|Collection 8 - can you believe we have come so far already? This collection contains a few of my favourite blocks, many of which were made early on as can be told by the soft pastel fabrics that were used.|
|Spring Surprise was given its name because of the soft fabrics reminded me of the pansies that were blooming at the time.|
|Too Many Thorns - Just like our roses so many points and so many thorns.|
Banana Custard - this must have been made in winter. With my sweet tooth banana custard is one of my many favourites.
|City Living - the tightness of this design suggested what I see as life in the city - Too much! Too close! The dream of distant open spaces.|
Rising Mist - Umbrellas within a sea of blue. What better name?
|Summer Picnic - Doesn't the floral fabric remind you of those frocks we all wore when we were younger.|
King of Versailles - yes this was made during one of our visits to our son who was studying in Paris at the time. A beautiful city and so suited to us. We loved the early morning walks where many streets were empty as the city didn't wake up until 10:00.
This single block is one of the corner collections. The corner and side collections are made of extended hexagons to fill the spaces so the quilt is easy to finish off rather than being in and out as hexagonal quilts often are.
So who is Margaret?
She is a close friend of mine who I worked with for many years .... well really simply shared an office. Both of us worked with special needs children but in different areas of need. We were both itinerant teachers and so were based at one school for all of our administration but travelled to various schools to help the children on our caseloads. It was hoped with support from teachers such as ourselves that children with special needs could remain in a regular class in their local school. Both of us would visit three, four or sometimes more schools in a day.
Margaret took up patchwork when we worked together ... I seemed to have that effect on many coworkers introducing them to my obsession :-) She enjoyed traditional quilts and at one time took a particular like to the 1930s fabrics.
This fabric came from her stash and the heart at the bottom represents our mutual friendship and the star was added to give the block the appearance of a flower.
This collection contains one of my favourite blocks Crystal Dreams, the fabrics do nothing to showcase the design but I still love it.
|Short Changed was one of the first blocks that were based on a smaller grid with an extra border. The original aim was to leave space for highlighting quilting, but my skills were too poor, atrocious is a more apt description for my machine quilting. Anyway due to my level of quilting skills I ended up leaving the area still plain.. Would like to see someone do something with their skills.|
|Crystal Dreams was designed to show some flowers in a crystal vase. The diamond cut that is common on many of the crystal vases inspired the design.|
Isn't it surprising that two fabrics that looked good together in strips don't come up so well when sewn...and then top it off with my being too lazy to resew the block...viola!
|Disappearing Hope was made at a time when things were going pretty badly within my family after an argument with my father. Many things weren't too good at that time, but the block still looks good.|
|Fake Hands was made around the same time as Disappearing Hope. People pretend to care but spite and jealousy cause a lot of harm..and then they walk away, leaving much damage.|
|Enter With Care - my eldest son worked for a while at Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and he would joke about consequences of a nuclear mishap. Youth knows no fear.|
|The title With Care came from the fact that care needed to be taken when fussy cutting this block.|
|Strung Out was made about the same time as Disappearing Hope and Fake Hands. Gorgeous blocks for not such a nice time:)|
Links to blocks by Carol -
Collection 5 contains some of my favourite blocks and many were early blocks in the design and making of Raconteur. How can I tell this? By looking at the colours used. Raconteur was to be my first 'pastel' quilt. However as I progressed I decided that baby pastels were just not my style and although I attempted to still remain in the pastel range I ventured into the stronger pastels such as those used in Mums Among the Gold, Echoes and Behind Walls. So now for the origin of the names.
