Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sydney Quilt Show 2020 cancelled

Message from the QuiltNSW Committee, 12 July 2020

The Committee has carefully considered the Sydney Quilt Show 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and has decided not to go ahead with it. This does not mean that the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair is also cancelled. At this stage, Expertise Events is still planning to hold the Fair from 29 October – 1 November 2020.

There are many reasons for our decision.

Firstly, BERNINA Australia, the principal sponsor of the Best of Australia Award has recently announced there will be no Best of Australia award for 2020. The quilts judged as Best of Show in each state and territory during 2019 will be held over until 2021. There will be no BERNINA Best of Show winners during 2020. This is a significant change to the nature of the competition we offered member entrants back in March.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many other changes and considerable uncertainty still remains. The Committee did not want to commit member funds and considerable time by members to planning and preparing for the 2020 Show that could not be guaranteed to go ahead. We considered it prudent to cancel now before further funds and volunteer resources were committed.

Most importantly, the Committee is concerned for the health and wellbeing of members during the preparation, installation, and management of our Show. We considered how we could undertake this safely, and we came to the conclusion that it would not be reasonable nor responsible to ask our members to volunteer their time.

The ramifications of this decision are as follows:

The raffle will not go ahead this year but instead be held at the Sydney Quilt Show 2021 and all subsequent raffle quilts will be held a year later than planned.

We will contact Sydney Quilt Show 2020 entrants soon regarding the return of their entry fees.

Whilst you, like the Committee, are no doubt disappointed that the Sydney Quilt Show will not take place in 2020, we hope you understand the difficult decision we have had to make.

We know that there will be a time when we can return safely to the events and activities that we love as quilters. We are already making plans for what we hope will be an exciting 2021!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Reading and viewing, quilts and other things

Lots of lovely and useful things to look at in these links about sewing, textiles and quilts ...

Hand Sewing Needle Size Guide - Type, Length
John James Needles (UK)
A comprehensive guide to hand sewing needles, free to download, images are at actual size when printed at A4. 

Kimono: Kyoto to catwalk at the V and A, in pictures
Zoe Paskett, The Standard, 21 May 2020
The V and A museum is giving viewers a second chance to see its acclaimed exhibition all about the history of kimonos. 
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk opened at the end of February but had to close just two weeks later due to the lockdown. 
The museum has now released a series of five videos taking viewers on a 30-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition, led by curator Anna Jackson ...
Paul Nero, Radio Exe (UK) 25 May 2020
The Devon County Show may have been cancelled this year, but its Guinness World Record attempt for a length of knitted bunting has knocked the socks off previous record holders. In fact, it has almost doubled the previous puny length held by Upton House of 31,119 flags, measuring 7.5km in length ...

Log Cabin, Pineapple variation
Anna Hazel Burmeister
Circa 1894, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Jill Kaufman,  New England Print Radio, 29 May 2020 
... Since quilting is a tactile medium, Tarr said, it's hard to do on a video chat — though some quilting groups are managing to gather. While sewing may be solitary, people do get together to do it. 
“There is a community of quilters that's really missing each other right now,” she said ...

Gees Bend Quiltmakers
Souls Grown Deep
... Gee’s Bend quilts carry forward an old and proud tradition of textiles made for home and family. They represent only a part of the rich body of African American quilts. But they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the extent of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement, the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few places elsewhere have works been found by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family, or works that bear witness to visual conversations among community quilting groups and lineages. Gee’s Bend’s art also stands out for its flair—quilts composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometries that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants ...

Exquisite 2300-Year-Old Scythian Woman’s Boot Preserved in the Frozen Ground of the Altai Mountains
Open Culture, 22 June 2020
Nomads do not leave many traces, but when the Scythians buried their dead they took care to equip the corpse with the essentials they thought they needed for the perpetual rides of the afterlife.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Community quilts

We have been able to hand over the first donation of quilts to an aged care centre for the first time in several months. The collection is rapidly rebuilding as members sew their way through quarantine, and we expect to be able to resume our monthly sewing days in July. Here are just a few more community quilts in progress and finished, we know there are more ...

Helen found a good supply of small scale florals in
her stash for a pretty square-in-a-square quilt

Sue finished off a top started late last year, using the
 feature fabric left over from an earlier community quilt.

Janet had a large scrap basket of blues and creams to
 draw on - and she still does!

