Saturday, 30 November 2013

Magic Carpet

A few weeks back, Magic Carpet came out in Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol 23 No 2. It should still be at your local quilt store/newsagent, but the next issue is due out here any day now.

The block is one I drafted myself, and named Bazaar because the quilt reminded me of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. I don't claim that the block is original, but the design was mine.

This quilt has a scrappy appearance, but I don't really consider it scrappy quilt - though it could easily be made as such. My fabrics were carefully grouped and chosen from my stash, and many of the large centre squares were also fussy-cut to show-off certain parts of the large prints.

I do love the colour and print combinatons in the different blocks and their spicy jewel-tones, so here are a few more of my favourites...

I quilted it simply with the open feather I love so much. I used a light taupe Superior Bottom Line thread top and bottom, which blended well into the myriad prints and colours.

Now I'm off to do more feathering on my friend's quilt...

Continuous butterflies

I'm so far behind, it's a  bit hard to know where to start. So I'm starting with the easiest thing, which is the quilting I've been doing this evening. I offered to quilt my friend Joy's lovely quilt for her daughter, and have been busy with it this week. I've used a lovely pink champagne coloured Bottom Line thread top and bottom throughout. It blends nicely with the beautiful colour-scheme of white, cream, chocolate and soft reds of the pieced blocks, and shows up just enough for the butterflies on the solid cream.

The blocks in the centre were given an all-over treatment of open feathers, but Joy had mentioned she'd like some butterflies if possible, so the plain inner border has butterflies. I recalled this concept of swirling into and out of the butterfly from a pantograph I saw once, and adapted it for my purpose. Then I marked it on a piece of cardboard and cut out sections as needed, so I could transfer enough of a guideline to the fabric with an air-erasable marker.

The marks left me with a continuous design around the border, and I fudged the spacing a little so that each corner is the same.

Although I didn't mark the actual loops between butterflies (too fiddly to bother cutting the template!) I did mark the lines into and out of them. The extra cut-out was just an easy way to make space to cut the actual lines I wanted.

Sunday, 24 November 2013


So, it would seem that despite all intentions, my new blogging frequency is, well, infrequent! I've actually not been doing all that much quilting, although I do have a new finish to share as soon as I've photographed it. But this weekend I've been working on a customer quilt; here's a look form the back.

That circle is about 8in, and there are several the same size, and several about 12in. I really enjoyed quilting them, although the 12in ones were more difficult, as I couldn't quilt across the circles in one smooth movement on my DSM, despite the large space of the 820.

The quilt is roughly single (twin) bed size. I marked the circles by drawing around two different plates with an air-erasable marker, and everything else is quilted freehand. It's almost finished, and will be parcelled this evening, ready to post tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Desert inspiration

I spent some time in Coober Pedy for work last week. Coober Pedy is a desert town of around 1700 people, bang in the middle of South Australia - 850km north of Adelaide and a good 650km from any town of size. Pretty much the middle of nowhere!

Most of Coober Pedy

We left behind Adelaide under cloud cover and flew up the gulf, then quickly over the farmland around the top of Yorke and Eyre peninsulas and reduced cloud cover, before the clouds disappeared altogether and large areas of what appeared to be scrubland and large, dry salt lakes, then nothing but red desert for a very long way.

Opal mines seen just before landing

Coober Pedy came into being because of opal mining, and is Australia's (and hence the world's) opal capital. There are even opal mines in the main street! For some long-ago-determined reason, opal mining was restricted to small-scale operations, and the whole area is scattered with small holes (about a metre across) and surrounding mounds of white rock.

Looking back over the main street from a small lookout before dinner
Looking northwest out of town

It's an odd town, unlike anywhere  I've been before. It's a bit unsure of its identity, and full of surprises and contrast. Up to half the population lives in dugouts - houses dug into the side of the rock hills, which stay much cooler than typical homes. We were lucky with the weather - the week before it had been around 40C, which is not atypical even though it's over a month until summer, but we experienced tops around 30C - much more civilised!

 I went for a wander at dusk one evening, but most of my photos didn't
accurately capture the amazing colours or vastness of the desert sunset.

We had very little spare time around our work, but did manage a bit of a look around the place, and of course I took a heap of photos.

On the road to the airport - 2 minutes from town yet miles from anywhere!
The mines below were only about 100m from the road.

On the flight home I was also lucky to get this photo of the Moonta/Pt Hughes area on the Yorke Peninsula where my in-laws have their holiday home:

Surely there has to be a quilt out of the trip!

I'm in the middle of quilting one of my own quilts, and while it's coming along well enough, I'm just not inspired by it, so procrastination has been the order of the week. And as it's mostly black on black at the moment, any photos wouldn't show much, so I've not bothered.