I have long been a fan of Kellie Wulfsohn's pattern "Memories". Kellie's from Don't Look Now and here's her Joslind tree...
This is one of 3 similar sized designs in the pattern which can be interchangably stitched as cushions or wall hangings so the pattern is great value and the projects are achievable - always essential! Here's Kellie's Family Tree....
So I finally bit the bullet and made the third of these projects (see below) for the upcoming quilt show made from one of my kits. This one is called "Memories".
This one is destined for a picture frame - but to quilt the background or not is the question. I have to cut it to size to fit it in the frame - so I can't quilt it once it's gone in the frame.... What a dilemma!
I think it's pretty stunning either way - but the dense quilting in the background is kind of addictive!!
My night owl pattern has to be one of my favourites! It is so quick and easy to complete. This one took about 3 hours from start to finish.
I think this colour way is my best yet! Really bold and gorgeous. First the applique.
And before you know it, you have a cushion!
There's a whisper in the trees!...,
Any of you remember that book by Giles Andreae? One of my favorites when the kids were young.
Cushion is based on the wonderful animal alphabet pattern by don't look now.
Cushion and quilt kits available at the upcoming AQC in Melbourne and shortly the cushion kits will be on my website. (quilt kits already up).
Have you yet been tempted by Vignette? This is an amazing magazine for patchwork and stitching enthusiasts and has been very popular. It's by Australian designer Leanne Beasley who has a talent for making it all too appealing.
Easy to read, beautifully photographed, with great ideas for small (and large) projects.
Vignettes 1 to 9 feature the Vignette in Stitches Quilt and Vignette 10 will be out at the end of April.
All issues still available through my website and at the AQC
I just found this blog post sitting in my drafts - but thought as we have the AQC coming it that it is a good taste of things to come... in April.
I was very lucky to be able to borrow Kellie Wulfsohn from Don't Look Now's new quilt "Jessie" which had everyone's jaw dropping and was a real star of the stand. Its pictured here on the wall to the right. Hopefully this beauty will be at the AQC with me too as well as some other stunning things to see.
The bunting was also really popular and is one of my favourites - a great one for football fans.
OMG I can't believe that my daughter is nearly a teenager! And LOL how funny is she!! Watch out!
We've been wondering what to get for her text obsessed teenage friends as birthday presents. Useful, meaningful and not commercial - just one off kind of gifts. So we decided on this....
Hope her friends love it.
The OMG kit led us to LOL ...
...and I have a feeling that there is more than that on the way.
This OMG LOL (and probably more) pattern will be on sale as a special at the upcoming AQC 18-21 April at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton - next to the Melbourne Museum.
We will be at stand number 1- nice and easy to remember!
We have been more than a little busy over the last year. Anyone who has recently moved will likely understand!
Looking for houses - our work had begun:
Finally, three months or so later, when we had lost almost all hope, our offer was finally accepted!
Then I realised the real work had begun!!
The auction day came. I was a bundle of nerves as we had already bought and the market was so flat. But to our great relief, the auctionwas a sucess - our agents were wonderful! 2 bidders that really wanted it. We couldn't have asked for a better situation.
We loved living in our house after the auction, finally a chance to relax a little and not clean everything that moved! We fell in love with our house all over again. The first house we owned. The house we had brought our babies home to after they were born. The house they took their first steps in. Spoke their first words, and had every birthday cake of their lives baked in. It was the home we loved. Such happy days.
Then we moved - and I realised, again - the real work had begun!!! Unpacking, for hours, and days and weeks!
So taking stock and looking around our new but dated decor house, with all the memories to be made in this home, I have now finally realised - the real work? That hasn't even begun.
Come and see Jessie, Kellie Wulfsohn's latest quilt featuring raw edge appliqué techniques at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair - stand B14. Simply stunning. Pattern only $22.
I also think this would be great, adapted to smaller projects too. Think cushions, or use just the Joseph's coat central design for a cot / lap quilt.
Kellie writes great patterns with a lot of detail relating to free motion quilting and raw edge appliqué. Believe it or not, raw edge appliqué is one of the fastest techniques for appliqué and makes it much more achievable than you would otherwise think!
