Quilt for a 60th

15 02 2014

I was asked to quilt a special quilt for someone turning 60 soon. I don’t know the person so didn’t know whether she would be more inclined toward traditional quilting (such as feathers) or more modern quilting (e.g. straight lines). The quilt design leant itself to either — the floral fabrics were quite traditional, but they were set off by white, which is more in line with ‘modern’ quilts. I asked the person who’d given me the task, and she wasn’t a lot of help 😉 — she said the recipient was both traditional and modern, and that if I could combine both styles, that would be good. Hmmm… a challenge…

I started by stitching in the ditch around all blocks and in between the 1″ sashing strips, and did straight ‘piano key’ stitching every half inch on the border fabrics. I did all this stitching in a plain white cotton thread. But what to do in the large floral and white squares? I thought of doing different motifs in each (in different colours), then thought that might be too ‘busy’ — I suspect this is a quilt to be used, not for show. So I decided to go with free form (no marking) feathers, in a soft pink variegated thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)







Threads used:

  • Top: Gutermann white cotton; Fil-Tec ‘Affinity’ (40 wt trilobal polyester, ‘Mauve’ colour 60149)
  • Bobbin: Fil-Tec Glide pre-wound bobbin (cream)

Orchid art quilt: Finished

13 02 2014

I finally finished my orchid art quilt! Actually I’d mostly finished it a few weeks ago, but had to finalise it by adding a label and prepping it for going into the 2014 Boyup Brook Art Awards. Anyhow, it’s all done now and I can reveal photos of the finished piece.

I started this piece and finished more than 75% of it at the 5-day Quilting Adventures workshop with Velda Newman in Texas, March 2013. That last 25% took me nearly a year!

My friend Wade in California took the photo on which this piece was based. Just a few short months after I started it, Wade’s beloved daughter 19-year-old Evelyn was tragically killed in a car being driven by a drunk/drugged driver. So I’ve named this art quilt in her memory.

Below the photos are my artist’s statement for this work, the original photo on which is was based, and links to the workshop I did with Velda Newman.

The finished piece is 38×39″.







Artist’s Statement


In Memory of Evelyn

The inspiration for this art quilt came from a photograph of an orchid taken by my friend Wade Courtney (California). Shortly after I started this piece, Wade’s beloved only daughter Evelyn (age 19) was tragically killed in a car driven by a drunk/drugged driver. I named this piece in Evelyn’s honour.

I used several techniques in this piece, many of which were taught by renowned quilt artist, Velda Newman, in a 5-day Quilting Adventures workshop with her that I attended in Texas in March 2013. The main flower was a single piece of white cloth that I cut into several pieces and then treated with various paint techniques and paint products, such as artist acrylics, Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils and sticks, and Copic markers.

Surface stitching was done on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16, using threads of various weights, colours, and types—monofilaments, rayons, trilobal polyesters, etc. Much of the surface stitching was completed prior to adding the batting and background fabric, with more done afterwards to add the impression of stems, leaves, and other flowers in the background. I sketched three smaller flowers on white fabric then coloured them with Copic markers, before fusing and machine appliqueing them to the quilt. To finish this quilt, I used a ‘pocket’ technique, where I stitched a backing fabric all round, leaving a small section open to pull the quilt through, before topstitching close to the edge. Some minor quilting was done at this stage to keep the three or more layers together.

Designed and created March 2013 to January 2014


Photo on which this quilt was based


See these posts for my progress on this art quilt:

Gossamer wings

10 02 2014

I spotted this dead something near the back door. At first I didn’t know what it was, but when I turned it over, it was clear it was a large stick insect/praying mantis. I picked it up by one of its now-dry wings, and saw the most amazing pink gossamer wing hiding underneath the green of the outer wing. So pretty.


stick_insect02  stick_insect03

Clutch for an iPad

6 02 2014

Last month my friend Clare asked me to make an evening clutch for her sister’s birthday present. One like this one in my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/100227098/clutch-peacock-blue-satin-quilted-with, but it had to be big enough for her sister’s iPad.

Clare chose one of my fabrics (a black fat quarter with a gorgeous gold flower burst) and I made it in an afternoon. I used a gold metallic thread for the quilting (all-over feathers), and a vintage black button that I *think* was from my grandmother’s stash from years ago.

I chose a lighter fabric for the inside only because there’s nothing worse than being out to dinner, for example, and hunting (in dim light) for something inside a purse that has a black lining!



I hope Clare and her sister like it!