Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New designs in wider fabrics

Image: Pixabay
Who doesn't (at least sometimes) like the convenience of being able to make the back of a larger quilt without having to join the fabric? So it's good to see an increasing choice of wider width fabrics on sale. Have you seen these recent releases?

Riley Blake Designs, each in two-colour combinations, multi-colours and a few monochrome prints
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Moda makes a variety of wide fabric, including
All of these are available from Australian suppliers, and online.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What would be your '100 things every quilter should do' ?

A little idleness for the possibly idle days between Christmas and New Year ...

This list of '100 Things Every Quilter Should Do', compiled by Dianne Harris at Quiltmaker Blog, has been circulating the internet over the last few weeks.

 How would you tweak it as an Australian quilter ... or would you leave it as is?  How many have you already ticked off?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Free online tutorials ideal for summer holidays

Visit Fresh Lemons (a blog by Faith from Chicago - a quilter, writer and designer) who along with her quilting business services, is involved in community projects and offers a range of free online patterns, and quilt-along activities.  Two that might catch our interest at this time of year are:
  • Solstice Stars Series - 5 block tutorials for new star block designs (originally posted in January - February 2012)
    Fresh Lemons Quilts Solstice Stars Series

  • Summer Sampler Series - a quilt along based on 12 blocks in Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns (originally posted June - August 2011)
Fresh Lemons Quilts

Friday, December 20, 2013

More classes for 2014

More teachers and quilt stores finalising their class schedules for next year. 

This week's postings:
Quiltsmith - Annandale 
Kim Bradley Creations - Castle Hill 
And last week's, in case you missed them: 
Material Obsession - Drummoyne 
Lisa Walton - Dyed and Gone to Heaven

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quilts ... circles ... curves

There's been some talk and photos about circles in quilts and curved piecing on this blog lately.  Of course we are not the only ones interested in piecing outside the square, curves featuring in quilts through the ages, and across the spectrum of utility to art quilts.  Here are some recent striking examples of quilters' fascination with curves ...

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's all relative ...

Phil Plait's graphic explanations of this example of the Cornsweet Illusion  and this this blue and green spiral will resonate with quilters, and anyone working with colour, values, tones and tints.

Take the simple test and see how our eyes (or is it our brains?) deceive us in the Cornsweet example. We've all seen the Cornsweet Illusion at work in quilts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More diary dates/events for 2014

Is your 2014 diary filling up already?

  • Material Obsession's list of classes, workshops and special events for 2014 are now on their website, here.
Some new classes have been added to the program, including machine quilting with Deborah Louis and screen printing with Saffron Craig. 
  • Lisa Walton (Dyed and Gone to Heaven)'s teaching schedule for 2014 is available online here. Events include face to face workshops and online courses, beginning in January 2014.

2014 Pantone colour of the year

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2014 has been announced - it is PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid. 

Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.  Pantone, December 2013

Previous colours of the year are here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

New fabric range from Australian designer

Victorian designer and quilter Emma Jean Jansen's first fabric range, Terra Australis, for fabric company Ella Blue, is due to be released in shops this month.  There are eight designs, each in up to six colourways.

You can see the designs on the Charles Parsons website here, and on the Scrapbag blog here.

Photos of sample quilts made from the range are on Emma Jean Jansen's Facebook page.

Emma Jean Jansen has added a page listing Australian shops stocking her fabric and patterns, to her website here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

20 + 3 = 23

Those twenty community quilts ready to be delivered before Christmas just grew to twenty three with some unexpected finishes from the very productive team of Lynette and Dawn, who rarely let a deadline stand in their way. We don't know how they do it, but we are very grateful that they do.

Lynette found this batik panel and the outer border fabric in the community stash.  She enlisted Dawn to quilt it and bound it, all in the very short time since since our last community quilts day. 
The third small(ish) quilt re-engineered from a much larger one that was surplus to Lynette's requirements - the geometry of how they emerged from the original remains a mystery. Its scrappy binding is a perfect compliment to the charm-square blocks.
These pretty and calm disappearing four patches were a loose collection of blocks last time we saw them on Lynette's work table at that last community quilts sewing day. Lynette has echo quilted the seam lines, and bound it in a toning blue print.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Catvent quilt-along: 'It's like an advent calendar . . . with cats.'

