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...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

True friends

It's not all fun and laughter at St Mark's Quilters. Sometimes there are tears. And hugs. And stumbling prayers where the right words are hard to find. Our June get-together was one of those days. 

One of our ladies had just started chemotherapy following a breast cancer diagnosis, and in a gesture of support and encouragement we surprised her with a cushion. 


In case the front wasn't cheery enough we each signed a coloured strip, corresponding to a coloured hexie, and these were sewn into the cushion backing as a permanent reminder of how much we love her and hold her in our prayers. As I write this she is progressing really well.


I'd be lyin' 😂 if I said we didn't have lots of fun as well, making Blankets of Love for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital here in Sydney and kindy quilts for "The Marcia", a KU preschool for autistic children at Liverpool.
Regular readers might recall when we received a very large quilt top as a donation, and Gail D took on the task of quilting it on her domestic sewing machine. Well, she brought it back, and it's magnificent! We're storing it for when an emergency happens and a call is put out to the quilting community for quilts.


Sophie and Susan made these three little Blankets of Love below.


Then we went a bit wild, with these three jungle/zoo themed kindy quilts, by Barb...



And Di C...


Sadly, one of the most loved members of our group passed away just a few days before our meeting. She was a foundation member of our group, and had been to almost every workshop over the last six and a half years. Meeting and greeting was her preferred role, and she has always made herself available for hugs when needed.

Yes, this special St Mark's Quilter was Di B's golden girl, Matilda, seen here recently enjoying a game of fetch in the park.


Quite the foodie, she enjoyed sampling tidbits from our morning teas with Di B. But 1 o'clock, which she knew as 'cheese o'clock', was her favourite time of the day. This was when she always enjoyed a piece of sliced cheese, to keep her going through the afternoon. 


She liked to wander around the hall, checking out everyone's quilt making, until recent years when her eyesight failed, but she still took great pride in her appearance and was a smart dresser, making sure Di matched her standard!
 Earlier this year Matilda enjoyed her 12th birthday. 

We'll miss you, beautiful girl, but we know you are in a better place, where your eyesight is perfect, your joints let you run free, and it's cheese o'clock every hour of the day!




Friday, July 1, 2016

Stacks more quilts!

Hello again! Thanks for saying with me. Now, where was I? Oh yes, showing off the fabulous work by our St Mark's Quilters at our May workshop.

Barb brought along two great kindy quilts...



Michaela knows you can't go wrong with sock monkeys.
Gillian showed us how easy it can be to make a quilt with lots of kid-appeal from a printed panel. Both the jungle quilt (above) and the farmyard quilt (below) are hers.


And finally, a wonderful team effort by Di B and Margaret. If you look closely you will see Di's signature orange peel quilting in those corner squares.


As usual, there was stacks of sweet goodness to fuel our efforts, this time a delicious lemon-iced bundt cake and a chocolate chip fruit slice cooked by Perdita. Yum!

 What bounty!