Wednesday, April 27, 2011

only human after all

Last night I went to a lecture and slide show by Hollis Chatelain, one of the worlds most talented machine quilters. I discovered that she is a normal person , just like I found Jane Sassaman to be, like the rest of us- all mothers, wives and working women, some with greater artistic skills than others, but all who love to sew and to create.
I was inspired to come home and sew but had to get up early to go to work, so as soon as I have finished here am off to my sewing room.
Its really interesting to look at a master quilters early work, not unlike my first efforts, with the journey to master quilter taking more time for  some than others.

I am on my journey , just a bit further to go.......

This is a quilt I made or my dad when he was unwell, he was covered with it in his chair, when he moved to the nursing home it went with him. It has a personal messsage quilted within, something I like to do for personal quilts.
A fun quilt, some fun freehand machine quilting, used up some strips.
Not a master quilt but a quilt made with love and recieved and used with love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friends, Cake and other things

Yesterday I had the pleasure of my friends coming over for a play day, lots of chat. show and tell and a little cake!
I have been very lucky since my move to Brisbane where I knew 3 people  (who didn't quilt) to find a whole group of like minded souls whose company I enjoy and who inspire me to create, think inside and outside the traditional, and make me happy to be here. I was a little tired after my late night, but that didn't deter the business of the day. We should do it more often, shame we all don't have very rich husbands - but that we have to go to work and assist the economy....
Plenty of show and tell, many have completed challenge projects, we are to show our challenge pieces at the next Quensland Quilters night meeting - so they need to be done! Didn't take any pics as I got busy.
I have almost finished my small quilt top to take to the Hollis Chatelain class on Saturday, but am disappointed that I don't have anything else more suitable. oh well might make the most of kids and husband away today and 'whip up' someting small....

The finished plate - yum

It was Kates birthday last week, my daughter Isabel baked her a delicious chocolate cake. Unfortunately Kate closed her eyes , but I have a little video, made by mistake, which I will send to her so she can edit it! as I can't- showing by my skills in making a video by mistake in the first place....

This is a mock up of the Floral Carpet that I have made, it was one of the ideas- I used a diferent layout, which I will take to the class on the weekend. But it does give me an idea just looking at the photo!
Now I will go and try to make some more flowers a litle smaller and make a piece for the class - husband and kids away all day don't need to do housework as nobody notices anyway. Might even have another afternoon nap.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Play day

Just got home from work, its 1130pm, thats 2330. A quiet night, well paid and pleased to have a few days off of the long weekend at last.

A play day tomorrow with some like minded friends. Might make some postcards, do some painting or even learn a  few new tricks.

Time to get motivated.... could post  a picture but the internet is too slow, and I can't wait till tomorrow in 13 mins when we get our  good speed back as I am tired and need to get up and wash the floor before my guests come .....

pics tomorrow night of the play day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Nearly a week has passed, I have not been lazy its just that the computer is so slow , a child has used all the download time and we are lucky that it actually works at all, it is almost prehistoric.
After several busy days a work including 2 night shifts where we all certainly earned our money, I have a few days off. Might go to the GOMA and see an exhibition, might go out for lunch..... the possibilities are endless.

Ankle strapped heavily by physio, I even had some accupuncture, and  must say it feels better already. Bruising going down.

This is a little Art quiltlet I made for the on line group Art Quilts Around the World, the theme was 'Flora', as decided by me. It is pre machine quilted -( much easier than trying to quilt round each leaf later as they are a bit 3D) and then some funky freehand cut leaves stitched on, the flora in Queensland is quite different from Tasmania, I was inspired by spiky leaves and bright colour. The stringy bits are kitchen string twisted and glued to stiffen, with some stuffed seed pods.
Thats if the picture will load.....
Spending the weekend working, but will find time to stitch down some flowers for a "Floral Carpet" ready for next weeks machine quilting class.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mismatched clothes