Just because so many quilters seem to like cats, here is  Catvent, a quilt-along from Elizabeth Hartman at Oh Fransson!  that might interest you.  Scroll down to 29th November for the first post.

It is planned as one small pieced block each day during December, but it will remain on the blog so that you can pick it up later if life is too busy now. Maybe during January if you are in Australia and are lucky enough to have a long summer break?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Modern Christmas Quilts 2013

A post of modern Christmas quilt links is now customary here, having been very popular with readers for the last two years, so here is  our third annual selection from this year's blog surfing:

Modern Quilted Christmas Runner, So Fresh Quilts

Modern Patchwork: Winterkist Rapid City Quilt Finished, Oh Fransson!

That might be enough for now ... if you enter 'modern Christmas quilts' into your search engine and select the 'images' option, you will find many more.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fairholme members' show and tell

Click on an image for a larger view.

Georgie has discovered a love for circles and curved piecing - she made these blocks with a beautiful selection of green and blue batik fabrics left over from some earlier Jinny Beyer quilts.  She used a circle template, but sewed the curves without pinning.
Georgie's table runner is made with fabrics bought in Japan, including some vintage fabrics.  It will be placed under a bonsai pot.
Susan's large quilt  with octagon blocks is finished -  
She has quilted it herself, cutting the backing in one big piece, with the top completely joined, but cut the wadding into thirds, and then quilted sections, making it easier to manage the large quilt 'sandwich' through the throat of her machine.  
Close up of one of Susan's octagon blocks.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sorted: twenty quilts ...

... for delivery to three community organisations before Christmas.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Serendipity Circles progress ... almost done!

One set of Serendipity Circles * blocks remains to be put together (it's in progress), that will make a total of 8 quilts donated to the community collection. Most of the fabrics came from the community stash, which proved to be an excellent strategy for both the workshop and for the community quilts project. 

Margaret used her much appreciated colour and design skills to layout this collection of blocks made by various people in our Serendipity Circles workshop, which were then sewn together and quilted by Georgie. Pam hand-sewed the binding. 
Georgie made several of these blocks at the workshop, added some made by others, made the smaller circles to  fit the spaces, then quilted and bound the resulting top. This is the third Serendipity Circles quilt that Georgie has completed ... she thinks she will move onto something else for a while, but she is still interested in exploring curved piecing possibilities, techniques and designs.
Roslyn's Serendipity Circles grew more complex and painterly, with up to four rings, incorporating some of her own stash fabrics.  She 'sized it up' with fabrics selected from the community stash and has donated it as community quilt.

Elaine W took on the task of wrangling this collection of blocks from the workshop  into a cohesive quilt - it looks great!  Those vibrant colours and the bold design will appeal to an older child or teen.

These three have been posted on the blog earlier:

* Serendipity Circles is a workshop offered by Brenda Gael Smith, at Serendipity Patchwork and Quilting

Friday, November 22, 2013

Last community quilts sewing day for 2013 (2)

Some of the quilts donated through our community project originate in members' personal fabric collections, and come to us at various stages of completion:

This distinctly Robin W top (saturated colours of Kaffe Fasset fabric and a vibrant field fabric) was quilted by Susan for donation to the community collection.

The enormous quilt Lynette made in this deceptively simple pattern created by half-square triangles and squares using a very large assortment of charm squares turned out to be surplus to her needs, so she has cleverly re-engineered it into two lap sized, and one smaller quilt for the community collection. Our contribution will be to sew labels on them!
Robyn T has an excellent eye for fabric selection - she chose small scale florals, dots and other 'blender' prints from her own stash to create this very sweet 16 patch top.  When she donated it to the community quilt project, Elaine W completed the quilting and binding.

Last community quilts sewing day for 2013 (1)

Yesterday was our last monthly sewing day for the year, working on our community quilts donation project. It has been a very productive year - many quilts made and in the making, many generous donations of fabric, quilt tops, completed tops and fabric ... and many hours of sewing and a planning to ensure that the resulting quilts get to their eventual owners. It really is a group effort, and we thank everyone who has contributed.

