Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sugar Pie

Last year I made a quilt called "Sugar Pie".  It uses  a sweet, updated version of an old block called 'Ladies' Fancy'.

I had a lovely time colouring in the wedges.  Well, actually, going through my stash finding fabric that was fun and charming.  When I came across the background fabric I almost swooned.  It was just sooo perfect.  I bought everything left on the bolt and used it all up.

Not a great photo, I'm sorry.  The quilt was hand quilted using mainly Perle 12, which is finer than Perle 8.  For a better idea you could always purchase the magazine it is printed in.  Australian Quilters Companion "Old  Quilts Made New" has just hit the newstands. 

Back soon, promise.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blog, Interrupted

Now,  where was I?

My apologies to anyone who missed me.  After more than 18 months of regular blogging I needed a break.  Anyone who has blogged for any period of time knows what I mean.

During my intermission I haven't really done much sewing, just a bit of knitting in my new favourite colour, chartreuse!  There are two types of people in the world - those who love chartreuse and those who hate it.   I belong to the former group.

Here at quilterie, it is still the year of the solid, so my jumper is a solid stocking stitch and matches some other gorgeous coloured accessories.

Slowly my Amish style quilt top is coming together.  Since the colours are not really anything like Amish colours but the pattern is, I feel it should be called "Qu'amish", a hybrid of quilterie and Amish.

Meanwhile, the single sock situation has continued to grow without any assistance.  Not a lot to show for 6 weeks away, but I hope to show some quilting progress now on a regular basis.  Thanks for checking in on me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Stitches, Big Ideas

Hand quilting creates its own little oasis of calm and solitude.  I have been quietly quilting my red and white quilt, contemplating, amongst other things, a name for this baby. 

The straight lines are 1/2" apart.  Originally I intended cross hatching, but I think the quilting will be dense enough without that.  In fact there is so much quilting in the white squares that feathered circle isn't very clear. 

On my first circle (top right) I even did some 1/4" cross hatching in the centre.  I've left it in for your interest only and will now undo it.  Sometimes there can be too much quilting.  I never thought I'd say that since I am from the school of more-is-more in the quilting department.

On another front, quilterie has been the recipient of a couple of sweet and generous gifts.

In the foreground is a small magnetic case for pins and needles.  It was a surprise present from Jane for no particular reason.  Gifts like these are the best of all; unexpected and generous.  It means someone has been thinking of you.  Thanks Jane! 

Beneath and behind the needle case are 3 half yards of solids from Sharon and a lovely card.  Sharon wants to make sure my Year of the Solids is not stymied by lack of fabric!  Equally unexpected and equally generous.  Thank you so much Sharon.

Now the plan is to go off and cut some fabric for an Amish style quilt top.  I hope I have something to show you later.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Cleaning up the workspace (again) I came across some blocks I made a few years ago.  I was trying to come up with a quick technique for making the tree blocks and made 9 before I gave up.  I love  tree blocks and I'm surprised they don't appear more in quilts.

After squaring them up at 9" I decided to sash the blocks.

Then they seem to need large setting triangles.  Some fabric originally bought as backing fitted the bill.  I don't even recall which top it was meant to back, so there are no regrets cutting into it.  Yellow green must be my current favourite colour.  Someone even heard me refer to it as a "neutral" the other day.

The idea for the border is still maturing.  Not a solid quilt, it's true.  But the blocks were made 3 years ago  and were found unloved in a UFO bag, so I am not bound by the challenge rules. 

 The item I was searching for is still missing, but at least I have cleaned up a small corner of my sewing world and made a fresh start on something that was gathering cobwebs.

On the red and white front I have drawn up my 5" stencil.    Since I was making my own I made sure I didn't put too many feathers, and I was able to draw a nicer shape of  feather as it attaches to its "rib".  The inside commercial feathers appear a bit stumpy to my eye.

Now for the nasty job of cutting the channels for marking the pattern.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Quilterie has been  posting for 18 months.  Due to a slight hiatus in actual sewing activity I thought it might be time to slow release some older quilts. 

I really enjoyed making the specimen below.  I had to concentrate completely on placement or the courthouse steps would have resembled "Law and Disorder".   That eventually became its name.

Oops!.. Sorry about the wonky photo.

While I was making "Law and Disorder", I came to realise that the greatest interest lay with the large scale fabrics.  Although the colour palette was planned to be olive green for the centres and reds for the lanterns, I learned how to extend the idea of red.  There are  reds, pinks, oranges, burgundies, purples, tans and brown.  The original idea came from a picture from a Kaffe Fassett book.  Now there are so many of them, I can't remember which one, but it was one of his earliest.

