Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goregeous stripes!

The magic squares blocks made with striped fabrics are very versatile, depending on the layout and the characteristics of the stripes (or do they have to be stripes?) chosen. Dina and Jane demonstrated how different prints can produce completley different looks - add variations in layout and the possibilities increase exponentially.

You can see from this selection of fabrics that variations in colour, width, texture, pattern within the stripes and even using fabrics with vaguely linear prints that are a long way from standard stripes opens up design options. The fabrics are folded to indicate just one way in which each could form a magic squares block:

Christmas panel ....

.... with pieced borders. Dina's grandchildren want Christmas decorations at Grandma's house this year - so these well dressed reindeer are a great start!

Jane's "woven" quilt

.... is very large. And it's for her! The block borders are rich dark chocolate (not black as they might appear in this photo).

Can you see the stylised butterfly in the quilting?

Australian Machine Quilters Association online presence

AMQA has a website that includes "questions to ask" of your machine quilter, and a list of members (professional machine quilters).

They have just started an AMQA blog, to showcase the award winners from the recent exhibition. If you want to see more, a CD of high resolution photos and close-ups of all 250 entries is in production.

Links to both sites are now in the right hand column of this blog.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quilt on request

Helen's son's partner's sister is having a baby (or is it her daughter's husband's sister?) - could Helen make a quilt? Of course she could, and did. It will keep the little one warm and amused for a long time! And it was the inspiration for the Tuesday night group's Christmas 2009 challenge.
The Tuesday night Bordered Squares quilts are coming along well. We'll have at least seven small quilts suitable for children ..... several tops are finished and being quilted, some are waiting for just the right sashing fabric to present itself from our stashes. They are looking good - the sashing technique Jane has given us lends movement and interest to the quite simple blocks. Photos soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Advent calendar

Along with their collaborative quilting, Dina and Jane do find time for individual projects. Dina "chopped up" a fabric panel to make this lovely advent calendar quilt for the grandchildren in good time for Christmas 2009. She has lined the pockets with calico for strength.

How's your Christmas quilting going?

Closing down sale - Willoughby

Natalie Wise is closing down her home based store, Patchwork and Primitives. She is offering 50% off fabrics and 25% off batting, books and tools. Phone before you go to check that she is available,

Patchwork and Primitives
02 9958 8766
4 Laurel St, Willoughby 2068
(note this is Natalie's house, it is not a shopfront)

Collaborative quilting

Tuesday nighters Dina and Jane are neighbours and friends and prodigious quilters. One of the ways that they manage their impressive output of quilts (while working in demanding jobs) is to often work in partnership - and they actively plan their quilting time together.

They are currently working on a series of quilts using the "magic squares" technique from a workshop they attended together. Their quilt series is exploring various layout of the block, and the possibilities of striped fabric of different design - three domensional patterns from a relatively simple block (as long you are meticulous with the stripe matching mitering).

Dina's top

Dina's almost finished quilt

Detail of Dina's almost finished quilt

Jane's almost card trick design

And this gorgeous fabric from a previous post:

became this .....

Dina's card trick - it's all in the choice of cuts from the fabric, the number of pieces selected to construct the blocks, their orientation, the thoughtful use of design wall or space to experiment with layouts, and choosing interesting stripes to begin with.

Jane and Dina admit to currently having 14 collaborative quilts in the forward schedule - that does of course include some shopping too!

Jane and Dina's Jelly Roll Diamonds

Dina's quilt (top) is made with 2 jelly rolls the same, giving an even, harmonious spread of values, while Jane's is made with two different jelly rolls, giving greater contrast. Each used extra fabric for the borders. These are seriously large quilts ....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs - free, online!

Another find via Southern Cross Quilters email list:

Leah Day is an enterprising young quilter challenging herself to come up with a new free motion quilting "filler" idea every day for a year. She documents her progress in her blog, 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs including photos, a discussion of how each design came about and how it might be used, photos of examples, and embedded video clips of how to do it! How generous is that? She's up to day 28, so there's lots to come.

Her website, Day Style Designs ( is also worth exploring - love the Food Quilt ( in her gallery!

Southern Cross Quilters is an Australian-New Zealand online quilting "guild" with a membership of over 2000 - visit the SCQuilters home page to see the wide range of activities that SCQuilters participate in, in addition to the email list. The email list operates as a Yahoo group, from here.

