Please remember that any photos, images or text on this blog remain my property, but if you wish to use any that you see, feel free to contact me for permission. Thank you for respecting my request and enjoy your visit.......Joy

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Destroying the flowers - but......

turning them into something interesting.

On Tuesday of this week I went along to a new (for me) meeting of a group of ladies who like to do fibre arts and art quilts.  It is an affiliate group of Geelong Quilters Guild which I am a member.  They used to meet on Guild days for an hour before the actual meeting started, but always found this to be quite restrictive if they wanted to work on something or have a workshop.  It was decided to meet on another day so we could have an 'all day session'.

After lots of Show and Tell and ooing and aahing, then lots of chatter about what everyone wanted to do, we did a little bit of experimenting with 'pounding flowers and leaves' onto cloth to get the dye from the plants.

It was very fascinating - seeing how the different plants reacted - some were great others not so.

When I got home I had a little experiment with some of my own flowers.  I actually used a piece of batting, rather than material for my playing.....


This is what I ended up with -

I picked two different types of geranium flowers and a varigated leaf.  Placing the flowers between two pieces of batting I 'pounded' them for a few seconds until the colours came out.

The first one shows the flower colours and shapes when placed face down on the batting.  The second photo shows the batting that was on top of the flowers, in other words showing the back of them.  Notice how the leaf colour comes out much more stronger when the batting is placed on the back and the flower colours come out much better when placed facing down.

I think I'm going to do a lot of more this - and try some other plants that are in my garden (....shush....maybe some interesting ones I find when I go walking around the neighborhood.....)

Note to self - must take secateurs when next I go walking......

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finally I have a quilt top.

At long last, after much thought and umming and aahing, I have finally put together my blocks for Grand Illusion. For those of you who were wondering what I was going to do with the larger green/neutral 4-patch blocks - well I did use them.

As you can see from here I put them in the centre of the main block and then cut down a number of them and used these as the cornerstone blocks in the sashing.


These are the blocks up on my design wall (without any sashing).
It looks quite different from the original that Bonnie Hunter designed, but I am happy with it.  Although I do have a lot of blocks left over - but these will not be wasted - they will be sewn together, somewhat a little different again and given to my local Monday night group - Regent St Stitchers - for their charity quilts that go the local hospital.  I think the bright clear colours of the quilt will be loved by one of the older children.


And here we have the top with the sashing - as you can see the green/neutral as the corner stones.  I chose the same blue as in the blocks - had plenty of that particular piece of material.  Then I put a dark mottled grey as the framing border.  Not sure if I want to go further - I think it needs more borders, perhaps a wider one.  What do you all think?  I don't have quite enough of the green/neutral blocks,but could still make more., or I could add some of the other blocks that have been left out as I haven't made it as big.  That is the corner blocks with the yellow/dark blue - there could be enough to go around.  If not I will make some more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grand Illusion Step 4 now completed

This was quite an interesting one to do - although there is a lot of sewing and trimming to be completed.  In Bonnie's instructions she suggested to do an extra step not included in the actual mystery step.  That is, when sewing squares onto an oblong or larger square to make a half-triangle in the corner, to always sew another seam just a little over 1/4" away from the original seam and then cut between these two seams - you then get an extra "1/2 square triangle square" - I have always done this - it is surprising how many extra squares one gets.  I finished up with 96 pairs of pink/neutral and 96 pairs of blue/neutral spare half square triangles.  I plan to do a 'half square triangle quilt one day......hmm, planning that is....

These were sewn individually then sewn together in pairs.
I chose not to complete Step 3 at this time as it involves the green/neutral squares.  If  I decide to use them I will complete Step 3 then.




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Steps 1 and 2 completed...for Grand Illusion

I have been cutting, cutting and cutting;  plus sewing, sewing, sewing all those 2 1/2" blocks that Bonnie loves.  I have to say here, that I also love cutting and sewing lots of small blocks.  I would rather make a quilt with a zillion small pieces than one with just a couple of dozen large blocks.  I love the process and often wish it would go on a lot longer.

So - here is Step 1 - 2.5" finished pink/blue triangles, with the navy and yellow 2.5" squares.
 Here they are sewn into their blocks - they don't look very scrappy - that is because I didn't have many actual small scraps to use, I only had larger (fat 1/8th or bigger) pieces in my chosen colours.  Also the different materials are very much in tune with each other colour/hue wise.
 Step 2 was supposed to be 2" green and neutral 4 patch squares, but I made them 2.5" squares. My reason for this - I wont be making many of these as I'm not sure if I will actually use them and if I do I can cut them down;  if I don't they can be used in other projects more effectively if they are 2.5".

Back to the sewing room for me for Steps 3 and 4.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To Do or Not To Do......Bonnie Hunter's mystery......

How many of you are doing (or have done) Bonnie Hunter's mystery this year?  It's called Grand Illusion, named after a hotel in the US where she taught some classes earlier in the year (2014).

I thought, and thought about it.  I have loved her mysteries in the past, but didn't think I would sew it this year.

A couple of weeks ago I went to my monthly GTG of the CBD group of Scquilters in Melbourne and two of the girls (Vireya and Jeanette) had their nearly completed mystery quilts for Show and Tell.  I quite liked what I saw, although I still think it is a very busy quilt with nowhere to rest your eyes.






This one is Vireya's.  She decided to make it smaller - which I like.
















This is Jeanette's - Jeannette has made it full size.  She hasn't got the borders on as yet.

Comparing the two - it does look different with the borders on.  Hope to see Jeannette's with hers at our next meeting.

Apologies here - for the table and (I think) Vireya's hat.