It has been long-arm machined.  I wanted a wavy pattern because I thought there were too many straight lines in the piecing, so the surface looks like a topographic map.

 You may be able to see by the creases through the centre that this little baby (70" x 62") has been curled up in a dark cupboard, resting for some time.  It's time to bring it back out, don't you think?

If you have not noticed,  I have added a small piece to my left sidebar regarding Pinterest.  After reading a few blogposts  (thanks, Marianne)  regarding pinning photos I feel it may not be as innocuous as it appears.  If anyone knows the code to opt out of having your photos pinned it would be nice if you could share it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red and White and Thread All Over

I caved.  64 blocks not 81.  But at least it is finished, and it is a healthy 74 sq".

Although it is not clear from my photo, the final border is a 3" red strip.  After canvassing a few quilters,  I am using a cream quilters muslin for the back, and hand quilting with an off-white thread.  It will take a while, and during that time I can dwell on the choice of white or red binding.  I would love some blogger input on the decision, so please feel free to voice your opinion.

Getting the top ready for a photo opportunity took an unusual amount of time, due to the red threads that gathered on the white fabric and the white threads that wanted to lie on the red fabric.  Now the migrating threads have been removed, but I bet that's not the last time I'll have to do it. 

Since I've been home, I've also found time to complete another block for my BTCT quilt; now I have 20 finished, 3 in progress, one to draw up and another to find.  The block below is not from the downloaded patterns.

The kangaroo on the left  (yes, that is my humble effort of a kangaroo) may or may not make it into the final quilt.  I wanted to add something identifiably Australian, even though the original quilt was probably made in the US.  I will audition it when the blocks are all finished.

I hope you are all enjoying some quality sewing time this weekend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

If you're old enough you will remember this tune, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung first by Dionne Warwick.  It kept cycling through my mind as I sat on the train to San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum in California.

According to some locals I met, this is the only San Jose in the US and the song was written for it.  I can't help adding that San Jose is also home to eBay.  On my way I passed through Menlo Park, home of Facebook. 

While in San Jose,  I was lucky enough to see the Quilt National for 2011 in the museum.  It is an exhibition of international modern quilts  that had been juried into a travelling collection.    Unfortunately, I can't share my pleasure.  Once again, no photographs allowed.  You can, however, buy the book online.

In San Francisco I visited the SFMOMA.  Photography without a flash was permitted so I have a small collection of images that appealed to me.  I particularly want to share a picture of my afternoon tea.

Yes, a slice of cake made to look like Mondrian's artwork!

  Here is my latest BTCT block:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Travelling blog

In October last year I travelled across the world to the Houston Quilt Festival.  On my way I stopped at LA and met up with my new buddy/mate Dawn from You probably recognize the url since she has the best show and tell ever.   Check her out, but not before you have a look at where she took me

I don't want to make you  drool over the keyboard, but look at all the flatpacks here

"Flatpacks" refers to the absence of the usual cardboard that the fabric is wrapped around.  Difficult to see what is actually there when it is stored like this, but at $2/yard, I was prepared to look harder.  There were aisles of flatpacks to hunt through.

Thanks for the experience, Dawn.  Far be it from me to advertise on my blog, but if you are curious about our destination, look up M & L fabrics.  I hope you laugh like I did at the customer feedback.

I am on my way to the US again and have packed a whole pile of handwork to do in the down times.  According to quilterie's law  I won't get much sewing in, but here is what I aspire to do:

There are four different projects, none of them involve solids.  As I was explaining to Janet, if a quilt top is started in 2012, then it can only be made from solids.  Otherwise, with work started prior, I can continue on in patterned fabric.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Better late than never

I have been working away on my red and white quilt.  I couldn't resist previewing the blocks before I had made them all.  Well, to be honest, I got quite fed up with making so many red and white HSTs that I just had to put some together.

I would like to make a total of 81 red and white blocks at 5" finished, but lethargy may  prevail, and I could  finish at 64 instead.    I used to prefer rectangular quilts, but tastes change and now I like to make my quilts square if possible.

I've never pressed the seams open before, but the opportunity presents itself here, so I am giving it a go

and I hope it makes hand quilting easier.

Something else that has been occupying my time has been Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt aka "Red Herring".  I was happily sailing along with my piecing and posted a picture of part of the centre.  A couple of my followers kindly pointed out I had the green squares going in the wrong direction.  It wasn't apparent on a  small scale, but when I had 2/3rds of the blocks sewn together, I realised that the secondary pattern was absent.  Compare the picture below with the first attempt here.

