Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Applique Project No. 3

I am making Kim Mclean's Flower Garden Quilt.  This is the quilt that Kim taught at our Workshop this time last year, with Kim, Kaffe and Brandon.  So twelve months after everyone else has started the quilt, it seemed like the right time for me to start.

Here is what Kim's quilt looks like.  She has used all Kaffe Fasset, Brandon Mably or Phillip Jacob's fabrics from Rowan.

I love the way Kim uses these fabrics, it has become her quilt signature. You should add Kim's blog to your list, and watch her newest quilt "Pandemonium Quilt" coming together.  This one looks great fun, but a lot of applique!!  Kim's blog has been added to our list.  

So Flower Garden is officially my Applique Project No.3 for the year.  I started sewing it this year, so it is a 2012 project.  The fabric collecting has been going on for a few months before I started (and needless to say is continuing daily).

I have often been asked how I go about working out a colour scheme, and then how I choose the fabrics for an applique project.  So I thought I would remember to take photos of this quilt at it's various stages.

My first decision was not to make the quilt in "Kaffe's" fabrics.   Not because it isn't beautiful in those fabrics, but as a challenge to me.  Also, I think at some stage I will make another of Kim Mclean quilt patterns in Kaffe's fabrics further down the track.  So I needed a colour theme and a fabric theme.

Colour Theme

I'm going through a rich saturated, colour phase at the moment (and have been rather surprised that quite a bit of my palette is turning up in this season's winter clothing, never knew I was so tuned in with the fashion world).  I also had a large chunk of cream fabric with a fine gold and grey stripe pattern, that seemed perfect for this colour scheme.

I love that slimy acid gold, plums and pinks.  I added some chocolate browns and blacks to bed the colours down.  It needed a spark so I put in bright turquoisey teal.  I ransacked all my fabrics from home and brought them into the shop on a day when we were closed over Christmas, I needed the big table.  This is my first "approved" selection of fabrics, mainly based on their colour.  I chose a nineteenth century dark green fabric to be the stems in every block.  This would act as a controller, to stop the quilt getting too scrappy. 


Fabric Theme

Not every fabric in my stash, that met the colour test, would be suitable for this quilt.  Looking at the pattern, the applique pieces are quite large.  Much larger than I am used to working with when making an reproduction antique applique, for example my Phebe Quilt (Project No. 2).  Therefore scale became very important.  I decided that the fabrics would be eclectic in their genre.  Orientals, reproductions and brights could all play together.  Scale and pattern were the important issue.

These are two of the first blocks I completed.

Again, I am often asked how do you balance colour in a project like this.  You don't want all the gold blocks to be in one corner.  The answer is a big table. 

Once a have a few blocks made, I lay them out on the table as they will be positioned in the final quilt.   I like needle turn applique with freezer paper, so I came with the freezer paper shapes already cut and labeled.  Then lay out about six new blocks at a time (I find making up more than that number of blocks at a time can led to colour problems).

Once I am happy with the fabrics for a block, that it works within the block itself, and is sitting happily with its neighbours, I iron the freezer paper shapes on to the fabric.  I can then just pack everything up and take it home to sew. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jamberoo Retreat and Shop Activity - Part 2

Hi everyone, finally made it back to the PC so I will carry on with my last post.

We are now taking bookings for our annual Weekend Retreat at Jamberoo.  It is on Friday 18 May - Sunday 20 May, at the Jamberoo Valley Lodge.  It's about an hour and a half's drive away from Sydney.  We go every year and just love the beautiful countryside, fabulous food and even more fabulous company.  (The cocktails take a hit too.)  If you are a regular it will already be in your diary.  If you have never been we would love you to join us.  The more the merrier. 

Here are a few snaps from last year.  Please call the shop for details and to book.

Karen Cunningham has a class here today.  New fabric is never safe when Karen is around.  She loved the new Anna Griffin Collections, Palmer and Honaka.

We had our first Sunday Sue Ross class for the year.  This is some of what she whipped up over Christmas!

Sue is taking a slightly different tack with the class this year.  We are all up to our eyeballs in big projects, so she will be teaching us a different technique lesson each month, we can make it if we want to or gracefully decline.  I think it sounds like fun.  This is the first mini-class (next month) with this very sophisticated foundation pieced block.

