Friday 28 November 2014

A wedding! Congratulations to Matt and Laura.

My niece Laura is getting married today. Hooray! We are all so excited. The weather is perfect and the hair appointment  time is approaching for my daughter Hannah and I to have our up-dos done together. The boys have new outfits, shiny shoes and even the cars have been polished both inside and out! If you like I will post a few snapshots of the wedding in coming days.

Why I mention the wedding is that quilters adore weddings! By nature, quilters are givers, and they love the thought that their loved ones can be wrapped in love with a handmade quilt they have made especially for them. Blessed is the person born into a quilting family!

With that said, here is Matt and Laura wrapped in the lap quilt I designed and made for them. I used half square triangles and played with  light and dark contrasts. It is modern, vibrant and fun loving, just like them both. The quilt has already found the perfect spot in their first home.

It has been a year of quilt giving for me, and in the next few posts I will do a retrospective of my quilts for 2014, so pop by often to check them out.

My tissues are packed, and my mascara is of the industrial strength waterproof variety. For those of you who know me, I am an empathic crier, so you can just imagine how hopeless I am going to be at the wedding, when we all turn to see Laura coming down the aisle and hear the music. Oh dear - here come the tears of joy already!
Happy sewing, happy days...  Miriam x

Sunday 23 November 2014

Bags Galore!

Just before I went away, I held my first 2 bag workshops at the Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood . There was much sewing done during the workshops, but little did I know that even more would continue at home, and here are some of the spectacular results, courtesy of Fairholme Quilters Blog.

Georgie has finished this beautiful small bag, in addition to her fabulous Whopper Shopper.

Margaret made this beautiful bag ,complete with shoulder strap.

One of Lynn's granddaughters will be very happy this Christmas with this adorable fairy themed bag.

Pat made this trendy shopping bag. Don't you just love the use of blues and lime greens!

All these bags are beautifully lined, and many have zippers cleverly inserted too. There are more to show in future posts. 

With such hot weather happening here in Sydney, I decided to stay indoors and have a closer look at my "scrap bag" purchase from Cherrywood Fabrics  I am in love with these solid colours, and my mind is abuzz with ideas for using these pieces. I will keep you posted. 

Happy sewing, Miriam x

Monday 17 November 2014

Thank you Kimberly Jolly from the Fat Quarter Shop

Today I felt like Santa. I was able to see all my friends from Fairholme Quilters this morning, and give them the books so generously donated by Kimberly Jolly from The Fat Quarter Shop when I met her in Houston.

Everyone was thrilled to receive them for our library. The books are filled with quilts perfect for our community quilt needs, with clear instructions and lots of great ideas for using precuts. The quilts are fresh and timeless, suiting both our young and senior quilt recipients. 

Thank you Fat Quarter Shop . 
Happy reading and quilt making Fairholme Quilters,
Miriam x 

Friday 14 November 2014

No Place Like Home

It is true that I have had the most amazing few weeks in the USA . I thank you all for following me on this blog . I have loved sharing just some of the highlights of my whirlwind adventures with you and I do so hope that you will stay tuned to my blog, as I ramble on about my life in stitches. Please feel free to comment when you feel like it. I love hearing from you all.

So , I am back home. How sweet it is to be back with my family and friends. My bags are unpacked,  the washing pile is depleting, and I am slowly adjusting to the time zone. My sewing room looks like a bomb has hit it, but that's nothing new! I have 2 bags of goodies to enjoy delving into over the next few months. 

I usually buy printed fabrics, but I seem to be also turning towards beautiful coloured plain fabrics at the moment. The orange bag has some wool felt bundles in it, that are just crying out to be used in some small, cheerful projects. So much choice, and such little time!

Before I start designing new bags and new small projects, I need to finish the Trip Around the World Quilt that I have been hand piecing over the last several months, with  Brigitte Giblin's Facebook TAW group. The top is finished.  What do you think of it as a table topper? 

It is always good to have things to look forward to, and I am looking forward to seeing my friends at Fairholme Quilters on Monday morning. 
Happy Sewing, Miriamx 

Monday 10 November 2014

Last Day

My last  full day in New Yok was Autumn perfect. I explored the Guggenheim, where my favourite exhibit was Kandinsky Before  Abstraction. I have always loved his use of colour in his abstracts, so it was really interesting to see his woodblock prints and early painting. 

Then I just had to do some window shopping at Tiffany and Co. and Bergdorf Goodman. The Christmas windows have just started appearing and here is one of Bergdorf Goodmans sparkling beauties.
My final night was spent at Ellen's Stardust Diner,where all the waiters sing Broadway tunes.
A fitting end to a wonderful American Adventure. Happy Sewing, Miriamx

Sunday 9 November 2014

Purl Soho

Quilters are usually very talented people, and often enjoy doing other hand crafts too.  I also love to knit and crochet in the cooler months, and with this in mind I stopped by Purl Soho to check it out.

Barbara was happy to be photographed with a bright array of solids in the background. They also have a marvelous range of tempting Liberty Prints.  On the wall they display them in this pretty way

If you like luscious wools and wool felts, then you would like it here too. 
Being the consummate tourist I also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge this afternoon ( carefully!) This is a must do for anyone coming to New York. 

