Wednesday, 13 December 2017

WOW: Secret Garden's Satisfying Centre

 WOW = WIPs On Wednesday 
I'm so pleased that my Secret Garden quilt top is now together. And, as soon as I find a wall big enough, I'll take a photo of the whole top to show you. This is one quilt where the parts are lovelier the longer you look at them - detail overload! This is the satisfying center and I love everything about it.

In the next few days I'll be releasing the final installment of Secret Garden, Part 12 of 12, so those of you taking part can finalize your WIPs and get your schedules in order. December is a crazy month in my household, so I know how helpful it is to get fabrics, projects and plans for the New Year in order. Speaking of fabrics, I'm awaiting a very special delivery, can't wait to show you my new BOM selection as soon as it arrives. 

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Secret Garden: Fixing the Cat Block

As in life, as you quilt - you learn. Once again, my quilting adventure this year has taught me some important reminders. Lessons I already knew but didn't follow and new ways of thinking about colour usage. 

First up, my irritating mistake. I thread painted my cat piece for the block on a separate piece of fabric, as a motif shape, and then, when it was halfway done, I put it into position on my actual block background and continued the thread painting. Now, I knew when I did this that I should theoretically use a hoop to stabilize the fabric stretch. But I was so wrapped up in the creative flow, that I just 'winged' it. Oh boy, big mistake. 

The fabric, bunched buckled and threatened to wreck the whole block - a whole day's work! And it's not just the 'day' that's lost, the original creative spark is hard to recapture on the 're-make'. So I was determined to 'fix' it. I unpicked a tiny bit, coaxed it with some re- stretching and finally stabilized the back.
It's acceptable now. Just. But boy am I mad with myself. Such a careless and inexperienced thing to do. Yes, even seasoned quilter's like me need to follow their own advice. This pic below shows the back of the block, stabilized. 
My second learning experience was the use of an introduced pink fabric beyond my chosen pallette for the flower heads. It's much too bright for the quilt and throws out the soft low contrast colour balance. It completely interrupts the flow. 
And when the blocks came together, it was too obvious. 
Something had to be done to tone it down a notch. 
So I'm 'washing' over the bright pink with a white milky wash in thin layers to bring to tone down.

These crayons are Caran D'Ache and this particular series of NeoColour 11 Aquarelle is colour permanent once heat set. You can find a link to these specific crayons on my sidebar if you're interested in playing around with permanent crayon colours.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

WOW: Secret Garden Finishing Touches

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday
Today I'm sewing down the finishing touches on my Secret Garden quilt top. Then I only have the last border to put down (which I intend to do right after my morning coffee) and then voila - a WIP no more.

Oh sure, it won't be 'finished' but getting the quilt top done is right where I want it before I stop for Christmas festivities. Phew, I am so glad this gorgeous, romantic beauty has finally come together.

And the best bit? So many of you are following suit and Secret Garden progress pics are coming along each day in my Facebook BOM Group.

Keep it up everyone, it's one WIP worth getting done to make way for an epic 2018 starting soon..

What's Your WOW?



Monday, 4 December 2017

'Glad Tidings' by Gail Smith

'Glad Tidings' by Gail Smith
quilted by Angela McCorkle

Look at this Christmas beauty! It's my pattern 'Glad Tidings' made by Gail Smith. Some of you might remember that Gail Smith made my Christmas pattern 'Red December' in 2015 and incredibly, she's done it again! Click here now to see that post.
I just love how perfectly "Christmas" this quilt feels. 
THE FABRIC IS PERFECT!
Isn't it stunning? This is exactly how I pictured it in my mind!
 I still have plans to make my own Glad Tidings, but you know me .. more designs than time
How dreamy is this quilting? It's gorgeous!
so it's always really special when people take the time to send me pics of the quilts they've made from my patterns
Thanks for thinking of me Gail, these pics made my day

This quilt made by Gail Smith is from my pattern 'Glad Tidings'. To read more about Glad Tidings and visit my 'Glad Tidings' post archive, click the image below.

