Thursday 26 January 2017

Soy Amado Quilts - Giving back

I've been friends with Alison from Little Island Quilting for some time now.  We've never met in person, but we have a long distance friendship on Instagram, and laugh at the same things.

Three years ago Alison started collecting 12.5" quilted blocks and turning them into quilts for children in orphanages. You can read all about her initiative here on her blog - it's called Soy Amado Quilts. Alison has now donated more than 100 quilts to children in orphanages in Mexico and South Africa.  You can see photos of the delighted children with their quilts her blog.

Although I live on the other side of the world from Alison (she lives in Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom), I felt I should contribute some blocks to her initiative.

As soon as I said I was starting, another online friend, Carla from Granny Maud's Girl in Perth, Australia, said that she would make blocks to match mine and maybe we could make the whole 20 blocks required between us! I have lots of blue fabrics, and suspected that Alison might receive more girl blocks than boy blocks, so we decided to make blocks for a boy quilt.

Carla got all fancy and started designing foundation paper pieced yachts and planes! You can read about her blocks here and here on her blog.

I kept mine simple and used up lots of fabrics I'd had lying around for some time.

I decided to include some sashing before I sealed up my parcel.  These blocks aren't sewn together - I was just testing out the sashing.

I'll be sure to show you are finished quilt once Alison has put it all together. If you'd like to contribute some blocks to Soy Amado quilts, please get in touch with Alison via her blog here.  She'd love to hear from you and always welcomes donations.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

My quilting priorities for 2017

I love to start the new year with some goals, so here's what I've got planned for 2017.

1.  Symposium quilt 1.  I don't generally like to talk about Secret Sewing, but I have to mention this one because it's where most of my time is going at the moment.  I'm making a quilt to enter into our national quilt symposium. It has to be an original design, so I want to keep it under wraps until the entry deadline of June 2017.  I promise to reveal all in due course.

New Zealand has a big quilt symposium every second year.  Hundreds (or thousands) of quilters all gather for five days of exhibitions and classes. I'm currently planning which classes to attend and I'm aiming for Jen Kingwell and Chris Jurd.  There will be many international tutors there from UK, USA and Australia, as well as New Zealand tutors.  You can read more about it here.

2. Symposium quilt 2. I've also started a second quilt for symposium which may or may not get finished before the mid June deadline. If it's not ready for this symposium, the next one is in 2019 - plenty of time (ha, ha).

3. Symposium quilt 3.  Possum Magic.

There's a special category at symposium for quilts made by more than one person.  I thought it would be fun to enter my Possum Magic quilt which was made by 8 of us during a round robin.  You can see all the quilts from our round robin in the Possum Magic tab at the top of my blog.  I still need to finish hand quilting my quilt, but if I can get it done by the mid June deadline I will definitely be entering it.

4. Kaffe Fassett Tussie Mussie. Once I've finished my symposium quilts I think I will have earned a little rest, so I'd like to make this sweet design from Kaffe's latest book, Quilts in Italy. I'm sure I can make this entirely from my Kaffe stash (although mine won't be in these colours).

5. Sue Spargo Block of the Month. I've been taking part in this free online block of month and making each block as it was released.  I'm  little bit behind now, but I think I've made 9 of the 11 released to date.  I'm looking forward to joining it all up and seeing the finished quilts.

6. Wendy Williams Tea Party BOM. I resisted enrolling in this BOM, but when someone on Instagram was selling the entire set I felt I just had to help her out and buy the set. I do love Wendy's wool felt applique designs so I will enjoy stitching this.

7. Tropical Hexagons. This will be a hand quilting project for 2017.  I'll keep it simple, but I do love the texture hand quilting gives, so I intend to quilt it myself.

I'm going to stop my list here.  In previous years I've listed more than 10 quilts, but this year I want to keep it simple and just list my very top priorities.  I know I will be taking classes at symposium in October and starting at least 3 more quilts there, so I have to leave room for new things.

What's on your list for 2017? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday 15 January 2017

I'm back!

After what feels like a very long summer holiday, I'm finally back home and ready to start 2017. We spent Christmas in Auckland with my mum and dad, came home for a week, and then went to Queenstown for five nights.

This was the view of The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu from our apartment.

My husband and younger son rode the Shotover Jet

We watched the bungy jump but didn't do it.

We went up in the gondolas.

Central Otago is a beautiful part of New Zealand and we enjoyed our time there.  Some days were very hot (26C = 80F) and other days were cooler.

Queenstown Gardens

the Arrow River

Queenstown lake front at 7.30pm at night.

I'm off to finalise my quilting and embroidery to do lists for 2017.  I promise to reveal all before the end of this week.