Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BOM 6 - Crystal Dreams

By Carol Le Maitre

By Daiva Ceicys

From Quilt Snippets

BOM6 - Crystal Dreams


Crystal Dreams is the free BOM for August. This is one of my favourite blocks although the fabrics used in Raconteur itself do nothing to showcase it.

I have made this in a few different fabrics and it is amazing how different the block looks every time. The first two blocks were made by Carol and Daiva and you can see how delightful they are. The pale green was made by myself for another quilt that I made called Snippets.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with this block too. The featured collection and free BOM will be uploaded tomorrow here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another Great Link for EPP

In the Raconteur yahoo group there are some links to useful sites. These have been added whenever anyone recommended it and until now I haven't had a chance to actually check them out.
Today I decided to have a look at one of these, flossieteacakes and found it a wealth of information.
Although Florence says it will be just a quick post she does give a lot of information, so this is another brew up a coffee first type of web pages. The post was written from a beginner's point of view as she has only recently started using this method so is perfect for those of you who have also decided to try it particularly for the miniature Raconteur.
Just a short summary to the topics she covers
  • What is EPP?
  • Fabric Choice 
  • Books and Patterns and Doing Your Own Thing - 
  • Paper Choice 
  • Creating Shape Templates 
  • Making the templates for cutting the fabric
  • Cutting the Fabric 
  • Basting the fabrics around the paper
  • Wrapping the fabric around the paper
  • Thread 
  • Thinking about needles
  • Types of stitches - whip stitch vs ladder stitch and how many stitches
  • How to sew it together
  • clever tips
  • Storage
  • Removing the papers
  • Over to the experts
Lots of good information and worth a cup of coffee.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Design Layout Thoughts - colour & quilting

Well here you have an uncropped collection. Along the top of the photo you can see the fillers that I used to level off the top and bottom sides of the quilt. These were left overs from another quilt and when I had run out of ideas as to what to do for Raconteur,  I remembered these. I actually have over two hundred of these triangles as the original quilt turned out to be a real flop...even though the triangles, (well diamonds in truth as I was making a lone star quilt) looked great.

The collections are set out in the Grandmother's Flower Garden setting with each subsequent circle of petals having a different frame (outer) colour. Red, green, red, blue and red again. There should have been a red outer border but I couldn't find one to suit when I reached that stage. The green border that I chose unfortunately doesn't focus your eyes on the colour plan, which is a shame considering that I had to redo several of the frames when I made the quilt to get the colour sequence that I wanted. Oh well we love and learn.

The quilting in the collections isn't obvious since it is merely ditch stitching around the feature fabric in each individual block and then on both sides of the small borders. This was all completed before the collections were joined together. I had no quilting in the dark outer borders (called frames so as to avoid confusion in the notes, between the little block borders and the collection borders:)
Every collection was completed and quilted and then they were all joined together. It would have been impossible to quilt the whole quilt any other way...particularly with my skill level..or lack thereof.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Collection 57 - Where did that name come from?


C57 Quiet Reflections
Quiet Reflections was named because they were soft colours that I always associate with reflective times.
C57 Carefree Bubbles
Dappled Light slipping through the curtain or blind cracks. Spots of brightness against the pale drabness of a colour neutral wall.
C57 Dappled Light
Carefree Bubbles don't the fabrics appear to be like bubbles from your childhood. Remember those plates of soap mix your mum made which kept you amused for ages...dipping the bent wire clothes hangers, blowing the bubbles and chasing them. Childhood is a wonderful time.

C57 Pink Tutu
Pink Tutu -  I never learnt ballet as a child, very few children did in my neighbourhood but you still dreamed of a pink tutu in which you could twirl and dance.
C57 From All sides
Oh Where? Look carefully at the central fussy cut circle and you will see where the name came from...Little Bo Peep of course. The circle was pieced into the centre but if you like you can always applique it.... your bock ...your choice.
C57 Oh Where?
From All Sides - this was one of the first 'intricate' blocks. It looked great on paper, and also when finished but when I started to make it I was surprised at the patience it took to fit all of those tiny pieces together. Only 61 pieces though.
C57 Box Pleats & Windos Ties

Box Pleats and Windsor Ties - The kites reminded me of the ties we all wore to school...back when the ark landed and of course our uniforms had those horrid box pleats that created such a pain when the hem would come undone... oh for the simplicity of today's modern high school repair job... staplers do a great job don't they and you don't even have to worry about the staples snagging your stockings and causing a run...the stockings have also gone:)

I hope you are all enjoying the first of the Surprise Day Collections. Looking forward to seeing some photos.







Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Surprise Day Collection 57

For the first Surprise Day there is a one day sale on Collection 57. For just today, with a few hours either side to allow for different time zones, Collection 57 is able to be purchased for the sale price of $8. To pick up your collection click on this link and purchase Collection 57 in the same manner as you usually purchase your BOMs or Featured Collections each month. At the check out add the coupon code SDC  and the price will then be reduced to $8.
Collection 57  has one of the harder hand pieced blocks in Raconteur, From All Sides, but it is a beautiful one.

If you want to know where the names came from for this collection check back tomorrow when the post will be uploaded. Happy sewing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sue Daley's Youtube videos for EPP



Sue Daley is the queen of English paper piecing and she has now released a set of videos to show you how to get everything just right.
http://www.suedaleydesigns.com/my-new-youtube-channel/
On her website you will find not only all the bibs and bobs that you need for regular paper piecing but lots of inspiration and new ides as well as a new video tutorial series that may teach you everything you need to know about EPP.
Episode 1 was all about using hexagons while episode 2 goes onto using six pointed stars. Each video is just 15mins so brew up a coffee and settle down to check them out..one for today, one for tomorrow and while you are there if you subscribe you will receive an email each week as Sue uploads the latest video... well worth the coffee break

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Collection 5 - Where Did That Name Come From?

Collection 5 


C5 Behind Walls
C5 Pointing the Finger

C5 Gift wrapped

C5 Echoes
C5 Baby Blue
   C5 Mums Among the Gold
C5 Taylor's World
I will need to work out a better way of displaying these blocks. Might try adding background to the blocks next time I crop them....if I can work out how to that is:)

Collection 5 contains some of my favourite blocks and many were early blocks in the design and making of Raconteur. How can I tell this? By looking at the colours used. Raconteur was to be my first 'pastel' quilt. However as I progressed I decided that baby pastels were just not my style and although I attempted to still remain in the pastel range I ventured into the stronger pastels such as those used in Mums Among the Gold, Echoes and Behind Walls.
So now for the origin of the names. Some are easily seen such as Mums Among the Gold - this one is a direct reference to the fabrics used. The bright pink reminded me of chrysanthemums and although not clear in the photo, the background fabric is a gold print on a white background.
Baby Blue I explained in a post earlier this month.
Taylor's World was named after a student that I taught and the title is from a book which her mum, Jenny, wrote about Taylor's first few years and the trials and tribulations in the family during those years. Taylor is a great kid and I enjoyed teaching her. She is someone who gives her best all of the time.
Echoes should have been called Ripples as it was named after the effect you see when dropping pebbles in the water but at the time the only word I could think of was echoes.
Behind the Walls - doesn't each individual section remind you of someone sitting alone in a little room, locked in their own thoughts and own world. Are they all the same or just that little bit different? You will never know for certain.
Pointing the Finger was named after a long day spent mainly in primary schools. One thing which I always found interesting when working with children from toddler stage to the end of high school was the different ways that problems were sorted. I understood little kids would cry, you ask, they tell the cause...easy peasy. High school they sort out a lot of things with their friends or by themselves. Primary school they dob... jealous about something... dob on the kid, angry with someone...dob, doing the wrong thing...dob on someone else.... the day is full of kids dobbing, which is a slang word meaning to tell on someone or point the finger.
Gift Wrapped - don't the arrow heads remind you of that gorgeous ribbon bow that arrives upon parcels which are wrapped by someone who has a lot more skill than I do with curling ribbon. Every year at Xmas I attempt to master the curling ribbon with scissors trick... never does it look as beautiful as my expectations or someone else's effort... but I keep hoping.

For some other colour combinations check out Carol's blocks. I have linked each of her blocks to the block title above so click on them and check them out. These were all made last February and it is good to see the blocks made in different colours.
Don't forget to email your photos so that I can also include them here in the blog. Everyone loves to see what others are doing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Margaret's Collection 8 Progress

It has been just over a month since I took these photos and my apologies to Margaret for taking so long to upload them but as you know I have been a bit laid low, plus busy as can be, the rest of the time. I am glad that I am on leave at present or nothing would be being uploaded.. and I am still behind in everything that I planned to do.

