Saturday, 28 January 2017

'Diamond Hill' Part 1

Diamond Hill debuted as my free BOM for 2017 on January 15th and already finished blocks are showing up over in my Facebook BOM Group. WOW! Look at this gorgeous block by Jenny Henry, what a beauty! Jenny has generously allowed me to share this image here for everyone not on Facebook to enjoy. Isn't it a stunner?

Last year when I released Hazel as the 2016 free BOM, I thought it was the bees knees, I just loved everything about that quilt (even though it was pieced!) and I still do. This year, I wondered if Diamond Hill would grab my heart in the same way...well, it has!

Thanks so much for letting me share your Diamond Hill progress with everyone Jenny, I can't wait to see what you do with this quilt as the months roll on.



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

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

WOW: Fancy Pillows

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm making good on my resolution to start using up my stash fabrics. Until now I thought I would simply commit to having the best dressed table in town: tablecloths, linen rings, vase runners and table runners are all on my list. But lately I've been frustrated with the quality of bed linens and in particular, European pillowcases. I've been everywhere, to all the major shops and each time I've been frustrated. So I've had enough! I went through the stash and found a fabric which matched my bedding perfectly and simply went ahead and sewed my own!

It's liberating. I should have taken up this attitude years ago. I have so much beautiful fabric, and better quality than you can purchase in most instances (especially when it comes to bedding and home-wares) so I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. One made, three to go.

And also, I'm impatiently waiting for some new fabric to arrive for Secret Garden, the BOM starts next Wednesday and I want to have my first block all finished to show you by then. I'm really excited about this BOM and decided to treat myself to some new fabric because I didn't have anything suitable in the stash for the kind of background I'm after. But more of that next week.

Have you signed up yet?
What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Love Entwined by Mary Chartier


Mary Chartier of Connecticut, USA has created a majestic Love Entwined with a dark background and bright fabrics. What a story this fabric combination creates! There's something so alluring about a dark background and the use of colour really makes the quilt flow as the eye keeps moving, keen to take in all the wonderful detail.
Every LE is as unique as it's maker, thank you Mary for sharing your wonderful quilt with us. 


Don't forget, when you've finished your own LE quilt or project, there's a special spot waiting for you in our LE gallery. It's still early days yet with many of us taking our time to complete this heirloom beauty, so the gallery will always be around. 

And if you're still working on LE, as many of us are, we have an LE Facebook Group dedicated to supporting each other. It's free to join, see you there!


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Secret Garden: My New Mystery BOM

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 
There comes a time as a quilter, when you step back from something you have designed and say to yourself, yes this is something very special. Secret Garden is one of those quilts.

I've been designing Secret Garden for three years. First came the outline - for in my head I had a clear vision of how this garden would be arranged. And then came the flowers, tucked in by beautiful pieced blocks that enhanced their curved lines and foliage. And little by little, I worked on each block and then set it aside. I knew that in it's own time, it would 'come together'. For this reason, I never set out to work on the design or pattern specifically, I let those moments call me at the right time and frame of mind. 

Bit by bit, these moments collected themselves and I knew with each sketch which belonged to Secret Garden and which belonged to other projects. Then, quite by surprise, I realized my Secret Garden quilt was complete. 
And today, I'm delighted to launch it as a Mystery BOM!
Will you join me on this adventure?

The journey starts February 1st, 2017
The BOM runs for 12 months
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches

The image shown above is of the first block. Yes, it's a mystery but I wanted to set the tone and let you know what to expect, style wise. This is a quilt for applique lovers who don't mind complementary piecing to frame and enhance their beautiful applique blocks. 

I will be making this quilt as we go through the Mystery and will be sharing my fabric choices, tips and techniques right here on my blog. When you join the BOM, you'll receive your block on or before the 1st of each month, delivered via email.




Wednesday, 18 January 2017

WOW: A Shining Start To 2017

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm so happy to have started 2017 with my new free BOM Diamond Hill! It feels like a good start to the year, and it's only going to get better.

Today I'm drawing up blocks for another very special BOM project which will start February 1st. It's called Secret Garden and if you'd like to know more, come back on Friday when I reveal all!

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Diamond Hill: Colour Ideas

You know me, indecisive to distraction. And whilst I always encourage everyone else to try different colorways, it's better for me to just stick with the first original idea because too many choices leave me battling non stop second guessing. But, in the interests of Diamond Hill, I did try it out a few different colour ways just to see how it would look. And what happened? Indecision! I started out with pink and green because I have so much pink and green fabric.
But then I realized I don't have any dark background quilts and I think Diamond Hill looks stunning with a black background, don't you?
But let's not forget about blues! DH just sings with a navy background and shades of blue blended in
But faded, soft muted tones look so charming too,
but maybe not as charming as dusty pink and muted brown
And you know, every colouring in session needs a wild card - because  I don't know how I ended up with enough peachy salmon to make a quilt, but I did..


'Diamond Hill' is my current FREE BOM
It's running right now and you can download Part 1 today
See my previous post to download right here via my blog
OR simply join my Facebook BOM Group (it's free)


Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Free BOM: Diamond Hill is Launched!

