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!

checking in…

Holiday time – I’m spending mine like most others, I guess. Little bit of this, little bit of that. I recently visited my sister and brother-in-law and took some photos of their lovely garden. Look at the beautiful rich colour of these dahlias….
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Their garden is beautiful and testament to the time Mark spends on it…
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And they still have some Christmas things around too, its hard to pack it away!
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Since coming back from my trip I have also been busy with longarm quilting. This quilt was completed just before Christmas for the client’s grand-daughter:
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It was quilted with cream thread in an all-over design with a few butterflies and loops and flowers. There was a a lot of applique and hand-stitching, so we wanted the quilting to be a little unobtrusive.
Hope you have a good week with lots of quilting!

triangles & weddings

I’m making a mini quilt for a mini quilt swap. The swap is one I found on Instagram, and thought I’d give it a go. It’s called the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.
I’ve got a secret partner to make a mini quilt for; someone with tastes very much like mine. She likes bright colours and Kaffe fabric- someone matched us up well!
So I gathered up some fabric and decided to make a little quilt out of half-square triangle blocks.
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I’m pairing warm colour triangles with cool colour triangles. I like the patterns you can create and the various arrangements to play around with. I put them up on the design wall and started with a diamond right in the middle, but then changed it to some off-centred diamonds and liked that better.
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These haven’t been sewn together yet, so that’s the next step.
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I just have to show you some photos from last weekend. We went to Byron Bay for the weekend for my niece’s wedding. The setting at the Harvest Cafe was lovely, the wedding was beautiful and we stayed in a very interesting place, with some visitors!
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Just a few random photos without intruding on her privacy, but the wedding was just so lovely:
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.. and the bride made her own wedding cake, which tasted as good as it looked!
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between the bush and the city

A lot of my favourite blogs that I read are from quilters overseas- in the UK or America, for example. It’s always interesting to see the references they make to the weather and the landscape in their part of the world, for their seasons are the exact opposite to ours.
The difference was brought home to me on this long weekend we had here in Aus, when I went on a picnic with my sister and brother-in-law to Crows Nest Falls, just north of Toowoomba. Under a sky of brilliant blue and lots of bright colours, our landscape can also be full of these beautiful muted grey-greens of the leaves, the greys and browns of the bush and the greys and taupes of the rocks.

Crows Nest Falls 2015

Crows Nest Falls 2015


I also had the chance to start a new quilt. This is the quilt called ‘My Small World’, designed by Jen Kingwell and printed in the Spring issue of QuiltMania.
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I have a thing for using the cityscape and buildings theme in quilts so this appealed to me straight away. There is also a Quilt-Along for this little quilt, hosted by a few other blog sites like this. It will be interesting to see how others interpret the pattern and put their own spin on the design. I’ve just started the first part, cutting up lots of squares for the sky and putting together a few of the buildings.
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I’m mainly using fabrics I already have with just a few extra neutrals to use in the sky. Lots of little squares!
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Dear Jane quilt
Here’s another of the blocks for this long-term project of mine: Block K7 called “Rose of Sharing”. I used reverse applique to construct it with two contrasting batik fabrics.

K7 Rose of Sharing

K7 Rose of Sharing

as we say goodbye to 2014…

The first day of 2015 and lots of promise and hope ahead. I hope you and your families all have a wonderful year ahead, especially in your arty and quilty endeavours!
I thought I’d just show you a summary of the daily photos I have taken over recent months. I’ve been participating in the online Photo-a-day challenge for a couple of years now and at this stage I’m planning to continue, although I’m thinking about not necessarily taking a photo for the stated theme, but we’ll see! I try to take photos that also give both my son and daughter who live away from home a little glimpse into what’s happening back here.

I have recently returned from a couple of days spent down in Victoria visiting with my son and his fiancee. We had a great time, and as it coincided with Christmas festivities, this first photo was very apt for the theme ” I like..”. We went on a drive to look at Christmas displays, and this house was just spectacular:

The theme was [loud], and this fellow, Dublin, who came into our lives earlier this year certainly knows how to make himself heard (and he also has a lovely soft tummy!). He likes to keep me company when I’m sewing- that is, when it suits him:

In October the themes centred around letters of the alphabet. When the time came for [R is for] what else could I show but these beautiful roses grown by my husband in our front garden:

[made me smile today…] we have had a drought for many months so it’s great to see the rain. Currently the grass is still green….

