Monday, July 31, 2017

Community quilts 2017 - 2018 (1)

After packing up and delivering 28 community quilts last week, the next collection is already growing, boosted by generous donations.

Susan M used a multi-sized grid to showcase the large and
medium scale of these prints, calling to mind Shoji screens.
The red sashing is a brilliant choice, and Susan has quilted a
background of flowers all over.
Bet you can't guess who made  'Raspberry Delight' (and used
 all fabric from her own stash) ... Sue C did not include a
single skerrick of blue, even in the back. Now to decide
whether it will be for a child or for a nursing home resident?
Sue says whoever chooses it will have to love raspberry pink.
It was lovely that Barb was able to join us at community sewing
after several months of being needed elsewhere - and she brought
along this pretty soft floral top made with a variety of squares
from the community stash. We easily chose the deep cream backing
from the recent donation by Material Girls Down Under.
This vibrant floral panel print and the backing fabric were
also donated by Material Girls Down Under. Dawn found an
 excellent dark green border in the community stash and
it was quickly quilted, bound and labelled. 
Three children's quilts were very kindly donated by Lyn
Stephenson, a friend of Julie's neighbour. The last photo
is the reverse of the third quilt.  Lyn obviously has a fun
stash of fabric and likes sewing for children.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Show and tell this week

Sue B is very fond of dragon flies (she was spotted wearing
dragonfly earrings recently!) - so this pretty quilt of dragonfly
prints is just for her.
Growing boys need big quilts and this one is big enough
for Sue B's grandson's king single bed. Don't those narrow
sashing strips look good? They really highlight the basket
weave design.
We saw Miriam's Mum's beautiful 80th birthday quilt just a
few weeks ago - now her mother-in-law is turning 80 as well,
and of course there is a quilt for her too. Great mix of prints
in the stars - always a favourite.
Jenn is hand-quilting her Aviatrix Medallion (pattern by
 Elizabeth Hartman) - she made this bright modern beauty
some time ago, and is now planning a second one.
Susan M worked on three different quilts at community
sewing last week, and this week surprised us with a new quilt
of her own! Susan is always up for trying a new technique
- the strelitzia is just her second stained glass quilt. 
This perfect partnership of Liberty, linen and appliqué can
only be Janice. Cutting Cloth from Melbourne was at Sydney
Quilt Show, and so was Janice - they were made for each other.
And you know that Janice made this beautifully fussy-cut
hexagon cushion, too!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Best of Show South Australia 2017 and Best of Show Victoria 2017

2017 award winning quilts from South Australia and Victoria are now online:

Quilters Guild of South Australia
Festival of Quilts, 14 - 16 June 2017
Special Awards including Bernina Best of Show, The Innocent, Adriana Newton
Exhibition award winners

Victorian Quilters
Quilt Showcase 27 - 30 July 2017
Individual awards, including Bernina Best of Show, Colourful Retina, Sugy Kim

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Community sewing day, July 2017

Our monthly community sewing days are always busy, but last Thursday was even busier then usual. We had a particularly high roll-up, and several visitors who all came bearing donations. Eight completed quilt tops were dropped in - Margaret brought in five children's quilt tops - one completed child's quilt went immediately into the delivery bag, and donated fabric kept appearing, as if by magic. It was lovely to catch up with Chris who lives far away, but often sews for us. Thank you everyone for your generosity, and your hard work.

Collaboration was the order of the day.
Top: Elaine machine sewed her binding on, and Elsa took it to
hand sew it closed, allowing Elaine could move on to her next task.
Middle: Elaine won a box of 2 1/2" fabric strips at our Biggest
Morning Tea in May, and is now making them up into a scrappy
'Whirlwind", using Miriam's tutorial.
Bottom: Julie had chosen a fabric pack that had been donated by
Noelle, and made two quilts from it, using Sue C's tumbler template.
Noelle and Sue helped her to baste, and quilting started immediately.
Works in progress: Pat is making a chevron design using
rectangular blocks and a sophisticated colour palette;
Miriam is sewing up some beautifully warm flannels, and will
back them with flannel for extra warmth;
Noelle squared up her quilt that was interrupted by a recent
overseas trip, and has the binding on - nearly done.
More progress - Lynette is trialling a variation of one of her
favourite designs, a disappearing four patch; Dawn has
made a child's quilt from a book panel featuring dragons.
There was a lot more going on - we broke out a new roll of batting basting about ten quilts, we packed donated fabric for storage, did some preparation for the craft stall at our 2018 Quilt Show, and a quick mental count came up with nearly thirty quilts in progress for the second half of the year. Much too busy to take more photos!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Community quilts, July 2017

The first half of 2017 has been productive for our community quilters; we have donated 28 quilts to community groups, and have two in reserve for a different donation later in the year. Our thanks to members and friends who have contributed so generously of their time, skill and materials.

