Saturday 30 June 2018

30 June check in

People often ask me how I get so much quilting done.  Well, my answer is, I make lists!

At the start of each year I make a list of the quilts I want to make or finish during the year.  My list for 2018 is here.  

Then at 30 June I like to check against progress.  I tick off the quilts that I've finished, and add any new quilts that I may have accidentally started during the previous six months. 

Here's what I had on my list at the start of this year:

1. Kaffe Fassett Tropical Hexagons

I started this quilt in the Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington in January 2016.  It's now finished, and you can read all about it here. I really wanted to show it to Kaffe and Brandon when they came back to New Zealand in January 2018, so I made sure it was finished by 20 January.

2.  Southern Stars Challenge for QuiltNSW

My Matariki +/- 1 was finished in time for the QuiltNSW show.  I was thrilled that it won a Judges' Commendation.  You can read more about it here

3.  Capital Quilters Exhibition

I can't show you this one yet, but it will be ready for our guild's exhibition on 11-12 August 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand.

4.  Sue Spargo Instastitch

There's been no progress on this one.  The top is finished, and I've done some machine quilting, but I need to do more yet.

5. Half Square Triangles / Picnic Quilt

I've finished this quilt too. I won these HSTs in our guild block of the month.You can read all about it here.  

6. Ballet with Kaffe

I've made some progress on my English Paper Pieced Ballet with Kaffe.  You can read more about this long term project here. 

7. Glitter

I'm still plugging away at my Glitter quilt.  My most recent blog post on it is here. I've got 33% of the blocks made.

8.  Cobwebs

I've foundation paper pieced all the blocks now, and I've started joining them up.  I hope to work on this at our retreat in July.  

Excuse the poor lighting - this was just to plan the layout

9.  School Prizegiving quilt

Back in December 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 - 12.  Kaffe quilts x 3

Yes, there are three Kaffe quilts I'd like to make if I get time (ha ha!).  I started Green Diamonds at Kaffe's class on 28 January.  You can read about the class here.  

We cut lots of diamonds, but I haven't sewn any together yet. I need to make my quilt longer yet and balance out the colours.  Maybe I could sew that together at retreat too!

I've also been admiring another quilt from Quilts in Ireland, and one from Quilt Grandeur.  I have a huge Kaffe stash now after I bought a lot of pieces off my friend, Anne.  So I certainly have the supplies to make these quilts - I just need the time.

So that's everything that was on my to do list on 1 January 2018.  I've finished 3 quilts which is pretty good for me considering I hand quilted each of them.

I've started one other quilt, so there's a net reduction of 2 in six months, and a possibility of finishing at least 2 more in the second half of the year.

How are you getting on with your lists? Leave a comment or a link to a blog post if you like making lists like me.

Monday 25 June 2018

Vibrant Curiosities in QuiltNSW Exhibition 2018

My second entry in the QuiltNSW show also won a prize!  It was my Vibrant Curiosities quilt - English Paper Pieced and hand quilted - and it won second prize in the Pieced Quilt Large (Amateur) category.

This quilt is my own original design, made completely from 1"octagons and 1" squares.  I used Tula Pink fabrics for the blocks, and Kaffe Fassett on the border.

If you've been following my blog for a while, and think it looks familiar, that will be because I entered it in the New Zealand Quilt Symposium last year.  You can read all the details about it here

My prizes were:
$300 worth of fabric from Lloyd Curzon Textiles
$250 voucher for AccuQuilt Australia

Thank you very much to all the very generous sponsors of the show. I flew back to New Zealand with a fat quarter bundle, two jelly rolls and three AccuQuilt dies in my suitcase! It was just under the luggage allowance. 

I love how this close up photo shows the hand quilting sinking into the wool batting.  I used Aurifil 12wt on this quilt and am very pleased with the result.

I'm all enthused for next year's show now, and was thinking about what I will enter before I'd even left Sydney. Both of my winning quilts have been English Paper Pieced and hand quilted.  I think I should stick with what I know best.

Last year I won the Amateur Encouragement Award for my la passacaglia quilt:


and this year I won second place in my category.

I think it's time to finish my Ballet with Kaffe quilt designed by Willyne Hammerstein. 

Saturday 23 June 2018

Matariki +/- 1 - QuiltNSW Southern Stars Challenge 2018

I'm back from Sydney and am delighted to say that I won prizes for both of my quilts!!

First up is my entry in the Quilt NSW Southern Stars Challenge 2018.  

It's called Matariki +/- 1 and here's why:

Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Maori New Year. It rises in the southern skies in mid-winter and heralds the start of the Maori new year. For many years we were told there were seven stars in Matariki, now some people think there could be nine.

My quilt has eight stars - hence the name - Matariki +/- 1.

This quilt is different to anything I've ever made before.  I started by foundation paper piecing my stars, and then I used a wide variety of dark blues to fill in the sky.  I made half square triangles, flying gees, triangles in squares and diamonds in squares.  

I didn't have a master plan when I started, but I just kept going until I had filled in all the gaps.

I hand quilted with a wide range of threads, including Aurifil 12 wt and Wonderfil Dazzle in blue and yellow. 

