Sunday, 12 August 2018

Best Hand Pieced award at Capital Quilters QUILTED Exhibition

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post.  So many people said lovely things about my quilts over the weekend.  I'm all enthused to start something new now, but I'm also enthused to finish some of my WIPs - which is a very good thing.

The final quilt I won an award for at the Capital Quilters exhibition was la passacaglia.  I won the "Best Hand Pieced" award and was thrilled about that. 

If you'd like to read more about how I made this wonderful pattern by Willyne Hammerstein, you can click on the link at the top of blog (or here) and visit all my previous blog posts.  It is all English Paper Pieced and hand quilted by me!

Some of you will remember it from the QuiltNSW show last year, where I won the Bernina Amateur Encouragement Award. 

Like Vibrant Curiosities, this will be la passacaglia's last outing.  I'm going to enjoy using it, because my quilts are made to be used. 

My friend Debra who designed the layout of the show, put my la passacaglia next to another millefiori quilt, and they looked perfect together.

The Moncarapacho in the centre is one of Willyne Hammerstein's designs from Millefiori Quilts 3. This version was made by Amanda Evans and I just loved it - quite possibly because it's blue and green - my favourite colours.

I will write about how I get my quilts basted by a long armer in my next post. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Best in Show at Capital Quilters QUILTED Exhibiton

I'm delighted to let you know that I won "Best in Show" at Capital Quilters' QUILTED exhibition for Vibrant Curiosities. It also won "Best Large Bed Quilt made by one person".

My quilt is all English Paper Pieced and hand quilted by me! It's great to know that a hand made quilt won the top prize.

I was so surprised to win Best in Show.  Our exhibition has 200 quilts, with a very wide variety of techniques and styles. 

If you're on Facebook or Instagram (@capitalquilters) you can follow Capital Quilters and see the types of quilts our members make. Capital Quilters also has a blog - maintained by me.

The prize was $200 to spend on anything I like. 

Some of you will recognise this quilt from our national Symposium in Christchurch last October:

 And from the QuiltNSW Sydney Quilt Show in June 2018 where it won Second Place in the "Pieced Quilt Large Amateur".

Our guild's show was its last outing.  It will now become a quilt to be used on our bed.  It's lovely and soft with the wool batting.

You can read more about how I made Vibrant Curiosities here

Friday, 10 August 2018

Summer in Torquay

I'm thrilled to share my most recent finish, Summer in Torquay, and to let you know that it received a Merit award in the Churn it Up challenge at Capital Quilters exhibition.

It seems I won a few awards at our show! More details to come next week.

I started this Jen Kingwell design back in January because I wanted to enter our guild's Churn it Up challenge which is part of our exhibition.  The challenge was to include at least one Churn Dash block in a quilt.

Jen Kingwell's quilt at Amitie Textiles

I don't especially love the Churn Dash block, but I stumbled across this Flea Market Dash pattern in my Quilt Lovely book by Jen Kingwell, and I liked that it contained Churn Dashes, but they weren't too obvious.

For most of 2017 I belonged to a stash building club at Amitie Textiles (Jen Kingwell's shop).  They sent fat 16ths to members every six weeks or so.  I ended up with a lot of fat 16ths, but I wasn't sure what to do with them.  This Flea Market Dash pattern seemed the ideal opportunity to use a lot of the gorgeous fabrics I had collected.

I've called this quilt Summer in Torquay, because it does look summery, and Torquay, Australia is where Amitie Textiles is based now.  I was lucky enough to visit the shop twice in January (summer in Australia).  One of those days got to 42C (107F) so I won't forget that day in a hurry.

The batting is Quilters' Dream - Cotton Request, as recommeded by Jen Kingwell.  It's nice thin batting for a summer weight quilt, but I think I still prefer wool for the loft.

The backing is voile and I'm not sure I'd use that again either.  It has more stretch in it than cotton, and didn't work so well with basting on a long arm.

Time seemed to get away from me on this quilt, so I had to take it on my recent holiday to Auckland, and I even had to quilt a few blocks in the hotel in Taupo on the way back!

I hand quilted with Aurifil 28wt in a variety of colours inside the blocks, and used Aurifil 12wt on the shashing and filler triangles.

I'm very happy with the result, and thrilled to see it hanging in the exhibition.

Pattern: Flea Market Dash by Jen Kingwell (from her book Quilt Lovely)
Size: 64" x 80"

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Open Wide bag

Well, I finished my quilt for Capital Quilters' exhibition and handed it in last Saturday.  It was a major relief to get it finished in time.  I can't show you a photo yet, but all will be revealed next weekend. 

If you live in NZ, then do try and make it along to our exhibition at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre 11-12 August.  It's going to be a great exhibition with 200 quilts, pop up shops, and a cafe!

So, after I'd finished hand quilting my exhibition quilt, I had a great feeling of freedom and knew I could sew anything I wanted to. 

I started by making a small bag from a pattern I'd purchased at the Sydney Quilt Show.  The pattern is called Open Wide, and it's byAnnie

I used Annie's Soft and Stable in it so it stands up nicely by itself.  Here's a hint - I sewed together small scraps of Soft and Stable, planning where the folds in the bag would occur. I put the seams on the folds and it works perfectly!

I also used a chunky zip because I've always liked chunky zips.  I skipped the internal pockets because I didn't think I'd use them.

This bag will hold my hand piecing or English paper piecing when I go travelling. I've securely attached my tiny travel scissors so they won't fall on the floor in a plane. 

I know some people run these bags up in an afternoon, but I'm fussy and I like everything to be neat, so I took a bit longer and hand sewed down my bindings.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

July happenings

Our guild's retreat went well, but sadly I can't show you what I worked on, because it's a secret until our guild's exhibition on 11-12 August.

 After retreat I had a few days at home, and then I flew to Auckland to stay with my mum and dad for a week.  

Mum was keen to show me her Lucy Boston that she'd started during my previous visit in May.  She had asked if I had any blues / teals that could help her expand her colour scheme.  Some of my fabrics above will work well in her quilt.  Others came back home with me.  

I also picked up a few more fabrics for her on my trip around Auckland quilting shops.  I can't guarantee she will use them all, but I think they are all possibilities.

Mum's Lepidoptera quilt is coming along too (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman).  Although mum now wishes she had different background fabric because it's fraying a bit.

We agreed on the fabrics for the purple butterflies.  

While I was there we went for High Tea at Cordis which was just lovely.  There was so much food! And even goodie bags to take home the left overs.

We also went to Mamma Mia 2 which was fun and left us both feeling happy inside.  

I've bought home this William Morris tapestry that mum has just finished.  Nancy's Stitch Studio do such a great finishing job, so I will get them to turn into a cushion.  

Mum has her next design ready to start.  Tapestries can be very satisfying to stitch.  Although the wool seems super chunky at first, there's a soothing rhythm to pulling the needle through the canvas. 

Last, but not least, is this Woolly Zip It Bag by Wendy Williams.  Mum has almost finished the cover and it's looking great.  

I drove back to Wellington because we've bought mum's old car for our sons to use.  The mountains on the Central Plateau looked amazing in the morning sun.  That's Mt Ruapehu above where people will be skiing today - remember it's winter here in New Zealand.

That's Mt Ngauruhoe that some of you might recognise as Mt Doom from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

We were only out of the car for a few minutes because it was very cold - only 2C = 35F.  Barely above freezing level.  That's thick frost on the picnic table.  

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.