Monday, June 28, 2010

My Mariner's Compass Is Taking A New Direction.



Here's
the mariners compass I've been working on in my classes with Chris Jurd. I'd been a bit baffled as to what colour fabric I should sew it onto. I was thinking along the lines of blues ,the right shade of green, maybe a pale yellow...



Chris and I took it to the shelves of The Vintage Patch where our classes are held, and started our search... Lots of great choices but nothing really popped... Until this Kaffe Fasset purple dahlia fabric, which dosen't just pop but snaps and crackles as well! I would never have thought it but once we'd seen that combo everyhing else we tried just looked plain.


I haven't sewn the inner circles together yet... I'll make sure those green and white spots aren't near each other. I'm yet to do the teeny weeny circle for the middle, I'm thinking a little yellow flower, but I'll make up my mind when I've done the applique.


I've started cutting out the appliqué for the corners... This is where I'll be able to pull the colours together, and pick up some of the other less obvious colours throughout the compass.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this quilt takes me next!!


Cheerio

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Quilt History- Part 5 -Strawberries on Ice




I made this top in just one day just after Christmas 2008. I used a pattern from Material Obsession's first book called Retro Starburst by Kathy Doughty.



The big strawberries are by Marimekko whose bold designer fabrics I love. We had big 70's flower Marimekko curtains in my childhood home so once again nostalgia plays its part.



The big Blue flower and Love Birds panels are hand printed by Prints Charming which I'd happily discovered had their studio about 5 minutes from where I lived in Sydney. There's a few others of their fabrics as well.



I just pulled the rest of my fabrics from my stash and started sewing.


I finished this quilt top in 1 day but embarrasingly it's taken a year and a half to get around to quilting it. It was the first quilt I free motion quilted using my new Pfaff sewing machine.

To be honest I'd put it off because I needed to unpick the borders and to fix up some puckery and wavy bits. The red spots I'd used as interesting patchy parts in the border were some old fabric I'd had for a while. I thought I'd washed it but while it was out I used the rest of it to make a peg bag. One day the peg bag was outside when it rained and the dots all ran. Not good!! But lucky I found out before it was too late. I replaced the spots with some Alexander Henry day of the dead fabric which looks just as good.

I must say I pretty chuffed with my quilting. Its far, far, far from perfect but as a wise person once said "a finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt". I know I'll improve with practise.


Friday, June 25, 2010

New Blog for The Springwood Community Quilt Show.!!


A couple of weeks ago I had the honour of being invited to join the Springwood High School Community Quilt Show Committee. I know it's going to be a fun and interesting experience. It seems like the Quilt Show has just finished but work has already begun for the 2011 Show to be held the weekend after Easter , Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May.

The inaugural post for The Show's blog has been posted. What a great idea!! We all go to quilt shows but this way you can see a bit of what happens behind the scenes and during the lead up to the show and everyone can be part of the journey. The first post has sneak previews of the 2011 show's raffle quilt. Go and have a look...


... and be part of the fun!!!


cheerio

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2010


I mentioned in an earlier post that the Sydney Craft and Quilt Show at Darling Harbour was where I first decided that I would make a quilt so when I go each year it feels like an anniversary celebration. It was a magical sunny, blue sky day. Hard to believe it's the middle of winter.

I arrived nice and early on Sunday morning. A great time to go as there weren't the crowds that we waded through last year on a Friday. I had planned to just look at the quilt show and not look at the shops but seeing as there was room to wander and browse I couldn't resist.

I just bought a few little fat quarters for nothing in mind other than being a bit different or a super bargain.

I visited all my favourite stalls.
Quilter's Barn for their beautiful Yuwa fabrics and they're always so friendly.
Punch with Judy who have every sundry for quilting, where I bought some glass head, extra sharp pins. I have a bit of a fetish for pins. I love having all the different types for different things.
Prints Charming to see their new book but happily for them, but sadly for me, they'd sold out. I bought a hand printed fat quarter to console myself. They're pushing the idea of using their designs as a base for chunky folky embroidery, The effect is wonderful!!!
Material Obsession of course, just to see their fun, colourful, bright quilts in real life and to soak up some of their exuberance.
Patchwork on Central Park always have some exotic fabric that catches my eye, this year it was Liberty and Nani Iro's latest range whose fabric I love for being so different and are like art on fabric.
Amitie, I love the riot of colour in this stall! Their BOMs tempt me, but I have to finish my UFOs and WIPs before I even consider a BOM!!!

