Thursday, 17 January 2019

Gingerbread Retreat Cottage - and the Peacock Party

When I was choosing a name for my blog, I wanted something that reflected my love of embroidery as well as my love of quilting.  Five years ago I probably spent more time on embroidery than I did on quilting.  Now the tables have turned and quilting takes up the majority of my spare time, but I do still like to do embroidery, knitting, tapestry, and crochet etc.

This week I was finally putting away my Christmas presents, and I thought that I may as well "kit up" (and embroidery term I discovered on Instagram) my two newest Gingerbread Village patterns.

I've had the Retreat cottage pattern since April 2018, but hadn't made a start yet.  I split the bundles of threads, and put all the threads onto pieces of cardboard with labels.  This what is known as "kitting up". 

I then cut out the required pieces of linen and zig zagged around the edges so they don't fray while I'm stitching.

Then I couldn't resist the temptation of starting the pretty roof sections for the Retreat Cottage.  I haven't done hardanger for a while, so I was a bit nervous about cutting the threads. But everything was fine, and I remembered how to do it.

I'm using brown linen for the roof sections because I want the white snow to show up even more! I'll put a piece of fabric behind this section once it's finished.

I've also got the Flower Shop pattern waiting for me now! It's going to be a busy year! You can read all about my Gingerbread Village on the tab at the top of the page.  The patterns are all by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler in Canada. 

Now for the Peacock Party.  What's everyone else been up to?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  I'm enjoying visiting new blogs each week.  Thank you to everyone who has been taking part.

Inlinkz Link Party

Sunday, 13 January 2019

My quilting priorities for 2019

This is the fourth year I've made a list of my quilting priorities for the year ahead.

I find that a list helps me to stay focused and resist some of the new temptations that arise during the year.  I still give myself permission to start the occasional new thing that crops up, but a list helps me to remember what my goals for the year were too.

Usually I list my WIPs first, but this year I'm going to throw caution to the wind and list my new starts first! That's far more exciting.

1.  Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful
I've admired this quilt for some time.  I even went as far as experimenting with my Quick Curve Ruler last year, but 2019 is the year I want to make this quilt.

photo from Sew Kind of Wonderful

2.  Stars Upon Stars
A couple of years ago I bought Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern for Stars Upon Stars.  Mum and I made a sample block, but it really was very tricky to sew on the machine.  However, a few months ago I discovered a Jeanneke from The Netherlands who has made fabric stamps for the pattern, so I'm going to give this quilt another try with fabric stamps.

We experimented with the fabrics below - they were just scraps from the cupboard.

using mirrors to imagine the whole block

Both of these new starts are quite labour intensive, so I'm not going to list any more new starts. Instead I'm going to focus on finishing some of the quilts I started in 2018.

3.  Good Fortune
This is the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt that I started in November 2018. The top is almost finished, and then I will hand quilt it.

4. Cartwheels
This is a Kaffe Fassett pattern from his Quilt Grandeur book. The blocks are all made, and I'm slowly adding ric rac and joining the rows.

5. Glitter
A Jen Kingwell pattern.  I've made all of the 152 blocks, and now I just need to hand sew them together, and hand quilt it. Here's a sample of some of the blocks.

6. Cobwebs
This is a pattern by Chris Kenna from New Zealand.  I've started hand quilting this quilt and hope to get it finished before June 2019. Details on how to get the pattern are here.

7. Ballet with Kaffe
My poor Ballet with Kaffe quilt.  It was neglected for most of 2018, but I do want to finish it in 2019. The pattern for this quilt is in Millefiori Quilts 2 by Willyne Hammerstein.  I've got a whole page dedicated to it on my blog.

8. Green Diamonds
I started this 12 months ago in the Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington. I want to finish sewing the pieces together and start using the finished quilt. The pattern is Green Diamonds from Quilts in Ireland by Kaffe Fassett.

9. School Prize Giving Quilt
This is an original design that I'm working on.  I don't find it easy to design my own quilts, but I know I won't get any better if I don't try! So I'm giving it a go.

10.  Wendy Williams Tea Party BOM
This quilt has been stalled for a few years.  I really want my central tea pot to shine, and I need to chose the fabric for it before I start making my flowers.  I didn't want a Tula Pink because I want my quilt to be unique.  But I've suddenly thought of using some new Anna Maria Horner Conservatory fabric and I'm excited about this quilt again. 

It may just need to move up the list. 

So that's it.  My comprehensive list for 2019.  Ten quilts that I want to work on in 2019.  I don't promise to finish any of them, but I do want to make progress on each of them. 

I hope you've all got exciting things lined up too. 

