Wednesday, 18 June 2014

WOW 18th June

Hi Everyone.

Have so been waiting for this week and the release of Esther's Part 13 the Willow Tree.
From the time I first saw Esther's photo of the original coverlet I wondered if I could reach this stage in the quilt, for me this block makes such a statement within the whole pattern. Strength plus Shelter and yet such Gentleness is what I feel when thinking of a Willow Tree and it's softly moving branches in a breeze.
Did the original designer feel this as well or something totally different, I don't know but Esther your pattern is perfect in my mind.
Thank you for your comment that the pattern may need individual adjustment. First thought - it won't, my border measurements matchyours  perfectly - but maybe I should check before I start tracing and cutting.
Just as well I did.
Pattern was too wide and would  overlap the ends of my oval braid!!!
My solution was to do this.

I cut the trunk out of my pattern 

My overlap onto my braids wasn't that great so I trimmed a quarter inch from each side of the pattern through the center.

With another sheet of paper underneath I repositioned my pattern to include the trunk and secured my Willow into place.

After a recheck it fitted so I traced, fused and cut my willow tree. When I started to fuse it down I discovered that my lower branches now extended past my stitching line for this border. I trimmed each branch to sit comfortably inside the stitching line. My cutting line for the border is marked but NOT trimmed at this stage and won't be until AFTER I attach the next border because this is a method I have found works for me.

This is my result.

I love how it looks and works with the corner block of the inner border but I am not completely happy.
I cut my tree as one piece but looking at the pattern I decided to add a different fabric for the trunk and am now not sure if I should have. I think it will be fine once the final applique border is in place. I also extended the trunk over my cutting line to allow for any adjustment later.
Using 2 new colors here I have added extra fabrics to my coverlet  for what I feel is going to be a very intense final applique border of "swags" and " butterflies" plus flowers. The next border is scaring me, I want to only use fabrics I have already used within the quilt top but am not sure if this is going to be possible.
Still undecided I climbed my steps again and pinned LE back to the wall, until know I wasn't even sure which corner I had completed as she is getting so big, LOL

I am back to HAPPY, the slightly darker fabric for the trunk now works as it is not in my face like I felt it was viewing it up close.
I am gaining more and more admiration for the original maker of this marriage coverlet.
I look at the flow out through the corners, from the shape of the central vase to the leaves in the next cornerstone block and then to the Willow Tree. OMG when the final applique border is in place with it's fabulous Sun cornerstone blocks, how amazing  and beautiful is Love Entwined going to be.
Esther, I am in awe of how you are making LE come to life and so thankful you are sharing your talent with us.
Was going to close here but this morning I have attached my last border - still have the eyelets to stitch in flower centers but can do that with the border on.
So one more photo,

I now know which corner I added my first willow too!!!
now to link with esther's WOW
Happy stitching everyone.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

WOW 11th June

Hi Everyone,
What a.week this has been for me.
I was sewing away very happily on my LE border last Tuesday morning when a phone call from my manager at work turned my world upside down. "We have had administrators appointed"!!! At work we had all known for months that the company was in financial difficulty but it still came out of the blue especially as the last few weeks the company was recording great sales and we were all feeling very positive.
My sewing stopped, what would this mean for Steve and me was priority. Over the last week this has become clearer. I still have a job but now for the administrators, keeping the company going while hopefully a buyer is found. A conditional offer is on the table - but will they want me? - depends who they are and what they are selling, so I am updating my CV as we will all have to reapply for jobs if the sale goes ahead..
The bad news over.
We are have had an indian summer through our autumn months but Tuesday winter came with a vengance.
6 inches of rain in 24 hours but we got off lightly compared to Auckland and North Canterbury where my family live. No sewing got done, I was on the phone checking in with Mum and other family members.
Yesterday, a lovely calm day. Very wet underfoot but no damage at all, however I did discover that I have been too busy sewing to see what has been happening to our citrus trees.

Our grapefruit tree is laden and they are starting to drop. last year I made marmalde but we haven't eaten it all yet so can't see me making more this year!!!

This dwarf mandarin, ripe, falling and starting to rot on the tree. these are the easy peel variety and so sweet.
Guess I better get eating.

Our full size mandarin tree, now ready for picking, but ladders and I do not get on so our neighbour will be very welcome to visit.

Our Rosemary at the end of a raised vege bed. We leave it as late as possible each year to cut it back as  bees love it and in Northland they are rapidly diminishing in numbers, Flowering has almost finished though so time for a prune.
I'm so glad I am late blogging this week as I visited the links to Esther's WOW this morning and Kerry in Ontario's link gave me the answer to a problem that has been troubling me with my part 12 borders.
Thank You so much Kerry, Your advice about color value and using gray scale has been wonderful.
Here is how it worked for me today.

I didn't want to repeat orange stems on every medallion so went for a lime/yellow fabric for the other stems.
On it's own this fabric is quite strong but in such small stems it is lost, although it does just show up here but not with my quilt pinned to the wall.
I used Kerry's gray scale and this is the result.

Where have my stems gone!!!! My color value was wrong and it has been bugging me for days!!!!

I once again bit the bullet and took a color pen to my stems; a single stroke through the centre as they are only 1/8 inch wide and already stitched into place and for me impossible to undo and replace..
Back to grayscale for a final check.

Thank You Kerry. you solved my problem. Not what I wanted to do but now my stems  have a balance in this border. It has been a very hard background fabric to work with but the only way I could see to complete my LE.Never my intent, but now a must do. LOL
I have  the last two flower medallions still to complete for this border and then to attach my border and mitre my corners ready for the willow trees to be appliqued into place next month
I have this last piece of curtain sample fabric hanging next to my LE at the moment.

Where all the other samples were approx 8 inches square  this fabric is about a metre long and will be my willow tree's, The deepest of the bronzes I think it will be perfect!!!!

A last update to my future employment. A consultant from Workbridge dropped her card at work last week after hearing our news. Workbridge help find jobs for the disabled  but want to expand their services to the general community. My first thought was how can she or they help me.
However, I saw her this morning, they have conact with employers throughout Whangarei and guess what, my thumbs are classed as a real disability which I try to hide as much as possible as I can't grip or work with any heavy or awkward shapes. I meet her again next week, she will have done some background work and I am feeling so much more positive about the future and now just want to sew.

Cheer's everyone, Jenny