weekend trips

When I was young, my mum and dad liked to go on picnics. My sister and I have many memories of picnics at parks, at lakes and dams, at picnic areas near waterfalls or at the beach. As I grew older and had children myself, we still went on picnics with Granny and Grandpa coming along. However, in recent years as my children have grown up and all but left home, and sadly my parents are no longer with us, the frequency of our picnics has dropped right down.
So, our little day trip a few weeks ago, out to Queen Mary Falls, near Warwick, proved to be a lovely day evoking lots of memories.
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My photos are of whatever took my eye- the colours, the textures and the lines.
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… and even some beautiful birds..
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parrot
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At the end of the day we landed here for a meal- a little pub with lots of character and big meals!!
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day-trip1
I also recently attended a weaving workshop that was held at Palm Beach at the Gold Coast. The workshop was given by Ellie Beck (she instagrams under @petalplum) and I had seen the workshop promoted on Instagram with such beautiful photos of woven creations using lots of varying yarns and threads. This is my loom with my first foray into weaving:
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The workshop was held at a little place called The Craft Parlour where lots of crafty workshops are offered.
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At the end of the morning, I had grown my weaving and had experimented adding some tassels to one end, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them. I’ve placed them where they are until I weave that whole empty area with lots more wool rovings or threads.
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loom2

giving and receiving

This is a recent ‘finish’- a cushion cover I made for a local community group for their upcoming multiple-draw raffle.
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I made it in colours of blue and red so it’s nice and vibrant- should look nice in someone’s rumpus room or a children’s bedroom!
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The pattern I followed was by Lynne Goldsworthy (of Lily’s Quilts blog) and was published in Issue #22 of the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. That magazine often has lots of patterns for small quilts and cushion covers- ideal for quick turn-around projects!
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I used a red print for the back and some bright blue for binding.
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I also have some photos to show of some lovely quilts and projects made by the members of Gatton Quilts.

Marilyn- some gifted embroideries from Vietnam

Marilyn- some gifted embroideries from Vietnam


This next photo is of some Margaret Hopkins’ Swedish embroidery that Jan M won in a raffle- she doesn’t know its history but is very thankful to now be its owner- such precise and perfect hand-stitching, and the back was as good as the front!
JanM
Jeanette recently turned 80, so the GQ members made her this little quilt to celebrate.
Jeanette

Jeanette


Each member that contributed had a square of pale fabric and we chose our own fabrics to add the little kimino applique using whichever method we wanted.
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This next one is my little kimono square. I fused the applique on then raw-edge stitched with a black thread:
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Jan Knight also had some of her beautiful stitching, beadwork and ribbon embroidery there to show us:
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Jan K

Jan K


Taking photos of works under glass is always a little tricky so please forgive the reflections you can see! especially in this next close-up, which- because it wasn’t a really good photo- …
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…I decided to have a little play around and applied two different effects to it from photo-editing software. The first one was a filter which brightened up the colours a little:
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and this one is an effect called ‘crystallised':
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Imagine the possibilities and inspiration that photo could provide Jan!

splendid sampler blocks et al

I’m working on a few different things lately, so today’s post is a ‘progress report’ on where I am up to.
First up are the blocks for the Splendid Sampler.

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler


For this block, called ‘Flying High’, I decided to cut the bird shapes out of wool felt and appliqued them down by free-motion sewing. Luckily I had a few scraps of suitable colours to mix in with my theme of using Japanese-taupe as inspiration.
Next up, I have made the two blocks for April’s do.Good Stitches quilting bee. These had to be a house block using bright colours and a pale ‘sky’.
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I also had a sewing day with some friends where we each had a few finished projects to show and tell. Mine was just a cute little pouch, made from a Studio Mio pattern.
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I made it in some lovely fabric given to me by a friend, and lined it with a blue and white spot.
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It even has birdies on it!
This next one was Barb’s little bag with handles; it has a French-style look about it, yes?
Barb
And this was Trudy’s shoulder bag in that great colour combination of blues and browns:
Trudy
Hope you are all having a lovely productive week!