We will now take our customary summer break, but it is clear from yesterday's activities that some work will continue during the summer, and new quilts will appear before we officially begin again in February.

Click on an image for a closer view.

We did lots of this yesterday ... Dawn has made six quilt tops from a large collection of plaid fabrics generously donated by Helen, supplemented by some from the community stash, and some from her own. Two baby quilts and a top completed by Lynette were also in this production line. Dawn plans to get a good deal of quilting done over the summer break, so layering and pin basting was the order of the day for her. We appreciate her energy, resolve, willingness and skill!
As well as pin-basting, it was a day for sewing on labels and a hanging sleeve, selecting  and making up backing and binding fabrics for another six tops that have been completed from the community stash or donated by members, catching up with photographing completed quilts, and sorting them for deliveries before the end of the year ... and a quick tutorial on a disappearing 4 patch block!

These star blocks were made by Fairholme members as a Christmas challenge last year, which has yielded this second quilt for a child. The challenge to members was to make a 12 " star block, using any star pattern and any fabric. The challenge for Elaine W who put the blocks together, quilted and bound them, was to make them work together. Her selection of a chartreuse and white sashing paired with aqua cornerstones and binding is brilliant.

Surprisingly, this sashing fabric has been one of the most versatile in our community stash ... it has all been used now, but we found a similar one in a recent sale and snapped it up.

Lyn donated the top of this  quilt that she made some time ago and didn't finish - Lynette took on the challenge of finding complimentary borders in the community stash, and quilted and bound it. Our healthy plaid stash often comes in handy for such tasks.

A collection of fabric panels was donated recently - Roslyn selected this alphabet, and again raided the plaids successfully for borders to produce a quilt for a child.
Elaine W chose another stash favourite, the red print to border this cute panel for a child.
This panel print is a series of fantasy cottages in serene colours and backgrounds, and was large enough not to need borders. Lynette quilted and bound it for a good sized lap-quilt.

This bright quilt is also a panel print - Dawn joined two panels together, and added borders.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The story of ... ‘an army blanket thing in the cupboard’ ...

A lovely story of quilt having served its purpose in war, eventually returning 'home' because it fell into the hands that could get it there.  Click through the six photos via the links underneath the first one:

First World War quilt returns … almost 100 years later
Ted Brown, Independent Free Press (Canada)
7th November 2013

The year was 1915.

Like the rest of the British Commonwealth, Canada was at war, as countless soldiers were shipped overseas to fight the enemy on the trenched battlefields of Europe.

Back home in Georgetown, various groups were thinking of ways to support those who had signed up and marched off to that faraway war in Europe.

The Georgetown Women’s Institute (WI) decided to create a quilt for those soldiers who had been wounded and were recuperating in hospital in England.

The quilters would never have guessed that nearly 100 years later their labour of love would find its way home ...
read the whole story and see the photos here.

(Thanks to Judy B for posting the link to the Southern Cross Quilters Yahoo Group)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kim Bradley Creations - grand store opening, Castle Hill

Well known quilter and teacher Kim Bradley has been setting up her new store at Castle Hill (Sydney), and is having a Grand Opening Day this coming Saturday, 23rd November.

Kim stocks patchwork fabric, is a Bernina dealer and long arm quilter, and is offering a range of classes with a diverse lineup of tutors in her new teaching space - a welcome new addition to the northern/north western Sydney scene.

All details about the business and the opening event are on the website and/or Facebook page (the Facebook page is good for lots of photos and updates).

Monday, November 18, 2013

For a rainy afternoon ...

There is no chance of the planned outdoor quilt photography happening here in northern Sydney today ... it has been bucketing rain for days, and doesn't look like stopping any time soon.  Looking around the blogosphere for some indoor entertainment, this recent post from Jenny Bowker filled the billed nicely - a substantial post and lots of pictures of the workshops conducted by two Egyptian 'tentmaker' applique artists, Ekramy Hanafy and Hany Abd el Khader, with members of Canberra Quilters during a recent visit.

