Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making Icecream

How are you going this week? As far as quilting goes for me, I'm a bit uninspired. Perhaps it's because the boys are home on school holidays and I haven't had much quilting time. Perhaps it's because during these school holidays, I have been at work a lot. Perhaps it's because I'm just a bit tired at the moment. Perhaps it's because my tiny little sewing room is a HUGE HUGE MESS!! I walk into my room, look around, walk out again and shut the door! Perhaps a little spring cleaning is in order to help bring my quilting spark back?


My Denyse Schmidt fabric is still on the brew, so not much to show there yet. I have however made a small start on the gorgeous IceCream quilt from Kaffe's latest book.


Kaffe's IceCream Quilt
from his Quilt Romance book


I thought I could find enough white/pastel fabrics in my cupboard....and I was right.


These will fit the bill very nicely thank you very much. Although in my unispired state it took me a long time to choose these 14 fabrics, and I may yet change some of them!!


I cut and sewed up a few rows over the weekend, but that's as far as I got. Perhaps next week I will be able to do some more. Even though I am generally a perfectionist, I am just going with the flow of this one and not being too concerned about it being exactly straight. If it works it works, if not, it will have character!!! I will be handquilting it just like Kaffe did, I love that large-quilting-stitch-homestyle look. Yummy! (Just like icecream!).


PS: Macadamia nut icecream is my favourite...what's yours? xo

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oooh I'm having fun...

...with my Sue Ross Bom blocks!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Inspirational!!

Kaffe Fassett and Friends from Rowan have produced another winner...and I just love it!! I received my copy of the new book Quilt Romance from Kathy the other day, and I can't decide which quilt I will make first.


Luckily I have the wonderfully kind permission from Brandon Mably (Kaffe's Office Manager and Designer in his own right) and Kim McLean to show you some of the quilts in this fabulous book. The twenty amazing designs have been so breathtakingly photographed (by Debbie Patterson) around the little village of Portmeirion in North Wales. I never grow tired of looking through all my Kaffe books (you know I have them all!), the backgrounds for the quilts are chosen carefully to make the colours in each quilt dance.


Kaffe's Pickle Dish looks so happy hanging on the little turquoise gate.


I just adore Brandon Mably's Two Up Two down quilt, the clouds fabric he uses to tie the quilt together gives it a wonderful, cheery feel. I know I will make this one.


Kim McLeans Hearts and Flowers Quilt is another masterpiece from this Aussie designer. Kim is the designer featured in this book, it's lovely to read about her quilting life. Another must make for me!


Kaffe's Icecream Quilt is so yummy I could eat it!! I will definately be making a version of this quilt. Doesn't it look wonderful hanging off the whitewashed wall with the deep yellow and blue colours in the background?

Liza Prior Lucy, Mary Mashuta, Roberta Horton, Pauline Smith, Sally Davis and Pam Goeke Dinndorf have all contributed to this book with their fabulous quilt designs.


Pauline Smith's Tulips Quilt

I don't buy many quilt books, (Material Obsession 1 & 2 are in my bookshelf of course), but I do buy all Kaffe's books, they are such an inspiration and I can't help but be influenced by the marvellous use of colour, shape and design throughout. Well done Kaffe and Team, another fabulous book!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twenty-Five Patch

My third and final (at this stage) quilt from my earlier quilting life was a quilt I copied directly from Terri Christopherson's beautiful book 'The Best of Black Mountain Quilts'. This book has about 30 beautiful quilts and projects, some of which I wouldn't mind making up in Kaffe fabrics some day.



I love the colours of the small prints and checks, made fresh by the white sashing. Each checkerboard block is stipple quilted in the main colour of that block.

 
 
The white sashing was a great area to try my hand at some free-motion feathers. I didn't mark these out beforehand, just used the needle and thread as my 'pencil'.


 

I was quite happy with how the feathers turned out.



This quilt was finished about 5 years ago and you can see I was starting to wander across to the brighter, fresher colours (though as I've said previously, I still do love the antique-type look, I just don't tend to sew it much at the moment). It's interesting to see how your tastes change over the years.

 

There hasn't been much sewing around here with sickness in the house, but what is going on here....?



Something is brewing!!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Rambling Roses

Rambling Roses is the name I gave to another quilt I made about 8 or 9 years ago. I had found 3 quilts in magazines that I really liked at the time, and combined them to come up with this design.


I just loved the idea of the vine climbing up the side and over the top of the quilt.


This quilt was handquilted using a cross hatch design in the flower borders, and an alternating floral and then diamond design in each square. A simple vine-like pattern was used to quilt the red border.
 

Once again I had a lot of leftovers which I used up in the back of the quilt.


I love the shapes of the flowers and the way they look scattered over the vine, and standing tall in this little inset block.


Rambling Roses is the only quilt I have ever entered into a competition and it won runner up and was photographed in a Patchwork and Quilting magazine about 6 years ago.


