Friday, 31 March 2017

Soy Amado Quilts - the finished quilt

Back in January I showed you the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) blocks I'd made to send to Alison in Guernsey.  As soon as she got them she dropped everything and combined them with Carla's blocks to make a great quilt!

This quilt will now be sent to an orphange in South Africa and a little child will receive their very own quilt for their bed.  You can see photos of some of the children with their quilts on Alison's blog, Little Island Quilting.

Carla of Granny Maud's Girl made the yachts and planes blocks which add real interest to the quilt.  You can read more about her yachts here, and her planes here.  It was great to co-operate with a friend on this quilt because we could discuss the colours before we started.

I call Carla a friend, but we have never met in real life.  We met online, and we have continued to correspond online.  Unfortunately Carla lives in Perth, Australia, which isn't exactly one of those places you pass through on your way to somewhere else.  My best hope of meeting her is to meet up in Melbourne one day, because it's about half way between Wellington and Perth.

I made the background blocks and used up some of my large stash of blue fabric.

If you'd like to make some blocks for Alison, please read her blog here for directions.  The good news is that there are no rules about colour or style - the only rule is that they must be quilted and measure 12.5" square.   You don't need to make 20 because Alison can combine your blocks with those from other people.

Thank you to Carla and Alison for making this quilt possible.  I really do hope it makes a little child happy, and maybe even inspires them to become a pilot or a sailor.

You can read my earlier blog post about my blocks here.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Even more embroidery

Yesterday I chose my fabric and threads for my other major embroidery class - Holey Moley.  Again, I'm a student, not the teacher.

I took my inspiration from the beautiful verigated Stef Francis threads and just picked complimentary colours.  This class starts on 5 April so I'm almost ready to go.  I just need to trace the design onto the fabric now, but I'll do that at Nancy's Stitch Studio because they have a light box.

One of my "no reply blogger" readers asked me to recommend an embroidery book, so I'm showing this Embroidery Stitch Bible that I've had for about 10 years now.  

It shows a lot of stitches, but it gives step by step instructions too, so I find it very helpful.  Here's an example:

Another "no reply blogger" asked if I put backing behind my green fabric for the Textured Floral Extravaganza, and the answer is "Yes". 

If you suspect you might be a no reply blogger, and want to check or fix it, please see this post here. 

I don't have a lot of pretty plants in my garden, but I was very pleased to see this rhodendron flowering. 

And finally, I achieved my goal of completing 25% of A Treasured Time in the first quarter of the year.  This means it might just be finished and framed before Christmas (if I can keep up the pace through out the rest of the year). I'm leaving the backstitching until the very end.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A trip to Tauranga

Last weekend I went to Tauranga for a work social weekend and it was great! The weather was warm, and the sun shone for all three days.

We stayed at Trinity Wharf hotel.  The infinity pool looked beautiful, but it wasn't heated, so was very cold (so I was told).

The view from the hotel.  The bridge going to Mt Maunganui.

Another view of the pool.

On Saturday morning we walked around the base of Mt Maunganui.  That took about 45 minutes.

Then we went to a cafe right opposite the gorgeous surf beach.

On Sunday morning we went to Mills Reef winery for some wine tasting.  The grass was so green, and the sky was so blue - another perfect day.

We had an interesting discussion at the wine tasting about Geographical Indications (GIs).  I work for the NZ Institute of Patent Attorneys and New Zealand is about to introduce 27 GIs for wines and spirits.  The regime will provide name protection for wine growing regions such as Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay where this award winning syrah (shiraz to some) comes from.
Today I have to survey our members and find out where we want to go next year!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Embroidery progress

My first embroidery class of 2017 started at Nancy's Stitch Studio two weeks ago.  (I'm a student, not the teacher.)

It's called Textured Floral Extravaganza and we are going to cover a lot of different techniques.

Just part of the class sample designed and stitched by our tutor, Ann Marie Moorehead

I chose my feature thread first (the hand dyed Stef Francis verigated thread) and then dyed my fabric green to match it.  Although the class sample is beautiful and subtle, I couldn't imagine stitching beige on beige myself.

In the first lesson we started to stitch the stem of the flowers with raised stem stitch.

We also learned how to basket weave some leaves with coton a broder. This leaf will be finished off with whipped chain stitch around the outside.

same fabric - different lighing

When I left my class I saw some wild lilies growing on a bank, and was pleased to find my colour scheme replicated in nature - always a good sign that colours work together.

I've also been plugging away on my peacock tapestry cushion. It's very nearly finished.  I'm going to take it away next weekend when we go to Tauranga for a work social weekend.  I remember working on it in Rotorua at last year's social weekend, so it would be fitting to finish it at the 2017 social weekend.

And I'm also trying to do a bit each month on A Treasured Time by Dimensions Gold.  I would really like to have it framed for Christmas 2017.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

#instastitchwithsue - Sue Spargo mystery quilt

For the past 12 months Sue Spargo has been running a free mystery quilt along on Instagram. She called it #instastitchwithsue and released a pattern each month.  Here's my version:

I love Sue Spargo's designs - I have her calendar on my office wall and gaze at it often when I should be doing work.

I couldn't pass up the idea of a mystery quilt along with hand stitching thrown in!  So I started watching for the patterns each month and tried to keep up through out the year.  Here's a link to ALL 12 blocks. Just click on the photos to download the patterns.

I thought I'd use different fabrics from my usual selections, so I went with orange and purple!! Quite radical, but I found a few fabrics that contained both colours, and built up a collection from there.

Here's how some of my blocks turned out.  I didn't do quite as much decorative stitching as Sue did, but some of my fabrics were very patterned and I knew the stitching wouldn't show up which ever colour thread I used.  The variegated threads are Sue Spargo's Eleganza perle 8 threads for Wonderfil thread.  The colour variations are beautiful!!

And all together before I started to join them:

 I decided to make a pieced backing from some of my purple fabrics so I did a bit of quilt maths,

and here it is.

I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt this yet.  I need some time to think about that.  I might even machine quilt it myself because I'm, feeling inspired after reading Jacquie Gering's new book - Walk.