Thursday, 25 April 2019

Anzac Day 2019

The Ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Lawrence Binyon (1869-1943)

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Kaffe Nirvana

I've been working on this applique quilt off and on (mostly off) since 2014 (my best guess), and now that I have almost finished the other applique project, it is time to concentrate on finishing this one.

I purchased the pattern from Dawn at Collector with a Needle ages ago, it is a full sized pattern which is excellent as there is no need to fuss about enlarging the pattern.  I knew I wasn't going to be using reproduction fabrics, so chose to use mainly Kaffe Fassett combined with a Zen Chic fabric from the Comma range as the background fabric.  (the colour in the photo above is more true to life than the one below0

It is a fairly large quilt, 213cm x 239cm (84" x 94") finished, which includes a 30cm (12") outside border.  It is a whole cloth applique which makes it a bit awkward to handle sometimes.

 (bottom corner of the quilt)

I've been placing most of my pieces by eye and trying to keep it looking fairly symmetrical at the same time.  I seem to remember that my background fabric pieces are a bit longer than the pattern calls for so I will need to make allowances for that once I start on the top part.

Monday, 11 March 2019

A bit of cooking

I was gifted some eggplants earlier in the month and couldn't think what to make, but after flicking through my books found a recipe for Sesame Eggplant Dip in an Alison Holst book, a bit different from the usual eggplant dips and it can also be served as a salad or a relish. It was rather nice and I will be making it again, although the Mister thought there was bit too much chilli in it.

Sesame Eggplant dip

Still using up gifted produce and thinking about what to make with beetroot, I toyed with making a Chocolate Beetroot cake but decided to make Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppyseeds from my Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home book (the recipe here). What can I say but YUM, the beetroot gave the ice cream a sort of a jammy taste. I used one really large beetroot and roasted it while I was cooking something else, it took ages to roast but was well worth it.

Cinnamon Doughnuts - I nearly forgot to take a photo of these, hence the bite out of it.  This was a recipe clipped from the paper which I have been meaning to try out.  I halved the recipe, it was quite easy to make, not having a mixer meant I didn't bother with the beating on low speed for four minutes part, I just made sure my butter was very soft and beat it with a wooden spoon for a minute or so.  I made a couple of my doughnuts too thick and they were a bit doughy (but still quite edible), these will make another reappearance but as a sometimes food.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Final update

I didn't blog about this quilt at all even though it was finished back in 2017 (although I did blog about this quilt) . If you follow me on Instagram (@mizrini)  I think you might have seen it appear a couple of times on my IG feed.

Sarah Upsized (aka Rhubarb Custard) came about after I had spent an afternoon playing around with different EQ7 layouts using the Sarah's Choice block as the design inspiration. In a traditional Sarah's Choice block, flying geese, half square triangles (HST) and squares are used to make the block, my quilt utilised HST and squares only which I put together in the form of a Sarah's Choice block.

The quilt features large scale piecing and block cropping  The block cropping was as a result of not having enough fabric to make full blocks. Large areas of negative space gave me the opportunity to experiment with my quilting.  I wanted the quilt to have a modern look so most of the quilting is based on lines and ghost blocks of the Sarah's Choice block, rulers were used for this quilting.  There are FMQ feathers in the patterned fabrics and a feathered area in the bottom left of the quilt. 

Can you tell I was very excited to receive two blue ribbons for this quilt at the 2017 Festival of Quilts Adelaide.   1st place Professional in the Modern category and Excellence in Domestic Machine quilting (it was quilted on my Sweet 16; the quilt is moved under the stationary needle).

The quilt was also accepted into the Modern Quilt Show Australia in 2017 but did not place.  After studying the quilts that were juried in at recent Quiltcons I realise that the style of quilting on those (primarily straight line quilted) is totally different to the quilting on Sarah's Choice. 

Sarah's Choice was also awarded two teachers ribbons at AMQF 2018 but time has dimmed my memory of the teachers names :(

I should have blogged about it while it was still fresh in my mind, a lesson learnt.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

2019 Best of Quiltcon will be in Adelaide 21-24 March 2019

We are very lucky here in Adelaide, this year at the Craft and Quilt Fair we will be able to view the 2019 Best of Quiltcon travelling exhibit.  I'm intending to take plenty of photos and blog about the quilts.

Last year the 2018 Best of Quiltcon travelling exhibition was at AQC in Melbourne and I travelled over for the day specially to see them, it was a long day but well worth the effort. I took a lot of photos but never blogged about my trip, these two quilts were my favourites in the display.

I really liked this one, it is a shame that most of the quilts had fold marks in them, but I guess they had been folded (and perhaps refolded several times) for some time before transportation and hanging.

After reading all the 2019 Quiltcon posts I've decided that I'm going to Quiltcon next year, it is a quilt show that has been on my bucket list since the first Quiltcon (in 2013) was held in Austin, Tx.  Coincidentally next year it will once again be staged in Austin Tx, so I have been busy researching hotels etc in preparation for my trip.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019


I like making challenge quilts, I think it is partially because they are small and reasonably quick to make. Our SA Modern Quilters group is doing two challenges this year, the first one is called "Let's Get Squared" and will be on display at the Craft & Quilt Fair, March 21-24  at the Adelaide Convention Centre.  The second challenge will be on display at Festival of Quilts Adelaide in July.

our challenge quilts hanging at AMQF

Last year our group had a challenge called: The Blue Line challenge, which was exhibited at the Australian Machine Quilting Festival. Part of the instructions were:

A continuous blue line is to be placed horizontally across the middle third of the quilt, the line can be straight or it can be curved or angled and doesn’t need to start and finish at the same point.The blue line can be whatever width you choose.

