Sunday, July 26, 2009

Look at That!

A few of us went to the Quilt and Craft Show yesterday afternoon. Here's a picture of Jo and Leigh admiring some of the Singer Challenge quilts.

There were some amazing quilts on show: traditional, contemporary, professional and amateur. As you might guess from Leigh's bags, there were also some great shopping opportunities: tools, fabrics and bling--it's all there for the buying. I'm sure there will be much admiring and comparing at the next Quilters' Circle get together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leigh is Looking for Bugs

I visited the Sussex Quilters to ask if anyone had an bugs or bees in their fabric stashes. I am hoping to make a cot quilt with insects as the theme. Joy immediately asked if I was going to make a "Bugs in Bottles"quilt. At that time I didn't know what she meant, but since then I have discovered some "Bugs in Bottles" in magazines. I have included a bad photograph from a magazine. Plus a photo of the adorable ants, and lovely lady bugs fabrics that I have already. Apparently I will only need pieces about 6" x 9" of each design. I am hoping for some bumble bees and dragonflies particularly.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 20th July, 2009

Today was the 3rd Monday in July, so the Quilters' Circle met again.

Marie brought along this fantastic bright top to show us. The centre design is a feathered star, then each successive design is done using different techniques. This is a large quilt, so unfortunately only a tiny part of the outer ring of blocks (which I think are "delectable mountain") can be seen:

Joy brought along these sweet Japanese girls, who normally hang on a wall in Joy's home. They were completed in 1997.

Marilyn was completing the joins on the back of her quilt. All nine blocks are together, with their sashing and cornerstones:

Next step is adding a border. Marilyn also brought along a few fabrics to get some colour advice from everyone for her next project. Pictures of that will have to wait!

Joy did some quilting on this amazing piece of work:

Again, the whole quilt is not showing here. The photographer needs to stand further back! The design for this quilt is by Patchworks Unlimited, our local quilt shop. There are all sorts of techniques in this quilt; stencilling, painting, piecing, appliqué, and embroidery can be seen. Here's a close-up view of a cute little fellow done in stumpwork who you might just be able to see above, amongst the gum leaves on the left-hand side:

Vireya worked on another flower for that Red Delicious block-of-the-month project. She is only 6 months behind with it now!

In between all that, we looked through some books and magazines, enjoyed a cuppa (Marie and Joy's mug bags shown below), and of course enjoyed much conversation!

Our next meeting will be in 2 weeks, on the 3rd August. In the meantime, we will be checking our stashes for "bug" fabric in primary colours for Leigh's next project. Perhaps Leigh could leave a comment here telling what size pieces she needs if we do find something suitable?

Happy sewing, everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vireya's Dad's 80th Birthday Quilt

Finally it can be revealed, the quilt that I've been working on for the last couple of months:

The quilt is for my Dad's 80th birthday. In this picture it is (almost) finished. The binding along the bottom wasn't quite complete when that photo was taken yesterday morning, but but with a bit of sewing in the car on the way, it was done.

When my machine decided to stop working just after I posted its picture in the last blog post, a little bit of panic ensued. Thanks to C, who lent me her machine for a few days so that the quilting could be completed. The quilting is fairly minimal, as you can see. It is mainly stitch-in-the-ditch, and each block has something to hold it together or add to the meaning.

Reading from the top left the blocks represent some of Dad's interests; playing snooker, his first car (Peugeot 203), his Christian beliefs, crossword puzzles, his 22 years in the RAAF, a radio circuit diagram, Essendon football club, his time in Japan in the early 1950s, and the many letters he writes to the editors of various publications.

Happy 80th birthday, Dad!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 6th July, 2009

Today was the first meeting for July of the Quilters' Circle at Sussex Neighbourhood House.

Marie worked on a project for her quilting class, and brought along these crazy-quilt blocks to show us. They are foundation-pieced on calico, and are a great way to use up left-over strips of fabric. The blocks start with an irregular pentagon, then strips of random widths are added to each side, building out until the block is large enough to trim to the desired final size. They look great all sitting beside each other:

Joy worked on her appliqué cranes from last week. She brought along the second quilt she made, which normally lives on her bed:

It is a large quilt, so was difficult to get all in one photo. You can't see the corners in the above shot, so there's a closer view of a corner below. The quilt was inspired by a book, but Joy designed the blocks, their placement, and the quilting pattern. She added tiny fans in the cornerstones of the sashing.

The quilting design is so intricate that the back of the quilt is beautiful, too. And did I mention that this quilt is all pieced and quilted by hand?

Joy also showed us a brilliant idea for marking the quilting design on the quilt. She drew the design with a marker on a piece of mosquito netting. She placed this pattern over the quilt, then used a regular pencil to draw over the pattern. The result is that the design shows as a row of dots on the quilt, and the dots were easily removed with a white plastic pencil eraser when required. It is not easy to photograph mosquito netting, but here it is:

Vireya quilted some of the quilt with the kangaroo block already seen twice on this blog. No hand quilting here! You can only see a little of the quilt top in this shot, as the quilt is rolled up to fit through this little sewing machine. You can see the basting stitches on both the front and backs of the quilt. There is a walking foot on the machine, and the stitching is along the seams; a technique called "stitch-in-the-ditch". Once this stitching is complete, the individual blocks will be free-motion quilted. And it all has to be completed by Sunday.

While working we chatted, although because of the noise of the sewing machine I can't really report on many details of the conversations! And I should have written down that word Joy taught us for the little tail ends of a fraying thread, because when I tried to look it up to put it here I couldn't remember the spelling. In between our quilting, we looked at some magazines and a book catalogue Joy brought along, and wondered if certain retailers and magazine publishers are having cash-flow difficulties, given the frequency of sales and the phone calls offering giveaways with subscriptions.

That's it for this week. Our next meeting is in two weeks. Hope to see you there!