Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas..................

Today I'm breaking my own rule and posting a non-CWBQ topic............... this wonderful group of women, I wish you peace, joy and happiness for this festive season. May you have a wonderful day however you celebrate, if you're dreaming of a white Christmas or like us a hot one - enjoy!

Merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2010.

I'll be back in the New year when all the festivities are over and I can once again concentrate on the 'Bride'.




Dear friends, I Have looked in my stash and found a most wonderful background Portobello Market, creamy beige #3944 by 3 Sisters, bought about a year ago - well you guessed it short 1 yard and they have no more. If anyone has a hint please let me know, Love Princess Ei

CWB Meeting group

Hi it's just me Princess Ei writing to say how much I enjoy your site Lizzie, and going back to previous blogs, I found a wonderful one posted in October about your meeting with Lorraine, sharing ideas and blocks completed. I shall now recommend that to the four Princesses in our group who are awaiting the pattern and shall start in January. What a great idea to have a CWB Group fun meeting Thankd Lizzie Princess Ei

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Having Fun and Finished Block #8

I'm really enjoying the applique process and have managed to finish my third block. The photos aren't great and I'll try to get better ones to post soon. I think I'll start one of the blocks with lots of leaves now so I don't have all of them to do towards the end of the blocks. The cherries and grapes for this block were needle-turned instead of making a template and gathering them like I have before. This sped up the process a lot as I used to gather them and then press, starch and press before stitching them down. This time I just drew around the shape and needle-turned a small edge under. I'm not an expert but one tip I've learned is if the circles don't seem to be round enough, just stitch around them again and you can draw those little points in more. Our youngest DD has arrived home for the Christmas holidays so we'll be watching Christmas movies and doing some more stitching. Hugs, Jan Mac Aussie

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's been a good month for firsts

Can you believe it?  Three of us have completed our first blocks this month, Paula, Jan Mac, and now me.  This is my first completed applique block... ever.  I give credit to the fantastic tutorials and tips I learned in blog-land and on the internet, as well as some great books and DVDs.  I'm loving applique.

After showing you 6 choices for the base of block 5, what did I pick?  None of them.  :-)

I REALLY enjoyed hearing your opinions and sincerely appreciated the feedback!  It certainly proved that there isn't a right answer, as every choice had at least one "vote".  It helped to ask you, my friends... I learn so much from each of you.

My original choice, when I began the block, was fabric #5.  But towards the end I knew it wasn't working the way I'd hoped.  I liked the pattern on #4 and it had the look I wanted, but it felt like it might be too much green.  Number 6 was my second choice.  The color felt like it kept the attention on the flowers and basket and still grounded the block, but I didn't care for the pattern in the fabric. What to do?  Go shopping, of course!  I visited a couple of quilt shops and found a hybrid... it combines the color from #6 with a pattern that feels like #4. 

Last night I shared it with the ladies in my neighborhood book club.  The gals liked running their fingers on the stems.  Funny.  Well I had to try it too.  It does feel neat. :-)

I'm itching to move to the next block, but have a little thing called Christmas that I need to focus on first.  Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to everyone!  It's a gift to belong to this group and have so many people that enjoy watching the journey with us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Second block finished # 4

The photos aren't very good but I finished my second block last night. I enjoyed making the grapes and think I'll stitch block # 8 next. I chose the teal blue flowers in the first block to match the blue in the vase. I've been enjoying the cricket and stitching while it's too hot to go outside much. I'll prep the next block today as tomorrow is a work day. Hope everyone else is progressing with their stitching too. Hugs Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my ostriches are ready to take off

here is my block 18,just two left now,merry chrismas and a happy, quilty year to all of you,susi


Hi everyone, I am also new to this marvelous group and will start Jan 2010 too - right now looking for background and I am enjoying all your suggestions Ei

