Friday, 6 December 2013

Lily Rose and Other

Hi Everyone,
Have had a busy few weeks at work, so much so that I completely stressed out and am now taking a few days off to get myself back into a good space.
Have struggled to even go to my sewing room since finishing my 3rd corner of LE, this is not like me and it made me realise something was not right.
I have cut all my diamonds for the next border of LE and they are in bags waiting for their time.
Decided that with using Viesofix I would cut them early and hopefully the backing paper will fall off of it's own accord and I don't have to struggle to separate it.
Amazing that knowing I don't have to work or stress for a week has done for me.
This morning I wanted to go to my sewing room and revisit Lily Rose.
Last week I couldn't even think of those small scrappy borders to foundation piece but this morning the next border section came together easily, and after 3 attempts to choose the right green I have decided on my fabrics for the corner applique.

I started too light with my first two green's, they looked fine as a piece of fabric against my background, once they became tiny ovals they disappeared but this fabric I am happy with.
My first side border is attached and i really happy with how my first attempt at scrappy is coming together.
I just wish the photo's would let Lily Rose be an oval!!!

Steve has done a little more work on our deck.

Step down trellis and gate are in place. I took this photo sitting down as it shows the privacy we have without the feeling of total enclosure as the front Trellis steps up further again  to block out the street totally.
At the moment there is a metal grid across the old concrete deck to keep Kelly  from escaping, all the old bricks and timber are sitting there and we must look an eyesore from the street as our old front door has come out as well and is now closed in with plywood. I am married to a builder and our house is going from 3 bed x 1 bath to 4 bed x 2 bath in the next year so I am now living  in a WIP, LOL
The trellis fencing will continue around the old deck at the lower height to keep Kelly safe.
At the end I will have an even bigger sewing room so will not complain too much.

I hadn't given much thought to our garden this last week until Steve asked had I looked at the Hydrangea cuttings we planted last year. All from the same plant!!!
Please forgive the weeding that needs doing,

As you can see they are all very small , but planted in different places the soil is dictating their color.

And this is a flower that many of you won't know. The Chatham Island Forget Me Not is more common in Blue. It is native to the Chatham Islands off the coast of New Zealand  and this rarer pink version is flowering very happily in a corner of our glass house where it is not meant to be.

Enjoy your week everyone, whatever you are doing,

Friday, 29 November 2013

WOW 27th Nov

Hi Everyone, if I write quickly I might just be able to link to Esther's blog this week.
Work has been all consuming the last few days as we are so short staffed. No three or four days off in a row to enjoy my stitching, it has all been one off, two on, one off, four on, and 40 hour weeks, this I am not used to, 30 hours is my norm.
I have managed to finish my 3rd vase of LE and think I have achieved the softer look I was wanting.

The metallic thread worked perfectly to highlight my dark berries and give them the lift they needed. I will use this fabric again for the last vase to keep the balance in my corners. It is from the curtain samples I was given as are my deep jade vases.

The fabrics look much different here, especially the berry fabric which looks quite red. the vase fabric is the one in line with the door handle.

I tried to add gold into my flowers and it just didn't work, it became overpowering.
The gold vase in these corners is enough and is balanced in the other corners by the gold flowers, at least in my mind.
I have found time to trace Esther pattern sheet for the zigzags onto Viesofix so am starting to prepare my next zigzag  border pieces. Have discovered if I let the cut applique pieces sit for a while the backing paper comes off much easier, found this out with my berries for this  corner which I made ahead of time.
I am going to cut my diamonds now and store them away till needed.

Am amazed at how few fabrics I have actually used so far in LE.

I bought 6 Taffeta's and these are only two I have used so far, plus my eight gold overlaid fabrics.

I haven't got many flowers left Glenda, just a couple for vase four, thanks so much it has been perfect!!!

My two inspiration fabrics have done the rest of the work,  for those of you who are new to my version of Love Entwined these are my inspiration fabrics I want to use throughout.
Oh gosh I was only going to make the center, but I can't stop now, I am so in love with how this quilt just draws you in.

First inspiration, Arabian Nights - by someone in Japan or China

Second inspiration Kashmir by Hoffman

Last photo's for this week. Trying to stay on top of these little critters in our vege garden is now a marathon task. Snail bait every few days as with summer approaching they are eating everything in sight.

But on a much nicer note.

Our local council last year planted these Magnolias in our street, and have since removed a couple of Liquid Amber trees whose leaves have caused major drainage problems in Autumn.
Luckily I was home on planting day and from our dining room window got the council guys to plant the Magnolia a meter from where they wanted but perfectly for me to view it's beauty as it grows.

Magnolia Little Gem
A Grandilflora hybrid grows very slowly to about 25 feet.
This is it's second flower this year, already scorched by the sun and destroyed by rain the next day.
The first flower was opening when I left for work a few days ago, but when I came home a passer by had broken off the supporting stake and used it to bash the flowering branch to bits.
I just hope it survives.

