Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sewing memories

Here's a top I made a little while ago. 

To make it I raided my scrap buckets and found unused blocks, trimmings from oversized backings, extra pieces of fabric from quilts I've made over the years. It's truly a mix of leftovers.

As I rummaged through the blocks and fabrics I couldn't help but think about the quilts that these pieces came from.

For example this intersection comes from three different quits:

The strawberry fabric is from Strawberries on Ice, the purple trees are from Magic Wheels and the clamshell fabric is from Octopus's Garden.

The blue yellow geese were a rejected border from my Meet You in the Garden quilt

On the right side of the geese are those wonderful big bold bright Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mably fabrics

They're from this quilt. I used it as a backing for another quilt and had to trim it back to size.

The next photo has a piece of yellow 30's print from the first quilt I ever made.
The cobalt blue flowery fabric was used for the border on Peacock Garden,
I used the Denise Schmidt pink floral as the backing for Charming Smiles.
The red and white daisy print is a favourite fabric that I used in the border of my Undercover Colour red and white quilt.

Peacock Garden

Charming Smiles

Undercover Colour 

Along one side of my scrappy leftovers flimsy is the cut off edge of this colourful quilt,

which was the backing for the Love Quilt that I made for some friends as a wedding present. 

In the middle of this photo there is a Lightning Bolt block from a quilt I never finished. It's nice that it's found a home in a quilt after all.

So as you can see this top is like a fabric diary of my quilting journey so far.

I certainly enjoyed the journey of memories it took me on as I chose pieces and sewed them together. 

I'm sure you'll agree that reminiscing is one of the joys of sewing with our scraps and leftovers! Maybe our scrap bins should be renamed as Happy Memories buckets?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Just playing around.

Sometimes it's nice to play.

To simply pick a few leaves and flowers and see how they look together

How about right side up ?

or upside down?

Shapes all lined up in a row. 

 A little bit random.

Take a closer look. 

Yes, sometimes its nice to play ...

...to see what will emerge.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Whizz Bang! Pine Burr blocks.

Next up in the Whizz Bang! series are the Pine Burr/Pine Cone blocks.

 Pine Burr or Pine Cone quilts have been described as a three dimensional quilt with overlapping triangles placed in circles starting from the center.  From early to late twentieth century these quilts were popular amongst Southern African American quilters. This style of quilt making was considered masterpiece work as much as fine applique was considered in Caucasian communities.

I couldn't find any information about where the idea first originated from or any information earlier than the early 20th century. If anyone knows any more information about Pine Burr or Pine Cone quilts feel free to let me know.

I love how electric Pine Burr blocks look. The wonkiness suits them, gives them more movement and makes them look playful. I've been very scrappy in my fabric choices again with these blocks.

Yay for red and white polka dots! 

I played with different ways of making the points. Squares, rectangles, even circles folded different ways, simply to try different methods of making them. You can't tell the difference in the final blocks.

Of course a bit of ric rac crept into one of the blocks.

Close up photo of the quilting stitches with perle 8 thread.  

I've been asked how many layers I was quilting through - I'll list them starting from the bottom up:
background fabric
foundation fabric (cotton, sometimes denim) 
folded cotton points. 

Reading that list sounds like craziness! It's lucky I get very determined when I have an idea.

In the next post Whizz Bang! will take us from the south of the US to the other side of the world. Tune in to find out how the next round of blocks were inspired by an old Chinese Quilt. 

For more Pine Burr goodness pop over here to see an amazing quilt made by LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Whizz Bang!

It's time to have a closer look at Whizz Bang!. 

There are so many blocks with different details and we'd be here all day if I tried to squeeze everything into one post so I've decided to spread the infornation out over a few posts. Think of it like progress posts but in reverse. 

So where did this quilt begin? Inspiration came from a few places but the initial spark occurred a few years ago, before my blogging days in fact. I made a pot holder using folded points. I followed the instructions of a tutorial on the Internet (I can't seem to find it now) and soon ended up with an interesting circle of points. I loved the look of all the layers and best of all it was fun to make! 

There are different styles of blocks in my Whizz Bang! quilt and the blocks in this post are most like the pot holder I made. I've constructed these circles in a different way from the pot holder but the points are neatly laid out to create patterns rather than the more haphazard placements of Pine Burr blocks that I'll show in the next post. 

This was the first block I made for Whizz Bang! People often say it looks like licorice allsorts and now that it's been pointed out to me I can't help but think that too. mmm licorice allsorts, yum!

After making a few bright coloured blocks I decided to try something in softer, pretty, colours. The lace trim was the perfect finishing touch.

Here is the last block I made, and one of my favourites. Anything with ricrac wins my heart. 

If you look at this block you'll see my fabric selection is really quite scrappy. I used different fabrics but in the same colourway. I like the interest mixed fabric adds and I believe it makes the overall look a little more dynamic, even if it's not so obvious.

