Saturday 26 January 2019

It's Giveaway Time!

This giveaway has closed now.  

Great news! It's five years since I started blogging, so I've decided to run a giveaway to celebrate.

First a bit of history.  
I started my blog a way to record my finishes, and share them with friends and family.  I never expected to make so many friends through blogging, or to eventually meet so many of them in real life!

My first blog header back in 2014

The main purpose of my blog is still to record my finishes, and that's why I keep my writing simple and let the photos do the talking.

Although I love Instagram and Facebook, I find I frequently refer people to my blog to find out more about how I performed certain quilting steps.  This is particularly true for la passacaglia, where I have a whole tab containing links to the blog posts I wrote while making my quilt.

having fun with fabric at a Kaffe Fassett class

Another popular post is the one I wrote about attending a Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington.  I point people to that post when they ask if it's really worth attending a class with Kaffe and Brandon.  Just look at how much fun we had and how my quilt turned out!

And then there's my cross stitched Gingerbread Village.  A lot of people have questions about that, so I refer them to the tab on my blog for all the answers about where to buy the patterns and the linen.

Blogging is a great way to maintain a permanent record of finishes and tips and tricks, but it's also a good way to make quilting friends all over the world.

Recently I started a weekly link up party called the Peacock Party.  I met a lot of other bloggers through Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday, and was sad when it came to an end in December.  So I decided I start my own link up party and now provide a no pressure place for bloggers to share their posts and meet other bloggers.  The Peacock Party runs each weekend, and you're welcome to join in at any stage.

So, onto the giveaway.  

Firstly, a big thank you to Aurifil and my good friend Sheila Christensen who have very kindly provided these prizes.  They have generously agreed to ship these prizes anywhere in the world.

The giveaway is open to anyone who follows me on any platform - via my blog, Instagram, or Facebook.  I know not everyone has time to read blog posts but lots of people enjoy keeping up via Instagram or Facebook.

This giveaway has closed now.  
The giveaway closes on Tuesday 29 January, and I'll announce the winners in next week's Peacock Party post.

1.  Aurifil 12wt pack
If you follow my blog, you'll know I love to hand quilt with Aurifil.  I use both 12wt and 28wt for hand quilting.  This gorgeous pack of 12wt contains colours picked by Jo Avery of My Bear Paw.

2.  Aurifil 28wt pack
The second giveaway is also for Aurifil thread, but this time it's 28wt - slightly finer and more like traditional hand quilting threads.  These colours are selected by Nancy Rink.

3.  Quilts with an Angle by Sheila Christensen
My friend Sheila from Quilters' Lane in Masterton, New Zealand has written a book, and even though it doesn't get released until next week, Sheila has kindly offered to send one to a lucky winner.  Here's a link to it on C&T Publishing if your local quilt shop can't get it in for you.

I'm sure this book is going to be great.  Sheila loves maths, and she's done all the hard work for you, so you can create amazing geometric quilts.

4.  Kiwiana tea towels
Finally, because it's often fun to receive something quirky from another country, I'm going to throw in some Kiwiana tea towels that I picked up on my recent travels.

So, I hope you've got all those instructions.  Here they are again just in case:

This giveaway has closed now.  

Good luck everyone, and thank you for following my blog.

Friday 25 January 2019

A short holiday and the Peacock Party

I'm just back home from a lovely five nights in Queenstown with my family.

I took along my Ballet with Kaffe quilt, but didn't get very much done.  We were too busy out exploring each day.

We walked around the base of the Botanic Gardens.

We went to Arrowtown and looked in all the touristy shops.

We went to Milford Sound and were amazed by all the waterfalls.

And sometimes we just relaxed in our apartment and enjoyed the views. 

It's time for another Peacock Party, but first I have to remind you about the big giveaway I'm planning for this weekend.  I've been blogging for five years now, so it's time to celebrate.  Be sure to check back over the weekend to find out how to enter.  The giveaway will be open for four days so there's plenty of time to enter.  

Now, what's everyone been up to? Sewing up a storm in a blizzard in North America? Or sweltering under the air conditioning in Australia?  

Feel free to link up a recent blog post and let us all know what you've been up to. 


