Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A giveaway I seriously want to win!

The innovative and unbelieveably talented Nadine of Dreamweaver's Quilts is having an amazing giveaway to celebrate her upcoming Inchies book, fetauring what could be the world's smallest quilts! If you want to have a chance to win some of her quilt art, pop over quickly and check it out - but take the time to enjoy browsing her website. Now I'm off to increase my chances of winning!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Palm blocks completed

I've completed the 16 adapted palm blocks:
But only two are ready to sew together, because removing the foundations takes forever!
I wish there was an easier way to remove the papers - any tips???

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


This is a basic Palm block (taken from Electric Quilt).
This is what I've turned it into for my new quilt:
Each new palm block has 38 pieces (why settle for a measly 14?!) and will be foundation-pieced in 4 sections. I need 16 blocks and so far have pieced the 2 side units for each block - here are a few:
I managed to use almost all scraps for the brights, and got about half the white background from scraps, too. I am not looking forward to removing the foundation papers, especially with all those narrow points!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Fishing at Easter

Eleanor ready for her first boat trip (other than a few weeks before she was born!):
This fishing is hard work!
Both kids fall asleep on the way out, Eleanor stayed asleep for ages.

What remains of the old Tipara Reef Lighthouse:

(Excuse any off angles, I was standing on a rocking boat!)

Getting arty while James and Eleanor slept; the front of the boat:
(I love this shot.)

Simon catching a garfish (small but sweet, they're probably my favourite other than the surprise mullet James caught).

James fishing with Nanny:

James reeling one in:
James enjoying being out on the water:

Evidence I was actually on the boat, after Eleanor finally woke:
Eleanor loving the speed with Pop on the way back in:

Pelicans hoping for an easy feed at the boat ramp:

Finished for the day:

James realising the Easter Bunny had been while we were out fishing (he stayed with Simon and Pop while they washed the boat down, giving a bit of time to lay a quick trail).

Most of my trail photos were out of focus. Eleanor couldn't work out what was going on for the first few (for her placed in clear sight about a metre apart) but soon cottoned-on, and was helping James with his after!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Eleanor's Quilt

I completely forgot when I first posted this, that I also turned the quilt into Eleanor' first Birthday cake, blogged here and here:


I've joined the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy. Pop over, check it out and browse through all the great quilts and their stories.

For my favourite completed quilt, I chose Eleanor's Quilt.
It's one of my favourites, plus is has some special meaning. I designed the quilt a long time before it was made, using Electric Quilt. Then, when Eleanor was on the way, I thought it'd be perfect for a girl's nursery.

It's made using only two different blocks, but by playing with the colouring, it creates a completely different effect. And the white bocks aren't pieced at all, just quilted in dark thread to give the appearance that they are, and a bit of a stained-glass window effect.

I've now used this technique in a number of quits, and intend to keep playing with the endless options for a while, so this quilt was really the start of something. While I've been designing all my own quilts for a while, this was the first in a different direction and something a bit 'me'.

But this quilt gave me an extra-special thrill, because it was the first quilt I had published:

It came out in Australian Patchwork and Quilting Vol16 No 11 last May, and I have my second quilt (Evening Indulgence) in the upcoming issue of Australian Quilters Companion (No 37, I think), due out in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Easter quilting 3 - Table runner

Next I made a start on some PIF gifts. I used scraps (already cut to shape!) and some spare yardage (for the binding) from a single quilt, plus a white to make some more maverick stars for this. The backing and batting were leftovers again, too.
Again, I wanted to try a different quiting pattern. these swirls were again slow, but effective on a small project.
Also awaiting a label, and another 24-hour project completed!
I then started another similar table runner, but not from scraps. The top is complete and I need to scrounge up the backing and batting when I have more time. My quilting progress was halted by a fishing-trip (Eleanor and I joined the others on the boat on Sunday) which lead to a headache (I'm sure it was caused by wearing a hat, I hate the things) and consequently a day of doing absolutely nothing.

I'll blog the non-quilty part of Easter (i.e. chocolate and fishing) tomorrow.

Easter quilting 2 - Happiness

Quilting Happiness is:

Finising a quilt in 24 hours
Actually using scraps!
Managing to scrounge a pieced batting
Using spots AND stripes
Time to sew
Trying a new quilting design

This one is for a friend's baby, and I've called it Happiness. It just needs a label, which I couldn't do while we were away. Click on any image for more detail.

