Monday, 6 June 2011

Journal quilts

22 - June 3 - Pink Flowers 21 May 27 - Woven Sari silk 20 - May 20 - Anyone for Tea19 - May 13 - Red Squares18 - May 6 - Conduit16 - April 22 - Screened #
17 - April 29 - Origami Squares15 - April 15 - Paper Bag Face14 - April 8 - Making Faces 213 - April 1 - Precious Metal12 - March 25 - Bojagi11 - March 18 - Village

Journal collage, a set on Flickr.

It's fun to look at my journal quilts in a group

Long Weekend Journal

The long weekend has been a very welcome and relaxing break. My quilt group met on Saturday and we gave me a chance to return to a project that has been on the back burner for a while, a scrappy flannel quilt. I'm pleased to say it is now a top, and the bulk of my flannel scraps are history. Today is a very grey day so I'll wait for a better opportunity to take a picture.

I've also been able to get up to date with my journals, making last week's "Pink Flower" using a technique from the free tutorials at the Three Creative Studios website.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Journals - Weeks 19, 20 and 21

Here we go. Week 19 is Red Squares, made using a technique from Pam Watts in "A Beginners Guide to Machine Embroidery".

Week 20, Anyone for Tea, uses the same piece of embroidery as Red Squares to make a tea cup and I appliqued this on a lush piece of blue velvet for contrast, then mounted it on some pretty blue batik.

Week 21, is some very simple fabric weaving with sari silk strips (I had originally planned to knit these, at the encouragement of an enthusiastic vendor, but that turned out to be very hard)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Christmas Preparations

The year is racing by and May is nearly gone so it is already time to share the month's Christmas gift preparations.

I made this tissue box cover using the tutorial from Pink Penguin. It's an easy tutorial to follow, and I wouldn't mind one of these for myself. The lining is neatly finished so that it is reversible.

My favourite Christmas project so far has been to make a stocking for an exchange I am taking part in. I was assigned a partner, and we each made a stocking for each other. The really fun thing is that we have already swapped stockings, in fact we did this at the end of March, and now every month we make or buy a small gift, wrap it and mail it, to be placed in the stocking and not opened until Christmas.

This is the stocking I made for my partner Lorraine

And this is the stocking she made for me. Isn't it beautiful?

I especially love the piece of tatting that is stitched onto this and the way that Lorraine has used some pretty gold buttons and charms as embellishments because I said I liked metallic buttons. This stocking has such a feels of an old fashioned Christmas. I'm so lucky.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Week 18 Journal - Conduit

This is one journal quilt which I love. It was made using the gentle curves technique that Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer taught in her recent class... I think I might wear out Jeannette's name soon because I use it so often, usually along with the superlatives "fabulous" or "fantastic".

I'm beginning feel the pinch of time with these journals as they seem to take all my available quilting time, but leave me wanting to do more. Often they seem unfinished to me, but I have to make the decision to stop working on one and move on in order keep meeting the challenge of creating something weekly. It's an interesting conflict.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Journal Quilts - Weeks 15, 16 and 17

Catch up time.

Week 15 - Paper Bag Face

A recent visit to the local embroiders group inspired me to try this technique of stitching on a crumpled bag with old wool/yarn. The stitched piece is then painted, and I stamped mine and edged it with gold pen, and gold machine stitching. The other two layers of the "quilt" are iron on stabilizer.

Week 16 - Screen Printed #

This is my first ever piece of screen printing! At Symposium I did a three day class with Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer to learn screen printing using thickened dyes, fabric paints and thiox to discharge the colour from dark fabrics. I had so much fun. In preparation for the class I had been to a fabric dyeing class locally, so that I would have some coloured fabrics as a base for printing on.

Jeannette was an incredible tutor, very knowledgeable and great at communicating her knowledge to complete beginners. You can see her amazing work at her website

Week 17 - Origami Squares

I was lucky enough to spend another two days learning from Jeannette when I returned from Symposium. Our quilt guild just had a class where she taught art quilt construction techniques for 2 days. I loved learning to fold these origami squares.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Queenstown trip

Queenstown was beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. The constant topic of conversation at the "Remarkable Symposium" was how many layers of clothing we were wearing to keep warm.

I had fantastic classes and got to meet up with Marina from Maisie and the Boys. These hexagons from the exhibition are for Marina who was stitching hexagons on her trip around NZ. I love the jewel colours on black.

