getting with the group

Attending a meeting of a quilt group or guild is an entertaining and informative get-together! There’s always an array of different things happening, you find out what others are up to, get some useful tips and ideas that you can utilise, and get a chance to contribute and plan what events and happenings are coming up.
At our recent meeting, some members showed the results of a recent workshop they attended- these are soem of Jan M’s blocks:
where they learnt to construct a number of blocks utilising a basic 4-patch or 9-patch blocks
sewing scraps of fabric or specially-planned fabrics together.
There was also some crocheting happening with Amanda:
and a few new projects- this one has a lovely colour scheme, a slight departure from Pearl’s usual choices:
These lovely Dorset-style buttons are by Jan K:
The Art Quilt Group showed their creations to the theme of ‘astrology': this was Helen’s interpretation-
Jan K:
and Jan M:

astro beauty

The last page in our fabric journal had a theme which was a difficult one for me to work with. Astrology could give you a choice of 12 different symbols to interpret, from a number of different countries of origin; but then if I chose one of them, which do I choose- or which selection? None of these appealed to me so I instead went with a block which would represent the astrological chart with all 12 signs,or points.
I thought I would do a 12-pointed star, but couldn’t find a pattern for one (is there such a thing? I found 6-pointed stars, 8-pointed stars etc) So I turned to the block which is my favourite of all quilt blocks- the New York Beauty block. I drew up some foundation paper with 4 identical blocks, each with 2 full points and 2 half points.
Foundation piecing is ideal for making nice sharp, accurate points and I love the contrast between a lighter background and bright coloured fabric points.
I cut the outer piece out of the same neutral background fabric and made the centre from a mottled gold.
After each of the 4 corner blocks were made, they were then joined together to make the complete star.
I placed the star block on some natural linen which I have been using for most of my fabric pages for this journal; sewing it down by machine with a raw-edge.
I then hand-quilted around each star point,
and did concentric circles in the middle with matching thread.
I found this theme tricky to start with, but am happy with the final result- love those sharp little points!

what’s on the long-arm

I recently quilted these two quilt tops on my long-arm machine for Colleen. She made this first one for her daughter-
and she wanted it quilted in a simple all-over pattern, skirting around the applique, and with lots of space between the stitching. I quilted it free-motion, echoing the string of hearts pattern in the black border fabric.
This next one was made by her grand-daughter. I was given directions on just how she wanted it quilted, so I followed it to the letter!
Isn’t it great when you see young people who also get caught up in the delight of quilting?!

shapes galore

The recent challenge for our Art Quilt group was to create a journal page using the criteria of only utilising one shape on the page. We could use whatever shape we wanted – as long as only the one shape was used, as big or small as we wanted, one or many instances of the shape, and in whatever technique we wanted. I’ve long been interested in tessellation of shapes- where the one shape is repeated over the surface to fill up that surface and leave no gaps.
So, I created my ‘Little Birdies” tessellation.
I drew this myself after doodling for quite awhile to experiment with lines and shapes. I didn’t set out to draw birds, despite my affection for them!, but after coming up with a few different shapes I realised one that I liked the best almost resembled a bird.
So with a little more tweeking, I could draw a birdie tessellation.
I drew the pattern on paper first, then transferred it to the fabric with pencil using a mesh transfer sheet. The fabric I used was a piece torn off some previously-loved linen cloth, and I then free-motion stitched the design in a continuous line with a colourful variegated thread (although that’s not so obvious in the photos).
I then cut out 3 little birdie shapes from some fabric and sewed them down, and lastly I put it to soak in a tea bath to give the aged appearance.

Here are some of the other art pieces created by the talented people in the Gatton Quilters Art Quilt Group:
Lyn- teabag tags
Jan with her autumn leaves:
jan m-shape
and Shirley also did a tessellation with a horse shape:

deciding on the quilting

Some lovely quilted works were shown at our recent meeting of Gatton Quilters. As I’m sure what commonly happens at guild meetings everywhere, members bring along what they’ve been working on, or still working on, to show and tell us all about them.
Patricia showed us some blocks she has hand-pieced and is planning to work into table runners for gifts..
We had Val with her lovely quilt top full of embroidered blacks offset by pieced frames..
as well as this quilt top in stark contrast, not only in colours but also style…
Val is still thinking about how to quilt these tops. That can be a very hard decision, because there are so many factors to take into consideration. There is not only the design of the quilting,
but also the style of quilting- whether free-form/free-motion or more traditional;
whether dense quilting or more spread-out;
whether the quilting is to be very obvious or to take its place in the background;
whether the quilting is to be used to highlight certain features of the quilt-top; the colour of the thread used; the eventual use of the quilt – for some people sparse quilting is better for a ‘cuddly’ quilt, and so on.
This spider-web quilt of mine is one that has taken me a very long time to decide on the quilting for-
it is a top that is very busy within those spiderweb blocks, not only in colour but also in construction. I need to think of a design that avoids quilting in the very centre of the blocks where many seams come to a point and create a lot of bulk.
Coming up with a design that doesn’t need any stitching over that central section has been a big stumbling block, but I’ll soon be able to show you what I finally decided on!