Saturday, October 15, 2016

Twin quilts = Double the fun

One of my most satisfying quilt finishes this year has been these two cot-sized quilts I made for my young friend Alex's twin baby daughters.

Though they were possibly the worst kept secret ever because I couldn't resist sharing sneak peeks on Instagram, I wanted to wait until they were in Alex's hands before sharing here.

Alex likes to keep her home decor to a restrained palette of grey and white, with splashes of colour. So last year I made this grey, white and yellow quilt for her newborn baby boy, Atticus.

Knowing that this time she was expecting twin girls, and being something of a pink-lover myself, it was a no-brainer to choose a pink and grey colour scheme. 

Both quilts consisted of basically the same design, scrappy triangles of pink bunting fused and machine appliquéd to a whole cloth background. The girls are fraternal twins, so I wanted their quilts to have a similar appearance so they look matching in their cots, but with easily spotted differences so there are no mix-ups when they're older and want to quickly grab their own quilt to snuggle under while watching TV.

This quilt belongs to baby Harper Emerson Indiana, and the background fabric is white dots on grey.

... and here is Harper asleep on her quilt. I like to think that's a tiny smile of contentment.

The really fun part of making these quilts was being able to cut loose and try out lots of free motion quilting fillers. Some of the designs came out of my imagination, having seen something similar on the internet.

I like the way the matchstick quilting lines in this circle throw the flying geese design up into relief.

Some designs, like this next one, were created with some high tech help, in the form of the Westalee Spin-e-fex Snowflake templates. Along with a ruler foot to my sit-down domestic sewing machine, a vintage Bernina 1230, it was really quite easy to stitch this pattern.

But not all my tools were sophisticated. I also had some very low tech help, five bowls of assorted diameters that I kept close at hand and drew around (with my Sewline air-erasable pen) whenever I needed a new circle. It's fun to improvise!

This quilt belongs to baby Calliope Florence Eleanora, and the background fabric consists of tiny white stars on grey.

...and here's Calliope herself, fast asleep like her sister :-)

Grey is such a useful shade, and a great foil for any colour, whether pastel or bright, but it's not very easy to photograph. So here are a few more detail shots showing the quilting more clearly from the back.

 Oh, I do love how Harper and Calliope are already snuggling into their new quilts!

Harper's Quilt
Calliope's Quilt

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy birthday, Di B!

It's my colourful quilting buddy Di B's birthday today, so this post is all about her.

She's far too modest about her amazing quilt making talent, and doesn't have a blog of her own, so by way of a birthday surprise I'd like to share her latest, and greatest, quilt finish.

For her version of Julie Herman's Jaybird Quilts pattern, Arcade Game, Di carefully chose fabrics from Karen Lewis' Blueberry Park range in shades that would combine to accentuate the 3 dimensional effect of the baby blocks.

The day of our photo shoot couldn't have been more perfect, with plenty of sunshine to light up those colours and reveal the fabulous custom quilting by Linda Billett of Artisan Quilting.

With Sydney Harbour's deep blue water glinting below a perfectly cloudless sky it was this photographer's dream setting. 

In an effort to be a little "arty farty" we draped the quilt over a garden bench.

We tossed it nonchalantly over the rails of the jetty.

We spread it over a table.

And I imagined it as an inviting tablecloth with a party of friends gathered around for brunch in the sun.  

This quilt, however, was destined for something much more special. Di made it with great love for her grand-niece, Annemieke, who lives in Holland.

Faced with many colours, and wondering which one to pick for the binding, Di chose this fun stripe and used them all!  

All that Aussie sunshine has now been wrapped up in this beautiful quilt, and it's settled into its new home, on a little girl's bed  on the other side of the world.

Did Annemieke like her new quilt? 

No ....... she LOVED it!

Take a bow, Di B, you deserve it. 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fast forward

While our industrious St Mark's Quilters have been working hard over the past two
months, I've been a tad slack as far as blogging is concerned. So here's a quick catch-up ...

Quilting is always a perfect midwinter activity, made even more enjoyable when it's shared with friends.

We've tried new techniques and designs, like Di B's free motion quilting.

And Sue M's oversized "I Spy" hexies, the perfect way to use novelty scraps. I can't wait to see this one finished!

Don't you just love Gail O's hand pieced diamonds using these sweet Lucy Atwell style fabrics teamed with fresh minty green?

 We've also encouraged each other, like Margaret admiring the quilt Michelle is making for her grandson. 

We've hand stitched plenty of bindings.

We've made a start on a special quilt for the reception area at The Marcia.

And we've kept our energy up with some truly delicious baked goods from the kitchens of our quilters.

Most importantly of all, we've enjoyed being together, sharing a laugh, and helping others by creating some amazing quilts.

The 'icing on the cake', so to speak, was when we received this beautiful 'thank you' gift from the KU Marcia Burgess kindy, for autistic children, a folder full of heartwarming photos of the little recipients of our quilts. 

To see the individual finished quilts, pop over to the Blankets of Love and Kindy Quilts for The Marcia pages (see tabs above). 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Taking Liberties" does it again

Sometimes a blogger just has to seize the day and ignore the fact that she has a gazillion unwritten posts to be written because today's news is just too exciting to wait for the correct chronological order to be observed.

When I pulled this elegantly printed fat envelope out of my letter box this afternoon I knew immediately that it contained my long-awaited copy of the Liberty of London 140th Anniversary commemorative book.

You might have heard my little squeal!

Last year Liberty put out the call worldwide for photos of Liberty memories over the years from 1875 to the present, and projects using their gorgeous fabrics. From these 140 were chosen for inclusion in this book, and my prizewinning quilt, "Taking Liberties", was one of these.

It's in excellent company, with some amazing projects featured, and I feel so honoured to have my humble work appearing alongside such talent.

Here it is, happily occupying the whole of page 46.  And look! Those dear folk at Liberty  have thoughtfully framed it!

And as if that wasn't enough, I'm a cover girl! OK, it's the back cover, and it's only half the quilt, but life's too short to quibble :-)

That little quilt, made from a charm pack of Liberty squares won in an Instagram giveaway from Australian Liberty suppliers Ava & Neve, came together quite quickly, won 3rd prize in the Small Quilt category at the Sydney Quilt Show last year, and has given me the most enormous pleasure ever since. 

It now hangs where I can enjoy those beautiful Liberty prints every day.

I've recently started another quilt using Liberties,  but you'll have to wait till another day when I have more time to tell you about that one...