Friday, 31 July 2020

Midwinter Christmas continues

Some of you asked to see more of the Christmas quilts I took to Pinestream Quilters last weekend.  

Well, first up was my Oh! Christmas Tree quilt designed by Wendy Williams.  You can read more about it here.  I love this quilt because it really does represent Christmas in New Zealand and Australia.  It's all bright and summery, and that's how our Christmases are here (even though I used snowflake fabric for my background). 

I loved doing all the wool felt applique.

It's hand quilted with Aurifil of course!

I also took along Flocks by Night, another wool felt applique quilt designed by Wendy Williams.  You can read more about it here.  I loved appliqueing the trees in this scene.  

I used Aurifil lana wool to applique some of the trees down

My Holiday Homies quilt was still up on the wall in the spare room, and I was just going to leave it there until Christmas, but I made an exception and took it down so I could show the ladies on Saturday. You can read more about it here.  I designed this one myself because I wanted to use the quirky animals in Tula Pink's Holiday Homies range.    

And finally, I showed my Holiday Patchwork Forest quilt designed by Amy Smart.  You can read more about this quilt here.  

You've possibly realised that my Christmas quilts are all small quilts or wall hangings.  We don't need quilts on our beds at Christmas because it's summer time.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  

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Friday, 24 July 2020

Midwinter Christmas

Tomorrow I'm going to a midwinter Christmas celebration at one of our local quilting guilds.  

My Gingerbread Village

Some people in New Zealand and Australia like to have midwinter Christmas celebrations, and do all the things it's usually too hot to do at Christmas - like drink mulled wine and eat roast dinners.

I've been asked to bring along some of my hand made Christmas decorations, and my Gingerbread Village in particular.  If you're a new follower, and haven't seen my Gingerbread Village, you can read all about it on the tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here.  The gorgeous patterns were designed by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler in Canada.  

So this week I pulled out my shoe boxes and sorted out which decorations I'll take along.

I'll also take some of my Christmas quilts because I expect they'd like to see them too.  I'm not going to give away too many spoilers here, but I might report back next week on more of the things I'll be sharing tomorrow.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.

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Friday, 17 July 2020

All The Blues .... A Lucy Boston quilt by Joy Hill

My mum's Lucy Boston quilt is finished and we both love it. Mum's favourite colour is blue, and she loved choosing fabrics for this quilt.  Hence the name .... "All The Blues".

Mum finished her quilt before Christmas, but she was keeping in under wraps because she was going to enter it in the Auckland Festival of Quilts this year.  But unfortunately that's been called off, and it will be another 18 months before the next Festival, so mum gave me permission to share it now.

Mum has developed a great eye for fussy cutting, and she had fun using every last inch of some of these fabrics.  

The border fabric is from Spotlight NZ and finishes the quilt really nicely. By the time mum had decided on the border, the fabric had sold out at her local Spotlight, so we were lucky to find just enough online. 

I did try to convert mum to hand piecing, but she likes English Paper Piecing, so this quilt is English Paper Pieced.  

Me demonstrating hand piecing to mum

Mum demonstrating how quickly she can EPP

Once mum started EPPing she just kept going! Each week she'd send me a photo with more blocks completed.

Then when it was finished mum hand quilted it all herself.  She's a machine at 78 years old.  

So what's next you ask?  Well, mum has the paper pieces for Raindrops Are Falling on My Head from Millefiori Quilts 4 by Willyne Hammerstein.  Although we studied colour palettes and tried to steer away from blues, I'm afraid it's going to be blue again.  Maybe she'll call it "All The Blues Two". 

My mum, Joy Hill with my son

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Friday, 10 July 2020

Pandemic Sampler by Long Dog Samplers

I've always admired very complex cross stitch samplers.  A couple of week ago Long Dog Samplers launched a Pandemic Sampler to mark the chaos that 2020 has been.  

The full view!!!

I loved the look of the sampler, so I jumped on board and I've started it already.  

I asked my local needlework shop, Nancy's Stitch Studio, to get me in a ginormous piece of 28 count linen in Flax colourway.  I've decided to stitch my sampler with 2 stands of Madeira silk thread. I know it's going to take a tonne of thread, but silk threads are a dream to stitch with and it's hard to go back to cotton thread once you've experienced silk thread. 
Day 1


I love how it's looking so far! There's backstitching to come, but I'll do all that at the end.  That bird will have feathers in his hat to make him look even more snazzy.  

I know a lot of stitchers start their cross stitch in the top left hand corner, but I prefer to start in the centre and then I know that my design is centered.  

So what have you been up to this week? Have you started anything new?

I feel bad that I haven't had time to reply to comments or linkups lately.  My work has been busy and family life is busy too.  Everyone is making up for lost time now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in New Zealand.  I'm on the committee for our guild's quilt show in August which is going to be fantastic.  I'm also on the local cricket club committee and we're preparing for the season. 

Don't worry - we do appreciate how fortunate we are to be free to meet again, but the price we are paying is that the borders are closed for the foreseeable future. 

Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Checking in at 30 June

Each year I like to set myself some quilting goals.  That way I don't forget about the quilts that I've started, but never got round to finishing.  

Setting goals also forces me to hesitate for a moment before I jump into exciting new things that I see online.  I pause, and think of all the things that I said I really wanted to do, and then I usually jump in anyway! How tragic is that!!

Here's what I said I'd work on in 2020 when I set my goals back in January.  

1.  Ballet with Kaffe Fassett by Willyne Hammerstein from Millefiori Quilts 2.
See the tab at the top of my blog for all the details on this quilt (or click here).  I started this quilt in June 2017.  It's all ready for hand quilting now and I hope to finish it in 2020.