[I made this…] for my Mum a lot of years ago, and has now been passed back to me.

[letters]… my favourite text prints used in a New York Beauty block….

[I really love this…] lots of stitching whenever and where ever I can fit it in! These were some little stars I made for Christmas gifts.

That’s enough from me- ‘see’ you next 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!

blessings

It was a beautiful weekend, especially so because my beautiful niece had her baby shower – a.k.a. belly blessing. We all went to the park with lovely offerings of yummy treats and full of well wishes for the expectant mum.
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We played some games, added our wishes to the wishing tree…
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and decorated candles for use at the impending birth. The mum-to-be had asked her guests, instead of gifts, to bring along a positive little story about a birthing or childhood memory. It was a lovely experience, shared amongst all of us- young ladies just starting out with motherhood and some of us perhaps a little more seasoned in those fantastic times of being a mother, which none of us would give up for anything.
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photo-a-day

I took a little break from taking a photo a day but have recently joined back in. While I don’t always take one every day, or stick to each day’s prescribed theme, I take them when I can. I use it as a way of keeping family members up to date with what might be happening at home!
Here’s a sample of photos I’ve taken over the last month or so:

this theme was [mix}: a mix of fabrics on my sewing bench:

[give] I was waiting for Child #3 to ‘give’ me a call when he was away on a sporting trip (he was stingy with his phone calls…. just saying)

[nearby] I was wishing this pair was nearby….they did actually come up to visit this past weekend, yay!!!

[style] or not as the case may be…but so warm for the feet!

[DIY] home-printed paper from our recent eco-dyeing class

What about you- do you take photos of the day’s little moments? Have a good week!

improvising

We had a lovely weekend in Sydney recently, that beautiful harbour city. While the purpose for the trip was for my son and his beautiful fiancee’s engagement dinner, we also had time for a little sight seeing. Darling Harbour was sparkling…
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and the weather so warm
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We have some photos of the magnificent Queen Victoria building, which now houses a great selection of beautiful shops-
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Look at these windows:
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and the lovely world clock:
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There was no time for sewing, but I’ve tried to make up for it since I got home. I’ve been doing some more work on the medallion quilt, inspired by a Gwen Marston workshop I attended last year. I’ve been making ‘spare parts’ for this improvisational quilt, and I need to get lots of them made before I can start playing with them up on the design wall.
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So I have made quite a variety of different blocks, most of them with odd-sized strips and pieces
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but also some a little more regular
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However I wasn’t quite happy with it. I couldn’t see where to go next. I’m thinking it is still a little too regular for me and I need to liberate the blocks a bit more for my tastes. So I’ve started sewing together some curved strips which I’ll then cut up along with those regular blocks to shake them up a little!
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Making it up as you go is harder than it seems at the start!

happenings

I recently found out about this great app for the iphone that enables you to turn your photos into watercolour pictures. It is so cool! It’s called “waterlogue”, available through apple apps. Take a look at these just messing around the other day:
the original photo of a beautiful rose from our garden:
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and its watercolour version:
Painted in Waterlogue
a turkish bowl- the original photo:
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and its watercolour version ….
Preset Style = ?It's Technical? Format = Medium Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = Technical Pen Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = High Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = Normal Water = Tap Water Wat
a photo I took in the Christmas store in DJ’s Sydney:
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and the same photo watercolourised…
Painted in Waterlogue
I can see great potential in using this to create lovely artworks that can be used as the basis for an art quilt. Don’t you think?

And here is my round-up of daily photos for February:
{childhood} my father made this rocking chair so it’s a lovely memento of childhood

{details} details of a little hand-stitched work I’ve done in the past:

{heart} to celebrate the lovely news of my son’s engagement. I made this when experimenting with machine stitching and utilising wash-away stabiliser:

{feet} we’ve had a new arrival in the family, his name is Dublin and has snowy little furry feet

{reflection} my long-arm machine, which gets a turn every now and then!

Hope you have a good weeK!