Monday, 23 March 2015

A day with Michelle Yeo!

My Homespun magazine submissions are done and dusted!!! I can't tell you what a relief it is, but also what an enormous privilege it is to be appearing in the August and September issues of one of Australia's leading craft magazines.  Now onto getting the online shop up and running by then!

At our last guild meeting we were truly blessed to meet the ever inspiring Michelle Yeo.  Michelle brought with her about three suitcases of her beautiful quilts so it was a day of ohhhhs and ahhhs as each one was so beautifully pieced and quilted.  These photos are just a few, as some of the time I was a quilt holder lol.

Michelle's passion is to design and create quilts using antique quilts as her inspiration and she certainly sets the bar high.  Many of her quilts involve quite complex piecing.  The results are stunning as you can see from these photos.

Michelle also kindly shared with us her family life, juggling her passion with her part time job, her design process along with tips and techniques she uses.  We were simply amazed at how many quilts she has made over the years!  But every ounce of spare time is focused into these quilts... many of which are hand pieced!  Our guild is looking to book a workshop with Michelle in the near future.

I purchased her new book 'Of Needle, Thimble and Thread' which she signed for me and a pattern called Chester County.  The book is great value containing 18 of Michelle's patterns.

I've always admired reproduction fabrics but felt a little daunted by them.  I thought Chester County, with its foundation piecing (which I love) would make a great first quilt and introduction to the world of reproduction fabrics.  We never stop learning and from Michelle's book I have also learned a new method of foundation piecing using freezer paper.

So last weekend, whilst DH was off playing his sport, I took a little trip to Somerset Patchwork in Vermont.   Ohhhh my, it was like stepping back in time.  The quilts on display were absolutely beautiful.  Its such a light, airy and uncluttered shop and the staff are very helpful.

Border fabric

This was my resulting purchase.... mmmm yep, I went a little overboard but this will set up a little collection for me.  I will no doubt have enough to make Chester County but also play with a new design I'm working on for Crystalbrook Cottage.  Many of these fabrics are from Karen Styles' new range called 'Victoria Park'.  As many of you know, Karen Styles is actually the owner of Somerset Patchwork.  Also the pinks in this collection I might use in my Dear Jane quilt that I will start one of these days (you know, in my SPARE time lol) in pink/brown/cream.

In other quilty news, I managed to finish my son's pirate quilt a few weeks ago... the finished top had only been sitting in the cupboard for the last.. oh... 5 years.

Pirate quilt

Every now and then he would ask about it but the truth is, its only recently, actually since our Pauline Rogers quilting workshop, that I have been happy enough with my quilting to quilt it myself.  I FMQ it with rolling waves which turned out more like flames - either way it looks great!

I'm proud to say its done now, off the UFO list and onto his bed.  He loves it and uses it all the time which warms my heart.  He's 16 now, much older than when we first put it together... he even sewed some of the blocks... but he still loves it.

Also, Vintage Happy has been put together into a quilt top now. 

I've purchased the backing, wadding and binding and am looking forward to seeing it complete.  These fabrics, called 'Vintage Happy' by Lori Holt (Riley Blake Designs) were purchased in a fat quarter bundle and I added a few extra fat quarters to get the size I wanted.  The pattern design is by Cluck Cluck Sew and I absolutely love it.  Its busy, but it really does make me happy!  I have some bits and pieces leftover (love those bonus scraps!) so I have a few ideas in the works ;)

Well thats all from me for now, next post I will show you my Harry Potter quilt that I am slowly working on and a little quilt show that was held at our local botanical gardens last month.

Until next time,

Yours in Stitches

Leanne x

Antique sewing love!

Hello all, about time I touched base and told you what I've been up to!  Firstly I am studying like crazy trying to finish my course.  With only a few units to go, this has been my main priority.  I am really REALLY (I can't emphasise that word enough lol) looking forward to graduating this year with a nice little Certificate IV in Bookkeeping in my hand!

On the sewing front... ohhhh I've been having fun.  Three words.... Vintage. Sewing. Machines.  Yep, after a lovely weekend day trip to Yarragon I found this little beauty in an antique shop.

Instantly I fell in love and my collection began.  Of course, this also started a research quest for information on these machines.  She's a Singer 15-90 or 15-91 made in 1938.  She's a little worn in places, and I must say I was a little scared to use her as the wiring didn't look too safe, but after my handy DH replaced the wiring I'm pleased to say she sews like a dream.  This machine operates with a knee lever instead of a foot pedal.  The case is in bad shape but if nothing else she is fun to play with.  Perhaps down the track we will find another in better condition and then this one can be used for parts.

In a weird twist of fate, as we were looking at this machine in the antique shop, one of its other customers approached me and told me she had a vintage treadle she was interested in selling privately.  Ohhhh my!  So the very next day we drove for about 30 mins and picked up this lovely.

She's a Singer treadle Class 31K made in 1921 in Scotland.  Unfortunately she's not in the best condition but with a new veneer top and a new leather belt she will be in working order.

Then... yes there is more... whilst picking up the treadle we discovered the Tyabb Packing House.... ohhhhh if you are into antiques and things of the past, you simply must visit this place!  It is enormous.  Now there are some beautiful things here and they aren't cheap, so don't expect a bargain, but its well worth taking a look.  The key is to know what you are looking for and how much its worth.  The dealers are often willing to negotiate on price.  There is also a beautiful cafe on site if you need to take a break (trust me, you'll need it!).  A few weeks later we came home with this little lady from the 1950's.

Sadly she didn't come with a foot so we will be on the lookout for another of these for parts.  However, she was pretty inexpensive so we decided to snap her up and home with us she came :)

I love the thought of these machines coming to live with me.  I wonder about their history, the many clothes and quilts that have been made on them, the stories their original owners had to tell.  They even smell old!  You just can't buy sewing machines like these anymore.  All metal, heavy, sturdy and hard working, passed down through the generations... real work horses.  Many just need a replacement part or two, some oil and a bit of a clean.  Some of them only do a straight stitch but thats fine with me!  They are great for piecing.   I'm looking forward to learning more about them, and hopefully restoring them to working order.  And there is a great deal of info available on the internet, you can even download the old manuals.  In the US, there is a growing number of quilters acquiring these beautiful machines.  I hope it takes off in Australia too.

Another wonderful thing happened recently.... I finally, after a couple of years, found my CD for EQ7!  Hooray!  I have been hunting high and low for it, and after two house moves in the past few years I really had no idea where it was.  But I came across it accidentally whist looking for something else (always the way).   If you don't know what EQ7 is, its quilt design software.  You can literally spend hours just playing with, and designing your own quilt blocks.  And, as I recently discovered, downloading actual fabric collections to add to your palette! So much fun!!!

I have so much more to share with you, but don't want to make the post too long.  But next time I will share with you our last guild meeting with guest speaker Michelle Yeo, progress on my Vintage Happy quilt, and my new project with reproduction fabrics.

Until next time,

Yours in stitches

Leanne x