One of the first quilt guilds formed in Melbourne and still going strong is the Patchworkers and Quilters Guild of Victoria – referred to in all conversations as Ps and Qs. I visited their Biennial Exhibition in Blackburn South and was treated to a display of all sorts of quilts.
One by a familiar quilter was bearing a ribbon and special label, congratulations Fran.
The very textural piece does not photograph well, it is of a view of the Liffey River in Northern Tasmania.
I was really taken with a quilt featuring the Seven Sisters block. While the label did not reference the Pleiades I think the positioning sort of resembles the constellation.
In which case the sisters are Asterope, Taygeta, Maia, Celaeno, Electra, Merope and Alcyone. The quilting adds great movement to this piece.
The cute Blue Hedgehog is one of a pair of linen cushions embroidered with Cottage Garden threads. I new use for the very popular Enchanted Forest colouring book.
The guest speaker at last night’s meeting of Waverley Patchworkers was Janette McInnes aka The Plain Needlewoman. She donated a couple of packages to the raffle that is run each meeting. The proceeds this month went the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
And surprise, surprise I was a winner!
On opening the bundle this morning I discovered an interesting collection of pieces from very worn hand quilted quilts, a fancy work doily in the shape of a flower and a penny square. These will find there way into some projects eventually I guess.
It has been a long time between quilt shows. At least a month. Today’s journey was down the right hand side of Port Philip Bay to Mornington and the Mornington Peninsula Patchworks Quilt Exhibition. The new venue, the Peninsula Community Theatre, was easy to find and proved to be a big, light filled space.
The foyer was packed with lots of shops and it appeared that most of the visitors took the opportunity to add a little something to their stash.
The show featured a retrospective by Margaret Bloore as well as the usual member display. Margaret began quilting around 2001 and has complete 83 quilts to date. She is largely self taught and very much influenced by Jinny Beyer and more recently the foundation piecing style of Judy Niemeyer. Her quilts filled one corner of the hall, an amazing display.
I was very happy to see this trio of quilts that I have watched growing over the past few years. Congratulations to Wyn, Sally and Marilyn, they all looked fabulous.
Wyn’s version of Jenny Bowker’s Shimmering Triangles is for her granddaughter. Sally simplified the Judy Niemeyer pattern Garden Wall by omitting the appliquéd vines. Those skinny points are achieved with paper piecing. Marilyn has spent four years hand piecing her circles quilt. The pattern is Lessa Siegele’s Ring Cycles.
Other quilts that stood out for me was a wagga with the very large beetle and yet another one by Margaret Bloore, Majestic Mosaic, pattern by Karen Kaye Buckley. The colours are fantastic and machine appliqué is very effective.
This block was started in a workshop with Deirdre McElroy of Roxanne’s products a very long time ago. The design is on of five ginkgo leaf patterns based on Japanese Family Crests. At the time I was just a beginner at needle turn appliqué and learned a lot.
Recently I needed some hand sewing to take to a get together and retrieved the package of fabric and pattern from the bottom of a basket. Fortunately the appliqué was thread basted and so no problems with rusty pins! I really enjoyed completing the block, but did not have any more of the fabric, which really didn’t work well anyway.
After a hunt through my stash I found two very different fabrics that worked well together and so got started on this new project. My skills have obviously improved as stitching the five blocks was no challenge at all. It helps having a finely woven batik that turns like a dream and a very fine needle and thread.
All the blocks were finished and assembled by the end of July. I added a border to protect the edges as lots more appliqué is needed before the top is complete.
The gold fabric I chose looks beautiful but it has quite a loose weave in the self stripe. This has made the reverse appliqué of the bamboo quite tricky. Lots of tiny stitches are needed to hold everything in place. This has slowed progress but I have finally completed the first of the eight setting triangles.
I spent a most enjoyable day at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. As usual most of the time was spent catching up with friends, doing a little shopping and looking at the wonderful showcase of quilts.
It was also very exciting to see lots of members of my quilt group Waverley Patchworkers doing well in the judged competition. All the grinning winners can be seen at Waverley Winners at Showcase 2017.
Other quilts that I felt deserved a really close look were:
Best of Show Colourful Retina by Sugy Kim. It is mainly executed by hand including the quilting. My guess is the detailed print fabric seen in the third photo is a Liberty and was the starting point for this quilt.
Jacobean Revival, a small quilt by Julie Adamson. The background, quilting and some of the appliqué fabrics are silk. It won awards for excellence in appliqué and hand quilting.
Another appliqué quilt, but with very different subject matter. It reminded me of a collectors case. The vine is adapted from a William Morris pattern. Called Dance of Life – There’s always one out of step it is by Lisa Anderson and quoted by Nola Williams.
There were a few special displays, one showing different ways of using 9 patch blocks.
As for shopping, only some fusible web I need for a workshop I am running in August, a ball of wool I think will be interesting to use in both warp and weft of my next weaving practice and a book on Tapestry Weaving. The selection of fabrics is a gift from a friend- all because I commented on the design using Roman Numerals, can you spot them. I now have a full range of colours to use in something special.
The July task for Waverley Art Quilters was to create an abstract composition. A number of approaches were suggested, so I took bits out of each one.
One suggestion was to look at a work by an abstract painter and focus on one part of that work. Another was to take an image, divide it into nine and using one part simplify the shapes. Changing colour combinations was a further suggestion.
I reviewed photos taken at recent exhibitions and settled on one of a painting by John Olsen. The photo I used was of a detail of this work, showing wattles and birds.
My second stimulus was photos I had taken recently of my Cootamundra in bloom. It wasn’t just the bright yellow blossoms but also the loud buzzing of all the bees that attracted my attention at the time.
I reduced the image of the tree to black and white with high contrast and focussed on the rectangle at the lower left. I then went back to the original photo, enlarged it and traced out just the yellow elements.
I also made simple sketches of the bees and also the stem and leaf outlines that reminded me of the humming. My final colour scheme was the yellow fused onto a dark grey. I drew the bees with fabrico pen and then stitched a wandering yellow line on and off the raw edges, redrew the bees with black thread and quilted the humming lines.
The challenge for the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt In tomorrow is a 12″ block with the theme Winter. As it rarely snows here I tried to think of another way of showing cold overcast days. I found a cute print with people all rugged up on my last visit to Morris and Sons and so combined it with some greys. Once I decided on a unit, the elements were stitched together randomly. Then it was a real challenge placing them in the 9 patch array. And what was I thinking, all those partial seams!
Other quilting projects have been put on hold because I have caught a Mystery Sampler Stitch Along bug. I saw the pattern being worked at Carrum Downs in March and bought threads to use at the Knox Art Show. The pattern by Linen and Threads is released on the first of the month and I am just starting the April band. I’m working in one strand over one thread of 28 count linen because that suited the width of linen I could find. The Cottage Garden threads are hand dyed lengths so placing the variegations has been lots of fun, although it entails quite a bit of unpicking as I figure out each new pattern.
The only machine work finished this season so far is a Gift Quilt I started ages ago from a pre-cut design by Krista from Waverley Patchworkers. It is now basted and ready to quilt.