Friday 16 February 2024

Capital Quilters' Exhibition

I've got exciting news to share.  Capital Quilters are having an exhibition in May 2024 in Lower Hutt. 

It's going to be on Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May which is also Mothers' Day.  Wouldn't be lovely to take your mum to a quilt show on Mothers' Day? You can look at the quilts together and then stop in at the on-site cafe for a bite to eat. 

Of course we're going to have merchants too so you'll have to allow time for shopping too.  

The Lower Hutt Events Centre is the lovely modern facility where we've held our exhibition twice before, and where the Symposium exhibition was held in October 2022.

I'm busy planning my entries now.  Each guild member is allowed to enter as many quilts as they wish, but entries will be scaled back if too many entries are received.  All quilts must have been completed since our last show in October 2020.  

I've got 3 quilts that are still WIPs.  Will I be able to get them finished in time? I'm not sure. 

We've also got two challenges running so I'm thinking about what I'm going to do for them.  I always like seeing mini quilts hung together and especially when they've got a common theme.    

So, there's a lot happening.  I encourage to visit the show if you possibly can.  The Capital Quilters exhibition back in July 2014 is what got me enthused about quilting.  I wasn't a member of the guild then but I walked around the freezing school hall and was amazed at the quilts on display.  Now I look back at those photos and I know all the makers and I am a member of Capital Quilters myself, 

(PS - our venue won't be cold - it will be warm and welcoming)

Friday 9 February 2024

Stone Flower

Hello!!  I'm back and I've got a finished top to show you.  

I'm calling it Stone Flower because the fabric in the centre is the Stone Flower wide back by Kaffe Fassett Collective. Here's how it evolved over a short period of time back in April 2023.

Another wide back by Kaffe Fassett Collective

mixed in with Cactus Flower in blue

I took elements of the Blue Square Dance pattern from Kaffe's Quilts in the Cotswolds book and used them to expand on my fussy cut Stone Flower centre piece.  But I stopped when I got to the final border because I didn't fancy the labour intensive border shown in the book.  So it sat on the shelf for nine months.  

Then January 2024 rolled around and I decided to finish some more WIPs. So I browsed through the book and spotted the triangle border on the Flowery Jar pattern and decided to use that border instead.  I wanted to bring out the green again so I found an Alison Glass print that was just the right shade of green and I used that. 

I couldn't decide if I liked the green triangles pointing in or out, but I went with my original plan and have pointed them out.  It feels like there's more green showing when I point them out and that's what I wanted.  

Now it's finished and ready for long arm quilting.  I've already got 4 quilts in my hand quilting pile so this one is going straight to the long arm quilter.  I intend to use it as an everyday quilt.  It will replace my very thin Kaffe jelly roll quilt that I made about 10 years ago. 

Friday 19 January 2024

Lord Nelson

I'm just back from a lovely family holiday in Nelson.  It's such a pretty place with beautiful beaches and bays. We stayed in an Airbnb overlooking Tasman Bay and I loved watching the ebb and flow of the tide and the sea changing colour throughout the day. 

I did take some hand sewing with me, but it's hard to get going when you're away from home and the seating doesn't match your ideal setup at home. 

Also - I kept getting distracted by the action on the water.  We saw standup paddle boarders, kayakers, people learning to sail little P class yachts, kite surfers, wind surfers, jet skiers, tug boats, the pilot, big ships - everything!!

The owners kindly supplied a telescope and binoculars for the visitors.  

I did some work on my King Charles III coronation tapestry that I bought at Liberty in London.  It's almost finished now but I did too much in one day and now my finger hurts so I have to have a break. 

I hadn't been to Nelson before so I was interested to see all the links back to England.  
Trafalgar Park
Halifax Street
Richmond Ave
Hampden St

From Wikipedia: Nelson was named in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who defeated both the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Many roads and public areas around the city are named after people and ships associated with that battle. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as Nelsonians; Trafalgar Street is its main shopping axis.

Although I probably shouldn't have been surprised because most New Zealand towns and cities have a:
Queen St
George St
Princess St
Albert St

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maoris and the Queen's representatives (The Crown), and many settler ships arrived from then on with English, Scottish and Irish settlers aboard. They naturally named the new towns and streets after what they had at home. In New Zealand there are many towns and streets with Maori names too.   

Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to visit New Zealand and he arrived in 1642.  He stopped in a beautiful bay at the top of the South Island and named it Tasman Bay.  Now we have Able Tasman National Park and it's a protected area at the top of the South Island.  Many people go tramping/bush walking there.

Captain Cook came to New Zealand mapped the shore line much later in the 1770s. 

So that's a little history lesson to go with my royal tapestry. 

Kaiteriteri Beach In Tasman Bay

I'm home now and back into work, but it's HOT and I wish I was still on holiday.  

Friday 5 January 2024

A Trip Around the World

Happy New Year everyone. 

