some new things

I made a lovely colourful ‘turban footstool’ as a Christmas present for my daughter to put in her new flat, and now I can show it because it’s no longer a surprise!

I used a Kathy Doughty pattern that was published in the Quilter’s Companion magazine #49, from early 2011. I did make a couple of changes: the original pattern was for a closed outer, i.e. you added the filling and sewed it closed. This meant it couldn’t be washed – probably not a good idea for a uni flat. So I added a zip in one side, and also used a triple stitch on all the seams for extra reinforcement.

The fabrics I used are the same that I’m using in a quilt I’m making for her 21st birthday later in the year so it will all look great together!

Over the last few days I have been doing some hand-sewing, working on a little seasonal cloth as part of Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth forum that I follow.

I have done some pieces before through classes with Jude, who does such beautiful work. This is still a work in progress, and the little creature will be a reindeer once I’ve added his antlers, but at the moment he looks a little sheepish- I know he is a little funny looking but I have a lot of affection for him!!

I wanted to add a little touch of Australia so I added the Southern Cross stars instead of a wintery scene. I love working with old soft cloth and remnants and scraps, adding stitching to pull it all together.

I can’t usually work out the whole ‘story’ before I’ve begun a cloth, so I usually just make it up as I go along. The triangular pieces have no particular significance- for some reason that shape just seemed to look the best there, and the scrap of gold silk also wanted to be put where it is. Now it appears as though it could be a shooting star, but that’s just happenstance. I’ll show the whole cloth when it is finished.
Linking up here to Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

felted flower quiltlet

This little quilt has had quite a few hours spent on it. I wanted to experiment with the needle felting machine and rather than just play with it, actually produce something worthwhile at the end. I was aiming for a watercolour impressionistic effect- where you could see the flower shapes but without distinct defined outlines.

I felted lots of different fibres and bits and bobs to try their effect. I started with silk tops; teasing and pulling the fibres and arranging in loose flower shapes. Bits of torn silk sari scraps, ribbons and threads were also added in. They all felted in okay, except I learnt after a few broken needles that the gold threads in the sari ribbons are a little tough!

I then did a lot of free-hand stitching; this stitching was what then gave some definition to the flowers as before that the felted parts looked a little like colour blobs. After doing that I realised there were gaps which needed more filling in, so that had to be done without felting too much over the top of the stitching and thereby covering it up. More stitching, plus stitching around the background areas in a big squiggly pattern completed it.
I added a border of hand-dyed blue/green fabric- the colour of which surprised me as I didn’t at first plan on that but it seemed to suit the piece the best. I also tried another new-to-me technique with the mitred corners on the border to make it resemble a frame.

The quilting of leaves on the borders was done free-hand, and it was bound with a gold batik.

I added little corners to the back for easy hanging.

This little quiltlet didn’t sell at the recent art and craft show but maybe one day it will find a home!

postcards galore

I’m having a stall at the Art and Craft Show here in Gatton, this Friday 2 November and Saturday 3 November, so I’ve been busy making lots of things for it. I have been creating little pieces of quilt art, which I’m hoping will be popular. The Show will have lots of goodies on sale by lots of people who have all spent lots of time in creating them!
Most people have possible Christmas gifts on their mind when they are browsing, because it is lovely to be able to give a handmade gift, don’t you think?
Some of the items I’m making are textile postcards. These are little pieces of quilt art which can be used as a card to give, as well as be pinned up on a board for display. They can be written on the back and posted just as they are. I’ve done all sorts:

some are pieced with lots of bits, some might be appliqued

some might have paint, sketchy stitching and lots of embellishments,

some might have free-hand quilting

some are obviously Christmas cards

some can be used for other occasions

All of them are done in my style- a frayed edge here or there, bright colours, liberated and not too fussy. I hope you like them!

Converging ideas

My interest in the technique of creating ‘Convergent quilts’ was rekindled after my recent trip to the quilt festival. This technique was devised by Ricky Tims some years ago now, and I loved the effect you can achieve with a short period of time and effort. This quilt that I also showed in another post is one of Ricky’s that he displayed at the festival:

Ricky Tims: Convergence Quilt

There are lots of variations, but you can basically start with just one piece of fabric that is multi-coloured, such as a hand-dyed, cut it into strips, re-arrange the strips and sew them back together again. I made this little quilt about 7 or 8 years ago and had it hanging in my office at work until earlier this year as a bright colourful addition to the walls.

