Thursday, July 24, 2014

Flower Fun with Hexies!

I've had my very, very long term hexagon project out recently. There's just something lovely about hand sewing in winter when one can get cosy in a heated room with fluffy slippers and happily stitch away. On the other hand they're also perfect for putting in my bag and taking to work at the flower shop. Sometimes in the afternoon there's a quiet period where I can work on them for a little while. 
Occasionally I'll notice a flower that matches my little fabric shapes and I can't resist a photo or two. 
Here are some happy snaps I've taken over the past few weeks.

Hello Sunshine!

Zebra hiding in a silver forest

An orchid moment


A flock of birds in paradise

Blue skies and a cottage garden

Golden times

It's easy being green!

Think Pink and Purple too.

Wouldn't you think that with all these photos I'd have some photos of the blocks I've been sewing.  Alas no, and now it's too dark for photos but I'll leave you with a older photo of my blocks on my design wall.  

Just imagine, if I keep working on these blocks they might just become a quilt one day.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Upcoming Quilt Shows & A Denim Flower

With all the posts about shows here lately I thought I'd mention a few exciting quilt shows that are coming up over the next few months. 

I've been known to say there are 2 shows I really want to attend some day, one is the big Houston show and the other is Quilts In The Barn, held from Fri 10th -Sun 12th October. The show always seems to fall on a weekend that I'm busy so I'm yet to get there but I always follow Linda's blog to get peeks of the show. It's a popular show that everyone who attends raves about. 
Every year Linda features a super star quilter, often international, and this year she has two!!
Brenda Papadakis - She's the quilter who brought Dear Jane to the quilting world!! 
and Patty Harants, an appliquer extaordinaire. 
Both Brenda and Patty are doing workshops and at this stage there are still spaces. These are their only Australian workshops so jump in. Brenda and Patty are also doing some interesting lectures. For more information pop over to Linda's blog Quilts In The Barn.
The next quilt show marked on my calandar in big red writing is The Hunters Hill Quilt Show. held from Friday 8th -Sun 10th August. This show is only held every 2 years so it's not one to miss. Some of my very quilters belong to this group and there are always the most wonderful quilts. Even Mr BMD wants to come along to see the show. 
I've heard they'll be showing mini quilts inspired by all 52 playing cards... oh my golly - how awesome does that sound!!
For more info here's the Hunters Hil Quilter's website

Last but not least Quilts On The Downs is having their inaugural show on Sept 6th -7th. Lots of beautiful quilts made by the quilters of Windsor Downs.
The feature quilter is the one and only Chris Jurd who is also making the raffle quilt.  
Follow Heather's blog Heathton Manor Creations for updates about this show.

And for all those too far to visit these quilt shows here's a little button bloom with a zippy leaf. It seems I just can't resist putting flowers in pockets.
If you have any quilt shows coming up that you're looking forward to let us know in the comments. You never know someone else nearby might be inspired to go.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Other Ribbon!! & Show Quilts

Winning a ribbon for my Happy As A Clam Quilt was amazing but I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd win two ribbons at The Sydney Quilt Show!

My 2nd ribbon was a second place in the Modern-New Traditions From Old Favourites Category for my Neon Bounce quilt.

Would you believe neither MrD or I took a full photo of the quilt hanging at the show?!! We each assumed the other had taken a photo, but no. Too funny! I thought I might get back in today but in the end decided another photo of it will do. This was taken on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

To be honest I wasn't sure how this quilt would be received. I thought some people might think it was a bit too modern , or a bit too neon but I only had the most wonderful feedback from people who really liked it because it was fresh and different. 

Let's move onto some other quilts. The policy states that we can only show quilts if we have permission from the quilt makers. Luckily I know some clever quilters so I have some great quilts to show you. 

Remember a while ago I showed these fabrics designed by Jessica Wheelahan? 
Well, we finally caught up in person at the show. 
Here's Jessica Wheelahan in front of her wonderful Errant Geese quilt that she has "dedicated to those who choose not to fly in formation"
Jessica won the prestigeous award for Best Quilt Inspired by An Antique Quilt. 

Here's Jess's other quilt Unconditional/Untraditional, made for the NYC Modern Quilt Guild's 2013 Double Wedding Ring Challenge. 

I got to meet another long time bloggy friend in real life Leanne Harvey from Mt Vincent Quilts. Her Metro Medallion Quilt got fourth in the Modern category. She is a long arm quiter and her quilting on this quilt was beautiful. You can see some close up photos on her blog. Mt Vincent Quilts.

Leanne's other entry Spinner was a wonderful balance of modern and traditional. You can't tell from the photo but the white areas were pieced blocks of white fabrics.  

Chris Jurd's Cut Loose Sampler was full of motion, fun fabrics and wonky piecing. Pop over to Chris's blog to see her other quilt show entry and The Springwood Show Raffle Quilt that got a 3rd place for  Group/Collaborative Quilt . 

I always look forward to seeing Pam Westmacott's entries. She's a friend of mine and I know how much planning and care she puts into choosing the right fabrics. This is her version if Chris Jurd's Jacobean Star, she has aptly named it Jacabean Rose. Great job with the quilting on her trusty Bernina. 

