Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quilts galore.......... for families and our Easter Fair

So exciting, the very first thing to be spotted when entering the Cottage today was 'Love is all Around',  Sheila's quilt for her DS and DIL, we have seen some of the blocks in progress as Sheila worked on them with a deadline in mind, the quilt is for her DS's 40th Birthday and will be presented to him at a family celebration.
Sheila designed each of the 9 blocks, although based on Drunkards Path, to have a meaning for the family.
Top Left is Crazy Patch, not sure if Sheila said for a crazy Mother or a Mother who is hooked on Crazy, but it is full of love, see the cute line of machined hearts?
Center is the Turtle for the favourite family holiday spot of Bargara and top Right, the gum leaf, is for Dad the Forrester
The middle blocks are Rockets for the Rockhampton Rockets basket ball team,  the Rockhampton Customs House, easily recognisable to any Rockhamptonite as the chatter around the table confirmed, and then the Angel is for DIL, 'she is an angel and her name means angel'
and lastly the bottom 3 blocks are for the 3 children, the basketball and sports lover, the little guy who is so into diggers and tractors - as all young boys seem to be and their daughter, a star who loves stars.

Sheila is not a hand worker, although 25 years ago she said she would never make another Drunkards Path so maybe sometime in the distant future this too could change, but she did hand stitch the binding down......the whole 9 meters of it!

Betty had several quilts for us to drool over, firstly the finished Teddy Bears, that we have seen in the works
 and the cute little hearts quilt, both of these beauties are for Sale at the Easter Fair. 
Sometime ago Betty made a very nice quilt for her son, her Grandson the pilot clapped eyes on it and wanted one for himself, so Betty will be presenting him with this lovely quilt she made and quilted herself for Easter.
Christine, who is on the WIP warpath, bought this lovely wall hanging along, 'finally finshed' she bought the pattern at the Quilt show in Brisbane, but when???...........who's telling!

Wendy spotted this really cute yarn and just had to give it a go, she knitted 2 rows of the yarn with the bobbles and then 2 rows of plain yarn alternatively, it is for her Grandson, Wendy was a bit disappointed that the pink was so obvious but we all came to the conclusion that the little Guy will just love it to bits as the texture is so soft and yummy.  Marcia suggested a flannel blue border to bunk up the blue content, we will see, probably next week at the rate that Wendy zooms along.

Of course while we are all having fun down the back, there was some hard work being done in the other rooms, signing in the piles, yep piles of quilts, runners, wall hangings, bags and numerous other goodies for the fair. 

 Maureen took a 2 second break to smile for the camera and then tell me to go play somewhere else or she would give me a job..........I was gone in a flash.

And then it was time for Arvo Tea, just as the hoards arrived to start setting up their tables and goodies for the Easter Fair.  It promises to be a beauty...............again..........of course - Just a little biased there folks.
The Darling is waiting to whisk me off to Brisbane to see a show, James Taylor and Carole King no for any typos, or other silly things, sorry, gotta go........will fix 'em tomorow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Look what I stummbled across.......

a new blog, but not just any old of our group, Fiona, started a blog at the beginning of this year that she has aptly named Quilting Fairy, a blog on Quilting, Life, Kids and a Husband.

Fiona is a busy Mum who works, tutors, and also runs her own Longarm Quilting business, hence the name Quilting Fairy, after all, who wouldn't love to wake up and find that last flimsey all quilted and done. 

Pop over and say Hello and while you are there have a peek at Fiona's lovely pics from her visit to Houston Quilt Show.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lyn Ballinger, and how our Challenge came into being.

This post is proving difficult to write, as unlike the majority of our group members I did not actually know Lyn Ballinger, but I do know of the high regard and the affection with which members of our group and the community held her and the immense sadness when she lost her battle with Cancer.

Lyn was a very sharing and energetic lady, there is a wealth of stories from crafters whom she either encouraged or helped with practical advice, both here on the coast and previously in her home town of Toowoomba.

Back in 2001, Lyn was talking to members of our patchwork group about a quilt she was entering into a competition and suggested that a few of the others also enter an item.  The general comment was "my quilt is not good enough", Lyn believed that everyone's quilt was good enough to put on show, and as such, she suggested a group Challenge.

The challenge title was 'Rainforest' and each member was given a piece of dapple green fabric and a piece of sweet pea fabric.  Lyn knew that sweet pea fabric would proved a challenge, and to date I haven't heard one person say 'Hey, I liked the sweet peas', nope, it was uniformly found to be a bit difficult to incorporate into a rainforest theme, with the result that many of the group used as little of the fabric as possible, some using so little and in such a disguised way, that led Judge Rose to comment that the fabric just wasn't used at all!!

