Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Am I bird-brained?

This last couple of months I've had a veritable smorgasbord of birds visiting our palm trees or resting in their shade atop the front fence, many arriving just before dawn for a date with my camera. I wonder if they are telling their friends?

Here's a few recent avian friends who dropped by to say hello!

Torresion Imperial Pigeon...
Long Tailed Cuckoo (also known as the Common Koel)...
Metallic Starling...
Rainbow Lorikeets...
It's no wonder I draw so many birds in my designs - they are always at my door, inspiring me with their beauty!

If you like stitching pretty birds there's a number of designs available in my shop as instant pdf patterns.
"Sparrow" is a free design you can download, and the others are in the shop ready to purchase...


...and don't forget the 26 pattern set of the Rosedaisy Alphabet...

...or for a larger project, my "Under The Apple Tree" quilt!

Now, what do you think I'm stitching at the moment???
Birds, did you say 'birds'??

ha ha....well, yeh, of course...


Monday, October 20, 2014

TUTORIAL - Rosedaisy project number 5

This month's Rosedaisy Designs stitchery to feature in a tutorial is 
"Love Your Life"...

I really, really, love this design - it was a joy to create and stitch, but as I only had a very small amount of that sweet Tanya Whelan fabric to use, the project to display "Love Your Life" had to be small.
So I gave it some thought and decided no matter how small the finished project was going to be, it could still look fantastic if I used a couple of techniques that allowed both the sitchery and the fabric to shine!

So this is what I made...

 For those who would like to use the same "Love Your Life" stitchery design as I have in this wall hanging it's HERE as a single pattern in my shop, or included in the full 'Rosedaisy Designs' set of ten stitcheries HERE.

Let's begin!

Trim the "Love Your Life" block to 6" x 8½".
(alternatively, use a stitchery block you already have)

Cut two pieces of favourite fabric, 4½" x 8½"....

I only had a 10" wide piece of this floral fabric, but was able to fussy cut from one 4½" wide length the two pieces of border fabric I needed. By fussy cutting I balanced the design on both sides of the stitchery. See how the rose posy is in the middle?

I measured out 2¼" each way from the centre of a posy before cutting my 4½" wide pieces.
I also measured equal distances between the top and bottom edges of the posy...

Machine sew the two lengths of border fabric down the left and right side of the embroidery block. Press the seams open...

Make a quilt sandwich by basting some scrap wadding (batting) behind the block, then the backing fabric behind the wadding. I use spray baste, but you may like to use safety pins through all layers.
I cut my wadding and backing fabric about 1 or 2 inches larger than the quilt top.
You may prefer to use fusible Pellon but I have a fair amount of small cotton quilt wadding offcuts and hand quilting them is so easy that I tend to use them...

Now to the hand quilting. I wanted something that stood out!
Last year I purchased a set of round quilting rulers from Lori Holt and just *love* them.
The smallest has a 2½" diameter and was perfect for a mini quilt like this...

You can use THIS method for tracing shapes which I shared in a recent tutorial for quilting larger circles, but as my fingers have some issues with small fiddly things (result of a botched finger operation in 2010) I chose to trace them this time.
I tested a Collins Air Erase fabric marker (here) on some scrap fabric and it washed out immediately, so I proceeded to draw random purple circles across the top of the wall hanging...

The directions for this pen told me that it could be washed out, or leave it and the lines would disappear on their own within 48 hours. 
I hand quilted the circles with white Perle #12 thread, and put the project aside. The purple lines were gone in just 24 hours and the result was lovely...

Next step was to cut two 5" squares of fabric and fold them diagonally to make two triangles.
I cut two 2½" wide lengths of floral fabric from the small amount still remaining and made a length of quilt binding (I have a tutorial for making and attaching binding HERE).

After stitching the triangles to the top corners of the back of the small quilt, attach your binding around the front edge with a " seam and trim away the excess wadding and backing.
Turn the binding over to the back and slip stitch in place.
All done!

Use a pencil or thin piece of dowel to hang your completed mini quilt...

I also have a tutorial HERE to show more detail on making the corner hanging sleeves, but without adding binding afterwards. It's so easy and effective!

I'd love to see photos if you use this tutorial, so if you finish the project using quilted circles or the "Love Your Life" block please send them to me at my email address HERE.

Just in case you're wondering why I didn't use a Frixion pen to trace the circles...