I haven't got a photo of the Best in Show to share with you but I was so pleased when Janet Treen from Quiltsalott won this award for the second year in a row. Visit Janet's blog Quiltsalott to see her beautiful Coxcomb and Currants quilt.

And to see all the winners quilts you can follow this link to the Quilters Guild of NSW page.

Now I know some of you are wondering if I bought any fabric. Well I didn't buy a lot at all but I did get some fabulous fabric bundles as part of my prize winnings. A Huge thank you to All the wonderful sponsers who support the Sydney Quilt Show

How gorgeous is this bundle!!  Nellie Hill by Rosalie Quinlan. 

And I also received this jellyroll of white fabric, super sharp snips and the cutest cat organic fabric called Here Kitty Kitty by Penguin + Fish.  - 

I'm excited to have received a voucher to Julie's Superior Threads -Julie has all sorts of interesting and wonderful threads, in all colours and for all occasions- who knows this could be a whole new adventure in threads for me. 
Every winner recieved a roll of Wool Wadding - Thanks MiniJumbuk Nu-Wool Wadding , wadding always comes in handy!!

And finally a huge Thanks to the Quilt Guild of NSW for an doing an awesome job- those ladies are tireless and excellent at putting on a great event and they smile the whole way through! 

So that's the show for this year. Next year there's a Red And White challenge. I already have some quilts planned, I better start working on them, you know how time flies.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy As A Clam - The Quilt!!!

Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and gentlemen, children and chickens,
 it's the moment you've all been waiting for... 
The unveiling of my 
Happy As A Clam quilt!!!

The zaniest quilt from down under. 

With butterflies, bicycles and big bits of watermelon

And secret gold stars hidden in a pocket.

It's one of those quilts that the more you look the more you'll see. 

Even the back is a daisy garden of fabrics. Some of you might remember I made a quilt of squares back in March, and I said it might just pop up again one day. Well here it is...

Yes, that's right, I made a quilt, quilted it and then sewed the clam shells onto it. 

I should add that I hand sewed them on because I couldn't imagine quilting a denim top with all it's embellishments with my domestic sewing machine. 

This is the part you tell me I'm crazy, and I'd agree wholeheartedly! I could only sew a row a day because it's was tiring for my hands sewing through denim, cotton binding, cotton and batting. I don't recommend doing it this way. It was the vision of the final quilt and my determination that got me through and I'm very happy I persevered.

Happy as a Clam in fact!!

And even happier than a clam when I found out I've won an award at the Sydney Quilt Show!!! Oh My Golly Gumboots!! It got 3rd place in the Anything Goes- Mixed Media category. The cream rosette award ribbon looks as though it was made for the quilt. 

But the best thing is receiving such great feedback and comments from people. Thank you everyone!!

For those who are wondering the clams are 8 inches across so the final quilt is 56 x 72 inches. I was planning to make the quilt square but when I got to that point I was having so much fun decorating the clam shells I just had to continue. I ended up with 111 clam shells which just sounds like the right number for such a whimsical quilt.

 I forgot to take a photo of the label on the quilt but here is the design on the fabric before I cut out the circle and sewed it on.

I'm off to the show again, just running out the door now to catch my train... If you see me at the show say hello!
I'll be back with another show post soon. I've still got to tell you about the other award I received. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Bunch of Flowers - Happy As A Clam

Happy As A Clam is finished, label and all. Yippee!! I've delivered it to my designated drop off person for the Sydney Quilt Show that opens next week. It's my first time of entering a quilt in the Big Show as I call it, after all there are usually about 450 quilts hanging. Of course I'm a bit nervous and excited but I'm confident that my denim clam shells will add something a bit different to the variety of quilts that make it such a great show. I'll wait to do the big unveiling of the quilt until next week so I can share photos of it hanging. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this bunch flowers I've picked for you.

I've spent most of my life around flowers. When I was a little girl I'd pick flowers and make daisy chains. I enjoyed pressing and drying flowers, watching them transform into something that would last forever. A favourite game was finding pretty fuchsias and pretending they were fairies with full ball gowns. I'd decorate little fairy palaces made of rocks and sticks with petals and leaves. 

So then in my early 20's it seemed like destiny when I got a job in a big busy flower shop known for it's range of beautiful exotic blooms. It was the dream job, very hard work but lots of fun playing with flowers, plants, sticks, leaves, fruit and all things botanical. Even sweeping was enjoyable as I'd make piles of leaves mixed with colourful petals and broken flower heads. Since then I've always worked with flowers or plants.

I sometimes think quilting is a lot like floristry. Working with a feature flower/fabric and coming up with the way of how can it be best presented. Or starting with a design in mind and picking the flowers/fabric that match the design. There are times in a flower shop where you have to use up leftovers and like a captivating scrap quilt they are quite often they are the most beautiful arrangements of all. The one benefit sewing has over floristry is your hands don't get dirty from stripping leaves from stems. And after all the rose thorns I've endured you would think I'd be immune to being pricked with needles but no, it hurts.  Ouch!

I know these aren't flowers but trees are fun too! Especially palm trees that make you think of tropical holidays,

And trees that grow button fruits.

Wishing you a fun flowery day!! And watch out for flower fairies :)


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