Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bound and finished

For a little while there I thought that finishes could be a little overated but now I've finished the Licorice Allsorts quilt, I might change my mind on that one. The pattern is in the book Quilt Romance by Kaffe Fassett. Mine measures approximately 73"x76"
Love the big stitch quilting in varigated perle #8 and love the texture and softness of the quilt.
Love the bias binding that echoes the colours of the little flowers in the background fabric.
Love the big blooms on the back.
Love the finish!
I used a different batting on this one. It is the Quilters Dream Orient, a mixture of bamboo, silk, tencel ( a plant fibre) and cotton. It's very smooth and soft, has a bit more body than the Quilters Dream 100% cotton which I normally use. It has lovely drapability but being denser than the other batting I use, I don't think I'd use it for finer hand quilting.
I'd love to use this one again for big stitch quilting and it would be fantastic for machine quilting.
I have washed the quilt which was my big test for it and I never got any pilling which you often get with a bamboo batt.
Oh and P.S I love little Miss Ella who is going to get the quilt after I fondle it for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I should be quilting

As soon as I got back from the quilt show, I decided I had better make something from the loot I picked up, unlike last year where things got put away and nothing done with them.
My little pack of antique kimono strips, the cording and the book from my last post resulted in this needlecase that represents a leaf and cherries.
I first saw it on the Bearpaw blog post here and I vowed to make one for myself. It can hang on a knob of my light right next to where I sew.
I had to dig out my beads from the dark recesses in the sewing room. I've decided I have way too much stuff by the way.

It took me way back to BQ, (before quilting) when I was trying out different crafts. I made just a few teddy bears, nothing like the artisan bears you see now but this is one dear fellow I kept, all hand stitched. I had dreams of making the kids teddies back then.
I even dabbled in some crazy quilting and did a class to make Charlotte. She's not a particularly nice shaped bear but dressed up with lots of embroidery transformed her and she scrubbed up well.
This was going to be a ring cushion for my own wedding but never got finished due to the interruption of being evacuated with bush fires, that's another story.
I did dabble in ribbon embroidery for a short while so added some of that.
I'm not even slightly interested in this type of work anymore but you know how it is, you take classes in your own area depending on what's on offer. I couldn't even take a beginners quilting class as nobody taught it so I ended up joining a guild and winging my way through a few classes and taking lots of books out of the library.
After trying out all these other crafts, quilting is the one thing that has endured, I never get sick of it and I think since it's a cold drizzly day, I'm going to go do some hand quilting. If I keep going, I might even have a finish by next week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A weekend in Sydney

I spent the whole weekend in Sydney with Mr Quiltsalott and the weather could not have been better. Darling Harbour was very messy looking with World cup soccer fever happening with giant screens, lots of crowds and construction going on. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was warm weather for winter.
I got to meet some lovely new people and fellow bloggers. Back row from left, Gail, myself and Linda from Quilts In The Barn
Front row from left, Robyn from Quilt Tragic, Jen and Sharon.
I also bumped into Jean from Linen And Raspberry again and met Robyn from Daisy quilts. you can see the photo of us on Jean's blog.

Here's most of the loot I bought back, I didn't buy a lot of fabric but thought these might be good for the Morrell quilt I'm doing.
There were quite a few merchants selling Japanese fabrics and supplies. I did buy a small pack of of antique silk kimono strips.
I have some small projects I want to make for these bits and pieces too. I was pleased to find some silk threads for embroidery.
Below are some Reece Scannell shot cottons along with some sashiko threads and somewhere I lost my yellow so I can't proceed with mt plan for those just yet. The cottons are a beautiful quality and look like silk. I went for some muted colours to contrast with the brighter threads.

DH bought me something nice but it will be better to show that when I start making it and maybe, just maybe I may have signed up for another BOM. I tried to resist but I kept going back to look at the quilt, Dh did some eyeball aerobics over that extravagance, lol.
I have to add these photos which we had a good laugh over. We thought that after paying for the limos, they could only afford to go to McDonalds for dinner.
As for the quilts, there were about 100 less on show this year, not as many traditional styles but still some nice ones. I don't have permission to post any photos unfortunately. I did get the itch to stitch by the time I came home so maybe this week I can do just that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blocks, blocks and more blocks.

