The answer is definitely maybe. You know I love stenciling, I've been doing it myself and teaching it to others for over 10 years. It's a technique I first got interested in right at the beginning of my quilting. I was so excited at all the possibilities of painting all my own fabric motifs, mixing all my own exact hues and being in artistic control. And it just made sense to create stencils so that I could repeat any beautiful designs I created.
This past week I found a stash of Tulip Delight Table Runners, and a sketchbook of stenciled quilts was in there too. Well, I can confess - when I pack away my mess, I completely forget about it..which is what happened here. But now I am renewed. And thinking about my next painted quilt. I suppose the term 'stencil' sounds rather stiff, but painting your own quilt top is anything but.
In fact, I think this next creation might be one worth blogging through, step by step.
Today I'm plodding along with my Secret Garden blocks. This is what my Part 8 looks like. I've opted for contrast fabric on the outside ribbons and a beige on the inside. Looking at this pic right now, I realize I have put my little bud in upside down - whoops!
Whilst I've been enjoying my Secret Garden blocks this past week, two groups of women who meet privately decided to host a Christmas Workshop 'sew along' where they will each work on the same pattern together and get a wall hanging finished within the time frame of a 2 day workshop. Well, what's odd is that these two private groups don't know each other and aren't connected and both decide to make Gracie at exactly the same time! I thought that was so unusual, I had to double check - and yep, it's just synchronicity...or perhaps serendipity or maybe even both those things mixed in together. What's even nicer is knowing that there's going to be a whole lot more Gracies out in the world real soon.
For those of you taking part in the Gracie Christmas Workshop (along with anyone who's interested in snapping up a bargain), you can purchase the pattern right now by clicking below. The heavily discounted price will only apply until Wednesday morning, so finalize your orders immediately. Remember, digital downloads are instant. You will receive a link with your download instantly when the PayPal payment completes.
For anyone else who is interested in getting together to make Gracie, you can organize your own sewing bee or retreat using any of my quilt patterns. Shops are also welcome to contact me regarding yearly licenses to run classes. Feel free to contact me for further info by clicking here now Happy Quilting everyone ☺
After dutifully prepping all my pieces for part 4 of Secret Garden, I tucked the envelope away in the wrong folder and have been wondering these past weeks, where it could have got to?! With all the hours of prep in every envelope, losing it was never an option. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Luckily I found my stash of pre stitched ivy leaves and can get my block in order today.
Phew! Not a minute too soon.. I want these blocks completed before I launch the center block.
It's winter down my way and the weather has been weird and it's confused my magnolia tree. A lot of the buds have been destroyed by frost and look like they won't be developing any further. This poor tree has been hit by several false start seasons in a row over the last few years and I'm wondering when I'm going to get to see it in full bloom again.
Oh well, I guess I'll have to make my own 'Monday Flowers' vase installment and get my magnolia fix that way!
I've been photographing bits from my garden to add to my colour files which I always like to leaf through when in search of inspiration.
I have three quilt designs on my desk at the moment and I'm torn equally between each one. The hardest part of releasing each new quilt pattern is deciding which to 'bring to life' via the pattern sheet as I simply don't have enough lifetimes to do them all.
Today I'm doing the laundry and rearranging some plates before I can get back to finishing up some applique prep work. Chores are boring but necessary. I keep telling my DH that I need staff, so that I can dedicate myself to quilting full time. But he doesn't take my staffing requirements seriously. What's a quilter to do?!
I'm so in love with Magnolias right now. My teacup magnolia tree is budding and promising a whole window full of blooms and I've got my fingers crossed for a bumper magnolia season so I can bring those gorgeous branches indoors for arranging. When I designed my weekly vase range, I just knew magnolias would feature for my 'Monday' vase. Because, after the real thing, there is something just as satisfying - and that's fabric painted magnolias on my wall. So here it is. An applique arrangement for any wall you think could use some floral colour. Will your magnolia's be soft and gentle like my own colour scheme? Or will your magnolia's be bold like my fuchsia ones below? Florals are so versatile, you can set the mood and match any interior theme that suits you.
This is 'Monday 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. Monday 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.
Oh WOW, take a look at these beauties! I haven't even started my own On My Window, Flowers Bloom yet, but I am very fortunate that I get to enjoy watching everyone else makes theirs over in my BOM Group. It's a hive of activity over there, whenever I drop in there's someone doing something incredible. I just sit down with a cup of coffee and swoon.