Anyway I have finally uploaded some great photos...Ok so the photos are only great because the blocks are so gorgeous but it is good to finally show everyone.
Margaret loves Civil War Reproductions and has decided to make all of the blocks in this collection pink and cream. Her thoughts at this stage are that her next collection will be browns and for that reason I chose brown as the background colour for each block. I have never been good at mixing my colours in Civil War fabrics and for that reason have only ever made two quilts in those colours. I wish I could match them as well as Margaret does.


C8 City Living
City Living was the first block Margaret made. When I made it I was reminded of the crapped living in major cities and with open spaces often being so far that people forgot they were there.
C8 Banana Custard
Although not using bright spring colours Margaret's choice of a totally different pink to her others does give this block a surprise factor in Spring Surprise.


C8 Spring Surprise
Now admittedly Margaret's colour choices makes Banana Custard a totally inappropriate name for this block. I love her fussy cut flowers, don't you?

The busyness of her Summer Picnic suggests a great day for everyone also.

C8 Rising Mist
What a difference fabric and colour choice makes. I had trouble picking Rising Mist as the block name and if I hadn't known that Margaret was only making Collection 8 I would still be searching for its name. Great colours aren't they.
 C8 Summer Picnic 

BOM 5, Baby Blue & Photos for Uploading to Blog

Hi everyone,
C5 Baby Blue
Just had a thought when you send me a photo of your block please leave it at a high resolution as that allows me to crop it, watermark it and upload it at a large enough size for everyone to see your lovely fabrics and so appreciate your block.
Anyway the latest block in the free BOM series is now available on the website so go and pick it up. I look forward to seeing your photo.

Baby Blue was named because of the fabric colours. Did you realise that until recently blue wasn't always for boys and pink wasn't always for girls?
The evolution of our preference for these colours for the particular sex has come about just since the first world war. Prior to that time both boys and girls wore the same crisp white dresses as girls until they were 6 or 7 years old. These colours were chosen for practicality since it was easiest to bleach everything. The bleaching rendered everything both clean and hygienic. Then pastel colours were introduced and babies were generally dressed in either. However around the time of World War I, there developed the fear that a child would grow up perverted if s/he were dressed in the 'wrong' coloured clothes and so the clothes became gender specific and with time these colours became set in stone. Research shows it could have quite easily gone the other way with pink being for boys and blue for girls.
Men are gradually changing and wearing pink, particularly in Australia following the strong support from various male sporting teams for Breast Cancer Awareness, whose official colour is pink. However this has not been extended into baby's clothes.
I was intending to explain the origin of all of the block names but as this has been a long post will do it another day.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surprise Day Collection

Last month I had an idea that each month I would, on a random day, offer another collection at the sale price for people who were wanting to make more than one collection that month. The random collection will not be featured in the BOM section rather it will be found in the regular collection section, don't you love rhyme?

I will be including a link on this blog directly to the Surprise Day Collection (SDC). The link will appear on the day of the Surprise Day. The date for the SDC will be announced on this blog and also in the yahoo group on the first day of the month and there will be a post on the Surprise Day. There won't be any other notices about it.

July's SDC will be uploaded on 17th July. There is no corresponding BOM being released at the same time. check back here on the 17th for the direct link, coupon code and info about the collection. It is a beautiful collection...but then aren't they all?

Next BOM will be uploaded tomorrow

BOM2 - The Rice Pickers


BOM3 - Burning Bright


BOM4 - Blackberry Freedom

BOM5 - Baby Blue



Well the free Block of the Month Series is now into month 4 and BOM5, and it has been interesting to see the interest in the blocks each month. New people sign up every month and a few drop off but basically the same number of people continue each month to download the free BOM.

 I have seen a few photos but would love to see more when you have the time to send them over. Although I fully understand people just not getting around to it. Hey I made another 23 blocks for my new quilt Nursery Rhymes before I managed to photograph them and then another week or so passed before I uploaded this photos. 24 hours a day are not enough.

This month we are now up to BOM 5, which is one of the easy blocks. I have found the less pieces in a block the easier the block is. Hope it is the same for others.

For those wondering about the numbering for the different blocks, they are numbered to correspond to the collection from which the block is taken. In Raconteur some collections are not made of hexagons. These are the corner and side collections. These use extended hexagons and are only needed in bed quilts (called layouts). As the BOM will result in a wallhanging, all of the needed blocks will be hexagons and so no blocks will be taken from some collections, such as C1, C7, C13, C20 and I can't remember the rest.

As July has arrived a new block will be uploaded tomorrow. Check it out...print it..sew it and send me a photo.