We've just enjoyed a long weekend here for the Queen's birthday and it's been a busy one. Going shopping is madness at the moment with all the sales going on but I needed to get some clothes and what did I come home with? I had to have this little polka dot set, it wasn't expensive and if you live in this part of the world, it's by Maxwell Williams and is just the right size for the two of us. I even went to the tea shop to get some fancy pants loose leaf tea to christen it.
That liitle purchase kinda eased the pain of being in a dressing room with mirrored walls. You know the ones, no doubting what the back or side views look like. It was like being in a mirror maze and I was glad to get out of there.
You probably want to know about quilty stuff. The last week has been all about blocks. I managed to get 16 of the Klosjes done so my total is now 165. Am I sick of them yet? Heck no but I don't know if I'll make it to 400. I might have to give some thought to settings soon.

I finished the two Morrell blocks I started and I really enjoyed doing the broderie perse. The fusible I use is Lite Steam a Seam 2, it keeps a nice clean edge
This hand pieced 20" monster took me quite a bit of time, it looks more crooked in the photo than what it really is.
The fabric I was searching for on the last post arrived in the mail so now I'm ready for more blocks. I think I might give this one a light coffee dye to cream it up a bit.
I'm switching styles with the quilts in progress and did get four more small applique blocks done for the Stars andSprigs quilt. I'm so thrilled to have 6 out of 9 rows done. I can't wait to get to the borders.
Because of all the distractions with making blocks, I've just been nibbling at the hand quilting. It's taking a bit longer than I anticipated since I decided to echo the circles. It looks better and it evens up the density of quilting throughouout the top. I'll get there, there's no time frame.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Sarah Morrell quilt

I haven't started a new quilt this year and I think I lasted quite well but seeing the Morrell quilt around blogland was just too much and I finally ordered the pattern pack and a starter kit of fabrics.
This is the original quilt pictured in Glorious American Quilts.
It's dated 1843 New Jersey.
This is the pattern from Threadbear by Di Ford. The ladies at the shop give great service and are extremely helpful.

I made a start on the center block and if you knew me, you'd know that hand piecing isn't my forte but I never shy away from a challenge and this will be a good skill building project.
I have a friend doing an insane handpiecing project that helped me with some great tips for hand piecing.
I appliqued the center to the background instead of piecing it in, just because I didn't want seams.
I've never done broderie perse before but I always wanted to have a go and I really lost myself in making this floral arrangement. I'm still in the process of buttonholing the edges and I'm using cotton sewing thread to do it. The pieces are fused on first.
I was fortunate to get the fabric below which  is Austen Manor by Harriet Hargrave and is a bit darker than in the photo.
I've been fabric foraging for the broderie perse and thought I'd hit the jackpot when I discovered the one Di had used called Sophia Pearce from Andover from the Winterthur collection.  It's got floral sprays on a cream background. I ordered it from Quilters Corner only to be told they didn't have it. If anyone knows of a source, let me know. It's a few years old now so I don't fancy my chances.

Edit: never underestimate bloggers, you are the best! Thanks to Miriam, who is also making the quilt, she put me onto a shop that had some and thanks to Christine who also offered some to me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Collaborating with Kathie

Have you seen Kathie's Summer Salsa quilt ? It's just been published in the latest American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
When Kathie started talking about making a yellow and red quilt last year, I wanted to join in and she gave me permission to make my version.. These are my two favourite colours after all. Of course I've had to keep it hush hush until hers was published but now I can show you mine. It's still a top and yet to be quilted.
My layout is a little different in the center and I chose to use scraps for the nine patches.
Now have a look at this photo below and you can see a big piecing mistake. This is why I need those labled pins people. I go all dyslexic somewhere between the blocks getting off the wall to under the machine and back on the wall. Not to worry, it was easily fixed.
I just loved using this chrome yellow, it's pure sunshine.