Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Art Deco Inspiration

At our last Saturday meeting at Julie's place there was quite a sense of industry happening. What happens when we all get together is that we pass on advice about new books, products and of course, fabrics. Someone often has a bright idea about a new pattern we might all launch into ( as if we need any more UFOs). It is such a great source of inspiration for us all.

On of our "less published sisters", Sue, is a great creative thinker. She is often working on things a little out of our "thinking square". At Julie's, we were lucky enough to see the evolution of her latest project. I don't think it has a name yet but it is inspired by the Art Deco period. Luckily, another of our dear sisters, Barb , is a member of the Art Deco society ( is that the correct title Barb?) and she has been able to help with books and papers for ideas and inpiration.

Sue has chosen a lovely colour palette of deep maroon reds, burgundy, blacks and some softer pale creams and apricots for the backgrounds. Di is always on hand to lend wise guidance about placement and the overall cohesion of the pattern. It is so unusual to see a pattern 'evolve' like this. It is a great credit to Sue's ability to see the ideas in her head then get them onto the fabric.

Of course, the rest of us just chime in with ideas and advice of a more general nature. We can all be depended upon to have an opinion to share.
Oh, and did I say that she is making it to give as a wedding gift. How generous is that?

This time I did not take the photos - left that to Sue so will incude them to share with you all.

Also in the photos you will see Julie's version of the Burnt Quilt(on the left). It is a treasure in the making. Her colours a so controlled and cohesive, tieing the various frames or borders together to frame each section. I wish I had her control! You can see the difference when side by side. By the way, Di was working on her new centre for the BQ. and it is to die for!!!! ( pardon the pun). Perhaps she will share it soon.

By the way, did you all see Deb's vibrant Not Quite telling the Truth quilt ? It is "WOW". Check it out on her blog.
Enough from me now
As always, happy sewing

PS. someone asked about the quilt on our banner - it is after Frederica Josephson (out of A. Gero's book, The Fabric of Society) made by us all with great love for Di.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A sneak peak....

The Sisters are getting a little excited (and a little anxious) about our invitation by Linda from Quilts in the Barn to be the featured quilters at her annual quilt hanging. Excited because we get the opportunity to share our quilts with lots of folk and anxious because well, let's face it, we just hope that all who attend like what they see.

To add to the sense of excitement, those of us who could, gathered at Merri's recently for a 'photo shoot' as Linda needed some photos to send to Australian Country Crafts (I think) for some pre show publicity. Now doesn't that sound important! Not really, it was very much a family affair with Di's daughter Nicci (a professional photographer) pointing the lens at us and our quilts. We were very grateful for the help of our honorary Sisters, Pat and Brian, who came in quite useful (and earned their keep - a slice of cake baked by Di) by holding up the quilts so that Nicci could take the photos.

That's Pat on the left and Brian on the right holding up one of Barb's quilts.

The photo above shows Merri and Deb with Merri's "Deb's Not Quite Telling the Truth, Easy Applique Quilt"

The quilt below is Ann's work. This photo really does not do the quilt justice. In real life it is a stunning combination of red, black and tea-dyed fabrics (for some unknown reason we all find it hard to use white in our quilts and often resort to tea).

At the moment October seems a long way off but I am sure it will be upon us before we can say "Jack Robinson". In the meantime, we are all working hard on getting one or two of the UFOs finished to add to the choice of quilts to hang. And we are all very grateful for the wonderful Helen Hayes who is working tirelessly on her long arm quilter to help us meet the deadline. Helen does beautiful quilting and always comes up trumps with gorgeous designs to complement our work.

Helen has just returned to us the raffle quilt for Quilts in the Barn that we have made. I hope you like it. We have called it The Sister's Peony Bouquet. It is a reproduction (what else) and while we all contributed blocks it was Di who put it all together and made the flying geese border.

I am not sure when tickets will be available but when they do please buy up big as all proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research.

Looking forward to meeting those of our blogging friends who can make it to Quilts in the Barn later this year,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A long time between visits...........

