Friday, June 29, 2012

Friendly Friday - Barb of Fun With Barb

Today's featured quilter is Barb from Fun with Barb.  And Yes! She really is fun!! Besides being an amazing quilter, she loves a glass or two of bubbly, raises butterflies in the Spring, collects all sorts of wonderful things, really knows how to decorate her home for holidays and cooks mouth watering dishes, in fact you never quite know what fun things will be on her blog, it's always a treat!!. Okay, let's get better acquainted with Barb with a friendly chat...

Hi Barb, Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born and raised in Illinois and love the midwest openess and big sky and miss it now that I live in New Jersey.
I'm turning 50 years old this year and celebrating in a number of ways, one of which is to make a special quilt for myself.
I am an avid reader and like to cook, garden and travel, especially cruising.

How long have you been quilting?
I stared quilting 22 years ago by making a crib quilt in a sailboat pattern for my baby son, Andrew's first birthday

What enticed you to start quilting?
My mother was a beautiful seamstress and I received my first little sewing machine at the age of about 6.
I have always loved crafting and making things.  Quilts were something that had always intrigued me and when I retired from advertising work to raise a family I decided to pursue it.

What do you love about quilting?
Nearly everything, but especially the community of women I've met.  I lost my mother when I was only 28 years old, but have had many wonderful women guide me and encourage me.  I love making quilts and going to quilt shows and on retreat with my quilting friends.

Is there any part of the process that you don't like?
Ripping out - ouch!

Do you have a favourite sewing saying or motto?'
"It will quilt out"

What model sewing machine do you use?
I use the Viking Quilt Designer II - non embroidery machine

Do you listen to music while you sew? What is your favourite type or cd?
My favorite music is Paul Simon, but I like to watch TV and movies while I work at the machine.  The best think to watch is something I already know so that I can just listen and pause for the good parts.

What is your favourite food?
Thai food is my favorite ethnic food, but I love all kinds of foods.

If you didn't quilt what would you do?
I can't really imagine.  I feel it has always been part of me.  I sew every day of my life.

Do you have any furry friends that keep you company while you sew? 
We live with a wonderful 2 year old chocolate labrador, Coco and 2 cats; a black one, Luna and a grey striped, Starbuck (my husbands obsession)

Tell us about the house block you've made?
The house I made for Rachael included bright happy fabrics to reflect her wonderful and upbeat personality.
I included a bird in the window because we both love birds.
The roof section included a beautiful tea cup, as I hope one day to have a cup of "something" when I meet Rachael.
The background I chose has drawings of NYC because that is near to my home and I included the bathing suits just for fun.
I set the house on a "Blue Daisey" ground as a nod to her wonderful blog.

Thank you so much Barb!!!! - I love this happy colourful house with it's view of New York. The fun thing about the bathers and flipflops in the sky is that I'm such a cloud watcher so it would just like me to say " Hey Gbf - look at the giant bikini floating through the sky!"

Pop over to Barb's blog for more fun!!
and tune in next Friday for the next exciting friendly house...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Mixed Bag

My Super Fly arrived!!! Sizzling Hot Sis Boom!!!
Jennifer Paganelli designs such great fabric!! Lauralee Zebra stripes come in 6 awesome colours!!! I'm so excited about these! I want to use them for everything, quilts, skirts, curtains, cushions, I'd wall paper the house with them if I could!!  

These next big bold prints are called Jane. They would make the best border prints and I'm tempted to play around with fussy cutting. 

I've also received my copy of Generation Q magazine. This is the first edition of a magazine that has grown from the Generation Q blog. A quick flip through shows lots of interesting articles and funky, modern quilt patterns, one of which is by my talented friend Melissa Peda. If you pop over to see her at 100 Billion Stars  you can see the blog tour dates for Generation Q magazine and Jane Sassaman's latest book, Patchwork Sassaman Style. 

Just to prove I've been sewing here's an iPad cover I made a little while ago...
Flip the lid...
And here's the back...