Glad Tidings Christmas Patterns

Friday, 1 December 2017

Secret Garden: Part 11

 
It's December 1st and that means it's time for Part 11 of my Mystery BOM, Secret Garden.
There are 12 parts to this BOM and every single installment matters. So although this quilt isn't much of a mystery anymore, I'm fairly sure this border will take some of your by surprise. 

This month it's time to gather together your gorgeous fabrics scraps and create an entwining border that will pull together the shades and tones used throughout your centre. That's how I've made mine - it's a medley of mixed fabrics I've used throughout and it looks really effective. 
Of course, in saying that - I'm sure there will be some of you who opt for a striking contrast border instead of my suggestion - and that's half the fun - seeing what the rest of you get up to and how you interpret my design. I know you're all extra eager to get your quilt top done before Christmas, so I'll be releasing Part 12 early, in a week or so instead of making you wait out the month. 

I can't wait to show you my top.. very soon!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

WOW: Not Another WIP!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I am determined to get my Secret Garden top together before Christmas. I cannot start 2018 with Secret Garden in pieces - it must get done! This is the challenge I have set myself and right now, it's full steam ahead. Obviously my working frenzy has had an effect on my mental calendar because somehow I lost an entire day. This morning I got up convinced it was Tuesday and packed and dressed as if I was about to take on my usual Tuesday routine. I feel like a quilter lost in the Twilight zone, I must have worked so hard I simply forgot myself (and the days of the week!). I'll blame it on this time of year - with Christmas just a few weekends away now, I suppose I must have entered the silly season early.

Here I am working on my Secret Garden centre block on a lightbox so I can trace in the lines I want. I will go over those lines with either hand embroidery flourishes or with a thicker thread in my bobbin as I did for the leaf veins in my last post, time will determine which one wins.

What's Your WOW?


Monday, 27 November 2017

Secret Garden: Leaf Stitch Details

Secret Garden is so saturated with detail 
that I knew my leaves needed a special touch to complete them
 And I wanted the look of embroidered veins without all the handwork, so I used my sewing machine to do all the work for me. Ii used AURIFIL in the 12 weight, this is a thicker thread and perfect for this kind of work. This is my Victoria Findlay Wolfe pack, as you can see I haven't even used most of the spools yet.
I used the gorgeous gold colour
I loaded the 12 weight thread into my machine bobbin. Now, when you purchase a sewing machine, always ask for the extra bobbin which takes thicker threads. You do not use the regular bobbin or your thread loading might jam.
 This is what my thicker bobbin looks like. 

My machine is a 35 year old Toyota straight stitching only machine. No fancy business here! 
It's all metal parts and this is why it does so well. I'm currently 'in between' sewing machines at the moment. The problem is that I grew up during an era when sewing machines were made to last a lifetime and metal parts were the norm. Today, many machines demand high prices for plastic parts and lacklustre warranties. It's really left me between a rock and a hard place. 

People assume I have a selection of the latest sewing machines at my fingertips. But this is not the case and frankly, isn't necessary. You can sew and quilt on pretty much any machine you have. I quilted all my award winning domestic machine quilted quilts on a 1950's Elna. So don't let what you think are limitations with your machine stop you from thinking creatively about your quilting potential.
I mention all this to let you know that you could also use the Aurifil 12 weight normally as your top thread as well with an ordinary bobbin. But if you did this, you would need to play around with the stitch tension of the machine. And I didn't want to do that.

