Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

We have had 15" of rain since the beginning of December. That was on top of the 5" of rain we had in the last two weeks of November.

Now it is raining again and more predicted all the way through to January.

That is more rain than we often got in a year when in Dubbo.

Looks like I could be building wet sandcastles.

I did want to drink my Christmas bubbly in a pool, not a puddle.

Last minute baking still to be finalised then I am ready for friends, family and fun.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lincoln Purchase

Our last stop over was in Lincoln Nebraska where the main purpose of our visit was a tour of "The International Quilt Study Centre". We were given a behind the scenes tour of the facility and were able to get up close with genuine Baltimore Quilts.

The highlight for me however, was a pre opening tour of the Marseilles work from France. I was entranced with the detailed stitching on these pieces and the fact that they are still in such great condition. This one has a light behind it highlighting the detail in the stitching.

We were also treated to a visit to "The Quilted Kitty" fabric shop. I couldn't resist buying another pattern and some fabric to go with it. I have already completed the center embroidery panel and hope to do a lot more over the Chrsitmas Break.
The last night before we left we were fortunate to have snow fall, which was a real treat for some of our ladies who had never seen it before.
Lincoln was also hosting a Major College Football game the day we left. Many people have Carpark Parties ( they couldn't get a ticket for the stadium). They set up their tents/campers and pay to have the power for their satellite dishes, TV, and fridges and they enjoy the game outside. Just like Bathurst but a lot colder and only for one evening!

Lancaster Purchases

While in Lancaster as well as visiting the Amish community and shopping at Zooks and the Country Store in Bird in the Hand, we ventured downtown to the Quilt Museum. This museum house a collection of Amish quilts that were used by the US postal service on a series of stamps. The museum is housed in a beautiful old bank building with ornate vaulted ceilings.

Downstairs there was even a display of Christmas scenes, every ten years in the Living room from the 1930's onwards. Highlighting different toys, trees, cards etc.

For all those people who are piecing Dear Jane type quilts. They had two quilts that were the origins of the Diamond Sampler. So obviously the pattern and the templates for the diamonds had to come home with me. These quilts were in lolly pink colours and date from the Mennonite community in the 1860's.

Houston and Beyond Purchases

This is an antique quilt top that I bought in Houston. I then purchases the backing fabric and Possible border fabric from Zooks in Intercourse Pennsylvania. Must quilt this in January.

This is a pattern I bought in Houston for making a jacket from a sweatshirt along with a bling zip, the little diamantes are along the edge of the teeth. To make it wholly American I bought the sweatshirt at Target in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This I will make before next winter.

This is a Judy Nemeiyer paper Foundation piecing pattern that I bought at Houston Festival. The batik Fabrics I bought from Zooks as well. Still need to find a lot more fabrics. It won't be finished very quickly.
This will be one of my long term projects.

This last pattern was one from a vendor from Japan. I was very impressed with the quilts from Japanese quilters on display in the show. So when I found the "Quilt Party" booth I had to take one home with me. The Fabric s came from Bird In the Hand Pennsylvania, and Quilt Study Center Lincoln Nebraska.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bargello Quilting

I had posted previously pictures of two Bargello quilts I had made that were unquilted. When I got back from Houston I put into practise what I had learned in my class with Jamie Wallen.

Here is my "flurry of angels". The whole top is covered with these feathers in a bright green thread. The black sateen for the backing shows them up really well. This is the bright coloured Bargello.
The second Bargello I quilted with a spiked swirl, I prefer to call it a spiked question mark. This one has black thread on the black sateen as I was trying out some bobbin samples I had also got in Houston.

