This one’s a keeper. My beloved really, really likes it. I like it too, though possibly not quite as much as he does. I need to attach a hanging sleeve but other than that it’s done.
Glad I stopped making house blocks when I did. Any more would have been too many.
Long arm work was done by Melbourne professional quilter Pam Hammer. The house design came from Houses, Cottages and Cabins Patchwork Quilts by Nancy J. Martin and the quilt started life as just one experimental block.
If you are in Melbourne and have an interest in Dear Jane quilts, here are two diary dates for you:
Thursday 20 December 2012 – last day to submit your Dear Jane. I believe you can even submit an under construction Jane.
Friday 8 – Sunday 10 February 2013 – Dear Jane Quilt Exhibition at Box Hill Town Hall.
The Promotional Postcard
It’s an Australian Quilters Association event and details are available from their website.
I attended the Australian Quilters’ Association 2012 Symposium yesterday where I joined the Georgetown Circles class.
I’d love to show you a picture of our tutor’s demonstration quilt but when I took my camera out the tutor told me that my picture was to be for personal use only. That’s her call to make. I can only conclude she doesn’t want to sell too many of her patterns online.
This year I was better equipped for a class as my new Singer is a lot more portable than my old Husqvarna. I can carry the Singer with one arm. To make transport even easier I picked up a padded sewing machine carry bag with handles and a long zipper for only $20 plus tax at Wm. C. Jackson & Company on Victoria Parade just outside Melbourne’s central business district. They mostly cater to the rag trade but were willing to take my money anyway. While you can’t browse the stock, this place compares really well to retail sewing supply outlets for their wide selection of merchandise and for low prices. Now that I’ve found them, they would be my first stop for sewing machine supplies and parts, especially if I happened to have an industrial machine. They also stock tools like rotary cutters and scissors.
Perforating the Freezer Paper
We leaned foundation piecing using freezer paper in the Georgetown Circles class. First step was to transfer the markings by stapling the layers of freezer paper under the pattern template and sewing through the whole lot to perforate the freezer paper on the sewing and cutting lines. Great technique, though I did hear some grumbles from the ladies who had put fresh needles in their machines in preparation for the class.
We make Templastic templates as references for fabric cutting. The technique was easy to learn, though the instructor could have made her job a bit more fun by calling the group together from time to time to demonstrate the next step. Instead she worked the room, walking people through the method as each person was ready for that step. While it was nice to have the tutor’s undivided attention for that moment, I had the impression it tired her out a bit.
I chose a bold, masculine palette for my block, with the goal of gifting it as a wall hanging for a male family friend who turns 70 next year. My neighbour in the class had also had the idea to make a medallion style quilt. As neither of us had brought enough freezer paper we paired up and shared templates.
Still need to fill in the Middle and add more Circles
Here’s where I got to. I am pleased with the result. Seems the tutor didn’t particularly care for my colour choices. At the end of the class she came by, gave my finished work a long look, and walked on by. A ‘good effort’ or a ‘hope you enjoyed the class’ would have been a friendly way to end the day. Call me paranoid, but I wasn’t feeling the love in that moment.
I’ve been pressing on with the bento box blocks and have all twenty done. I laid the top out on the design floor and wasn’t sure how much I liked it. It certainly is a riot of colour.
My beloved offered the feedback that it needed a unifying design treatment. His feedback always worth considering so I tested some thin sashing. I also thought about putting a two inch contrasting diamond where the bento box blocks join. Adding more somehow didn’t make less, so I’ve decide to just stay true to the pattern as it is now. It’s a modern block, not a traditional one. Maybe it doesn’t need to look regular or unified.
If I made this pattern again I might consider reducing the number of plain colours to just one or two, rather than the four I used here. But I probably won’t make this pattern again. There is only one special seven year old girl in my life.
It will be going off to the long arm quilter soon and I’m confident that after quilting and binding the finished quilt will be pretty. I’ll post a photo when we get there.