Friday 31 May 2019

Marshal Mystery quilt - and the Peacock Party

This weekend my husband and I are off to Auckland because my eldest son is graduating on Tuesday. He is has completed a Bachelor of Software Engineering, majoring in Game Programming.  He has a job already and is putting all his skills to work as an Interactive Developer.

Our younger son is also studying for a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Software Engineering, but he is studying at a different university.

My kids don't like me talking about them on my blog, but we are very proud of both of them.

Graduation in New Zealand tends to start with a parade down the main street of the major cities, and then the graduates and their families file into the Town Hall for the ceremony. This is repeated three or four times over a week, until all of the faculties have held their ceremonies. Not everyone can fit into the town halls at once.

I've been working on Month 2 of Jen Kingwell's Marshal Mystery quilt from QuiltMania magazine.  This week I've been appliquing circles and donuts onto background fabrics.  I've still got a long way to go, but I'm doing a few each night.  Some are turning out more symmetrical than others.  The one on the yellow background below has some issues and may need to be redone.  One side is thicker than the other.

I've just realised that I never shared Month 1 of the Marshal Mystery quilt, so here's my centre block.  I'll write a full blog post when I've finished all of the Month 2 blocks.  I chose to hand piece this, and I probably sewed every seam about 4 times, but hey, it's finished and it lies reasonably flat.

It's time for another Peacock Party.  I'm always interested to see what other people are working on.  I hope you enjoy finding new quilters through the Peacock Party.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Friday 24 May 2019

My project bag - and the Peacock Party

Aurifil and Free Spirit Fabrics sent me three beautiful Anna Maria Horner Passionflower fat quarters, and a spool of Aurifil thread to play with.

I decided to make a project bag to store my hand pieced Dear Jen blocks in.  The Dear Jen programme runs for a whole year, and I certainly don't want to lose any blocks along the way, so now they are safely stowed away in my new project bag.

I used a free pattern from byAnnie for the project bag - it's in her Fall 2018 catalogue (still available to download for free from her website).  I used Annie's Soft and Stable in the middle of the sandwich, because it gives the bag good structure.

I quilted the back panel with Aurifil 4660 - a variegated pink.  Unfortunately the colour changes don't show up all that well because the stitching sinks into the Soft and Stable, but I know it's there, and you can see it if you look closely.  I would have loved to use a fancy zip, but I didn't have any that were long enough.

 I fussy cut the print on the front and the back of the bag so the flowers were in the centre.

Fortunately my local shop, Stitchbird, had Annie's mesh in hot pink.  There's a lot in a packet of mesh so I could make quite a few more of these bags yet.

I used some of my third Anna Maria Horner fat quarter for the binding.  Annie recommends cutting the binding on the bias and it really does help when there are tight corners to turn.  I chose to hand sew the binding down because it's so much neater for me.

Now my blocks will be nice and safe and I'll be able to find them easily in my brightly coloured project bag.

Thank you to Aurifil and Free Spirit Fabrics.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party. Thank you to everyone who has joined up.  Just a tip for linking up - don't just link up the url for your blog eg
but rather click on the title of the post you want to link up, and go into that page so you can copy the url for that post eg

I noticed a couple of people had just linked to their blog, rather than to the post they wanted us to visit.  No worries if it was you - we're all still learning.

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Sunday 19 May 2019

Aotearoa Pink challenge

Aotearoa Quilters have been running 12' x 12' colour challenges for a number of years now.  The latest colour was PINK.

The winning quilt by Sonya Prchal

The quilts were on display at Tote and Gloat in Palmerston North, so I got to have a good look at them all.  It's just amazing the ideas that people come up with! Each quilt was different and unique, and there were so many styles of quilting on show.

Here are a few of my favourites:

by Dianne Dowd

by Merrilyn George

by Sandy Briggs

by Wendy O'Neill

by Gloria Scanlen

by Shirley Sparks

by Mary Metcalf

You can see the complete PINK collection on the Aotearoa Quilters website by clicking here.

