Friday, February 27, 2015

Spider's Web

On those cold winter mornings, as the sunlight burns through the lifting fog, it's such a treasure to find a intricately spun spider's web glistening in the garden. These natural beauties, begin with a single strand of silk which is woven into gorgeous orbs. Primarily, they are used to catch prey, but the webs also act as a safety line if the spider is in danger of falling as it moves from place to place and for protecting and preserving it's precious bounty of eggs and food. 
My latest mini quilt design, Spider's Web was inspired by those hardworking and talented spiders who weave such beautiful treasures in our garden. They are such a wonder to behold and admire.
This mini quilt is a pieced version of a spider's web and I used a lovely mix of Bonnie and Camille fabrics, which I think work perfectly. The outer spirals of the web are made using two shades of aqua and orange, which give the web a lovely translucent effect.
The Lemoyne Star centre, is pieced using HST's and flying geese units and represents the talented little eight legged spiders responsible for the the pretty webs we discover.
I had a lot of fun with this mini quilt; it was such a pleasure to design and sew. For the quilting, I chose to machine quilt using my favorite flower design:
I do love the effect of this free motion motif and I thinks its absolutely perfect for this design :)
The mini quilt finishes at approximately 14 1/2" square and would be perfect as a table topper, or a cushion front or as a wall hanging and I do include two options for adding a hanger, if that's the option you choose.
PDF patterns of Spider's Web are now available in my store HERE and from today until the end of March 2015, they will be available at the discounted price of $3.95 (normally $5.95).
I do hope you enjoy this mini quilt; its a little wonder of nature, made with beautiful fabrics and it will add that special touch to your home decorating :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Free March 2015 Calendar

February is almost over and its amazing how easily we have settled back into the routine of work, school and Uni. It has been a great month for us; February is all about celebrating "the love" with Valentine's Day and Les and I celebrated 26 wonderful years of marriage on the 11th. Now we are ready to embrace all the wonderful possibilities a new month has to offer, so it's time for your free March calendar:
This months featured quilt, you may have seen a few times before, is my free pattern, Star Cluster Mini Quilt.
If you haven't grabbed your free pattern as yet, you can visit HERE for all the details.
As my monthly special, to celebrate March, I will be discounting a new mini quilt pattern which I will be releasing tomorrow; this gorgeous mini requires a blog post all of its own :) So make sure you head back to my blog tomorrow, for all the details.
For now, you can download your free March calendar HERE.
I hope March is a great month for all of you and I would like to thank everyone who has taken advantage of the pattern sale I run every month with the featured quilts; your support is amazing and I really hope you enjoy sewing your projects :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 17

This weeks gorgeous block is Ohio Star and this is another of my favorite star blocks. It may be simple in design but I think its very pretty and quite elegant. Its history dates back to the early 1800's and it is a very popular block. It looks lovely when used as an all over pattern in quilts and it is also quite effective when used as a border.
Constructed with some pretty hourglass blocks and simple HST's, it is a quick and easy one for you to sew, and I hope it becomes one of your favorites as well :)
To download this weeks block, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing:)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Quick Reference Chart Blocks/Layout

My third Quick Reference Chart is a guide for calculating the number of blocks required to achieve the ideal size for the three most popular quilts, depending on the initial size of the block:
I prefer to keep my quilt blocks under 10" because I love working on smaller blocks but I did include 11" and 12" layouts as well, just to be helpful.
This chart is a guide for a horizontal layout and doesn't take into account any sashings that you may wish to include, so you will have to modify your requirements accordingly. It is also based on the size of the mattress only, so you will need to add borders or make extra blocks if you prefer, to achieve the required drop or overhang.
Its a handy little guide when planning your larger projects and gives you a clearer idea of how many blocks you will need to sew, depending on the block size and it also gives a suggested layout, to achieve the ideal size for your quilt.
To download and print this reference chart, just visit HERE.
The have one more chart for you, which I'll post next week but for now I hope the ones I have already shared have been useful. If you have missed the first two, there are listed in the "Free Printables" tab, at the top of my blog, under "Sewing Room".

Friday, February 20, 2015

February's Fun Free Projects

I had a lot of fun working on this months free projects. It's a great way to spend a few hours in the studio, sewing just for me. First up is the February block for the Snapshots quilt, being run by the Fat Quarter Shop:
This month is a sewing machine and it represents women handing down their sewing skills to the younger generations. My mother was a dress maker and my great grandmother's spent hours behind a treadle, so I was a lost cause really but sadly my daughter has no interest. Maybe my (in the way way distant) future daughter in law will or my grandchildren.......cross fingers.
I raided my Bonnie and Camille stash for this one again. They are such lovely fabrics and I really want to use every scrap I have in one project or another.
And my second monthly project is this little cutie from Anne of Bunny Hill Designs:
The February Snow Happy Heart. These are just adorable and I cant wait to have them all together as a Christmas garland, this year.
If you missed last months freebies and want to join in, the links are on this blog post HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 16

This weeks lovely block is Irish Chain and there are many lovely variations of this block (singles/doubles/triples). This is my favorite variation as I love the "square in a square" centre and you can imagine the effect you could create by using multiples of this block in an all over quilt design.
Whatever variation you chose, the Irish Chain is a classic block and there are many stunning quilts which show case its beauty and simplicity. Its a fun and easy block to sew and I think this variation will be a great addition to our sampler quilts :)
To download this weeks block, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quick Reference Chart Small Projects

I have another Quick Reference Chart for you to use in your sewing space and this one is for those lovely smaller projects that we all love to make:
This one will be really helpful for those projects you may be making as gifts or for the swaps that you have joined or if your redecorating your own home.
Again the sizes are just a suggested range so use them as a guide only and if you can, measure the table etc. before deciding on a size to make your project :)
If you would like to download and print this reference chart for your sewing space, just visit HERE.
I have another couple of charts for you, but for now I hope this one is helpful :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

What's On The Hook?

