Patchwork & Quilting Feed

The local quilt show

There was a local quilt show at the Redland's Council Hall a few weeks ago.  The small space was crammed full of quilts on display.  They were packed in so tightly that it was difficult to take photos.  Most quilts were beautifully stitched but copies of other quilts or from purchased kits.  But in amongst these were a couple of original quilts.   These were stand outs.  They were only for display not part of the competition and were made by a local resident.  She had used the birds and flowers in her own garden as inspiration.

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Because space was so tight I couldn't get a photo of the full quilt but I did manage some of the panels in the quilt.

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The central panel was quite lovely,

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and when you looked into it the hand quilting complemented the design.

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Each of the surrounding panels would have made lovely small quilts in their own right.

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I bet there are lots of other pieces in peoples homes that are just as beautiful but are never shared outside their families.

 


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The after effects of the eye operation

I was warned, but I didn't believe them.  I can see dust and dead ants and spiders webs and other things I have been missing. (Like just how many wrinkles I have on my face.)  I never knew that I had blue rings around my brown iris',  I thought my eyes were  just plain brown.

I finished a friendship block for one of my quilting friends.  Before the operation it looked good.  After the operation it looked terrible.  I have now re-stitched it and I can see an improvement.  The brief was to use blue fabrics on the base cloth provided and she wanted a basket of flowers.  I like the idea of a handbag.

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But I just had to add a little colour.  I used a deep red for the stitching around the handbag and added French knots to the centre of each of the flowers on the bag.

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I was tempted to use a bright yellow in the centre of the flowers but restrained myself and used a bright blue for the seed stitching.

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It is always a good feeling when you can tick something off the 'to do' list.


A small exhibition

While up having coffee with a friend at Cleveland I took time to drop into the Redland's Council Gallery.   It had an exhibition that I had already seen but in a side room was a small display by an indigenous artist, Claudia Moodoonuthi.  

Her work was all based around her two dogs that she had got from the RSPCA  as rescue dogs, Ruby and Hunter and her culture.  The dogs looked a bit wild to me but she obviously loves them.  She has a very interesting web page that gives a lot more information about her.

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Camp dogs are often a subject for art but this is the first time I have seen them shown like this.

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The paintings have that simple presentation and she has added wooden cut outs of the dogs in each one.   You could really feel the personality of each dog.

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She is a very young artist, not long out of school, and it will be interesting to see how she develops.

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Past Exhibition

Back a few weeks ago, (a month ago), in fact back when I went to the Marvel Exhibition, which I want to go to again,  I saw a small display of Indian Embroidery in the main gallery.  (That was a mouthfull. )  It was only because I ran into some friends from the Embroiderers' Guild that I was alerted to the fact that it was the last day it would be on display.

The exhibition was called "weavers, Wanderers".  (Click on the images for a larger version.)

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What I found remarkable about this exhibition was the level of skill on display.  I have seen quite a lot of Indian embroidery but these pieces, besides being beautiful in design were also beautifully stitched.  There were 2 quilts on display.

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Any one of these squares would make a great embroidery.

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The second is appliqued and embroidered.

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There was also a black and white photo of a house which had been decorated with hand painted images.  Lots of design ideas in these three pieces.

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I was also struck by the similarity between the women painted on the left of the photo and folk embroideries I have seen from Sweden.

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I will write a post about some of the other pieces at a later date.


War quilts - 8

With all the fuss about the hospital stays I almost forgot the "Intarsia with Soldiers" c. 1760- 80, Prussia (Hesse) quilt.

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And I have to say one of the most charming in the exhibition.

The colours have faded over the years but the applique is wonderful. The detail shown in the uniform of the soldiers.

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The musicians who are wearing court uniforms not military. Just look at the eyes.

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and I love the court jester.

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There are some initials on this quilt but it is not known if they are of the maker or for the person it was made for.  All that is lost.

(Make sure you label your quilts.)


 


Next Op

Back to hospital today for the next operation but they don't want me there until 1pm.  Just hope they keep me in over night again because there is no transport to the island after 5pm.  I have lined up a bed at my son's just in case.

My friends grandson has Cystic Fibrosis and because of this we all contribute to fund raising for research.  Each year they have a fair and sell goods to raise funds.  This year Kay made some lovely quilts which she sold far too cheaply and there was a pretty pink one that I bought as a present for a new baby that is due.

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It was hand appliqued,

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and embroidered.

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And I've just been told the new baby, is a BOY!!!!

 

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Adventures with my sewing machine

My inability to see clearly does have it's funny side you know. 

The quilt top I am working on along with the cushions requires me to use my sewing machine. 

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This is great.  I can see the stitch guides clearly and it is only straight sewing I'm doing.  Putting in the zippers was a bit more challenging and as I  shorten my zippers by sewing across the teeth, this  was nearly my undoing.  You have to watch that the needle doesn't hit the nylon teeth or it can break. 

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  I can't see the needle too well at the moment, so I sewed slowly.  Then I hit the teeth and the needle got stuck there.  I managed to get the foot off the shank and release the needle without breaking it, twice.  Third time I wasn't so lucky.  It broke the top of the needle around the eye region. Then that small part of the needle fell into the bobbin area and didn't come out.  I turned the machine upside down.  It got my dyson onto it.  I shook it. Nothing came out. 