And a lovely finish from Helen, ready to be handed over
next week, at our first sewing day for six months.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Quarantine Quilting (7)

A wonderful array of works in progress ...

Sue's very big teacup quilt is nearly done - all hand quilted
 except the final few inches of the last border that will
be done after the knife edge is complete.
Jenn's baby quilt top is for a little one approaching her
second birthday - made with half-square triangles left over
from her parents' wedding quilt. Pinwheels for the win!

Janet is ploughing through her unfinished projects,
including this lovely ‘Jamestown Landing’,
designed by Bonnie Hunter.
Janet pieced the crane blocks by hand,
but ran out of the small scale Japanese prints
she wanted to use to turn them on point ...
... until Noelle came to the rescue from her extensive 
Japanese stash, handed over at a welcome 
socially distanced coffee catch up.
Daphne is making good progress on her red and white quilt,
with clever cross blocks as counterpanes.
Jill found a 12 " remnant of the trippy 70s-ish
print in a local quilt shop about ten years ago, and
prevaricated about what to do with it. It took
quarantine for it to be made into a quilt top.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Quilt Stories: a You Tube playlist by Lisa Walton

Have you ever looked at a stunning, award winning quilt and wondered 'how on earth was that done?'

During quarantine, textile artist LisaWalton has created a You Tube Playlist called Quilt Stories - substantial interviews with award winning quilters, about the making of their iconic quilts. Videos range from 22 to 46 minutes - lots to listen to see, to enjoy, and generously made freely available. You can subscribe to the You Tube series, or follow Lisa on Facebook to see when new videos are released.

Come and meet Sue de Vanny and hear about her Reflections quilt.

Margaret Solomon Gunn talking about her award winning Value of Violet. Grab a coffee and enjoy it. Lots more fabulous interviews coming soon.

Quilting rockstar Ricky Tims about his Northern Lights quilt which has a beautiful and emotional memory for him.

Jenny Bowker’s powerful award winning quilt After the Last Sky. An incredible emotive story inspiring an iconic quilt.

Peter Byrne who recently won Best of Show at QUILTCON 2020, and another major award with his first ever major show entries. Wonderful story.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Beautiful recent quilt finishes

These quilts have recently been finished by Fairholme members, but not all made during quarantine. We know there are many more that we haven't even seen photos of yet ...

Lyn made this beauty for our  postponed 2020 Quilt Show.
It is for her daughter, who will treasure it.

It was good to hear at yesterday's Zoom meeting that
Marilyn has been able to deliver her beautiful Storm at Sea
quilt to her son for a big birthday, and a very welcome family
catch up in the Far West.
Just brilliant Marilyn! 
Expertly quilted by Yvette Aoude.

Jenn's 'Aviatrix III', aka the 'Winter Aviatrix'.
Made for a friend’s wedding, which was now years
ago (because you can’t rush these things).
Jenn made a 'Fledgling' playmat/baby quilt for her friends
whose wedding quilt was Aviatrix III (above). She used a wedge
ruler, the colourful offcuts, and a season of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'
to get this little one done!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Quarantine quilting (6)

We are still meeting only on Zoom, but as quarantine restrictions ease we are anticipating at least some gathering being possible during July, as our venues put precautions in place. Meanwhile, we keep in touch as we can, and sew on ...

Helen is trialling a bag design with pleats.
... and cats!

Victoria sewed a cloth book during one of our evening group
Zoom meetings - a quicker alternative to a baby quilt.

See the inside pages in Victoria's video.

Lyn's scrappy blue 'Winding Ways' quilt is all finished
and gorgeous. But like many of us, she says the scrap
collection has not reduced at all.

Light bulb moment!
During one of our Zoom meetings, Sue S told us about using a curved felt shape as a template for hand quilting, which has no need for marking. It seemed so logical - why hadn't we thought of it? This video shows Wendi Gratz's method.

Monday, June 15, 2020

New 2021 date for AQC

IntoCraft posted on Facebook and on Instagram on 15 June 2020:
It is with great disappointment that we announce the further reschedule of the 2020 edition of the Australasian Quilt Convention – due to take place in August 2020. 
With no certainty over time frame for review of the ratio for mass gatherings due to government restrictions, we are left with no choice but to reschedule to April 15 to 18, 2021.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New quilts from Sew Miriam

Following the ongoing success of her 2019 'SuperStars' pattern, Miriam's designer skills have been in overdrive during quarantine, with four new quilt tops finished so far, ready for a big quilting session when basting space is available (and she won't be alone there. We've previewed them as the backdrop for our large group Zoom meetings over the last few weeks, as works in progress. Look out for them as patterns and/or classes in the coming months.

