Saturday, November 5, 2016

Some prizes and some fun!

A little post holiday depression has had me not blogging for a bit. Now that I am back on board, here is the news.
The Queensland Quilters exhibition, held in conjunction with Expertise Events Craft and Quilt Fair was on the day I returned from Italy! what a big week.
One of my quilts won best theme quilt- half square triangles, another received a judges commendation in the small modern category.
This is a special quilt for my fiend Suzanne, she has a particular fondness for flamingo's

The small quilt has also just been selected for the Australian Modern Quilt Show to be held in Sydney in November. A little bit of excitement there, its nice to be exhibiting nationally.

I currently have one quilt overseas travelling with the World Quilt Show, one travelling with Expertise Events as part of the AQC challenge, and another travelling with EE as part of my local Broadstrokes special exhibition, that has also been to Taiwan!

Life is busy, and as we head to the end of the year there are a few competition quilts to be made , and some pieces for another Broadstrokes exhibition. No rest here for me...
I am also playing with my new Berina Q20 and a new ruler foot and some fun rulers.

 Life as a quilter is very exciting, so many wonderful quilts to see, be made and many friends to share them with!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Italy for a beginner!

We have had such a wonderful time in Italy! I was not sure what to expect, however have been pleasantly surprised.
So many secret places to explore. Milan was a bit of a culture shock, but we survived the traffic and shops and had some fun experiences, dinner at a small restaurant after the last supper your was fun!
A short hiatus where we went to Stein am Rhein, the Bernina factory, then onto Strasbourg. What fun we had exploring those towns.
I had a very nice 2 days at the European Patchwork meeting, met some very friendly locals who helped me on my way. I was inspired by the many quilts, both art and traditional.
Next onto Innsbruk- another surprise location! Great food, wine, fun and a time spent watching a skier goingg down the high slope!
Venice was a delight, after we escaped the bus tour groups! Burano and Murano were amazing. Would love to go back and just sit! Fantastically placed Airbnb!
Florence bought us more crowds, but also some fun with a Tuscan dinner , and a spur of the momemt- Fiat 500 drive in the country side! Excellent!
2 days the Cinque Terre was not enough, we did try to extend. A highlight was not Peter falling down and injuring his knee at the end of a vary arduous 3 hour walk in searing heat, but the amazing tracks was unbelievable!
At the European Patchwork meeting, taken by my mew friend, she spoke no English, i can count to ten in French, and order coffee and wine!

Sausages at EPM

Peter in the Fiat we had to Fold ourselves into!

Sunset at cinque terre

At the top of a gruelling Hill!

View from the top of the gruelling Hill!

The Colosseum, just down the end of our street!

Church floor, my fav

More church floor

Cinque terre!
views and the sunset cruise with amazing views!
Now we are in Rome, some history here! Funnily enough some of our best finds have been accidental and unexpected!
Am so not looking forward to the flight home and the fact that my work uniform will not fit! However it's quilt show week and I have won a prize, so a treat awaits me!
We have had some fantastic accommodation, all except the first, airbnb you are really quite good!

Monday, September 19, 2016

European patchwork meeting visit

We have just had a lovely few days in Strasbourg, I went to the EPM, Peter strolled then drove around Strasbourg and its suburbs!
The EPM was interesting, my French is terribly basic, however I managed quite well!
There were many small venues and churches along with larger venues full of quilts , mostly art quilts by European artists, and not , well to my eye, influenced by traditional American patchwork.
There were buses to take viewers to the 4 different towns, I just followed the crowd!
My favourite pieces were the ones curated by Nancy Crow, large, bold, I bought the book. I really wanted to sit for a bit, sadly no chairs. I saw these quilts twice I was so impressed!
There were a few smaller exhibitions of work in series by several quilters, the works by Ann Johnston were magnificent. It was good to see progression over the years in their work and some really simple yet very effective art quilts!
The European quilters seem to work a little differently, which was quite refreshing.
There were also some antique quilts that had been machine quilted by a handi quilter ! These were wonderful!
I saw a woman wearing a Suffolk puff hat, then a bit later  I saw her from the front! She had a colourful Suffolk puff dress on! I thought it may have been a bit rude to take a picture of her from the front!
All in all a wonderful few days. Inspiring, busy full of wonderful things. I bought one skein of thread, one book, a Mola kit and a magnet. Thrifty!
My Mola stitching work from my class with Marion Wetter

A refreshing beer on a busy afternoon

Waiting for the bus back to Selestat, then a scramble to catch a train

That hat! With matching dress under the coat!

