Sunday, December 2, 2012

Latest Baby Quilt

Here is my latest baby quilt made for one of Suzi's friends who will have wee laddie in December. It's made from Saffron Craig fabric and is all organic cotton. I have to say I enjoy doing non-traditional baby quilts like this one. It provided a huge challenge as most of the coordinated fabric set consisted of highly dominant patterns. Even the smaller flower prints seemed really dominant to me.

In the end I decided to make strips and join them all together. The strips would "tone down" or reduce the effects  some of the dominants like the huge spot and I included two solids, a medium grey and an ordinary unbleached calico. I put "dollops" of the solids in each strip. It worked for me and Suzi's friend loves it. The colours are a deep red-purple a lighter red-purple, grey, cream and  acid green. It's never difficult to do a baby quilt in bright colours or use coordinated baby fabrics but these more unusual fabrics designed by  a well-known Australian designer were a definite challenge. I think the border in the "fence post" type print work well.

Here are pictures of the front, the back and the label. .....and yes I was lazy enough to do the back in only two of the prints! TeeHee! I was tired of it by the time I got to the back. For the binding I simply strung all my "leftovers" and scraps together in 2 and a half inch strips. It's a favourite way of mine to do the binding.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For a Tiny Boy

This is my first effort for my new baby boy. Ok Ok I haven't posted for a while but life takes over sometimes! I'm hoping the girls from the Best Exotic Indigo Hotel will recognise this fabric! Yes it is indigo dyed and yes it is knit fabric.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baby Quilt

I've been making this baby quilt for a fundraiser. I have lots of 4 inch squares from a fabric club I belong to. I chose bright pastels in orange blue and green and put on borders of green and orange. There are three stars done in raw-edge applique in one corner I'm hoping someone will like it enough to bid for it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A present for a new baby

I have always enjoyed making baby quilts. Knowing the smallest thing about the parents or the babe can give you great ideas to use for a quilt. In this case the quilt is a present for one of Suzi's close friends who is about to have her first child. This friend loves rainbows and I thought it would be great to do a chevron quilt in rainbow colours. THEN  I came across half a metre of rainbow stripes and a fat quarter of a different rainbow fabric. I used the stripe for the border and that really dressed up the chevrons. Rainbows suggest cloud and rain to me so I thought it would be sweet to do a cloud pillow (with rainbow legs of course). I stuffed the pillow very lightly, then I used the fat quarter to make a cushion in the shape of a rainbow. The rainbow hooks over the cloud in a really cute way. I definitely had fun with this one.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Change mat and holder

Just finished this change mat and holder for nappy and wipes. It's a gift. Whilst brown is not my fav colour this little lot coordinates well with bibs and burp cloths which were purchased as part of the gift.

Cat quilt

I know of an elderly cat who clearly needs one of my cat quilts. Well? Here it is! Trying out that easy way of doing the back and no binding. Being lazy in fact but it turned out OK. I have a stash of over thirty cat fabrics so I figure I need to use some of 'em up.

Little Treasures

Here's Craig hard at work cooking in one of his aprons. Hope he's making a batch of Jesus loaves. The raspberry ones are to die for. Ella has an apron too! So does Nick. Nick's good at coffee so he has the coffee guru apron.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Craig the pole dancer

I took the three new aprons (pictured in my last post, yesterday) to Little Treasures this morning. Craig put them on and paraded from the kitchen to the coffee shop swinging out each leg in turn. What a scream. He had the whole coffee shop laughing. Such a pleasure to go there because Craig always has some thing wonderful to say. He and Nick coped with Suzi, me, Suzi's friend Mel and three small restless children this morning with grace and cheerfulness (AND good food!). I didn't think to take a photo unfortunately (laughing too much) but will soon.