From using one piece of fabric, you can move on to using a selection of fabrics, use the resulting pieced fabric as a background for applique, vary the look with different border treatments; the list is endless. I used the book ‘Ricky Tims’ Convergence Quilts’ published by C&T Publishing (2003), which has lots of lovely eye candy.
When I got home last week I had a play using the technique with a random selection of fabric scraps. I used fabric which I didn’t particularly like or thought I would ever use, thinking my feelings toward them would change! This is the result:

I don’t think it has turned out all that well? or maybe what I think is ugly fabric is another’s beauty. Maybe it could be used as the base for something else, e.g. applique something on top, or even cut it up and incorporate into another project. I’ll keep it in mind for now.

I have also been playing with a needle felting machine, just experimenting with wool scraps, ribbons, threads and bits and pieces to produce this:

Still more can be done to it and I’ll also add lots of free-hand stitching on top with coloured and shiny threads. Lots of possibilities beckon.

A slice of art

The art quilting group of Gatton Quilters has been working on a project this year where we each get one piece of a larger picture which we then interpret in cloth. When all pieces are finished they will then be joined up to make the full picture. I blogged about a previous month’s picture here.
We have two groups of six working on the pictures; when all the pieces are finished, they will be joined to make back up the larger fabric picture.
Below is the picture of a rusty shed that my group worked on ….

and my (on the left) and Lyn’s (on right) interpretations of our segments, with the printed paper copy of our picture below that.

This is the other group’s picture…..

and two of the segments from Meryl and Patricia.

Although the pieces are only small, about 2.5″ by 10″, we’re finding they take some thought and experimenting and playing with fabric, threads and pencils to get the effect that we want. As everyone does their own piece without collaboration, then of course each piece is going to look different to the one next to it as each person reproduces their interpretation of snow or trees or rusty sheds! but when all placed next to each other to make up the final picture the overall effect is realised, and the resulting picture has lots of texture and interest and a variety of effects to keep the eyes moving around.

Our display of quilts

My local quilt groups’s exhibition opened on the weekend, with over 90 pieces hanging in the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery. The exhibition was opened by Robyn Ginn, a well-known quilter from Toowoomba, who has won quite a few awards for her quilts. The opening night went well, with all of us members happy to see the display of our handiwork at long last after a year or more of planning!
There were a few different groupings of work within the exhibtion. One in particular contained the small art quilts we made as a result of a workshop held here in Gatton with the nationally-renowned quilter Lisa Walton from Dyed and Gone to Heaven
GQ 2012
GQ 2012
All of these works were created from a piece of white fabric which was dyed, painted, stamped, stencilled, written on, cut up and sewn back together, stitched on, , embellished,cut up and sewn back together again, beaded, quilted – you name it! It was a great exercise for those to whom these were all new techniques.
This one is my finished hanging, of which I’ve shown progress photos in the past here and here

Karen's textile treasure
I called this Fractured Cityscape, as I made it to resemble a city block. I had carved a stamp which had images of buildings, and used to stamp over various patches which was then embellished with gold foil in places. Various found objects I picked up on a walk, or found rummaging around my sewing room were sewn on as well as beads, and all topped off with free-hand stitching. None of the fabric was cut with a ruler, to add to the organic look.
Some more ‘textile treasures’ :
Amanda's textile treasure
Gatton Quilters Exhibition 2012
Hard to believe the variety within these pieces that all originated from the same workshop, using the same pool of supplies to start off with. Marvelous to see we all do have good imaginations!

Other works in the exhibition included small hangings, hand-embroidered pieces, textile art and small quilts. I had a few other works hanging up, which I will show here in future blog posts.

Sunday sewing

Yay!! It’s Sunday which means I have all afternoon to spend sewing and quilting! Which I know, technically, I can do that any other day as well, now I don’t have a day job, but I just love that feeling when I have a whole afternoon to do what I want. It must be a left-over from when I did go out to work- I always put away Sunday afternoon to sew. Love it, love it, love it :)
Now what will I do today? I have a number of projects on the go at the moment, and what I do have to give priority to are some pieces that I am submitting into a small exhibition that my local quilt group, the Gatton Quilters, is mounting- we are putting on a display of small quilts that we are calling Textile Treasures at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. The quilts will be on display for the month of June.
This piece, that I showed in a previous post, is in progress. Below is a photo of what it looked like before I started free-motion quilting.

And this is with the stitching. The quilting is not quite finished, as evidenced by the basting pins still in it!! so perhaps I should finish that so I can get on to adding further embellishment, like buttons and beads and whatever.