Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Magazine gift

Since many of you wanted to see "Feathers and Boas" close up I thought I could assist that two ways.
First of all,  I have TWO copies of Australian Quilters Companion to give as a gift to two quilterie readers.

  For those of you not familiar with this magazine, it is arguably the best Australian quilt magazine available.  There are always 10 projects and the production quality is excellent.  Every issue comes with a bonus DVD.  QC 53 comes with a DVD teaching Zentangle inspired quilting.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment stating what sort of quilts would  encourage you to buy a magazine. eg applique, scrap, modern, reproduction etc.  Entry is open worldwide but comments that have no contact details will not be in the draw.  So check if you are a "no-reply" blogger first.  If you have no blog, leave a comment with an email address so I can contact you for a mailing address.

Here are some pictures of my quilt "Feathers and Boas".  My favourite parts are:

All the crazy little twisted curves in this feather were so much fun to applique I did them twice!   I really enjoyed first appliqueing the Pom Pom de Paris on to the red and then appliqueing it onto the background.  It was so mindless I could do it in front of the telly.  I like the effect.  I hope you do too.

My next favourite bit is the piecing of the squares.  At this point, I felt my quilt top would have made a lovely picnic tablecloth.  The soft romantic French General range was such a pleasure to work with.

Then came the border.  I just love the effect, but I warn that it is not for the faint hearted:

You can see Adri's  marvellous  long arm quilting.   If you want to see  the whole quilt, have a look over here. 

Competition closes 31st January, 2012 AEDST 9pm.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Feathers and Boas

Back in April 2011,  I posted about making bias here.  To tell the truth, I was running out of things to show because I was spending so much sewing time on this project below.

It is a big quilt, 86" sq and all the applique is done by hand.  There is 800" of 1/4" bias appliqued on this quilt, as well as serious amount of applique around each of the feathers.  It has just been published in Australian Quilter's Companion.

If you look with a magnifying glass towards the top of the curved outer border you may see my challenge fabric from 2011.  I snuck it in.  Don't tell anyone.  Here is a close up.

Definitely not from the French General range of fabric.  And, if you're wondering what that is all about check out my 2011 Challenge here.

As soon as I get a chance I will post a page with all the projects I worked on in 2011 that included some of my challenge fabric.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Hole in the Barn Door

My first new start for 2012 will be under the guidelines of the quilterie 2012 challenge.

It is a two colour quilt.  Solid red and white actually.

When I discussed it with Sharon I thought it was called Churn Dash, but because the block is in a 2:1:2  rather than 2:2:2 format. It is actually the Hole in the Barn Door pattern.

I don't normally cut all the fabric prior to piecing.  With a two colour quilt, rather than my usual scrap quilts, I was able to cut out everything.

After my recent experience with Bonnie Hunter and her mystery quilt, I am going to use the Easy Angle ruler and chain piece.  All a new quilting experience for me.

My English cousin has been staying with me for the past few weeks and she made me a pair of socks

The colour isn't showing well on my screen, but there is a lime green stripe between various shades of grey.  They are just lovely.  Being the competitive person I am I pulled out a sleeveless vest I knitted in Fair Isle in 1981

If you have really, really good eyesight, you may be able to see that I have been able to add a name to my photos.  Look over on the bottom left on the above picture.  I have been enviously reading blogs with lovely printing on the uploaded photos and finally I have worked out how to do it.  Things can only improve from here.

Being able to add my label to the photos makes up for all the weird little  things that have been occurring to my blog recently.  Sorry if I haven't answered your comments.  I do appreciate them, but they don't all go to my email since I started moderating them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Summer Fun

The  Australian  long summer coincides with extended school holidays and lazy days with family and friends.  The cities are relatively deserted as everyone heads off to their holiday destination.

Quilterie has been entertaining and not much sewing or blogging has occurred here.  But I couldn't miss the last opportunity to link up with all the other detectives who have been trying to solve the "Mystery of Orca Bay".

 The quilt has an 8 X 7 block setting and I have sewn 8 X 4 so far.  It's going to be a big quilt and it already has a name: "Red Herring".

