Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BOM 12 - Turnaround


Collection 12

The first free BOM for 2014 is Turnaround, which is one of the easier blocks with only thirteen pieces. The choice of fabric reminds me of a firestorm in the wind blowing round and round with sparks flying out everywhere. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Collection 2- Where Did That Name Come From?


Rice Pickers
Rice Pickers was made when Paul and I were travelling through Asia and we drove past these rice fields. I had never seen anything so lush and was amazed at where the rice could be grown. I always thought it had to be grown in large flat areas, as it needed constant, or regular flooding. You can tell by this comment that agriculture was not a subject I excelled at... or was awake for.
It appeared to be up the side of what had once been an almost vertical hillside.
The villagers had cut away at the sides of this small mountain/huge hill and terraced it entirely.
Although there were no rice pickers at the time the large triangles in this block reminded me of those old straw hats we saw being worn in old time TV shows and movies.


Crème de Chantilly
It was 2009 and we were visiting Paris to see our eldest son who was studying there. It had been 18 months since we had last seen him and it coincided with Paul's birthday. PJ bought a birthday cake complete with Chantilly cream, a favourite in Paris. The colours and design reflected the cake and its decorations. Our household has never worried about pink for girls and blue for boys.

A Merry Christmas
We have a star on our Christmas tree that we bought before children. Like us it is a little more worn at Christmas but still there in pride of place. Christmas has always been for Paul, aka the elf, the most special of times so I designed this block to reflect our Christmas star.

Flamboyance
I remember watching a news item about the Sydney Mardi Gras and seeing the floats pass by. I found the costumes and colours used amazing and so flamboyant. I tried to show the swirling and activity of those costumes in this block.

Cafe Crème
Our local cafe makes a very good cappuccino and I would go there every Saturday after my Pilates class with some of my classmates. This block was named after our regular outing.

Not Here Thanks
On the way to Sydney we pass through a suburb with a huge Nuclear Free Zone sign. One of our boys at the time said if there were bombs dropped would that mean they were not allowed to land here? Older child said how do they get the nuclear medicine to hospitals if they are not allowed to come through here.  Out of the mouths of babes as they as they say.
So the spaces on the block surrounding the nuclear symbol represent this attitude of ’Not here thanks.’

I Love Lucy
This was one of my favourite TV shows as a child. I always saw Lucille Ball as being surrounded by many people all of whom loved her.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What a Difference Colour/Fabric Makes

WOW doesn't the change in fabrics change the whole appearance. compare Carol's two blocks just below with the collection beside.
OK I assume you can easily find my Stringing Away block in the collection to the left but being honest, how long did it take you to work out which of my blocks is Bamboozled. It took me a while. That's the thing with Raconteur a small change can result in quite a change.
C35 Bamboozled

C35 Stringing Away

The blocks are easier to find this time round although I would still guess that it wasn't a walk in the park as they say.
Carol has used an amazing selection of fabrics and it will be something to see when it is totally finished. I am sure that task also won't take her as long as it took me. she has only been working on Raconteur for twelve months and I am positive she is past the half way point.
C32 Kew Gardens
C32 Sunburnt Traditions

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Don't You Just Love Points?

C31 Tinkle  of the Keys
Carol uses a large variety of colours in her blocks as well as conversation prints. I am always amused at the secondary idea one gets from the fabrics she uses.
At the time of designing Tinkle of the Keys I enjoyed using incomplete shapes and so made the hearts in four sections. Here Carol uses a background of heart fabric making another play on the background theme.
row 1, cell 3
Must say Carol's English paper piecing method appears to have less bulk in the middle than I remember having with this block. Initially it was to have six of those fine pointed arrows coming to the middle but it had miles too much fabric in the seam allowance. The smaller arrows meant that I could make the middle sit easier.
C32 Stilletoes

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Way to your Heart

C32 Heart's Desire
Funny I never realised how many of my blocks were named after foods. I think I must be a male in disguise as the old saying 'a way to a man's heart is through his stomach' definitely applies to me.


Paul says he still remembers the first time I visited him at his place. We lived about five hours apart at the time and I arrived one Friday night. He had prepared a roast lamb and he said as he watched me devour the lot it reminded him of his father... who also was another example of a person who enjoyed his food:0
C31 Sugar & Spice
C30 Marmalade
I still love food particularly sweets and yesterday made a fantastic apple and ginger marmalade... I wonder which marmalade I had made when I named this block. Mind you the block must have been made around 2009 as that was the year I discovered when a person makes jam/marmalade there is no need to make 100+ jars of it. My mum only ever made plum or nectarine jam and never in quantities less than 100!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scrapbox Wonders

Carol decided it was time for a clean up in her sewing room and found these three left overs from other projects. Perfect she figured for a few more of her blocks.
Carol is making a king size Raconteur and her preferred layout needs three more collections than the original, so these definitely won't go astray.
For other delightful original blocks by Carol simply click on the 'original' label on the right.. you will adore here angry bird :)
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Madeleine's First Block

C2 Flamboyance
Madeleine only started sewing her blocks last week and she has already completed Flamboyance. 
Initially she had difficulties because, of all of the blocks to choose to start with, she chose one which had somehow managed to sneak through my tester and unfortunately some of the diagrams needed to be reversed. So of course the pieces wouldn't fit... wouldn't you know it! 
Once she checked with me and I fixed up the diagrams she flew along. Although she  was all thumbs at the start it is obvious that she managed to overcome that. Great block.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Collection 11 - Where Did That Name Come From?

Collection 11
Well Collection 11 must be the most insane collection.  This collection contains about 500 individual pieces! Yet it doesn't contain the block with the most pieces from the entire collections.

these are gorgeous blocks but if you haven't paper pieced before then I strongly suggest you do the exercises in the tutorial I uploaded earlier.
C11 Mandola at Midnight

Don't you just love those little children who hold up an assortment of fingers declaring I'm Three and what could me more enjoyable than a Rose Garden... well a rose garden that is maintained by someone else. I live opposite a TAFE college which taught horticulture. The students practiced on my garden and I enjoyed the fruits of their labour. Carol's blocks I'm Three and Rose Garden
C11 The Rose Garden

Mandola at Midnight - yes I did design this at midnight. I had received QNM just that day but being very busy didn't have the opportunity to read it until bedtime. This became another night of little sleep and so I decided I may as well get up and have a go at designing my own mandola as the directions seemed so easy :)
To read more about this block and also to see Carol's block click here.
C11 I'm Three

Lynn Hewitt is a NSW quilter who teaches throughout the state. At one retreat I attended she taught sashiko and everyone in the class agreed it was a most relaxing pastime.
C11 Lynn  Loves Sashiko

Tall Ships was a variation on a block that I found in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. I can't remember which issue but it was an early one. The original block was an eight point star and didn't resemble ships at all... shows you how poor I am at trying to modify something... new block though
C11 Tall Ships

Hunter's Web was supposed to be a log cabin. If you found you way into this cabin you might not find your way out. Carol's block
C11 Winter Sun

I know there is little Winter Sun apparent in this block but it is what I think the winter sun would be like in the cold northern hemisphere where the sun seldom shines in summer. Carol's  block is a lot brighter.



C11 The Hunter's Web