Feb 28, 2011

pinwheel delight class with Christine

my half square triangles before and after pressing
Today I had the pleasure of attending a class entitled Pinwheel Delight from my favourite quilting tutor Christine.  Aunty Dor was there as well as two other lovely ladies - Emma-Kate and Shannen.

Emma-Kate's beautiful fabrics

Shannen's pretty purples

Aunty Dor's Kaffe collection
Christine in her patient manner showed us how to create perfect pinwheels as well as passing on heaps of helpful little hints for general sewing.  I honestly did not think I'd be able to create these perfectly pointed pinwheels - but it is quite easy when you know how!
spending the day surrounded by piles of fabric
my half square triangles ready to be trimmed and assembled into pinwheels
Everyone had chosen different fabrics and you can see how unique each quilt will be despite us all using the same pattern.

Emma-Kate's, Aunty Dor's, Mine

two of my pinwheels and blocks

I took this opportunity to finally cut into my Arcadia by Sanae stash.  I also added this orange for a bit of contrast and added two more prints from the range from the selection available at Peppermint Stitches.

Aunty Dor's

Feb 22, 2011

got a rocket?

I have a rocket, made from the great tutorial by the long thread.
Little Guy loves rockets at the moment and we're doing a space theme in his bedroom.  I keep calling it his new bedroom but it's his existing bedroom now with a big-boy bed and new decor.  He loves his big-boy bed, he's so funny.  We bought sheets with stars on them and I'm slowly gathering/ making some accessories.

 Today I decided was sewing for me day.  I've been in desperate need of a case for the little camera I carry in my bag - so I whipped that up.  Purely from scraps and it took about 20 mins.

I finished off the rocket and then received my usual weekly rocket from my friend Meg.  Meg is a Success Coach and sends me an email every Monday checking on my progress with my little shop and sewing adventures.  It's great to have her to bounce ideas off and to be accountable to someone.  She picks up little things in my language or attitude and gently steers me in the right direction.  I find that my friends and family are all really supportive of what I do but no one actually pushes me - Meg provides the push that I need.  Whether you are trying to achieve in big business, small business or just life in general you should pop on over to her website and say hi, she has heaps of useful tips and motivational material!

So after I'd received my rocket my motivation was on the up and I ordered my woven labels!  So excited about that, it's something I've wanted to do for ages and just never got around to doing (Thanks Meg!).

please excuse the child-clutter in the background!
I also started on the 3 sets of cushions I want to make for the loungeroom.  The new gray armchair needed some cushions and I'd picked up this delicious AMH fabric a month ago for this exact reason.  A second cushion to follow.


Feb 18, 2011

english paper piecing hexagon quilt - bound and finished

Well the day has finally come, after 2 and a half years, where I can officially say that my hexagon quilt is finished.  From this day forth the quilt will be known as the Granny quilt.

Both of my Grandmothers were big influences on my life, one taught me to knit and the other to sew.  I think they'd both be amazed at the work I'm putting out today and how much pleasure it brings me as well as my Mum and Aunt.

Mum & Aunty taught me to english paper piece while we were sitting beside my Granny's hospital bed.  Two days after her funeral we all went to a local quilting shop, my first ever visit, and bought a heap of fabric.  Most of the fabrics in the Granny quilt were from that visit.  

I chose the Lotus Spot as the binding fabric as it's one of my all time favourites.  It was on that first visit to the quilting shop that I saw that fabric as well.

 I can't wait now for the weather to get a bit colder so I can start snuggling up under the Granny quilt.  And although I know I'll freak the first time little Guy wipes his vegemite face on it, it is a quilt to be used and GG did love her little Guy very much so I'm sure she wouldn't mind a bit of vegemite on her quilt!

Feb 14, 2011

just listed - coasters and tote

Just listed in the meandmy2guys etsy store:  cute coasters and a handy tote.

Custom orders are available so if you'd like a specially designed tote or more coasters or different fabric - please let me know.

Feb 13, 2011

six pointed star table runner

I gave you a sneak peek a few weeks ago of a project I'd been working on for a while.

It's finally finished and will be gifted today - only 3 months late!  It is a table runner for my Mother-in-law's birthday.  I used the english paper piecing method to create the large hexagons, with the central star in one fabric and the filler diamonds around the outside in a complimentary fabric.  Each pair of fabrics was then reversed to create a second hexagon.  Eight hexagons in total were then machine appliqued onto 3 different cream background squares.

