Monday 31 December 2018

2018 - My quilting year in review

It's the last day of 2018 and time to reflect on the year that was.  It's a time of change in our household because my oldest son has just finished his university degree (Bachelor of Software Engineering) and my younger son has just finished High School and is about to start on his University degree - also in Software Engineering, but at a different University.  

I like to review my progress against my goals at the end of each year. Way back in January I blogged about my quilting priorities for 2018 (you can read that list here).  Although I reviewed my progress back in July, I still like to do an annual review and remind myself of what I have finished during the year.

So what was on that list that I created almost 12 months ago?

1. Tropical Hexagons.
I finished this quilt in January and took it along to show Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably at the class I attended in Wellington.  It was great to be able to show them I had finished it and loved it.  You can read more here. 

2.  Southern Stars Challenge for QuiltNSW
I finished my first ever improv quilt and entered into the challenge at the Quilt NSW show in Sydeny, Australia.  I was thrilled to win a Judges Commendation for it.  You can read more here. 

3.  Capital Quilters Exhibition
I started and finished a quilt within seven months! That's speedy for me.  This one was for the Churn Dash challenge at my guild's exhibition.  I won a Judges' Commendation for this quilt too. You can read more here. 

4.  Sue Spargo Instastitch
This quilt is still a WIP.  I did some more quilting on it, but I think I need a bigger machine to reach some of the hard to reach places.  It's quite heavy and bulky to manoeuvre on my domestic machine. 

5. Half Square Triangles
I finished this quilt and called it my Picnic Quilt. It's very scrappy because I won these blocks in a Block of the Month competition at my guild.  You can read more here. 

6. Ballet with Kaffe
There's been next to no progress on Ballet with Kaffe, but I do intend to revive this quilt in 2019. In fact I pulled it out this week to check on progress, and have already sewn a few more pieces into place. 

not the best photo - but it shows where I'm up to

7. Glitter
I've finished piecing all the blocks, and just need to join them all up now. I promised Jen Kingwell this would be finished before October 2019, so I need to get started on the hand quilting as soon as possible. There are 152 blocks in total - so more than are shown in this photo.

8.  Cobwebs
The top is finished, and I've even started hand quilting a few of the blocks.  You can read more here. 

9.  School Prizegiving quilt
Back in December 2017 as I was sitting through my son's school prizegiving and I had a good idea for a quilt.  I've made a small start on it, but it will be a long term project so it's tucked away now.

10 . Kaffe Fassett Green Diamonds
I started Green Diamonds at the Kaffe Fassett class in January 2018.  I've only joined a few of the diamonds together so far. 

11.  Cartwheel quilt
This is a pattern from Quilt Grandeur that I've admired for some time.  I finally got my hands on some Parasols fabric so I just had to have a go at this quilt.  I still need to add the ric rac and join the blocks, but I've finished all the foundation paper piecing. You can read more here. 

12.  There was another Kaffe Fassett quilt on my list, but I've resisted starting that one.  

Then there were the quilts that weren't on my list, but just had to be made:

13.  Lady Wigram
I hand pieced and hand quilted this quilt for my mother in law.  It was a pattern and templates called Bella Ruby from Treehouse Textiles in Melbourne, Australia. You can read more here

14. Gnome quilt
I saw the patterns for the gnomes and it was so cute I just had to make it for mum and dad for Christmas. 

15. Batik Bliss
I won these blocks at our Guild's Block of the Month.  They were all square, but I wanted to try a different layout, so cut some smaller and joined them in an improv fashion.  I gave this quilt away to a local charity.  I've decided that I'm going to try and make one quilt a year for charity.  You can read more about Batik Bliss here

16.  Good Fortune - The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.
I've seen people making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts in the past, and I decided I'd really like to join in this year.  So far we've made a lot of small blocks, but I have no idea how they're going to join together.  All will be revealed in January or February. I'm learning a lot of very useful tips and techniques from Bonnie along the way. 

It feels good to have finished 7 quilts in 2018, and progressed quite a few more.  The majority of my quilts are hand quilted, and that takes time, so 7 finishes feels good to me.