splendid sampler

I have been collecting fabric to one day use for a Japanese-themed quilt. In particular, I love Japanese taupes, so I have lots of fabrics in that colour range along with linens and others that aren’t necessarily taupe but still originating from Japan. I also have some pieces of kimono silk, brought home for me by my son from his overseas travels.
fabrics
The goal was to use them in a quilt, but I had no specific design in mind. I just kept collecting and drooling over books and patterns for inspiration. When I heard about the Splendid Sampler quiltalong, where we are given different blocks to make on a weekly basis, it popped into my mind that this would be a good use of those linens and Japanese fabrics.

Blocks 1 & 2

Blocks 1 & 2


So far we are about 7 weeks in. There are many famous quilters designing the blocks, utilising all different methods and styles. You choose your own fabrics, and the instructions are published for two 6.5″ blocks every week for you to follow. You can make the blocks exactly as given or put your own interpretations on them, as I have done for a couple of mine.
Block 3

Block 3


Blocks4-5-6
Block 7

Block 7


This Block #7 is a lot different to the pattern provided- I thought this wonky 9-patch would suit my overall quilt better than the children’s themed block provided. You can choose your own method to use for each block- for example, you might like to embroider a design instead of applique, etc.
Sure, a lot of the blocks might be simple or very familiar to you, but I saw it as a chance to try a lot of blocks that I hadn’t come across before, and to take part in something where I get to see what everyone else has done with the same instructions. I love seeing that variety!
Block 8

Block 8


Block 9

Block 9


Obviously, not all my fabrics are classic Japanese taupe fabrics- I’m utilising some pieces that I’ve picked up here and there in a variety of colours. When all the blocks are finished what you do with them or how you arrange them is all up to you.
Block 10

Block 10


Block 11

Block 11


If you haven’t heard about it go here for a look and see if you are tempted!
Block 12

Block 12

longarm quilting

The instructions for the March block in the do. Good Stitches quilting bee ( I showed the February block here) were to make two quarter log cabin blocks, using blues and greys. So I have finished these and they are on to the quilt ‘assembler’ today.

March blocks

March blocks


I also recently finished quilting this quilt for Jan Knight:
Jan Knight

Jan Knight


I didn’t have a handy tall person around at the time to hold it up, so apologies for the ‘bend’ in the middle!
Jan wanted to do some hand quilting around and between the applique so I had to leave some space for that. It has a mixture of free-hand designs …
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zig-zagging in the inner border and straight lines on the house blocks…
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Don’t those plaids and checks all play well together?
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It is a lovely quilt, thank you Jan for letting me quilt it for you.
Have a good quilting week!

playing with colour

Well now, what can we do with these pieces of fabric? I had a day with my sister recently where we played with the Liquid Radiance colours bought in a workshop last year.
We wanted to explore further the different effects that can be achieved with these pure pigment colours.
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We got all the little bottles out and measured the liquid out into separate bottles and topped up with water. These colours are used at approximately 1/3 ratio. If it is mixed too strongly, then the extra colour will often ‘sit’ on top of the fabric and just isn’t absorbed properly anyway.
Then came the experimentation with applying the colour to the fabric. We sprayed some on cotton and then tied them around bottles with string:
bottles
I used red and yellow sprinkled with salt crystals to produce this effect:
dyeing-salt
Amanda played with some bright colours on these little singlets for her grandson:
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Both are pictured while still drying- the feather was left until the colour had dried to leave its outline behind. Little Oscar won’t be missed playing on the beach in that multi-coloured singlet!
We folded and scrunched!
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I tried mixing some colour, by adding some black to blue and hoping to get a dark denim or indigo colour. I didn’t measure the quantities so of course the result was a little unpredictable. I used it on this previously-white top, and it looked the right colour when wet but once it dried the colour more resembles a mottled ‘petrol’ colour, which is still good. It hasn’t been pressed in this photo.
dyeing-top
The rest of these are just experiments.

