Saturday, 14 March 2015


At AMQF last year, I was inspired by a gorgeous and remarkable quilt by Jamie Wallen which employed applique over organza layered over an otherwise wholecloth quilt sandwich. I sourced a few colours of polyester crystal organza and have been experimenting with layering and the effects I can create.

These are the three main fabrics I'm working with; a dark teal blue organza, an aqua batik/hand dye and an pale gold organza. The organzas are hard to photograph and took a while to edit in Photoshop to get them accurate, but I wanted to try and show the difference between the original appearance and how they appear layered (in progress below - even harder to photograph, although the colours are fairly true).

This is just a peek at what I'm working on at the moment. I have a vision of how it will turn out, but I suspect it will surprise me. I've actually ended up using quite different applique techniques and styles from the inspiration quilt, but plan to stick with the dense style of quilting from the original which I learned in the class I took - only I'll be incorporating my own elements.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Making Waves

Starting with some easy posts, this is another of the quilts I finished in the last few months. This one you saw almost to completion through several progress posts in October and November while we were waiting for the arrival of my nephew. Well, he certainly made waves as he arrived!

Having set a precedent of making beach scene quilts for the nieces and nephews on my husband's side of the family, this time I drew inspiration from my sister-in-law's husband who surfs rather than sails.

The waves were pieced together as a single unit, then sewn onto the reef section of water below.

I had planned to machine applique the waves to the sky, but decided hand stitching it would give a far better finish, so set to and did it by hand. I rarely do anything but the finishing of my quilts by hand, mostly because it's time consuming, but sometimes it's worth the effort. For example, I would never consider machine binding my quilts because I don't think the quality of the finish is good enough.

I decided not to try and put a surfer into the quilt, so instead there's a seagull bobbing in the waves.

And there is a sunken surfboard hidden in the reef:

Up at the top you'll notice a plane in the sky; I'm collecting a few different options for adding more interest; so far I have kites, hot-air balloons and now planes.

Making Waves in now in use by Aidan - I'd much rather see my baby quilts get loved and used and repeatedly washed than saved in a cupboard as too pretty to use.

Monday, 9 March 2015


Since my disappearance from here nearly six months ago, there has been quilting activity going on - thought not quite as much as there used to be. And every now and then I think about blogging, but it's hard to get back in the habit - and the longer I leave it, the worse it gets. I have a few quilts ready to share, so it's time for a concerted effort.

Jacaranda is a large lap quilt (in hind sight, I probably should have made it a bit larger so it could be a single bed quilt) which is in the current issue (March 2015, No 142) of Australian Homespun magazine. In a lucky coincidence, their photography timeframe for this issue coincided with when the jacarandas were in bloom last October/November, so it has been styled outside and looks fantastic with a jacaranda tree.

The block I created looks unintentionally a bit like a bear's paw block. The centre diamond uses a Tula Pink scallop print which matches the bluey purples and greens perfectly and adds a tiny pop of musky pink and soft burgundy. I dithered for ages about whether to make this a scrappy quilt or use the same pairing of green and blue/purple for the outer part of all the blocks. I let my stash determine my decision, but I suspect I may have preferred a more consistent appearance.

After the plumes were quilted/appliqued, the quilting was done in a largely allover manner, although I did allow the arcs of plumes to guide me, and the centre appliques got a slightly different treatment:

I particularly enjoyed the combination of piecing and applique in this quilt. It'll be travelling around with Homespun for a while, and then I plan to add it to the pile we use on the sofas in winter - even if its white background doesn't make it the most practical for frequent use.