Simply Neutrals 52 and happy New Year

collage crazy quilt in fabric journal by AppleApricot Wen

Happy New Year dear friends!!!

And a warm welcome to our (very blue here) Simply Neutrals gathering of January 2019!

May 2019 be a blessed year for you. A year full of love and joy and interesting adventures. Do you have plans for the coming year? Or wishes or dreams or goals?

Besides doing a lot of illustrations, I'm learning how to make pattern designs. Both surface pattern designs as well as patterns for embroidery designs. I have this dream of having my own fabric line and using my own fabrics in my needlework projects. I love creating with threads and fabrics and it will always be a big part in my creative life. And I also really love illustrating and making pattern designs, so I thought, why not combine? I have a lot of ideas and plans, a bit too many really, so we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to seeing everything materialize! I'll keep you posted :)

One of the things I want to learn is how to quilt. Do you have tips and tricks to share with me? And where do I start??? I know how to embroider, but my sewing has never been very neatly done. I'm a bit of a messy stitcher. As you can also see with my project for today. I call this my crazy collaged little quilt thingie.

collage crazy quilt in fabric journal by AppleApricot Wen

Er... it's far less neutrally coloured as I had in mind, lol!

The quilt thingie itself has a lot of neutrals, so I thought it would do for our party. But then I added it on a very blue page of a fabric book of mine, and well... It will have to do though, because everything else I could share is all very colourful.

The fabric journal is one that I had started a looooong time ago, but never came to work in it. It is meant to become a heirloom book. You can find the beginnings of it HERE.

I gathered some scraps of fabric. Some come from old blouses, some from an old pillow case, and some is new (or was new I should say, it's been around here for a while already). I collaged these scraps on a piece of white muslin, keeping the raw edges visible. And then I started to embroider and add some embellishments. I let my intuition guide me. The embroidery stitches I used are daisy stitches, French knots, (double) feather stitches, satin stitches, bullion knots, whipped backstitches, ... I think that's it, but I have the feeling that I'm forgetting one or two stitches...

Anyways, on to the party of this month!



Dear Alison was really on the roll with neutral projects last month, which she shared with us. One of these is the feature of last month, because it reminds me very much of a vintage Winter with a hint of Spring. (And I do long for Spring!!) And the tags she created are just gorgeous! Plus, I really loved the story she shared with them, how they came to be when she was creating with others. I so much enjoyed their creative gathering story, you can read it HERE.

vintage inspired tags created by Alison Bomber

Dear Alison, here is your feature blog button if you like:

On to this month's party!


To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

2) Kindly link back to AppleApricot by putting a link to my blog in your blogpost.

Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

3) Link ups to both new and older blog posts are welcome.

4) You can link up from your blog, but if you do not have a blog but would love to link up from your instagram or other social media account, that's perfectly fine too.

Beware though, that may be not everyone can come visit and/or leave you a comment there.

5) Please take time to visit some of the other link ups and send them some love.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen

Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot

(Inlinkz has updated to a new interface, so I hope it all works fine...)

UPDATE: since Inlinkz uses a new interface, the linkup looks different. Also, there is an advertisement link added (number 6 on my list, but it might be a different one in your list), which I cannot remove. Inlinkz they told me it's normal, because I use their free plan, which (unfortunately) is ad-based. Oh well...


  1. Oh Wen - of course I love this one!! It's blue - what's not to like? Alas, I can't help you much when it comes to sane quilting - it's definitely not my forte. Crazy quilting, on the other hand, is my thing. Happy 2019 my friend - may it be filled with lots of creativity and love.

  2. I love your neutral creation with it's blue hues of winter. Your stitching is perfect Wen, there's more beauty in freestyle and hand stitch than neat and tidy. I too have many fabric books that I have started with good intentions but never seemed to piece and pair together. More sewing is on my to do list, my poor sewing machine saw little creative action last year. I hope she will forgive me when she finally comes back out to play.
    I've never made a quilt before, the size does put me off but I believe a good walking foot is a god send if using a machine. Your crazy quilting piece would make a pretty panel upon a quilt or as a stand alone quiltlet.
    Thank you very much for sharing, Happy New Year and all the best for 2019 Tracey.

