Sunday, 30 June 2013

To post or not to post...

I thought twice about posting as you'll all say..."more of the same" - and that is how it stands with my quilting projects I'm afraid.

So how about knitting for something new?
Here is a beanie just finished for my son. It is 75% wool and 25% possum. Bit novel I thought - knitting with possum fur. In case you don't know possums are a protected species in Australia so this yarn is from New Zealand (where they are a major environmental pest and very much not protected).

Possums, cute as they are, have been a jolly nuisance in the vegie patch here, and have been roundly cursed by yours truly on many occasions. Like when they ate my entire crop of corn cobs overnight (just ready to harvest)...grr! So the beanie is a bit like getting my own back ?!

And just to prove I have been progressing with quilting projects :

More stars for the Star Bouquet quilt

Carolina Lily - third border appliqued and attached

In the garden I made a Tulip Lasagne. There are 25 bulbs layered under the lucerne in that pot and I have high hopes for a wonderful show in spring (being optimistic here) - will keep you posted.

It is very wintery in the garden at the moment but so nice to have these flowering inside.
Hope you're getting lots of sewing time :)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The dark and the light

Some progress to show on two quilts - a light and a dark. So nice to alternate working between them at the moment.
Here is "the dark" - my Star Bouquet:
It is about 3/4 of the way done and the stars are still such a joy to make. Here are a few newer additions up close:

And " the light" is my Carolina Lily quilt. Two borders are on and am working on the last two. The borders have been a pleasure to applique down. 
Leaf placement is fairly flexible/random - suits me fine. On the original quilt it is quite irregular ie, not the same placement in any one area - which is fun. So I am adopting a "near enough is good enough" attitude to matching this - as long as the overall look is the same.

Here is a stunning flower to complement this quilt. A couple of weekends ago we went for a family picnic in the Wollongong area and had a rainforest bushwalk. This plant was growing, self-seeded,  as a weed by the roadside  - so stunning don't you think!  Brugmansia I'm thinking. 
Flowers about 10 inches across

Last but not least I must comment on the Sydney Quilt Show - went to see it last weekend. I haven't been for years as it is a bit of an expedition from here but will make more of an effort from now on.

It was so impressive - 580 quilts in every size and style! I cannot show photos as haven't permission (sorry) but the well deserved ribbon winners can be viewed here - just tab through the pages

Apart from these be-ribboned wonders there were many without ribbons that, for me, were equally stunning. The sort that are "stop-me-in-my-tracks-because-this-is-just-my-sort-of-quilt" quilts! I felt very humble after seeing that lot I can tell you ...and so thrilled to be able to view them all - thanks to these quilters for sharing and inspiring.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Carolina Lily - border

First border pinned and part appliqued. It is sooo good to be sewing it down now !

Sounds simple enough but there was a fair bit of fiddling around preparation to get to this point ( isn't there always?! or maybe that is just me).

Just a run through of the border prep:
  •  photocopied the Quiltmania pattern sheet. This was just a corner snippet of the border at 50% shrunk - that is all that was provided. So I had to double the size and make a patchwork of 6 photocopies. 
The magazine pattern (on right) and my 'patchwork' enlargement photocopies

  • made a full size placement pattern for the side and top border on a roll of sandwich paper - involved a lot of freehand sketching (and erasing) curves to fit it evenly.

The photocopy corner pattern and my placement  paper pattern to match 

My paper placement pattern sheets laid around the centre blocks
  • Cut fabric border strips and pencil on the placement lines for bias strips 
  • prepared leaves (cut from a template),  lily flowers (EPP as for centre blocks), and bias strips
  • Then for the fun part -  pin and hand applique :)

Must tell you about a wonderful book that arrived this week - just my sort of book. 

This is the special book and catalogue published for the Quilts 1700-1945 Exhibition (British quiltmaking history plus the Australian Rajah quilt) to be held at the Queensland Art Gallery (Australia). Unfortunately I live interstate and am not likely to be attending but it sounded so wonderful that I pre-ordered their book. 
I am SO impressed with it -  beautiful, quality illustrations, excellent articles from different contributors and very good value for money in mho. It is a heavy book even though it is paperback - almost 200 pages. 
Contents page from the book
A sample of different illustrations from the book
Hope you get lots of sewing (or quilty reading?) done over this long weekend! 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Carolina Lily blocks completed

The centre blocks are all sewn together. There were various options for orientation of  blocks but I have gone for the same as the original - why mess with it when I love the pattern as it is?!

Now for the border. Here is a close up photo of some of the border in the original quilt:
Photo from Quiltmania magazine
I need to make 21 yards of bias for the stems, 48 English Paper pieced flowers and 104 leaves - and then applique it all down. Walk in the park ?!
The border is the best part of the quilt in my view, so am sure it will be worth the effort. 

The EPP flowers in the border are smaller than in the blocks - consisting of 1 1/2 inch diamonds instead of 2 inch, but the leaves are the same and stem width is the same.  
Okidoke ...back to work.