Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sydney Quilt Show 2011

Sydney's Quilt Show for 2011 is currently exhibiting more than 400 quilts.  Congratulations should go to all who entered their work, for we all know how much effort is involved in producing a quilt.  Even more goes into a quilt that is entered into a judged show.

A few of the quilts that caught my eye are below:

"Diagonal Madness" by Terry and Jennifer Minchinton of South Australia;

"On the Amstel River" by Denise Griffiths of Shellharbour;

 "Lots of Dots - a Circle Sampler" by Chris Jurd from Blaxland.

  With such a high standard, it couldn't have been easy to judge this show and I think the judges got it right generally.  To see all the prize winners click here and make sure you check out the other 4 categories by clicking on the red bars below the banner.  I think it was a great show.

All the visual stimulation encouraged me enormously.  Particularly 

They are plates of sweet and savoury food knitted by the "Knitters Guild of NSW" who also had a stall at the show.  I came home with enough wool to knit a jumper (translation - sweater) and cardigan.  Seems like I may have gone over to the dark side.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Relaxed and grinning

By now, if you've been following this blog, you may have observed that I don't start a quilt and finish it in proper chronological order.  I'm that sort of quilter.  The one who starts something, comes up against an obstacle, puts the offending object out of sight and then returns to it sometime later.

Possibly one of my quilts has suffered from this more than others

If you are interested in its slow progress you can read about it here and here.

Now the final border is on and it's time for the backing.  Usually, the backing is done in a huge rush.  Generally a fabric from the bolts in my header surrenders up enough for the backing.

With this quilt I thought I'd do something I haven't done before.  There are so many checks and plaids left over from the front, and I no longer do "country" quilts.  It seemed like a reasonable way to divest myself of some fat quarters and 30cm strips of  fabric.

Instead of 45 minutes, the backing took all day...but I really enjoyed the process.  I just squared up the remnants of fat quarters and strips and sewed them together, trueing them up as I went.  It may be described as liberated piecing.  It was certainly fun and it was great to know that I am finally using up that part  of my stash.  I think I'll call it a relaxed quilt back.

The plan is for me to machine quilt using my walking foot.  One day I'll be brave enough to do FMQ (free motion quilting), but right now I am rationalizing that I still need more practice on straight lines and rolling the quilt up under the machine arm.

I am mulling over a name for this quilt.  It isn't finalized until the binding and label are on, but I may call it "Pointless".   To get the pun, you will have to go back to the original post if you haven't already.

Moments after I cut into my stash and pieced the back, the local quilting guru advised me that "country" is making a comeback.  Not into my stash, it isn't!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fabric Hunt

Quilts full of scraps visually entertain me.  I just love them.  They dazzle.  Best of all, I get reminded of times past; when the fabric was purchased, where I bought it...sometimes.  "Under the Big Top" is finished

but not without teeth grinding.

In the fabric department, I started with a blue 'big top' perimeter.  It was intended as a small quilt, but it soon became apparent that my quilt wanted to be bigger.  When I wasn't able to buy more blue stripe, I reluctantly bought red and replaced the blue bits I had already used.  Being foundation (paper) pieced, that proved challenging.

I like fussy cutting, which doesn't usually go hand in hand with scrap quilts, but the opportunity presented itself.  Each centre has something special.  Here is one

and here is another:

The quilt decided to get bigger and I needed more red stripe fabric.  I scoured the Sydney basin and made  a few phone calls.

Knowing the fabric range is a huge advantage when searching for the elusive, so always cut into the selvedge that has that information printed on it,  last!  Eventually, with more than enough red fabric for 25 blocks and a binding, I happily settled down to finish the quilt. 

The tale doesn't finish there.   I realised I didn't have enough of one of the star shirting fabrics.  No amount of hunting unearthed that fabric, so 20 blocks was all that was possible.   Moral of the story;  I'd like to say, "be organized", but when a quilt is growing itself, how can you predict fabric requirements from the outset?

Kate Cox from "Kimpossibilities" had promised to quilt it when "Under the Big Top" announced its larger size, and kindly stitched an allover Baptist Fan pattern that I love.  Thanks Kate!

Last night the label went on

and now the circus is ready to move on.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bubble and Squeak

"Under the Big Top" is off being quilted.  I didn't quite get 25 blocks made because I ran out of one of the star fabrics - common story I'm sure.  At 20 blocks it is a big quilt.

In the meantime, I was left with with metres of 1.5" strips of reproduction fabric and no more storage space in the cupboard.  The choice was ' tidy up or continue sewing'.  Not a hard decision, really.

Inspired by this antique quilt owned by Gai

and by a front cover quilt from Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts I sewed and cut and pieced and trimmed to make these

which go together like this:

I thought the new needle required some more running in, so with the short strips too small for the rail fence blocks I am making more of these:

 I have never actually eaten "Bubble and Squeak" but I understand it is a made from leftovers.  That describes this quilt to a T.