This is another quilt that is on our bed in winter, I love how quilts become so soft and snuggly after years of use. Because of the handquilting and needleturn applique (flowers and vine), I only handwash this one. My quilts that are machine quilted I just throw in the washing machine and hang out to dry (pref. in the shade). Christine at Once Upon a Quilt has a lovely little post on how she washes her quilts, check it out here!

Melbourne is having a wonderfully sunny spring day today and it was so nice to go for a walk in the sun this morning, so reviving to the soul after weeks of windy, grey, cold days. Have a wonderful week xo

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ugly Tulips

Early on in my quilting life I used to adore (and deep down I still do) the more antique looking fabrics. I loved the pretty prints with small florals and dots and checks. This is a quilt I made from those fabrics.

The backgrounds were machine sewed together, and then I needleturn appliqued the ugly tulips once the top was finished. (I called them ugly tulips because I designed them and thought they were ugly in a happy sort of way!).
Each block was then stippled and the tulips were outlined. The thick sashing has some loopy-loops and each sashing square has a quilted flower.

I had a lot of the border fabric and the thin white sashing fabric leftover so I used those up in the quilt backing.

It's yet another windy day here in Melbourne...I'm so over this wind we've had weeks and weeks of it...it's not much fun trying to take outside pics of your quilt in the wind, at least I managed to get a few good shots, unlike some pics...!

My husband and I have slept under this quilt for about 5 years now and it's so soft and cuddly and wonderful to wrap yourself in. Even though I tend to go for the brighter, perhaps more dramatic fabrics these days, this one is still a favourite.

A pic of some pretty tulips!

And pretty daffodils in my kitchen window.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two Blogs

Just recently I have joined up with two new blogs. A few bloggers had decided to make the Civil War Bride Quilt, a pattern purchased from Threadbear in Victoria. I'm doing enough needleturn applique at the moment with Kim McLeans Flower Pots quilt, so for this quilt I am going to try raw edge applique, something I haven't tried before.

I have decided to make this quilt in Kaffe type fabrics (surprise!!!), and a dark shot cotton for the background.

 block 1 and 2

If you want to watch the progress of these blocks, or even join in the fun, check out our blog here.

I have already spoken about my second blog, the Sue Ross block of the month being hosted by Kathy at Material Obsession. The first block was a challenge to most of us, and we have learnt new skills already. Head over here if you want to see the next blocks being made up as most of them arrived this week.

block 1 in contemporary colours of my choosing

 block 1 in b.o.m. fabrics - pretty colourway

I have been blogging for 5 months now and I have surely found that through the friendships made, the comments and encouragements received, the tutorials and wisdom from other bloggers, as well as joining a few groups, that my skills as a quilter have been stretched and grown. What other quilt group could we ever find that has quilters' expertise from the world over? I feel blessed to be a part of such a fabulous community, and my world has been enlarged by all the friends who drop by and say Hi, as well as the hints and tips and lessons I can learn from others. Here ends my homily!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

9 Patch Windows

How do I feel at the end of making a quilt? Fulfilled that I have created something new. Sad that the journey I took to create this quilt is now at an end. Glad that the colours and shapes have come together to make something I am happy with. Pleased that I can hang this one up, or give it away, or perhaps even sell it, and look to the next project. I have felt all those things with this quilt. 

For the quilting I decided to simply quilt in straight lines, using masking tape as my guide. The masking tape worked very well and would restick to the quilt about 5 or 6 times, so you don't waste much tape. 

I used Kaffe's shot cottons for the sashings and they are like quilting through butter, so soft!

The back is a simple pattern trying to use up some of the leftover fabric from the front. The gorgeous red dot is a Michael Miller That's it dot in cherry. 

The binding was a suprise to me....while making this quilt I envisaged a deep aqua, or rich raspberry for the binding, however I purchased this gorgeous black & white polka dot from Ballarat Patchwork recently, and as soon as I saw it I just knew it had to go on my 9 patch windows quilt.

 I just love it, it frames the bright colours in the quilt beautifully I think.

 
So onto the next project. A little birdie told me that the 2nd Sue Ross blocks are on the way....oh yes, I'm very excited about that little project!!! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flower Pots

Firstly I want to apologise for my lack of communication lately. I have had a rather sore shoulder, which is exacerbated when using the computer mouse, so I've been staying away from the computer a little (very hard to do!). I REALLY, REALLY appreciate all your comments, and am sorry I have not replied to many, nor left many comments on your blogs for a bit. I'm doing my shoulder exercises, so hope to be better soon! Also done less stitching, so not much to show. I have, however, been waiting for a while to take some pics of my Kim McLean Flower Pots quilt, waiting for a Melbourne day that wasn't windy so I could try for some good outdoor shots. I've given up waiting for a calm day, we have had wind for weeks now!!! So this morning I have taken some not very good indoor pics of this quilt.

It has grown rather large, so hard to fit it all in the picture.

I have loved stitching the birds in these blocks, all those wonderful curves, and they are such pretty birds too.

Ahh well, you get the idea!! I hope your week is going very well. xo