As table runners go it's fairly large however I'm quite pleased with the results.  This was one of those projects I had to pick up and put down several times and almost force myself to finish.

Just for a laugh - here are my trusty photographic assistants.  They are used to the strange behaviour of dragging things out to the line and photographing them from every angle.


Feb 8, 2011

flood appeal auction winner

The other week my Mum won one of the Flood Relief auctions over at Christine's.

Here is the beautiful quilt she sucessfully bid on displayed on one of my Grandmother's antique "Gossip" chairs.

Feb 7, 2011

quilting inspiration on the go and a claw cake

I snapped these photos on the go today, one of the benefits of having a little camera in my handbag.  Many quilters, Kaffe Fassett included, will tell you that inspiration can be found anywhere.

These are benches in an eating area in a restaurant precinct.  I thought the mosaics looked just like little quilts.  Love the colours too.

On another note, it is my Dad's birthday tomorrow, we celebrated with him on the weekend and offered to make him a cake.  Little Guy and Dad do this silly thing where they shout "claw!" and make their hands look claw-like and grab each other by the head.  Little Guy suggested we make a claw cake and then both of them were hooked on the idea.  

Thankfully husband Guy was around to cut out the shape I needed and we iced it a nice blue with sparkly, pointy claw fingernails. 

Happy Birthday Dad!

Feb 5, 2011

english paper piecing V&A star quilt

A few weeks ago I had an idea for a quilt using my extensive collection of reproduction fabrics from the V&A (made by Liberty).  My inspiration for this quilt came from the Material Obsession books (which I had treated myself to after Christmas).  

The design uses diamond papers to make a central star and then each row that is added to the outside is pieced in a different fabric.  I divided my fabrics into light and dark shades and am alternating them each row.

The effect of this design on these fabrics is miraculous.  I treasure these fabrics because my Mum purchased them for me last year when in London visiting my brother, they cost her quite a bit of money and because of their historical significance.  Unfortunately, when viewed individually, some of the prints are not the most stunning!  The colour pallet is limited and the designs are simple.

However, when viewed together and in the design I chose, it's quite eye-catching.  Each time I change fabric I try to pick a fabric with at least one colour in common with the last.  For example in the picture below you can see that the white and blue central diamonds lend their darker blue to the next row, then that fabric lends it's peach tones to the next, peach tones are repeated for the next fabric and then brown becomes the common colour.  

I think when it's finished this will be a quilt to hang on the wall. 

Feb 2, 2011

Kaffe Fassett - lecture

The lovely Kaffe Fassett (ably assisted by the very charming Brandon Mably) delivered a stimulating talk with beautiful photos to accompany.  They also brought along several of the original quilts featured in his books - a few even from the Simple Shapes book I received for Christmas from my Mum & Dad. 

One of the beautiful display quilts.

Tonight's lecture is one of the highlights of my quilting journey thus far.  He is the most generous man, giving of his time to answer questions, his good humour at some of the questions and his willingness to completely share his experience and knowledge.  

The Brick quilt from the Simple Shapes book.
Kaffe especially struck a chord with me toward the end of the lecture, discussing the creating process that he goes through.  He said he has confused many people in the past who have tried to document or asked him to document his process.  Essentially he follows an organic process by which he follows wherever his creative energies take him, putting down and picking up projects as well as having many projects (about six he said) on the go at any one time.  I loved the fact that someone as revered as Kaffe Fassett had the guts to say this - as it's exactly as I work, if I'm bogged down in a project I have learnt not to plow on through as the results are not always the best.

Another display quilt - to be shown in an upcoming book.

Another display quilt.
The other idea that he spoke of was that of beauty in imperfection.  Quilts don't have to be perfect, seams don't really have to line up and lines don't always have to be straight.  Obviously if perfect quilting is the style of quilting that floats your boat then by all means go for it.  But if you are like me and struggle to make all the seams line up - don't stress about it - just go for it.  I love this free-thinking, liberated way of quilting and creating.  

The man himself - signing my book.
Two special inscriptions in my book.

Even the professionals carry around a bit of craft in their bags!

Kaffe signing his V&A book for my Mum.

 After the talk Kaffe patiently signed autographs and answered questions (including a bunch from me!).  For those of you who are wondering - the name Kaffe (pronounced Kay-fe) is from an Egyptian childrens story.
A little bit of post-lecture retail therapy - thanks Mum!

Kaffe Fassett lecture

I'm off to hear a lecture by Kaffe Fassett tonight.  You can read some of his bio here.

Hopefully might have some pics to share tomorrow!
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