Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old UFO that I am going to start working on

Having finished the thirty glasses' cases that I made for my Women's Auxiliary reunion, tomorrow I am going to dig out my oldest UFO (besides my two Birdsville quilts) and make a start on it. Here's a picture of it below.

The row by row was a swap one that I took part in about 9-10 years ago at least, as part of the Scquilters' online patchwork group, which is the Yahoo group dedicated to Aussies and Kiwis no matter where they live. I have been a part of this wonderful group now for about 13 years.

I supplied the background fabric which I must take a photograph of (wish I had bought more and I have no idea who the manufacturer was, as I cannot find a selvedge in what fabric I had left, with their name on it. I love the fabric because it reminds me of the ocean. The row that I made was the row with the square in a square block in it, fourth from the bottom. The cat row I remember was made by a lovely lady, Leonie Gittins (also a very gifted patchwork teacher) who lives in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, about 40 minutes drive from where I live.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Update on the Birdsville quilt & glasses' cases

I thought that I would post an update on my Birdsville quilt. I have re-sewn the mini landscapes back on to the larger landscape. I had re-framed the photo looking out of the aeroplane window with cream fabric (right-hand sie of quilt, second block down) rather than black which I think looks much better. I have started sewing the quilt label strip on the back but I am toying with taking this off, ripping off the pictures (leftover from the main part of the quilt and also things to do with my time in Birdsville) and re-sewing them on to a new label strip.

I had put a false back on the back of the quilt when I originally finished it but that false back was a patchwork-print of green, red and cream hence I appliqued the quilt label etc on to the label panel in a variegated thread with those three colours in it. Now that I have decided to stay with the original backing (Aboriginal prints but not featuring green, red or cream) I think that the stitch colour which I had sewn the quilt label on, looks at odds with the background fabric and the Aboriginal prints. If I were to put the quilt in a show, then I think that I would be better off ripping off the label panel and re-sewing the label etc on with a neutral thread. Let me know what you think please ...

The last photo is a picture of the glasses' cases that I am making for my RSL Women's Auxiliary annual reunion next week. I offered to make the table prizes some months ago but am just getting to them now. I have to make 40 of the cases but it is fun making them as I get to remember the quilts that I have made with the scraps that I am using.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This is my first quilt in over two years. I have had a lot of illness over the past couple of years including surgery, so it is great to have finally completed a quilt after a long absence.

I have learned heaps from making this quilt - especially what not to do. I'll tell you about those things another day! I like making my backs "pretty" or suited to the quilt hence the photo of the backing fabric! I added the 3D animals to the quilt because I like a touch of whimsy to my quilts if I can work out how to do it. As the glue is still sticking down the wolf I could not take a photo of the label so I have added it in below.

Alaska 2005 by Bern Johnson, January 2011

My husband Barry and I visited Alaska in 2005, travelling from Vancouver, Canada to Whittier by cruise ship and then on to Anchorage by train. These photographs were mainly photos that I took during this trip. Here are the subjects in the photos going down each column, from left to right:

1.Mendenhall Glacier somewhere along the Inside Passage enroute to Whittier
2.Barry and I in Ketchikan with a couple of “locals”
3.Lake Hood Seaplane Base – I believe this is the largest floatplane/seaplane airport in the world 4.Alaska welcome sign
5.One of the many harbours in Alaska
6.Amvets Post 2 in Anchorage (like a smaller version of the RSL here in Australia). It was here that we met a lovely lady (the wife of a Vietnam Veteran) called Linda Oliver. Linda and her lovely daughter Corey (and her sons) showed us a few sights around Anchorage in our last two days in Alaska. We still keep in touch with Linda and Corey and swap photos.
7.Salmon swimming upstream at a stream in Anchorage that Linda took us to. This photo is significant in that it took me something like two hundred photos just to capture one photo of the salmon jumping up to the next level of the stream!
8.Bears playing in a pool in a wildlife sanctuary.
9.Sea otters – how could one not love them?

I wanted the quilt to look like photo negatives hanging up in a darkroom, hence the cut-outs (they took ages and the fabric distorted when I cut it out and sewed it but I have thought of a better way of getting that effect without the distortion). Ideally I would have had pegs holding the negatives on to a line (in the darkroom) but they would have weighed it down so I discarded that idea.

Like I said before I have learned heaps from this challenge and I am glad that I was able to make it so personal. There are more Alaskan quilts to come (I bought heaps of fabric when I was over there). DH and I were very good at finding quilt shops in towns along the route of our cruise of the Inside Passage but I think I need some easy sewing to do for a while after this quilt! The negatives were the hardest thing - measuring, then drawing the squares then sewing around the square, then cutting the squares out, then zigzagging around each one. Sew 1cm, rotate, sew another cm, rotate, again and again ... aargh! This might be why this was a challenge quilt ... in more ways than one!