Enjoying playing with Tilda fabrics

A few weeks ago I showed you one of the projects I designed using the lovely Tilda Sunkiss fabric range. You can see it here.


Of course, there were some bits and pieces left over from the fat quarters I had, so they were crying out to be made into something pretty.


 Just being pretty doesn't quite make the cut with me being such a practical person, so they needed to be made into something useful. The blue, green, and teal spoke to me of the sea. This is how they ended up - a Cushion/Pillow which I have called "Cottage by the Sea".


There's a little bit of applique, some highlight stitching, the Peace and Plenty block, finished off with some Prairie Points. I like the pops of bright pink for accent.
The pattern for the cushion can be found in my Craftsy Store here.

I'm still making goods for a Craft Stall later in the year, and started a bit of a production line with some coat hanger frocks.


I used the "Doing Frilly" pattern which has been free on my website for quite a few years. I have updated it and it is now free in my Craftsy Store here.


I am so pleased with how they turned out.

I've been honoured this month to be featured in Australian Homespun magazine.


It's a wonderful magazine which you can receive digitally if you live elsewhere. Details are here.

Another of my Tilda quilts will be published soon - so look out for more quilt delights.

Happy stitching!
Val










The Day of Small Things

I had had my suspicions for a few weeks and sensed that all was not quite the usual. There were promises that didn't eventuate and other things that made me wonder. 


Eventually, it came - the email that I dreaded. The last two Express Publication Craft magazines (Australian Patchwork and Quilting and Handmade) would both be closing down in June 2018.


It's been 13 years since I took my first tentative step into designing original patchwork, quilting, and embroidery projects. I have been blessed to have an outlet for my designs over all those years with more than 200 designs published. Eight Australian magazines regularly published my work ... and they paid me enough to buy more fabric to make more projects!

[Pocket Notebook Trio - pattern available here.]

And now there are just two of those eight left. The six that closed down almost exclusively used Australian designers. Of the two remaining, one seeks designers from all around the world, and the other only publishes six times a year. 


In other words, my outlet has shrunk to almost zero.  There is one other magazine which also has limited space for an Australian designer and also only publishes six times a year, which I will try at some stage, but you get the picture - an era has ended! 


So where am I at? I can't stop creating!!! I can, however, stop buying! I reckon I have enough fabric to last me for quite a few years! So number one decision has been to now buy nothing but basics - things like threads, batting and freezer paper.

[Cherished Letters Coin Purse - pattern available here.]

Number two decision is that I will continue to design and write up patterns and offer them for sale in my Craftsy Store. Every little bit helps and the small income I receive from pattern sales helps augment our not very large Age Pension.


Number three decision is that, for a while, it will be the Day of Small Things, rather than large quilts. I have been asked to share a table at a Boutique Craft market at the end of the year, so with that in mind I have been making items that might sell there.


The first five photos above are of pocket notebook covers which I think are cute and they are quick to make and very practical. A few pot stands have been added  and I plan to make more coin purses. 


I'll show you another time some of the other things that have come off the sewing machine.

[Hot Pad Trio pattern now available here.]

So life will be different. I am hopeful, of course, that some other door might open. Meanwhile, with four or five projects a week going into the "End of Year" box, I should always have a 'last minute gift' available ... and it could mean the family might be inundated with 'hand-mades' for Christmas!

Val

The Clean-Out that didn't happen ... equals lots of bargains!

I made the Midnight in the Garden quilt some time ago and decided it was time to put the pattern in my Craftsy Store. The beautiful Dresden Plate blocks in this quilt have a flower-like beauty, enhanced by the black background.


This quilt is made using the Quilt-As-You-Go method which I find so easy to construct.


Midnight in the Garden is not a large quilt - just 123cm (48½in) square. In fact, I use it as a tablecloth. I love the solid feel of a quilt with batting on the table. It always sits perfectly in place, rather than having a flimsy tablecloth doing all the wrong things, especially in a breeze.