Marguerite was the winner of the Rainforest Challenge with her 3-D depiction of forest vines and life,she used the reddish pink of the sweet peas to create her butterflies...........a great disguise.
When Lyn asked Marguerite what her plans were for her winning wallhanging, and got the answer of 'oh, probably pop it into the back of a cupboard' (or words to that effect), Lyn just couldn't accept that as a life for this winning treasure, she promptly organised a swap, her 'Forest Frog' wall hanging for Marguerite's.

Lyn's Forest Frog' hung in Marguerite's home until recently when Marguerite decided to donate Lyn's wallhanging to join the Challenge winners on the walls at the cottage.

These are some of the other entries in the 'Forest' Challenge.

Ailsa wasn't one of the minimisers, using the sweet pea fabric as her border as well as the 3 appliqued flowers on the tree trunk in her wallhanging that is chock full of forest wild life.

Maureen used a large swath of both the dappled green (3rd stripe from left) and the sweet peas in her 'Snakes' wallhanging.

Barbara, who is also a member of the pottery group, decided on a definite 3-D effect with this fantastic rendition of the challenge, enhancing the 3-D effect even more with the addition of a gecko pin on the tree trunk and buttons used as mushrooms and other fungi, hiding the challenge fabric in plain view as triangles in the borders.
 A closer view of the 3-D caterpillars at the bottom of Barbara's wallhanging.

 Dorothy used a blended vertical collage of fabrics as her background and added embroidered forest life.
 Judge Rose commented that Dorothy's colour scheme was the closest of all to a rainforest.

Miriam really took the project to heart, traveling up to the Hinterland Rainforest park to suss out the trees, leaves and general wildlife, and as an Irish touch stitched 3 golden fairies dancing in the sunbeam to remind her of home.
 While we were gathered around, admiring Miriam's work, she mentioned the inspiration and enthusiasm that Lyn imparted with the 'Rainforest' challenge and that she had never before put so much thought and effort into creating any of her other work - it was a statement that all around the table agreed with, many telling their own stories of the extra effort made for the challenge.

Sheila was one of the many gals who did minimise the sweet pea fabric, Judge Rose was unable to locate the fabric at all........can you?
 yep, that's it, some of those itsy little bits inserted into the binding......Well it was the first challenge and no one had stated how much fabric you had to use...........of course now that has been rectified with a strictly enforced % rule, I've even seen Judges get out the ruler.........true!

In 2003 the Lyn Ballinger Challenge was created to honour Lyn and the wonderful work that she had done for our Patchwork Group, the unstinting encouragement of other members to be proud of their own work and for being a driving force behind establishing our ever so successful Biennial Quilt Show.

We have since added a perpetual trophy for the yearly winner of the Lyn Ballinger viewers choice award, a quilt display stand, and let me tell you, it is fiercely contested, everyone wants their name on one of those little plaques on that stand!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blog Up-Date and re-organise.

Blogger now allows you to have stand alone pages for static information, what this means is that the information is always available and easily accessed by just clicking on the link.  We are now in the process of making this part of our blog.

You will notice that just under our blog header there has appeared a few tabs, clicking on any one of them will take you to a static page of our blog to catch up on information we often refer to, so far we have:
Biennial Quilt Show - self explanatory,

Winning Quilts, - let me know if you enter any of your work in any shows, its not always about winning - entering is part of the journey, we patchworkers  are a pretty diverse group, so any work entered will be welcome.

Lyn Ballinger and Challenge - need a better tab heading for this one - this page is being assembled, not much to show at the moment but will give our story about Lyn and about how the Challenge came into being.

Group Equipment - There will be a post going up soon on all the equipment we have available for our use - the static page will be fully updated asap so when you need a tool for a job, check out what the group has available.

and Lastly there is a Home tab, this will always take you back to the current blog page.
We will be able to post 10 stand alone pages, so if you have a suggestion, send me an e-mail or drop a word in the old shell pink some Wednesday.
Enjoy the exploration and please know, these tabs will be updated and polished - heck gals, I just figured out  how to do it......

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Funny Fairy Visited Today

Well, that's the only answer I can come up with, I arrived at the end of Sheila's tutorial on paper pieced crazy patchwork and as the gals left the back room it became evident that everyone was a comedian, they popped out from behind screens, they hid behind quilts, they pushed screens in front of one another having pics taken, they did mean things with fingers to others in pics...........who were then really shocked to find a friend had been so daring, really, it was just a fun house today.
but I struggled on (yeah, struggled) to bring you these lovely creations. 

Lorraine H is back from her visit to Tassie, and is busily making these rather luscious needleturn blocks........
using this cute pattern from 3 Sisters...............
in a method she calls 'organic needleturn'..........ever heard of it, nope I hadn't either, it simply means that no aids were used, no starch, no paper, no anything, just cut the leaves out of your fabric, and following the pattern placment, draw a simple line to represent the leaf placement, can you see the green placement lines below?
Place the center of the leaf along the line, pin in place and then needleturn the edges under.  How cool is that!

