Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Catch Up

Ok blog world, I'm over trying to catch up, I'm just going to fill you in up until October in one HUUUGE post. Go get a cuppa and relax, this might take a while.

I hit the ground running after the cruise and started planning a few more projects. I also did some playing with inserting circles. The stash and scrap bins provided plenty of interesting colour combinations as you can see here.

This was also to be an extra sample for QAYG, so each circle set was done on a separate panel, quilted and then joined together to make this modern table runner/wall art.

Continuing on with the #mightylucky quilt club, the next few months had some great design activities including colour print and value differences in one block.

The month of June kept us all busy practicing our free motion quilting an learning to work words into our projects. Here's what I did.

July was an interesting month and quite a challenge. I never thought I would do a one fabric, one quilt, but here it is. 

Sarah Feilke set the task for August and I guess you've already realised it's going to be all about Appliqué. Sarah loves hand appliqué, but if you hadn't noticed the lack of hand sewing here, I avoid it as much as I can. Quite frankly it hurts too much to do. Damn this arthritis. Anyway, I had lots of fun machine appliquéing, mostly raw edge. I did a few cushion covers and have yet to finish them. 

September #mightylucky quilt club was a design process focusing on space. We were set a series of activities to emphasise the significance of distance between components of a design. We used paper and multiples of a block to create various designs changing spacing and layout. I liked the last one so much, I made it into a quilt. 

October is yet to be revealed, I'm no where near finished. This has bought you up to date with this part of what I'm currently doing and now I'll show you some of the in-between projects.

The month of June is the QuiltNSW quilt show and that saw me demonstrating my technique of Freezer Paper Piecing. I also, to my surprise, received three awards with only two quilts. Now how does that happen. To say the least, I was chuffed. Second in each of the categories entered and a Special Award for Contemporary Art Quilt. By the time the third announcement was made, I found it difficult to pick my jaw up off the floor. I could have tripped! Here's the two offending quilts.

'Red Back' - second in Small Quilts and Contemporary Art Award

'Self Image' - second in Modern Quilts

July kept me busy playing with the QuiltNSW suitcase challenge, Repurposed, Recycled, Revolved. From the moment the challenge was set, I knew I would be using tea bags. I had in mind a 3-D design, so went about collecting, sorting, drying, sorting again, emptying, pressing and sorting again. There's a lot to do when one uses tea bags for quilts! I wanted the design to have reference to the tea bags, so I went about folding and glueing and stitching a large prairie point border.


Several layers of the points were added one day at a time. They required a special finish that took a while to dry. Once the points were completed, many layers of bags were bonded together and then I went about colouring and constructing my tea cup.This is the result and it won first place in the challenge. there were so many amazing quilts, so glad I didn't have to judge them.
'The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread'
The lead up to August was frantic. I knew I had to have prepared several quilts to display and all needed to be up for sale. I was to be the Artist Of The Month on the gallery Feature Wall at Port Stephens Community Art Gallery. I took a new approach to these quilts and decided to make it a 'Ruler Free Zone'. Yep, that's right, each one made without using a ruler. It sure makes for quicker construction, and just as well. Here's a montage of a few hanging in the gallery.

 Well at this stage writing all this, I'm glad photos have recording dates, otherwise I wouldn't have clue when I did what. I do know that a good part of September was made very busy with wedding preparations for my daughter's wedding. I even pulled out the candle making skills to prepare table decoration. Unscented soy candles with wood wicks. I did trim them lower than this. They burned perfectly and set a beautiful glow. Mums have to have so many skills, don't they?

          ...............and a photo or two of the happy couple on their wedding day

These three stunning photos are the work of Callan Robison Photography

There are a few more projects done over the last five months. One day I got a little carried away while playing with some low volume scraps. Before I knew it, I'd completed a Ruler Free Sampler quilt. It was just one of those spontaneous things. It all started with the log cabin block................

Then there were these...............

This pattern just keeps wanting to be made. For the record, I think this is no. 7

A cute little quilt for baby 'X'avier

Yet another Christmas Tree quilt - its all
becoming far too habitual, but at the same
time, it's always a lot of fun
Almost the end of October, but I'm not finished with it yet. I have a few more projects to complete so you'll have to wait for the next post. At least I'm now up to date. It's always such a relief to have a catch up completed.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Yet More Catching Up - Find My Sea Legs

April was a huge month with the growing anticipation of my first cruise. It seemed as though the last few months was completely consumed with the preparation for this journey. 
As a tutor on this cruise, I needed to prepare all the teaching aides, class notes and preparing as much as possible for the class participants. That meant either using pre-cuts where I could (I learned that very quickly) or cutting everything. There was a budget to work to so pre-cuts were sometimes cost prohibitive to our needs, hence the cutting of 1600 51/2" blocks. This took for ever. I had to manage the job over a few days to cope with the volume. Arrrgh! As you can imagine, I was more than pleased to have this out of the way.

Lots and lots and lots of squares
 A few weeks on and we arrived at the dock. This ship is so large it has to dock near the ferry terminal because its too big to go under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The scale of this thing is almost unbelievable for a country chick like me. The things I know about are trucks and I thought they were big. Check out the comparison in size.

The large semi-trailer was dwarfed by what was to be my home for nine days.
Here is what all the preparation was for. The leg of the journey outward was a two day workshop using my Giant Chevron pattern for a single bed quilt or just a nicely sized snuggle rug. There were eighteen students so I was kept quite busy for those first few days on the ship. I sure needed to develop sea legs in a hurry!

