"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show

Today, Sharon and I attended this fabulous quilt show. For me it was as good as any of the major international quilt shows, albeit on a smaller scale. I have created a temporary blog to show the (nearly) 50 photos I took, as any of you who love quilts will enjoy seeing them, I am sure. Here is the link.
Sadly for my bank account, the show had an extra room where a number of retail shops had stalls set up to sell all kinds of quilting and patchwork stuff. Here is what I purchased: Fat quarter of cute Geisha girls fabric.
One metre length of this stunning fabric...I have only a faint idea of what I will do with this, but I can assure you I won't be cutting it up! I'm thinking of embellishing it, and making it into a wall panel. Even this close up does not do it justice.
Ever since I borrowed a book on Sashiko stitching from our library, I have been looking for the right fabric to do some. I was thinking of settling for dark blue homespun, but today I found a length of the genuine Japanese Indigo fabric!
This gorgeous little Kokeshi doll button was the last one in the display box, and there was a disgruntled lady standing behind me, obviously hoping I would change my mind about buying it. Sorry, dear - this one is mine!
My right hand index finger is almost permanently numb with all the applique I've been doing lately. I can't bear plastic or metal thimbles, so when I heard about these alternative pigskin thimbles, I kept an eye out for one today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Three fabric postcards.

Cindy in the USA sent me this gorgeous postcard for the Stitchin Fingers birthday swap. She apologised for it being so late, but I didn't mind waiting! She does lovely work, and I knew it would be worth waiting for. I had fun with these Sunbonnet Sue postcards, which are for a swap on Stitchin Fingers. I found a pattern in a book that was exactly the right size for postcards, so I traced it on to template plastic, as I think I'll be using it again - a lot! The first postcard I made was the purple hat Sue. I appliqued the pieces onto plain blue fabric, and added a strip of green fabric for the grass, then added the ric rac and the flowers to jazz it up a bit. The embroidered sun in the corner was a last minute addition.
The next card was a bit different. I've been seeing so many people use paint and pencils etc. on fabrics before they stitch on them, so I thought I'd have a play around with that. I used all kinds of mediums (pencils, felt pens, etc.) to paint the blue sky, the green grass and the orange/yellow sun. Bit of a mish mash really, so I muted it by using a wet paint brush to merge everything. Sue was appliqued on as before, but I changed her a bit, making the gingham apron slightly different, and moving the arm to extend out. That made it look like she was holding something, so I had to add the flower to finish her off. It still looked unfinished to me, so I did random long stitches in green DCM to fill in the grass, then finished off the sun with gold rayon thread.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fabrics, books, finished projects.

Ken and I were in Heidelberg today, as he had his first ICD unit check up at the Repat Hospital. We decided to have some lunch, then wander down Burgundy Street to look at the shops, as it is an excellent shopping strip. Ken was headed for JB Hi-Fi, but before we got there, I spotted a fabric shop called "Darn Cheap Fabrics" and had to have a look! I suggested to Ken that he keep going to JB, but he said he'd wait, and patiently followed me around the shop while I oohed and aahed over everything, and finally settled on a metre of this sooooo cute material!! I can't decide whether to use bits and pieces of it in various projects, or simply hem it and use it for a table cloth! What do you think?
I check the Eltham Library now and then to see if they have anything worth borrowing in the way of needlecraft books, but they don't usually have much of a range. Until yesterday, when I found this four, and grabbed them before anyone else saw them!
Not only have I borrowed books, I've also been buying them. Looking at Amazon.com is always an expensive mistake....well, not a mistake, but you know what I mean. I couldn't resist ordering four books on patchwork, three of them on cats in particular, and they have started arriving this week. This book is not an instructional one - more of a history of cats on quilts. Interesting write-ups and photos. Will I ever make anything from these two? Gosh, I don't know but who cares? They are nice to look at and dream about what I could make!
I posted photos of these two items the other day, but now they are finished, so this is what the end result is. The Japanese Doll panel has a black border on the kit photo, but I thought that was a bit dark against the dark background fabric, so I chose red instead.
And here is my small quilt hung out on the clothes line over a blue sheet - sorry! It was a very cheap project in all. As I said in the last post, the blocks were in the remnants bin at the Guild. So was the backing fabric (brushed cotton, nice and warm), as well as the red fabric I used for the sashing and border. In fact the only thing I paid for was the batting! I do hope nobody clicks on this and looks closely...I did made a few mistakes as you would see by the puckered fabric in two places...I remarked to Ken while I was unpicking a seam, that I was on a very steep learning curve! I hate doing the binding on things, so I take the easy way out and put the right sides together, stitch them up on three sides, turn them right side out, and sew up the fourth side. Look, don't pick on me - this is my first and last quilt, so it is not going to be perfect!
*********************** Just in case anyone is going to ask...I have been working on my UFOs between patchwork, and have actually finished one, but can't post a pic, because it is to be a surprise gift.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My first quilt! And an applique panel.

