really keeping me mostly away from my screen. I don't have the nerves to sit behind a computer for long enough to do anything with it.

So, it's all about the simple scallops for me today..

What's Your WOW?





Wednesday, 7 June 2017

WOW: Winter Creativity

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This is a partial image of my wall hanging Dream Fountain. Most of you will recognize it as it's become something of a 'mascot' to represent my work. I use it here on my blog and over on my website and also on my creative cards and what not, it's an intriguing piece and not a week goes by without someone asking for the pattern. And that got me thinking. You see, autumn and winter are very creative seasons for me, it's usually when I get the most done. And right now I'm in a flurry of designing and creating and sampling.

In fact, I'm hardly online these days at all, I'm off in my studio working whilst the daylight is still strong. And just yesterday I found my folio containing all my water garden themed wall hangings and there's a sister design to Dream Fountain in there that I haven't made yet. As soon as I saw it, I remembered the plans I had for it - the same fabrics and colours as Dream Fountain and carrying on in the same theme. Looking at it with fresh eyes, my enthusiasm and passion for another wall hanging has been renewed. And now I have to admit, I have started another adventure. I know this is WOW and I know I have WIPS and I know I have set aside the second half of this year to complete my very own Love Entwined masterpiece. But inspiration has called out to me.. and I must respond.. I'll show you my progress on Friday.


What's Your WOW?



Wednesday, 31 May 2017

WOW: Back to Bed!

WOW =  WIPs On Wednesdays
It's been cold, wet and windy down my way which is the perfect time to get some serious WIP progress done. As you can see from the leaves of my backyard tree here, the colours right now are burnished and beautiful. It's a perfect time for getting inspired and creative. And you know, I had plans for this week, but they were not to be. I've been back in bed with a cold and a frightening attack of what I found out was vertigo - apparently brought on by my cold, although I've never experienced anything like it before.  I only have myself to blame - I went outside for a walk and forgot to put cotton in my ears and came down with a chill. I'm afraid that's all it takes, I'm one of these people who needs to be rugged up and plugged against cold winds at all times. However, I thought I knew better, so when I set out without the cotton in my pockets where it usually is, I simply decided to keep on anyway, instead of turning back. That'll teach me!

So today I'm sitting up in bed, eating warm soup and feeling so annoyed with myself.

What's Your WOW?



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.