And there's a few other shops that I like to look at as I wander around. It really is eye candy everywhere you look!!


I came across a new stall that had me yelp with glee!!! They sold socks!! But not just any socks...


Sock Monkey Socks!!!!!!


I just love sock monkeys!!!!


I tried to get some of the proper red heeled socks a few years ago but the company in the US who makes them wouldn't ship overseas. Luckily for us Aussies the clever people at Campbell's Store in Morpeth have started importing them. You'll be seeing a monkey made by me in a post soon! I think GBF looks like a sock monkey, he dosen't think so, but he does! I mean that in the nicest way.


I mention Patchwork on Central Park had Liberty fabrics. They've been the talk of the town on blogs I read lately. People say how soft they are and what pretty designs.. they Are beautiful! And soft! and in a league of their own. I found a couple I just had to have.

This grey and black large scale floral caught my eye. Its such a great grey, really stormy but silvery. And those dandelions just had to be mine!

This is more pretty in a peachy pinky way...


Cute little girl walking her dog...

Pink bunny riding a bike...

Little bear driving along, and someone has put out the rubbish...

And here is a house burning down!!! Weird!! But it gets stranger...



This lovely fabric features bows, dolls, prams, cotton reels and...

.. hand grenades, machine guns, motorbikes!!! Very Weird!!!


The quilt show was wonderful!! I thought there was less quilts this year. Janet from Quiltsalot said in her post about the Show that it was down about 100 quilts. I wonder why? That dosen't mean they're weren't a lot to see!! There was traditional, modern, clever piecing, beautiful applique. I don't feel comfotable showing photos without permission but I'll sneak this little sweetie in. A little quilted butterfly.

To see an award winning quilt go to Chris Jurd's site to see her stunning Birds of Paradise Quilt. It really is the most beautiful and clever quilt.

All in all it was a wonderful day and a great way to spend an anniversary!!

Cheerio.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Quilt History Part 4- Afternoon Tea with The Birds


While I was was giving my sewing machine a good work out on other projects, my quieter moments were spent stitching hexagons. Measuring 3 inches along the sides, they were pretty big which meant fast to make and perfect for featuring the novelty fabrics I'd been collecting.



Making these brought back happy memories of basting hexagons for my Grandmother. I was too young to think of it at the time but I don't know what she used them for, and no one seems to know. They were most likely charity projects as my grandparents were very involved with the church. My aunts say she used to make suffolk puff bed spreads but strangely no one knows what happened to them either. What a shame!!



I pretty much just used bits of all the blue and yellow fabrics in my stash with some bits and pieces given to me by a friend from her stash. I like the way there are prints from different eras and styles. It wasn't until I was laying out my basted hexagons that I noticed how many birds and food fabrics I'd used. The name Afternoon Tea with the Birds came to me as I was sewing on a sunny spring afternoon.




The border fabric really brings the theme of the quilt to life and gives it a sense of party fun. I had a fat quarter in my stash. When thinking about borders it hit me that this fabric was the one. Then came the mad internet searches to find it. I finally found a place that had some. Providence played its part in the design when I decided to miter the corners and therefore didn't quite have enough fabric. Spreading it out with a the few hexagon patches throughout the border helped and made it much more interesting than if I'd just done a plain border.




I really wanted to hand quilt this quilt. In fact I wish I could hand quilt all my quilts. I love the look of the stitching, the tradition, feeling of achievement and knowing you've done everything in making the quilt. But the reality is that I work full time and I just wasn't getting around to it. It sat in a cupboard for about a year before I decided I wanted it finished in time for my birthday 2009. This time I sent it to Veronica Appleyard of Appleyard Cottage who was lovely to deal with and who chose to quilt in a bubbly pattern to match the bubbly fun nature of the quilt.


Afternoon Tea With The Birds one of the 2 quilts I entered into the 2010 Springwood Community Quilt Show. It was such a buzz to walk into a quilt show and see a quilt I'd made.

A big thank you to all the people who said nice things about it!!