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Peacock Party

It's time for another Peacock Party where you can link up and share what you've been up to.

I've finally managed to get the HTML sorted so you can put a Peacock Party badge on your blog if you wish.  The code is in the sidebar on the right hand side of the screen, just below the Peacock Party image.  You can copy it into an HTML gadget on your blog and the badge should appear and link to my blog.  Let me know if you have any problems!

A big thank you to Yvonne Quilting Jet Girl who helped me out with formatting the code.

Just a reminder about the Peacock Party for those who have started following my blog recently.  It's open to everyone who has a blog post to share.

- I'm not going to tell you that you need to visit and comment on other linked up posts
- I'm not going to demand that you mention my blog in your blog post
- I'm not even going to commit to visiting and commenting on every post myself
- I'm not going to try and sell you anything because I don't have anything to sell
But I am going to provide a welcoming place where fellow bloggers can meet and share what they've been making.  

I've been playing around with my Good Fortune blocks (see my previous post for details), and I've changed the layout.  I've sewn them together like this and I quite like it. 

What have you been up to?

Inlinkz Link Party

Monday, 7 January 2019

Good fortune - Part 7 - The Reveal

Yes, Bonnie has revealed the final layout of the Good Fortune mystery quilt so now we all know what we are aiming for.  Here's mine so far.  Isn't it going to be great?

This is going to be the most traditional quilt I've ever made.  Although Bonnie designed it with memories of her trip to China in mind, it seems very American to me because of the traditional layout of the traditional blocks.  However, my version is very scrappy, and includes a lot of low volume prints, so I'm sort of hoping mine will appear less traditional when it's finished.

This photo is from Bonnie's blog:

I'm also planning my hand quilting so that it will emphasise the tiny white squares running through on the diagonals.  Yes, I do start thinking about my quilting designs while I'm still piecing the top.

Bonnie does a great job running these mystery quilts.  The instructions were perfect, and everything was very clearly explained with photos.  Often more than one method was explained in-case people didn't have a special ruler to do it the first way.

If you would like to make this quilt, you need to hop over to Bonnie's Quiltville blog TODAY and download the patterns for FREE as soon as possible. Bonnie is going to remove them from her website on 1 February, and then you will have to wait to purchase the pattern at a later date.

In case Bonnie is reading my humble blog, thank you Bonnie, it's been a lot of fun.

I'm linking up to Bonnie's weekly link party here.

(You may wonder where my Part 6 is - well I didn't do it because it was optional.  I wanted to see the full layout before I made any optional pieces.)

Thursday, 3 January 2019

An early (or late) Christmas table runner- plus the Peacock Party

Is this an extremely early table runner for Christmas 2019? Or a late finish for Christmas 2018?

Either way, I made a Christmas table runner this week. I find that the pre-Christmas period gets too rushed for sewing, so I like to make Christmas things in the weeks following Christmas.  I have much more time and energy in early January.

I love Christmas fabrics when I see them in the shops in August, but I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit in August, so I put them away.  Then I get busy and Christmas comes and goes and I still haven't make anything.  This year I decided to start in the week between Christmas and New Year, and low and behold, I've made a table runner.

I couldn't find a pattern that was simple but effective, so I made up my own pattern and customised the design to fit my table perfectly. I'd purchased the Bloc Loc Half Rectangle Triangle rulers some months ago, but not used them yet.  They provided the ideal solution for my table runner design.  These rulers weren't cheap, but they worked brilliantly, and include directions for cutting any size half rectangle triangle up to 8.5" tall.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party - a chance to show off what you've made lately.  Or maybe you've already written your quilting plans for 2019 and would like to share? Feel free to link up and let others know what you've been up to (even holiday posts are fine because we're all on Summer holidays down in this part of the world).

PS - I'm planning a giveaway during the last week of January.  I've been blogging for 5 years now, so I'm planning a celebration.  Stay tuned!

Inlinkz Link Party

Sunday, 30 December 2018

2018 - My quilting year in review

It's the last day of 2018 and time to reflect on the year that was.  It's a time of change in our household because my oldest son has just finished his university degree (Bachelor of Software Engineering) and my younger son has just finished High School and is about to start on his University degree - also in Software Engineering, but at a different University.  

I like to review my progress against my goals at the end of each year. Way back in January I blogged about my quilting priorities for 2018 (you can read that list here).  Although I reviewed my progress back in July, I still like to do an annual review and remind myself of what I have finished during the year.

So what was on that list that I created almost 12 months ago?

1. Tropical Hexagons.
I finished this quilt in January and took it along to show Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably at the class I attended in Wellington.  It was great to be able to show them I had finished it and loved it.  You can read more here. 

