Saturday 31 May 2014

Blue Garden is finished

Well, as promised in my last post, this quilt is finished and I'm ready to share it with you all. Fortunately it's a lovely clear winter's morning here in Wellington, New Zealand, and I can get some outdoor photos in our backyard.

Blue Garden
I purchased a blue Kaffe Fassett jelly roll for this quilt from a little quilting shop in Karori, Wellington. Sadly that shop has closed down since then because the owner wanted to retire. But if you want to make a similar quilt, you just need lots of strips that are 2.5" wide by at least 7.5" long.

I cruised the internet looking for a suitable pattern, and found Rockin Roll by Lyn Brown (click here). It's a free pattern in pdf form. The directions were nice and clear, and it was a very easy pattern to follow.

Hand Quilting with Perle 8 thread
I decided to hand quilt this quilt because I love the finish hand quilting gives. I used DMC Perle 8 thread in two shades of blue - a bright blue for inside the blocks, and a more subtle blue on the bright blue sashing. When I quilt with Perle 8 I use a Chenille needle which has a big eye and a sharp point. I also used regular quilting thread and hand quilted in the ditch where I thought it needed it.

I belong to two quilting related groups on Facebook - Celebrate Hand Quilting and Kaffe Fassett Collective, and members from both groups loved the snippets of this quilt I showed last weekend. Both groups are 'members only', but anyone involved in quilting can request to join.

Some people have asked how I keep the quilting lines straight. You can either draw lines with special pens that wash off, or use quilting masking tape as I did for a lot of this quilt.

Lavinia for the back
I wanted a blue / green floral for the back so chose Lavinia by Philip Jacobs and am really pleased with it.

At the end of a project there's always some pieces left over, and so you might have noticed that I used the scraps from this quilt to form the border of the quilt in my blog header. I'll write a full post about that quilt soon. I just couldn't bear to waste any of these gorgeous fabrics.

The facts:

The pattern is Rockin Roll by Lyn Brown

The feature fabrics are all from a single 40 piece Kaffe Fassett jelly roll
The border is Kaffe Fassett Philip Jacobs Rambling Rose in blue
The back is Kaffe Fassett Philip Jacobs Lavinia in blue

The finished quilt measures 64" x 80"

Tuesday 27 May 2014

A busy weekend ahead

I've got a lot of projects just waiting for their finishing touches, so I'm hoping to finish a few this upcoming weekend. We have a Public Holiday on Monday 2 June for Queen's Birthday weekend, so lots of time to sew. Top of the list is this quilt which I've almost finished hand quilting.

It's made from a Kaffe Fassett jellyroll in blues and greens. I'm hand quilting in two shades of blue Perle 8.

I don't want to show anymore at the moment, but I hope to have finished photos to share next week.
I"m linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday which is hosted by Ms Midge this week. I was thrilled when I visited her site this morning and saw that my black and white Tumbling Blocks quilt is one of her favourite picks from last week. What an honour. 

Saturday 24 May 2014

A quick trip to Auckland and a concert

On Thursday I had to go to Auckland for work. It's about 660 km from Wellington where I live, but there are many flights each day between the two cities and it only takes 1 hour to fly. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, but Auckland has a larger population, so people frequently fly up or down for the day.

Ornament my mum made for me
  My meeting was at 2.30pm in the city, and when it finished at 5pm I met my mum and we went to the Michael Buble concert!! It was his very last concert in the current tour, and it was great. We both really enjoyed ourselves, and had a great time dancing and singing along.

Michael Buble concert in Auckland 22 May 2014
My mum and dad live in Auckland so I stayed with them after the concert. On Friday morning we went to The Ribbon Rose which is a great shop for embroidery and quilting supplies. We had a really good look at everything. I brought some Kaffe Fassett fabric (of course) and mum brought some threads. I'll use these fabrics in my centre block for a round robin I'm in called Possum Magic. We're a small group of new bloggers who live in Australia and New Zealand and we're setting up our own round robin. It's my first, so will be fun.

Fabrics for my Possum Magic round robin
After the Ribbon Rose it was off to the airport and time to fly home. I was home before the kids even got out of school.