I love Kellie's original on white, and this also works with a dark background, charcoal or slate, or as pictured. It makes the patterned fabrics pop!
Come and see the quilt in person this week if you are in Melbourne.
Just returned from this fair city.
Don't you love this paper cut print by famille summerbelle. Available here http://www.famillesummerbelle.com in prints (which I have) of both London and Paris. I also see that they now also have laser cut versions which must look exactly like the originals. Awesome. A very talented artist.
We had a great time in England, visiting family, friends and both old and new places...
Some of the new things (all highly recommended) were
- seeing tower bridge with its Olympic rings on and doing a tour of it with great views of London both up and downstream
- St Paul's cathedral tour with iPods ( which greatly engaged my "not another cathedral" 9 yr old son)
- general wondering around the south bank of the Thames from the wobbly millenium bridge to Tower bridge. So much more accessible and much closer together than you would think looking at a map
- science museum, V&A, and museum of London. The launch pad area in the science museum was loved by the kids!
- Warwick castle which is a fantastic castle to visit. Brilliantly done. http://www.warwick-castle.com
- foxton locks which have an staircase of 10 locks which were really interesting to see barges going up and down and not an everyday sight for us! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxton_Locks
- tree top aerial adventure (kids only) http://www.aerialextreme.co.uk/page/milton-keynes
- doing a "spy mission" in Milton Keynes (not just kids and I do have the bruises to prove it... Not sure I have what it takes to be a spy!! But I zip wired out of the "helicopter" with the rest of them and made my way across a laser filled room... So very nearly like Catherine zeta jones!!) http://spymissions.co.uk/home.html
- fish nibbling feet (kids only)
- Althorp stately home and childhood home of Diana, Princess of Wales http://www.althorp.com
Not quite a typical list of uk must do tourist attractions, but after 25 years living and working in London and the uk and many return trips from Aus there are still so many things we want to do next time....
I love London and England! And the bunting everywhere this time (jubilee/ wimbledon/ olympic fever) made me feel very nostalgic for the country I grew up in. But I do call Australia home and am so very fortunate to feel home here and there...
Do you have a favourite London highlight?
Wish I could show you the camera stills I have of the Olympic rings which can go up and down to let the tall ships through.. Super cool!
We went up tower bridge and got some great views over London. In the clouds, but great views nonetheless. There was a really good exhibit on great bridges of the world and also another on the Olympics. There were kids activities like quoits and hoopla and the kids both got a tower bridge gold medal when they crossed the finish line... So, everyone was a winner. It was really good and something I'd never done before, even after years of living in London.
Then on to the science museum and the V&A which were something else I haven't done since primary school!!!
So lots new to learn for me...
I'm sure you recognize this iconic site... Had a fantastic trip around with the kids who were delighted with their personal iPod tour guides with quizzes etc. they were very taken with the efforts to save the cathedral during the blitz.
Please forgive any slight delay in website sales while I'm away....
"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong."
This is a brilliant quote that struck a chord with me when I saw it.
It goes hand in hand with a whole stream of other quotes based around persistence which I find falling out of my mouth at the drop of a hat when helping the kids learn something new. There is so much that we can learn.
Often in the shop I saw some people who really, really wanted to make something, but were worried about getting it wrong and wasting their time and money. "Give it a go", I would say. "Start with something small", "come and take a class", "we have a weekly sit and sew where there are lots of people who can offer advice", "you'd be surprised at what you can do", "you can do this".... But sometimes they would just add to the "one day" stash.
Honestly, if people could see the number of mistakes I make along the way they would be surprised! You name it, and in my haste in my sewing world, I've done it. Inside out, upside down, seams with unplanned holes, seams with no holes that were planned, needles broken, finger sliced (ouch), straps of a bag sewn such that they are in the lining, twisted straps. Spending hours designing a quilt such that two fabrics don't touch each other, then sewing it together & quilting it before realising that, yes, the same fabric is in two adjacent squares etc etc. my list could go on and on...
Almost all mistakes result in a squeal of anguish then laughter! Almost all mistakes would take only 5 minutes to fix at most. Unripping a seam takes seconds.