Lorraine I. bought along her Disappearing 9-Patch flimsey, we will be having a workshop on this method in the very near future, as you can see, a great design and not a worry about joining up the intersections or lines. Now that has gotta be a good thing.

Wendy, who loves to hand stitch while watching T.V. has another lovely red work quilt for us to drool over. 
This time a Sunbonnet Sue alphabet quilt with lovely red blocked sashings

Miriam created this quilt from some of her leftover fabric strips, scattering beautiful appliqued butterflies and flowers over the surface.
And of course the backing had to have a cost saver story too, 
Miriam found this backing sometime ago at Spotlight for the princely sum of $2.00 a meter, so all round a very good story for a beautiful and happy quilt.
Lorraine H was just off to the back room to sandwich this flimsey, it is a simply constructed one patch quilt with a very innovative fabric layout.  Lorraine calls this a mirrored quilt, that is, for each fabric used, the same designed fabric in a different colourway is mirrored in the next row of blocks
What a clever and ever so effective way to make a stunning quilt.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nappy bags for STEMM

Debby, with a little help from her son,  has sent us some pics and an insight into what the busy Thursday nighters have been up to this week.  Thank you Debby.

A big hello from the Thursday night girls.  Firstly we would like to welcome our 3 new members.  
Louisa joined during the last few weeks before Xmas.  Louisa got into the swing of things quickly when we had Jenny teach us how to make a cute little bag for cotton, needles, buttons & bits, unfortunately Louise was not at tonight's meeting so we will catch up with her another time.
We also welcome Sue, (who also made the cute bag) and here is holding one of her colourful quilt tops.
& Karen who have just joined.  Karen told us that she loves Japanese fabric so June showed her the tessellated quilt quilt she made & Karen came with machine under her arm the following week & within 2 weeks has nearly finished her tessellated quilt top.  Go Karen.
Tonight, Di helped us make nappy bags for STEMM.  Thanks girls for helping this worthy cause.
We will make more next week.  Thanks Di. Its a nice feeling to give.
 The finished Nappy Bags and their creators, Sue, Jenny, Debby, Lorraine, Denise, Karen and tutor Di.
Planning in progress, Letitia, Jane, Fiona and Lee, wonder what this will grow into?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Easter Fair Preparations............

O.M.Gosh!..........did you notice?, its only 2 weeks to Easter and the Easter Fair?!?, where has the time scooted off too?.

Thankfully, Easter isn't a surprise to the rest of the group who have been beavering away making sure that there are going to be lots of goodies available for the Fair sales.

Our BOM is slowly growing, with another convert today, some of the group just couldn't wait to skite and let it be know that they are up to block 2, while the rest of us think we are doing pretty well o.k. having finished.......well finished-ish block 1.
Wendy was putting the finishing touches on a block, with the Suffolk Puff flowers, 
This is going to be one really cute quilt, and hopefully after the Easter Fair we will get more of the group joining us.

Marguerite and Fran are both busy with needle and thread this week, Fran is hand quilting  her Hexagons and Marguerite is doing 'satin stitch, just satin stitch', on some rather cute doilies,
a little closer view of Marguerite's doily
Catty, has made some really lovely baby bibs, and on a dare, modeled one for us while holding the others up for us to see.

Some time ago, Marcia was doing some tinsy little crocheted 'granny squares', intricate - yes, sweet - yes, very, but to what end? what on earth can you do with tinsy little granny squares?, well, thankfully some people have lots of imagination, 'cause this is what Marcia made with those little crocheted squares,
this divine scarf, and while we were all oooh-ing, aahh-ing, goo-ing and ga-ing one of the girls piped up and told us that she had seen a similar scarf in a boutique not so long ago...........and I tell you, if Marcia sells her scarf for half that amount we all want to be treated to coffee and cake at that ritzy Coffeehouse down the road - I kid you not!
Here's a closer view, the whole scarf is only about 4" wide, those squares are small, the stitches, tiny.

Val has finished assembling and quilting her Row x Row  and bought the finished quilt in to show us today,
full of wonderfully vibrant colours, Val also introduced a range of 3-D blocks into her quilt, such as these 2 blocks
Marcia is also a member of the Machine Embroiders group where she stitched these lovely little squares,
bringing them along to patchwork to hem by hand and to assemble them into this luscious bag,
Sheila, has a much loved similar Shasiko bag that she made in a previous workshop, about 10 years previous, that although it is holding up extremely well, it has faded, as blue tends to, Sheila thought she might do a little swapsie, and for sure Marcia just wouldn't notice, didn't work out, Marcia was onto Sheila in a flash.........

Arvo tea was delish again, with Lorraine and Jackie making a yummy moist orange cake and biccies that must have been just great, 'cause they flew off the plate and I dipped out .........again.......sniffle-sob, but the cake was yummo..

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