I sent an entry into Lisa Walton's  Whimsical Woolies' competition last week, if I had known that the judge was Jane Davila -well I would have tried harder!!
Oh well, no win here, but I had fun and my piece was very tongue in cheek - "Whimsical Jane - her clothes never match".. it is on Lisa'slog, and is on display at the AQC.
It was fun, it made me tidy my bead boxes, and think outside the square, not that I already do. I used some goodies that had been in my cupboard for a while, which is good, and tried a new technique or two. Now I just need to perfect a few things, maybe next time.
The 'arms' are free machine quilted with some oil sticks added for glitz!,  a little like one of my favourite shawls. The arms are sort if loose, although you cannot see it in the picture. " I" may well travel, so you may see 'me" where ever Dyed and Gone to Heaven are. Yes, it is a real picture of my face. My computer skills are expanding at a great rate! however I wish I had learnt to type at school as I need to watch the keyboard.....and do lots of corrections.
The really good thing about a challenge is that it does make you stick to a timeline and also to try new things. I will continue to do challenges, I have had a few challenges in my life this week, but am pleased to report that my toes/ankle/foot etc are now purple/yellow/ green and the swelling is subsiding and I am not hobbling so much. Back to work tomorrow so I had better be on the ball. Sad really as I am now on track with my 2 quilt tops that I have been piecing, one very traditional and one very 'Jane Sassaman' to those of you in the know.

The next news is that we went to see 'Paul' at the cinema, not my sort of movie, but actually quite funny if you don't mind a bit of interesting lanuage. Really funny....

Happiest in my room sewing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peg doll

This delightful peg doll - midwife with baby - actually was made by my daughter when she visited my mother recently for the school holidays. It is really cute, a bit fiddly, and most of all personalised for me.
Today I had lovely lunch with some dear friends, but have now come home to kids and laundry ! but hope to find some time to get my red and white blocks finished, 5 down, 4 more to go, thats more than half way! The starch really does make a difference, the fabric is not distorting especially on those bias edges.
Now that my creative juices are flowing, I am getting started on another piece that I will be able to use at the Holllis Chatelain class in a  few weeks. The sewing room is a mess, but who cares! at least I am doing something not just sitting getting fatter -must try to get to the gym when I am more mobile...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I  have almost finished my first pair of socks! just need to stitch the toe together, can't get the right one on my damaged foot, but I am happy to have finished. The stripes get out of order at the heel, bu they are lovely.  Not quite sure why poeple would knit socks for a living!!! Have started the next pair, its a good camping and TV watching pasttime.
Sue, yes you are right, last time I had an injury it was my thimble finger - no fun at all.
My mission today is to put a quilt top together! thats if I can find the right fabric for it to be finished.
I am going to a Hollis Chatelain class in a  few weeks, and need to take some quilt tops! help - I have none! so this one will be it, I might have to make a small floral quilt to take as well, no stitching but design work at this class, but I feel under prepared. Wish I had paid the full fee and got the class list earlier so I could have been organised, or at least read the class description earlier, oh well.
Foot improving, still a bit sore, but walking is easier and both kids on L plates so I am being driven most places, just need to get myself home from school/uni where ever they need to get to, and I can drive OK, just walk slow. Slowly getting up the driving hours.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

purple is not a good skin colour

This is what happened inthe dark on my way to the ladies when we were camping on the weekend- the moral of the story is - watch where you are going and have a good bright torch.  I just rolled my ankle in a gravel ditch. Not happy, luckily no broken bones, but a bit painful and swollen etc. Notice the blue streak up my leg- hopefully not much nasty tendon/ligament damage.
Lots of sewing time, but of course I need a big shove to get motivated. Have lots to do.... what to start first.
One of my groups Coorparoo Quilters is having an exhibition soon, and I  need to make a mug bag, a placemat and a cushion.  Maybe thats where I should start.
I have almost finished the red stars, well the main parts, now I need some more fabric to make them into big blocks, that can be todays job while I am resting.
I am not entirely sure if its a good thing to get out of night duty or not! at least 2 nights go quickly, unlike a swollen ankle which could take weeks.
Keep posted for finished articles.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yes Virginia there is a solution

The solution is spray starch, I have had a little trouble with flimsy and soft red fabric for the stars in my last post. The answer to all my troubles is spray starch! I have a can near the ironing board and spray with gay abandon, it touches everything, luckily the floor is capret or I would be skating across it! My new work shirts are starched by default into nice neat creases. It covers every inch of my ironing board.   Hoping to get those blocks finished soon and made up ready for quilting.......

