Sunday, November 4, 2012

Museum Medallion

I had the loveliest day recently. Judy Newman of A Very Fine House came down to the Peninsula to run a class on making her beautiful Museum Medallion quilt at Treehouse Textiles. I had been looking forward to spending a day at the Treehouse since it opened, and had my heart set on making Judy’s quilt since I’d first seen it almost a year ago. The day lived up to all I had looked forward to: the peaceful bush setting, a delicious morning tea and lunch and the laughter and good company of other quilters.
In getting started on my Museum Medallion quilt, I was keen to find a large floral for the wide border. Thankfully I was eventually able to locate the one I’d had my eye on from an old French General range, Maison de Garance. And after a trip to Amitie, I had the second of my borders, a lovely slightly textured cotton/linen fabric, Etoffe Imprevue Leaf Stripe by a Japanese designer Yoko Saito for Lecien.
 I love a scrappy (not too-co-ordinated) look, so it was fun to raid the shelves of both Amitie and the Treehouse, as well as my humble stash, to come up with a shoebox full of fabrics for piecing. No shortage now.
  Off to a great start...
And going well, until ...
 ... the awful realisation that my medallion was taking on an undesirable wavy effect, you can see it in the photo below.In the hope that things might somehow all work out in the end, I continued on adding the triangle border. Unfortunately the problem only became worse, and so eventually I made the difficult but necessary decision to employ the one tool in every quilter's kit that none of us ever want to use - the unpicker!

Since retracing the offending template and repeating the semi-circle border more carefully than I did the first time, things have been sailing along pretty well. Today I finished attaching the first of the "squares on point" borders, and am very happy with how it's progressing. I really enjoy handpiecing and though it's very time-consuming, am finding it very therapeutic and relaxing. Here's my quilt so far, photos taken in the garden today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A parcel peeping

As far as days at work go, yesterday was not the best. However things brightened up at the end of the day over a cuppa with a dear friend and some serious contemplation of fabrics. Then even more when I noticed a parcel peeping out of my letter box as I arrived home. How exciting!

What a beautiful treasure I’ve received. An absolutely gorgeous heart pieced from one inch squares of Liberty fabrics in a range of pinks: cerise, raspberry, fuchsia, rose, magenta and coral. It sits so restfully on the grey spot background with echoes of the heart lovingly hand-quilted in creme perle. 

Created by Louise of Lululollylegs

I have loved Liberty fabrics and scarves for as long as I can remember. Here's a favourite Liberty postcard.

Catalogue by Joyce Dennys
Illustration from the 1930’s “She bought a Liberty scarf”

Visiting the Liberty Store in Great Marlborough Street, London was one of the highlights of my UK holiday last year. Here are a few photos from my visit.
Buckets of glorious blooms are
brightening the streetscape
Chandelier seen from each floor
Amy Butler was due to visit
that very afternoon
Whilst fabric and Liberty goods are displayed on some levels, others feature beautiful kitchenware, homewares, clothing, perfume, jewellery and so on. Here's a fun YouTube video that takes you on a 2 minute tour around the store. 

To receive a quilt made from my all-time favourite fabric by one of my favourite quilters has brightened my whole week. The dull steel filing cabinet alongside my desk has been transformed by an object of exquisite beauty. Notice the gorgeous little fat quarter rolls and pink ric-rac that came in my parcel too. How lucky am I ?! (And the pink ric-rac is exactly what I needed for a new project I’m brewing up.) Thanks Louise!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Down Under Doll Quilt Swap Round 3

I've just taken part in the third round of the DUDQS. To explain the concept of this to anyone who doesn't either quilt or blog is a bit of a challenge. "Well it's this weird kind of cyber-photo-sharing-friendship-quilting group. Get it?"

A few friends and family members have looked at me rather quizzically. Why would you ponder for hours, days and weeks over what to make for a person you don't know, have never met nor are likely to meet and whose tastes you can only guess about?

But it's been fun and although I wouldn't actually recognise the other participants if I fell over them, I've enjoyed meeting and getting to know other fabric fanatics online. I have to admit, one not-so-fun aspect has been being a little anxious about whether my creation is worthy enough for its recipient. I've been enjoying all the photos being shown on Flickr and am constantly amazed at how creative and clever people are. So many stunning quilts. But one can also feel a little daunted by the prospect of making something that won't quite be up to scratch. So it was with boldness that I wrapped up my quilt, popping a couple of extra goodies inside, and posted the parcel off to NSW this morning.

Looking at my partner's Flickr mosaic, I was inspired by the beautiful warm yellows and soft greys. Yellow's not my usual colour, so it was good to branch out and play with something different. I was also inspired by the contemporary take on dresden-plate-like  patterns that she had featured. So off I went. Here's a link to the fabrics I started out with.

Take 1 : far too traditional, was scrapped.

Take 2: I liked the idea of using the dark grey to create a kind of window frame
The finished quilt, yellow grey binding being picked up by the new leaves on the Golden Robinia tree in my garden.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

72 Derwents

Welcome to my blog, 72 derwents. When I was a child, I loved to read, write and draw. As long as I had a book or paper and pencils, I was content. I can recall the sense of bliss I would have sitting at my desk, with my treasured box of 72 Derwent pencils and cartridge paper at my fingertips.

These days I love to sew. The colours, patterns and textures of an assortment of fabrics bring me great pleasure and happiness. I look forward to sharing my projects, some old ones completed over the years and a few current.

Recently I purchased these beautiful wools and natural linen from Amitie Textiles. I’ll be attending a Sue Spargo workshop in August and had called in to pick up my supplies.

Our task prior to the class is to applique our shapes onto a background. I chose leaves from a few options Sue had presented, and linen as a background as I'm thinking I might make a cushion. I used these lovely wool threads and whip stitch to applique them on, no need for needle-turn which was a great relief as I have very little experience (or the patience) for this method. Hopefully one day, I'll graduate to needle-turn.

Here's my work so far. I love the patterns and textures of the wool.

Sue will then teach us how to embellish our work through embroidery and the application of velvets, beads, ribbons, etc. I’ve rummaged through my supplies and found a few bibs and bobs that I might be able to use.

I love looking at Sue's inspirational blog and I am really looking forward to the workshop. I'm hoping to google some embroidery stitches and practise a few before the day. I'd love to hear from you if you know of any good tutorial websites.