Monday, December 7, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 7th December, 2009

Today was our last meeting at the neighbourhood house for the year. There are lots of pictures to show you!

Joy got into the mood by wearing her Christmas apron:

Joy once won a "best dressed" competition wearing this apron, and she was definitely best dressed today. Unfortunately the flash has not picked up Santa's face - he isn't really faceless. Joy brought along this Scottish-themed cloth to brighten our table:

All the embroidery, and the crocheted trim, were done by Joy. She is multi-talented! As you can see, we had a range of yummy goodies for afternoon tea.

For show-and-tell, Marilyn brought the first quilt she made. She started it about 6 or 7 years ago, after being inspired by our own Textile Tragic, who was a fellow student in a sewing class at the neighbourhood house.

The colours in the quilt all come from the Japanese floral print in the four-patches. This is a great way to create a colour scheme - choose a print you love, then look at the colour dots printed in the selvedge. Choose other fabrics that match those dots, and you are guaranteed that they will all work together.

The top languished for a few years, because Marilyn found it difficult to quilt such a large project. Her sister in Bendigo came to the rescue, and machine-quilted it for her, in time for Marilyn to give the quilt to her mother for her 80th birthday. Since then Marilyn has used the quilt-as-you-go method, which she finds much easier as it doesn't involve manoeuvring the whole quilt through the machine.

Vireya brought her Christmas-wreath wall-hanging:

It is made using an uneven log-cabin block. The pattern was originally from a Burda Moden magazine in the 1990s some time. Vireya saw a photograph of this wall-hanging on the internet, and worked out the design from the photo. Only after completing the quilt did she discover that she actually had the magazine with the pattern in it.

Joy showed us a Christmas angel she has appliquéd:

It looks like the flash has bleached out the angel's face as well, which is a shame because he/she has a very delicate face.

Here's Joy's cute little pumpkin bag:

And here is the amazing "New York Beauty" quilt top Joy has made from all the clothes her daughter left at home:

Sorry about the strange angle, but it is too large to get a good shot of the whole thing. Here it is being held by three people and a table. Notice the amazing range of fabrics, including fine Indian cottons, lamés, velvets, and satins. Ricrac and other braids are applied as embellishments. All the fabric came from Joy's daughter's clothing, except for one which was from the dress Joy wore to her daughter's engagement party, so there are lots of memories stitched into this quilt.

We didn't get much sewing done today - but we did do some textile craft. Marilyn brought along this origami star ornament she made at another patchwork group:

The pattern is from here , but instead of using paper, two layers of fabric are fused together. Marie had prepared enough fabric triangles for us and the office staff to all have a go. Here's an example that isn't quite sitting properly, but will look better once it has been pressed:

Thanks, Marie! We all had fun with that activity. Once you have done it once, it is much easier, so I think I'll be making a few more.

Here's a gift that the teacher of that other patchwork class made for each of the students. It is a cute little holder for needles and a spool of thread.


Isn't that great?

A few cards and gifts were exchanged today:

We had a wonderful afternoon, celebrating a great year of the Quilters' Circle. Although the house will be closed for about five weeks over the Christmas/New Year period, it is likely we will get together in homes during that time, so stay tuned because this may not be the last blog post until February.

To all our regular readers, we wish you a very happy Christmas and a fantastic 2010!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 30th November, 2009

It's the last day of spring, and a bonus fifth Monday for the Quilters' Circle.

We missed Joy who had to stay home waiting for a plumber who was due last Friday. Hope he didn't keep her waiting any longer!

Marilyn and Marie stitched down binding today. Marie almost finished the binding on her lovely 1930's hexagons:

The unusual arrangement gives a fresh look to the hexagons, and reminds me of molecule diagrams in chemistry. The quilt has been pieced and quilted by hand, and finished with a pieced binding. It's a cheerful quilt that makes me smile.

Here's another quilt using 1930's fabric Marie made recently:

Isn't that the most delightful baby quilt? Notice the "old-fashioned" toys in the centres of the blocks and at the corners of the outer border. I love the teal green sashing.

Vireya did some more appliqué on a Red Delicious block, and hopes to have something worth showing at our next meeting (which is only a week away).

Leigh came to visit and ask for some advice about the borders for her "bugs in bottles" quilt. The quilt is for her grand-daughter, who arrived a couple of weeks ago. Here it is so far:

Should she use the multi-coloured spots, or the green? After playing round with the fabrics, we thought the red might make the best border. What do you think? There are some very cute bugs in those bottles! Particular thanks go to Pennie in Sydney, who read Leigh's plea for bugs on this blog, and sent her some. The internet is an amazing place.

Marie brought along this work-in-progress, which will be a cushion cover. It uses the same basic rectangle block used in the wedding quilt she made in September, but arranged differently:

Marie is not looking forward to putting in the zip, so we made a few suggestions for alternative fastenings. But whichever fastening is used, it will be a lovely cushion. The deep red and beige are a beautiful combination.

