flying pelicans

I recently quilted this quilt for Lyn on my long-arm machine. Lyn made the quilt, titled My Place, for her daughter, using a jelly-roll of blues, reds and cream, but she made it a little more special by adding applique pelicans to it. I think the added applique is so effective on the relatively simple background.
We decided to quilt an all-over pattern of rolling clouds turning into waves as they move down the quilt.
The appliqued pelicans were highlighted..
and some extra pelican-shapes were added in to the background..
The quilting was done free-hand, using a variegated grey thread.

still quilting

Everyone’s busy quilting; the hot weather doesn’t stop us, because there’s always a way of carrying on! I look with envy to those on the other side of the world with the cold and the snow, just to be able to escape this heat; they are probably doing the same but instead wishing the snow would give up!
I have another block finished for the Aurifil BOM, which I started in January and mentioned here.
I’m continuing on in the fabrics that I’m using for this improvisational medallion quilt..
so at least that is growing , even if it’s ever so slightly!

My local quilting group, Gatton Quilters, also had our first meeting for the year, and lots of lovely things were on show.
Marilyn had this quilt that she has been working on for awhile:
Lindy had two quilts which she said were also long-term projects, one of which was this one:
Shirley showed us a small fabric journal page she had created to the theme “roots”, which certainly got some ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’….
and a close-up of the textural stitching..
and Trish showed her journal page to the theme of ‘using a constant shape’ with a clever use of ric-rac:
And last but not least, Shirley was celebrating a special birthday with a lovely quilted gift made by fellow club members:
Shirley creates beautiful quilts and is very prolific, so I’m sure she’ll always find a way to keep quilting!


I’m still taking the photo-a-day challenge, although not always every day and sometimes in a different order to the daily themes! This is a selection of the photos I took in January. Already one month gone….

{my town} a hand-sewn page from my fabric journal, which I’m actually putting together at the moment:

{a word to live by} what else?

{found} the little purple bits in this pretty bromeliad:

{man-made} I made this little pincushion for my mother (and the little cross-stitch brooch) many years ago. It was my first attempt at ribbon embroidery and it showed me how you could create something lovely in a relatively short time:

{colourful} a small quilt I made following Ricky Tim’s convergence -style quilting:

{black and white} I admired this cup and saucer at a friend’s place:

{something blue} my wall-hanging made a couple of years ago

{taste of summer} the sound of the red ball against willow, always cricket in summer! A good time for getting some hand-sewing done…

How was your January?

how to… sew at the cricket

It is an acquired skill to be able to sew with only your own lap to serve as a table and sewing basket all-in-one. Watching junior cricket means I usually take along some sewing to while away the time, to take a stich here and there when youngest son is not actually bowling or batting which would require more attention.. I’m sure a lot of you have been in the same place at one time or another, whether it be cricket, or soccer, or whatever.
And so I found myself today, sitting in a a folding chair, placed strategically in the shade, watching Under-16 cricket, as you do on a Sunday afternoon.
I took along more of the little border blocks that I am STILL working on for the Lollipop trees quilt. The sun was shining but the wind was also blowing, so a fine sense of control was needed.
My portable sewing bag was on the ground next to the chair; my little zippered pouch with thread and scissors and needles open for easy access. I have all the little applique pieces already prepared in a plastic bag along with the background blocks. These plus the piece I’m working on sit in my lap, and hopefully I don’t drop any pieces while ‘auditioning’ each piece for a block.
I use a silk thread for these applique blocks, which gives a good finish because the thread just ‘sinks’ into the fabric making it almost impossible to see in the finished piece. However silk thread is also so fine that the breeze can grab hold and blow it around. I’ve perfected the art of cutting off a length from the reel, holding the reel in my left hand pulling the thread out by the right length, pinching it with two fingers from the left hand with the reel cupped in the palm then snipping with the scissors held in the right hand, never letting go of any piece lest the wind catch it and fly it away.
The reel gets dropped down in the bag to my left on the ground, still holding on to the length of thread, and now comes the delicate operation of threading the fine thread into the needle with a small eye.
This also has to be done in the wind, and in the shade while wearing sunglasses. Is it any wonder I may swear under my breath a little if the needle becomes unthread while sewing, which does happen quite often with silk thread if one’s hands get tangled in the thread when pulling it through the fabric, with the piece threatening to fly away at any minute with the next gust of wind.
I take a stitch or two, in between each ball bowled or each stroke of the bat, putting down the piece completely when a certain bowler comes to the crease. I don’t want to miss that bowl-and-catch.
I get maybe one block done in the afternoon- I guess that’s one more block to add to the growing pile. I am moving forward with this quilt, block by block.