Wildflower Garden WIP Finished!

Hi again. An unexpected break in posting because of a bad bout of bronchitis.

So here’s a quick post about a WIP I’ve managed to finish. It’s fun to work in a group and so in August 2013 I joined the first Stitch of the Month series of classes run by Robyn Duncan of the local ACT Embroiderers Guild. Robyn’s a great teacher and she’d designed an abstract pattern for a book cover and we were supposed to use it as a guide for placing stitches.

I just couldn’t get into the abstract design and my piece looked more and more like a jumble. So I started again and drew a wildflower garden for the Sampler and off I went stitching. This is the result..

Wildflower Garden Sampler

There are over 25 different stitches in the Sampler!

Here’s a closer look..

Detail 1 of Wildflower Garden Sampler by Carmen Zanetti

Detail 2 of Wildflower Garden Sampler by Carmen Zanetti

Detail 3 of Wildflower Garden Sampler by Carmen Zanetti

All embroideries have a story and parts of this Sampler were stitched during long hours spent in a hospital ward last year when my Mum was sick. It started an ongoing conversation with hospital staff, other patients and their visitors. Quite a few added a stitch here and there!

The bullion knots in the above  flower head drove me crazy because the poor hospital lighting and no milliner’s needle meant they turned out uneven and messy. I thought about pulling them out and starting again so many times but just couldn’t face the thought of re-doing all those bullions again.

And now I’m glad I didn’t because family and friends who have seen the Sampler have been drawn to this flower head as a favourite element. Who knew!

Here are a few more close-ups..

Detail 4 of Wildflower Garden by Carmen Zanetti

Detail 5 of Wildflower Garden by Carmen Zanetti

Detail 6 of Wildflower Sampler by Carmen Zanetti


Detail 7 of Wildflower Garden Sampler by Carmen Zanetti

I enjoyed experimenting with different approaches to long & short stitch in the clover leaf and the art deco flower head was great fun to design and create. LOL it’s a bit warts & all seeing the stitching in such detail but part of the adventure is learning from the mistakes :)

The next step is to turn it into a cushion cover – I’ll share a pic when that’s done.

Bye for now!

Making Threads Count – SegoLaine

Hello again. The AQC also included a small show of the work of French textile artist SegoLaine Schweitzer. She focuses on repurposing wool to create decorative crazy quilts and panels.

Her work is a lovely mix of soft, subtle colours, complex layering of fabrics, appliqué and delicate embroidery. She has a real sensitivity to fabric and yarn and how to put these together to create an interplay of colour, narrative and texture.

Sharing some eye candy with you – first a crazy quilt:

Crazy Quilt by Segolaine

and a close up of some of the hexies…

Detail 1 of Crazy Quilt by Segolaine

Detail 2 of Crazy Quilt by Segolaine

Detail 3 of Crazy Quilt by Segolaine

and now for this decorative panel…

Tree Quilt by Segolaine

and a some close-ups of a branch and the funky, gnarly tree trunk…

Detail 1 of Tree Quilt by Segolaine

Detail 2 of Tree Quilt by Segolaine

You can see more of SegoLaine’s artistry on her website here


True Blue Birdies

The beauty of the quilts at the Australian Quilt Convention brought us a lot of joy and inspiration especially a couple of the quilts in the True Blue Challenge featuring favourite Aussie birds with blue plumage.

Now we’re birders and spend a lot of our free time looking at birds with binoculars and telescopes. We’ve also done volunteer work on bird banding projects. So when we look at birds on quilts we’re interested not only in the visual impact but the detail and authenticity of the way the birds are presented.

Sometimes the birds have a static look that suggests they’ve been modelled on field guide illustrations. But others really capture the jizz (a term used by birders to describe the vibe, the overall impression of a bird) and that’s so true of two quilts that really made an impression on us. Yes even Alistair spent quite a bit of time looking at these.

The first is the runner-up in the Challenge called Really True Blue by Jan Clark. It showcases five of the fairy wren family.

Really True Blue by Jan Clark

We’ve seen all these tiny birds in their natural habitat and Jan has really captured the essence of the way they stand and move and hold their tails.

But this quilt has so much more – a painterly effect and the swirling blues radiate energy & motion. We loved the composition and use of colours and textures.

Since I wrote this post I’ve had a couple of emails asking if I had any close-ups. So here are the wrens in more detail..

Detail 1 of Really True Blue by Jan Clark


Detail 2 of Really True Blue by Jan Clark


And here’s a detail from the second quilt called True Blue Raider of My Stash by Naomi Hynes. You can see the full quilt here.

This photo is a bit washed out as this piece was right under a blast of light from the Exhibition Centre’s Atrium.

Detail 1 from True Blue Raider of My Stash BY Naomi Hynes

We were blown away by how Naomi has used fabric to create the complex plumage patterning of the female Satin Bowerbird. She’s also nailed the luminous lapis lazuli colour of the eyes.

Soooo much talent in these two quilts!


For Dog Lovers Everywhere

Whew ….it’s been a busy week with family but I’ve finally found a minute to start sharing more of what I saw in Melbourne.

I had great fun looking at the quilts from the 2015 Challenge True Blue at the Australian Quilt Convention. If we were playing one of those word association games and you said ‘true blue’ then I would quickly say ‘blue heeler’ – the beloved Aussie cattle dog.

Three quilters explored this challenge by creating portraits of blue heelers and other too cute dogs.

We’re going to start with this amazing quilt called Best Mates by Kathy Adams:

Best Mates Quilt by Kathy Adams


The block that really caught my eye was this one – the stitching is incredibly intricate and I could’ve taken him home he seemed so real!

Detail 1 of Best Mates by Kathy Adams


Then there was this awesome bundle of puppy cuteness in a quilt called Beginning True by Sue de Vanny from Victoria which received an Honourable Mention from the judges:

Beginning True by Sue de Vanny


Here’s a closer look

Detail 1 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny


Detail 2 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny

Detail 3 of Beginning True by Sue de Vanny

Just fantastic!

And then there was this super fellow called Harry Dog by Sandy Price

Harry Dog by Sandy Price


Hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I did!