Fourteen quilts have been delivered to residents at a local 
dementia care centre - the top left one, made by Dawn, 
finished and handed over just in time, was passed on in
 less than 24 hours, something of a record.
The second bundle of 14 quilts will go to foster children via
Quilt NSW. Six of these quilts were wholly or partly made by
people who are friends of Fairholme members, or from
fabrics donated by friends - quilters are the best! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This week at Fairholme (2)

Two more interesting vintage pieces came to light for this week's show and tell ...

Margaret was helping to clear a friend's house after his death
when she came across a hexagon coverlet probably made in
the forties or fifties, judging by the fabrics. The hexagons are
about an inch and a half, the background fabric and backing
are a sturdy blue cotton.
The mix of fabric prints in the hexagons is varied and interesting 
- probably dress making scraps. The friend's late wife had been
 a quilter, but there is no provenance for the piece, and it might 
have been stored undisturbed for sixteen years.
Val bought this piece of undated textile art from a trader in
Newtown many years ago. Made from silk, it is a purdah
(from the Persian for 'curtain'), sourced from the region of
Afghanistan. The ties at the top indicate its intended use.
It was a single layer when Val bought it. She has added a light
batting and backing, and hand quilted it in black thread, using
motifs from the pieces, and from the region, including a ram's
head, a symbol associated with Alexander the Great who died
in 323 BC in Babylon (modern Iraq).
The black sashing strips are hand-embroidered braids, commonly
made by women in the region. There is evidence of a little wear,
but the colours are still rich and warm. It is used as a couch quilt.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This week at Fairholme (1)

Another big week of beautiful quilts generously shared ...

Susan M put together a collection of aboriginal prints, and put
them together with thin black sashing, an ochre border and a wide
black border - now she's contemplating how to quilt this beauty ... 
... and on the day Susan brought her quilt top in, Pam visited
the morning group (she usually attends our evening group), and
was working on her aboriginal print quilt, that has thin black
sashing, an ochre border and a wide black border! Neither knew
about the other's plans. Pam is hand-quilting indigenous motifs
in her final border. Detail of the prints below.

Jenn joined us for the first time this week. Her show and
tell was this stunner that you might have seen hanging at the
recent Sydney Quilt Show. It is her original design, based on
the concept of Intersectionality - overlapping components of
identity. Jenn used Marti Michel's 60º ruler for all those angles,
and chose the colours to suggest transparency.

Totally unexpectedly, Julie and Jo-Ann have presented us
with a finished quilt, a very stylish 'brick wall' of William Morris
fabrics that they made for another prize for our 2018 Quilt
Show raffle! How good is that? Jo provided the fabric from her
stash,Julie pieced it, and Jo quilted it on her long-arm.
Generosity plus - thank you secret sewers.

Dawn has finished her "Whirlwind' quilt and has donated it
to our community collection - it has already been donated to
a resident in dementia care, along with several other, today.
Its clear bright colours will be very welcome.

Miriam's 'Australis' is looking even more wonderful,
quilted by Jo-Ann Phillips.
It was very good to see ElaineW yesterday after some time
recovering from surgery. She spent some of her convalescent
time finishing off her long-term handwork project.
And starting the next thing ...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tutorial for a knit wholecloth quilt

If most of your sewing is quilting, how long is it since you sewed with knit fabrics? You might have noticed that a growing number of quilting fabric designs are being released in a variety of base cloths in addition to quilting cottons, including knits. A quilt in a knit fabric could be particularly soft cuddly. Here is a recent tutorial on making a knit wholecloth quilt:

Sew Your Own Whole Cloth Knit Quilt…Yes, I Said Knit

Mister Domestic, Stitching Sewcial, 26 February 2017
... after a few years of persistence and humility, I can confidently say that I have conquered knit… enough so that I am going to share with you how to make your own whole cloth knit quilt. And I promise that it won’t fall apart ...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (3)

Lynette has gathered a lovely collection of antique and vintage quilts over several years. She generously brought in most of them last week for us to see them up close, and to take in their qualities. Lynette has bought several quilts from American dealer, Jane Lury of Labors of Love. Jane's 'Meanderings of a Quilt Collector' was published by Quiltmania in 2016.