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My First Block Too

Firstly thank you Lizzie for starting this blog where can share our journey with making this fabulous quilt as well as being inspired by all your lovely blocks. I feel very fortunate to have found so many friends with a love of applique. I bought the pattern a couple of weeks ago when I visited Corliss's shop in Castlemaine and of course I fell in love with the quilt when I saw it up close. I bought 3 different fabrics for the backgrounds and a separate one for the borders, partly because they didn't have enough fabric for the whole quilt but also because I like to have a varied background. They are all very similar shades of a light tan and some have a flower motif. The border fabric has more of a print which should show well with less applique. I started block number 1 first like many others here and I didn't like my colour choice so much while working with it, but I'm happy with it now it's finished. I'm half way through block 4 now and I'm loving the process. I live a couple of hours away from Castlemaine, just near Shepparton, in Victoria, and spend most of my time making quilts to donate. I've just been very busy making and co-ordinating quilts to be distributed to the areas devastated by bush fires here in Victoria and now the hot weather is here again I've decided to get back into appliquing a quilt for me. I give most of my quilts away but I love the civil war repros and the applique patterns from that era so I'm going to enjoy the journey with you all. My other blogs are and Hope to show another photo of a finished block soon. Hugs Jan Mac

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My first block

Hi every one, I just finished my first block, wow do I feel good.
Now I'm off to prepare my second one.
It is nice to be able to share this joy with you all, tanks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

block number 17

another block finished in germany,i changed these" big pink pig-birds" into some bluebirds,have a nice time all of you,susi

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Photo's............

As promised I took some more photo's of Corliss' quilt yesterday. Yesterday was my patchwork groups Christmas breakup/day out and Castlemaine was our destination, so that gave me the opportunity to not only see the Bride twice in one week, but of course to get some close up photo's for you all.
Interesting that none of us has actually done the turkey work on the table cloth, I think we've all done it in fabric haven't we? So on this one above you can see how Corliss has done the quilting on the border, very simple diagonal lines with outline quilting around all the applique............ I wasn't very keen on this block in the pattern, but after looking at how Corliss has done it, it has grown on me quite a lot. I love the colours in the rooster and the lacy look of the top orange butterfly. More of the border, I like how the vines change fabric so smoothly, I don't think I would have thought of changing fabric if I hadn't seen the way it looks.
How gorgeous is the needleturn? Plain outline quilting really is lovely, nothing to detract from the fabulous applique. Hope you've enjoyed seeing some more pics of this obsession of ours, I feel very priviliged to be able to take a trip down the road to spur on my enthusiasm when I hit the doldrums. I feel duty bound to spur you all on too! LOL!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ostrich fever...

The two male ostriches are done!!  Since the male ostrich is more colorful than the female, I decided to do two of them.  I'm still experimenting with eyes on all my people and critters...

I did this block pretty much without alteration except for the feet...I did change those.

Thanks to Walt Disney, when I see an ostrich I think of either feather dusters or French "can-can" dancers, holding up their many-layered skirts, or both!   Ooo-la-la!!  LOL

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Monday, November 30, 2009

One leaf, a butterfly and a decision

Oooo, nearly there!!! Tonight I'll stitch the last pieces on my first block, 1 leaf and the butterfly. 

The last pieces, that is, except for the base of the block. I've been playing around with choices from my stash and I'm down to the 6 below.


Since none of them were waving wildly at me saying "I'm it!", this could require a trip to my local quilt shops.  Perish the thought!  (Wink!)

Care to weigh in?  Please? 

After this block is done, I'm off to #20.  I already have a jump on it... I've traced the pieces and have picked fabrics.

I'm excited to start my next block, though, like many of you, time for it will be thin in the next few weeks.

Today I was wondering where I can display this when I'm done. Obviously this will require a new house!  ;-)

A Treat for everyone...........

