Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Anniversary

This week marks the second anniversary of my quilting career! Would you like to join me on a sentimental journey?

Two years ago, in July 2006, I was 7 months pregnant with our third son, Robbie. I had made a lot of small cloth diapers for the baby, mainly from lovely flannels, and I was wondering what to do with the scraps of these nice fabrics. Hmm, can't you make a quilt from scraps?

So I searched the internet for 'quilts' and, of course, found millions of sites and pictures! Luckily I also found a Dutch quilters mailinglist and joined it. The kind ladies there provided help and advice and there was even one living close to me who showed me her quilts, which was very inspiring!

I went to the quiltshop in Rotterdam during my last week at work before my pregnancy leave and bought a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, some more fabric... and the rest is history!

In 8 days I made my very first quilt, for my oldest son, Hugo, then 3 years old. (Here I am, very elegantly sandwiching it with my almost-8-months-pregnant bump!) I showed it here a while ago - it's very simple, but I still love it! (and so does he!)



I was hooked now and immediately started on the next one, also a flannel quilt, for the baby. Within a week it was finished! (and it looked very good in the cradle)



And then I had to make a flannel quilt for Ernst as well, of course! This one took a little longer; almost 3 weeks...



Then I took some rest (I did make some more cloth diapers and a few patchwork balls), had the baby in September and went to a quilt show in October, where I bought a book called Spellbinding quilts. I decided to make a quilt using patterns from this book for Hugo's 4th birthday, in February. As I had 3 little boys now, went back to work (3 days per week) in December and we were busy preparing our move to Australia in March 2007, I couldn't spend a lot of time quilting and the quilt wasn't finished until a few hours before his birthday!



If I look at the binding now, I shiver... but I still love this quilt!

On March 25th, 2007, we arrived in Brisbane. It took 2 months for my sewing machine and fabric stash to arrive, but in the meantime I joined ScQuilters, bought lots of Australian quilting magazines at the Lifeline bookshop and there was even a kind lady who lent me her old sewing machine. In April, one of my best friends in The Netherlands had her first baby and for him I made this quilt, called Flanello:



In the winter months I made a lot of bags (a new addiction) and in September I finished the next quilt, for another friend's baby:



Then for Ernst's 3rd birthday in October I made my first I Spy quilt:



And on my first quilting retreat, at Lake Moogerah in November 2007, I made this quilt with blocks that I won in a lottery at the Dutch mailinglist:



Although perhaps not really a beginner anymore, I decided to do a beginners course anyway, at The Quilters Corner in Keperra - my local quiltshop. It was very useful and I made this sampler:



Then it was time to try something new: pictorial quilts. In the last months of 2007, I made these small bird quilts:



Meanwhile I had discovered ATCs and fabric postcards and for a while I spent most of my sewing time on these addictive little things. Then, in February 2008, I made a few log cabin blocks, which led to Loca...



And finally, I joined 2QAQ and started an online art quilt group which led to this quilt (Jacaranda), the first of many, I hope:



And here we are, today! I would never have believed it, if you had told me 3 years ago that patchwork and quilting would become such an important part of my life. I hope to do this for years and years to come and I have lots of ideas for future quilts... but that is something to write about in another posting!

Thanks for joining me on this journey down memory lane - which quilt do you like best?
I think the log cabin and the kookaburra are my favourites...

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Traditional and contemporary

On July 7th our first niece, Saskia (the daughter of DH's sister), was born in The Netherlands. Of course she has to have a quilt! So today I went to The Quilter's Corner in Keperra and bought some lovely fabric - what a joy to finally make a quilt for a girl! :-)

I've decide to make a Trip Around the World quilt (very appropriate, as the quilt will be made in Australia for a little girl born in The Netherlands, who will live in Croatia with her Dutch mother and English father, who met each other when they were both living in Georgia!). When I was working on the log cabin quilt, I thought that that would be the last traditional quilt I would make. I had a lot of fun making the jacaranda quilt, but thinking about the baby quilt, I found myself drawn to the traditional patterns again. Well, it will be nice to alternate traditional and contemporary quilts!

Next week is another 2QAQ's meeting, I'm looking forward to that. I have an idea for a quilt for their juried art quilt exhibition in 2009, and I thought I'd buy fabric for that as well today, but of course I couldn't find what I had in mind. I think I may need to make it myself, by dyeing or painting or... I'll think about it when I am piecing the babyquilt!

And to end with some photos: last month I participated in a postcard swap called 'Silver & Gold'. Here's a pic of the postcards I received:



And these are the ones I made:



Thursday, 17 July 2008

Jacaranda


Brisbane has a lot of jacarandas. When I saw them in bloom for the first time, last year in October, I fell in love with those trees and I have wanted to make a jacaranda quilt ever since.
So when Caity chose this theme, I knew straightaway what I was going to do...

After the precise piecing and quilting of the log cabin that I finished just before I started on this one, it was a relief to work on this quilt! I cut the tree from a rough drawing, used angelina fibers for the purple flowers and free motion-quilted them in lots of loops and swirls. (there are 2 spools of purple thread in that tree!)

Here are some detail photos:





The sky is a hand dyed fabric (by my Angel!), the earth a commercial fabric.



(cross-posted at Around the world in 20 quilts)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Finished!



Yesterday I finished the log cabin quilt. The handsewing wasn't so hard after all ;-).
What do you think of it? I like it, but think now I should have made the outer border a lot wider...

I've made a label as well, of course:



The quilt is called Loca; short for log cabin and meaning 'crazy' in Spanish - which I thought I was quite a few times when making it ;-).

Tonight I'm starting on the tree quilt for Around the world in 20 quilts. I'm really looking forward to that!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Almost...



Almost finished... I only have to sew the binding and the sleeve on the backside. I hate handsewing, so am not looking forward to this... Until now, I have always machine-sewed bindings on both sides, but I want to enter this quilt in the show here in October, so that won't do this time...
Sigh... Oh well, better get on with it!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Update

I have almost finished quilting the log cabin quilt - only 8 blocks left! And the border, which I think I will 'stipple'. Quilting really isn't my favourite part of making a quilt, I tend to think the quilt does not look very nice at all when I spend so much time 'on top of it'...

So I hope to do the binding and sleeve, and finish the log cabin quilt next week - and finally get started with the tree quilt for Around the world in 20 quilts!

Meanwhile there are a few other things to show, such as a pressie from my Angel:



A gorgeous FQ, pressies for the boys, some cute 'towel cakes' and, best of all, another Quilting Arts Magazine. Thanks Angel, you're an Angel! ;-)

And a postcard and 2 ATCs from Simone from The Netherlands, a fellow member of ATWI20Q, which she sent as a surprise to thank me for starting our art quilt group. Thanks Simone, I really appreciate it!



That's all for today - I'm off to my sewing room to quilt those 8 blocks!