My sewing machine is off to be serviced in the morning but I'll keep busy by appliquing my Square Pegs in Round Holes circles.
I'm hoping I have them all done before my machine is ready in 2 weeks. Do you think I can? 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friendly Friday - Chris Jurd - Patchwork Fundamentals

Everyone knows I love Chris Jurd, She's an awe inspiring quilter, a very patient teacher with lots of tips and tricks up her sleeve and a fun friend. She's actually the reason I started a blog. I wanted to leave comments on her blog, Patchwork Fundamentals and I was trying to figure out how, so I pushed a few buttons, clicked on a few options and before I knew it I had my own blog.

Hi Chris , tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a full-time quilt maker, pattern designer and teacher living in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
Twice married with two adult children and have just become a grandmother for the first time.

How long have you been quilting?
I’ve been quilting since my son was a baby and he’s now nearly 30. I started in the early 80s before rotary
cutters came to Australia. We ruled lines and cut with scissors! Seems hard to believe doesn’t it?

What enticed you to start quilting?
As a stay-at-home mum I looked on it as a way to make some money while at home with the kids. After that
I was hooked. I made the obligatory sampler quilt then branched out into other designs.

What do you love about quilting?
All the beautiful fabric available and how you can use it make something so usable. I like the whole process
from cutting the fabric to quilting the quilt.

Is there any part of the process that you don't like?
Not really. Piecing is the design coming together and the quilting is what enhances all your hard work.

Do you have a favourite sewing saying or motto?
I tell my students – “Finished is better than perfect”. Don’t stress too much – it’s supposed to be fun!

What model sewing machine do you use?
I have a Bernina 150 which is 12 years old. Still going well and it gets quite a workout.

Do you listen to music while you sew? What is your favourite type or cd?
I usually have the radio on in the house – Triple J is my station.

What is your favourite food?
I have a real weakness for cake or a biscuit with my cuppa. Closely followed by a glass of wine or three
every evening. Seafood/Asian would be my menu choice.

Do you have any furry friends that keep you company while you sew?
Sadly my beautiful cat Floss died a couple of years ago. I’d love another but I’m not home that often to look
after one – maybe when I retire.

Tell us about the house block you've made?
I found the pattern which I enlarged in an old Quilters Newsletter magazine and kept a copy because I
thought it was so cute and different. Unfortunately I can’t find the mag now or I would be able to credit the
great designer. It was a bit complicated to sew but the result is worth it. It is foundation pieced as are most
things I sew these days.
Thanks Rachael for the opportunity to waffle on about myself.

No, Thank YOU Chris, and thank you for your most awesome house!! I've never seen one like it!

Pop over and visit Patchwork Fundamentals to see what Chris has been up to. Her blog is always full of fabulous eye candy! If you are tempted to make one of her quilts she has an etsy shop called Patchwork Fun.

Just as a teaser, next week's house block includes bathing suits... tune in to find out how that is possible!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dancing through the Sydney Quilt Show 2012

Here we  go - It's the big Sydney Quilt Show 2012 post!!!

Shall we start with a bit of dancing to get you in the mood... This is how they kept us early birds entertained as we lined up waiting to get in. Feel free to join in...

Autumn Rollover by Pamela Westmacott. All those autumn leaves in the borders are appliqued with some raised for a 3D effect. There's a whisper in the wind that Pam is going to start a blog soon, I'll keep you posted...

The Springwood Show Raffle Quilt won a prize!! 4th prize in the Group category.
 Here's the block I pieced, now I can say I've exhibited in the Sydney Quilt Show :). The white blocks were perfect for showcasing Suzie Anderson's beautiful quilting

The Shire's Preoccupation with Real Estate by Robert James is an unusual name. 
 It might help explain when I tell you this quilt is made of paper including real estate advertisements. The backing and binding is paper. The wadding is bamboo. 

This next quilt was so beautiful. It's a shame the camera can't pick up the subtle textures of the woven Japanese fabrics, but what you can see is the wonderful use of value, and fabulous quilting. I really love the way the quilting has added extra shapes to the piecing. Taupe Medallion was made by Jenny Anderson.

