30 April 2011

The week in which I won a giveaway

Busy, busy at work; come home and sleep; we lost our footy game (again); rain, rain and more rain - that sums up my week.

Until.... I won a giveaway from Malka's blog! Such excitement firstly because I don't normally win giveaways and secondly because I'm keen to try out this interesting product.

I shall try it out once my sample pack arrives and show my results.

25 April 2011

ANZAC Day 2011

For our families and those of our brothers and sisters from New Zealand.

Lest we forget.

22 April 2011

I am lusting

for these tulips. Oh to be able to grow such beauties! The climate where I live could never produce such wonders.

Go here to absorb the glory of Jane Brocket's spring tulips. And here, here, here. Oh, just go to the top of her blog here and scroll down. I defy you not to swoon with pleasure. Sigh.

20 April 2011

Loving solids

I've always liked solid colours to add contrast to printed fabrics in quilts. Imagine then how I excited I was to discover that a new local store has an extensive range of Kona solid colours for $6.95 a metre. No need to buy from overseas any more!

These are the five one-metre pieces I bought this morning from the new Hobbysew store at Top Ryde City shopping centre.

These will be added to the other Kona cottons in my stash. There are over 200 colours in the range, so I have a long way to go...

19 April 2011

It takes time

to hand stitch a quilt. I am quilting this quilt every night and am pleased with the progress so far.

13 April 2011

Gocco girl

I have a new (second-hand) tool to help me create pattern on fabric. With this nifty machine, I can make screens with my own drawings to print onto fabric.

You can see how much joy this machine can bring to people by the ecstatic looks on the faces of the models on the box cover. Nothing staged or artificial there!

I wanted to create patterns that weren't consistent and weren't precise. I don't like perfect. I had already stamped a piece of pink solid fabric with bubble wrap and Lumiere paint, but wanted a line of sorts across it. I made a screen from my drawings of stems and leaves and printed it with black acrylic paint.

Making the screen was very simple and I'm pleased I can make more of them whenever I want. I'll work out the feasibility of making screens for sale, too, so you can enjoy the process as much as I did!

I'm happy with the variety of lines - some dark and some slightly ghosted. The fabric will be cut up before sewing so the lines will add some interest.

10 April 2011

Sarah's book launch

So it's Friday night and the time is right for the launch of Sarah's third book, Quilting: from little things... The evening was mild and the venue was fabulous. If you haven't visited Flo's shop, Plume au Vent in Greenwich Road, Greenwich, treat yourself next time you visit Sydney. Lots of treasure there!

But back to the launch. About 50 people gathered to toast Sarah success. These two photos show some of her quilts from the book on display for the night at the launch. (Thanks to Damian for the pics.) Of course, you can see that all the yummy food had just been arranged - obviously before we descended on it!

And here's the cover of the book in question. 

Such a clever way of teaching patchwork, applique and quilting skills - for each technique, you can make either a small quilt or a large one, or both! You will acquire different skills from each project.

I love the photography and Sarah's hand-drawn diagrams that illustrate each step along the way. This is a book to be treasured and well-used.

07 April 2011

Reflections on: where I sew

As I was hand quilting last night, it occurred to me how little sewing actually takes place in my sewing room. My thoughts started to roam as I considered all the other places in the house where I sew.

I have a well-organised and spacious sewing room. Over the past year, I have sorted and rearranged practically everything in it. My stash is there, as is my sewing machine and cutting table. All my quilting magazines and books are stored there and there is a flannelette design sheet on the end wall. So why don’t I spend more time creating in that room?

Well, it depends on what I am doing. Dreaming and sketching can be done any place, any time. I have a notebook in which I jot down ideas and draw wildly inaccurate layout diagrams for future designs. Quite often, these never result in quilts or articles but the act of recording them sometimes triggers other, more useful, thoughts later. It also allows me to clear things out of my head – a very handy technique that ensures I don’t forget too many matters.

Sometimes I prefer to draw up more precise layouts or to create templates by using software on my computer. It is fun shading designs on the screen so that I can audition colours easily without having to cut fabric. This means I have to sit where the computer is – and that is not the sewing room.

There are different parts of the house that aid particular stages of quilt construction. I prefer to stand when I am cutting fabric strips, so the bench in my sewing room is the perfect height for this. Cutting around templates usually gets done at the dining table. I have even been known to balance a cutting mat on my knees while I am sitting on the couch and rotary cut around templates that way. I switch on the television and, a few hours later, find that not only have I caught up with my favourite programs, but there is also a neat pile of fabric shapes ready for stitching.

I usually do hand sewing and quilting while sitting in my ‘sewing chair’ – a comfortable, high-backed cane chair that is near a window. Any stitching on the machine is usually completed in the sewing room although, since my machine is housed in a portable table, I sometimes move it to another room where I can watch movies or how-to DVDs on quilting topics while stitching.

Being adaptable is my sewing philosophy and I’m guessing many of you think the same way. I never understood why I should restrict myself to sewing in a single room when there is a complete house full of places to be used!