Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Work on Wed 25th Diamond Hill

Hi Everyone,

Have had such fun this week making the first bock of Esther's new free BOM Diamond Hill. It is ages since I played wuth brights and especially batiks which I love for applique as there lack of fraying makes them such a pleasure to work with. My stash of batiks had got very low so the last few months I have been buying fat quarters or 20cm strips whenever I have found colours I like.
With having my main fabrics decided it was out with my stash and select which were possibles.

Batik possibles
The six in the lower right corner are the ones I choose for block 1

You can see I prefer the marbled batiks rather than those with a pattern, for me they look more realistic especially for flowers which is where I use them most.
I don't usually colour my pattern, this time I did but it was after I had picked my fabrics.

Softer colours in pencil but more to check how the colours worked together.
This also shows how I do my numbering.

Happy with how my first flower looked 

rest of my stems aand leaves added
Buds went on at this stage as didn't want to stich under them with my stems.
Maybe I should have gone with pink instead of orange for them.

With next three flowers done time to do my vase.
Tried strips but decided to add my vase as one piece and stitch the lines so that my fabric got a chance to show off. Didn't really like this either, maybe I had
chosen the wrong fabric as it didn't seem to have enough WOW factor. Time to wait and see so went back to my flowers.

At this stage I started using pencils on my yellow fabric to add tinge of orange and pink as it seemed a little light, especially the center flower of these three where I had used a slightly darker pink fabric.

Flowers being prepared on baking paper.

This is my technique for assembling flowers for raw edge applique. Pieces have been traced on to Vliesofix, pressed to my fabric and cut out with a small allowance where they underlap another 
piece. I draw this underlap on when I am tracing my pattern.  With baking paper pinned over my pattern I start with the bottom piece and gradually build my way up lightly pressing each piece into place as I go, then place and fuse each finished flower to my background. My new LED Light Pad has been fantastic for this as even with the dark background the patterns lines show up and make placement a breeze. 

Block finished and I am happy but the vase is still bugging me.
It just seems like a blob in the corner.

My first colour thought for this block had been purple instead of orange but it got lost on the big flower against my background which has a definite blue/purple tinge to it. Not sure why or how but purple leapt back into my mind. 

Have about a metre of this purple so have another option in fabrics.

Now it's time to get back to my other projects - until the 1st Feb at least when Esther releases the first block of Secret Garden her new mystery Block of the Month. The preview of the first block looks so amazing I think it is going to be as addictive as Love Entwined.

Linking now to Esther's WOW for this week

Cheers Jenny 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Work on Wed 18th Jan

Hi Everyone,
Most of you that read my blog are as excited as I am about the release of Esther's new free BOM Diamond Hill, What a beautiful pattern Esther has shared with us and I just can't resist it.
Not that I need a new project as my plan was to finish ALL my UFO's before starting anything new.
I don't have many so it should have been easy as these are my to do's

Complete the quilt top at least.

Finish quilting Fly Away

I have made progress in the last week and quilted most of my star backgrounds.

Finish quilting Hearts Desire
have three of these borders and the blocks still to do.

Quilt my Bamboo wall hanging.
It only needs the background to be quilted as borders are on and I have stitched around the applique.

Have you noticed what the last three have in common, yes all done apart from the quilting which is why I started the oriental quilt, to have a break from quilting

So which have I worked on the last couple of days?  You are right if you answered, none of the above.

It was love at first sight with Esther's dark colourway and knew I just had to make it.
For the first time I had issues with printing the pattern, I have heard that Windows 10 (which we now have) can have it's own mind when it comes to printing and override settings, don't know if this is true but have never had an issue before. Anyway, what helped me was a blog I read a few months ago on how to resize any block pattern with easy maths to what you want, bigger or smaller.
It is very simple really, start with what you want and divide it by what you got.
I taped my pages that were all a fraction small together and measured, 17-5 inches and it should have been 18 inches. It wasn't really a problem for the applique but the vase had to line up perfectly and at that size it wasn't going to.
Simple division on the calculator, want 18 divided by got 17.5 equals 1.03
Move decimal point two places and my answer was to print at 103% result was perfect 
For full details of this easy method for resizing any block this is the link.

