You know when you read quilting magazines and whenever there is an article about a quilter, invariably the interview will start off with “.. got her love of quilting from her (insert significant loved one here)” It’s like we always want to be able to see where we do inherit our traits and characteristics from, whether it be our hobbies and past-times, or the foods we eat or our mannerisms that grow on us with age. I know there are some things I do or say that make me think “I sound just like my own mother” which I hoped I would nver do! On this lovely Mother’s Day, with love shown to me by my family, my thoughts turn to my own mother.
My mum didn’t quilt but she did do other handicrafts, and also loved gardening and especially bonsaii plants. In her later years she turned to making teddy bears, which I remembered happened after she accompanied me to a quilt show one year and saw the stalls selling teddy bear fur and patterns. So she set to and made teddy bears, making a bear for each of her 6 grandchildren.
(not all of these were made by Granny)
This bear below was made with long wild-looking fur, so we nick-named it Yeti!
And this one was given some glasses and a little leather cap made for her by Grandpa to resemble one of his own.
So, even though she didn’t make quilts herself I made a couple for her. I made this quilt below for Mum and gave it to her a year after Grandpa passed away.
I incorporated lots of features that she had admired in other quilts I made- she was enamoured with the ‘stack-and-wack’ quilts so I added in a border of s&w blocks.
I couldn’t find any bonsaii-themed fabric, so instead made the centre medallion myself. I made the tree and the pot by normal applique methods but did the leaves by doing some confetti piecing: lots and lots of little green scraps sandwiched in between some wash-away Solvy with free-hand stitching all over to anchor them down.
This was also made in the days before I had my long-arm machine, so the quilting was done on my domestic sewing machine.
I traced the feathered wreath patterns in the s&w border on to some plastic and then sewed through it, easily peeling off the plastic after. With the purple triangles surrounding the bonsaii block, I clearly remember putting the needle down to start with no idea what design to use. I literally pulled the thread up, looked at it again, still didn’t know what to do, then just started sewing lines. I’m quite happy with them now!
This next quilt wasn’t made until after Mum passed away with cancer, 2 years after that.
She had gone to New Zealand with her sister and brother-in-law on a trip that she had always dreamed of doing, and I had asked her to bring me back a little ‘New Zealand-type’ fabric, meaning just a fat quarter or two. Instead she brought me back a whole pile of fabrics!, so I had to think of something fitting to use them on. I looked through lots of magazines and picked a couple of patterns to show to her when she was in the hospice. She picked this one with the blocks resembling hearts, and I promised to make that quilt for her.
Even though she never saw the finished quilt, I still think of her whenever I look at it.
Quilts are like that; they are warm and cuddly and give you a sense of well-being. Happy Mothers Day to everyone!
My next block in the “My favourite block” quiltalong is the Dancing Diamonds. I think it is Block #16, even though I think I have missed one along the way- #13, which I’ll have to do next. All of the blocks have now been published on the Persimmon Dreams website which has been hosting this quiltalong, and we are encouraged to try and join all the blocks together for a finished qilt-top by May 25. Prizes even, if you do!
If you would like to take a look at all of the blocks that participants have been making, go to the Flickr site for some eye-candy.
This is my block #16:
This was also a quick and straight-forward block to make. It utilised 4-patch squares and flying geese..
I used a text print for the background print- these are my favourite to use for a ‘neutral’, and also some of the pink with white spot- I used this in the leaf block that I designed for this quiltalong back in February, and wanted to bring some more of it into a few other blocks in the quilt-top.
I think it would be a lot more effective if you made lots of these blocks and joined them together, because you could then see the weaving effect that shows from the careful placement of the colours.
I’m joining in with Freshly Pieced’s Work In Progress blog today.
