Weekend away just quilting

9 01 2017

I spent this past weekend at the lovely Avalon Homestead in Toodyay. But not by myself — I spent it with six other quilting friends. It wasn’t a formal retreat — just a catch-up with friends over our sewing machines. It was so nice to just sit and sew all day, have our meals prepared for us, and then do it all again the next day. Most of us started around 6am and didn’t finish until around 10pm. Just bliss! And the room we were in was just perfect for any sort of crafts. Oh, and there were goats, including two babies!

I made three quilts for my niece (details and photos later after I give them to her), plus an improvisational single bed quilt top made from scraps, and a lap quilt top.

Some photos of the quilt tops in progress (they aren’t quilted yet!) and the location…

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Twelve months after the Yarloop fires

9 01 2017

A year to the day that Yarloop was all but destroyed by one of the worst bushfires in Western Australian (European) history, I travelled to Perth along Forrest Highway, which the fire had jumped on its path of destruction to the coast. The bush is recovering slowly, with many weed species taking hold. The grass trees have sent up many spears (stimulated by the fire?), though not all are straight — many are very twisted. I don’t know if the twisting is natural or a result of the trauma to the plants by the fires. Many other trees/bushes are dead and will eventually fall over/drop branhces, or be taken over by other vegetation.

Some photos while driving to and from Perth this past weekend — the first photo is of the bush alongside the highway in an area not burnt (this is what it used to look like before the fires):

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See also:





Yellow hibiscus

4 01 2017

When I was in Houston last November for the International Quilt Festival, I took lots of classes, mostly related to art quilts. One was a full-day class with Melinda Bula, whose work I’ve admired for a long time, especially after I saw it up close and personal when she taught at Empty Spools Asilomar in February 2014. At Asilomar I took Pam Holland’s 5-day class (no regrets about doing that!), but it was a toss-up between Pam’s class, Melinda’s class, and Susan Carlson’s class — all great teachers, all techniques I wanted to learn, but all on the same week!

So when I saw that Melinda was teaching a one-day class at Houston, I jumped at the chance and was lucky enough to get a spot in her ‘Fabulous Fusible Flowers: Hibiscus’ class. I made good progress on my piece, and finished it off at home by the end of November, except for the binding, hanging sleeve, and label. Well, now it’s all done!

I did some fairly heavy ‘thread painting’ on it, but left some of the yellow areas to ‘pop’ — just like the ridges on a real hibiscus flower. For the pollen heads, I couched some fuzzy yellow yarn, then lightly touched the tops of them with a red Copic marker. The patterns and all fabrics for the flower and the stem were from the kit Melinda supplied for the class (each person chose a different coloured kit for their hibiscus — I chose the yellow, though I could have chosen pink or purple). I supplied the background fabric and the green fabrics for the leaves. And yes, there are HUNDREDS of pieces of fabric fused in the petals…

I’ll put this piece into a couple of competitions/exhibitions, then I’ll make it available for sale. The size is 80 cm wide (31.5 inches) by 65 cm high (25.5 inches).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Stop foot pedal scooting across the floor

1 01 2017

I have lovely hardwood floors in my house. But they are a darned nuisance for my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen’s foot pedal — it wants to slip further and further away from me as I put pressure on it. I tried putting that non-slip stuff underneath it (you know — that slightly tacky plastic mesh stuff you put under rugs or in drawers to stop things sliding around). It worked to a point, but eventually the foot pedal would creep away. I needed to come up with a better solution…

On one of the forums, someone had suggested putting Velcro dots under the foot pedal if you’re on carpet. Well, my machine isn’t on carpet, but that got me thinking… Perhaps Velcro dots would work with something else that doesn’t slip on wooden floors? Hmmmm….

Something like an old neoprene mouse mat, perhaps? That’s neoprene on the top and bottom, not the newer mouse mats that have a slippery top surface.

So I tried it, and I’m here to report that with the combination of Velcro dots on the feet on the foot pedal AND a neoprene mouse mat, my foot pedal no longer slides or creeps away from me. I call that a win!

I haven’t tried this on tile, but I expect it would work similarly – worth a try, anyway.

Velcro dots stuck to the base of the foot controller

Velcro dots stuck to the base of the foot controller

Foot controller with Velcro feet sticks to the neoprene mat, which sticks to the wooden floor

Foot controller with Velcro feet sticks to the neoprene mat, which sticks to the wooden floor





Community Quilt 305

1 01 2017

This small, colourful, and very geometric quilt needed something to soften the hard edges, so I quilted it using the curvaceous open headband motif in a bright yellow thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide ‘Mango’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 80116)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 304

1 01 2017

Another big quilt made with ‘busy’ fabrics. To quilt it, I stitched in the ditch around all the elements in the blocks, then did cathedral windows in the small 2″-square internal borders. I did a large meandering stipple in the main border.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Harmony ‘Driftwood’ (40 wt, cotton, colour 14069)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 303

1 01 2017

How to quilt this scrappy quilt made with very ‘busy’ fabrics? I decided on a simple cathedral window motif for each of the squares in the main part of the quilt and the border, using a variegated green and yellow thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Superior ‘Nile Crocodile’ (40 wt, cotton, colour 943)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/