Saturday, 30 April 2011

Feather Options

Yesterday (Friday) I did a workshop with Jane Monk on Zentangles.  I really enjoyed it and I will upload some pictures soon.

This weekend I am babysitting my nephew Xavier.  Right now he is having his afternoon nap.  He has been asleep for over three hours, and I want to wake him up to play some more.  I am sure all the mums reading this would be thinking WHAT????

Anyway, whilst he has been asleep I have been playing with my brand new Bamboo Fun tablet. 

Last week I was given a stunning quilt by one of my long time and favourite customers.  (The quilt was made by her sister, and is beautifully pieced).  She wants feathers in the pink diamond area made of hexagons.  But how to place the feathers she left up to me.

Here are three options that I am considering. (I am still learning how to use the writing pad, so the feathers are a bit wonky, but you can get the idea.)

I like options 1 and 3 the most, as option 2 looks a bit messy or overdone to me.

What I really like about option 1 is the balance it has.  I am concerned with option 3 that the curved cross hatching might take over a bit.

Comments are welcomed.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

I might go check on my nephew, and make a bit of noise. :-)

Friday, 29 April 2011


This is another one of my favourite quilts.  I pieced the top in 2006, and quilted it in 2007. 

This quilt really pushed me out of my comfort zone.  Whilst I had made scrappy quilts before, it was never quite on this scale, with the number of different fabrics.

I was trying to get the effect of an explosion of light towards the top right; toning the brown fabric from there, with shadowing of the star blocks.  

I used left over pieces on the back.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Rose Lattice

I am making more progress on the My Quilts page, and feel like the end is in sight.  It has been a lot of work getting this page done, but it has been really worth it since it is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  Still a little bit more to go, but nearly there.

I pieced this top in 2009, and quilted it in early 2010.  The design quilted in the border was from a Dover stencil book which I enlarged and changed slightly.  The rose quilted in the blocks I drew using inspiration from a rose in a piece of fabric I had in my stash.  Both the border and rose designs were traced onto the quilt using a light box.

After quilting, I coloured the border design and the roses in the white squares.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Anzac Day

Yesterday was Anzac Day, which is a public holiday here in Australia and my beautiful new niece was born at 9.47am.  My brother and his partner haven’t decided on a name for her yet, and are calling her their ‘Little Anzac Cookie’ for the time being.  I think the name Cookie might stick.  I can’t wait to hold her for the first time.

In the afternoon we went to see the Collingwood-Essendon football match at the MCG.  It was a sell out game and we were in the third from last row, right up in the nose-bleed section - but the view was still good.  The weather was perfect for it, and I am glad we were in the shade as it got quite warm in the middle of the day.

My sister brought my nephew Xavier with her but he didn’t have a seat of his own so the four of us shared caring for him during the game.  But as Paul is the current favourite, Xavier sat on his lap for three quarters.  I am sure Paul didn’t mind, but there were times when the game was getting tense and Xavier was making it just a little difficult for him to see what was going on.   

There were a couple of men behind us who were extremely loud and Xavier found their yelling very fascinating. He spent most of the first quarter just watching them.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Why Do I Quilt Freehand?

A few people have asked me why I only quilt freehand. 

The main reason is that I find it more fun, and it suits my personality and style of quilting best. 

I like working from the front of the machine because I like looking at the quilt and the fabric as I am quilting.  It allows me to do a better job because if there are any problems with the pieced top I am better able to correct it.  (For example, ease any fullness between the quilting stitches.)

I have developed a large number of freehand allover patterns, and can easily change or combine these patterns to whatever looks best.  Basically, if I can draw it, I can quilt it. I can easily go around elements in a quilt like appliqué as part of an allover pattern. I can also do a different allover pattern in a wide border than in the centre of the quilt as part of one continuous allover pattern.

So apart from enjoying it more, I feel that freehand gives me more flexibility in what I am able to do.

And for customers, this means that they aren’t getting an allover pattern with exact repeating designs; rather they are getting more creative quilting where the basic elements are repeated in a changing organic pattern.  I put a little bit of me into every quilt I do.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t admire what can be done with computerised systems, nor does it mean that I won’t consider doing this in future.  I am always open to change.  But right now I feel that freehand allows me to really enjoy my work, and offers my best to my customers.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Nifty Numbers

I had time for a little bit of sewing on one of the projects I am working on yesterday.  I finally got the sashing finished, and decided to put them all up on my design wall last night.

I had been complaining for a while that every time I lay out the blocks for a quilt, and get them just right, when I pick them up to sew them, I manage to mess up the order, and one or two end up in the wrong spot.

Well, early this year, Jeanette surprised me with these nifty numbers that she had made, laminated and cut out.  So last night I used them for the first time.  I decided to place the number in the top corner of each block to ensure I put the piece back in the exact same spot and with the right orientation.  

 They are working really well!

Yesterday morning we visited my niece and nephew.  Paul is like the pied piper of kids, and Mila and Asher like to climb all over him.  In this photo they were playing circus acrobats.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Dresden Plate

This gorgeous quilt was made by Blanche.  We wanted the Dresden Plates to pop, so I ditch stitched them, and I also ditch stitched the sashing.  I like the feather around the plates giving the background a lovely texture.  

The back is lovely and shows the quilting really nicely.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Turn of the Card

A bit more progress has been made on the My Quilts page; with a few more quilt pictures uploaded.  I also need to make a few notes next to each quilt, which I will hopefully do in the next week or so. 

I need to get this page finished as I want to start working on updating the My Projects page.  I really like the idea of the Design Wall Monday that I see many bloggers are involved in.  I reckon it would be a great way to keep motivated.

This is another one of my quilts. 

I designed and pieced the top in early 2007.  But like the ‘plumber with a leaking tap’, didn’t get the time to quilt it until January this year – almost four years later.

Three Allover Quilts

Here are three quilts I have quilted recently with allover patterns.

This is Silvie’s quilt.  It was beautifully hand pieced, and the fabrics were lovely and gentle.  Many of them had been fussy cut.  It is quilted with a freehand allover rose pattern.

This quilt was made by Kylie Hawkins at Patchwork House.  She will be making up kits for this quilt.  It was quilted with a freehand allover of wavy lines like water rippling which I call “reflections”.

Finally this is Bronwyn’s quilt.  It is a lovely bright quilt for a child.  It was quilted with a freehand stars and clouds pattern in a contrasting green thread for a fun look.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Fun Quilt

This quilt was made by Nancy for her granddaughter Brianna’s second birthday.  Although it was custom quilted, the quilting was kept light so the quilt remained soft.  I love the hearts in the blue border - the quilt was made with love.

I quilted this a couple of weeks ago, but have only now found the time to organise the photos and post it.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Rose Square in Three Different Colours

This is my design called Rose Square.  I have taught it at my local patchwork shop, and have also given the pattern to several of my regular customers.

I have photos of the design in three different colours with slightly different quilting.

Firstly – In 2007 I originally designed and made the quilt for my guild’s raffle.  They asked me to make it in blues, and here was the result.

Secondly – After making the quilt for the guild, I then made it again for myself.  I used photos of this quilt for my very first blog post.  Click here or on the photo to go to the post for more pictures.

Thirdly – Recently I was brought the design by Di.  She had made the quilt for her daughter, Megan’s 21st birthday.  

The fabric Di used for the appliqué flowers came from Megan’s final school year Textiles Folio.  So there is a real connection for her daughter in the quilt.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Australasian Quilt Convention

For the past four days the Australasian Quilt Convention has been on in Melbourne.

Paul and I volunteered as helpers to take down the quilt show (which is hard work, but something we both enjoy). 

We arrived a bit early so we could have a look, and there were some gorgeous quilts.  Each state guild selects a number of quilts from their yearly show to display at the convention, and I was honoured to have my quilt Cherry Chocolate hung.

I love the ceiling of the Royal Exhibition Building.