That's right; I removed every green string square and rotated it 90 degrees and then sewed it back in.  I think it is an improvement and now I am ready to complete the top.

 My apologies for delaying the announcement of the 2 winners from the recent giveaway of the Quilters Companion magazine #53.  They are Janet from Quiltsalott and Yankeequilter.   I wish I could have given a copy to everyone who entered.  There are so many interesting projects including quilts from Chris Jurd and Sarah Fielke as well as interviews and articles about Aneela Hoey and Sharon Schamber.

So Janet and Yankee (if I may call you by your first name) congratulations and  could you please send me mailing details so I can post your magazines to you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Magazine gift

Since many of you wanted to see "Feathers and Boas" close up I thought I could assist that two ways.
First of all,  I have TWO copies of Australian Quilters Companion to give as a gift to two quilterie readers.

  For those of you not familiar with this magazine, it is arguably the best Australian quilt magazine available.  There are always 10 projects and the production quality is excellent.  Every issue comes with a bonus DVD.  QC 53 comes with a DVD teaching Zentangle inspired quilting.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment stating what sort of quilts would  encourage you to buy a magazine. eg applique, scrap, modern, reproduction etc.  Entry is open worldwide but comments that have no contact details will not be in the draw.  So check if you are a "no-reply" blogger first.  If you have no blog, leave a comment with an email address so I can contact you for a mailing address.

Here are some pictures of my quilt "Feathers and Boas".  My favourite parts are:

All the crazy little twisted curves in this feather were so much fun to applique I did them twice!   I really enjoyed first appliqueing the Pom Pom de Paris on to the red and then appliqueing it onto the background.  It was so mindless I could do it in front of the telly.  I like the effect.  I hope you do too.

My next favourite bit is the piecing of the squares.  At this point, I felt my quilt top would have made a lovely picnic tablecloth.  The soft romantic French General range was such a pleasure to work with.

Then came the border.  I just love the effect, but I warn that it is not for the faint hearted:

You can see Adri's  marvellous  long arm quilting.   If you want to see  the whole quilt, have a look over here. 

Competition closes 31st January, 2012 AEDST 9pm.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Feathers and Boas

Back in April 2011,  I posted about making bias here.  To tell the truth, I was running out of things to show because I was spending so much sewing time on this project below.

It is a big quilt, 86" sq and all the applique is done by hand.  There is 800" of 1/4" bias appliqued on this quilt, as well as serious amount of applique around each of the feathers.  It has just been published in Australian Quilter's Companion.

If you look with a magnifying glass towards the top of the curved outer border you may see my challenge fabric from 2011.  I snuck it in.  Don't tell anyone.  Here is a close up.

Definitely not from the French General range of fabric.  And, if you're wondering what that is all about check out my 2011 Challenge here.

As soon as I get a chance I will post a page with all the projects I worked on in 2011 that included some of my challenge fabric.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Hole in the Barn Door

My first new start for 2012 will be under the guidelines of the quilterie 2012 challenge.

It is a two colour quilt.  Solid red and white actually.

When I discussed it with Sharon I thought it was called Churn Dash, but because the block is in a 2:1:2  rather than 2:2:2 format. It is actually the Hole in the Barn Door pattern.

I don't normally cut all the fabric prior to piecing.  With a two colour quilt, rather than my usual scrap quilts, I was able to cut out everything.

After my recent experience with Bonnie Hunter and her mystery quilt, I am going to use the Easy Angle ruler and chain piece.  All a new quilting experience for me.

My English cousin has been staying with me for the past few weeks and she made me a pair of socks

The colour isn't showing well on my screen, but there is a lime green stripe between various shades of grey.  They are just lovely.  Being the competitive person I am I pulled out a sleeveless vest I knitted in Fair Isle in 1981

If you have really, really good eyesight, you may be able to see that I have been able to add a name to my photos.  Look over on the bottom left on the above picture.  I have been enviously reading blogs with lovely printing on the uploaded photos and finally I have worked out how to do it.  Things can only improve from here.

Being able to add my label to the photos makes up for all the weird little  things that have been occurring to my blog recently.  Sorry if I haven't answered your comments.  I do appreciate them, but they don't all go to my email since I started moderating them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Summer Fun

The  Australian  long summer coincides with extended school holidays and lazy days with family and friends.  The cities are relatively deserted as everyone heads off to their holiday destination.

