Monday, 2 June 2014

Who's at the Bower Bird Patch?


Jen and her helper in her sewing room/ dining room/ lounge room

The Bower Bird Story

So, what's a bower bird and what's it got to do with patchwork and quilting? Well, Satin Bower Birds (Ptilonorhynchus violates) are common where i'm from on the east coast of Australia and they're gorgeous birds.



But mostly they're known because of the way the boys will decorate their intricate stick nests (aka bower) with all sorts of blue materials in order to woo girls (more info here).

Like the bower bird girls, i'm super attracted to all things blue, and you'll probably notice that in the fabrics that i'll pick out and the quilts that i make. That said, i am really attracted to colourful quilts at the moment too and my eyes are always drawn to pretty colours and i will often notice the pattern afterwards.

Jens sewing journey

My Mum is a great quilter and source of inspiration. She taught me to quilt over a decade ago and since then, quilting has become a passion, a treat, a therapy and something to share with my Mum. I've loved creating the best homemade and one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family as well as welcoming babes to the world with something special. Of course, there's always a favourite quilt on my bed and it's super nice to be able to have our visitors sleep under my quilt creations too!

Of course, as the journey meanders, my tastes and inspirations have changed with the years, as have my commitments and thus the time I'm able to spend quilting.

My favourite quilts

At the moment, these are the quilts i'm most proud of;


I made this quilt for my mother and father in law Rosa Maria and Ze Carlos. Here, it is pictured on the granite pillars that are typical in the Minho region where they live in northern Portugal.

String Playmat
I made this playmat for my little boy back in the day when he was less of The Hurricane. It has been washed and washed so many times, but the colours still make me happy.

Seaside
I made this queen size quilt-as-you-go pattern (by Monica Poole) because i was simply in love with the colours. It's currently on our bed and after a few years, i'm still in love with the colours.

This placemat was made especially for my Aunt Sylvia in Portugal. It was my first real attempt to sew with curves and i'm happy with how they turned out.

2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

I'm new to the blogging world, but since putting my own blog together in March, i've learnt a whole lot (i was a 'no reply blogger' for a couple of weeks...ouch!), and i've been super inspired by the talent of quilters far and wide. Quilting is very personal and everybody has such different tastes (i don't know about you, but i never seem to be able to pick the winners or peoples' choice at quilt shows!). I reckon quilt blogging helps me to find my own style by admiring the various colours, techniques and patterns of others, plus, it's a whole lotta fun making new friends that share a common quilting passion!

Today marks the first official day of the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and i'm very excited to be part of it. There has been much work behind the scenes and there's a whole bundle of beautiful new blogs to visit and check out. I've listed just a handful here so please go and check them out, i think you'll be inspired;




And so the journey continues......

Blogging tip:   don't be afraid to just be yourself, it's your blog after all!

Quilting tip:    make the things that please you most and give you the greatest enjoyment


Question for readers:      quilting with silks? any advice will be greatly appreciated (see my post about the kimono silk challenge)


Jens favourites:         Love Actually, Jane Austin, peppermint chocolate, travel, photography, gardening, Wangerin's The Bible as a Novel, Ningaloo Reef, Lord Howe Island, south-west Western Australia, the Pacific North-West, home-made, The Hurricane, blue skies, prescribed fire, Portugal, the Matterhorn and quilting.


Cheers

Jen

49 comments:

  1. Hi Jen, lovely introduction! I, too, am a lover of all things blue so your selection of the bower makes a lot of sense to me. :) I would love to give you silk advice, but I have not had an opportunity to work with it myself, yet. I love the colors in your seaside quilt, and the quilting on the placemat for Sylvia is great.

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  2. Your quilts and photos are so lovely! And I can definitely see your love of blue coming out in them! (I see your helper wears blue too ;))

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  3. Hi Jen! I love all your string quilts. So colorful and fun. I have never worked with silks so I have no advice.