Hi everyone, I have a little treat for you all today. Yesterday I took myself off to Threadbear to have a look at the new pattern being launched by Di Ford, you'll have to check out my personal blog later in the week to see how strong (not) I was! I met quite a few wonderful people/bloggers including Deb from 'Needles, Sticks & Hooks (again, it was wonderful to briefly meet you Deb) and a couple of 'potential' new members!! The Civil War Bride Quilt was hanging on the wall, along with many, many other wonderful quilts! Be still my beating heart!!!!
I just love that shop.
First off, I'm sorry that I couldn't get a full picture of the quilt, there were sooo many people there and I didn't think anyone would appreciate being asked to just move away so that I could fuss over how my photo would look ;0) !!
However, I did think that you would all appreciate some close ups more anyway? Now lets just hope that you can click and enlarge, sometimes it works for me, sometimes not!! I'm sorry now that I didn't get more, but I will be back there on Thursday so I'll see what I can do. Fabulous aren't they? It was also nice to get the chance to see how Corliss quilted it, I will have another look at the borders on Thursday too! Now onto the matter of who to allow to join the blog! I sent an email out to everyone last week, I had a couple bounce back saying wrong address! Most of you would have received it though and a few of you replied. To recap for those that didn't get the email: I had an email from someone a couple of weeks ago asking if she could join the blog/group. This lady is making a version of 'The Bird of Paradise Quilt', she has drafted her own patterns and has nearly finished, she is actually quilting now! My question was, do we allow anyone that is making any version of this quilt to join, or do we adhere to the policy of only those making the quilt from Corliss' pattern? Which is what is stated in the blurb on the sidebar! We have all stuck to the 'rule' of discussing only the CWBQ on this blog, most of us have our own blogs to talk and post about other things. I know that each and everyone of us has put something of ourselves into our blocks, some of us have changed things around and added little details that make it personal to ourselves, but we are all still using the original Threadbear pattern. My personal opinion was that we should stick to that doctrine and it seems that the majority that replied felt the same. I received 17 replies and 16 said keep it for those of us following the Threadbear pattern. So that's what we are doing! If you have bought the pattern and will be using that pattern to create your quilt, albiet with changes, then you may join us. What I have decided to do though is to create links on the side bar to any websites/blogs/quilters that are currently, or have finished a version of the original Bird of Paradise quilt top!! We all, as quilters, are naturally interested in how other quilters have interpreted the original top and in seeing how others quilts look finished. I will email this lady today and tell her no and why we came to that decision. Ok, confession time.............. I haven't finished my bird and grape block yet!!!!!! I know, I know, It's been hanging around for over a month now with just one leaf left to stitch! The trouble with Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere (apart from a lack of snow!) is that it's also end of school year, school concerts, graduations (granddaughter going to high school next year), dance concerts, hot weather (hmmm maybe) gardens growing, weeds growing and on and on.......... that's my excuse anyway, lol! I will finish this block but I can't see that I will be starting another until after New Year, my feeling is that I won't feel guilty if I don't start the next one!!! I will keep posting though and watching what everyone is doing and I check all your personal blogs too all the time. Have a great week everyone, talk to you soon................

One peacock done

I continue to plod along at a snail's pace on my blocks and this is my third completed. Not ready to do the bride or groom yet so I chose this block with plans to put a rooster in the peacock's place - somehow a rooster didn't fit into this block unless his tailfeathers had been plucked so back to Mr. Peacock who I enlarged and gave new feet. Still having much fun with these and enjoying the beautiful blocks that are posted. Thanks to all for the inspiration. Debra

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Lone Table

I am still here, but have been distracted to more urgent matters lately. I am hardly spending any time at all on this block. I started cutting the appliqué pieces as soon as I finished the last block, but for some reason things came in the way of me finishing it. I hope that it is not QADD attacking me again LOL!!! I thought I will show you what little progress I have made with the table block.
At least I finished the hardest part of this table - that is the lace and legs. I changed the shape of the legs slightly. I used to have a table that had the same legs at this one once. I like it better than the original legs. I am almost there right? Only the leaves and cherries to do hahaha!!! I hope you notice my traditional Chinese scissors? They are the cutest scissors I've ever owned! The blades are only 1.5" long and the handles are big and comfortable. The full size version of these scissors were traditionally used by Chinese grocers for cutting vegetables. They are really sharp. I love them. The fob is a hand painted gourd that my male colleague brought back for me from China. It is a perfect scissors companion.
Enjoy - Natima

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Bird-of-Paradise sighting...

