Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Looking to the past...

Born in Melbourne, I have lived my entire life here.  Having a father who was a teacher, we had the opportunity to travel during school holidays, and we explored all over Australia, first, then the world.  Influenced by the interest my father had in the arts, I got to appreciate many of the worlds masterpieces from the Louvre in Paris, The Tate and National Galleries in London and many others across europe.  Exploring the British Museum with my brother and sister are some of my fondest memories of that trip (although my family may have got a different impression - come on I was 16!!).  This is my brother and I, during August of 1990, in Los Angeles, and then me in in front of Buckhingham Palace in London during early December of 1990.  How young do I look?!!

 Arts and crafts are in my blood.  My maternal grandmother has sewn all her life, and still at 90 years of age, is making beautiful, stylish and wonderfully stitched outfits for herself.  Her mother, was crocheting still, at 97 years of age.  My own mother is accomplished in hand work, focussing on tatting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery, stump work to be more specific.  Here is a sample of the beautiful work that mum does.  A stunning handkerchief, for my birthday this year,

and her very first stump work piece, gumnut flowers. 

Her latest piece is a blanket for my sister, patchwork style, but crochet, in beautiful browns, with every patch being a different pattern.  It is gorgeous and I must grab a piccy to share when I see it next!

My partners mother, Wendy is also from strong seamstress roots.  My childrens paternal great grandmother was an industrial seamstress who sewed until her passing just recently.  It is her machine, I pieced my first patchwork on.  Wendy loves to make my children the most beautiful clothes, which they both love to wear. 

More recently my creativity has been nurtured by photography.  I have always been behind a camera, and during my Bachelor of Midwifery degree I was able to undertake an elective unit through RMIT University here in Melbourne, in photography.  This unit was, while quite basic, and all online, challenged me to look at the world around me, with a more structured brief than I am used to when using my camera.  It explored shape, colour, light, perspective and many other issues faced when taking a 'good' photograph.  I used what was around me, and my portfolio explored The Heide Museum of Modern Art, in history, architecture, sculpture and landscape.  I recieved a High Distinction for my efforts (88/100) for the subject, which I am very proud of, even if my transcript says 'cross-institutional credit'!!  Here are some of my favourite pictures from that unit.

So that is a bit about me.  Now when my back is feeling a little better I will get onto doing some more quilting, and I will have more to share!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The journey so far ...

My first quilt came about when I purchased some material from my LQS.  It was a swag of beautiful red and white spots and stripes.  I googled and read up on lots of blocks etc and decided to make a simple disappearing nine patch, with squares cut from the strips of WOF.  It was bordered in black and quilted in red tread both top and bottom.  The binding complemented the scattered black patches in the quilt and contrasted beautifully with the red with white spot I used for the backing. 

I have also made labels since this picture was taken, and have attached them for that final touch.

Quilt #2 is a quilt I made for my gorgeous mother in law to be, Wendy.  She lives in the country and has magpies which knock on her window to get her attention when they are hungry.  They are hand fed, wild birds.  The fabric in the quilt has birds hidden in the patterns, which I have purposely placed on the quilt top.  I used an alternating window pattern, using a plain ivory homespun as the contrasting fabric.  It is backed with a pieced back of stips which I had left over from the roll of fabric strips I had used to build the windows from.

Quilt #3 is a Baby Quilt for a friend I have known more than 15 years.  They are expecting a baby and when Lachlan and I went to the LQS, he chose this fun charm pack from Moda called 5 Funky Monkeys.  It is fun and bright. I wanted to experiment with squares and it was needed FAST!  I used some of my stash fabric for the borders and backing, which was a bonus.  The green, blue and white polka dots on the backing really complement the front of the quilt.  I didn't quilt every square as I wanted to keep it snugly.  A comment on the weekend by Owen, my cousins 4 year old, "That looks like a snugly quilt", means I surely fit the brief??  The new owners of this quilt don't know its coming, and it will be a surprise, so if you think you know who ... please don't let on!!

Quilt #4 is also a Baby Quilt.  It is for very dear friends whom are expecting a baby.  I wanted to do something fun and I just loved this fabric from Moda by Aneela Hoy, "Little Apples".  My LQS had three charm packs, as a taste, before the stock comes in later in the year.  I used homespun from my stash again, and I am incredibly pleased with the result.  I also didn't quilt the charm squares as I wanted to keep it snugly again!.  Can't wait to gift it.

Monday, 22 August 2011

In the beginning ....

The desire to quilt and craft had never got me ... that was, until this year.

I can safely say that I am bitten by the bug and have proceeded to make my first four quilts so far this year.  Nothing too grand in the quilting world, however a shining achievement to me. 

What can I tell you about me?

I am mother of two beautiful children.  Tenille who is 7, and Lachlan who has just turned 6 years old.

 I am also a newly graduated midwife who is navigating her graduate year with all the ups and downs that beginning a new career will throw at you.

My first foray into quilting began this year in March.  I had sewed some items of clothing and fabric flowers up earlier in the year with the machine that was my partners grandmothers.  An old trusty Bernina 730 record.  When I realised that I needed to finish the edges, I decided to try and make a small quilt, until I could get my hands on an overlocker.  Well shall we say, the rest is history!

I will blog those quilts when I get a chance, so that you can see what I have been up to.

Caz XX