I'll publish my quilting priorities for 2019 early in January.  Some of these quilts will carry forward, but there will also be some new surprises.  

If you've written a review of your quilting in 2018, you'll be able to link up to the next Peacock Party which starts on Friday.  

Friday 28 December 2018

My Gnomes - and the Peacock Party link up

I finished my Gnome quilt in time to give it to my mum and dad for Christmas. They laughed, and thought it was a good representation of themselves.

It was fun to make the quilt in fabrics similar to what they wear when they are gardening.

I had it quilted by Sue Burnett of Busy Bee Quilt Shop in Wellington.

The pattern is Norm and Nanette by Elizabeth Hartman.  Although you can download it in pdf, I'd recommend buying the printed version like I did, because the pattern is 24 pages.  Many local quilt shops are stocking Elizabeth Hartman's patterns now.

photo from Elizabeth Hartman's website

The pattern gives instructions for the full sized quilt above, and also the small lap quilt that I made.
The large quilt is 68" x 76"
and the small quilt is 30" x 36"

We've been outdoors enjoying summer this week.

Here are a couple of photos of a beautiful Pohutukawa tree in my neighbourhood.  These trees are flowering all around the coast of the North Island of New Zealand at the moment.

Now, it's time for the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who has been linking up.  It's great to discover new bloggers and read what other quilters have been making. Feel free to link up and share your latest creations.

Inlinkz Link Party

Good Fortune - Part 5

There hasn't been much quilting at my house this week because we've been celebrating Christmas.  My visitors left this afternoon and I've spent the last few hours making some blocks for Part 5 of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt (before the new clue gets released overnight).

I love how the blue and yellow look together.  It reminds me of an Adidas track suit I had growing in Dunedin. Blue and gold are Otago's colours!

It's a beautiful day here and we've got the doors and windows open and cricket going on the TV in the background.  Australia are playing India in Melbourne, Australia, and our own Black Caps from New Zealand are playing Sri Lanka in Christchurch, New Zealand.  This is what summer is all about.

I'm just squeezing in to Bonnie's link up before it closes in one hour.  You can read all the other posts here. 

Friday 21 December 2018

A Christmas Peacock Party

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my Gingerbread Needlework Shop.  I know it didn't have to be finished for Christmas, but I had set myself a goal, and I don't like admitting defeat.  If it wasn't finished now, it might have sat unfinished for another whole year!

It's summer time in New Zealand, so we don't need Christmas quilts, but I did enjoy making this one a few years ago.

Oh! Christmas Tree - pattern by Wendy Williams

Last year I made this Holiday Patchwork Forest quilt from crazy scraps in my drawers.

Holiday Patchwork Forest

And this Flocks by Night also by Wendy Williams.  I love doing wool felt applique.

Flocks by Night

It was a busy year in 2017 because I also made this quilt from Tula Pink's Holiday Homies fabric.

Holiday Homies

Anyway, onto the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who has linked up so far.  I've had a few messages asking how to link up, so I'm going to set out the process for those who have never linked up before.  Once you've done it once, it will be easy the next time.

1.  Check that the link up party is still open - Look for the blue InLinkz button and it will either say "Add your link" or "Link up has closed".  If it's still open there is often a statement saying how many days or hours there are remaining to link up.

2.  Select the blog post from your blog that you want to link up - it must be a specific post, not your whole blog.  Click on the title of your blog post to get the specific web address in your browser, and then highlight it and copy it
It doesn't have to be your most recent blog post, it can be an older one.

3.  Come back to the link up and click on the "Add your link" button.
URL or Link - the web address of the post from your blog that you want to link up (as described in point 2 above)
Caption or Title - Your name, or the name of your blog, or the title of your post
Email - your email address (no one can see this - it's perfectly safe to enter it)

Then you chose the image you want to display in the link up.  Sometimes it's the first image in your blog post, sometimes it's something else.  You can chose.

4.  You might have to tick a box to say you agree to the terms and conditions, but then you can go back to the main post and check your image and link are showing.

If you have problems, just send me an email and I'll see if I can help.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Gingerbread Needlework Shop

Great news! I've finished my Gingerbread Needlework Shop before Christmas. It's my latest addition to my Gingerbread Village designed by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler in Canada.

