Back about 2005, I was looking on the internet for quilt patterns for various breeds of dogs. I had this idea that I could make a quilt for my daughter that would include an applique of a Basenji, a breed that she was particularly fond of. In my search, one of the sites I came across recommended http://www.silverliningsoriginals.com/ for dog patterns. Well, the site definitely had dog patterns, (just about all breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, but they were paper pieced, a process I had, at that time, very little experience with. But there was an offer of a monthly newsletter, which sounded interesting, so I signed up. And I never looked back.
For the first few years, I received the newsletter on the 27th of each month, and it included a free paper piecing pattern. Flowers mostly, and I saved them in a special file, but never bothered making any of them. And then – in January of 2009 the monthly free pattern was a chickadee – a sweet little bird that often visits my bird feeders during the winter and if I’m patient enough, will even land on my hand to pick up peanuts! The newsletter promised more bird patterns during the year – enough for a whole quilt that the designer called “Wee feathered ones”! I couldn’t resist. But I also knew that I’d never have enough fabric variety in my stash to adequately portray the different birds that were promised so I signed up to purchase the fabric packs that were on offer at a very reasonable price. And there was a bonus! Every three months, there was a beautiful woodland scene available – one each for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. By March of 2010, I had finished all the blocks and assembled my first “Silver Linings Quilt”. This is how it looked when it was finished. (also posted in my photos)
I continue to get the monthly newsletters, and each month it still includes a free pattern. In 2010, the series was called “Wee water ones” (picture posted in my photos). In 2011 it was “Treasures of the Rainforest” (also in my photos), followed by “Treasures of the Sea” in 2012 – the quilt pictured in last weeks blog and now here so it can be seen more clearly:
2013 brought “Treasures from Down Under” which I’m embarrassed to say I have yet to tackle although all the patterns and the fabric packs are waiting in my ‘to do’ box. This year I’m working on “Treasures from the garden” and I’m up to date with that – just waiting for the June pattern – I’ve already got the fabric pack. Also, in January of this year, Silver Linings Originals offered a bonus collection of patterns and fabric packs that I couldn’t resist – so here’s “Winter Woodland” which hangs in my sewing room.
When I first started receiving the free patterns I may have been a newbie when it came to paper piecing, but over the years I’ve certainly become much more proficient doing these patterns. The woodland scenes in “Wee Feathered Ones” were such a challenge. The patterns had large sections that were to be worked separately, and then inserted into the rest of the pattern, something I had a great deal of initial difficulty with. And learning to successfully do directional piecing! Wow – was that a learning experience.
When rainy weather makes working in the garden very little fun, I’m busy constructing those two teddy bears for my friends new found grandchildren. They’re coming along very nicely, and should be ready for their photo shoot in the next couple of weeks. Currently, their legs, arms and heads have yet to be added to their bodies!