I used the 12 weight thread in the extra large bobbin and used regular thread in the top spool. I adjusted my stitches to a large size 4 stitch and let the bobbin do the work.
Then I simply stitched over marked lines on my fusible
 I stitched them down on my machine using AURIFIL thread and lots of patience..
 I simply stitched over my fusible papers
 Like so
 to create my stitched in leaf veins
 And then continued with the usual turn edging process
Using Elmer's glue and a manicure stick 

I just love the finished result.. another lovely detail in a design that oozes lovely details

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Secret Garden: My Centre Block Details

First thing to consider was the centre. From my fabric selection, the only combination that anchored the centre was blue print with a dark gold ring. 
 Taking into account the strong use of pinl and blues in the surrounding blocks, I went with yellow outside and pink inside bloom heads.
 Like this
following my usual fusible applique technique, here's the back view
 and the front view

and still working.. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Secret Garden: Working On My Centre Colours

Today I'm looking at my fabric choices to determine what fabrics should make up my centre blooms. I have some strong pinks in the surrounding blocks, so I need to balance these out without making the quilt lean too much on any side visually due to the colours (if you know what I mean).

I painted myself into a corner by selecting such a soft and delicate fabric range, my own eye always prefers mid tones and I really thought limiting my pallette would help me get over my constant and frustrating fabric deliberations.. but it just means that I relied too heavily on introduced shades to make the existing ones work.

Fabric selection is definitely something I need to work on. I yearn to make crazy colour clashing quilts but then can't find the fabric to do so and feel stuck with whichever selection I opt for. When it comes to my relationship with fabric, the grass is always greener on the other side!

Fabric battles aside, the delicacy of this pallette is dreamy and feels so gently and romantic, like a swaying breeze. I can't wait to have my own Secret Garden to show off.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

An Attitude of Gratitide


I was sent this card today, and I decided that I must share it here on my blog and take a moment to thank you all. For reading my blog, for supporting my work, for giving me kind words of encouragement. I'm grateful for all of you. 

Thank you so much. 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

WOW: Shine On!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
So, I've been doing a little fabric shopping to get me in the 'zone' for all my BOMs and projects and bonuses that are coming in 2018, and this beauty just stood out. 

And, as I can't show you my bonus projects just yet, I thought I would share this gem. And that's the perfect word for it, isn't it? I decided to use these jewels in the making up of flowers for applique. But as soon as my DD saw it, she had different ideas, and this reminded me that I have to design some extra easy quilts that just show off fabric. Because I don't even want to cut this beauty up!

It's been a while since a fabric offered me this much fun just for existing and I am loving every minute of it! What do you think? 
What's Your WOW?


Monday, 20 November 2017

BOM 2018: Introducing 'Daisy Blue' (3 of 3)

Beginners, fear not! I have not forgotten you in my BOM 2018 offerings. As you know, my BOM 2018 includes 3 x BOM quilts (and a few extras to boot) and whilst I'll always show you how to navigate the blocks of all my quilts each month, I know there are some of you starting out who just want things easy.

'Daisy Blue' is a quilt custom designed for all you beginners out there and is approachable, achievable and a perfect quilt to 'step up' your skills with.

I'm thinking of making my own Daisy Blue from my Fassett stash, which explains my riot of colour below, but as always, the potential to create your own style with your own favoured fabrics - be they bold or gentle, is limitless.



Make your 2018 the most creative yet, join my BOM 2018 now to secure your Early Bird Discount (expires Thanksgiving). You can pay in full once or in monthly installments. Simply click the early bird to learn more and sign up.






Sunday, 19 November 2017

BOM 2018: Introducing 'Love Always' (2 of 3)

'Love Always' is inspired by the ever intriguing Love Entwined 1790 Marriage Coverlet and is an entirely new quilt hopelessly devoted to re-imagining the original in an updated but still breathlessly beautiful design. This is quilt for applique enthusiasts and lovers of fine detail and heirloom quilts. Finished size is 88 x 88 inches.

Although completely new, this original design is, in my own mind, a sister quilt to Love Entwined. They belong to the same family of romantic florals, bows and beauty. I always knew when I released Love Entwined out into the world, that the design story wasn't over for me. I wanted to go back to the evocative style of the coverlet and create something new.

