Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2011 Quilters Diary

Yesterday when I ventured out my front door there was a surprise parcel sitting on my door step. I was even more excited when I discovered it was from Universal Magazines, the publishing house of Homespun magazine and Quilters Companion. Had I ordered something which I had forgotten about (I often do this!).

I ripped open the packaging like an excited child and there before me was a lovely 2011 quilters diary. The cover was not familiar and I was fairly sure that I had not ordered this item, although I was thrilled to have it in my hands.
On closer inspection of its beautiful pages I was even more excited to find one of my own designs featured amongst the pages of June.

There on the glossy page before me was my "Wrens Amongst the Blossoms" bag. I was thrilled and could hardly wait to show off my discovery when the kids rolled through the door that afternoon. Here is a close up of the bag.

If you missed this embroidered bag pattern design it is available on the Stitching Cow website as a paper pattern or downloadable e-pattern.

Also keep your eyes open for this Quilters Dairy, Homespun magazine are currently running a special subscription offer and giving away this lovely diary as a bonus. I am hoping it will keep me more organized next year!!??

Until next time.
Have a great day.
Warmly Lenna

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Christmas Designs

This week I have been immersed in all things Christmas and I have some sneak peek photos of my progress to share with you.

For some time now I have been planning to make Christmas stockings for the kids. A few years ago I designed them but unfortunately they remained in my sketch book unable to see the light of day. Sadly I just never seemed to find the time to make them up. There were always too many things on the "to do list" and not enough hours in the day. That is until now.

I formalized the original sketches that I had drawn quickly in my sketch book. Here they are with coffee mug in the distance!

The I took up needle and tread and started to embroider. Once the stitcheries were complete I then set to work on the sewing machine and made three patchwork pieces each in a different colourway. I think the red is my favourite.

Before long they were beginning to look like Christmas stockings, much to the delight of the kids who were secretly watching my progress from afar.

To finish them off I crocheted a length from 8 ply cotton to make a bow and then fixed some brass bells to the ends. That way they will tinkle as little hands explore their contents on Christmas morning.

With three Christmas stockings now complete I set to work on a Christmas table runner design that had been buzzing around in my head for a few weeks.

Once it was sketched I started on the embroidery, which is always the part I enjoy most. Next I sewed the scalloped border and hand pieced the mini stars, they are so cute!
Here is the table runner taking shape;

Both of these new Christmas designs will be up on the Stitching Cow website next week, so look out for them. With 2 months before Christmas you will have plenty of time to stitch them up yourself.
Until next time happy stitching!
Warmly Lenna

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homespun Magazine Secret New Quilt Project for 2011

I am just coming back out into the light after completing a new secret quilt project for Homespun Magazine.

As usual I started at a leisurely pace only to find myself racing towards the publishing deadline at a fast and furious sprint. The lovely Catherine from Homespun magazine commissioned me for the project which was to include 18 small embroideries and a centre panel.

When I discovered a new pretty floral range from Moda which included happy Polk Dots I couldn't wait to begin.Before long the fat quarter bundle arrived at my door. It was so wonderful to look at that I just sat it on my old kitchen dresser to admire for a week. I proudly shared it with some of my sewing friends who called in for a cuppa during the week. They too "gooed and garred" over it which made me feel far more normal.

In hindsight to leave it sitting for a whole week just looking at it was probably not the most sensible idea, although I like to think that each time I passed it my vision for the quilt became clearer in my mind. Here is the patchwork fabric stack arranged in all its glory.

Next it was time to choose embroidery threads, another part of the design process I enjoy.

Soon embroidery blocks started to appear as did sketches of the overall layout. Although I confess I totally underestimated the brain power that was needed to design the quilt based on fat quarters. And I have to admit that the layout was redrawn a number of times before the maths stacked up (thank goodness for calculators)

I even employed Miss 10 to unpick a few seams sewn in error. Yes I make lots of mistakes too!

Despite my mishaps eventually the quilt started to take shape and I was able to catch a glimpse of the finishing line.

With less than one week to go and visitors from interstate begging to explore Tasmania, I made the brave decision to hand quilt. This meant a daily routine of sight seeing during the day, gourmet cooking of an evening and hand quilting late into the night.

With cotton threads sprinkled around my home, piles of fabric offcuts surrounding my workspace and coffee mugs lined up beside my sewing machine I wondered if other designers worked in such chaos. I even had chocolate wrappers jammed in my sewing bin, a timely and much appreciated birthday present from master 14.

