Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cushion Cover

In the previous post I wrote about the linen squares I was creating using applique lace and stitching. One of those squares I gave to a friend and being the meticulous sewer that he is, Len made a beautiful cushion cover for what he calls his "boudoir". Even the zip is a work of art! Len is a retired garment maker and sews like heaven. Here it is:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More Hearts Aflutter

These are the last two in this series of expressive needlework pieces. Completed for a friend they are intended to be the centrepieces of two cushion covers for a "boudoir".

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cherry Blossom Square and Hearts Aflutter Square: more silk cotton, linen and doilies

As you know from my previous post I have been working on some expressive needlework. No it's not going to be a quilt or a wallhanging or anything so far as I know. I wanted to try combinations of linen, silk and cotton with handstitching and one of my mother's doilies in small manageable projects just to see if I could create something beautiful. Somewhere in the back of my head is always my love of anything Japanese and I think the squares I have made reflect this too. This next square is called "Cherry Blossom". It has a backing of rough silk and could be made into a cushion cover should the recipient fancy it. One of my objects in doing these squares was NOT to try for perfection. I didn't want perfectly even stitching or superb composition. I wanted to run with it and not be too precious about it. It's hard to say what I mean. I see many perfectly executed quilts but few creative or artistic ones.

 The running stitches which decorate the squares are like Kantha stitching as is done in SE Asia although they are not so neat and fine. In "Cherry Blossoms" I made leaf shapes to go with the flowers using neutral shades of embroidery floss. The Kantha was great fun to do because it was both easy and effective.

The friend I gave this piece to has had it framed in lovely soft colours.

The next square is called "Hearts Aflutter". Well I had to do something about the fact that the heart is slightly skew-whiff (can't spell it) because I thought it looked cute that way and didn't want to unpick it if the truth be known!

Unlike the other two squares, "Hearts Aflutter" has been lightly quilted and has a backing of off-white silk from a wedding dress purchased years ago from Vinnies.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Old World Charm : Silk, linen and cotton

I have been trying to do something out of my usual square as well as do something with my mother's rather beautiful doilies that I no longer use. Finished this today. The block is made from silk, cotton and linen as well as a hand crocheted doilie. It's a gift for a friend and I hope I have interpreted her taste correctly and that she will like it. It needs to be blocked and framed I think.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mug bags for "The Yarnspinners"

My craft group in Sydney is called "The Yarnspinners". We meet every Tuesday afternoon at St Peters Library and have great fun doing various different crafts. Recently some new members joined, Leonard and Leonie so I made a couple of mug bags for them. These are great for craft groups or for the staffroom at work. Encased in a pretty bag your mug

 will never be "borrowed" by other staff members and left unwashed. The ubiquitous Sydney cockroaches won't be able to get at it and it will be protected from dust and dirt. If you're doing one of these for a gift make sure the mug matches the fabric of the bag perfectly and your gift will be greatly appreciated. My photos aren't the best, sorry, I should have cropped them. I'm good at mug bags but not so good at photography!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Finding Photos: Retro Baby Quilt 2011

The fabric in this quilt is old fashioned and just made for any young parent who likes retro. There's a photo of the whole quilt and one of one of the blocks.

Finding Photos: Stephanie's Quilt 2009

My niece wanted  her quilt to be very bright. She certainly got what she wanted. Here is her mother Helen, pinning up the quilt sandwich at their home in Melbourne.

Finding Photos: Christina's Farewell Quilt 2009

Christina's Quilt is a scrap quilt. I wanted it to look "rich" so I used all the jewell colours from my scrap boxes. It was made for a colleague who was leaving the organisation I worked for. The block is a simple square with a frame around it, sometimes called a square within a square.

Finding Photos: Alma's Quilt 2009

This next quilt is done in exactly the same way as the previous post. You wouldn't recognise them as the same pattern though because the fabrics are so totally different. For the bowtie blocks in this quilt I used a vibrant set of bright pastel coordinates. The only thing that looks the same is the cat! Tis quilt makes me smile, I love the colours.

I made this quilt for the first baby of  a friend who used to be a student of mine in Denmark when I was there teaching English.

