Middle of winter, 2015

29 06 2015

Yesterday was one of those magic winter’s days we get here — clear blue skies, green grass, dry, mild temperatures (about 19C [66F]). I took a few photos through the car window (yes, naughty, I know!) while driving to and from Perth, and a few more quite close to home to show my North American friends, in particular, what winter is like in my part of the world.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Heading towards Perth on Forrest Highway

Heading towards Perth on Forrest Highway (if you view the photo at full size, you’ll see horses in the paddocks alongside the road)

 





Community Quilt Bee June 2015

29 06 2015

I drove to Perth yesterday for one of the regular ‘bees’ for the Community Quilts participants. There was a great turnout — about 40 people by my estimation. Much of my time was spent out the back with about 5 others, sorting donated fabric.

After lunch Gwen, the Community Quilts Coordinator, thanked everyone and shared with the group the award she won at the recent Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne for her contribution to the Western Australian Quilting Association. And shared with us some of the recently finished community quilts. To top that off, she shared a cake that the lovely Janice had made (designed as a quilt block, of course!) and some bubbly.

It was a lovely day, spent with some lovely people. Despite being the middle of winter, my 3-hour round trip to Perth and back home again was dry and uneventful, with clear sunny skies all the way.

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Thread painting the corn

27 06 2015

When I was in Michigan last October (2014), I took some photos on my family’s farm in the crisp early mornings. The one I most liked of the corn ready for harvest I had printed onto fabric at my Quilting Adventures class in Texas this March (2015).

I finally got around to stitching it, doing something a bit different, which was fusing it to a piece of hard felt. I’d bought this piece of orange felt for another purpose, but had decided not to use it and when I pulled the cornstalks photo from my design wall to see what fabrics I could use as the background, it landed on the felt and a new idea came to mind… Prior to fusing it I decided to keep some of the white fabric the photo was printed on to add a quarter inch border between the photo and the felt and thus set it off like a mounted piece of art.

I only stitched the cornstalks, not the sky, and not the very fuzzy cornstalks in the background. It took several hours to do the stitching to enhance the photo, and I used quite a number of different threads in the process. I did this stitching on my domestic sewing machine, using the spring-loaded free motion foot.

I even like how the back turned out 😉

The photo is approx. 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches), and the finished piece on the felt backing is approx. 25 x 30 cm (9.75 x 11.75 inches).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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See also:





Community Quilt 215

27 06 2015

This geometric disappearing 9-patch quilt cried out for geometric quilting, so that’s what I did. I did a square ‘stipple’ all over the main quilt top, then ‘skyscrapers’ in the borders (yes, I made up that name!).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Wonderfil Mirage (30 wt, rayon?, colour SD29)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (grey)

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





Thread painting the beach

16 06 2015

Back in March 2015, I attended Quilting Adventures’ Spring Seminars in New Braunfels, Texas. The workshop I did was on digital photos for quilts (run by Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby Smith). Kerby printed off several of my photos using his printer and special fabric ‘paper’ and it’s only now I’ve got around to doing anything with these fabric photos.

Here are the printed photos on fabric, plus some of the other exercises I did in class:

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The first photo I decided to tackle was one I took in December 2014 of Buffalo Beach, near Bunbury, Western Australia.

I covered a piece of Floriani Stitch ‘n’ Shape with the background fabric, then fused on the fabric photo. I used several threads of various blues and browns to thread paint the sky, the ocean, the rocks, the sand, and the water.

The photo is approx. 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches) and the finished piece is approx. 30 x 36 cm (12 x 14 inches).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Update: That raw edge butted up to the background fabric bothered me, so I added a quarter-inch silver bias binding to it to separate it. I’m happier with it now.

See also:





Community Quilt 214

7 06 2015

Even after working with it for some hours, I still couldn’t figure out the ‘theme’ of this quilt — the closest I could some to it was the sky, as it seemed to be the only element that linked the various blocks.

Anyhow, how to quilt it? As usual, I started by stitching in the ditch around all the blocks and appliqued pieces. In some blocks I followed the cloud pattern to stitch the sky; in others, I just did something more random.

I echo stitched about half an inch outside the blocks. In the wide checked border I stitched large ‘U’ shapes, alternating their height and repeating on the other side. For the striped border, I free-motion stitched lines about one inch apart (no rulers).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Various threads: Robison-Anton ‘Evergreen’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2315) and ‘Paris Blue’ (colour 2283); Madeira Rayon (40 wt, colour 1169); Floriani (40 wt, rayon, colour PF546); Wonderfil Silco (4o wt, colour SC03)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

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





New oven ordered

6 06 2015

Did you know that if you don’t use your grill tray and put it (or anything else) on the base of your electric oven, small amounts of condensation get under it and rust out the enamelled bottom of your oven?? Nope. Me neither.

But that’s what’s happened, as I discovered when I cleaned the oven last week then spoke to the manufacturers about the rough stuff on the base of the oven that I couldn’t remove.

It’s not rusted all the way through yet. I could wait until it got worse, but decided to bite the bullet and get a new oven now.

So, if you never use your grill tray, either store it on the lowest level of the oven, or in a cupboard. NEVER store anything on the bottom of the oven. Even if your oven doesn’t have a heating element in the base (mine doesn’t), the ‘metal on metal’ thing isn’t good in the long term.

Lesson learned and reinforced by various people in the appliance stores I visited.

(Aside: When we moved into this house, the previous owners didn’t leave the manuals for the oven, the hotplates, or the dishwasher. I’d downloaded those manuals a while back and printed them off, but only ‘cos I needed to know how the controls worked (back in the day, you used to turn on an oven by turning one knob… now you have to turn at least two!). But I either hadn’t read the entire thing or had totally forgotten about not putting anything on the bottom of the oven. My bad. But in my defence, this was my first electric oven in DECADES — I’ve only used gas in the past 25+ years.