Friday 22 February 2019

Peacock Party - and a trip to Auckland

Yes, it's true! I'm never at home.  That's what it feels like at the moment.  And my summer travels aren't over yet because I'm going away in March too.

Last weekend I went to Auckland for 4 nights.  I had some work things to do, and some family things too.  It was very hot, so I was thankful for the car's air conditioning as I raced all over Auckland.

Here's a few photos from my time in Auckland - first the city sights, then mum's quilting, and then mum's garden.

The Sky Tower

Chinese New Year lanterns inside Sky City

Auckland Harbour Bridge on a gloomy day

Mum's Lucy Boston blocks - look at her fussy cutting!

Mum's Mischief quilt - made from a pattern by Karen Tripp

Excuse the bald patches on the lawn - it's been very dry.

One of the lush green areas in mum's garden

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  On the plane back from Auckland I sat next to a lady who had just arrived in NZ from Vancouver.  She was saying how much snow she'd left behind.  I resisted telling her I knew all about it via my blogging friends! So feel free to update us only what you've been up to this week - shoveling snow? or trying to keep cool?

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Friday 15 February 2019

Peacock Party - and a trip to Christchurch

Last weekend we went to Christchurch for a family birthday celebration.

I posted the photo above on Instagram and many people commented on the unique paint job on our Air New Zealand planes.   There's a silver fern on the body of the plane (our national symbol which is also on the All Blacks' rugby jersey), and a koru on the tail of the plane.

The koru (also on the wing tip) is a spiral shape based on the unfurling silver fern frond. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. (thanks Wikipedia)

We visited Hagley Oval and the Hadlee Pavillion to check out the cricket facilities in Christchurch. They were preparing the wicket for a match that day.

Then we went to the Botanic Gardens and had a stroll.  It was already getting very hot by 10am.  It reached 28C on Saturday = 82F.

The visitor centre, cafe and museum are all new since I last visited the Botanic Gardens.

We watched other people punting and kayaking.

Then we went to the Arts Centre for a coffee.  These beautiful buildings were started in 1878 and were built for Canterbury College which later became the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch.  The architectural design style is Gothic Revival.    

So, that's a little bit about Christchurch for those who have never been.

Now to the Peacock Party.  Thank you to everyone who continues to link up.  The Peacock Party is developing a loyal following and it is growing week by week.  I hope you're discovering new bloggers through it too.

What's everyone been up to this week?  I haven't got much to show after a trip away, but hopefully things will settle down here soon, and I'll be back to being productive with my sewing again. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has been sewing.


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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Good Fortune - completed flimsy

It's time for the final linkup for Bonnie Hunter's Good fortune mystery quilt.

I've completed my top, but it will be some months before I can hand quilt it.  It's too hot for hand quilting here at the moment.  Summer is in full swing.

When I do get to hand quilt it, I'll be using these beautiful Aurifil threads.  This is Aurifil 12wt and it's what I intend to use on this quilt.

After completing all the blocks for this quilt, I decided that I wanted to change the layout before I sewed them together.  I decided to place my blocks in long strips rather than the chequered pattern designed by Bonnie. I also skipped the extra borders, and went straight for a Tula Pink fabric called Tree of Life.  I feel that the red and yellows in it add extra Chinese influence to the quilt - and the quilt is based on the colours Bonnie saw during her trip to China. 

I'm pleased that I managed to stick with the original colours I picked out for this quilt.

It's been a learning experience making this quilt.  I learnt a lot of quilting tips and tricks along the way, but I also learnt that making a mystery quilt during November and December probably isn't for me .  Next year I will just sit back and watch what everyone else does, and download the pattern after the event if I really like the quilt.

Thank you Bonnie for designing this pattern and running the mystery quilt programme. I'm interested to see how everyone else's quilts look now.  You can view many more on Bonnie's final link up post here.

Friday 8 February 2019

Peacock Party time

It's time for another Peacock Party.

I've had to set up this link up party in advance because I'm off to Christchurch for a family birthday party.  My father in law is turning 80 so we're having a close family celebration.

I'll get the see the quilt I made for my mother in law last year.  I haven't seen it on their bed yet, so it will be good to see how it looks in their new home.

The quilt is called Lady Wigram and you can read more about it here.

What's everyone else been up to this week?  Feel free to link up below and let us know what you've been up to.  Newcomers are always welcome to join in.

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Wednesday 6 February 2019

Millefiori Quilts 2 - Ballet with Kaffe Fassett

I've been working on my Ballet with Kaffe quilt recently.  This quilt didn't see a lot of action in 2018, but I'm certainly giving it all my attention now.  I'd really like to finish it this year. 

The pattern is called "Ballet with Kaffe Fassett" from Millefiori Quilts 2 by Willyne Hammerstein.  It's the quilt shown on the cover of the book above.  My inspiration fabric is the one on the left by Cotton + Steel.  I'm trying to keep the the colours used in that fabric because I love how they look together. 

I'm English Paper Piecing my quilt, but it can also be hand stitched with a running stitch. I glue baste my pieces with a glue stick from SewLine or Sue Daley.

Last year I made four of the largest rosettes, so this year I've been working on the filler pieces and trying to join the rosettes up. This represents two thirds of the quilt.

I spend a lot of time planning my rosettes and trying to get the colour balance correct.  As I've said before, I hate unpicking English Paper Piecing, so I only sew a rosette in once I'm really sure of it's placement.  I leave the fabrics on the floor for a few days before I even cut the pieces out.

I think about the colour placement while I watch TV at night. 

This pattern really is very complex.  It's even harder than la passacaglia! and I'm not the only one to say that.  It's hard to get the points of the 10 pointed stars meeting nicely in the centre.  And the rosettes merge into each other more than they did in la passacaglia.  Anyway, I've come this far, so I am going to finish this quilt, and hopefully that will happen in 2019 because Willyne has a new book coming out in 2020 and I want to be ready for that!

You can find all of my other posts about this quilt on the tab just under the header photo, or by clicking here. 

Friday 1 February 2019

Peacock Party - and the winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway.  It was lovely to hear from so many of you, and surprising to hear about your favourite fabric designers.

I haven't counted up the responses, but if I did, I suspect that Alison Glass might be the most popular fabric designer!  I'm slightly surprised by that, but can understand why people who love her fabrics might be reading my blog.  Alison designs with bright colours and I do use a lot of bright colours myself.

a table runner I made with Alison Glass's fabrics

On to the winners:

1. Aurifil 12wt goes to Patricia of Amity Quilting in USA.

2. Aurifil 28wt goes to Turid of Den syende himmel from Norway.  

3. Quilts with an Angle by Sheila Christensen goes to Barb Neiwert of Mountain Quiltworks in USA.

4. The Kiwiana tea towels go to Frances of Fabadashery in UK. 

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to the sponsors - Aurifil and Sheila Christensen.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  I haven't got a lot to show this week because I've been busy working this week.  I did manage to finish up five little Mill Hill beaded kits that I started after Christmas Day.  I glue felt on the back to hide all the tails.  They will go in the cupboard until Christmas rolls round again.

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

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