Thursday, October 31, 2013

Community quilting

 Click on the images for a closer look

In their book Spectacular Scraps,  Australian quilters Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe lay claim to 256 layout variations using half-square triangle blocks only.  There are probably more, but this lightening bolt or zig-zag is one of the most graphic.  Lynette quietly gathered a collection of light and dark blue fabrics from our community stash (with a few supplements from her own - rumour has it that she has some blue fabrics ...) cut 6 1/2 squares in pairs, to produce this beauty.  Lynette quilted it with a straight zig-zag echoing the piecing,  1" apart. It is bound, of course, in blue. There are at least 21 different blue prints - the counting became a little unreliable after that. 

Dawn does wonders with fabric strips - either cut-for-purpose or using
every little bit of scrap fabric that stitches can hold together.
The fabric's Dawn has chosen for this staggered stacks design give it an earthy, masculine air.
Now, how will she quilt it and bind it?

A very pink dazzler from the Serendipity Circles workshop.
Georgie donated the brighter pink fabric from her dressmaking days
... and then she used it herself after the workshop, marrying it up perfectly
with a multi-pink spot and plain whites from the community stash ...
Those smaller scale circles helped to use up every bit of fabric and
added depth to the design.

There was one block left over from the top, which lead to a fun, funky reverse.

Piecing, piecing, piecing ... quilting!

This free form bright pieced top is a little removed from Susan's usual work, although she is often adventurous ... she was worried about a family member's health at the time, and the easy technique and bright fabrics were a great distraction.

Dawn has been concerned about her sister's health too, 
and has stitched this cheery, but not-too-loud '1600' quilt for her.

This wall hanging is Pat's first foray into free motion quilting, and curved piecing - then she did the Serendipity Circles workshop ... great fabric selection for this design.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Award winners at International Quilt Festival, Houston

The award winners at the 2013 Quilts: A World of Beauty, the annual judged show of the
International Quilt Association, now on in Houston, Texas, have been announced, and can be seen online here.  Spectacular, as always.

Australian quilter Margo Hardie has won a Founders Award, and Rhonda Pearce has won first place in the Traditional Applique category. Jenny Bowker and Helen Godden have both received honourable mentions in art quilt categories.

Bloggers Quilt Festival, Fall 2013

Since 2009, Amy's Creative Side has staged an online quilt festival to coincide with twice-yearly large quilt markets and festivals in the US, each spring and fall.  The fall event occurs during the Houston market and quilt festival, and is online now.  A full description of the festival, how to participate, viewers' choice awards and sponsorships are here. Usual warning - by tomorrow, when entries close, there will be hundreds of quilts to look at, so don't look if you are short of time!

Quick links to the quilt categories : 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A little shopping was done ...

We are fortunate that much of the fabric we use to make the quilts we give to community-based causes each year (more than 60 in the 2012 - 2013 committee year), is donated from various sources, to our 'community stash'.  And members often dip into their own stashes for a little extra to 'finish off' a quilt in just the way they want.  That generosity means that we only need to buy a little fabric, to fill in gaps in our stash each year, and we source those fabrics almost entirely at sales, or at reduced prices - we are thrifty.

Yesterday,  we took our annual group bus trip to visit some fabric shops outside of our immediate area, and used the opportunity to top up the community stash while we were out.

These little stacks of goodness came from a recent fabric sale at Greta's Handcraft Centre in Lindfield (the ones on the left) and from yesterday's excursion to the Northern Beaches on the right. We needed some contemporary brights and solids to enhance the prints we already have stashed.
The purple and white fabric on the top of the left hand stack was donated by a member  - it will appear in a quilt to be revealed shortly.
The two community quilts that are propping up the fabric stacks will be photographed flat when the very welcome breeze we have now calms down.

Our destinations yesterday were Cottage Quiltworks at Warriewood, and Patchwork on Pittwater at Mona Vale.  Both had impressive (but different) ranges including contemporary and more traditional prints, and reproduction collections, all high quality fabric from well known designers. Well worth the trip, and it will probably lead to many return visits from those of us who had not visited before.

Thanks to Chris at Warriewood and Robyn at Mona Vale and their staff for their warm welcome to a determined bunch of shoppers. Many, many parcels came home with us. We recommend both.