And Bonnie K Hunter has released the introductory post for her free (northern hemisphere) Winter 2013 Mystery Quilt, Celtic Soltice  - the first set of instructions will be posted on 29th November.  The introduction tells you how this project will work, and gives the fabric requirements.  Choosing fabrics from your stash - another good activity for a very wet afternoon!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some diary dates for 2014

Have you started to fill in your 2014 diary yet? Here are a few events quilters might be interested in, to get you started ...

Quiltsmith's Summer School
A full schedule of workshops has again been compiled by Quiltsmith, throughout January - a great way to start the year. An impressive list of tutors includes our own Robyn Tayler. All classes will be held at Quiltsmith in Annandale (Sydney)

Kaffe Fassett studio - Australian tour dates 2014
Kaffe Fassett and brandon Mably will be touring Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in 2014, from mid-January and throughout February, offering workshops and lectures.  Australian dates are all in February.

Quilting in the Highlands Retreat 2014
Saturday 26th July till Tuesday 29th July 2014
Quilting in the Highlands is a 4 day quilting retreat featuring 7 award winning teachers from Australia and the USA. Each workshop is for period of 2 days and you can choose to attend just for 2 days or all 4 days.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bernina 'Best of Show 2013' quilts online

Bernina Australia has posted images of each of the state and territory 'Best of Show' awards for 2013 here, except for the South Australian winner which was only announced this past weekend.

You can see all the award winners from the 2013 Quilters Guild of South Australia Festival of Quilts here, and the special awards, including Michele Hill's Best of Show quilt, 16th Century Fantasy here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Are the UFO piles getting smaller yet?

Click on an image for a closer view.

Susan has been in finishing mode, getting stuck into her UFOs ... the combination of an intense print and solids works well for these stars and chain.
Susan started with the border stripe print and  than selected the fabrics for the nine patch blocks to complement it for a gorgeous strippy design. 
Elizabeth took some of the recently donated fabric for children's quilts, added some additional fabrics from the community stash and her own stash, and a good dash of imagination, to produce these very cute little Scotty dogs. 
Louise has been on a very productive quilting retreat.  She finished her reversible quilt-as-you-go design (started in a tutorial with Lyn earlier this year) ... 
... and here is the reverse. 
Louise's second  project from the retreat - kindled by the gift of a beautiful water lily print from Robyn L.
The third project from Louise's retreat - a set of friendship blocks - Louse provided the yellow fabric and made one block. Keeping the fabric sets together leads your eye calmly around the quilt, while it retains movement and interest.
You must be very pleased (and possibly exhausted) by how much you got done on retreat, Louise !

The 70s Circles quilt - a set of roughly colour-grouped blocks made by several people at our Serendipity Circles / community quilts workshop in September - put together, and quilted by Jill. Good free motion quilting practice, on a not-too-scarily big quilt.

Quilt Shows this weekend: Campbelltown and Gerringong

Campbelltown Patchwork and Quilters Guild

Saturday - Sunday 9-10 November 2013
Campbelltown Civic Hall

Gerringong Art and Quilt Show

8th - 10th November 2013
Gerringong Town Hall
Fern Street, Gerringong NSW
  • Enquiries: Lorraine Peade 4234 2606 or 0417 342 606


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hexies, a bag, a pouch ... and giraffes!

Click on the images for a closer view

Robyn T has been preoccupied with both bags and hexagons - the handle for this bag is made from 4 layers of braid, very strong

A very pretty iPad case, made by Miriam.
Janice is making excellent progress on her very elegant version of Margaret Sampson George's hexagon quilt.  It isn't ready for 'show and tell' yet, but her very neat hexagon storage system is - a biscuit tin with divisions of just the right size, and it happens to tone nicely with Janice's current colour theme.

Helen's baby quilt is one of two she is making in anticipation of the arrival of her first grandchildren - twins! Her daughter requested giraffes and a grey, yellow and white palette, and Helen has obliged with this fresh, modern quilt (there are some very cute little elephants in there too if you look very closely).