Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Auntie Green and Mary Mannakee

I've made good progress on my center for the Auntie Green quilt. There's still a couple of sprigs, some centers for the big blooms and a basket to do but I'm happy with my homework for class so far.
It's turning out differently than what I had planned, I was just going to go for some soft muted colours but after I got past the outside wreath, I found myself challenged to go with similar colours to the photo I was following. It's the thrill of the chase to find the right fabrics.
I don't know what possessed me to do another block for the Mary Mannakee quilt but I'm glad. It's been so long since the last one. It's is a slow back burner of a project so I like to just focus on a block now and again.
I picked another simple one to prep that I can pick up in spare moments. I have an overlay on the bottom half to place the leaves and I'll baste them to the background before tackling it as cutaway applique. The fronds would fray and distort if I trimmed the seam allowances before starting the stitching.
Until next time, happy stitching, Janet

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My magnificent new project

I haven't done a class for ages.  Where I live means having to travel distances to get to classes and it's such a drama when I have no sense of direction when driving, even with a GPS to help. The only way it's not a hassle is when David is the navigator and even then I can't remember how to get to places, let alone how to get home. Sydney isn't easy to drive around you know.
A friend and I are travelling by train and bus once a month to get to Quiltsmith for classes with Sue Ross to make a version of the Auntie Green coverlet. This one has been whispering in my ear for years so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it. I've never done a medallion before so it'll be a new experience.
It's most recently been pictured in Annette Gero's book, the fabric of Society. There is no pattern for sale so this is strictly an in class pattern where we follow our own applique methods and fabric preferences.
I'm going for an old look so it could turn out quite muted but who knows, I'll choose fabrics as I go. I'm using a cream background but the others in the class are using a more taupe colour which is equally as nice.
For the leaves I've chosen some teal fabrics and I only have a section on the left to finish off.
Hopefully I'll be able to get to some prep over the next few days so I can make a start on the center applique.
My word for this year is focus so I'm determined to make better use of my time and get better organised with my projects. Next week is set aside for drawing the next vine panel for the Susan McCord quilt.
About the Auntie Green coverlet.
It was made around 1860 by Mary Ann Wellen, Stepney, London.
Mary Ann was known as Auntie Green by those who knew her and the coverlet was made for her niece Anne Kirby who travelled to live in New Zealand.
It  was left to Anne's Australian niece, Mabel Williams who then passed it onto her niece, Mavis Roberts who is the current owner.
The coverlet uses a linen background and is unlined.
There could be as much as fifty metres of what looks like bias in the borders but is actually fabric cut on the straight of grain. There are consequently lots of tucks and ruffles in the borders.
It measures 96.5in x 91in
Until next time, Janet

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A quilt in a cage and other ramblings

So far 2013 is looking mighty fine and has started with a hiss and a roar. A hastily organised trip to New Zealand meant that the blog has suffered again and I'm sorry I didn't get the time to reply to comments. Thank you all who visited, as always I really appreciated it. Hopefully I won't be so remiss from this point on.
This is my daughter's quilt in a cage, not the best way to display it but there is a story.
We headed off  to the very small local agricultural show where she had entered a hank of carded and spun wool. Only her second go at it and she won a third prize. Not only that, this quilt she made was a last minute entry for the fun of it and it won in it's division. I'm so proud of her participation and her skills.
The kids had a great time seeing the animals and farm equipment. I think next year the family plan to put in some entries in the craft and baking. The womens' institute is dying out in Middle Earth and needs more members.
The main reason for the trip of course was to catch up with family and celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. There were only three family members missing. All the kids are my grandchildren, there are a couple of gorgeous nieces in the photo and my three sisters. My son and nephew were unable to make it as they are overseas.
Me and my Mum.
I love, love this photo of my Sophie and her Dah, ( my David))  there's just so much love in their faces.
Staying with my daughter the last two trips has got me knitting and at long last I learn't how to knit a basic sock thanks to her expert help. I've been wanting to do that for ages. Now I know how to use circular needles and the magic loop method knitting from the toe up. It's a start.
The kids beaded up the sets of stitch holders for me, what treasures and they had so much fun choosing the beads.
I made the two on the bottom left as gifts and used earing hardware so they could be opened.
I have a busy time ahead, I have enrolled in a couple of classes and might have bitten off more than I can chew but I'm up for the challenge. I'm starting a new quilt in one, I'll let you know what it is after Friday.
Until next time, Janet