Aprons for Little Treasures

I'm sure you've all been as busy with work and family as I have. It's as much as I can do to post a few comments on Facebook at the moment. One of the projects keeping me busy is making aprons. Two friends have just started their dream coffee shop. It's called "Little Treasures" and is a gorgeous cafe/bookshop. Craig and Nick have been open for over a month now and they're pulling 12 hour days, seven days a week. I decided to make an apron for Craig to do his cooking in - as a little cafe warming present you understand. I made ONE apron. Oh dear! He needs at least seven and he loves them. I'm very prone to flattery and people liking my work (sucker).The waitress needs one too! For the past three weeks I've been sewing up these aprons. I have to admit I had a lot of fun doing them but I'm over aprons now. DEFINITELY! I used raw edged applique for all eight aprons and they are washing well. I lined them all. Craig likes this because when he cooks his Jesus loaves (another story) he spills stuff on the aprons and so when he wants a clean one he just turns the apron to the lining side. Hope you enjoy the piccys of some of them.

OK OK I'll tell about the Jesus loaves. The loaves are baby ones that Craig serves with soup (remembering it is winter here). The savoury ones have feta, dried tomato, and basil. The sweet ones have berries etc in them. They were SO delicious I said to  him that I bet that's what the loaves tasted like when they handed out the loaves and fishes after the sermon the mount. He looked at me blankly. I told him he was a heathen and ever since then we've called them Jesus loaves ( absolutely no disrespect intended). AND they are heavenly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Exquisite Japanese vintage silk

Here is my first finished piece of vintage silk from Japan. I bought the silk in Tokyo at Rogei. It was a case of letting the fabric do it's stuff. I couldn't bear to cut it because I thought it would destroy the exquisite pattern of the flowers. The colours are purely amazing. I would never have thought that purple, bright red, pink and eucalypt green would go together to make something so gorgeous. All I did was put the wadding and backing on, quilted it in thick red crochet cotton in large stitches outlining the flowers and then I put in a binding. I guess it's a table centre and it does look good on my coffee table. It was a way of highlighting he beauty of the fabric, that's all. I don't really care if it has a function.

What do you think the flowers are? I have guessed that they are rhododendrons. I know they are not waratahs (red Aussie native) but they do look a bit like them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Myra's Retreat Project

My project for this retreat was to work on the top for a baby quilt. The mother of the baby boy to be borned (as Theo would say) in September loves a rainbow. I just have the corners to do now but got the bulk of the cot quilt done at the retreat. I will embroider the baby's name on the quilt.

Monday, June 4, 2012


The top photo shows the seven finalists. The next two show the quality of the entries. I turned over the mug mat on the butterfly one to show how beautifully the fabrics matched. The Scrabble mug mat and matching mug are wonders indeed don't you reckon?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jamberoo Quilting Retreat

Here is Georgina with the gorgeous "Pies and Tarts" quilt and Nina with the beautiful red black and white quilt.

Jamberoo relaxing and working

Here are some of us enjoying a pre-dinner drink at the quilting retreat. And here's the big room where we all work and yap and have scones and cream for morning tea.

Jamberoo Quilting Retreat Mug Mat Challenge

Every year several quilting groups (St Ives, Bathurst Flying Geese and Caroline Bay) get together and we have a retreat at Jamberoo south of Sydney. There's always a lot of yarning, sewing and informal teaching going on. Children and grandchildren are boasted about and problems nutted out. The food and drink are yummy and we all thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

 Last year it was decided we would have a challenge for this year. The task had to be something quick and simple but creative. A mug mat was the result. Everyone made a mat to match a favoured mug. Because I had organised it I was to be the judge. I did an entry anyway just in case someone had not done an entry and I could appoint them as judge. As it turned out Me and Glen were the judges so I had to withdraw my entry. Here is a picture of it. It's made from vintage kimono silk and bridal silk (from a wedding dress I bought in Vinnies). I called it ".East meets West". Judged first was the Owl mugmat - wonderful colour matching and handwork. Second came the teapot - great colour and pattern matching. Third came the cat mug for creativity and effective design simplicity. Well done everyone! All the  mats were interesting, creative and beautiful. It was a difficult job choosing them all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teneriffe work Doily