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  4. Great introduction and I learned something about the bower bird ... quite fancy I may add! This post was great, I also agree with the quilts you posted they are just gorgeous! Thanks for welcoming us into your world :)

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  5. I have never quilted with silks. I love cotton. I mean, I LOVE cotton. And I love the placemat you made.

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  6. Love all the blues in your quilts and that bird picture is beautiful!

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  7. I'm a texture addict, so I l-o-v-e the quilting on your place mat! All of your projects are lovely, and I especially like the happy colours in your son's quilt. I'm sorry to add that I have no advice regarding silk, but will be interested to see how you handle it!

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  8. I love all the colour in your quilts and am so happy to have met another fellow Aussie Quilter :)

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  9. The placemat is gorgeous! Oh, I found many talented people, today.
    Silks? no way, not now. I'm still a newbie and need to learn more from people like you. I wish I'll be brave to quilt with silks someday :-)

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  10. I love your bright, friendly quilts. And I am fascinated by Bower birds too, I've never seen one in the wild, but often they'll build bowers at our local botanic gardens.

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  11. What a great story behind your name blog. Thank you for explaining. Nice to meet you Jen. No experience with silk on my side, sorry.

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  12. Love your strip quilts - I'm really fond of blue too. Your Quilt as you go Queen size is gorgeous.

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  13. Jen, your quilts are amazing! Sylvia's place mat is amazing, I love curvy lines :)

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  14. I just love your color choices!!! I tend to always gravitate towards warm colors, but these are calling me in! Maybe because its was 80 yesterday... :D I could really get behind being wooed with bright blue baubles. Love where your name comes from! Outside of a silk stole at my high school graduation, I have no experience with silk whatsoever, but the project sounds interesting!

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  15. I lived in Australia for 8 years and never knew about the bower birds - so interesting. And blue is my absolute favourite too - I am often grateful that I have two boys because I could choose blue things for them! Love your quilts, especially Seaside - so beautiful and calm. Nice to have found you via the blog hop :-)

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  16. I always think of Cat in the Hat when I hear about bower birds. There's an episode about them. :) I love all your quilts, and the photos are stunning. So nice to get to know a bit about you!

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  17. You and I are birds of a feather! Love your colors, quilts and story! Looking forward to following you!

    www.sewcraftychick.blogspot.com

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  18. Nice to meet you, Jen! Your quilts are lovely and your photos are amazing. I's no wonder you love blue, with that periwinkle sky!

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  19. I LOVE your Seaside quilt!! I agree--the colors are divine, and those circles! I love it. Love love love.

    Also, the bower bird is super awesome! Was it featured in that BBC production Planet Earth popular a while back? I feel like I've heard/read about it before, although it could have been during my environmental science studies. Great to get to know you, and I'm looking forward to following along!

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  20. Great blog name and reason behind it, blue is my favourite colour as well and I've not heard of the bower bird before but you're right, he looks beautiful and I'll have to find more pictures of his nests now. Love your quilts too, especially the string ones.

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  21. Wow Jen. I'd never even heard of Satin Bower birds but they're very pretty and love how their story ties into your own. You've got some beautiful quilts, and I especially love the Seaside one. I've never tried quilt as you go, but it's on my list. Sorry, I've never done anything with silk before but I'm sure you'll get lots of input from the internet blogging community!

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  22. I didn't know what a Bower bird was, but now I do, the name fits your blog! Gorgeous quilts you've made, as a blue-lover myself, I love the colours!

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  23. I haven't used silk before, but there's a shop in Brattleboro, Vermont that sells little bundles of silk scraps. Whenever I'm there I pop in and am so tempted to buy them, but so afraid to waste them! I hope you post on your experience, maybe it'll give me the courage to jump in!

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  24. such beautiful quilts, I love your color choices, all the blues are wonderful.

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  25. I love the Bower bird. I have a friend who named her son after them! :)

    I love your bright happy colors! I haven't tried silks, but one of my favorite blankets from one of those posh stores was silk, I just haven't taken the plunge to recreate it.