As I mentioned above, it is only one week until our next meeting on the 7th December. As this will be our last meeting for the year, we are planning to bring along a few quilt-friendly nibblies (ie nothing that will spill or stain) to celebrate a year of quilting and friendship. See you again then!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 16th November, 2009

Today is the 3rd Monday in November, so the Quilters' Circle met again at 1:00pm.

Vireya and Marie had the excitement of unwrapping some fabric they had ordered from overseas, which arrived today:

It felt like a birthday, or possibly Christmas.

Joy brought along this fellow to add to the atmosphere:

This cute Santa and his reindeer were made for Joy by her granddaughter a few years ago. Each Christmas they sit on the back of Joy's couch, keeping an eye on proceedings.

Joy and Vireya worked on their respective appliqué projects today. Marilyn has completed the bag she showed us last time, and today was cutting squares for another one:

That's her completed bag on the left. It looks great! As Marilyn was cutting, I noticed how she transported her rotary cutter:

This handy gadget roll was a gift from the teacher of a patchwork class. It rolls up and ties with the braid you can see on the left. What a lovely idea for a gift which would be fairly simple to make for anyone with some patchwork and quilting skills!

Marie was stitching down the binding on her 1930s quilt:

Now we can see the lovely border, which has been half hidden while Marie was working on the quilting. The little hexagon flowers complement the main part of the quilt beautifully. This sweet quilt is destined to live on Marie's spare bed.

As we seem to have a bit of a gift theme today, here's a photo of a quilt Marie recently made as a gift for someone special:

Marie called it "Hidden Dragons", as it is a variation on a Hidden Star block, made using dragon fabrics. There are also some extra stamped dragons hiding on the quilt.

That brings us to the end of another Quilters' Circle meeting. Join us again on 30th November for our bonus 5th Monday meeting, which is our second-last meeting for the year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 2nd November, 2009

The Neighbourhood House was closed, but that didn't stop the members of the Quilters' Circle. We had our first November meeting at Marie's place instead. Magazines were read, conversations flowed, and even some stitching was done.

Joy is feeling much better, which we were glad to hear, but she couldn't join us because of a tradesman. I hope he showed up when he said he would.

Marilyn showed us her bag-in-progress, which she is making from the pattern Marie gave us in August:

Isn't it cute? The lining is ready to go in, so it is close to being finished. Really must get on with making one of these.

Notice Marie's lovely table - it's a bit nicer than the plastic ones we normally sit at! We enjoyed a range of beverage options and some goodies for afternoon tea.

Marie showed us her round-robin quilt. She made the centre, which was then handed on to other members of her group. Here's the centre:

And here's the final result after each group member had added a section:

The camera doesn't handle purples well - it seems to move blue-purples further towards blue. Imagine this picture warmed up a bit to get a truer idea of the colours. The final quilt is lovely, but the process is interesting, as you have no idea how others will add to your original block. Of course, at the same time, you have the responsibility of working on everyone else's quilts as well.

Vireya did a little relaxing stitching on the rose stems she cut out last time, but forgot to take a photo of her own work.

Thank you, Marie, for inviting us into your home for our meeting. We had a lovely time.

Next time we will be back at Sussex on 16th November. Hope you can join us!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 19th October, 2009

Today is the third Monday of October, so the Quilters' Circle met again.

We were sorry that Joy could not be with us today. Hope you are feeling better soon, Joy, and that we will see you at our next meeting.

Marilyn is on the last step of her quilt:

She is hand-sewing down the binding on the back. She is not really enjoying doing it, but it is looking great. It must now be time to start planning the next quilt.

To help with ideas, here are the books, magazines and catalogues members brought along for us to browse today:

Having these publications to browse is particularly useful when you aren't really in the mood to sew. For example -

Vireya traced off these patterns for rose stems, which are for the next block of her Red Delicious quilt. Then she pinned them to her fabric. Then she read books, magazines and catalogues. And contributed to conversations about colour, craft expos, quilt shows, movies, books, and many others. But she didn't do any sewing.

Marie quilted her 1930s hexagon quilt, and brought along this beauty to show us:

Isn't it lovely? This is quite a large quilt, which normally lives on Marie's bed. It is all hand-pieced and hand-quilted, and made by a quilt-as-you-go method. Members of the book group, and some of the office staff, came in to admire it.

Our next meeting should be on the 2nd November, but the House will be closed that day. So our next meeting at Sussex will be on 16th November, four weeks from now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 5th October, 2009

It is the first Monday in October, so the Quilters' Circle met again. Amongst conversation (much of it about courting customs), reading of magazines, and drinking of tea, we did some sewing.

Marie was quilting her 1930s hexagon quilt, and brought along this Christmas wall-hanging to show us. It started out as a bag and grew. The design is the friendship star block Vireya used in her couch quilt.

