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Beautiful French Cottons and Chambrays

I purchased these lovely fabrics from Fine French Linen Australia. They are from the Mas d’Ouvan Range of quilting fabrics, produced in France. They were ideal for creating soft ‘french style’ summer quilts for 2 single beds. As I had purchased them in a fat quarter bundle this quilt design made it easy to display the beautiful patterns in large squares and rectangles, keeping the large floral designs as a feature. I love how the blues and beiges blend so well together. It is very simple piecing, so the quilt tops came together quickly.

A change from quilting….a Cute Monkey

I was asked to make a gift for a newborn baby boy. Here is my cute monkey in his striped overalls. I used a pattern designed by Melly & Me called Mini Magoos. We are still in Covid lockdown here on the New South Wales South Coast so all the fabrics and requirements came from my stash. It was a fun project to make and I think he has his own personality.

Another UFO done

I started this quilt during an earlier COVID lockdown and have lots of spare time at home to quilt it during the current lockdown, who knows how long we will have our activities restricted?

It was constructed as part of an online group run by South Australian Quilters Guild – Round the Block Mystery Quilt. I managed to get it cut out, but the pieces have been sitting in a pile for months.

As there is a lot of background space, it provided an excellent palette for experimenting with free motion quilting designs.

Round The Block Mystery Quilt

UFO’s or Works In Progress

Here we are in ‘lockdown’ once again with the COVID numbers growing rapidly in NSW and not enough of our population vaccinated to date……so it is time to get out some UFO’s.

The first finished project is ‘Whimsical Houses’

This is a baby quilt which was designed for a challenge with my local friendship group. We were gifted 4 fat quarters and set to task to design a medallion centre. As the fabrics were bright greens and pinks, I searched my stash for other ‘happy fabrics’.

The result is a small quilt which uses many techniques – the centre was foundation paper pieced, surrounded by whimsical houses. The houses are constructed using raw edge machine appliqué with an outside border English paper pieced.

I added details like curtains and door knobs to the houses with my Fabrico markers, as well as leaves on the flowers and shadowing on the roofs.

It was a fun quilt to make. The straight line background quilting was done using the ‘line tamer’ ruler, complimented with free motion and outline quilting. I like the ‘smoke curls’ quilted out of the chimneys.

Whimsical Houses

More free motion quilting

I always find quilting a panel a good way to extend yourself and practice experimenting with different quilting designs. This large panel (measuring 56 X 74 inches) has lots of beautiful soft floral images. I outline quilted and added features like veins and stems in black thread, then quilted the background in a cream. I tried to extend the original design into the negative space and fill it with lots of patterns that ‘ghosted’ the leaves and extended the floral arrangement. As you can see it has added a lot more texture.

Afternoon Tea in Melbourne

It is nice to see another one of my projects published for others to make.

‘Afternoon Tea in Melbourne’ is a small table runner with matching coasters. The design was inspired by the mosaic tiled floor in the Block Arcade, Melbourne. The Victorian-era arcade features detailed mosaic-tiled floors, stained glass windows, a glass canopy and skylights, wrought iron fixtures and carved stone finishes. In this arcade is a well known spot for tea, coffee and cakes….The Hopetoun Tea Rooms.


The pattern and instructions for this project has just been published in the latest edition of Quilters Companion, issue 110.

Afternoon Tea in Melbourne

Charity quilt sewing days

My local quilting group, Night Owl Quilters, have dedicated the fifth Tuesday in the month to making Charity Quilts.

We were donated a large tub of red and black fabrics, which we cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. After a productive morning of stitching we had 2 finished quilt tops, using the Bento Box pattern to make 12 inch blocks.

Here are the finished quilts. I quilted one of them using my half circle rulers….a good practice piece for quilting with rulers.

‘Coming Home’

All finished. Doesn’t the quilting make a big difference? It brings the whole design to life.

Inspired by our native gum nuts, seed pods, gum blossoms and Waratahs.

An original design, needle turn appliqué and free motion machine quilted on my Sweet 16. Once again I have used the Japanese yarn dyed cottons.

‘Coming Home’ by Lyn Keogh

Some extra quilting jobs….

This quilt top was given to my local quilting group, Night Owl Quilters. We have decided to use it as a raffle quilt for Our Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser……It just needed to be quilted and bound.

I tried to keep the quilting simple as the Kaffe Fassett fabrics are so beautiful and vibrant, they need to shine. It is quilted with Superior Threads Magnifico, colour Elegante. All in the ditch and straight line quilting.

FLOWERS for ZOE

You can find the instructions and pattern outlines for this quilt in the current issue of Quilters Companion magazine #108.

I made the quilt for my granddaughter, Zoe, when she progressed to a big girls bed. It is raw edge machine appliqué using blanket stitch with a scalloped foundation pieced border. The quilt is constructed as a quilt-as-you-go project. I used a range of colourful pink batiks on a white on white background.