Pattern Boards

While in Houston I bought some pattern boards from RNS Designs. I have been able to use them on some customer quilts that I have done recently.
The Roses one is actually the back of the Quilt top. I love that fabric and is an orange peel/clamshell pattern.
The Blue and Yellow quilt is a friends quilt for her daughter's wedding. The swirls are in the body of the quilt and I have used a cable board for the border. That is so much easier than using a stencil and freehanding like I used to.
I am going to have to get some more pattern boards as they make working from the back of the machine more interesting than panotgraphs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Houston Festival and Classes

If you have ever been to a quilt show in Australia and are amazed at the vendors. Houston is many times larger. The vendor mall takes up two exhibiton halls, and the quilt show itself takes up another two exhibition halls. The classes are held on the third floor over two of the exhibition halls. Very large site but everything was well organised.
This is a view of the vendor mall from the second floor before it opened. I came back to this porthole on the fourth day and found a few more places that I needed to revisit within the mall.
While at the show I was able to sit in on a very entertaining Jennie Rayment lunchtime lecture. She is known as the Calico Queen and in the space of an hour undressed progressive quilted layers of clothing down to her corsette and knickers - quilted of course!
I also spent six hours of class time with Jamie Wallen, and Kimmy Brunner, plus 3 hours with Irena Bluhm. I am now putting into practise what I learnt and my quilts are quilting up great.

Houston and Beyond

It has been a long while since I updated, but I have now settled back into home after a fantastic trip to Houston Quilt Festival with 15 other quilters and Larry.

We left Brisbane on the 3rd November and 36hours, four flights, and one lost bus driver, later we were in Houston.

Thoroughly enjoyed the vendors the classes and the quilts. More on the classes later.

Larry was the larrikin leprauchaun we took with us who succeeded in getting into a lot of mischief. He thought it best if he stayed under his toadstool for the trip as it hid his gun!

He did however succeed in getting himself handcuffed on one occassion. I think that was the same night when he was trying to balance his drinks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spring has definitely come. It was a slow start... meaning I felt it was cooler than usual. But yesterday we got all the windows washed and then put down the external window shades. I even slept in this morning!

I now have nice clean windows for a couple of days until the frogs decide they need to climb them again.

My shopping list is written, my bags are on the floor and I am getting ready for my Houston quilting trip!
The others in the group may be going as tourists, but I am tripping/shopping to find all things longarm.

One heavy bag will still be cheaper than all the little postage for parcels.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bargello's with Toowoomba Quilters

On Saturday some of the quilters from Toowoomba learnt how to draft, design and sew their own Bargello Quilt top. They also learnt that it is easier to make one without twists or crossovers for their first try!

Here are two of the tops that I had sewn as samples. Not quilted as I need some tops to practise what I learn at Houston on!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Toowoomba Quilters Club Inc Show

During the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, our local quilt club held their annual show. We had over 200 items displayed this year and more than 1500 visitors over the seven days the display was open.

Head on over to their blog to see some photos of the quilts and fine arts.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Last Beach house photo

This picture did not want to attach to the previous post. This is the beach complete with cricket stumps and a whale!

The Beach House Quilts

My sister let my husband and I stay at her beach house during a hockey tournament. To repay her kindness I gave her a "boat quilt".

As her children were my yongest nieces and nephews at the time I decided to make them a quilt also along the beach theme. I had them draw pictures of what the beach was to them. They were 4 and 6 at the time. I then used their drawings to make edge applique pictures to put on their quilts. One represents the lighthouse and the steps up to their unit. The other the beach and the games they played.

As my mum would often stay with them I also made her a quilt with fabrics that were left over from the other three quilts. They all have the same fabrics in the borders.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

APQS Mini Quilt Swap

I received an absolutely gorgeous mini quilt in the mail today. This quilt was sent to me from Rebecca of Illinois as part of an exchange through the APQS Forum. We had no idea of who would send us quilt. We emailed our preferences to a co-ordinator and were then given the details of whom we were to make a quilt for.

We are all slowly receiving our quilts as they cross "the Pond" and "the States".

The details in the quilting are great. The whole quilt is only 26" square so it gives you some idea of how fine these feathers are. The colour doesn't show up really well in this photograph but it is fall tones of greens and I love them.

Rebecca also sent me this little card with the quilt, along with some other treasures.

Now if my swappee has been reading this blog and got this far.... here is a little teaser for you of part of your quilt that was posted late last week.

Check for the brightly coloured mailer it is coming your way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Bargello's

These are some of the Bargello quilts that I have made for family and friends. The lady Bug quilt is a king Size quilt made with 36 different lady bug fabrics and a wedge ruler. The autumn tone quilt was also made using the wedge ruler but only 6 different fabrics.

