Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hello from Sunny Brisbane

Just a quick hello to you all...we had a wonderful two day drive to Brisbane, it's been lovely to see family and friends some of whom we have not seen for nearly three years. After leaving cold Melbourne behind, we have welcomed the warmth of Brisbane's winter days. We are sure the sun shines brighter here, and the clouds have been treating us to stunning displays....check out these clouds over the Brisbane Eye in Southbank.
We had a wonderful time with my sister, her husband and four gorgeous boys over the weekend. My sister is a graphic artist and her house is filled with wonderful art and crafts that she has designed and created. She doesn't mind me sharing some of them here. As you know I had fun making my mosaic quilt. My sister has designed and made a real mosaic for her toilet floor....it is incredible.
Her fish are amazing, swimming in their stream over the tiled floor!
She has also made some incredible stained glass windows. This one is based on designs by the Scottish artist and jewellery maker Rennie Mackintosh. It looks stunning with the sun shining through it over her stairs.
Of course she can make quilts too, this crosses quilt will cover her daybed when finished. Very talented girl!
Being away from home, hasn't quite meant that I haven't bought new patterns....I have been eagerly awaiting Kim McLeans new quilt Roseville Album....have you seen it yet, Oh My! I have bought it from Glorious Colour and it should be waiting for me by the time we arrive home in a week on Friday, yay!

Thinking of you all, Cathy xo









Thursday, June 17, 2010

Au Revoir!

Clothes packed....house ready for the sitter....stitching packed....camera in....we are almost ready for our road trip! At 4am tomorrow (Friday) morning we will drag ourselves out of bed (and its freezing at that time of the morning here), bundle ourselves into our car, and head off towards Brisbane. Over the next three weeks we will drive well over 4,000 kilometres and visit all our families and many friends that we left behind nearly 6 years ago when we moved from Brisbane to Victoria. We are very excited!

I have been very busy over the past couple of weeks trying to get a quilt finished to take with me. My Fassetted Mosaic quilt is now almost finished. I only need to handstitch the binding and cut all the remaining threads.
I used Charcoal Kona cotton for the binding, it doesn't show up well in the photo's, but it worked a treat.
The backing had to be more of Kaffe's mosaic fabric.
The quilting process has been so much fun on this quilt. In my last post I showed how I quilted the diamonds. For the border I simply quilted along the gold lines already on the fabric. It helps give the border an even more pronounced mosaic look.
On the way home from Brisbane we are going to stay with relatives in Sydney where I will get a chance to visit Kathy and her wonderful team at Material Obsession...Yay, lucky me! I hope to get my mosaic quilt totally finished to show Kathy at the shop!

Talking of Material Obsession, my last Sue Ross block arrived today. I have become very behind in my blocks, but will prioritise these blocks when I return from our trip. The whole time we have never known what our finished quilt will look like....today we received the finished photo...and I'm thrilled, this quilt is gorgeous don't you think?

Also in the mail today I received a very exciting press kit from Rowan (thank you Sarah). Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett have combined forces and come up with this divine cotton....100% extra long Mercerized Egyptian Cotton nr 50.
The boxes delivered to me are Stones from Kaffe, and Soul Blossoms from Amy, aren't they gorgeous? The threads are designed to harmonise with their individual fabrics, for example, Amy's thread matches her new range Soul Blossoms due out in September (which I am so excited about, roll on September!!). Aren't the little boxes cute?
Like Mrs Schmenkman, I have not sewed with this thread yet. I had to give my baby away today....my sewing machine has been put into the shop for a service while I'm away...does anyone else get jittery when they don't have their sewing machine in the house, even if they are going to be away the whole time?!!! Anyway, I will let you know how these cottons sew up in the future.

Have you had enough of me yet? Cause I also received some Philip Jacobs fabric in the mail this week. They are divine and these colours remind me of vintage sheets.
 I'm thinking I will add some Kaffe shot cottons and some Kona solids with them for a more muted colour range than I am perhaps used to lately.
Phew, I think that is all for now. Please be aware I won't be able to answer emails for the next 3 weeks. I may be able to pop in here now and again if I can get to a computer somewhere in our travels, otherwise, I hope you all stay well and keep creating. See you in a few weeks xo

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fassetted Mosaic

My Fassetted Mosaic Quilt top is finished....the photo is not the best, I will get an outside shot once it has been quilted if I can (lots of rain around here lately!!).
Kaffe's Mosaic fabric in blue was the ideal border for this quilt I thought.
Brandon Mably gave kind permission to show the photo's that inspired this quilt.  Kaffe Fassett's latest book release Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts was where I found the gorgeous quilt he named Facet.