This one, in Miriam's favourite colour of red is personal
- it is for Miriam's daughter Hannah, who already loves it.

Miriam has been catching up with movies and reading as well
as designing and making quilts - this one is 'Little Women'.
If you have read Louisa May Alcott's book, or have seen any
of the movie versions, you will immediately recognise why.
'Pride and Prejudice', for the Jane Austen fans.

'Rebecca'  (Daphne Du Maurier) is just waiting for a border 
(and some blocks made from the left over narrow strips 
have already been spotted).

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Quarantine quilting (5)

We've seen such beautiful hand stitch during our Zoom meetings, and on Instagram, perhaps there will be even more now that we are in winter and less time will be spent in our gardens ...

Janice's pretty, delicate  'Essential Sewing Wrap
is made from Zoe Mayson's pattern ...

... using lovely Liberty fabrics

... with useful  pockets and devices inside.
Just beautiful!

Have you seen cuter Easter chocolate bags
than these made by Louise?

Sue is feeling a great sense of achievement having
finished two hand pieced quilt tops ...
... both started one ago, one in 2011 !
Jill hand pieced the blocks for Jen Kingwell's
'Steam Punk' quilt, and assembled the top
by machine. Choosing the four fabrics from
her stash for each block was fun.
Louise has been following along with an
embroidery project by Sue Spargo

These little designs are about 1 1/4" across!

Lots of new stitches to learn.

An earlier finish by Louise - hand quilting a baby quilt
made in collaboration with her daughter Elle.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

COVID 19 quilt project

While many of us are continuing to stitch, quilt, knit, embroider, crochet and work on other crafts during quarantine for the COVID19 pandemic, the Covid 19 Global Quilt project is an Instagram initiative focussing on crafters activities especially during and in response to the pandemic. If you are an Instagrammer you might be interested in either seeing what others have posted, or in contributing to it yourself.

The project was launched by Kate Just @katejustknits and Tal Fitzpatrick @talfitzpatrick - artists and craftivists living and working in Melbourne, Australia, when they posted on 4 April:

'We are excited to launch our Covid 19 Global Quilt project @covid19quiltWe invite textile contributions from people all around the world that reflect on the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the world, your lives, families, work, jobs, relationships, health and more. At a time when most of us are advised not to touch anyone or anything, and gathering in groups is no longer possible, we wanted to create a project that allows people to experience the sense of a joining a quilting bee or knitting circle. Working with our hands makes us feel calm, focussed and gives us a sense of purpose. We all need that right now. 
You don’t need to be an artist or experienced crafter to participate and we welcome submissions from people of all ages. In keeping with the times, you can make your square from whatever textile materials you have around the house already that are suited to the task! 
If you have already made a textile work about Covid-19 or would like to make a new textile square for this project, we would welcome these at @covid19quilt! Please check out project info in Story Highlights (on the @cid19quilt homepage - the purple icon in the screenshot below) and start sending us your responses via direct message!
And please let us know if you are willing to share and help us translate the project instructions in languages other than English! 
We can’t wait to see what this will bring! '
#covid19quilt #covid19crafts #isolationcreation #covid19 #knitting #sewing #pandemic #quiltingbee

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Quarantine quilting (4)

We held our second large group Zoom meeting this week, and it went well. We have learned where our microphones and video icons are, and we could see and hear everyone! It's not the same as meeting face-to-face, but better than not meeting at all. We're getting better at holding our work up high enough for others to see!

There continues to be quite a bit of sewing going on - here are some recent finishes and works in progress ...

Jo has finished machine and hand quilting her beautiful
blue quilt (design and fabric by Brigitte Heitland @zenchicmoda).

Jo acquired a very cute little kitten not so long ago
... guess who uses the quilt?
Marilyn made the perfect quilt for her little great
granddaughter, who lives on an emu farm!

Daphne continues to work her way through her
substantial collection of scraps!

And Daphne is still adding to her red and
white 6" blocks - almost there!
Julie does a lot of machine applique and has great skills
- she describes her 'Contantinople' quilt as the most difficult
she has ever done. But the top is finished, beauitfully.

Once Constantinople was conquered, Julie
finished off her dragon flies quilt ...

... and fussy cut leftover crane fabric from an earlier quilt for this one.