Friday, November 27, 2009

Gladness – and sadness

In an exciting little postscript to Stitchin’ Mission yesterday Di, Linda and I spent a delightful morning with Pam Holland. IMG_2301 I can’t reveal too many details of our time together just yet, except to say it involved a good deal of “show and tell” and some camera work (by all parties!) . IMG_2293 Then came the very sad part – saying goodbye to our dear friend Linda after 5 weeks of fun together. IMG_2303 Linda’s plane took off for the US at 3.30 this afternoon. The temperature here in Sydney was a toasty 29 degrees Celsius but my computer told me it was minus 2 degrees Celsius in Des Moines! Brrrr…

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Applause, please!

…for these wonderful women who’ve finished their quilts for the tots at the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre.

Until 5 weeks ago most had never wielded a rotary cutter or made a quilt and several had no machine sewing experience at all. 

Were they daunted? Well, maybe just a little.  But they jumped in, pushed their boundaries wider, and survived the experience, in the process discovering God-given talents some never knew they had, and gaining confidence to attempt another quilt down the track. 

Several even made more than one quilt - Wow!

With Linda’s patient and easy to follow instructions they’ve progressed from cutting to piecing, to quilt-sandwiching, to quilting and tying, to binding.  It’s been a bumpy ride for several, but they’ve hung on and ended up with beautiful quilts, stitched with so much love.

I just want to give every one of them a huge hug!

Final dayFinal day1 Final day2 It’s been a joy to work with these inspirational women. 

Thank you, ladies, you can take a well-deserved bow!

The last Stitchin’ Mission class – feeling the heat!

Hot With the temperature hitting 39 degrees Celsius (about 102 degrees Fahrenheidt) last Sunday as I set out for our final Stitchin’ Mission class, I wondered how many of our newbies would venture out in these heatwave conditions.Afternoon Tea 2 We had positioned pedestal fans all around the room to provide a cooling cross-draft, bottles of cold mineral water and a platter of chilled fruit on the table, and a special surprise – Jess arrived with these cute Stitchin’ Mission cupcakes!Cupcakes 3 Of course they came – flaunting their fabulous quilts and skylarking as Linda positioned them for the group photo shoot.Informal Group 2 SM Group 2

What a cool bunch!

Monday, November 16, 2009

This week’s lesson – applying the quilt binding

IMG_2047 IMG_2048 IMG_2057 I can’t wait to see all our finished quilts next Sunday!

More cleverness

Corinne’s wonderful creation has gone from pieces to  quilted in just a week!  Wow!


Don’t you just love Moo’s fabrics?  I knew she’d choose something bright and fun, and these blocks and will co-ordinate perfectly with her chosen backing of scarlet with scattered Sesame Street Elmo faces.  I hope some mischievous little boy chooses this one!


I wondered who would choose this great train fabric from our Stitchin’ Mission stash, and when Coral picked it up I just knew she would do it justice.  She’s teamed it with some crisp co-ordinates – royal blue with cobwebs, and white with tiny yellow spots – which really make the yellow pop.


Averil momentarily lost her nerve when it came to attaching her borders, but in the end she came through with flying colours by just taking it slowly - and praying.  Such a pretty quilt with lots of pastel butterflies.IMG_2043

Almost there!

The excitement is growing - along with our Stitchin’ Mission quilts. Take a look at these beauties.

Debbie decided to jump right into free motion machine quilting and has mastered a great meander across her Stairs to Heaven quilt.


Eleanor shopped for her own feature fabric, a fanciful jungle party scene of toucans, pandas, lions and rhinos – all wearing party hats.IMG_2053!

IMG_2055Julia and Louise are working together on this dinosaur quilt - it’s almost tied. Such fun! IMG_2052

And look at Geraldine's colourful quilt where lime green adds lots of zing.


Reality check

Birthday parties, making quilts, getting together with good friends, cooking and eating.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog you could be forgiven for thinking this is the kind of charmed life I lead.

I wish!

The reality is it’s Monday morning, and I’m wearing another of my many ‘hats’ as I busy myself earning a living.  There’s not a quilt or a needle and thread in sight.

David's work Nevertheless I do love my job!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Breathe in ….. breathe out …..

Life is a little full here at the moment! 

But sometimes you’ve just got to stop and smell the roses – or peonies, or lillies, or snapdragons.  Especially when they are a gift from some delightful friends.