2.  Southern Stars Challenge for QuiltNSW
I finished my first ever improv quilt and entered into the challenge at the Quilt NSW show in Sydeny, Australia.  I was thrilled to win a Judges Commendation for it.  You can read more here. 

3.  Capital Quilters Exhibition
I started and finished a quilt within seven months! That's speedy for me.  This one was for the Churn Dash challenge at my guild's exhibition.  I won a Judges' Commendation for this quilt too. You can read more here. 

4.  Sue Spargo Instastitch
This quilt is still a WIP.  I did some more quilting on it, but I think I need a bigger machine to reach some of the hard to reach places.  It's quite heavy and bulky to manoeuvre on my domestic machine. 

5. Half Square Triangles
I finished this quilt and called it my Picnic Quilt. It's very scrappy because I won these blocks in a Block of the Month competition at my guild.  You can read more here. 

6. Ballet with Kaffe
There's been next to no progress on Ballet with Kaffe, but I do intend to revive this quilt in 2019. In fact I pulled it out this week to check on progress, and have already sewn a few more pieces into place. 

not the best photo - but it shows where I'm up to

7. Glitter
I've finished piecing all the blocks, and just need to join them all up now. I promised Jen Kingwell this would be finished before October 2019, so I need to get started on the hand quilting as soon as possible. There are 152 blocks in total - so more than are shown in this photo.

8.  Cobwebs
The top is finished, and I've even started hand quilting a few of the blocks.  You can read more here. 

9.  School Prizegiving quilt
Back in December 2017 as 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 . Kaffe Fassett Green Diamonds
I started Green Diamonds at the Kaffe Fassett class in January 2018.  I've only joined a few of the diamonds together so far. 

11.  Cartwheel quilt
This is a pattern from Quilt Grandeur that I've admired for some time.  I finally got my hands on some Parasols fabric so I just had to have a go at this quilt.  I still need to add the ric rac and join the blocks, but I've finished all the foundation paper piecing. You can read more here. 

12.  There was another Kaffe Fassett quilt on my list, but I've resisted starting that one.  

Then there were the quilts that weren't on my list, but just had to be made:

13.  Lady Wigram
I hand pieced and hand quilted this quilt for my mother in law.  It was a pattern and templates called Bella Ruby from Treehouse Textiles in Melbourne, Australia. You can read more here

14. Gnome quilt
I saw the patterns for the gnomes and it was so cute I just had to make it for mum and dad for Christmas. 

15. Batik Bliss
I won these blocks at our Guild's Block of the Month.  They were all square, but I wanted to try a different layout, so cut some smaller and joined them in an improv fashion.  I gave this quilt away to a local charity.  I've decided that I'm going to try and make one quilt a year for charity.  You can read more about Batik Bliss here

16.  Good Fortune - The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.
I've seen people making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts in the past, and I decided I'd really like to join in this year.  So far we've made a lot of small blocks, but I have no idea how they're going to join together.  All will be revealed in January or February. I'm learning a lot of very useful tips and techniques from Bonnie along the way. 

It feels good to have finished 7 quilts in 2018, and progressed quite a few more.  The majority of my quilts are hand quilted, and that takes time, so 7 finishes feels good to me.

I'll publish my quilting priorities for 2019 early in January.  Some of these quilts will carry forward, but there will also be some new surprises.  

If you've written a review of your quilting in 2018, you'll be able to link up to the next Peacock Party which starts on Friday.  

Thursday, 27 December 2018

My Gnomes - and the Peacock Party link up

I finished my Gnome quilt in time to give it to my mum and dad for Christmas. They laughed, and thought it was a good representation of themselves.

It was fun to make the quilt in fabrics similar to what they wear when they are gardening.

I had it quilted by Sue Burnett of Busy Bee Quilt Shop in Wellington.

The pattern is Norm and Nanette by Elizabeth Hartman.  Although you can download it in pdf, I'd recommend buying the printed version like I did, because the pattern is 24 pages.  Many local quilt shops are stocking Elizabeth Hartman's patterns now.

photo from Elizabeth Hartman's website

The pattern gives instructions for the full sized quilt above, and also the small lap quilt that I made.
The large quilt is 68" x 76"
and the small quilt is 30" x 36"

We've been outdoors enjoying summer this week.

Here are a couple of photos of a beautiful Pohutukawa tree in my neighbourhood.  These trees are flowering all around the coast of the North Island of New Zealand at the moment.

Now, it's time for the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who has been linking up.  It's great to discover new bloggers and read what other quilters have been making. Feel free to link up and share your latest creations.

Inlinkz Link Party