Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back to hand stitching

Over the last week I have been able to get back to some hand work.

I have now finished the 2nd branch on panel 2 of Trailing Vines.

I have been making very slow progress! I do love working on this quilt every time I get it out.

I have the leaves prepared for 2 more branches, so I hope to get plenty more done soon.

In a previous post I showed a picture of a book on Boutis I bought while we were in France. I have done a little more reading and  decided to be  a little less ambitious about my first project!
Here is the beginning of my stitching. This piece is a little over 6 inches (15 cm) square.

And a closer look...

The main difference between boutis and trapunto is that there is no batting between the 2 layers of fabric.

The design is stitched through the 2 layers of fabric, then the shapes are stuffed in a similar manner to trapunto by hand.
When you hold a piece of boutis up to the light you can see clearly though the fabric where there is no stuffing.
I am almost up to the point of stuffing the shapes.

The rest of my current sewing projects are "secret sewing"!

Here are my fabrics for one new project.

Many of them from here.

Last week I spent a wonderful day at Linda's with Bev, Dorothy and several other ladies farewelling Randi who was going back home to Norway.
We had a lovely day of chatting, laughter, sharing great food and seeing lots of quilts; some newer and some antique. Thank you for a great day Linda, Bev and ladies!

My thoughts are with those who have been through the fury of hurricane Sandy and other weather extremes. I hope you are all safe and well.

A few photos from my garden....

Rose Just joey, fuchsia Heidi Ann and 2 miniature roses.

This is sunrise yesterday morning from our front yard.

Have a great week everyone! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baby quilt

This is the quilt that has kept me busy for the last few days.

At my son's work they organised to collect fabrics to make a quilt for one of their colleagues who is expecting her first baby.
Not only were there fabrics from work colleagues, but family from overseas contributed pieces to add to the quilt too! :)
With less than 2 weeks before the baby shower I was asked if I would like to put together the quilt.

How could I say no!!

As well as fat quarters and larger and smaller pieces of fabric there are embroidered fabrics, fabric painting and beautifully stitched cross stitch patches, all given in friendship and love.  Some people spent a lot of time creating their contribution. Several squares had signatures and messages added later with a waterproof pen.

I decided to make simple squares since they would be fast to put together. Looking at all the fabrics I had, I decided on a size and started cutting. The smaller pieces where mounted onto a larger piece or had a border added.

With 5 days to go more contributions arrived from overseas, so I added an extra row to the quilt.
The last row has signed handprints from family. I hand appliqued each of the hand shapes.

I chose a light cream fabric with  spots and stars for the backing and a colourful spot for the binding. ( The gender of the baby is not known yet)

The most nerve wracking part for me was the basting! (I usually have huge problems with basting my quilts!!) I didn't want to end up with wrinkles and pleats on the back! I used Sharon Schamber's basting method with two boards and I am very happy to say it was successful first go!!

I finished the last stitch in the binding on Friday afternoon. Woohoo....done on time!

When the quilt was collected on Saturday I was presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers! :)  (you all know how much I love flowers!)

Saturday afternoon was the surprise baby shower. The Mother-to-be, pictured above with her DH, got a wonderful surprise when she saw everyone!

Seeing the photographs of the reactions of the Mother and Father-to-be and everyone looking closely at all the blocks was heart warming. It was a wonderful and humbling experience to be able to put together individual contributions from work colleagues, friends and family from here in Australia and England, and create a quilt for a family to welcome their new baby.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chester County Criswell Quilt

I have caught up with the latest 2 blocks for the Chester County Criswell Quilt BOM.

Here are blocks 3 and 2.

There is a blog dedicated to this quilt and Sharon is sharing lots of information about the quilt and its history.

I am looking forward to seeing which block Sharon has chosen for block 4.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blogger's BOM catching up.

Finally, I have caught up and have finished blocks 12 and 13 of Blogger's block of the Month.