We love scrappy quilts!

Marilyn brought along her sewing machine, and pieced the binding for her quilt. I thought this photo might be out of focus, and I was right.

We all discussed how Marilyn should prepare her quilt to attach the binding. Some of us trim first then sew, others sew then trim.

Joanne showed us her completed piece from the "Working with Triangles" course.

Joanne definitely is now hooked on quilting, as she suggested she might be back in May. We know this because she also showed us the next two projects she has started - some placemats, and a bed quilt using beautiful fabrics hand-printed by women in the Tiwi Islands.

Joy worked on her appliqué, and showed us this table runner which she has entirely hand pieced and hand quilted.

It was made during weekly quilt-guild meetings she was attending, so it took a while to complete because she only worked on it at those meetings.

Vireya did some embroidery embellishment on her latest Red Delicious block. She doesn't stab herself with the embroidery needle anywhere near as frequently as she does with the appliqué needle.

We also had a visit from someone who wants to start coming along to quilters' circle, so we hope to see her again soon. Our next meeting is in two weeks, on the 19th October.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 21st September, 2009

Today the Quilters' Circle met again at Sussex Neighbourhood House - but first a little cleaning-up was required!

Once those two cleaning angels had finished, we settled down to some serious quilting. Or did we? Well there were a lot of books and magazines to look at, and we had lots of visitors, and we talked a lot.

Joy brought along this green-backed section of a mystery quilt from 2001. The background was chosen after a challenge by her son that she should do something other than her normal cream background. (Or was it her brother who laid down the challenge? I should have taken notes...)

Since using that green background, Joy has also worked with black. Today she did some more appliqué on the heart panel (photo last time), and here are the other panels which go with it:

The appliqué is done with a tiny blanket stitch. Don't those colours look beautiful against the black?

Marilyn did some work on the borders of her quilt:

The cinnamon colour echoes the colour of the floral fabric in the corners and centres of the churn-dash blocks. The end is in sight - soon the binding will go on.

Now we can reveal a quilt Marie finished recently as a gift for her son's wedding. She actually brought it along to the last meeting, but that was prior to the wedding. The quilt is a beautiful scrap quilt, with a colour scheme chosen to represent the football-team loyalties of the couple. This is Victoria, after all, and it is footy-finals time!

Who could have imagined that football team colours could look so gorgeous? Below is a detail shot, where you can see the structure of the block. Marie chose fabrics to represent the couple's interests, and they should have hours of entertainment finding all the special fabrics she included.

The block design was inspired by the book "Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles" by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe. The book shows some of the amazing potential of a very simple shape - a rectangle twice as long as it is wide. This is why we love patchwork and quilting!

Today Marie was sewing the binding on this quilt featuring dog fabrics, which is for her grandson.

We saw some of these blocks when Marie was trimming them back in August. The finished quilt is delightful, and we all spent some time picking out the cutest dogs. Her grandson will love it.

Vireya did some appliqué for the next Red Delicious block. She also brought along this small quilt which is ready to baste, but that didn't happen today. Maybe next time.

The pattern is "Whirlin' Dervish" designed by Margaret J. Miller. It was the first time Vireya had used "long triangles", which are a little trickier to piece than half-square triangles or equilateral triangles. The quilt is destined to be a wall-hanging when finished.

Leigh came to visit us for a while and discussed triangle sizes for the corners of the bottles in her bug quilt. She seemed to have it worked out by the time she had to get back to work, so we are looking forward to seeing some bugs happening. A couple of other people came by to visit and admire the works in progress. and to look at the room.

That brings us to the end of another Quilters' Circle meeting. After which a couple of people went to check out the "moving sale" happening at our local quilt shop this week, but that would be another story...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 7th September, 2009

Today was the first September meeting of the Quilters' Circle. Happy Spring, everyone!

Marilyn has been doing the "Working with Triangles" class. Here's her work so far, beside the instructions:

The colours she has chosen work really well, don't they? She is contemplating making the block several times to turn into a lap quilt, which would be lovely, but there are a lot of flying geese to make yet to finish the first block.

Marie brought along this tessellated whirly-gig quilt top to show us:

Here's a close-up:

I'm assuming that the pattern is made of pieced squares, so it must take a lot of planning to have each of those whirly-gigs end up with four arms all of the same colour. I should have asked about that.

Joy worked on this appliqué project:

The full quilt consists of four long panels, each with a different design. The sashing and borders also include appliqué. It is a beautiful quilt, and the colours glow against the black background.

Vireya did more of the swirls from the Red Delicious quilt. Here you can possibly see the yellow line representing the edge of the shape to be appliquéd. This is the final panel of swirls getting under way, and by the end of our time together this swirl was finished.

Between now and our next meeting, just about everyone will have attended a wedding or an engagement party. I think that proves it is Spring. See you all in two weeks!