Blog

November Happenings

It was exciting to see my wall quilt ‘ Florabunda’ displayed on the cover of Quilters Companion GREAT AUSTRALIAN QUILTS magazine. #13

This version is a raw edge machine appliqué project using batik fabrics. The background is quilted in patterns that extend the floral design and the gum blossoms are embellished with colonial knots. The full pattern and instructions are listed as a project in the magazine.

FUN WITH INKTENSE PENCILS.

I had an enjoyable day with some lovely ladies in Batemans Bay. We experimented and played with our Inktense Pencils on fabric to create a placemat or small sample.

In this workshop I demonstrated how to outline the selected design on the fabric, various techniques used to apply the colours and how to quilt the finished piece with free motion machine quilting.

Below are some images of their work, well done to everyone who attended.

I also have been experimenting at home with my Inktense Pencils and wanted to see how they worked on linen. The Waratah was inspired by a photo my husband took on one of his photographic group outings.

Here is my finished version on cream linen, coloured with the pencils then free motion quilted.

Never throw out your scraps…….

With the warmer weather arriving it is time to change those thick winter doonas over. I had made several queen size quilts over the years but they never looked quite right on the beds as they were missing matching pillow shams.
Being reluctant to throw any fabric out I found all the matching off cuts filed away at the bottom of my stash… some of the quilts were made 10-12 years ago.

After a couple of rainy days and a jigsaw of odd shaped pieces I now have all my guest beds dressed for Spring. It was a good challenge for creative machine piecing.

South Coast Country Quilters Display

After moving to the coast three years ago, I became a member of my local quilting group which is affiliated with the South Coast Country Quilters Guild. After Covid lockdowns and lots of behind the scenes organisation the show was held at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club in September. This is a bi-annual show, so there were lots of entries, presenting around 190 quilts.

Many people volunteered their time to present a beautiful display, showcasing the talent of all the members. It was not a judged exhibit, but there were daily viewers choice prizes. It was such a diverse show with many beautiful pieces of handiwork. Everyone concerned should be very proud of their achievements.

I was fortunate to win a viewers choice each day of the exhibit…a different quilt each time. It was lovely to see my three entries all hung together. I also was awarded viewers choice for my small challenge quilt ‘Spring’.

40 Shades of Grey

Here is my version of Wendy Williams ‘40 Shades of Grey’….a colourful rendition.
I really had to move out of my comfort zone when using all these brights that had been hiding in my cupboards. It was a fun project to quilt as each square provided lots of opportunities to experiment with free motion patterns and play with my quilting rulers. The Line Tamer ruler was just the tool for all those striped patches.

It is the first time I used Glide thread and it didn’t miss a beat, Grey rasant in the bobbin. Very happy with the finished quilt…..plus by constructing it in a workshop situation I picked up some new tips and construction methods.

Spring is in the air.

A spring challenge. The finished piece measuring 12×16 inches. I decided to pullout the Inktense Pencils and have some colouring time followed by free motion quilting. The design is drawn onto the fabric using a permanent marker, then coloured.

Using a black thread, it is free motion quilted over the black outlines, adding details such as leaf veins as you go. The background is then quilted in a cream to blend in with the fabric.

The design was inspired by a large panel I had completed last year.

More Bits and Pieces – a different colour way.

I have been teaching a beginner class in patchwork piecing. Over 7 weeks we have constructed the blocks in my ‘Bits and Pieces’ Sampler quilt.

This time I decided to construct it as a quilt-as-you-go project. It made it more manageable for the students to see how you can quilt your own work with simple free motion quilting patterns. It is always lovely to see how others interpret the design and choose their own fabrics to create it in a variety of patterns and colours.

Bits and Pieces Sampler Quilt

Attending workshops.

I have been fortunate to attend a few patchwork, appliqué and embroidery workshops over the past few weeks. It is always interesting to learn other ways to work and apply new skills. There are many ways to achieve the same result. So many quilters have their own tips and tricks. Through workshops you can experiment and decide which technique works best for you. Along the way you have a great time socialising and working beside ‘like minded’ quilters.

Here are my finished projects from a series of workshops with Wendy Williams. I had so much fun completing the wool embroidery and decided to make the sample a centre piece in a cushion, made from scraps found in my ’pink’ stash. Wendy’s work is so bright and colourful. All her work creates happy projects.

The quilt is my version of her ’40 Shades of Grey’, once again it was a great stash buster which incorporated lots of new techniques. Now I have the challenge of quilting it.

I have also had the pleasure of seeing the pattern and instructions for my quilt ’Whimsical Houses’ published as a project in the current issue of Quilters Companion #116.

Bits and Pieced

I have just finished ’ Bits and Pieces ’ – a sampler quilt.

It showcases lots of bright fabrics set on a background of various grey prints. With all the differing greys it was great for using up some of my stash. Each block has been individually quilted with its own design.

I have used raw edge machine appliqué, foundation piecing, english paper piecing and simple machine pieced blocks. It is designed as a sampler quilt to incorporate lots of different patchwork techniques.

An Exciting Week

It has been a busy ‘Quilting’ week for me…….AQC in Brisbane on the weekend and back to Canberra on Tuesday to hang quilts in our Annual Guild Exhibition, which is being held at the Canberra Craft Alive event. The official opening was yesterday and my quilt ’Antique French Lace’ was awarded Bernina Best in Show. It was a lovely honour. Thankyou Bernina for sponsoring this award and supporting the Canberra Quilting Community.

Canberra Quilters have a beautiful display of quilts made by many talented quilters.

