Community Quilts 418 to 422

20 08 2018

The latest batch.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Community Quilt 418

Community Quilt 419

Community Quilt 420

Community Quilt 421

Community Quilt 422

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





Community Quilts 412 to 417

12 08 2018

Still busy with work, so while I’ve quilted some more quilts and taken photos of them, I only got around to processing the photos today 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 412

Community Quilt 413

Community Quilt 414

Community Quilt 415

Community Quilt 416

I used a Cindy Needham stencil to create the design for the empty blocks — a flower stencil, and then one of her universal stencils to create the stylised petals/leaves on the outside. The orange marks are quilters chalk, which will brush off over time, or wash out.

Community Quilt 417


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





What a difference a frame makes

6 08 2018

Back in April, I attended a 5-day ‘Empty Spools’ workshop with Cindy Needham, at Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California. She’d asked us to bring along a large-print fabric, and she also provided us with plenty to choose from. I chose an odd-shaped scrap piece from my stash and took it with me. Using Cindy’s techniques, I free motion quilted it quite heavily, leaving some of the flower petals unquilted so that they ‘popped’. Here’s a picture of part of the piece — be aware that it was an odd shape, I didn’t quilt it all, and I’ve cropped the photo so it looks complete, but you can see on the far top left of the photo that it’s not all stitched:

A friend of mine saw the picture I posted on Facebook and told me how much she loved it! It was just a practice piece for me, no big deal. But I figured I’d gift it to her if she really wanted it. When I returned to Australia, I trimmed it so that it was rectangular and only the quilted parts were visible, and then I gave it to her. She told me she’d get it framed and hang it in her summer house in Vermont. And she did! And she sent me some pictures of it framed and hanging in a main hallway. The frame and mounting certainly adds to it.





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:

 





Iggy Marley: Susan Carlson workshop

24 05 2018

The lovely Susan Carlson was in Perth a couple of weeks ago to run a 4-day workshop at Handcrafters House. There were 120 people on the ‘expressions of interest’ list for only 20 places, and I was lucky enough to get a spot! I’d first come across Susan’s unique style of fabric collage some years ago in Quilting Arts magazine and had used her techniques to make a fish. That fish now lives in Alaska! Then in 2014, Susan was one of the teachers at Empty Spools, Asilomar; she was my second choice after Pam Holland (I got into Pam’s class, so they didn’t need to go to my second choice).

For this class, we had to use a photo or drawing, blow it up nice and big, then start cutting out scraps of fabric and gluing them on to create our fabric collage art quilt. In 4 days we made a real mess and had a lot of laughs! There were bits of fabric EVERYWHERE, but I think we had had a lot of fun and pushed our boundaries. Most people went wild with their colour choices, and their subjects ranged from patterns Susan had, through to favourite pets and people. Even a set of work boots and a hard hat!

I love lizards of all varieties, so chose to do an iguana. I found a copyright-free picture in the British Library’s archive of old books and illustrations. The artist had listed the Latin name of the species, which had the common name of ‘Jamaican Iguana’, so I named him ‘Iggy Marley’ — ‘Iggy’ for iguana, and ‘Marley’ because of the Jamaican connection to Bob Marley and his son Ziggy Marley (no, I don’t know if my iguana was a male, but he is now). These Jamaican Iguanas are typically in shades of greens and browns to blend in with the vegetation where they live, but I chose to go wild and do him in oranges and purples — I want him to stand out against the background, once I choose it.

Some of the photos of my process and progress are below. Iggy’s not finished yet, and it might be a while before I get back to him. Deciding on the background (realistic or stylistic) is my hardest issue with him right now. But for the moment, I’m pretty pleased with how he looks, though I might change the green on his ‘crop’ and instead do an orange folded piece…. decisions, decisions….

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

See also: Susan’s blog post about this class and her time in Perth: https://susancarlson.com/2018/06/02/on-the-road-perth-australia/