Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Deborah Louie: new online classes

Popular and highly regarded free motion quilting teacher Deborah Louie has launched a new website, focussed on her newly released online classes on quilting on a domestic machine.

There are currently two classes online:
The website also has links to Deborah's books of quilt projects, and her blog.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Community sewing day, May 2017

We a big, productive community sewing day yesterday. We rounded up completed quilts for winter delivery, and have at least seventeen already, with another dozen close to finishing. We basted, and sewed on labels, found backings and bindings, sorted fabric, making room for recent donations and a sale purchase ... and the machines were fired up for piecing and quilting.

All the finished quilts (1) ... 
All the finished quilts (2) ... 
All the finished quilts (3)
...  and we know there are at least a dozen still in the making.

Stitching, stitching, stitching ... Elaine W is generously sewing
from her own stash; Sue C has made some very intricate quilts
using complex techniques, but thought she should 'have a go'
at a disappearing nine patch, and found pink, green and black
fabric in her stash!. Elaine B is quilting quirky little monsters,
and there were several labels needing to be hand sewn.
Noelle's gorgeous pinwheel top was ready for basting.
The fabric is scraps from a quilt made for a grandchild.

The second of three completed tops made and donated by Robin

Julie decided to 'have a go' at a disappearing 4 patch, and made
enough blocks for two quilts in these fresh apple green tones,
using fabric from the community stash and her own.

Rationalisation of the community stash (some older fabrics
were passed on to other makers) has both updated it and
made room for the very generous donation from Material
Girls Down Under, and this stack of absolute bargains from a
recent flash sale at our local large quilt shop. The red chevron and
 the pink/grey print second from the bottom didn't make it onto
the shelves they are already backing quilts in progress.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This week's show and tell

Sue C's Little Miss April top is done, ready for basting and
quilting, with the addition of the final border.

Marilyn is working on the final stages of the centre block of her
medallion quilt -  all those 3/8" hexagons take some wrangling!
Roslyn was finishing a bassinette/pram cover for a very precious
little girl. Can you see the sheep? They're on the back too.
We didn't see any evidence of holiday sewing from Jo-Ann,
but we loved her Honolulu fabric shopping for these pineapples!

('Pineapple Fields' in grey, designer Maude Asbury, manufactured
by Blend, 2017. Also available with a white background)

More after Thursday's community sewing day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Thread + Colour 2: Paddington (NSW)

An exhibition featuring emerging and established Australian and international artists exploring their relationship with wool and colour, opening this week in Paddington:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Prize winning quilts from Paducah, Spring 2017

Prize winning quilts at the recent American Qquilting Society's Spring Quilt Week in Paducah can be admired online here.

AQS has published a number of short videos of prize winners talking about their quilts, on their Facebook page, and on You Tube.

Rhonda Pearce Wins Third Place in the 1st Entry in Paducah Quilt Contest
AQS Spring Quilt Week, Paducah, 29 April 2017
Rhonda Pearce talks with Tamara Hanes about her quilt, Monique's Mosaic, that won third place in the Large Quilts: 1st Entry in an AQS Paducah Contest sponsored by Gammill Quilting Machines. Learn about her inspiration for this hand made quilt with more than 14,000 hexagons and the unique way she quilted it.
Other Australian quilters who won prizes at Paducah were
  • Rachelle Denneny, A Touch of Blue, 3rd prize, Large Quilts: Stationary Machine Quilted and Honorable Mention for Vanilla Buttercream, Miniature Quilts
  • Jenny Bacon, Crabapple Jelly, Honorable Mention, Small Wall Quilts: Hand Quilted

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Modern Quilting Big Morning Tea

Well that was fun!

Our Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser in support of the Cancer Council this week had a modern theme, taken up in the table decorations, and our guest quilters from the Sydney Modern Sewists and Quilters (Sydney ModQuad) who delighted our audience of members and friends with a spectacular presentation of just some of their modern quilts.

Congratulations to Linda Parsons and the team – Sue Brennan, Robyn Leek, Janice Freelander, Roslyn Pullen and Elsa Kachwalla – on the organising of a very successful event. We raised over $600 for a cause close to our hearts - many of us have had too close encounters with cancer ourselves, or in loved ones, and we know the importance of research and support in the field of cancer. Thank you to every one who came and helped us to make that donation to the work of the Cancer Council.