The diamond shapes caught my eye from the start, and I loved the colour palette he used for this quilt.
 Kaffe Fassett Facet Quilt from Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts (pg 107)

However on the next page in the book, Kaffe has shown a photo of the incredible mosaic wall his assistant Brandon Mably created to 'spruce up our London entryway' (quote). If you click on the picture you may even spot the teapot lids and cup handles he has placed throughout the mosaic...fabulous!
Brandon Mably's mosaic wall, photograph found in Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts (pg 108)

So the idea for combining Kaffe's gorgeous quilt and Brandon's fabulous wall began! Instead of string piecing the blocks as Kaffe has done, I decided to start with lighter and darker grey diamonds, which would become the 'grout' between the mosaic 'pieces'.
 In the book Kaffe recommended using purples, reds, browns and greens for the darker diamonds, and oranges, pinks, blues and moss greens for the lighter diamonds. I decided to go with his colours and I'm thrilled with the result.
I have begun work on the quilting process of the quilt. I layered the backing, wadding and quilt top and held it together with bent pins (I don't like basting, takes too long!). Now I am stitching around each individual shape using free motion stitching in matching threads.
The end result is not perfect, but it holds down each mosaic piece perfectly.
Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the unfinished quilt top in the last post....I sincerely apologise for not replying to all the comments left, it was an interesting week here, but all good now.  For those who asked if I mind if they copy this idea.....absolutely yes, I would be thrilled if you did, and I would love it if you send me a photo of your finished piece. I'm off to stitch around more mosaic pieces...did I tell you how addictive they can be? xo

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Faceted Mosaic

For many years I have loved looking at mosaics. Their colour, shape, and interesting little bits of china or glass really catch my eye. However I don't have the tools, nor the room for yet another craft in my house at the moment. So I have decided to do a mosaic quilt.
 This quilt is based on Kaffe Fassetts Facet quilt (from his new book Simple Shapes Spectacular quilts), and Brandon Mably's mosaic wall on their studio in London (I will see if I can get permission to show these pics next time!).

I started with Kaffe's pattern for his Facet quilt and made it up in two different shades of grey as the 'grouting' between the mosaic. I used Kona cotton in Charcoal and Coal.
Then I picked about 8 or 9 fabrics for each coloured diamond....various oranges for the orange diamond, various pinks for the pink diamond, etc, mainly using Kaffe and Brandons fabrics. I cut out a rectangle of each colour (about 6 x 8 inches each) and ironed Heat and Bond to the back of the fabrics. Then comes the fun part....cutting out each fabric into little mosaic shapes and glueing them in place within each diamond.
I began with the first orange diamond, moved onto the green, etc, and I will fill in each and every diamond and half diamond with mosaic colour by the time I am finished. Once happy with each diamond, I then iron the mosaic shapes to properly fuse them on.
Once the whole quilt top is complete I will layer the quilt top with the batting and backing and then free motion stitch around each and every mosaic shape. This will ensure none of the pieces will ever fall off, as well as quilting the quilt at the same time! I am hoping to get all this completed very soon as we are off on a road trip to Brisbane in a couple of weeks time, so I'd better get working on it!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our Winners Are....

Congratulations to the following winners:

The winner of the wonderful Jane Brocket book is:


                Miriam from Yellow Roses in Australia
The winner of one of my flea market fancy string bags is:
               Denice from Denice's Day in Michigan, US
The winner of my black and white string bag is:
              Annemiek from Carpe Quiltem in Netherlands
It's so lovely to see these gifts going around the world. I will contact the winners via email this weekend. Thank you to everyone who entered for your kind words and encouragement, I am sad that you cannot all win.  Also a huge thank you to Jane Brocket and Penguin Australia for this beautiful book to giveaway,  I know you are going to love it Miriam! Hope to pop back in over the weekend to show a little mosaic quilt I'm working on. xo