on show…

One of the main reasons for my recent trip to the US was to visit the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It was huge, with rows and rows of vendor stalls, let alone another equal-sized area full of quilts on display.
These photos are taken from a window on the top level looking down:
We left late each day, trying to pack as much in as we could.

Quilt Festival- leaving for the day

Quilt Festival- leaving for the day

Next time I’ll show some more photos taken at the Festival- I saw some beautiful quilts there!
The members of Gatton Quilters have certainly also been very busy over the past month, if their ‘show and tell’ display at Saturday’s meeting is anything to go by. I unfortunately don’t have any finished projects for showing at the moment, but can show you the works of these busy ladies.
jan_m_bed-runner This is a bed runner made by Jan M, in a French Braid style.
There were a few ‘scrappy’ style quilts:
Shirley M

Shirley M

Pam This was made by Pam.

Trish K

Trish K

and another..
Marilyn has been busy making some Christmas gifts:
and one of our newer members has also done some lovely hand-work:
Helen H

Helen H

I must get busy!

sights of New York

Home from my trip now, I look back with nostalgia on the nearly-four weeks spent travelling the United States. I loved all of it- the sights, the sounds and the experiences. I took lots of photos, and while I won’t bore you with them all here! I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what we saw.
New York was everything you hear about, and more. It’s a beautiful big city, full of people and cars and buildings and lights and sounds and smells.

Empire State Building- the colour changed nightly!

Empire State Building- the colour changed nightly!

Everything is so much bigger, and so much more of it to choose from. It just boggles the mind. This place we went to for an evening meal was called Little Eataly, and had a huge range of delicatessen produce- fruit and vegetables, meats, breads, fish, chocolates…
…and fresh pasta…
…and cheeses, more varieties than I even knew existed!..
… I had a seafood chowder…
Expensive as you can imagine, but nice to have tried it!
Times Square was bigger than life…
This is the six of us – our first day,DSC00229 overlooking Times Square. Seems like just yesterday!

longarm quilting

A quilt that I recently finished longarm quilting for a client, this one is destined to be a raffle prize.
This quilt also presented some challenges! Anne had utilised some blocks with candlewicking to a lovely effect, combining them with some beautiful Japanese-themed prints. My challenges were to stitch a cohesive pattern across the quilt without encroaching on the candlewicking.
The majority of my quilting is done free-hand and my machine is hand-guided, but I try to limit any pre-marking on the quilt. I stitched a wavy pattern just on the borders and minimal echo-quilting on the blocks, so that the emphasis rightfully stayed on the candlewick designs.
The alternating fabric blocks were quilted with the same diamond-with-swirls design in each and the centre panel gave me the chance to highlight some of the elements on the fabric design- outlining a lot but also adding to the design by echoing the bird outlines.
Here is the quilting from the back:
The backing was a light cream print, and I quilted it with a cream thread throughout.

Quilt life in NY

New York has so many things to do and sights to see, including lots of haberdashery -type shops with beads and trimmings and braids and ribbons, no doubt for its fashion districts. While we found lots of fashion fabric shops in the city we only visited one quilting fabric shop- the City Quilter.
DSC00386 Unfortunately the shop had lots of construction happening out the front to get a good photo, but that was the case all over the city. Lots of building and construction and renovations everywhere, so presumably they are making a good recovery from the GFC.
We spent a lovely morning looking through all their goodies.
Trudy and I also had to choose some fabric o take with us for the workshop we will be doing at the Quilt Festival :) so that enabled us to have a really good look around.
The shop also has its own range of New York-themed fabric with me being a lover of ‘text’ fabric, that was irrisistible.
We had read about one particular trimmings shop called M&J Trimmings so had to check that out. Look at the sights to see:

visiting the French General shop

My trip to rhe USA has so far been busy, full of movement and colours and neck-turning moments. We look like the typical tourists, heads looking up, laden sown with cameras and maps- but who cares!
In Los Angeles we visited the French General shop. Such beautiful things to look at-
Apart from the actual fabrics, there were lovely little haberdashery items..
Vintage linens…
Paper crafts
Needless to say, we spent a but of time there!

for the jet plane…

We will be leaving on our USA trip on Monday, and I’m all packed (nearly) and ready to go(almost). I thought I’d show you a couple of little things I made for my trip to inject a little colour into the proceedings.
A week or two ago I showed you this little sewing bag, which I’ll be taking with my sewing supplies- I can’t go anywhere without taking something to do, idle hands and all that…
My suitcase is a pretty standard colour of charcoal, so to be able to pick it out of the sea of bags on the luggage carousel I also made a luggage tag.
This was from a pattern found online, here. Once I made one up, I thought it needed pepping up a bit though, so I made some changes to it in size and shape. This was the original:
The ‘fabric’ I decided to use on the next one was actually some of the made-up fabric I’ve been putting together recently from lots of random colourful scraps..
I used a cardboard template to get the shape I wanted,
and cut out the fabric and batting and adjusted the piece of plastic which goes on the front to form a little pocket.
The pieces are all sewn together then turned out, and top-stitched all around, inserting a loop at the top.
I used some ribbon for the loop, and a little piece of Kaffe Fassett ribbon as the trim on the plastic (which frays very easily so get it sewn quickly!)
These were really quick to make, and so cute!
And, I also made this travel wallet for my tickets and passport etc. This was from a pattern by Natalie Bird in the July Homespun magazine, which just by chance I happened to find when looking back through it the other day.
For the main part of the wallet I used some hand-dyed fabric I bought from Ali George, the dark print on the quilted pocket is a V & A special reproduction fabric, and some Tim Holz travel document-themed fabric was used for the inside lining.
The original pattern did have a little applique picture on the front, but I left that off and just included the back-stitched text labels. Also another quick make and the pattern was easy to follow.
Hope you all have a lovely week, and keep on the lookout for some photos I’ll post on here ….

