Quilting retreat with friends, Jan 2020

13 01 2020

Each year I go on a couple of private quilting retreats with friends—private in that they are closed groups and by invitation only. One of them is held in January, one of the hottest months in Australia, but where we go has a huge studio room with super bright light and wonderful air conditioning to work in. This year I decided to make some things out of the three jelly rolls of fabric I bought in Bali last September.

Notes to my future self:

  • Use the Jelly Roll Sasher (https://pqw.com.au/product/jelly-roll-sasher/) to make life easier.
  • Invest in a pre-cut/pre-wound roll of batting suitable for this jelly roll technique—it’s SO worth it as the thickness and width are perfect. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s less wear and tear on your machine (and needles), your time, and your sanity!
  • If you do cut your own batting strips as I did initially, try and use only thin batting, and make the width 2.25 inches, NOT 2.5 inches as I did (I then had to cut them down again to 2.25 inches as they were way too thick to go through the jelly roll sasher and/or the sewing machine (I broke a couple of needles…).
  • If you make a rectangular rug or a bag or container, don’t forget to put a few unsewn strips to one side for binding the top and bottom edges (rug), and for handles and to cover the inside seams (bag/container).

First up was a rectangular rug (I made an oval one last January, so this time I wanted to change it up), made with gorgeous aqua toned batiks.

The Jelly Roll Sasher helps keep the fold in place

The Jelly Roll Sasher helps keep the fold in place

 

The first few strips - for a rectangular rug, you stitch each strip separately. You don't join the ends of each strip to the next one

The first few strips – for a rectangular rug, you stitch each strip separately. You don’t join the ends of each strip to the next one

Strips waiting to be matched with batting strips and then stitched

Strips waiting to be matched with batting strips and then stitched

The jelly roll 'dreadlocks'. Eventually you'll have 40 to 42 individually sewn strips.

The jelly roll ‘dreadlocks’. Eventually you’ll have 40 to 42 individually sewn strips.

More strips. I chose to stitch at the edge of the join, not in the middle of each strip as some videos and instructions tell you to do. I like the slight puffiness this gives.

More strips. I chose to stitch at the edge of the join, not in the middle of each strip as some videos and instructions tell you to do. I like the slight puffiness this gives.

Auditioning the colour array. At this stage I was thinking of putting the darker strips on the outside of the rug.

Auditioning the colour array. At this stage I was thinking of putting the darker strips on the outside of the rug.

The final rug. I decided to put the darker strips closer to the centre, and kept aside a couple of unsewn strips for the binding at the top and bottom edges of the rug.

The final rug. I decided to put the darker strips closer to the centre, and kept aside a couple of unsewn strips for the binding at the top and bottom edges of the rug.

Next, I decided to make a bag. That changed when, on the advice of one of the other ladies, I left off the handles and made a large container, into which I think I’ll put the trash can in my sewing room. I love the oranges and purples and pinks and how those colours blend so nicely together. And turning down the top a couple of rows adds extra stability. Stitching through the layers at the bottom was hard, though, and really taxed my machine.

I used a pre-cut/pre-wound roll of jelly roll batting for this second piece.

I used a pre-cut/pre-wound roll of jelly roll batting for this second piece.

The finished container with the top turned over for stability.

The finished container with the top turned over for stability.

The finished container (top not turned over). Size is about 16 inches wide by a similar amount high and about 6 inches across the bottom.

The finished container (top not turned over). Size is about 16 inches wide by a similar amount high and about 6 inches across the bottom. I still have to add a covered piece of stiffening into the base to help stabilise it.

Finally, I made a similar one to the orange one, but this time in blacks, whites, and greys. However, I forgot to leave off about 8 rows so it’s way taller than I expected or liked. I’ve since unpicked those rows and removed them, but have yet to finish this container (my next blog post will explain why…).

The range of colours as per how the roll was put together.

The range of colours as per how the roll was put together.

Jelly roll 'dreadlocks' in the colour order that the fabric came off the jelly roll. This was my original colour plan.

Jelly roll ‘dreadlocks’ in the colour order that the fabric came off the jelly roll. This was my original colour plan.

Next colour audition was gradation from black through the various shades of grey to white---an ombre effect.

Next colour audition was gradation from black through the various shades of grey to white—an ombre effect.

I finally settled on black on the outside, grading to white in the centre.

I finally settled on black on the outside, grading to white in the centre.

The sewn piece, ready to be made into a rug or a bag or a container, or whatever.

The sewn piece, ready to be trimmed and made into a rug or a bag or a container, or whatever.

The container made from the stitched jelly roll piece. It's way too high for a trash container or a bag, so I have to unpick about 8 rows from the top.

The container made from the stitched jelly roll piece. It’s way too high for a trash container or a bag, so I have to unpick about 8 rows from the top.

 

Looking down inside the container. I used a plain grey fabric to cover the open seams.

Looking down inside the container. I used a plain grey fabric to cover the open seams.





