Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Friday, December 10, 2010

Non Harriet Projects (NHP)

Sorry everyone for it being so long between posts.  It's a busy time of year and as usual, I've been distracted by other things.  My New Years' Resolution (not that I often make these) is to minimise all NHP's and focus on the job at hand.  I'm only half-way through QA Vol 2, wayyyyy behind schedule.  On the positive side,  many of the distractions have been quilty ones, and I've had lots of practice in different techniques.

The Tangled Web Quilters is the group I attend each week.  For a bit of fun and practice in fusible applique, I made up some 'portraits' of the group members.  There are 10 regulars in the group, so by the time I finished the last piece, I was much better acquainted with this technique.

It's a good thing the ladies all have a good sense of humor!

The designs came from Amy Bradly's pattern book - Quilter's Yearbook.  Amy has drawn lots of shapes - hair, glasses, clothes, mouths etc. - which can be put together any way you like.  She also encourages adapting the basic designs and changing things around.  Not being able to draw, I stuck mainly to the shapes as they are printed in the pattern, but did fiddle around with hair styles a bit. 

I made the block quilt-as-you-go, using simple echo quilting - a technique I'd not played with much.  I found echo quilting a quick and easy way to go and the lines seem to add movement to the pictures.  My quilting on these is a bit crude, but the style suits the cartoon type design and I'm happy with the result.  Excellent practice for more refined echo quilting I'd like to do further down the track.

I surprised the group members (well the half of them who were able to make the meeting) with the blocks at the Tasmanian Quilter's Guild Christmas Lunch last Saturday - they had no idea what I'd been up to.  Our table caused quite a ruckus when the blocks were opened, lots of laughter and I'm so pleased no-one was offended by their portraits - our first Guild meeting as a group make quite an impression!

The group (well half of them) display their portraits at the Tasmanian Quilting Guild Show & Tell

The Guild President's Challenge for 2010 was 'Bring a Plate'.  Alison, a Tangled Web Quilter, took out first place with her confetti pieced cake.  Congrats Ali - a well deserved win!

It was Alison's first Tassie Guild meeting and she caused quite an impression with her work. 

You can see more of Alison's work, and close up pictures of her Bring A Plate piece on her blog - Tea Tree Quilter

So what do you do when someone asks you to quilt a charity quilt in a hurry because their regular quilter is unavailable?  PANIC!  As much as I wanted to, I couldn't say no as my friend was in a desperate position to get the quilt ready for presentation. 

I was really reluctant to do this - I have enough trouble quilting my own tops, and the thought of messing around with someone else's work is terrifying.  My only consolation was that the top was a small panel and not pieced work - a panel can be quickly replaced if anything went horribly wrong.  My friend , bless her, is fully aware of my beginner status and happy to accept whatever I could manage to achieve. 

Stitch-in-the-ditch would have been my first choice for the quilting, but I was out of luck as the top has no ditches to stitch in!  Free-form, which would have been the obvious choice, was not a consideration as I don't do free-form quilting.  There were no blocks to do free-motion designs on either, it was just a single panel piece.  Having however, just done a heap of echo quilting this would have to be the way to go.

Leaving the centre unquilted, resulted in loose fabric.  My suggestion here was that the flowers and hearts be trapunto stuffed, which would fill the unquilted shapes out nicely.  I left it to Marie to do this part herself.  The echo quilting is roughly 1/4 apart, which took quite a long time but I think has a nicer look to it than larger channels would on this small piece. 

I've started work on yet another grandson's quilt.  This is another Amy Bradly pattern - Snugly Bugly - using the by now familiar fusible applique technique.  The fused pieces are blanket stitched in thick 30w black thread, giving the designs a very 'cartoonish' look.  It's nice to work with very bright colours for a change.

Yes, they will eventually have eyes

Although this sort of work is not really my style - not that I've settled on a particular style yet but I know it's not going to be this - it's a fun piece to work on.  Easy and quick to do and a change from piecing. 

As you can probably guess, I've been quite drawn to applique recently.  There are other techniques I'd like to try and I'm interested in eventually doing more refined and detailed work but fusible/blanket stitch is a great place to start.

Hopefully, if I can manage to keep up my resolution, group days will be dedicated to NHP's such as those above, while at home I'll concentrate on getting on with the QA projects. I seem to have got the first burst of applique out of my system and am ready to get back to the Quilting Academy projects and some serious learning.


  1. Your portraites are GREAT.....

  2. The portraits are wonderful! What a great idea.

    Cheers, K

  3. What a great post, thanks for the compliments.It was a great hoot for a guild meeting. You do beautiful work and dont forget that...