Saturday, 30 March 2013


A little pile of giraffes (in the making) and other little piles of pieces for my entry in the 'Quilts in May' challenge to be held as part of the inaugural Quilt Show of the RedBerry Quilters. (If you are in or near Berry, NSW from 3rd to 5th May pop in and have a look.)

The theme of the challenge is 'Two by Two' as all proceeds from the show will go to Noah's Ark Children's services, Nowra. For some reason my brain immediately said giraffes...... (Yes, I know there are three giraffes - there's a reason for that which will become clear in time if all goes to plan.)

(Full details are available on the RedBerry Quilters blog - post dated Saturday 16th February, 2013. Click on the link above and it will take you there.)

And other piles.......not long now.....

One friend (who packs the day she leaves) will laugh at me for this. Another friend who leaves on her trip two days before me would understand totally - in fact she probably already has her stuff in her bag by now.

If you celebrate Easter have a happy day tomorrow. (We are bypassing the chocolate eggs this year but my mind is turning to Chocolate Pudding so I suspect we won't be an entirely chocolate free zone,

Sue xxxx

Friday, 29 March 2013

It worked....

After my initial adventure with QSTs I now have a batch of neatly trimmed 5" blocks on my design wall........just working out how to arrange them to create the value shifts I'm aiming for (at least that's my story - it may take a while).

Nice points.....if I do say so myself......

Should make a good pair of cushions - a trio in combo with the needlepoint that inspired the whole process. (Note to self: Learn how to link back to previous posts....)

In yesterday's mail.......some travel reading......

.....and something to savour when I return home.

Enjoy your day,

                                                                Sue xxxx

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Try Again

A bit of chain piecing.........

Cut and far, so good.....


                                                           ......... and trim........

Stitch again, carefully matching seam lines and marking diagonal.......(making sure it's perpendicular to the seam line). 

                        Breathe deeply and cut out .......

...........breathe again, press and trim. Continue on as before......

I'll let you know how I get on,
Sue xxxx



Sometimes it's important to pay close attention to instructions.

You might well ask what these are, that is if you are remotely interested.......

The intention was to make a sample HST (half square triangle) to test the size......starting with 6" squares, (fortunately from scrap fabric) cross-cut to make 4 HSTs......can you see the problem? Off I went blithely sewing across both diagonals but missed a step - and ended up with these?????

Then we (the Monday Girls and I) realised that what I actually wanted to make were QSTs (quarter-square triangles) because I wanted to make blocks I have seen variously called 'hourglass' or 'windmills' (amongst a myriad of other names.)

After we picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing we determined that the size would be fine so the said 6" squares were duly cut and paired up. (And the instructions are now cemented in my brain - for now, anyway...)

At least I had some success on the day. The potholders are coming along nicely - very pleased with the improvised inserts - just need to decide on the binding.

Let's see what the day brings,
Sue xxxx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


The Scrappy Trip Around the World is happily finished and I'm pleased with the outcome. It was a great opportunity to practise FMQ and learn along the way.

The first batch of half-square triangles have come together. They can relax on the design wall for a few days while I work out how to quilt them........

....... and a pile of manly flannels have been quietly growing on the shelf.

Once again, more starts than does that happen?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Duty Done

The Dutiful Daughter

The Dutiful Wife

Consider this duty done! 
(At least you get a whole cake this way, Dad....)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Almost there......

After running out of bobbin thread with half a block to quilt the scrappy trip is now on the home stretch - only the binding to stitch down.

I was very pleased with my FMQ progress, especially as I was using monofilament thread for the first time - and it's hard to see where you have already been. It's all finally starting to flow more naturally and I'm really happy to be getting a feel for the rhythm of it.

On Monday we played with developing techniques to create tiles for 'Tile Quilts'. Mine is a fused sample to remind me of the process - clearly more care will need to be taken with an actual project....... I have a feeling it's a design idea that could come into its own after our trip. (Anyone like to hazard a guess at how many photos of tiles I will come home with?? Should we have a guessing competition?? Some silk thread instead of jellybeans perhaps.)

Loved these tiles at a restaurant in Darling Harbour - 'Charlie' wandered in for his tapas, too - and was gently ushered out. He was obviously a regular there....... Great inspiration - love the mix of patterns and the earthy colours.

Also in Darling harbour...... flowers??? All beautifully carved from fruit and vegetables. I don't know how these soft fruits stand up to the complex treatment - a real art.

Watermelon anyone?

Or rockmelon perhaps?

