Patchwork & Quilting Feed

War Quilts

Sometimes you can be lucky.  I was lucky the other day when I was reminded on Facebook that there was an exhibition called War quilts showing out at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

It is only on for a week and finishes this Saturday 25th March '17, so you will need to be quick to see it there.  It will also be on display at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in April.  I have to say that I have been to lots of Historical Quilt exhibits around the world but this one was exceptional.  And because it was out at Ipswich there were no crowds and I got to REALLY see every stitch.

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As I was on the mainland baby sitting and I had a few hours before I had to pick up the girls from school, It was into the car to brave the traffic and the rain to get there.   This is only a small gallery but they always have good exhibits and we visit with the children quite a lot.  They have a dedicated Children's Gallery for under twelves which the kids love.

I don't know where to start with these quilts.  Firstly, there is a wonderful book by Dr Annette Gero, $89 but worth every penny. 

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Photo Wayne Taylor

I can't find the book in any on-line book shop as yet so she must be selling them herself.

  I will start with a quilt I saw a number of years ago in a dark corner in the Brisbane Council Gallery in the 1990's.  Back then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it.  I knew it was very significant but there was no label on it and it was just part of a 'People of Queensland' display.  I rang the council, spoke to the attendants but couldn't get any information and it disappeared.  Now here it was again and this time all the information was there.

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I didn't have my camera with me, it is in for repair, so all the photos were taken on my iphone.  I looked for a sign about photography, but there was non and I asked the attendant who thought it would be fine to take photos.  I still felt a bit uncomfortable taking photos so didn't take as many as I would have liked.  It is the details that I wanted to see.  There are lovely images in the book but not those little details.   Like the embroidery with the applique of the children's song.  All the flowers and grass are embroidered there.  Even the hair on the pig

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And there is a snake in the tree.  The tree of knowledge?

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And look at those rabbits and that bird.

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And this is just ONE of the many wonderful quilts on display.   I am pouring over the book which is full of detail and as I digest more of the information I will post again about this exhibition.  I might even make an embroidery of part of this quilt.





More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.


The patchwork challenge

Something happened to all my photos for this post.  I'm blaming the gremlins or maybe it was that giant thunderstorm that came through? Try again!

The Xmas party was last night so I can now talk about what I did for our groups Xmas challenge.

The challenge was that you had to make a cushion 16"x16".  It had to be pieced and quilted.  There was to be no embroidery or applique.  The colours stipulated were, black, white and a touch of colour.  I decided on a modern quilt design.  In fact it is the old fence rail pattern in a variety of black and white prints with some patterned black fabric.  I used a black batik that had a blue design.

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I just used line quilting using a variety of thicknesses of threads in varying shades of blue.

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I had chosen another colour to trim the cushion in but after quilting the piece I found that the stitching changed the colour  so I used the same batik on the back.

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The mitred corners on the edging drove me up the wall but it doesn't look too bad.  That edging does make the cushion bigger but the cushion without the edging meets the specifications.

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And when we put all the cushions together, all 20 odd, it was surprising to see that everyone was different.  It is great to have such creative friends.

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What happens when you go away

I spent this last weekend up at Toowoomba with quilting friends.  It was a lovely weekend.  I didn't get anything finished but I got quite a lot of things part finished.  Unfortunately they are all Xmas presents and are to be a surprise so they have to stay under wraps until the big day.  We set up in the library of one of the primary schools, which was a great venue.

The problem with that was that there were some interesting books on display.  They are now part of my library, or will be when they arrive from the Book Depository.  Monique will be 6 y.o. next birthday, which is a couple of days after Xmas, and I have promised that I will teach her to knit when she turns 6.  This book has some great projects for little knitters along with a host of other good stuff.

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When I got home my husband told me what a great weekend he had had.  (I wasn't there.)  And then I saw the Xmas tree.  It has all the decorations on it from the past 30 odd years.  He told he he found the old lights and had put them on the tree but then he found some new lights.  He then had to cut the old lights off the tree and there was this box of 6" lengths of lighting cable.  I turned the lights on and I thought the whole house was going to take off into outer space.  He has all these programs put in to control how the lights flash.  I do think he has descended into his second childhood.  I just hope the house doesn't disappear into the stratosphere!

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Week 12 - Placemats for Charity (enforced rest week)

All I could do this week was look at the pieces up on the design wall.

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I have now got my machine repaired, it was a screw that had come loose and lodged somewhere where it stopped everything.  But I got it back too late to do this weeks place-mats.  So no sewing and the weather hasn't been very good but today the winds dropped out and the sun shone.

