The DVD of Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour has really got the excitement 100% plus as we head off for an extended independent tour of Italy. We will begin our travels in Rome and then head south to Puglia, travel up the east coast to Venice, take in Florence, Umbria and Tuscany, with stops in between.
We have been planning this for a long time and departure day has finally arrived! I hope you will enjoy the glimpses along the way that I'll share here on the blog, ciao amici.
Yesterday was very wet outside and I needed to prepare fabric for my upcoming trip to Italy. With lots of paper on the tiled floor, I spread out the small 10"x 14"pieces. Even doubling up the wet fabric, I was able to get the marble look I wanted. This is just the first stage of colouring and further layers will be added on my travels.
Left over dye was not wasted and with plastic drop sheets gave some good effects when the dye was spread out on the wet fabric. Now pressed, they are in my suitcase. The photo doesn't show the pearlescent effect in parts.
We have a few favourite spots to dine in our local area which boasts some of the best Asian cuisine in Brisbane. This Combination Hotpot was one of our choices at Vietnam Corner BBQ Restaurant at the Sunnybank Plaza complex and is located outside under the 2 level car park on Mains Road.
The Salt and Pepper Calamari was a hit too, although I didn't get to eat it as it was too spicy for my tastebuds.
This lovely piece of commercial print fabric has been in my stash for a while and is perfect for a backing that I need now. However African animals do not include the tiger among the big cats. Tigers are found on the Indian subcontinent and widely in zoos which help preserve the population as numbers in the wild diminish. We were lucky to see one while on safari at Rathambore, Rajasthan last year.
Selenge from the Mongolian Quilting Centre is busy with organising the International Quilting Exhibition to be held in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital from August 6-12, 2014. The quilters from the centre make lovely work in silk and cotton, often sewing on hand-wheel powered sewing machines. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the exhibition but if you are visiting do drop into the show.
When is the wrong side of the fabric the 'right' side? That's entirely your decision and depends on the quilt you are making. I have often looked at good batik fabric and been unable to choose which is the 'right' side because of the wax and dye method used to make it. For my current small quilt, I have selected a Japanese silk, above, as my background fabric but the floral 'right' side didn't suit, however the wrong side was just perfect!
Four of the artists from the Beautiful Australia exhibition will be at the display today, at various times [we do need a coffee break!]. It has been lovely to talk to so many visitors and hear their comments about our quilts.
Sometimes it is very busy and crowded and at other times quiet.
The late afternoon has been the most 'aisle free' time.
Queensland Quilters Guild have a display area at the Stitches and Craft Show also. Congratulations to the winners and entrants of the "Thirty"challenge. 2Q is celebrating it's 30 year anniversary and the challenge was to make a 30cm x 30cm quilt. Bernina are such good sponsors.
2Q also has a new subgroup- 2Q Mod for those interested in Modern Quilting. This eye catching quilt is by Rebecca Staunton Coffey. Great to see the organisation catering for the members interests.
Last chance to see the Beautiful Australia exhibition is this week from Thursday to Sunday at the Stitches and Craft Show, Convention Centre Southbank, Brisbane. The photo above is of the first showing in France last year at Quilt Expo en Beaujolais.
This print has been waiting for the next step. Unfortunately my time has been diverted into other quilts since my trip to Mongolia in 2011, but I have the pieces hanging on the design wall.
This embroidered panel was one of 2 Bob bought while he was visiting the western part of the country. It is so heavily embroidered it is hard to see that the fabric base, that was originally black has faded to grey.
As these pieces are already quilted I decided that large floor cushions would be the best use for them. I squared them up and cut the corners off as the bulk would not give me a square corner anyway.
Over the years I have amassed a box of fabric and thread offcuts. I have used some at times for other projects, restitching them to produce designs, but now I reused them as part of the stuffing for the cushions. Didn't seem to reduce it that much! Poly fill was also used.
Stuffing underway- it took a lot to fill them.
Ta-dah! Looking better as cushions than a quilt, they seem to match the red sofas, African fabric and Khazak quilt. Now to have the grandchildren over to jump on them!
What do you do with a quilt that has been in the cupboard, unloved for a long time?
I decided the time had come to throw it out or repurpose it. The detail shots above are of the quilt in question. It was made with commercial fabric with lots of printing over the top of it and some leaves made on wash away. I had been more in love with the processes than trying to telling a strong story.
Cut into 4 squares and jumbled up ready for the next step. Feeling better already!
This was also in the hidden basket- the start of a journal cover using a cut-up quilt which had been made in a workshop any years ago. It was nice to finish it with some more stitching and apply a paint wash.
I don't have many UFO's as I generally start a quilt and finish it, these days. In the past I tried many things and had fabric bought for various projects which never did get started. On a recent investigation of a hidden basket I found the blue Liberty fabric my Dad bought me in London, many years ago. The basket also revealed 2 hand appliqued squares from a class I took with the late Denise Lawson at Highgate Hill shop, Patchwork Supplies. The shop is no longer there but it was a favourite visiting spot when I lived in Mount Isa. It was run by the late Ruth Stoneley, a Queensland quilting pioneer. So in memory of 3 special people I think these will be made up into cushions.
Little quilts made for babies who don't survive their birth are often called Blankets of Love and many hospitals have these on hand to give to the grieving parents. It is a sad topic and my heart goes out to any parent who has been in this situation.
I was happy to spend time sewing 5 of these quilts recently. It reminded me of the strong community connection quilting has. Many of my friends make beautiful quilts for charities and fund raising raffles and never think of entering quilt shows. I love their work, generous spirit and the support and comfort they give to the wider community.
We often overlook decorative, pre-programmed stitches on our sewing machines. Not only do they keep our stepping motors healthy when we use them, [having the needle swing from side to side in their execution is good] they also add a lovely element to the quilting or applique. The hearts above have been appliqued using one of my favourite stitches which is also good for finishing a binding with machine stitching.
A heavier weight cotton thread was used for this stitch.
These squares have been up on my design wall recently. They came from a layer cake pack that I used for a couple of baby quilts and it was time I did something with the left overs. Being 10" they make a four patch or 9 patch design very quickly.
Seams are pressed in opposite directions and butted together to give precise joins.
Also found these bright squares, which are more my colours.
This is a lovely part of southern NSW and an area I'm not familiar with. After seeing these beautiful bays, I will have to come back for a longer stay and exploration. It was all very stunning in the late afternoon light. The tall gums grow right down to the water's edge.
I have returned from a lovely time in Batemans Bay, NSW with the Night Owl Quilters and a few extra workshop participants. The ladies enjoyed 2 days of Treasure Layers and did great work with stencils, Angelina, fusible web and washaway. Unfortunately my ipad camera would not cooperate and I only have these photos to share.
Travel is an exciting & large part of my life, combined with creating fabric, stitching art quilts & enjoying textile traditions around the world.
I work in the quilting industry; exhibit, judge, curate, tutor & write.
These are some of the threads of my life.