Friday 29 September 2017

Holey Moley progress

Before I became a quilter, I used to love doing embroidery.  These days I have to make time for embroidery because quilting seems to have taken over my leisure time.

Back in March I showed you these gorgeous threads I had chosen for my pulled thread work called "Holey Moley".

We've had four lessons so far, and have learnt some new techniques.

I'm currently spending a lot of time stitching the outlines and then filling the areas with Rhodes stitch in pink.

This is a unique design developed for us by our tutor.  Please respect that, and if you'd like to make something similar, please be sure to modify it to make it uniquely yours.  (Sorry to have to say that, but I have to say it because it's not my design.)

See how big the piece of linen is!!! See how much more I've still got to do!!

Yes, it's going to be lovely when it's finished, but that is still many months (dare I say "years") away.

I'm going to keep plugging away at it, especially because we've got two more lessons to go yet. It's always easier to keep motivated when you know you've got to report in again.

Friday 22 September 2017

Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2017 - Holiday Homies

This is my second entry in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.

It's my recently finished Holiday Homies quilt. It's all a bit crazy and over the top, but I loved all of the fabrics in Tula Pink's first Christmas collection and I wanted to include pieces of all of them in my quilt. 

I fussy cut the animals and preserved as much of them as possible. 

I've included instructions on how to make a quilt similar to mine in my earlier blog post about this quilt here.  

This is a small quilt, just 37" x 37", so I hand quilted it with my favourite Aurifil 12wt thread.

You can read about my first entry in the festival, my Tussie Mussie, here. 

Please pop over to Amy's blog and look at some of the other great quilts in the festival.  The system is a lot simpler this year because there's only one category for all of the quilts.  There won't be voting either - just prizes awarded to contestants on a random basis.

I hope you enjoy visiting some new blogs.  Please try to leave a comment for the bloggers, even if it's just "I love your quilt".   

Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2017 - Tussie Mussie

Once again it's time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.

I love this quilt festival because the quilters don't need to put hanging sleeves on their quilts or send them away in the post, and the viewers don't even need to get off their sofas to see a wide range of beautiful quilts.  That's a win, win as far as I'm concerned.

I'm entering two quilts this year and the first is my Tussie Mussie that I finished a few months ago.

I made this quilt using a pattern in Kaffe Fasset's Quilts in Italy book.  It was quite simple to make because it's just big half square triangles.  I used some of my stash of gorgeous purple and green Kaffe prints.

I usually like to hand quilt my quilts, but I've got a bit of a backlog developing so I had this one quilted by Sue Burnett of Busy Bee Quilting in Wellington, New Zealand.  I chose a swirly pattern and I'm really pleased with the finished result.

These pretty photos were all taken in my mum's garden in Auckland.  I even used Kaffe Fasset's extra wide backing on the back and I love the smooth silky texture of it.

You can read more about this quilt in my earlier blog post here.  

My second entry in the festival is my Holiday Homies quilt and you read about it here.  

Please pop over to Amy's blog and look at some of the other great quilts in the festival.  The system is a lot simpler this year because there's only one category for all of the quilts.  There won't be voting either - just prizes awarded to contestants on a random basis.

I hope you enjoy visiting some new blogs.  Please try to leave a comment for the bloggers, even if it's just "I love your quilt".   

Friday 15 September 2017

Tropical Hexagons progress

Tennis is my favourite sport to watch on TV.  Each year I try to plan my work so I can watch the US Open in September, and the Australian Open in January.

Both of these tournaments both work well for our time zone here in New Zealand. We are 12 hours ahead of the UK, so it's impossible to watch Wimbledon live, and it's a similar problem for the French Open. (Plus I don't really like clay court tennis - too much sliding about.)

I continued my normal sewing routine for the first few days of the US Open, but as the games became more tense I packed away my sewing machine and got out my hand quilting.  It's so much easier to focus on the tennis when you haven't got the machine running, and aren't jumping up and down to the ironing board.

I could watch all the action from my sewing table while I quietly hand quilted (except for the occasional shouts on critical points).