I saw an elderly couple down in the BBQ area cooking some sausages when I went out for a walk.  Then on the way back I spied them hand in hand down on the beach.

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They had left their Eski at the top of the sand and gone paddling.

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Simple pleasures are often some of the best.




Week 11 - Placemats for Charity.

Disaster has struck!

My sewing machine just stopped working.  The fly wheel is stuck solid.  No machine, no sewing.  I rushed it into the repair man, Martin, who is the best repair man in the business, but still no news.  I have a back up machine that does straight and zig zag stitches but I am unable to quilt.  And I had started on the free motion quilting.  After all that time winding myself up to start that and now no machine.

Place mat No 21

This is the first of the free motion exercises.  Just flowing lines between the top and bottom with the aim of getting that stitch even.  I couldn't straighten that fabric, the bend just got worse when quilted.

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Place mat No 22

I saw a similar pattern on Leah Day's web site and adapted it to suit the mat.

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Leah's patterns are all fillers and fit into a smaller space, still there is great inspiration here.

And after finishing this mat the machine broke.  I thought that I wasn't getting anywhere with maintaining a regular stitch length but it was the machine telling me it was sick.  Now things are stalled until I get my machine repaired.


Some of the quilts at the show

There were so many great quilts at the show, but I have selected some that I really liked because they appealed to me.

I liked this appliqued quilt not only because it won a 2nd prize but because it was made by my friend Jean Green.  I have known Jean for a long time and she keeps making lovely quilts.

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The next quilt was made from re-purposed tea bags.  I'm not quite sure how she managed to get those great colours.

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This was the artists statement.

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And the full piece.

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There were some modern applique pieces that caught my fancy as well.

Mandy Murray's "Wild Spirit" (prince of the woods)

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And Kaye Sauer's, Davie- Evolution of the Starman.  The shadow quilting of the subject in the back ground was very effective.

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There were a number of special exhibitions one of which was titled "Inner Journeys". Julie Haddricks pieces were thoughtful and beautifully stitched.  She will be taking this exhibition to Houston (USA) for the Quilt Show  and giving demonstration of her methods of working.  Julie also teaches in Japan.

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I came away inspired and awed at some of the technical skill on display.




Week - 10 Place-mats for Charity

I'm behind this week.  I have had a few days having to travel up to town and had to leave on the 6am ferry and then back on the 5:30pm ferry.  After this I am just too tired to do much.  But I did get my place-mats finished, just no post about them.

I don't like this fabric at all, not only the colour but the fact that it is wonky.  I think that is the main reason that I never used it, but I'm sure others will like it.   I am still using my walking foot for the quilting but have decided that next week I will switch to the free motion.  Now that is going to cause me a lot of angst.  I will no longer have the control over stitch length.  Just thinking about it brings me out in a sweat.  But this is what this exercise is partly about.  Practising my quilting and pushing myself into new territory.

Mat No 19

This mat had a kind of heart up in the corner so I just followed that pattern.

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Mat No 20

Here I drew a hexi and kept shadowing the shape.

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This pattern is a keep.

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But Oh, I have got that binding off properly.  Nothing like practice, practice, practice.


Week 9 - Placemats for Charity

The fabric in the jelly-roll is really pulled out of shape.  I will know in future to use the fabric straight away, that is if I ever buy another roll!

In one of my on-line classes the tutor went on about how good it was to use the fancy stitches on your machine to do the quilting.  So I thought I would give it a go.  What did I find?  Boring, boring, boring and time consuming.  And I don't really like the final outcome.  Another couple for that experience list.

Mat - 17

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I changed the length of one of the stitches I used on the seams to stitch the strip flat.

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Mat - 18

Lots of dense stitching on the seams.

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I think I like the back better than the front!

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One positive of all this is that I am now very confident stitching the binding and making that final bias join.  It took the full 18 mats to get there but I made it.



Week 8 - Placemats for charity

Along with the jelly-rolI I also have the end of a bolt of fabric that I love.  It is Shadow Play by Maywood and is just the best quality, I had bought 6 bolts of this but didn't use all of this one.  But it also has been sitting there for 10 years so it needs to be used as well.  It is no good looking at it and saying how lovely it is.

Very mixed results with this weeks offerings.  This will have to be put down to experience.

Mat 15

I just used different sized circles to quilt this.  Not the most successful outcome.  (Cross that one off the list.)

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Mat 16

I love this quilting pattern.

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It doesn't suit the pieced front of the mat.

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Onto week 9!