As I wrapped the quilt and addressed it to the lovely Catherine of Homespun Magazine I glanced at the clock. I had made it and with 3 hours to spare...what was I so worried about???!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Free Hand Quilting

My new Redwork Quilt (which is another version of my appliqued Nursery Rhyme quilt) is now ready to enjoy.

I decided to free hand quilt each block and thought I would share with you some pictures of my progress. Free hand quilting is a pure joy. It is very relaxing and there is more freedom involved.

It is an interesting and effective way to add a sense of movement to your quilt. Usually free hand quilting is worked on a background area where you do not have to compete with seams. Quilting lines are typically flowing and I draw mine onto the quilt top as I work using a quick vanishing marker pen which is shown below.

You can also see the small quilting needle I use which is much smaller than an ordinary crewel needle (shown along side it)

Shown below are more tools of the trade including the hand quilting thread I love to use. Putting a rubber band around the spool stops the hand quilting thread from unwinding. I also use a rubber thimble to help grip the needle.

Here you can see the lines of hand quilting.

When free hand quilting I tend not to use a quilting hoop. Instead I roll the quilt to the area I am working, quilting towards myself and unrolling the quilt as needed. This means I can quilt much faster than normal.

And here is the completed Redwork Quilt.

This quilt pattern is now available on the Stitching Cow website and I have a limited number of fabric kits on offer. Jump on over to the information page where you will discover more photos of this Redwork Quilt and details about the monthly pattern program.

Hope you like it and that I have tempted you to have a try at free hand quilting. You'll love it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nursery Rhyme Fun

Not long to go now before my Redwork Nursery Rhyme Quilt is finished and ready for launch.
I am in the process of hand quilting the star blocks in the corners and then attaching the binding.

In keeping with the Nursery Rhyme theme I cam across a blog post by Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studio. Salley is one of my favourite craft designers and I just had to share it with you.

Salley has just completed a project starring the Black Hen from Hickety Pickety. Her creativity and work is simply amazing.

Go there now and check it.
Pocketful of Borders - My Black Hen

Back to my quilting!
Warmly Lenna

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Redwork Nursery Rhyme Quilt in Progress

This week I have been working on the Redwork version of my Nursery Rhyme Quilt.

After launching my appliqued nursery rhyme quilt last year I had requests for a Redwork version, which at the time I thought was a wonderful idea. Truth is, although the idea was a good one I was not enthused about reworking the design. It kind of felt like remaking the same quilt, hence my lack of enthusiasm. It is always so much fun creating a new design for the first time. Reworking a design never seems to have the same excitement. If you have ever had to make the same pattern twice you will know what I mean.

So after weeks of no action, I decided to enlist the help of a wonderful sewing fairy who completed the embroidered blocks for me. I was thrilled with them when they arrived at my doorstep, although I felt I needed to add a few more details to the designs before I was completely happy with them. Reworking the original applique design to a Redwork design involved more work than I expected.

I even found some new fabrics that I felt were ideal for this Redwork project. You would think that this would have given me the motivation I needed but unfortunately the completed blocks remained in my cupboard, as did the bolts of fabric.

But this week, after ordering even more fabrics for a new project in the planning with Homespun magazine, I just had to take action. As hubby keeps reminding me bolts of fabric just can't keep coming in, eventually some has to go out. His logic not mine but I know he has a point.

When I laid the blocks out I felt that I needed to make even more changes, and so I totally new quilt layout started to take shape.

Here are some more photos of the quilt in progress.

I am pleased to report that the quilt is now together and this week I will be hand quilting it. So stay tuned I will have a photo of my Redwork Nursery Rhyme Quilt by next week.

Until then happy quilting!
Warmly Lenna

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homespun Magazine Felt Christmas Decorations

Have you checked out this month's issue of Homespun Magazine?

It's fabulous and I am thrilled to be apart of it. I have a sweet little collection of felt Christmas decorations to share with you, they're perfect for the tree.

Readers in Australia will know all about Christmas in July, although international readers may be scratching their heads and wondering what all the Christmas fuss is about.

You see July is chilly here in Australia so it is a perfect opportunity to cook up the traditional Christmas foods without breaking out in a hot sweat. It's our opportunity to experience the festive season all over again, and crafters embrace the chance to start on their Christmas sewing.