This photo shows some of the hand quilting with perle8 cotton through the points. Every secord or third row of points has been quilted. It was heavy going but I used big chenile needles and just got on with it.  I broke a few needles along the way but that's okay. I've hand quilted a few denim quilts so I'm getting used to these big hefty quilts by now. 

My best tip of working on heavy quilts is to lay them over trestle tables. Whizz Bang! was resting on three trestle tables and I'd just swing it around or fold it to get to different areas I was working on. The reason I use trestle tables is that I can fold them up and put them out of the way when I don't need them. 

Here I am working late at night, like a busy little worker bee. 

At the Sydney Show when I was chatting to people it was interesting to hear stories of them making these types of folded point blocks years ago for pot holders, cushions, decorations for childrens jackets, table mats Christmas decorations. A woman who had grown up in Malaysia had memories of making edges of photo frames with points of folded cigarette boxes. 

Let's leave it there for now. I'll be back with more colourful Whizz Bang! photos soon. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Thank you!!

Far out brussell sprout!!! The show is over now and I feel as though there's so much to say but where do I begin? I know you want to see more photos of the quilts but first I really want to thank some of the people who have made this past week the best week of my life.  It's not just the honour of winning such a prestigious award but all the wonderful people I've met.

All of the Quilt NSW team were Amazing!! A show with 400 quilts is a huge undertaking but they were so organised in a friendly and efficient way. They really looked after me when all of a sudden I found myself in the spotlight, and treated me like royalty throughout the show.

I'd like to thank the judges Jane Gibson, Linda Butcher and Julie Haddrick. I couldn't do their job. I would have to give every quilt a prize.

A special highlight of the show for me was meeting Merelyn Pearce and seeing her quilts in real life. Merelyn is so lovely and her quilts are mind bogglingly amazing. If you don't know her work Google her name and you'll see images of her quilts.

And now the awesome sponsors - 

First up Bernina. They are huge supporters of the quilt show.  Yay for Bernina!!!

Greg Alexander, the managing director of Bernina Australia was the one to hand over my winning ribbons. I thought I was going to faint and he held me up. What a great guy! He has a true interest in quilting, quilters and the quilting community. His enthusiasm is contagious. I can't wait to get to know my new super machine, the 720QE and learn everything it's capable of. 

As part of my prize Bernina are also flying me to AQC in 2017. Every year I say I'm going to go but I always seem to be busy around that time and don't get there. No more excuses, next year I'll be there with bells on! (Hey Melbourne bloggers - maybe we should try to arrange a meet up?). I get to attend the Gala Dinner where the Best of Australia will be chosen from the state winners. I've heard the NSW ladies really know how to party!

Here's Bree and Karen (who also owns a shop called Sew Can I) at the Bernina stand. A fun sewing machine play ground!

Jenelle Kent of Pieces to Treasure was the main sponsor for the Mixed Techniques/Anything Goes Category.

 So many treasures!!! I've heard lots of wonderful things about the Pieces to Treasure shop in MacMasters Beach. I'm looking forward to seeing it myself one day.

Another prize I received was an amazing craft bag from Yazzii. It has a thousand pockets that will have my sewing sundries organised in no time. I'll do a proper show and tell once I've filled it.
They have bags of all sizes and for everything you could want to organise. I love that they are bright colours, not just the usual black.

I also love the assorted Indian ribbon and braids that Yazzii sell. More yummy colour!

In fact there's an square Indian embroidered patch inside the star on the Whizz Bang! quilt that I bought from Yazzii at last years show.

Vlieseline sponsored a huge bag of their products. All sorts of fabulous goodies that will no doubt inspire some me to make some wonderful creations.

I didn't do a lot of shopping but I couldn't walk past this stall without being drawn in.  Cash Palace Emporium, was full clothes and textiles with sumptuous colour, textures and patterns. I so enjoyed rummaging through and unearthing beautiful fabrics. I could have spent the day talking to these lovely ladies about textiles and India.
Upon finding out that I'd won Best in Show Elaine generously gave me this most beautiful roll of hand embroidered silk border. Thank you Elaine!! If you're in Sydney you can visit their shop in Leichhardt for not only fabrics but beautiful exotic clothing too.
All  those beautiful hand stitches and the colours - exquisite!

I always stop by the Quiltmania stand and admire all their beautiful quilts and gorgeous books. I think it's wonderful they fly out from France to be at the Sydney Quilt Show.

Talking of Quiltmania - you know how much I look forward to reading Simply Moderne, the latest edition is out and about on newsstands. Now the show is over I had a quiet day yesterday reading it from cover to cover with a whole pot of cinnamon tea, a perfect way to relax after busy days.
You think I'd be sick of quilts after looking at them all week - Ha! Never!!!

Last but not least a big Thank You to all the wonderful people who stopped by to lovely things about both of my quilts or left messages on my blog and emailed me. Your kind words mean a lot to me and encourage me to keep of creating my colourful quilts.

More about Whizz Bang! in the next post.. stay tuned. :)

In the meantime you can visit the QuiltNSW website to see the gallery of winners.


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