MacGyvering a design wall

15 07 2018

I really needed a decent design wall in my sewing room. I’d been making do with a ‘portable’ one I’d created from the Australian equivalent to foam core board, which I’d bought some years ago from a picture framing business.

(Aside: Australian hardware stores don’t sell foam core board; in fact it’s very hard to get here. Why? Because we build and insulate our houses differently to those in the US. Most housing in my state is double brick outer walls, with single brick inside walls. We don’t build with timber, though some cheaper houses may have an internal timber frame, and many have timber struts/frames for the roof, though steel is more common in newer houses. Our insulation tends to be ceiling insulation [not wall — it just doesn’t get that cold here] and comes as batts or blown-in fibrous material. As a result, it’s almost impossible to buy the sort of ‘foam core board’ that’s readily available in US stores such as Home Depot.)

I’d been toying with the idea of creating my own design wall based on something I’d seen on the internet (see: https://thequiltshow.com/daily-blog/142-newsletter/27057-hope-yoder-easy-quilting-design-wall-tutorial/). And I finally got around to it. Off I went to Bunnings (the Australian equivalent of Home Depot), and purchased several sheets of acoustic panelling (principally used for pin-up/bulletin boards) in various sizes, then wrapped them in batting, stretching then stapling the batting down, and finally using duct tape to cover the staples on the back. Next, I stuck down some 3M Command Strips (the ones that hold 7 kg weight) on the back—one at each corner, so theoretically capable of a 28 kg load per design wall panel.

Then I stuck the two narrow panels to the wardrobe door in my sewing room (using every available space!), and the 3 larger panel to the only spare wall in my sewing room. Finally, I pinned up some of my art quilts—both finished ones that I can’t hand anywhere else, and those in progress.

I’m pleased with the result! And so far (several week on), the Command Strips are holding up beautifully.





Community Quilts 396 to 411

15 07 2018

I’ve been busy with all sorts of things in the past couple of months, so while I’ve quilted 15 quilts and taken photos of them, it wasn’t until today that I got around to processing the photos and putting them up on this blog. Because I’ve forgotten what I did and what threads I used for most of them, I’ve put all into this one post. I’ve only made comments for any that were exceptional for some reason.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Community Quilt 396

Community Quilt 397

Community Quilt 398

Community Quilt 399

Community Quilt 400

Community Quilt 401

Community Quilt 402

Community Quilt 403

Community Quilt 404

Community Quilt 405

For this one, I used one of templates designed by Cindy Needham for the star pattern in the blocks.

Community Quilt 406

I used more of Cindy Needham’s templates for the flower motif in the borders, and for the sweeping curves in the outer border. I then echoed the sweeping curves, crossing over them to create a ribbon effect.

Community Quilt 407

Community Quilt 408

Community Quilt 409

Community Quilt 410

Community Quilt 411

This quilt was similar to #400 (above), with all that candlewicking. As with #400, I stitched around each of the main embroidery lines, then echoed them, then did MacTavishing in the blocks to make the embroidered areas ‘pop’.

 

 

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





2018: Annual winter retreat in Bridgetown

10 07 2018

For the past nine years, five quilting friends have gathered in Bridgetown, Western Australia for our annual 4-day winter retreat at the home of one of our group. It’s a weekend away from our normal lives, and a time for us to spend many hours sewing, talking, laughing, eating, drinking, hanging out in our PJs, great food, and roaring log fires. For the past few years since he retired, our host’s husband has been in residence too, so there’s us five, plus our ‘man slave’ (not really—he’s just one of us, though he doesn’t quilt; he plays golf and does woodwork and photography instead). But this year there were just four of us girls—one of our group just couldn’t make it. The pressure of her work meant she had to bail this time, something we’ve sort of expected for a while, as she’s super busy and burns many candles at all ends.

We stopped doing challenges a few years ago as it was getting too much of a time commitment for the two who own quilt stores; I work part-time, so it wasn’t such a stretch for me; and the other two are retired.

This year, I decided to do a stash busting exercise—making Xmas placemats for our state guild’s Community Quilts program. These will go to people in retirement villages and nursing homes, possibly hospitals. So I took all my scrap red, green, and white fabrics, matching backings, and batting scraps with me, and sewed up a storm. I ended up making 25 placemats (all 18 x 12 inches). Most were done using improv methods of joining random bits of fabric, and after making the tops, I backed, sandwiched and quilted them, then finished them off with machine-sewn binding.

Here they are in various stages of completion (click on a photo to view it larger). Below the photos of the placemats are photos of just a small section of the yarn bombing in Bridgetown’s main street for their annual Winter Festival—this year locals made tens of thousands of yarn decorations (I think it was more than 30,000!) and the yarn bombing was even judged for a Guinness World Record! One of the people who coordinated it was Ann, the owner of Sew Gentle Era, the local quilt and yarn store.

Yarn bombing: