The Poppy

I began sewing my poppy in 2007 after visiting a Quilters Unlimited show in Herndon, Virginia, USA. I purchased the Carol Morrissey pattern at their merchant’s mall and then spent several years deciding on which fabric to use.
The years sped by and the applique took place a petal at a time with other projects started and finished as the poppy was pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ pile.
The poppy has special significance as a flower of remembrance world wide. After the first World War the following resolution was passed:
“The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia and other Returned Soldiers Organisations throughout the British Empire and Allied Countries have passed resolutions at their international conventions to recognise the Poppy of Flanders’ Fields as the international memorial flower to be worn on the anniversary of Armistice Day.”

” Centenary of Gallipoli ” Poppy

The Centenary of The First World War; 1914-1918, is being commemorated with poppies in many ways around the world.
The 5000 Poppies tribute calling for knitted poppies is now pushing 130,000 poppies as of late February this year.
• The quilt historian, Barbara Brackman, has featured a World War 1 Remembrance quilt on her blog; Material Culture during 2014. Where Poppies Grow-Remembering Almo was designed and made by Denniel O’Kell Bohannon and Janice Britz. My friend at Colvin Kiwi Quilts has made her version of Where Poppies Grow to commemorate her Great Grandfather’s involvement in WWI.
The Tower of London marked the centenary with poppies as well. Artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper created 888,246 ceramic poppies that progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014.
As 2015 approached, in Australia and New Zealand, the ‘Centenary of the Gallipoli Landings’ significance was spoken about more and more, I felt my poppy needed to be finished for ANZAC Day, April 25, 2015.
With the hand applique finished, I decided to machine quilt the whole flower to the yellow background with Aurifil 40 wt and Aurifil 50wt thread.

Poppy pin basted and ready to FMQ

Poppy pin basted and ready to FMQ

With all the beautiful threads to choose from, it is hard to decide!

With all the beautiful threads to choose from, it is hard to decide!

The petals were made using hand dyed fabrics and many Aurifil threads were auditioned to either match the colours or complement the pieces as I quilted the petal’s texture.

Thread for a perfect petal

Thread for a perfect petal

The stamens were quilted with a patterned stitch that came with my sewing machine. A zigzag or blanket stitch would have worked as well.

The Poppy Stamen and Petals

The Poppy Stamen and Petals

The label includes the poem In Flanders Field written by a Canadian Medical Corps doctor, Major John McCrae, who was serving with a Field Artillery Brigade in Ypres.

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields

The Poppy Label

The Poppy Label

If you have created a textile piece to commemorate an anniversary from your history, please share with us so we can all remember.

I said I wouldn’t do it

Oh yes, I went here on Thursday ( to AQC at the Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne)

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I said I would only go and look at the quilts and challenges and see what new shops there were.

I was only going to buy what was on the list (3 items) – quilting gloves (mine have ‘worn out) , some wool felt, and a book for a birthday present.

How come I came home with a bit more??

I was only going to buy one or two more pieces of wool felt to add to my stash.

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I am doing a workshop in a couple of weeks so I could justify that.  But when I saw the colours available, and more than one shop had wool felt.  I just weakened a tad.  These bits can go with my others:

Gelati colours I think.

And I can use my Ne 12 threads to embellish them.

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I may be ‘forced’ to look for another spool of Ne 12 – how unfortunate I work in a thread shop!
Oh – and the other purchases (but not the book, as my friend may read this blog)
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And I should also confess, I bought a new sewing machine – great excitement – an early birthday present for me.

Aurifil @AQC

The Australasian Quilters’ Convention is just around the corner (16-19th April) held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building.

Melbourne_exhibition_building

This is always an exciting event for quilters: an opportunity to see the latest in quilting trends, be inspired by the work of others, and shop for all things quilty.

Even the venue itself is full of inspiration!

Melbourne Exhibition centre, Calton Gardens

Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Carlton Gardens

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Stencil detail from Royal Exhibition Building….would look good as an applique border!

Here at Aurifil we have been very busy packing up stock for the Aurifil retailers to display on their stalls.

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Packing thread for one of our retailers.

Some of the retailers are taking a range of individual spools in various thread weights, while others are running special projects (such as block of the month) and we have been making up small packs of specially selected threads for these.

 

New Zealand 2015 012

We have also put together some new four packs, including 3 new reproduction basic collections, just perfect to give you a range of “go to” reproduction-coloured threads.

 

New Zealand 2015 011

One of three new “Reproduction Basics” collections.

These little four-packs also make great gifts (for yourself too!)

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New Four Pack: “Purple Passion”

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New four Pack: “Bubbles”.

The retailers who we know will have Aurifil for sale on their stands are:

Other Aurifil retailers present at AQC are:

In addition, some of the talented 2015 AQC tutors including Deidre Bond-Abel, Kathy Doughty, Karen Styles and Lisa Walton use Aurifil thread.

Look out for Aurifil at AQC and be sure to make certain that you have all the Aurifil supplies you need to successfully complete your current and future projects!

What could be better than Chocolate?

I hope that you have had a safe & happy  Easter spent with family.

My family lives too far away to visit easily so I’ve allowed myself some favourite quintessential Australian Easter treats.

easter-bilbyA chocolate Bilby from Haighs & a hot cross bun.

