Thursday, August 31, 2017

Farmers Wife blocks 74-77

Moving right along with the Weekly Art Project and the 4 Farmers Wife blocks this week.
They have been fun to make. 
You may  wonder why red and white and why The Farmers Wife?

Red and White because I love red and have a reasonable collection of red fabrics collected over the years, also because my first patchwork teacher, after my granny, was Joy Pratt in Hobart. Joy loved and made several red and white quilts, so this is sort of a homage to her and the passion that she injected into my fledgling quilting life in 1983. 

The other reason is that my lovely son, Alec, bought me the Farmers Wife 1920's book a few years ago as a gift. He found it himself without prompting, I am really proud of him taking the time to find something that I love- a book- any book, but a patchwork book with some nice stories as well was a bonus.
I have added a little to my red and white fabric collection, and now have enough fabric for about 6 quilts!

 block 74
 block 75
block 76
 block 77 
I have also today handed in my Queensland Quilters quilt exhibition quilts. Made 2 new bags to present them in and covered the labels- what a job! but it is done and its all up to the judges and the wonderful quilt exhibition committee.

I am looking forward to the October Queensland Quilters yearly exhibition, partly to see the quilts, but also because it is my last show as Bernina ruler quilting "guru". 
I am still pinching myself at odd times just to see if it is really real! 
What an amazing opportunity I have been handed, to be able to share my joy of quilting and using the Bernina rulers with the quilting community - and to stitch all day!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Stitching time this week

I got really excited and finished the baby quilt, and made I have had some good stitching time this week, starting work at 1045 pm gives me a nice time in the evenings when the house is quiet and I can concentrate. Its a bit annoying to go to paid work just when you are getting stuck into the work at home, but this is what pays the bills.

I made 6 farmers wife blocks, and started 2 challenge quilts.

Above is the block which I was not excited by, however I am determined to make every block in order in the book, so it is done.

 This little block has been restitched, I must have not looked carefully the first time.
 Some fun with spots! this might be the inspiration to start another improv piece, these blocks are fun and easy to make, and I have lots of scraps and small pieces, the pile does not go down much after sorting and using some though!

The baby quilt is done, good for a floor mat or a bed!
A before quilting shot and then after quilting, this was fun and easy to make, the arrow blocks are 10 inches.

.The lighting is not brilliant, but it does show up the quilting, spirals and hearts.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A new week and a new quilt

This week, 2 Farmers Wife  blocks, for the first time the next block left me uninspired- 
so I didn't make it, perhaps next week..
Blocks 66 and 67

I have also been busy with a family baby quilt, I am a little late, but am really happy with the design, my daughter, who has done little sewing, has been advising the design and layout.
It has come together quickly and I am quite happy with both the design and process. 
The blocks are 10 "

The finished quilt top below

This week is EKKA week in Queensland, the agricultural exhibition. I entered 3 quilts, no wins this year, but a few of my friends made some great quilts and embroideries and won some prizes! Below is one of my entries.

Fruit Salad
I did a day of "white glove" quilt hostess volunteer work, the crowds left me a little overwhelmed, so I spent a happy hour demonstrating on the Sweet Sixteen for our local dealer in the quilt display area.  This was quite a bit of fun, as it did draw a crowd, also gave me some well needed stitching time, which has been very infrequent this week.

Just a little fun machine quilting making up designs! 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to the Farmers Wife

Three very busy weeks, both with paid work and one week as Bernina Ruler Guru at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair, then a week holiday with my mum, has left me a little behind on my Farmers Wife schedule.
I have made one block this week, a little fiddly, but a nice one.

 I should have made some blocks in advance, but I really had trouble just functioning at a basic level just to get the rudimentary things done. 

I also have taught 4 quilt classes in the past few weeks. So many quilters have amazing tools and equipment and need some encouragement to use them to their best advantage. I have really enjoyed these classes, but go home quite exhausted. My word to you is that if you have bought 'tools' to enhance your quilting- try them out, take them to your group to troubleshoot and then go home and practice practice practice!
If all else fails, watch a youtube video!

In these classes I have found new 'tools' to enhance and improve quilting, some are great , but some so fiddly, that I wonder if they are really going to help the average home quilter, or just confuse and frustrate? One of my own 'tools' that is wasted on me is the triangle cutting ruler, I have had it for about 15+ years and used it twice! I usually cut a square then stitch and cross cut for half square triangles, it does give more stability when stitching, especially with small blocks. My 6" x 24" and 6 1/2 " x 6 1/2" and 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" rulers are perfectly serviceable for my needs.

 I have been working with Bernina at the Craft and Quilt Fairs to demonstrate the Bernina machine quilting rulers.
I love using these rulers, and have been having some fun with my Cindy Needham Ultimate Stencils to create some fantastic and fun mandala style blocks. It is amazing to think that with a few basic curves and a straight ruler I can create amazing shapes. I am not using fiddly rulers, sometimes I may not use the whole oval or circle, but I am creating really pleasing repetitive designs.
Some pictures below. I also did some really great border designs too, but gave them away before photographing them- lesson learned here.

 Hmmm, maybe needs some fillers

 Some finishing required
 These blocks do need some finishing with fillers

Creating with the stencils is so easy, does not need lots of different shaped rulers, an individual look can be achieved easily and simply with the basic circles and oval rulers found in my Bernina set.
Now if only I wasn't so tired after a very busy birth suite night shift, I might have the energy to sew....