….. because I’m spending time in Queensland with my gorgeous little grand-daughter, Isla. Dad has been away working for 2 weeks so Grandma paid a visit to keep the girls company.
We’ve shopped til we dropped, and had some fun at the Mall while Mum was at work:
Made curtains for Isla’s bedroom:
Played together – Isla in her cardboard box,
and Grandma on her trusty Elna Lotus.
I carefully pack my trusty travel companion in my checked-in luggage each time I come up to Queensland and love the convenience of being able to keep up with at least one of my projects while I’m away from home. It’s always an anxious moment opening my suitcase and hoping that all is well though. I’ve been lucky to date, but this time I’m going to leave my machine here ready for the next visit.
This week I’ve worked on the foundation paper pieced borders for my That’s What Friends Are For quilt. Getting that quilt finished in time for our Guild’s quilt show will be a minor miracle. The sewing is close to completion but it’s a big quilt to quilt on a domestic sewing machine. I might have to put sleep on hold….
It’s chilly, even in sunny Queensland, and this was a welcome weekend family activity when Dad dropped in for 36 hours.
Dad went back to work this morning and Mum’s on school holidays, spending every spare moment planning for a very special celebration that’s happening in 4 weeks time. Stay tuned!
Last weekend was a long weekend here in Australia and my local Handiquilter dealer offered her Sweet Sixteen girls a 3 day wholecloth quilt-in. I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to start a new vintage linen quilt in the hope that I might get it finished in time to enter into our Guild’s Festival of Quilts at the end of September. The next six weeks of my life are going to be crazy busy and I won’t be able to get any quilting done at all so my timeline is a bit pressured.
In my normal fashion I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with this lovely old tablecloth. However the centre already had the beginnings of a structure so it seemed logical to build on that.
Here is what I did with the centre section – swirls of feathers coming out from the centre. Have I told you how much I LOVE feathers??!!I wanted to take some hand sewing to a quilting function I went to this weekend so I started playing with some beading ideas. I can’t do any more than this or they’ll get in the way of any ruler work I do.
A lightly beaded circle in the centre.
Tiny beads in the flower centres.
The centre is close to being finished. I just have 3 more of these pairs of fiddlehead feathers to do and then some heavy scribbling to do around the edges. I needed a design to ‘capture’ the scribble, and I think that these one sided feathers do the job perfectly.
I’ve started stitching out a background grid, but I’m still undecided about which fill idea I’ll go with. I’m hoping inspiration will strike soon!
I filled the leaves with pebbles, the flowers with veins and densely scribbled in the funny hook shapes. I wanted to create some different textures within the corner motifs but it’s pretty subtle. Whilst veins seem logical to put into the leaves I decided to switch the ideas around.
I loved those one sided feathers so much that I’m carrying on the idea into the outside border areas.
I did something this week that I never imagined doing. I quilted a teaching sample for a friend. Several weeks ago, Wendy asked if I would be willing to do this for her. Initially I decided that I couldn’t (for a whole bunch of fear of failure reasons) but then I decided to be brave and give it a go.
I don’t know how quilters who quilt for others do it…..all I could see were the ‘oops’ moments in my quilting and all I could think about was how I would like to start over and do things differently.
It was definitely an eye opening experience.
Wendy has a love of applique, and with her passion for reproduction quilts she has developed a unique style. Influenced by recent Red and White exhibitions here is her latest applique teaching sample, quilted by moi.
Sorry about the slightly blurry image. My quilt holder was in bed sick and it was quite windy outside.
And some detailed shots… I wanted to do a whole lot of pebbling in some areas, but found that stitching white cotton thread (I used Aurifil 30 weight) on white cotton fabric is not conducive to pebbling – I just couldn’t see where I’d previously been stitching. I tried a few other background fills but found them equally challenging. Chalk that up to another lesson learned!
A couple of weeks ago I had a quiet night to myself with absolutely nothing on television that interested me. Whimsically I decided to have a look for a new online quilting class to check out. I started with Craftsy, but didn’t find anything inspiring there so headed over to iQuilt. I had previously enrolled in an iQuilt class and I wasn’t disappointed this time either. Better still, the classes were 50% off!
Looking at the classes available, I figured that one in particular was likely to be more of a ‘quilt along with me’ style, which quite appealed to my style of learning. So I signed up for Judi Madsen’s class – Quilting Makes a Difference.
I loved it. Judi offers two styles of quilting on the same designed pieced tops – a more traditional approach and a modern approach. Only the coloured fabric strips in the centre are different for each. Initially I watched the whole show through, but once my tops were ready to quilt I went back and watched each lesson then stitched out the design.
My finished samples aren’t exactly like hers – but the designs were so flexible that it was easy to tweak techniques.
Here is the first sample that I completed along with Judi.
This is one area that I chose to stitch out different to the Judi’s original design. I love feathers too much to pass up an opportunity to include them!
You can see from the traces of blue marker pen that I had to add some guiding marks for this design.
The second quilt was even more fun. I’d not done very much modern quilting and I have to say that I really enjoyed the process. Here is my finished top:
I thoroughly recommend this class if you want to have fun learning some new quilting techniques. Judi is a great teacher.
My life has been a whirlwind of craziness during the last few weeks. In the lead up to the Coro Quilters’ Exhibition last month, I decided that I could easily manage to quilt two quilts before the deadline. Whew! I only just made it…..
I showed some photos of one quilt in my last post and here are some detailed shots I took during the exhibition of the second quilt. This quilt was the 2015 Coro Quilters’ Mystery Quilt, made over 6 months. In summary, these were our monthly clues:
Create a centre piece which includes an applique cut from the Go Cutter.
Use 3 different fabrics.
Include French Braid.
Something starting with ‘S’.
Half square triangles/Quarter square triangles.
Border – 4 squares wide and reflects your current environment. (For me this was during a time when I was just about overwhelmed with emails dealing with an event I was involved in – words, words and more words!)
I had a lot of fun quilting this quilt – for some reason it reminded me of the beach so I have pebbles, shells and grasses as my main quilting motifs.
The outer negative spaces were treated to more elaborate ‘shells’ which helped to fill the quilting spaces more quickly.
The French Braid reflected a simpler version of the free motion ‘grasses’ that I quilted in the same border.
Both the inner and outer black printed borders were so busy that any quilting that I did was not going to be at all noticed, so I kept it simple – ribbon candy on the inner border and a swirly continuous design on the outside border.
We have interstate visitors staying with us at the moment, but in between the food, wine, excursions and chatting I’ve managed to find bits of time to complete a fun, online quilting class that moved me out of my comfort zone. More in the next post!