Thursday, July 2, 2015

Zebra Mania! A Pattern Release

When the idea of a zebra block was first suggested- I laughed... I mean that would become insane wouldn't it?!

... but then I started thinking... If I didn't make the stripes too complicated, it might just be possible. So I experimented and I played and I got the pattern to work. Then, I got my colour loving child involved in the design process- a touch of genius if I do say so myself!

This zebra is the result of a collaboration with my daughter and judging by your overwhelming reaction to it, I think it's fair to say that you all love it as much as we do.

I am releasing the 20 inch version of this pattern today. A 40 inch version is being tested at the moment, if that's the one that you want, you will have to wait a few more weeks (sorry!)

You can find the pattern in my Etsy store and my Payhip store.

As a thank you for the enthusiastic reception that this pattern has received, I am releasing it at a 25% discount for a limited time. No coupon code is necessary.

My testers did an amazing job with this block, and I thought I'd share pictures of their work:

Joanne did an awesome awesome job. I love the way that she interpreted the block. (On a side note- just look at the number of zebra print fabrics that she owns!)
I always know that my patterns are in safe hands when Patti tests for me, once again she did not disappoint!
I love the beautiful way that Carin crafted the background of her block, the colours blend so beautifully.
Just look at all the fun fussy cuts that Amanda included in her block! My favourite is the wee unicorn, although I do kind of wonder what those whales are doing in the Savannah!
Each and every one of these testers has given their own unique help in the release if this pattern. I'd like to take a wee moment to say a huge thank you to each and every one of them!

Friday, June 26, 2015

In Flight Quilt-Along - Sixth Linky Party

I love seeing the birds that you have been sewing. It is great to see how you have each personalised these birds- the tweeks to the patterns... your amazing fabric choices...You lot are great!

Don't forget to link your blocks up and to visit all the other participants. This will be the final linky before the final linky.

The winner of this linky will receive their choice of three tartankiwi patterns and a secret surprise (yes that means that I haven't decided what it'll be, but it'll be awesome...

Good luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

In Flight Quit-Along - Revised Timetable and a Winner

As promised, here is the revised timetable for the In Flight Quilt-Along.

You will notice that an extra linky party has been added to the schedule. I am still working on a prize for that linky, but there will definitely be patterns involved a secret surprise.

14st January
Block 1- Swan
14th January
Block 2- Swift
28th January
Linky closes
10th February
Block 3- Seagulls
11th February
Block 4- Curlew
25th February
Linky closes
10th March
Block 5- Peregrin
11th March
Block 6- Swallow
25th March
Linky closes
21st April
Break for Easter
Block 7- Duck
22nd April
Block 8- Kestrel
6th May
Linky closes
13th May
Block 9- Cormorant
20th May
Block 10- Buzzard
3rd June
Linky closes
17th June
Block 11- Eagle
24th June
Block 12- Osprey
8th July
Linky closes
21st July
Block 13- Thrush
22nd July
Block 14- Wren
5th August
Block 15- Hawk
19th August
Quilt Layouts
26th August
Final Linky
27th August
Final Linky Closes
9th September

Remember, you can buy the extra three patterns as a bundle from both my Etsy and my Payhip stores now or you can wait and buy them individually.

The winner of the fifth linky is:

Diary of a Kiwi Bookcrosser

As always, a huge thank you to all the sponsors of the In Flight Quilt-Along

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

IN FLIGHT- Block 11- Eagle


Are you ready for it?

If you haven't tried paper piecing a 24 inch block now is your chance! The Eagle is the first block of the quilt-along which is only provided as a 24 inch block. As I've admitted before, large blocks are often slightly harder to sew, but they are really really worth the extra effort due to the added impact that the size gives. Take your time and if you need some extra help, I have previously provided some tips on how to sew large blocks.

I love the Eagle block. It was the first pattern of the QAL that I sewed. At that time I was having some doubts about the designs, but seeing this one come to life convinced me to go ahead with the In Flight series.

I'm sorry, I forgot to take decent photos of my block before I sent it for quilting, all that I have is a hurried photo which I showed on instagram months ago.

