Friday, May 28, 2010

Inspirational Book and...Book & Bag Giveaway!

 Have you seen this yet?
 Jane Brocket has been inspiring me for a long time. About 4 years ago I stumbled across her remarkable blog Yarnstorm. Jane has taken her readers on a wonderful ride, creating her new and current blog Jane Brocket, becoming a recognised author, and all the while her passion for colour, creating (quilts and knitting), cooking and photography have shone through. Jane's tulip garden alone is magnificent!
 Of course when Jane's new quilting book was released, I didn't waste a second before I purchased it! The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making is truly inspirational and the lovely Jane herself has given me permission to show a photo or two from her book. One of the things I love about the book is that Jane has written stories about her inspiration for each of the 16 quilts featured.
Jane's 'Russian Shawl' quilt is dripping with colour and a favourite of mine. The way she has displayed the quilts in her book are eye-catching.

'Hammock' in the Summer Day version is another quilt that caught my attention, Philip Jacobs luscious Delphinium fabric stars here. I can just imagine lying in a hammock on a summers day with a good book and and an ice cold drink!
In the introduction to Jane's book she tells us that what is important in quiltmaking is enthusiasm, beautiful fabrics and a good measure of inspiration. I am certainly inspired by this wonderful book, and to help share the passion, Jane has generously arranged for Penguin books Australia to send me a book to giveaway to you, Yay!

To make the celebration bigger, I went past my 100th blog post a small while back, so I am going to giveaway two 'made by me bags' as well.
To enter this giveaway simply comment on this post. I will pick 3 names out of a hat next Friday afternoon Australian time. I will ship worldwide, so anyone can enter. Please make sure your email address comes through so I can contact you.

The first name drawn will be the winner of Jane's gorgeous book.
The second name drawn will win one of the flea market fancy bags.
The third name drawn will win the black and white bag.

Ok, go for it and good luck! xo

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chintzd Up Haze Kilim Backing

Thought I'd drop in quickly and show you the backing I've just finished for my Chintzd Up Haze Kilim quilt.
I put the photo's into the clever mosaic maker to be able to show the front and back side by side!
                                                       Front                                                Back     

I wanted to keep the theme of dots and florals from the front of the quilt so did a patched backing with some of the leftover fabrics.     
 Talking about using leftover fabrics, I was invited by the gorgeous Rae Ann of Cutie Pinwheel fame to contribute on her Stash Manicure blog. This is a blog where you can find many wonderful ways to use up some of the fabrics in our stash. I am thrilled to be a part of it, check my post here if you want to see! Hope your Sunday is a wonderful one. xo                           

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quilt Festival

Thank you to the wonderful Amy who is hosting the spring 2010 quilt festival, we appreciate your hard work!

I have many quilts that are favourites, but above all I adore applique quilts. I thought I would show one of my latest applique quilts, and one of my earliest ones.

My first applique quilt was a pattern I found in a magazine years ago and adapted to suit my tastes back then.
Learning how to do needleturn applique at a local quilt shop, I have used that method ever since.
This quilt was also handquilted. I have only ever handquilted a couple of quilts, I usually quilt them on my domestic sewing machine because I'm in a rush to get them finished!
Handquilting however is very soothing and portable, I don't use a frame or hoop, I find them too restrictive.
This quilt was finished in 2003.

More recently I finished my applique quilt top that I based on Kim McLeans stunning Hearts and Flowers Quilt.
Using only Amy Butler Love fabrics I am thrilled with how this quilt top has turned out.
You can see that my fabric choices have changed somewhat over the past 7 years or so. 
To all the Quilt Festival participants who drop by my blog....welcome. To those of you who have been friends for awhile...thank you.  I look forward to taking some time out this week and visiting your blogs, I know I am going to be inspired. xo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chintzd Up Haze Kilim

Wow, I'm surprised how quickly this quilt top has come together. Perhaps having it hanging on the design wall, available to sew a unit or two if I have a spare 10 minutes or so has helped. Anyway, the quilt top is finished. I based this quilt on Kaffe Fassett's Haze Kilim quilt from his latest Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts book.
 I love how the glorious florals slightly clash with the eccentric dots. It certainly is a shock of colour.
The sun was shining today, so I had a bit of fun taking some photo's of the quilt on the clothesline.
The stained glass window effect is always wonderful.
 My favourite...the shadow of the clothesline showing through.
Quite a few people said they liked the initial layout of the florals on the design wall. I might have to try a quilt like that, more simple and soothing than the riot of colour in my Chintzd Up version. Perhaps some Kona white for sashing in between?
 Or perhaps I will make something different. How do you decide what you will make next? Do you have a long list of quilts you want to create, or do you just wait til inspiration strikes? xo

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Shocker on My Design Wall

I've just spent a wonderful weekend with a friend who took me to stay with her parents on their small farm at Phillip Island. Before I left I managed to get a quilt cut out and hung on my design wall. This quilt is based on a quilt in Kaffe Fassetts new book Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts. Kaffe's quilt is called Haze Kilim and it's a divine mix of stripes and triangles. I hope to make it in its gloriously stripey form in the future, but this time I wondered what it would look like made up with florals and dots.

I began with some of Kaffe and Philip Jacobs magnificently grandiose florals which I hung on my wall.
Then the fun part...collecting enough dots to give the quilt a bit of shock value. I chose my dots mainly from Kaffe and Brandon Mably's gleefully eccentric dots, with a few Amy Butlers and Michael Millers thrown in. Initially I began with some dots of lighter value, but soon realized I wanted these dots to stand out from the romantic florals and tingle the senses! The darker purples, pinks and tobacco's certainly assault the eye first, but then it's fun to see other patterns emerge around the quilt.
My design wall by the way, is simply a piece of quilt batting that I pintacked to a wall in our house. It is fabulous to have a place to lay out all the colour and shapes and mix them around until I'm happy with the end result.
 I did get some sewing started on this last week, another wonderful thing about having a design wall is that I can work on little units from the quilt, sew them, trim them, iron them......
and then place them back onto the design wall before moving onto the next unit.
I decided it might be fun to turn one of the coloured photo's into a black and white one, you can really see where the darker dots stand out when you do this. They are reasonably balanced over the quilt, I think they will do anyway!
I will leave you with some pics I took while staying at my friends parents farm on the weekend. Frisky little calf...
Inquisitive foal called Kenny....
Aren't the tulips gorgeous?
Til next time xo

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What do you do with your precious string quilt scraps?

After making my Licorice Allsorts string quilt.....
I had some precious flea market fancy strings leftover, along with a few black and white strings.
Not wanting to waste ANY flea market fancy I have turned my strings into....strippy bags!
I have used this gorgeous Rosalie Quinlan bag pattern before (called Naomi's Little Carry Bag) and adapted it a little to suit my leftover strings. I love how they turned out, and they used up almost all my scraps.
For the lining of the flea market fancy bags I used one of my favourite toile fabrics from an older Jennifer Paganelli line called Girlfriends.
The black and white bag was just calling for Brandon Mably's divine black and purple fabric called Black Burlesque Brocade. The purple looks so rich and glorious surrounded by all the black and white!
I'm almost at my 100th post anniversary, so perhaps one of these bags may need to find another home soon, keep an eye out for that!

Talking about surprises...I was nearly knocked off my chair the other day when I found out my blog has been listed as one of Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy's favourite blogs, oh my, I'm still getting over that one! Check over at Craft Gossip to see the other 9 amazing blogs listed, as well as a chance to enter their competition to win Kaffe's new book (be quick though i'm not sure when it closes!). Have a lovely weekend xo