scrappy tripping

I don’t know where the days go to; certainly too fast to get much sewing done lately!
I mentioned months ago that I was doing a scrappy Round-the-world-trip quilt, and I had quite a few blocks finished early in the year. I was tired of it hanging around ! so decided to try and get it finished when I was away at the coast a few weekends ago. Here are all the blocks laid out:
I only had a few to go to finish, but once they were done the next decision was to work out their arrangement. It is an interesting concept: the original RTW quilts used a limited colour palette with the colours arranged in a defined order to create the pattern. Using a scrappy arrangement of colours meant that there was no particular order but you could still see a pattern emerging by using a variety of darks and lights. Here is another arrangement I tried out:
They are all sewn together now, but the next bit is to decide whether to add a border or two, and what colour will they be? Still thinking on that one.

And on another note, the Gatton Quilters are having an Airing of the Quilts on September 28:

Gatton Quilters Inc.

Celebrate 30 Years of Quilting in the Lockyer Valley

Airing of the Quilts

10 am to 3 pm

Saturday 28 September 2013
Gatton Historical Village
Freemans Road

Free entry
BYO Picnic Lunch

Musical entertainment by the
Moreton Bay Symphony Orchestra

If you are in the area stop by!

what is a background

I was casting my eye around looking for a photo for the theme of ‘background’, and of course my mind immediately started thinking of background fabrics we use in quilting and embroidery. I was thinking how important a seemingly inocuous fabric can be- how it forms the foil for whatever is going to be placed on top of it. The appliques or the sttcheries we place on it usually get so much more attention, and often a pale or light-coloured fabric is chosen for the background so as not to clash.
I often like to choose a spot or textured fabric for some variety, so I like to think I have moved on a little in my background choices, but I aim to be more adventurous in future- step by step!
In these lollipop-tree blocks I have used spots
and for this block the text fabric was used as the ‘background’ fabric.
When looking around my garden I realised that the group of native trees and plants we have would often be seen as a background for other more flashy plantings in front of them, or maybe as a setting for a family or special-occasion photo. But why can’t they be special in their own right? They struck me as being beautiful as they are.


And another thing, I recently went with some friends to see the exhibition of quilts at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art which I can highly recommend. If you have a chance to get to Brisbane sometime, you really need to see it! The quilts are from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, but also include the Rajah quilt, which is a quilt-top pieced by female convicts deported to Australia in 1841. It’s probably even worth more than a single visit!

time was the theme

The theme for this month’s art quilt journal page was “time”. I couldn’t come up with anything that I could use to interpret the theme for a very long while, until one beautiful Sunday I decided to take a photo of some clouds. Then awhile later I took another photo-and realised that if I took a photo every hour or so of the same piece of sky, I would in fact be making a photographic essay of time.
As I took those photos over the course of the day, I was witness to a fantastic display of Nature that so clearly illustrated time. To reproduce them on fabric, I decided to use some “Transfer Artists Paper”, which is a specially treated paper that allows you to print a photo onto it- or any picture- and you then take that and place it on the background fabric and iron it down.
I arranged 6 of the photos in a grid and printed them in sepia tones onto the paper. These colours suited the running theme I’ve been developing with each of my month’s pages. The linen background was first prepared by machine-sketching a tree outline in black thread, mirroring the tree that appears in the photos. I cut the photos up and sewed them on top of the tree, spacing them out a little.
I did some free-motion stitching on each of those little squares to add some interest to the individual photos.
Here is the back: which will have a backing piece added eventually.
And that was it.

wool applique- a vase

A little quilt I finally got finished at our quilt retreat last weekend was this wool applique picture:
You might remember when I’ve shown progress photos along the way here and here. I started it last year in a workshop with Sue Spargo when she was last in Australia. It has been a project that I’ve loved doing, working with wool is lovely because it is nice to handle, easy to sew- don’t have to worry about turning under seam allowances, and wool comes in great bright colours as well!
The workshop was mainly to show us the many different stitches you can use and to give ideas on how to vary them for different effects, as well as an intro into a luscious variety of wool threads that are available. We chose which flower shapes we would use, and where to place them and which stitches to use where. Lots of our own creative input.
On the weekend, all I had left to do was to sandwich the quilt and quilt and bind it. I did some free-hand quilting, using a variegated thread…
with some leaves around the vase..
and then bound it using the same hand-dyed purple fabric as in the small border. I machine-sewed the binding on (instead of turning over and hand-sewing it down)- a technique I’ve been using more and more with smaller quilts and wall-hangings.
I am very happy with it- it turned out well!