|Behind the Walls - doesn't each individual section remind you of someone sitting alone in a little room, locked in their own thoughts and own world. Are they all the same or just that little bit different? You will never know for certain.|
|Pointing the Finger was named after a long day spent mainly in primary schools. One thing which I always found interesting when working with children from toddler stage to the end of high school was the different ways that problems were sorted. I understood little kids would cry, you ask, they tell the cause...easy peasy. High school they sort out a lot of things with their friends or by themselves. Primary school they dob... jealous about something... dob on the kid, angry with someone...dob, doing the wrong thing...dob on someone else.... the day is full of kids dobbing, which is a slang word meaning to tell on someone or point the finger.|
|Gift Wrapped - don't the arrow heads remind you of that gorgeous ribbon bow that arrives upon parcels which are wrapped by someone who has a lot more skill than I do with curling ribbon. Every year at Xmas I attempt to master the curling ribbon with scissors trick... never does it look as beautiful as my expectations or someone else's effort... but I keep hoping.|
|Echoes should have been called Ripples as it was named after the effect you see when dropping pebbles in the water but at the time the only word I could think of was echoes.|
|Baby Blue was named because of the fabric colours. Did you realise that until recently blue wasn't always for boys and pink wasn't always for girls?|
The evolution of our preference for these colours for the particular sex has come about just since the first world war. Prior to that time both boys and girls wore the same crisp white dresses as girls until they were 6 or 7 years old. These colours were chosen for practicality since it was easiest to bleach everything. The bleaching rendered everything both clean and hygienic. Then pastel colours were introduced and babies were generally dressed in either. However around the time of World War I, there developed the fear that a child would grow up perverted if s/he were dressed in the 'wrong' coloured clothes and so the clothes became gender specific and with time these colours became set in stone. Research shows it could have quite easily gone the other way with pink being for boys and blue for girls.
Men are gradually changing and wearing pink, particularly in Australia following the strong support from various male sporting teams for Breast Cancer Awareness, whose official colour is pink. However this has not been extended into baby's clothes.
|Mums Among the Gold - this one is a direct reference to the fabrics used. The bright pink reminded me of chrysanthemums and although not clear in the photo, the background fabric is a gold print on a white background.|
|Taylor's World was named after a student that I taught and the title is from a book which her mum, Jenny, wrote about Taylor's first few years and the trials and tribulations in the family during those years. Taylor is a great kid and I enjoyed teaching her. She is someone who gives her best all of the time.|
The title Your Decision comes from the fact that the curve in this block is a basic one from mathematics. It is known as either a sine cure or a cosine curve, the only difference between the two is where they start.
While making the block I couldn't decide which fabric would be the feature and which the background. The decision decides the border fabric - your decision.
Green With Envy is a simple block made when I was practicing making very small strips and then trying a bargello idea. The name came purely from the fabrics which were two beautiful Japanese florals - bet you wouldn't have guessed that.
The fine strips in Rainbow Semaphore suggested the flags waving about when people used flags on a pole for semaphore... or what I think they looked like.
Do you remember the lovely floral frocks you wore as a child on a Summer's Day.. well if you were born in the 50s or early 60s that is..before the advent of stretch wear.
New Beginnings was made as a reminder to the start of a new life for my sister and her son when they moved into their own place.
I was visiting my brother-in-law one day and as we sat having coffee and cake, non-fattening almost, there were a couple of Birds protesting at the Window. My BIL feeds many of the birds in the area and they felt it was time for their snack too.
Oh the freedom when you ventured out to the paddocks with just your bucket, wearing shorts and T-shirts to pick the sweet blackberries.... such fun.. and even though you returned home scratched all over from the thorns, did you remember to dress more appropriately next time? Not me... Blackberry Freedom
Cinzia again with my book, The Storyteller’s Sampler Quilt, that has just been released by C&T.
Today I just want to give you a couple of hints on how to organise yourself so that you too can enjoy making your own quilt.
The quilt, Raconteur - The Storyteller’s Collection, took six years to design and it was the perfect take anywhere project.
My sewing tin is just 3in square and it can hold three blocks plus sewing bits. So find something small and always keep the project with you for those few spare minutes you find.
The photographed project-in-progress, Yvonne’s Mystery, is perfect if you like miniature foundation piecing. In a block that barely covers your palm there are well over 100 pieces.
In the book you have 359, mostly original, full size hexagon designs, each with step by step directions. Just check it out …. there are over 2,000 step by step illustrations to show you how each block is constructed. I guess you can tell that I am as proud as punch about that fact I’m also the illustrator!
If you do decide to buy the hard copy you simply place a piece of freezer paper over the block and trace it to make your full sized templates. More detail about this is provided in the book.
If you decide to buy the e-copy then on my blog, https://cinziawhite.com you will find a post, How to Print on Freezer Paper with a Laser or Inkjet Printer.
You should also check out the Tot 10 Tutes on Linda Franz’s blog, https://lindafranz.com/blog/ for instructions on ‘How to Print Custom Page Sizes’. These two resources will make your task so much easier.