What could be better than that?

Well maybe an addition to my Aurifil thread collection.

china-shop-collectionWe pack a  great selection of stash builder threads, such as these above, in-house at Always Threads  and you are sure to find a set to add to your own stash at the Always Quilting online store.

Inspiration Islands.

At the New Zealand Quilt Symposium in January 2015, I had the privilege of listening to a lunchtime lecture  by Sheena Norquay from the United Kingdom.  Sheena’s  talk was for 45 minutes, and it was inspiring.  I could have listened for another hour at least as her photos (80 or more) and the information imparted was fascinating.  The lecture was titled ” Quilts and the Orkney Influence“.

From symposium catalogue it says

”  the lecture shows how the landscape, seas, skies and wildlife of the Orkney Islands, where Sheena was born, has influenced her work. Sheena finds Orkney’s colour palette and special quality of light very inspiring, as well as its rich Viking heritage; in particular, Norse myths and legends which she often incorporates into her pictorial quilts”. 

The talk gave me an insight into how living in such a remote location can influence your quilting – both in design of a quilt and the quilting designs.  It made me think about the Australian and New Zealand landscapes and the colour choices I would make.

I must admit I had never heard of Sheena Norquay until at the shop, I came across some of her thread selections.  We have in stock her Autumn Selection in Ne 50 (Kit Art box 1300m) and small box (200m) plus her Seascape Selection in 1300m and 200m boxes.

Recently we ordered another thread box “Linen and Lace” – a mixture of linen threads,  floss, Lana wool and cotton mako Ne 12.  I am very tempted to buy it for myself! (email us if you want more information about this collection)

Aurifil Pack

Very very nice colours inside!

Inside Aurifil Pack

When the Symposium catalogue arrived, I noticed that Sheena was one of the tutors, and I had hoped that I could do a class with her when I put in my preferences for tutor selection.  Sadly I couldn’t get into a class (but was very happy with the tutors I did learn from!) and  I did get to see some of her work close up though  (sorry about the photo – it was hard to stand back far enough to take a distance photo – plus the two quilts were long and narrow).

Sheena Norquay

The tutors exhibition had this wonderful piece of work on display – the detail in the quilting is amazing. I want to run my hand over the stones – they look so realistic.  The colours merge from one piece to the other.

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and another (just lower down on the same quilt). Look at the little birds.

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Thank you Sheena for your inspiring words and making me research the islands you love so much.

Gathering in the Barn

Last month I treated myself to a day at the Gathering in the Barn held at Linda Collin’s barn in Wonga Park, home of the Quilts in the Barn exhibitions held annually. Leonie Bateman of The Quilted Crow was the presenter for the day. http://thequiltedcrow.danemcoweb.com/

When we arrived our first task was to find our seats, meet friends old and new, and indulge in the yummy morning tea.

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As you can see, the barn was decorated with many of Leonie’s quilts and treasures and she had her pop-up shop there as well, so there was plenty of visual feasting too!  Leonie’s specialty is using felted wool applique.

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Leonie’s quilt “Betsy”, 54″ square.

 

At each place on the table were our gifts for the day, four new patterns designed by Leonie, and a kit wrapped up and temptingly labelled “no peeking”.

 

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I’ve already peeked!!

 

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Four new designs.

The kit we received is called “Cornflower Blue – Doorstop” and includes the pattern and materials required to make this cute little doorstop. The  background fabric is hanky linen, with felted wool applique. Leonie provided Aurifil Cotton Mako 28 on each table for the blanket stitch.

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Leonie’s Cornflower Blue Doorstop.

Before very long all participants were busily and happily engaged in the creative process. The felted wool and Aurifil thread are both beautiful to use and the stitching process is very soothing! I decided I preferred a thicker thread for the embellishment at the top of the flower.  This was easy: I just chose Cotton Mako 12 weight in the same colour.

 

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My doorstop underway.

Leonie’s technique involves the use of a water soluable gluestick to hold the components in place and then stapling (yes stapling!!) them until stitching is complete. The felted wool is not marked at all by this.  However I am quite happy to use a few tacking stitches and this works well too. (I don’t have a very big stapler).

The day went very quickly and by home time I had completed all the blanket stitching. At home it did not take me long to assemble the doorstop.

Gathering in the barn 001

 

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Joining the doorstop components.

 

I enjoyed myself so much I immediately set out to make 2 more doorstops as gifts. This time I used wool felt rather than felted wool.  It has a firmer feel but works very well too. As an alternative thread, you could use Aurifil Lana (wool/acrylic) for the blanket stitching.

 

Extra doorstops

Two more doorstops, as yet unfilled.

And now I’m off to pack my bags so that I can catch a plane and deliver these gifts in person!

Doorstopx3

 

 

 

New in Store: Aurifil Designer Collections

The latest Aurifil shipment arrived recently so look at some of the new Designer collections that we have on hand.

Wildflower-Meadow-webSome have been collated by Australian Designers

Sue-Daly-croppedSome are boxes of 12 large spools, while others are boxes of 10 small spools

Sarah-Fielke-small-resizedAnd some are collated in neat little bubble packs

Aurifil-Calypso-bubbles-croppedWatch this space for more updates about the Aurifil Designer Collections or visit our websites (see links to left of screen) to find out more.

 

 

 

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