While I was in Auckland my mum gave me this lovely ornament she'd made for me in my colours. The pattern is one of the Laura J Perin canvaswork designs that I'm doing in Christmas colours (click here to view mine), but I love it in purples too. Mum even put lots of little sparkly beads on it because I do like a little bit of bling.

So, it was fun week. Next week will be good too, because mum and dad are coming to stay with us, and I"m hoping to get lots of WIPs finished with mum here to help.

Voting is now open in the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I've had lots of lovely comments about my black and white tumbling blocks thank you. If you'd like to vote for it, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - My Tumbling Blocks quilt

Hello everyone, and welcome to my second entry in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. I'm Wendy and I live in Wellington, New Zealand with my husband and two teenage sons. I love quilting and embroidery, hence the name of my blog - Wendy's quilts and more.

This post is about my second entry, my Tumbling Blocks quilt, which I have entered into the Hand Quilted category. My first entry into the Bloggers' Quilt Festival was in the large quilt cagetory- my Sashiko quilt.

Black and White Tumbling Blocks
I made this Tumbling Blocks quilt for my younger son who's now 13. I asked him what colours he'd like for a quilt, and he said 'black and white'.
I thought 'Oh! how am I going to do that?' but fortunately my personal library of Kaffe Fassett books came to the rescue, and I chose the Tumbling Blocks pattern from Kaffe's Quilt Romance book.

Black and White Tumbling Blocks
There are a lot of different fabrics in this quilt - about 30 if think. The tumbling block effect comes about by careful placement of the fabrics once they have been categorised into light, medium and dark.

This quilt has been hand quilted, using big stitches and coton-a-broder (DMC).  The stitching echoes the diamond shaped blocks.

I belong to a facebook group called Celebrate Hand Quilting. In the last year it's grown from about 1,500 members to more than 6,000 members. There's a lot of people out there interested in hand quilting, and they aren't all over 50 either!

Here's a photo of the back, which I pieced from all the left over pieces.

The facts:

The pattern is Tumbling Blocks by Kaffe Fassett from his book, Quilt Romance.

The fabrics are a wide range of black and white fabrics.

The finished quilt measures 74" x 84"

Giveaway winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my Sew Mama Sew giveaway. The lucky winner was number 32.

That's Katie from Portland, Oregon. I've emailed Katie the good news, and sent the parcel off to her yesterday. Have fun turning the fabrics into something nice Katie.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - my Sashiko quilt

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. I'm excited to be entering the Bloggers' Quilt Festival for the very first time. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Wendy and I live in Wellington, New Zealand with my husband and two teenage sons. I love quilting and embroidery, hence the name of my blog - Wendy's quilts and more. I'm entering two categories in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, the large quilt and the hand quilted quilt. This is my entry for the large quilt section.

Sashiko quilt
It's a Japanese sashiko quilt that I designed and made two years ago. It measures 62" x 80".

I never thought that I would use the dark indigo Japanese fabrics, but the shiny Japanese fabrics did speak to me and knew I needed the navy panels to offset them.

I used books and the internet to design the patterns for each of the navy squares, and then I hand stitched them on with Perle 8 ecru cotton before I assembled the quilt.

I'm a hand quilter at heart so I hand quilted this quilt with a very simple design so the sashiko panels would stand out.

If you're interested in knowing more about how I made this quilt, you can read my earlier blog post on this quilt which will give you all the details. Just click here.

Thank you for reading about my quilt, and enjoy the blog quilt festival.

Spring '14 Blogger's Quilt Festival -

Wednesday 14 May 2014

A new bag

Hello, and a big welcome to all my new followers. Many of you will be from the blog hop for new bloggers run by Beth of Plum and June blog.  There are about 75 of us visiting each others blogs, and learning new tricks about blogging, flickr and Pinterest. Lots of useful information is being shared. It's interesting reading about how others apply watermarks to photos - that's not something I've investigated yet.

Leaving aside all the emails from the group, I started to play with these fabrics:

I want to make a tall tote style bag. I've looked at quite a few patterns and decided to use one by Elizabeth Hartman of oh!Fransson.  The pattern is very detailed and has more than 70 steps to it, but it also has lots of photos so that's helpful. Here's Elizabeth's photo from her website:

Image of PERFECT QUILTED TOTES pdf sewing pattern
 I'll be making the one on the right. I haven't made a bag before so it'll be a learning experience for me. I can't wait to get started, but I really must finish one or two other projects first. With any luck I can start on Saturday or Sunday.

