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October 2011

Christmas pattern winners...

Thank you to everyone who entered my pattern giveaway last week.
I'm so pleased to be able to announce 4 winners today.

O' Christmas Tree ~ collage 2

I've used random.org to draw the winning comments, and am thrilled to be sending out a pattern for "O' Christmas Tree" to...

Linda, who said -
Oh Christmas tree looks to be a real cutie and thats the one I would like to choose.....both projects are really lovely.....

AND
 
Jenny Schulz, who said-
Its always hard to choose between your beautiful designs Melissa. I love both but can see myself stitching those gorgeous little birds on the Christmas tree.

Deck the Halls Table Runner ~ centre with candle landscape

"Deck the Halls" has been won by...

Bronwyn, who said -
Hey Melissa would love to win"Deck the Halls". It looks complicated but I am sure that your , ever impressable, instructions will see me whipping one up just in time to host Christmas at my house. Thanks for the opportunity.

AND

Helen, who said -
At Last! Someone designing patterns with 3 dimensional elements. I love Deck the Halls - would love to make your holly and scatter it round my house every year. I do so miss the holly with red berries I used to have each year in the UK. Helen from Hobart

Congratulations to you all, I'll send you an email shortly for you address details, so I can put your Christmas pressies in the post.

Christmas peek 

If you've missed out this time, but are still eager to get your own Christmas project underway... these two new patterns have begun to arrive at your local stores.
You can also find them online at Hugs 'n Kisses. If you are interested in a full kit and/or pattern, please visit Quilt Fabric Delights. (type "One Day In May" into the search bar at the top)

I've updated the One Day In May photo albums this week, if you feel like browsing... you can find them at the top-left of the page.

Until next time,

Melissa  x

Reverse applique, lace... and more lace.

Today I've been working on some reverse applique.

In case you haven't heard of it before...

Traditional applique is the stitching of fabrics onto the top of a background fabric to create a design. When reverse applique is applied the top fabric is cut through. The raw edges are then turned under and stitched to expose the fabric that is underneath. I've been using a method which involves freezer paper and an "applique glue pen".

I'm really happy with how simple this technique is and am in the process of fine tuning instructions for it.
Maybe I should think about putting together my first tutorial? What do you think?
 

I'm really enjoying the lovely vintage feel of my current project and have decided to incorporate some cotton lace into the design. There won't be a lot of it, but a hint of it here and there adds great texture to the project and will help to achieve the overall look and style I want to express.

So yesterday, I set off to find 1 metre of cotton lace. But as you know, very rarely does the "intention of purchasing" 1 metre, result in the purchase of 1 metre... especially when I stumble across something special and unexpected. Besides that, I don't know how I will actually use these down the track... so I had to make sure I had enough of each.... right?
This reasoning and justification = roughly 30 metres of lace. Don't tell anyone.

German lace One Day In May3

To the best of my knowledge, the above laces are all fairly recent. I do particularly love the one in the middle though and think it has quite an "old" look about it . The texture is relatively fine and it seems to have a certain quality about it.

German lace One Day In May2

While sorting through the shelves of lace at my local sewing machine store, I began chatting with the owner about lace and how it seems to be disappearing from many stores. It is such a shame that such beautiful works of creation have been pushed to the side, as new crafting trends come forward into the spotlight.

As I browsed and we chatted on, I found these 2 beautiful pieces. These German laces are much older... but the exact age is anyone's guess. They had been purchased by the store from a "distributor's clearance" at a quilting conference in Germany, many years ago. Her guess is that they are maybe from the 60's or 70's. Whatever their age, the quality, design and texture are really beautiful. I can't quite make up my mind whether to "collect" them or sew with them. I'm imagining the top one around a centre piece for a tabletop.

German lace One Day In May

 I met a lovely new friend this week, named Annie. She has a beautiful blog called Willow Cottage. With my renewed appreciation for lace, I enjoyed reading this post in particular. I'm longing for a good brew of coffee and some free time to sit down for a good browse through Annie's archives... pop by and pay her a visit when you get the chance.

I have 2 more reverse applique blocks to complete today, but before I go, a quick reminder...

There is a One Day In May Giveaway happening at the moment.
I have 2 of each of these new patterns to send out. Have you entered yet? Visit this post if you would like to be in the draw.
Entries close at midnight, the 29th of October.

OD7 O' Christmas Tree ~ pattern coverOD6 Deck the Halls Table Runner ~ pattern cover

 Until next time,

Melissa  x

Celebrating Christmas already?

It's not too early to get into the festive spirit right?
Today Pattern Press (my lovely distributors) are releasing two One Day In May Christmas patterns and as you know, a new pattern launch means a giveaway!

Christmas decorating for me is all about holly, pine, wreaths and doves.
It's been lots of fun, incorporating some dimensional holly into this design... aptly named "Deck The Halls".
(I had a little facebook help naming this one - gotta love quilting friends!)