Lunch at Pittwater RSL Club was a welcome break, and set us up for a stop at Edo Arts at Terrey Hills (Japanese antiques, kiminos and some textiles), and a final call at Belrose SupaCentre where we headed for Spotlight and Lincraft

By the time we returned to Beecroft, most of us were well and truly shopped out and ready for a quiet night in!

Of course getting 24 quilters (and one husband who came along for the ride), a coach and driver all in the same (and right) place at the right times throughout the day, with good food and drinks provided at appropriate intervals, did not happen by magic ... thank you Georgie for organising us, and Phyl and Ben (our driver) from Kiama Scenic Tours, for such a good day.  And it was all helped by the fact that Phyl, who is one of the principals of KST is Georgie's quilting sister,  not only coordinated the transport, but came along for the shopping. 

A little personal stash building from Patchwork on Pittwater on the left, and from Cottage Quiltworks on the right, just in case you haven't seen enough fabric today ...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NSW bushfire appeals

Appeals to assist those affected by the current NSW bushfire emergency that will particularly attract quilters and knitters, so far include:
  • The Knitters Guild of NSW - is appealing for knitted squares. Volunteers are ready to sew them together into blankets.  Click here for details of what is needed, and delivery.
  • Tracey Greenaway of Cook, Quilt Crochet, is organising a quilt drive through Springwood Salvation Army Quilters.  The blog covers details, including an information day that has been postponed form today until next Thursday, 31st October.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creative Dabbling and Textile Tidings

Speaking of Sydney quilter, writer and editor, Erica Spinks (as we were in this post on Gwen Marston), her blog Creative Dabbling has long been a favourite. Recently Erica initiated a regular 'Textile Tuesday' post compiling her posts on textile (not necessarily quilt) matters and events from her Textile Tidings community Facebook page.
Image used with permission

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fabric sale: Greta's Handcraft, Lindfield

Greta's Handcraft Centre at Lindfield is selling out all of its quilting fabric stock at significant reductions:
Starting at 40% off per metre
60% off for the complete bolt
Includes Phillip Jacobs, Anna-Maria Horner, Amy Butler, lots of Kona solid cottons.
321 Pacific Highway, Lindfield, New South Wales 2070
Phone: (02) 9416 2489

Friday, October 18, 2013

Queensland Quilters exhibition 2013 - awards, and a theft

The Queensland Quilters Exhibition is is session now, in Brisbane.  Award winning quilts can be viewed on their website now.

Immediately after the awards presentation, it was discovered that one of the award winners, a small art quilt, Feathers Unfolded by Brenda Wood, had been stolen from the wall!  It measures 73cm x 43 cm An appeal for information from anyone who sees the quilt is circulating online, along with photos of the stolen quilt. Anyone with information is asked to contact Queensland Quilters.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Textile events during Hornsby Festival of the Arts

Hornsby Shire's Festival of the Arts ... an annual celebration of the local visual, performing and literary arts .... includes several textile related events, such as exhibition, workshops and markets, including some  staged by The Australian Textile Arts and Surface Design Association (ATASDA) and the Embroiderers Guild - you really need to  download the whole event schedule to see all that might interest you between 25th October - 1 December 2013.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Like a wheel within a wheel ...

Three of us chose similar fabric kits at the Serendipity Circles workshop early last month, and pooled our efforts to make enough blocks for a quilt top that will be donated to a community project.  Miriam (whose corgi seems to approve!) sewed them together and quilted and bound it.

... Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel

As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Windmills of your mind, theme song for The Thomas Crown Affair, 1968
Music: Michel Legrand; Lyrics (English): Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman

We will have more circle quilts to share after our community sewing day this week ... will they evoke songs from our youth too? Suggestions welcome ...

Please, DO touch the quilt ...

We have been making lap quilts for the residents of a local nursing home for some time, and they are very well received.

Some time ago, the staff asked if we could make a quilt that would provide tactile stimulation  for residents with dementia, to be used in diversional therapy.  We gave it a lot of thought, to come up with blocks with a variety of textures and other tactile features, without being too demanding on diminishing fine motor skills.

This quilt, made from our first nine 'tactile' blocks, has been made up to approximately 50 " square with a bright, cheerful sashing - we hope it fulfils the brief!