The quilt was awarded first place Large Quilts Professional at the Canberra Quilters Annual Exhibit in 2019 and best use of Batik Fabrics.

It is a great project for refining your machine appliqué skills.

Techniques Workshop with Night Owl Quilters.

We had a fun morning last Tuesday at Night Owl Quilters.

Anne Hunt, one of our members, very generously ran a workshop where we experimented with positive and negative shapes. Using fusible web we created 5 inch square designs, one positive, one negative. I used a small machine blanket stitch in a colour to match the fabric for the raw edge appliqué.

Finished result ….a small table topper and 2 smaller ones for the coffee tables.

Finishing those UFO’s

My goal is to finish some of those UFO’s hiding in my cupboards. This quilt top was made a few years back when I was determined to use up all the jelly rolls I had collected. This pattern is called ‘Garden Trellis’ from the book ‘Jelly Roll Quilts’ by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I have finally finished the quilting using straight line quilting with the aid of a ruler, following the pattern lines. The fabric range is Peace on Earth by 3 Sisters for Moda.

Slowly growing, a little bit at a time….seed pods, gum nuts and gum blossoms

I am really enjoying my new project as it slowly takes shape.

The needle turn appliqué comes to life as each layer is added. I am using up all my scraps and left over pieces of Japanese yarn dyed fabric, and hoping that I have enough of the pinks in my stash of scraps to complete the blossom flowers……I bought them in Japan a few years ago.

The subtle colours all bounce off each other and bring the design to life.
On their own they look pale and a little insipid, together they blend perfectly and compliment each other. I am using silk thread in a colour that matches the fabric and a fine milliners needle for the appliqué. The colonial knots are made using Japanese Sashiko cotton. I am also happy with my choice of background fabric with its soft spot design.

New year…..New projects

It is exciting being back in the studio designing two new projects which involve lots of different techniques……from paper foundation piecing, English paper piecing with cardboard, raw edge machine appliqué, a little piece of colouring with Fabrico markers and of course, needle turn appliqué using lovely Japanese yarn dyed fabric.

Here is a peak of my progress so far.

A fun baby quilt using bright prints and lots of different techniques.
A needle turned appliqué project using subtle Japanese Yarn dyes.

Very honoured to be featured in ‘Quilters Companion’ magazine #107….In The Studio

More than 20 years ago, Lyn Keogh was encouraged by a friend to enrol in a beginner patchwork class at the local high school. Over the term of the course, the ladies each made 12 hand-pieced traditional blocks using English paper piecing to complete a sampler quilt. “We were only allowed three fabrics — a light, a medium and a dark,” Lyn recalls. “I can still remember drafting each of the patterns by hand on thin cardboard.” Lyn dabbled in various small projects over the following years, however with small children and working full time as a primary school teacher, it was a hobby that was only indulged in occasionally.

Quilters Companion is available from craft shops and newsagents Australia wide, or digitally through Zinio or the Apple Newsstand. To purchase a subscription, visit http://ow.ly/2rXs50CKlpX

Having a little bit of fun……

I have been experimenting with free motion quilting designs, creating patterns and texture to fill a shape. The finished quilt panel highlights how quilting enhances your projects and brings them to life. From simple in the ditch and straight lines to stippling, lots of background fillers, circles and feathers. The cot panel provides an excellent start for some creative sewing to fill each coloured shape using a variety of coloured threads.

Free Motion Quilting Sampler

A Small Project….A Doodle Diary

Here is an extension of my Inktense Pencil work, a notebook slip cover. All quilters need that extra space to doodle their quilting designs in pencil before stitching them with the needle. The cover is a miniature interpretation of Helen Godden’s Danish Delights design. When teamed with the soft batik fabric it works well as a notebook cover, made with soft Pellon as batting to enhance the quilting. A lovely small gift to make for a special quilting friend.

‘Alice in Wonderland’

A cute wall hanging made for my 6 year old granddaughter. It will be part of her Christmas gift this year. The designs are ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ by Helen Godden. I minimised the images and coloured them with Inktense pencils before releasing the colour with fabric medium. Each block was outline quilted with black rasant thread before quilting the background in cream Magnifico thread by Superior Threads. The quilt was constructed as quilt-as-you-go. I then added a scallop border to frame the blocks.

Some more colouring with Inktense Pencils

I have been spending some relaxing days colouring and shading with my Inktense Pencils.

The designs are by Helen Godden, her Danish Delights patterns which are based on Helen’s favourite pieces of silver jewellery from Danish silversmiths from the 1930s and 1940s. The subtle colour created by the pencils works really well on the printed cream cotton fabric. The fabric print provides an added element to the design with the fabric weave showing through. The designs are outlined with a black sharpie pen onto the cream fabric then coloured. I used a textile medium to release the pencil colour as this helps prevent bleeding from one area to the next. The final step is the quilting, with some subtle white quilting in the background and black thread to enhance the design.