The other two are more traditional bargello. The purple and orange again has just 6 fabrics. The Blue/green has 22 different fabrics.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday's Wall

My sewing room walls are looking bare this week. I have just dropped off nine quilts for Toowoomba Quilters Club Inc Quilt Show and will spend most of next week demonstrating Foundation Piecing and Bargello Piecing to the Show visitors.

I've also entered two of those quilts in Queensland Quilters Show in October, so I can take those reminders off my wall too.

Lesson plans for the last three classes I have to do this year are almost complete. It has been a productive week completing my own tasks, as I haven't had any customer quilts.

I have also finished a Stack and Whack quilt that I will be teaching in October. I haven't quilted it yet, as I need some quilts to practise what I learn in Houston on. But it is hanging in Sew Creative Gatton.

I've added Sue Patten's latest book to my Houston shopping list, "Adaptable Quilt Designs".
Spring has also arrived. I picked my first feed of fresh Asparagus and Roses this week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tutor - Caroline Price

I have had the opportunity to do two of Caroline Price's classes. The first was at my first Quilting Retreat at Burrendong Dam. Throroughly enjoyable time stitching, eating, stitching, and more eating. No wonder I keep putting my hand up for these enjoyable type of retreats.

At this retreat we were learning how to make a Double Wedding Ring. Arcs were pressed over freezer paper templates and then machine appliqued to squares with corner triangles, before the squares were joined together.

I fussy cut my striped fabric. I then used T-shirt transfers to make the pictures to put on this quilt for my mum. I tried to get the wedding photos from all 6 of her children but we all didn't come to the party. So instead I raided the old photo albums for pictures of us in our youth, adulthood, the grandchildren and times when we have all got together.

I then hand quilted it, but not over the photos. This quilt has not faired the washing as well as I had hoped but it is much loved.

The second workshop I did with Caroline was a 2 day landscape workshop. When I showed my chosen photo, the comment was made it will turn out like a blob. I don't think it did! We had visited Uluru the month before the class, and it had been "raining on the rock - what a beautiful sight to see" so I tried to replicate the rain with the threads. There are over 20 different threads in this wall hanging giving it a real tapestry affect.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Love Weddings

You could always tell this was going to be a very special wedding. The daughter of a dear friend of ours was marrying her soul mate. Yes, we had been there from the beginning of their relationship. So it was great to see them enjoying their day with friends and family.
The Bridal Vehicles, the truck that Dave drives, the props for some photos the old trucks waiting for the renewal. The love clearly their for all to see.
Congratulations Dave and Renee, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Now enjoy your life together.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Family Quilt on Friday

My son is the lucky recipient of this quilt. The churn dash blocks are made of all the homespun colours I could find at the time and a few batiks that were just coming onto the market. It was a Quilt from a Patchwork and Quilting magazine and I didn't remember the designer.
I was giving it to a longarmer to quilt for me during one of my first quilt classes, Celtic Hearts pictured in a previous blog, during show and tell the tutor commented that it was from her design. When I checked the magazine it was, a Michelle Marvig pattern.
It has been through two university degrees with him so has been a much loved and used quilt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Family Quilts on Friday

My daughter is the lucky owner of this quilt, inspired by a Christine Book pattern purchased at the Camden Quilt Show in October 2001. The pattern was for a lap quilt so I found numerous other pictures of hearts, increased the size of them all, then hand embroidered or appliqued them all in shades of blue. I coloured in a rough design of the quilt after reading a Jenny Beyer book on colour, trying to achieve a colourwash effect with dark hearts in the centre, light hearts in a heart shape and medium values around the edges.

My husband reluctantly took me to numerous quilt shops in our travels and was quite happy to find different blue fabrics for me. This was in my first year of quilting so he helped build my stash!

The quilt top was finished in time for my daughters 17th Birthday. She was quite surprised to find out that the quilt top she was sitting on, in the middle of the lounge room floor was actually hers. It took a while longer for it to be quilted. The centre back of the quilt is a panel that I embroidered a poem onto. The colours of the triangles and shadows of applique from the front of the quilt show through in this picture.

