Friday, 24 March 2023

Dear Jen revisited

On Sunday I went digging in my quilting cupboard to find a WIP I wanted to work on.  But before I could find that WIP, I came across my Dear Jen blocks from the quilt along in 2019.  

Jen Kingwell ran the Dear Jen programme and she issued patterns for 6" hand pieced or hand appliqued blocks each week or month.  The blocks were very intricate and making my own templates for every block added to time each block took too.  

In a sign of how my thinking has changed, I went from, "I'll make some more of those one day", straight to, "Why don't I just sew these blocks together and call it quits". 

So I laid out my measly 11 hand pieced blocks and thought about what I could do with them.  Two of them needed a bit of fixing up, so I was a radical and just threw them in the bin!!!

Then I was left with 9 blocks which is a good number for a quilt, so I set to and hand sewed them together while I watched the tennis from Indian Wells.  

A few days later I went searching in my stash for some borders to make my mini quilt a bit bigger.  I must have tried about 20 fabrics before I settled on my final choices, but I'm very happy with them. The orange really works.  

The whole quilt is 30" x 30", so I looked for a yard/metre of fabric in my stash and found In a Finch by Tula Pink:


Then I pulled out my Jacqui Gering Walk books 1 and 2 and made a short list of possible machine quilting designs.  In the end I chose the above design which works really well because the quilt is square.  

I'll be sure to show you the finished quilt once I get the binding on.  

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

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Friday, 17 March 2023

Swatch Quilt

Remember those fabrics I showed you last week? Well, I cut them up and made the world's fastest quilt pattern - the Swatch Quilt by Ruby Star Society. 

I chose some fairly bold prints for this quilt, but I think they all work together because I've limited the colour palette to blue, yellow and pink/red/orange, with black to break it up.  I resisted my usual urge to add green because it would have been too much.  

Plaids: by Kaffe Fassett Collective and also Kathy Doughty
Yellow spots: Alison Glass
Blue birds: After the Rain by Bookhou for Conservatory Craft
Orange stripes and red/yellow check: Denyse Schmidt
Palm trees: Cotton + Steel
So you can see I have a very eclectic mix of fabrics in my stash. Yes, this quilt is 100% from my stash.

I tweaked the measurements and pattern slighty because I wanted my quilt to be big enough to cover the top of a queen sized bed. I'm really happy with how it turned out.  It's currently at the Busy Bee Quilt Shop for long arm quilting because I'm know it's going to be well used, and I prefer machine quilting for quilts that are going to be thrown on the floor.  And hand quilting would just get lost amongst all of this pattern and colour.

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!

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Friday, 10 March 2023

Quilts for Ukraine - an update

This week I spotted two of our New Zealand quilts that are ready to donate to Ukrainian children in Germany.  The kiwi block makes the first one quite recognisable! But I also recognise the borders because I assembled our quilt tops before I sent them over to Claudia in Germany.  

Claudia received far more quilts and blocks than she ever could have imagined, and she has been donating quilts as quickly as she can.  I'm not concerned that our tops from New Zealand are still working their way through the finishing stages.  It's lovely to see that they have been quilted beautifully, and have matching binding applied by a volunteer.  

I'll keep an eye out for more photos in case they pop up. 

My fabrics for the Swatch quilt

I had a great weekend away on my work social weekend in Kapiti Coast.  They weather is starting to get a bit cooler now and I'm starting to think about quilting again.  I was inspired by the Ruby Star Society Spring sew along I saw on Instagram this week so I looked in my stash and cut blocks for the Swatch quilt:

I see that they have designed their blocks to fit across one width of the fabric, but I wanted my quilt to be larger than 48" x 60", so I've cut my blocks a bit bigger and added two extra rows.  

I'll show you next week when I have it all sewn together.  

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!

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Friday, 3 March 2023

The end of summer

It's March and I can already feel the weather changing.  Summer is coming to an end.  But before it does, I've got my work social weekend to attend.  

Mt Taranaki

Three years ago in March 2020, just before the COVID lockdowns started, we had our work social weekend in New Plymouth.  It was a great weekend away, and the weather was just perfect. 

