Friday, April 29, 2016

Crochet Alongs- Update

The nights are getting colder, the days shorter and after a busy day, there's nothing better than snuggling in for the night with a crochet project. I have two CAL's on the go at the moment, so I thought I would update their progress, so far.
Firstly, my Mandala Madness CAL:
This was my progress after Part Three. We added the pink circles and a ruffled border. There was quite a bit of work in this installment and I had a bit of trouble getting those circles to look perfect (to me), but once it was done, I was really pleased with the end result.
At the end of Part Four, the Mandala became a hexagon. This is where the "madness" part comes in; over the course of this CAL, the shape will constantly change. This installment was nice and quick and apart from lots of counting, one of the easiest installments so far.
In Part Five, we added those gorgeous scallops to the mandala. One of the challenges of doing a mystery CAL, is not knowing where to place the colours. I took a risk with this installment, hoping to really frame the hexagon with some of the darker colours and luckily for me, it worked :)
And here's my Mandala, after Part Six. I was so pleased I chose the darker colours in the previous installment, they really showcase that centre. My plan is, to inject a lot of white into this project but those large expanses of colour really make me happy. Part Seven came out today, so I'm looking forward to adding the next installment over the weekend.
I am loving this CAL so much. It's a real challenge at times, but I'm learning heaps, its making me think and the end result is just gorgeous.
The other CAL I'm working on, is the Fran Mystery CAL:
In Part Three of this CAL, we worked on nine sweet little squares called SUE and in Part Four, there were nine called FAY: Both of these designs are lovely and they are quick to crochet.
I am enjoying this CAL and I think the blanket will look beautiful but I'm finding it quite repetitive and I'm not learning anything new. Once the first square is complete, there is no challenge but this IS a CAL suited to beginners and I just love Shelley's patterns so much, that I really want to keep working on it and see where it leads :)
I have finished my "In A Spin" CAL but haven't had time to take any photos yet, so I'll have more on that one later.
To find the links to both CAL's, you can check out my original post HERE and it will take you to straight to each of the designers blogs.
Back to the hook :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 76

This weeks gorgeous block is Star of Spring. Although we already have some beautiful star blocks for our quilt, I love this one because it's simple, stunning and very dramatic. This is a paper pieced block and its very easy to sew; two quick and easy sections, sewn together and your block is complete.
A bit of basic astronomy here, but we do see different stars during each of the four seasons. The earths rotates on its axis, causing the movement of the night sky. As earth orbits the sun, we experience different seasons and see different parts of the night sky.(It makes you feel so small in comparison.)
Spring is such a respite after a long and cold winter, so apart from the obvious signs that Spring is on the way, spotting that glistening star would be cause for celebration. That alone, makes this a special block and a lovely reason to include it in our quilts.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Weave Mini Quilt + Your Free May 2016 Calendar

weave (verb) to make (a complex story or pattern) from a number of interlocking elements

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my love of interlocking designs. They work so well in quilting, giving lovely motion to blocks and quilts or creating a wonderful 3D effect. I also mentioned that my May Monthly Mini Quilt had an interlocking design, so without further ado, introducing my new mini, the gorgeous Weave:
Weave is a fun mini to sew and has an easy paper pieced centre block and some lovely pieced borders. It finishes around 14", so its perfect to use as a table topper or lamp mat as well as being a lovely addition to your mini quilt wall. I also think it would make a beautiful cushion front design, especially for a bedroom or sunroom.
I love how those pink diamonds, weave through the centre star and the outer borders, giving the quilt a clever, 3D effect. I raided my fabric stash for this one and combined that lovely bright pink with some "Cottage Charm" fabric by Heather Mulder Peterson, that I had hoarded. They are beautiful fabrics to work with and I love that they finally got their chance to shine, in this little quilt.
I machine quilted mine with my favorite FMQ flowers, as an all over design. They are easy to do and give the quilt such lovely texture. I always use a lovely pearl embroidery thread for quilting, so the effect is soft and the quilting doesn't overpower, but enhance the quilt.
If you would like to make your own Weave Mini Quilt, from today until the end of May, PDF patterns are available at the discounted price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, patterns are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
And lastly, I've also got your free May Calendar, featuring the gorgeous Weave:
To download and print your free May 2016 calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Weave as much as I do. Its a gorgeous mini and mine is proudly hanging on my studio wall along with my growing mini quilt collection. I do hope May is another wonderful month for you and your families. In Australia, during May, we celebrate Mother's Day so to all the mum's and grandmothers out there, ,....... Happy Mother's Day and enjoy your special day :)
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 75

This weeks lovely little block is Garden Path. This block does remind you of those beautiful architectural gardens, with their formal symmetry and that inviting path leading to the centre of the garden. They usually contain a ornate water feature or a place to sit and admire the elegance and beauty.
The wealthy created grand gardens for purely aesthetic purposes, yet the humble garden of the homestead, provided the family with food and resources. My grandfather had an amazing market garden and even as a child, I was impressed with how perfectly his garden was designed. It was a labyrinth of flowers, fruit, herbs, vegetables, birds, butterflies and was a sheer delight for a child to learn and play in.
Regardless of what style of garden we have, we all enjoy tending to our flower and vegetable beds and roaming along the garden paths, embracing the beauty of nature. This block will bring that same peace and beauty to our gorgeous sampler quilts.
To download and print this weeks free block pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 74

This weeks block is the gorgeous Twisted Star. This block has such lovely motion and its a lot easier to piece, than it may first appear. I love an interlocking design, in fact my next Monthly Mini is a woven design, so stay tuned for its release later this month, its gorgeous.
This block will perfectly showcase some of your pretty fabrics. I kept my palette soft and simple but the star would be really "pop" using a bold fabric and a soft pastel. Have a play around with colour placement on this one and really make this block shine :)
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Thanks so much for your response to the horizontal layout options. I'm busy working on the on point file, which I've decided, is how I will set my blocks for this quilt. It can be hard sometimes, to visualize how a quilt will look, so my aim is to help you select the perfect setting for your quilts.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Horizontal Layouts