mini quilt swap

This little mini quilt is finished.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

I showed it in its earlier stages here.
It was made with half-square triangles of warm and cool colours, using Kaffe Fassett fabrics like these:
The small blocks were placed alternating to form an offset diamond pattern.
I decided to quilt it with straight-line stitching along the warm colour ‘stripes’, emphasising the diamond shapes, and leaving the cooler sections unquilted.
I used a pink and white spot for the backing and bound it with a hot pink solid.
So that’s finished and now ready to send to my Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap partner and hope that she likes it!
This time next week I will be on my way to the USA with a group of friends. We will be going to the Houston International Quilt Festival which was the prime motivator for the trip, but also visiting a few other places on the way. I’ll try and post some photos on here, because I’m sure it’s going to be the best time ever!
Today though a little colour in your day, fresh from our garden:

some longarm quilting

I recently quilted this lovely quilt for some new clients. This quilt obviously exhibited lots of care and attention in its creation. A group of ladies had collaborated to make a quilt for raffling. The quilt top was made with lots of crocheted doileys and lace, which the ladies wanted the quilting to highlight and not overwhelm.
2015-07-31 08.46.09
It took quite some time thinking and time to work out what would be best in the way of a quilting design. I had to take some factors into account which I hadn’t encountered before, such as a cohesive design which could make its way around the doileys without encroaching on them but also not leaving those areas entirely stitch free…
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I also had to be mindful of what the back would look like, and stitching with cream thread on cream fabric was also a little tricky..
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I couldn’t have some areas more heavily quilted than others and there were some blocks that had more free area to stitch in than others. I quilted a free-hand feather design in and around the embellishments in the wide borders, with smaller-scale feathers in the sashing and some back-ground stippling in the centre blocks.
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Just a little postscript: I hope this blog post is readable as I’m practising writing it on my 8″ tablet in preparation for when I’m travelling next month. I can’t easily edit the photos so they may be larger in size than normal. I hope to be able to still post while I’m away, especially when I visit the Houston Quilt Festival (I can’t wait!!!)

in the pink..

I’ve been catching up on a few different projects lately, and trying to cross off a few on my list that I want to get finished in the next couple of weeks. One of them was this little bag- its called the Sew Together Bag. The pattern is by ‘Sew Demented’ and you have no doubt seen many versions on the net or Instagram. I plan to use it for a little sewing bag- it is a handy size to take travelling…
I made mine with different fabrics for each of the parts, so that it would be easier to remember what each pocket held. The zips were all random colours…
I have seen so many different versions, with people experimenting with all manner of fabrics and embellishment on the outside of the bag. I can see how it can become addictive to make more than one, although the pattern takes a bit of studying to work it out in places.
I have also been working on this month’s colour challenge for the Gatton Quilters- pink. This was a little hard because while I don’t dislike pink, I didn’t want a 14″ square of just pink staring up at me! So my challenge was to devise something that was pink all over but that the ‘expanse’ of the colour was broken up in some way, or diluted, but so that the block was still pink to look at. This is the result:
I started with a background made up of pink scraps all sewn together. I then got an old sewing pattern tissue and tore it up into pieces and placed on top of that. I did think of painting the pattern tissue with some gel medium in the hope of making it more transparent but it didn’t really do that on the sample piece I tried. So instead I added some open weave raw silk on top which still let the colour show through.
Then I pinned it and got stuck into some all-over free motion quilting. After stitching it, I then used some water-colour pastels to colour in a few highlights, using darker shades of pink to give some dimension.
I stitched lots of dresses and bows, all connected together in a continuous line, using a variegated thread. There were some torn bits of paper and holes in the silk to let some pink show through. This is the back…
It’s not my favourite piece I’ve ever made, but it’s good enough!

triangles & weddings

I’m making a mini quilt for a mini quilt swap. The swap is one I found on Instagram, and thought I’d give it a go. It’s called the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.
I’ve got a secret partner to make a mini quilt for; someone with tastes very much like mine. She likes bright colours and Kaffe fabric- someone matched us up well!
So I gathered up some fabric and decided to make a little quilt out of half-square triangle blocks.
I’m pairing warm colour triangles with cool colour triangles. I like the patterns you can create and the various arrangements to play around with. I put them up on the design wall and started with a diamond right in the middle, but then changed it to some off-centred diamonds and liked that better.
These haven’t been sewn together yet, so that’s the next step.
I just have to show you some photos from last weekend. We went to Byron Bay for the weekend for my niece’s wedding. The setting at the Harvest Cafe was lovely, the wedding was beautiful and we stayed in a very interesting place, with some visitors!
Just a few random photos without intruding on her privacy, but the wedding was just so lovely:
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2015-09-13 16.48.402015-09-13 16.49.37
.. and the bride made her own wedding cake, which tasted as good as it looked!