Playing with Beautiful Fabrics

I've had a lovely week playing with a gorgeous new range from Moda - Garden Party by Blackbird designs.  A magazine commissioned a project using these lovely fabrics and I am thrilled with the way it has turned out.


There's quite a bit of hand quilting on it and as usual I have two sore index fingers.  I really must go and buy some finger protectors as I just can't work with a thimble.  All the paperwork is now done - instructions and templates take me for ever to prepare - so it's off to the Post Office tomorrow to send it on its way.

I used a Jelly Roll for the above project and of course there's heaps left over, so I have started making this:



Don't you just love the soft muted colours?  The quality of the fabric is lovely to work with too.  Of course I couldn't resist some applique:



Then I have a lovely bundle of fat quarters in the same range so I am dreaming of what I will make with them!

I've had my new glasses a few days and they are getting initiated, though I haven't tried any super-close work yet.  They're multifocals which I've had for years but each pair is different and I've just about worked out where to look for all the different distances now.

Hope you have some time to stitch this week!

Regards
Val

The Bag Gallery

When I spent time with our daughter over the Christmas holidays, she shocked me by saying, when she was looking at some stitching I was doing, "There's a gap between a couple of your backstitches.  It's not up to your usual standard."!!!  I was blaming the poor lighting (which was partly responsible) but I realised I was having difficulty seeing, so having my eyes tested went to the top of the priority list once we arrived back home.  So next week, I go to pick up my new glasses.  Meanwhile, I have been using my magnifying light to try to maintain my standard of perfection!  It would be wonderful one day to actually reach it!!!

I've mostly been working on a magazine commissioning this week, so can't show you photos of that, so I thought I would collect a few photos of different bags I have made. Bags are so much fun to make, aren't they?







I've been quite overwhelmed at the response to my new Gifts of Grace free BOM design.  Thank you for your support and all the lovely comments.  I have nearly finished stitching Block 4 so I am getting ahead of you!

Don't forget to share photos when you've finished your block.

Have a great week and happy stitching!

Val

Free Pattern Launch: Gifts of Grace

14th February has arrived – the day I promised you would see my new free Block of the Month pattern which I’ve called “Gifts of Grace”. I hope you enjoy stitching it as much as I have enjoyed designing it. I have to confess that it is still a work in progress and, while all the blocks have been designed, I am only three or four ahead of you in actually stitching them!


This BOM design has nine blocks, each with appliqué and embroidery and embellished with beads. I plan to release one block in the third week of each month.

This pattern is FREE, for personal use or to make as a gift. You may also give a copy to friends and tell them where to find me, but please do not use the pattern for profit.

I would love it if you would put my “Gifts of Grace” button in the sidebar of your blog with a link back to http://val-laird.blogspot.com. (Just right click and Save Picture As a jpeg file onto your computer, then upload it to your blog.) It would also be great if you let me know in a comment or e-mail that you’ve decided to download the patterns.  Here is the button:



We all LOVE photos, so please share photos of your finished blocks. You could post them on your blog or email them to me so we can all benefit from your creativity.

Requirements:

Cream tone-on-tone fabric. You will need 40cm to cut nine blocks 7½ x 7½. (Add extra if you plan to use the cream fabric again in a border.)
Border and sashing fabrics
Scraps of fabric for appliqués
Whisper Weft or similar stabiliser
Fusible Webbing
Pigma Pen
B Pencil
Water Erasable Pen
Range of seed beads in neutral, pearl and colours to match fabrics

My favourite stranded threads are by Anchor so I will give you the thread numbers that I am using and you can substitute your own wherever I mention these in the patterns.

76 Medium Rose
77 Dark Rose
122 Deep flax blue
123 French Navy
843 Olive Green
890 Deep Yellow Ochre
901 Dark Yellow Ochre

Now, you’re ready for the pattern, so click here to go to the download site (scroll to bottom of page).

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

Happy Stitching!

Val

Something to go with those hats!

I thought I'd give you a sneek peak at something I made to go with those hats!   It's part of a design that I made for one of our little grand-daughter's birthday last week.  I made the mistake of showing it to an editor, so now I have to get the skates on and make another one as she fell in love with it and has commissioned it for her magazine!  It's a lot of work - but heaps of fun!  Word is that grand-daughter loves it and her pre-school sister has been playing with it - even the boys liked it!  I love it when people like my designs!!!


And yes, I was very disciplined and did heaps of housework - even cleaned all the windows and washed some curtains ... and spent a couple of mornings in the garden, so it all looks lovely and sparkling again.

Then I had a phone call from our daughter in Japan to tell us she really likes the curtains I made for her.


Red and black are very "In" colours in Japan.  It's a bit hard to see in the photo but they are a "Cambridge Valance" style with shaped "bells" that stand out - sort of fluted style.

I had enough bits of fabric over to make a set of square placemats - simple and elegant, but quite effective I think.


The curtain material frayed heaps, so it was hard work getting them together.  Now I know why everyone recommends pure cotton fabric for patchwork and quilting!

I've been working on getting Paypal organised for selling my patterns - just have to wait for the bank deposit to come through and we should be ready to go.  It will be heaps easier for everyone to be able to pay by credit card or Paypal.  I also have most of the patterns now in pdf format so there won't be long days of waiting for patterns to arrive as I will be able to e-mail them to you as soon as I'm informed of your order.  Then of course there won't be any postage to pay!

Don't forget to keep an eye out for my new block of the month - I plan to upload it on 14th February.  I'm sure you will love it as much as I do.

Don't forget to send me a photo of your completed "What is Love?" project.  I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Happy stitching.
Val