I'm still thinking up colourways for Love Always and will update and show off a few more ideas before today is over. But my first colour was is highly symbolic for me. It's in red and white, just like my first ever BOM 'Red Delicious' was and it feels like a nice tie in to present Love Always in that way. As you know, 2018 is all about celebrating my 10 years of blogging and BOMs, so having Love Always nod to Red Delicious in this way feels so right.



If you've signed up to my BOM 2018, Love Always will be available to you, just like Morning Glory (revealed yesterday) is and just like Daisy Blue (revealed tomorrow) will be. There'll also be extra bonus quilts on offer to make 2018 my biggest ever quilt-a-thon year!



Make your 2018 the most creative yet, join my BOM 2018 now to secure your Early Bird Discount (expires Thanksgiving). You can pay in full once or in monthly installments. Simply click the early bird to learn more and sign up. 

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I'll release the sketch for 'Daisy Blue' (3 of 3)

Saturday, 18 November 2017

BOM 2018: Introducing 'Morning Glory' (1 of 3)

 
 'Morning Glory' is a design that delights in the vintage glory of old quilts and brings them together into a modern, elegant design. Flourishes without fussiness, classic blocks that shine in their frame and a central evergreen vine - it's an ode to the opportunity of each new day. 'Morning Glory' evokes the pleasures of old whilst stepping firmly forward. The balance between applique and piecing allows each block to highlight your favorite fabrics. Finished size: 72 x 72 inches.
I hear birdsong against a shining sky when I look at 'Morning Glory', and I hope you will too. Of course, this is just a sketch, but I'm sure you can already see the potential in this beautiful quilt. As you may already know, 2018 is set to be my biggest year ever as I celebrate 10 years of blogging and BOM-ing.

This is a significant milestone in my online quilting journey and one I want to celebrate and share with those of you who have supported me. For this reason, I've made the unusual decision to share 3 x BOMs under the banner of 'BOM 2018' which means you only have to pay for one in order to access ALL 3 x BOMs on offer. There will also be additional quilts projects on offer exclusively to BOM 2018 members (at no additional cost), and I'll discuss these as and when they launch. What I can tell you is that you've never see a year like the one ahead!

See more sketches in different colour schemes in my video below. I haven't committed to a specific colour or fabric scheme yet. Right now I'm thinking of reproduction fabrics, but of course, this may change depending on what I fall in love with next.




Make your 2018 the most creative yet, join my BOM 2018 now to secure your Early Bird Discount (expires Thanksgiving). You can pay in full once or in monthly installments. Simply click the early bird to learn more and sign up. 
Be sure to check back tomorrow when I'll release the sketch for 'Love Always' (2 of 3)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WOW: Free BOM / Last Block!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Today the last installment for 'On My Windows, Flowers Bloom' is released' and this BOM is going places! I've already seen so many incredible Bloom quilts out there coming together that I am all excited with what you have done with your own flowering windows. They're all beauties, that's for sure. 

I always feel a bit sad when a beautiful BOM comes to an end, because the journey is always so pretty and interesting and fun. And, if you're a member of my BOM Group over on Facebook, you already know what a stunner this BOM turned out to be and I'm going to miss all the chat and progress pics that came with each new monthly release, but all good things must reach their conclusion and today is a good day to 'ice the cake'.

And, when one window closes, another one opens. In 2018 I'm celebrating 10 years of blogging and my BOM offering is H-U-G-E with 3 x BOMs for the price of a single BOM and bonus projects along the way. I started with 2 x bonus projects and it's already crept up to 3 and we haven't even started yet. Oh yes, it's going to be a bumper year. I had planned to show off my BOM sketches on my birthday early this month, but I've seen so sick with the flu it wasn't possible. Now, I'm back on my feet and ready to share the fun of three new adventures. Be sure to come back on Saturday for an exciting update. You won't want to miss it..

On My Window, Flowers Bloom 
An applique wall hanging, finished size 38 x 48 inches.

This is a FREE BOM
Running from August 15th - November 15th 2017

 This is a Free BOM in 4 parts, we are up to Part 4 
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 the Part 4 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

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What's Your WOW?