Traditionally, sampler blocks are set using either a horizontal or an on point layout. Within these two layouts there are many, many more options; each unique and changing the way your quilt looks and the effect it creates. So before I finish sharing all of the blocks, we should begin to think about how your Chatelaine Sampler Quilt will look.
As for the placement of your sampler blocks; that's all up to you! It can be challenging to achieve random placement while ensuring you have a good balance of colour, fabric and design throughout the quilt, but keep playing with the block placement, until you are happy.
So, lets have a look at some options or inspiration for a horizontal layout.  For each of these layouts, you will require 80 x 6 1/2" (unfinished) sampler blocks and we are working with a 8 x 10 grid:
Option 1A                                                             Option 1B
Both of these options include a narrow sashing and some cornerstones, but the colours have been reversed. Option 1A allows the sampler blocks to "float" in the setting whilst Option 1B "hugs" and defines the blocks. It is a personal preference; but you can see that the feel of the quilt changes, just by reversing the colours.
Option 2A                                                                  Option 2B
In Options 2A and 2B, I have omitted the cornerstones on the outer edges of the setting, giving them both, long vertical and horizontal sashings. This option really draws you eye to the centre of the quilt.
    Option 3A                                                                 Option 3B
For this layout, I have omitted all of the cornerstones and given the setting long vertical sashings. The blocks are defined in Option 3A but I have floated the blocks in Option 3B by alternating the colour of the long sashings.
Option 4A                                                                Option 4B
For a square setting, Option 4A is all uniform and symmetrical and this layout is quite pretty. Option 4B is a little more of an "out of the box" setting but I still like it and I think it could look quite effective and it would be something different.
Option 5A                                                                Option 5B
Some sampler quilts have a lovely medallion centre, which is usually a larger pieced block. If you are looking for a similar setting, then either of these two options, or a combination of them both, may appeal to you. Your eye is immediately drawn to the sixteen blocks in the centre square and the other blocks act as a gorgeous frame.
Option 6A                                                                  Option 6B
And finally, for something completely different, Options 6A and 6B. With so many blocks to admire, both of these layouts segment the quilt, so you are focusing on smaller sections. A layout like this allows you to focus on a smaller number of blocks.
So that's just some of my ideas for a horizontal setting. I hope you find something there that you like or that these, might inspire you to create something of your own. Consider, combining elements from any of my suggestions and add a few of your own, to make something beautiful and unique :)
I have compiled a free file which includes all of the cutting instructions, diagrams, tips etc., for each of the twelve options, to help with the construction of your quilt top.
To download the complete file, just visit HERE.
Next time, I'll share my ideas for an on point setting, so you will be armed with plenty of options to make your Chatelaine Sampler a truly beautiful quilt :)
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 73

This weeks lovely little block is Flagstones. I love this block because it reminds me of the pavers my grandparents had on their backyard patio. Its pretty and it's simple to piece and would be a perfect block for beginners.
Its easily constructed using some quick and easy Nine Patches and Snowball blocks.You can strip piece the Nine Patches if you prefer, but for this pattern I have only included the cutting measurements for individual pieces.
The Snowball blocks are pieced with some quick corners which give the blocks that clean, seamless look. I hope you enjoy this weeks block, I think its sweet and it will look lovely in our quilts.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Early next week, I'll be posted the first of my layout options, so make sure you check back to download the file and start thinking about how you want to set your blocks.
Happy sewing :)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Crochet Alongs (CAL's)

I'm a sucker for Crochet Alongs (CAL's). They are a great way to learn new techniques, gain new skills, make beautiful projects and interact with the crocheting community (which is just as wonderful as the quilting community BTW). Currently I have three CAL's blankets on the go:
The first one is the Mandala Madness CAL. When I saw the first installment, I was in love but content to watch others progress with this project. After seeing gorgeous pictures of Part 2, I could resist no longer and headed off to purchase some yarn to start my own and catch up.
I chose a cotton/bamboo blend yarn for this blanket and its lovely to work with, although it can split a little if your not careful. I've decided to keep my colour selection to this palette and inject a lot of white into the blanket. as the weeks progress.
Its quite challenging but there are plenty of step by step pictures and videos to help out and the instructions are very detailed and well written, so its easy to follow. Its run over eighteen weeks (Part Three started yesterday) and you can find all the links HERE.
The second one is another fabulous CAL from Shelley at Spincushions called Fran the Mystery CAL. These are my completed squares from Part One, called PAM.
I love Shelleys patterns, they are always so easy to follow and she designs such lovely squares. This CAL is great for beginners as there are no circles or fancy design elements. It was designed as a "manly" blanket to cater for the men in our lives.
Part Two's squares are called ANN and each of these installments are quick and easy to crochet. I chose a lovely 8ply light teal cotton yarn for my blanket, from Bendigo Woolen Mills and its a gorgeous colour and about as "manly" as I was prepared to go.
There are ten fortnightly installments for this blanket and you can join up to this CAL, by following the link HERE.
And lastly, the In A Spin CAL;
I have been working on this CAL since early December. This is another of Shelley's projects, run during 2014, so I am working at my own pace. I have completed all 57 squares (6', 9" and 12"), all the rows are sewn together and I'm just about to work on the borders. I will do the full reveal of this blanket when its all complete. Its huge, its beautiful and it deserves a blog post all of its own.
You can find all the links to this CAL, on Shelley's blog, HERE.
So that's what on my hook(s) at the moment and I'm loving every minute :)
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