Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Nose in a book (or two)

With little effort (and little sleep) I can devour a novel in a night, but not much quilting! I've had a few nights with my nose stuck in books this week, so until Friday, when I can photograph a couple of new finishes  (at last!) here are a few more peeks at the quilting on my upcoming magazine project.

These photos show the curved cross hatching on the main part of the quilt. The double line outlining it was already quilting, and as with the curved crosshatchign in the border, I free-hand marked the end points of the lines, then drew them in (again freehand) before free-motion quilting them. I used the Sewline vanishing marker, which vanished perfectly and quickly.

Tonight I finished binding my next magazine quilt.

I have been working on a large custom quilting design and refining my next swap quilt design. The swap quilt is going to be mostly wholecloth, but with a few small applique highlights, and I think I'll intersperse working on that with the king-size customer quilt I'm about to sandwich - but first I need to clear the decks; it's going to take every inch of space I can manage!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Reflections by Jeanie

A while back, Jeanie contacted me after seeing my Reflections quilt (below) as a pattern in Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

I helped her work out the requirements for making it single bed size, by adding a couple of rows. Yesterday Jeanie sent me some photos of the finished quilt; I think she's done an amazing job; not least  becase it's only the 2nd quilt she's finished. Here's Jeanie's version:

Jeanie had it professionally quilted by a longarmer, and this pantograph suits the quilt perfectly:

Thank you Jeanie for sharing your beautiful quilt!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Snap decisions

I finished the border quilting and going around the appliques, and was ready to start on the grass section of the background. I ruled out my earlier ideas on how to quilt it, but instead of procrastinating longer, I decided to just start. I chose the thread which matched best and made a quick decision to do swirls, but as I was lowering the needle to start, I realised it wouldn't fit neatly into some fo the spaces, and would work better on the sky area. So I changed my mind, settled on large-scale McTavishing (with the lines a genersous 1/2in apart) and got going. The grass is now about half done, and I'm happy with it.

I've had a very unproductive weekend, but with any luck, I'll get the background to this done tomorrow afternoon and evening, and maybe even bind it in time to photograph on Tuesday.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Quilting peeks

There's nothing much new to show on the quilting I'm doing, but when I was backing up my photos (by the way, my email files going back to January are irretrievably lost - I'm horrified!) I came across the photos of the quilting I did on Winter Windows. It won't be out in Australian Patchwork and Quilting for another 6 weeks or so, but I can't help but share a few peeks at the quilting.

Above shows my first attempt at filling the outwards-pointing border triangles; I did two this way, then unpicked them and replaced it with the curved cross-hatching pattern shown below:

I marked the line start and finish points (by eye - no measuring or templates) then drew in the curves (some still visible above) - also freehand - then quilted, although I didn't always follow the lines accurately (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not!).

More peeks to follow, beacuse I can't help myself!

A Quilt for Simon

Having made snuggle quilts for both the children and myself, I decided to make one for Simon for his birthday last year. But the usual happened, and being a family quilt, it got rather bumped down my priority list. Then I happened to submit the design to the publisher of Australian Patchwork and Quilting, along with a number of other designs. When it was enthusiastically commissioned, I had the deadline I needed to get it done - although this would naturally mean an extended wait before he actually got to use it!

Early this year I finished the quilt and sent it off. Then, just before we went to the snow, it was returned to me, along with a copy of the magazine it's in. Sheets & Spinnakers is one of the projects in the current issue; Vol 21 No 9. Simon's birthday was the day after we got back from skiing, so it's only a year late, but already it's on the sofa and being used in the cool evenings. It's pretty much single bed size.

The whole design was based around the navy and white fabric, which features blueprints and instructions for building sailable model boats - absolutely perfect for Simon! I added in the two natical map prints as I found them, and my eventual design coincidentally ended up by very similar to the Storm-at-Sea block.

I wanted to keep the quilting fairly minimal, so the quilt is nice and snuggly, and ended up doing mostly quilting in-the-ditch, so as not to detract from the piecing, and a simple free-motion (but marked) wave across the centres of the feature blocks.

As an added bonus, my name just happens to be one of the imaginary place names on the beige map print (the pale blue is an actual world map):

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Back to quilting

I have returned! I hadn't planned a break, but a day into our week-long skiing holiday, my 8-month-old laptop decided it urgently required a new hard drive, and left me off-line for the remainder of the week. It's being replaced under warranty on Thursday. Fortunately I store most of my files, including all photos, elsewhere - though I'm really hoping that my emails from the last 6 months will be able to be recovered - and this serves as a good reminder to back up more frequently and more thoroughly!

In the last few days I've added some applique grasses for the giraffes, and today I sandwiched it and started quilting free-form feathers in the wide border.

These feathers work really nicely with the marbled print; fancy enough to be special, but not too elaborate or time-consuming to be wasted effort on fabric where they won't stand out without selective lighting.

While I'll obviously quilt closely around the tree, patches of leaves and giraffes, I'm not entirely decided on how to quilt the centre background. I plan to use matching threads and am considering the swirl/feather/paisley combination I've used before, or perhaps some more landscape-appropriate choices - the clouds I've done in a few skies recenty would work, but I don't want to fill the green area with a grassy pattern; I think that'd be overkill. I'll have time to mull over my decision while I finish the feathering and deal with the tree and giraffes.