2.  Glitter by Jen Kingwell
It's finished! And just waiting to be hung in an exhibition.  I started this quilt in a class with Jen Kingwell at the Christchurch Quilt Symposium in October 2017 so it contains lots of happy memories.  I hand pieced my blocks, and hand quilted it.  I'll share it once it's hanging in the exhibition later this year. 

3.  Cartwheel by Liza Prior Lucy for Kaffe Fassett Collective Quilt Grandeur book.  
Also finished, and now called "You Spin Me Round".  This quilt will be in Capital Quilters Exhibition on 22-23 August 2020. 

4.  Green Diamonds
This is my own way to use up some of the diamonds we cut at the Kaffe Fassett class in January 2018.  I'm in the middle of hand quilting this little quilt now. 

5.  Neptune and the Mermaid - pattern is Pieces of the Past by Wendy Whellum
This was so much fun to make (click here to read more).  It's basted and waiting for me to start hand quilting it.  

6.   Cross Country by Anna Maria Horner
I started this quilt in a class with Anna Maria Horner  in November 2019 (click here to read more).  I now have the fabrics to finish it, but I need to decide if I want to add applique in the big triangles. (That's carpet you're seeing in this photo.)

7.  Don't Leaf Me by Wendy Williams
I've made a little start, but there's still a long way to go with this one. I haven't had much experience with needle turn applique, so I'm going to use this quilt to improve my skills. 

8.  Endless Summer by Anna Maria Horner
Started and finished during the COVID-19 lockdown.  I've now called my quilt Endless Lockdown, because it felt like it at the time.  

9.  Stars Upon Stars by Edyta Sitar
I know, I say it every year. but 2020 is the year I will start this quilt.  Now I've got rubber stamps and I'm going to hand piece my quilt just like the Dutch ladies do.

10.  Something new from Millefiori Quilts 4
I've been browsing through my book but I'm still deciding which pattern I would like to make. 

11. Marshal by Jen Kingwell - the Quiltmania mystery quilt. 
I took a wild departure and made something new with half of the blocks from the Marshal Mystery quilt.  You can read more about it here.  I'm going to enter this quilt into Capital Quilters exhibition in August 2020.  

12.  And, I've finished the wedding quilt for some friends getting married in October.

So that's 4, almost 5, quilts finished in six months!!!  Of course some of them have been WIPs for a few years, but that's still pretty impressive for me.  It's amazing what I can achieve when I'm forced to stay at home.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party. What have you been up to lately? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  

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Friday, 26 June 2020

Quilt Stories (also known as Artist's Statements)

Our exhibition is getting closer! This week I'm going to give a short talk to our guild about Quilt Stories.  You know, that blurb the quilt maker writes to go with their quilt.  

Disclaimer - I'm no expert when it comes to grammar and sentence formation, but I do know what I like to read when I go to a quilt show. 

I know many quilters are modest people and struggle to say something positive about their own quilts!
But I urge you to be proud of your own work.  You've chosen to enter it into the exhibition, so make sure your Quilt Story presents it in it's best light.   Don't tell us what's wrong with it, but rather tell us some interesting facts about it.  I've provided some examples below.

Most exhibitions put a limit on how long a Quilt Story can be.  It's usually about 60-100 words, so you have ample room to write three short sentences.  I tend to write:
  • what inspired me to make this quilt
  • an interesting aspect of the quilt
  • anything else of interest

Please don't drop the pronouns from your story.  There's plenty of room to write "I". For example:
I made this quilt from the scraps I had accumulated over the past three years. (15 words)
is much nicer to read than
Had too many brown scraps so had to use them up. (11 words)

Here's some examples for you:

1. What inspired you to make this quilt?
  • I've always enjoyed needleturn applique and I fell in love with this pattern when it was released three years ago.
  • I've always wanted to make a snowball quilt and I love the fabrics used in this pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Italy book.
  • My mum taught me to English Paper Piece when I was about 10 years old, and she would be delighted to see I'm still doing it now.
  • I saw a beautiful blue and white quilt in the Festival of Quilts in the UK, so I came home and created my own version from all the scraps I had saved over the years.
  • I decided to start using all the Liberty fabrics that I had collected over the years.  I found this wonderful pattern by xxx and have happily spent the last three years sewing my Liberty pieces together.
  • My granddaughter loves Elsa from Frozen, so when I saw this panel I knew I had to make it for her. 
You get the drift? Tell people what drew you to your pattern or fabrics. 

2. An interesting aspect of the quilt
  • The quilt was a block of the month and each month I eagerly awaited the next pattern release.
  • This is my first attempt at wool felt applique.
  • I started this quilt in a foundation paper piecing class with xxx.  
  • I've recently started using rulers with my machine quilting and they've enabled to be achieve quite a different look. 
  • This colour palette is different to my usual style, but I love the result.
  • I hand quilted my quilt with 12wt variegated thread. 
  • This quilt was started 10 years ago in a class with xxx.  I found it again when I cleaned out my sewing room during the COVID-19 lockdown.  I took it to retreat and finished it there.
  • This quilt has been all around the world.  I've worked on it on planes, trains and ships.  It reminds me of my travels through Europe in 2018.   
Tell people something about your quilt that they might not notice immediately.

3. Anything else of interest
  • If you're going to give the quilt away, who is it going to? a grandchild? a wedding gift? charity?
  • How long did it take you to make it?
  • Are these fabrics a departure from your usual style?
The third sentence isn't essential, but it helps the reader to know a bit more about you and your quilt.

Be proud of your work. You spent many hours making this quilt, and it's hanging in an exhibition for just one weekend.  Stand tall and say "Yes, I made that".  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter