Thursday 30 June 2016

Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2016 Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my favourite quilts from the Sydney Craft and Quilt Show 2016 . These quilts really stood out for me it but before  I start I would just like to say a big hooray for all the quilts at the show.

Each quilt there was  made with a purpose,  a creative style and a passion. They may not all be your style or your idea of ' perfection' but that doesn't matter at all.

Let us all celebrate quilting in all its forms. Quilting is alive and well and thriving in NSW. Our talent is abundant and awe inspiring. Read on! 

Here are some quilts to get you thinking, and hopefully looking a little more closely at the next quilt show with awe and appreciation.

First up in my " Modern Section"  is Megan Manwaring's  gorgeous quilt 'Coffee in Colour.' This quilt just glows and  it attracted many an admiring eye! Sublime! 

Let's look a little bit more closely . The fabric colours and prints are so cleverly chosen and the dimensional effect is stunning.  Each cup has its own personality and I would quite happily have a shelf full of these in my house! Such a wonderful use of Kaffe collective large floral prints.  Megan's use of Kaffe stripe fabrics set next to  plain/shot cottons with horizontal  stripe quilting is really effective as the background too. Thanks for allowing me to share this here Megan. 

Next in this section is a celebration of shibori dyeing and a smorgasbord of techniques. Here is Jessica  Wheelahan's 'Water on Mars' quilt.  Jessica Shibori hand dyed many of the fabrics featured in this quilt, used improvisational piecing techniques and hand and machine quilted this complex and fascinating quilt, inspired by the discovery of water on Mars. 

There is a wonderful play of colour and movement in this quilt . The use of stitching , fabric and butttons to create texture is one of the key features of this quilt that kept me looking closely at it time and time again at the show. I stood back to take it in as a whole,   and then moved in like a NASA zoom lens to admire the detail of different sections. Thanks Jessica for allowing me to share this here. 

And now for my ' Traditional Section.' Here is Robyn Taylor's 'Bouquet for Mary' Quilt. For those of you who like the statistics - this quilt took 6 years to complete and contains 5,734  3/4 inch hexagons. It is entirely hand pieced and hand quilted . Amazing!

Again, let's look closely. Don't let the muted and subdued palette of colours deceive you! There is a richness in each diamond setting that is considered and nuanced. Clever and sophisticated. 

I know Robyn and have been able to watch this quilt grow and come to completion. It has been a magnificent achievement and such a thoughtful and considered quilt, that is is my great pleasure to showcase it here, and celebrate it with you all. When so many quilts are hanging at a large show such as the Sydney Quilt show, some can get lost in the crowd,when their colour palette is subdued and subtle. I hope you had a chance to see this treasure at the show this year. Thank you Robyn for allowing me to share this with you all here.

Well, that's a wrap for me for this week. To finish I will just say - you know when you are tired after working several  days straight at the show when you have a superman moment . That is when you go to the toilet and realize that when you dressed at 5 am you put your knickers on top of your tights by mistake! LOL - some would say " that's so Miriam- ha! " 

Happy sewing, love Miriamxx 

Thursday 23 June 2016

Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2016

Greetings from the coal face of the Sydney Quilt Show.

It is always a show filled with creativity, inspiration and  a celebration of all things quilty. In previous years I have been an attendee, but this year I am part of the Cottage Quiltworks Team, so I am working on stand H73 . That means I get to meet lots of great people from all around the country, and share my love of design and quilting with others. It is awesome. Exhausting yes, but wonderful. Can you believe I have nearly lost my voice already from too much talking! Unbelievable - but true! Quiet, shy ol' me- LOL 

I thought I would dedicate this blogpost to some of my favourite quilts at the Quilt Show, so with permission from these talented quilters here is a look at what has made me smile the most at the show. This is a long post - so settle down with a cup and enjoy this visual feast.

Let's start with Verity Hinwood's Quilt 'We Will Rise Again.' I love this quilt! I love the colours, the visual play and the dodos. 


To fully appreciate Verity's quilt , you need to let your eyes linger over each part,  taking in the details of the applique, and the  clever play of the background fabric with the tropical elements and the birds. 

This is a thoughtful, considered quilt and I kept on being drawn back to it as I moved about the quilts on display . Thank you Verity for sharing your talents with us here. If you visit the show, take the time to see this quilt .

Next up is Kerry Dear's gorgeous Double Wedding Ring Quilt ' Seeing Red.'  This stopped me in my tracks. 
The play  of the red and the cheddar really appeals to me. I never tire of this classic pattern. Kerry's hand quilting is wonderful too. 


Now for the moderns 

Here is Jill O'Conners quilt ' Cut Loose.' 

I am always attracted to quilts that cleverly use colour , fabrics and have lots of movement. I love that Jill's quilt moves and bends, and has figures hidden in the blocks if you look carefully. I also love the flashes of yellow. 

The last two quilts for this blogpost are by Wendy Nutt and both took my breath away. These quilts are tonal in nature. This one is called 'Red Back' 

And this one is called 'Self Image'

The attention to detail in their construction and quilting design is quite stunning.

Well, my mind is numb, and I have to gather my strength for 3 more days of the show, so that's a wrap from the show this week. 

Happy sewing , and if you get to the show - happy quilt viewing ! Love Miriamx 

Thursday 16 June 2016

Busy Times and Show Prep Talk.

