Saturday, December 31, 2011

Play isn’t just for children

Alfie Kohn's essay for The Big Think (3rd December 2011) on children and play is not about quilting, but this paragraph easily could be ... not that we need justify what we do, of course!

Play isn’t just for children. The idea of play is closely related to imagination, inventiveness, and that state of deep absorption that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi dubbed “flow.” Read virtually any account of creativity, in the humanities or the sciences, and you’ll find mentions of the relevance of daydreaming, fooling around with possibilities, looking at one thing and seeing another, embracing the joy of pure discovery, asking “What if….?” The argument here isn’t just that we need to let little kids play so they’ll be creative when they’re older, but that play, or something quite close to it, should be part of a teenager’s or adult’s life, too.[4]

Friday, December 30, 2011

Egyptian Tentmaker as historian

If you enjoyed this post about the tentmakers of Cairo, you might also be interested in this recent post from Jenny Bowker, telling the story of an unusually political piece very recently completed, and its sale to The Oriental Museum at the University of Durham (UK), where it will have a wide audience and protection.

In the tradition of the Bayeux Tapestry (link to Wikipedia entry includes an image of its full length) and other histories told through textiles?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Celebrate Hand Quilting: a new(ish) blog

As a complement to the modern Christmas tree quilts flagged here, Celebrate Hand Quilting has recently posted some more traditional Christmas quilts, including a very fine Christmas Baltimore.

This relatively new blog (dates from mid-November 2011) explores all aspects of hand quilting, across a range of quilt styles. An invitation to participate is open.  At least a couple of Australian contributors are listed already.

A static link is now added to the blogroll (right hand column).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Country Pickin's: Boxing Day sale

Country Pickin's at the Corner (at Dural) is having a Boxing Day Sale from Wednesday 28th  to Saturday 31st December.

Opening hours during the sale period:

Wednesday 28th December 9-30am—5pm

Thursday 29th December 9-30am—5pm

Friday 30th December 9-30am—5pm

Saturday 31st December 9am—4pm

(closed Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd January, regular business hours resume Tuesday 3rd)

30% off all bolted fabric and fat quarters.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Modern Christmas tree quilts

Here are some Christmas tree quilts, in a modern style, just to enjoy looking at for now ... it's a bit late to start making one for this year!

Nettaquilts Christmas Tree (FITF = Film in the Fridge, the well known blog of a modern quilter) 

Christmas cushion by Elsie's Girl (could easily be translated into a quilt ...)

EschHouse quilt appliqued Christmas tree

Moda Bake Shop Christmas Tree Quilt (the wondrously versatile half-square triangle ...)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Basting a quilt on a small(ish) surface

Access to large trestle tables (and the assistance of willing friends) for pin or thread-basting quilts is a great perk of belonging to Fairholme Quilters ... but do you struggle to layer and secure your quilts that just have to managed at home?  Maybe this blog will help:

MG Quilts posted this useful picture-tutorial a few weeks ago, showing an ingenious set-up for table-basting quilts at home without access to a large table, and without damaging a tabletop with basting pins or needles.  Beats kneeling on the floor and crawling (and trying to get up again ...)!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tentmakers of Cairo - interview and demonstration

Bonnie McCaffrey interviews Jenny Bowker and two of the Cairo tentmakers whose exhibition and sale of work Jenny organised at the Birmingham Quilt Festival earier this year.  Includes some footage of the men demonstrating their applique techniques, and lots of examples of the beautiful work.  Jenny gives valuable background information.  14 m 6 sec video.

You Tube link in case you have any difficulty with the embedded video.

(Thanks to Lisa Walton for the link)

A finish

Pam made her spicy X block top 2 years ago ...

... pieced a coordinating back, and has been carefully hand-quilting it. And on Tuesday evening this week, it was finished. The borders are constructed from the off cuts of the x-blocks.
Congratulations Pam - it's a beauty.

Earlier posts on X block quilts are here and here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A blog for the 'fabric obsessed'

If you would like to see a preview of many new fabric lines revealed to the industry at the recent Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Kim at True Up has a blog series just for you, here.

Another service that Kim provides via her blog is weekly 'sales alerts', usually published on Fridays, giving notice of fabric sales by independent fabric stores world-wide. 

tACTile online exhibtion

tACTile was founded in 2001 by a group of ACT-based textile artists to advance contemporary quiltmaking in Australia by exploring the opportunities of the art quilt.
tACTile comprises six members: Jenny Bowker, Dianne Firth, Helen Gray and Beth Miller, with Beth and Trevor Reid working together in partnership. All the artists are individually acknowledged as leaders in the field of contemporary quiltmaking at local, national and international levels.
tACTile home page

Their latest exhibition, elements is now online here. Several past series are also available to be viewed on the website.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A little tidying ...