Friday, August 20, 2010

F is for Family Quilts

I come from a large family and since I started quilting have given most of my family members a quilt. One of the first quilts I gave to my mother, was from the first quilting class I did. It was a 2 day class in May 2002, with Michelle Marvig using bias tape and machine applique and I fussy cut some of the flowers. Both new techniques to me at the time. I then hand quilted hearts with a thick red pearl thread, and walking foot quilted the outer braid border, - also firsts for me. My mother has used this quilt on her bed since then and it has been washed many times. Fortunately the colour from the backing fabric no longer runs. It now adorns the bed in her nursing home so doesn't receive any special treatment when washed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Featherweights

I have acquired another two Featherweight machines this week. I must stop buying them. These two still need me to do some work on them. So I must order some more spare parts.

I really do like the white 221k it is from After May 1967 according to it's handbook. I also have a soft spot for the 222k's as well, this one was made after March 1954 .

There are now 8 in the sewing room. Too many according to my husband, but if my quilting allies feel they need one they know who to ask!.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday's Wall

It has been a productive week.
I've designed a Log Cabin Quilt for the State Quilt Show, cut it out and even have 1/3rd of the blocks pieced.

I have started putting the binding on APQS 2009 swap quilt. I finished quilting this quilt in July last year, but kept putting of doing the binding as it has a lot of curves. Hopefully I can finished machining it this week and then hand stitich it next week.

I have even organised this months classes and done a mock up for next month. Plus the pattern is now done ready for a shop quilt too.

Customer quilts are all caught up on. If it wasn't windy and wet outside I would have to consider doing some gardening. Think I will wait until it is warmer though.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday's Tutor

I have been very fortunate to have spent 6 days of classes with Gloria Loughman, doing three of her classes. My first two days were some of the most enlightening quilt classes I have taken. They inspired me to TRY Free Motion Quilting for the very first time. This was in October 2004 and I was using a 30 year old Elna Supermatic that could not drop the feed dogs. From that class onward I then have quilted all my own quilts.

The background was painted with a heat set paint. The lightning strike was made using pieces of untwisted embroidery thread. Where the light couldn't get to the quilt the fabric remained white. I then stitched free motion the patterns of the strike, hills tree branches etc.
The picture of the gorge was made using small squares for the forest, a few of the rocks are hand painted, the water in the river is also painted. The tree fern in the foreground was my first try at 3D applique. Then covered my feed dogs and just scribbled the forest leaves, I won't show close-ups. Smaller rocks were quilted using embroidery thread in the bobbin.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday's Visit to EKKA

I had a very early start this morning accompanying a neighbouring family and their 4 children under five years old to EKKA. I spent the day pushing the stroller around but I had plenty of time when the children were playing in the sandpit with the toy tractors or watching a Kids Stage play to do some of my own activities.
I was able to soak up some quilts and see mine of course. I've included a picture of my rosette - its huge. Well it is my first rosette. I am sure the centre is metal too.

Then I checked out some of the cake decorating and the garden displays, so I've included those too. I had an earlier exit than the familyi was with, as when my husband finished umpiring at the SE Queensland Masters Softball, he was able topick me up. I may well be in bed before my neighbours are!

Friday, August 6, 2010

F is for Friday and First Quilt

I would not have started quilting if we had not bought a King Size bed. I couldn't find a Doona Cover that I really liked, to match the curtains, so decided to make a quilt instead. I had been an avid reader of my Mother-in-Law's extensive quilting book library for many years. I was not a huge fan of little triangles and squares so
my first quilt was a King Size Drunkard's Path. I drew up the templates on an ice cream container lid and traced onto the fabric with a lead pencil. Cut out all the pieces with a pair of scissors, pinned and stitched together. Lay it out on the loungeroom floor and worked out an order I wanted to put them in. Took more than a few days! Then put each row in order in labelled plastic bags, my saving grace.

I then joined it and realised I wanted it bigger so purchased more fabric to make a border then the dilemma of what to do in the corners. Four blocks - perfect! Sent it to a Longarmer with the instructions to stitch 1/4" from the seams - little did I know then! I got it back from the longarmer in November 2001 and even then it cost $250 for the quilting.

Came time to bind it - I had never read that far in the books! So it is an inch wide with batting only 1/4" and the corners are squared off.

My piecing and quilting have come a long way in 9 years