Sunday, 7 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop = Eye Candy

Hello and welcome to another blog hop. This one is different, I promise. I won't repeat the things I wrote for the New Bloggers Blog Hop, though you can read them on the 'About Me' tab at the top if you're interested. Just a warning - this post will be a little bit longer than usual, but it is full of eye candy so hopefully you'll enjoy it.

I was asked to do this blog hop by three different people, and I truly recommend that you take a look at their blogs if you don't know them already. I have a special connection with each of these ladies:

Helen of Till we Quilt Again lives in New Jersey, USA. I met Helen through the online Bloggers' Quilt Festival earlier this year. Helen announced that she and I must have been separated at birth, because we both have very similar tastes. Helen's quilt below probably says it better than I can. I adore this quilt.

Helen's from Till We Quilt Again 

- Vreni of Oops-Lah is a Swiss lady who currently lives in Singapore. The connection there is that Vreni and her husband are both accountants, just like my husband and I. Vreni puts a lot of work into each of her quilts and they are all beautiful.

Vreni's fish quilt - there's even some Kaffe Fassett ones in there!

- Wendy of The Crafter's Apprentice lives in the UK. Wendy and I both have the same initials (WW) and we both admire the work of Wendy Williams - another crafter with WW initials (more on her later). Wendy is making it her mission to try out as many crafts as possible.

Wendy's blackwork embroidery

1. What am I working on?

Well, I've only just realised this now after posting the photo of Helen's quilt above, but my Trellis Crossroads may well have been subconsciously inspired by Helen's quilt at the top of this post.

Trellis Crossroads from Modern Bee book

Note any similarities? Bright colours on a very dark background. I've had some batik charm squares lying around for a year, and I wanted to try out the Trellis Crossroads pattern, so I made this mini. It's 40" x 40" and I intend to turn it into a wall hanging.

I love the colours, but I've discovered that Batiks are very difficult to hand quilt because they are woven very densely. I've given up on the hand quilting and am now going for a combination of hand and machine quilting, both in hot pink.

I'm also still working on "Your Place or Mine?" BOM by Wendy Williams of Material Obsession in Sydney. This is wool felt applique all done by hand. It started a year ago and I'm at least 80% done. This photo just shows the centre diamond - I have done more than that.

my progress

Wendy William's finished quilt

It's going to be amazing when it's finished.

When I'm not quilting, I love doing embroidery. Both Vreni and Wendy mentioned my Gingerbread Village.

my Gingerbread Village by The Victoria Sampler

Would you believe that I've just ordered the pattern and accessories for the Halloween House? We don't even really get into Halloween in New Zealand, but this house is so cute, and we all loved candy corn when we visited USA at Halloween time. I hand dyed the linen for roof myself, so that was a learning experience. I had to mix black and purple to get a lovely dark shade shown in the photo below. The accessories pack contains all the cute beads used on the house below.

photo from The Victoria Sampler

I'm also supposed to be working on this needlelace embroidery which has been untouched for 2 years, but will be finished in 2014:

Needlelace embroidery

Of course I've also got other projects on the go too, but I won't list them all here or this post will never be finished.

2. Where do I get my inspiration from?

I found a lot of inspiration in the online Bloggers' Quilt Festival held back in May. These festivals are held twice a year so I recommend that you keep an eye out for the next one in October. Anyone can enter, and anyone can vote.

I just loved this quilt made by Lori of Sew French. It's called Blown' in the Wind and it's all hand quilted in free style lines and circles to represent the wind moving through the trees. This quilt deservedly won the Hand Quilted section of the festival in May 2014.

"Blowin' In the Wind" quilt by Sewfrench w/Oakshott fabrics
Lori's quilt - Blown' in the Wind 

I've browsed blogs for a few years now. I follow about 150 blogs via Bloglovin. It's such a time saver because you don't need to keep visiting the blogs to see when people have posted, Bloglovin keeps track of it all for you. I save photos of quilts that I like, and revisit them when I'm looking for inspiration.

I joined Instagram a few weeks ago too - @wendysquiltsandmore
I was a bit hesitant to join, but I wanted to see how other people were going with their Mini Medallion quilt a longs, and they were using Instagram rather than Flickr, so I had to sign up. Instagram tends to be more photos of work in progress than blogs, but I've found it to be an source of inspiration.

