31 October 2009
I'm not going to show any pics of that sampler because it's, well, umm, not very good. Life's too short to impose my not-very-good quilting on you all - just thank me for that. I will now resume practising...
PS My last post was number 700 and I let it past without mention, only because I didn't notice. 700. Pretty good, eh?
29 October 2009
I was in need of more pleasant experiences so I ventured into my garden this morning - the first time in several days - and found a wonderful surprise.Many months ago, I had sown some aquilegia seeds in amongst other plants in a large terracotta pot. The plants had grown and lovely leaves had developed, but I never saw any flowers coming until suddenly there they are!
Aren't they the most beautiful flowers?
I've been reminded that we constantly need to refresh ourselves and focus on the positive in life. My garden helps me do that because there is always something changing amongst the plants. Sewing and good friends also helps replenish the spirit, so thank you Sarah for a lovely day that helped me regroup.
26 October 2009
25 October 2009
Here's a peek at my latest play; this time it's applique. I couldn't resist this gorgeous umbrella print and the half-metre piece I bought has been sitting in my stash for several months. I bought it for a pieced quilt I have started to imagine, but when I wanted some fabric for hand applique, it called out to be used. Hmm. Will probably need to buy some more now!
This is my first hand applique. Before I started I pulled my copy of Liuxin Newman's book, Perfect Hand Applique with Thimblelady, off the shelf and had a thorough read. My first few curves were a challenge, but soon I worked out a rhythm that was comfortable. It can only get better with practice.
22 October 2009
My version of the traditional Thousand Pyramid layout is called Pyramids from the Stash. It is my absolute favourite quilt and is the one I sleep under every night. I made it to try to use up blue fabrics in my stash - as if! Easy to cut and piece by machine, it is the perfect pattern to make if you like scrap quilts or you could be more coordinated and plan your colour layout. I didn't; I just alternated light and dark blue fabrics.
This quilt, Sunshine on Roses, cheers me everytime I look at it. It is currently draped across a high-backed cane chair in my living room and I feel it smiles at me. One day, I suddenly had the urge to make a yellow and pink quilt after I saw sunshine highlighting the petals on a pink rose in my garden. I started collecting fabrics and thought about how I could use them. The pattern is easy to make and also perfect for using your stash. There are only two blocks in the quilt.
Now this one is fun. I called it Girt. If you are not Australian, you might not understand the reference, so I probably should explain. In the centre of each block I have used a fabric covered in small Australian flags. The blocks are made with red/ochre/green fabrics, to represent the land of our country. The outside border is pieced with blue/ochre fabrics to represent the oceans that surround the land. Deep and meaningful, isn't it?
Anyway, in our national anthem, there is a line "our home is girt by sea" (girt means surrounded) and since my blocks are surrounded by blue fabric, I wanted to use that wonderful word, Girt, as the name of the quilt.
Girt is sitting here on the shelf beside me. So even if you don't know anything (or care!) about the story behind the quilt, the pattern is fun to make. All the strips are short so it is perfect for scraps. Fun and easy.
These are the first three patterns I've released in my shop. I have a couple more nearly ready to be loaded, so look out for them soon. I hope you enjoy them.
21 October 2009
20 October 2009
The new catalogue is out so I snaffled a copy for later drooling. The excitement of the excursion was when I saw everyone's favourite bookcase, Billy, is now available in blue! Be still, my heart. Now all I have to do is try to justify another bookcase to myself...
19 October 2009
18 October 2009
17 October 2009
15 October 2009
It's reassuring that some of you had more interesting days than I did yesterday -read about it here. I'm trusting today will offer more stimulation. (By the way, the vacuum cleaner is a beauty. I took it for a whirl up and down the stairs yesterday - where I tried out its special narrow turbo head - and it was great. Just thought you were dying to know.)
Some of my quilt patterns will soon be ready for sale, but not until I stop grappling with logo ideas and make a decision. I'll get there eventually, but in the meantime my mind is spinning with concepts. Too many options, I think.
14 October 2009
If you day was more exciting than mine, please leave a comment. I'm sure you won't be able to top my highlight, though.
12 October 2009
One of the things on my list is to do more applique. Considering that I do exactly none now, that surely won't be difficult to achieve? I've had my copy of Barabra Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique for a few weeks now (approximately $30 cheaper than I could purchase locally, thanks to The Book Depository) but really haven't had time to delve into it properly until today. It is a completely updated edition of her original 1993 book and has certainly started me thinking about shapes and designs.
Also on the subject of applique, I came across this website today - All About Applique. I have already learnt some handy tips there to get me motivated.