It's such a bright, happy, fun quilt. It's perfect for adding a bit of spring sunshine to the bedroom on these cold winter nights.



Cheerio

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Quilt History- Part 3, Christmas Capers



I really can't remember what I was searching for but one day I found this rodeo Santa fabric on Ebay. Of course I had to have it! Soon I was prowling the internet for more fun, modern Christmas fabrics to make a festive quilt.



This is one of the most common layouts for a quilt but I felt a little bit of pride in figuring out all the measurements and how I would sew it together. Learning new words as I went along like "sashing" and "cornerstones". I especially love my "piano key" border.

The Michael Miller dots really bring the quilt together and make it quite sparkly.




I had some of the Mexican skull fabric that I couldn't help putting in. They're not Christmassy but they give it a twist in a festive way.



When I made this quilt we were living in a one bedroom apartment with no design wall, just the good old floor. Laying out a quilt would take up the whole living room area. I saved it to make one weekend when GBF was away mountain bike racing at a place called Capertee. I'd precut my fabrics and as soon as the door closed I took over the apartment and started sewing. I managed to get the top finished before he returned. I named the quilt Christmas Capers as a reminder of that weekend.


I used the Turning Twenty pattern to use up the leftovers and some fabrics that hadn't made it to the front. In particular I added blue tones on the back.

I bundled this off to Maxine Sandry to get longarm quilted. I got it back for Christmas 2008. As I mentioned earlier we lived in an apartment with not much room for a Christmas tree so this quilt added its festive buzz to our humble abode.

The only catch is I had it made with wool batting which is really too hot for the Australian summery Christmas. But perfect for Christmas in July!!!!!
And a good excuse to make a lighter weight Christmas quilt with the 12 Joys of Christmas fabric by Sheri Berry that I've just ordered.

A funny thing... We ended up going to a Rodeo those Christmas holidays!! Looking at that bull riding Santa prompted an online search for nearby cowboy action and luck was on our side and there was one about an hour north of Sydney in West Wyalong. There were no Santas but it was a fun experience. It's amazing what fabric will make you do!

Cheerio



Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Quilt History- Part 2, A Pair of Lappys



Excited by my new hobby I decided to make some lap quilts for my mother and step-father, Stephen as Christmas presents. They have a lovely garden so I used that as my inspiration.

Stephen grows vegetables and herbs and l actually managed to find fabrics featuring veges. I soon learnt you could find almost anything you can think of on a fabric. I started collecting lots of novelty prints of all sorts of fun themes. You'll see lots of them in my next few quilts.


I used the Turning Twenty pattern in which you get the same number of fat quarters as blocks (usually 20, hence the name) and cut them each in the same way then swap bits around. I guess that's what they call stack and slash. It was a step up from squares and got me thinking about how measurements work, and gave me practice cutting more accurately. I thought 9 was a comfy lap size. The block size is 16 inches plus a 3 inch border so they came out to 54 inches square.

I really like the way the blues and purples work together.

I didn't take a photo of the backing fabric but I used the blue Martha Negley fabric with the vegetable stripes of peas, turnips and brussel sprouts.

Named simply "Stephen's Garden" I told him it would be nice on those cold Melbourne winter days to stay inside read the newspaper tucked up in his indoor garden.



Mum's parts of the garden are full, luscious and flowery. There's not a lot of contrast in this quilt but I wanted that almost over grown mass of blending bloomy look.




I also used the lotus flower fabric (aka Lake Blossoms) and lotus leaves by Kaffe Fasset in memory of the time when mum visited me in Sydney and I took her to the Botanic gardens where the lotus were in flower. She loved them so much she painted this painting.



Mum loves doing cryptic crosswords so I made an anagram for her quilt's name,
"Lotus Love/ Love U Lots."

Martha Negley features again on the back with this delicious fabric


I made these in October 2008 and as I was giving them as Christmas presents, and didn't think I could quilt them both in time, I sent them away to be longarm quilted by Maxine Sandry who had been recommended by a friend. It's such a treat to have them returned all nicely quilted.

Needless to say they loved their quilts. Stephen referred to it as a summer blanket and said he'd use his for sleeping under which lead me to make a bed size quilt for him. I'll show case it in a future post.

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