"When life gives you scraps......Make Quilts"

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hi everyone...
It's been such a long time since the last post....

Since that last post, the Studio has been moved from Newfoundland to Montreal...and it has been an exciting move..things are falling into place and the move here will allow more opportunity for growth...and I can't wait to share the new adventures with you.

Today the new issue of QUILTERS' CONNECTION Fall 2015 magazine has arrived at the Studio - and I'm quite excited because this issue has a 4-page spread of yours truly :-)  

For anyone who can't find a copy of the magazine locally - you can always drop me a line and order it from the Studio.  

I am now working on some new designs/projects that I hope to share with you shortly.....the new Studio is just about all set up - and I've posted several photos on my Facebook page...feel free to come over and be my friend there....   BILL LOCKE  (not Bill Locke Designs).
I'll be sure to add some photos here later.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and stitchy kind of day!!!



Thursday, June 26, 2014

If you had to pick one word to give yourself a title in your sewing/quilting domain, what would it be?

Fabric Artist

One of the new works on the wave, that hasn't made it to a dictionary yet is "SEWIST".   It's kind of a modern approach to sewing; something different.  It's a work that's not widely accepted across the sewing spectrum but it is catching on and I see it popping up all over the place these days on social media.   

SEWIST is a fun way of connecting the two wordst "SEWING" and "ARTIST".

Wikipedia states:

Sewist is a relatively new term, combining the words "sew" and "artist", to describe someone who creates sewn works of art, which can include clothing or other items made with sewn elements.

I can't say that I am or that I'm not fond of the new "non-word"...it may grow on me..but I do like the new twist on this sewing title; and enjoying seeing how it has evolved over the years. 

No matter what title we choose, it's so much fun to be a part of this huge creative world in which we live; and be able to do what love so much.   It's fantastic to be able to use our machine and/or hand stitching and just have fun with our fabrics and threads.

Today, let's enjoy that....LET'S CREATE!!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Good Morning.....
As I sit here on this Saturday..and start to get my day underway; doing all I can to enjoy the creativeness that awaits, having fun at every stitching corner......I came across this wonderful quote that a friend shared on her blog recently....

"Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75".    Benjamin Franklin

What a wonderful, thought provoking statement......reminding us to be alive, to be happy.

I've been working on some various projects..and am hoping to complete some UFO's over the coming days/weeks...there's so many, I've lost count....  But, with UFO's awaiting that finishing touch, there will always be something that I can pick up on a whim and work on.  I am a believer in always having a few UFO's hanging around just for that.

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy Saturday.

Quilty Hugs,


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coordinating my fabric colors.....finding the right range of tones.......

Good Morning,

This morning I was thinking about color coordinating fabrics for projects.   Personally, I love colors and can audition fabrics for projects til the cows come home, if I had cows.....  but I also appreciate the fact that there are many of you who often tell me that you need help when it comes to selecting colors for your quilts.

How many of us go shopping for fabrics, browsing colors, trying to find the right coordinates, etc.  Even if we have no project in mind, it's a given that we'll still find something that we want to purchase.   But how do we decide what to buy.

When I shop for fabrics, I'll always try to find at least a couple of coordinates so that when I decide to put it into a project, I will be a little bit ahead of the game in that I have already married 2 or 3 fabrics that I auditioned together at the shop; making a wonderful base for selecting new fabrics when I'm ready to put the project together.

Meanwhile, when I was shopping for paint at our local hardware store a couple of weeks ago,  I was looking at the new paint chips there and actually took the time while reviewing the paint chips to work on a new project for wool applique.  Yes, there I was, in the paint section - working on the colors for a new design for wool applique.  Who says that stitching can't begin in the hardware store.
I want to shop for a selection of wool colors and I found a paint chip card with the perfect color scheme that will work for this project.  The same idea appliqes to fabric.

It is so exciting because our wonderful paint companies have done all of the work for you when you coordinate your next quilting project. 

Even if you have only one fabric for your next quilt, and you want to coordinate a few others to make the family complete, take a  swatch of your fabric to the paint shop, and select a paint chip that matches your fabric.  Guess what happens???  In finding the right match for your fabric, you've also found a whole color scheme that will coordinate with that fabric.  Now take the paint chip to your favourite quilt shop and audition fabrics to math the color family on the paint chip.

Shopping for colors have never been easier.   With regards to the paint chips, not only do we have such a huge range of colors, but they are also divided into color stories that will work with different tastes.   e.g.  Modern, Vintage, Pastels, Brights.

