This blog should be called "The Adventures of a Fabric Junkie!". I am passionate about fabric, threads, colours and textures. I can record my crazy quilting, sane quilting, embroidery and everything else that I consider important in my life.

Photo shows my block for the Hurricane Katrina fund-raising quilt "All That Jazz".

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My blank block for FFT18 with CQIA

I have decided to bite the bullet and join in a Fabulous-First-Timers Round Robin with CQI.  I can't join in any of the other swaps until I've done a FFT - this groups is FFT18.  I chose a vintage image of a girl asleep with fairies and goblins flying around her.  The words below the image are:

Tonight, upon your pillow,
Close your eyes and hide your head,
For the fairies and the goblins
Will be hovering round your bed.

I have tried to choose fabrics with the same colours as those in the picture.  Even though I ironed each patch after I sewed it on, the light reflected from the satin fabrics has made them look puffy.  Believe me, they are flat.  I can hardly wait to see what the other girls in this swap do to my block.  I'm hoping for all the glitter  and magic of fairies, goblins, beautiful dreams and the mysteries of Hallowe'en.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Inheritance from Aunty Ame

Click on each photo to see the contents clearly.

Mum's oldest sister Amy (my Aunty Ame) died in March 1970.  Her house and everything in it was left to my four cousins including a large box of laces, braids, ribbons and scraps of fabric. Aunty Ame was a professional doll's clothes maker during the 1950s and 1960s so every month or so, a man would leave dozens of naked Pedigree and Roddy dolls in their boxes at her house and he would pick up the previous lot, fully dressed in knickers, petticoats, dresses and bonnets. Some were dressed as brides and Bo-Peep while others were dressed as little girls in their Sunday best but all of them were absolutely gorgeous in their taffeta and flocked nylon frocks. I am not sure if this bloke owned a chain of toyshops or whether he was a toy wholesaler but this business transaction went on for several years that I know of.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, my sister and I met several cousins for lunch on Sunday and I shall always be indebted to my cousin Jackie who has hung on to the box of bits for over forty years. They have not been touched........until today, when we met for lunch and she gave me the box.  I think I have died and woken up in Crazy Quilter's Heaven!!! I have just been going through the box and I actually remember some of the braids but the part that really spun me out was several little bundles of short length of laces and braids (obviously scraps) tied in bundles with ribbon.  I REMEMBER doing that when I was about ten or eleven and I was staying with my aunt and uncle during the school holidays.  She was sewing and I was bored, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I found them.....just as I had left them over half a century ago.

Right now, I am so delighted and stunned by all these treasures, some will undoubtedly find their way onto crazy quilt blocks.  I can never repay Jackie for her generosity nor can I repay my aunty for stashing all this stuff in the boxes and winding a lot of laces and braids onto cut pieces of cardboard from old Pedigree Doll boxes. Here are some photos of the stash which has not seen the light of day in over forty years.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Spring in Valley block, Mark 2

After Gerry's suggestions on how to improve block seventeen, I changed the tiny sun for a much larger one and outlined the flower in the corner with a fine gold thread.  I didn't have another butterfly so I added the roses and leaves to the right of the gold grape charms.  Gerry, you were spot on once again, it looks much better now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Spring in the Valley - Block 17

I live on the edge of the Swan River Valley, the main grape growing/wine producing area of Perth in Western Australia and every year we have a "Spring in the Valley Festival" to celebrate the produce of the valley.  All the wineries have wine tastings and sales, the Cheese Factory has cheese samples and sales, the Margaret River Chocolate Company has chocolate tastings and sales of chocolates, chocolate products, pickles and jams, the boutique breweries have beer tastings and sales and all of these places serve meals. Some of the wineries have live music and Art exhibitions - it's a big weekend and people arrive by the busload and by car - but you definitely need to have a designated non-drinking skipper to make sure that everybody arrives home again safely, LOL......

I had this piece of "grape-vine" lace edging which so far has not fitted in to any of my block themes so I figured that I would create a block around the lace instead and use it that way. My obvious theme then had to be "Spring in the Valley" - the original Swan Valley vineyards were set up by Italian migrants in late 1800s and early 1900s so there is an annual "Blessing of the Vintage" ceremony which still carries on the Italian tradition, hence my Angel blessing the grape charms below her with a smiling sun to spread sunshine. Spring means flowers and butterflies so they are there as well and that spider's web was a piece of damask that had the web woven into the fabric, I merely stitched over the existing web.

I had a lot of fun stitching this block although someone on the train one evening after work asked me if I was sewing a "Communion piece". I am finding that lots of people on the trains who have seen me beavering away for months are becoming interested in my sewing.  One lady actually asked to see my block because she thought I had been working on the same little piece of fabric the whole time. That made me chuckle!!  I'm not sure that I particularly like this block as it is getting a long way from my original warm Victorian/Edwardian cream blocks - is my style changing?  I think so but I hope not.