Now we're finally able to hold another social weekend and this time we're going to Paraparaumu Beach for the weekend.  Some people will play golf, some will take a boat trip over to Kapiti Island and climb to the top, and some will go on a food tour of local markets and cafes.  Then we'll all meet up on Saturday night for dinner.  

On Sunday there will be more golf and walks before everyone heads home after lunch.   

So I won't get much quilting done this weekend because I'm the one organising the whole weekend. 

After this weekend my calendar is free for a few weeks and I'm really looking forward to cutting into some new fabrics and getting creative. 

Hopefully you've had time for quilting, so feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

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Friday, 24 February 2023

Quilts for Hawke's Bay

Last week I told you about Cyclone Gabrielle that has devastated parts of Hawke's Bay in New Zealand.  

Everyone wants to help in whatever way they can.  The best and most efficient way is to donate money to the Red Cross appeal which is easily found online.  

However, our quilt guild members naturally want to give quilts too.  So tomorrow at our regular guild meeting we are collecting quilts of any size in "as new" condition.  We will use our contacts in the hospital and schools to distribute these quilts when the time is right.  We won't be asking Civil Defence to distribute these quilts because we know they have far bigger issues to sort out at the moment, and they have requested monetary donations to the Red Cross rather than donations of physical items. 

I had a look in my cupboards and I have many quilts that I enjoyed making, but have barely used because we have so many options.  So I took advantage of the fine weather and gave some of them a wash in preparation for donating them. 

The quilt above will make a cute baby quilt, but when I looked at the binding I just knew I had to take it off and try again.  It was terribly baggy and only single fold, so I took it off with the intention of replacing it.  But while it was off I decided that I needed to add a bit more quilting to it too, so I did some diagonal lines with my walking foot before I replaced the binding.  Now it's just like new again with more quilting and new binding. 

Each one of these quilts contains memories for me, but many people in Hawke's Bay have lost everything and it feels right to pass these quilts on now.  

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Friday, 17 February 2023

My week

Another week has passed and I still haven't managed to get back to my sewing machine.  I have been  cross stitching in the evenings though, and I've finished the First Day of Christmas by Hello from Liz Mathews. 

I still need to turn it into a 3D tree, but at the moment it's just waiting on the finishing pile.  I love the linen I chose for this one - it's 32 count Wichelt linen in a lovely pale green.

Cyclone Gabrielle passed over New Zealand on Monday and Tuesday and the Hawke's Bay suffered terrible flooding (Napier, Hastings, Gisborne). Nearly 10,000 people are currently displaced from their homes, and 4,500 people are registered as missing.  The devastation is terrible.  Many people will never return to their homes, but they are just thankful to still be alive.  The death toll is sure to rise.

We were very lucky in Wellington and were hardly affected at all by the cyclone. It's hard to believe there's so much destruction just 4 hours drive away.  

Here's some photos from my garden this week.

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


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Friday, 10 February 2023

Sashiko Quilt

I'm working on quite a few mystery projects this year that I just can't share on my blog.  I know a lot of you come here each week for inspiration, so from time to time I'm going to share some of my earlier quilts that you might have missed.  

This is my sashiko quilt that I made 10 years ago when my son went to Japan on a school exchange trip.  

I started with a pattern from Nancy's Stitch Studio, but then I used library books and the internet to research sashiko patterns. I found lots of additional designs that I liked, but I had to scale them to fit my blocks.

I really enjoyed doing the sashiko in the blocks before I joined the whole quilt up.  

- I used tailor's chalk to draw grids on the dark indigo squares to map out where the designs would sit.

- I went over the chalk marks with the sewing machine because they were rubbing off too easily.

- I hand stitched the Sashiko patterns between the grid lines with Ecru DMC Perle 8. (Sashiko thread is expensive in New Zealand and I knew I would need alot.)

- I then pulled out all of the grid lines I'd made with machine stitching.

There's so many sashiko patterns to stitch. 

The facts:

Each of the navy blocks measures 8.75" x 8.75" finished.

I used ecru Perle 8 for the sashiko stitching.

I did all of the sashiko before I made the quilt sandwich.

The quilt has wool batting.

The finished quilt measures 62" x 80".


There's more info about this quilt on the Sashiko tab on my blog.  

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!

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