Friday, July 21, 2017

Community quilts, July 2017

The first half of 2017 has been productive for our community quilters; we have donated 28 quilts to community groups, and have two in reserve for a different donation later in the year. Our thanks to members and friends who have contributed so generously of their time, skill and materials.

Fourteen quilts have been delivered to residents at a local 
dementia care centre - the top left one, made by Dawn, 
finished and handed over just in time, was passed on in
 less than 24 hours, something of a record.
The second bundle of 14 quilts will go to foster children via
Quilt NSW. Six of these quilts were wholly or partly made by
people who are friends of Fairholme members, or from
fabrics donated by friends - quilters are the best! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This week at Fairholme (2)

Two more interesting vintage pieces came to light for this week's show and tell ...

Margaret was helping to clear a friend's house after his death
when she came across a hexagon coverlet probably made in
the forties or fifties, judging by the fabrics. The hexagons are
about an inch and a half, the background fabric and backing
are a sturdy blue cotton.
The hexagons are about an inch and a half, the background
fabric and backing are a sturdy blue cotton.
 The mix of fabric
prints in the hexagons is varied and  interesting - probably
dress making scraps. The friend's late wife had been a quilter,
but there is no provenance for the piece, and it might have
been stored undisturbed for sixteen years.
Val bought this piece of undated textile art from a trader in
Newtown many years ago. Made from silk, it is a purdah
(from the Persian for 'curtain'), sourced from the region of
Afghanistan. The ties at the top indicate its intended use.
It was a single layer when Val bought it. She has added a light
batting and backing, and hand quilted it in black thread, using
motifs from the pieces, and from the region, including a ram's
head, a symbol associated with Alexander the Great who died
in 323 BC in Babylon (modern Iraq).
The black sashing strips are hand-embroidered braids, commonly
made by women in the region. There is evidence of a little wear,
but the colours are still rich and warm. It is used as a couch quilt.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This week at Fairholme (1)

Another big week of beautiful quilts generously shared ...

Susan M put together a collection of aboriginal prints, and put
them together with thin black sashing, an ochre border and a wide
black border - now she's contemplating how to quilt this beauty ... 
... and on the day Susan brought her quilt top in, Pam visited
the morning group (she usually attends our evening group), and
was working on her aboriginal print quilt, that has thin black
sashing, an ochre border and a wide black border! Neither knew
about the other's plans. Pam is hand-quilting indigenous motifs
in her final border. Detail of the prints below.

Jenn joined us for the first time this week. Her show and
tell was this stunner that you might have seen hanging at the
recent Sydney Quilt Show. It is her original design, based on
the concept of Intersectionality - overlapping components of
identity. Jenn used Marti Michel's 60ยบ ruler for all those angles,
and chose the colours to suggest transparency.

Totally unexpectedly, Julie and Jo-Ann have presented us
with a finished quilt, a very stylish 'brick wall' of William Morris
fabrics that they made for another prize for our 2018 Quilt
Show raffle! How good is that? Jo provided the fabric from her
stash,Julie pieced it, and Jo quilted it on her long-arm.
Generosity plus - thank you secret sewers.

Dawn has finished her "Whirlwind' quilt and has donated it
to our community collection - it has already been donated to
a resident in dementia care, along with several other, today.
Its clear bright colours will be very welcome.

Miriam's 'Australis' is looking even more wonderful,
quilted by Jo-Ann Phillips.
It was very good to see ElaineW yesterday after some time
recovering from surgery. She spent some of her convalescent
time finishing off her long-term handwork project.
And starting the next thing ...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tutorial for a knit wholecloth quilt

If most of your sewing is quilting, how long is it since you sewed with knit fabrics? You might have noticed that a growing number of quilting fabric designs are being released in a variety of base cloths in addition to quilting cottons, including knits. A quilt in a knit fabric could be particularly soft cuddly. Here is a recent tutorial on making a knit wholecloth quilt:

Sew Your Own Whole Cloth Knit Quilt…Yes, I Said Knit

Mister Domestic, Stitching Sewcial, 26 February 2017
... after a few years of persistence and humility, I can confidently say that I have conquered knit… enough so that I am going to share with you how to make your own whole cloth knit quilt. And I promise that it won’t fall apart ...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (3)

Lynette has gathered a lovely collection of antique and vintage quilts over several years. She generously brought in most of them last week for us to see them up close, and to take in their qualities. Lynette has bought several quilts from American dealer, Jane Lury of Labors of Love. Jane's 'Meanderings of a Quilt Collector' was published by Quiltmania in 2016.

Hexagons, of course!
Edge of the Grandmother's Flowergarden.
22 blade Dresdan Plate, 1930s, bought in Japan, from
Jane Lury.
'Jack in the Pulpit', from Texas, 1920s.
Beautifully hand quilted.

Late 19thC - early 20th C, bought in Houston, 2012. This
one is very large, and it might just be Lynette's favourite.

Late 19thC, possibly English, Also bought
from Jane Lury.
Bear's Paw, bought in Houston in 1999.
Late 19thC - 1900, 'Robbing Peter to Pay Paul' block.
You can see that the batting is very thin and worn, but the
blue fabric has held its colour remarkably well.
Bought in rural Canada from an estate clearance, for $40
- the family didn't like it!

Labelled as made in February 1948. The tulip fabric is
feed sacks. The stems and leaves are embroidered.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (2)

As we looked at and gently handled all of these dozen or so quilts, we wondered what their makers would have though about other generations of quilters still appreciating their work, as thing of great beauty, after so many years.