I decided to use each design as the centre for a series of placemats.

Experimenting with Free Motion Machine quilting

An excellent way to experiment and develop your free motion machine quilting is to play with a fabric panel. Here is a cot panel I have been enhancing . . It lets you be creative and experiment with different fill designs plus allows you to quilt on the printed lines ( similar to quilting in the ditch) to outline each shape. A quick and easy way to prepare a cute quilt for someone special.

‘Canopy’ quilt

Here is the finished quilt made with the Flour Garden fabrics designed by Linzee Cull McCray for Moda Fabrics. The quilt pattern is called Canopy, from Clark Street Quilts. I added an extra border to make it fit a queen size bed. I love the quilt and it’s soft, crisp colours. It goes perfectly with the colour scheme in my bedroom. This will be a surprise for a special friend who gifted me the fabrics….I still have to finish a matching quilt for me.

Canopy using Flour Garden fabric

Friendship

I had a lovely surprise a few months ago when the mail man delivered a parcel of 36 fat quarters, a beautiful gift from a dear friend. The fabric is ‘Flour Garden’ by Linzee Kull McCray for Moda Fabrics. I wanted to make something special. I worked out there was enough fabric to make 2 queen size quilts if I added a cream background fabric. One for me and one for my special friend. We will have matching quilts. Clark Street Quilts had designed the quilt ‘Canopy’ using these fabrics…..this worked perfectly with the fabric quantities I had.

After lots of cutting and sewing I have 72 twelve inch squares, 36 for each quilt.
I am now in the process of quilting the first quilt……the second quilt is still to have its 12 inch squares pieced together. I think that will be kept for a rainy day in the future.

The quilting is the fun part. I enjoy seeing the design being transformed into a soft, textured quilt.

Indigo and White

Our guest room needed some wall art. To match the Japanese inspired bed linen I searched my stash for Japanese fabrics in white and indigo. The circles are machine appliquéd onto contrasting 4 inch squares. Highlights were embroidered using cream sashiko thread. The machine quilting is very simple, in the ditch around the squares and outlining the circles. I also quilted over the fabric design in the border using a cream thread. The quilt was then framed. Really pleased with the end result.

Mysolation Mystery Quilt and fundraiser

I have been doing a few online mystery quilt projects during this time of self isolation. This one was designed by Rachelle Denneny as a fund raiser for Backpacks 4 kids SA Inc. It was a great way to use up lots of my bright Kaffe Fassett scraps. The design called for brights with a contrasting background. I chose this layout as it provided lots of opportunities for custom quilting designs.

Love using the Inktense Pencils.

I have finished the Alpha Block quilt, designed by Helen Godden. I really enjoyed experimenting and working with the Inktense pencils. Even though my background fabric was a light cream the colours worked beautifully, creating crisp clean tones which were easy to blend and allowed for fine detail work . I managed to finish the quilt in time for my Grandson’s 3rd birthday, it now hangs above his bed. I used a dark batik print for the sashing which blends nicely with the black quilting outlines.

How time flies……

It has been a busy time in the sewing room this month. I am on to my 3rd online mystery quilt and having some fun experimenting with Inktense Pencils.

I finally got my Gymea lilies back from the framers and it looks great hanging in the entrance way to our house. The black frame really enhances the design.

Reece Scannell Gymea Lily panel

I finished quilting the Batik mystery quilt. It was quilted all over with curved lines using quilting rulers to build up the design. The whole quilt was quilted using the small handiquilter universal ruler. The online mystery quilts have been fun to do, used up some of my fabrics, taught me different techniques and kept me in contact with other quilters from all over the world.

I also finished an online mystery quilt which was designed by Lessa Siegele with the South Australian Guild. It was a great opportunity to search the fabrics from my stash. The finished quilt has been donated to the Tumut CWA. They will use it as a raffle prize in their upcoming fundraiser. Hopefully it will help them raise much needed funds for their building project.

The next mystery quilt is using all my Kaffe Fassett scraps….looking forward to discovering the finished quilt design in a few weeks. The pattern is a Rachelle Denneny Design .. Mysolation Mystery Quilt.

I have also been experimenting with Inktense Pencils. Helen Godden Designs has released an alphabet quick called Alphblocks. I drew the design onto cream cotton then coloured with the pencils. The colour was activated with fabric medium, very similar to painting with water colours. Each block is 8 inches square. After drying it is then quilted with black cotton to highlight the pattern. When completed it will be a wall hanging, assembled as quilt-as-you-go. The detailed quilting is an excellent way to practice fine free motion quilting.

Until next time…..happy sewing.