I went through my stash (before it started) and found most of what I would need.  Changed the colours slightly - I'm substituting Royal Blue for the Black, as it's not a colour I like very much in quilts and I don't have very much of it - used a lot in the Orca Bay quilt. Not sure if I want to use the yellow Bonnie is using -  I am taming it down a bit - have quite a stash of yellow, no problems there, also have a huge amount of green, as well as the pink - mine is more of a darker dusty pink; but the lighter blue or aqua is a problem - not much of it in my stash. Plenty of neutrals, but I'm sticking with creams/cream-on-cream.

Now that I have seen the finished quilt, I know I can make it smaller and therefore will have enough of the aqua material to finish it.  I am thinking of double bed size not the large queen that she has made. Bonnie's is 5 x 5 large blocks with sashing.  Vireya's (above) is 3 x 3 - I'm thinking 4 x 5.

As I sew happily along I will post what I have achieved at each stage.  Having collected all the steps I will be able to work through them - and of course, typically, there is a lot of cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing.

Following Bonnie's instructions is very easy - full of explanations and photos.

Back to the sewing room - have completed all the cutting, cutting, cutting. Will post the first step very soon.

Take care,
Joy



Sunday, January 11, 2015

I am truly blessed...

I have just spent the last few days in Melbourne with my grandchildren.  DIL went to Gippsland to visit her mother who is in hospital having a rather big operation.

My beautiful granddaughter who is 8, put this basket with its contents on the table next to the bed where I sleep. She has been told over time that when Nanna (me) or Grams (other nanna) comes to stay she must make sure the room is tidy (she often plays in here with her girlfriends to get away from the little brother...) and not to leave anything that we might trip over.  Usually she places a glass with some flowers in it from the garden.  But this time I got the basket with a couple of mags, some shampoo and soap etc; plus some 'treats' - a couple of packets of sultanas and a container of fruit with spoon.  "Just in case Nanna', she said, "I'm sorry but we don't have any flowers".

Isn't that just the best - made my day.  I felt very special.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Word for the year

FOCUS.


That is my word for this year.  As most of you who read my bog know I don't make resolutions - they are too hard to keep and too restrictive.

 I choose a word for the year which I use to help me FOCUS on what I need to be doing.







Last year with moving house, a family wedding and other stuff that happened, I kind of lost my focus on what I was doing (or maybe I should say - what I planned to do...)  Of course, as usual when this happens, one tends to go off in a tangent and no matter how hard you work, nothing gets done and you are back to square one!



This year to help me FOCUS I have put together a ring binder with dividers for things like - My Garden, Quilting, Sewing General, Computer, etc. Into this binder I (hope) will write down the different tasks, perhaps what I wish to purchase, etc for each of the divisions.  I'm not putting in a timetable (only if there is a time frame, ie if say, a quilt needs to be made as a gift), and I will jot down my progress as I work through the folder.  Sometimes I will add things, hopefully I will be crossing most out. 

 After all, that is the reason for having this folder!!

What is your word for this year 2015?  Do you have one or do you make resolutions.  I would love to know.




Monday, December 29, 2014

51 Weeks to go......

that is, to next Christmas! 
It is a tradition is most country towns in Australia for Santa to visit the suburbs via a Country Fire Truck - just to make sure all the kids are home and still being good!!  This one was parked outside my home and he visited the park next door to me.  I didn't know there were this many people who lived in the streets where I live!!!!
 
And, of course we have to put out the lettuce and carrots for the reindeer, with Fraser supervising his older sister Jorja.  Note, this year, one plate, not 7 that she put out last year!!!!

What a year it has been!  Settling in to a new home and getting to know the area where I'm now living.  Plus a myriad of other things that have kept me occupied and not being able to get much sewing completed or blogging as much as I would have liked.

In November we had my niece's wedding on the beach at Point Addis, which is near Anglesea, Vic.

It is nearly time for my 'word' for the next 12 months.  This year I have quite a few that I could choose from - just have to find the appropriate one for MY year. Will follow up in the next few days.

Take care,
Joy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A great day of fun at The Patchwork Teahouse

The CBD group of Scquilters had their annual Christmas luncheon at The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton - just outside of Melbourne in The Dandenong Ranges. An absolutely delightful place to have lunch and a coffee surrounded by quilts and the other goodies in the shop.


Some random shots of the girls enjoying the lunch surrounded by the quilts and other magical stuff.

Shirley and Fran bought along some Show and Tell -
First, we have Fran with her lovely quilt.
The embroideries on Fran's quilt were a Block of the Month from Willowberry Designs which she started as a take-along project in 2010 and finished it October 2014.

The next 3 quilts are Shirley's, 

This quilt with hearts, was actually designed by Fran and was a mystery quilt for her Scquilters' Mystery Group.  It is MQ No. 13. and is an original design by Fran Cox.
Finally, another lovely quilt by Shirley - unfortunately there was a fourth - but my camera must have had a couple of little gremlins in it when I took the photo - only half of it came out.  My apologies Shirley.



Sunday, November 2, 2014

A visit to Quilts In the Barn

A couple of weeks ago I and a couple of friends (Jenni S and LeeAllan) visited 'Quilts In The Barn' in outer Melbourne where they were having their annual show of Quilts in the Barn'.  This year's show the emphasis was on reproduction and older quilts, with some beautiful vintage ones which had been sent over from the USA by Mary Koval. Mary was supposed to be there in person, but unfortunately her health dictated that she stay home.

Patty Harants and Brenda Papadakis were there with their amazing quilts, plus they also gave lessons and lectures.  Alas, I didn't get the opportunity to attend either of these events.  But they were both very generous with their time and spoke with everyone who was able to 'get a word in'.....

Here are just a few of the amazing quilts hanging in 'the Barn'.  Hope you enjoy seeing them.