 OD6 Deck the Halls Table Runner ~ pattern cover

The central wreath is designed to surround a small dish or bowl, just the right size to hold a large candle or selection of Christmas treats.

Deck the Halls Table Runner ~ along length

There is lots of technique variation to enjoy in this pattern, beginning with some simple, but effective, variegated stitchery.
I've used Cottage Garden Threads 503-Snapdragon in both new patterns.

Deck The Halls Holly ~ One Day In May

The stitchery is topped with folded leaves and fabric covered beads.
That, combined with some patchwork, using some beautiful Christmas prints... and "facing-finish binding" has resulted in a table runner that is bright, dimensional and delightfully festive.

"O' Christmas Tree ~ Framed Applique with Trapunto" is also being launched today...

O' Christmas Tree pattern cover

I've used the same fabric range to create this smaller project... "Jovial" by Basic Grey.

Beginning with a tree, my plan was to focus on a very simple design. But who can resist adding a dove or two? Not me? ; )

O' Christmas Tree birds One Day In May

Designed especially to fit a standard 8" x 10" frame, "O' Christmas Tree" is a blend of raw-edged applique, embroidery (more lovely variegation for the baubles) and quilting.

O' Christmas Tree flying bird 1

For added, dimensional effect I've chosen to use the method of trapunto to give the tree and birds some extra "puff". Sounds complicated... but it really isn't. There are lots of methods for trapunto, as numerous as there are for applique. But for this little design, I've chosen to use the simplest of techniques, adding a 2nd layer of batting. The instructions are straight forward and written step-by-step.  

To see lots more photos of these designs, visit the photo albums at the top left of the page, You'll find photo albums for all One Day In May designs there.
Or click "Deck The Halls" or "O' Christmas Tree" to find them straight away.

So...time for a giveaway!

I have 2 of each pattern to share... that means 4 winners in all!
To enter, please leave a comment telling me which pattern you would prefer.

All entries are welcome, local and international...
the more the "merrier". : )

Entries close at midnight (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), 29th of October... and will be drawn by random generator shortly after.

Good luck everyone!

Melissa  x

Getting to know you...

I've noticed lots of visitors from all over the world this week, here and on the One Day In May facebook page. I really enjoy the quilting and crafting community online.
We are so fortunate to be able share, connect, learn and find inspiration from each other so easily... but the most precious thing is the fact that our mutual love of creating draws us together... no matter where we live, and despite all variations in culture, background or life circumstances.

One Day In May scroll design

I'd like to invite you all to leave a comment, telling us...

~ Who you are ~
~ Where you are from ~
and
~ A little about yourself ~

Please add links to your facebook pages, websites and particularly blogs, if you have any,
so we can visit you too and share in your creative world.

One Day In May scroll design - Copy

I look forward to getting to know you, lovely readers, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as me. 

The past few days have been all about pattern writing here... 
I'm determined to finish today, so I am able to launch 2 Christmas patterns on Monday.

O' Christmas Tree flying bird One Day In May

A couple of months ago I designed some projects for the Quilt Fabric Delights Christmas In July event... It was lots of fun for everyone involved.
Now it's time to release those designs for everyone to enjoy... just a few finishing touches and they'll be ready.

Deck the Halls Table Runner ~ holly detail

Mmm... I always seem to love stitching more when there is the "paper variety of work" to attend to.
Dreaming of variegated red leaves and ~ curls ~ today. 

Until next time,

Melissa  x

An island visit...

The last few days have been bursting with sunshine, and I was lucky enough to be down at Raymond Island to enjoy them. Raymond Island is located in the Gippsland Lakes... it's a haven for holiday makers, sailing enthusiasts and where I go to visit my Mum!

It's just a quick ferry trip across from Paynesville... and there is always something interesting to see on the way across. Sometimes you'll see swans, sometimes swallows skimming the top of the water for a drink. Sometimes you can even be lucky enough to spot a pod of The Lakes' very own species of dolphin. This time we came across this enormous family of ducks. It's very difficult to do a head count, and to get them all in one photo, but we counted 23 little ducklings one morning!! That's a lot of kids to keep track of!

RI 1

The island is perfect for strolling, along the water's edge...

RI 2

and into the bush.

RI 3

Mum's home is on this road and sits directly across from the National Park. Walking to the letterbox is more like a nature walk!

I found the blossoming wattle really striking this particular morning.

Wattle

I also love the streaks of colour displayed on this gumtree trunk.

RI 5

Raymond Island is famous for it's abundance of wildlife. This Spring, there is a tawny frogmouth nesting at the end of Mum's driveway. For my international visitors, this is what they look like. On the right you can see a display of their "super power"... haha. They disguise themselves by pointing their beak in the air and stretching their body out on an angle to look like part of a tree.

