Sunday, July 20, 2014

Diamonds Are Still Not my Best Friend

I really don't do well with diamonds but I am terribly enamoured by them. I love Lone Stars and I love the tessellations that diamonds can create. With the naive idea that there could possibly be a short cut to creating a Lone Star, I followed the instructions on line to sew strips of fabric together and then cut those sewn strips into diamonds that are already, therefore, joined up. The theory is good but the practice is not. Those diamonds still create havoc, twisting and turning and not behaving. Apart from the shortcut not really being a solution to my difficulties, I cut the diamonds so big, that I ended up with a monster quilt! 

I have muddled my way through putting it all together

Added the corners using over 3 meters of fabric and then had to buy more, because it wasn't enough!
And finally, today, inserted the triangle sides.
The quilt is so large, a humble quilter's ruler is not really able to meet the challenge of cutting straight blocks.
Here it is before trimming.

The background fabric is Anna Marie Horner's but is more a charcoal grey than the navy colour in the photo.
I was originally unhappy with the lollypop colours of the diamonds and the charcoal helped negate its childishness but in the photo the background looks a lot happier than in reality. The charcoal helps to highlight the star but dampen its cuteness.
It really was a very haphazard process from beginning to end. I used fabric from the shelf, in an attempt to use up what I had at home and I think I will have to lay the quilt top out in the school hall to get straightish sides drawn on it.
I always wanted to make a Lone Star and I am kind of happy with the result, but it is not as I anticipated.
 I will have to make one of these again one day in the age old method of templates and hand stitching. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Stitches and Craft Show

Last week I visited the Stitches and Craft Show. I didn't take too many photos. There were lots of beautiful quilts to see, mostly done in the traditional style.

There was a beautiful quilt that followed the Mystery Quilt Blocks from 2012 Quilt Mania magazines designed by Yoko Saito.

This has all been done by needle turn, however, I saw a similar one created by one of the stall holders. Hers was done using vliesofix and just having a raw edge, more my style!
After seeing all the gorgeous fabrics used in the quilts, I couldn't resist buying some fabric from the same stall. They were half price. How could I resist?
They also had a really old quilt on show from Janet O'Dell's Antique Quilt Collection. In the same area they had a whole lot of quilts that were inspired by the antique one. I loved the way they all looked in their rows. Their geometric patterns really popped out when you looked through the lens of a camera at them.

The Crazy Tea Cosy Lady - Loani Prior was at the show again.
I do have a soft spot for her craziness.

It was a fun day out.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Taggies, Kaffe Quilt and Pot Mitts

In a burst of energy, I created a stack of taggies. I have so much Minki to use up. There have been a few babies born to staff at work, grandchildren and acquaintances etc and these are the best little gift to share.

Another job that had been hanging around was the finishing of the binding for one of Rivka's quilts.
I had been staring at the quilt for a couple of months. Half the binding was on, but the last few stitches just never seemed to come.
Here it is, not fully stretched as my husband's arms just couldn't reach all the way to the ends.

Last of all, a pair of pot mitts. My son is moving out with some friends and they just had to have some pot mitts to use in their new kitchen. Every thing in their kitchen is cream and plain so I made these mitts with the plainest linen I could find in my stash. I couldn't resist using the mustard backing though. The glasses are so perfect for my son. He must have lost or broken a dozen pairs of them and although he is far less forgetful these days, they just remind me of him before he grew up and left home.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quilt Show 2014 and A Dresden and Liberty Quilt

Every year I think that I won't go to the Quilt Show because there is never too much that is different from the previous year but I just can't keep away! As it turned out, I was happy I went because I picked up some gorgeous Yuwa and Keiko Goke fat quarters at a very good price. They were just what I needed to breathe life into a quilt I am making.
My output in all things crafty has been on hold.
Firstly because I have been studying at uni at night and this has caused me to spend way too many hours on my laptop.
Secondly because all the extra time spent studying and typing ( I have a 5000 word essay to hand in during mid May) has given me really, really, bad RSI.
Anyway, the essay is nearly done and I was newly inspired by all the quilts I saw at the show.  My new fabric coupled with the vision I had for the quilt meant I just had to get back on my machine.

I'm really enjoying the way this quilt is developing.

As for the show, I met Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession, bought her new book, had a chat with her, and admired her new range of fabrics.
 Here are some of the quilts I saw
By Pam Holland
Sorry about the 2 ladies in the pic. It was a bit hard to get a shot without someone trying to get a better look at this masterpiece!
 By Alison Withers
 By Pricilla Bianchi
By Jenny Bowker
 By Rosalie Dace
 By Michelle Law
By Wendy Williams
 By Wendy Wiliams
 Detail of above
 Detail from quilt below
by Sue Benner
By Sonia Higgs
Hand pieced and appliqued - truly amazing work!
There were heaps more on show.
So much talent and so much time devoted to these works.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Months of Stitches - Piggies, Liberty and Minky

My Piggies Quilt Top was finished just on a year ago.
Well now the back is done too.
I hand stitched the whole thing in white perle cotton.
It is still a mass of too many colours but I love this quilt and think I might have to save it for a special baby of the future. The patches are all my favourite fabrics. The backing is from Ikea. I think it was a child's sheet. They had a few great designs when I bought it but this one isn't available any more.
The binding is on too but I forgot to take a photo of it.
Whilst I was working on the piggies, I started a new quilt.
I bought these fabrics, and a few others, in a sale pack. They are Liberty prints. When they arrived, I was a little disappointed in them and packed them away. They have been quietly waiting for some inspiration for years!
Well finally it came. The idea was to match them with various background pale blue colours. I want the blues to vary but not by much.
I am happy with the way they have worked but I have run out of the Liberties and the blues and I need more. I have hardly bought any new fabrics for ages and am trying to work through what I have but I think I will have to lash out to finish this off.

Maybe I need to reconfigure it.
Anyway I had to put it on the back burner because my friend Rivka brought two more of her quilts to finish after having them quilted professionally.
This first one is huge!
Big enough to wrap around a couple of people at once. It is a mighty 3mt x 2mt.
 Backed with hot pink minky and quilted all over with hearts.
It is so warm and cuddly.
The colours are totally wild.
Rivka made the bulk of the blocks and I just put in the sashings, a few extra blocks and the binding.
I real team effort.
Sometimes it is sad to see a quilt go home but I am glad Rivka is finally keeping this quilt for herself. I think I have made her around 8 quilts now and she has always generously given them to her friends as gifts.
Here is a peek of the second quilt. I am loving the black and white binding.