Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Quilting Retreat

It's our annual quilting retreat this weekend.

I smile when I see photos of quilters in USA and Canada going to retreats at luxury lodges in the woods, besides glistening lakes.

The Lodges at Cresthaven, Lake George, NY - taken at random from

Sadly, it's not like that here in New Zealand.  We go to the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington.  It used to be a Catholic convalescence home so it has lots of showers and bathrooms, but they are turning it into a conference centre slowly.  I've heard there have been major renovations completed since we were last there, so I hope to see some big changes.

Most of my friends will be sewing up a storm on their machines this weekend.  I'm going to leave mine at home and focus on hand quilting my quilt for our exhibition.  The hand in date is only two weeks away, and I still have a lot to do.

I'll also prepare some more Glitter blocks for hand piecing, and maybe even do a bit of English Paper Piecing and hand piecing if I have time.

I can always drive home and get my sewing machine if I think I want a change, otherwise I'll be hand quilting.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Possum Magic. The End.

Many moons ago I joined a round robin (four years ago to be exact).  We called ourselves "Possum Magic", and we were all based in Australia or New Zealand.   

My finished Possum Magic quilt

I finished my own quilt a year ago, but I've never shown it on my blog because I wasn't sure what to say about the experience of being in a round robin.  I'm too honest to just gloss over everything and tell you all it was a blast, and we're all best friends now, because that's not true!

My initial centre block that I made and served as inspiration

Working with strangers is hard.  Trying to do your very best on someone else's quilt isn't easy.  Determining reactions on social media and via emails isn't the same as talking to someone in person.


Suffice to say that things were fine for the first year or so.  Then people's circumstances started to change, and as we got towards the end of the round robin, relationships between some of the members started to sour.  Now those initial happy memories have erased by what happened at the end. 

The good news is that we each got our own quilt back, and most of us have have finished them. 

I chose to hand quilt mine with Aurifil 12wt and 28wt.  I do love the texture the hand quilting has added to the quilt. 

Would I join another round robin? No, not at the moment.  I might in 10 years time, but I'd prefer to do it with people I already know, rather than strangers. 

You can view each of the Possum Magic quilts in the link at the top of the page, and see how they grew as each of us added another round to each quilt. 

Friday, 29 June 2018

30 June check in

People often ask me how I get so much quilting done.  Well, my answer is, I make lists!

At the start of each year I make a list of the quilts I want to make or finish during the year.  My list for 2018 is here.  

Then at 30 June I like to check against progress.  I tick off the quilts that I've finished, and add any new quilts that I may have accidentally started during the previous six months. 

Here's what I had on my list at the start of this year:

1. Kaffe Fasset Tropical Hexagons

I started this quilt in the Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington in January 2016.  It's now finished, and you can read all about it here. I really wanted to show it to Kaffe and Brandon when they came back to New Zealand in January 2018, so I made sure it was finished by 20 January.

2.  Southern Stars Challenge for QuiltNSW

My Matariki +/- 1 was finished in time for the QuiltNSW show.  I was thrilled that it won a Judges' Commendation.  You can read more about it here

3.  Capital Quilters Exhibition

I can't show you this one yet, but it will be ready for our guild's exhibition on 11-12 August 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand.

4.  Sue Spargo Instastitch

There's been no progress on this one.  The top is finished, and I've done some machine quilting, but I need to do more yet.

5. Half Square Triangles / Picnic Quilt

I've finished this quilt too. I won these HSTs in our guild block of the month.You can read all about it here.  

6. Ballet with Kaffe

I've made some progress on my English Paper Pieced Ballet with Kaffe.  You can read more about this long term project here. 

7. Glitter

I'm still plugging away at my Glitter quilt.  My most recent blog post on it is here. I've got 33% of the blocks made.

8.  Cobwebs

I've foundation paper pieced all the blocks now, and I've started joining them up.  I hope to work on this at our retreat in July.  

Excuse the poor lighting - this was just to plan the layout

9.  School Prizegiving quilt

Back in December I was sitting through my son's school prizegiving and I had a good idea for a quilt.  I've made a small start on it, but it will be a long term project so it's tucked away now.

10 - 12.  Kaffe quilts x 3

Yes, there are three Kaffe quilts I'd like to make if I get time (ha ha!).  I started Green Diamonds at Kaffe's class on 28 January.  You can read about the class here.  

We cut lots of diamonds, but I haven't sewn any together yet. I need to make my quilt longer yet and balance out the colours.  Maybe I could sew that together at retreat too!

I've also been admiring another quilt from Quilts in Ireland, and one from Quilt Grandeur.  I have a huge Kaffe stash now after I bought a lot of pieces off my friend, Anne.  So I certainly have the supplies to make these quilts - I just need the time.

So that's everything that was on my to do list on 1 January 2018.  I've finished 3 quilts which is pretty good for me considering I hand quilted each of them. 

I've started one other quilt, so there's a net reduction of 2 in six months, and a possibility of finishing at least 2 more in the second half of the year. 

