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!



Monday, May 11, 2015

Quilts at Full Tilt


The sun it shone brightly

The leaves they glowed gold - 

Fine weather for quilting

And just a tad cold.


Our quilters were ready,

They rose with the larks.

Their bags were all packed 

For a day at St Mark's.


There was no holding back,

Our quilters don't wilt.

When it comes to creating,

It's quilts at full tilt!


Di Two shared her quilting,

Explained how it's done,

While binding a Blanket 

of Love claimed Di One.


Michelle played with felt

And she stitched up a tree

While a "Cat in the Hat" quilt

Absorbed our Di Three.


There was chat as we sat

With a cuppa that calms,

And Susie popped in 

With fabric-filled arms.


Margaret's our pink 'queen',

There's no-one to beat her

And someone who also 

loves pink is Perdita.

In hexagon heaven 

Were Gillian and Gail

Their quilts will be treasured

No way they can fail.



Sue One sewed a sweet 

baby quilt all in blue

And look at this paper-pieced

Heart by Sue Two


The "S" Team made quilts

In their favourite brights

With space monsters,

Panels and other delights.


Barb worked on her binding

And added a label,

Liz cut out cute dinosaurs 

On the side table.


Our needles worked hard

Going stitch

Stitch

Stitch

Stitch

Piecing fabric together

To quilt in the ditch.

We stitched all day long

From "hello" to "adieu"

We stitched and 

the 

pile 

of quilts 

steadily 

grew.


From bright shades to pastel,

We stitched every hue.

In case you're still doubtful

We love what we do.


We'll be back next month,

The same time and place too,

To do it again 

With our passionate crew.


By Di B


By Barb


By Di C


By Liz


By Gillian


By Sophie and Susan


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sweet surprises

It's the second Saturday of the month, which means just one thing around here - St Mark's Quilters!

Every month a happy little bunch of quilters arrives, but sometimes the 'bunch' is smaller than we'd hoped for, always for very good reasons, and today was one of those days.

However Di B and I have learnt that a St Mark's Quilters workshop is never without its delights, no matter how disappointing it might initially seem, and today brought enough sweet surprises to make it a beauty! 


Our first surprise was that, being able to fit around a single large table, instead of scattered around the room, we could all enjoy sharing the one big conversation as we sewed. That conversation, of course, included how much we missed our absent friends traveling in far-flung destinations like France, New Guinea and New Zealand, others celebrating special occasions with family, and Michelle in hospital recovering from a major operation.


We love droppers-in, and today brought a brief surprise visit from Robyn, who used to sew with us. Then trainee pastry chef, and graduate of our 2009 Stitchin Mission, Michaela, popped in to stitch for an hour or so, bringing cake and her latest kindy quilt!


It was almost tag-team quilting as, soon after she left, Perdita arrived for the afternoon and brought this sweet little Blanket of Love.


With so much going on we were still a productive lot. Some, like Margaret, were more productive than others. She managed a spot of machine quilting...

... before moving on to an afternoon of knitting squares for a blanket.


Barb and Di C were binding like busy bees



Liz was preparing to pin her latest Blanket of Love.


And we all admired Di B's Milky Way quilt, another version of modern hexagons, using 1 inch hexies and laying them out a little differently. Just look at that quilted grid!


Susan and Sophie (the "S Team") pulled fabrics from our St Mark's Quilters stash for borders and backing on this cute outer space themed panel.


While Sophie wasted no time in cutting out the borders, Susan got to work on the machine stitching. I love watching quilty teamwork! 

Matching up coordinates from our stash of both purchased and donated fabrics isn't always as easy as this, and a piece of fabric can languish in the box for months waiting for the right person to see its potential.

That person is usually our clever Di C, and today she took some quite muted strips of country-themed prints, fashionable a few years ago, and after much rummaging found some lovely rich reds and golden yellows that will turn them into a bright, sunny kindy quilt to be treasured.



The sweet surprises just kept coming when we broke open a rather ordinary looking jelly roll and found a magnificent flower garden of fabrics. Sadly, no pics as I was busy admiring the fabrics, but hopefully by next time "The S Team" might be working on transforming them into a little girl's quilt.

Life, and our Lord, is full of unexpected beauty and blessings if we just learn to see them. Don't you agree? :-)