Today I thought I would upload my posts from the C&T blog.... as this is where I share my thoughts and many of you probably haven't checked out the C&T site.
Here it is..
My name is Cinzia and my first book ever, The Storyteller’s Sampler Quilt, has just been released by C&T.
Today I thought I would share the inspiration for the quilt title, Raconteur - The Storyteller’s Collection.
The quilt is made of 49 collections each of which has 7 hexagons that are then arranged as a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. My plan was that each hexagon would tell a story of someone or something significant in my life journey.
The quilt design when first seen, would be from a distance and all you would see was a Grandmother’s Flower Garden with something sparkling in each large hexagon. As you approached you would see more and more detail, until you stood directly in front and could see all the colours, fabrics and designs. Like seeing a person from afar and then getting to know them better the closer you become.
Great idea in theory and in real-life … but unfortunately not great for photography. A king size quilt is made to be photographed standing back but a miniature is made to be photographed up close. That’s why the cover shows a section of the quilt rather than the entire quilt … so you can see some of the details.
Collection 30 contains a block I designed and stitched during the time of my mum’s alzheimers. Prior to Mum’s demise with this disease I had no idea how devastating and soul destroying alzheimers could be.
But when I was there with Mum and watched the slow decline and her suffering you realise how horrid it really is. She knew she was losing her memories and with it her sense of who she was and where she belonged, and she suffered until finally she disappeared altogether with full blown alzheimers.
I changed my thread colour as I stitched, ever lightening to show the fading of the person. The words I stitched are what I remember of her:
I remember Mum used to smile. She loved music, She loved knitting. But most of all she loved us. Sometimes she forgets.
I took from this sadness not to wait to show those around me, my love for them.
For ppl who may have purchased the ebook there are two sites which I recommend you check out.
The first is https://tinyurl.com/cucicucicoo
On this site you will learn how to print directly onto your freezer paper using either you inkjet printer or your laser printer. Inkjet is totally non-stress and laser is also IF you pay attention to a few little must do's that Lisa discusses. Read the entire post before diving in and printing.
If you buy freezer paper by the roll use your rotary cutter and ruler to ensure your cutting edge is straight or your printer may play up like mine did :-(
The second site is Linda Franz's site https://lindafranz.com/blog/top-ten-tutes/ where you will find lots of top tutorials and information. For this book her
tutorial 'How to Print Custom Sizes' is exactly what you need. Even if you didn't buy the ebook you may find some interesting information here so check it out.
Great photo isn't it?
If you want to make a large block version of the original quilt using EPP check out Eppiflex as they are going to be running it as a BOM.
Or you could simply do as I did, scale the blocks up and hand piece them. Many of the blocks in this quilt are the more intricate since that was what I was looking for at the time. It is totally hand pieced, my favourite technique, but if you want to make your quilt by machine there are plenty of blocks to choose from.
Has anyone started their blocks yet?
Yet another seven blocks completed. Raconteur was supposed to be my first pastel quilt. About thirty blocks into it I discovered that I was not a pastel person and so although I tried to primarily work with pastels I ended up using many bright pastels.
So where did the names come from for these blocks?
Fox Pawed was named after I accidentally cut some of the fabrics from the wrong fabric and so had to work out a new design with the pieces. Friends of mine at uni had lived in a house they called Fox Paw Manor a play on the french faux pas and I have always remembered this and call errors fox paws with friends.
After the Showers was completed one afternoon as I relaxed at home watching the birds come to life and foraging for food after a long wet spell. The bow ties resembled their wings and the central start their prey.
Burning Bright appeared to me like the explosions from the midnight fireworks of New Year's Eve.
On a trip to Alaska one year I purchase a few bags of coloured pebbles as I collect strange things at times. These small pebbles sparkle so and are used in one of our board games and so Ketchikan Jewels was named.
One to the Left was named because it was another error and the outer blocks were supposed to be placed outside of the kite but as I didn't have the design with me when I was sewing it I put it where I thought it belonged but that was one spot to the left.
Paprika reminded of the spice of the same name, hot and sweet.
And last but not least is Raspberry Swirl, why are so many of my blocks named after food... probably because I love food and sweets in particular:)
These are definitely a gorgeous collection and should look great when finally sewn together into a full quilt.