Cheers Everyone, enjoy your stitching, Jenny

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Work on Wed 20th Nov

Hi Everyone, I have had a great week.
Esther released part 6 of Love Entwined, I had been very good and waited for her pattern instead of racing ahead and working from just the photo. Lily Rose has kept me busy but my half square triangle border fabrics are now to the side of my work bench and LE is consuming all my time.
I don't know what it is,  many members have said the same thing, once you start it just draws you in.
I would love to know more of the LE history  and see a color photo of the original, one day maybe!!
This morning I finished stitching my main elements except for all the berries as wasn't sure if the dark Burgundy would work. Once they are all stitched I think they will as the lower stitched spray has become so much brighter.

I am glad I waited for the pattern as this bouquet feels more delicate than the previous two, most of my flowers are smaller yet my center flower is larger.
A thank you here to you Glenda, My daisy flowers, center of my large flower and center of my top flower have all come from a piece of Kimono fabric you so kindly sent me. It works so well with my fabrics  though the weave has made them difficult to sew, but they are the perfect delicate touch.

I had to completely reverse my stitch settings. My normal blanket stitch for LE is either 1.6 or 1.8 width by 2.0 length depending on size as shows on the berries and hearts.
For this fabric it is 2.2 width x 1.6 length to become almost an over lock stitch because of the more open weave.
You can also see in this photo that I travel stitch on my stem line to save stopping and starting when stitching my berries, this will be covered when I stitch my stems.

Here is how this bouquet now looks against the others, more delicate and NO yellow in my bouquet!!!
I tried to add it but it became the overpowering color, I think the yellow of the vase itself is enough  to balance the other corners.

To other things, have taken photo's the last few weeks of  summer arriving in Northland, NZ this is what has been happening in our garden.

Bottle brush by front deck has come into flower

So glad to see this little fellow, they are in short supply in Northland.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow has taken it's transplant well
sorry can't recall it's true name.

This gorgeous miniature orchid has been flowering by our garage.

The native cabbage tree we planted out last year loves it's new home.

Miniature Agapanthus starting to flower

The other weekend DH decided to finally extend the lounge and have a front deck.
bricks off  and deck joists sitting in place, this has been in planning for two years.

Ranchslider and deck in place plus trellis made, my job to take it apart again and paint it.
Everyone has commented on the basket weave design which we saw in a magazine.
This front area we will now turn into garden.

View from the lounge.
What a difference this has made to our 1970's bungalow. We only added approx 2 x 1/2 feet to the lounge but changing the window to a full width double opening ranchslider, bought for $100-00 on trade me, has made the lounge feel huge, especially looking out onto this private deck.
Table and chairs are a little large but are a temporary shift from our back deck as the ones for this have been lent to friends for staging a house they have on the market.

Back at work for 5 days from Thursday so LE won't have much happening.
Enjoy your week whatever you are doing, Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Lily Rose My Borders - updated

Hi Everyone, particularly those who are making Esther's Gorgeous Lily Rose pattern

I started my 1/2 size version of Lily Rose in 2013 when Esther first released her pattern but she is still a UFO for me, but will be coming out of the darkness very shortly.
I have found my last blog about Lily Rose and have edited it and hope that I can successfully link it to Esther's Wow this week as I think it gives another option for those making Lily Rose and are unsure about how to make the HST border's as I have seen several questions about HST's on Esther's Yahoo Group. Please remember what I described below are my measurements for half size NOT full size, you need to draw up your foundation and cut your fabrics accordingly.

Lily Rose is at the challenging stage for me now. The Borders!!!
In my half size version these half square triangles are only 1 inch square!!!
How am I going to do them, I really didn't know and thought about changing them completely, but I love how they bring Lily Rose together.

As most of you know I have problems with my thumbs and handling tiny fabric is hard enough for me but when appliqueing once it's on the background it doesn't move!! I tried making a couple of squares and no way could I get them to look any good.
My answer has been to foundation / paperpiece strips and then sew them together, still fiddly but I have a stabiliser in the paper, more to hold on to and an accurate guide for stitching.

This is my master pattern which I am Photo copying as needed. I made a mistake in the drawing up as only the center 2 strips start my diagonal blocks at the beginning of the strip, but the outside strips do the same when put together. It has been a while since I have drawn patterns but so long as I remember which strips go together no problem, have now labelled them A and B strips.

Here you can see my mistake. I used the bottom 2 strips of my pattern and added the top 2 to them to give me my length, the result 7 x 2" blocks on point, not 8. Easily fixed at this stage by removing the strip on the right and adding a strip to the left.

Matching pair cut for a side border, I need four strips like this as a heart square goes in the center of the side border. As you can see I have marked dark and light  but it takes care as this is the reverse and the positioning changes when they are flipped over

I am becoming more confident with this method and it is working well - for me, maybe not for everyone!!!
I am cutting 2" squares from my light and dark fabrics and cutting my triangles as I want them.
2" is just big enough with trimming my inner seams fractionally, to make sure I keep my seam allowance.
2 x 1/4" squares might be safer if you want to try this method, but there is less trimming with 2". Have added some more lights to my mix and 2 more dark blues, even my LE has been generous and given me a couple of strips, I did have to cajole her though, Lol
What I like about this method  is that my top strip ( remember it was my bottom strip in the photo of my pattern) I put together with any light and dark fabrics that worked together.
The second strip I can audition and plan each fabric. Also know that the bottom edge is going to meet my turquoise border so I can pick fabrics with that in mind as well. Maybe not the real way to do scrappy but I do like the control I have. Hey, I am a Virgo after all so always want perfection!!!

