Sunday, November 3, 2019

Well, hello!

I'm sorry I've neglected you for a while, but life's been a little busy so I've been hanging out on Instagram (@darlingdi) where the posting is faster and easier. Lazy, I know.  
Anyway, I thought a quick summary of the quilt-related things that have been happening in my life since I last posted here might put us back on track again, so here goes.....

I've been......

...Making a modern hexie star quilt, coincidentally at the same time as Di B was also making an Australiana quilt from an Emma Jean Jansen pattern for an overseas friend. 
I entered mine in the 2018 QuiltNSW Southern Stars Challenge as "He Counts the Stars", though it didn't win an award. 

But when I entered it in this year's NSW Royal Agricultural Society Show, better known here in Sydney as the Royal Easter Show, I renamed it "Starring Australia", and was thrilled when it was awarded 3rd Place in the Wall Quilt Innovative category.

It was also part of the QuiltNSW display at Government House on Australia Day.

...Stitching with St Mark's Quilters, making quilts together for the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospita, the Children's Ward at Orange Base Hospital and the Palliative Care Unit at the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick.

It's exactly 10 years since my friend Linda Hungerford (@flourishingpalms) taught her Stitchin' Mission, a 5 week beginner quiltmaking course, to 25 keen would-be at St Mark's, and from that grew our keen St Mark's Quilters group.

Though I haven't been blogging as such, I have been updating the Pages (see the tabs above left) to record each finished cot quilt, Blanket of Love and humidicrib cover and the makers. They are a very generous, fun and creative bunch!

I'm not as prolific as most of them, but these are a couple of my finishes.

...Entering the 2018 and 2019 Quilt NSW Suitcase Challenges.
The theme for the 2018 challenge was "Running Away with the Amish" and my entry, "Amish Amplified", was voted Viewers' Choice. It seems I had learnt a thing or two about colour and value at those monthly Colour and Design classes I attended all last year with Bob James at My Sewing Supplies!

As the name implies, the entries are designed to fit into a suitcase, lying flat, and form a travelling exhibition by QuiltNSW across Australia over the following 18 months or so. 

As a modern quilter, I wasn't quite as comfortable tackling this year's Suitcase Challenge theme, "From these Curtains". Entrants were given a piece of no longer used curtain fabric from NSW Government House and asked to create a 40cm square quilt using as much, or as little, of the very traditional fabric as we liked.

I deconstructed all those petals and leaves, even the coral-coloured bird, and fused them into colour blocks, then applied similar toning fabric "tiles" over them, leaving the tiny scraps of curtain fabric peeking through "windows".
This was my entry, "Peek-a-Boo Petals", not an award winner, but I certainly enjoyed the challenge. 

So now I have two little quilts travelling around Australia, seeing the sights!

...Diving in at the deep end, ruler-free and template-free, to make this improv mini quilt for the Curated Quilts mini challenge, "Connections" in June last year. I called it :The Highway over the Hill leads to Home", a place where we connect with our loved ones.

Improv piecing is still a completely new experience for me, and I didn't enjoy being out of my comfort zone! I had the most fun walking-foot quilting the background though, inspired by Jacquie Gering's book, Walk. The mini measures 11" x 11"

I know it's good to stretch myself and learn new techniques, but I really need to loosen up!

Gosh, there's so much more to tell you, especially if you're not an Instagram follower of mine, but I think that's quite enough for now!


  1. How lovely to see you again in blogland! And you made me giggle with your opening sentence... "neglected for a while." If 17 months is "a while," what's a long time?! Ha, ha, ha. You're funny! It's sure great to read the back story on all the pretties we've seen on Instagram. It's always good to look back at our group picture from Stitchin' Mission, and see how far we've come - and how much older we are! Ha. I didn't realize you entered the same quilt in both the NSW show and Royal Easter show. Yay for the ribbon! Do you think it made a difference giving the quilt a new name? I also didn't realize you'd submitted a quilt for a "Curated Quilts" challenge. It's really striking, and I completely understand your sentiments about feeling outside your comfort zone with improv. It's precisely the same for me, yet continues to intrigue me because it's challenging. Improv will definitely take more trial-and-error, and practice for me to ever become proficient. My failures with it make me appreciate even more those who seem to have the knack. I want to be one of them! Thanks for taking the time to give an overview of your makes. Keep having quiltmaking fun!

  2. Oh, Di! Your latest work simply blows me away! It’s so nice to see you again on blogger. I don’t visit IG enough.


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