... has been visited on the blog list in the right hand column, mostly additions:

The Color Collective provides examples of colour schemes that work, and would be useful for fabric choices, based on colour photographs.

Quiltville's Quips and Snips is Bonnie Hunter's blog - she is famous for her scrap quilts, annual mystery quilts (the 2011 event has just started!) and teaching across America.

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild is a new online group that has held one meeting, and is planning more. Lists more than 25 members' blogs for further reading and looking.

And if you've been following Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs blog, note that she is currently up to filler pattern no 344 - so just a few weeks from her goal!  Her post from yesterday (18th November) gives her take on the Modern Quilt movement, and an opportunity to see and display modern quilts.

Suggestions for additional entries in the blogroll are welcome!

Fabric sale alert: Country Pickin's at the Corner

Apologies for the late notice - Country Pickin's at Dural is having a three day sale from today (Saturday 19th November).

30% off full priced fabric from the bolt and fat quarters. 20% off kits.

Location:  Corner Q Business Centre, Shop 9/829 Old Northern Road DURAL NSW

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speaking of apps ...

... (as we were),  there is as yet a small number of apps that come up on a search of the Apple App Store (part of iTunes) for 'quilting' - but that will change.

The Robert Kaufman Fabrics 'QuiltingCalc' app ('The Quilter's Little Helper') looks like a useful place to start.  It allows you to calculate fabric requirements for eight steps of the quilt-making process, including top fabric, batting, backing fabric and binding yardage, converting between imperial and metric measurements, and calculating setting triangle sizes. It is free for both iPhone and iPad from the App Store, so definitely worth a look if you use an honeod or iPad.  Preview here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

V and A quilts online and an exhibition app

You might recall that a very significant and well-received exhibition of quilts from 1700 to 2010 was  held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London last year.  Here is the V & A's page about quilting - lots to see and read (photos, videos, articles, online exhibitions), and  many interesting links, including this one to an iPhone/iPad app of the 1700-2010 exhibition, that gives a spoken commnetary, some background video and close-up views (one blogger noted that the close-ups were better than the view she had at the actual exhibition, given the crowds it attracted, and the limited time for viewing it).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November exhibitions

If you are up for a day/weekend on the beautiful south coast, the Gerringong Quilt Show is on next weekend, 11th - 13th November 2011. Details on Template Free.

The 17th Annual Braidwood Quilt Event includes the Airing of the Quilts on Saturday 26th November (one day only), and a two day exhibition on 26th and 27th November 2011.

On the same weekend (26th and 27th November), Bungendore Quilters hold their exhibition, just up the road from Braidwood, so you could make a weekend of it.

Added Monday 7th November:
Campbelltown Quilters Show is also next weekend, 12-13th November, details here.

re Potato chip quilt, aka 1600 quilt: video

Here are two short videos showing how  the initial long (1600 inches if you use a whole jelly roll) strip becomes a quilt top ... in one instance, in 35 minutes (it was a race):

The second video shows the result when a spacer strip is used for a different overall effect:

Thanks to Dee on SCQuilters for the links.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

International Quilt Festival, Houston: award winners

The International Quilt Festival in Houston is in full swing (3 - 6 November).  The prizes have been awarded - the winning quilts can be seen online here.  Stunning quilts, as expected in a juried show of this calibre.

A 10 min video 'virtual tour' is here.  On the this page's side menu you will find links to other features, like the special exhibition - so much to see!

Among the Australian quilters attending and exhibiting are Lisa Walton from Dyed and Gone to Heaven (her blog is Fibre Inspirations) and Brenda Smith from Serendipity and the Art of the Quilt (and Twelve by Twelve), who will provide ongoing commentary through their blogs.

The Fall Quilt Market (an industry only event) has been in the same venue over the last few days - lots of blogging about new fabrics, new designs and gadgets are all over the 'blogoshpere'.

This is the description of the International Quilt Festival from their Facebook page, to give an idea of the scale of the event:

  The world's largest annual quilt show, sale, and quiltmaking academy.
Founded in 1974, the fall edition of International Quilt Festival is the largest annual quilt show, sale, and quiltmaking academy in the world. Dubbed "The World's Fair of Quilts," by Southern Living Magazine, the show attracts more than 55,000 people from around the globe to Houston, Texas each year.

