Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trail Blazing


Last Saturday (I know, I'm a bit late with this post but I'm having the busiest week!! Better late than never. ) I was up with the birds to head off to Chris and Anne's Sewing Camp. It's held in Mulgoa which is about 40 minutes drive from my house. A fun drive it was too, nice winding road and lovely countryside. My 60's Bollywood music was blaring, drowning out my enthusiastic but terrible singing.



Before I knew it I was heading down the long driveway of the property when I came across this furry fellow...

Thomas the Donkey!!! What a sweetie!! Of course I had to stop and say hello.

But when I hopped back in my car it wouldn't start. I was still ten minutes from my destination. As I rang for roadside assistance my day flashed before my eyes as I pictured myself stranded for hours, or having to leave with my car being towed away. And why? oh why?in all my car full of sewing stuff did I not have some hand sewing to keep me occupied while I waited? There was nothing to do but enjoy the view, watch kangaroos jumping by and chat to Thomas. The NRMA car was a very welcome sight! And the mechanic went straight to the problem- a loose distributer cap. It was fixed in 5 minutes and I was on my way.




I was about an hour late to my class but my friends had saved my seat and got me sorted in no time.

Here's the lovely Ann Murry demonstrating some free motion quilting. She had so many good little tips and is such a patient teacher.

My quilting still needs lots of work but everyone says it just takes practise. I've decided to take up doodling on paper in spare moments to loosen up my free motion brain muscles.

Tracey who was sitting at our table took to free motion quilting like a duck to water and came up with butterflies, and flowers and my favourite, this gorgeous little pansy.

Each seat had a been allocated a raffle ticket and during the day numbers would be called out. The winner could choose from a lucky dip treasure bag. I won a handy tape measure and a good sized piece of wintery grey fabric.

We had delicious sandwiches and huge fruit platters for lunch supplied by the local cafe.

Very tasty!!!
In the afternoon we started our quilts using a pattern by Chris Jurd. I was so busy and time flew so I'm sorry to say I didn't take any photos , but there are amazing photos of everyones work on Chris's blog, definately worth having a look.

I had the best day. I wasn't able to stay for the whole weekend as I had vistors staying but I'm already marking it in my calender for next year. The fun continues after dark with games, fabric swaps and show and tell. A highlight for me was meeting Pamela whose name I've seen around blogland as Pamken. Its great to be able to put a face to a name. There's a fun photo of her on Chris's blog too.

Mulgoa had taken me to the bottom of the Mountains then on Sunday Gbf and I took our guests to the top to Blackheath to show off our favourite Blue Mountains view. Govetts Leap Lookout has such breathtaking vistas.
It never ceases to blow me away that this is our neighbourhood. Lucky us!!!

And if you're ever in the area Blackheath has a great patchwork shop called Ribbons and Rainbows that has a great range of different fabrics, and very helpful staff. I always find a few goodies when I visit.

Cheerio.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let the Good Times Roll


I was cruising my blog roll this afternoon and when I came to the Fat Quarterly blog I saw they had a featured crafter post featuring ME. Whoa Nelly!!! Little ole me. I feel a bit like I'm bragging but do pop over and have a look.

I'm off to a sewing camp tomorrow. I've wound bobbins, put in a fresh needle, packed 2 quick unpicks... I'm ready to go, come rain, hail or shine


It's goes for the whole weekend with classes run by Chris Jurd and Ann Murray. Unfortunately I can only go for the day as we're having out of town visitors, it's non stop action here in Daisyland.
I'll be back soon with photos of fun times.

Cheerio

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Watch This Space


We have lift off!!

This is the quilt I've made for GBF's 2010 birthday... which was way back in May. I did get the top done in time, it's just the quilting part that daunted me. It's funny how I seem to think that leaving my tops in the cupboard for a long time will enable me to do wonderful, perfect quilting. But my quilt tops are piling up, and it's getting closer to the end of the year so I had to face facts and accept that only good old practice will give me the skills to finish my quilts.


So I made my sandwich with a zillion safety pins, set up my sewing machine for quilting and dusted the cobwebs off my quilting gloves. I began by stitching in the ditch around the blocks. When I started getting comfortable I put the free motion quilting settings on and went for it. At first I played around with some angular stippling then progressed to stars with loops. The more I did the more fun it became. I had planned to use Glow in the dark thread (YLI Brilliance) but it just kept breaking. It could've been the tension or needle but I didn't think it was worth persevering as the plasticy feeling of thread made it quite scratchy in the quilt. It'll be better saved for a wall quilt. It's a shame because the bit I did sew shines really well in the dark, along with the blue night sky fabric that has glow in the dark stars.


At one point I looked up and noticed GBF watching.
"Would you like a go?" I asked.
"Yes Please!!" was his enthusiastic reply.

Love that look of concentration and don't the yellow gloves suit him? He quilted for about 20 minutes before needing a break due to tired forearms. See, quilting is hard work!

Which reminds me of 2 things I really must remember when I quilt. They're things that everyone says but I must have thought I was exempt for some reason. Writing them down might help drum them into my head..

1 - Take breaks! Regular ones!! Don't sit there quilting thinking if you just keep going you'll get it finished sooner. Or else you end up with a tight neck and headache.

2- Warm up on a mini sandwich first. My quilting really improved as I warmed up. Its such a shame that you start quilting in the center of the quilt and work outwards. It means all the best quilting is on the edges.