When the heavens opened in Sydney recently and  rain fell constantly over a weekend, the silver lining was that there was little else to do but stay indoors and sew. The result for me was this vibrant star, which ended up being quite large, at 59 inches by 59 inches. Taking inspiration from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's book '15 Minutes of Inspirational Play,' I did indeed play with some of my favourite fabrics. But I confess, I couldn't just stop at 15 minutes. I played on and off over the weekend, and even made my own templates. When an idea starts, I just have to let it play out to completion. When time permits I will add borders, and I plan to play further with differing sizes and designs in my monthly workshops next semester at Cottage Quiltworks. There are many possibilities and my play has only just begun! 

Semester One Workshops have now come to an end, with last weekend's workshop wrapping up a great half year. Thank you to all the ladies who have made these classes such a joy to teach. it has been an absolute pleasure to work with you all.  I have been able to share many of the fabulous projects completed this year so far in previous blogposts, but there are a few that still need to have the spotlight shone upon them.

Let's start with Sandy who has completed this stunning  Sewmiriam tote 

and this Sewmiriam cushion cover

Sandy has a great sense of style and colour. 

Dee has been working away at her  baby quilt version of the Sewmiriam Pony Express Quilt and is now adding a yellow striped binding to complete it to perfection.

How gentle and beautiful is this quilt. You are so talented Dee. 

Nancy has started a Sewmiriam Tote bag with fabric combinations that pop!

Sue is starting one of the Sewmiriam twin quilts, using Tilda fabrics. 

This week it is all hands on  deck as Team Cottage Quiltworks prepares for the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair which is on next week from June 22nd - June 26th at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Glebe Island. Please come  and say hello to Gerri and myself at Stand H73 . There has been some very special secret sewing going on recently in preparation and there will be great new original kits, patterns, fabrics and quilting supplies showcasing the best of what Cottage Quiltworks has to offer available at the Show. See you there!!

Happy sewing, love Miriam x 

Thursday 9 June 2016

Quilts on Vacation - Part 4

Seven Mile Beach near Gerroa in New South Wales has always been one of my favourite places to visit. It seemed only right to take my  'twin set' quilts there for a mini vacation a few weekends ago. The weather was grey and the seas moody but I think the quilts still shine in these photos.

I call these two quilts twins because I first made this quilt

and then with the left over strips and scraps I made this quilt...

I really like them both and the way that they look so different and yet work well together. I really didn't have a design in mind when I started. I just started making 6 inch blocks and took it from there. There was little fabric left over when I had finished, which was a bonus. The addition of the black and white prints add a definite freshness to the quilts. 

The quilts were beautifully quilted by Jayne of Quilting Finesse. Thank you Jayne! 

There is a fun, busy time ahead.  I have a workshop this Saturday at Cottage Quiltworks, and then a bag making workshop there as part of Quilt Escape Week on Monday July 4th.  

Sydney has been battered by storms this week. I hope you have been safe and warm. The upside of being kept indoors is the opportunity to sit and sew. There is always a silver lining! 

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Workshop Wonderland

Last Saturday was filled with laughter, colour and inspiration. A wonderful group of ladies gathered together to create. Ideas were shared, stitches were sewn and perhaps a few of life's problems were solved along the way as an added bonus!

There were many Sewmiriam projects in progress,  but there were also a few finishes on show too. Hooray! There is always a special thrill that comes from a finish!  

Judy loves Charley Harper designs, and so do I. She has just finished this delightful baby quilt using the penguin fabric as the focus. 

And here it is in close up. The quilt has such movement and those penguins really look like they are on the march! 

Maxine has finished her Handy Ziptop bag and it is divine.......

I believe Maxine has made a few more that have already been given as gifts. Lucky are those that receive one of these treasures. 

The owl also made an appearance in Sue's shoulder bag...

I love the use of the big, bold spot . Sue just has to add the shoulder strap and voila- her bag is complete. The photo doesn't show it, but there is a  curved zipper placement at the top of this bag - expertly sewn in by Sue- congratulations Sue!!! 

Another baby quilt is in the works. Dee is a master of perfection and her baby quilt is well on the way now, with the blocks being joined together . 

There will be 9 blocks surrounded by an outer border in the final quilt. Beautiful work Dee! 

Marg was busy sewing away all day, working on a table runner . Here is one block so far 

and here are the end panels 

These fabrics and colours are just brilliant. By the time you read this Marg you will be with your family celebrating a very special birthday! Cheers and best wishes!!! 

Nancy is working on a number of projects, but I only have a photo of her quilt blocks in progress.
This photo gives you an idea of how lovely the quilt is going to be. Each block pops with colour. 

Kim's quilt blocks in soft prints and batiks are looking stunning

Sandy was also sewing up a storm - but I haven't a photo ( how did that happen? Was I distracted by the chocolate cake perhaps? Next time will have to be the big reveal! I promise to make up for it next time Sandy ) 
And welcome to Jane - a new comer to our Saturday group - we loved having you join us and look forward to sharing in your quilting adventures . 

There has also been some secret sewing going on for the 2016 Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair June 22-26 . I will be there working with Gerri on the Cottage Quiltworks stand. Please stop by and say hello. I know, I know  - I can hear you laughing from here - I am hopeless at keeping secrets!! 

My next Handy Ziptop Workshop will be on  Monday July 4 as part of the Quilt Escape Week at Cottage Quiltworks. Call the shop to reserve your place as the spots are filling quickly. If would like to start the tote bag on the day - just let us know.

Keep warm, keep safe, and happy sewing, love Miriamx