The first of Lynette's collection - a beautifully buttery soft nine
patch made in Texas, that Lynette bought from Sydney dealer
Jenny Burton. Hand quilted, made for practicality, every now
and again an 'odd' piece is used to make up a block, when the
quilter has run out of 'right' fabric - it is utterly charming.
Helen's family brought two Durham quilts for daily use from
working class northern England in the 1920s, and referred
to them as 'those Pommy things'. Helen and her sister have one
each. Both the pink and yellow cottons are faded, and it is worn
from frequent use. Two sides were extended with pink panels
added by machine by Helen's dressmaker grandmother.

Val told us that the quilting design was probably drawn on the
fabric by a travelling 'marker', in blue pencil, from a stock of
patterns. Many markers were men. The hand quilting stitches
are deeply embedded in the quilt sandwich. You can see more
of the original colours in the depths of the stitches.

Helen bought her crazy quilt from the late Narelle Grieve.
There is no documentation. It is very worn in parts, but much
of the colour and fabric is intact

It is heavily embroidered, as is typical of the style.

Embroidery on the block pieces and seams.

Jo-Ann bought her late 19thC - early 20thC quilt in Houston in
2014. As a professional long-arm quilter, she was particularly drawn
to it  as it an early example of free-motion machine quilting.

The block appears to be a variation of the 'Wonder of the World'.
The quilt maker's choice of just two fabrics, and dark grey and
white give it a surprisingly modern look. 

From an earlier viewing, we learned that 'although there is not a 

lot of documentation, some inferences can be made about the quilter 
- it is assumed she was comparatively well off, because the quilt is 
not scrappy, being made from just two fabrics ... and it is machine 
quilted. The batting is now quite thin, and the quilt is very soft and 
drapes beautifully, probably indicating that it has been well used.'

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Antique and vintage quilt parade (1)

We enjoyed a parade of vintage and antique quilts earlier this week, as members brought treasures from their own collections and family treasures for close-up inspection. Thank you all for sharing them with us, and to those  (Val, Roslyn, Margaret) who were able to fill in some gaps in the quilts' stories.

Roslyn's vintage quilt was found hung casually over a fence at 
local weekend market, more than 25 years ago. With a toddler 
in a stroller, Roslyn didn't spend much time looking at it, and 
paid the asking price, not knowing if it was a real find. It was.
Quilt historian Annette Gero authenicated it as a hand quilted 
Durham wholecloth quilt from the 1930s, valued at 
considerably more than its $5 market price!
More photos are in this 2014 post, the last time 
we saw this treasure.

Dawn's 'Sixty Five Roses' quilt is on its way to vintage status. 
It was made for her nephew's wedding quilt, and is in regular 
use, as evidenced by the fading on the red border. 
The pattern was first published as a fundraiser for a 
Cystic Fibrosis charity. 

The crocheted lace butterfly is one of four, one in 
each corner of a supper cloth made by Roslyn's 
paternal grandmother for her parents as a wedding 
gift, about 1940.

Denise found this hexagon quilt, of indeterminate age, in an 
op shop. She doesn't particularly like it, but didn't feel it could 
be left behind!  Vintage - probably not yet.
Two more posts are planned on more of the vintage and antique quilts.

Friday, July 7, 2017

New(ish) in Melbourne

In case you are heading down to Melbourne, you might need to know that ...
Queen of Fabric is a new quilt shop in Brighton
Amitie Textiles has moved from the Melbourne suburbs to coastal Torquay, re-opening on 1 July.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

This week's quilts

We had two 'show and tell' sessions on Monday - the first was our recently finished quilts and current works in progress ...

Diana was asked for a green and blue quilt
 - she has made that, and so much more!
Julie took a 'one fabric' class with Margaret Cormack,
using this lovely soft sage green print. She says she mucked
it up a bit, but she's covered her tracks very well ...
... and scored a second quilt from the discarded
pieces from the first.

Val had a large basket of scraps, and a need for a sofa quilt.
She chose mostly from the soft blues and rich yellow scraps,
sewn into alternating nine patch and hour-glass blocks.
And the scrap basket? Still full.
Dawn is just finishing off the binding on the fourth Music
Camp quilt she has made using fabric signed by music
students at her niece's high school.
Dawn is about to quilt two baby quilts ...

 ... for her expected tenth and eleventh
Jo is joining the baby boom with a gender-neutral
quilt for her god-daughter's first baby.
This one is for a child too, a community quilt made by Elaine B
- lots of little monsters feature in the prints - not scary though.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Last week's quilts ...

Last week was nearly all about the 2017 Sydney Quilt Show at Darling Harbour. Two of our members entered quilts - it was good to see them hanging there:

Pat Nerlich with her quilt 'Urban', am original design, hand quilted.
'Wind Power' is the first of Julie White's two entries
- it is based on a photo Julie took in he Netherlands many years
ago. machine appliqued and free motion embroidered.

Julie's 'Visions in Japan', designed with one panel and
complimentary fabrics to complete the picture. Many
areas of the fish panel, Mt Fuji and the heron are
embellished with hand embroidery (stem stitch).

 A lot of members attended the quilt show over its four days, and we did see some gorgeous purchases on Monday, as well as some local 'show and tell' ...

Miriam made this double-sided beauty in a
sew-along with Brigitte Giblin. This is the front ...
... and the reverse. Miriam did say that machine
quilting it was a challenge!
Pat chose a lovely palette for a baby quilt
for new great nephew.