It is never too late to learn patchwork

When Pat moved out of the family home into a smaller townhouse she lost her favourite hobby. She had gone from a yard with a flower garden, vegetable garden & fruit trees to a courtyard with a couple of pot plants.  The time she had spent in the garden was now free (empty) time and she needed to find a new hobby.

This was when she decided to join a class at the local patchwork.

Pat’s first quilt

Nothing surprising about this except …. Pat made her first quilt in her eighties.  I find this inspiring. I always mentally tell myself that it is never too late to learn a new skill but secretly I don’t always believe my “pep talk to myself”. However, here is a woman who has proved the message.

Not only has Pat learnt a new set of skills but she has built a new group of friends in her patchwork class.

The pretty applique centre block in Pat’s quilt

I’ve quilted Pat’s pretty quilt with both Cotton Mako’ Ne 40 & 28. The Cotton Mako’ Ne 40 gives a neat result for the ditch stitching and the stipple quilting in the background of the centre applique block. It is fine enough to blend away, disappearing allowing  the texture to come to the for.

I stitched the motif used in the plain setting squares with Cotton Mako’ 28

I used Cotton Mako’ Ne 28 to stitch the motifs in the alternating setting blocks. They were a beautiful blank canvas crying out for a feature motif that complimented the beautiful piecing.

I like my quilting to be subtle so that it doesn’t overwhelm the patchwork but it should still have sufficient strength to create a beautiful finish.

I think that using the combination of Cotton Mako’ 40 & 28 helped me achieve just the result I wanted when machine quilting  this quilt.

Advertisements

Inspiration for Quilting Designs

Every time I begin work on a new patchwork project I always consider how the piece will be quilted.

I ponder lots of possibilities whilst I measure, cut and sew my pieces.

I am beginning a new market bag for a friend’s birthday and I found the perfect fabric to brighten up her shopping trips.

Fabulous fabric for a Market Carrier Bag

 I will be piecing  the outer bag with a quilted panel, four patch patchwork and some bright trims.

I am using these fun chooks as inspiration for my quilted panel.

Quilting patterns inspired by your fabric

 I will trace this design onto my bag fabric and quilt using a variety of 28wt. Aurifil thread.

Trace quilting design directly onto bag fabric

The threads match the colours in my printed fabric exactly.

Brilliant colours for my quilting

The bag will be constructed as soon as the quilting is finished.

The next time you are stuck for a unique quilting pattern to use in one of your projects, you may not have to look any further than the fabric used in your patchwork.

Watch this space for the finished bag!

Prize winning quilts use Aurifil

Despite being one of the short months in the year, June felt much longer than usual as I managed to fit an extended trip to Sydney into the usual everyday business activities.

A classic photo of the Sydney Opera house at sunset by Ian Scott

A classic photo of the Sydney Opera house at sunset by Ian Scott

The original reason for the trip to Sydney was the annual Quilt & Craft Expo.

The Aurifil stand at the Quilt & Craft Wholesale Trade Expo June 2011

The Aurifil stand at the Quilt & Craft Wholesale Trade Expo June 2011

This is the wholesale trade fair for textile crafts, where you find distributors for patchwork fabrics, threads & craft tools, pattern designers & button makers all showing their wares. It is a great opportunity to network with the business side of the craft industry, a place to meet other shop owners from around Australia, talk to the designers and get inspirational ideas to  take home.

We made a feature display of the new mini spools of Lana wool blend at the Expo

We made a feature display of the new mini spools of Lana wool blend at the Expo

I stayed in Sydney for the week after the trade show to visit some of  our Aurifil retail outlets, so I had an opportunity to attend the Quilt Exhibition for the first time in many years.

Wow!  There were some very beautiful quilts on display and I was particularly excited to recognise the names of Aurifil customers on some of the award winning quilts.

Chris Jurd won first place in the  "New traditions from Old Favourites" category with this quilt

Chris Jurd won first place in the "New traditions from Old Favourites" category with this quilt

Chris Jurd is a well known designer & teacher in the NSW patchwork world. This wonderful quilt won first place in the “New traditions from old favourites” Open category and is just spectacular in real life. Chris enjoys foundation piecing designs that look complex, and she says that Cotton Mako’ 50  is ideal for this type of stitching.

A close up view of some of the blocks in Chris Jurd's award winning quilt

A close up view of some of the blocks in Chris Jurd's award winning quilt

You can join classes, taught by Chris, at the Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood,  Berrima Patchwork in Berrima, Home Patch in Bathurst and Hobbysew Wollongong and Kings Park.

Sharon made this stunning Bethlehem Star quilt in modern, eye catching, colours

Sharon made this stunning Bethlehem Star quilt in modern, eye catching, colours

Sharon owns Morning Star Quilting, a machine quilting service at Avoca Beach and has been the recipient of many awards since she started Longarm quilting in 2006.

You have to agree that the fine detail in the feathers and cross hatching look very pretty stitched out with Cotton Mako’ 40.  Sharon won fourth place with this quilt in the “Traditional Professional” category.

Sharon machine quilted this beautiful complex design of feathers & cross hatching with Cotton Mako' 40

Sharon machine quilted this beautiful complex design of feathers & cross hatching with Cotton Mako' 40

Two more quilts that had the  “Wow” factor for me, were made by Catherine Butterworth. When I saw the first quilt, “Hexagon stars for Ulladulla” I loved the complexity of design and colour.

Catherine's quilt "Hexagon Stars for Ulladulla"

Catherine's quilt "Hexagon Stars for Ulladulla"

Then several aisles later I found this quilt, also by Catherine, called “Googly Eyes”, named after the effect created by the fussy cut fabric in the sashing stars.

Catherine's quilt, with the fussy cut "Googly Eyes"

Catherine's quilt, with the fussy cut "Googly Eyes"

When I contacted Catherine for permission to show photos of her quilts here, she replied:

“Yes,  you may use a photo of my quilts, and yes I pieced and quilted them with Aurifil. I prefer 50/2 for piecing and stitch in the ditch quilting. I then use either 50/2 or 40/2 for the free motion quilting. If it works for you when blogging, feel free to mention that I teach classes for both of them. “

If you are interested in taking classes with Chris Jurd or Catherine Butterworth please send me an email request for their contact details.

You can see all the award winning quilts for the 2011 exhibition at the Sydney Patchwork & Quilting Guild website.

I had to finish the post with another classic photo of Sydney at night by Ian Scott

I had to finish the post with another classic photo of Sydney at night by Ian Scott

Go to the website to see the full colour range, or to purchase Cotton Mako’ to make your own wonderful quilt.