Wednesday 25 July 2018

July happenings

Our guild's retreat went well, but sadly I can't show you what I worked on, because it's a secret until our guild's exhibition on 11-12 August.

 After retreat I had a few days at home, and then I flew to Auckland to stay with my mum and dad for a week.  

Mum was keen to show me her Lucy Boston that she'd started during my previous visit in May.  She had asked if I had any blues / teals that could help her expand her colour scheme.  Some of my fabrics above will work well in her quilt.  Others came back home with me.  

I also picked up a few more fabrics for her on my trip around Auckland quilting shops.  I can't guarantee she will use them all, but I think they are all possibilities.

Mum's Lepidoptera quilt is coming along too (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman).  Although mum now wishes she had different background fabric because it's fraying a bit.

We agreed on the fabrics for the purple butterflies.  

While I was there we went for High Tea at Cordis which was just lovely.  There was so much food! And even goodie bags to take home the left overs.

We also went to Mamma Mia 2 which was fun and left us both feeling happy inside.  

I've bought home this William Morris tapestry that mum has just finished.  Nancy's Stitch Studio do such a great finishing job, so I will get them to turn into a cushion.  

Mum has her next design ready to start.  Tapestries can be very satisfying to stitch.  Although the wool seems super chunky at first, there's a soothing rhythm to pulling the needle through the canvas. 

Last, but not least, is this Woolly Zip It Bag by Wendy Williams.  Mum has almost finished the cover and it's looking great.  

I drove back to Wellington because we've bought mum's old car for our sons to use.  The mountains on the Central Plateau looked amazing in the morning sun.  That's Mt Ruapehu above where people will be skiing today - remember it's winter here in New Zealand.

That's Mt Ngauruhoe that some of you might recognise as Mt Doom from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

We were only out of the car for a few minutes because it was very cold - only 2C = 35F.  Barely above freezing level.  That's thick frost on the picnic table.  

Thursday 12 July 2018

Quilting Retreat

It's our annual quilting retreat this weekend.

I smile when I see photos of quilters in USA and Canada going to retreats at luxury lodges in the woods, besides glistening lakes.

The Lodges at Cresthaven, Lake George, NY - taken at random from

Sadly, it's not like that here in New Zealand.  We go to the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington.  It used to be a Catholic convalescence home so it has lots of showers and bathrooms, but they are turning it into a conference centre slowly.  I've heard there have been major renovations completed since we were last there, so I hope to see some big changes.

Most of my friends will be sewing up a storm on their machines this weekend.  I'm going to leave mine at home and focus on hand quilting my quilt for our exhibition.  The hand in date is only two weeks away, and I still have a lot to do.

I'll also prepare some more Glitter blocks for hand piecing, and maybe even do a bit of English Paper Piecing and hand piecing if I have time.

I can always drive home and get my sewing machine if I think I want a change, otherwise I'll be hand quilting.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Possum Magic. The End.

Many moons ago I joined a round robin (four years ago to be exact).  We called ourselves "Possum Magic", and we were all based in Australia or New Zealand. 

My finished Possum Magic quilt

I finished my own quilt a year ago, but I've never shown it on my blog because I wasn't sure what to say about the experience of being in a round robin.  I'm too honest to just gloss over everything and tell you all it was a blast, and we're all best friends now, because that's not true!

My initial centre block that I made and served as inspiration

Working with strangers is hard.  Trying to do your very best on someone else's quilt isn't easy.  Determining reactions on social media and via emails isn't the same as talking to someone in person.

Suffice to say that things were fine for the first year or so.  Then people's circumstances started to change, and as we got towards the end of the round robin, relationships between some of the members started to sour.  Now those initial happy memories have been erased by what happened at the end.

The good news is that we each got our own quilt back, and most of us have have finished them.

I chose to hand quilt mine with Aurifil 12wt and 28wt.  I do love the texture the hand quilting has added to the quilt.

Would I join another round robin? No, not at the moment.  I might in 10 years time, but I'd prefer to do it with people I already know, rather than strangers.

You can view each of the Possum Magic quilts in the link at the top of the page, and see how they grew as each of us added another round to each quilt.