  3. Wow, your collage looks perfect to me, not messy at all 😉. I love the colours and layers of fabrics and embroidery that you added - beautiful! Many congratulations to Alison,I love her work and these tags are stunning 😁. Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with peace, love and happiness dear Wen! J 😊 x

  4. Oh it is so lovely Wen, beautiful blue , and love your mix, of pieces and stitches ,-- and I have to say I love messy sewing, too- I`m not one to sew or do perfect with stitches, or messurements ,lol.
    I love when it does not look like a machine, but a person, whom did it .
    Also love Alison`s gorgeous works, they are so beautiful!!
    Happy New Year to you, onc e again, lol- and wishes for all good for you. Hugs and love ,---Dorthe

  5. What a gorgeous fabric collage - the embroidery looks beautiful and delicate to me, and any slight messiness just adds to the charm. I'm all for embracing imperfection, especially with fabric and sewing - sewing machines break when I sit down at them, and knitting gets itself in knots before I've gone two rows! I love the delicate blues here - along with the design it reminds me of the willow pattern on antique china.

    Thank you so much for featuring my tags - I'm thrilled to be picked out from amongst so many lovely neutrals. It's a busy month ahead for me, but I hope I'll be along to join the party again some time soon.
    Alison x

  6. Wen, I love this blue! It is just gorgeous!I certainly didnt notice any messy stitches either. Beautiful work!

  7. Oh my Wen it sounds like you have some wonderful dreams in the works and I hope that this year brings them to life for you, I love your stitching collage. I don't know if I have tips for quilting, I learned from my mother, and I past on that to my daughter although my daughter doesn't care so much for quilting but she did take on my cross-stitching when she has the time :) The internet is a wonderful place to find tips on quilting of all kinds, all the best to you in 2019!

  8. Happy New Year, dear Wen, I hope 2019 will be filled with joy and much creativity and will find you in good health. I love the fabric you have picked for the main image, and how you have enhanced it with the lovely embroidery. xx

  9. Hello Wen I simply love your little crazy collage piece so beautifully stitched here in blues and browns! What a wonderful goal you have set for yourself with creating a fabric line. I've always been addicted to fabrics and textures and crazy patchwork is where I begun my mixed media artwork. I have probably created about 70 quilts in the past and enjoyed crazy quilting the most which is a much more ad lib unstructured form of quilting giving lots of scope to make your own mark! I would be happy to pass on any little tips from my years of quilting!
    Love Alison's beautiful collage too and the subject of vintage Christmas! So amazing!
    Wishing for you much enjoyment in your new creative goals for 2019 as well as good health and happiness!
    Love and hugs,
    Suzy xoxox

  10. Hello Wen, What a beautiful start to the year with a hint of fresh cool blue. Your stitches look beautiful to me, and maybe you don't need much busy quilting over the top. I've made a lot of quilts, and still have a few half-made which I must finish. I'm like a honey bee flitting from flower to flower with all the gorgeous inspiration available on the Internet. You could 'stitch in the ditch, following seam lines or lace edges. I agree with Tracey that a walking foot for your sewing machine is worth the investment - you can sew over various thicknesses without it bunching up. Also, some modern machines do a 'hand quilting' stitch - not quite a s good as lovely hand quilting though! But it saves time if you want to finish and move on.

    I love your sewing photo presentation.

    Alison's work is superb - I love how she shows how it is done so others might try it. So inspiring!

    Your fabric design ideas sound exciting, and you are talented enough to try it! I'll look forward to seeing how it all progresses.

    Happy creating in 2019. Hugs,
    Jesse XXX

  11. Beautiful work, what a pretty delicate colour. Happy New Year.

  12. You are talented, Wen. I would love to see more of your stitches! I wish I had more time to join in the Simply Neutrals party but working and selling online grabs up so much of my time. Makes me want to retire early, ha.

  13. Dear Wen, I'm late, but i come... with my best wishes for this year and for your studies. The times, when I've quilted, are over for such a long time (in former GDR we've done such things), I only remember, that I've done all with my sewing machine (we were always a good team), because my hands are very clumsy...
    Enjoy the sunny side of wintertime amd good luck with all :)

  14. I just love watching you learn as I am inspired by and learn from you dear Wen!! Your beginning piece is just gorgeous- i love the blue! And I love that you are using pieces of old blouses and such! So clever!
    Alison's tags are just divine and the perfect choice for this week!
    Looking forward to watching your dream unfold!
    huge hugs,Jackie xx


Thank you so much for leaving me a sweet message, I love reading your comments. Hugs and happy day to you! xx Wen