Thank you Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works for organising such a great Quilt Along! For the last 13 months we have had a different block designed by a different blogger. At the beginning I couldn't decide on which fabrics to use, so I ended up making 2 blocks every month: one bright and one with repro fabrics.
Block 12 comes from Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side and the lucky last, block 13,  is from Sarah Fielke of The Last Piece.

Blocks 12 and 13  in bright fabrics....

...and in repros.

Here are all my blocks together!!

Now to decide on fabrics for settings.

A couple more holiday photos from Honfleur..

This carousel is more than 110 years old.

An interesting door that I will use for quilt inspiration.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend Everyone! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More photos from Singapore and France...and some news

I found quilting inspiration in lots of places. The 3 below were just inside one of the entrances to Printemps in Paris.

Outside in cobblestones in Paris and Deauville:

In a building by the beach in Deauville:

And quilting designs on a glass wall in our hotel room in Singapore:

Singapore was an island of contrasts. From big city skylines:

to the tranquility of the Botanic Gardens.

While in Singapore we found Daiso; a Japanese store that sells almost everything, but everything is priced at roughly $2!!
Here is what I bought:

The 2 fabrics at the back are chirimen crepes.

Another day I found on a map a place called the Textile Centre!! :) It turned out to be a multistory building with small stores mostly devoted to fabrics. Many were wholesalers, uniform manufacturers, selling furnishing fabrics, and many were closed. :(
On the ground level I found some stores selling mostly haberdashery items.  One was a treasure trove! Sing Mui Heng has several branches. I spent ages in there! In one section they had an enormous range of Swarovski crystals. Here is what I came home with:

By this time space (and weight limits) in the suitcase were at a premium, so I was restrained!!

There was one evening while we were in Paris that was very special for me personally.  While I was at high school our French teacher organised for our whole class to be matched up with pen friends in France. The idea was for us to practice our French by writing to someone our own age in France. Well, Odile and I have been writing to each other on and off for over 40 years! First of all it was letters, the old fashioned way! Later I would receive postcards from Odile sent from exotic places she went on holiday. More lately we have corresponded by email.
Well......we finally met!! After more than 40 years we have seen each other face to face!! :)  She speaks perfect English!  (Sorry to say my French is abysmal!! Lol......apart from having a strong Aussie accent!!)

In the excitement I forgot to take a photograph! :(

The next few posts will be back to stitching, with an occasional holiday photo added.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quilts in the Barn 2012

This year Linda's theme for Quilts in the Barn was inspired by her visit to Infinite Variety in New York last year.
Every quilt hanging this year is red and white.

This quilt hangs above the doorway as you enter.

I loved this house quilt.

There were lots of tiny quilts.

Even a tiny bed..

This quilt is embroidered and appliqued.

The embroidery stitches are perfect and very tiny!!!

It almost looks like the designs were printed!!!

Lots of larger quilts, both pieced and appliqued. (sorry I couldn't get a photo of the whole quilt with all of these)

This stunning quilt was all appliqued.

Pieced quilts.


A New York Beauty with a beautiful toile fabric.

 I love the applique on the border of this quilt.

Below is a signature quilt. I saw several well known names here....Linda Collins, Mary Koval, Lori De Jarnatt, Kathy Holland,  Jo Morton and  Dawn Ronningen!!

 Above is only a small selection of the quilts on display. There are lots more to see!!

As well as all the quilts there are raffles, delicious morning and afternoon teas...and lunch!

Linda also had badges made this year! A choice of 2 designs.

The Quilted Crow girls from Tasmania were there with lots of fabric and their new book.

Mary Koval had antique fabrics, blocks and quilts and new fabric also.

I spent several hours admiring quilts and chatting with friends old and new.

The exhibition is still on tomorrow so, if you live close enough, don't miss the chance to see a spectacular exhibition.
All funds raised go to breast cancer research.

Linda will have lots of photos on her blog later.  Right now you can see Dorothy's, Meredithe's and  Jan's, blogs to see more photos and news from the Barn.