Several thousand people participate in more than 350 classes, lectures, and special events, while close to 2,000 quilts, original cloth dolls, and art garments are featured in Festival's special exhibits. Retailers set up more than 1,000 merchant booths at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pens for marking quilts

A couple of our members have recently used these pens for marking quilting patterns on finished tops, and were pleased with the results.  The brand is Pilot FriXion Ball, and they have the words “remove by friction” on them. After making marks on fabric and sewing you just hold the steam iron about an inch away and shoot steam on them to make them disappear. Available in a range of colours, and cost about $5.50 each.

Pilot Pens Australia says they are available from Woolworths, Coles, Officeworks, Newsagent or through your corporate stationery supplier.  There is even one that supports breast cancer research.

The website includes a warning not to use the pens for signing cheques and other important documents ...

(Thanks Elaine and Dina for the information)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New quilt shop opened in Mona Vale

It's always good to know where the new shops are.  Here's a new one on the Northern Beaches.

Patchwork on Pittwater at Mona Vale was officially opened with a cocktail party last week:

Suite 28, 4th Floor 1 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale 2103

Tue - Sat: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Quilting and general sewing classes
Fabrics including Moda, Kaffe Fassett, Saffron Craig, Amy Butler Michael Miller
Distributor for Aurifil Threads

Phone 02 9999 6159

Also on Facebook - just search for 'patchwork on Pittwater'

Fabric sales next week (month)

Did you notice this on Quiltsmith's blog?

As ... Melinda is in Houston for about 4 weeks, with her blessing, we have put our 'Value Fabrics' on sale. For those of you who don't know, they are all the bolts of fabric in the cardboard boxes in our second room. The bolts are all unpinned and marked with a star sticker. Normally $13.50 per metre, starting today they are $8.00 per metre !!!!   For two weeks only, ending on Saturday 5th November. Minimum cut 0.5m (same as usual) and the sale is IN-STORE ONLY.

Come and pay us a visit and grab a bargain while you're at it. Go on know you want to.

And of course Tuesday is 1st November, so not only is it Melbourne Cup Day, but Craft Depot usually has a sale for all of November ...

Laments from a Quilter's Husband

You might (or might not) want to pass on this tongue-in-cheek (isn't it?) perspective ... 

There Will Be Pins: How to be a Quilter's Husband
Patrick Cook
So your wife is a quilter. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's a nice quiet hobby, conjuring up images of our sturdy pioneer mothers, keeping their families warm and creating beauty out of old shirts and printed feedbags. You think of plump grannies in rocking chairs, piecing a Log Cabin block by firelight, cat asleep at her feet. An idyllic picture, right?

A Disappearing 4 Patch demonstration

Speaking of the Disappearing 4 patch ... Lynette produced this top from a selection of donated fabric in the Community Quilts stash in quick time, and is now in the process of quilting it. She started with 6 1/2 inch squares, that readily produced a lap sized quilt. The background is actually a dark green, and the prints are range of greens, bluish greens and blues.  The overall effect is of mellow, quiet comfort.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Potato chip quilt (try to stop at one ...)

Other quilt designs are also sometimes called 'Potato Chip' (for the same reason), but this one seems to be the most common around the internet. Break out a jelly roll, or those 'spare' strips that have accumulated, choose a contrast fabric, and you'll have this quilt top ready in an afternoon.

Kay Sorenson of Quilts + Color shows a number of examples, and provides a tutorial here, under the title Sunrise-Sunset Quilt Tutorial.

Kay Sorenson's Sunrise-Sunset quilt top from her tutorial
(used with her kind permission - thanks Kay)

Disappearing 4 patch

Yes, you read that right, Disappearing 4 patch - different from a Disappearing 9 patch, but just as quick and interesting, and it gives a different block to work with.  Also called 4-to-9 patch.  Sally, at SewWonderful provides an excellent tutorial, and Joe Tulips has some nice blocks on display in this post

Sample of the finished block from Sally's online tutorial

And the size of both the starting squares and the distance from the middle seams for the cross cuts can be varied for different effects, and to finish with different sized blocks, just like the Disappearing 9 patch. You'll find lots of examples if you just Google "disappearing 4 patch".

Friday, October 14, 2011

Eastwood Patchwork Quilters

Annual Show and Tell

7.30 pm, Wednesday 26th October 2011

Baptist Church Hall
First Ave, Eastwood

Admission: $2 donation to the Cancer Council

Enquiries:  9874 6749

Members' show and tell

Louise designed and made a bright and beautiful wall hanging for a departing colleague - the border was cut with a wavy ruler and needle turn appliqued to the background.

