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
Stitchbird
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.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Christmas stitching

With lots of stitching over the past few weeks I've managed to complete the main scene on my Christmas Village embroidery.  There's still another row of fancy lacy stitching to add at the bottom, but I won't do that until closer to the end in case it catches on something.  There's also back stitching and beads to come yet, but I always do them at the end too. 


Here's the full design.  There's a lot more stitching in this scene than I realised.


So, completing that section opened up thoughts of starting something else!  Terrible, I know. 

A few months ago I showed you the Gingerbread Retreat cottage.


But I always feel guilty about leaving projects half done, so I've decided to revive my Gingerbread Needlework Shop. 


This has lain languishing because I dreaded all the fancy finishing that would be required on the inside of the removable roof.  I did make a removable roof for my very first Gingerbread House, but I don't want to do it again.



So, I've had a bright idea, and I'm going to adapt the Needlework Shop pattern slightly so I can sew my roof down and not have to finish the inside of the shop and roof.  That decision has provided great momentum, and I've now made two sides of the roof.


Stitching on blue linen is quite difficult, but there's not a huge amount of stitching required on the roof.  It's worth it because the white looks so good against the blue. 

So I'm off and enjoying my needlework again.  It's very cold here at the moment, and stitching snow seems appropriate on these cold winter nights in New Zealand.

Finally - there's a problem with Blogger at the moment that means comments left on blogs are not being sent to the blogger.  I do still read all the comments, but it's difficult to reply at the moment.  Hopefully they will fix it soon.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

More half square triangles

Can you believe I won another set of half square triangle blocks at Capital Quilters? Just 13 months after winning more than 200 half square triangle blocks, I've won these much bigger blocks.


Don't they look great when they're all on the wall together.


I made three blocks, and I ended up winning all 32 blocks. Here are some of my favourites:


I've already got a plan in my head for these blocks.  I think I'll add sashing and set them on point so they look like pyramids.  Well, that's the plan at this stage.  I suspect it will be months before I actually start to do anything with them. 

Our guild now has a blog, a Facebook page and an Instagram account (@capitalquilters) if you would like to follow us.  We're getting ready for our QUILTED exhibition which will be at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre on 11-12 August 2018. 

I'm working on two quilts for our challenges.  Both will be a secret until the exhibition opens.  I hope to see you there.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Mum's Nearly Insane quilt

Have you heard of the Nearly Insane quilt? I hadn't until I stumbled across it on Frances Meredith's blog Fabadashery.   

A few years ago mum was considering making a Dear Jane quilt, but I convinced her that Nearly Insane was a better option.  (I can't remember why now, but I did.)


I helped mum to order the book, and she made her first few blocks.  Unfortunately she hasn't added many more since that initial start, but each time I go to Auckland we get them out and have another look at them.  She has added some tiny grandmother's garden type blocks, which may or may not make the final cut. 

We browsed through the book again, and decided that rather than trying to machine piece the 6" blocks, it would be easier to English Paper Piece the more intricate blocks. 


We studied Frances' blog again, and took note of some of the modifications she has made to her blocks. 
from Fabadashery blog

Mum bookmarked the blocks she wants to make next, and hopefully she might make a few more Nearly Insane blocks over the winter months.

We also had a play with Lucy Boston! Although mum hand pieced a quilt years ago after a class with Jinny Beyer, she hasn't done any hand piecing lately.  I'm becoming a bit of a convert, so I demonstrated how she could hand piece Lucy Boston if she wanted to.

EEP at the top, hand piecing at the front
 So that's another project started - for mum, not me. 

It rained quite a bit while I was in Auckland so I haven't got any pretty garden photos to share.  Here's a couple taken on my last day.

That's a reflection from the light, not a UFO

The tall tree is a Cabbage Tree - it doesn't grow cabbages. Cordyline australis



Friday, 18 May 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married later today. I'm sure it will be a wonderful occasion, and I intend to stay up late to watch it on TV. 


Back when Prince William and Kate got married in 2011, mum and I each knitted a William and Kate from Fiona Goble's book, 'Knit Your Own Royal Wedding'. You can still get it from Amazon, but I warn you, the figures are quite fiddly to knit.


The book kindly provided a couple of options for William's clothes, because we didn't know what uniform he would wear until the very last minute.  

We could have knitted a Prince Harry at the time (and the Queen, and the corgis), but we didn't, so I'm just going to recycle William and Kate and rename them Harry and Meghan for the next 24 hours.  

I hope you enjoy the royal wedding if you're going to watch it. 





Thursday, 10 May 2018

Glitter quilt

I made a bit of progress on my Glitter quilt in April.  This is a Jen Kingwell pattern, available in her book "Quilt Lovely" or as a leaflet from Amitie Textiles.