I don't buy a lot of quilt books, but I do have about 5 Kaffe Fassett books. I love his use of colour and the unique quilt designs he comes up with.  I've made his Tumbling Blocks and Bordered Diamonds patterns, both in non-Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Tumbling Blocks

Bordered Diamonds

I also love Wendy Williams designs. She doesn't have her own blog, but she is on Facebook
and has an online pattern shop

This is a table runner / wall hanging that I made from one of Wendy's patterns:

my Flower Garden wall hanging

the wool felt applique 

3. How is my work different from others?
I'm surprised at the number of people who have said their work isn't any different from other people's. I think everyone's work is different in some way. Whether it's the fabrics, the colours or the stitching, I think everyone's work is unique a reflective of them.

I tend to take a pattern and change it up a bit to fit what I like, and what will suit my house. I made these cushions by merging two of Wendy William's patterns:

my wool felt applique cushion
Wendy William's design

I hope you've enjoyed reading a bit more about what I enjoy making. In retrospect it's all very bright, and maybe that's why the green needlelace has sat untouched for two years - it's not bright enough to hold my interest. Here's a sneak peak at my next needlelace project. The classes start on 20 September and I've already done about 10 hours prep. I might be more successful with this one. Can I turn this piece of linen into the picture below it? Stay tuned to find out.

my fabric and thread

the design we are going to make in just 3 lessons!!


Maryse said...

Wow! You were right about eye candy...:-) I must say that "Your Place or Mine?" looks fabulous, it's amazing, so many details. Beautiful work Wendy!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

I agree that everyone's work is unique in some way, and I enjoy your bright and vibrant colors. How fun to have WW friends - that is a neat connection!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

wonderful work on everyone's part! love the bright colors, the fish, and the black work

Oops-Lah said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading about your quilting and crafting adventures and of course seeing all the eye candy. Thanks also for your generous words about my quilts.

HeathersSewingRoom said...

I loved reading about your work and also giving me the chance to get to know you and your work. I really enjoy seeing all the different crafts you work with. Thanks for sharing.

Angie in SoCal said...

Wow is right! What eye candy, Wendy. I love how bright and colorful your projects are. This has been a fun Hop. I did mine on Sept 1 - it was a kick. I'm so glad to get to know you. Thanks for saying yes to those three ladies for this hop.

margaret said...

so many wonderful things shared with us today, lots of pinning for me to do. The needlelace is exquisite and the new one you plan to do looks wonderful too

Wendy said...

you know I'm already a fan of your work, it's great to see some pieces I hadn't seen before. The needlelace looks amazing!

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

I mentioned that we may have been separated at birth however you received ALL the creative and artistic genes. It is amazing to see the eclectic talents you have! What a wonderful collection you have created up to this point and I truly look forward to following & seeing what your gifted mind unfolds in the future.

Marijke said...

Beautiful quilts and other works!
groetjes van Marijke

Carol Q said...

what gorgeous fabulous eye candy. I've never seen needlelace like that before - so looking forward to your end product!

Raewyn said...

Interesting post Wendy, your projects sure are vibrant and have so much detail and work in them. Beautiful!

Unknown said...

Hi Wendy, the needle lace example for your class is lovely. I have seen many examples and both Scarlet Letter and Essamplaire have reproductions but you are doing a class. Is the class here in New Zealand? I am curious that we may be offered something local like this! Your work is lovely and I visit often for a peek. Love all your Wendy Williams cushions. Rae.

Mystic Quilter said...

Lovely post Wendy. Bordered Diamonds - I was interested with that lovely one as I have the fabrics here to make this one next. Your cushions are amazing, you obviously have lots of patience. I will have to go along to the site for Wendy Williams.

Julie said...

Hi - I have loved getting to know about you and your work a little more through this post. I especially love how you aren't afraid to use colour.

Granny Maud's Girl said...

All beautiful work, but I especially love your interpretations of the other Wendy's designs.
(Don't tell Jo and Serena, but I downloaded the Instagram app, even if I haven't logged in or anything. :))

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

A very informative post Wendy. You have a wide range of sewing/embroidery interests, all of which are lovely. I've not seen a Gingerbread Village like yours - gorgeous! Your felt appliqué cushion is a beautiful adaptation of Wendy William's designs.

Anonymous said...

Awww... I just do my thing and never think that I might inspire another. I feel like I take so much inspiration, from others, it's nice to know that I might be giving back! Thank you, Wendy, for the shoutout!!

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

Thanks Lori - and for not minding that I referred people to your blog without asking first. I got on a roll writing the post and just had to publish it. I didn't think you'd mind a few extra visitors!