I finally had a chance to finish stitching on this old diva bird!  He is a little too proud of his tale, red, purple and black.  Following Lurline's lead, I streamlined his body a bit and gave him a little head plume.  I also decided to hide his feet. 

I'm having trouble with faces...even with the birds.  I'm going to think a little before giving this guy an eye, and maybe even change the eye I gave to the peacock.

The berries were an after thought...after stitching, I realized that his pointy beak was looking a little frayed where I had stitched it down...I thought the embroidered berry stems and crabapples would be a distraction.  When I deviate from an original pattern, sometimes it's just to hide some imperfection in my work, not just because I'm feeling "rogue," contrary, or overly creative!!  LOL

Thanksgiving holidays are this week, my in-laws are coming, but I still hope to find an opportunity to work on the next block.  I have the ostrich block glue-basted and ready for my anxious needle!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate this holiday, and for everyone else I wish a week filled with appreciation of all the blessings and family we have been given and hold dear to our hearts.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o) 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

back again!

dear friends,i am back again.nearly two wonderful weeks in sweden with my little grandson,husband and daughter,and home again our internet did not work anymore,but today it works again,so i can post two new blocks,and see what you all sewed the last two weeks,and welcome to all newbies.

The Bride Has Arrived!

My goodness - at long last I have a Bride! It seems to have taken me ages to make this block.

There is a bit of a blank there and I'm thinking maybe when I'm quilting, a couple of quilted leaves will fill it - I feel sure it will - forever critical of my own work, LOL!

I am really enjoying doing this applique and I so appreciate the making of a quilt in this manner. Other quilters and their works certainly inpire me.

Happy day all!
Hugs - Lurline♥ 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Block 2 is finally finished :-)


I have finished the Civil War Bride Quilt Block 2 and am making good progress on block 5. Slowly but surely I am getting there :-) Must say that I am thoroughly enjoying myself. Not only am I learning new techniques and discovering which needle works best for me I am also finding that hand applique is relaxing. Love all the different colours too. Think I will make the peacock block next.  I can start thinking of fabrics and planning :-)

Cheers Lynne

The first six...

The first six are done!  This is not the final order...still scheming on that. 

I thought I could get a better picture today, but alas it is a gray day in Michigan, and there is precious little bright natural light coming through the window.  It is good to lump the blocks together as I plan fabrics and colors for subsequent blocks...I can see I need more red, pink, and medium blue.  I think the purples in Mr. BOP will help as well. 

I still wish I could pour all my attention on this for a while...the more I do, the more I want to do.  I don't think I will ever get bored with this project!

Thank you, thank you for all of your beautiful posts...when I can't be in my sewing room, it is so nice to be sustained by all of your postcards from your quilting journeys.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I lost a peacock somewhere...

I've been a little "bird-brained" lately, but finally have something to show for it.  Here is my peacock.  I probably should have waited until morning to take his picture, but I just could wait!  I will edit in a better picture tomorrow.

I went a little rogue with this block, re-designing his body, beak, legs, tail, tree, leaves, fruit...OK, I guess I went more than a little rogue.  I was thinking more of our "pet peacock" from my childhood, named Henry - really, more a run-away from the Birmingham, Alabama Zoo, which was through the woods from our house.

Anyway, I completely lost my mind with the little leaves...63 of them!  After the bird turned out so bright (actual colors of our bird), I thought the more drab leaves and tree would tone things down a bit.  My darker background helps tone down my love of lime-green fabric, as well.