The pattern for Midnight in the Garden can be purchased here.

Now, whatever does that have to do with my blog title?
Well, when I went to my Craftsy Store, I had the thought that there are patterns that have been there for quite a while and it is probably time to take them down and have a big clean-out.


HOWEVER .....


when I started deciding what to remove, I fell in love all over again with the designs.


I realised that just because something was designed a couple of years ago doesn't mean its life is finished. 


What I decided to do instead of a clean-out was to reduce the price of many of my designs.


I have reduced some patterns by 50% and many by 25%. There are now lots of patterns for just US$5.00


So now is the time to grab a bargain!



In some ways, I guess I had a clean-out before I put designs in my store. I counted up 30 or 40 projects that I have had published but they didn't make the cut when it came to filling my store with designs of which I am proud. So my 200 plus projects remain there and I hope you enjoy browsing and maybe finding a bargain!

Happy stitching!
Val


Memories from an Autograph Book

When I was nine or ten years old, my parents gave me an Autograph book for Christmas. The idea was that your friends and family would write little sayings on a page in your book. Of course, if you met someone famous, the Autograph book was the place to have them sign.


One such clever adage in my book was:
YYURYYUBICURYY4ME
which translated says Too Wise You Are, Too Wise You Be, I See You Are Too Wise for Me.

I only ever found one famous person to give me his autograph and that was Wally Grout who was the Australian Cricket team wicket-keeper back in the 1950/60s. 


One of the verses written in my Autograph book was from a poem by Dorothy Gurney. It must have made an indelible impression in my mind as I remember it so well many decades later.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.


It wasn't a surprise then, when I received the new Tilda fabric range, called "Sunkiss", that the verse in the Autograph book popped into my mind.


Sunkiss is a gorgeous fabric range which has just been released in stores, and I have enjoyed playing with the beautiful colours. Of course I just had to make a "Kiss of the Sun" wall quilt!


The quilt measures 81cm (32 inches) square, has easy piecing, needle-turn applique and a few sweet embellishments. The pattern is now available in my Craftsy Store
  here.
 

I think the poem has a lot of truth in it, don't you?  A beautiful garden certainly shows God's amazing creative handiwork, and if we can't physically be in one of our own, patchwork and quilting sure gives us plenty of opportunity to create a garden with fabric.

Happy stitching.
Val





Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I have been absent from my sewing machine for a few weeks, other than to do a running repair yesterday! My over-indulgence over Easter, three morning/afternoon teas, and our wedding anniversary dinner with delectable dessert, meant I needed to add a bit to the elastic waist in one of my outfits!


My excuse is that it was always a bit tight, but I will be tightening the belt on food over the next few weeks. I wish the supermarket would stop advertising Half Price specials on drool-worthy ice-creams!



The sewing machine has been idle only because life has just jumped in the way. Our Church had computer and software problems so I spent many hours trying to sort all that out. Then we had two delightful days with family visiting - a rare occurrence as the majority of them live very long distances away. 



Then there are the emails to answer, the medical appointments, minutes to take and type, and all that goes to make up the life of a retiree!  How did I ever have time to go to work???


But absence does make the heart grow fonder. I spent some of my waking hours last night dreaming up a new quilt! Then I have little sticky notes hanging off my computer monitor. One of them is to remind me of all the things that were in the diary for the last month or so and still haven't been done. The other is for the next project I want to make.


A while ago I promised to make available a couple of my quilt patterns for sale in my Craftsy Store. It really was time to do something about that before I start anything new.


You can now find Joyful Juggling Quilt here


and Fruit Salad Quilt here

I have scattered some photos throughout this post to show you what I was working on before life's interruptions. (My apologies to Fb and Instagram followers who may have already seen some of them.) The fabrics are from the Tilda Sunkiss range which will be released in stores on Tuesday. The fabrics are delightful and I am eager to show you the completed projects soon.


Meanwhile, happy stitching!
Val