My apologies for the corruption of links that sometimes occurs in this blog - they are typed or copies intact and during the publishing process, Blogger sometimes "decides" to insert "" into them, and then your browser can't find the page. You can work around it by amending the link in your browser, but I will continue to look for a solution to this annoying glitch - Jill

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Our" Jo in DUQ

The latest issue of Down Under Quilts, No, 136 reports on a reunion of the quilters who took part in the magazine's Adventure to Japan tour in 2008, and the challenge set to "make a piece that depicted memories of their trip". And amongst the selected results photographed is "Autumn in Japan 2008" created by Jo-Ann Phillips, on p.47. Congratulations Jo.

Narelle Grieve - memorial service

You will have received an email from Susan telling you about the sad death of well known and much loved quilter, Narelle Grieve. A memorial service will be held on

Monday 14th September at 1.30pm
St Matthews Anglican Church
2 Eppleston Place, West Pymble

There will be many tributes to Narelle - Erica Spinks's is here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just for fun .....

.... send in a photo or scan of your most precious fabric - the one that you love, but hardly dare cut into, because then it will be gone.

Email your photo to and we'll see how many different fabrics we absolutely love, and post them here to inspire others. If you can't pick just one, email as many as you like.

You can include your name or not, whichever you prefer.

2 more exhibitions: one online - one in Manly, 2010

A Change in the Weather is a virtual exhibition of quilts based on the theme of climate change, made by members of ‘Tippys-Mob’, an online quilt group from Australia and New Zealand. You will find some familiar names amongst the artists. It is the first cyber exhibition presented by the Quilt

Details for The New Quilt 2010 exhibition, and the call for entries are available from the Quilter's Guild of NSW blog, Template Free Note that the exhibition date is later than usual. The Manly Art Gallery and Museum is in a gorgeous spot on Little Manly Cove, and the New Quilt exhibition is always interesting. One for the diary.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quilts 1700 - 2010: Victoria and Albert Museum 2010

If you are lucky enough to be in London between 20th March and 4th July 2010, you could spend a day or two with the V and A's extensive collection of quilts, which will be on exhibition as Quilts 1700 - 2010. You can book tickets on line. From the exhibition's webpage:

The curators have unravelled some of the complex personal narratives and broader historical events documented in the quilts. Examples by both named and unnamed makers will be shown with objects relating to their subject matter and makers including paintings and prints, as well as needlework tools and personal keepsakes. One example is a cot quilt made at Deal castle, displayed for the first time alongside the maker's diary and portraits of the two grandchildren who slept under it. There will also be bedcovers that commemorate the lives of prominent figures including Admiral Lord Nelson, Charles II and the Duke of Wellington and important events such as the coronation of Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington's battle at Vittoria. The exhibition will celebrate the astonishing vision involved in the design and making of each quilt.

A two day conference on quilt history and research will be held in conjunction, during June.

This article from The Guardian mentions that The Rajah Quilt will be included, on loan. It also warns that " ..... this will not be a show aimed at grandmas or Women's Institutes. Curators at the museum, in South Kensington, London, believe it will inspire the nation to get quilting."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jackets, hexagons from the past, masterful quilting .....

Jo took the Thimblelady's jacket making class, and made hers reversible. The battling is a light cotton blend, and the closing is a handmade detachible "frog"

Heather has recently moved house, and unearthed a box of hexagons she made in Canada about 30 years ago .....

They are turning into these "flowers". What will she do with them next? Can you see the reel of thread to indicate their size? A worthy addition to the hexagonathon ....
Sharyn is home for a couple of weeks (remember she and Ken are on a 'round Australia trek for several months), with lots of news (they have a brand new grandson in Darwin!), and two beautiful quilts ready for binding now that Jo Phillips (Quiltwise) has worked her magic on them, just in time for Sharyn to collect them on this "drop-in":

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Christmas Challenges 2009

The Monday group has decided to make "Blankets of Love" - small quilts to donated to hospitals to then be offered to parents of babies who have died in the peri-natal period. They will be up to 24 inches square, backed with flannelette and no batting.

Tuesday night group is making a 9 1/2" block featuring "my favourite thing" on a pastel coloured background. The blocks will be put together into a community quilt suitable for a child.

Of course, anyone can contribute to either challenge. Both are due to be completed by the Christmas party.