So my showy peacock is setting up a "battle of the birds" on my quilt top - I've been working on the Bird of Paradise as well.  I was so taken with Lurline's BOP, that I also decided to re-draw the body and add a head plume.  I chose blacks, purples, golds, and reds.  I have not stitched him together yet, but he's been loosely glue-basted, and I can't wait to dig in now that the peacock is done!
I have also started my ostriches.  They seem very dull and boring after the peacock and BOP diva birds.
I told you that I had been a little "bird-brained!"

Remember I have OCD...after 6 blocks finished, I have done 186 leaves, 43 pieces of fruit/veg, 23 flowers, 2 people and 1 big bird!

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Block 2 - this is slow going

I have finally completed block 2- it is taking much longer to do a block than I expected. I think I need to better organize myself and speed things up. I enjoy seeing everyone's blocks- love the blocks with pieced backgrounds. I have jumped to block #14 with the little peacock and am looking for some good peacock fabric - am considering doing a rooster instead of the peacock but not sure it will fit. What a lot of leaves in this quilt!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twins have arrived! .....

This block was the easiest.....I redrew the peacocks to accomodate the feather fabric that I wanted to use. (Actually, looking back, I appliqued a peacock for a Baltimore Album quilt that is still a UFO.....I posted it as a profile photo on this blog.) I'm thinking of doing the feathers for the Bird of Paradise block in similar fashion as the peacocks.
OK...don't get the idea that I'm fast on the trail of getting these blocks done since I've posted in quick sucession. I was just on a roll ......however, now I've got to get back onto my other projects that I was working on before the Civil War Bride quilt! My UFO list is getting longer!
Sorry about the poor photo of this block. It's abit washed out, colors are a little deeper than shown.
Thanks for your kind compliments and encourgements from the previous post!
I appreciate it!
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Second Block in Bloom! .....

Block two is took a while to "bloom" because I went through three flower fabrics that I had cut but finally settled on this final one. I'm pleased with the end result!
I'm having so much fun with this quilt!
My next block will be the "Peacock Twins". (Blk 7)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Back Basting

How exciting ~ I got comments on my blog post! Can you tell I'm a newbee? Anyway, most of the comments said you had not heard of back basting. It is a little hard to explain so here are a few links to some back basting tutorials that might help explain. Basically, you trace the pattern on the wrong side of the background fabric, then baste the applique fabric on the right side of the background fabric, then trim the seam allowance, then applique! Check out the tutorials cuz I am sure my explanation is hard to follow... Teresa / IL

My First Post

Hey ~ I hope I am doing this right ~ I have loved looking at everone's inspiration and I finished my first block! I used the back basting method cuz I wanted to try it. It takes some getting used to ~ but I am going to use it on my next block to see if I really like it. It is a nice method when there is such a variety of shapes and you don't have to make all those templates..... have a wonderful day
Teresa / IL

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Check this out...

Hi friends!  I was just checking in with Priscilla on "Priscilla's Workshop."  She left a comment some time ago on this blog and told us of her own personal journey with her reproduction of the original "Bird of Paradise" top (go here).

She has finished the top, has it layered and basted, and is now hand-quilting it!  If you go to the above link, she has posted a picture.  It's beautiful!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

A How -To For Everyone

Hello All,

Thanks to everyone for all of the ooh's and aahh's in regards to my bride block. Several of you have asked about some of the details on the block.

The blush on her cheeks was created with combination of Peach and Blush Pink Prisma colored pencils. Place your block on a hard surface, use a light touch and gently shade her cheeks in a circular motion. Heat set with a dry iron on the back of the block.
The embroidery stitches can be found here, at Sharon B's website.
Good luck to everyone, I can't wait to see what you add to your very own blocks!
Thank you all for all of the lovely comments.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wedding Bells are about to ring!

