Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fiesta

Another week has passed by in a flash and we've celebrated Jess' 18th birthday. It seems like only yesterday that she was a chubby little one, now look at her! A beautiful young woman inside and out.
When we weren't celebrating or recovering from celebrating I took some time out to design yet more blocks on EQ7. Most of them are secret for now but I can show you this one that I designed last night for a block challenge on the Electric Quilt blog. The challenge involves using Fiesta from Michael Miller which has lots of large scale prints that are tricky to use in small scale but that wasn't going to stop me trying. I drafted this block in Patchdraw as I'm partial to paper pieced designs (I'm sure you hadn't noticed that, cough) and I find this the easiest way to use unusual but accurate shapes in EQ7. I'm still learning so I'm sure there is probably a better way of doing it but for now this works for me.  
As per usual I designed this block with secondary shapes in mind, that seems to be my style these days.
I'm not sure how easy it is to see the patterns in this colour way so here's another in solids which is much more defined.

The challenge is open to anybody, even those who scribble on paper ( I still do that too) and there are some great prizes up for grabs courtesy of Michael Miller and The Electric Quilt company. You might want to check it out for yourself. The challenge is open until March 11th. (Note. I'm not being sponsored to promote this I just thought I'd let you all know about the fun.)
Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Remix

It's a big week this week. Our baby turns 18 on Friday! I should be madly planning celebrations but instead I'm trying to ignore the fact that I appear to have developed man-flu. I say trying as it keeps breaking me out in a sweat then plunging me into the chills so it's fairly hard to ignore. I thought I'd get on and sew to take my mind  off it but by the time I climbed the stairs I wanted to curl up in a ball. I will have to satisfy myself (and therefore you too) with a WIP picture instead of a finished article.
I've been working on this EPP for a little while using lots of pretty screen printed fabrics from Karen Lewis textiles. I've used some of the templates from my Shields cushion (available in Quilt Now Issue 8) along with a newly drafted distorted hexagon template to link the elements together in a Shields Remix. All I need to add are the cornerstones then this top is ready for sashing and quilting. Fingers crossed for a finish early next week!
Now I'm off to chill out and will this man-flu to sod off. Catch you soon xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Shields

Issue 8 of Quilt Now hits the UK shops on Thursday. This month's theme is monochrome and you'll find that there's nothing dull about it! Lynne's Cherie quilt graces the front page and snuggled up next to it is my Shields cushion :)
I spent the Christmas holiday manically sewing EPP to get it ready for the magazine. It's a whopping 28"! I've included lots of step by step instruction in the hopes that confident beginnners will be able to tackle it as well as those more familiar with EPP. I used lots of Art Gallery Fabrics low volume prints and some rather delicious Free Spirit solids. I'm delighted with the end result! I'm sure it would look pretty in colour too :)
This month's block of the month technique is fast-flying geese . I do love a quick block!
The bonus companion project is a cushion this month. I'm sure it will be up  Available now on the Quilt Now website shortly too. I used the flying geese to create a chevron effect. Very quick but effective. The gorgeous prints are from Cleta by AGF in-house studio and Jungle Avenue by Sara Lawson both for Art Gallery Fabrics.
I'll be back later this week. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. Catch you soon x

Monday, 2 February 2015

Mystery BOM

I've been playing with EQ7 again, it's rather addictive! I'm enjoying it so much that I thought it might be fun to offer up a new block each month as a Mystery BOM. I'm expecting that the blocks will all be paper pieced in some way. I hope you'll consider sewing along with me so I'm not Billy-no-mates.

To kick off this time it's a 6" foundation pieced star block - Star Central.
I'll be making a sampler with the blocks that I post each month  but you can of course do what you like with yours.

Each month I'll post the templates, a colouring sheet and info sheet on our website so that they're all in one place. I'll obviously blog it too so you know when the new blocks are released. If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom.
So there you have it, month one up and ready for use now. Tell your friends if you feel so inclined, the more the merrier!
Catch you soon x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Mixed up and muddled up

Some time last year I bought myself a copy of EQ7 in the hope that it would help me to design quilts in a bit more detail than I managed to achieve with TouchDraw. It sat untended for a very long time because I just couldn't wrap my head around all the learning that was needed to get to grips with it. Last week I pulled up my big girl pants and started reading the manual. I have only just scratched the surface of what can be achieved with the programme so far but I'm really enjoying the creative freedom that it delivers! You know how much I love a tessellating design, well I've come up with a really versatile one this time. I'd like to introduce - Mixed up and muddled up.

This foundation pieced block contains 26 pieces which fit together in 7 sections. I had some happy mail from Pink Castle Fabrics this week in the shape of the new Cotton and Steel range and I wasted no time in chopping into it to try out this block. I've used fabrics from Tokyo Train Ride, Playful, Cookie Book, Mesa and Mochi along with a print from one of last year's collections, Mustang.
It looks pretty as it is but when you put multiples of four blocks together,well, that's when the real magic happens! I've made four blocks so far and I can't decide which layout I want to stick with. The beauty of EQ7 is that I was able to scan the finished block and tessellate it so that I can see the potential layouts in advance :) Here are just a few of the options:
option 1
 I just love all the secondary patterns that spring out!
option 2

option 3

option 4
It is my intention to make a full-sized quilt with this design when Jen Kingwell's first fabric collection, Gardenvale, hits the stores in April (I think). I'd really appreciate some help deciding which layout to opt for!
I've uploaded the templates and a colouring sheet to Payhip in case any of you are interested in trying out your own version.
I'll look forward to seeing your thoughts on which layout option I should go for. Catch you soon x 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Zippy

Issue 7 of Quilt Now is in stores now. It's one of my favourite issues so far! So many pretty projects inside from lots of new-to-me designers.
This month's block of the month technique is Trapunto style bows. I thought we could all do with a quick, fun project at this time of year so this month's BOM project is a zipped pouch. I used Katy's fabulous Priory Square range for this version.
The pouch is around 10 1/2" x 14 1/2" so you can fit lots of stuff in it. It's my newest obsession, I've made 7 so far, I think I might need an intervention! I'm on binding duty this weekend so that I can send some of these pouches out to the first 5 lovely folks who bought the Doris project bag pattern at the end of last year.
Hoping you all have a good weekend. Catch you soon x

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Shameless

I'm popping in to wish you all a very belated Happy New Year! I had grand plans for a recap of the past year but amidst all the pattern writing I had to get done in the last few weeks I ran out of steam. I think that in itself sums up the past year! It's been a very busy year creatively and personally. As usual it's great to have been able to share it with you. Here are some of my creative highlights...

Lots of people have been posting motivational words to live by for the year which gave me cause to think what word I could live by for a year. I've chosen what I think is an unlikely motivator...
Now I don't mean I'm going to have no shame so don't panic, there'll be no nude pics of me any time soon ;) What I do mean is that I will stop apologising to myself for so many things... I'm an all or nothing kind of girl and this year I'm going to own that without embarrassment! This year is a big year for us a family. Jess turns 18 next month, Yvonne turns 21 again(cough, she's 20 years older than me) and I turn 40. I think if ever there was a justification for being shameless then there are 3 good reasons right there.
Catch you soon x