Top to bottom:
Helen Marshall - Aurora Floriferous
Marg Hurst - In My Retirement

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Week 14 journal - Making Faces 2

This is stitched on heavy lutrador that I first printed with images and then painted. The images mostly disappeared with the painting.

I would like to make "pretty" faces... I think it's going to take some work.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Catching up on posting journal quilts - Weeks 11, 12 & 13

Week 11 - Happy Village... cut from a larger piece started some years ago when Karen Eckmeier came to town to give a lecture about her techniques.

Week 12 - Bojagi... the centre panel was made in a Korean needlework class organised by our local Embroidery Guild and Patchwork Club.

Week 13 - Precious Metals... playing with bits and pieces

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Week 9 Journal - funny face & Week 10 - what's on my desk

Last week was so buy that I needed a quick solution for the journal quilt. I had this face that I had made in a class with Griet Lombard last year. It was headed for the orphan block pile so a little bit of quick quilting and a free motion zig-zag finish turned it into a journal.

This week seems to be all about what's on my desk. At work it's a back log of work, at home it's piles of scrap fabric left over from making Christchurch earthquake quilts. I made this improvisational piece using some of those scraps.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Christmas progress

The inspiration for my February project comes from Marina at Maisie and the Boys who was my secret Santa in a 2010 Christmas exchange. One of the gifts she made and gave to me was a gorgeous little scissor keeper or sewing case, and I liked it so much I decided to make some to give too. I put together a couple of these in one night, and tucked some sewing goodies in. They look cute and and are really handy - just what I need in my gift stash. Thanks Marina.

FYI - This pattern is in Patchwork & Stitching magazine Vol 7 No 5

Friday, 25 February 2011

Christchurch Earthquake and Week 8 Journal - X

Speech by Prime Minister John Key after the Christchurch earthquake 23 February, 2011

New Zealand Flag at Half Mast at KiwiWise

'New Zealanders have woken to a tragedy unfolding in the great city of Christchurch.
The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region at ten to one yesterday has wreaked death and destruction on a dreadful scale.
There is no reason that can make sense of this event.
No words that can spare our pain.
We are witnessing the havoc caused by a violent and ruthless act of nature.
Many people have lost their lives. Families have lost their cherished loved ones. Mates have lost their mates.
These deaths are the greatest loss.
They remind us that buildings are just buildings, roads just roads, but our people are irreplaceable.

Today all New Zealanders grieve for you Christchurch.
To all those who woke up in Christchurch today feeling lucky to be alive, we know that you too are shocked, unnerved and grieving.
We know that your loss is sharpened by fear.
Our minds go to the mothers and fathers comforting children struck by anxiety and disbelief.
They go to the elderly, infirm and isolated who experienced this event alone and who remain blunted by shock.
And they go to each and every Cantabrian who has stoically endured six months of aftershocks, only to be hit by the biggest shock of all.

On behalf of New Zealand let me say to all of you: We feel your pain, as only a small nation can, for none of us feel removed from this event....'
...New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.
Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.
I promise we will meet this test...
...We pay tribute to the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, medical professionals and each and every person who is contributing to this effort.
You are heroes amongst us...
...We will rise to these challenges.
We will rebuild this city resolutely, and with the conviction that this is what it is to be a Cantabrian, what it is to be a New Zealander.
We are a country of pioneers. Whether we came by waka, sailboat, or aeroplane, we came with the conviction that we could build a new life in this country.
That great pioneering spirit will come to the fore in Christchurch over the coming months and years.
Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though your city will never look the same again, you will rebuild your city, you will rebuild your lives, you will overcome...

Not a huge amount of meaning went into this weeks journal when I was organised and made it last Sunday. Now though it will always be a reminder of the week of the crippling Christchurch Earthquake.

I made this after working on a couple of blocks for a group project at 15 Minutes Play. I liked them and thought I could see a journal in them. I hand stitched - I wont call it quilting cos it's more like tacking really ;o) but I love the effect.

Thanks to Kiwiwise for the flag image.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Week 7 journal - leaves

This week I wanted to make something acheivable rather than challenging. I flicked through some Quilting Arts magazines and found a picture of a cushion by Linda and Laura Kemshell whichI was sure I could adapt to the journal format.