How's that for making our quilting lives easier!!!! :-)
Here's wishing you a fun and creative day!    QUILTY HUGS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Good Morning my friends....
I was just sitting here this morning and wonder how will I ever do all that I want to do in stitching where there's so much to do.
I am still awaiting orders from current book releases...and yet I'm longing for the release of COUNTRY ELEGANCE in September from MARTINGALE.  This one is sure to have some "to-do" projects for me.  Just wait til you see the delicious patchworks married to wool appliques..OH MY!!!!!   Do you think it would be possible to convince our printers to get this one out extra fast :-)
Certainly something very exciting to look forward to in September.
Have a fun and creative day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

WOW!!!  Where did that weekend go - it's already Monday a.m.   It's true that even though it went by rather quickly, there were so many things that I wanted to do that didn't get done...perhaps this will be a busier week than normal.  YIKES!!!!!
I did have a bit of a productive weekend...so pleased to have completed the pattern writing for "PENNY BLOSSOM"...there's a group of patterns that I am working on completing...and introducing you so some wonderful new products in the process.
I have a wonderful selection of delicious felted wools that are awaiting new designs, a special project to try out some new wool felt in order to sample a new products for customers...there are lots and lots of fun things going on at my STUDIO.
Since I do a lot of wool Applique, I thought I'd try to answer one of those questions this morning that has to do with FELTED WOOL vs WOOL FELT..because the 2 products, although both are used in wool applique, are very much different.   One thing is for certain, you can easily tell the difference between both products.   Also, in the same way that they look and feel different, there is also a big different in the price factor between the two.
Let's see if I can give a bit of a simple explanation during coffee time this morning :-)  
Wool is sheered, the fiber is washed and what we get when we do that is a product that is called wool roving, otherwise known as raw wool.  Once we have the wool roving, it is then spun into thread and the thread is used to weave wool fabric.  
When we purchase wool fabric from a bolt, it's not normally felted..so we wash it using HOT water, throw it in the dryer..and come up with this wonderful FELTED WOOL.
What happens during this process is that the wool shrinks, and the fibers mat together; at which point the wool will no longer unravel.  (I find that there are still some exceptions to this rule, depending on different yard-dyed wools.  e.g. plaids)
During the felting process, the wool will be come more soft, thicker.
Remember, that if you purchase wools that have been hand dyed, then the wool will all ready be FELTED WOOL... during the hand dying process, the wool will have already gong though the wash/dryer in order to complete the hand dying process.
Now comes the big question as to what is WOOL FELT??
Well, remember those felts that they sell in craft stores..the acrylic ones?  Many people think that those and Wool Felt are the same.  They are not.
Wool Felt is made with wool fibers, or a combination of fibers where there is at least some small percentage of wool. 
When making wool felt, the fibers are  tightly compress, mixing the fibers with moisture and heat and then compressing the fibers under pressure, making this wool felt.  It is will not be soft and pliable like felted wool; wool felt is a harder product.
Meanwhile, although we can get 100% Wool Felt, the more favourite product is a blend where rayon is added to the composition.  Adding the Rayon to the mix will make the wool felt softer.    Most wool felts that are used in wool applique projects will contain somewhere between 20-35% wool.  
Now, the big question, can wool felt be felted?  Yes it can.   After this process, we will end up with FELTED WOOL FELT....not FELTED WOOL.        Meanwhile, felted wool will indeed shrink a little when felted.   
I know a lot of designers that will use the WOOL FELT for many of their projects, especially wall hangings.    Others use only FELTED WOOLS.   Yes, there are others who use both.
However, I don't think that I would mix them and use both products in the same project.
Both of these products are wonderful....I'm actually working on 2 fun projects at the moment; and will reveal them when they are ready.  I brought back some new HAND DYED FELTED WOOLS from the International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh last month; along with a fun selection of WOOL FELT.  I am designing a project for each of these and looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as they are ready.
I hope that this has helped answer some of the questions with regards to the differences between FELTED WOOLS and WOOL FELT.   Please feel free to leave any comments and/or questions.
Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


 My new pattern, "PENNY BLOSSOMS - Summer's Song" is now in stock and ready to be mailed.....
Since, designing this table mat while vacationing in Cuba in February, it has been getting lots of great atte...ntion; thanks to those of you who have shown interested in the pattern.

"PENNY TREE BLOSSOMS - Summer's Song" Wool Applique Table Mat
(designed and created by Bill Locke)
Size: 8 1/2" x 20"
Pattern cost: $9.95

Although designed as a wool applique project, this design can be easily adapted to cotton prints.

My goal in designing this table mat was to develop a colorful mix that would lend itself to the beauty of Spring yet remain anchored in the soft hues of primitive textures and tints. Putting those applique pieces and colors together on an aged/textured cream ground allowed me to achieve what I had hoped for...and hence "PENNY TREE BLOSSOMS" has been born.

If you would like to purchase a copy, simply leave a message here or email me at billlockedesigns@hotmail.com. Patterns will also be available at my STUDIO.

Postage costs: Canada: $1.85, U.S.A.: $2.95, International: $5.90