You can find the Eagle pattern in my Etsy store and my Payhip store. As usual, they are reduced in price for the first fortnight.

In other news, I have been working hard to release three extra blocks in the In Flight Series. I designed these after discovering that my quilt had big gaps and that I was unhappy with the resulting layout. 

You can find a bundle containing the three extra patterns in my Etsy and Payhip stores. 

I have decided to extend the QAL to accommodate these extra blocks and I will release details of the resulting changes to the QAL timetable tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rainbows and Zebras

Sewing and designing specifically for someone can be a very nerve wracking affair. If you are not careful, you can stress yourself out with the pressure. Every little decision can feel like a mountain and you can start to second guess everything.

BUT... If you can step back and enjoy the process, it can be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience.

In recent times, many of my most popular patterns have originated from swaps and almost without exception, these have been patterns that I would not have come up with on my own. In general I think that I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea of designing for specific people.

Recently I have been working on a set of 24 inch cushions for my family. My 4 year old son requested a lion cushion. My husband requested another design (which I can't reveal just yet) and my daughter asked for a horse.

I must admit that I was very surprised by my daughter's request for a horse head. She is not a horse rider and has shown no real interest in horses, but she remained adamant that she wanted a horse cushion.

Now as I have stated before, I generally try not to redo designs that I feel have already been done. I knew that there were lots and lots of horse head patterns out there and I didn't feel inspired to add to the list.

I had a think and asked if she wanted a zebra instead. I had been thinking over the idea of a zebra block for a while and thought that I had finally worked out how to do it. I showed her my initial sketches of the design and she was sold on the idea.

Next I let her play with my design in EQ7 (my kids are convinced that EQ7 is the best colouring program available!) I loved hearing her cackle with laughter as she tried out totally unsuitable fabric choices and it was great to see her come up with fun combinations.

This is one of her versions of the design. (I didn't have the heart to tell her that there was no way that I could get the fabric to all line up that beautifully!)

I then showed her my fabric stash and she picked some fabrics for her cushion.

At that stage the design was suitable for a minimum of 2 fabrics and a maximum of 6 fabrics. My little rainbow lover chose 13 fabrics and announced that she needed more pinks, purples and florals as well. I guess it really shouldn't have surprised my as my girls is a real lover of colour.

Hmmm... time for Mum to do a rethink!

I sat down and redesigned the block for her and when she saw it, she loved it!
Once the redesign was done, I itched to start sewing.

On Saturday I managed to sneak away to my sewing room and started on the piecing. I managed to sew half a zebra before I had to give up for the day.

I meant to spend Sunday with the kids, but when you have a half sewn zebra calling to you, it's hard to resist!

The zebra was sewn completely from stash and was based around the fabrics that my girl chose. There are so so many favourite fabrics included- Tula Pink, Frances Newcombe, Lizzy House, Carolyn Friedlander, Sarah Fiekle, Brenda Ratliff, Oakshott Cotton to name just a few.

There are hopefully a few small details that my girl will pick out in time. My favourite is the fact that I did give her a horse after all. There are not one but two Tula Pink horses fussy cut into the patchwork.

I must admit that I didn't use all of the fabrics that my girl pulled out for me, but they definitely served as the core of the block and I did my best to honour her vision.

The design itself evolved quite a bit as I sewed and it really brought home to me the importance of trying out patterns myself before I send them to testers. The changes that I made were subtle and not things that would have necessarily been picked up by testers, but they definitely make the pattern better.

This zebra measures 20 inch. I intend to turn it into a 24 inch cushion. The plan at this stage is to give it black borders and to put a scrappy binding around the edges of the cushion, but as is always the way with my plans... things may change...

So there you have it! Unmistakable proof that two heads are better than one. I am so so grateful to my daughter for her help because without it, my pattern would only have been half as good!

I am looking forward to turning this block into a cushion and handing it over to my daughter.

Now I'm dreaming of super sizing the pattern and I can't wait to get started on it!

Before you ask, yes, I will release the pattern, but I want to get it as good as I can before I send it for testing. I'm not sure when it will be ready.

I will link up with Scraptastic Tuesday, Blossomheart quilts and WIP Wednesday

Sew Cute Tuesday


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