Our thanks too to Natasha Renstead, Selina Cheng and Bec Proshogo from Syd ModSquad for bringing their stunning quilts, and to Jenn Davis who allowed us to see hers, even though she could not be with us. We loved your quilts, your commitment to and enthusiasm for quilting -  we are in awe of your  needlework, design and quilting skills. And thank you for allowing us to use your photos.
Linda chose a fun modern decorating theme, in keeping with
our much anticipated visit from the Syd ModSquad. The tables
were laid with fat quarters that were 'lucky plate' prizes.
Of course there was a wonderful morning tea spread,
donated by Fairholme members, and as it happens, Linda
is a brilliant cake maker and decorator - and her specialty is
towers of macaroons!
One of the aims of Sydney Modern Sewists and Quilters is 'to engage with the wider Sydney community by contributing charity quilts and acts of service.' One way of doing that is to make a group quilt each year (this year's is the fifth), that is entered into the group category at Sydney Quilt Show, and then raffled as a fundraiser for a charity that supports women in need. We saw two of those quilts on Monday:

Rainbow Skyline was made in 2015, from
Tula Pink's book '100 Modern Quilt Blocks'.
Each colour column was made by a different 
ModSquad member, graduating blocks
from dark to light tones of a single colour.
It will be raffled later this year.
(Photo: from @sydmodsquad)

In 2016 Grey Skies and Rainbow Fields was designed
for the group by Jenn Davis, and members chose blocks
to make, assisted by a detailed colour map. Blocks range
in size from 8" to 24" square, with rectangular flying
geese units.It won third place for a group quilt at
the 2016 Sydney Quilt Show.
 (Photo: from @sydmodsquad)

Bec's beautiful modern take on a classic Storm at Sea.
Its four year old owner agreed to allow her to bring it only
on the condition that she came with it to keep an eye on
it (and on us)! Smart little boy. Bec quilted it herself
on her domestic machine. Check out her own post
on this beauty on Instagram @skyberries for additional
images in close up, and of the reverse.
(Image: from @skyberries)
Bec made her toddler sized Drunkard's Path quilt for
her one year old daughter, from the same Tula Pink
fabrics as a quilt she had made for her own Mum. 
Syd Mod Squad is a very co-operative and collaborative
group, who often work together. Tash pattern tested
'Shattered Star' designed by Jenn Davis, using print
fabrics for the half-square triangles, and a white
solid for the background. Selina made a larger version
in very different fabrics as a pattern test too.
The pattern may be released for sale in the future.
Most of the Mod Squad members are active on social
media, especially Instagram. Selina @seldear 's
diamond blocks were gathered from a birthday swap
conducted via Instagram. She quilted it herself on the
longarm available for hire by customers at HobbySew at
Top Ryde. 

Selina made her Intulawoven quilt from fabric
mostly acquired in an Instagram based swap of
 designer Tula Pink's charm squares, that resulted in
 each swapper receiving 112 different 5" squares.
The intricate pattern is achieved with a single
block 'just rotated through 90ยบ - easy' she said ...

Selina devised a modern take on the disappearing
9 patch block design by gradually increasing the
negative space and eliminating some block elements
across her quilt, and by varying the print elements.

Rain Chains is another of Jenn's own designs,made and 
quilted by her, by hand and machine. The fabrics are all 
solids. You will find her on Instagram @pennypoppleton.

Jenn's splendid modern version of Mrs Billing's Coverlet (pattern 
by Karen Styles from Somerset Patchwork and Quilting) won 
a second prize in the 2016 Sydney Quilt Show. It was hand and 
machine pieced over an 18 month period, to mark her 30th 
birthday, and machine quilted by Leanne Harvey of Mount 
Vincent Quilts @leanne_mountvincentquilts in the 
Hunter Valley.
(Photo from @pennypoppleton)
Snapped as it was being refolded, here you can see some of the
very detailed fussy cutting, piecing and quilting in 'Jenn does
Mrs B' as this wonderful quilt was known during its making.
Sydney Modern Sewists and Quilters blog, has contact details and the meeting schedule, and can be found on Instagram @sydmodsquad and #sydmodsquad.

Friday, April 28, 2017

New books

This month is another good one for beautiful quilt book releases. Here are just a few, and each link will lead you to others ...


Splendid Sampler book by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, that includes all the block patterns from their 100 block quilt-along, and finished quilts. Available in print or as an eBook, published by Martingale.


Blue and White: living with textles you love is a coffee table book from the popular Moda fabric designing sisters Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson , published by Martingale.

From The Linen Closet, by Dawn Heese of Linen Closet Designs, featuring 17 folk art projects, published by Quiltmania on 25th April.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This week at Fairholme

We were a smaller group than usual on Monday, but having had a week's break, it was a cracker of a show and tell. All of this activity bodes well for our 2018 Quilt Show ...

Robyn L's rail fence quilt sings with colour and graphic energy
- she has hand quilted it with big stitches in gentle curves.


Robin W regularly and generously makes quilt tops for our
community collection. Her latest donation, made from her famous
Kaffe Fasset stash, elevates the disappearing nine patch through
careful use of a limited but rich palette of reds and blues, softening
the edges of the design while creating strong diagonals. The border is
her favourite Jinny Beyer print. After quilting and binding it
will be donated to a child at Robin's request. 
Lynette's show and tell came via email from Japan where she 
has been  shopping in Takayama, with Chris from Leura.
Lyn showed us two large quilts she has been working on
for some time - the 1500+ tiny squares here are 1" finished (not
to mention the setting triangles). The four patch border was
hexagon flowers in the pattern, but Lyn prefers squares, so several
hundred more were needed. There are a lot of different fabrics!
Lyn's second large quilt also shows her mastery of piecing.
It came about after she spotted a 'midnight fabric special' at
Keepsake quilting online at a great price. So much fabric
was included in the kit that Lyn has made a second quilt from
the same package, making it excellent value.
Helen worked on the bindings of two large quilts over the Easter
break, but found herself with some time to spare, so she turned to
Margaret Sampson George's book 'Take an Element' for
inspiration, and produced another one!