I used some hand dyed fabric from the workshop I went to last year, stitched the leaves and then painted them. Once they were dry I stippled the background. I always love stitching leaves.

This week I've been working on some gifts for Christmas throughout the year, and a couple of stitchery projects. I'll share these soon. I'm enjoying spending more time on my quilting and sewing this year than I have in the recent past.

While doing some blog hopping I found this great film thanks to Jill at Life and Times of Jill

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Week 6 journal - absent friends

This is the first week that I've struggled to pull off my journal quilt. I think it's because I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to make from the outset other than to use the photo, and everything I did seemed to be wrong. I had all these loose ideas about family and the fact that this is a picture of my grandfather with his adoptive parents. I wanted to contrast their serious expressions was cute words about love but what I was doing with it wasn't coming together. I had painted the background, over painted it, covered it with organza to hide the paint, but the organza was too shiny so I stitched on some fabric strips and they were too bright. Nothing was working.

I had lunch mid-week with two lovely local bloggers - Carole and Lynette - and they gave me some great advice, which included "keep going" and "keep adding". So I persevered with it, rethought a couple ideas, added gesso (lovely gesso, covers a multitude of sins). A hunt through my paper treasures box produced the image of the lady in the hat and it reminded me of a photo I have, which is supposedly my grandad's birth mother. I already had the pieces of champagne bottle foil stitched on so the Robert Burns poem "Toasting Absent Friends" tied it altogether nicely.

I'm certainly happy with the way the emotional loose ends are tied up, and am more happy with it visually than I was with the mid-week version, but I'd really like constuctive feedback on it because it was such a challenging process.

A Toast to Absent Friends

"to absent friends
to those we have met
to those we have yet to meet
to those who have left us for a while
and to those who have left us forever

let us lift our glasses
and drink a toast
that they may abide in our hearts forever

to absent friends"

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Week 5 journal - creams

This looks modest but I'm really pleased with it. I've never managed to successfully make a piece in creams before, colour always sneaks up on me and overwhelms it.

Originally I was planning to use this as a background for some handstitched flowers, but because I like the creaminess I'm leaving it as it is. The free motion zig-zag is a new to me and it's quick and easy, and really effective. This would be a great technique for backgrounds for lots of different things.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Week 4 journal - Sophie and Rua

Meet Sophie and Rua, Morepork chicks thrown out of the nest by their parents because recent warm weather has made it tough work to care for them. When I saw this story and the accompanying photo in our morning paper it immediately spoke to me for a journal quilt. The two chicks featured are being cared for by Department of Conservation staff who are taking them home at night time to keep up the demanding feeding schedule. They had been named Sophie and Rua.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Christmas progress

Yesterday was the 25th and I didn't get a chance to post on my first months progress with making Christmas things. I got caught up moving furniture between rooms last night. We have decided to swap our lounge and bedroom around and had to do yesterday because the TV company come to recable today.

My big finish for the Christmas stash this month has been these lavender bags using some op-shop linen. These turned out really pretty, and and the gift drawer smells lovely too.

My other Christmas project is these little stitcheries. Such cute patterns, and I've a had a lovely time sitting in front of the TV stitching these. The will become... something larger but I'll post about that later on.

I've made a stocking for a swap too but I can't show that until it has been swapped.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Week 3 journal - making faces

This week I wanted to try stitching a face in the style of Terri Stegmiller. You can see her beautiful journals and other amazing work on flickr here. I sketched on paper first, so that I had an idea of what I wanted to stitch and then tried to translate it with free motion stitching. While the sketch helped with the overall size and general idea of the image, the two aren't exactly alike.

I learned not to stitch to many lines. This image is to heavily stitched, and that happened really quickly. I also learned that once the eyes are wonky it's kind of hard to fix!! I had fun making this and finding the pretty fabrics for the askew borders. I think I'll try this again sometime. Thanks for the inspiration Terri.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Week 2 journal

I've been tidying up over the last couple of days. I can shut the cupboard door now which is real progress. This journal quilt was made with scraps that I found during that process. I used a basic collage process so there are lots of raw edges. I'm not sure I like it - it didn't turn out as I had planned, though I am pleased with the effect of the ribbon binding.

Around here

My sewing at the moment seems to be focused on a couple of quilt-a-long projects I've joined. For a while now I've wanted to use u...