31 May 2008

There's more to an edge than binding

It's always interesting to learn of different quilt making techniques and it's even better to see them being demonstrated. Today, Brenda was the guest speaker at our Guild meeting. She challenged us to 'hear' what our quilts tell us - that some of them don't need binding.

Alternative edging techniques are often better suited to particular quilts. Being the resourceful person that she is, Brenda has prepared a list of online tutorials to illustrate various quilt-finishing techniques. I can see that I will be trying some of these techniques soon.

30 May 2008

Hunters Hill Quilt Show

How could you pass by a building that has such a tantalising display of small quilts arranged in the front garden? This is part of the attraction of the Hunters Hill Quilt Show, which I visited with Nola today. Lovely show and it was packed with enthusiastic quilters. The show is on at Hunters Hill Town Hall in Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill from 10am to 4.30pm tomorrow and Sunday.

In addition to the quilts on display, there was a wonderful collection of quilts for sale and yummy refreshments. The Hunters Hill Quilters chose to support Redkite, a charity that supports children, young people and their families through cancer.

29 May 2008

Pinwheels 2

I played around some more with option 1 from earlier this week to add some more zigs and zags. Perhaps I was influenced by watching the lightning during last night's storm.

28 May 2008

Blog options

I'm quite fond of my little Blogger blog, but I am still interested in exploring other options. In the spirit of enquiry, I spent a couple of hours this morning setting up a blog using the free WordPress software. Although it was fun, I ended up deleting the WordPress blog because it wasn't as flexible as Blogger with regard to customising colours for a distinctive look.

Instead, I'll do some tweaking on this blog and maybe shock you all with a new header. Maybe something blue for a change!

26 May 2008

Crawling around

Having pieced a backing for my batik quilt this afternoon, I am now ready to crawl around on the floor to baste it. This is when I use safety pins to secure the three layers - so secure in fact, that my quilt sandwich stays firmly attached to the carpet. What joy awaits me...

Change of heart. The dining table looks more appealing than the floor. Must be old age.

25 May 2008

Pinwheels 1

Lesson one: design several options.
What fun! I used EQ to make these Designer Pinwheel line drawings. Not only did it extend my knowledge of how to use EasyDraw in EQ, but it was much quicker than drawing the designs on paper. The objective was to design the patterns, without regard to potential difficulty of piecing. So at this stage, forget about how you'd construct the quilts.

I've narrowed it down to these four designs and would welcome feedback about your preferences. I won't tell you my favourite yet.

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4

Great game of footy against Port Adelaide yesterday - a real thriller, which, I'm relieved to say, we won. Cheer, cheer!

24 May 2008

Designing differently

Taking advantage of the strength of the Australian dollar, I signed up for another Quilt University course this week. It started today - Designer Pinwheels with Dena Crain. I do like design classes and the previous one I took with Dena was very useful (Structured Fabrics). I'm hoping to attempt the designing with EQ, although I'm happy to use paper and pencil if my EQ skills let me down. Lesson One starts today!

23 May 2008

What I do with selvedges

Every August, our Guild has a market day, where members can sell craft-related items to members. I've decided to make some items for sale this year (having never done it before) so this week I started sewing.

The first pieces I made are with selvedges. I have made several selvedge tulips and framed them; and made some largish pin cushions. Such fun! They will be for sale in August, but if anyone's interested in buying one before that, let me know via email ( see link at right).

21 May 2008

Love this book

My copy of Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston arrived on Monday (thank you The Book Depository!) and I've been immersed in it ever since. I've been a fan of Gwen's since the days she wrote in Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts magazines (sadly, no longer published) and I probably credit her with my love of wonky shapes.

In this book, we see a glimpse into the two quilters' lives (and their sewing areas - you know I love that!) and they explain how they collaborate to make quilts. While I find some of their work too busy for my eye, I do love their concept of quilt design - they don't plan, but let the quilt evolve as it is constructed. Since that is usually my approach too, I relate to their philosophy. Wonderful book.

18 May 2008

Swans vs Essendon

The good:
We won by 91 points.

The bad:
One of our key players suffered a dislocated kneecap.