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  26. that bird is so unique and i love all things blue as well! i can't sew circles worth a darn but yours are amazing! i also think it's so cool that you and your mom have a special quilting bond :)

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  27. I love that top photo of you and your son - so cute! And I've never quilted with silks.

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  28. The Bower birds are gorgeous! Love the colors in those birds. I've not tried quilting with silks either.

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  29. Love your string quilt- I am always amazed how each one turns out so differently.

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  30. The bird is beautiful (thanks for sharing) and your quilts are pretty too!

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  31. Thank you for sharing about your quilts, they are beautiful. I love the circles in the placemat and especially the jacarandas quilt; you've captured the colours perfectly.

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  32. All of your quilts are lovely, but Seaside is my favourite! Those are exactly the colours I love most.

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  33. So nice to meet you! All of your quilting projects are lovely! You have such a nice eye for color. I've never heard of that bird before, but it is beautiful. My favorite color to work with is blue as well! I can't believe you just started blogging a few months ago. It looks great!

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  34. What is The Bible as a Novel like? Is it fairly extra-biblical or mostly spot on, like the Message? It sounds really interesting. I might have to read it this summer.

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  35. I've learned so much about the world through quilting blogs. I don't have a blog myself, but I admire anyone who takes on the challenge to open themselves up to others and share their fantastic work. I really enjoyed your intro. I, too, love blue. I was so taken with the bower bird story. Thank you!

    Leslie S. in MN

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  36. Jen, I love all the color! That playmat is wonderfully busy and eye catching - I bet your son loves it!

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  37. I love that seaside quilt! I can see how you'd still be in love with the colors years later. They are beautiful.

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  38. I wish I knew about silk that sounds fun! I cannot pick a favorite our of your quilts! They are all so beautiful! I love your blog name! too!

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  39. I just love your sense of color! All of your quilts are just beautiful! I am your newest follower via bloglovin.

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  40. I love the Seaside quilt; actually all of them are lovely and full of vitality and color. Seaside is special to me, probably because we spend a lot of the time at the beach, and the colors remind me of those fun days that are restful too. I'm also on the hop, and thought I'd stop by. Hope to see more of you, and if you get a chance stop by my blog. Have a great weekend.

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  41. I would be proud of those four quilts too!
    I haven't tried quilting with silk yet, but I have started collecting Japanese silk bits and pieces for yet another project in my to-do pile. Silk is so very tempting!

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  42. Nice to meet you, Jen. I also love the colors of your seaside quilt, very calming. I really like how you pieced it as well, the different strips are really nice.

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  43. I love your blue and green quilt. I am intrigued by your kimono post and am going to check that out!

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  44. I love your color selections and how you mix them so effortlessly! (I'm a fan of peppermint chocolate as well.)

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  45. Hi Jen. I love your colour combinations, they sing so beautifully in the bright Australian sun. I'm keen to try quilting with silk too. And like you I love some of the ideas in Cassandra Ellis's book. I've started very small just including occasional silk scraps in quilt tops otherwise made from cotton. I've found I need to get them sewn into place quickly to avoid losing to much fabric from fraying.

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  46. I love the colours in your quilts! They are quite lovely and those quilted circles look awesome!

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  47. Your quilts are so pretty! And it's obviously in the genes - your mom's quilts are also gorgeous. Looking forward to reading about and seeing more of your quilts.

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  48. Jen, I love your quilts. We have similar tastes in colours and style. I love Love Actually and Jane Austen, and peppermint chocolate but only Club Dark. I'm really looking forward to the New Bloggers' Blog Hop - it's going to be fun.
    I live in Canberra too - are you a Canberra Quilters' member? Give me a yell if you would like to meet for coffee or whatnot. I have small children too.

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Wahoo.....I'm always stoked to receive comments so thanks so much for taking the time.

Wishing you many happy quilting hours!