Quilter on Vacation

I have just returned home to Melbourne after three wonderful warm weeks in Queensland.  While the weather was not always sunny and dry, we always found things to occupy ourselves: a mixture of sight-seeing, exploring new places and revisiting familiar haunts, picnicking (almost every day), and most importantly relaxing!

Whenever I head off on holiday I am always accompanied by my good friends, my collection of handcraft projects, and this time was no exception.  ( The count this time was something like three applique items, one embroidery and four knitting projects).  I know some would be horrified by this, but this is the way I enjoy myself.. and that’s what a holiday is all about.

Stitching begins on the plane.

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Blunt-tipped scissors are great for use when flying.

 

I am sure that members of the public find my activity quite strange… but I don’t care as I’m happily doing what I love.

 

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Stitching by the sea.

In the photo above (taken by the marina at Yorkey’s Knob) I am the little green blob sitting beneath the rock, right in the centre of the shot.  On this occasion I was working on my embroidery.

A local resident provided some entertainment by bogging his ute in the sand in spectacular fashion.

While I stitch, hubby does this.

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Taken in the same spot before the cloud cleared.

No bites on this occasion.  Bites are not always what you want…. this was waiting on the bank, 50 metres from a popular fishing spot on the Mowbray River,  just south of Port Douglas.

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Three metre croc waiting for dinner.

We visited a number of markets on our travels.  I purchased a second-hand quilt book at one of them.

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Second-hand book in as -new condition.

I can’t read Japanese so I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s full of interesting quilts and patterns.

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We drove up the range to the Atherton Tablelands several times. A favourite place to visit is the quaint town of Yungaburra where we walked along the river in the hope of spotting a platypus.  We think we did, but it was such a fleeting flash in the water,  it’s hard to be sure.  We also inspected the new Avenue of Honour, recently established to honour Australian service personnel who have given their lives in Afghanistan. We thought this has been very tastefully done and provides a peaceful place to reflect and be thankful for all that we have in Australia.  It’s worth a visit.

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Avenue of Honour at Yungaburra.

One of my holiday projects was to make clamshells for a quilt border. However I discovered I’d left most of my spare papers behind. GRRR!!  Well one has to be resourceful in such circumstances and so a used cracker packet came in handy (being careful not to enlarge the size as I went!)  Later I discovered a tourist brochure was even more suitable.  The papers in my project tell a story!

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Tracing and cutting more clamshell shapes.

The tools in my sewing box came in handy for more than I’d planned.  In addition to sewing a button on hubby’s trousers and repairing a hole which mysteriously appeared in my cardigan, a pin was required to unblock a fishing sinker. It obviously pays to be prepared!!

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Not your usual sewing project!

Hope springs eternal in the heart of all fishermen and here we are at another fishing spot, this time near Bramston Beach.  You can see my book and knitting on the rock…. so no prizes for guessing what I did here.

 

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Some fish were biting, but they were too small to keep.  Meanwhile, as I enjoyed the view, I too was getting lots of bites… of the sandfly variety. Despite repellent, I was soon covered in bites which stayed with me for many days. Thank goodness for anti-histamines.

 

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The perfect view (not so perfect sandflies).

All too soon our holiday ended, but we returned home relaxed and refreshed (and itchy).

 

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Flying out of Cairns.

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Quilting the 21st C Round Robin

Further to my post on 25 July 2014, about the Round Robin blocks we organised at Always Quilting, I had lots of fun quilting my “Modern Quilt”.
threads I need to tick it off the list of things to do – as I know that the year is racing along and it has to be completed as soon as I can.  The pile of other projects to be completed is increasing rather than decreasing, and I find if I can get a small project quilted I feel a sense of accomplishment.

More quilting

After looking at this little quilt for ages, I decided to machine quilt wavy lines, and then circles in certain areas to mimic the pattern already there.

Yellow thread

The machining was done with the wonderful Ne 40 – in matching colours to the fabrics  1148,1135,4250(a variegated) and 2525.

quilted circles

I found Aurifil has a gorgeous variegated gold (3920) in the colours I wanted. The  more subtle change of the Ne 12 which I used for all the  hand quilting  was just perfect.

Quilting Thread

Now all I have to do is put a binding on the quilt – that is the next decision to be made – will I do a traditional binding  ??or one that is less obvious??  I call it ‘bagging the quilt out I don’t know the ‘correct’ term – but it means the binding is not obvious  on the front – more like a facing used in dressmaking.  So – still a little bit more work before I can display it properly!

 

Another Day; Another Scrap Quilt

Last week I shared my Square in a Square scrap quilt and discussed my choice of quilting thread.

Today I will discuss my choice of piecing thread on a scrap quilt. I have been working on an ‘Easy Big Block’ Pineapple quilt, designed by Cindi Edgerton for McCall’s, using only white and red fabrics.

When I say ‘red fabric’, I really mean anything remotely looking red in my stash.

Blocks with fabrics that 'read' red

Blocks with fabrics that ‘read’ red

And then, of course, when I say ‘white fabric’, it could be beige, tan or snow white.

White Fabrics...compared to the red fabric

White Fabrics…compared to the red fabric

This type of quilt construction lends itself to a production line approach sewing strips of fabric to the paper foundation, following the numbers in order.

Tissue Paper Foundations from Cindi Edgerton

Tissue Paper Foundations from Cindi Edgerton

I don’t want to worry about my thread colour choice becoming an issue with each new fabric addition.

Here are the threads I considered on several pieced blocks.

Auditioning Aurifil thread  colours

Auditioning Aurifil thread colours

I decided on the Aurifil Mako 40wt Colour 2900. It is ‘neutral’ enough to blend with my ‘white’ fabrics and ‘brown’ enough to blend with my ‘reds’.

Decision Made!

Decision Made!

I can wind several bobbins and sit and sew without changing my thread colour every time the fabric colour changes.

It is helpful to have a range of basic piecing colours so you can choose the right one for your current scrap piecing.

Several Panels are ready to stitch together

Several Panels are ready to stitch together

The ‘basic’ , or MUST HAVE Aurifil thread colours are different for each of us. What are yours? Personally I want them all!

Choosing a Quilting Thread Colour for a Scrap Quilt

The one thing that ALL patchworkers have in common is scrap fabric. Some discard their scraps and others collect and save them as precious fabric morsels. I consider my scrap collection as somewhere in between.

I will however save my scrap organization methods for another blog because I have just finished a ‘scrapy’ quilt top and I want to talk about my thread choice for quilting.

Quilt layers ready to quilt

Quilt layers ready to quilt

The block pattern is ‘Square in a Square’ and each block is color co-ordinated with itself.

Quilt Block Colours

Quilt Block colours 5

Colours for each block 1

Colour Block 3

Colour Block 2

I had just enough blue fabric left over from another project to make sashing strips and enough brown print for the setting squares. Aurifil 28wt Cotton Mako thread in colour 2735 is, I think, the perfect match for the sashing.

Quilting Thread Matches Sashing Fabric

Quilting Thread Matches Sashing Fabric

 

Aurifil 28wt Cotton Mako

Aurifil 28wt Cotton Mako

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am hand quilting a 1/4″ from all the seams and I think it will look just fine.

First Hand Quilted Block Completed

First Hand Quilted Block Completed

How do you choose a quilting thread colour for your scrapy quilts?