In July I visited Sisters in Oregon with two of my oldest friends who I had meet in London many years ago, when we were all expecting our first babies. Eventually time and distance had us drifting apart but Facebook reunited us after 30 years and imagine the joy to find out that we all had become quilters in the intervening years. Folktales, by Sue Spargo, had just been released in book form and a finished quilt was on display and I decided that I was going to make this quilt even though my handstitching was at the time limited to chain stitch, stem stitch and the odd wobbly French knot. Armed with Sue’s two books, Folktales and Creative Stitching I embarked on this epic. What was so enjoyable was that the six inch blocks were manageable for evening stitching and, with the end in sight, I decided to finish it in time for the Festival of Quilts hand in. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and the only machine stitching involved stitching the six inch blocks together – I even hand tied the quilt!
July 2016 was the hand in day for the latest Auckland Quilt Guild mid year challenge. The theme was ‘Carnival’ and the size just 12″ square. I had fun with my carnival mask. I painted fabric with pearlescent paint and then cut out the eyes of the mask and decorated the mask with more applique, paint and stitching before appliqueing it to the velvet background and slipping in some ‘real’ photograph of eyes. I was happy that it received the Viewer’s Choice award at Festival of Quilt in November 2016.
‘Carnevale di Venezia’ Viewer’s Choice Award FoQ 2016
This quilt started out playing around with Kaffe Fassett’s gorgeous fabrics. I decided to cut random paper shapes from folding circles of paper and then layering them on top of each other with the background fabrics showing through. Several hours were spent satin stitching the raw edges. I used fluro threads on some which give a wonderful light and fancy embroidery stitches on others. After a small pile of these ‘saucers’ were sewn I played around with them on my design wall. Slowly the idea of dinner plates evolved and using an old white damask tablecloth of my Mother’s I added colourful ric-rac to help fold the edges under smoothly and then sewed them onto the table cloth. I had envisaged lots of delicious quilting so using a washable blue felt pen I free hand drew paisley type shapes all over the background and using various coloured threads quilted the entire background. The multi-coloured ric-rac under the binding added the finishing touch.
At Auckland Quilt Guild’s 2016 Festival of Quilts this quilt won Best Modern Quilt and Merit in the Professional Large Quilt category.
I must be a bit of a sucker for these themed challenges. I think purchasing the two fat quarters that came with this challenge means that I can’t not make something with them. As usual the two fat quarters were of completely unmatching fabric both in colour and design – we had a ‘knitted’ effect blue and green pattern and a black fabric with streamers of brightly coloured spots.
my cut out puppet
I have always loved those paper marionettes that you cut out the limbs and use paper folding clips to make the legs and arms move. The ‘knitted’ fabric called out for one of these puppets so I pretended that my quilt was actually a printed sheet of paper complete with instructions. I made the puppet pieces as individual shapes using applique, paint, carded silk for the hair, lace etc. I arranged the limbs into different poses and took photos before appliqueing the individual pieces to my ‘paper’ quilt. I used Inkjet fabric sheets from Electric Quilt to print the photos and the instructions onto fabric.
Below is the completed quilt. I’m delighted to say that it won a ribbon for ‘Best use of challenge fabric’ at Festival of Quilts in Auckland in November 2016.
Puppet Pieces by Mary Metcalf
The Auckland Quilt Guild’s themed challenge for the Festival of Quilts 2016, involved using two contrasting prechosen pieces of fabric. The difficulty with these challenges is to create something that the fabric tells you to, or to design something and make the fabric fit your idea. These conundrums already had my brain in overdrive but then it had to fit into the title of the challenge which was ‘Gone to Pieces”. My immediate thoughts were of my scrambled brain and my longing for the empty areas of my brain to be filled with inspiration. I love cubist paintings and used this style to create ‘Frazzled’, using the challenge fabrics, a multi-coloured dot fabric on black as the eye, and the knitted blue, grey fabric as the eyebrows. I was delighted to receive ‘Best Use of Colour’ for this challenge.