I think I would like to call for a toast! The wedding bells are about to ring! After weeks of on and off stitching the groom block is finally finished. I must say it was an unknown quantity with this block not having a picture or idea of how it would turn out. I had to just keep going and not be worried about it until the end. I only changed my mind once while stitching. I was going to use green for an apple, but the block called for more red to brighten it up a bit so I ended up using red for an apple like the previous blocks. I think I am happy with how it turned out. Thanks everyone for your input on his facial features on my last post. I still haven't decided if I will give him a face. I hope he will talk to me. Here comes the groom armed with flowers and fruit for his beautiful bride. He has a pet bird to whisper to his ear what to do when he finally meets his bride. I would like to mention that the pink fabric for the butterfly came from my friend Serena's fabric collection. She sent me a box of 60-70s fabric and this piece was one of them. Thanks Serena you are now part of my quilt.
Four blocks completed in total. Not too bad for me. I didn't have a lot of time to work on this block, but I really enjoyed stitching it. I have been admiring all the blocks that people on this blog have produced. I think my next block will be the table block. I would like to get this wedding all prepared. The table is very important to bear all the wedding gifts.

Soooo many pieces, so little time

Well here is my bride, I am glad that she is finished. She seemed to take forever, but I believe that it was just me. Life gets in the way, even though our fingers itch to stitch. I might have to put that saying on a quilt or sampler!

She was quite a bit of fun to stitch. I am happy with the fabric choices. Since there was no basket she of course had to have an apron. "What was she going to carry all that fruit in?" I have been looking at all of the blocks, don't get me wrong, plain is beautiful, honestly I tried really hard and could not help myself. Anyone who knows me can vouch that if I can get it to stand still then it can be embellished. Or as I like to say, "Everything is more stunning with a flourish!"

With that being said, her cheeks blush with the bloom of a new bride. Her dress is adorned with buttons(french knots). He lovely up-do is accented with a braided top knot(Lazy Daisy stitch) and finished with two ringlets on either side of her dainty face(Bullion stitches).And every flower was finished with yellow silk french knots.

Now, if every block was just grapes, fruit and leaves, I don't think I would have been so tempted to "Flourish"!

All kidding aside, I do hope that you all enjoy her. I cannot begin to tell you all how very much fun it is to share this stunning quilt with everyone, let alone the journey. Thanks ever so much.



My fifth block is done (here comes the groom)...

The groom has finally arrived!  Between my music job and sewing shop samples and Halloween costumes, he has been much neglected.  I think it shows...I'm not sure I'm completely happy with how I drafted it.  His block seems very sparse compared to his sweetie's, so not very exciting.  The bride may take one look at his block, then try and find a better provider!!!

I decided to introduce new fruits and veg...more to reflect what my grandfather grew in Alabama (and he had great fishing on his land!!) and what we've been surrounded by this harvest in Michigan (corn and pumpkins).

Here he is with his bride.
I'm not sure what block will be between them in the final layout, or if they will even be in the same row. Since the block content is so unbalanced between them, maybe they shouldn't appear too close together in the final quilt. I tried to make the size of the pumpkins, corn, watermelon and fish proportional to the man. But that may be the problem. The bride's flowers and fruit are all "super-sized." Maybe I should have done likewise with the pumpkins, etc.

I was so happy with it on paper, now I don't know.  Maybe this bride will need to dump this guy and find another prospect...LOL.

In Stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Litte Bit of News!

Hello Everyone - I didn't intend posting today, but there is a little bit of news! You will probably be interested in visiting Barbara Brackman's Blog to see the nice words she has to say about Lizzie and our blog! Also, here is one little lady ready to be a Bride - I was over her last night, but feel a little bit better about her today! I knew she would be a challenge and this proved true! Maybe with lots of flowers, fruit and leaves, I will feel happier with her! I looked up the original quilt again in the above mentioned and my heart went pitter-patter again - just so memorable! So inspiration is back! Congratulations to Lizzie for making this little bit of fame! I am about to email off a copy of my bird's head to a couple of The Girls, so if it is successful, I will be happy to share with anyone who is interested! Hugs - Lurline♥