Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Antidote

Since I got home from Houston I have spent the past few weeks hand quilting.  I am using the big stitch technique employing both perle 8 and perle 12 thread.  Without realising I seem to have amassed quite a collection of different coloured threads

Daily intense sessions mean I am almost done, but it has been very quiet sewing time.  I miss the whirr of my sewing machine.  A little bit of machine piecing would  provide the perfect antidote to satisfy my need for diversity,  so I started  Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery quilt.  Last year I almost joined the Roll, Roll Cotton Boll mystery.  I wish I had.  So when this came along I dived in to the Bay.

The first step was OK.  Just 224 QSTs.   Week 2 required only 72 string pieced 3 1/2" squares.

 Surprising to me was just how long this part took.  I have never constructed a quilt in this manner before.  I tend to make a block (stare at/admire it for a while) and then make another block.  It is a slow old process.  Making a massive number of units in one go is new to me.  Perhaps that is why I am usually so slow to finish.

A quilt started way back when, is almost finished.

I put the binding on and am just about to label it.  The story behind it is here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sculpture by the Sea

Every year Sydney's  "Sculpture by the Sea"  gets more and more popular.  It is located on a cliff side walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach.  Now in its 15th year the people's choice for 2011 was "Cosmic Elk"

 It is by South Korean artist Byeong Doo Moon.  I would love to be so creative...or at least as amusing as Juan Pablo Pinto and Clary Akron

or even as whimsical as Hannah Kidd

or as colourful as Deborah Halpern:

But what's a quilt blog without some pictures of fabric?  Lucy Barker made it look easy with this:

You can't tell from  my pictures but there are the huge crowds and  extreme heat.  At 5.30pm it was 37 degrees celcius (that's 100 degrees for the rest of you)! all making Lucy's exhibit very inviting.

Back at the homestead I've been busy beavering away on Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery quilt.  Check it out and see if you could resist.

Yes, I know I already have too many UFO's to count, but I couldn't resist cutting and sewing 224 (you read right, 224) brown and cream  2.5" quarter square triangles.   Perhaps the heat got to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

History Repeated

While I was at Houston, I did buy one or two things...this book just yelled out to me.

I was lucky enough to attend a talk given by the authors, Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle.  They gave a short show and tell of many of the quilts featured in their book.  Well, the show and tell wasn't short.  There were so many quilts to show that each only got a brief exposure.

But here is a favourite picture with Betsy talking about her quilt on the right and Janet Henderson's on the left.  Same block, different settings.

I came across the 19th-Century Patchwork Divas back in 2008 at Houston on my first visit.  This quilt totally stole my eye.

 If I remember correctly,  it subsequently made it onto the cover of a Quilters Newsletter Magazine.  Isn't it glorious?  It couldn't find it in there, but the book is jammed with pictures of other quilts made by a bunch of supremely talented craftswomen.  Wouldn't you love to be part of that group?

I've put "History Repeated" on my page for favourite books.  Did you notice I've tidied up my blog?  Check out just under the header.  Thanks to Karen from  Sew Many Ways  for the blogging tips.   You should visit her;  she is full of amazing tips and ideas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Biggest Show on Earth

Just like you can lose you quilt mojo, the blog raison d'etre can also go AWOL.  My apologies for disappearing without a trace.

It's been a long 2 weeks both in time and space.  I have just travelled halfway across the globe to visit Houston, land of the biggest quilt show on earth.  I don't know if that is actually true, but hey, it's in Texas, so it probably is.

Part of the 2011 Houston show included a  tour of the new Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange.  No photography was permitted inside the museum but I was able to take a photo from outside.

Naturally a book was published to coincide with Market/Festival and the museum opening, so you can see for yourself what those of us lucky to get there in person were privileged to see.  There were many iconic quilts displayed.

More of the collection was on show at the George R. Brown convention centre.  Just to give you an idea of the scale of the quilt show here is a picture during one of the quieter moments.  Photography was somewhat restricted here too.  In any case, there are plenty of photos circulating on the blogs now so I won't add to them.

I had a wonderful time;  attended many classes of well known quilters and a few lectures as well.  I learned so much and came home full of new ideas and inspiration.  By far the best part was meeting some of my blog mates.  And I was delighted to discover that they are just in nice in person as they are in the ether.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Modern Quilting

Recently I had 2 quilts machine quilted by Adri.  She did such a special job for me.  Adri follows my blog and read how much I liked my border fabric on the simple rectangular quilt.  She is a super computer whizz and somehow "digitized" the pattern from the fabric and transferred it to an all-over pattern for the quilt.

I hope Adri doesn't mind me telling you that when she starts speaking  technical computerese  I lose track  almost immediately.  But the  result speaks for itself.  The backing fabric I used here is also one of my favourites.  I will show off the whole quilt when the binding gets around to putting itself on.

 Nicky asked me  to show a close up of Adri's customized quilting for the second quilt.  Look at these blocks.  Aren't they amazing?

Last Saturday was the inaugural meeting of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild.  Women (where are Sydney's modern quilt men?) came from all over Sydney to meet for the first time.  There were the usual suspects as well as a whole new contingent of quilters, including 2 junior members, both under one year old.

Defining a "modern quilter" took a bit of time and in the end it was left open.  Is a modern quilter someone who embraces new techniques, technology etc or is it someone who makes liberated quilts; or does it refer to a particular style of simple, clean quilts?  If you know the answer, please leave a comment.

 A  few brave souls brought along some show and tell.

Looking at some of these lovely samples, I wondered if the definition of a modern quilter is reflected by this.

Apologies to the quiltmakers.  We were wearing labels, but I didn't write down the names of the ladies responsible for these two quilts.  I am looking forward to participating in our new guild.  I think it is a welcome addition for Sydney's quilters.