a quilting weekend

I’ve just had a lovely weekend away at Coolum on a quilt retreat with my local group, Gatton Quilters. We stayed at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, and the weather was just beautiful. This was the view we had from the windows of the large room that we use to sew and quilt in all day:
Lots of quilting projects, big and small, get brought along amid great expectations of getting as much done as we can in the weekend- at least I do anyway, as I don’t get as much sewing time as I would like these days- but then, is it ever enough? I think the best part of these weekends is that we get to sew and sew all day without having to stop if we don’t have to, except our meals which are cooked for us!
Lots of people were working on lots of things; Lyn was trying a quick jelly-roll quilt, with consultation from others:
Amanda bought a bag pattern and fabric on the way to Coolum and was very pleased that she got it all made and complete in the weekend:
Margaret got a few quilt-tops together in the weekend- this one is in a very elegant sophisticated colourway:
She also brought along some show-and-tell: this is a McKenna Ryan pattern, in one of my favourite mix of colours- purple, blue and green:
and a quilt that she made in a recent workshop with Helen Godden using fabric-painting:
Alison finished putting together a top that has been patiently waiting its turn in her sewing room:
an interesting top with 3-D effects within the blocks:
I also got a few things finished but I’ll show them next time!

a little birdie block

I felt like doing some foundation piecing the other day, so decided to make a little birdie block. Foundation piecing tends to be a technique that polarises a lot of quilters, but I don’t mind it for when I want to make something that has sharp points and would be tricky to make otherwise.
I found this little bird block in one of my books..
and then searched for some bright fabrics to use.
Bright reds, blues and yellow for the bird and a blue spot for the background.
I planned ahead with which fabric to use for which piece of the bird and marked that on the foundation paper, because it’s easy to forget which piece I intended for each section.

Then all I had to do was sew along the straight lines of the pattern.
I just wanted to make the block a little larger than the 4″ size pattern that was provided so added some border pieces all around it because that was easier tham getting it photocopied at a bigger size on a Sunday afternoon!
For this pattern, the beak was a little folded square which got sewn into the seam and then pressed down, and his little eye was a hand-sewn knot added on at the end. Voila! one little birdie!

photos for July

A little round-up of what’s been happening in this corner of the world via a selection of my daily photos:

July 4 the theme was {red, white or blue}: a print I once bought. It’s a lovely illustration, by Brenda E Spender, taken from a 1930’s book called ‘People of importance and important people’.
#fmsphotoaday july4 {red white or blue}

July 8 {path}: a little sand garden, which is a little memento from my previous workplace- each little doll resembles one of us co-workers! We used to keep this on one of the benches and regularly move them around to create little scenarios!
#fmsphotoaday jul8 {path}

July 15 {building} at the school my children all went to, they made these little clay houses. This one was made by my eldest son- I’ve kept them all because I just love them!
#fmsphotoaday july19 {building}

July 18 {number}: we had a very important birthday this month- my beautiful only daughter turned 21
#fmsphotoaday jul18 {number} a significant one at that!

July 23 {I drew this..} some doodling of quilting designs
#fmsphotoaday july23 {I drew this..} quilting doodling

That month went so quickly!

textile treasures

In my last post I showed the art quilt I made as part of a challenge, using a bag of random items. Today I thought I’d also show some of the other quilts that were made by my fellow guild members.
This one was made by Helen:
Helen was the lucky- although she thinks she was unlucky!- recipient of the bag of stuff I donated, which had some black patterned chiffon fabric, which became seaweed;
teabag paper, small bits of craftwood, wool, ribbon and a feather, and ….
some metallic sequin waste which makes excellent fish!
Margaret made a quilt bag:
This one was created by Shirley- the sea was a popular theme this month!:
2013-07-13 10.55.04
This next one was created by Lyn, who cleverly utilised a CD as the base for the whirligig in the bottom left corner:
And Meryl’s, which I have shown here before:

The thing about challenges like these is that they bring out everyone’s inventiveness and allows us to give reign to our creativity- the ways that people can come up with using seemingly random bits and pieces is unique to all those individuals, and it’s so much fun to see what they are!
Some true textile treasures!