Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arizona Rising Sun

Here's my Arizona Rising Sun Quilt so far. I haven't sewn the rings together, so they may look a bit crooked but it gives you an idea of what they'll look like. The largest ring is too big to fit on my design wall so its doubled up. GBF said this looks like a big toothy monster is about to eat the circles.

The class with Michelle Yeo was great. She was very friendly and relaxed, letting people work on whatever part they wanted to at their own pace but always being there to help with instructions and handy tips. Her method of foundation piecing was different from what I've done before. She uses freezer paper that is perforated with the template pattern and then you sew and fold using the paper as a guide. Prepping the freezer paper patterns takes a while but the trade off is not ripping off paper foundations, the freezer paper just peels off like a dream.

I wonder who discovered freezer paper's magic patchworking powers. I can just imagine someone whose mind was on their sewing while they slaving away in the kitchen.

For the background rings I'm using the pink fabrics from the same range.

Hopefully they'll bring it all together nicely.

I've decided to change the diamonds in the middle row. I was going to do stripes just because it would be a challenge to fussy cut them but the white looks too washed out.

I'm auditioning the black and teal fabrics... at the moment the black is winning.

So thats where I'm up to. I must say I'm a bit daunted by the final construction. The plan is to complete all the rings and then sew them together. The finished quilt is 88inches square so the largest rings are going to be a handful, or should i say armful. I'm tempted to do a mock up of simple rings in the same sizes with some of my not so precious stash bits. We'll see how confident I feel when I get to that stage.

I was very restrained with my shopping at the Quiltsmith, mostly because I was so busy sewing that the time flew so I didn't have a lot of time to look. I did manage to pick a few feedsack prints for a dresden plate quilt I'm planning using a vintage table cloth. Another quilt for another day...


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Curtain Call

We have the most amazing view from our dining room...

So of course we've placed our dining table at the window where we can sit facing out to enjoy the vista. In the summer we would watch the sunsets turn into twilight which would give way to the night and then we'd watch the moths do their ballet on the glass. We're constantly saying our window is better than TV.
But... now that it's winter we draw the curtains to conserve the warmth of the house and this is what replaced our entertaining outlook.

Boring, drab, faded, grey blue curtains. Oh so Boring!!!

Until today..

Once again the postie came bearing gifts..

And now this is what we look at!!!

Did I mention we have a very 70's house? Wow!!There's nothing dull and drab about these curtains!! Just in case you're having trouble seeing them, here's a closer look..

Whoa Nelly!!! They're so wonderful, bright and full of zing!

What better way to celebrate our new decor than with a couple of cocktails. GBF makes the most wonderful cocktails complete with cherries and curly orange garnishes..

which leave our oranges looking like this...

So now we have curtains that match our fruit bowl.

Tune into the next exciting post for updates on how my Indiana Rising Sun quilt is going...


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting shirty, being civil and ever hopeful

This is going to be my new mobile hand-sewing project.

I figure 3/4 hexagons are the perfect size to carry around so at any given time I can pull a few out and stitch away. Predominantly red, white, and blues, inspired by a layer cake of Moda's Shirtings 1875-1900. It'll be fun fussy cutting the little pictures and positioning stripes.

Also a few feed sack reproduction prints that have been waiting patiently in my stash. I love that little house print.

I'm not quite sure of what pattern I'll do yet. I'm thinking a medallion style with a design of some sort in the middle, then lots of grandmother's garden blocks with a few borders thrown in. EQ would come in handy to play around with ideas. I must get onto ordering EQ7, they're offering lower prices if you order pre publication, May 31st.

I've got a cupboard full of bright, fresh, funky modern fabrics which I adore but recently I find myself being attracted to 1800s and civil war prints. I think because I shop so much on-line the big, bold prints jump out from the computer screen. Whereas reproduction fabrics with their fine prints and more tonal colours show up better in real life. Seeing so many beautiful quilts at the Springwood Quilt Show using reproduction fabrics made me take notice. I still love my modern fabrics but its always nice to try something new. I'm like that with my floristry too, I love big, red, chunky Crab Claw Heliconias and tropical flowers as much as I love a petite bunch of sweetpeas. Like they say-variety is the spice of life.

I figure Chris Jurd's Reproduction Beauties quilt is the perfect showcase for these fabrics. I've jumped in and bought some bundles of fat 8ths and some ten inch squares which will give me lots of variety and probably enough fabric to last quite a few quilts.

These are mostly browns, reds and blues, but I have another parcel that should be arriving any minute of yellows and greens. I certainly keep the postie busy!!

Nice blues. The thing I like about getting pre-picked bundles is the surprise element of looking through them for the first time. There's always a couple that you would never have thought to buy yourself but I know will end up being perfect for something.

Okay, time to get back to the present. This is Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley range. The description on her website says "The warm and cosy hues take their cue from a vintage-tinged country landscape." What a perfect description. When it came out it was love at first sight. I bought half yards of the whole range.

