Thursday, 28 January 2016

A Wonderful Week of Workshops

I am still in energizer bunny mode, following a wonderfully busy week of workshops at Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood. Over two days 12 ladies sewed up a storm, making a whole range of Sewmiriam patterns. These ladies were awesome! It never ceases to delight and amaze me when I see my patterns being made into something new and unique. Here is just a small sample of their work.

Caroline brought in this gorgeous fox panel. We designed a bespoke bag pattern around it.

Sue is well on the way to making her Japanese version of the Whopper Shopper bag.
Sue has a great eye for fabric combining and she really knows how to show her Japanese fabrics off to  perfection. 

Sandy is nearly finished her absolutely beautiful Parisian Whopper Shopper too. Here is the front..

Marg is always an inspiration to me and those who know her. She sews tirelessly and beautifully for others and has raised thousands for charities. Here is her almost finished Comfy Carry Bag  complete with magnetic closure flap.

Marianne and Christine were working on their Tote bags. Here is the front panel for Christine's bag. How stunning are those colour combinations.

 I am sorry Marianne that I don't have a photo of your pineapple themed bag, but I think it is wonderful and can't wait to see it completed.

Jill made a beautiful Handy Ziptop Bag. Here is a photo looking in. How clever is that red base! 

Sisters Sherry and Jayne chose beautiful fabrics to make a tote with a British theme

and to start the Pony Express Quilt As You Go Quilt . Here is block 1

Here is Block 2. The colours glow! 

Roddy took to this technique like a duck to water producing these vibrant blocks

This quilt is going to be fabulous Roddy.

Kim is new to Quilt As You Go, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her beautiful blocks . Well done Kim!

Margaret is putting the finishing touches on her exquisite table runner. She has combined soft blues and taupes and the effect is delightful.

How clever are these ladies! I hope you have enjoyed viewing this inspirational showcase, as much as I enjoyed teaching these workshops. Thank you all so much for coming.

Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Birth of a Star Quilt - Part Three

Welcome to Part Three of this series Birth of a Star Quilt. This week I will be sharing how I pieced the quilt together. You can find Part one by clicking here, and Part Two by clicking here

The pattern for this quilt can be found in Kaffe Fassett's Book Caravan of Quilts. It is called the Wheel of Fortune Quilt. English hand paper piecing  is recommended in the book. This would give very accurate results but would take forever. Being an impatient quilter, and time poor as well, I thought I would try and machine piece it. It worked! As recommended in the book I divided the quilt pieces into 8 segments as shown in the next photo.  

Then I pieced each segment in rows as shown below for the corner segments. If you have cut your diamonds and squares accurately, and you use a consistently accurate  quarter inch seam, you can achieve very accurate results machine piecing. I recommend taking photos of each segment before machine piecing, to make sure you don't mix up the order. ( don't ask me how I know - aargh! ) 

When all the segments were complete, I joined up the top 4 segments, and then the remaining bottom 4 segments, and then joined these 2 halves of the quilt together. It was much easier than I thought.

For my finishing touches to the quilt I hand basted and then hand quilted the quilt using Perle 8 thread in a variety of colours. I quilted in lines that went around the quilt

The back shows this best in the next photo. 
I used a Tula Pink wide back fabric, and it was truly a joy to quilt. 

To bind the quilt I used the deep pink and purple dot found in the quilt...

I hope you have enjoyed this three part quilt series. I can truly say this quilt is one of my favourites.

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Birth of a Star Quilt - Part Two

Welcome back to Sewmiriam. In this series I am sharing my take on the Wheel of Fortune Quilt by Kaffe Fassett. This  quilt features on the cover of his Caravan of Quilts book. This is Part 2 of the series. To find Part 1 click here.

In this blogpost, we continue my creation of the quilt by looking at the rows as they are added . Each row significantly changed the look of the quilt and dictated which direction to go for each row/round. I laid out  each row/round before stitching the  pieces together. There is a trick to piecing them together so come back for Part 3 next week.

Using the cheddar colour that appears in small amounts in the floral centre square pieces I placed squares of this colour ( the fabric I chose actually has a tiny dot in it too) alternating with a Tula Pink aqua /lime fabric. I loved the way this row makes the quilt colours pop.

The next row I chose was this initially ... 

I liked the movement that the Kaffe stripe provided, but then as more layers were added I thought that the stripe was too distracting and later replaced it with an irregular spot which I was happier with, so the quilt went from this 

to this

to this

to this

The red spot row really added a new dimension to the quilt and completed the circular pattern of the quilt . I put little birds in the four corners, taken from the Katy Jones fabric that was used for the central flowers. I repeated fabrics from the circular pattern on the rows of corner squares. This worked well to complete the quilt and provide  a frame for the circular pattern. 

 The final quilt when pieced measures approximately 62 inches by 62 inches. 

I think that is enough for one post! Next week - I will share how I pieced the quilt together. There is no one 'right way,' but I tried a few ways and will talk about those, so that you can chose for yourself which method appeals to you. 

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Birth of a Star Quilt - Part One

Welcome to Sewmiriam for 2016!
Thank you for stopping by and sharing in what I hope proves to be a creative, and inspiring year.

To start the ball rolling I am working on a wonderful quilt , that I spied on the cover of the Kaffe Fasset book Caravan of Quilts . It is called the Wheel of Fortune. My interpretation is above,
Below is a photo of Kaffe's original quilt . This next photo is a bit squashed, sorry about that! But, you get the idea....

I have made a trip around the world quilt before, using squares, but this quilt appealed  to me because it has squares and diamonds. It also has a mandala feel about it . What I love about these quilts is that you can get totally lost in the design process. When I started mine, I did not have any preconceived ideas about the colours that I would use, or the fabrics that would eventually end up in the finished work. I just thought and day dreamed, began my fabric/ colour play and let the quilt dictate its direction. This is the key to making a quilt like this. Let it happen. Each row will change the flow of the quilt. Expect to audition lots of fabrics before making your final selection. Do not be put off by this stage. It really is the fun part and you will learn so much from doing it. 

To make this quilt I decided that the only way I could tackle it would be to cut each row out and then see how it looked, before moving onto the next row. I did not start to join the squares and diamonds until the entire quilt had been cut out. 

Over the next few posts I will show you this process and the transformation from one row to the next.

So let's get started. I started with a favourite fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics, by Katy Jones from her Priory Square range. 

I fussy cut the floral squares from that and then paired them with the central diamonds in a blue on blue spot. That made the first 2 rows. I must admit I did audition a few other fabrics, but they just didn't have the same appeal as this combination. 

Happy with that I then tackled the next row. This time I chose a raspberry spot and a Tula Pink fabric. The effect really amazed me. It has a 3-D effect, and already the quilt was starting to emerge. On that pretty note I will stop for now. ( oops - the feet are an optional extra in the pic- LOL! )

Please drop by for my next blog in the Birth of a Star Quilt Series here at Sewmiriam. 

Happy sewing, love Miriamx