Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Snowflake stash

I've always loved snowflakes (actually, to be technically correct, the pretty things are snow crystals) and have quite a substantial stash of snowflake fabrics. That's despite the fact that I instantly reject any prints which portray them with 8 'branches'! But I have a hard time cutting into them. Anyway this week I delved into them for an applique project made entirely of snowflake fabrics - from the background, to the applique pieces, to the binding, and yes, even the backing!

Here's just a little peek. It's packaged-up now and off to Australian Patchwork and Quilting; you'll see it as a project in a few months' time.

I think I need a piecing project soon, but next up is helping James and Eleanor work on their quilts while they're on holidays.


A few weeks ago I finished the commissioned beach scene I was working on and sent it off. I'd meant to blog the photos, but life keeps getting busy. I've been knitting and quilting, and have been sniffling my way through the first half of the 2-week winter school holidays with James and Eleanor

In reference to both the boats on the water and the hot-air balloons in the sky, this one is called 'Floating'.

Every beach scene I make is different, although as I make more of them, there is less structural difference between some of them, and the variations come in the form of fabric selections and details. Some of these are specific requests, others more serendipitous or aesthetic. In this case, my customer hadn't specifically commented on including a kite in the sky as I've done recently, so I decided to use the new balloon fabric I had (and was keen to use!) instead. Not knowing whether it was for a child or not, I felt this was a better choice (although after fusing I realised I'd placed them a bit too centrally - normally I'd place them a bit more off-centre, but by then it was too late!).

The turtles below were a specific request. I've only used them once before, as they're hard to blend in. This time I helped with that by adding an extra appliqued turtle over the seamline - and the fun appliqued crab near the bird.

The palm trees were also a request. They're fused applique, as are the other applique details. I used batik fabrics and chose to use a palm print for that section of sky as well, which I think added some nice depth. (It just so happened that I had the right print which fitted perfectly into the gradient I was creating for the sky, in just the right place.)

This detail image below shows the applique stitches. The other appliques are stitched on with fine clear or matching threads in a small blanket stitch, but I chose to applique these with a free-motion line close to the edge at the quilting stage using a 40wt glossy thread. And then I went over the trunks to create the texture I wanted. I drew the leaves freehand and then adapted them as I cut them out.

This quilt has now safely arrived in the US, and I've spent the week working with some of my beloved (and more seasonally appropriate) snowflake stash.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


The other afternoon while I was trimming my latest magazine project prior to binding, the afternoon sun shone through my studio windows and highlighted the quilting texture beautifully:

Unfortunately it didn't also highlight the two small sections I'd somehow missed, and which I didn't discover until I'd pinned it up to photograph. By that stage I didn't have time for mucking around, so I added the little bits of quilting after the photos!

I've posted both this one and the beach quilt. Photos of the beach quilt are coming once I've edited them to get the colours accurate - but I spent this evening knitting instead. I've started a jumper for James. I'm using a pattern, something I never do with quilting - except I'm altering the size, and the cable design (I'm thrilled I can knit cables, such lovely quilting-like texture they create!), and using different yarn, and making it striped....