The ugly:
Olympic Stadium at Homebush - a characterless stadium in a soulless wasteland.

17 May 2008

Happy 80th anniversary

to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This iconic Australian service was established on this day in 1928 to bring health care to people who live, work and travel in the remote parts of Australia.

One of the activities to celebrate the anniversary is a quilt competition, Under Flynn's Wings. The 20 finalist quilts will be displayed at the Sydney Quilt Show next month. Australia is a huge country and the quilts will reflect the extent of the RFDS's activities across our country.

16 May 2008

Worth waiting for

These vibrant colours were worth the wait. Now I can use the hand-dyed muslin in strips and embellish with hand stitching.

15 May 2008

Dreamy studio

The idea of a dedicated sewing studio in the backyard has always been enticing. This one, shown in the April issue of Country Living (UK edition - one of my favourite magazines) could have been made for me. It's blue, set in the garden and has the cutest little verandah. Sadly (for me), it belongs to Jeanne Laine, a soft furnishings specialist in the UK.

14 May 2008

Anticipating colour

I had a spare half hour this afternoon so I dyed some more muslin. This time I used my faithful three Procion dyes - Turquoise MXG, Yellow MX8G and Red MX8B. The bags are enjoying the sun in my backyard. I won't get to rinse them until tomorrow afternoon so in the meantime I am anticipating the colourful results.

12 May 2008

Autumn leaves

Autumn is in its final month and the leaves on the Japanese maple are turning shades of gold and red. Crispy leaves are fluttering to the ground and days are becoming shorter. Every activity is more pleasurable since summer's oppressive humidity has left us.

11 May 2008

Another tulip

A selvedge tulip variation, this time stitched to fabric and stretched around a small canvas. To me, text is made up of simple shapes that don't have to be read - they just add visual interest to the piece. Because of the way the sewn piece was cut, the words are upside down and it has intrigued me that some people are uncomfortable with this.

Do you think words have to be oriented correctly or are they just part of the design?

09 May 2008


I've been collecting pink and yellow fabrics for a while now, without having a specific idea for a design. The pleasure of using EQ6 to design quilts is that you don't actually have to do any sewing. Here's my first custom design for these bright prints, but I may come up with something different before I start cutting fabric. Any comments?

Thanks for the feedback to yesterday's post. Michelle: I used Presencia Finca black perle 8 thread.

08 May 2008

Adding stitches

Remember my string quilt? These two blocks have been pieced, but not yet stitched.

This section has rows of black stitching added to emphasise the lines. I am pleased with the way the dark stitches add definition - what do you think?

06 May 2008

Book buying

It's always a dilemma - buy books locally and support local businesses or buy at the lowest price, no matter where that may be. Sometimes it's a no-brainer.

This is the latest novel from Jennifer Chiaverini and the story is back to the main theme - the Elm Creek Quilters, their quilt camp and their friendships. Thank goodness there isn't too much rehashed from previous books in the series.

To buy this in Australia, it is $39.95 plus postage. I bought it from wonderful The Book Depository in the UK for $22, including FREE delivery. Not only that, but it arrived from the UK in a week. Now that's not only a fantastic price, but also the most wonderful service. I suspect I'll be ordering from The Book Depository again.

05 May 2008

Trying new colours

A mini dyeing session was today's main activity. After seeing some interesting textures created by loosely-woven cloth last week, I tried dyeing some cotton muslin - the type that is used by cooks to sieve jellies. It is gorgeously soft and creases beautifully. I imagine it gathered and perhaps overlaid with sheers.

With the exception of the fuchsia, the colours weren't as intense as I wanted, so I'll amend my recipes and dye some more next week.

04 May 2008

Oh bliss

The sun is shining, the air is cool - we are off to our beloved Sydney Cricket Ground today for the football. Construction of the new stand continues. I took this photo at the end of March and will be interested to see what's happened since.

At this time of day, anything is possible.

02 May 2008

Tulip progress

It's been a while since I made these selvedge blocks, but today I finally joined them with sashing. Progress is slow because I was diverted today with a different selvedge project (such a short attention span..).