I'd like to thank Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville for leading us all on a merry chase.  I learned a lot and enjoyed doing the mystery as a virtual group and soon I hope to have a new top ready for quilting.  I can highly recommend doing the next mystery, although, Bonnie, if you are reading: please can you begin the fun at a less busy time of the year!!

Regarding my solid challenge I haven't got much further than washing my red fabric.  I'm not much of a washer, really.  I usually get my fabric home from the shop and  eagerly  cut straight into it.  But knowing how much red colour can run, I thought I'd be sensible and soak the yardage.

After a few minutes it appeared that the dye was  stable.  However  I got distracted and left the fabric to soak for a couple of hours.  On my return I found the water a pink colour! Who knew to leave the fabric to soak for extended time?   I suppose you all did and just forgot to tell me.  Well, now after a second long soak and a wash in the machine fingers crossed it won't bleed any more.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Challenge

After many years of making failed New Years resolutions, last year I gave away that idea in favour of something more likely to be achieved.  I decided to use a particular fabric in every quilt that I worked on in 2011.  I had some success with that challenge.

Now that the calendar has flipped over to 2012, I can start my new challenge.  I am calling it " 2012 - the year of the solid".

I have been collecting solids for some time so that this year every quilt that I start will only use solids.  There are so many yummy solids around at the moment, don't you think?  I hope my challenge will be lots of fun and move me out of my comfort zone.

The rules I have made for myself are that quilts that have been started prior to 1/1/2012 will not be restricted to solids.  But new quilts will have to conform to the challenge.  Those quilts can be Amish, two colour (for instance red and white - how clever of me to include that parameter!),  modern, applique, etc  Really, anything goes except for a pattern or tone on tone fabric being in the quilt top.

I have been looking forward to this challenge for a few months now but wanted to wait until the beginning of the year to start.  Such a challenge suits me much better than trying to control my fabric purchases, or desire to start new projects and I think it will be fun.

Speaking of new projects...well here is one that was a new project less than 2 months ago and is already close to completion.  It is Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery quilt that you must have been reading about everywhere in the blogosphere. 

This is just to give you an idea  of the centre of the quilt top.  I haven't put any more of the quilt together than this, although all the elements are ready to go.

I weighed all the units for my quilt and they came in at close to 1kilogram!   They fit in a box similar in size to a shoebox.  Looking at my fabric stash I realise I have many, many kilos of fabric. 

Thanks to Bonnie for helping me use 1kilo in such a nice manner.  I love how my mystery quilt has turned out.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

quilterie's choice: Best of 2011

One of the best parts about this time of the year is the lists that are published recording the highlights, lowlights and everything of note in between.  I love poring over them and being reminded of the year's events.

So quilterie is publishing its own 2011 list of quilt related items:
  • best book: History Repeated

    I haven't actually sewn anything from this book but I love looking at the pictures and dreaming.

    • Best fabric range: Cadet Paisley from Winterthur Museum by Andover

    While I haven't cut into it yet it is still my favourite.  A close second in the fabric stakes is the ArtGallery Solids range:

    The colours on my computer screen don't do it justice...just delicious.

    • Best tool: A late entry challenged for the title. 
    Originally I was going to put my wedge ruler that I used quite a bit in 2011.  But doing the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt made me work with my Easy Angle ruler and the Companion Angle ruler, both of which I now love.

    • Best show:  Even though I didn't see it first hand, I think the hands down winner was the "Infinite Variety of Red & White quilts" exhibition in New York.
    If you have any other categories that you feel should be included I'd love to hear of them.  Perhaps you'd like to challenge my list.  That would really interest me too.   I have avoided doing a "worst of" list.  Neither have I indulged in a "best blog" class, simply for the sake of diplomacy.  I think we all have our favourite(s).

    Lots of UFOs made it out of the cupboard in 2011,  some were even finished.  None of that would have been possible without the stimulus from you, dear reader; having something new to show each post has energized me to sew more efficiently than ever before.  If you have been thinking about starting a blog, I encourage you to go ahead and do it in 2012.

    For all your interest in what goes on in my little part of the sewing world, thank you.  I hope 2012 brings you everything you want as well as more time to sew!