Seam unripping was so interesting in classes. No one ever really wanted to do that kind of reverse sewing! Maybe people just don't like going backwards? "I'll do that at home later". But it's often just a reminder to slow down a little, take a deep breath and reflect. Without stopping, one mistake often turns in to half a dozen in short succession. Most times to unpick a seam takes under a minute so it's no big deal in the scheme of things. It's just part of the process.
However, I have also learnt that it's also better when you unpick someone else's seams. It actually makes me feel good! Lucky my daughter loves unpicking my seams, and me hers. Lucky us that there are so many!
Almost all my mistakes come from charging headlong into a project. Sewing when I'm tired. My haste to finish. I'd prefer not to pin if I can get away with it. I'm not afraid of getting it wrong and this overall approach makes me happy. And I learn along the way. But the mistakes still come - just less often! So I have many seam rippers.
Most people do worry about getting it wrong, but please don't let it stop you giving it a go!
What is curious about our mistakes is that they are almost always pointed out by the maker. Yet rarely seen unless they are pointed out... It seams that after all the angst of getting it wrong we are strangely proud of these human errors along the way!! As though it shows that the journey wasn't easy but we still achieved it! Which leads me to another saying..."the problem with getting it right first time is that no one understands how difficult it was"!
I had one customer come into the shop one day with a pattern she had bought. It was a red and white medallion quilt from memory, with a load of complicated borders. She told me that she had never sewn before. It really challenged my "give it a go attitude" in the opposite way from usual. I tried my best to advise as best I could. I really want people to find a past time they enjoy and know many get put off if a project is too hard. We had a bit of chat about being realistic and perhaps starting with something easier before taking it on. But she turned me around with her attitude. She said this was the only quilt she would ever make and that this quilt was the one for her, she loved it and was determined to make it. She couldn't start with something simpler as she only had one quilt in her. Then she asked if I thought she could do it. Which was a resounding "yes" from me as I've always thought your attitude gets you 90% of the way there. So we chose the fabrics. Including backing and batting so certain was she of completion. And off she went. Quite a few months (maybe even a year) later she came back with the quilt. Wow! Amazing. Mistakes? Probably many. But not that I remember now. Just goes to show how much our attitude can influence what we can achieve!! Actually there was a mistake she made that I do remember, and I knew it in a way that all us quilters know it, as soon as the words came out of her mouth that she "only had one quilt in her"... I knew the bug would bite. Which of course it did... She had come back to the shop to buy supplies for her next quilt!
There is so much more I could add on this topic but for now here are some tips for kick starting you into giving it a go...
Read the instructions!!! Time and effort goes into writing a pattern and reading it helps.
Have more than one seam ripper. They only cost a couple of dollars. One with your machine, one in your sewing bag/box and one somewhere else for emergencies! They are so quick and efficient at their job. And help you move forward.
Always have plenty of sewing machine needles in reserve.
Always sew something you really want to make. Time is precious and it's important to have a project that will inspire you to the finish line.
Try starting with something small to practice a technique... a cushion rather than a king bed quilt is much less daunting and the stakes are lower. You can make the king bed quilt another day.
Scared of wasting your precious much loved but very expensive fabric? Make something else first with cheaper fabric to build you confidence - or just get stuck in. Who is going to make something with it if you don't?
Don't like cutting with a rotary cutter? It does take time to get better at this. Buy a couple of meters of sale fabric or cheap homespun and cut it to shreds! This will build your confidence. Ask at a quilt shop for a quick demo/ class. They should be very happy to help. Always be very careful with a rotary cutter as they are dangerous. (see sliced finger note above!). So caution is always advised.
Need some help? Sew with friends if you can. The collective knowledge and advice from a sewing circle is amazing. I love their help. They see all the mistakes but still offer encouragement, support, and brutal honesty when needed. They see things I can't. They have ideas I haven't thought of. They know things I don't. They help me when I need it. They are my friends. Try a find a local sit and sew if you can - we all have something to learn and they can help!
So, if you are a reluctant stitcher... Hopefully this will encourage you to give it a go and not be afraid of getting it wrong, it's all part of the process.