Bright and bold

I’m away from home attending a conference and posting from my iPad which is a bit tricky, so will just share one of my first quilts with you.

I have a number of young friends who have migrated to Australia from various countries.  Many have no family here in Australia, so in some ways I try to provide a little “de-facto”  family support.  One young couple came to Australia from Colombia and had a baby daughter called Isabella.  She is simply gorgeous with olive skin and beautiful black hair.  Her mum was keen on something pink and I just knew that her quilt needed to be bright and bold.

Isabella's Quilt 2013

Isabella’s Quilt 2013

This is what I came up with.  It was only the 3rd quilt that I made so I was pleased with it and Isabella thought it was pretty!

Isabella's Quilt - Dots for the back

Isabella’s Quilt – Dots for the back


Colour Palette: Warm colours in a colleague’s skirt

No one is safe as far as cloth or textiles are concerned when I am around!  A colleague was wearing a beautiful skirt the other  day.  I loved the geometric design and also the colours so I asked if I could take a quick photo!  I then made a colour palette – perhaps some shapes and colours for a future quilt?

2014-08-24 20.15.29

Making wonky progress

2014-08-26 09.02.02After an awful day yesterday I decided that some fabric therapy was needed so last night I made a couple of blocks for my improv wonky log cabin creation.  It’s taking a long time to complete it, I think partly because what started off as some experimental small pieces has morphed into a quilt.  I therefore didn’t have an initial concept for the whole, just for the pieces, and that’s meant it hasn’t flowed to a set plan.

I am determined to get it finished and have now decided to make it 48″x60″  (the blocks end-up as 12 inch squares).  These blocks still need their borders, but I have decided to make the rest of the “wonkies” first and then do all the remaining borders.

Now that it is getting near the end – 6 blocks to go (I discarded a few because they didn’t “feel” right) – I’ve realized that colour and fabric choices are becoming more important as they need to fit within an overall scheme to unify the whole top.Salmon and flowers

The original concept was to deal with 3 design elements:

  1. warm/orange/almost monotone palette
  2. improv
  3. log cabins (sort of!)

I have pretty much stayed within those parameters, with a touch or slice, of other colours here and there, like the green and pink.

Colours of a Sydney winter

Last week I found a reference to a book that I thought I couldn’t live without, but it was very expensive so I wanted to see it before deciding whether to buy it.  Fortunately Sydney has a Kinokuniya bookstore and they had it in stock.

After a week of rain and being indoors, and in the spirit of my last  post about walking, my flatmate and I decided to walk into the city to check it out. This took us about an hour but it was great to be out and about and to window shop on the way.

As usual I took my iPad along.  The centre of Sydney has two beautiful natural areas – one is Hyde Park (white settlement of Australia was by the British, hence the name) and the other is the Botanic Gardens which I mentioned in a recent post.

We walked through Hyde Park to get to the store and I decided to take a couple of photos of the late winter colours that caught my eye.  This morning I taught myself how to turn them into colour palettes – so here they are:

The 1st one is the bark of a beautiful, sturdy, old tree.

Tree BarkTree Bark PaletteThe 2nd one is of a garden of plants which I think are called cabbage roses.  I just love the purple shades with the green and the fact that plants don’t have to be flowers to be beautiful!

Cabbages Roses Cabbage roses paletteMore about the book later – it is truly fabulous. Of course I bought it!

Hope you are having a colourful week-end.


Walking through winter

WalkingNot a lot of sewing, or anything else creative, has been done recently – after 10 hour days at work I often don’t have the energy or creativity when I get home.  I have, however, been doing some reading to escape the humdrum of daily life.

I’ve just finished reading Walking the Woods and the Water by Nick Hunt.  It was just the thing for cold, wet winter nights.  I tend to read much more non-fiction nowadays and particularly like reading about journeys, whether metaphorical or literal.

After reading Patrick Leigh Fermor’s books  about his 1933 walk across Europe (A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, and the posthumous The Broken Road) Hunt decided to mirror Fermor’s walk using his books as a travel guide.  Starting in Holland Hunt kept walking for 7 months across 8 countries, eventually reaching Istanbul.

It’s a beautifully descriptive tale, some of the writing is lyrical and rich in metaphor with insights into the cultures and troubles of the countries he traverses and the centuries of history that have informed the present.

IdiotIt reminded me of another great book I have read about a long journey on foot called The Idiot and the Odyssey – Walking the Mediterranean by Joel Stratte-McClure.  Both books are written by journalists, the latter by an American who has lived in France for 30 years.  He decided to walk around the Mediterranean Sea after the end of his marriage and “ middle of a melancholy divorce, mired in an emotional and spiritual cesspool and greatly in need of a cosmic uplift.”  Armed with a copy of Homer’s Odyssey he set off on a mid-life meditation.

This one was “weightier” in subject matter and, of the two, I enjoyed it more, but they are both good reads.  Both of them made me want to get up and get walking!!!

I would love to do a long walk (long by my standards would be about a month!) in Europe some day, although I would check how many mountains it involved before I set out.  I’m not good on hill-climbs!

Of course Australia also has some good walking routes, although unlike Europe the distances are longer and we tend not to have villages, so much more camping out would be required.  The Cradle Mountain Walk down in Tasmania is certainly on my list.  This wilderness area is part of a World Heritage listed national park and is stunning.

Cradle MountainAnyone want to join me?