Inlinkz Link Party

Friday 18 January 2019

Gingerbread Retreat Cottage - and the Peacock Party

When I was choosing a name for my blog, I wanted something that reflected my love of embroidery as well as my love of quilting.  Five years ago I probably spent more time on embroidery than I did on quilting.  Now the tables have turned and quilting takes up the majority of my spare time, but I do still like to do embroidery, knitting, tapestry, and crochet etc.

This week I was finally putting away my Christmas presents, and I thought that I may as well "kit up" (and embroidery term I discovered on Instagram) my two newest Gingerbread Village patterns.

I've had the Retreat cottage pattern since April 2018, but hadn't made a start yet.  I split the bundles of threads, and put all the threads onto pieces of cardboard with labels.  This what is known as "kitting up". 

I then cut out the required pieces of linen and zig zagged around the edges so they don't fray while I'm stitching.

Then I couldn't resist the temptation of starting the pretty roof sections for the Retreat Cottage.  I haven't done hardanger for a while, so I was a bit nervous about cutting the threads. But everything was fine, and I remembered how to do it.

I'm using brown linen for the roof sections because I want the white snow to show up even more! I'll put a piece of fabric behind this section once it's finished.

I've also got the Flower Shop pattern waiting for me now! It's going to be a busy year! You can read all about my Gingerbread Village on the tab at the top of the page.  The patterns are all by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler in Canada. 

Now for the Peacock Party.  What's everyone else been up to?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  I'm enjoying visiting new blogs each week.  Thank you to everyone who has been taking part.

Inlinkz Link Party

Monday 14 January 2019

My quilting priorities for 2019

This is the fourth year I've made a list of my quilting priorities for the year ahead.

I find that a list helps me to stay focused and resist some of the new temptations that arise during the year.  I still give myself permission to start the occasional new thing that crops up, but a list helps me to remember what my goals for the year were too.

Usually I list my WIPs first, but this year I'm going to throw caution to the wind and list my new starts first! That's far more exciting.

1.  Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful
I've admired this quilt for some time.  I even went as far as experimenting with my Quick Curve Ruler last year, but 2019 is the year I want to make this quilt.

photo from Sew Kind of Wonderful

2.  Stars Upon Stars
A couple of years ago I bought Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern for Stars Upon Stars.  Mum and I made a sample block, but it really was very tricky to sew on the machine.  However, a few months ago I discovered a Jeanneke from The Netherlands who has made fabric stamps for the pattern, so I'm going to give this quilt another try with fabric stamps.

We experimented with the fabrics below - they were just scraps from the cupboard.

using mirrors to imagine the whole block

Both of these new starts are quite labour intensive, so I'm not going to list any more new starts. Instead I'm going to focus on finishing some of the quilts I started in 2018.

3.  Good Fortune
This is the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt that I started in November 2018. The top is almost finished, and then I will hand quilt it.

4. Cartwheels
This is a Kaffe Fassett pattern from his Quilt Grandeur book. The blocks are all made, and I'm slowly adding ric rac and joining the rows.

5. Glitter
A Jen Kingwell pattern.  I've made all of the 152 blocks, and now I just need to hand sew them together, and hand quilt it. Here's a sample of some of the blocks.

6. Cobwebs
This is a pattern by Chris Kenna from New Zealand.  I've started hand quilting this quilt and hope to get it finished before June 2019. Details on how to get the pattern are here.

7. Ballet with Kaffe
My poor Ballet with Kaffe quilt.  It was neglected for most of 2018, but I do want to finish it in 2019. The pattern for this quilt is in Millefiori Quilts 2 by Willyne Hammerstein.  I've got a whole page dedicated to it on my blog.

8. Green Diamonds
I started this 12 months ago in the Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington. I want to finish sewing the pieces together and start using the finished quilt. The pattern is Green Diamonds from Quilts in Ireland by Kaffe Fassett.

9. School Prize Giving Quilt
This is an original design that I'm working on.  I don't find it easy to design my own quilts, but I know I won't get any better if I don't try! So I'm giving it a go.

10.  Wendy Williams Tea Party BOM
This quilt has been stalled for a few years.  I really want my central tea pot to shine, and I need to chose the fabric for it before I start making my flowers.  I didn't want a Tula Pink because I want my quilt to be unique.  But I've suddenly thought of using some new Anna Maria Horner Conservatory fabric and I'm excited about this quilt again. 

