Sunday, February 5, 2012

My first ever quilt

I have finished the quilt, all hand stitched, many hours of work. The quilt travelled across Australia over Christmas while I visited family in Perth. I found the navy material in an op shop while there. It was perfect to bring it all together.

In early January we drove from the Sunshine Coast to Townsville (2 days drive) to present the quilt to my daughter for her 21st birthday. I sat in the back of the car working hard on hand quilting the whole thing. I finished the last stitches as we drove into Townsville!

I backed the quilt with a maroon sheet which also acted as the edging. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt. I will have to get my daughter to take one for me and post it later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sad stitches

Well I must apologize and explain my absence from my blog. My mother came for a 2 week visit in early september and has not been able to return home. I took her to my doctor with a chest cold and he diagnosed Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer). It has been a downward spiral ever since. Blood tests, pokes, prods, xrays, MRI's, CT Scans, chemotherapy, massive doses of pain killers......almost too much for an 81 year old woman to bear.

Unfortunately I fear she has had this disease for some time and I am very angry with her own GP for not picking it up sooner. You would think losing at least 20kg in weight last January, would have been an indicator. Not to mention the blood test results he overlooked. She was under a lot of stress at the time with her husband being diagnosed with dementia and providing 24hour care for him. Her GP put it down to that, no further investigation necessary, apparently!!

She has been in hospital for the last two weeks and has now been moved to a paliative care unit indefinitely. Life can be very cruel.

I have been stitching through this time, it helps sooth the soul and while away the hours in waiting rooms. I am attempting to make a large quilt for a very special person who shall not be named at the moment.

This blue and white linen cloth was rescued from an op shop and is the centre-piece and inspiration for the quilt. I have appliqued a woven heart to the centre.

Below is part of the design progress. It has changed some what since this pic was taken but you can get some idea of where I'm heading. The white backing is a queen size sheet which shows the scale of the project. I'll hopefully find some time soon to get some more detailed pics.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nine Patch addiction

I just love stitching these nine patches. I have 15 of them so far. I think they will grow into a quilt of sorts but at this stage I just enjoy the stitching. I might branch out into other colours but for the moment just working with the blues and tea dyed fabrics.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Magic Feather Project

Jude Hill has a fantastic project going on here. I have had a wonderful time stitching my feathered piece. It will be flying away to Jude on Monday.

I have called it "Feathered Rainbow Reflections". This has been stitched on a piece of parachute silk rescued in 1942. My stepfather lived on a farm next to an airfield in far northern Australia. A parachutist missed the airfield and came down in a tree on his farm. The parachute was salvaged from the tree and some of the silk was used to make underwear for the family during the wartime period. My mother hand dyed some of the silk many years ago and this is what I have used. She still has more of the original undyed silk which eventually (I hope) will be passed on to me.

A cloth with a very long history and who knows what it will become in the future. But for the present this small piece is flying (again) across the world to join in feathered unity.

Very worried feathers have got lost in flight to Jude, sent 3 weeks ago, hope they are just hovering somewhere and will eventually drift to their destination!

Hooray, finally arrived! (only took a month, talk about snail mail!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lucky me

I was lucky enough to win a give away from Judy's Fabrications blog and I received this wonderful package in the mail. The faerie shoes are delightful and would you believe this is the first ever ATC I have received. Thank you very much Judy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A bird is nesting

I saw this pic on someone's blog of a humming bird in a nest and loved it.

Unfortunately I can't remember which blog I saw it on. The picture gave me the inspiration to start my latest piece. If anyone recognises the picture can you please advise so I can give credit to the photographer.

I chose three shades of green and cut numerous leaf shapes which have been basted on to some cream flannelette backing. There is a lot more stitching to come, finer branches and more leaves..... lots more growth to come.

For the nest I have used some white silk which has been dyed using pottasium permanganate. This is an interesting technique which I picked up from Ailee Snow who was my tutor at the Tafta Orange Fibre Forum in April.

Place dampen silk pieces in an alfoil tray, scrunching them into folds, then lightly sprinkle over the pottasium permanganate crystals. The crystals eat into the fabric leaving lovely lacey patterns and staining the fabric. The process works faster on lighter weights of silk, so it's just a matter of checking the fabric every so often to see how much has been eaten away. Medium weight silks take approximately 2 hours. This process will work on any natural fibre material. I experimented with various natural fabrics with varying degrees of success but I found silk works the best. This is a piece I did in class which I have used for the nest.

PS: Can anyone else see a cat on the lower left hand side of the piece. Enlarge for a better look!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heart Banners

I know it has been quite awhile since I've posted but my fingers haven't been idle. These banners were started months ago but only just finished. The background is woven pieces of blue stripe material.

The banners were inspired by my previous piece the Heart book mat seen here