The next challenge is Silver because it's Aotearoa Quilters' 25th anniversary year.  I've got some silver fabrics set aside, but I need to get a wriggle on and make an entry.  I've only entered once so far, and that was Yellow. The quilts travel around the country and guilds can display them as part of their own exhibitions.  They look so good when they are all hung together.

I've previously blogged about the Green quilts from 2015 here

by Mary Transom

and I've blogged about the Yellow quilts from 2016 here

my little entry is top right in this photo - the English Paper Pieced sun

by Liz McKenzie

and I blogged about the Orange quilts from 2017 here

by  Theresa Vaughan

So, it's time to get ready for Silver in 2019.  And they've changed the shape to a hexagon!!! Gasp!

Friday 17 May 2019

Tote and Gloat - plus the Peacock Party

I had a great trip to Palmerston North last weekend.  My friend Anne and I packed up with car with all our colourful luggage.

The car boot loaded up

On Saturday we went to "Tote and Gloat" which was hosted by Rose City Quilters at BandM Arena. 

There must have been 400 people there which was great for the guild.  There was a massive Show and Tell that went for two hours.  But it was very well run, and no one got bored because it moved at a good pace.

One of the quilts I showed in the Show and Tell

The categories for the Show and Tell were advertised in advance, and people lined up beside the stage, ready to go up and briefly talk about their quilt.  Volunteers carried the quilts across the stage, and everyone got a good look at each of the quilts.

I showed 2 Kaffe Fassett quilts, and my colourful Daytripper bag.

After lunch and a visit to the merchants, we settled in to hear Rachaeldaisy talk about her quilting and her brand new book - Whizz Bang.  It was a very entertaining talk, and Rachael had bought so many quilts to show us.  Here's a few of her masterpieces:

Anne and I stayed the night in Palmerston North, and the next day we attended a class with Rachaeldaisy.  We learnt how to make our very own pine star blocks.  It was a very enjoyable class because Racheal is a great teacher.

Rachaeldaisy's book is published by QuiltMania.  It's not widely available in Australia / New Zealand yet, but Minerva Books in Wellington is getting copies from QuiltMania asap.  I already had a copy, so Rachael very kindly signed it for me.

Here's all the blocks the 10 students in our class made on Sunday. Don't they look pretty together?

And one final quilt made by Rachaeldaisy which illustrates her style perfectly:

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What's everyone else been up to this week?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:

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Friday 10 May 2019

Dear Jen - the first 6 blocks - plus the Peacock Party

Here are my first six blocks of Dear Jen by Jen Kingwell.  Each one is 6" finished - so quite small.  There's going to be six released every month for 12 months.

At first I thought, "Oh, there's only six, and they're small.  This won't take long".  Then I spent a couple of hours just cutting out the pieces and thought, "Wow!!! There's a lot more to these than meets the eye".

I'm hand piecing my blocks.  I wouldn't call myself a master hand piecer, but mine are satisfactory.  Some people are trying to foundation paper piece and it's taking them as long as it's taking the hand piecers in some cases.  I do think it's worth learning to hand piece.  Jen says, "if you can hand sew the binding down, you can learn to hand piece".

Here's a link to a video by Becky Goldsmith on how to hand piece.  The technique she demonstrates is the same method as I was taught to hand piece by Jen Kingwell.
I know it looks painfully slow, but I think that's just because she's demonstrating.  I certainly stitch faster than that!

This weekend I'm off to Tote and Gloat at Rose City Quilters at Palmerston North.  People come from far and wide to take part in this event.  There's huge show and tell, merchants, a guest speaker, raffles, etc.  Everything to keep quilters busy for a day.  The guest speaker this year is my good friend, Rachaeldaisy from Australia.  I'm staying on to take a class with her on Sunday.

I'll be the one with the colourful bag.

Now to the Peacock Party.  What's everyone else been up to? Feel free to link up below and perhaps meet some new online friends.

I'll report back next week with everything I learnt at Tote and Gloat and the class.

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