Monday, July 20, 2015

Eye Candy

Last year in March I went to Melbourne for the Applique show at Castlemaine.   It was a wonderful exhibition and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Afterwards I went to "Threadbear", the local quilt shop owned by Corliss Searcy.  What an experience that was.  In spite of owning more fabric, books and patterns than anyone has a right to, I was bedazzled and bought even more.  In particular, I saw a quilt called "Beamish Scrapbag".  I visited the Beamish Museum in 2010 with my mother and I liked the name so naturally I bought the pattern. 

After 18 months of diving in and out of this project I have finally finished the applique centre.

It is about 26" square and is to be surrounded by multitudes of pieced elongated hexagons and tiny quarter square triangles.

 The other notable purchase was a book.  Publishers are so clever.  The best picture in the book is always on the cover.  Don't you find that?  If I don't like the cover picture I can never find anything appealing inside the cover.  On the other hand, so often the best picture is on the cover and the rest of the book is just disappointing.  That goes for quilt books and others.  My new book is no exception.

It is really just eye candy,  or so I thought until I met Pam at the Sydney quilt show .  She was wearing a beautiful cardigan she had knitted in a similar pattern.  She kindly sent me her pattern and it is on the ever increasing "to-do" list.

One of the reasons it takes so long for me to finish projects is that I am always distracted by other things; many of them patchwork related!  For instance, the 3" stars, that are slowing growing in number.

But don't they look cute?  I know some of you don't start a project until the current one is finished, but regrettably that just isn't me. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Warning! Warning!

They are contagious and they're highly addictive.  Read on at your own peril.

What I'm talking about is 3" finished stars.

I am hand piecing them.  No background fabric has been chosen for them yet, but it will be the same for all blocks, not scrappy.  There is already a lot going on.  The little motifs fit perfectly under the template and then it's fun to hunt for  a complimentary coloured fabric for the contrast.

Drafting the pattern was slightly tricky.  I used Jinny Beyer's advice and folded a 3" piece of paper to get the right size for the star segments.  At 3", accuracy is mandatory.  Who knows how many will make a nice sized quilt.

I've been preparing a few at a time and sewing them in the evening in front of the telly.

Three more for tonight.  You have been warned.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Every Quilt has a Story

It's true.  No quilt is made without at least some drama.  Here is a story of a quilt I first saw 9 years ago.  I work part time in a patchwork shop and get to see lots of quilts; some from beginning to end, others only at a particular stage.

Renee* first came to the shop with 9 dresden plate blocks she had pieced by hand.  The fabric came from her husband's boxer shorts and the quilt was intended as an anniversary gift for him.  There were 9 blocks to represent the 9 years they had been married.  Being fairly new to patchwork she was unsure of how to proceed.  After a short discussion Renee enthusiastically bought a couple of metres of Kaffe Fassett white with jacaranda spots. 

Today, nine years later,  Renee returned.  I immediately recognized the quilt top.  After so long (including a trip to Fiji) the quilt was slightly faded, but still appealing. 

Renee had recently dug out the quilt top and was determined to finish it.  She came looking for border fabric and we discussed the eventual quilting.  It is still intended as a gift for Graeme*, but he is no longer her husband.  He has left Renee and their twin boys.  I felt sad that the happy quilt is now a symbol of broken lives.  Renee said she wanted to give Graeme something to try to make his life a little happier.  I sincerely hope that life brings lots of happiness for everyone in that family.

* names have been changed.