Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Topper

We think Robyn H of our Thursday group of sewing friends wins the annual award for the 'Topper" of the group.  Here is just some of the tops Robyn has completed this year.  Mind you, some of them were started some time ago, but it is all about finishing.

This one is similar in style to my 'Stash Buster' quilt.  Look at the work Robyn has done on her seam treatments, and I love how she has tied it and the ties have turned out all fluffy. This is the finished one of the group.

This one is called "Seven Sisters" and Robyn has used Liberty prints. She has six sisters, thus the title.  It is a huge quilt and I didn't have a space large enough in my home to photograph it!

 Isn't this one beautiful??  Robyn did this in a workshop at Precious Time (LQS) and they had to bring along their ugly fabrics.  Talk about the ugly duckling story!


This is another huge quilt.  The colours were chosen by Robyn's daughter.  The border is really unusual and I missed getting a photo of it....next time. 

Good work, Robyn.  Looking into my chrystal ball I can see a lot of quilting in Robyn's future.  She is a hand quilter too. 
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flying Vist and Hints

Look at these goodies!!!  My dear friend Shirley (Shirleys Twisted Threads) paid me a flying visit on Thursday and this is what she gifted me.  Mwahh to Shirley!  Beautiful laces, threads and silky fabrics and some lovely silk velvet to use on my current art quilt. She knows how much I love 'found items', so she gave me a little plastic bag of found things also.  It was like Christmas come early:-)  Thank you so much Shirley.

Everybody probably knows these little tips I am about to give out, but these are a couple of things I have learned the hard way. 
I now always use the back of my cutting board if I want to cut out wadding or fluffy material.  You can vaguely see in the photo how the fluff sticks in the cut and makes a mess of your board. This, I discovered, is hard to fix.

If you are pinning a project always use your cutting board underneath.  This is my bigger June Taylor cutting board which I have had now for over 10 years.  It is wonderful for cutting larger projects.  This will save your surface underneath from nasty scratches.
Another lesson I learned recently is DO NOT use your quilting mat if you are cutting with a craft (or Stanley) knife.  Why do I do these silly things when my head is telling me no??  Luckily I stopped as soon as I saw the damage - not too much of a disaster, but hope it may help someone else from making the same mistake.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Learning Sewing

It is making me so happy that our first born daughter is wanting to sew and quilt.  We had a fun day together this past Monday making a little Christmas dress for her daughter, Lilian.  She has always enjoyed sewing clothes and did sewing at school.  We have bought her a sewing machine - not an expensive one - to start her on the road to  ummm.....addiction.  She has also started cutting out a single bed quilt for Lilian and is doing a Kaffe Fassett using his more pastel colourings.

Nana looked after the gorgeous Lilian while Mummy sewed.  We did a lot of eating.  She loves eating as much as Nana does.
And here she is modelling her new Christmas dress.  Mummy did such a great job for her first ever little dress for Lilian.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sue's Block

Our small Thursday sewing group is making a special quilt for a special person.  This special person is called Sue ( no computer - so she won't be reading this).  Sue will be turning 70 early next year so we just had to do a quilt for her.  We are all (9 of us) making a 20" block.  The colours were chosen by us all,  and we agreed we would base our patterns around hearts.  
Sue appreciates hand applique and embroidery and does beautiful work in these techniques herself.  (Hope she doesn't look too closely at mine!!).  
This is my original design and I am very pleased with how it has come up.  The empty spaces are for some hand quilting, probably hearts.

Nine hearts!

When we get all our blocks altogether I will share them here for you all to look at.  This quilt is going to be awesome!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dream Weavers

A group of ladies from my quilt group have got together and formed an art quilt group.  We started with six ladies, now have 8, and have had 3 more enquiries.  It is going to be so much fun as we discover new techniques and learn from each other.  We meet once a month.

We decided we would start with something small and would do a little art journal quilt each month approx. 8" x 10".  

This is my first little quilt.  (October).  I have named it "Dream Weavers",  and it interprets a personal story.   I have decided to do a quilt each month which pertains to what has been happening around and in my life for that month.  Some of the ladies are going with a theme for the whole 12 months.  We have no strictly defined rules and are keeping the format quite casual.  We intend to exhibit our small quilts at our exhibition next September under the title "Discovery"

"Dream Weavers" was inspired by the work of Jude Hall.  Jude recently had an article on fabric weaving in the Quilting Arts magazine and that sparked the idea to do a weaving theme.
I have incorporated a spiders web (made from recycled material - some type of acrylicy stuff which comes sometimes attached to the end of a blot of fabric)  and a bead for a spider.  I have done lots and lots of hand quilting and sewed on some little sheer pieces of georgette ribbon samples given to me by Shirley of Shirley's Twisted Threads.