It may just need to move up the list. 

So that's it.  My comprehensive list for 2019.  Ten quilts that I want to work on in 2019.  I don't promise to finish any of them, but I do want to make progress on each of them. 

I hope you've all got exciting things lined up too. 

Friday 11 January 2019

Peacock Party

It's time for another Peacock Party where you can link up and share what you've been up to.

I've finally managed to get the HTML sorted so you can put a Peacock Party badge on your blog if you wish.  The code is in the sidebar on the right hand side of the screen, just below the Peacock Party image.  You can copy it into an HTML gadget on your blog and the badge should appear and link to my blog.  Let me know if you have any problems!

A big thank you to Yvonne Quilting Jet Girl who helped me out with formatting the code.

Just a reminder about the Peacock Party for those who have started following my blog recently.  It's open to everyone who has a blog post to share.

- I'm not going to tell you that you need to visit and comment on other linked up posts
- I'm not going to demand that you mention my blog in your blog post
- I'm not even going to commit to visiting and commenting on every post myself
- I'm not going to try and sell you anything because I don't have anything to sell
But I am going to provide a welcoming place where fellow bloggers can meet and share what they've been making.  

I've been playing around with my Good Fortune blocks (see my previous post for details), and I've changed the layout.  I've sewn them together like this and I quite like it. 

What have you been up to?

Inlinkz Link Party

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Good fortune - Part 7 - The Reveal

Yes, Bonnie has revealed the final layout of the Good Fortune mystery quilt so now we all know what we are aiming for.  Here's mine so far.  Isn't it going to be great?

This is going to be the most traditional quilt I've ever made.  Although Bonnie designed it with memories of her trip to China in mind, it seems very American to me because of the traditional layout of the traditional blocks.  However, my version is very scrappy, and includes a lot of low volume prints, so I'm sort of hoping mine will appear less traditional when it's finished.

This photo is from Bonnie's blog:

I'm also planning my hand quilting so that it will emphasise the tiny white squares running through on the diagonals.  Yes, I do start thinking about my quilting designs while I'm still piecing the top.

Bonnie does a great job running these mystery quilts.  The instructions were perfect, and everything was very clearly explained with photos.  Often more than one method was explained in-case people didn't have a special ruler to do it the first way.

If you would like to make this quilt, you need to hop over to Bonnie's Quiltville blog TODAY and download the patterns for FREE as soon as possible. Bonnie is going to remove them from her website on 1 February, and then you will have to wait to purchase the pattern at a later date.

In case Bonnie is reading my humble blog, thank you Bonnie, it's been a lot of fun.

I'm linking up to Bonnie's weekly link party here.

(You may wonder where my Part 6 is - well I didn't do it because it was optional.  I wanted to see the full layout before I made any optional pieces.)

Friday 4 January 2019

An early (or late) Christmas table runner- plus the Peacock Party

Is this an extremely early table runner for Christmas 2019? Or a late finish for Christmas 2018?

Either way, I made a Christmas table runner this week. I find that the pre-Christmas period gets too rushed for sewing, so I like to make Christmas things in the weeks following Christmas.  I have much more time and energy in early January.

I love Christmas fabrics when I see them in the shops in August, but I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit in August, so I put them away.  Then I get busy and Christmas comes and goes and I still haven't make anything.  This year I decided to start in the week between Christmas and New Year, and low and behold, I've made a table runner.

I couldn't find a pattern that was simple but effective, so I made up my own pattern and customised the design to fit my table perfectly. I'd purchased the Bloc Loc Half Rectangle Triangle rulers some months ago, but not used them yet.  They provided the ideal solution for my table runner design.  These rulers weren't cheap, but they worked brilliantly, and include directions for cutting any size half rectangle triangle up to 8.5" tall.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party - a chance to show off what you've made lately.  Or maybe you've already written your quilting plans for 2019 and would like to share? Feel free to link up and let others know what you've been up to (even holiday posts are fine because we're all on Summer holidays down in this part of the world).

PS - I'm planning a giveaway during the last week of January.  I've been blogging for 5 years now, so I'm planning a celebration.  Stay tuned!

Inlinkz Link Party