Back to my planning...
11 October 2009
First, Susan showed us her joined Rose Star blocks. Our task for the day was to choose border fabrics for this quilt, so we all trooped into the shop and carried back bolts we thought would work. Two winners were chosen, but you'll have to wait until next month to see how Susan puts them together. What a beauty this quilt will be.
Susan has already started work on her next hand-pieced project - Feathered Star blocks made with Fossil Fern fabrics. She had a stash of these at home, just waiting for the right pattern to come along. We are looking forward to seeing some pieces cut out next class.
Lyn has finished her gorgeous quilt now, having had it professionally quilted. I love the striped binding that just sets off the border perfectly. This block is Grandma's Star.Lyn's next project is with the Daisy Days block. These are her first two so far. I love the use of black and white centres.
Deidre is in the process of piecing her Chook Shed quilt together. Fantastic orange-surrounded Queen of the May blocks glow from the black backgrounds. Yum.
10 October 2009
I fell in love with the simplicity of line in her quilts. They are soothing, calming quilts that invite you to sit and contemplate. Well, at least that's what they do for me.
I snapped photos of all her quilts and drool over them most days. Sadly, I don't have Ingrid's permission to publish my photos, so I haven't been able to show you. So now I'm excited that you can share my pleasure and see some of Ingrid's quilts. If you pop over here, you'll be able to visit with Ingrid and Sarah on SEWN. Go on, I know you'll love them.
09 October 2009
I made my textile piece with a layer of pink and gold silk fibres over hand-dyed fabric. It is hand stitched all over with pink cotton thread to add texture. The universal female symbols are created with metallic foil in purple, the colour of spirituality. I used these shapes to represent the eternal challenges of women.
All the textiles will be on display at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair, 21-25 October, so if you are in the area, pop in and have a closer look!
07 October 2009
But even though I am used to working like this, I still feel an overwhelming sense of relief once I've finished. It's as if the idea of writing a specific piece lurks in the back of my mind all the time I know I have to do it. It takes up more and more room in my conscious mind until it is translated into text and finished.
Then the whole world is open to me - what will I do next? Dig in the garden, read a book, start a new sewing project, go for a walk? There is suddenly space in my head for new ideas and opportunities, but other committments mean I won't be able to indulge until next Monday. I will savour the options until then.
06 October 2009
It looks symmetrical but it's not. I drew a quarter of it and then cloned the lines and flipped them, but it's not symmetrical. I've obviously made a slip of the mouse somewhere along the line - the pieces are only different by a smidge (that's a quilting measurement term I've never seen in a glossary, but you all understand - yes?) but that's enough to throw out all the piecing.
So I'm going back to the drawing board - literally. I'll redraw it from scratch in EQ and take it very slowly. I had hoped to have a block pieced to show my Slow Burners class next Saturday, but that won't happen now. This block's window of opportunity has passed this week. Too many other things I must do instead, sadly!
05 October 2009
I used an old photo because both sets of camera batteries are dead, even though they were charged only last week. Obviously they no longer hold a charge and will have to be retired. New batteries tomorrow.
Thanks for all the comments yesterday. To anonymous: the possums in Australia are protected because they are native animals. They are not the same as possums in other countries, with the exception that Australian brushtail possums were introduced into New Zealand by some European settlers who had no idea what they were doing. To Marls: sorry that those cursed possums have caused so much damage in NZ. I feel your pain.
I've decided to disallow anonymous comments from now on, so you'll need an id to leave a comment in future. I think it's better if we all get to know each other by using our names, don't you?
04 October 2009
It has been raining here since yesterday, which is truly wonderful since our city is parched and still coated in red dust from the dust storms of a few weeks ago. The rain has washed down the buildings, roads and trees and soaked into the thirsty ground. For this I am grateful.
I'm not so pleased about the feeding frenzy that the neighnourhood possum had in my garden last night. Several plants were stripped of new leaves, petunias were eaten to the ground and pots were knocked over by this (unfortunately legally protected) animal.
To regain my equilibrium, I retreated to the sewing room and started stitching pieces for a current quilt. The bobbin ran out of thread. The scissors were blunt. The rows wouldn't meet. The container of pins spilled on the floor. I'm just not meant to sew this today.
Now I'm going to eat chocolate.
03 October 2009
Michele Foster has an article called The Virtual Quilting Bee: How Quilters Connect in the first issue. She has generously made a pdf of it available on her blog. I know if you are reading my blog that you are interested all that the internet has to offer us, so pop over - you might learn a bit more, I know I did!