I'm trying to get my Tropical Hexagons (my name for Mediterranean Hexagons) quilt finished before Kaffe and Brandon come back to New Zealand in January 2018.  I started this in their Mediterranean Hexagons class in January 2016.  You can read my thoughts on that class here if you wish.  I really enjoyed the class and learnt so much from them, and I vowed then that if they ever came back again I would be sure to go.

This time they will be teaching Irish Diamonds from the new book, Quilts in Ireland.  It uses a wide range of fabrics, so I'll be diving into my stash and using lots of treasures that I've been hoarding.  It will be great to see them all combined in a quilt.

However, I really want to finish this Tropical Hexagons quilt before I go to their next class.  I've currently hand quilted 45% of the quilt, so there's still a fair way to go, but I'm making it a goal to finish it before Christmas. Then I can take it to the class and show Kaffe and Brandon.

Saturday 9 September 2017

Holiday Homies by Tula Pink

When I first saw Tula Pink's new Holiday Homies fabric few months ago, I just couldn't resist.

I'm not usually one for cute images on fabric, and I don't even like dogs all that much, but the combination of dogs with glasses and Christmas sweaters, just drew me in.

I bought a fat quarter bundle and decided to made a small Christmas quilt, fussy cutting the images to retain as much of them as possible.  It's summer time when it's Christmas here in New Zealand, so we don't need big Christmas quilts - but I still like to put out some decorative table runners and hang some wall quilts.

I really liked all of the fabrics that came in the Holiday Homies collection, so I decided to incorporate them all into my quilt.

When the top was finished I hand quilted it with Aurifil 12wt.  As usual, I used a range of colours - some matching and some contrasting.  If you're new to my blog and want to know more about how I hand quilt, you can check back to these three posts I wrote earlier in the year:

Celebrate Hand Quilting

Hand quilting threads

Hand quilting designs

I'm not one to write patterns usually, but if you'd like to make a Holiday Homies quilt similar to mine, here's what I did.

1.  Fussy cut the animal images very carefully to preserve as many as possible. I drew 4.75" squares on the diagonal on the back of the fabric, centering the images and carefully managing the lines between adjoining animals. Take your time doing this.

2. Cut 2 x 4.25" squares for the corners of each animal block. Cut these square in half on the diagonal to make 4 90 degree triangles.

3.  Sew the triangles to the squares to make the animal diamonds into square in a square blocks and trim them to 6.5" x 6.5".

4.  Add borders.  Cut 2 strips 6.5" x 2" and attach.  Cut 2 strips 9.5" x 2" and attach.

5.  Choose a plain fabric for the final border.  I tired without a plain border and it was just too busy. Cut 2 strips 9.5" x 1.25" and attach.  Cut 2 strips 11" x 1.25" and attach.

6.  Make sashing by joining 2" strips and trimming to 3.5". I kept mine this wide because I wanted to incorporate my remaining animal prints in the cornerstones. You could make the sashing narrower if you don't have any animals left over.

7.  Make cornerstones from the remaining animal images if possible.

8.  Join it all up and you have a fun quilt for children (and children at heart) to admire at Christmas.

My finished quilt measures 37.5" x 37.5" and was all made from fat quarters - if you buy fat quarters you need to be sure that your local quilt shop cuts the animal images carefully. Nothing worse than coming home with half a dog!

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

William Morris and Michele Hill

Last week the Craft and Quilt Fair came to town and we were very fortunate that the organisers decided to bring a special guest this year - Michele Hill from Adelaide, Australia.

Michele is world famous because of her love of William Morris and his designs.  Michele has designed fabrics, lead tours to UK, designed quilts and published books - all focused on William Morris and his designs.  You can find Michele's blog here - William Morris and Michele.

I haven't made any of Michele's patterns myself, but my mum has made two and would have loved to have seen her quilts up close.

The details in Michele's applique are amazing when you get up really close.

I enjoyed see Michele's design process, and studying her sketches.

I also attended Michele's special lecture where she spent one hour showing us many photos from her William Morris tours through England and Iceland. I can tell that the tours would have been a lot of fun because Michele is a very happy person.

Michele is retiring from teaching at the end of this year, but she is going to lead some very special William Morris tours in Adelaide, Australia, next year.  Adelaide has the largest collection of William Morris memorabilia outside of the UK. You can find out more about the tours here.