Tuesday, 5 May 2020

More Rainbows and A Unicorn

Carrying on with I-sew-lation sewing ... it's a 2020 thing.

Two more WIPs done and dusted to the almighty squeals of my two girls.

The curse of a quilter's child is to wait FOREVER for things to be finished ...because ... SQUIRREL!

Something new and shiny comes along that we MUST MAKE and so the hopes and dreams of small children get added to the WIP pile.

But ... eventually ... things do get finished and the small children sing with glee once again. 

Unicorn Dreams Pattern by (the very lovely) Jemima of Tied With A Ribbon

Go get yourself a copy ... because we all need more Rainbows and Unicorns right now.


Saturday, 18 April 2020

Because We Need Rainbows

Do you have one of those quilts that never seems to get finished, then one day the world as you know it goes BAM!! and the WIP is "called to duty"?

By BAM!! I mean Covid-19 ... there ... I typed it out loud.

I haven't wanted to write about it because it's everywhere.  But like sniffing the air as soon as someone says "oh, who farted?"  it's enviable that it would end up in a blog post.  We quilters do like to document history.

So a lot of us are working from home, teaching our kids from home and going a little stir crazy at times.  Daily walks are a good tonic. A lot of families are lifting each others spirits by getting the kids to put soft toys in their front windows and draw rainbow pictures to display and brighten everyone's day.

It just so happens that my WIP was rainbow themed ... so it was time to finish it and hopefully bring a little joy.

Instagram tells me that I finished the centre piece for my Round Robin quilt on the 11th June 2014.  It travelled through Australia and even popped over to New Zealand to have rounds added to it.  Our Round Robin group was called "Possum Magic" and it's contributor are: Carla, Jane, Rebecca, Alice, Jo, Wendy and Sharon.  Links to these lovely ladies are.here

The quilt finishes at a whopping 82" square and is quite heavy ... just ask my little quilt holders!

I would like to thank each and every lady that contributed to this quilt for the effort they put in.  Some had to step way out of their usual colour palette or purchase fabrics that they would never usually purchase.  You see, our motto for these Possum Magic quilts was "do what's best for the quilt".  Sometimes this meant learning a new skill, unpicking a border, or fixing a "boob" like balloon so that the quilt sat flat for the next person.

We just tried to be kind, listen to what the quilt was telling us it needed and doing our best to have a positive impact on the quilt.  Words we can apply to each other in these times.

Let there be rainbows!


Saturday, 18 January 2020

Cooling Blues

There's two things on my mind lately.  Much needed rain and preparing my girls for their next year at school … basically … January.

I'm reminded of a quilt I made from a range of blue fabrics called "Blue Sky" designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.  I have to say that they are not my usual "go-to" fabric designers but for the following quilt they were perfect.

This particular quilt was for a teacher, who after 19 years of service at our school, was retiring.  She taught both my girls in their first year of "big school" which is a huge transition for the kids (and lets be honest, the parents too).

This quilt design started with a mood board.  It's my favourite tool to use when dreaming up a quilt for someone.  I think about their favourite colour.  I draw influences from the environment that surrounds them.  Their generation and personality.  I made the following moodboard so you can follow my train of thought.

The schoolhouse block was a must …

Rows of stacked coins … a nod to the time I was parent helper for maths lessons.

Soft wavy quilting representing the winds of change ...

Each detail made just for her … bundled up with love.

Some care instructions ...

And plenty of hugs ...

Just as it should be.


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The Fires Bring New Life

It's almost poetic that my last blogpost was about the terrible fires in California, when now, as I type, many volunteers are labouring against fires that are exponentially massive in comparison, in my own county, Australia.

The compassionate response from within Australia and around the world has been heart warming.  Many people from all walks of life have been raising money for not only the antipodeans inhabiting this country but also for our precious wildlife whose homes are also being destroyed.

I think we should look to nature on how we rebuild and recover from this … even while fires are still non discriminately burning.

Wombats, unusually, sharing their burrows and sheltering other animals that would normally be unceremoniously shooed away. 

New shoots growing from the charred remains like bright green beacons of hope - mother nature showing us she'll fight on despite our neglect.

I've been working away for some time now in the background on a few hand sewing projects.

These flowers are beyond bright and are cheering me up.  Every block I finish is my new favourite and spurs me on to finish another.  

I'll leave you with this bright bunch of flowers I've completed so far …

… I hope they brighten your day.


Sunday, 18 November 2018

Weighed Down By Scraps

Do you remember that I used to give my fabric scraps away at the end of every project/quilt that I made?

Actually ... lets go back further.  I used to THROW THE SCRAPS IN THE BIN after every project/quilt that I made. 

Most of you were aghast by my actions, and I agree it was very wasteful.  So I made the decision to give them away instead.  This kept most of the people reading this little blog happy BUT there was still a few that were aghast that I was giving these little treasures away.  What I should have been doing, in their view, was keeping the scraps and making all the things with them. 