After finishing my Cosy blanket, I really wanted to find something new and different as my next crochet project. Pinterest is a mecca of inspiration and I found a lovely Nautical Hobo bag which I really wanted to try:
This is my progress so far. It's a free pattern and at first glance, it looked complicated but the pattern is very easy to read (and understand) and mine is slowly beginning to take shape. Here's what I'm aiming for it to look like:
(image from the Joann site)
You can find the free pattern HERE, on the Joann site. I'm using wool from my stash for this one and will probably use it to store future crochet projects as I work on them. Maddi also wants one, to take to Uni or work, so hopefully I'll be an expert after this first one, or though I am a little worried about those grommets :)
While I was searching on Pinterest, I also found a free pattern for these cute little hearts. Aren't they adorable? They are very quick and easy to do and are perfect for Valentines Day ♥. You can find the pattern HERE and she has a few other lovely freebies as well, which you might like.
So that's whats on my hook at the moment. What's on yours?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Easter Bounty

Long ago, children believed that the Easter Bunny (or Easter Hare as he was known), laid eggs in the grass or gardens. On Easter Sunday morning, armed with abandoned birds nests to gather their bounty, they would search the grounds. hunting and collecting hand painted or dyed eggs. This wonderful tradition has evolved over time and the modern Easter Egg Hunt involves beautifully decorated baskets or buckets used to collect chocolate eggs, lollies and baked goods; the Easter bounty.
My new table runner design Easter Bounty, is a celebration of this long standing tradition and of the enjoyment it has given (and still does) to my own "grown up" children. Every Easter, we join in with neighbours and friends and host a Easter Egg Hunt and it really doesn't matter how old you are, you go searching for those eggs.......I mean it is chocolate after all :)
I love to decorate the house during Easter and I prefer to use soft, pastel colours at this time of year, so for this runner, I raided my stash and chose some lovely light blue, pink, lilac and yellow fabrics.
The table runner is constructed with a pieced centre star block and two quickly pieced side blocks which act as a frame for the applique:
The applique is a simple, yet pretty little basket of eggs and flowers with a gorgeous big bow on top. There is quite a bit of lovely negative space in this table runner which is perfect to showcase some pretty quilting:
I just sat down at the machine and quilted this one; no real plan, no prior practice just some lovely loops and I added some pretty hearts at random intervals. ♥♥♥
PDF patterns of Easter Bounty are now available, in my store HERE.
I hope you like this pretty little table runner. I know mine will be my new favorite addition to our Easter decorating this year :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 15

This weeks block is the traditional Bear's Paw block. There is a theory that this block represented escaping slaves who needed to follow the bear tracks to find water or shelter. It is a classic block and you will find one in most sampler quilts. Its another of my absolute favorites and I think it will make a lovely addition to our quilts.
I chose to use two colours for the "paws" but consider using only one colour, or reversing the combination and having the "paws" white and the background dark. Have a play around with combinations and make your block shine.
To download this weeks block, just visit HERE.
I hope you enjoy this one. Happy sewing!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Free Printable- Quilt Sizes

I have made myself a few "Quick Reference Charts" for the studio, which I have on the wall in front of me, while I'm designing. It makes me more vigilant, and I'm actually doing the Maths before I start anything new (as opposed to it being a complete nightmare once I've sunk my teeth into a new design with no real layout/size plan).
I thought they might be useful to you as well, so I'll be sharing them here, over the next few weeks so you can print them out and use them. The first one is a suggested guide for quilt sizes:
Each quilt size includes a suggested width and length range and I, like most, work in inches but I did include (to the nearest) centimetres, to cater for everyone.
It's handy to have a reference when sizing your quilts and I think they will make a lovely addition to your sewing space.
If you would like to download and print the free reference chart, just visit HERE.
Next time I'll be sharing the suggested size ranges for smaller projects, i.e. table runners, mug rugs etc, but for now I hope this one is useful :)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cosy CAL Blanket

The other night I finished my Cosy CAL blanket and I'm thrilled with the end result. My bright, colourful, snugly, warm blanket is all ready for those upcoming cold, winter months:
It took me just under six weeks to complete, and it grew quite quickly.  I managed to crochet a few rows every night while watching seasons of "Game of Thrones" (I'm a new fan!).
It was great to know I was part of a community of people, crocheting the same project and I have seen so many lovely colour combinations on social media, plus some very pretty variations to the finished borders.
The pattern is very easy to follow and really fun to crochet. I chose my own colours and tried to keep my combinations as close to the original as I could. I did make a slight change to the border colours because I was running low on wool and wanted to use what I had on hand.
If your looking for a new pattern, have a look at Attic 24, she has some great projects, With this recent finish, I have to chose something new to put on the hook and I've found a lovely Hobo bag pattern which I'm considering; I think it will challenge my ability to read patterns but it looks fun. I'll keep you posted :)
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