Leaves placed on top while drying

Leaves placed on top while drying


This piece was placed in the sun on top of small stones to make a mottled effect:
pebbles-page
left-over colour on batting- use this for felting!

left-over colour on batting- use this for felting!


'drop cloths' from cleaning up

‘drop cloths’ from cleaning up


These bits of cloth were used for cleaning up afterwards- I’m sure they will come in handy for a project somewhere along the line!

Longarm quilting

Just a few photos of a recent quilt I finished on my longarm machine for Lyn.
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This was a quilt embellished with crocheted doileys, lace and bits and pieces that all have sentimental memories.
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I didnt take many photos to show, but you get the idea. I have done a few of these quilts now, and always the tricky part is deciding how to quilt it. There’s not a lot of open area so the quilting has to go in and around the embellishments. But, the areas that are covered by the doileys and lace are too big to leave unquilted so they still have to be quilted as well.
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I did some ruler-work in this one for something different- a curving ‘border’ of 1/4″ lines around the edge and a large diamond of ‘background’ lines in the centre.
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Onto the next quilt!

lovely makes

I’ve been very busy doing some longarm quilting for others- so I don’t have a lot of my own sewing that’s new to show you this week! My supervisor, Dublin, lounges on the chair in my sewing room keeping an eye on me and occasionally gives me his opinion, although I don’t know where he thinks he gets his knowledge of quilting from…..
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Last week at Gatton Quilters, we had a few people showing what they had completed over the Christmas break. Jan Knight showed us her little collection of ‘Gorgeous Girlz’ which she made over the course of last year as a monthly program with the Thread Studio. Lots of lovely little bits and pieces were sent each month, which Jan used to create these most lovely brooches:
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Meryl has finished her lovely red-work quilt top: (apologies for the unclear photo)
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.. and this is Marilyn’s butterfly runner:
Marilyn
In 2015, we were lucky to have a workshop delivered by Robyn Christoffel in thread painting, embellishing and 3D texture. This is Kaye’s rainforest:
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In the meantime, I’ll get back to quilting. A little sneak peek of Lyn’s quilt-:
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Have a good week!

knotty sister

Have you noticed the increasing popularity of lots of handicrafts that were favourites in the past, and are now making a resurgence? Crochet, knitting, weaving and macrame are all back in a big way. On a recent visit to my sister’s home, she showed me her latest creative endeavour. She has been teaching herself macrame, and produced this lovely piece for her home:
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I love it and think it looks so good, with the cream rope against the blue wall of this nook in the entryway.
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She made up the design herself by looking up various knots on the internet and in books, and incorporated some various threads and bits and pieces to make it uniquely her own.
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Nice one, Amanda!
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And a visit to her home isn’t complete without a look at Mark’s garden:
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Now, I have to get back to quilting!

making quilts for others

My local quilt group, Gatton Quilters, is going to work on some quilts to donate for charity this year. It’s nice to be able to make something for others that will make both the recipient feel good as well as the giver. We will choose a worthwhile group to receive the quilts, perhaps someone who has battled adversity or loss in some way. The quilts will be made either in group sewing days or by individual contributions.
KarenM-Jan1
I have also joined an online group to make quilts for charity. The charity bee is called do.Good Stitches and there are a number of circles of people making quilts. My circle is the Cherish group made up of people in Australia. The original do. Good Stitches bee was devised by Rachel of Stitched in Color and most of the other groups are in her home country, USA. These blocks are the first ones I’ve made for the year.
KarenM-Jan2
This first month’s direction was to make a ‘wonky’ star block – the star is to be white and the rest of the block either greens/blues or pinks & purples. So, I have made these two 12 1/2″ blocks and sent them off to our group organiser based in South Australia who will put them all together. A different person is designated to perform the role of assembling the quilt each month. I’m just one of the block makers! On to the next month!