Yesterday I went shopping for my fabric and came home with a slight change of plan.

Knew I didn't want a a solid dark colour and fell for this charcoal fabric straight away, has a bluish tinge and of course my favourite a touch of mettalic. Only problem was a large one, 3.25 metres was not enough for a completely dark background so had two choices, pick another fabric or put light borders around the blocks. this fabric won and my blocks are cut.
Loved the vibrant look of Esther's little squares and found something that should give a similar effect but in a very different colouway.

This left me with what to use for my light borders, couldn't go to a straight cream because the teal above is alot stonger than in the photo.

Stonehenge to the rescue, lovely mottle in teal with peach/ yellow

I think it will work and have had an extra little play

Now I'm not so sure.
Plenty of time to decide while I am working on the applique.

Linking now to Esther, have a great week everyone.
Cheers Jenny

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Welcome 2017

Happy New Year everyone,

Hope you have all had a relaxing start to 2017 and are looking forward to a wonderful year.
Ours started with the hottest days of summer so far with officially 30 degrees for the first few days however in our sheltered back yard we could add on several more so it was time spent inside.
Steve had decided on xmas morning to take out our old laundry tub ready to install the new one we have had waiting patiently for several months. We had a week being unable to do any laundry as water had been disconnected and he was busy from boxing day helping friends shift their business.
Finally ready to start on New Years Eve our kitchen looked like this.

 It was takeways for dinner as we couldn't reach the cook top and couldn't sit at the table anyway.  
Our laundry is a really small room, just measured it and in quilters terms it is 72" wide by 60" tall, a med size wallhanging  would fit on the floor. It also houses our tall and narrow hot water cylinder so maximising space was a necessity for the new layout.

Plumbing moved and tiles in place, cylinder cupboard is on the right

What a transformation.
Priority was to get it working again so the floor got tiled but only painting was where it was necessary on the lower walls. Cupboad door is waiting to be put on  and the bench needs it's trim but I love the bench space, my food processor and standmixer now have a home where they can be used as well, Even found a use for the wine rack which didn't fit in our kitchen, fills the corner gap perfectly,will be adding more overhead cupboards above the bench as well.

For my quilting year ahead I want to finish my ufo's, luckily I don't have many so will be able to start some new projects as well, am looking foward to the 15th to see what Esther has planned for her new BOM, if it's applque I probably won't be able to resist . Just before Christmas I bought some dice as I really like the idea of how Jenny in Wellington rolls a dice to decide her quilting project for the week.
Only problem is I don't have six projects at the moment, maybe I just have to keep rolling until one of my numbers comes up - or I give my favorite projects two numbers.
My oriental style quilt is on my design wall with more blocks added as a japanesse friend at the thurday group gave me some beautiful fabric that she thought I might like to use.

The fabrics were too beautiful to cut up

These two blocks make up one repeat of this gorgeous Obi (sash) fabric.

The second fabric, also Obi I think but it was wider and folded in half, 
I have added applique elements to this fabric.

Origami Kimono's to this one

3 dimensional fans to this one.
Fans are backed with gold satin and only attached with the blue at the top.

Both the Kimono's and the fans are from the pattern by Yvonne Morris that I used for my quilt Oriental Expressions a few years ago.

I still have some of the blue brocade fabric and I plan to use it for the sashings for my blocks.

 Silk Kimono fabric which I have had for many years and have never found quite the right place to use. Correction a little bit found it's way into the small flower baskets of my LE.

The last couple of days Fly Away came back out as I finally decided how to quilt my background and I have literally been going round in circles ever since.

I read an interesting blog a few days ago on tips for spiral quilting which I found through pinterest.
Thought I would try it with three rings around my small stars that were seperate and then like topsy it just grew, ended up not being spirals at all but keeping the sets of three rings has given an interesting effect which I am happy with, now to work on the rings themselves.

Finishing here to link with Esther for her first WOW of 2017

Enjow your week everyone,
Cheers Jenny