How are you getting on with your lists? Leave a comment or a link to a blog post if you like making lists like me.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Vibrant Curiosities in QuiltNSW Exhibition 2018

My second entry in the QuiltNSW show also won a prize!  It was my Vibrant Curiosities quilt - English Paper Pieced and hand quilted - and it won second prize in the Pieced Quilt Large (Amateur) category.

This quilt is my own original design, made completely from 1"octagons and 1" squares.  I used Tula Pink fabrics for the blocks, and Kaffe Fassett on the border.

If you've been following my blog for a while, and think it looks familiar, that will be because I entered it in the New Zealand Quilt Symposium last year.  You can read all the details about it here

My prizes were:
$300 worth of fabric from Lloyd Curzon Textiles
$250 voucher for AccuQuilt Australia

Thank you very much to all the very generous sponsors of the show. I flew back to New Zealand with a fat quarter bundle, two jelly rolls and three AccuQuilt dies in my suitcase! It was just under the luggage allowance. 

I love how this close up photo shows the hand quilting sinking into the wool batting.  I used Aurifil 12wt on this quilt and am very pleased with the result.

I'm all enthused for next year's show now, and was thinking about what I will enter before I'd even left Sydney. Both of my winning quilts have been English Paper Pieced and hand quilted.  I think I should stick with what I know best.

Last year I won the Amateur Encouragement Award for my la passacaglia quilt:


and this year I won second place in my category.

I think it's time to finish my Ballet with Kaffe quilt designed by Willyne Hammerstein. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Matariki +/- 1 - QuiltNSW Southern Stars Challenge 2018

I'm back from Sydney and am delighted to say that I won prizes for both of my quilts!!

First up is my entry in the Quilt NSW Southern Stars Challenge 2018.  

It's called Matariki +/- 1 and here's why:

Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Maori New Year. It rises in the southern skies in mid-winter and heralds the start of the Maori new year. For many years we were told there were seven stars in Matariki, now some people think there could be nine.

My quilt has eight stars - hence the name - Matariki +/- 1.

This quilt is different to anything I've ever made before.  I started by foundation paper piecing my stars, and then I used a wide variety of dark blues to fill in the sky.  I made half square triangles, flying gees, triangles in squares and diamonds in squares.  

I didn't have a master plan when I started, but I just kept going until I had filled in all the gaps.

I hand quilted with a wide range of threads, including Aurifil 12 wt and Wonderfil Dazzle in blue and yellow. 

I'm very pleased with how this quilt turned out, and was delighted to receive a Judges' Commendation for it.  

My inspiration came from a photo I saw on Facebook of a quilt made by Panni Szabo.  She gave me permission to make a quilt similar to hers.  

You can view the full list of prize winners, and photos of their quilts on the QuiltNSW website.  

The Southern Stars winners are all here.

Size: 47.5" x 52" (121cm x 132cm)

Sunday, 17 June 2018

QuiltNSW Quilt Show

The QuiltNSW show is almost here again. I was thrilled to receive an email this morning telling me that I've won a prize!! QuiltNSW sent us this fancy graphic so we could let all our friends know too.  I don't know which quilt, or which prize, but all will be revealed at the prize giving on Wednesday afternoon.

I'm heading to Sydney tomorrow and looking forward to seeing the exhibition on Wednesday.  I'll be volunteering on Thursday morning and late afternoon, and back again on Friday because it seems that's when most of my Instagram friends will be visiting.

There were so many amazing quilts on display last year, and such great shopping at the show too! And then there were all the welcoming people.  I met so many people who read my blog and follow me on Instagram.  My friends joked that we couldn't go anywhere in the show without people stopping me to say "hello".

I was blown away at the prize giving last year when I won Amateur Encouragement Award for my la passacaglia. As well as all these rosettes I won a Bernina sewing machine.  Bernina were very kind and said I could pick it up in Wellington rather than try to take it on the plane back to NZ.

I've got two quilts entered this year.  I don't want to show them yet, but rest assured I will post them on my blog after the show.  One is in the Southern Stars challenge, and the other is hand pieced and hand quilted.

If you see me at the show please do say "hello".  It's always nice to meet new people. 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Capital Quilters QUILTED exhibition

Have you heard about Capital Quilters' upcoming exhibition?  It's called QUILTED and it will be on at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre on 11-12 August 2018.

I'm getting excited about it already.  I'm fortunate to belong to a guild with some very talented members.  It was Capital Quilters' previous exhibition in 2014 that convinced me to join the guild.  I was amazed at the level of creativity right here in Wellington.

Here's a look at our amazing raffle quilt made by Helen Malachak and quilted by Cherie's Quilt Studio.  

Yes, one quilt - two sides.  Isn't it stunning?

We're going to have pop up shops including:
Nancy's Stitch Studio
Busy Bee
Made Marion
Thimbles and Threads - Upper Hutt
Quilters Lane - Masterton

The brand new cafe at the events centre will be open all day, so you can rest your feet and grab a bite to eat with your friends.

I encourage you to make plans to attend now if you live locally.  We'd love to see you there.  I'll be there both days so if you spot me please say "hello".

I'm frantically trying to finish one quilt to enter, and also trying to decide which other quilts to enter.  Decisions, decisions.