Haven’t seen one of these for many years

26 08 2012

I had a little foray back to my childhood this morning when I was in the garden. I was cutting up some dead branches when I spotted this insect (?) cocoon made from tiny little sticks, stuck to a branch. It looked like the occupant was long gone.

I haven’t seen one of these for many years — probably since I was a kid. I have no idea what sort of beastie lives in this sort of cocoon, but I’ve always been fascinated by the amount of time and effort that the animal spent making it.

Anyone know what lives in one of these?





Community Quilt 13 and 2012 FMQ Challenge for August

19 08 2012

I wasn’t sure how to quilt this quilt top. It was very busy, so I figured that an overall stitching motif would be best, instead of trying to emphasise the quilting. I let it sit for a couple of days after basting it to see if any inspiration came to me.

The FMQ Challenge for August was “jester’s hats” so I decided to practice drawing them, then quilting them on a practice piece, then quilting them on this quilt. Killing two birds with one stone!

Despite looking simple, I actually found the jester’s hats quite hard to do. For some reason, my brain just couldn’t latch on to this pattern easily. Some of them went off in directions of their own, and I got myself into a few corners that I found hard to get out of. Fortunately, this quilt is so busy in design, fabrics, and colours that I think only ‘the quilt police’ would notice where I got stuck. πŸ˜‰

I used a variegated yellow/green King Tut thread (‘Nile Crocodile’ [colour 943]) in the top and a navy Invisifil thread (colour IF 608) in the bobbin to match the pretty yellow/blue floral fabric on the back.

 

 





Community Quilt 12

19 08 2012

I think this quilt top was made by the same person who made ‘bug jar‘ — but this time the jars were filled with goodies, mostly sweet goodies like jellybeans, chocolates, cookies, etc. πŸ˜‰

I decided to quilt large circles in the borders and sashing, then to outline quilt eachΒ  goodie in each of the jars. I used a variety of threads, mostly rayons, to match each jar’s contents; for the aqua green circles, I used a 40wt Isacord embroidery thread (colour 5010); and I used a beige Deco-Bob thread in the bobbin.





The swans are back

13 08 2012

There are always black swans on our estuary, but at certain times of the year there are THOUSANDS of them. When I drove into town today, there was a big mass of them in a few places (the estuary is about 10 miles long).

Maybe it’s their mating season?

(Update: According to Wikipedia, they nest in the winter months, so I guess they are mating and nesting now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan)





Community Quilt 11

13 08 2012

This one was fun! I call it ‘bug jar’. Each jar has a fabric with some sort of bug on it — mosquitoes, spiders, butterflies, flies, even turtles! (yeah, I know, not a bug…), so I suspect this quilt was made for a kid.

I quilted hundreds of spider webs all over the quilt in keeping with the theme, and, to add a surprise, I used some Superior NiteLite thread to stitch two BIG spider webs over the top of all the others — at night with the lights off, these webs should glow in the dark! πŸ˜‰

Thread used:

  • Top: Isacord 40 wt, colour ‘Coral’ 1532
  • Bobbin: Deco-Bob 80wt, grey, colour DB 103.





Community Quilt 10

13 08 2012

It rained a lot of the weekend, so guess what I did? πŸ˜‰

This was a very ‘busy’ quilt top. I suspect it was made up of lots of independent, spare blocks that the maker decided to put together. As it was so busy, I decided to just use a large meandering stipple in a soft silver grey (Fil-Tec Glide thread), with a beige Deco-Bob thread in the bobbin.

I left the house and cat blocks and then outline quilted them to make them ‘pop’.





Community Quilt 9

11 08 2012

I loved quilting this Community Quilt. The colours were just gorgeous and I knew it needed special treatment and quilting that emphasised the richness of the colours and design.

I ended up using three top threads — a variegated brown Sulky rayon thread (Gutermann; colour 2120) in the centre section, the light border, and the outer border; a maroon rayon thread (Madeira; colour 1385) in the maroon border and the centres of the feathers in the black border; and a metallic gold thread (Madeira; colour Gold 6) for the large feathers in the black border. I used a maroon Deco-Bob thread (Wonderfil; colour DB245) to disappear into the rich brown batik fabric on the back.

I didn’t know how I was going to quilt it until I started, then just added designs as I went.

For the centre section, I arced from one centre diamond point to the next in the 4-patch blocks, then back again, followed by the edges, creating a ‘cathedral window’ effect with internal petals. For the setting triangles, I did half flower motifs. Then roundish bubbles for the first border in the same thread.

I quilted the next border in the maroon thread, doing a single line of feathers. These are hard to see in the photos.

The next light border I quilted with a ‘banana’ motif using the variegated brown thread. I left the gold/tan border unquilted.

For the maroon border, I did a square edged stipple following a singular wavy line down the centre of that border.

Then it was time for the wide black border. I hunted out some gold metallic thread that had always given me bother in my sewing machine. However, it went through the Sweet Sixteen really well and didn’t snap once. I deliberately started the feathers in the centre of each border and went out to the corners, instead of doing a long single set of feathers around the border. After doing the gold feathers, I put the maroon thread back in the machine and did little inner fronds inside each feather.

The outer border was quite ‘busy’, so instead of making a feature of it, I just did open headbands in it with the brown variegated Sulky thread.

More photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/