OMG - that 3012 triangles!! Infinity by Deborah Laurie was based on a quilt from the 1880's. Wonderful colour play!
 Oak and Sumac nearly drove Maree Blanchard crazy sewing all the flying geese. I'm so glad she persevered because this is such an electric quilt it practically hums.

Cinzia White says her hexagon quilt , Raconteur could be finished in a year if she could stay on task...

The teeny weeny tiny piecing is mind boggling!!! It was such a fun quilt to look over and point out different blocks or colour combinations. 

Strelitzia spectaculum by Denise Aubin was so striking. The flowers are puffed up and quite 3D. The quilting is amazing. Spectacular!!

 Composition in Yellow stopped me in my tracks!! Creater Judy Hooworth was this years featured quilter. It was great to see a range of her inspiring work.

Last Hurrah No 1 by Jan Duddle is so breathtakingly beautiful!!!

Karen Malone's Southern Stars is based on a 1880's Texan quilt. The piecing and quilting is perfect!! 

From razor sharp precision to wonderfully wild and wonky this next quilt would have to be one of my very favourite of my favourites. The United Republic of Me by Jessica Wheelahan

Chris Jurd's Lotus Flower was inspired by an 1850's quilt. Isn't it just so beautiful? I love those opening buds.

Chris's other entry in the show is a sampler of funky baskets!! You can see she had fun coming up with these  foundation pieced blocks and playing with fun fabric combos. Aptly named Basket Case.

By strange coincidence there was another quilt in the show called Basket Case, by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame. This quilt is brilliant- looking at it feels as though you are looking at a piece of a giant quilt!!

 And how's this to further the coincidence our two Basket Case quilters are teaming up. Chris has designed a BOM especially for Material Obsession. Chris's clever pattern and techniques plus Material Obsession fun fabulous colour choices sounds like a party you don't want to miss out on!! Here's Kathy Doughty showing us the quilt, sorry the photo is blurry, oops.
Here's a better photo of Square Dance by Chris Jurd - the hottest new BOM in town!!

To finish off here's a few photos of the Material Obsession stand...
 Love the giant Churn Dash!!

Well, there you go... I hope you enjoyed my selection of quilts.
If you want to see more quilts pop over to have a look at Linda from Quilts in the Barn blog post about the Show.

Ps Chris Jurd is this week's Friendly Friday guest - make sure you come back to see her house block... it's a beauty!!!! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friendly Friday - Suz- PatchworknPlay

Welcome to Friendly Friday- This week I'm featuring Suz of PatchworknPlay. We met when we were both participating in the Doll Quilt Swap 10. Suz made this amazing feathered star that made me sit up and take notice! but it's her down to earth, friendly nature, wonderful sewing projects and a mutual love of the Tour de France that has kept us chatting over time. Here's your chance to get to know Suz ...

Hi Suz, Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 50-something, left handed school teacher from Melbourne. I am a wife to Peter (30+ years!) and Mum to Ben 28 (29 in July) and Daniel 27.  Both my sons live in rented accommodation with their girlfriends. Peter is the cook (a wonderful one, at that!) of our little household, giving me lots of time to sew!

How long have you been quilting?
I made my first quilt - all by hand, when Ben was a baby! Plastic templates, sand paper, hand stitched and hand quilted.  I do not have that first quilt, it was faded and torn long ago.  I have been able to sew since I was a child- taught by my dear Mum on her old Singer. I remember making dolls clothes for my Barbie when I was about 8!

What enticed you to start quilting?
That is way to long ago to even remember! I have made many quilts over the years for family and friends, and still enjoy the process of creating something beautiful and functional at the same time.  Someone once said "Patchwork is the process of cutting up fabric into hundreds of little pieces and putting it all back together again" I was reminded of it recently when I was cutting out 700 pieces for a new quilt. Luckily I also enjoy jigsaw puzzles!!!

