Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Tale of Claire, a Cross Stitch and Creativity.

At a recent Sunshine Linus meeting I was handed a completed cross stitch on Aida cloth that measured about 12" x 18".  The owner gave it to me, with the explanation that she didn't really like it very much and didn't want to get it framed.  She asked me if it could be used by the Sunshine Linus group? 

It just so happened that during that week I had received a request from a nursing home for "touchy feely wall hangings" that patients could interact with - something to catch their eye and give them something to stimulate conversation or even memories.

All of a sudden this cross stitch became a very useful item.  

Claire is a member of the Sunshine Linus group who is fairly new to quilting, but is showing incredible creativity and skill in making touchy feely quilts and aprons, quilts from knitted fabrics and polar fleece and the most magical bags made from curtain samples. 

Quilters like Claire tend to thrive on challenges and I thought this would be an opportunity for Claire to put her creativity to the test.  So I handed the cross stitch to Claire, and she took some fabrics from the Sunshine Linus stash and went away.  About a week later she emailed me this photo of the cross stitch, which displayed a very clever use of the cross stitch and incorporation of other fabrics. Claire has created a really terrific wall hanging, with 3D leaves and blossoms, and this hanging will provide lots and lots of interest, stimulation and conversation for patients and visitors to the nursing home.

I wanted to write about Claire's achievement because I believe there are many quilters all over the world who would like to try something different, but have become bogged down using other people's patterns, even though they  would like to try to do something a little out of left field.  Sometimes it's hard to know where to start.  A good way to start using the creativity from within is with something simple like this cross stitch picture.  With great design skills and a great eye for colour, Claire has created a really lovely piece of work, and one that will be admired and appreciated by many.

Congratulations Claire on a really great job - so what's next?

I asked Claire where she got her templates for the leaves and gum blossoms from and she said she walked down to the end of the street where some eucalyptus trees were growing and picked a couple of leaves and blossoms to copy off.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Well it's been a while since I last posted, but I have some terrific pictures for you to see.  I designed a free quilt block pattern in 2009 for a wedding quilt.  The idea is that everyone attending the wedding gets to write on the quilt with their best wishes for the bride and groom.  Here's a link to that pattern.

I received an email from Mary Ann who lives in the US, who told me she was going to make it for her daughter-in-law.  At the end of last year I received another email and photos from Mary Ann - the quilt was made and given and it was a huge success.  I really wanted you all to see it for yourselves - what a great job you made of it Mary Ann, and the whole day looks like it was truly wonderful.  Congratulations.

It gives me such great pleasure to see readers come up with versions of quilts that I have designed.  Thank you Mary Ann for letting me share this with others.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's our annual Quilt Show this week and yesterday I attended the set up.  A great range of quilts will be available to browse around and I thoroughly recommend you make some time to pop in and see the quilts. If you'd like to see the winners - pop over to Queensland Quilters Website.

 I managed to photograph my three quilts that I have entered.  No prizes this year, but I'm very proud of the quilts I've shown. 

This first quilt was completely hand made and hand quilted using a gold thread.  I used a paper piecing method to put the hexagons together, and also used a vast array of border prints to give the hexagons a frame. 

Of course, I ran out of black fabric towards the finish and so had to use some teal silk to make the black fabric last the distance.  I call this one Hexaggeration and it sits above our piano in the lounge.

The next quilt is a quilt I started in a workshop with Kerry Glen who owns 
 Tulis Textiles in New Zealand.  I changed the design considerably, and finally ended up with this completed wall hanging. 

I used the quilt as you go method in joining the blocks, which allowed me to machine quilt each block separately.  A delight to make and I'll be making another version again.
I call this one Cycles of Life.

The final quilt I entered is a needleturned applique quilt that I've had on the go since 1997.  In fact I finished piecing the quilt top the day Princess Diana died in Paris - 31st August 1997.  I call it Celtic Rose in her honour. 

The celtic patterns come from an old publication by Patricia Campbell with a huge amount of patterns.  I designed the applique borders myself and am pleased with the result.  This quilt is the only quilt I have hand quilted.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My darling husband and I spent a morning re-upholstering our dining chairs and a couple of "captains" chairs.  After getting a quote for $100 per chair from a commercial upholsterer, we decided to give it a go.  We purchased a little short of three meters and an electric staple gun.

It was so much fun and we're so pleased with the result.  MD did the stapling, while I manipulated the fabrics and made sure we didn't get any pleats on the front of the seats.

I love before and afters and we're pretty proud of these!!
The new chair is the lighter colour.  Yeah us!! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to our Sisters of Stitch group who celebrated their fourth birthday last week.  We had a hoot of a day - a beautiful cake made by Noelene - can you see the Linus Quilt and the ball of wool and needles?  Just gorgeous Noelene, and the patty cakes were delightful too.

Our cake was cut by Melissa (together with Felicity due in 10 weeks).  We played some word games and as always, some took the games very seriously and there were a few disputes over the allowed answers. 

To celebrate our fourth birthday, we donated 55 books to the Royal Children Hospital School which allows long term hospitalised children to have as much of a normal program as possible.  The library is always in need of resources, so it was our pleasure to collect gifts to them.

A terrific array of beautiful home made goodies were there for us to share.

Thank you to the Brisbane City Council Library service for making it possible to hold our fortnightly gatherings at the library - free of charge.  This means that we don't charge our members and that means as many people as possible are able to join us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hardanger Cushion completed!

Not having a reliable computer connection all week forced me into doing other things and amongst achieving to cross of stuff on my to do list, I also managed to complete this cushion cover I'm making for my lounge chair.  The lounge chair is floral in pastels so I selected the pastel perle cottons I had in my stash and started stitching.

I didn't use a pattern, just made up a grid and tried a few things out.  I'm really pleased with the end result and now I just have to find someone to make it up for me.  I've started on another for the same lounge suite, but this one will be in dusky pinks and greens.  I'll show you it when it's finished too!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today we had our fortnightly meeting of the Sisters of Stitch, and one of our lovely ladies Robyn, bought along a couple of cuties for us to see.  These little twins were made in porcelaine by Robyn, with all the painting of the faces etc by Robyn and Robyn also designed and made the little outfits (including the toy rabbit) using very fine cotton and beads.  I just love these delightfuls, and thought you might like to see them too.

The following link will take you to Robyns website for more pictures of her wonderful creations.

Here's Robyns webpage if you'd like to see more

Robyn is just one of the crafters from the Sisters of Stitch who quietly go about their crafting.  I'm sure you'll agree she is one talented lady!