Of course life goes on, I have borrowed a few quilting mags from a friend and have been very impresed by a Japanese quilt - might have to get the pencil out and do some drawing.

Time for a new picture. This is a quilt I made for my husbands dear friend Leanne for her baby boy Xavier who was born last year. Original design, machine appliqued and quilted. Both my children and husband helped with the design, each proud of their handiwork in the design process. A quilt that is fun, original and made to be played on and slept under. Its amazing what can be done with a pencil and paper!
A big shark chasing the smaller fish, a few kites in the sky, a hot air balloon, sea horses and a rocket all add to the things to find.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Exhibiting more than once

I am in a dilemna, one of my groups is having a quilt show soon, do I send along quilts that have already been exhibited elsewhere, or do I find some previously unseen work ? I have always only shown quilts once, as I feel that unlesss they are absolute show stopppers (which incidentally some of mine are!) they should only be outed once. In the USA, many quilted are shown at every possible opportunity, so may be I will too. This is some incentive to finish a pieces that I have been working on for some time.....
I know this is a bit old fashioned, and I should just resist the sensible in me and show some that have been see before. The audience may be different, or they may want to see them again.
What is the general consensus?

I have finished my portfolio cover for the Broad Strokes group, its a piece of hand dyed silk paper (dyed by my mum) laid ontop of a piece of hand dyed fabric- by me- then heavily machine quilted, I am thinking of doing some oil stick work on it, but need to have a think about it first. It folds in the middle to make a book like folder to hold all those challenge pieces and smaller works of art.
It is aboutA3 size when folded.
One more article finished, hooray.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Red stars

Last year at the AQC in Melbourne I bumped into an old friend from Hobart, she was looking at my Art Quilt in the Queensland Quilters State of the Art Exhibit, and had the sense of mind to phone me on my mobile to say she liked it!  Neither of us knew the other was going to be there, I was actually sitting about 2 metres away having coffee! Kim enticed me to buy a Jelly Roll of red and white fabric, not the usual way I buy fabric. I sat and looked at it for a while, then decided to make it into blocks. This is one of the great unfinished quilts. Now it is being turned into larger star blocks, just needed some more fabric-of course, and some more precision piecing. I hope to have some nice spaces for lovely machine quilting, as at the same time I bought the extra fabric I bought a Hari Walner machine quilting book.
There will be 9 large 24" blocks.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Red Shoes

For the past few months I have been behind in deadlines, well today  I have finshed one and almost another work. My critique group 'Broad Strokes' went to the Valentino exhibiton last year, our challenge was to make a piece inspired by this fantastic exhibition.  I pontificated for ages, and then in a flash came the idea -shoes, not just any shoes, but RED shoes. I bought a pair of red boots a few weeks ago, and my favourite pair of shoes are red, so it was an obvious choice.
Now what sort of thing to make?? I ended up making 3 postcards, useful, not too big, not too difficult, but you get the idea. I really loved the Valentino sequinned shoes, made to match the dress, sadly I do not have a red sequinned dress! but I can dream....Could have done more, but got sucked in by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, can't sew and drool at the same time.
These small challenges are great, but the thing is I do not want a pile of sample pieces, I want useful things, so maybe postcards are the way to go, at least by todays thinking!
What is the best way to approach  a challenge?
Went to a sale at a sewing shop today, (and yesterday) spent the equivalent of a football ticket or two, my lovely new book and other goods will last longer than a game of football and give me hours of pleasure.

I am on a steep learning curve, learning how to crop pictures before I upload them, my family are amazed that I can do such things. Keep an eye out for better pics in the future.