What do you love about quilting? Is there part of the process you don't like?
I love most of it- the WIDE range of fabrics available, the hunt for the perfect pattern, watching the jigsaw come together, hand quilting; I even love hand sewing the binding down...that last stitch is like an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence!  I'm not a big fan however, of basting or pressing- evil necessities!

Do you have a favourite sewing saying or motto?
My sewing mat says "On days I can stitch, my days go without a hitch". I like the sentiment of that...not always true but kind of sums it up!

What sewing machine do you use?
About two years ago I treated myself to a beautiful new computerised Juki F600- I love it!  I honestly don't know how I sewed on my little basic Brother- guess work, I think!

Do you listen to music while you sew? If so what?
I listen to music sometimes, but like my sewing style, its pretty eclectic! Bruce Springsteen gets lots of air time though. But as I live in a small apartment and sew in our bedroom the noise from the lounge room often interferes with my choice! I can follow lots of US cop shops just by listening! I am also a fan of Aussie Rules football so that often on in the background on the weekends.

Do I have any favourite foods?
With a son who is a chef and a husband who is a great cook himself, I love many foods!  Peter makes a yummy duck ragout, and his cakes are amazing!! (I'll have a slice of his banana and choc chip loaf when I finish this!) But a quick treat on the run, you can't go passed chocolate, can you?

Do you have any furry friends?
No, unfortunately not, because we live in a small apartment that's not possible.  I am a dog person, so if we could we'd have another beagle or a pug!

Tell us about the house block you made?
The block is not a big one- 6 or 7 inches from memory.  I actually made it differently at first but decided the walls and windows weren't right.  I am glad I changed it to include the little fairies in the windows.  I free pieced it, following some vague instructions off the computer screen!  Very much a spur of the moment creation!

I also like to make other things besides quilts- pouches, clothes, soft toys, cushions, embroidery and knitting! I love fabric and craft!

Thank you Suz, for such a wonderful house! I love those little fairies in the windows, and way the house looks as though it is lit up and inviting at night time. 
3 cheers for hubby Peter for doing all the cooking so you can make gorgeous things to inspire us. 
As for a furry friend what about a beagle crossed with a pug? How cute would a little Puggle puppy be?! 

Pop over to PatchworknPlay to see what other wonderful things Suz has been working on. 

Ps. If you're wondering what all the housey business is about - I put a call out for house blocks for a Bloggy Friendship Quilt I'm going to make. I'm doing a Friendly Friday post on everyone that makes a block as a way of everyone in the neighbourhood getting to know each other, and it's always fun to read about quilters! If you want to join in just let me know. The brief for the blocks is Any style, Any size, Any colours - it couldn't get easier than that!! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cutting Corners

My design wall is getting crowded...

 with Round Squares!!

 These blocks have played on my mind ever since I saw this quilt over at Flickr. Normally I would credit the  designer but I haven't been able to find out their name. If anyone knows please let me know :)
 I started with my fat quarter set of Summerville fabrics and have pulled matching favourites from my cupboard. I've even cut into some of my very special Tula Pink fabrics...
I'm still narrowing down the ideas for the final layout. For the moment I'm just enjoying choosing fabrics and hearing my sewing machine hum!

I had some fun mail last week...
This sweet Owl arrived from Melody from The House On The Side Of The Hill blog as her May gift in her Year of Gifts. The owl is an original pen and ink sketch on fabric drawn by Michele Palmer. Melody beautifully mounted it in a fabric frame and sent a special hanger so it was ready to go straight on my wall. I've become very fond of Mr Owl!! Such a lovely gift- Thank You Melody!!!

This book has been the talk of the town recently in blogland. It seems as though everyone is getting stylish in a zakka way. Thanks to a giveaway over at Leanne's blog of Daisy & Jack I now have my very own copy. I've bookmarked quilte a few things I'd like to make... Thanks Leanne!!!

Just one more bit of show and tell... Shay at Quilting In My Pyjamas recently wrote a post about her handbag collection. I thought I'd share a photo of my current handbag...  


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