Wednesday, 10 September 2008

long term UFO finished at last!

I can't quite remember when I started this quilt, but it must be 5-6 years or more. The top was finished and it was just waiting to be quilted. This week I finally bit the bullet and decided to finish it. Now it just needs the binding. I kept all the fabrics with the top so I think I will join strips of the different bright fabrics for the binding.

quilt hanging system

I have a new addition to my studio now. I wanted to be able to hang quilts up so that I could take photos of them. This is very simple and works very well.

Murray got a piece of 2" x 1" timber and gave it a couple of coats of polyurethane to seal it. He bought nine bulldog clips and spaced them evenly across the timber then screwed them on. Then he screwed in two eye-hooks (is that what they are called?) at the one-third and two-third measurements. He attached two pulleys to the ceiling, and threaded cord through them and tied it to the eye-hooks, then attached the other end of the cords to a cleat on the wall.

So now I can let the quilt hanger down to attach the quilt, then pull it back up to take photos or when it's not being used.

Feel free to copy if you think it would be useful.

Carpenter's Wheel variation

I finished this quilt at the weekend. The longarm machine was being a pain - it was moving in a straight line when it was supposed to be doing nice curves, and I was fighting with it to do what I wanted. When I had a good look at the wheels and the tracks I discovered that the coating on one of the tracks was starting to flake off. This made the surface slightly uneven, and when the wheel hit that part it didn't respond properly. After doing a bit of research on the internet, I got Murray to rub over the track with a bit of fine sandpaper, and now it's back to its easy-going self again!

I didn't take any photos of the back. It's a plain fabric and you can see where all the funny little blips are from when the machine was playing up.

the 'marshmallow' quilt

There's a bit of a story behind this quilt. On one of the art groups I belong to on the internet is a dear lady called Camille. She has a wonderfully experimental artisitc streak and does the most amazing things. The first photo below is one of Camille's experiments with marshmallows. She arranged them on a plate, took a photo and then manipulated it on the computer. I mentioned that it looked like something I could make a quilt out of, so she said to go for it! So I did...

I drafted a pattern on paper, which was an interesting exercise.

I decided to use some of my hand dyed fabrics for the quilt. The colours are totally different from the original photos, but these are the colours that jumped out at me.

Now I just have to think of a name for it. I can't really keep calling it 'the marshmallow quilt'.

Any suggestions?

Monday, 11 August 2008

camera doodling

The discussion on one online group I'm in has been 'camera doodling', which is taking photos while deliberately moving the camera. Some of the photos taken have been absolutely amazing so I thought I'd give it a try (I was procrastinating about quilting on the big quilt I just finished). It's not as easy as you would think! Most of the photos I took were still clear. These are the best of a bad lot - or should that be the worst of a good lot? It was fun, though I'm glad no one else was there to see me jumping up and down and whirling around in circles, trying to take bad photos LOL. AND they're still not as bad as I'd like them to be...

A fun one!

This little quilt was heaps of fun to make. There are so many signs warning us not to do this or do that - is it a free country still? Yes!!

HUGE quilt finished on Saturday

About a month ago I started making a simple quilt using fabrics from the stash. They were all 'pretty' fabrics - a change from the bright stuff I usually use. I made 12" blocks with big pieces as I wanted to use it to try feather quilting on the longarm. Now it's done except for the binding.

Have you ever been doing something and it's just worked out the way you hoped? Well, this quilt is hanging over the rails on the longarm and when I walk past it, I still can't believe I actually quited it! It's not perfect by any means (the backtracking is pretty woeful) but I'm so pleased with the overall effect. It's encouraging me to practice, practice, practice some more...

I couldn't get a full shot of the quilt as it is 108" x 96", so these will have to do.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

It's been a while...

... but I'm finally back here. While I've been away, a few things have been happening. We went to northern Europe for 4 weeks which was just fantastic. We flew to Oslo and had 4 days there by ourselves, then picked up a tour. The tour was 10 days around southern Norway then another 10 days cruising around the Baltic region. I even managed to find some quilt shops. I'll write some more about our trip later.

I got sick the day after we got back, which wasn't much fun, but it only lasted a day or two. I also found out that I had won four prizes at the Tasmanian Quilting Guild's annual exhibition. What a wonderful surprise that was! I only entered two quilts and they won two prizes each. That will be a hard act to follow nest year.