I would like to welcome Katrina Hadjimichael to our list of regular teachers.  She had her first class this week and a few stars were born.  We still have some vacancies in Katrina's class if you are interested.

I just had to show you Geri's beautiful top, that she "been working on for ages", well it's going to be worth it.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shop Activity

2012 has started with a bang.  Now that Summer School is over most of our regular monthly classes have started up.  There has been a lot of catching up with friends and show and tell.  I am always impressed by the amount of quilting that can be done over Christmas. 
So this week's blog is all about what's been happening in the shop.
New fabrics seem to be arriving a bit too often.  Here are some photos to wet your appetite.

Barbara Brackman's new "1862 Battle Hymn" is a true representation of the period.  This fabric would be great in the Civil War sampler quilts that are all the rage at the moment.

For something completely different, here is "Pam Kitty Morning" (interesting name) from Lakehouse.  Channeling Cath Kitson.  The black and red fabric is not part of the collection, but it's nice.

We have the latest release from A Day in the Country.  Spots, checks and funny little patterns make up this collection. 

All will be on the web-site shortly.

Had confirmation that the new Kaffe, Brandon and Phillip's fabrics will be delivered  first or second week in March.

I have been sorting out fabrics for the last week or so to make new Civil War Fat Eighth Packs.  I love this task (apart from the sore back) it is truly playing with fabric and colour.  The photos are of my last colourway Brown.  A big colour for Civil War fabrics.

Here is the end result.  Check out our Civil War Fat Eight Pack Club on our web-site.

We had Linda Butcher's first class of the year.

This is Jenny's first quilt.  Very impressive.

Get a load of these great African fabrics (bought on holidays, so no we don't have them) that Premilla loves.

This one is interesting, remember the pattern for the Sarah Johnson quilt, which was published in APQ at least 10 years age.  Aileen has made her version using oriental fabrics, and it works really well.

This is a sneak peek at the quilt Linda is working on at the moment.  Yummy.

There is more to come, I will post again tomorrow. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Applique Project No.2

Hi everyone.

Given the date I should say Happy Valentines Day. 

Applique Project No. 2 is very exciting because it is finished!!!!  I have sewn it this year so it qualifies. It is the central panel of Di Ford's "Phebe Quilt".

Well the applique bit is done.  I have half of the stars for the borders made, but something tells me it will be quite a while before another major section of this quilt is finished.

I think the sheep are my favourite on this one.  I'm particularly pleased with the ears.

You can see Phebe's Quilt and Di Ford's other patterns on our web-site.

We had two beautiful Customer Quilts in the shop this week.

This Miriam's quilt using the beautiful Dutch reproduction fabrics from Den Haan & Wagonmarkers.  Their web-site is if you would like to take a look.

Then we have Ann's wonderful 1930's Tree of Life top.  This is a 1930's classic pattern and one of my favourites.  Yes I have always said, "I would like to make that one day", so thank you Anne for showing it to us.  Just look at all the leaves.


We have some photos of Suzy Miller's first class for the year.  Starting off with her latest masterpiece.  Just love the whirly gigs, and yes that is a Den Haan & Wagonmarker's chintz panel.

Here is selection of the classes work.  They are all gorgeous.

Margaret's top is beautiful.

We currently have some vacancies in Suzy's class.  It is on the second Thursday of the month, please phone the shop on 9550 4947 if you would like to book in.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Kaffe Fassett Fabrics - Sneek Peek

One of my favourite fabric wholesalers came to visit today.  He came bearing the 90 odd new Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mabley and Philip Jacobs prints in their first release for 2012.  They are all (except one pattern that we decided we didn't need) coming to Quiltsmith.  Take a peek at three new designs below.  There are more colourways than the ones shown.

They are yummy. 

Kaffe is re-releasing his fabulous Cabbage Rose design that has been discontinued for years. 

The fabrics are due for delivery end of February early March.  We will send out a post when they have arrived.

In the meantime, we have had a large delivery of Kaffe replacement fabrics. 

The shelves are full, not sure where we are going to put the new designs, but we will work it out on the day.


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