Some of the flowers have embroidered detail


Jo made roll-up blackboard quilts for two colleagues' little girls - she even provided big chalk sticks in the pockets on the left, and a felt eraser on the right.  The blackboad section is fabric.

Dina's rich chocelate brown and cream is all pieced from half-square triangles - the interlinks are all in the placement and tonal value.

The border fabric gives the appearance of suede (it isn't!), and the quilting adds subtle texture.

For a complete change, Dina put her yo-yo maker to good use for this appealing doll for her little granddaughter who has been in hospital.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More from Tuesday nighters

Marijke's niece is expecting boy-girl twins in a couple of weeks - their quilts are ready, made to Robyn's pineapple log cabin pattern.  Machine quilted by Marijke.

And in her spare time, Marijke whipped up this elegant bag (If you look very closely you will see that the centres of some of the flowers are beaded).

Jill bought the green-with-black dots fabric about four years ago ... bit of a slow burner, machine quilted by Christy Wang, Quilting Treasures at Pymble.

Dina pieced the top of this very large quilt (the large compass like centres of the blocks are a print), took it the US on her recent holiday, where it was custom quilted (detail below). It is for her own bed.

After looking at all those quilts, we helped Dina decide on a quilting strategy for her next top, which has to be ready for her grandson's birthday very soon ...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild

A new blog has recently been established as the home base of the new Sydney chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild.

It is the very early stages of its development, but if you are interested in the modern quilting movement, this could be a good way of getting more involved.  A face-to-face meeting is planned for later this month, date and venue to be confirmed.

Here is an example of a Modern Quilt Guild challenge (from Ann Arbor, Michigan), using solid coloured fabrics only.

Two quilt shows next weekend

Template Free, the Quilters Guild of NSW blog has information about two quilt shows next weekend 7th - 9th October, one in Newcastle, and one in the Sutherland Shire

Click here for details of the shows.


Tuesday night group show and tell, from September

Pam is just finishing the binding on a quilt with lots of 'boy appeal' for her grandson.  She used fabrics from her stash that were all sorts of sizes and convinced them to play nicely together with a rich blue sashing. lots of fabrics for little boys to like, including a fabulous backing that didn't get itself in the photos!

Dina's recent trip to the US to visit her quilting sister Cindy involved lots of quilting activity.  She actually took the fabrics for this quilt with her! She had it quilted there, with a dragonfly design in places to echo the fabrics.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video of UK Festival of Quilts, Birmingham

Didn't get to Birmingham in August for the Festival of Quilts?

Bonnie McCaffrey has posted 2 You Tube videos showcasing the exhibition ... not the same as being there, but a visual feast nonetheless!

Each video is about 9 minutes, and quite fast-paced.  Bonnie talks to visitors and exhibitors, as well as showing the exhibits, with lots of close-ups.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


To finish off the winter, here are three stunning pieces from our members!

Pegasus is Susan's very FIRST attempt at foundation piecing!
Can you see how tiny some of the pieces are?
What will she be producing when she's a had a bit of experience?

Georgie's beautiful Cranes are also foundation pieced, with many tiny pieces.
Great perspective, and sense of flight..

Jo's Paris Street is based on a photo taken by her son when he was on a student exchange a couple of years ago.  It is finished just in time for his 21st birthday.

Can't you just see them all in our exhibition in April 2012?

Slow burners ...

Life in the slower lane has much to recommend it. 
These community quilts have been slowly developing to their full maturity ...

The garden version of our 2008 fabric challenge has been the work of many hands, and will now go to its home through one of our community quilts recipients. Some close ups of blocks in this quilt can be seen here. Its companion piece, the beach quilt was donated to the Far West Centre at Manly.

The four quilts below have been made over the last year, again by many hands, for Down Syndrome NSW, where they will be used in several of its programs for babies born with Down syndrome, and to make their families feel at home. 
Each one measures about 45" square.  They will be handed over to their new owners next week, where they will be used and washed often, and much appreciated.

The origins of this collection are described in this post.

Thanks to everyone who works on all our community quilts, donates fabric, and encourages our efforts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Canberra Quilters Exhibition: award winners

Photos of the 63 award winners from the 2011 Canberra Quilters Exhibition (held 11th - 14th August) can now be viewed on their website here.  Click on the photos to see an enlargement.

Congratulations to the winners - beautiful quilts.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BIG finish!

Jo's black, cream and vermilion quilt reaches the floor over a queen size bed - it's big!  And the blocks are proportionately large. 

They are set straight, not on point, and Jo used a quilt-as-you-go method to manage it's size. She has quilted an original design in a black and white variegated thread (which does not show up in the photo).