Happy Sewing , Miriam x 

Saturday 8 November 2014

Art , but could be a quilt too!

Mama Mia! The MoMA is the best. Sometimes I feel like the world is standing still and I am in heaven. Today was one of those times. The MoMA has just opened a Matisse exhibition of his paper cuts. Well, if ever there was an art exhibition that "speaks" to a modern quilter, then this is it. 

Whether you are a modern quilter , or a lover of appliqué , there was inspiration everywhere.

I was struck by his clear use of colour, positive/ negative space ,and shape composition. 

Of course , there was also the regular pieces on display- Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh. 

Mondrian is just asking for modern quilt interpretation

I found a few textile pieces too. This piece by Al Loving reminded me of a few stray batik strips in my stash.

This piece named "Bed" by Robert Rauschenberg incorporates an old quilt in its composition. He tries to act in the gap between art and life. I think about quilts that way too, and I am sure I am not alone.

That was my day , and I am content.
Happy sewing, Miriam x

Friday 7 November 2014

American Folk Art Museum

Sadly,my visit to the American Folk Art Museum did not result in seeing any quilts. The museum has now moved to a very small gallery, and their extensive collection of folk art quilts is not on regular display. You can find pictures by following the Museum's link above. 

I have had an iconic day though, visiting some of my all time favourite buildings. Rockefeller Centre still provides the best panoramic views of the city and it's surrounds.

The Chrysler Building is my favourite Art Deco depression era building, and Grand Central makes you want to leap on a train and go on a journey- the promise of adventure.

After 10 days of non- stop action, my ol' broken leg injury has flared up, but never fear- not even that will stop me visiting the MOMA tomorrow! 
Happy sewing, Miriam x 

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Erin Wilson and the NewYork City Quilter

Another action packed day here in NYC . The day started with a walk along the Highline,where I caught glimpses of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Then we walked through Chelsea Markets, and on to the New York City Quilter. Lucky me! The exhibitor in their gallery space was Erin Wilson . Her quilts are exquisite and clever. They are machine pieced, not foundation pieced!!
Take a look at a few of her city inspired quilts here. 

For those of you who would like to see the shop, here is a quick pic too.
Maybe I found a few New York fat quarters- not telling! 
Happy sewing, Miriam x

Tuesday 4 November 2014

New York Highlights

I am in love with New York. Today has been pure magic . The sky was crystal clear and there was just a hint of Autumn in the air. I started the day with a walk through Central Park, where the leaves are starting to colour. There are lots of hidden statues and bridges just waiting to be discovered.

Then I spent the day exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I couldn't help but be inspired by exquisite classic designs like these

and subtle colour ways like these Egyptian sculptures.

I also found this gorgeous 1779 Boston Sampler 

The inscription reads

How beautiful .  I could have spent a whole week at the Met, and still not have  seen everything. 

My feet are aching, and my head is spinning , but I have never felt better! Tonight I am going to see Aida. Life is tough. 

Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Sunday 2 November 2014

The Show is over.

I have to admit- I am exhausted. Last night I went to Gala on the Green - a dinner, dance and fireworks display  to commemorate 40 years at Houston . Yes- I ate way too much. Yes- I  danced some embarrassing 70s dance moves ( just got caught up in the moment) and yes - I gasped
at the fireworks and the ice sculpture.

Today I wandered around all the quilt displays. There was a huge variety on display. While I can truly appreciate and admire the fine handwork of the traditional quilts , my eye is often drawn to modern colour, composition and simplicity. I am not a huge fan of embellishment, and crystals seem quite popular here.  Here are just a few of my favourites , and they are not the award winners. This is Forest Storm by Cay Mackenzie.

The next quilt is Mere Color by Julie Scribner. The title comes from Oscar Wilde "Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning..... can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."

Need a closer look ...

I love the way the quilting works here. 

All in all, I think that as  Australian Quilters we can be proud of our wonderfully vibrant , creative quilting,  and the way we are uniquely taking quilting  into the 21st Century. Take a bow ladies - we rock! 
Happy sewing, Miriam xx 

Saturday 1 November 2014

Fairholme Quilters' New Best Friend.

Saturday at Houston. Today I went to two lectures. One was with Peggy Martin about taking quilt blocks one step beyond, and the other was about quilting in stages with Marti Mitchell. I will have lots to share when I get home.

My star struck moment today was with Kimberly Jolly of the Fat Quarter Shop.

Kimberly loved hearing about the Fairholme Quilters and  has kindly donated all these books to our group.

That was so generous of her. It feels like Christmas ! Thank you Kimberly for your support of our community quilt projects. There are many patterns in these books that will be perfect for our purposes. Kimberly and her team are great charity workers in their own right too.

For those of us who follow the Fat Quarter Shop you know how busy they are. I had to ask Kimberly if she ever slept and she assured me that she sleeps 8 hours a night!
Tomorrow I will just look at all the quilts ,before I leave. Happy sewing,Miriam xx