Saturday, 8 September 2007

Quilt pattern: Calla Lily appliqué creation – the idea.

Quilt pattern: Calla Lily appliqué creation – the idea.

I am often asked how I come up with designs for quilt patterns, so I thought I would give you an example how I went about creating my Calla Lily quilt.

My designs usually start out by seeing something or being asked a question, in the case of the Calla Lily, I was asked, have you thought of making a Calla Lily quilt design? Actually, the answer was yes, I have already made a stained glass lily quilt but not as a pattern in my colour wash series. So I decided, why not and set about doing some research, soon to discover reasons for making such a quilt pattern.

I opened the encyclopedia to reveal that its real name is Zantedeschia (it’s a good thing I’m writing this, as there is no way I can say that). Common names include Arum Lily, Calla and Calla Lily (much easier to pronounce). And another useful piece of information I found was that it is erroneously spelled as Cala Lily.

I also know that the Calla Lily is often known as a Christmas Lily and has often been used in many paintings, one in particular being Georgia Okeeffe’s artwork.

So, upon collecting all this data, it now seemed like a great reason to turn the Calla Lily into a quilt. Since so many already enjoy this beautiful flower in many different ways, why not a quilt pattern?

As it happened, last year when I was thinking about all this, I happened to be attending school to which I walked every day and I noticed along the entire length of a church that I passed, a garden of Calla Lilies coming into bloom. As the spring days turned into summer, I watched and observed these flowers opening day by day until decided it was better remembered by capturing a snapshot on my camera (actually, it was more the fact that I kept forgetting to take my camera with me). After several weeks went by, and I realized school was coming to an end so I would no longer be taking this path, I finally snapped these amazing flowers for life time memories to use in my quilt designs.

Here are a couple of my snap shots.

So, with all these points of interest, photos and Christmas time looming, I set to and began drawing the design. The ‘idea’ is only a small part of the creation process, the design itself is a story for another day, but if you would like to see the result you can see it here. My Calla Lily quilt pattern: Light Upon The Earth

Ruth... PS for more applique patterns in this series, see our main applique pages and remember, I'm available with online support if you need help with the pattern. Applique patterns.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Quilting New Zealand

Hi to you all,

I just finished posting a new article on the website, this one is about New Zealand Quilting. I have been crafting all my life, well for as far back as I can remember, and quilting now for 25 years. Things have certainly changed in that time, from using scissor to rotary cutter and ruler, and from dress fabric to good cotton patchwork fabric. You don't notice it at the time, but I assure you, if you go back to how it was, you can certainly appreciate how lucky we are today with the wonderful selection of quilting fabrics and supplies. It certainly makes life a whole lot easier.

For those interested, you may like to read my quilting article of
Quilting - New Zealand style

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Pre-washing Patchwork fabrics

I am often asked if it is necessary to pre-wash our quilt making fabrics before using them, so decided to write an article about this to share with you all. It has recently been posted on our website as well. Some of the points I cover are: whether or not you are allergic to the sizing, accuracy in cutting and stitching and fabrics shrinking. It would be great to get some feedback from you all about your thoughts on the matter!

Read my pre-washing patchwork fabrics article by clicking here

Ruth ... PS we have a new website that strictly concentrates on printable patterns, but not just restricted to quilting. These include other crafts as well so if you are looking for knitting, crochet and other crafts, check it out For Printable craft patterns click here

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Quilting history

Today I asked my mother to write some articles about her earlier days in quilting so she started to write her own blog. I wanted to share her thoughts with you as we unravel my quilting history. My mother has enjoyed writing short stories over the years so her blog should be an interesting read.
Quilting History of Joan

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Quilting Articles

As a writer, I am always looking for ideas and suggestions of what to write articles on so would like some input of ideas you would like to hear about. I know there are many subjects in the quilting world, but the question I ask myself is, what would you all like to hear about? Let me know!

On another thought, if you have written an interesting article, how about sending it through to me so I can add it to my growing list. I will always add your name and a link back to you if you wish.

Arbee Designs

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Summer Bargello

As many of you know, I teach online classes. One class I really enjoy is my beginner's Bargello class. Renate Soltmann was happy for me to show you all her Summer Bargello which she made during the time in my class. She had a local longarm quilter quilt it for her. The colours are fantastic and I know she is very proud of it.

I am hoping more of my students and quilters who have used my designs, will share their quilts here for everyone to see. Thank you Renate, you did a great job!

For more information about my online classes please see my website Online Classes

Monday, 30 April 2007

quilt binding

It was interesting to hear how many quilters believe the right way to bind a quilt is by mitering the corners and this should be the only way. I was taught many years ago, that a quilt binding should replica the borders, thus if the border is mitered, then so should the binding and if the borders are square, then the binding should be the same. I have adopted this attitude for all my quilts however at the end of the day, it is the choice of the quilt maker. Even so, there are several points you should consider before deciding.

1. If your quilt will be entered into a competition, take into account that it is not uncommon for a quilt to be marked down if their border and binding is not consistant.
2. Your binding should be neat and tidy with the finished corners sitting flat.
3. With binding cut to the precise length and width of the quilt, it is much easier to keep the overall quilt square in shape and there is less likelihood of it having wavy borders.
4. If your quilt is slightly out of square, cutting precise length and width for the binding, can pull it back into shape.

I have two lessons on my website, one for adding straight binding and one for adding mitered binding. There are many different methods for binding but these two I find to be the most popular.
Mitered binding lesson
Square binding lesson

Hope these are helpful to you.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Art Lovers

For all you art and painting lovers, check out this website.... A Perfect I have two already and he has even offered to display some of my textile art.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Starting out

So I'm just starting out with a Blog. I know they have been around for a long time but I just haven't found the time to do anything about it until now. I mostly share my designs through my website but thought it would be nice to add a personal touch by starting a blog. So here I am.

Most of my quilts are presented on my website at Arbee Designs but sometimes I have some personal quilts that I want to display separately so that is why I thought I'd start this blog. I also want a place to share interesting websites, not only in quilting but in all the things I have an interest in such as other art and computing, just two of my passions.

Let's start out with who I am and where I want to go, just in case you don't know me! I have an 'About' page on the website so you might like to start there. About me Well this needs to be updated a little, but it will give you a general idea. In addition, I love California and am currently visiting there with friends. So I hear you ask, how do I get to travel and work at the same time? It is easy with my trusty little laptop which I take everywhere I go, a necessity for me with my online classes and for publishing designs.

Then there are my goals, well my goal is to have lots of unique patterns and classes that every quilter just has to have. Well perhaps not all, but a lot of quilters. The hardest thing in the quilting world is trying to make a living to support yourself, not to mention your children. That's what I struggle with, so my goal is to make it 'big' and become known in quilting so I can do that comfortably.

That's it for this week, I hope you will come back for my next posting as I have some really cool stuff to share. Until then, happy quilting!