Sunday, 16 February 2014

Landscape quilting

I decided to fill the land part of this quilt with irregular lengths of nested Cs between wavy lines. I chose to separate them more by quilting three sets of wavy lines together, deliberately varying the gap between them. I'm using a taupe-coloured BottomLine thread top and bottom; it blends quite well with all the fabrics. It shows on the navy batik backing, but not as starkly as it appears in the photos.

To give you an idea of scale, the Cs are 1/2 to 3/4in apart; the photo below shows an area about 10in wide.

This works quite nicely around the quilted wildlife, and gives a nice land effect and good texture. I didn't want anything too fussy, since much of it isn't obvious among all the prints (hence the photo fro the back) and there's a lot of space to cover! The Cs aren't all the same, and they're not identically-spaced - I didn't bother trying; the natural variation gives it a more organic look.

This somewhat ugly creature is an Eastern Water Dragon - he was fun to quilt! I used a variegated brown/tan King Tut; the outline and some of the other lines (where necessary for continuous quilting) are quilted twice for definition.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Animal quilting

I've been busily quilting the big landscape quilt. I started by quilting the birds and other wildlife I'd marked prior to sandwiching. They're not all easy to see from the front in photographs, so I've shown the lyrebird below from the back as well:

And here's the platypus, near the little waterhole:

You can still see some of the blue pen markings; I'll get that out later, rather than work on a wet quilt.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Yesterday didn't go quite as planned. We're having a very hot summer, and the awful heat (42C) combined with the wind, especially low humidity and dry undergrowth combined for a catastrophic fire rating. For those of you outside of Australia, this is an official rating; the highest level of a new system instigated after the dreadful fires through Victoria a few years back. It basically means that if a fire breaks out, it's unlikely to be able to be contained, spread quickly, act unpredictably and be ferocious. Even well-prepared and defended properties are unlikely to be able to provide safe shelter. Not good.

A fire was started around 8.30am perhaps 6km from us, in a National Park which comes as close as 1km from our home. And when we received emergency SMS messages on our mobiles and an automated call to our home phone, starting with, "Emergency, emergency...." we decided to heed advice and leave before it might be too late, even though I wasn't overly concerned about the safety of out home. So we grabbed a few essential items and went with the dogs to my parents-in-law for the day.

For me, my current quilt and my machine were essentials - mostly because I really need to get the quilt finished soon, and didn't want to lose more time than necessary! So I made a start on the quilting at their dining table. These smaller trees don't take too long to FMQ around twice (I'm appliqueing them in place at the same time), but the bigger ones take ages!

Luckily the fire was spotted early by fire patrols and heavily attended by crews and aerial attack, and though it did get out of hand for a while, the it was contained by mid afternoon, and the fire threat reduced, so we came home after dinner. luckily it's (relatively) cool today, but will be back up around and into the 40s by mid-week. While people in North America are experiencing the cold and having snow-days, we're likely to have a day or two this week where the school is closed due to catastrophic fire danger!

Because of where we're located (in the lower part of hills surrounding the city) we're at greater risk. While the majority of the 1m+ people in Adelaide who live, work and go to school on the plains are largely unaffected, up here we're in a separate fire-danger zone, with usually higher ratings, and on catastrophic days the schools and various other services close. The risk is a trade-off for the lovely tree-filled suburbs, greater space and, ironically, the slightly cooler temperatures.

Today I'm back to quilting at home, working through the bigger tree appliques. Perhaps I should add some flames into the quilting somewhere...

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Hot and cold

Today James finished his fifth quilt. He designed it with me, painted all the fabric for the top, did some of the cutting, most of the pinning, all of the piecing, pressed under supervision and helped with the basting and quilting. You can see the lovely soft contrast minkee backing he chose.

Not that he needs to be bundled up in a quilt. As I sit up late watching the start of the Winter Olympics and we look forward to 2 weeks of ice and snow sports, we're in the middle of a very hot summer, and anticipating 42C (108F) tomorrow!

I just need him to name the quilt, and you should be able to see it in full as a project (instructions written by me!) in Australian Patchwork & Quilting in May (I think it's the children's issue).