I only just released Part 1 of On My Window, Flowers Bloom on August 15th, but already some eager quilter's were quick to get started. So I asked them if I could show off their blocks here on the blog, and they generously agreed. So here we go:
First to get her block up and going was Jenny Henry. She even posted her process over on her blog (click here to visit her blog now). No regular readers of this blog will be surprised to hear this as Jenny is super quick with all my projects and each one somehow ends up being prettier than the last! I don't know how she manages it.
How gorgeous is her fussy cutting for the centre bloom with just a dash of green? And I love that sky cloud print behind the window too. And her frame fabric is tiny bricks! It's all just so perfect.
Now for another Vase 1 that is equally beautiful but oh so different - take a look at Nancy Randy Paris's block. WOW! How absolutely beautiful are these colours? My goodness I was all in a swoon when I saw these pics.
The background is a scene of (birch?) trees that work perfectly and the balance of yellow, warm orange and brown along with the green foliage is just spot on. It's not easy to get such a harmonious balance that still shines so brightly, but Nancy did it!
And this fabulous color pop below reminds me of the Kaffee Fassett version I have in mind for my own OMWFB. Isn't it just so stunning?! It belongs to Valerie Giles. The foliage has been fussy cut to perfection - look at those leaf veins. The blooming heads are so cheerful and the vase along with that great blue background is just wonderful.
What more can I say? On My Window Flowers Bloom has only just launched and already the blocks being made are all so different but so beautiful and inspiring. WOW!
Thanks Jenny Henry, Nancy Randy Paris and Valerie Giles for allowing me to show off your blocks at this early stage. What eye candy!
People always ask me how I get so much applique done and I always give the same answer - turn edge applique is a game of preparation. You must prep. If you don't like prepping, then applique is not for you. There simply isn't any way around this - although people have asked me if there is a secret more times than I care to count. The secret is prepping. So don't be daunted, just get stuck in. And once you do, you too can prep and conquer!
This envelope is my work for the morning, here I go!
In my last Secret Garden post on the 1st, I showed you what the Secret Garden Part 7 block looked like (above). Today, I'm going to show you how I make the leaves using a turn edge method. Now, I prefer turn edge, so this is the method I'm showing. But you need to know that using a raw edge is also perfectly fine. In fact, I had planned to raw edge this entire quilt but found myself turn edging without really thinking about it. This happens when you prep as much as I do. I have so many quilts on the go that I sometimes lose track of myself. And when I realized I had gone ahead and turn edged so much..I decided to stick with it.
Here's my fusible leaf shape with a fabric seam allowance, cut out and ready to turn
My preferred glue is always Elmer's disappearing purple but when I work on these small pieces, I use a glue stick I purchased at a local quilt store because it's smaller and drier to work with. This particular stick has no branding, but it is very dry and tacky - this makes it perfect for working on such a small piece. I could have also used the Elmer's, but it's wetter and when I turn the fabric edges they can roll back out. I usually keep a 6 gram tube of Elmer's next to my applique tools with the lid off to have a 'tacky' and slightly dry stick on hand for the same reason.
So here's my piece with the glue smeared across it
Using a wooden orange / manicure stick, I turn the first edge down one side of my shape
As I work the turn, I 'pleat' any excess fabric by bunching it close together as evenly as possible as I turn the shape
When I reach the tip point of my shape, I dab some glue
and before turning the other side, I flip the tip point up now
Now I add some more glue to the side and hold the shape between my thumb and finger
And sharply turn the other side so that the side turns over the tip point
which leaves a little spot a bit higher up which I;ll need to pleat as I glue it down into position
and this is what the finished piece looks like
and this is the front
and this is what it looks like when it all comes together
There is no cheat way around this process; if you're going to turn edge, your points have to be secure and neatly tucked away.
Turn edge applique is all about the prep: I have so many projects on the go that I keep my prepped pieces in envelopes, then bundled together. Often, I will spend days cutting out pieces to ready them for this turning step. I can turn pieces like this on a lap table in front of the TV or radio in the evenings and I usually have a few quilts worth of pieces on my WIP shelves to do during winter. In fact, I often discover prepped pieces for quilts I'd even forgotten I'd started years ago!
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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