About socialstitcher

I love colour and cloth and design and make colourful modern quilts. I enjoy learning quilting techniques and anything to do with textile design. I also dabble in embroidery and would like to be able to crochet. I live in Sydney Australia with my two cats Pepe and Cosmo who like catnaps just as much as I do.

Quilt and colour adventures

Not a lot of stitching has been happening, but there have been some beautiful quilts in my life as in April I made my annual trip down to Melbourne to the Australasian Quilt Convention.

This year one of the special exhibits were the winners from QuiltCon 2018 and it was great to see these stunning quilts “up close and personal”.  Most of you will have seen photos of them already so I won’t post them here.

I also particularly enjoyed the retrospective of the work of Australian quilter Carolyn Sullivan.  Her work is influenced by the diversity of Australian land forms, and native plants and grasses and features exquisite hand stitching and plant dyed cloth.

These three close-ups give a taste of just how beautiful the work is with subtle variations of colour and stitching which gives a sense of movement across the pieces. The textures just beg you to touch them!

Something completely different again was the exhibit of the Travel series of quilts of British quilter Gillian Travis. I loved the skill and the whimsy of these quilts – they bought a smile to my face.

Sardines cropped

 

Each quilt features an iconic aspect of the country she visits such as this quilt depicting sardines in Portugal. The image is cropped so it does not feature the whole quilt.

It is always difficult to capture an entire quilt when taking photos in narrow aisles.

 

 

 

 

 

Jumpers cropped

This one featured Icelandic jumpers – the detailed work was astonishing as each one was unique with individual patterns and stitching.

You can see some of the detail in the close up photo below.  Aren’t they divine?

Her website is also a delight – go check it out!

 

Close jumpers

Just looking at these three exhibits showed the amazing diversity and skill in the quilting community and it was a delight to see these and all the other quilts in the overall exhibition.

One project of my own over the past month was cutting up the latest Kona Solids Cotton Colour card – all 340 pieces of it.  I then cut up 340 pieces of magnetic tape and stuck it to the back of each colour.  The individual colours were then placed on two white boards.

Warm Kona colours

I bought the white boards at KMart for $12 each which was a good price after checking around.  I decided to use two boards instead of one because they were easier to put on my walls of my apartment and it also gave me more room to play on the boards when I am choosing colour palettes.Cool Kona colours

I bought the magnetic tape at Officeworks.  This tape was thicker than tape in the dispensers, but it was stronger and the right width for the colour swatches.

 

This tape  also comes in packs of 50 cut pieces which I cut into 2 pieces each.

 

All up I used one pack of cut pieces and two rolls of the thick tape.

Until next time happy stitching.

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Finished Coverlet and Happy Cats

Cossie on CCC

I’m pleased to say that I finished the Crazy Catlady Coverlet on Sunday and the moment I  placed it on my bed Cosmo occupied what he regards as his rightful place in the household.

Boys

 

This was followed by my flatmate, Cosmo and Pepe all deciding to test its comfort – it received a resounding “paws up”.

Peps on CCC

Pepe has also decided that it is his favourite spot for a morning snooze.

I decided on a coverlet, as it has been a very hot and humid summer here in Sydney and I wanted it to be light enough to leave on while I sleep.  I also wanted to be able to wash and dry it quickly – so no batting and also no binding.

After working out a few measurements to ensure that it would drape over the sides so that it stays in place when the Boys jump up and off the bed. It ended up 78″ wide by 72″ long with the side drape and I didn’t want to tuck it in at either end. The side borders of cat wonky stars are my favourite part of it.

CCC

All in all a happy first finish for 2018.

 

Slow start to the year and coverlet in production

After having a lovely couple of weeks break over Christmas and New Year I’m now back in the daily grind of work doing a new job for the next 8 months.

I managed to finish the baby quilt for Samuel on New Years Eve   He has just returned from visiting  his grandparents in Colombia  and I hope to be able to deliver it this week. It looks yellow in these photos but the colour is Kona wasabi  which is more citrus yellow.

Front Sam Quilt

Sam back

 

I spent a lot of time improving my quilting on this one and did lots of echo quilting of the various shapes and I’m pleased with how it turned out.  I must admit quilting is my least favourite part of making quilts but I hope to overcome that when I have more time in future.

 

I also now make a carry-bag for each baby quilt so that it can be easily taken out and about.Sam's bag

It’s been a slow start on other stitching but I do have a project in full swing.  “The boys” i.e. Cosmo and Pepe love to snooze on my bed which is more than fine with me but they do leave lots of fluff behind!   I usually place an old quilt on the bed so that my good quilt and bed clothes don’t get covered in fur, but summer temperatures here in Sydney make it too hot.  I therefore decided to stitch a lightweight coverlet (no batting, just a front and back) which can be easily washed and dried.

CoverletAs the idea started with “the boys” I decided to make it with some of the cat fabrics that I had in my stash. Friends regularly give me cat fabrics and I tend to buy it if I see it.  Hence, the Crazy Catlady Coverlet has been in production.