I finished the stitching on Monday night, and spent most of Tuesday assembling the shop.  I knew assembly would take time, but I was surprised that it took about 8 hours to get it all finished.  It was well worth it though to get a beautiful new addition to my Gingerbread Village.

The assembly involved a lot of measuring, pinning and gluing. The walls all need to be symmetrical so the building stands nice and straight.

The pieces need to be laced together with Perle 8 after they have been glued. 

I always like to put my name and the date on the bottom of the buildings.  I've devised a little logo that I repeat each time.

The inside is a bit messy, but you're never going to see it because I sewed my box shut.

I have modified the pattern and made a closed box rather than a storage box.  I didn't want to have to line the interior like we did for the Gingerbread House.

I sewed another panel for the ceiling so the building would retain it's shape when I put it away after Christmas.  I didn't want the walls to warp.

After the ceiling was on, I sewed the roof on. I love the crispness of the white snow on the blue roof.

 And it's finished!  Now it can join the other buildings in my Gingerbread Village on my book case.   That's the Gingerbread Quilt Shop on the right in the photo below, with a couple of Lego mini figures skiing on the roof apparently!

You can read more about my Gingerbread Village on the tab just under my header photo, or you can click here.  That page has links to each of the buildings I've made to date. There are two more in the series that I haven't made yet - The Retreat Cottage and the Flower Shop.  I have the Retreat Cottage pattern already, and the Flower Shop pattern is wrapped up under the Christmas Tree.  I can't wait to start them now!

I need to take a new group photo now including the Needlework Shop.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Good Fortune - Part 4

The weeks are flying by in this Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  We've just had week 4 and I think we've used all the colours now.

I enjoyed using my orange and yellows this week.  I decided to go very scrappy, and used up some of those fabrics that I never know how to classify.  Are they orange? Do the other colours stand out too much? Never, mind, I threw them all into the mix this time.

My little collection of pieced blocks is looking good. I'm keen to find out how these pieces will all fit together eventually.

I'm linking up to Bonnie's Part 4 post here where you can see everyone else's progress too.

Friday 14 December 2018

Peacock Party and my Gingerbread Needlework Shop

Hello, and welcome to the second edition of the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who linked up last week.  I know it was a little tricky for some, so I hope this week is easier.

I've been busy with work this week, so I haven't had much time for sewing.  I am desperately trying to finish one more building for my Gingerbread Village.  I had accepted that it wasn't going to get finished in time for Christmas 2018, but then someone said they had faith in me to get it done, so I decided to give it a good try.

I've modified the pattern for the Gingerbread Needlework Shop slightly, and I think that's why I was stalling on it.  It's always easier to stitch to the pattern than to try and make changes.  However, I was reluctant to make the roof removable because that requires a high degree of finishing on the inside.  So, I've made the walls higher and moved the signage onto the walls.

If you'd like to read more about my Gingerbread Village you can find all of my posts under the Gingerbread Village tab at the top of my blog.  They are all beautifully designed by Thea Dueck who owns the Victoria Sampler in Canada.

Now it's time for another Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up what you've been working on lately.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Good Fortune - Part 3

It's week 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt and we're making green chevrons.  I'm not as far along as I was on the previous two clues, but that's OK, because it's a very busy time of the year and I always knew I might not be able to keep up.   

This week we made chevrons (and some bonus HSTs from the off cuts).  I'm certainly learning some new tips and tricks from Bonnie's instructions.  She has provided instructions for multiple ways to make each of the clues released to date.  I like that! We can each choose the method that works for us, but also learn that there are different ways to get the same result.

I do admire the people who have changed up the colours, but my brain just can't cope with that at this time of the year.  I don't want to see Bonnie using red and have to remember that I'm doing green for those sections, and when I see her using green, remember I'm doing blue there.  Maybe in the future, but not this time thank you.

I see all the snow at Bonnie's cabin, and am very grateful that we're going into summer in New Zealand.  Here are some beautiful hydrangeas I've seen in my neighbourhood this week.

and some fairy roses too:

I'm linking up to Bonnie's linky party here where you can see all the chevrons other people have made.