looking towards Christmas

At long last I’m starting to think about Christmas, and in particular what sewing-related projects I want to make – either as Christmas gifts or for our own home. I like to make something different each year to put up on the wall or on the tree. I should have started before now, but the last week or so I have been fairly productive and had a good start. I really love Christmas and all that goes with it, but by the same token its hard to get into gear!
I have started a little Christmas cloth, in which I’m utilising techniques I’ve learnt from following Jude Hill on Spiritcloth. The ground is a nine-patch, made out of two different fabrics.
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The dark blue is some cloth made when I did some bleach discharging earlier in the year. The top-left right corner looks like a moon, don’t you think?
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The light squares at the bottom are some fabric from our eco-dyeing workshop. As it is a fine knit, I’ve backed it with some light iron-on interfacing to give some body. The gauze, or cheesecloth, has been sewn on and resembles some hills.
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When I got to thinking about what else to do with it and started rummaging through my scraps bucket, a triangle-shaped piece just fell out. I picked it up and thought- hah! this resembles a tree. Put it on and spur-of-the-moment decision has given me a Christmas tree. Serendipity :) I’ll show you more as I work on it leading up to Christmas.

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I also have some photos here of a quilt-top I recently long-arm quilted for Alison. Alison left the quilting decision up to me so I experimented and made up some new designs. The lantern-shapes have large diamond-shapes quilted on them
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and there are some feather-like flourishes (don’t know what to call them!) up through the mid-sections- the negative-space parts of the quilt.
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Here are some pictures of the back which might show the quilting a little better.
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It is quite an unusual backing fabric. I’m always curious on what people choose for their backs!
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Overall, a lovely modern quilt in nice fresh colours.
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Talk to you next week!

some sashiko play

We just recently had a visit to Gatton from the ladies from Indigo Niche, Sue and Colleen. They came to give a workshop to our quilt group on the traditional Japanese art of Sashiko stitching. This is one of their samples- not mine!
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Sashiko is deceptively simple but there are little tricks to get the best from your stitching, and like everything practise makes perfect.
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We’ve learnt that the more stitching we do, the more consistent we get with stitch length and the straighter our stitches are! We were also lucky to have a trunk show where Sue and Colleen showed us some beautiful quilts and runners which had utilised sashiko in them.
IN3This next one showcased some lovely quilting as well.
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It was really interesting to see how a panel of sashiko stitching could be incorporated into a quilt design; the following was one of my favourites. It joined both aboriginal fabrics and a sashiko panel very effectively.
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As Sue explained, you can also vary how you do the sashiko as well- vary the design using some of the elements, leave some parts unstitched altogether and feature some negative space, or vary the colours of the threads and fabric. It doesn’t all have to be on the traditional indigo or dark coloured fabric ground.
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And this jacket- everyone wanted to take it home! Sue had found it in Japan. It is made in the ‘boro’ style, utilising lots of little scraps sewn on top of each other to patch the worn parts, fixed in pace with large hand stitches. Just a really beautiful garment to keep and treasure.
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The workshop left us all nicely motivated to keep going with our Sashiko. Indigo Niche were very generous with their time and provided for a great day for us all.
We also had our usual Show and Tell where members showed their completed projects. Jeanette O had made this colourful quilt “Oriental Refelctions”
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and this cat-flavoured hanging was made by the group for Pearl who recently celebrated her 80th birthday!
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Hope you have a good week!

some art and quilting

Some photos to show you today. The first few were taken yesterday when I visited the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane with my lovely daughter. We had a look at a few different galleries, and even though I didn’t get the artist’s names here are a couple that I really loved:
when I was checking these photos I realised that I wasn’t even sure which was the correct way up for this one from a Japanese artist: it was suspended in mid-air and crafted so that the top half was ‘reflected’ underneath it, just like it would be on a lake:
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and there was a gallery of aboriginal art, my most favourite of all art:
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All those dots!
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If you ever get a chance to visit the museums or art galleries in Brisbane, you’ll find they have fantastic displays.
I’ve also been very busy with quilting quilts for clients on my long-arm machine. These two were done for Barb, this first one is a large quilt with the name ‘Chopsticks':
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Barb has used some really nice and different fabrics in this one. The quilting design is one that she chose, with various sized triangles in the blocks and small pebbles in the triangle sashings:
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The backing:
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The second quilt is a baby quilt with a pinwheel design and so cute!
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Barb wanted an all-over large stipple on this one, allowing the little prairie points to stay free, with straight lines in the first border.
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I hope the lucky recipients like them!

artscape

Remember my little art quilt I started last week on a whim? Well, this is part two- it’s now finished.
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I added some backing and a thin iron-on batting before quilting. I only quilted those areas which had no piecing, such as the red squares and the smaller taupe squares. The other blocks had their own thing going on with the micro-piecing.
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I quilted it with a walking foot and a variegated thread in the red squares and a matching thread in the other squares. Close lines of stitches, deliberately putting in slight curves here and there for a more ‘organic’ look. I then bound it with a skinny red binding by machine.
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A tiny art quilt, but a good size to try out some techniques and play with colour. I especially love the little tiny bits of yellow, which weren’t originally planned but just add something extra to it.
And I couldn’t resist adding these two photos below of a day lilly we have that has been putting forth lots of flowers in the last week or so. They come out in the morning and then are gone that night, but oh so pretty while they are around!
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