Lastly a picture of me taken by a new French friend I met on the bus! I saw her and her friends later on in the day, they greeted me like an old friend.
The find of the day - when I got cold and didn't have a jacket! was a green jacket I bough for 2 Euro's at the local Vinnies! Perfect!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Peter and I are enjoying a lovely and lively holiday. First, a week in London, lots of walking, training and just a little cycling yesterday!
We have seen palaces, galleries, towers and gardens!
A day trip to Stone Henge and Bath with a very lively guide was a fun day!
Excellent porridge at Bill's, they have free wifi and ok coffee, a feature of our holiday- food, wifi and drink!
Afternoon tea with the Queen, shame - paper cups, I did enjoy her dresses! Wonder if the cutlery is biodegradable?
 A tapestry at the V&A, inspiring
 Sunken garden at Kensington palace, a nice little place to sit and rest
 I was warmly welcomed by the London Modern quilt guild, a nice meeting.
Tyvek period costume at Kensington palace.
We went to the theatre to see Michael Crawford last night, sadly he is ill! However the show was wonderful!
We are off to Edinburgh today on the train, seeing and nook packed!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Free wifi and other news

Searching for free wifi in London is interesting! We take our mobile phones and the generic home wifi for granted!
Never Mind, there is so much to see and do, we hardly have time to use computer, however googling addresses and finding shops and other landmarks a little free wifi comes in handy.
Pictures another day. It's my husband's birthday today, also the 19 th anniversary of the death of Diana. An interesting array of memorial notices and flowers at the gate of Kensington palace.
Off to the Tower of London today!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Leaving on a big plane

Tomorrow we are leaving for 5 weeks in Europe!
2 weeks in the UK and 3 in Italy, with a side tour to Alsace to the European Patchwork Meeting!
No sewing much happening here, but hopefully lots of pictures and good stories to tell!
Keep an eye out for our adventures!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A long break

I have had a long break from blogging, I have been using Instagram, and trying to post images of my stitching every few days, its easier than loading the SD card into the computer to get good quality pictures. My Lenovo tablet is great but its camera is very ordinary.
I have completed  a collage of the project a day from April, and submitted it to the course I was doing through Tas uni- Photography for social media. This was a really interesting course, I learnt a lot about photography and lots of Apps for Instagram, and other social media.
 These small blocks will be made into a banner or bunting soon.

 I entered 3 small quilts into the Ekka, agricultural show, am very happy to say I won 2 prizes, the Nine Patch? quilt won second in Art quilts, this was a fun improvisationally pieced quilt.
I am planning to do some more of this style of piecing, teaching a class at the Brisbane Visual Arts Community in October. Its a great way to use up scraps and small pieces of fabric, too small for much but too precious to throw away.

This little quilt won first in small professional, its a tablecloth mounted on a hot pink silk/ cotton blend fabric and quilted with some added trapunto. The tablecloth belonged to my mother in law who passed away a few weeks ago, so its nice that her cloth won a prize! She use tablecloths all the time, so its well worn and loved.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Making my mark

 Continuing on with my project of documenting the 'making of a quilt', I have taken some images of mark making, some hand stitching and some machine stitching.
Hand stitching is relaxing, these are Ali's pieces, using silk, they are very tactile, and soft.
                                                            Close up of hand stitching
 Same piece as above, not so close!
 Cream, soft and supple
 slightly coloured, loving the pink, it just adds some luxury!
My own favourite skirt, hand stitched to hold it together for just a bit longer!

A lovely little bird, designed by Ali and Rebecca. Hand stitched by me.
Hand stitching on tea bags, they are used, then dried, and torn then stitched down. 
A lovely soft and interesting tactile surface to stitch.
My tools of the trade, my favourite Bernina feet

Some machine texture on a project, sometimes you just need to stitch with black thread on white fabric!

A few more rows stitched....