So I listened again and started doing that.

But do you know what?  Keeping those scraps killed my creative spirit.  A truth I realised just today.

When I think about it, I'm the type of quilter that has the design idea or pattern in mind first then I go looking for the fabric to make it happen. 

I don't get inspired by fabric. 

I get inspired by the person I'm making the quilt for ... or the cause I'm making it for, maybe even the bridge I saw on my drive home. 

The fabric is secondary to me, it's a tool. 

So what made me realise this after all this time?

Well, today I saw a plea, no that's the wrong word ... it wasn't a plea ... it was a heartfelt call to action by Lizzy House on her Instagram stories.

There are some horrendous wildfires destroying homes and taking lives in California at the moment.  They are on the other side of the world to me.  I know they're horrible, I see it on the news.  I can see the destruction, I can read the anecdotes of loss and shake my head in sympathy ... but today I truly felt the loss.

Lizzy said that in a quilting guild of 100 members - 98 of them lost their homes due to the fire ... ninety-eight.  That hit me so hard in the chest. 

I couldn't imagine the majority of my fellow guild members suddenly homeless ... could you?

There's a fabric drive on at the moment ... yardage to make pillowcases and treasured scraps to get the guild members sewing again, if only by hand.

I started digging into my scraps straight away ... pulling treasured pieces out, it felt good to be giving them away.  Yes it's a good cause and all that, but there was something else happening to me ... I was giving these scraps away ... and with this action I was unburdening myself of the expectation of doing something with them. 

This sounds weird right?

I started this as a selfless act of kindness, but it's turned into a bloody epiphany!

You put a little kindness out in the world and you get ... clarity.

I'm sending a kilogram of my scraps over to California.  The postage is a bummer, but I'm not letting it stop me.  And I'm not letting these scraps stop me from creating anymore either.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Na-Na-Na-Na-Na ....


I've been having a little fun with a project after taking myself a little too seriously.  Do you ever do that?

I was stressing over a WIP that I started in ... July 2013 ... it was hanging over my head.  The project was a black and white Houndstooth quilt.  One day someone said, quite innocently, that the pattern reminded them of bats.

Now I can't un-see it.  So I decided to embrace the bat!

Time to drop my shoulders and have some fun ...

Original collage source can be found here
See that batman quilt in the middle of the collage above?  That's my quilt!  It wasn't in the original collage ... I just had a bit of fun imagining the type of little boy's nursery room this quilt could live in ... I (badly) overlayed my quilt in the pic (#cheeky).

You see, this little guy is headed off to a children's charity.  I won't ever get to see it in it's new surroundings so I'm having a little play here.

One more?  OK, if I must ...

Orginal collage source can be found here

All in the name of fun ... that's what this is all about right?  Sewing, creating, fun!

I think I like it best in the monochrome collage above ...

Monochrome nurseries are coming back in ... and this little exercise has flooded my brain with black & white nursery quilt ideas ...

 ... and to think that this little project had me so stuck for so long!

I think I'll go easier on myself next time ... you know, when things don't work out as planned.


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty is in da house!  Well she's been with us for quite some time ... but a certain nearly 7 year old has been reluctant to let her out into the wild.

And. if I'm honest, I've been a bit stumped on where to photograph her ... then I remembered reading about this sculpture made from sea containers - cue a sunny day and BAM!  One Hello Kitty quilt in the wild ...

These rainbow painted sea-containers were the perfect backdrop for Miss Kitty ...

... as were hubby's hairy legs - I could have cropped them out, but I think they look funny!

This quilt was both tedious and exciting to make.

Tedious because it's a pixel quilt made from a lot of 1 1/4" cut (3/4" finished) squares.

Exciting because watching it come to life piece by piece  - like a giant fabric jigsaw puzzle -  is really fun!

My daughter wanted this quilt to be a "Hello Kitty Disco Quilt" - gulp - so I machine quilted it with Aurifil Brillo to add the sparkly disco element ... she loves it ... and you'll notice by the white fluff on this next close up shot that Master Monty (our very white fluffy cat) loves it too!

I only used the Brillo as the top thread (I used a pink Aurifil in the bobbin) it worked beautifully in the machine and I encourage you to give it a try.

So here are some quilt stats:

Size: 75" x 62"

I used this cross stitch template to create the pattern.  Again, I cut the squares at 1 1/4"

Straight line quilting in a grid pattern using sparkly Aurifil Brillo colour #517

Quilt In the Wild Location

Fremantle Rainbow Art Installation by Marcus Canning #freorainbow on Instagram

Located at Beach Reserve (adjacent to Canning Highway) in Fremantle ... overlooking the Swan River and Fremantle Port.

You can read more about the artwork here

Pink everything
Linked to Finish It Up Friday
Lets Bee Social #172


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