I'm using the acrylic templates made by Amitie, and hand piecing each block.  I draw pencil stitching lines on the back of each block by connecting the dots with a ruler, and then join the pieces with a running stitch.


It's a slow process, but I enjoy cutting the blocks during the day, and stitching a block each night.




I've currently got 55 blocks finished and I need 152.  That's not bad - I've made a third of the blocks.




I still have many more fabric combinations waiting to be used.  This quilt is for our bed. I chose to restrict the colour palette to green and grey because it will complement the gorgeous wallpaper we hung last year.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Picnic Quilt

My Picnic Quilt is finished.  I love how the pattern emerges when it's viewed from a distance. 


This quilt is made from blocks that I won in our Block of the Month draw at Capital Quilters.  I did add a few more blocks myself to balance out the colour scheme in some areas.


I hand quilted it with Aurifil 12wt.  I initially intended to just do straight lines running through each block, but I felt it needed more stabilising, so I added echo quilting in grey in the opposite direction to make each of the darker rows stand out. 



I chose a brick red colour for the binding because it works well with the red spot I used on the internal border.

the binding, before it's turned to the back

This quilt has more red in it than anything I've ever made before!


The finished quilt is 76" x 76". I used wool batting so it's lovely and soft.

Cotton Cuts - Fall Mystery Quilt Reveal

Some of you may remember that many months ago I made some blocks for the the Cotton Cuts mystery quilt. Well, here is the finished quilt! 




Bloggers from around the world contributed:
The mystery has now been “solved” and it is my pleasure to share the reveal of the quilt that we all contributed to.



You can see that each of the bloggers signed a block that they pieced and contributed. The quilt is approximately 48-inches wide by 60-inches long, and it is up for auction. The auction is raising money for Valley Industries, a non-profit sheltered workshop that provides dignified employment opportunities to the intellectually challenged and to those with other disabilities. Valley is the fulfillment partner for Cotton Cuts and cuts and folds all of the fabric for delivery to members. To learn more about Valley Industries and the services they provide, please click here.

To enter the raffle, click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can purchase a raffle ticket for $5 each.

Signups for the next Cotton Cuts mystery quilt will open on May 25th. The theme is “This Way and That Way” and will feature Palm Canyon, Wildside, Blueberry Park III, Sun Prints 2018, Sequoia and Indah Batiks among others.

I must give credit to the lovely Yvonne Fuchs (www.quiltingjetgirl.com) for allowing me to plagiarise her blog content for this post.  I "met" Yvonne in 2014 through the New Quilt Bloggers group.  There were 100 people in that group, and some of us have stayed in touch over the years.  It's nice to know there are people out there willing to lend a hand when you need one.  Thank you Yvonne. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Christmas Village Cross Stitch

It's been a long time since I've shown any embroidery on my blog.  That's because I've been busy English Paper Piecing and hand piecing.


However, we all know that if you don't start Christmas embroidery early in the year, it just won't be finished in time for Christmas.

So I made an early start, and on Boxing Day 2017 I started on my Christmas Village pattern from Victoria Sampler. I've had this pattern in my stash for five years! But I always knew I'd do it one day.




Part of the delay was deciding whether to use DMC stranded cotton for the lacy white sections, or break out and order Krienik Mori silk thread.  I use DMC for the white sections on my Gingerbread Village, but because these lacy sections are so beautiful, and this piece will get framed one day, I decided that I needed to get the Krienik Mori.

So I'm underway now, and really hope to get this finished before Christmas 2018.

And here's why:


In a moment of weakness I purchased the next pattern for the Gingerbread Village! It's the Gingerbread Retreat Cottage and it looks lovely.

I know that the Flower Shop has been released now too, but it's only available as a Student Kit.  I don't want to buy it that way because (a) it's expensive, and (b) it includes the linen, but I want to keep working with the linen I already have to maintain a consistent colouring.

my collection stitched over five years
If you would like to know more about these delightful decorations from the Victoria Sampler, just look at the Gingerbread Village tab on my blog.  It includes information about where to buy the patterns and the linen.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Have your say on Hand Quilting

This week the American Quilters' Society (AQS) is running a survey about hand quilting.  I've taken the survey, and I encourage you to do it too before Sunday 22 April.  It only takes 1-2 minutes, and our answers will let this influential body know that hand quilting is still an integral part of quilting today. 

The AQS Hand Quilting survey is here.


This photo above is from when I hand quilted my Bears Paw quilt with Perle 8 cotton.

You can find previous posts I've written about Hand Quilting on the tab at the top of my blog. 


It includes what threads I use, and what patterns I choose to quilt.




Please do remember to take the survey - especially if you're a hand quilter.