Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Re Collections

Have you ever considered yourself  a "collector"?  I always regarded those other people who collect posters, or teacups or matchboxes as collectors but had to revise that idea when I considered my magazine collection and my fabric collection and yes, even my quilt collection. 

Today I thought I would take you on a limited tour of my sewing space.  Naturally, I rushed around and tidied up, as you would before guests arrive.  Sadly, neatness is not my top priority normally.

This little corner houses my book collection.   When it comes to the written word and pretty pictures  my desires are insatiable.  You may notice, there is room for more books.

Alongside the mini library is another collection -  of magazines:

While I was boasting of a vast collection of QNM (bottom right) in my recent post, you can see that it is dwarfed by the  even-vaster-collection of APQ (Australian Patchwork and Quilting)magazine that stretches back to the first ever publication and goes to about 2005 (top left). 

Currently I am working on my "Down Under Quilts" and my "Quilters Companion" compilations (top right).

What you can't see is beyond the bookshelves.  There,  lives an almighty collection of UFOs dating back to the start of time:  BQ (Before Quilting).

The cupboards  may appear unremarkable,  but they are, in fact, incredibly spacious.  Imagine they have magical qualities similar to the cupboard in the "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", my favourite children's book.  Behind these innocent cupboard doors lies a curious land filled with  mega piles of UFOs.  

What I can show you is a collection that dwarfs my UFOs.  I add to it every week and it was started back in 1981.

Odd socks are the bane of my life.  With a family of six they just grow.   I save them, optimistic that one day they will all be re-united with their partners.  I'm grateful dogs  don't wear socks too. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happiness is...

 All around me.

Doesn't it make your heart sing?

At a local hall

the annual orchid show, where awards were proudly displayed amongst the plant exhibits!  $5 entry fee.  Stalls selling their wares.  Painstaking effort in producing something new and original and attractive.  That reminded me there are nuts everywhere...

On the way to Canberra last week, I bought 50 back copies of an old favourite  magazine.  Yesterday, I bought some more back copies of QNM (Quilters Newsletter magazine) for only 20c/copy.  I would never have described myself as a collector, but as I settled into a comfortable corner to enjoy a good read, I realized that others may see me differently.

And this is only half of the pile.  I love looking through these magazines time and again.  They are full of inspiration.  These days,  that need is more easily fulfilled by checking out all the wonderful blogs, but I still get loads of pleasure from perusing the pages a couple of times a year.  My collection goes right back to the early 80s.   I am sure I can't be the only one who does this.

My finger is slowly improving.  There was no quilting for me this week, but I did manage to finish an almost completed BTCT block.

To my delight,  yesterday I received a parcel from my friend Lissy who lives in Oregon.  She is not a quilter but last month she went into Sisters on my recommendation.  She has lived in the area for 16 years and this is the first time she has ventured there during the show.  Lissy told me she really enjoyed the show and she very kindly sent me a tote and a 32 page newspaper that is full of news and photos dedicated to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

Thanks Lissy!  Next year in Sisters!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stab Stitching

I have little new to post this week due to a blunt 1 cm stab wound to the pulp of my left index finger (photo on request).  Too painful to sew/quilt and very slow to type with.   After reading Kathie's recent post on hand quilting, I thought I would show you some of my unfinished, partially hand quilted projects.

I was curious to see how difficult it would be to quilt through all the seams in this log cabin quilt, and to my surprise I found it wasn't too hard at all.  Quilting straight lines can become tedious so in the "alternate" blocks I quilted a feathered circle.

On an earlier quilt that is predominantly applique,  I quilted a cross hatch pattern, but to break it up somewhat, I designed some feathers to fit in the larger spaces

and in the centre of the quilt

The quilt is called "The Wedding Quilt" and was designed by Karen Cunningham.  The pattern has been published in "Great Australian Quilts" magazine printed by Quilters Companion in 2004.

In spite of a 700km round trip to Canberra for their show, I have no photos to show you.  The emerging custom is for quilt shows to censor publication of quilts without the specific approval of their owners.  Is this a good move or not?

No one likes their original work being copied, particularly if there is no acknowledgment.  Perhaps we all ought to make more of an effort to cite our sources/inspiration before this rule becomes a blanket (no pun intended) rule for all shows.  What do you think?  I, for one, love looking at other people's work, virtual or real and acknowledging their efforts seems a small price to pay for that privilege.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wrap with Love

When I saw Nicky's blog I got a glimpse of how close to finishing some tops are when they make it into the UFO cupboard.  Her beautiful quilt was so close to being finished that it wasn't long before the top was put together. 

Sheepishly, I went to the darkest corners of my cupboard and pulled out a UFO that was similarly close to completion.

Only the last 1/8th of the top needs to be finished.  It was started in a class with Karen Cunningham in 2006.  Karen called her quilt Antique Applique Sampler.  I followed Karen's pattern for the 8 central blocks, but went out on my own for the borders.  If you look closely you will see the blue pen lines outlining the applique yet to be sewn.  Fingers are crossed that it will wash out when I complete the applique, which will be very soon now since Nicky has comprehensively shamed me.

If you are wondering how my applique relates to the post title...it doesn't.  Friday morning saw the annual "Wrap with Love" knit-in at  Sydney's ABC building (home of Australia's national non- commercial broadcaster).  I arrived clutching my wool, needles and some recently completed 10" squares

and met up with Kate and hundreds of other people, all knitting furiously to make wraps from squares sewn into 4 X 7 arrangements. 

Well,  some of us were knitting.  Since 1992, Wraps with Love has produced more than 250,000 wraps and donated them to more than 70 countries.

Before I left for work, I took a photo of a small sample of wraps and squares

Apparently they accept some quilts, but by far the majority of wraps are produced by our knittin' cousins.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lucky number 22

My husband's lucky number is 22, which I've always thought was a bit odd.  7 is common, even 8 or 5...but 22?  However, today I finished block #22 on the BTCT quilt - or for the uninitiated the "Beyond the Cherry Trees Album Quilt"

 Don't make the mistake of thinking I've actually done 22 blocks.  Sadly only 8 are complete and when the quilt is finally finished, there will be a total of 24 blocks as well as an applique border.  You can visit the blog here and the original website to download and/or order the pattern here.

My "S" quilt is moving along and I have chosen to quilt the renegade S differently, of course

and this week, during our balmy 23 degree winter, I finished my red jumper.

Don't look too closely!