Marj Traynor did a great job on her Giant Chevron quilt. Marj loves Tula Pink
and I was able to track one down for her to use on this project. 
Here's Marj trimming up all those blocks.

The land based days of the cruise were spent around some the islands of New Caledonia, where we had an opportunity to hit terra firma. The departures seemed a bit rough so we opted to stay on board and spend a few hours relaxing in the spa and sipping on cocktails. Ho hum!
We were able to dock at Nouméa so off we went to explore the city. We got as far as the Aquarium, and certainly worth a look.  Just a little ways up the road we found a great pub that brewed their own and had fantastic pizzas, so we decided to stay for lunch. Mmmmmm, pizza and boutique beer for lunch, gotta be happy with that. A great view to a beautiful bay as well. 
So the cruise homeward was the last two days of the workshops. Two 1 day workshops were run concurrently. My Retro Table Runner and Value Quilt were the workshops. The girls worked hard and fast with many of them almost finishing their projects. 

Jane Denton put this one together.

Kelly Neilson did a great job on her value quilt.
The best part of the cruise was meeting all the wonderful class participants and support staff. Brother Machines sponsored the trip by providing all the machines necessary for the students to use. So easy to use. A big thanks to Mel and her team for an endless supply of patience and stamina. Lugging all those machines on board and changing the set up for each day of the workshops was nothing short of astounding.
Thanks everyone for your company. It was a pleasure to spend the time with you.

Before I left to journey on the high seas, I managed to find time to do my #mightylucky challenge for the month. This month was 'Personal Photo As Inspiration For Piecing'. 

Birubi Beach
My pieced photo
A challenging but fun project to work on. This piece measures 16 1/2" x 13" and took me two days to complete. Not sure I'll do too many more, although I'd probably get a little faster over time.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Marching Onwards

I'm not sure about that pun, but it's there now, so it may as well stay. The first of the month and I raced to the computer in anticipation of Mighty Lucky Quilt Club. For me, this is like having a birthday every month. A gift waiting for me to explore. I don't know what is so difficult about finding a suitable present for me. Lucky Spool have done it three times already this year. Thank you Rossie Hutchinson for the 'One Wrong Colour' challenge. Some people would say I do this on just about every quilt I make now, so it was fun to play for the month. Here's the result.

Playing With Marbles
So my wrong colour is the cerise, but then I don't think its all that wrong. If you think about it, I've created what I see as a triad colour scheme. Perhaps I'll revisit this challenge. I'm of the mind that all colours go with all colours, just take a look out the window. Another first for me, an on point quilt. Each of the yellow triangles was put together using improvised foundation paper piecing. How? I use freezer paper for FPP and with each new triangle, I randomly folded the paper to add each consecutive strip. The result being no two triangles the same. 

Speaking of Foundation Paper Piecing. These few projects are part of my extended class.

Sample quilts
Giddy Geese
Multi pieced exercise 
Pineapple quilt
The month was also extremely busy preparing for a cruise in April. It's a Needlework cruise and I am one of the teachers. Preparation was required for 37 students for three different workshops. Fortunately one of the projects used jelly roll pre cuts. For the others, I had to cut 1600 squares to make HST's for a value quilt exercise and the other project only needed freezer paper panels to be cut, thankfully. Lots of other items had to be ordered, threads, acrylic rulers, fabrics, books and lots more preparation in class notes. A very busy month.

Friday, 15 July 2016


Still a very busy month, but then who's isn't? At the beginning of each month I look forward to receiving the Luck Spool Challenge arriving on the very first day. Minimalist Improvisation for February and the challenge was put together by Season Evans. These designers know their stuff. Each challenge is precluded with an insight into what the activity is all about and we're shown examples as well, then the rest is up to us. You can check out some of the student work at #mightylucky. Here's mine.

Red #1

So this was a lot of fun and although at first I thought I would really like this concept, I think its not for me. Here the only quilting is the bobbin work I did, creating the thin lines using No.12 Perle thread hand wound onto the bobbin. The trick is being able to get it in the right place when's stitched from the back! I also stretched this one onto an art canvas, adding yet another skill, creating more options in the future.

This had also been the month of looking forward to a trip to Quiltcon. Everyone should just do it at least once! The other exciting aspect was the quilt I had hanging there. A juried competition, so very pleased to be accepted. Coincidence has it that it's red and white.

Boxed In
I wonder how many quilts have this name? I've seen a few since naming this. Here's a few snap shots of the quilt under construction.

The very beginning

Well on the way
The construction was a method of QAYG in a log cabin style. Each new strip had all three layers added and quilted before moving onto the next strip. It takes a bit of planning, but as you can see from the results, very doable. 
I met so many fantastic people here. All the locals were so welcoming, friendly and helpful. By the way, Quiltcon was in Pasadena, and yes, I can hear everyone singing the song. It is a long way, but well worth the trek to see the beautiful city it is. Certainly full of achitectural significance and a quilters inspirational paradise. 

I see Quilts

I did two workshops there. One with Amy Smart on strip piecing and the other with Heather Jones covering large scale piecing. Both were fabulous.

Playing with strip piecing
I filled in the last few days of my visit following guided map tours discovering Arts and Crafts period architecture, visiting the Huntington Gardens and perusing the local community where I was staying. I still need more time there, so maybe another visit.