Thursday, 13 December 2018

Peacock Party and my Gingerbread Needlework Shop

Hello, and welcome to the second edition of the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who linked up last week.  I know it was a little tricky for some, so I hope this week is easier.

I've been busy with work this week, so I haven't had much time for sewing.  I am desperately trying to finish one more building for my Gingerbread Village.  I had accepted that it wasn't going to get finished in time for Christmas 2018, but then someone said they had faith in me to get it done, so I decided to give it a good try.

I've modified the pattern for the Gingerbread Needlework Shop slightly, and I think that's why I was stalling on it.  It's always easier to stitch to the pattern than to try and make changes.  However, I was reluctant to make the roof removable because that requires a high degree of finishing on the inside.  So, I've made the walls higher and moved the signage onto the walls.

If you'd like to read more about my Gingerbread Village you can find all of my posts under the Gingerbread Village tab at the top of my blog.  They are all beautifully designed by Thea Dueck who owns the Victoria Sampler in Canada.

Now it's time for another Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up what you've been working on lately.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Good Fortune - Part 3

It's week 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt and we're making green chevrons.  I'm not as far along as I was on the previous two clues, but that's OK, because it's a very busy time of the year and I always knew I might not be able to keep up.   

This week we made chevrons (and some bonus HSTs from the off cuts).  I'm certainly learning some new tips and tricks from Bonnie's instructions.  She has provided instructions for multiple ways to make each of the clues released to date.  I like that! We can each choose the method that works for us, but also learn that there are different ways to get the same result.

I do admire the people who have changed up the colours, but my brain just can't cope with that at this time of the year.  I don't want to see Bonnie using red and have to remember that I'm doing green for those sections, and when I see her using green, remember I'm doing blue there.  Maybe in the future, but not this time thank you.

I see all the snow at Bonnie's cabin, and am very grateful that we're going into summer in New Zealand.  Here are some beautiful hydrangeas I've seen in my neighbourhood this week.

and some fairy roses too:

I'm linking up to Bonnie's linky party here where you can see all the chevrons other people have made.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Introducing the Peacock Party

On 16 December it will be exactly five years since I started blogging. Since then I've published 366 blog posts - an average of 1.4 per week - and gained many loyal friends and followers.  What started out as an online diary and way to share with family and friends, has now become a means to connect with quilters all over the world.  Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read my posts!

My largest single source of blog visitors has been from Crazy Mom Quilts blog, via her finish it up Friday link party. However, this Friday is going to be the last ever link party at Crazy Mom Quilts because Amanda Jean is closing her quilting business, and won't be blogging anymore.  It certainly will be the end of an era and I thank Amanda Jean for hosting the link up for so many years.

I know a lot of people will miss the Crazy Mom Quilts link party, so I've decided to dip my toes in the water and start a link party myself.  Fellow bloggers can link up to my brand new Peacock Party each weekend and share what they've been up to.

Why the name "Peacock Party" you ask? Well, a number of my friends call me Mrs Peacock because I love of the rich jewel tones found in peacock feathers.  I'm not especially fond of the birds themselves, but I do love the beautiful colours in their feathers. And a link up party is a way to show off our accomplishments to anyway who is prepared to look - much like a peacock does when they fan their tails!

The Ehrman tapestry I stitched called Peacock at Sunset

I'm going to keep the Peacock Party quite simple, because some days we have more time for reading blogs than other days, so:
- 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 place where fellow bloggers can meet and share what they've been making.  Does that sound like a good idea?

The first Peacock Party starts now!  I intend to run one each weekend - starting on Friday PST / Saturday NZ time.  I do hope you will join me.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Good Fortune - Part 2

It's the second week of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt.

This week we made blue and white half square triangles.

Blue is probably my favourite colour, so I had a lots of blues in my stash to chose from.

After seeing all that red dye last week, I decided to prewash the blues too.

I also had a number of low volume prints with hints of blue on them, so I've used up some of them too.

I prefer to make my half square triangles (HST) by cutting squares 1" bigger than the finished size of the block.  I then mark a diagonal line with a ruler, and sew 1/4" either side of it.  I cut down the line and then press the two halves open.  I use my Bloc loc ruler and my rotating cutting board to trim up my HSTs.

Bonnie suggested a couple of methods in her blog post for making HSTs, but I'm comfortable with the method I've been using for some years now.

I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter's linky party here.  You can see everyone else's progress if you take a look at Bonnie's post on her Quiltville blog.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Cartwheel quilt

Yes, I've started something new.  It's a crazy pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Grandeur book called "Cartwheel".

