Category Archives: quilting

Weaving sampler complete

I left my account of the Intro to Weaving Course run by the Handweavers and Spinners Guild with the loom in the boot of my car.

In the two weeks between class 2 and class 3 I finished the sampler. Here you can see it progressing.

The weave patterns are different in each column because the threading is different.

I had plenty of warp thread left so tackled some more challenging patterns with a small project in mind. This extra weaving was just finished before the Sunday class. There I cut the work from the loom – quite an event – and started on my next project, more on that later.

At home I twisted a fringe on the sampler and wet finished both pieces.

The little project is a notebook cover. I left it unlined because it looked good on the inside too.

I have been doing some quilting as well as weaving.

You may recall that in January I visited an exhibition of Helen Maudsley’s recent work at the NGV Ian Potter Gallery. My exercise for Art Quilters made in response to the exhibition is not quite as cryptic as Helen’t works.

I used three different Sun Dye colours, chamomile, kangaroo paw and grape to create the fabric, dyeing pieces two or three times with various resist objects and manipulations. This was then foundation pieced. It is not yet quilted.

In case you can’t guess the title, it is Cutting through red tape.



Basting – done!

Basting in the kitchen conjures up visions of turkey roasting in the oven. But this is where I do my quilt basting. The two trolleys that make up the island can be turned around to make one long bench.

I then use the board basting method where the backing and top are rolled around two long boards and the wadding floats in the middle. The weight of the rolls keeps everything flat and smooth.

My preference is for thread basting; no pins to undo while quilting and it doesn’t take much longer using a herringbone stitch. I find multiple needles threaded with quite a long thread spaced about a handwidth apart across the top is an efficient way of getting this job done quickly. Just stitch with each needle up to the roll. When all are done, slide the lot forward, flip the wadding over and unroll the backing, replace the wadding and unroll the top. Repeat.

All basted, now on to the quilting of the On Ringo Lake mystery quilt. But if I do take my time thinking about the quilting design there is no worry about safety pins leaving big holes.

The backing fabric was a good find on the discount shelf at Spotlight. Colour is perfect and pattern very cute.


Tribute to Rosalie

The prolific quilt and stitchery designer Rosalie Dekker died at the end of 2017, she had been ill and then in remission then ill again for about 10 years. During that time she kept doing what she loved, creating beautiful things. Today I went to a display of her work at Patchwork with Gail B in Bayswater. Rosalie was a frequent tutor at this shop and kept many of her samples there.IMG_7716

It was quite amazing to see everything in the one place, including most of her fabric ranges and patterns. Her style and colour palette is immediately recognisable to anyone who frequents quilt shops and shows in Australia. She loved Scandinavian embroidery and pretty pastels with the occasional bright thrown in. Popular patterns were published under her previous name, Rosalie Quinlan.

It is a lovely tribute and can be seen until the shop closes at 1.00 on Saturday.

Donations made are going to Rosalie’s specified charity, Love Your Sister. As a thank you there is a pretty tin and stitchery.


This will fit into the redwork quilt I am slowly stitching.

Morning Press

When the forecast for the day is 41 degrees and it is already well over 30 by 9.00 am, then using a hot iron can only be done in short bursts.

As I join together the blocks and sashings of Mersey Beat, lots of secondary squares and frames emerge. It is worth the extra effort needed to make sure every seam matches up. The strips in my border treatment are working just as I planned. Quite a surprise really.


Well here’s a surprise

I was feeling like a bit of a piker* not doing this summer’s Bonnie Hunter Mystery.

So on New Year’s Day I sorted through my stash to see if I had the requisite fabric to make a small version. Thinking – correctly as it turns out – that the blocks would be set on point, I opted for five blocks. In my stash was enough coral and turquoise but only one warm dark brown fabric. I trialled using scrappy neutrals, but these detracted from the constant brown so I chose a very fine cream stripe as a constant neutral.

Having read the trials and tribulations of another mystery maker I vowed to not sew any bias seams and use as many tricks as I could to avoid sewing little bits together.

* piker – Colloquial someone who opts out of an arrangement or challenge or does not do their fair share – Macquarie Australian Dictionary

This is what I have done so far.

Step 1 – easy, just nine- patches, made in strips of three before cross cutting.IMG_7392

Step 2 and 5 – flying geese – I used the big square small square method. The other popular no waste technique involves measuring 7/8″ and positioning little squares along a diagonal. There is not too much waste with this much easier method using two double diagonal seams and the geese are perfect.

Step 3 –  is chevron like. Using the folded square on a rectangle technique made this one easy. String piecing both sides made trimming the excess triangles very simple.