Monday 12 May 2014

Give Away Time

Sorry folks - the giveaway has now closed. The winner was number 32 - Katie. Thanks everyone for entering.

Sew mama Sew are kindly running a give away day tomorrow and there are lots of prizes up for grabs at different blogs. I'm giving away the fabrics in this photo.

I think they are Anna Maria Horner fabrics (or possibly Heather Ross I'm now told).  

I now have the answer thanks to Vicki of Sew Inspired blog. - they are Heather Bailey fabrics. Thanks Vicki.

The pieces range between 12" x 13" to 22" x 13".
I was given a lot of these by a lady who was a sales rep for the fabric companies. I've still got lots more in my stash, but I'm not sure if I'll ever use these ones, so they can go to another home.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me the main colour in the last quilt you made.Followers old and new can get a second entry by leaving a second comment.

This giveaway is open to everyone (including international participants). If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in the comment.

The giveaway will stay open until 5pm Friday May 16 2014 (PST Time), and I will use the random number generator at to pick a winner then. Good luck everyone!By the way, I usually respond to all comments, but giveaways can generate lots of comments, so I hope you don't mind if I don't respond to your comment on this post.

Check out Sew mama Sew soon to see a full list of participating blogs. Good luck! 

Thanks to everyone who entered. The giveaway is now closed and the winner will be announced very shortly.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Sparkling Gemstones Jelly Roll Quilt

This is my first ever jelly roll quilt. It's Sparkling Gemstones from Pam and Nicky Lintott's book, Jelly Roll Quilts. It measures 64" x 64".

Sparkling Gemstones
My mum gave me this jelly roll for Christmas some years ago. At first I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but then I saw the Sparkling Gemstones pattern and liked it. I've added more fabrics myself because I wanted to make the quilt big enough to fit a queen sized bed.

Sparkling Gemstones
The pattern used a light colour for the sashing, but I chose a dark purple to offset all the bright colours in the blocks.

I used Kaffe Fassett Paperweight for the borders, binding and backing.

Kaffe Fassett Paperweight on the back
And added a funky label with borders by Laurel Burch.

I hand quilted in the ditch around each block with regular quilting thread, and then quilted diagonal lines across the quilt with Perle 8 in purple.

I love how this quilt turned out - bright and cheerful, and best of all warm for winter nights.

The facts:
The pattern is Sparkling Gemstones from Pam and Nicky Lintott's book, Jelly Roll Quilts.
The fabrics are a bright jelly roll with dark purple sashing.
The backing and borders are Kaffe Fasset Paperweight.
The finished quilt measures 64" x 64".

I'll be linking up with: 
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts
Esther's WoWs
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Needle N Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Live a Colorful Life
Can I have a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Quilt Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts

Sunday 4 May 2014

Gingerbread Bakery progress

Don't you hate it when you make mistakes and have to unpick? I was merrily chugging along on the Gingerbread Bakery when I realised that I'd made one panel 2 threads too short.

Gingerbread Bakery - work in progress
Normally I wouldn't worry about being out slightly if the pattern still looked OK, but these pieces need to be perfect in size, because they will eventually be sewn together.

I went back and unpicked the beading, grass and base of one panel, and moved them all down two threads. Silk thread doesn't unpick well, so I had to throw away the thread I'd used for the grass. Now I may not have enough of that variegated thread to finish all 7 sides of the bakery in the same thread. I've had a look through my collection of threads and have found something similar so it will have to do.

Gingerbread Bakery by The Victoria Sampler - photo from their website
I can see how my error came about. In the above photo parts of the roof and higher than others, so I thought that meant some sides must be higher than others, but it doesn't. The differences in the roof height are totally due to differences in the roof panels.

Anyway, I'm back on track now with only 2 panels left to complete. I will easily finish before the end of May. Then I can assemble both the Gingerbread Bakery and Candy Cane Cottage during June. Some people in this part of the world have a mid winter Christmas celebration on 25 June. Maybe I'll have to do that as an excuse to bring out my Gingerbread Village!