Thursday 29 September 2011

Another Crazy Quilt in Progress

I have been very busy this year teaching my Quilting All Over the World class as a block of the month.
The original quilt is very large and quite complicated to put together. I decided to make the quilt a smaller and more manageable size for the class.

Because I changed the quilt to a square setting instead of a circular setting, I had to add four more countries. The countries that I decided to add were Canada, Spain, Scotland and New Zealand.

I have finally finished all the small blocks and they are pictured above. The quilt is a medallion setting and I am going to put a large Australia block in the centre. It has been really interesting for me to re-do this quilt, it has given me the opportunity to change some things that I didn't like in the original quilt.

I also had to change some blocks because when I reduced the size, some of the motifs that I had done in the first version didn't work as well in a smaller size.

I am now trying to finish the centre so I can finally put this quilt together. The class members have been very patient, watching the quilt progress month by month. I promised them it will be finished by the next class! I have a lot of work to do.

I am very happy with my kangaroos in the centre.

Bye for now,

Thursday 22 September 2011

Quilting Novels

I have just finished reading the three quilting novels by Margaret A. Rowe. I can highly recommend these enjoyable novels, if you like the Elm Creek series then you will love these.

I was teaching at the Michelle's Sewing Basket retreat earlier this year and Margaret was the guest speaker. She was so entertaining and inspiring that I bought all three of her books.

They tell the story of a group of quilting friends and their joys and disappointments in life as they participate in their Patchwork Guild's Challenge for the year. The novels are set in Australia and their challenge each year has something to do with the history of Australia's settlement, so not only are you enjoying the novel you can learn a bit of history as well.

The first novel in the series is called The Maria Challenge Quilt, next comes The Elizabeth Challenge and the third novel is called The Caroline Challenge.

Margaret has such a lovely, natural way of writing and it is very easy to identify with the characters. The books seem well researched and although no quilt shops are named, you will recognise the shops if you have been there.

Margaret has self published her books and I have seen them for sale in some quilt shops here in Victoria. You can also buy them directly from Margaret by emailing her. My only complaint is that I wish they were longer, I didn't want them to finish. I know that she is working on a fourth novel, so I hope that it doesn't take her much longer to finish it.

Bye for now,

Friday 16 September 2011

Student Quilts 2010

I had a lovely surprise this week. I teach my quilt Crazy about Australia as a block of the month at a shop named Missy Moo. Carlie, one of my students from last year has just finished her quilt and she brought it in to show me.
I think that she has done a lovely job. She changed the centre so she could depict her Grandfather's old house, which I think is a lovely idea and makes her quilt even more special.

I have also received a photo from Sue, who was in the same class as Carlie.

Sue has actually personalised her centre as well. What talented women I teach.
The class goes for 12 months and it is always lovely to see how the students gain confidence as the months progress.

Bye for now,

Friday 9 September 2011

Free Motion Feet

I have always quilted my quilts with a closed toe free motion foot that had a little plastic insert in the middle, mainly because that is what came with my machine and they didn't make an open toe foot for my machine.

But, I always wanted an open toe foot especially when I was doing some intricate work and wanted to finish at an exact spot in a quilted feather for example. You can see through the plastic insert but sometimes the sewing machine light seemed to reflect off of it and it wasn't ideal.

I spoke to the man in the sewing machine shop and he managed to find an open toe foot from another brand machine that fitted my sewing machine.

I was so happy and couldn't wait to try it and thought that I would never use my original foot again.

Imagine my surprise when I found that the open toe foot caught on the embroidery stitches when quilting my Crazy Quilts. It also got stuck if I had a few seams that came together in a bit of a lump.

Luckily I have still got my original foot and didn't cut out the front, the way I was tempted to.

Now I know why they make the two types of free motion feet.

Bye for now,

Monday 5 September 2011

Houston Auction Quilt Completed

I have finished my little quilt for the International Quilt Association's (IQA) Silent Auction which will be held at the Houston Quilt Show in early November 2011. The money raised helps support the activities of IQA including the quilt show.

I have named my quilt Crazy about Kookaburras and it measures 17" (44cm) square.

I think that it looks much better quilted. Quilting adds  texture and interest. Traditionally crazy quilts were not quilted and usally didn't include any wadding or batting. They were just the embroidered top and a backing fabric and then tied in certain spots to hold the two layers together.

I make my quilts to hang on a wall and so always include the wadding and quilting.

Bye for now,