I had no real plan at the start and was restricted by having mostly fat quarters rather than yardage and I have made it up as I go.  It has morphed into an improv log-cabin(ish) style and will be about 72″X 78″ finished.

I ran out of fabric for the width and decided to make wonky starts for side borders so that it will drape over the side of the bed. These are 12″ square and I’ll need 6 for each side.

Cosmo testing

Of course Cosmo had to be involved – I think this means a seal of approval before it is even complete!

It’s been making me smile and I’m looking forward to a finish.

See you again soon with more photos of the finished coverlet.

Sewjo is back

After being missing in action for quite a while my sewjo has recently returned. I think this has been partly due to necessity – a new baby needed a quilt and my work clothes wardrobe was looking rather depleted.  Whatever the reason, I’m glad it’s back.

These are some of my recent makes.

A quilttop for new baby Samuel which will be finished over the Christmas break. His parents are originally from Colombia and they requested the colours of the Colombian flag – hence the colour choices.  I made this up as I went along and I’m quite pleased with the result.Samuel's quilt

AG top

 

I drafted a pattern for this top from one in my wardrobe and made a few alterations such as lengthening the sleeve and adding side vents.  I used some Alison Glass cotton which sits well on the body. I have received compliments each time I’ve worn it, so I count that as a success. Plus it’s the first time I have drafted my own pattern and perfected a side vent –  some new skills have been added to my repertoire.

 

The next project was a Santa sack for my workplace secret Santa gift giving.  They didn’t have one and of course I volunteered to make one.  I didn’t want to mimic the northern hemisphere – it is very hot in Australia at Christmas, so I chose some Alexander Henry fabric which is more in tune with the bright colours of an Australian summer.

 

Each side is is different but from the same range.  It will get some use during the year as a quilt WIP bag.

Christmas tree

My latest project  finished last night is this improv Christmas tree wall hanging (approx fat-quarter in size). I live in an apartment and don’t have much room for a real tree, plus “the boys” Pepe and Cosmo, would probably tear it to pieces anyway. This  “tree” is about to be hung on the wall above my tv unit bench and the gifts will be placed underneath.

I just improvised  as I went along. I fused the green strips onto the background fabric and then zig-zagged the edges as a QAYG method. The red balls are beads that I hand stitched.

My new skill this time was making a hanging sleeve and it’s my first ever mini!

I have more making plans for this week so until next time – enjoy stitching and making.  Keep calm and eat cake!

Arty outings

After a winter of discontent (with apologies to Shakespeare) which involved illness, hospital stays and two deaths of those close to me, I’m starting to feel almost human again, if not my old self.

Snuggle boys

Cosmo and Pepe have been my constant and loving companions through all my trials and tribulations. They also love quilts!

I would have been completely lost without them. The healing power of animals always is often underestimated in my view.

Very little stitching has been happening – I’m not exactly sure why, but I seem unable to make decisions about fabric and colours – it just seems to require energy that I have not yet regained.  I’m hopeful that it will return soon!

I have however been out and about to see some textiles, quilts and other art.

Processed with MOLDIVDenise Schmidt was in Australia for a series of workshops in  September and I attended a display of her quilts and a lecture.  It is always quite fascinating to discover where we find our inspiration for our creative pursuits.

My next outing was to an exhibition of the work by final year textile students of the Art and Design faculty of the University of New South Wales which has an exchange program for students to go to India to learn dying and block printing techniques.

Students develop designs and then work with master block printers Dr Ishmael Kshatriyas and Sufiyan Khartoum in Ajrakhpur, Kutch, India. As you can see some fabulous work resulted from these collaborations. These were all yardage of several yards and the precision of the printing was incredible.

The exhibition was held during the inaugural Sydney Craft Week which was also the occasion of a small quilt show in Mosman exhibiting the works of the Barn Quilters.

Mosman quilt 1

 

 

I was taken with this quilt by Sue Miller of a Sassafras Lane Design called Arcadia Avenue.

It was Sue’s first foundation paper pieced quilt and she did a fabulous job. Mosman close up

CH Steps

 

 

I was also struck by how the quilting can influence the look of the piecing in this quilt called Fields of Gold by Sue Rogerson.

 

 

 

 

 

CH steps detail

 

It is a Courthouse Steps block which is not immediately evident because the eye first focuses on the hand quilting.

 

 

 

My last outing was to the wonderful annual outdoor sculpture exhibition called Sculpture by the Sea which is located on a beachside walk between two of our beautiful beaches – Bondi and Tamarama.  It always attracts huge crowds and this year I was fortunate enough to get tickets to a twilight preview which was just lovely.  These were some of my favourites.SBS3

I’m off to Sydney’s Modern Quilt Guild show this week-end (with quilts from around Australia) which should be fun. I’m doing a workshop on bias applique so that I can add  this to my repertoire of quilty skills.

I’ll keep you posted with some photos shortly.