The rainbow ric rac is from Spotlight in New Zealand, but I believe you can buy it at Joann's in USA. 

There's so much going on in this quilt, and to top it all off, it's got ric rac!

I've admired the pattern since I first got the book, and when my good friend Anne was destashing some of her Kaffe Fassett fabrics, I spied the background fabric called Parasols in her box.

So Anne kindly sold me the fabric, and I started to pull together all my spotty fabrics from my various storage places.

The fan pieces are foundation paper pieced and I soon worked out that I could use very small scraps in some of the sections.

I've finished all my fans now, so next I have to cut the background fabric into large squares.  Then I get to place the fans and add the ric rac.  Yay!!!

This could be something fun to work on over the Christmas holidays.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Good Fortune - a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt

Well, I've taken the plunge and joined the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt band wagon.  This is the first time I've done one of Bonnie's mystery quilts, so I hope it will be fun.

I was seriously tempted to join two years ago for En Provence, but when I read how many pieces were required, I quickly knocked that idea on the head.

However, two years later, and I'm very tempted by Good Fortune and the idea of an Asian inspired quilt.  I haven't been to China, but I have been to Singapore and Japan, so I have experienced Asian culture.
In Singapore in January 2011

I see this mystery quilt as a way to use up some of my fabrics that have been hanging around for a while, and replenish my stocks with new and exciting fabrics.  I want to go scrappy and use lots of tiny pieces of many different fabrics.

Bonnie lists the colours she is using in her blog, but I modified my choices slightly.  I like using this online tool from

I put in the very strong red I want to use, and then asked for three other colours that work with it.  So these are the colours that I'll be using.

I'm always wary of red fabrics running, so I prewashed them and I'm so pleased I did.

The top colour catchers are from the first wash, and the bottom from the second.  They are still slightly pink.

After the prewashing I set to and made lots of tiny little blocks - don't ask me the size of the quantity please - you need to go to Bonnie's blog to get all the details.

I'm incorporating a bit of gold into my blocks because I know Chinese people love red and gold together.

This is going to be fun - I'm already looking forward to the next clue release on Friday/Saturday.

I'm linking up to Bonnie's weekly party where you can check out everyone else's colours and blocks. 

Saturday, 24 November 2018

A Stitch in Time blog tour

A few months ago my friend Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations asked if I'd be willing to take part in the blog tour for her new book - A Stitch in Time.

Sharon kindly helped me out when I was starting my la passacaglia quilt, so of course I said "Yes!".

Most of you know I prefer bright and bold over pretty and sweet, but I was determined to make something pretty and I even bought some dainty lace to make my chosen project from the book.

I simplified the Liberty Gift Bag pattern by skipping the English Paper Piecing stage.  I decided that my chosen fabric was so pretty I didn't need to cut it up and sew it back together with other fabrics.

The reverse applique I'd used on my Pop Art table runner in my previous post came in handy again, but this time it was a heart shape, not a circle.

My lace was a little bit wide, so I just tucked some of it up inside the seam and only left the best bit showing.

Sharon's instructions and photos in the book are all so clear and helpful.  They really made making these bags a breeze. Just be careful when you trim the corners before you turn the bags out the right way.  I think I trimmed one a little bit too deep, and there's not much of the lovely fabric showing on the bottom.

I don't know where Sharon gets the time to dream up all these beautiful pieces, but you can just refer to the book and follow her instructions to make these lovely items for your own home.

Sharon Burgess, Willyne Hammerstein, Wendy Welsh at AQC Melbourne, Australia 2018

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Pop Art Table Runner

I finished my Pop Art table runner (which was one of the WIPs I talked about last week).

I used the pattern on the cover of Christina Cameli's book, Wedge Quilt Workshop.

It was quite tricky to start with, especially because I wanted to make my blocks smaller than the ones in the book.

I used the remainder of some Alison Glass fat quarters, so I didn't have a lot of fabric to play with. I actually started by making a test block which is very unusual for me.

Wedges can easily get out of alignment, so when I finally got my three circles sitting nicely, I moved on to filling the centres with reverse applique.  I hadn't done this technique with freezer paper before, but it was easy enough to do with the good instructions and clear photos in the book.

Then I had to be very brave and cut my circles so they became squares!

Fortunately it was all good, and my three blocks matched nicely when I joined them up.  I hand quilted down the centre of each strip and quilted a couple of circles in the middle of the circles.

I finished the table runner with a facing so it would sit nice and flat on the table.  I'm really pleased with the finished result, and it goes nicely with my previous Bon Bon table runner.

(It's very hard to photograph table runners, so I decided to hang them on the clothes line.)