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Back when I was newly married I had a new you beaut Singer sewing machine that had cams that you inserted to do fancy stitches.  It was an expensive machine and my pride and joy, and nearly the death of me.  The foot pedal blew up and somehow I managed not to get electrocuted.  The whole pedal melted into a molten mess, and I blew the fuse box as well.  What had happened was when they machined the housing for the engine they didn't clean out all the metal shavings.  One was left in there and that one fell into the motor and it blew up.

The image of this close call has stayed with me all these years and now I had a part of the needle in the machine and I couldn't find it.  The bobbin case is isolated from the motor but if I didn't find the needle shard who knows what damage it could do?  As a last resort I went to my elderly neighbour and asked if I could borrow his magnifying glass, he uses it to read because his eyes are worse than mine.  He wasn't about to let 'his eyes' as he calls it be taken away by a woman, so he came over to help me look.  What a picture we must have made?

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The upshot was that we found that tiny piece of metal and extracted it with the point of a long pin.  While I had the machine in pieces I cleaned and oiled it, well.  Living on the waterfront means that metal can rust easily hence all the oil to protect it.

I don't know.  Nothing is easy, is it?


Interesting day trip

I had an interesting trip this week up to Toowoomba.  The weather was terrible and the trip up took me almost 4 hours and then another 3 to get back home again.  I was really tired after all that driving.  I went to a trunk show talk by Michelle Hill who is hanging up her hat and not doing any of this kind of thing again.  So it was a must do.

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I bought a copy of her new book 'Stitching with Beatrix Potter' not that there is anything that I will stitch, rather, just to have a copy for reference.

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After my stay in Cumbria a few years ago when I visited Hill Top Farm, (again, and again, and again), I was just enchanted by the Stitching done by Potter.  I wasn't allowed to take photos and there were no post cards for sale of her work.   But she was a great embroiderer as well as being great at lots of other things.

Michelle is best known for her William Morris inspired fabrics and quilts which you can see here.  But I was able to look up close and her stitching is so fine and that quilting is to die for.

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And when you get up close you can see all kinds of embroidered embellishments.

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When I got home I found a gift from my husband on my desk.

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Isn't that sweet.


I'm a sucker for a sale

When I came to find fabric for the back of the quilt I have been working on I found I had really gone through my stash of fabrics.  I had to piece lots of bits to get enough fabric for the backing.  Then I got an email saying that East Coast Fabrics were having a sale.  Now that was timely!

Monday is my babysitting day, so once I had dropped the girls off at school I drove directly there.  My goal was to get backing fabric for the next few quilts I need to make. ( Well, I know that all my grand nieces and nephews are lining up for a quilt now that the youngest is getting a new one.)  I was one of the first into the shop.  I got a trolley and loaded up.  I was only going to buy the $4 per metre fabric but I actually bought some at $8 per metre as well.  I was one of the first in the check out line which by this time was getting rather long.

The cheap stuff, 2.5 metres for a single bed backing, cost me $10 per quilt.  (Considering that price would have been at least $50 from a quilt shop I think I did well.)  

I will have to add a little to sides of this one but it will make a great backing.  I don't think I would use it on the front of a quilt though.

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And I also bought these at the same price.

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I'm still a couple short but I thought I had better finish these first. 

I have bought a couple of overnight bags for my grand daughters for Xmas and I want to put all the bits in there, like pajamas, brush  comb, tooth paste etc.  And I found the perfect fabric for the wet pack.  I intend to line the bag with a waterproof fabric and use a different coloured zip for each girl.  They both love pink, good thing the tooth brushes were a variety of colours.

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This nautical themed fabric just jumped out at me and I had to have it.

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And I'm not sure why I bought this one.

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And finally, I'm sure I will be able to incorporate this fabric into the piece I am planning for the next children's embroidery class in which the embroidery design is all about hands.

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Now I have to find somewhere to put all this loot.

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WIPW

Well, the knitting is a write off.  I am still trying to get the pattern right.

I started on some cross stitch, but all I do is make mistakes because I can't see it.

So, I have settled on finishing some quilt tops that have been languishing in the bottom draw.  I was making this one for Jasmine, but it isn't pink.  My grand nephew Leon is going to get this one.  I decided on the layout back in September 2014.

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I must have done some sewing on it because it was partly put together.  I had cut the left overs into pieces so continued with this to make the quilt wider.  Then I found I didn't have enough of these to go right around the blocks so ended up just keeping them in the middle sections.  After doing this I realised that it was too long and narrow with the 8 blocks so cut it back to 6 blocks and used the other 2 to make cushions. 

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I managed to buy some fabric at East Cost Fabrics where the fabric is very cheap, but good quality, for the borders.  They are all in place and the next job is the quilting.  I might send it out to be quilted but then again I might do it myself.  I just have to think about that one.

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I'm glad I made it shorter.  It is still the length of a single bed and looks more balanced this way.  So all was not lost over the last week.  Making the cushions is the next step.

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