Welcome to Diamond Hill: a quartet of field bouquets surrounded by diamonds and framed with tumbling vines. Feel the breeze rustle through the leaves and sway the petals under a sun dappled sky. Can you feel it too? Diamond Hill is everything that is both lovely and simple. 

I’ve created  floral applique and framed it with classic piecing which offers so much potential for personalization. Will you make the diamonds shimmer in contrasting shades? Or tone them down to blend into a gently shaded scheme? There’s plenty of movement to keep everything interesting whether you decide to go with the flow ..or go over the top!

In this quilt you’ll find a satisfying balance of both applique and piecing which will keep you busy for seven months. I’ve opted for the hopelessly romantic theme of cream, pink and green because, why not? Of course, the pattern lends itself to many styles based on your fabric choices, so let your imagination run away with you. I can’t wait to see what you do with your own Diamond Hill. As always, if you’re not already a member, be sure to join my BOM  Facebook Group to share your own thoughts and ideas as you make your own blocks. I’m excited about the months ahead and can’t wait to show off all my blocks and ideas with you.
For those of you who don't want to go on Facebook, 
you can click the image above to download the PDF file right now.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WOW: Sorting Out My Sketchbooks

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm sorting out my design sketchbooks. With a new BOM coming on the 15th, I like to put my notes in order and move on, design wise. The image above is not the new BOM, it's just a random page as I glue down my design ideas. Here's what I designed when I thought up Gracie:
and after I release each pattern, I come back and glue in the actual finished quilt. Sometimes they are the same, sometimes they have evolved into something quite different. 
I've received lots of emails asking if I will release another BOM this year? - yes!
For now, all I will say is this: this year there will be something for everyone. First up will be the Free BOM which will be released, as always on the 15th of the month. So stay tuned. It's only next week :)

Are You Ready For My New Free BOM?


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Stash Busting the 2017 Way

January just continues to be super hectic! Today was my 42nd Wedding Anniversary, so we all celebrated with a family lunch. Unfortunately, today's lunch (just like Christmas and New Year's) happened during a stinking heatwave so we all stayed indoors and kept cool with the air con on.
My New Year's fabric resolution is to make a new tablecloth for every family occasion. That should give me 10 this year. And today was a good time to put my plans into action. I've been trying to make this cut of fabric into a tablecloth for years, and even thought I would create a table runner as a compromise when there wasn't enough to cover the table completely.
But then I found this speckled gold which perfectly matches the shades in the print so added it to the sides. There was just enough and I had less than an inch left over, so I'm very happy with my make-do cover. Now I'm keeping an eye out for the dusty dark teal that shows up throughout the print for some napkin rings and place settings for hot pots, and I'll be done.
I'm also planning on making at least 4 table runners this year, to run the whole length of the table during the week when I don't have a tablecloth down. With so much beautiful fabric on my shelves, I can't believe I haven't got around to doing this already.

Although I will mainly be stash busting, for our next family event I have my heart set on making a tablecloth from a fabric print with large fish on it. I'm after a Kaffee Fassett style and am sure I have seen such a fabric in his range in the past, so I've been looking for it online and hope to get it done before the end of February. 
As for the rest of my day, it was lovely.
There were flowers (of course, I always love an excuse to receive flowers!) and a trifle. I don't really understand trifles, basically they are cakes soaked in jelly topped in cream. Nevertheless, this one was delicious. And my DH and I even got a custom heart design to celebrate our Anniversary!
Delicious...
I like to change over all the quilts in my house each January, but I've been so hot and bothered this month so far, that I haven't given my yearly switch over much thought. Perhaps it will have to become a bi-annual thing!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

WOW: Out With The Old, In With The New

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This is me on Christmas morning, ironing my festive stenciled tablecloth. For those of you who wondered what an adaption of Red December looked like in a tablecloth - here it is. These are the exact same pattern motifs arranged over the space. I love this tablecloth, but I ruined it by adding a red fabric trim one year to the edges and then threw it in the washing machine - the red fabric bled and now my favorite tablecloth is tinted pink. I tried many formulas to save it, but it wouldn't budge. Whilst I was ironing it I realized that it would be for the last time - the fabric fibres are now distressed from all the dye removal solutions I tried and it's lost it's lustre. It's time to let it go. Mind you, the actual stencil paint I used didn't move at all - even after a last ditch attempt at bleaching. I'm seriously impressed. So for those of you feeling nervous at stencils, don't be. They last. As long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions, they last as long as commercially printed fabric. So, I'll be making another tablecloth sometime this year and I'll be stenciling it again too.

As it's now 2017, and I am so glad to welcome in a New Year, I've been thinking about WIP priorities. It looks like my WIPs for 2017 are all going to be about releasing new projects rather than finishing old ones. I certainly don't need any more WIPs, but I don't think that will stop me, I'm on a creative streak and will just go wherever my creative mood takes me! I hope that this year you'll join me on those adventures, I can't wait to share my new projects with you..

What's Your WOW?