It has been some time since my last foray into blogland but have been stitching away like mad to get some UFO's finished for, you guessed it, Quilts in the Barn( QIB). The raffle quilt for QIB
has gone to Helen Hayes for quilting so will be wonderful I am sure. ( see Di's previous entry)

Last Thursday we car-pooled for the foggy journey to Sue's at Daylesford. Sue, as usual did not disappoint with her wonderful parsnip, celery & fennel soup and wonderful honey, date & ginger cake. I think we kept her so busy feeding us she did not sew a stitch! I made the soup this week and it was a big hit with the family, thanks Sue.

All of us sisters have been diligently sewing - Julie is surging ahead with her broderie perse blocks for the Burnt quilt, as am I. Barb has wrestled with, and got control of, that central border of triangles and is on her way. She had her beautiful version of Wedding Sampler to show us and it is ready for quilting now. Another one for Helen I think.

Di unveiled a new addition to the Burnt Quilt pattern for those who can't find a central panel or just love applique. We have all come to expect Di's applique to be beautiful and this one did not disappoint. I will leave it to her to share more later.

Clare was stitching bindings on three of her wonderful quilts (Jane Austen, Avignon & ????), having just returned from Katrina Wilson who did a wonderful job ( as usual ) quilting all three. She is a great quilter who has a real talent for it! Clare was suffering a little from sore hands - I think we all know that feeling after sewing the binding on large, heavy quilts. Surely this is not age????? Is it? Katrina also has my wedding rings so her quilting machine must be busy.

Ann was knitting her lucky grandson a lovely blue scarf and was on a deadline so she "click-clacked" all the way there and back. Kerry was working on a UFO - was it Flower Baskets or Mary Brown? Chris has just had eye surgery but was with as again and sewing but not sure what it was.

I have just put all my Burnt quilt pieces on the floor to check colour, placement, balance etc. I have a few snaps to show you but still haven't go a camera of great quality but you will get the idea. I have about six broderie perse/applique blocks to complete and still the half lozenges around the half star border. Nearly there though.
Good sewing everyone

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Last but not least....

My holiday is becoming a rapidly fading memory as work and life in general take over again. (I cannot believe it is nearly 4 weeks since I left Paris and began the journey home. ) So what have I got (photos aside) that helps keep the delight and enjoyment experienced while travelling alive?

For those that have been reading my earlier posts, you will note a distinct lack of information on purchases of the fabric variety. Well all I can say is that I have been saving the best to last! The Sisters have long been aware of the beautiful reproduction Dutch Chintzes from Den Haan & Wagenmakers. In fact Di has designed the Burnt Quilt around a tree of life panel from D H & W that we purchased from Threadbear. And, over the past few months, Di has developed a business relationship and friendship with Petra Prins, who in partnership with Nel Kooiman, owns D H & W.

So one of the first things I did when I arrived at Pour l'Amour du Fil in Nantes was to find Petra's stand and introduce myself to her. Petra is one of life's beautiful people - she exudes warmth and laughter and was so welcoming. I was delighted to meet her in Nantes. And completely fell in love with those wonderful chintzes! I determined then and there that my lasting memory of the holiday would be a purchase of said fabrics to make a quilt using ideas sparked while drooling over the exhibition at the V&A.

We were to meet Petra again in Veldhoven where Bev, Irene and I were welcomed like long lost friends. In between we also visited the D H & W shop in Amsterdam where Annelies was equally welcoming. And this is where I let the moths out of the wallet.

First purchase was this stunning border print.
Then came a beautifully presented box of strips of over 60 fabrics from the D H & W chintzes.
Don't you just love the pin cushion at the heart of the box. And finally a wonderful selection of the solids to complement all these gorgeous florals.
The photos really don't do the fabric justice as the colours are rich and saturated and, being chintz, all have got that wonderful polished finish. By our local standards, the fabrics are expensive although they are 60 inches wide. But really,when you see something so beautiful, and can turn memories into something to love and use for the rest of your life, who cares!

So for anyone travelling to Europe, and Amsterdam in particular, please, please visit D H & W. Or if you find yourself in Zutphen drop in at Petra Prins Patchwork and Quilting. You will not be disappointed.

Until next time,