That's why each year I look forward to Homespun Magazine's Christmas in July issue and this year it has exceeded all my expectations. Projects include a Christmas quilt, Santa sack, a cute trio of felt Santas, and an amazing wall hanging. There's even a Christmas card holder and of course my little collection of felt Christmas decorations. I love it all!

Here's a peek at my felt project for you.

And a close up of my little Robin

These felt Christmas decorations can be whipped up in a weekend, so grab a copy of Homespun Magazine and start stitching. Hope you enjoy making them as much as I did.

Warmly Lenna

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Day Trip with Hubby for Patchwork Fabrics

Last week I went on a day trip with Hubby to a regional field day on a quest for patchwork fabric. I don't usually tag along with Hubby as he goes about his work but last week was different because he lured me away from my sewing machine and computer with the promise of patchwork fabric and gardening stalls. He knew that I would find such a combination irresistible.

Many of you may be unfamiliar with field days. They are usually of an agricultural nature and are held outdoors in the middle of a paddock. There are rows and rows of tents and stall holders offering everything from tractors through to hardware. Anything really that a farmer may find of interest.

Thankfully the woman folk are not left out and there is a section full of craft, jewellery and home ware type stalls. As promised there were  a few patchwork fabric stalls and I could not resist coming home with some bits and pieces for the stash.  I came across this cute little cupcake display of gorgeous little patchwork fabrics.

And I also found this panel of patchwork fabric on a Japanese stall that I could not resist for Miss 9. She fancies herself as a dancer so you can see its appeal factor.

Here is the panel which I am hoping will be big enough to make a bag out of.

The garden stalls did not disappoint either and I discovered some beautiful white Lilly bulbs to plant this season and some lush tubs of parsley for the herb patch.
All in all I had  a fabulous day and I know that Hubby enjoyed having me along for the ride. Now I just have to put my new patchwork fabrics to good use.

Until next time.
Warmly Lenna

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Josie's Cot Quilt

It's finally done, a clot quilt for my new Neice.

When my sister gave birth to a new little girl back in September I promised her a new cot quilt. After meeting and sharing a first cuddle, it was decided that the quilt was to be in reds and creams. Our next get together was to be in March so I new I had heaps of time?!!!

Well so I thought!

A week before I was to leave on my March holiday the rotary cutter came out and this new quilt started to take shape. My new Neice lives on  a farm, hence why I incorporated her home, a fence, some trees and  a bird. The bird was particularly special because it was drawn by my Miss 9 who was eager to contribute.

I'm pleased to say that the new cot quilt was very well received and my little Neice was promptly wrapped in it. I hope she could feel the love I carefully put into each stitch.

I thought perhaps that I should make this cot quilt into a pattern.
What do you think?

Warmly Lenna

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Favourite Pin Cushion Pattern

Do you have a favourite pin cushion pattern?

I have a confession to make.

In January I forgot my friend's birthday. She never forgets my birthday so you can imagine how bad I felt. Trouble was her birthday fell in early January and since I was still in Christmas and holiday mode, I forget to update my new calendar for the year. The calendar has all the family and friend birthdays written clearly in black pen, and usually this sytsem works,that is with the exception of all birthdays that fall in early January.

My friend was away on holidays at the time which did soften my forgetfulness just  a little bit, but I still felt I had to make it up to her. Especially considering that she never forgets my birthday and always surprises me with something wonderful.

So when she admired one of my little pin cushions recently I knew I had to find some special fabric and some time to make one for her. My friend is a lover of Japanese fabrics so I searched my fabric cupboard high and low until I found the perfect Japanese fabric to suit.

The pin cushion she admired was luckily one of my favourite pin cushion patterns. I have made lots of them and they are scattered around my home so that I always have pins close and handy.

Here is a picture of it for you.


And I found an old button amongst my button collection that was perfect.

Making pin cushions is so much fun because they are quick and easy.
Although the pumpkin style pin cushion is my favourite I do like designing other styles that are fun and decorative as well. The skyes the limit really.
Here are a few of my other pin cushion designs.


Pin Cushion Polly is  a pin cushion doll I designed a few years ago.

Here's another novel pin cushion I designed (although I never got around to writing up the pattern for this one). He is rather cute isn't he!

You can find all these pin cushion patterns and more at Stitching Cow.

And here are a few other pin cushion patterns from flickr to inspire you as well.








Hope you have found some inspiration for making your next pin cushion pattern.

Warmly Lenna

Warmly Lenna


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