I'm very pleased with how this quilt turned out, and was delighted to receive a Judges' Commendation for it.  

My inspiration came from a photo I saw on Facebook of a quilt made by Panni Szabo.  She gave me permission to make a quilt similar to hers.  

You can view the full list of prize winners, and photos of their quilts on the QuiltNSW website.  

The Southern Stars winners are all here.

Size: 47.5" x 52" (121cm x 132cm)

Monday 18 June 2018

QuiltNSW Quilt Show

The QuiltNSW show is almost here again. I was thrilled to receive an email this morning telling me that I've won a prize!! QuiltNSW sent us this fancy graphic so we could let all our friends know too.  I don't know which quilt, or which prize, but all will be revealed at the prize giving on Wednesday afternoon.

I'm heading to Sydney tomorrow and looking forward to seeing the exhibition on Wednesday.  I'll be volunteering on Thursday morning and late afternoon, and back again on Friday because it seems that's when most of my Instagram friends will be visiting.

There were so many amazing quilts on display last year, and such great shopping at the show too! And then there were all the welcoming people.  I met so many people who read my blog and follow me on Instagram.  My friends joked that we couldn't go anywhere in the show without people stopping me to say "hello".

I was blown away at the prize giving last year when I won Amateur Encouragement Award for my la passacaglia. As well as all these rosettes I won a Bernina sewing machine.  Bernina were very kind and said I could pick it up in Wellington rather than try to take it on the plane back to NZ.

I've got two quilts entered this year.  I don't want to show them yet, but rest assured I will post them on my blog after the show.  One is in the Southern Stars challenge, and the other is hand pieced and hand quilted.

If you see me at the show please do say "hello".  It's always nice to meet new people. 

Friday 15 June 2018

Capital Quilters QUILTED exhibition

Have you heard about Capital Quilters' upcoming exhibition?  It's called QUILTED and it will be on at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre on 11-12 August 2018.

I'm getting excited about it already.  I'm fortunate to belong to a guild with some very talented members.  It was Capital Quilters' previous exhibition in 2014 that convinced me to join the guild.  I was amazed at the level of creativity right here in Wellington.

Here's a look at our amazing raffle quilt made by Helen Malachak and quilted by Cherie's Quilt Studio.  

Yes, one quilt - two sides.  Isn't it stunning?

We're going to have pop up shops including:
Nancy's Stitch Studio
Busy Bee
Made Marion
Thimbles and Threads - Upper Hutt
Quilters Lane - Masterton

The brand new cafe at the events centre will be open all day, so you can rest your feet and grab a bite to eat with your friends.

I encourage you to make plans to attend now if you live locally.  We'd love to see you there.  I'll be there both days so if you spot me please say "hello".

I'm frantically trying to finish one quilt to enter, and also trying to decide which other quilts to enter.  Decisions, decisions.

Friday 8 June 2018

Christmas stitching

With lots of stitching over the past few weeks I've managed to complete the main scene on my Christmas Village embroidery.  There's still another row of fancy lacy stitching to add at the bottom, but I won't do that until closer to the end in case it catches on something.  There's also back stitching and beads to come yet, but I always do them at the end too. 

Here's the full design.  There's a lot more stitching in this scene than I realised.

So, completing that section opened up thoughts of starting something else!  Terrible, I know. 

A few months ago I showed you the Gingerbread Retreat cottage.

But I always feel guilty about leaving projects half done, so I've decided to revive my Gingerbread Needlework Shop. 

This has lain languishing because I dreaded all the fancy finishing that would be required on the inside of the removable roof.  I did make a removable roof for my very first Gingerbread House, but I don't want to do it again.

So, I've had a bright idea, and I'm going to adapt the Needlework Shop pattern slightly so I can sew my roof down and not have to finish the inside of the shop and roof.  That decision has provided great momentum, and I've now made two sides of the roof.

Stitching on blue linen is quite difficult, but there's not a huge amount of stitching required on the roof.  It's worth it because the white looks so good against the blue. 

So I'm off and enjoying my needlework again.  It's very cold here at the moment, and stitching snow seems appropriate on these cold winter nights in New Zealand.

Finally - there's a problem with Blogger at the moment that means comments left on blogs are not being sent to the blogger.  I do still read all the comments, but it's difficult to reply at the moment.  Hopefully they will fix it soon.

Friday 1 June 2018

More half square triangles

Can you believe I won another set of half square triangle blocks at Capital Quilters? Just 13 months after winning more than 200 half square triangle blocks, I've won these much bigger blocks.

Don't they look great when they're all on the wall together.

I made three blocks, and I ended up winning all 32 blocks. Here are some of my favourites:

I've already got a plan in my head for these blocks.  I think I'll add sashing and set them on point so they look like pyramids.  Well, that's the plan at this stage.  I suspect it will be months before I actually start to do anything with them. 

Our guild now has a blog, a Facebook page and an Instagram account (@capitalquilters) if you would like to follow us.  We're getting ready for our QUILTED exhibition which will be at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre on 11-12 August 2018. 

I'm working on two quilts for our challenges.  Both will be a secret until the exhibition opens.  I hope to see you there.