Here's just a couple of photos from our trip. We accidently left my camera in the back of our friend's car when they took us to the airport on the first day of our trip (duh!) so we didn't get as many photos as we would have liked. Luckily Murray had his little camera with him, which is the only reason we got any at all!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

more journal fun

Making quilts seems to have taken a step back since I started the online journal class. I've been having so much fun with them. Here's some photos of some more of them.

This one makes me laugh every time I look at it. The challenge for my Chooseday Chaleenge group this month was 'bird' so I decided to combine that with a journal. It look like a very startled quail. The design was originally taken from 1000 year old North American Indian pottery, but I think it lost something in the translation...

The next one was made from a bit of brown wrapping paper, some tea dyed string and a wooden toggle that came with a jar of buttons from a thrift shop. I think this is one of my favourites.

This colurful journal is actually a sketch book. It has binder rings that open if you need to add more paper to it. The cord is made on the sewing machine from 4 different yarns that I had little bits of.

This one I made just for myself.

This one I made for my sister Keryn. It was fun to do. Actually I think the most fun part was making tags, and finding quotes and other bits and pieces to put in it.

I'm going to a 4 day quilt retreat starting on the 15th May so I might make up some journal 'kits' to take with me. If I precut everything that I'll need, that will save time. It also means that I will only need to take half the amount of stuff. I want to make some atc's while I'm there too, and just maybe I should also take something that is actually quilt-related?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

online journal class

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing a journal making class with Sue Bleiweiss from Fibre and Stitch . It's been a wonderful class, probably the best online class I've done. This is the journal I made in Lesson 1. It's now living with my sister Rose.

I've made a few more as well, but haven't orgainised photos of them yet. We got the 5th (and last) lesson yesterday. I don't want this class to end! Sue also has other classes starting later in the year which I will sign up for as well.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

playing with a photo

I'm doing two challenges this month. One is to make an abstract representation of a photo, and the other challenge topic is 'fractured'. I tried to combine the two so here's what I've done so far.

The first photo is a waratah flower from the shrub in our back yard.

I played with the photo using the filters in Photoshop Elements and this is what I came up with.

Then I went through all the scrappy bits of hand dyed fabrics to try to find some that would
match. After a few hours of head scratching, I had a selection of scraps that I could live with. I backed them with fusible webbing then cut out the pattern pieces and stuck them to a background of quilter's muslin.

I then 'fractured' it into 12 tiles. Here is where I wish I had thought about the size a bit more. I wanted this to be journal quilt sized, which meant I had to fit the pieces back together with only about 1/8" gap between them. I may as well have left it in one piece! Oh well, you live and learn.

It was then sandwiched together with batting and backing and quilted very simply. I used a red variegated perle cotton and stem stitched between the tiles. Now I'm doing some seed stitching and a few french knots over the top. I hadn't actually planned to do that, but I wanted something to do by hand at night and didn't have anything else prepared.

It's been interesting and I've learned a few things - things to try again, and things not to do again.

rust dyeing experiment

I've recently tried rust dyeing for the first time. The results were sort of okay, but it's encouraged me to try some more in the future. Here's some photos of the bits of fabric I did.

We moved house last year so Murray cleaned out all the stuff from his shed including anything that was rusty. We managed to find a few nails and screws, and a couple of old drill bits. The first two photos used those.

Next I bought some cheap steel wool pads, and they really worked well because they rust so quickly. I'll definitely use those again. The second photo is most like the actual colour. Don't quite know what I'll do with them yet, but I had some fun experimenting.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

atc's again

Another experiment from a couple of years ago. Some of my hand dyed fabric stuck onto a fabric base with fusible webbing. I machine stitched over the joins using a normal straight stitch so that when I turned the work over I could see where the joins were. The fancy stitching was done by winding perle cotton onto my bobbin by hand and using an ordinary cotton/poly blend thread in the top. It was stitched up-side-down. My machine has a drop-in bobbin, and I just bypassed all the tension guides. I have no idea how you would do this on any other machine. I did a tiny figure of eight stitch (I don't know how else to describe it). The colours are brighter than this in real life.

Below, the perle cotton came out looking like a braid.

Below, the back of the work. This is what was on top as I was sewing.

At the weekend, I decided to cut it up into atc's and do some stitching on them. I got 15 atc's, I think.