Last Sunday I went to the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney to see the Narnia exhibition with my grandsons. In Nov last year I went to a lace exhibition here which was marvellous in the true sense of the word. I found a tiny room tucked away on the second floor called the Lace Research Centre. There are wonders there! Recently I bought this very beautiful doily from Vinnies (= Goodwill USA and Oxfam Egland) for 50 cents. It just has a couple of little holes in it. It has puzzled me greatly because I couldn't figure out how it was made. The leaves of the little flowers looked woven to me. I knew it wasn't bobbin lace or tatting. I threw it into a plastic bag before we left for the museum and rolled up at the Lace Research Centre to see if anyone knew anything about it.

The centre is manned by doughty senior women who clearly know their stuff in terms of lace. The woman in the handknitted beanie recognised it immediately as "Teneriffe" work : (also known as Nanduti). She gave me a book to describe the technique which I read immediately.

 It is done traditionally on a leather topped pincushion studded around the edges with pins which are used to make a radial (spiderweblike ) framework for the lace. The lace is woven on the framework. Now that I know something about how this beautiful doily was made I will treasure it even more. I don't want to make lace myself but am fascinated with the different techniques people have used down the ages to beautify their lives with textiles.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This is how history feels

One of the vintage fabric pieces I bought in Tokyo was a small roll of silk. When I unrolled it, it turned out to be the sleeve of a kimono lined with soft silk with a pink edge. I wanted to use it immediately but realised the sleeve was still stitched together. I remembered being told that kimonos were stored flat in pieces. They were stitched together in such a way that the stitches were easy to undo to store and to launder the pieces.  I examined the piece thoroughly before I started with  the seam ripper. What a treasure trove. There were tiny running stitches, ladder stitch, larger running stitches all beautifully even. Someone had very carefully stitched this sleeve together. I wondered who she was. Maybe a servant of the rich person who owned this beautiful silk kimono. I wondered if she had enough to eat, what her name was. I knew that she was the last person to touch the silk thread. The photo shows some of the stitching she did on the lining and some of the gorgeous kimono fabric. I  thought that despite our cultural differences, I could empathise with this woman who, many years ago, placed these stitches. I pay my respects to her now, unpicking the seams by hand.


Here is the memory quilt I was making for my "Show-and-Tell" in Japan. Each of the participants had to come to the tour with a story to tell and something they  had made themselves to show the others. I decided to tie the two together and so this memory quilt echoes the story I had to tell about two families and how they enriched on another's lives. It's not quite finished yet as I need to embroider the name of the quilt on the dark pink border. I will give this to Margaret Wilcock in memory of the close association over many year between our two families. Last year I made quilts for most of the Wilcock women (still have one or two to go though). I have  Natima to thank for generously helping me to get the photos onto the fabric. Shes very experienced at doing this!

Vintage silk from Japan

I've been playing with the beautiful fabrics i bought in Japan. I have decided I cannot bear to cut this one  and so am faced with "What will I make from it?" I have decided to quilt it as is for a table topper. If you have any better suggestions please  - I'm wanting some! It's too fragile to make a bag from it. The beautiful design is too big to cut up. I think I will free quilt it by hand around the flowers and leaves first, then maybe do the red bits in a kind of contour quilting. What do you reckon?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oriental Table Runner

Here is the table runner I have just finished. It's a gift for a friend. The second photo shows the flowers I made from my new toy. They were fun and easy to to do and I'll use them again for decoration,

Felix's New Jammies

Just finished making Felix four pairs of pyjama pants for his birthday. Teamed with longsleeved chainstore tops they'll be great for winter. So much better than that awful licensed stuff!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sewing day at Myra's place

Here we are at my place today doing various different crafts : beading, applique, embroidery, crochet, origami fabric blocks, handsewing, stripping (fabric of course) AND a lot of eating,  talking and drinking tea. What fun! Nice day.