I'm finally going to use them this weekend in workshop I'm doing with Michelle Yeo, creating this quilt called Indiana Rising Sun. Its based on a quilt from the 1860's. Hmmm , back to the past again. This post is like whizzing around in a time machine! I booked into this class over 6 months ago! Michelle lives in Melbourne and is being flown up to Sydney by The Quiltsmith especially for this class. I'm sure I'll learn a lot. And I'm also looking forward to wandering the aisles of fabrics at the Quiltsmith. They seriously have everything you could ever want in a fabric shop. I might have to get a few little fat quarters.. The question is will I choose reproduction or will they be modern?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pinky/Red Something

It's about time I made something with my pink and red fabrics. The cherry fabric has been in my stash for years, in the days before I even had a stash! I really can't remember why I bought it, probably just because I liked it. The pretty bird fabric is Jennifer Paganelli's Nuala, the Girlfriends range toile. The aqua and red version of this is my favourite fabric of all time. Its out of print now, sadly. sigh..

Anyway, this is the front of my Pinky/Red Something ...

And this is the inside...

Such a sweet bird, from Lakehouse fabrics, Tea Time 3.

I left the fluffy, raw edge of the japanese fabric because I like the texture.

This is the back... The pink and red fabric is Henna Garden by Sandi Henderson. Its such a great pattern, modern, yet pretty. I've got it in blue as well.

I found this cream and red fabric on Etsy. I love its vintage look. And it's got a bird on it. I'm a sucker for any fabric with birds!

So what is my Pinky/Red Something????

There's a pocket to put my sketch/ideas book...
but that's not all...
Drum roll...
there's a...

.... gorgeous pink Laptop!!!!! Well, a netbook. It's only 10.5 inches, so cute! And perfect for when I'm commuting to and from work. I'll be able to blog from the train!

How lucky am I?! It a "just because" present from GBF. hmmm, maybe it's just because I've been hogging his computer too much...

I love that he chose a pink one. I've named her Coco, short for Coconut Ice and it sounds rather glamourous. I like naming my things. My car is called Bluebell because she's blue, and when I start seeing bluebell flowers coming into bloom I know the car registration is due. My sewing machine is called Lorraine because its a good quilting name. I wonder if other people name their sewing machines?
From now on when you read my posts you'll know they've been written on a pink computer called Coco with a pinky/red cover. Maybe I should get some nail polish to match.


Monday, May 17, 2010

"Will there be quilts?"

That was my reply when GBF suggested we go to an open day at Linwood house. There'll be craft he said vaguely. So off we went.

There was woodturning, wax painting, beading, crochet, knitting, spinning but no quilts... until I opened my eyes and saw quilts every where!

A real quilt!! This was draped over a box behind a door in a small room.

Even this drum said " Big Bold Quilt" to me.

Some people would say I'm obsessed but i like to say I'm passionate.

After all that quilt spotting a nice cup of tea was just the thing. I'm also passionate about cupcakes.

With so much inspiration everywhere you must be wondering what I've been up to.

A few weeks ago the eZine Fat Quarterly came out. In one of the articles the 6 contributors each made a variation of a flying geese block. They were all so different and fun. The following weekend I came up with my own modern interpretations of flying geese.

I pulled out some stripey scraps and just went for it. I've called it Wild Goose Chase.

My other idea was BIG flying geese! Big blocks suit me because I've got lots of big prints that need showing off. I'm definitely going to have to make a queen size quilt of giant geese.

The multicoloured spots on this side were given to me by my mother in law from her stash. They ended up in the right project here! I liked the back of this quilt as much as the front so I think of it as a two sided quilt rather than a front and back.

And here's my Mariners Compass that I'm making in my classes with Chris Jurd. It's fun going through her blog and finding her other students versions of the same pattern. All so different and so beautiful... I'm not sure I'd describe mine as beautiful...

dazzling perhaps? or exuberant? "Electric!" says GBF.

My next step is to choose a background for this. I change my mind every time I think about it.. Stay tuned to find out...


Ps May 17th is Give Away Day organised by Sew Mama Sew. They want it to become the annual day for all bloggers to offer something. What a great idea. Definitely next year!.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Red, Blue and a touch of Yellow

It was such a lovely autumn day yesterday. Sun shining, slight breeze. Perfect for washing fabric.

I love this colour combo! Superman colours! They almost cause an optical illusion. I liked how the bucket matched, and I couldn't resist using matching pegs...well.. I was having fun playing with colour.

I wasn't the only one attracted to the washing line action. I'd barely hung them out when GBF raced out of the house with his new camera in hand snapping away. He was like the fabric paparazzi!

I'm not sure what I'll make with these yet but I like to get them ready for when I get a case of the blues and reds.

We left the washing in the hands of the sun and went for a wander along the bushy paths around our home. I could smell it before I saw it. Delicious and heady, no wonder it makes people sneeze! Wattle!! It's so early in the season that it was such a surprise. So I picked a sprig for me to enjoy.

And had fun playing with yellow.



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