Patchwork & Quilting Feed

So Beautiful

My friend Angela has been quilting her old embroideries and the latest one is quite stunning.  It was a cross stitched embroidery stitched by her late mother-in-law, so it held special memories.  She turned it, from an embroidered table runner

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To a stunning work of art by mounting it on a background and then quilting it.

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This is then an heirloom for future generations.  What a wonderful way of transforming a piece of embroidery.

My mug bag

Before my run in with "The Virus" I was working on making a new mug bag to take my mug to Patchwork meetings.  As I said before I have a lovely bag that is somewhere "safe", but , not knowing where "safe" is I needed a new one.  I liked my 'lovely bag" so decided to base the design on that and as I wasn't feeling well when I started I would just use fabric I had in my stash, also, as the mug had an Australian Native Flower printed on it I would look for those kind of fabrics.

The only fabric I could find that fitted this criteria was some Furnishing Weight fabric that was printed with May Gibbs "Bush Babies".  I proceeded to 'fussy cut' out panels of this.

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Then to find the co-ordinating fabric.  Once again, only one match.  This time a small remnant of Tilda fabric I had collected but this was a light weight.

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And them I cam across some stripped fabric that matched, another weight of fabric from the other two.  I immediately knew I was going to have problems putting three different weights of fabric into a project. But, I could handle this.

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This bag design is basically a rectangle, which is then folded into three parts, the 2 sides,  and the base.  You insert the side pieces of fabric on  the base rounding of the corners to make the insersion easier, and then attach  either side of the insert to the sides of the rectangle, Add some handles and then bind the edges with a "quilters binding". " Easy Peasy"   I little more difficult when you are using different weights of fabric.

The size of my bag was dictated by those fussy cut panels but you could just use any fabric and make it the size of your mug.

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I just used a hair tie for the loop to close the top.  An elastic casing at the top of the side panel, that I cut on the fold at the top edge and then stitched the casing holds this nicely.  But if you are not fussy about seeing the underside of the fabric you could just sew an ordinary casing and save fabric.


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I would have made the bag a bit smaller if I was using other fabric but I decided to add a couple of pockets inside to hold extra things.

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So now I am all ready for when Patchwork meetings recommence.  I have enclosed a PDF drawing of the measurements I used to make this bag.

Download Jan Mug Bag

Thinking about a new 'long-term' project.

I like to have some easy hand stitching to take to Guild, Patchwork meetings.  I do have a box of hexigons, that keeps being added to but I was looking through my design journals and came on this quilt that I had drawn.  

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It was inspired by a painting from the "Floating Life" exhibition back in 2009.  The artist was Gulumbu Yunupingu, a first nation artist from Arnhem Land.  Her painting is about the Universe and when I think about the universe I think, stars.

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(I lived in Arnhem Land and got to know some of these people when I was teaching there, so these works have a very special meaning for me.)

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Then I was watching an episode of "The Last Homely House" where Kate was also planing a long term project for hand piecing and her work was all about stars also.   She had found a template on the blog Wild Olive for a plus sign, that looks a bit like a star, and I was wondering if this would work for the design I had drawn back in 2009?

I think that I will have to print out that template and make a trial small quilt to test my idea.  It might work, it might not.

Adjusting to my new life of freedom

I am still getting my mind around the fact that I don't have to do home schooling anymore.  My time is mostly mine.  What a novel thought!  I can visit friends, who I haven't seen for ages or have only seen them just quickly in passing.  Now I have time to spend a whole day with them.  I can call in on my other children for lunch or dinner, which I did this week.  I loved it.  And over the last three years so much has happened that I have fallen behind.  There are new artists and ideas to explore along with lots of new shops and venues I haven't seen.  How exciting.

Now you probably know this textile artists work but it is new to me.  Paula Kavarik.  She uses her sewing machine like a drawing pencil and her drawings are a bit like Shaun Tan, almost "train of thought" type drawing.  (A bit like the pencil drawings Shaun has inside the covers of some of his books.)


The music is a bit circus soleil.  

There is a nice little tour of her studio.

And  her video of 2019 quilts is great.

And if you have time this interview is worth watching.  (She didn't start quilting until she retired!)

This makes for pleasant viewing and I am so inspired that I have just purchased her book.

Some old work

As I am spending so much time at my son's home I thought I would do some tidying up for them.  They are due to move into their new home in a few weeks time and have stuff everywhere.  Amongst this stuff was a quilt I made for him when he first left home.  I was into dying at the time and this was made from the samples that I had made.

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Now this was over 20 years ago but the dyes still look good I'm pleased to say.  I knew I had put a label on the quilt with the date etc on it but...

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Shows I need to sew the details on labels not just write them in fabric pen.

The next thing I found was an old knitted rug I made him.  The colours are really dated but the knitting is good.

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I must say I was very chuffed to think that he had held onto these pieces for so long.

And while I was doing this Nugget gave me the  sweetest look.

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Silly dog.

My new patchwork buddies

I am enjoying going to my new Local Patchwork Group "Star Sea Quilters".  I go along with my neighbour Margaret and our mutual friend Bev, who has just opened an exhibition of her work at the The Old School House Gallery.