Time to start my heart squares, Have cut my background 3" square so I have something to work with and maneuver under my pressure foot.

Because the seams in my borders are creating some bulk I decided to add a 2" square of my iron on batting before stitching to keep a balance when I quilt.
Can see it is time to replace my ironing board cover or at least refold it as many usable surfaces yet.

My heart square stitched but still to be trimmed. I used a tiny zigzag version of satin stitch 63 on my Bernina 440 for this,1.1 Length x.9 width With gold metallic thread there was no changing threads, just stitch all the way around - I like simple and easy!!!

Trimmed and added to my side border. I used my oval border fabric plus the deep pink that LE very kindly gave me, Both metallic overlay fabrics which I love.

You can see where I have changed my top border to 8 diagonal squares which is what it should have been and now have 2 heart blocks completed.
This where my Lily Rose became a UFO, She is safely packaged with all my border fabric squares waiting to see the light of day again.
Cheers everyone Jenny.
PS sorry if this takes a while to open as this blog was posted before I learnt to reduce photo sizes and I have lost most of the originals  from my computer.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Oriental Expressions, Quilted by John Nielson

Hi Everyone,
What a rush, with a few minutes to closing time on this week's Quilting Gallery Show and Tell  "Quilting Close up" I decided to enter my Oriental Expressions Quilt, or more accurately the fabulous custom quilting done for me by John Nielson of  The Quilting Fairies, who is based in Northland, New Zealand.

This is the entire quilt and following are close ups of John's custom quilting.
I leave you to judge the quality and beauty of his work.
I simply say THANK YOU John, YOU made this what it is now.

If you like this I would love you to vote for Oriental Expressions this week at
Cheers Jenny

Monday, 4 November 2013

Lily Rose Continued

 Hi Everyone,
Went back to work yesterday so this week my blog is more of my progress with the wonderful  half size Lily Rose Pattern Esther has given us. Have added to this all week as I have made progress.

I completed all the stitching for what was already placed then made up the final roses onto baking paper the same way I showed last week. Forgot to take a photo but for the Apricot Rose I cut the outer edge as a whole flower piece, not a skinny piece with an under lap, this for me was going to be too fiddly.
The second layer I marked with an underlap and  removed the center before placing it on the bottom layer, THEN I cut out the excess from the bottom layer, this was stage one.
Layer 3, 4 and 5 working to the center I cut complete and layered up, 3 layers of fabric but no under shadings to show through. these I then fused to the bottom two layers.
Before fusing to the background I added pellon padding to fill the area where I had cut out the bottom two layers, hope this makes sense. With hindsight I might have got a better 3D  effect with not adding padding.

 Inspiration for my apricot rose, just starting to bloom for the summer.

For the fronds I used stitch 48 on my Bernina 440 Fly stitch, I reduced the width down from 5.5 to 4 but left the length at 2.6 and it worked perfectly. the Anther heads are stitch 103 a diagonal satin stitch, also with width reduced to 4. Only remembered on second Lily that I could mirror image and change the direction lol.

This was my way to mark my background for placing the half ovals. Instead of cutting a paper template that could move I cut out the center of my pattern, pinned it in place and drew a pencil line around the inner edge.

Ovals fused with my quarter inch underlap extending over my drawn line.I stitched these half circles before adding my frame Then placed my oval frame, fused and stitched.

Stitching complete, beads added and I very happy, except it keeps photographing as being round!!!!!
Time for the first border as I will do my corner applique once this border is added.

Decided with machine stitching I would trace and cut each length of ovals as one piece so marked my fusible with a quarter inch seam line and then marked the 1 inch spacing and traced the ovals along the line.
Marking the 1" is important as my first attempt I didn't and when I measured 14 drawn ovals I was nearly a half inch over, just a little creeping on each one!!!
Also, making the start and end points on your background fabric strip is equally important as I found out, The strip of ovals can easily stretch as you fuse it so secure each end and then press.

Because I have used an iron on pellon batting behind my background fabric which I want to extend under this border I have not trimmed my background to size.
Instead I drew a pencil line where the cut edge would be. To do this I trimmed my paper pattern with a quarter inch allowance, placed it over my applique and marked the corners and drew my lines.
Then I marked my stitching line on the reverse of my border and pinned with the outer edge on my drawn line, making sure my ovals finished correctly at the corners.
I used my walking foot to stitch as didn't want movement between my fabrics.

Only the bottom ovals are stitched at this stage.

The only way I have found to show the true oval shape of Lily Rose as if I rotate this photo it becomes round, Don't get a crick in your neck, Lol.
By the way, bottom seam has been unpicked and resewn as my seam line obviously isn't straight.
Am back at work tomorrow but will link this on Wednesday to Esther's blog.
Cheer's everyone, enjoy your stitching, Jenny