No sooner had I dropped my mum and dad at the airport on 27 December than I started getting inspired on Instagram.  Often I will start a Christmas themed cross stitch between Christmas and New Year, but this year I started a Christmas quilt and I had the whole top pieced in just seven days.  

I was inspired by this photo on Instagram:

But I used the brighter colours from this Christmas gift bag:

The photo I liked was by Edyta Sitar so I used her Laundry Basket Quilts PDF pattern for a Trip Around the World quilt.  I watched her video first and I liked the sound of her method, so I purchased the pattern and made a start.

I did consider making the quilt larger, or enlarging the size of the squares, but either option would have meant that I would need more than a fat quarter for the 4 consistent colours that run through it.  I wanted to make it all from my stash, so I stuck to the instructions.  

I used scraps of fabrics on many of the rows but if you're going to do that, just be careful to space them evenly when you're sewing the columns together.  I like how my scrappy fabrics are evenly spaced out in the final design. 

While I was in the mood I even pieced a quilt back using one of my precious Cotton+Steel fabrics from 2017.   I do love the ski jumpers, but if I haven't got around to using it yet, it's best to put it on the back of a quilt and at least I will get to see it sometimes.  

So now I have a lovely Christmas quilt ready for hand quilting with sparkly threads when the weather gets cooler.  

Finished size is 54" x 62"

2024 is off to a good start.  

Friday 22 December 2023

2023 - My quilting year in review

Well, it's almost the end of 2023 and it's time to look back at what I've achieved this year.  

My biggest achievement this year was my 5 week trip to Europe.  I loved every moment of it, but it did mean that I didn't make as many quilts as usual.  

That's OK because my goals for 2023 were to:

  • finish what I'd already started
  • use what I already had
I think I did quite well on both of those goals. Here's what I made in 2023.

Four of these quilts were started prior to 2023 so they fit the goal of finishing what I had already started.  

The three new quilts were all made from fabrics that I already had on hand so they meet my other goal of using what I already had. 

I can't promise I'll be so frugal in 2024!

I also finished three more quilt tops in 2023 and I will show them again when they are finished in 2024.  They are Licorice Allsorts, Don't Leaf Me and a mystery one. 

Licorice Allsorts - pattern by Wendy Williams

Don't Leaf Me - pattern by Wendy Williams

My Summer in Tekapo bags were also an important part of 2023.

It feels funny to be signing off without opening the Peacock Party, but as I said last week, I've decided to retire the Peacock Party of five years of hosting.  Thank you for all your kind messages and understanding. 

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year too.  I'll be back in January. 

Friday 15 December 2023

Happy 10th Birthday to my blog

I can hardly believe this, but I started this blog 10 years ago today.  Here's a link back to my very first post.  

I started my blog because my friends and relatives had told me that they really looked forward to receiving my Christmas letter and seeing photos of the things that I had made during the year.  And also because I wanted to keep a personal record of what I had made.  

Some pears I finished last week

I've made 689 blog posts since 16 December 2013 - that's at least one a week, every week for 10 years!!

Five years ago today I started the Peacock Party - a weekly link up party for fellow bloggers to share what they have been working on. 

Since December 2018 I've blogged and hosted the Peacock Party every Friday.  When I've gone away I've scheduled posts in advance.  I'm really grateful to all the people who link up to the Peacock Party week after week, and to all the people I meet who tell me they look forward to reading my blog.  

But hosting the Peacock Party has been a big commitment so I've decided that this will be the last Peacock Party for the foreseeable future. 

BUT, I will still continue to blog on Fridays when I do have something to share, so please continue to check in, and you can always follow me on Instagram or Facebook because it's easier to share a quick photo there.

Another decoration I finished last week

I've been working on a at least three secret quilts this year and it's hard to find things to blog about when all my time has been spent on projects I can't to share yet.  Some of these projects are secrets because they are Block of the Months and we are not allowed to show anyone yet, and some are my own quilts that I want to keep a surprise until they are shown in exhibitions.  

So there's going to be plenty of eye candy on my blog in 2024 when I'm finally allowed to share these secret projects. 

I will not let my blog die - it's been a great way to connect with so many people, and it's also my own personal record of what I make.  I'm still going to do my recap of 2023 before the end of December because I like looking back before we start another year.

So, for the very last time, feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

Thank you to everyone who has linked up over the past five years. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday 8 December 2023

Christmas Stocking

Do you like the Christmas Stocking I made?

A few months ago a family member asked if I would make a Christmas stocking for her baby.  It's baby's first Christmas so of course she needed a stocking.  

I spotted this very cute fabric by Mia Charro for Free Spirit Fabrics so I bought it and proceeded to quilt it with my walking foot.  Then I cut out the stocking shapes and bound it using my Patterns byAnnie instructions. I do like the red striped binding - it finishes it off perfectly.  

After two long weeks the parcel has finally arrived in Australia and the baby has given it her seal of approval.  I hope she received lots of presents in it at Christmas.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter