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.


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?!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Easter Blessings: Using Release Paper

It's time to put my Easter Blessings applique top together and for this, I'm using Vliesofix fusible webbing. To create my motifs from all the cut out applique shapes, I used a 'release' matt which is the brown semi transparent sheet you can see on top of my constructed pattern sheet throughout these images. At this stage of creating the motifs, I already have all my fabric pieces numbered, cut out and backed with the webbing. Then, just before creating each motif, I peel off the webbing and place each shape onto its position corresponding with the pattern.

I start with the centre, layering from the background up
in between placing each piece into position, I quickly and gently apply heat from my iron
it's important not to over iron and / or overheat the applique during these stages
Next up I iron the side furls down because the following piece will overlap it
This is because you put the background pieces down first
and work 'forwards' in this way until you add the last 'topper most' piece
Having the pattern beneath my release matt allows me to keep to the pattern 
and make sure my shapes are accurate
like so
and again on the other side
Once all down, allow to cool completely.
I'm not adding the tulip stamen and seeds on this sheet, 
I will do that on my actual quilt background to save me double handling
Once cool, gently peel the motif off the release matt
It's important not to force this step or to peel when warm or you might warp the fabric
It should be completely cool and come away easily when you roll the release matt between your fingers
It's been a while since I used Vliesofix instead of turn edge applique and I forgot how messy it gets!
I like the look of raw edge on this mini quilt so I'm very happy with the result
Be sure to come back tomorrow when I show you my quilt background and applique top..

Friday, 24 March 2017

Easter Blessings 2017

Each year I like to release an Easter Project and this year it's Easter Blessings
A bouquet of parrot tulips, a mischievous bunny and plenty of charm—it must be Easter. I just love this abundant basket of bulbs and it's admiring hopper in the tradition landscape layout (above) but I also know that there'll be those of you who have a perfect spot that would suit a portrait design rather than the original landscape option, so I've made another version. In face, this project offers you three styles: the original landscape layout, a portrait option and an Easter Egg bonus for all those chocoholics out there who want to celebrate the fun of garden treasure hunts along with bunny and bunting to boot! Speaking of bunny, this little fellow is too sweet to kick out of my garden patch, with his twitching ears and possessive taste in tulips, he’s the star of the show.

The finished size is 32 x 24 inches which is a perfect golden ratio number whether you opt for the landscape or portrait layout. With the 2 inch border, you have multiple options. The pattern shows a layout consisting of 2 x 2 inch border blocks which when turned, create an egg shape. However if piecing these 2 inch blocks doesn’t appeal, simply add your 2 inch border and applique the egg shapes into position or leave the egg shapes out completely and replace those motifs with an interesting fabric print. It’s up to you! Which will you choose?!
It's a real honor for me to keep up this free Easter Project tradition. When I started out in quilting, I wanted to connect with other people who were passionate about the art of creating and who wanted to be part of a 'creative bubble' with me. A place where we could create and inspire and dream- all in fabric. I didn't know then that this creative hub would indeed happen, but that it would happen unexpectedly and online of all places. But it did and I'm so grateful that it turned out that way.

Another thing I didn't expect was that the Group would attract the most perfect people to it - our Moderators - who, as well as being skilled and committed were also prepared to volunteer their time for free - just to help others get what they needed in order to get on with creating. What an unexpected surprise it is when I look back on how all these events turned out. What a blessing!

This Easter is a reminder to me that life goes on and what time we have is both precious and fleeting. This time last year, I was completely oblivious to the fact that my mother was about to die. In the time since, I've thought a lot about what a blessing it is to have life and to be in a position to share life's passions with others. I do indeed believe in Easter and in the power and beauty of acknowledging that blessings abound. 

It's an honor for me to share my Easter Blessings with you this year 
 I hope that you'll love it as much as I do!
Be sure to come back as I'll be showing you how I made my own Easter Blessings in a tutorial post tomorrow. You know how much I love seeing your work, so be sure to join my BOM Group and share your own thoughts and ideas as you make your block.

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, 22 March 2017

WOW: A Lovely Beesting

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
When is a bee sting lovely? When it's a cake slice .. delicious :)

Today I'm in a Springtime kind of mood. I've just finished the pattern for my free Easter Project which will be released on Friday, (be sure to come back and download this lovely project, it's a real gem) and now I'm preparing a plate to take to my end of term sewing class. I've been volunteer teaching a group of young ladies to sew (general sewing, not quilting) and it's been great fun. Today, we're finishing up after a successful 10 weeks of sewing essentials and it's a perfect excuse for some slices, pastries and biscuits during morning tea.

As you can see, I'm cheating. I didn't actually bake this bee sting slice, I bought it - along with some other lovely morsels to make up a 'plate' to take in with me. I'm afraid that I am mostly beyond baking sweet things. I just can't be bothered and shop bought tastes and looks so much better. I probably shouldn't admit that, but it's true. Nowadays, my DDs bake all the celebration cakes in our household and they are much better than shop bought in those instances. But when it comes to slices and morning teas, I have no knack for homemade cupcakes, macaroons or things with custard and cream.

My talents are better spent with fabric creations. And speaking of fabric creations, I can't wait to share the 2017 Easter Project with you. See you on Friday!

What's Your WOW?