 I am really enjoying the process of documenting 'the making of a quilt,' I have taken inspiration from hand stitched pieces and am also documenting tactile surfaces and hand stitched pieces- up close!
Its a bit time consuming, its eating into my stitching time, but I am enjoying the learning of the camera and its ways! also learning about cropping, and photo editing, also Photography for Social media- which is the on line course I am participating in. 
At the end I am hoping it will improve the quality but also the quantity of stitching pictures on my social media- Instagram and facebook and this blog.
my Instagram tag is janemadlyquilting

Monday, May 16, 2016

Making a quilt part 2

There are many things to consider when making a quilt, size, colour, design, composition. The competition challenge requirements are dictating several parameters for this quilt -size, theme and fabric to be used, it is also for machine quilting competition - so the machine quilting need to be a big part of the overall effect.
Starting with a white design wall, the fabric and the theme Celebration, I have designed a basic floral spray, one of the main emphasis' of this quilt will be the machine quilting, so leaving lots of space for that is always in the back of my mind when designing.

Cutting out shapes, saving each last piece, just in case I need to use it. There is nothing worse than running out of fabric, in this case I only have a small amount of each one. I am using an iron on fusible webbing for ease when adhering the shapes to the background, and speed in creation!
I have chosen a cream background fabric with gold dots on, the gold is quite dense at the bottom, then becomes less dense towards the top of the fabric, creating a secondary design. I am hoping that the background will not detract from the machine quilting when it is completed, but create an interesting, but not to overpowering aspect.
 Using my petal shapes, and choosing where to put them. I decided on 3 simple flowers, using the red, orange, purple and blue fabrics for the flowers themselves, and the green and grey for the stems. I added one red print for some variety as the selected, and 'must be used  in a recognisable amount' in this challenge prints, are a little flat.

One version, the balance is not there, the stems are not flowing nicely, some tweaking led me to the next layout, I am quite happy with this. It does need a little fine tuning when the pieces are ironed onto the background.

 The final layout, the flowers and stems need to be ironed down, then some serious stitching needs to happen. I am happy with the balance, it has a good structure, the next phase of stitching will finish it off and give it life- I hope!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Documenting Making a Quilt

This week I am starting week 6 of the UTas course I am doing- Photography and Social Media.

The task description is to develop a visual theme, how to tell a story through images.
I have thought hard about his, making textile art is a big part of my life, I have all the items I need to document this project. I have been inspired by one of my tutors with her images of circles worldwide and also my husband with his pictures of Sewer Drain covers, but those are their stories, I need to tell my own story.

And I do  have a story to tell. 

The story of Making a Quilt.

My plan is to document photographically The Making of a Quilt.
Hopefully this will ensure I blog more frequently and may also encourage me to take more pictures to document my progress.
The camera is a Fujifilm X20.

I am participating in a challenge for AMQA, the fabric and size is predetermined (up to 100 cm square), the theme is Celebration. hmmm many reasons to celebrate. 
Today I started with the fabric and some random thoughts about celebration.
I have had a few ideas, while lying quietly having a massage I came upon the idea of a bunch of flowers to celebrate an occasion. It has just been Mother's Day, what a good thing to celebrate- I am a midwife- it is mothers day everyday where I work!
So it will be a bunch of fun flowers with a funky twist.
  The first background, hmmm, needs some life put in it.
 The fabric, on my cutting board, moving the fabric to have the orange on top makes an improvement, the blue does stand out, it s part of what is required so I cannot delete it.
 Adding the rotary cutter to the mix, cropped a little.
 The first raw sketch of the plan, made quickly but with good intent, using the only paper available in the car wash! Using the fabric for inspiration.

Ironing the fusible webbing to the back of the fabric,a  big part of fusible applique.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Quilting class picture

I am teaching an Options class at the end of next month with Queensland Quilters.
This is a 23" quilt, the idea is to explore options for fillers and design possibilities beyond an all over quilting design, or stitch in the ditch.
There is a smaller version- 18" just the inner block with smaller borders, or you may choose an 'orphan' block of your own and add some borders.
Making your quilt 'your own' and exploring ways to individualise your work is part of the brief for this class. There will be lots of drawing and some stitching of motifs and outlines to be filled with fun filler designs.
See Queensland Quilters workshops if you are interested, there are still a few spaces open.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Selfie project

I am participating in a Tas uni course- Photography and Social Media.
This is taking me out of my comfort zone, However I am having fun playing with some of the apps available for image reworking.

Queensland Quilters had the opening of the 2016 State of The ART juried exhibition yesterday.
Lucky enough to be juried in again, its a nice feeling.
Here are some pictures I took of me with my quilt, some edited and cropped as part of my course work.
 A good grey scale picture

The quilt titled' Ladders"

A post night shift " I'll just shut my eyes for a minute!"
Colour saturated