Twice Blessed with Grandaughters

In the short space of 6 weeks in late 2014/early 2015 we greeted two beautiful grand daughters into the world. The following weeks and months were a whirlwind of babysitting, interstate trips and, through the joys of modern technology, photographs of daily milestones in shared family photo albums. We now have two toddlers and a new baby cousin on the in-law side of one family. So our world is full of all things babies. It was timely to make a quilt top for the newest little one and I was reminded by the mother of one toddler that said youngster hadn’t yet had a quilt of her very own – so off I went shopping for cot panels.

I’ve heard it said that if you want to improve your free motion quilting skills then pre-printed panels are the way to go. I’m going to beg to disagree. The one panel that I started when I first purchased my sit down quilting machine became a UFO very soon after it was sandwiched! I’m sure that I will go back and complete it one day, but the necessary accuracy in outline quilting and creativity in developing suitable background fills were beyond my early ability. Personally, I think that orphan blocks are the absolute best way to develop your early free motion quilting skills.

The baby cot panel that I quilted came from Hettie’s Patch and was a lot of fun to quilt. Firstly, I outlined all of the graphics then went to work on making the background¬† interesting without being quilted/flattened to death. For the same reason I chose not to do more than outline the larger animals.

IMG_2137

IMG_2138

However, for the toddler panel I went to town on the animals and balloons, trying to build in a range of textures. I like to imagine Charli lying on or under her quilt, running her fingers over the surfaces of the different blocks.

IMG_2130

IMG_2133

IMG_2134

IMG_2132

I was totally flummoxed when trying to come up with a design for the ever changing widths of yellow sashing strips until I remembered a wonderfully simple technique used by a friend. It works a treat on super busy border fabrics too – you can zig zag your way back and forth, or all the way around a quilt, as many times as you need in order to tame the bulge. I used a ruler, but it can easily be eye-balled.

IMG_2135

Til next time……

Hello, World!

Earlier this year my local Bernina dealer contacted me and asked if I would teach some beginner quilting classes on the Q20 at AMQF this year. The following weeks were a rush of class planning and sample production before the class schedule was released and bookings went online. It occurred to me during that time that anyone searching online for information about Chris O’Brien probably wouldn’t find much about a South Australian quilter in amongst a gazillion references to a well known and much loved Australian surgeon.

Many years ago my husband asked why I hadn’t joined the blogging world, but I was pretty adamant that blogging time would take away from my precious quilting time so I’ve always resisted. That said, I spend far too much time reading other peoples’ blogs, so my excuse was pretty lame!

So today I’ve made a start.¬† Next time I’ll show you what I’m currently working on…..