Finding Photos: Lucy's Pooh Bear Quilt 2009

This sweet little quilt was made in 2009 for Lucy's first baby who turned out to be a girl. The fabric consists of a couple of coordinating Pooh Bear prints.The block is bowtie, another favourite of mine. I have done at least three baby quilts using bowtie blocks arranged in this circular way. I also love to use up scraps as I have for this quilt doing those strippy borders which are always so effective.

Of course, the requisite cat (Minnie Moog) is draped over it.

Finding Photos: Dianne's Quilt 2006

I always say that babies and cats are irresistibly attracted to quilts. Here is my oldest grandson Felix (now aged nine) enjoying the quilt I made for his beloved DeeDee (his other grandmother). This is another of my much favoured scrap quilts. I simply went to my scrap box and pulled out everything blue.

It's another ninepatch also, this time en point. I love the serenity and warmth of the blues.

Finding Photos: The Firefighters' Quilt 2005

Australia has many terrible bushfires every year which rage through the country destroying crops, trees, gardens,  livestock and houses. Houses can be gone in a second eating up irreplaceable family possessions. In 2005 I made this quilt to commemorate the wonderful skilled and courageous work done by the volunteer bush fire brigades in the country. The red symbolises the fires and the many other fabrics detail the skies, trees plants and animals threatened by these terrible flames. The quilt was professionally quilted by Jenny Baker in Bathurst in a continuous flame pattern. It's a scrap quilt done in alternating ninepatches and post and rail blocks. Simple but much loved blocks. I think this quilt demonstrates well how simple blocks can be enhanced by many different fabrics. A scrap quilt never fails.

Finding Photos: Felix and Charlie's Baby Quilts 2005

Felix (my oldest grandson) and Charlie are first cousins. When I made Felix's baby quilt, I made Charlie one using the same pattern but in different colours. Nine years later these quilts are still being used (mainly for TV watching)  and have held up really well in the washing machine. The stars were put on using Vliesofix and raw edge applique. The edges have become a little furry over the years but they have never become unstuck.
 Charlie's Quilt above, Felix's Quilt below. Both made in 2005.

Finding Photos: Carmen Miranda 2005

I try to take photos of all the sewing I do in order to keep a record. I give most of the stuff I sew away and have been known to forget what I make. Recently I found some photos of work I did a few years back so I'm putting them up here.
I had fun collecting the fabrics for this quilt which I have called "Carmen Miranda" made in 2005 for the living room of my beautiful house in Perthville.  Citrus colours I call them. I have this quilt on the wall in my living room here in Dulwich Hill. The wall is not so grand but it still looks good on the acid green wall. I have always loved the purple zingers in this quilt. They really pop.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fran's Bag 2006

In 2006 I was experimenting with using a combination of crayons and embroidery . The bag below made for a friend turned up some sweet results.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kirsties Baby Quilt 2014

A friend is becoming a grandfather for the first time. Little does he know what will happen when he see that baby boy for the first time. It will be love at first sight. Here is the quilt I made to celebrate his birth. It will be the last baby quilt for a while because I want to try a few other things with my silks and and old doilies.
The blocks are a frequently used post and rail pattern alternated with the main fabric. The main print has lots of Aussie animals on it.
I quilted it very simply and softly by machine in big loops. I'm not fond of the stiffness which results from quilting closely.
Did my usual label in stem stitch.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Peacock Quilt

As many of you know I am partial to the wonderful gaudy jewelled colours of the peacock. A couple of years ago I was in Hobby Lobby, one of my fav craft shops in Georgia and I spotted a group of coordinated fabrics featuring peacocks.Not being one to resist purchasing ANY fabric let alone peacock fabric I bought a selection of these back to Australia with me and made this quilt. Because the fabrics were very busy the quilt had to be done in a fairly simple pieced block. I chose a pattern from "Quilts from The Quiltmakers Gift". "The Quiltmakers Gift" is a beautiful children's book which features many different fabrics and patterns woven into a story. The book features the quilts patterns in the story. The one I chose is actually on the cover of the book.
I always think it's fairly amazing how different quilts of the same pattern can be and this is a good example. Below is the entirely different result of my use of the pattern.