Floral arrangements

Friday, November 13, 2009

And just where does all that creative energy come from?

IMG_1981 Fruit salad!  IMG_1982 It’s a regular feature of our lunches together (topped off with a dollop of raspberry yoghurt …. Yummmmm…).

Our Candied Hexagon / Frederica Josephson quilts are coming along nicely too

Here’s Anne’s, in mellow reproduction fabrics.


And Wendi’s which is similar.


And Linda’s crisp, modern blocks in a carefully selected palette inspired by the jacarandas and bougainvillias blooming here now.

IMG_1980    And you saw mine last week in this post.

Showing and Telling

What inspiring quilting buddies I have!  After our monthly quilting get-togethers it seems I’m always resolving to find more hours in my day to create beautiful quilts like theirs.  It doesn’t happen.  Perhaps I’m destined to be one of those people we schoolteachers used to call a “plodder” lol.

You might enjoy some eye candy from our gathering today.

Here’s Rae adding the final few stitches to her version of the Sarah Evans quilt, entirely hand appliqueed and hand quilted. Kim McLean wrote the pattern for the reproduction of this historic Australian quilt, and it’s in The Fabric of Society.  This is only Rae’s fourth quilt, but she’s a natural!


And this is Wendi’s version, with feature blocks inspired by William Morris.IMG_1971IMG_1973

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The very best kind of teacher... one who's passionate about her subject!

Linda's love of quiltmaking has rubbed off on our Stitchin' Mission newbies and Rebekahs, and there are even whisperings about a quilt group continuing next year. How great would that be!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sharing the task

We didn’t all know each other when we began this exciting creative journey, but pinning a quilt together is a great time to chat. Can’t you just hear the buzz?

Amanda and Michaela helped each other.


As did Jess and Ruth.


Di B helped Adelaide and Becky.


And Eleanor and Geraldine teamed up.


Great work!

Making sandwiches

First the backing was carefully taped to the table, then the batting was smoothed out.

IMG_1864 Finally the quilt top became the upper “slice” in our quilt sandwich.IMG_1865The layers are held together by lots of safety pins at 4 inch intervals and a  Kwik Klip really saves the fingers when you have so many safety pins to close.

IMG_1875 For a fast result – and great visual appeal too – Stitchin’ Mission quilts are mostly tied rather than quilted.

IMG_1877 We’re almost there!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Those Stitchin’ Mission quilts are taking shape

Homework for today was to have the quilt top completed, ready for a class on creating the quilt sandwich - and as everyone arrived it was obvious that most of our newbies had clearly been very industrious at home this week. 

Robyn stitched her blocks together entirely by hand!  In a week!IMG_1860 Here’s Margaret’s bright Quarry Stones quilt, with fussy-cut motor bikes.IMG_1868 And here’s Di’s ‘happy feet’ penguin party quilt.  This penguin fabric, in either red or yellow, proved extremely popular, so watch to see these little guys popping up in several quilts.


Friday, November 6, 2009

In no particular hurry

Whilst I do enjoy running up machine-pieced quilts for faster results my very favourite way to create quilts is by hand.  Slowly. With no particular time frame.  And the more fabrics I can include, the better!
This quilt ticks all those boxes.
The Fabric of Society (Dr Annette Gero and Kim McLean) features a photo of the original, by Frederica Josephson, and gives Kim McLean’s instructions for her version.  Kim’s quilt uses traditional fabrics deliciously fussy-cut to achieve a look that is full of vibrant colour and movement.
A couple of years ago quilter Kerry Dear created her version -inspired by Kim’s! 
Kerry’s quilt, Candied Hexagons, appeared as a cover quilt in Quilter’s Companion magazine and was so popular that the particular issue completely sold out.  It used Marti Michell templates and was machine pieced.
Most of the fabrics in this version were glorious brights by Kaffe Fassett, red polka dots, golden yellows and voluptuous flower prints, producing a thoroughly modern take on Frederica Josephson’s original. IMG_1745
Lurline and Janet have made their versions too.
Mine is reasonably traditional, something of a stash-buster, using many of my large-print florals.  I’m trying to keep it light and bright, and stitching the hexagons by hand over English papers.
Who would have thought there’d be so many ways to piece together a hexagon?
It’s such a deliciously relaxing way to create a quilt….eventually.
IMG_1744 What’s your favourite way to create a quilt?