The story behind the quilt is of two friends who are always dreaming of a place where they might pursue their creative side with sheer abandon - away from the mundane.  That would be Shirley and Dianne (me) :-)
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash Bash - top finished

My 'Stash Bash' quilt top is all finished now.  It is only lap size but I managed to herringbone stitch over every single seam in just 2 weeks.  Mind you, there was a little bit of pain in arm and wrist from pushing myself too hard.  Luckily I got away with it and I am now resting my arm for the continuation of quilting on my 'Four Leaf Flower' quilt.

Doing the herringbone is very addictive.  Here is a close up section.  I did the stitching in a No 8 pearl variegated thread and intend to tie the quilt with the same thread. 
This one will be gifted to our second daughter who does not yet own one of my quilts.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Late Bloomer

No! - not me - our Jacaranda tree.  All the jacarandas in our region have already bloomed and are dropping their wonderful lavender carpet, but the jacarandas in Toowoomba are just coming into bloom.  Weird!
We have a couple of jacarandas and in the next week they are going to be in splendid colour.
On a recent trip to Coffs Harbour we stopped in at the town famous for it's jacaranda festival, Grafton.  The trees were in full bloom and dotted all over the township.  It was a beautiful sight.  Very hard to capture in just one photograph.

Views of Coffs Harbour

View from the Sawtell lookout back towards Coffs Harbour.  Even the little seagull couldn't resist pausing to look at the amazing vista.

These are the roses from our garden that I gave to my sister-in-law who lives on the beautiful Gold Coast.  We stopped over to visit them on our way to Coffs Harbour.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Visit to GOMA

We had a lovely day out today to Brisbane GOMA to see the Valentino Garavani exhibition.  There are really no superlatives to describe his couture.  Many of the gowns were jaw droppingly beautiful and the work in them is totally unbelievable.  Rave, rave, rave.  ( Understandably, no photography was allowed).
It finishes on Sunday, so it was very very busy.  This did not spoil the outing though as we four friends always have so much fun together wherever we go.  The space was also fairly reasonable to get around in and was lovely and cool on rather a hot day.
The memories of this exhibition will stay with me for a long time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Visiting Local Galleries

Last Saturday a friend and I set off to a small township about 20 minutes away called, Goombungee and we visited their lovely Rosalie Gallery.
A group of textile artists who call themselves WOTE have put on a most fantastic exhibition.  WOTE stands for Women on the Edge - love it!!
The exhibition is entitled 'Elements of Red' and explores the use of the primary colour RED.
It is amazing, so if you live in the Toowoomba district - do not miss it.  It is on until 7 November, so not much time.
I am not sure who this work belongs to as it is not on the brochure and I didn't take a note.  The participating artists are Jean Constantine, Jan Scudamore, Joan Ellard, Tessa Wright, Joan Mundy, Dorothy Cottee, Toni O'Leary, Diana Symes, Carol Oyston, Gail Grunske and Barbara Scott.
Well done ladies!! 
When we got back to Toowoomba it was time for a bite to eat and a longed for cup of coffee.  Then we took a short stroll from the coffee shop to the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.
Here we saw some more lovely textile art and a couple of local textile artists known to us were juried into this show too.
It is called "Progression" and is the 6th Juried Art Quilt Exhibition.  It is also on til 7 November.  Well worth a visit.

This image is part of an art quilt by a local textile artist, Jen Luck.
We are very lucky to have these two intimate galleries available to our artists in the local region, and it is good to see textile art becoming more recognized.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scrap Bash

This is my 'Scrap Bash' quilt top finished.  I am quite pleased with it and looking forward now to doing the herringbone embroidery on it and completing it.  The colours are great and I think it is the wonderful Kaffe Fassett scraps I have used that give it some zip.  It was so much fun to make and I'm sure I would have enough to do another one.
Do scraps ever finish????  I guess not as long as we keep making quilts!!
I have decided to give this one to number 2 daughter who hasn't yet got one of my lap quilts.  She lives in Brisbane where she won't need it a lot, but during winter, it will be just the right weight to keep the chills away.

The herringbone embroidery will be done on the seams in a perle cotton.  A good summer project.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Sights and Smells of Summer

Summer is fast approaching and some of these sights and smells are filling my senses.  This beautiful peach coloured rose which usually buds about 4 to the stem.  Looks and smells wonderful.

One of our magnificent star jasmine creepers.  This smell always reminds me that the Melbourne Cup is just around the corner.  It also evokes memories of when our children were small as we had it growing over our balcony in our very first house.


This is where it grows and my silly husband who had to get in on the photo.

This is where I depicted the star jasmine at our first home on my crazy quilt entitled "My Crazy Life - So Far".

The seasons first peaches and nectarines.  They are on the kitchen bench and the aroma is filling the kitchen.  Mmmmmm.

Around the garden.  The recent rain has done much to improve the floral show this year.  Our bottle brush bushes are absolutely full of blossoms this year and we love the way they attract the birds.

Summer - bring it on.