Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Smiles all round

What a day we had for our St Mark's Quilters Christmas break-up lunch recently! 

The sun shone brightly, if a little too warmly, and we had all the essentials: puppies, yummy festive food, and lots of fabric. 

Michaela's smile said it all, as she obligingly posed with her web-pieced kindy quilt (in progress) to show Linda Hungerford how well she's put into practice her Stitchin' Mission lessons learnt seven years ago.

The only stony face in sight was this rather pensive fellow on the church wall.

We welcomed our newest recruit, Elsa, Di B's new golden retriever puppy, and I'm happy to say Chester was a complete gentleman. He even dressed for the occasion in his Christmas bandana, made by Di B. 

After a tentative introduction the two of them went on to play happily all day.

Chester even allowed Elsa "win" their wrestling match.

With our Autism Puzzle quilt for The Marcia finished, this was the perfect opportunity to photograph it in the garden where the children play after church.

 We're very happy with the way it's turned out. It's been a long time coming (we designed it ourselves) and in the new year we plan to present it to the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre to hang in their reception area.

Of course there were other beautiful new quilts too. Like this Blanket of Love from Sue M.

And this sunshiny one donated by our quilting friend Claire who made it in memory of her friend's little bub who passed away in childbirth. 

Her friend didn't want a Blanket of Love for herself, preferring to have Claire donate it instead to RPA Hospital, so in a thoughtful gesture, Claire also made a perfect miniature version of this (already tiny) quilt to give to her friend to keep.

Gail O ran up this pirate quilt, sure to be a hit with a little person at The Marcia next year.

And Gillian couldn't "bear" to stop at just one teddy Blanket of Love.

There were more, but I'll pop them on our Blankets of Love and Kindy Quilts pages in the next few days where you can see them. Here's a little taste.

 Lunch was a fancier affair than usual, as we co-ordinated to bring delicious food, both sweet and savoury, to create a Christmas party. The table looked wonderful!

 I'm continually surprised to meet quilters, and hear that they follow Snippets 'n' Scraps and look forward to seeing what our St Mark's Quilters have been up to. It's incredibly heartwarming to our group, so we want to say a big "thank you" and wish you all a wonderful Christmas, wherever in the world you are.

May you know God's love for you at Christmas and always.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We love our work

The cricket's on the radio, carols are playing in the supermarket, and there's barely a space left in my engagement calendar. Yes, Christmas is almost upon us, and with our Christmas break-up workshop and lunch this coming Saturday it's high time I caught up with sharing our St Mark's Quilters' October doings.

 There were some truly amazing kindy quilt finishes.

Di B brought along her cot-sized Paint Box quilt, beautifully quilted on her domestic machine.

Sue M was working on the placement of pieces for her gorgeously scrappy hexagon "I Spy" quilt.

Michaela was stitching down the binding on her latest kindy quilt.

Perdita was cutting sashings.

And Michelle, Liz, Margaret and Gail were just concentrating hard. You'll see some of their beautiful finished work if you click on the Blankets of Love and Kindy Quilts for "The Marcia" tabs above.

Our lovely Barb usually drives down all the way from the Central Coast to be with us, but sadly she couldn't make it. 

This time Susie W won the gold star for coming furthest - from Orange! We've missed Susie since she and her DH retired and drove off for a tree-change earlier this year, so it was wonderful to have her back, if only for a visit.

Di B and I continued our tag-team process as we started on the binding for the Autism Puzzle quilt we're making for the reception area of the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre at Liverpool.

Creating quilts always makes us happy. Sometimes it's laugh-out-loud happy, especially when we're working together. Sometimes not. 

Even making a Blanket of Love gives us deep joy, trusting and praying it will warm the heart of a grieving parent. Only rarely, though, does it become 'personal'.

A friend contacted us recently with a special request. Some friends of hers had just lost their much-wanted and loved baby girl, born far too early, and she wondered if we had a Blanket of Love she could give them.

We chose this pretty starry hexagon quilt made by Gillian, stitched on a personalised label to the back, with the bub's name, and sent it to her parents (via our friend) with much love from St Mark's Quilters. 

We've never met this family, but being able to make this little gesture felt so good. 


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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