... detail of Helen's latest quilt
And then Julie unwrapped this ... her first machine applique
quilt is stretched on canvas to hang on a wall. It is made from
two fabrics only - the black background and the print. The print
pieces are individually cut out, and appliqued to the background
with a tiny zig zag stitch. The black 'lines' resembling the lead
of stained glass is the background between the print pieces.
It is about 30" square. Julie bought the pattern at the first quilt
show she attended about five years ago.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 AQC Awards

The 2017 Australasian Quilt Convention is on in Melbourne this weekend. The Bernina and AQC awards were announced at the Convention Gala Dinner last night.


National Best of Australia Award (chosen from the Best of State Winners):

'Modern Movement' by Rachelle Denneny (SA)

The 2017 AQC Challenge winner is Kangaroo and Wattle, by Linden Lancaster (Victoria)

AQC Awards presented by Expertise Events:

The 2017 Rajah Award was presented to Lyn Hewitt (NSW) .
The Rajah Award acknowledges the outstanding contribution by an individual to quilting in Australia.

The 2017 Lut-Da Award was presented to Jane Gibson (NSW) and Marie Lee (Victoria).
The Lut-Da Award goes to a quilter who has made an outstanding contribution to their local or quilting community via the medium of quilting.

The 2017 Shining Light Award was presented to Laura Kristina Kleine Butron.
The Shining Light Award recognises achievement by a junior quilter (up to age 18)

Friday, April 21, 2017

April community sewing day

We knew that quite a few regulars would not be able to come to yesterday's monthly community sewing, but it was not quite the quiet day we anticipated, as those who did come were armed to the tops of their sewing trolleys with finished quilt tops, lots of pieces prepped ready for sewing, and heads full of ideas. There was a lot going on, here are photos of just some of the day's work and play.
We pin basted seven quilts, but only managed photos of four ...

We might have another hexagon convert - this is
Julie's second community quilt made with appliqued
hexagons (machine applique is her 'thing'), and
she might have been heard to say she had another
idea for them. She brought it along quilted, all ready
to add the binding she had made last month, but it
took a while to locate it ... right where she had
left it, of course. It will be all finished by now.
Yvette arrived with 400 3/12" squares sewn into rows. The print
fabrics were mostly spots from the community stash, supplemented
by some cute kittens from Yvette's. By lunchtime the rows were
sewn together and pressed ready for the soft blue print border.
By the time we packed up it was pinned, ready for quilting!
Noelle's gelato scrappy pinwheels are made from fabrics left over
from her previous quilts. That little glimpse of raspberry in the top
right corner is the final border still be sewn on. It's just beautiful!
Consultation on rearranging a print panel that Dawn will sew
into a quilt (it is laid on top of one she had already completed
and we pinned yeaterday.

Linda called in to drop in her underwater themed
quilt-as-you-go donation quilt ...
... that has whales and other sea creatures on it's reverse.
She also did something mysterious and secretive
with strips of fabric for an event she is planning
... all will eventually be revealed!
Sue C couldn't join us yesterday, but she has been working
on her three (!) community quilts-in-progress, and posted this
finish photo on Instagram this morning:
My friend Toni generously donated these log cabin blocks,
I made a few more and joined them up. Some simple machine
quilting ... and my first use of a black and white stripe binding.
Now ready to join the #fairholmecommunityquilts collection
to go to a good cause.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 AQC Challenge and Best of Australia quilts on line

The 2017 Australasian Quilters Convention starts in Melbourne today.


Made in Australia: Flora and Fauna is the theme of the 2017 AQC Challenge. The finalists can be previewed here.

The Best of Australia 2017 quilt will be announced from the past year's State winners at the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening, along with the other AQC Awards. Preview the finalists here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter sewing?

We didn't meet on Monday because of the Easter holiday, but there might have been sewing on these works-in-progress from last week ...

Yvette is making  beautiful progress on 'Round the Garden'
(Wendy Williams 's pattern). We love watching it come to life
under Yvette's skilful needle but it's a bit like a really good book
that you want to read and read, but you don't want it to end ...
Susan is making little hexie flowers (1/2" pieces),
and maybe reading a magazine or two ...
Julie is doing hand applique - but she has a machine
stitched project on the go too.
Elaine W is hand quilting a big quilt with lots of hand applique
as well - she will not run out of sewing this week!
If Helen has time for sewing over the next week or so, she
might be binding one of these large quilts that came back from
the long arm quilter last week.  The one in the top photos is made
largely from vintage fabrics, including some repurposed curtains.
The  floral stripe in the pieced backing (upper right) was
Helen's childhood bedroom curtains, made by her grandmother.