Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Now!

My star quilt is finally finished, and I'm much happier with the corners (picture heavy post)...

For those who missed it, I HAD finished this quilt back in June, but the corners I had chosen then made the whole quilt look like a fabric vomit!

So I unpicked those corners and started again. It has taken a while to do this because I have been using the EPP method (english paper piecing) to make this quilt, but it's done and I'm happy now! 

On that unpicking post back in June I had so many fabulous suggestions of how to make the corners look better, the majority of those were going with solids for the corners which is pretty much what I have done. I did throw a few patterned fabrics in there cause I couldn't help myself. 

Thank you so much for all those comments, I loved reading through them all. Anyway, I think the whole centre of the quilt is more balanced, and these new corners give it a good frame (click on pic to see more detail). 

I had some fun playing with the special effects in picasa and these really made the colours and corners stand out...I love the 'orotonish' button....

and the 'invert colours' button...

and the posterize button...

Ok, enough playing with the effects buttons.

This quilt was started way back here so its taken me almost 18 months to finish. I'm thinking I will need to handquilt this one, with perle 8 threads, though at this point I have no idea how! I will put it aside and ruminate that one for a while!

Now while I am typing this post, I notice I have 999 followers. Wow, when I first began this blog I didn't even know what a follower was! So as a way to thank all of my 'almost 1000' followers, I am going to have a giveaway here very soon. Keep an eye out for that. xo

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Book of Joy

Kathy Doughty's beautiful new book 'Making Quilts..the promise of joy', certainly delivers on that promise! Such a joyful, dazzling collection of magnificent quilts, many of which I have earmarked to make up myself. Not just a coffee table book (though it is that too) this is a book that will be well thumbed and the inspiration for many creations.

(All photo's taken with kind permission 
from Kathy Doughty)

Here we see Kathy and her photographer husband (talented pair!) heading into the Australian bush with 22 quilts, a perfect backdrop for her often eclectic, colour drenched works of art.

From scrap quilts (I love that green)...

Greenfields (page 213)
to machine piecing...

I definitely want to make this one up maybe in liberty's. 
Sunburst (page 117)

to beautiful hand quilting on template piecing...

I bought the kit for this one, can't wait to get started on it.
Uzbek Patches (page 77)

and so much in between. One of my favourites is this charming Wagga quilt...

Wagga (page 205)

A few of the quilts I had spied on Kathy's blog Material Obsession (where she finds the time to post so much inspiration over there is beyond me, if you have never seen her blog, you are in for a treat!), but there were many I had never seen before. Back in 2009 Kathy started this quilt...

Pheasantville (page 137)

using this amazing fabric (Alexander Henry decor weight)...

which I had to get my hands on, and used to make this quilt (which is still unquilted 3 years later, arghh!!)...

Poor photo, will take some better ones...once it is day!!

Kathy's marvellous book is available in Australia from her shop Material Obsession, and I've spied it over at Liza's place Glorious Colour too. Do you have your copy yet? Which quilt will you make first?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Catching a Breath and the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap!

Phew, what a time! We have just had my parents staying with us for a week, always wonderful to have them down from Brisbane, so special to spend quality time with them. During that time I was working hard on my first ever quilt design for Quilters Companion magazine. Here is a sneak peek after I took it down to the beach for a little photo shoot of my own, I will be able to show the rest after the magazine is released in December. 

I'm very excited!

Also keeping us busy is my youngest son who is involved in a local theatre group (people's playhouse) doing the Wizard of Oz musical. After months of rehearsals they finally got to opening night last week and it was very well worth the effort more than 60 youngsters, incredibly hard working committee, a wonderful orchestra, and plenty of parents put into it. We will be going back this week to see it all again. Isaac is in the senior ensemble and is also the understudy to Scarecrow, it's his first experience of the theatre world and he will definitely be going back for more!

Logo from Peoples Playhouse website

I now have a few days to catch my breath before I get going on my second quilt design for another magazine, Homespun. In the meantime, something else exciting has begun....

....Announcing the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap

I'm so thrilled to announce this swap is open again for round three. The lovely Kate (One Flew Over) has hosted this swap for the past two years. This year the gorgeous and gregarious Michelle (The Quilted Tortoise) will be our host, you can pop over here to get all the details. I missed this swap last year , so I'm making sure I will definitely not be missing out this year. The first year I made up a little applique doll quilt for my partner...

And received an absolute beauty from none other than Rita Red Pepper Quilts...

For those who are interested (Aussies only), make sure you send an email to Michelle to let her know you are in (instructions here!). Everyone can check out the flickr page, very inspiring over there. I'm looking forward to seeing what gorgeous designs are created. xo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wonky Stars, Quilted, Bound & Hung!

It has been a little mad around here lately, lots of deadlines needing to be met (including two quilts for magazines, hope to show a glimpse soon). Last week I needed to get my Wonky Stars quilt finished because it is going to be displayed in my library (I had a couple of quilts there last year, see here).

Of course, I had about an hour in which to take some photo's and it was raining and windy, so the pics aren't great, but you get the general idea! 

Because I was in a hurry to get the quilt done, I quilted it using straight, organic lines using free motion quilting (with a darning foot). Because the quilt is essentially a grid, no marking lines were needed, making it even quicker just to stitch down the quilt, then backwards up the quilt, then down again and so on.

You can see the effect of the quilting even better on the back.

Initially I didn't have enough of that gorgeous label fabric to cover the the back of the quilt. I had some triangles leftover from the making of the wonky stars on the front, so I turned them into large pinwheel blocks and separated them using the gorgeous Summersville cross hatch. Now I had just enough fabric for my backing.

The binding was a black and white dot, but I think I should have just used a plain black. Once I get the quilt back one day I may unpick it and put on the plain black. Or I might just get a permanent marker pen and colour in the white dots, heehee!!

This quilt will also be hanging at the library. You can see more of this one here. xo

Monday, July 2, 2012

Super Awesome Stash Club

Two, in fact! Have you spied Jenny's wonderful new stash clubs over at Amitie yet? I have always been drawn to Jenny's wonderful, eclectic fabric choices (just walking into her shop is an inspiration) and now we have the opportunity to have some of her superb fabrics for ourselves.

The first stash club is a beautiful range of fabrics, sixteen 25cm squares, mailed out 6 times a year.

Oooh, I love them all. 

The second is for liberty lovers, or for those who have always eyed off the beautiful tana lawns, but never dared indulge. Eighteen 6 inch squares for you to play with.

This particular liberty makes me think of Mr Darcy, or lately, Mr Crawley! (I have been totally hooked into Downton Abbey, anyone else got that sickness?).

The other lovely surprise is that Lucy (amitie girl) is writing up an 8 inch block pattern included with each mail out. This months block is called Amish Cross. If you make up these blocks, don't forget to add yours to the brand new flickr page here. I cannot wait for the next mail out in August! xo