Thursday, April 26, 2012

Waltzing Matilda

Here it is... the grand unveiling of my finished Waltzing Matilda quilt!!

The front is made entirely of two of my most favourite fabrics, Nuala and Matilda, both by Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom but from ranges released a few years apart. Everyone knows I love Jennifer's beautiful rich, bright colours. Creating gorgeous toiles in these fabulous colours is brilliant in my humble opinion!

I was limited with the design because I only had fat quarters of some of the fabrics and didn't want to waste even a corner by doing any curved piecing, so that left squares or triangles. I'd just received a big book of quilt block designs and I'd have to say I must have been influenced because it does look like one big giant block. It wasn't thought out before hand. I'm a real player in the sewing room, stick a bit of fabric on the design wall and see what happens.

At 96 by 96 inches it was way too huge to quilt myself and I’m lucky enough to know the best longarm quilter, Tanya Croft. The pattern she chose for this quilt couldn’t be more perfect. It echoes the fabric patterns with free flowing, beautiful, botanical lines.

The backing is also made up of Sis Boom fabrics,  Ann Flower Mural in the green and brown colourways. I just can’t get enough of a good thing!

 Have you ever noticed that some quilts are suited to being flat so you can enjoy the whole design whereas other quilts are fun to scrunch up and get cosy in. No matter how the quilt is folded or flipped around it still looks good. I guess it’s a result of using favourite fabrics but I love this quilt any way it falls, messed up, upside down, back to front or nice and smooth on my bed.

 I had some help styling the photos. Gbf’s parents were visiting recently so off we went to show them some local sites. I took Waltzing Matilda along.They really got into the spirit of coming up with ideas and climbing through bush and over rocks to get photos.

Thanks Joan and Brian!!! And Gbf!!!

As for the title...For those of you that don’t know - The song Waltzing Matilda is so very Australian, an unofficial National Anthem. Seeing as the fabric is called Matilda, the quilt just had to be Waltzing Matilda

So that's one of the quilts I have hanging at the Springwood Community Quilt Show... I've still got another one but I'll share that one another day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Springwood Quilt Show 2012

The last weekend in April is the annual Springwood Community Quilt Show weekend!! 
That's this weekend coming!! 

I've been busy binding my quilts and wondering why do I leave things till the last minute... :) 

Gbf and I went and helped set up the frames this afternoon. Lots of fancy spanner twirling, clever tricks with chairs and team work meant the frames were soon up and ready for the quilts that will arrive tomorrow.

By Thursday evening this hall will be full of 150 or so quilts in time for the show opening on Friday morning. There'll be trader's tables all around the perimeter of the hall. I have a few favourite stalls that are always stocked with gorgeous things. 

I wont be able to go until Saturday morning so it'll be a surprise to see where my quilts will be hanging. I'm sure I'll get a few nervous butterflies that come with showing my work, but that's just normal. It's a non-juried show which takes the pressure off and keeps it all friendly. Are you wondering which quilts I've entered? I'll keep it as a bit of a surprise but I'll do posts on them over the next couple of days so I wont keep you in suspense for too long. I'll also take lots of photos of  fabulous quilts to share with you.

If you're local and can make to the show these are the days and times...
  Friday 27th April to Sun 29th April, Open 10am to 4pm each day. It's held at the Springwood High School, Grose Rd, Faulconbridge, there's lots of signs and arrows to make it easy to find. Come for morning tea, I've heard the cakes are delicious!! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Festival of Half Square Triangles

It's about time I showed off my quilted Dancing in Your Head quilt. 

I finished quilting it in the early part of the year but hadn't gotten around to sharing it. What better excuse than the  The Festival of the Half Square Triangle. linky party hosted at Canoe Ridge Creations.

The whole quilt is made up of 8 and 4 inch HST's. lots and lots of them!

I randomly placed them on the design wall and went from there, turning enough squares to keep it random but keeping just a hint of a pattern showing through. I see it almost as a sampler of what the HST can do. The more you look the more you see Flying Geese, Pinwheels, Value Squares, Envelopes and all sorts of things

The fabrics are Erin McMorris's Summersault range combined with 5 different hot pink solids. Hot pink was the obvious choice to set off these fun summery fabrics. I wanted to have a mix of solids just to create a subtle movement with the colour. It was also a great chance to try out different maufacturers solid fabrics. 

For the backing I used up some fabrics that had been lurking in my stash for a long time... I'm so glad they finally found their rightful project. I love catching glimpses of these beautiful blues when I'm swishing my quilt around or snuggling in it. 

As for the name "Dancing in your Head" , well, this quilt makes me think of a piece of music with that title by saxophonist Ornette Coleman. It just suits it, with all those triangles dancing around all over the quilt.