I've decided I rather like the freedom of maverick stars, and am getting them out of my system slowly. This one uses 4in starting squares, yielding completed 10.5in blocks, but after heavy quilting, they reduced to 10in blocks.
I dug through my rarely-used scrap box and pulled out the brights. After doing all the points, I decided to piece scrappy centres, too. They used plenty of scraps, but there are still lots left!
This shows the centre of the quilt, where I started the peackock eye-feathers with 4 in a flower formation:
The quilting is far from perfect, and was very time (and cotton!) consuming, but I like the result. I certainly wouldn't want to do it on anyting bigger.
And yes, I managed this in a 24-hour period.

Easter quilting 1 - Mimicking the Cherry Thief

As usual, we went to Simon's parents' holiday house at Port Hughes for Easter. It's just about perfect. James goes fishing with Daddy and Pop, both kids get loads of quality grandparent time, and I get loads of quilting time. I take my cutting mat, rulers, machine, and several boxes of fabric and tools. Plus, there's a LQS for when I run out of anything, although they're closing down, and the closest one will then be 20km away - still not too bad!

My first finish for the weekend was my DQS6 quilt; it really only needed the binding and label, and I got that done the first day.

It' called 'Mimicking the Cherry Thief'. Mimicking, because the fantasy bird is based on the lyrebird, which is an incredible mimic, and because it's partly inspired by the William Morris design, 'The Stawberry Thief'. I actually did this in cross-stitch years ago, and incredibly, Simon, when helping me work out the legs, remembered it and we used the picture again! The quilting is simple; in-the-ditch around the lattice, plus closely around the bird and cherries. I also added the legs and fine tail plumes at the quilting stage.

It will soon be flying across an ocean...

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Breakfast on the Beach

Here is the finished quilt:
I couldn't decide whether the no-flash (above) or flash (below) photo was a truer representation, and since it's my blog, and I have no editor to answer to but myself, I've put in both!

Click on any of the images for more detail.
I'd started with the idea of sunset, but as I was searching for a name , I realised sunrise was a better description. Our family used to have breakfast on the beach a few times each summer, concidentally right near where DH's family sailed! It always included watching the horses being exercised (they're allowed before a certain time) and burying people in sand, but swimming depended on the water temperature. More than once it would end up being on a cold, windy day, and we'd rug-up!
Here are a few underwater details:
If you look really closely, you'll see a boat sailing in the background of the batik, but the colours worked well for the morning sky!
And some of the quilting from the back:
I hadn't planned a pieced back, but the night when I was ready to sandwich realised I didn't have anything big enough, so went through my box of leftover backing.
The sun's rays are done in a variegated King Tut sunset cotton.
And my favourite bit of quilted seaweed:
I delivered the quilt to Samantha today. At less that 4 days old, she didn't care, but her mother loves it, and big sister Zoe wanted to claim it as hers (it's very similar to her quilt Seaside ).
I really struggled over the design on this. Seaside took a while mulling ideas, but this time I just couldn't think of a more creative layout. I even tried something totally different, still with a vague beach link, but it wasn't right, and eventually I settled on the straight scene, or she'd be one before she got a quilt! I have to confess relief that BIL and SIL are planning to stick at two children in this regard!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Vintagey giveaway winners

I've finally had a look at the comments, and am splitting the items between Moeder Kip and Brissmiths. I will contact you, but please email me your addresses (via my profile) and I'll get the goods in the mail this week.

I wasn't surprised that no-one was interested in most of the patterns (except the child's tracksuit), so unless I hear from someone interested in them in the next few days, the other 4 will go in the recycling bin!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A lyrebird?

I've complete piecing Seaside 2 - and am looking for a more inspired name! I'm not entirely happy with some aspects of it but am pleased with the overall effect. I hope I can improve some parts with quilting and some small broderie perse applique, though I'm not sure about that heavy demarcartion in the sky. But I'm low on time; my niece will make her appearance on Friday (probably quite late), and we'll see her on Saturday.
Click for a closer look.

And I have appliqued the bird and cherries to my DQS6 quilt. I am very pleased with the bird, having somehow managed to draw it myself. My drawing skills usually fall short of stick-figures!The tail is inspired by the Lyrebird, but given my chosen colour, it was always going to be a bit of a fantasy bird. I'll add the legs and eye in the quilting.