That's all for now. I'm off to look for cord to edge the large, needlepoint cushion I wrote about earlier. (One day I'll know how to link you back to what I'm talking about if you are interested....still learning the program.)
 So til next time,
xxxx Sue

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Coming together

A lot of the reading and research I've done in recent years is finally starting to come together in my head and in practice (with guidance - thanks Carolyn).

On Monday we continued our explorations in perspective and armed with paper, fabric scraps and a glue stick quickly mocked up a traditional block to develop the idea. I really wasn't sure I had been sucessful until I got home and pinned it up on my design wall. And now..... I can see it. Much quicker than sewing it up but just as effective for a quick trial of an idea. (I guess you could do the same thing fusing fabric as well.)

In other news, ta da!...... I now have the full set. Gloria Loughman's third book, long awaited (by me, anyway), arrived on the doorstep on Tuesday morning. As with the others it's packed with just the right information I need to continue on with 2 projects I started when I did a workshop with her some time ago. And just the right inspiration to pick up where I left off when things weren't working the way I wanted them to.

Seeing Gloria's quilt 'Kimberley Mystique'  for the first time at the Sydney Quilt Show presented me with one of life's seminal moments. Her work and the work  of another Australian quilter, Susan Matthews, made me sit up and take notice of quilting, quilters and textile arts in all shapes and forms from the most traditional to the most modern and everything in between. It was so vastly different to the dabblings in patchwork I'd done in the early eighties and was the initial fuel that fanned an obsession that has gathered speed ever since then and shows no sign of abating. (My library is a testement to that - it doesn't seem to be getting any smaller either. ABB Dad.)

'Kimberley Mystique' - well worth close examination........

There is just so much to see, learn about and experiment with.

That's it for now - I'm off to dust play,

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


I have finally given myself permission to start cutting into this pile of prettiness which has been washed and ironed and waited patiently for my 'Summer Quilt' to begin - yes, I have given it a name.....

I have gathered inspiration and information from a number of sources and will be interested to see how it all comes together. (My first really detailed, planned project - with room for change, of course.)

I am basing the pattern on a quilt from Kaffe Fasset's 'Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts' called 'Yellow Potpourri'. (pp31-35 if you have the book and are interested...) It's basically constructed in blocks of combined 9.5", 6.5" and 3.5" squares (unfinished size - so 3, 6 and 9 inch squares finished - good Fibonacci numbers.) I'm not planning a border but rather making 4 Quilt-as-you-go columns and joining them.....

The colour scheme is based on this fabric from designer Kate Spain. (The photo is not quite doing the colours justice).
 I collected fabrics using some of the principles outlined by Joen Wolfrom in her books (Visual Coloring and Colorplay) and using her 3-in-1 Color Tool. I'm hoping that by limiting my palette to five analogous colours (ranging from golden yellow to spring green on a colour wheel / colour tool) and a dash of one complementary (fuschia) that it will work. (It's starting to look like this...but a lot more cutting to come.Not sure if the apple green will stay.....)

I want the overall impression to be fresh but also slightly vintage in feel, if that makes sense, with a crinkly texture. (From Weekes Ringle and Bill Kerr - another inspiring pair - I've picked up (among other things) that if you pre-wash your cottton fabrics for the quilt top and backing but not the  cotton batting (100% cotton) once the quilt is washed and dried the shrinkage in the batting helps create this crinkly effect.

So that's the plan - let's see how it develops.

Scrappy trip is half quilted - using monofilament thread on top and matching thread on the back and happy with progess here once tension issues sorted. (Regular needle changes help a lot, too. Who'd have thought it would matter so much...)

I've been using this as a practice piece for several quilting designs. The next step is a refresher visit to Angela Walter's Carftsy class - 'Machine Quilting Negative Space' because my next design challenge is swirls.....

Also, a couple of finishes....(do you know about binding clips??)

Table runner or piano stool cover.......

This was a quick project inspired by Victoria Gertenbach at the Silly Boodilly blogspot. She recently made a series of tablerunners made of ticking and also has a gallery of 'Work Quilts' which she states are  "Inspired by old, utilitarian, patched and stitched work quilts and consisting of various layers... background, machine quilting, hand quilting, reverse applique and/or applique patchwork."  She is also a weaver and I like the way she thinks and speaks. If you like an earthy, more rustic aesthetic do yourself a favour and spend some time browsing her Blog.

And last but not least for today...

'Oh Christmas Tree', recently finished, ready for Christmas well ahead of time (if you are on the gullible side) or not ready for last Christmas( if you know the true story....)

Note to self - Must improve photography.....

Thanks for stopping by,