Three cheers for the lovely people involved with the Festival of Half Square Triangles!! Truly a block worth celebrating!! Where would we be as quilters with them. You just have to look at the linky party to see the variety of patterns they create.. that's a hint to pop over and check them out!! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nifty House!

Some presents look too beautiful too open. Especially ones wrapped in polka dot tissue paper and a tied with a bright red ribbon!!

.. but when this pretty package had arrived from across the oceans from the lovely LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts I knew it was bound to have something super special inside ... and I was right... it contained an amazing house block!! I love it because it's soooo Nifty but sooooo made for me! There's little Rachaeldaisy doing a happy dance...

That bird fabric!! OMG - Wow!!! She knows I love my chattering, colourful birds...
and of course Blue Daisies!!!
I couldn't be happier with my beautiful house block!!
And this gorgeous card too!!! Thank You!!!
It came about when LeeAnn asked for some vintage fabrics for a quilt she was making. She wanted to include fabrics from bloggy friends to create a special quilt. I sent her an odd assortment of bits and pieces. I've often thought I'd like to make a Bloggy Friendship quilt using house blocks. I mentioned it to Lee Ann and she kindly took me up on my request. Lucky me!!

If you think it would be fun to make me a house block for my Bloggy Friendship Quilt this is the brief:-

Any Style- traditional, modern, stitched, applique, pieced or even just a piece of fabric with a house pattern on it...
Any Colours - one colour, two colours or a zillion colours, bright, pastel, civil war, modern, you name it, I really do love all fabrics and colours!
Any Size- There'll always be a way of piecing all the blocks together no matter what size they are.

And in return I'll make you a block of your choice or let me know if there's some fabrics you'd like that I might have in my magic cupboard.

Wouldn't it be fun if we all made Bloggy Friendship Quilts and swapped blocks with each other!!!
One big giant bee buzzing all around the world. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Daisy Chain

My friend Suzee of AppleHead Threads and I were chatting about dandelions recently.

It made me think of the daisy chains I'd make when I was a little girl. The next sunny day I was out and about looking for dandelions and this is what I made.

I left my necklace of flowery sunshine hanging in a tree at the bottom of the garden. That's where the fairies live. I'm sure they would have had fun using it as a garland.

When was the last time you made a daisy chain?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I'm Back!!

Hello!! It's me!! I'm back from my Blogaholiday!!

No, I haven't turned into a chicken!

So, what have I been up to? well, besides working, I've been cleaning cupboards, watching Downton Abbey, going for fun outings, we've had a family visit and I've managed to get a bit of sewing done...

No doubt you'll remember I was raving about Sis Boom's Crazy Love range, well as soon as I received my bundle from Hawthorn Threads I started cutting into it.

In my spring cleaning I'd come across a 60 degree triangle ruler that I've never ever used, I've only had it for 4 years!!! These fabulous fabrics with their big exotic prints arrived the day after I rediscovered my ruler so I took it as a sign that it was meant to be. I used the triangle as a template which created 8 inch finished triangles. The 8 inch scale worked really well with the patterns, big enough to frame the designs.

There's some other Sis Boom fabrics thrown in the mix. They all just work together in a big bright happy cocktail of fabric fun.
You could have SO much fun fussy cutting Crazy Love!!

I did where I could but I was limited by some of the smaller cuts I'd ordered. Some of the not-perfect-fussy-cut pieces make you take a second look which I don't mind. It's good to be a bit unpredictable sometimes.
This range is so exotic. I feel as though they have been sourced from faraway, almost mythical lands. The colours are so rich and luminous.
Sewing triangles has been fun. I enjoyed the repetition of one shape. I listenied to music and happily cut out shapes and had fun merrily placing them on my design wall. Once it was all planned out it suddenly dawned on me - I was staring at a lot of bias edges... and... pointy points. Yikes!!
I tackled it slow and steady. I was careful with my pressing (usually I iron like a steam roller!) and was careful not to pull on the rows. As for the points, a few may be a bit blunt but overall they're not too bad.
Since the outdoor photos I added 3 more rows. It's now 80 x 88 inches and a great bed size!

So how does the chicken fit in? You can imagine my smile when the Easter Bunny brought me this chicken in Crazy Love colours!!! - That is one groovy Easter Chicken!!

I continued my annual tradition of getting up before dawn to make hot cross buns. They take ages! By the time I measure the ingredients, mix, knead for 10 minutes, let the dough rise for 1.5 hours, knead again, let the buns rise for another hour, cook, drizzle with sugar syrup. It was way past breakfast, more like lunch time before we were able to eat them. Extra fruity and extra cinnamon and made with wholemeal flour. They look a little lumpy and splodgy but they were delicious!!

Gosh, I'm chatty after such a long time away!! The holiday certainly blew away a few cobwebs but I'm happy to be back, and I can't wait to catch up on what everyone has been up to!!

Happy Easter / holiday fun to everyone!!


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