Monday, September 24, 2018

'Celebrating Australia' series of quilts

I have been working on a series of 'Australia' quilts the past few months and I have them almost completed, except for hand stitching down the bindings.   The first Australia quilt I made was this one.
 I sewed lots of crazy 4 inch squares, joined them all together and then cut the outline of Australia and machine appliqued it onto the background fabric.
 This one is aptly named 'Australia Shape Up', a mix of different shapes of varying sizes machine appliqued onto the background fabric.

 The idea for this one came after a visit to Canberra.  I had a lot of smaller black and white fabric scraps left over from other projects and so I started drawing around a 20 cent piece onto the fabric and cutting out hundreds and hundreds of circles.  They were fused onto the background fabric to form the shape of Australia and Tasmania.
I then sewed 2 lines through all the rows of circles to hold them down.
 Here is the quilt ready for the background quilting to be done.
This quilt is made up of different countries that fit into the Australia shape.  Each country is a different colour and is fused onto the background fabric and machine appliqued in place.  
This quilt spells out all the States of Australia.  As well as outline quilting around all the letters, I have quilted the capitals of each State onto the background.  
This quilt is made up of different colours for the States and each section is foundation pieced using strips of scrap fabrics.  The background is foundation pieced using creams and whites.  
I could not pass the chance to make an 'Australia' quilt using some of my selvedge stash.  This one is made with the word selvedges and the background blues, whilst not selvedges, allowed me to use up some of my blue fabric scraps.
I was also given a bundle of indigenous fabric scraps and selvedges and these went into this quilt.  The background blue fabric is a gorgeous indigenous print, which I have quilted.  This is my favourite so far, although each quilt is unique in its making.
Here is a close up section of the background fabric showing how the quilting was done. 
I had collected bits and pieces of 'Australiana' fabric over the years and some of those pieces went into this 'fussy' fussy cut Eye Spy Australia quilt, with emphasis put on adding pictures to the quilt that applied to each State.  
I am now working on a much bigger Eye Spy Australia quilt, with not so much 'fussy' fussy cutting which allows me to use some bigger pieces of fabric.  The background blues were foundation pieced using the remaining blues scrap fabrics I have accumulated over the years.  

I am hoping to have all these quilts completed and ready for display in the lead up to Australia Day 2019.  

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Selvedge Obsession in Print

It has taken 35 years of quilting to open up a quilting magazine and read an article about my quilts.  The latest issue of Down Under Quilts, a popular Australian quilting magazine, includes a two page feature article on some of my selvedge quilts.  
What a joy it is to see your quilts on display for others to enjoy.   My obsession - and it is quite literally an obsession only few people can really appreciate - with selvedges is ongoing and started about 5 years ago when I saw a picture of a small pincushion made out of them.    I went through my fabric stash and cut all the selvedges off each piece of fabric then and there.

Over the years my selvedge stash has grown to containers and containers full of both word and plain selvedges, collected from quilting friends around the world.  I have a quilting acquaintance from  interstate who regularly sends me a parcel of selvedges.
In 2016 I held a display in a local gallery over a weekend of my selvedge quilts, large and small.  Many visitors were astounded to realise that the strip they had been cutting off and discarding from their piece of fabric for years and years could be made into a lovely quilt.  Many left the display eager to keep their selvedges and 'play' with their newfound knowledge of what to do with them.
This quilt is one of the larger quilts I have made using both the word selvedges and plain selvedges together in the one quilt.  

All my quilts are sewn by me on my Janome domestic sewing machine, on the dining room table where all my quilting is done.
This quilt called 'Love in Tasmania' features my home state sewn using plain cream/white selvedges and the background sewn using just greens/blues plain selvedges.  The little girl has a 'selvedge bow' in her hair.

This 'Hand Quilt' is made using just the numbers and dots selvedges.  None are discarded, just put aside until I have enough to make a smaller project or until I can come up with a design where they will fit nicely into a quilt.
Here is a close up of the thumb of the Hand Quilt.
I am currently making a series of 'Australia' quilts and this is one which is made using selvedges for the Australia and Tasmania sections.  The background blues are fabric scraps.
I was given a bundle of indigenous fabric scraps and selvedges and they went into this 'Australia' quilt.

I have many more ideas for selvedge quilts and will spend some time in 2019 delving into the stash again to make a few more.  

If you are interested in seeing some of my other selvedge quilts check out my Facebook group called Selvedge Quilts.  

Do you keep your selvedges or cut them off and discard them?  

