Sunday, September 24, 2017

Farmers Wife blocks 80 and 81

Moving right along here, I am making slow progress. 
Two blocks this week, I am waiting till my holidays so I can do some serious sewing before a relaxing little holiday!
 Block 80
 Block 81

I have been trying to get this rather large quilt quilted this past few weeks, it is large and I have been busy with other things that had deadlines!

Today is a day to sit under the fan and stitch!
 I am not quite sure what possessed me to quilt this design, it is working but is quite tedious, perhaps an all over may have sufficed!

Another project underway, one to do when I have no energy for the others and that does not need much concentration, and I have so much red fabric!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Farmers Wife block 79- almost there!

Today is day 7 of 8 in a row working at paid employment
 I am tired
 stuff has happened
 I have had a migraine
 work has been busy- nothing like September in a maternity unit!

I have made one Farmers Wife block, the end is in sight.

I am also trying to get some competition quilts finished and some project quilts done. 

Life is busy.

Block 79 of 111

 One of my current projects, I am  really happy with the lessons learned at a class with Sophie Standing, and have been using some of those learned skills and ideas 
with this piece
 Some of my threads for  this project!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Birthday treats

I ran away to the beach at Burleigh Heads for a few days last week for my birthday.  A nice apartment with beach views, two days teaching rulers on a domestic machine classes, and a relaxing time.
The beach was wonderful, a little cool to swim just yet, but I did have a paddle.
The reason I went south was to teach the classes, but decided to take a midweek holiday and have a day off for my birthday in the middle.
The classes were such fun!  a steep learning curve for some, most of the quilters ended up with a fantastic portfolio of ideas and designs for further reference and many ideas to go home and expand on. 
Ruler work is a different mindset, and can allow the quilter to achieve consistent straight or curved lines with minimal marking. I have had a lot of fun with the rulers and am really looking forward to my next Bernina work at the Brisbane Craft Fair.

Only one Farmers Wife block this week. 
It was a bit fiddly and I was tired, so the points are not perfect.

 The view from my apartment. Perfect.

My group are working towards an exhibition of works inspired by Margaret Olley, this is the start of one of my larger pieces.
Its called "rainy day" as a working title. More to be explained later

 Another piece for the Margaret Olley inspired pieces. In an attempt to use up fabric that I have, I am appliqueing these flowers onto some satin for an installation.

Lastly, I gave myself a little treat, well my daughter is giving me the book, and I decided to get a template as well- just because! Super fast postage, I am happy. 
Now to get down to some serious sewing....

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....

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where did that week go?

This past 2 weeks have flown by without time to draw breath! work and then some teaching machine quilting classes have taken all my time and energy, with my creative time being limited to class prep and recovery.
So here I am with no Farmers Wife blocks this week, and no hope in the next 2 weeks, and I was doing so well....
Stitching time for myself has been sadly limited.
I am trying really hard to finish some pieces for the Queensland Quilters yearly exhibition, 2 weeks away now and my time is even more limited.
I am going to Melbourne as guest artist with Bernina on the Q20 demonstrating ruler work, come along and see what it is all about if you are in Melbourne. 
Then I am really looking forward to a week with my mum, sitting and hand sewing and walking the beach- even in winter 'our' beach in Tasmania is marvellous!

This is one of my exhibition pieces, I am up to the binding, it is an improv piece of some of my husbands old shirts, they are so soft, it will be a lovely quilt to snuggle under- perhaps for his teardrop caravan that he is starting to build....

 Our son has been living in Colombia teaching English for the past 16 months, our daughter recently visited with him for 2 weeks, they had a marvellous time together. I asked for a Mola souvenir. They chose these 2 pieces, one is a bag and the other a fantastic panel. They know that I like red, and I am impressed that they chose pieces that I love! 
Being surrounded by textiles their whole lives seems to have paid off.

Monday, July 17, 2017

X plus quilt - a family gift

One sad and lonely block this week, and its very late.
I had hoped to get some more done,but life got busy. Paid work- can you believe it! house guests , and many nights out with friends!
This block was deliberately pressed with the seams open, it worked well, till I stitched it upside down! The centre isn't quite right the second time around, 
but I am not undoing it again.

This week I am trying to quilt this rather large XPlus quilt for my cousin for a 21st birthday gift. The birthday was last week, the quilt top took 2 weeks to make.
It is a bit special as I have used mostly her late grandmothers fabrics. The grand plan is to get it quilted and ready to bind before I head to Melbourne next week for my demonstration on the Bernina stand at the Craft and Quilt fair.
I do have a lot of work to do between now and then, some blocks to prepare, its good to have a pieced block to demonstrate ruler work on.
Below is one of the variations of quilting designs, I really like my plastic sheet, I found it at the art supply store, I do have a border of masking tape so I don't accidentally draw on my quilt.

 Partially quilted, I think that if I do a few hours every day I will be OK time wise....
 Bunched up on the quilting table
 The centre of one of the blocks, the gold fabric really sings with the pebbles!