Hexagons, of course!
Edge of the Grandmother's Flowergarden.
22 blade Dresdan Plate, 1930s, bought in Japan, from
Jane Lury.
'Jack in the Pulpit', from Texas, 1920s.
Beautifully hand quilted.

Late 19thC - early 20th C, bought in Houston, 2012. This
one is very large, and it might just be Lynette's favourite.

Late 19thC, possibly English, Also bought
from Jane Lury.
Bear's Paw, bought in Houston in 1999.
Late 19thC - 1900, 'Robbing Peter to Pay Paul' block.
You can see that the batting is very thin and worn, but the
blue fabric has held its colour remarkably well.
Bought in rural Canada from an estate clearance, for $40
- the family didn't like it!

Labelled as made in February 1948. The tulip fabric is
feed sacks. The stems and leaves are embroidered.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (2)

As we looked at and gently handled all of these dozen or so quilts, we wondered what their makers would have though about other generations of quilters still appreciating their work, as thing of great beauty, after so many years.

The first of Lynette's collection - a beautifully buttery soft nine
patch made in Texas, that Lynette bought from Sydney dealer
Jenny Burton. Hand quilted, made for practicality, every now
and again an 'odd' piece is used to make up a block, when the
quilter has run out of 'right' fabric - it is utterly charming.
Helen's family brought two Durham quilts for daily use from
working class northern England in the 1920s, and referred
to them as 'those Pommy things'. Helen and her sister have one
each. Both the pink and yellow cottons are faded, and it is worn
from frequent use. Two sides were extended with pink panels
added by machine by Helen's dressmaker grandmother.

Val told us that the quilting design was probably drawn on the
fabric by a travelling 'marker', in blue pencil, from a stock of
patterns. Many markers were men. The hand quilting stitches
are deeply embedded in the quilt sandwich. You can see more
of the original colours in the depths of the stitches.

Helen bought her crazy quilt from the late Narelle Grieve.
There is no documentation. It is very worn in parts, but much
of the colour and fabric is intact

It is heavily embroidered, as is typical of the style.

Embroidery on the block pieces and seams.

Jo-Ann bought her late 19thC - early 20thC quilt in Houston in
2014. As a professional long-arm quilter, she was particularly drawn
to it  as it an early example of free-motion machine quilting.

The block appears to be a variation of the 'Wonder of the World'.
The quilt maker's choice of just two fabrics, and dark grey and
white give it a surprisingly modern look. 

From an earlier viewing, we learned that 'although there is not a 

lot of documentation, some inferences can be made about the quilter 
- it is assumed she was comparatively well off, because the quilt is 
not scrappy, being made from just two fabrics ... and it is machine 
quilted. The batting is now quite thin, and the quilt is very soft and 
drapes beautifully, probably indicating that it has been well used.'

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (1)

We enjoyed a parade of vintage and antique quilts earlier this week, as members brought treasures from their own collections and family treasures for close-up inspection. Thank you all for sharing them with us, and to those  (Val, Roslyn, Margaret) who were able to fill in some gaps in the quilts' stories.

Roslyn's vintage quilt was found hung casually over a fence at 
local weekend market, more than 25 years ago. With a toddler 
in a stroller, Roslyn didn't spend much time looking at it, and 
paid the asking price, not knowing if it was a real find. It was.
Quilt historian Annette Gero authenicated it as a hand quilted 
Durham wholecloth quilt from the 1930s, valued at 
considerably more than its $5 market price!
More photos are in this 2014 post, the last time 
we saw this treasure.

Dawn's 'Sixty Five Roses' quilt is on its way to vintage status. 
It was made for her nephew's wedding quilt, and is in regular 
use, as evidenced by the fading on the red border. 
The pattern was first published as a fundraiser for a 
Cystic Fibrosis charity. 

The crocheted lace butterfly is one of four, one in 
each corner of a supper cloth made by Roslyn's 
paternal grandmother for her parents as a wedding 
gift, about 1940.

Denise found this hexagon quilt, of indeterminate age, in an 
op shop. She doesn't particularly like it, but didn't feel it could 
be left behind!  Vintage - probably not yet.
Two more posts are planned on more of the vintage and antique quilts.