I have finally completed my appliqué for the display at the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show. Inspired by the birds who along with possums ate all my fruit, it did not take long to stitch as I had done all the planning weeks ago. The photocopy I made of the challenge fabric was essential for the fussy cutting of the bird shapes. I just used the hole left after cutting out the paper pattern to find the correct part of the print.
The appliqué of the birds was done using a partial stitching and unit construction method I learned in a workshop with Jane Townswick. It meant I could place each element exactly where it needed to go on the fabric. After cutting out the the head and upper wing section I stitched the seam where it met the body, then ironed on that freezer paper shape and cut it out with seam allowance. Same for the tail feathers.
I lightly stuffed the fruit and birds while stitching them onto the background. Again the photo of my design proved invaluable in getting the placement just right. After doing an outline stem stitch using a single strand of embroidery thread around the birds and adding details, I hand stipple stitched the whole background.
You can have a sneak peek at other responses to the challenge on the Waverley Patchworkers website.
I spent all of Thursday at the Australasian Quilt Convention held at the Melbourne Exhibition buildings. There were so many fabulous quilts on display most of my time was spent viewing the show, the rest was catching up with friends and a little shopping.
Without doubt the quilt that dominated the building was that by tutor Susan Carlson of Stevie a life-size saltwater crocodile. In 2013 I was lucky enough to do a class with Susan at the Taupo Symposium so have a small understanding of the process involved in the creation of this quilt.
The night before heading off to the exhibition I had a quick flick through what was on offer and a make and take workshop by Frangipani Fabrics from Tasmania caught my eye. I was not disappointed. It was of a Blue Wren using EPP. Jess was a patient teacher and there was a complete kit for the class. Although I only joined three segments in class, I have the whole bird together now and only need to appliqué it to a background and embroider the legs and add the eye.
For a number of years and for a number of reasons I have not been able to get through the door into the room where I think about, look for inspiration and plan my quilting. Not a case of quilters block; but literally blocked by bags and boxes of stuff from elsewhere. It has been just as hard to find fabric and thread as that storage area had become a bit of a dumping ground too.
After clearing out and appropriately disposing of the non quilting items, I did a bit of measuring and came up with a furniture arrangement that I thought would work better. A magazine cull was also well overdue, so the task I had set myself was getting bigger not smaller. My sewing machine collection is also largely in this space, so getting it organised meant moving a lot of cast iron.
Part way through I realised that a lot of shelf space had been taken up by my toy sewing machines so I treated myself to a display cabinet just for them. Flat pack assembly was added to the list of things to do. Always entertaining when there is a cat about!
Finally finished I turned to the fabric and rather than just put things away, embarked on a total revamp of that area too, meaning everything had to come out – into the room I had just finished organising so well.
But it is now all done, welcome to my inspiration space!
The wardrobe for this room backed on to the one for the adjacent room and occupied some of the understair space. I had previously taken off the doors and the divider to make a fabric, threads and notions storage cubby which also joins the two parts of my sewing room. A big roll of wadding is slung from the ceiling in here and the catalogue drawers hold all sorts of trimmings.
Looking back from the yet to be tidied room where my working machines, design wall and cutting table are located you can see right through to the garden where the new succulent tub attracts lots of birds.