Quilterie has been entertaining and not much sewing or blogging has occurred here.  But I couldn't miss the last opportunity to link up with all the other detectives who have been trying to solve the "Mystery of Orca Bay".

 The quilt has an 8 X 7 block setting and I have sewn 8 X 4 so far.  It's going to be a big quilt and it already has a name: "Red Herring".

I'd like to thank Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville for leading us all on a merry chase.  I learned a lot and enjoyed doing the mystery as a virtual group and soon I hope to have a new top ready for quilting.  I can highly recommend doing the next mystery, although, Bonnie, if you are reading: please can you begin the fun at a less busy time of the year!!

Regarding my solid challenge I haven't got much further than washing my red fabric.  I'm not much of a washer, really.  I usually get my fabric home from the shop and  eagerly  cut straight into it.  But knowing how much red colour can run, I thought I'd be sensible and soak the yardage.

After a few minutes it appeared that the dye was  stable.  However  I got distracted and left the fabric to soak for a couple of hours.  On my return I found the water a pink colour! Who knew to leave the fabric to soak for extended time?   I suppose you all did and just forgot to tell me.  Well, now after a second long soak and a wash in the machine fingers crossed it won't bleed any more.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Challenge

After many years of making failed New Years resolutions, last year I gave away that idea in favour of something more likely to be achieved.  I decided to use a particular fabric in every quilt that I worked on in 2011.  I had some success with that challenge.

Now that the calendar has flipped over to 2012, I can start my new challenge.  I am calling it " 2012 - the year of the solid".

I have been collecting solids for some time so that this year every quilt that I start will only use solids.  There are so many yummy solids around at the moment, don't you think?  I hope my challenge will be lots of fun and move me out of my comfort zone.

The rules I have made for myself are that quilts that have been started prior to 1/1/2012 will not be restricted to solids.  But new quilts will have to conform to the challenge.  Those quilts can be Amish, two colour (for instance red and white - how clever of me to include that parameter!),  modern, applique, etc  Really, anything goes except for a pattern or tone on tone fabric being in the quilt top.

I have been looking forward to this challenge for a few months now but wanted to wait until the beginning of the year to start.  Such a challenge suits me much better than trying to control my fabric purchases, or desire to start new projects and I think it will be fun.

Speaking of new projects...well here is one that was a new project less than 2 months ago and is already close to completion.  It is Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery quilt that you must have been reading about everywhere in the blogosphere. 

This is just to give you an idea  of the centre of the quilt top.  I haven't put any more of the quilt together than this, although all the elements are ready to go.

I weighed all the units for my quilt and they came in at close to 1kilogram!   They fit in a box similar in size to a shoebox.  Looking at my fabric stash I realise I have many, many kilos of fabric. 

Thanks to Bonnie for helping me use 1kilo in such a nice manner.  I love how my mystery quilt has turned out.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

quilterie's choice: Best of 2011

One of the best parts about this time of the year is the lists that are published recording the highlights, lowlights and everything of note in between.  I love poring over them and being reminded of the year's events.

So quilterie is publishing its own 2011 list of quilt related items:
  • best book: History Repeated

    I haven't actually sewn anything from this book but I love looking at the pictures and dreaming.

    • Best fabric range: Cadet Paisley from Winterthur Museum by Andover

    While I haven't cut into it yet it is still my favourite.  A close second in the fabric stakes is the ArtGallery Solids range:

    The colours on my computer screen don't do it justice...just delicious.

    • Best tool: A late entry challenged for the title. 
    Originally I was going to put my wedge ruler that I used quite a bit in 2011.  But doing the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt made me work with my Easy Angle ruler and the Companion Angle ruler, both of which I now love.

    • Best show:  Even though I didn't see it first hand, I think the hands down winner was the "Infinite Variety of Red & White quilts" exhibition in New York.
    If you have any other categories that you feel should be included I'd love to hear of them.  Perhaps you'd like to challenge my list.  That would really interest me too.   I have avoided doing a "worst of" list.  Neither have I indulged in a "best blog" class, simply for the sake of diplomacy.  I think we all have our favourite(s).

    Lots of UFOs made it out of the cupboard in 2011,  some were even finished.  None of that would have been possible without the stimulus from you, dear reader; having something new to show each post has energized me to sew more efficiently than ever before.  If you have been thinking about starting a blog, I encourage you to go ahead and do it in 2012.

    For all your interest in what goes on in my little part of the sewing world, thank you.  I hope 2012 brings you everything you want as well as more time to sew!