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Bev owned a patchwork shop before she retired and specialised in all things Japanese.  Margaret is one of the founders of the patchwork and quilting revival here in Australia and is the author of numerous books.  She has just released some new patterns which went on sale at the Quilt Show here in Brisbane.

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She has a love of Japanese fabrics which feature in many of her quilts.  You can buy her patterns through Wabi-Sabi Designs.  There is also a great interview with Margaret on their Facebook page.

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It is great to have two such inspiring friends along with all the other members of this welcoming group close at hand.

Some action on the directions

I have been meaning to join a Quilt Group closer to home every since I moved to the island, now I have done it.  I am now a member of "Star of the Sea Quilters."

I am still going to keep going to my other group but it is inevitable that the day will come when I am unable to travel that long distance.  My Neighbour Margaret moved from Victoria to the island and she goes to this group along with another friend, Bev, who has moved to a new home on the mainland nearby.  So, I will not be walking in 'cold' so to speak.  Thank goodness as I would hate to just walk in and say "here I am, I want to join."  Yet that is what I did in the past.  As a teenager I walked into the NSW Embroiderers Guild in Sydney and in my early 20's into the Embroiderers Guild in London and said just that!  Oh the cheek of youth.

Bev is having an exhibition of her work at the School House Gallery, which Margaret is opening, next week which will run for a month.  I'm looking forward to seeing that.

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(Bev used to own the Melanie Magic Patchwork shop and has a serious collection of Japanese fabrics.)  Now that I had got through the formalities of the first meeting next comes the settling in stage.  Although the group meets every week I intend to only go twice a month.  This move is about reducing stress not increasing it.

The book marks.

As I said before, these make nice gifts and should be quick and easy but...  Maybe it was more difficult because I didn't have a pattern and I was making it up as I went along? So, here they are.


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Anyway , I have included a pattern,  Download Book mark Xmas 2022 if you are interested.

Some interesting pointers along the way were:

Keeping the hexis straight.  Those things move around!!! I folded a line down the middle but they just moved on their own.  Luckily I had cut my base fabric a bit bigger so I just cut the edges so the hexis were straight. I bought my 1/2" hexis pre-cut.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 12.17.41 pmIt is important to be consistent with the number of stitches you make along each side of the hexi, I settled on 4 as that looked the best.

Different Interfacings.

I tried 3 different weights.  The one I ended up with I don't even know the name of, it has been in the stash for years.  I think that if I had to buy one today it would be a light weight 'Parlam fusible wadding.'  (You don't want the bookmark to make a big wedge between the pages.)

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The ribbon trim.  I'm going to have to start checking Op shops for ribbons, I had to buy this one as I had non in my stash.

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The other thing I bought was a collection of 2nd hand books to put the bookmarks in before they go in the baskets.  There are lots of good cheap  2nd hand books around. 

Those bookmarks have got me thinking about other variations I could use in that design.

Getting organised

As part of my 'self organisation' I need to have tidy, organised surroundings. 

First problem, my cleaner has gone on holidays and won't return for another 2 weeks.

Solution, start cleaning myself.  (Oh NO!!!)

So I am taking it one room at a time starting with my bedroom.  It takes me nearly a whole day to clean this because I have trouble moving.  I started at the ceiling and worked down.  I am non to stable on ladders but I got the curtains down, washed, dried and up again.  That was a major achievement.

Then when I remade the bed I realised that I need to make a new bed cover.  This one is still serviceable but I only give it a couple more years and it is big, King sized.  Another job to add to the list.

I then got out my 'Accident Quilt' to put on the bed.

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Why do I call it the "accident quilt"?  Well it started life as the backing of another quilt but I unpicked that quilt and put a different backing on it.  As I didn't want to throw it away I quilted it and made it into a quilt top and now I find it is the right size for the king sized bed.  I had collected lots of Australiana fabric prints and had no idea what to do with them all so decided to use them as a backing for a quilt.  Bad idea, it made the quilt too heavy.

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I can see that I will need to make the new bed spread in colours that will compliment this.  And blue just isn't the colour.  I had been using it for the paddlers who visited but Covid restrictions had stopped their visits and they haven't returned.  (I'm not sure if that is good or bad.)  Now to start on the sewing room.  Really, it might be easier to just clean the rest of the house and come back to this.



Prototype 1

I thought that I would put some things into those soft baskets I made and have started with a coaster.  I might have over designed it and I think I will make a few adjustments to the pattern.

I started with the left over fabric that I had made the bags from and used insilbrite as the padded layer between the fabrics.

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I layered up my front, back and wadding, sewed around the shape I had selected and turned it through.  I used a 100 weight thread to sew the opening closed.  That part was straight forward.


Then I wanted a circle in the middle to make a kind of saucer for the mug.  To do this I made a couple of templates for the shapes.

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One I made a bit bigger and after applying visofix to the back of the fabric, cut out the shape.  I used a wadding with an adhesive on one side which was slightly smaller in size. 

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I then sewed a line of gathering stitches around my fabric and put the wadding inside this and pulled it up around the shape.

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After finding the centre of the coaster,

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I was able to press this in position, were it stuck because of the adhesive, and sew around the edge without it moving.

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I was going to use some of the left over quilted fabric to make a mock tea bag but I think this would drive me crazy.

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So It is just going to be used without that piece.

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Now to make the real ones.