I'll post photos of the whole quilt when I've finished the binding.


The spacey quilt is not the only thing I've quilted this week. Our Ipad needed a cover. It's a padded pocket with a flip over flap that can be tucked in. A nice easy, quick and simple project. It's so refreshing to finish something in an hour.

It was great to use this Echino linen and bicycle fabric, both from my overflowing cupboard of fabrics.

Okay, better get that binding done.

Cheerio.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hunting Waggas

Just warning you that this is a long post, perfect for viewing with a cup of tea.

I can't help but wish I'd taken a picture of the outside of the Hunters Hill Town Hall yesterday. Instead I'll ask you to picture the perfect Sydney sunny, crisp blue sky, winter but almost spring day. An old sandstone building festooned with colourful quilt block bunting. Yay!!! I was at the Hunters Hill Quilters biennial Quilt Show!!!

The group has been going strong since 1982. One of their most well known members is Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame. Here's two of her quilts..


Madness made from leftover practice blocks and scraps. It's a riot of colour and strips leading the eyes in different directions.


Her other quilt Pheasantville is full of sumptuous, beautiful fabrics. The bird feature fabric is so dreamy and I love the use of the stripes.


Nice fussy cutting.
Talking of fussy cutting, I was captured by Lindy Messenger's quilt , Amy's Mosaic Floor using fabrics from my favourite Amy Butler range, Belle.
This was the Best in Show quilt. Sky Garden by Beryl Roche. I'd give it best title too, what a great name.

A Little Bird Told Me by Deborah Laurie is inspired by an 185o's quilt. I love all the different patterns that emerge as you look at this quilt, and the colours work so well.
Oh how I love toile!!! So does Josephine Nixon with her quilt La Toile de Jouy , copied from one she saw in Le Rouvray in Paris.
The colourwash effect in this hexagon quilt is wonderful!! Fantastic use of black and white fabrics as background. The Pansy Patch by Carolyn Davis.

This is one one my very favourites. I love the calm colours and the repetition. Wendy Wilson's scrap quilt is called Leftovers.

The next 3 quilts really stood out to me.They're all quite different from each other so I didn't realise until I was reading the catalogue later that they're all by the same person, Kathie De Palo.

Shot Waves using shot cottons by Kaffe Fassett and Reece Scannell.

Perfect points! Beautiful hand quilting!
This next one got my vote for viewers choice. Framed is just a wonderland of gorgeous fabrics and bright, but not too bright. Lots of small piecing and all hand quilted in perle8 cotton. It measures 260x260cm (102x102inches) so its size adds to its impact.
This quilt is sunshine, marmalade and calendulars all mixed up and can't help but make me smile.

Kathie De Palo's third exhibit is a Wagga.
What is a Wagga? It's the Aussie quilt. Traditionally made from old blankets, tailors samples, hessian and flour sacks, really anything tough and sturdy. Generally not big, they are enough for 1 person and small enough to easily carry. Made more for function than asthetic looks waggas were used by aussie swagmen, shearers, drivers.

This is Doreen AKA the Queen of Waggas. To say she is passionate about them is an understatement.
The Hunters Hill Quilters have made lots of wonderful Waggas and have them for sale.
Keeping up the tradition of using old clothes and blankets, the woolens, tweeds, funishing fabrics make them so tactile.


Okay, I'd better leave it there. I hope you've enjoyed a little taste of the Hunters Hill Quilters 2010 Show.

Ps. Talking of quilt shows- check out the latest photos of the The Springwood Community Quilt Show Raffle Quilt here.

Cheerio.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Something old,something new,something borrowed, something blue...or maybe purple?


My latest parcel delivered by the post fairies was full of vintage gorgeousness. An array fabrics from the 50s and 60s.


My heart raced when I saw the listing on Etsy for a "Vintage Lot of Fabric Remnants". Even though the description included photos there were still lots of wonderful surprises as I went through the box. The pieces are mostly 8 x 11 inches with a few longer strips and two larger squares.

This 22inch carriage and horses panel had my mind galloping with ideas for a medallion quilt.


It's a mixed bag of fabric types: different weights of bark cloth, lightweight cotton and light upholstery fabrics.


They must have been samples as most of the fabrics have identification stickers on the back and are represented in various colours.



Did you know that "Shrunketized" was a word?


This is such a pretty fabric. I particularly like the grey colourway and I like the way the tree looks like it's dancing.

Some of the designs are quite unusual..

Some are quite pretty.


I wasn't the only one to buy themselves a present this week. GBF came home with an Ipad. He uses it for work and it's great for the train but I was a bit ambivalent about it. That is, until I had the brilliant idea ...of using it for electronic fabric samples!


I've been trying to decide on border fabric for my Mariners Compass quilt and had narrowed it down to a couple of choices. Being able to hold a relatively large sample up to the quilt really helped. The first of the two finalists are this blue fabric which I really love. It's from Liberty's Marylebone range coloured by Kaffe Fasset.

The other choice is this purple/tan botanical print by Philip Jacobs whose work I'm always attracted to. At the moment I'm leaning more towards the purple to balance out the dahlia fabric.


Hmm, maybe I should just use more dahlia fabric?

The batteries in my camera were flat when I went to take these photos but GBF jumped in with his camera and took lots of photos for me. I'll leave you with a few of his beautiful arty shots.



Cheerio

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