So far so good. Thanks to my mystery buddy I have an easy way to do Step 4/8 too.

Also on New Year’s Day I went out for a walk at sunset to view the Wolf Moon. This is the first full moon of the year, a big bright one as the moon is at perigee, the point in its orbit where it is closest to Earth. Unfortunately moonrise here in summer is about an hour before sunset, so you don’t get that illusion of a huge moon against the horizon as the sky is too bright for it to be seen.

Reflecting on Art Quilts

Australian Quilts in Public Places (AQIPP) is a juried and judged exhibition run every second year by the Australian Quilters Association.
IMG_7188The theme for 2017 is Reflection, further guidance on the topic was given to entrants . Whether contemplating reflection in still water or reflecting on life, change, environment or the world around us, reflection helps to instil in us a sense of time and place.

The qualifying quilts are currently on display at Artspace at the Box Hill Town Hall, from Tuesday to Friday 10 to 4 and Saturday 12 to 4, until December 21.


The gallery is in a series of rooms to the left of the main hall and display cases line the entry ramp and and foyer.

Only a few quilts used water reflection and most of these were photographic representations or used a photograph as source materials. Sue de Vanny’s was the best of these and was highly commended. It was very difficult to capture the fleeting qualities of reflected images, there were a number of moons and Jacie Malseed found reflections in city buildings.


The abstract work of Anna Brown used a minimal palette and disciplined technique to capture the flickering images, light and shadows that flash her the surface of the water as wind and currents move through the mangroves.

A number of entrants attempted reflections on indigenous culture and the first nations. Greek mythology was represented by Narcissis who loves his own reflection and Perseus using his polished shield to view the reflection of the Gorgon, Medusa. Those that chose to reflect on issues or concepts generally resorted to including text in the work.

Jill Miglietti used rope wrapped in cotton strips collaged onto a round form to represent the simple act of clasping hands. The resulting highly textural piece showed that a simple form can make a powerful statement.

Three layers of voile with raw edge appliqué was all Denise Sargo needed to show the beauty of nature and sky reflected in the lily pond. Her delicate embroidery and beading showed great restraint.

Travel postcards were a popular device. Judy Bell’s quilt reminded me of a school project using the stickers from the American Geographical Society’s Around the World Program booklets published in the late 1950s to early 60s. In case you are not familiar with these I have found a couple of images from auction listings. The ‘Australia’ issue from 1961 seems a little odd.

The Australian Quilters Association Award went to Sandra Champion’s …on Siren Song an interpretation of the audible and visual experience of music performed in Sullivans Cove, Hobart at sunrise and sunset during Dark Mofo in June 2017. I have seen other works by this artist and each one is visually strong from a distance yet invites close inspection.

I nearly missed seeing the winner of the Brother International Award. It was very poorly displayed in a glass case at the top of steep stairs in the foyer. Reflections #2 is by Dianne Firth. It is a long narrow work 42.5cm x 131cm but that is no excuse for hanging it in such an out of the way place. It could not be contemplated even from a short way back because of the danger of falling backwards down the stairs. I was very glad to have spotted it on my way out as it is a sophisticated interpretation of twinkling lights reflected across water at night. Two striped cottons and a solid yellow, machine pieced and quilted.

Geelong Quilt Exhibition 2017

I love going to quilt shows, and a forecast of thunder storms was not going to put me off. Turns out only a few minutes of blinding rain was encountered on the Geelong Road and I left before the evening deluge.

It was an interesting show, a number of the quilt makers said they made the quilt to have something to do at the various sit and sew groups they attend. It is a bit of a chicken and egg thing I guess.

Here is the quilt mentioned by Vireya – I asked for permission to publish at the desk and it was granted. It is Let’s Colour the Shade by June Stafford.

See it really is made out of shade cloth – the lady viewing it at the same time as me wondered how many needles she went through.

This was another interesting quilt. It is Long Time Gone a Jen Kingwell design made by Judy Bubb. She made it after finishing a Gypsy Wife quilt also by Jen Kingwell and used some of her leftover fabric – each scrappy quilt generates another. It was interesting to see four versions of the Gypsy Wife on display.

I was intrigued by the quilting and had a chat to Judy about it. She has a long arm machine and it was a bit of an experiment. Having so many tiny pieces she decided to quilt through the lot disregarding the blocks. Part way through she was having second thoughts but was not going to do any unpicking.

The gentle waves of quilting really dominate the pieced design. It is hanging flat, the bulges are an illusion. I thought that the similarity of value in the colours used contributed to this looking more like a whole cloth quilt.