To see photos of all the quilts, including the prize winners, visit https://canberraquilters.org.au/2022-virtual-exhibition/

Australian Quilt Convention 2022

I had the pleasure of a quick trip to Brisbane to attend AQC, where the winners from the 2019 Guild Shows were being exhibited and judged for the National Bernina Best in Australia Award. It was lovely to be able to join together after such a long hiatus due to Covid restrictions.

It was a colourful showcase of work by many talented quilters. I felt honoured that my quilt ‘Utsukushi Omoide – Beautiful Memories’ representing the ACT, was displayed with all the other state winners. Congratulations to Catherine Butterworth for her quilt ’Star Crazy’, which was awarded Best of Australia.
Thankyou Bernina for sponsoring such a prestigious event for Australian Quilters.

A place for Everything

I decided to try a Byannie pattern, a bag with lots of pockets for my quilting workshops.

It was a lot more involved than I thought , definitely not a weekend project.
It was the first time I had sewn with mesh or plastic, but they are great materials for making pockets. You can see all your bits and pieces easily.

It was challenging and tricky in parts, but I am really happy with the finished bag.

Memories of Alex

In 2005 we lived in Geneva and our children attended the International School. One of my daughter’s closest friends stayed with us for a few months so she could complete her International Baccalaureate. As a thank you gift she gave me a beautiful delft plate. This was the inspiration for my latest project, ’Memories of Alex’.
I love how all the beautiful shades of blue create depth in the design.

Raw edge machine appliqué was the obvious method to use as all the shapes had many curves and points.
All the blue fabric came from my stash, using up those small pieces left over from previous projects. The appliqué pieces were machine sewn using a double blanket stitch in a colour to match the fabric. I then outline quilted the design with a dark blue to highlight features such as the veins in the leaves and petals.

The background is free motion quilted in a cream thread in a pattern that enhances the appliqué and extends the floral design.

Memories of Alex

Back to school

Well holidays are over and everyone is getting back into routine with school and work. If you are like me, the grandchildren are getting ready for a new school term…… can you please take up the school uniforms, make some new library bags?

Here is my attempt at library bags. Made from calico with the images outlined in black sharpie then coloured with fabrico markers. The designs are from Helen Godden’s alphabet collection……Z for Zoe and C for Charlie, my two grandchildren.

The Fabrico markers worked well and give a nice even colour to the designs. Outline quilted with black rasant thread over the black sharpie outlines.

12 Days of Christmas

I have completed another design by Helen Godden, the 12 Days of Christmas.

The designs were drawn into cotton fabric using a black sharpie, then coloured with Inktense Pencils. I used a textile medium to release the colour so that bleeding would be minimal. Some ’bling’ was added with the gold lumiere paint in the striped frames and number outlines.

All the blocks were sewn together, adding sashing and borders before being quilted. The designs were outlined and detailed with black quilting, then the backgrounds and sashings were quilted with a cream polyester.

12 Days of Christmas
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Another pleasant surprise

I entered a quilting Challenge run by River City Sewing Centre in Queensland. It was to quilt the ’Sunshine Soul ’ panel, called ’Flowers of Eventide. I was so surprised to win the award for hand guided quilting. The photos were judged by a panel of international judges, blind without reference to the quilters name or the machine used. Thankyou to River City Sewing Centre and Bernina who sponsored the award. I outline quilted and added details to the image in black, then quilted the background in cream. I extended the design into the background negative space to create texture and interest. All the quilting was done on my Sweet 16.

Another ‘Garden Trellis’

Here is the second version of ’Garden Trellis’ using up the Floragraphix V range by Jason Yenter. A slightly different colour way . I quilted it with the same all over hook and feather design. I am really happy with how both quilts came together.

The pattern is called ’Jelly Weave’ by Cluck Cluck Sew.

Garden Trellis 2

Canberra Quilters’ Virtual Exhibit 2021

I was honoured to be awarded the Bernina Best of Show for my quilt ’Coming Home’.

Thankyou you Bernina and all the exhibition sponsors for supporting our state guilds and encouraging creativity within the quilting community.

‘ Coming Home ‘ was also awarded first place in small quilts professional, excellence in stationary machine quilting, the embellishment award and retaining the tradition.

‘Coming Home’

My challenge entry ’Florabunda ’ was also awarded First Place.

‘Florabunda’

All the lovely quilts can be viewed in Canberra Quilters online gallery.

‘Milla’s Quilt

Milla’s Quilt
My pattern for Milla’s Quilt is a project in the current issue of Quilters Companion Magazine #112.
It is a quick and easy design using a charm pack, all raw edge appliqué using machine blanket stitch, with simple quilting. A lovely cot quilt for the little one in your family.

‘Milla’s Quilt’

More Playing with my Inktense Pencils

I decided to make some placemats for Christmas Gifts, colouring the design with my Inktense Pencils.

I used a cream cotton for the background so that the subtle cross hatch pattern on the fabric showed through the image. The design is outline quilted in black thread, then free motion quilted with a cream in the background. The black outline quilting can be clearly seen in the back of the placemats.

I added some small dots of silver ’bling’ using a pearlescent fabric paint to the tips of the gum blossom and flower centre.

I am really happy with the finished results and found a perfect green fabric in my stash for the binding.

A Splash of Colour

Garden Trellis

Here is a trellis style, pieced quilt, using the Floragraphix V range of fabrics by Jason Yenter.
The pattern is called Jelly Weave by Cluck Cluck Sew.

The colours are bright and fresh. I have quilted it with an all over hook and feather design. An all over repetitive design is a good way to help build up confidence in just ’going for it’ when quilting a continous pattern.

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.