Monday, 28 July 2014

Relaxing with Auntie Green..

The applique has been a very relaxing process - just love it. Here we are so far:

There are a lot of circles of all sizes in this applique and I did make an effort to create quite a few by the gathering-and-ironing-over-templates method. It does produce such perfect circles but I have to admit I didn't stick at it very long.
I decided I really don't mind a little more organic circles, and the more relaxed I got the more I liked them lol! So ...most of the circles are back basting prepared and then needle turned. I found this little tool really handy to draw neater circles for back basting prep:

Fitting on that outer vine and flower border was tricky - needed to do a wee bit of pattern adaptation to fit. 
I did the floral applique first but left about 3 1/2 inches clear background to add the vine outside:
Organised chaos...or maybe just chaos?
Positioning the vine (long bias strips prepped as in last post) - bit of adjustment required:

Pinning ready to applique...and I might add a few more flowers/leaves later to fill gaps. is Benjamin Biggs Block 7 -  such a delightful pattern. 

And here is one lap quilt that is nearly finished - my Double X gift quilt - pinned and now being quilted - all machine pieced.

I can only hope it might have improved my machine piecing skills (as I made this under expert teacher guidance in my quilt class) but I can't say I enjoyed it as much as hand work. If you want to know my thoughts exactly about hand applique - just look at Kyle's inspiring post - always a joy to read her posts at Timeless Reflections!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Overdue for a catchup..

My computer's been on the blink for a couple of weeks but is up and running at last...

I've had a couple of exciting visits to the "big smoke" (Sydney). One was attending the Australian Quilt Study Group's "Uncoverings" day - a great chance to examine antique quilts up close and hear about them from their owners. The other was a visit to the Sydney Quilt Show with a quilting friend. We were very impressed with the new venue and the transport arrangements. 
The Show entry foyer  
Photo sharing was not permitted at either event - sorry. But you can look at the Show link to see all the prizewinners (click through the blue tabs) - amazing talents - in a league of their own. 

It was exciting to see my quilts hung amongst them (many thanks to the Quilt Guild for the chance) and to be listed in the catalogue. I can at least show you pics of these hanging, and their catalogue listings...

Then there was shopping...  We zoomed over to the Quiltmania stand and actually spoke to the lady who owns the original Carolina Lily antique quilt (from which mine is copied) - it hangs in her office in France! Linda from Quilts in the Barn kindly assisted me with these little purchases:

Our heads were spinning with ideas/supplies at various stalls and, keen to make some bag gifts, I came home with these: 

Stitching progress to report - Auntie Green has been relaxing sewing in the evenings: 

How's this for a textural photo in the late afternoon sun? I'm hoping to get that depth of texture with the quilting later on.
Making lots more bias stems:

The Ann Randoll reproduction next border will be hexagon flowers on cream background, with applique flowers too. Here is a photo I printed off from Pinterest - no idea whose photo it is as there was unfortunately no link, but I recognised it instantly as Ann Randoll's quilt - and a great closeup. 

So first I am having fun making lots of hexagon flowers. They are 1/2" hexagons.
preparing EPP 1/2 " hexagons

hexagons sewn into flowers
Wandering around on Pinterest led me to this blogpost in 2012 on Quiltville Quips and their photo of an antique Grandmother's Garden quilt (scroll down their post to see it). I do love a bit of yellow in a quilt and I have always wanted to make a quilt with just solids.  So here goes starting a new quilt - Grandmother's Garden - in citrus solids and with large 1 1/4 " hexagons and a pale yellow "path". The fabrics include various depths of poison green and cheddar. There are homespuns, chambray and a few lovely peppered cottons.
These large hexagons go together pretty fast with English paper piecing - especially as there is no fussy cutting. I had to stitch a sample "garden bed" just to see how they look, and I love it. Perhaps I need a colour overload after all the creams in Auntie Green!

Just so you can see how large these are - compare these monsters next to my little stack of Ann Randoll flowers.

 There are a lot of inspiring hexagon projects in blogs at the moment. I especially love Dawn's little hexagon repro quilt . And if you need to know anything and everything about making hexagon quilts then check out Karen's work - so generous and thorough with the information too.