Each quilter was given a piece of grey fabric for the background and a strip of blue fabric, up to three other fabrics could also be used (either three solids or two solids and one print)

it was hard to get a decent photo of all the challenge quilts hanging together

I didn't take many photos of our quilts, but there are a few more on the SA Modern Quilters Facebook page (search SA Modern Quilters) although you will have to scroll down a bit to see them among the other photos.


I made two challenge quilts, Peaks and Check.  I wasn't totally happy with my first quilt - Check (and looking at the photo it could do with some blocking to straighten it out)  I was much happier with my second effort - Peaks, I really enjoyed quilting that one.


Sunday, 3 March 2019

Slow Sunday

I made progress with the applique on the Botanics piece, there is not much left to do now (three arrow shapes and six holes) which means I will be able to get back to my long term applique project which I would like to get finished this year.

Now that the applique is almost finished, it is time to think about the border and binding fabric. I bought some lovely Denyse Schmidt Open Plaid from her Washington Depot range, I think it will work nicely, although I'm not looking forward to the pattern matching at the corners. The teal spot is going to be used for the binding.

Quilting is progressing on the TATW, I think it is a quarter done now, the recent hot spell hasn't made it very comfortable to quilt at night, although the aircon and a fan has helped a bit.  Now that we have a bit of cooler weather I will be trying to do a bit more quilting each night, I really want to get the quilting finished by end of March.

Friday, 1 March 2019


Today autumn officially started, although it doesn't seem very autumnal with predicted temperatures in the next couple of days being 40°C (104°F) and dropping to a relatively cool 31°C (87°F) on Sunday. The neighbour's tree has started dropping leaves which makes my photo look a bit autumnal, as the leaves usually drop late April, I think they are more likely to be heat stressed.

This quilt was one I made for my display at Festival of Quilts Adelaide 2018, I like to call this improv style - structured improv.  Because it is a mix of square or rectangle shapes, it is a great way to start making an improv quilt.  There are no awkward angles to worry about, fabric slabs can easily be made in different sizes and you don't really need to use your ruler until the end when you might need to do a bit of squaring up.

I used a scrap fabric pack that was in my stash plus other fabrics I thought would work with the scraps.  It was fun joining all the different fabric pieces together, I just went with what looked right (to me), making several slabs of fabric which were then joined together into one large fabric slab, from which emerged the quilt you see in the photo.

I quilted it on my Simply Sixteen and kept the quilting fairly simple,  It didn't take very long to quilt up as the quilting is just lines and right angles.  There were no threads to bury as I just started at the edge of the quilt and worked my way along the quilt until I needed to move the quilt so I could quilt the next blank space.

Sometimes a quilt names itself, I noticed this phrase while quilting and thought it would be a perfect name, I used a Pigma pen to make that part of the text stand out a bit.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

My Wonky Small World quilt (and a cautionary tale)

This little quilt was started in May 2015, I remember that in the beginning I was quite enthusiastic about making it but I think cutting all the small pieces and then stitching them together started to wear me down a bit, so it was set aside for other projects.  I hauled it out again this time last year and finished it off in time for Festival of Quilts Adelaide.

Of course once the making was done with, I then had to quilt it, I decided to do a sort of orange peel quilting over the sky as that would hold the pieces down nicely while giving a bit of texture to the sky area.  Most of the other quilting was ditch stitched with a bit of free motion thrown in where there was some free space.

I used a few different fabrics for the binding as I wanted it to blend in with the various fabrics, and did the final hand stitching at a sit and sew with SA Modern Quilters. I remember being very pleased that the quilt was finished in plenty of time for the Festival of Quilts Adelaide.

When I got home that afternoon, I unpacked my bag and noticed that the quilt felt a little damp, at first I thought my water bottle had leaked a bit.  On further investigation I realised that my reusable coffee cup (the lid was tightly closed, but the button that closes the drinking hole was still open)  had leaked the coffee dregs through onto the quilt - calamity!!! 

Luckily most of the coffee stains were on dark fabrics and only one light coloured block (seen in the above photo) had been marked, once white it was a dirty brown.  After spot cleaning the dirty brown turned into pale cream and I was happy with that result. I now check that my reusable coffee cup has the button closed and put it in a plastic bag so that any leaks will be contained.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Hand work

I usually like to have a couple of hand work projects on the go, I started this Carolyn Friedlander applique in October 2017.  I used a combination of machine applique (the five large pieces) and hand applique on it.  I rather like the organic shapes that have been used and instead of being overly precise placing the pieces I have eyeballed the placement which I think suits the feel of the piece.

I've used some different fabrics as well, a linen background fabric, some batiks and shot cotton.  There aren't too many pieces left to to put on, three more larger pieces and a few small ones, so I'm hoping it won't take too long to finish it ready for our Festival of Quilts in July.

My other hand project is an EPP project which is a simple house shape joined together to make a cross.  I usually have some of the shapes basted and ready for stitching, and I will grab it to work on when I don't have anything else prepared.  Currently I don't have an end date planned for this project, but I won't be letting it get too large and unwieldy.