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Ulverstone Street Directory Quilt

It's been a while since my last post and my blog has a new name - Apple Isle Quilts.

The Street Directory Quilt, a mammoth 2.7 metres long and 1.8 metres wide, is currently hanging in a local art and craft gallery.   It is so heavy that even the reinforced rods buckled in the middle after it was hanging for a few days.
 All the quilting on the quilt was done on my Janome domestic sewing machine on my dining room table and it was quite a challenge.  There were a few times that the bulk of the quilt fell over the edge of the table pulling the sewing machine across the table as I was sewing.

 Here are some photos showing the quilting.  I added lots of detailed quilting such as dogs on leads on the beach, seagulls, surfboards outside the surf club and shells.

 Each street and main road has its name written on it as well as the major highway running behind the town.
 The river, which runs through the town, has fish swimming in it, a log or two in memory of the 2016 floods when so many logs and debris floated down the river into the sea.  There are yachts outside the Yacht Club, canoes outside the Rowing Club.
 This photo shows the yachts sailing in the ocean just outside the mouth of the river.
 Cows, a horse or two, lots of rabbits, baby lambs, frogs, trees and grass are quilted into the outlaying fields surrounding the township.

I have had two articles about the quilt featured in the local 'Central Coast News' and an article written in the local newspaper.  These articles were also reproduced in an interstate Quilting Guild newsletter in New South Wales. 
The quilt will be hung in the local Visitor Information Centre in September at the beginning of the spring/summer tourist season.  

Happy quilting !

Monday, December 4, 2017's Summer Time !

The third day of a Tasmanian 'summer' and this is what I experienced at our fishing cabin in the Central Highlands this past weekend.
4-5 inches of snow everywhere and on our walk in the snow you could hear and see huge branches crack and fall from the trees under the weight of the snow.
This is the view from our back door, I love how the snow is clinging to the outside wall and the trees were so pretty.
Of course, it wouldn't be fun if you didn't take a walk in the snow so we donned layers of clothes, beanies, gloves and walked up the road in vehicle tracks, although these disappeared half way around our 'block' walk and then the walking got hard.  I even had to take off my glasses as the snow covered them making it impossible to see where I was walking.
We weren't sure we were going to get home yesterday but when the power went out and I couldn't get any sewing done, we packed up and drove in convoy with 6-8 other vehicles down the mountain, passing cars stuck in the snow as they attempted to get up the mountain.  Crazy !

I did get some hand sewing done in the evenings and another dozen or so bags made during the couple of days I spent inside because of the rain and snow.  I did spend one day sitting on the verandah on a very warm day stitching and reading - such a contrast in the weather conditions but not unusual for this time of the year.

Happy Quilting !

Monday, October 30, 2017

Street Directory Quilt - Ready for Quilting

The street names have been added to the Street Directory and I spent yesterday afternoon basting this mammoth quilt ready for quilting.

I could have waited and went to a hall and used more tables to lay it out, but no it had to be done yesterday and so my dining room table was pulled into the middle of the room for the task.   I used a wideback black fabric for the backing which seemed to take forever to iron.  

Then the pinning began, hundred of pins went into basting this quilt top and it took a few hours to get it all basted.
 Here is a closer view of the street names written on the quilt.  I didn't want them to stand out too much so they are printed on with a Sharpie Permanent Marking Pen.   The highway name will be hand embroidered on after the quilt has been quilted.

I will also applique 'Ulverstone' and the year onto the quilt after it is quilted.  I want to quilt the ocean are where the name will go before I add the applique, which will be hand done.

Now will come the almighty challenge of quilting this beauty on my trusty Janome domestic sewing machine.   Stay tuned !

Happy quilting !

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Yoga Monkeys Quilt

I couldn't resist buying this piece of fabric off an online destash site, it is so cute.  Here is the finished quilt hanging outside as I tried to take a decent photo of it as a slight breeze blew.

I didn't want to cut into the fabric so I quilted around each of the monkey poses and then highlighted the blue circles.
I added a nice bright backing fabric to it.

And with the leftover piece of fabric there was enough to make a carry bag for the quilt.
My son's partner is mad keen on yoga so this will be gifted to her when we visit in a couple of weeks time.

Happy quilting !

Monday, October 16, 2017

Street Directory Quilt - Top Done !

It's huge and needs 'squaring up' but the top is finally finished.  I am yet to decide whether to put a border around the whole quilt or not.

I will now start the mammoth job of adding the street names.  The word 'Ulverstone' will also be appliqued at the top section of the quilt before quilting takes place.

Happy quilting  !