The blocks are straight, the wonkiness is the photos is an artefact of the hanging conditions. Here are some details about the individual blocks:

Elaine W's corn cob block zips open to reveal the quilted corn niblets, while its silk is actually Perle cotton thread
Is Georgie's cat-on -the-mat asleep?  His fur is very soft and strokeable.
Miriam's felt bird has a soft, furry nest decorated with dangling felt balls.  His tail feathers are not sewn down
Helen's cat is definitely awake! His red ribbon is silky to the touch, and he has a bell around his neck
Robyn L's block is all texture - silky satin, tulle, fine and coarser fleece squares are tied with perl cotton, and buttons of different shapes.
Robin S's block incorporates several textures - the little girl's curls made from doll's hair, the lace ruffles on her hat and skirt, the ribbons and three dimensional embroidered flowers, blanket stitch, the felt dogs.  So much to see and touch.
Elaine W also made this little dress and apron block - it has ric-rac and lace trimming, the gathered apron can be lifted and pleated, and the gathered top edge is highly tactile.
Sue C's flower petals are anchored only by the buttons.  The flannel reverse can be felt when the petals are lifted. The centre circle has a silky texture.
Roslyn's nautical ticking block centre has a coarser texture than its tropical flavoured border, and added tactile elements in the the piped ridges and cord loops.
Thanks to all who contributed blocks, put the blocks and sashing together, quilted and bound our first tactile quilt (and to Brendan for the photos).

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Barn Quilters Show, Mosman - next weekend

19th and 20th October 2013

The Barn, Mosman (next to the ferry wharf)
... details, a photo of the raffle quilt and a map are all here.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Intersection: noun \ˌin-tər-ˈsek-shən: the place or point where two or more things come together (Merriam-Webster)

Crossovernoun \ˈkrȯs-ˌō-vər\: a change from one style or type of activity to another (Merriam-Webster)

... we know many quilters knit and crochet (we've seen you doing it!), so it's likely you'll get a kick out of this knitted hexagon blanket from ColoridoDelectico.  If you are drawn to rainbow colours, all the better. You need to sign up (free) to Ravelry to access the pattern.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Art quilt wins world's biggest art competition

Ann Loveless's large four-panel art quilt, "Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore" has won the $US200,000 open ArtPrize, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The innovative competition is on a grand scale - the total prize pool is $US560,000, and the event spans several venues. It is the first time that a textile work has won what is said to be the world's largest art prize. The major prize was voted for by the public.   Read about the ArtPrize process here.

This news article from MLive/Grand Rapids Press includes an interview with Ann Loveless, and close-up photos of Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nicely said ... and a beautiful quilt

Mary Fons (one of the Fonses of Fons and Porter) on why sometimes 'a quilt is just the thing', even for a technophile, at Paper Girl ... and there is a gorgeous quilt to look at too:

You Can’t Wrap a Baby In an iPad: Why Quilts (Still) Matter
... Technology is galloping away with us all and I’m riding bareback with all my quilter friends who, you could argue, are more digitally connected than other hobbyists — we have pictures of quilts to share, online bees; the entire Modern Quilt Guild “movement” was born online. But all the binary code on the planet can’t comfort a baby like wrapping it up in a quilt ...

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Quiltsmith at Annandale has announced a Spring Sale - 25% off all fabric, in store and online, from today (5th October) until 26th October. Melinda says they are drowning in fabric as new stock arrives!

Spotlight stores are having a 2 day fabric sale (including quilting fabric) - 30% off fabric and 25% off wadding, 5th and 6th October only.  Spotlight is also holding a Quilting Expo today:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pictures from some exhibitions

Some highlights from Cherrybrook Quilters 2013 show, posted by Cottage Quiltworks, at Warriewood. A link to this blog has been added to the blog roll in the right hand column of this page. Images of lots of new fabrics are posted as they arrive ... a useful preview in the lead up to our annual bus trip later this month, when we will be visiting Cottage Quiltworks.

Tentmakers of Chareh El Khiamiah, exhibition at the Egyptian Embassy in Canberra - 8 images from MG Stills.

Northwest Quilting Expo: Vancouver Modern Steals the Show
Bill Volckening, Wonky World, 21st September 2013
Elegant quilts from the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild highlighted the Northwest Quilting Expo this weekend at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center. These beautiful modern quilts were simply exquisite, and offered an excellent sampling of an aesthetic that's taken the quilt world by storm ...

Another interesting blog to follow, but be careful - Wonky World could really lure you in with its posts about new and old quilts, and Bill Volckening's  private collection! A link to this one has also been added to the Blogroll (right hand column of this page).