I try to take at least one photo a day, and I do so following the themes given by “fmsphotoaday” . Here are a few of my favourites from April:
April 4 The theme was “this happened today” : I made a mud cake using the good whiskey, as you do:
April 11 For the theme “detail”, a look at some stitching I’ve done from an online class with Karen Ruane :
April 20 The theme was “on my mind”: this group of three are never far from my mind:
April 21 The theme was “fire”:
April 27 For the theme “earth”, this picture of a beautiful example of fruit from our earth:
April 28 The theme “my Sunday”: how many Sunday afternoons are spent: backyard basketball
I have done another couple of the ‘My Favourite Block’ quilt blocks. The first one is a House Block, made with foundation paper piecing. You make each of the sections individually, then piece them together.
The next one is Bock #15-a Dancing Spools block, from Fabric Fascination. This block originally also included a pincushion block which was in the middle with 4 spool blocks placed around it, but I decided to just do the spool block in a 6 1/2″ size. I’ve only done one so far, but will make another 3 to go with it.
I actually made this with a different technique to that shown in the original instructions, mainly because I forgot to print out the instructions and didn’t feel like going back to the computer! The original instructions used pattern pieces by which you cut out the individual pieces and sewed together. But, I did mine like this:
The spool block can be thought of as 4 squares joined together. These are the pieces I worked out I would need:
First of all, to get the large triangles in each corner, I cut out two squares big enough (3 7/8″) so that you can cut them into triangles diagonally.
Sew a light and dark half-square triangle together, twice.
To the two dark triangle corners of those pieces, I sewed a smaller square (2″) of the other dark fabric, diagonally corner to corner, and folded that over to make the triangle corner. The underneath bits can be trimmed off.
I sewed the other two small (2″) squares to the corners of the other large light squares.
Then it just needs the four pieces to be joined to make the finished block.
My pile of blocks is growing – it’ll be exciting to see what they look like all together!
I have some more ‘Show and Tell’ from the recent Gatton Quilters meeting. In my last post I showed the journal page- three wise monkeys- I had made in response to the art quilters group on using a line of verse or famous saying as inspiration for this month’s journal page.
Below is a photo of Jan K’s interpretation: it has an elegant look and the writing she did with a pen is so even and neat!
Jan K- line of verse journal page
Shirley has illustrated a line from the famous Alice in Wonderland:
Shirley-line of verse journal page
and had last month’s completed project made to the theme of ‘doors’ – in a baobab ‘prison’ tree:
Shirley-’Doors’- journal page
..but also had this quilt to show:
Karen S had this quilt top to show, which proved popular amongst the members- its a quick and easy make utilising layer cakes:
Karen S- quilt top
and Jan M had this quilted table runner to show:
Jan M- table runner
Lots of busy people!
For my latest art quilt group challenge, I made a fabric journal page under the theme of using a famous saying or line of verse as inspiration.
I decided I wanted to try and make a small piece that would reflect a saying that was recognisable without actually using any words on the page. So it had to be something very well known, and that could be easily be reproduced in an illustrative way. Of course, it took me a week or two mulling it over but eventually did come up with something. What message do you think these guys are trying to get across?
I used a technique of making some ‘paper fabric’ for the background- I blogged about the process here.
As part of that, I used newspaper scraps which reflected bad news that the monkeys are trying to avoid…
…and then surroundered them with ‘nice’ things, like, flowers and cupcakes, and hearts and lace.
The three wise monkeys are made out of black felt that I first placed in position on the paper fabric with a few drops of glue, and then machine-sewed on with free-motion stitches around the very edge. I sewed a strip of cupcake fabric across the bottom edge and some colourful buttons on top of that. The row of flowers were also machine-sewn with a fine black thread- you can see the holes created by the needles so it has a real ‘sketchy’ look.
I used bobbin-sewing to attach the paper fabric onto a backing of cotton wadding, using a thick, textured thread in the bobbin and sewing from the wrong side. To back all of that I used a piece of natural-coloured linen, fixed by large running stitch.
So, that’s my interpretation of the saying ” see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.