Monday, 9 October 2017

Workshop Magic

It really feels like magic to be back to doing workshops again. My latest workshop was truly something special. Just between you and me I was very nervous about my most recent one. You see it was for the talented Karen Cunningham and friends. Now, seriously, I should be taking her workshops, not her taking mine, but there you have it! I nearly wet my pants. (Instead - I just got my knickers in a bit of a knot.)

Karen even bought a new gorgeous pink Singer sewing machine for the occasion. You can't go wrong with pink!

The day went smoothly, and a good time was had by all, and  the wonderful bags made are testimony to that! Let's take a look ...

Susannah made her first Sewmiriam Handy Zip Top Bag using vibrant colours. Just gorgeous!
( as is Susannah)

Megan worked on the panels for her Sewmiriam Tote. I love the mix of traditional florals and bold modern prints.

Megan also mastered how to put in a lined zippered pocket! Well done Megan.
I can't wait to see the finished bag.

Kerrie was also working on a Tote bag using Dutch prints. Here she is sewing away. Sadly, the photos of her bag didn't come out clearly, but you can trust me it is a stunning bag.

Wendy made this delightful bag below. I just love her fabric play and the colour combinations. The choice of the squirrel fabric on the right creates just the right amount of fun. Awesome work Wendy!

Karen made this wonderful, bright bag and mastered putting in her first zipper. What can I say? Karen is amazing.

Ann has a great colour sense and a fabric stash to envy!  She is making a beautiful bag using these fabulous prints.

Kate is working on a cat inspired bag and you can see her front panel in the bottom right hand corner of the photo collage below. She chose a muted palette to enhance the focus cat fabric and the effect is brilliant. 

I think that is the beauty of these bag projects. They allow you to explore colour, fabric and new techniques with a great result in a day!  Well done ladies and thank you for a wonderful workshop.

Thank you to Cottage Quiltworks for always making me feel so welcome. 

My next workshop is with the Epping Quilters - can't wait! We are making  Sewmiriam Pikelets!

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2017

Thank you for stopping by as part of this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival. You are always welcome here at Sewmiriam. 
Thank you to Amy of Amy's Creative Side for gathering us all together to share our passion for quilting.  

Here is my entry for this years Blogger's Quilt Festival. I am delighted to showcase my design which I am calling Sunshine that will be the raffle quilt for the Fairholme Quilters Show to be held April 6-8th, 2018 . As it's Spring here in Australia, I decided to take the quilt on a road trip to the countryside last weekend to take this shot. 

The story behind this quilt is delightful. Doesn't it always warm your heart when quilters come together and share their talents and time for others! What a generous group the Fairholme Quilters are. Each year they work happily to make over 40 quilts for those in need of all ages in our local community.  Every 2 years, they put on a beautiful display of their quilting efforts and raffle a quilt made by the group. Our next show will raffle the quilt you see here in these pictures. 

Various people generously donated fabric and batting. 

I designed the quilt, posted a tutorial on my blog on how to make the blocks and made up 36 block kits.

Then the Fairholme quilters went to work! They hand appliqu├ęd the blocks to perfection. I assembled the blocks in a pleasing arrangement and designed a hand quilting pattern. Jo-Ann basted the quilt ready for hand quilting.  Next I made up a quilting template and thread /needle kit and started the quilting by completing a few hand quilted blocks. Then away the Fairholme quilters went again! The quilt was never without a good quilting home over several winter months . Lynette stitched on the binding and Voila!  Before we knew it we had a gorgeous quilt ready to raffle!!

Even the horses liked the look of the quilt and came up for a closer look.

It is going to be hard to part with this beauty .

Thank you for visiting Sewmiriam and being a part of the Bloggers Quilt Festival 2017.

Happy sewing, love Miriam 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Seeing Stars - An 80th Birthday Quilt

This year has been filled with sewing for family members celebrating significant birthdays. I like to make quilts to honour them on these occasions,  to celebrate their lives and to let them know how much we all love them.

To do this I give careful thought to the person and aim to design a quilt that is perfect for them. This quilt was made for Lorraine, my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. The colours are her favourites and the prints are a mix of gentle florals and  butterflies. I balanced the layout of red and blue blocks and then sashed them with a carefully chosen buttery cream coloured fabric set with light red squares. 

The quilting is beautifully done by Jo Philips of Quiltwise.

Lorraine had no idea she was getting the quilt . To my surprise no one in my family let the secret slip - even though our house had been awash with stars and fabric strips for weeks before the 80th birthday party.  I think Lorraine was thrilled to receive it!
A happy day indeed. 

Quilts are such wonderful gifts. 

When we sew for those we love the pleasure is immense. The gift of love that keeps on giving .

Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Fabulous Fairholme Workshop

Last Saturday I had the great honour of running a workshop with the wonderful Fairholme Quilters. 
It was a Sewmiriam Bagmaking workshop and the ladies sewed up a storm!  Today's blogpost is a celebration of their work done on the day. 

Above you can see the front of Nerida"s bag. The colours just glow. Nerida has combined a clever mix of florals and geometric prints.

Next up is Noelle's beautiful ethereal bag panel.

Hilary has a real way with colour and created this gorgeous bag panel .  

Jill completed the Sewmiriam Tote that she had started in a previous workshop, using  Cotton and Steel fabrics.

Love the lined zippered pocket  inside too Jill!

Pat has worked her magic with this beautiful bag panel  using just the right shades blue.

Speaking of blues- Elaine has chosen blues for her next Sewmiriam bag too. Her choice of framing fabrics for the central panel are perfect.

Robyn chose a bold central panel and has made it shine 

Sue chose a dynamic Amy Butler central panel to create this lively bag panel. Sue uses spots so well   here.

Chris has mixed Japanese and tonal prints to great effect here

Adrienne has used a spot to really bring this green floral to life. 

Denise has chosen teapots for her focus fabric and created this stunning panel. She has some more teapots to line her bag too!

Daphne has excelled herself and  created this vibrant bag featuring the cat panel. 

Marilyn has framed her fancy hat to perfection .

And last but certainly not least is Margaret's beautiful owl, surrounded here by her fabric selections.

Congratulation ladies on a wonderful day, and heartfelt thanks for my beautiful flowers.
How lucky am I to be able to share my love of creativity with you all. I can't wait to see your finished Sewmiriam Handy Ziptop bags.

Happy sewing, love Miriamx

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Australis - New Beginnings Part 4

Sewmiriam Australis is finished. 

What a joy this quilt has been to make! I have loved the colours, the way it has taken shape from the central block and then evolved round by round until its completed size of 70" x 70".

You can read about the making of this original Sewmiriam quilt in previous Sewmiriam blogposts
by clicking

                  here for  Australis -New Beginnings Part 1

                  here for   Australis - New Beginnings Part 2

                  here for   Australis - New Beginnings Part 3 

The colours really reflect the Australian landscape and the seas that surround our great island nation.

My good friend Jo-Ann Philips from Quiltwise has long arm quilted Australis beautifully. The following photos show the swirling quilt pattern . Having blocks of solid colour in a quilt top really helps to showcase a quilting design. The solid colour  enhances the textural and visual impact  a carefully chosen quilt pattern can have on a pieced quilt top. Because Australis is constructed with predominantly squares, triangles, and rectangles, I wanted a circular quilting pattern to complement the piecing.

Many of us have fabric scraps left over from quilt made for others . I had some special pieces of Australian Indigenous fabrics left over from a quilt I  made for my Father who sadly passed away last year. This quilt contains these pieces, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Quilts are often so much more than the sum of their parts. They are memories. They are love. They  are joy. The are celebrations of life's journey. For whatever reason you make a quilt - they are precious. 

Happy sewing , love Miriamx 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Winter Escape Sewmiriam Workshop

I have been spoilt this week. As part of Winter Escape at Cottage Quiltworks I ran a Sewmiriam Workshop teaching the Sewmiriam Handy Zip Top Bag and the new Sewmiriam Large Handy Zip Top Bag.

Thank you ladies  for a wonderful day filled with great talent and inspiration.
Here is a sample of what was created...

Marg made this beautiful Sewmiriam Large Zip top bag. The house focus fabric really shines.

The back is equally as gorgeous ...

Kerrie chose a delightful Kimiko doll print as her focus fabric and carefully selected fabrics to surround it. How stunning is the result! Modern and traditional prints can work beautifully together in these bags.

Lyn used the Elizabeth range of Tula Pink fabrics for her bag. By mixing stripes, spots and prints she has really made Elizabeth the star!

Anne started with an exquisite Liberty tree print as her focus print and built around it to create a beautiful bag front panel. When she came to class Ann had thought her bag would be predominantly blue, but this is the result and I think it is absolutely fantastic!! Well done Anne.

Olga is making a very special baby gift using soft, gentle prints for her large zip top bag, and the result is divine. Wouldn't you just love to be the recipient of this bag ?

Megan made this vibrant bag front using jewel toned prints that are so fun  and bold!
I love these colours, the mix of small and large prints, and the graphic motifs.

Lyndell had to rush off to care for sick family members, but not before she had a chance to whip up these flamingos  with some stripes and spots. This bag will be stunning when finished.

I can't finish this post without a big thank you to Lyn for her cake which was delicious, to Megan for her decadent chocolate slice, and to Gerri for the spicy pumpkin soup and crusty loaf lunch which was so perfect for the Winter Escape Workshop experience at Cottage Quiltworks. 
Quilters are so generous . Thank you all for such a special day.
Happy sewing, love Miriamxxx