Tawny frogmouth

They are so funny to watch, all rigid and determined to be undetectable. I must say it does work well as they are quite hard to spot. Can you see her on her nest?

Nesting Tawny frog mouth

If she thinks you're not looking, she'll have a little wriggle to get comfortable. But, the second she feels watched, she's all stiff again.

Nesting Tawny frog mouth 2

The koalas are also numerous on the island and can sometimes make a huge racket at night... bounding across the roof and grunting. If you didn't know what the noise was it would be really quite frightening. The big boys are truly quite big and heavy. This sleepy little lady was in the same tree as the tawny frogmouth and didn't seem to mind my presence too much. 

Sleepy koala

She stirred from her sleep momentarily to strike a pose for the camera.

Sleepy koala 2

Isn't she sweet?

I'm looking forward to my next visit, and hope to see some little tawny frogmouth hatchlings. 
Back to work for now though... I have a big few weeks of stitching ahead.

Until next time,

Melissa  x 

So Sweet...

This month's Homespun Magazine is an issue just for kids! You'll find a great assortment of patterns designed especially for the little folk in our lives, including a One Day In May project... "So Sweet Hair Accessories".

So Sweet Hair Accessories One Day In May

I've combined gorgeous felted wool and gathered fabric flowers to create these little projects. Each design features a different flower centre... you can mix it up a bit and use any centre for any design.

I found some beautiful Venetian glass buttons at Lucello and love how they catch the light. I thought they were the perfect subtle pink to add to this headband. These gorgeous cotton prints are from Quilter's Barn... I especially love the small floral print.

So Sweet Headband One Day In May

This hair accessory has a felt loop on the back, to slide over a wider head band. A scrunchie or elastic hair band can also be threaded over the loop, creating an instant pony tail accessory.
The time I've finished the flower centre and leaves with a lovely cotton trim found at Craft Queen.

So Sweet Hair Tie One Day In May

I've attached large bobby-pins to these flowers, and have finished the centres with loops of glass seed beads. I can imagine these attached to a brooch back too.

So Sweet Bobby Pins One Day In May

If you have trouble sourcing felt for your projects, you can find a wonderful assortment of variegated felted wool at Foothills Fabrics and Threads.
Visit their lovely store in Tecoma or call/email for details.

These little fabric flowers could be used to embellish all sorts of projects... quilts, handbags, little girls' dresses and more. I'd love to see how you use them in your projects... 

"So Sweet Hair Accessories" is one of 2 web-patterns featured this month at Homespun. Did you know Homespun has web bonus patterns? You can find them here. When visiting the site, you'll find a link at the top of the page. Click on the link to download the full pattern, including instructional photos. You can find the pattern templates required in this months issue of Homespun, which are available from your local newsagents or patchwork store. Homespun is now also available digitally here.

I loved creating these little fabric petals, and hope you do too.

October 2011

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many readers who posted comments recently, offering support and comfort as we come to terms with my Step-father's passing.
I am so touched. Thank you.

Until next time,

Melissa  x

Farewell to my Step-Father...

Farewell, to my step-father, Jeff.
Reflecting today on the many adventures and beautiful places we have experienced, since you came into our lives.
Remembering how your love has filled Mum's life over these precious years, and indeed how much she has shone with her love for you.
Thinking, of how strange life will be, now that you have gone.
With love and huge admiration for your bravery... and determination to fully live and enjoy each and every day.

http://tributes.heraldsun.com.au/obituaries/heraldsun-au/obituary.aspx?n=jeffrey-alan-constantine&pid=154020361

Just as I imagined...

Today I completed another small part of an upcoming One Day In May design...
For months I have dreamed of applique "faux doilies". I have designed three, and have just finished stitching the first. It's come up just as I had imagined.

Doily One Day In May 1
Cotton doilies are something that I have adored since I was a teen.
We would often take trips to the historic, goldfields town of Maldon in Central Victoria as a family, and my favourite shop to visit was always the lace shop.
As I'm working on a project with an old world feel, these memories of doilies simply had to play a role.

Doily One Day In May 2

The central embroidery has been kept simple, using only back-stitch and a few straight-stitches in the centre of each flower. I love the shape of these petals and didn't want to distract from them too much.

I've tried to replicate the look of a simple scalloped edge, using a few stitch types. There has been a bit of experimentation before settling on this combination of back, satin and lazy daisy stitches along with some french knots.

Doily One Day In May 3

Doily One Day In May 4

I'm looking forward to stitching the next two doily designs I've drawn up.
They have different shapes, central designs and edges... lots of variation to keep it interesting.

Doily One Day In May 6

Opening rose bud One Day In May

Our first roses are beginning to open. My daughter picked this one this afternoon... absolutely beautiful.

I would love to hear about what you've been working on, whatever kind of creating it is.

Until next time,

Melissa  x