I won't use them. Yes, they disappear with heat, but they do not disappear permanently. In fact, low temperatures will cause them to re-appear.
Another reason I won't use them anymore is because on some fabrics they actually leave a permanent 'light' line that never goes away, and I ruined a quilted bag using the Frixion pen. It was awful - no matter which way you looked at it you could see those lines. :-(
 Even the manufacturer does not promote using these pens on fabric because they were not designed for that purpose.

But ladies, it's YOUR choice. If you're happy using a Frixion pen, then bless you! 
I'm only sharing my thoughts because of some questions I received last week on Facebook and Instagram. :-)

Block 20 of the Lord's Prayer Quilt is HERE in the shop now as a free download.
We are so close to finishing this quilt! How many blocks have you stitched so far?
If you haven't seen this free Block of the Week before, you can learn all about it HERE.

Bless you heaps!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Scripture ~ Ephesians 4:1

On the first day of each month I ask the Lord to give me a Scripture that I can take deep into my heart during the following four weeks; a Scripture that will teach me something I may not have fully grasped in the past; a Scripture that teaches me more about my relationship with Him and His with me.

Ephesians 4:1 is my October homework.

There's so much to ponder, pray over and take on board in this passage from the apostle Paul. 
He was a prisoner for serving Jesus, and right now in some areas of the globe other Christians are prisoners for Jesus too. They really live it out, they genuinely walk a life worthy of the high calling God has placed on the life of every Christian. Many have not chosen to be prisoners for the Gospel, but so often in life what we imagine will happen simply does not. The unexpected meets us at almost every corner, and for my own experience, I am rarely prepared for it.

Ephesians 4:1 calls me.
God calls me.

God has called you. 

Am I living a life worthy of His call?
I doubt it.
But does that stop Him reaching out to me? No. 
He made me for a purpose. His purpose. And every day as I sit at His feet, even the quiet times when  my mind is loud and determined to distract me from His Word and my prayers, He is there. Waiting, loving, reaching out, calling me to fulfil His purpose. Reminding me that I am made in His image, and I have value and a reason to live. 

So this month I'm looking inside myself and I've asked God's Holy Spirit to guide me closer to the heart of Jesus and to show me what needs to change within and without so that I can grow into a life worthy of my holy calling. 
If I follow and listen? Life can only be more of an adventure than it already is, even around the corner.

I pray you are already on that journey...


Saturday, October 18, 2014

2015 preview of Elefantz...

The clock is ticking down.
Time to make plans for 2015....

Trippin' down the time line...oh yeh. 

1930 here I come.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The final block, freebies, and a new design...

Can you believe it, we've come to the end of our 12-week Shabby Roses Churn Dash Stitchalong!
Today I have the final block ready for downloading -

I have seriously *loved* this project, from start to finish it brought me immense joy and satisfaction.

The pattern for "Shabby" is HERE in my shop.
Next Friday I will share the finishing instructions to bring all twelve blocks together into a quilt!
Will you have all your blocks ready by then?

This week I have been working on four designs for publication in an Australian magazine next year. 
All of them feature hand quilting so I have officially decided that I am hooked on it!

Here's a peek at one of them. It's a very small wall hanging called "Birdy" and I've used the prettiest of Valdani Overdyed thread to stitch the block...
The sweet Birdy is surrounded by one inch squares of fabrics that blend beautifully with the thread...
I also used a single strand of the same Valdani thread for the hand quilting...
The finished hanger measures just 8" x 10". 
Perfectly small and sweet I think.

The 1st month of the Jenny of Elefantz STITCHERY CLUB has been emailed to all subscribers, and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has joined in! 
The response was overwhelming and I'm so excited about what's in store for everyone in the months ahead!

 Subscriptions are now closed until November 9th when they will open again for one week before the 2nd month's patterns are emailed out.
If you missed out this time around you can join then and never miss a month!

In the meantime non-subscribers can now purchase the 1st month's pattern set HERE in the shop.

Two subscriptions bounced when I emailed out this month's pattern set, apparently due to an incorrect email address supplied during the subscription process.
If you are a subscriber and have not received your Stitchery Club email would you first check your 'spam' or 'junk' box in case it slipped in there, and if you do not find it please email me HERE

Yesterday I re-released some simple stitcheries you might like to use for Christmas gifts as free downloads in my shop, plus there was a newbie that I've had for a couple of years but never published as a pattern. 
Head over to the shop HERE to take advantage of these freebies, ok? They are only available for a limited time.

Enjoy your Friday, my friends!
I have plenty of stitching ahead of me, and another grain-free / sugar-free banana & date loaf to bake for my precious husband...cake and sewing, who can ask for more?