Community Quilts 470 to 476

11 12 2019

Here’s the latest batch of quilts I quilted for the West Australian Quilters Association’s Community Quilts program.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Community Quilt 470

Community Quilt 471

Community Quilt 472

Community Quilt 473

I used a glow-in-the-dark thread for the cobwebs—hopefully the kid who gets this quilt gets a nice surprise!

Community Quilt 474

Community Quilt 475

Community Quilt 476

I had to be careful when quilting this one as all those corner triangles are floating (i.e. not stitched down), so I avoided them by just stitching double straight vertical and horizontal lines.

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





Ducks… and snake

16 11 2019

We’ve been in this house for nearly 10 years. In that time, I’ve seen plenty of Australian Wood Ducks (aka Maned Geese) when I’ve driven to and from town — they tend to live near the water courses on the low-lying land close to the estuary. And I’ve seen maybe three snakes (likely dugites) in 10 years crossing the road on that same drive.

So imagine my surprise when a family of wood ducks wandered across our front lawn a couple of weeks ago! We’re up a hill at least 200 m from a natural water course, and we’ve never seen adults here, let alone adults with seven babies!

Then just two days ago, something caught my eye outside the office window at the front of the house — it was a snake, likely a young adult dugite. It slithered across the concrete pad, took in some shade behind the portico pillar near the front door, then slithered over the lawn and over the retaining wall beyond, then disappeared. The previous owners of the house (who built it) said they’d seen three snakes in the garden/around the house in the three years they were here, but in our 10 years, I’ve never seen one. Until now.





Community Quilts 463 to 469

16 11 2019

Here’s the latest batch of quilts I quilted for the West Australian Quilters Association’s Community Quilts program; some were from them, others I made from my scrap stash.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Community Quilt 463

Community Quilt 464

 

Community Quilt 465

 

Community Quilt 466

 

Community Quilt 467

Community Quilt 468

 

Community Quilt 469

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





Trying something different

28 10 2019

I purchased a Bluprint (ex-Craftsy) class the other day when it was on sale. And decided to watch part of it yesterday and tackle the techniques shown. The class was ‘Step-by-step Photorealistic Colored Pencil Portraits’ by Karen Hull (an Aussie!). I certainly didn’t have all the materials she used, and only had drawing paper (she uses matt or bristol board), but I did have a set of standard (i.e. not watercolour) coloured pencils that I hoped had enough range of colours to do things such as skin tones. I’m a couple of chapters in, and have already made inroads into the first eye and cheek area (with freckles!).

Progress so far:

And I’m finished:

Here’s the original photo I worked from:





Combining classes

27 10 2019

I attended the Quilt Symposium in Auckland, NZ a few weeks ago. I took two of Claire Smith’s classes—one on monoprinting and one on making a quilt-as-you-go bag. Today I combined them! I took the green/yellow tones fabrics I made in the monoprinting class, added some other greens, aquas, yellows and oranges from my scrap stash and made this bag. It took about 4 hours, as I had to remember what to do—Claire’s instructions were sparse… And a couple of weeks later I made another one, also using the monoprint fabric I’d made, this time in the pink/blue/purple colourway.





Qantas, Qatar, Emirates and OneWorld

22 10 2019

This post is for me to connect the dots with why I can sometimes see some airlines via the Qantas booking site, but not on the OneWorld website, or vice versa. It’s all a little confusing!

So, here’s the problem. A friend asked me for help to book flights from Perth (PER) to Marrakech (RAK), return, using her Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) points. She’d found that there are flights from PER to Doha (DOH) on Qatar, and then on to RAK, either direct from DOH or through Madrid (MAD) on Iberia. Sounds easy, right? Not so much…

There are some issues we’ve encountered, and that I called the QFF customer centre to find out about. Here’s what I learned from the helpful Frank:

  • Qantas is a member of OneWorld
  • Qatar is a member of OneWorld
  • Iberia is a member of OneWorld
  • Emirates is NOT a member of OneWorld
  • Despite not being a member of the OneWorld alliance, Qantas has a codeshare partnership with Emirates (this means you can book Emirates flights via the Qantas website and redeem and earn QFF points for Emirates flights booked via the Qantas website; however, you can’t earn QFF Status Credits [SCs] on Emirates flights booked through Qantas, as summarised here: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/earning-points/flights/emirates.html)
  • Even though they are both part of the OneWorld alliance, Qantas does NOT have a codeshare partnership with Qatar (this means you can see Qatar flights from the Qantas website if you try to book using QFF points only [because they are both part of OneWorld], but you CAN’T see Qatar flights if you try to PAY for a flight, as summarised here: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/earning-points/flights/qatar-airways.html; you can also earn QFF points and Status Credits [SCs] on Qatar)
  • I haven’t checked much for Iberia, but according to the Qantas website it’s not a codeshare partner with Qantas either, so I expect the same rules apply as for Qatar (https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/earning-points/flights/iberia.html)

It’s a mess!

The other thing Frank told me is that about 10% of seats in all classes are kept aside for points bookings, though that varies between airlines, which means even six months out, you may not find a seat in the class you want to travel for a particular day or flight. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.