Thursday, July 16, 2015

St Mark's Quilters - July Jollies

Outside was very bleak and grey.

But inside was bright with quilts, large and small, as our colourful ladies met for our July workshop on Saturday. 

So many of our friends who had to miss the June get together were back in the fold again, notably Di B who was savagely attacked by a dog and hospitalized with deep cuts to her right hand and arm just before our last stitching day.
Miraculously, just a month later, there were smiles all round as Di was back at St Mark's Quilters, managing to do some machine sewing and keeping not just her quilts, but all of us in stitches! 

She has even started work on another Blanket of Love using some of her beloved Linen Cupboard fabrics by Emma Jean Jansen. Isn't this gorgeous?

With Di C back from her travels, Michelle recovered from her surgery, and Cath finding time to visit from afar there was much to be thankful for.

Look at our latest finishes, a double dose this month because the wheels fell off for me in June, life was crazy busy, and I missed posting. The names of the quilters are beneath their quilts.




Di B








After finishing her cute little Winnie the Pooh quilt Margaret couldn't wait to start another, this one Dalmatian puppy themed! 


And Di C showed that a little imagination and colour sense can transform some country-themed scrappy strips in quite muted tones into a bright and fun kindy quilt.

Goodness, it's half way through July already and I still haven't caught up with sharing all that happened in June!

But first I think I need a little lie down..... 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ellie's Quilt

My friends, Vanessa and Darren, recently welcomed a sweet little baby daughter, Ellie, into the world, and I'm so excited, and happy that I can finally reveal the quilt I made for her. 

Ellie's early arrival meant the baby shower had to be cancelled at the last minute, and this, along with her needing to stay a little longer in hospital, has meant that I've had to keep this finished quilt under wraps until now - and you can imagine how difficult that was for me!

I designed and made her a cot-sized quilt using some of my prettiest, girly fabrics featuring raw edge appliqué bunting.

And since Barney the dachshund is already part of Ellie's family I included him too. Quilting that green 'grass' on my domestic sewing machine was great fun as I love the texture that machine quilting creates.

The swirls of quilting on the rest of the quilt are meant to suggest breezy eddies among the bunting flags.

Come over here where it's shadier.

Ah, that's better. Sunshine is wonderful for showing up quilting lines, but a tad too bright to look at for long.

For my photo shoot in the local park I took Ellie's quilt to a shady glade of trees.

A great advantage of using the 'no tails' binding method is that I can use multiple fabrics in my binding because it's easy to stop and start with precision wherever I want, changing the binding fabric to match the quilt top fabric, or the changing colours in the bunting. Neat, eh?

Finally, I created a label in Word and printed it onto a Printed Treasures fabric sheet. Lately I've been attaching a fabric frame to my labels too, before slip stitching them onto the quilt back.

Sometimes I have a little trouble pushing my needle through the Printed Treasures sheets, so machining the fabric frame on first gives me a softer edge to hand stitch through. 

I also love the look!

It's a wrap - finally!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What? No pink?

Yellow and grey are not colours you've come to expect in quilts made by me. 

Pink, yes. Lots of pink. But hardly ever grey and yellow. In fact my journey of making this precious gift was very much the road less travelled. I'm excited to finally reveal it here, though it has been a rather poorly-kept secret for the last few weeks. 

This quilt is for a young friend of mine expecting her first baby next month, but of course Eeyore and I couldn't resist sharing the odd sneaky peek on the 'inter web' now and then.

A thoroughly modern young mummy, my friend and her husband have decorated their house in a sophisticated palette of black and yellow, so I went with a toned down colour scheme of yellow, grey and white. All of these fabrics, bar the daisies, came from Spotlight.

For those who've asked me, most of the grey and yellow fabrics belonged to this range.

That cute Winnie the Pooh print (also used as the backing) sadly doesn't have a maker on its selvage.

Once I had sewn the strips, alternated with fresh white, into three columns, it was time for the real fun to begin, the machine quilting! 

The obvious choice would have been something geometric, possibly parallel lines, but these days I like to surprise (even myself sometimes!). I quilted giant cross-hatched bubbles, and gave the parallel lines a supporting role as fillers.

I quilted in the daytime...

... I quilted in the night, when the artificial light showed up the texture of the quilting.

And, as the sun set slowly in the west, on the last afternoon before the baby shower, I photographed my finished quilt in my very favourite location, at Di B's home beside our magnificent Sydney Harbour. 

So blessed to have such a generous friend who will let me drape my quilts all over her sea wall, garden seat and lawn.

The late autumn sunshine and shadows seem an entirely appropriate setting for this little quilt.

I backed the quilt with the Winnie the Pooh fabric, and added a label with my prayer for this little bub. 

It looks a tad sparse since I had to leave off two important details - the date of his birth (still to come), and his name, which I didn't know at the time. But I do now.

It's Atticus! And I love it.

{I want it known that the random seagull in the pic below was not photoshopped in, nor did I even see him at the time. It was entirely accidental, and it makes me smile, both as a quilter and a photographer :-)}

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Entry : 'Happy'

After a year's break from entering Amy's twice yearly Bloggers' Quilt Festival I'm back, this time with my quilt, "Happy", made for a Quilting Expo at my local Spotlight store.

There were three 'firsts' associated with this quilt, starting with the fact that this was my first entry into a quilt competition.

The rules stipulated that only Spotlight-bought fabrics could be used, and, as you can imagine, I was devastated that I had to buy more fabric (said no quilter ever lol). 

A huge variety of fat quarters in tone-on-tone rainbow colours gave me the stash I needed to start cutting out teardrop shapes and fusing them onto a solid background of Spotlight's Prima homespun in white.

First I created the wreath shape in the centre, then the lines of colourful leaves at the top and bottom of the quilt.

Then I pinned and pinned, sandwiching my quilt with a double layer of poly batting. No, I hadn't forgotten to stitch the appliqué. I raw-edge appliqueed the shapes and quilted around them in the one process. 

Then came the fun part - free motion quilting all that white space!

A few months before this I had taken an online Craftsy class on free motion quilting feathers with Angela Walters but, apart from endless small practice pieces, I had never used my newly acquired (rudimentary!) domestic machine free motion quilting skills on a proper quilt.

I took a very deep breath and embarked on another 'first'!

I've always dreamed of quilting feathers, feathers and more feathers, so I might have gone a tad over the top with this quilt running through my Bernina 1230.

Taking photos to show the texture of this quilt still makes me happy, as does running my hands over those feathers.

And I won! In a most surprising way. You can read about it in this blog post. 

I'm entering 'Happy' in the Home Machine Quilted Quilt category, so please pop over there and take a look at the other entries. 

That's also the page where, from this Friday 22nd May, you can vote for your favourite quilts in this category. 

Or nominate a quilt for Viewers Choice here. 

Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival always attracts lots of gorgeous quilts, and there is so much to see on her blog in all the other categories too.

A huge thank you to Amy for such a mammoth undertaking that regularly brings happiness to so many of us!