A busy sewing time in social distancing

Thank goodness for my sewing room where I can relax and let the world float by. We have been in social distancing mode for 6 weeks and have only ventured out to take our bouncy labradoodle “Oscar” for a walk to the beach or visit the local shops for necessities. So between sewing, reading and a little bit of knitting I have easily filled in my days.


Being in stay at home mode I have managed to finish quite a few UFO’s that have been hiding in the cupboard plus participate in some on line ‘mystery quilt’ groups. These have been a lovely way to keep in contact with like minded quilters.
I finished the appliqué and quilting on the linen print of Gymea Lilies and it will be framed as a piece of wall art.

Gymea Lilies

I also quilted a UFO jelly roll top. It is a simple pattern and I have been experimenting with quilting rulers to create the quilting pattern.

The mystery quilt helped to use up some of my stash of batik fabrics. It was an excellent challenge in selecting light, medium and dark value fabrics.
After foundation paper piecing 72 flying geese it was a nice surprise to see the finished design. I managed to find enough dark value batik fabric to add a simple outside border and am now in the process of quilting it, trying to use my quilting rulers once again.

The same Facebook group have started another mystery quilt and being a devil for punishment I have signed up again. This time I have used some of my floral fabrics that have been lurking in the cupboard for years. I needed a good contrast between lights and darks….who knows how this one will turn out?

A different world – Staying at home in March 2020 due to Covid19.

Well here we are , self isolating, staying at home and only going out if really necessary. No babysitting, no visiting family and all social gatherings put on hold.

The result….lots of time in the quilting room. It is amazing how many online sewing projects have started. I have started an online mystery quilt with SAQG which has made me look through my stash for suitable fabrics. A new step is released each week …..so far Step 1, using lights and darks to make a four patch.

I have also found a panel I bought a while ago…A linen Reece Scannell print of gymea lillies. Hopefully it will become a wall hanging for our foyer. It is very challenging finding fabrics from my stash which will enhance the design but I am having lots of fun cutting and appliquéing fabrics to the black and white design.

It is rewarding to see the design pop with each addition. Now to work on the gymea lillies, a little more challenging.

Antique French Lace

Finally finished the quilting, here is ‘Antique French Lace’.
Only the binding and label to go.
Really happy with the way the linen highlights the quilting design. The pattern was inspired by a French lace handkerchief from 1875-1889.
All the fabrics are French cottons and chambrays appliquéd onto cream linen.

Welcome to 2020 – the year of the sea change

It has been a big start to the new year, not a lot of sewing but many changes as we moved house in January. The last month has been filled with unpacking boxes and settling into our new place on the South Coast of NSW. The added bonus is I now have a bigger and more flexible working space with a lovely balcony and bush view….

We moved to an area that was ravaged by the bush fires, but fortunately our house suffered no damage, only the front garden and bush opposite were burnt…. and now 8 weeks on and after a lot of cleaning up it is all starting to regenerate.
We are part of a community that is recovering from lots of stress and damage with everyone being very friendly and supportive, helping each other get their lives back on track. We have an easy 10 minute walk to the beach and I have found a friendly quilting group which meets 5 minutes from home every fortnight.

Our new house already feels like “home”.

The view from my sewing room

It is starting to feel a lot like Christmas….

It is that time of the year again and we are all thinking about gifts for those we love. It is always nice to give something home made with love. Here are a few snaps of my Christmas table runner, depicting lovely poinsettias which are needle turn appliquéd and embellished with small beads. It is handquilted and is the centre piece for our family table for the festive season.

‘Benjamin’ the friendly giraffe

Something different this month.

A dear friend has a new grandson – so what better excuse to sew something different. ‘Benjamin’ is named after the baby and was created from a ‘Melly & Me’ pattern using Kaffe Fassett fabrics from my stash. He has felt eyes and black wool for the mane and tail.

I also have been working on the quilt – Antique French Lace, adding the other 4 designs in the centre border. Lots of cutting and preparing the circles before they are appliquéd into place. Only one more to go, then the centre border will be complete.

English paper piecing – using eppiflex templates

Experimenting with eppiflex templates and English paper piecing using civil war reproductions fabrics……not quite sure what the end result will be but having fun working out the designs and colour choices, even a little bit of fussy cutting.

Just had my blue and white challenge quilt return home after a year travelling with Canberra Quilters suitcase collection. ‘Blue and White’ was the challenge for 2018. The design was based on a blue and white delft plate which hangs in my pantry. It is a whole cloth quilt, quilted with blue thread for the detail and white for the cross hatching.

More Jelly Rolls

Here are some more jelly roll quilts. The pink one is a disappearing 9 patch and the softer apricot and green one is from ‘Jelly Roll Quilts’ by Pam & Nicky Lintott – ‘Twin Stars’ design.

Another disappearing 9 patch. A cot quilt made from 4 fat quarters and scraps of light fabric from my stash.