Monday 21 April 2014

Farm stay

I've been away - staying with my brother and SIL on their inland farm in northern NSW. They have suffered with the drought and seen paddocks reduced to dust bowls - so it was wonderful to have timed my visit soon after they finally had some rain. And what a difference it has made - lovely green everywhere! 

I got to make friends with some of these. They are all such personalities and have names to suit:

This quilt was folded on the end of their bed. I made it for them a couple of years ago - tumbling blocks in colours chosen to reflect the colours on the farm. Happily it could do with a bit more green in there at the moment! It was hand English Paper pieced and machine quilted in the ditch. Nice to see it has been so well looked after.

Some (but not a lot) of quilting progress to report. I have completed Block 4 of Benjamin Biggs wedding quilt BOM. It was fun to revisit the Carolina Lily block - after making a whole quilt of them last year. The construction was different this time - the flowers appliqued in one piece to the background. The other time I made the flowers out of EPP diamonds joined together and then appliqued to the background. Interesting to try another way....

So I can now show you four BB blocks lying together.  The poison green plain fabric in Block 2 stands out at this stage but I will add more of this fabric in other blocks and am hoping it will blend into the whole.

I have also finished and attached the pinwheel border in my Ann Randoll repro quilt (Rhonda Pearce's pattern). It is growing bit by challenging bit - well worth the effort though I think.

Hope you have all enjoyed a lovely Easter break - always good to catch up with family. My only daughter and her partner have just announced their engagement so there was much to celebrate and plan. The wedding won't be till next April so plenty of time to make a wedding quilt....yippee.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Clamshell capers

Since I discovered clamshell patchwork last year I have been rather obsessed with them ...and seem to have stitched them at every chance!

This was a first-attempt project last year - appliqued using Sue Daley's paper piecing method - with much reference to the Youtube video in the link.  Starting with this:

Clamshells stitched together
It became this,  using Sue's pattern

Since then I have made a clamshell gift pouch for my sister in March, adapting a great tutorial on Janet's blog "Quiltsallott" (thanks Janet!) Starting with a panel of appliqued clamshells, quilted and cut into this shape:

And added binding and zipper to become this:

Still found myself channeling clamshells last month - and made the same pouch for a friend's April birthday. I decided to use some squares of French souleiado that I thought might be her colours. 

Clamshells over papers

Applique row by row

Meanwhile ...I don't know if you remember all the clamshells I made at the end of last year  - to add to the design of my medallion quilt. Here are some pics from previous posts:

Top finished in January
Well, I have got this sandwiched and pinned on the floor ...

...and am quilting it - machine quilting on my domestic machine. I would dearly love to have it hand quilted but my arthritis does not allow this. I want to achieve as close as possible to a hand quilted vintage look so we'll see how it goes.

Quilting in the ditch around all the hand applique:

And now ...I am quilting around the clamshells:

I wonder if I might soon be "over clamshells". Hope not too soon because there is still a rather large border of clamshells to be added to my Ann Randoll quilt in the nearish future - hah!