All right, I have to tell the truth about this! A year or so ago, I found ten patchwork blocks in the remnant bin at our Guild. I had no way of knowing who put them there, and why, but I wasn't going to leave them! When I took a Patchwork class last year, I asked the tutor for her advice on what I could do with them. She was very helpful, and showed me the best way to place them, and how to join them with sashing and a border.
Today I was looking for red fabric to use as a border for something else, and re-discovered the blocks, along with a piece of red fabric which I had obviously decided to use for the sashing and border. I wasn't sure if there would be enough for both projects, so I thought what the heck - just finish the original one first, and then I'll know! So that's what I did. It still has to have the wadding and backing, and binding. I have the backing material, but not the wadding, so I'm planning to skip over to Greensborough tomorrow and buy enough to finish this small quilt. It's not big enough for a bed quilt, but it will do as a 'throw' over the couch or a chair in the lounge room. When I waved it in front of Ken, he said "That's nice! Did you make that?" and I said "Yes"...well, he wouldn't know the difference - lol!
For the past month I've been in the mood to do applique projects, and since I bought the kit for this cute Japanese doll panel at the Quilt Show, I have been itching to do it! I finished the backing today, and just have to cut some red fabric for the binding.

Bought at an antique shop.

On Wednesday, I drove up to Healesville to give a 'show and tell' talk about my tablecloth collection, to the local Arthritis Self Help Group. I presented a talk about my aprons to the same group a year ago, and they invited me back to see more of my embroidered goodies. Next time, I am to bring my tea cosies to show them. They give me money for petrol and a box of chocolates, so it is a worthwhile trip in more ways than one!
While I was up there (Healesville is a 45 minute drive from my home), I decided to check out a new second hand shop in the main street. I thought it was an opshop, but was firmly put right about that - not an opshop! It was really a second-hand goods shop, but could almost be called an antique shop. Anyway, they have some fabulous stuff there; I could have spent a heap more than the $75 I had in my wallet! But this was all I could afford. Sandwich tray cloth embroidered with pansies.
At first glance this is just a dainty supper cloth with little flowers.. But when you have a closer look - WOW! Just look at that gorgeous embroidery!
I think the same person must have embroidered this large centrepiece, as the closeup will show you, similar bullion stitches have been used for the ladies' hair and flowers.
I can't resist the Art Deco look! So these two small cloths had to come home with me.
I found these laces at various opshops in the past week. Pam, they'll be coming your way soon ;-)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Pot holder, printed handkies.

One of my American-born friends (married to an Aussie) showed me this pot-holder the other day. Her grandmother drew the pattern and taught Glenda and her sister how to embroider it, when they were little girls. I thought it was so cute, and asked Glenda if I could borrow it to make a copy, and she was happy to do so.
I found these two hankies in the local opshop for 30 cents each - what a great find! I hadn't washed and pressed them when this pic was taken. I'd love to have any suggestions from readers as to how I could use them in something.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Quilt Convention & Expo in Melbourne

Sharon and I went to the Quilt Convention yesterday, despite both of us having colds. We got there just before opening time (10 am) and left when it closed at 4.30 pm, so we didn't let our colds stop us enjoying our day! We were both very circumspect with our credit cards, trying to simply admire everything without wanting to buy everything as well. I came home with two kits and some ric rac.
I also spent $15 on a very useful workshop - I've always wanted to learn how to make Tumbling Blocks, which my tutor didn't show us last year, so when I saw this listed in the Workshops, I signed in for it as soon as we arrived. We were supplied with precut diamond shapes and the plastic templates, and the tutor gave us pre-threaded needles to sew the shapes together after she'd explained how to use the templates. This is as far as I got, as we ran of time before I realised I'd sewn the colours the wrong way for the second block. But I know what I did wrong, so if/when I attempt to do a panel of tumbling blocks, I'll be aware of the correct way to place the fabrics.
The quilts on display were as always, absolutely spectacular. I took 40 photos - far too many to post here, and I can't decide which ones to leave out! So I have created a temporary blog here just for my photos. Please consider leaving a comment there if you have a look, so I can decide when to delete the blog.