Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Quilting retrospective!

 I wondered how many quilts I had made in 2013 and went back through my photos.

There are two  single bed sized quilts, one wall quilt/table topper and one large lap size (which I expect to finish by the end of the year).  These quilts have been quite challenging to make. Like all quilts they take time and effort to bring them together, but I am very pleased with them all.

                                                  "Afternoon Tea with Mum" quilt 

The Music Quilt

The Japanese Lake
(just now it is just a top and back and it may be done before the end of the year)

Welcome Freedom
Wall hanging/table topper

I have a "leader/ender" project on the go too. It has about 100 blocks out of a required 140 made so far. The pattern is a Jan Mullen's design called "Dark Nightz". I have made one of these before, enjoyed it very much. It is a great scrap quilt project.

This was also the year that I was able to get this old girl working again- and she is really lovely. Made in 1916 and still going strong.

Next year I will continue to work on my accuracy and on my scrap quilts.

I would like to find a cabinet where I could show off the quilts I have made -preferably with glass doors.

I want to tackle an applique quilt -I have been putting this off because I don't really like the technique, but there is a lot of lovely Japanese fabric left in my stash and I have just the pattern for it.

I also have plans to make a queen size quilt for my bed.

That should keep me busy enough!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Magical Aussie style Christmas

 It has been a magical Christmas day -for once, the weather was not too hot -only about 30 degrees Celsius, with a welcome breeze around noon, when we sat down to eat. We had DS and our lovely DIL with our little 19 month old grand daughter, and we had our DD and my DH's brother sit down at our patio table.

I went with a 'typical Aussie Christmas" theme in the decorations and the food.

We ate  prawns and chicken kebabs with mango salsa.

DH barbecued the steak and there were lots of salads: potato salad: pumpkin and beetroot with spinach and cashews: coleslaw; a garden salad; and a salad with cauliflower and peas and beans with a creamy orange dressing.

There was also a ham -of course- and  pineapple to go with it.

The non-compulsory desert was fruit salad with rosewater syrup and Eton smash. Everyone had some!

People chose their own drinks -but I enjoyed a very fine sparkling wine from Little River in the Swan Valley.

Coffee was most welcome after all that.

We had a lovely day.

There are lots of leftovers!

Good -that means my duties are at an end and I can go back to quilting through the Christmas -New Year shutdown at work.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The story of the music quilt

I have finished the music quilt!

This quilt started with a collection of music fabrics. Music has a big part in our lives, so it was pretty likely that one day I would make a music themed quilt. I wasn't sure whether this would end up as a gift, but in the back of my mind knew that my son's very strong interest in music would meant that, if it turned out OK, it might become a gift going in that direction.

I was actually a bit intimidated by the fact that I loved all of this music fabric. I wanted so much for this quilt to be special,  and that was a bit too much pressure -what if I spoiled all that lovely fabric?

The design breakthrough came via my son and son and daughter's old school friend
L, who is a young quilter. She showed me a panel from a local quilting shop which had musical instruments on it. We both bought a panel to see what we could do with it.

Then I found a bolt of fabric in a local fabric shop which had choristers in choir robes. From there I started playing on the design wall. I framed the choristers with music notation print fabric.

The problem I found with the musical instrument panel was that it felt too boring and predictable, even when the chorister blocks were interspersed with it.

The answer was to do some UnRuly letters which make up the words "Psalms, Hymns and Songs" from the verse in the bible Ephesians 5:19 -20. It is a favourite verse of mine.

Be filled with the Spirit,19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God.

As soon as I had posted this rather blurry picture of these words on Facebook, my son asked for the quilt to be his-and so the project found it's natural goal of being turned into a quilt to commemorate the Commissioning of my son and daughter in law as Salvation Army officers. I could see that the music quilt had both the stringed instruments which are so much a part of DS's life and the brass instruments were there for DDIL. 

The words I had chosen seemed pretty apt for a young couple going into ministry. 
From there the question was: how big is this quilt going to be? I had lots of music fabrics so I made some more blocks for a border. I framed the blocks with solids in browns from a collection of Kona cotton, which reminded me of colours of coffee and chocolate drinks.

I still thought it looked like it needed a lift, so I added a sort of soft orange border which picked up the colours of the instruments. 

Finally what binding would be used? I had thought of going with one of my favourite black on white prints, but I decided in the end to use with some lovely fabric which DS and DDIL had given me last Christmas. It actually has ornate crosses on it, and I thought it would be particularly apt to wrap the Commissioning quilt in the Cross.  Each Salvation Army class group is given a name and the name for my family's group is "Disciples of the Cross"

 We have just returned from the Commissioning, and were able to give the gift in person to my son and daughter in law.

There was a lovely moment when their little girl crawled all over the bed, pointing to the pictures of the musical instruments with great excitement.

 I am pretty happy with the way this turned out.