Tuesday 24 June 2014

Another vintage quilt

Another vintage quilt arrived from the US yesterday. I bought it on eBay a while ago for a very reasonable price - probably because of the two holes in the top of the quilt. Apart from those and a few stains on the back it is in a very good condition. It is hand-pieced and hand-quilted, a lovely scrappy Lone Star.

The person who sold it found it in a trunk she bought in a garage sale in Waco, Texas, in the 1990s. She has no idea who made it and how old it is. The holes look as if someone just put it up on a wall by hammering two nails through the quilt!

This will be the last vintage quilt for a while as my PayPal account is now empty! I buy these quilts with the money I make with my Blue Jacaranda shop on Etsy and my Spoonflower fabric sales. Hubby doesn't really understand what I want with these old quilts. It is hard to explain... ;-)

Saturday 21 June 2014


The dragon of the sky is finished!

I had so much fun making this quilt. The best part was attaching all the rhinestones:

I free-motion-quilted spirals in the background, inspired by the tail of the dragon. Free-motion quilting is not something I enjoy doing, but I do like the texture it created.

Ernst loves his dragon recreated in fabric. We might do another one together (I have found a very groovy green fabric) but first I have a few other projects to finish. Stay tuned!

Read more about the making of this quilt here, here and here.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Dragon progress

Slowly but surely the dragon of the sky is created in fabric.

His claws are added...

And his eyes (what you thought were eyes are his nostrils!)

The 'spikes' are his wings. They move so fast that they seem to be stationary. The dragon lives high in the sky, much higher than aeroplanes go.

Ready for quilting!

Friday 13 June 2014

Another antique quilt

A few weeks ago I saw this delightful vintage quilt on eBay. I was lucky and got it for a very reasonable price, and yesterday it arrived. Isn't it cute? I've never seen this block before - tumbling blocks with bows tied around them, how original!

The quilt was advertised as pre-1930s. I'm not sure if it is that old as that hearts fabric looks more recent to me - I think it was probably made in the 1950s. But I love the design and am very happy to have acquired this quilt. It's completely hand-pieced and hand-quilted. The seller told me that it was made in Pennsylvania, US.

There's some damage to a few blocks and some running of the red dyes, but overall it's in a pretty good condition. It has joined the other antique quilts on my antique sewing machine :-)

Stay tuned for an update about the Wild Fabrications quilt this weekend!

Sunday 8 June 2014

Thinking of Holland

This quilt was made in November 2013. It was my entry for Living Colour! but it was not selected. I was very disappointed, as the theme really spoke to me and I knew immediately that I would make a quilt showing the famous flower fields in Holland. Initially I called it Flower Fields Forever, but I changed the name to Thinking of Holland, because it does really remind me of my home country.

We lived close to those fields in the last few years before we moved to Australia and, yes, they really are so vividly colourful! (here are some great photos). I had to add a windmill, cliché or not - they have such an attractive shape and there were lots of them where we used to live. And you will recognise the bicycle as the one I used in my Cycle of Life quilt (based on a photo of my husband and our youngest son).

I used my favourite Aurifil thread for piecing and quilting. The quilt is hanging over our dinner table and I am enjoying looking at it every day. But I am also happy that it is going to travel around Australia soon, as part of the World of Colour exhibition organised by Berry Patchwork. It is even going to Uluru! How I wish I could go and see it there!

Friday 6 June 2014

My Gymnast

Today I received a cd with photos of my eldest son taken at the Australian Gymnastics Championships and I can't resist sharing a few of my favourites here. All of these photos are made by the fabulous photographers at WinkiPoP Media and the copyright remains theirs.

Parallel bars:


High bar:



And my absolute favourite photo, rings:

I have asked and received permission to use this photo as the starting point for a new art quilt - so stay tuned!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

State of the dragon

This is the current state of the dragon. I found a gorgeous glittery gold fabric that looks great but is an absolutely pain to sew with!

I cut the mouth, glued it to the black background fabric and tried to stitch it in place. It kept moving and distorting... grrr! I have stitched it onto the quilt top now and will use a satin stitch in gold thread to cover the edges later.

The teeth are made from white felt, and only the base is sewn to the background, so they add a little bit of a 3D effect. Ernst loves it and I'm pretty happy with the overall picture as well. Sadly I won't have time to work on it tomorrow, but I hope to get on with it on Thursday.

To be continued!

Sunday 1 June 2014

Wild Fabrications

A few days ago I saw a call for entry for a new SAQA exhibit: Wild Fabrications. I have been making a lot of traditionals quilts and quilted items for Down Under Quilts in the last six months and I really feel like starting a new art quilt project. The exhibit concept reads as follows:

'Wild Fabrications celebrates a world of animals both real and fantastical. Let your imagination run wild as you create interesting and unusual interpretations of animals using unexpected or unconventional materials and adornment, and/or unusual techniques. We are looking for whimsical and creative depictions of animals. Your animals may be common or capricious; odd or ordinary; live or imagined. The key to this call is to have fun!'

That sounds good, doesn't it? I asked my middle son Ernst (9) if he would like to design a fantastical animal for me to recreate in an art quilt. He sure would! He started drawing immediately:

He drew and drew...

... and drew...

... and drew:

(And drew some more, but I won't show you all nine dragons!) It was a very difficult choice but in the end we decided to go for 'the dragon of the sky'. Ernst re-drew it for me on a large piece of paper:

Here it is. This dragon lives in the sky and never ever comes down to the ground. When it is really tired (very rarely) it will sleep on a cloud.

I traced the drawing on tracing paper:

In my stash I found a beautiful handdyed purple fabric. I backed it with fusible webbing and cut out the tail of the dragon. I hadn't realised until after I started cutting that it was going to be the mirror image of the original drawing, but fortunately Ernst didn't mind. Here is step one of the quilt!

Now I need to go and find a yellow fabric - and some more fusible webbing.

To be continued!

PS I asked the curator if it was okay to use a drawing of my son and to post this on my blog. It was :-)