Monday, 21 December 2009

Serviette holders from scraps

I tried this free and downloadable Quilting Arts project - napkin rings. They were so easy to make and I really enjoyed the personalising with beads and hand-stitching. Each ring is made from rectangles of main fabric, some iron on stabilise; and a smaller piece of coordinating fabric. I sewed some beads onto the overlap section ... and here they are.

Silk tops and nests

This week I've been "playing" with silk tops, mohair and other fibres - making "nests" - and doing lots of hand sewing / quilting. Very good for the soul. I am able to recline in a lounge chair, conveniently located in the sewing room / studio and elevate the troublesome foot on a dining chair - perfect for hand sewing and entirely medicinal.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Indigo journal cover

It's hot and yucky. 40 degrees on the verandah and it's just gone 3pm - the chooks are lying underneath trying to get a bit of cooler air. There is none. I'm resting my foot - it remains encased in compression stockings that don't go so well with the weather - but I'm doing exactly as I was told to do - and have been finishing some hand sewing projects. A journal cover as a 70th birthday present - to record the event with everyone who celebrated it! Not mine, of course. I made up some Christmas napkin rings - we don't use napkins, and we don't sit up at the table for formal Christmas lunch in the heat - but the rings look lovely ... I'm almost tempted to convert.The journal cover was sewn from fabrics I dyed with Ankie King and Maxine O'Toole some time ago - Indigo galore - beautiful fabrics and a wonderful time spent with Ankie. If the opportunity arises ... it truly is a few days not to be missed. Beaded and stitched with various threads, including a silk and stainless steel thread I obtained from the Fibre Festival in Brisbane earlier this year.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Felting the slow way

I've been so slack - and looking forward to the end of 2009 ( I recall thinking similar thoughts about a year ago). This year has been quite a roller-coaster - with many opportunities to learn things, not necessarily related to fibre, quilting or threads. Suffice to say that we were reminded that life is precious 7 times this year, our Christmas card list certainly shrank, and as I see the year out with a tiresome fracture in one foot I'm actually thankful for it and will complain no more about it. I've been playing with one of those "must-have-but-why-did-I-buy-it" kits from one of those "they-all-look-the-same-but-can't-miss-it" quilt fairs and started playing with felting .... and got a bit carried away. Thankfully, I got over myself quickly. It really was a lot of fun, rather therapeutic if you don't count stabbing yourself with the barbed stabbing thing - perhaps the gadget that does it much quicker is a faster option but I did love playing with those fibres.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Rainy days and quilting

It is most unfortunate that the last two days have been ... drizzle and rain. Oh dear. Today is not looking any better. There's nothing for it but to relocate to the studio/sewing room and ... sew and quilt and maybe pull everything out of the cupboards and re-sort the stash. Maxine sent me a quilt top comprised of hand-dyed fabrics that I've almost finished quilting. Inspired by Lesley Boston's work in her fantasy medieval quilt, I've stylised one of Lesley's drawings of a tree and used that as the basis for the machine quilting of Maxine's top. 

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sumptuous velvet and organza

While at the Gold Coast's CraftFest last weekend I picked up some gorgeous hand-dyed products at Morris and Sons - these were from Robyn and Peter Alexander who are Colourstreams. They specialise in hand dyed silk, embroidery threads and the like. So I had a play with the silk/rayon velvet and blanket stitched it to some equally lovely felt (also from Morris and Sons). The felt is just beautiful - made in Australia and is totally worth the extra expense for the quality and feel ... I couldn't resist getting out the embroidery threads and having a play.

Dreams Debris I - more detail

Here are some close-ups of the quilting and embellishment in Dreams Debris I. I've used various threads and lots of running stitch to highlight the rivers, and two different tide lines, or water lines that occur in the Gulf. Some denim "snip outs" form the main line of debris - and are also folded into quarters (no easy task!) and used elsewhere in the quilt to represent dreams and hopes that escape, that have a chance of fruition. Below the water line are the fossils and things archaic - using the polypropylene washers that were blanket stitched into place - they are the things almost lost, and not always visible.

Dreams Debris I

Well I'm about 20 posts behind in my New Years' Resolution ... and over that. Here's the latest in the art quilt area - Dreams Debris will be a series of art quilts. This is the first. My trips to the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mount Isa and Mornington Island are a big influence on the current direction of my work. DD1 incorporates "rubbish" such as the polypropylene washers from building screws, to snipped out bits of denim and other fabrics from the reverse of one of Meredith's quilts.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Machine quilting and practise makes perfect

It was "back to the office" today after 16 days and nights of quilting, and patchwork interrupted occasionally by family get-togethers, parties and Christmas. It was just fantastic to get so much done in good blocks of time, rather than "snatched hours" before heading off to work, or on the weekends. I am trying to be far more disciplined this year (I think I said that in 1976, 1992, and 2004) ... I got quite a few questions about quilting Liz's 21st - I did it all freehand by machine - and yes it took ages but I really have to thank Maxine O'Toole and Kim Bradley for 99% of the inspiration - and I just practised and practised .... and practised. Ten minutes a day using sandwiches - and that's straight from Kim and Maxine ... as the advertisement says, "it won't happen overnight, but it will happen". I am hooked and hope to improve on all the subsequent efforts.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Liz's 21st Quilt

This is something I started in August - and finished on New Year's Eve ... I've named it "Coming of Age" and it holds around 250,000 stitches ... but it was worth every one. I calculated that DD had been on the planet for almost 185,000 hours ... that's one quilted stitch for every hour and then some extras as bonus hugs. It is comprised of individually cut scrap squares that were made into 4 inch 4-patches and then I added about 23 individual 4 inch squares of flowers - the same fabrics had also been included in the scrappy 4-patches. The first border comprises neutral coloured 4 inch squares, predominantly from Judith Baker Montano's Ornamentations range of fabrics, and the outer border is 2 rows of 4 inch squares. It is big enough to cover the top of her KS bed ... or drape a QS (as pictured). When it's flipped, the neutral backing fabric has been so heavily quilted it really looks quite impressive on its own.  I hope the quilt brings her as much joy as it did me making it.