Friday 30 August 2019

Some hand quilting (and the Peacock Party)

This week I've been watching the US Open tennis on TV.  The timing works really well for me, because the 7pm evening session starts at 11am NZ time.  I do some work in the morning, and then I keep the afternoons free to watch tennis.  I've even moved my sewing table closer to the TV so I don't miss any sneaky shots down the line.  

I've been hand quilting my Shuttles quilt from Kaffe Fassett's book, Quilts in Morocco.  I love this quilt - it's going to be so bright and happy.

I'm using bright yellow Aurifil 12wt to quilt it, and just sticking to straight lines.  Here's a full photo because I know some of you will ask to see it.

And here it is on the cover of the book, done in mainly solids with a zig zag border.

This just shows how you can take a pattern and make it your own.

I've been invited to be the guest speaker at Kapiti Quilters next week.  I've decided I'll make it a Kaffe themed talk, and will take quilts I've made mainly from Kaffe's fabrics.  I hope they've got their sunglasses ready!!!

Welcome to the Peacock Party.  I really do appreciate everyone who links up - we reached 30 links last week for the first time ever.  I managed to visit about half of the links, and it's really interesting to see what other people are up to with their quilting.  Link ups are how I made friends when I first started blogging.

So feel free to link up a recent blog post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday 23 August 2019

World Quilt Show photos (and the Peacock Party)

Scroll down for the World Quilt Show photos.

Today I'm waiting for the courier to bring my Portraits quilt back from the quilter.  She sent me some photos and it's looking amazing.  This is the back, showing the quilting off very nicely. I'm so glad I bought an Anna Maria Horner print for the back. 

I've got two options for the binding set aside, but I don't want to cut it until I see the quilt again.

Thank you for all your kind comments about the World Quilt Show.  A number of kind Facebook friends said they attended the show and some even sent me photos.  these photos are by Mary Ellen Hughes Orchard.
My quilt was the first one people saw when they went upstairs to the second floor.  I was honoured to have the New Zealand flag hanging beside my quilt.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Aurifil's Whole Cloth challenge with Paintbrush Studio Fabrics

A few weeks ago Aurifil sent some of their Artisans a spool of thread and some fabric from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics Paintbox Palette.  The challenge was to use these two items to create a mini whole cloth quilt. About 20 of us took part in the challenge, and Aurifil will  blog about all of the results at the end of August.

Here's what I made:

It's a bright orange cushion / pillow that I hand quilted freehand.

The colour is actually "Goldenrod" which is one of Paintbrush Studio's Trend Palette colours for 2019. I have to admit that I didn't know what Goldenrod is, but a quick Google told me it's a plant with bright yellow flowers. Thank you Wikipedia.

The Artisans could specify which weight thread we wanted to receive, but we had no idea which colour fabric we would receive.

I requested 12wt thread because I knew I'd be hand quilting my whole cloth.  I received thread 4150 which is variegated and matches the fabric very well.

I decided I would try to quilt free hand - which is harder than it looks.  I took inspiration from this piece of Alison Glass fabric, and drew some outlines with my blue wash away pen.

Then I proceeded to fill in the gaps.  I kept drawing more lines to get the quilting denser.

I always use a hoop when I hand quilt, and my favourite needles are John James Chenille size 24.  They have a large eye for the thicker threads, but a very sharp point.  I also wear an open clover thimble on the third finger of my right hand (I'm right handed).  I use it to swivel the needle and push it through.  You can read more about hand quilting on the tab at the top of the page or by clicking here.  

As the idea to make a cushion / pillow started forming, I decided that I needed to border my whole cloth centre piece with something with pattern.  I dived into my Kaffe Fassett stash, and found Kite Tails which was just right.  I machine quilted strips onto my centre piece with Aurifil 2145 as shown above and below.

So there we are! A fun challenge successfully completed.  Thank you Aurifil and Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.  I've tried something new and I enjoyed it.

Aurifil will be putting up links to all the Artisan's whole cloths at the end of August.  You can follow their blog Auribuzz, or wait for their posts on Facebook or Instagram.

Friday 16 August 2019

Vibrant Curiosities in the World Quilt Show - plus the Peacock Party

Another week has flown by, and it's Friday again.  I'm looking forward to the weekend for sure!

If you're planning on visiting the World Quilt Show in Springfield, Massachusetts, this weekend, you might want to keep an eye out for my Vibrant Curiosities quilt.  It is one of the quilts from New Zealand in the exhibition. This is the first time I've entered this competition.  I'm not totally sure of how this show works, but I do know that New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Germany get to send a certain number of quilts to the show.  I was thrilled to have my quilt chosen. 

Vibrant Curiosities is made with mainly Tula Pink fabrics, and is English Paper Pieced and hand quilted.  It's lovely and soft, and drapes beautifully due to the wool batting.  You can read more about it here

This exhibition will also be travelling to:
World Quilt New England: Springfield, Massachusetts
 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza: Oaks, Pennsylvania
Pacific International Quilt Festival: Santa Clara, California
World Quilt Florida 2020: To Be Announced

So I'm not going to get my quilt back for quite some time!

Do let me know if you go to one of these shows and see it there. 

Now to the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to add a link below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday 11 August 2019

Portraits Quilts for Anna Maria Horner - Part 2

This weekend I sewed the final seams on the Portraits Quilt designed by Anna Maria Horner.  Yay!!!!

I can guess what you're thinking - it's BIG! And yes, it is big.  Finished size will be 71" x 89", or 180cm x 226cm. 

The pattern for the stunning Portraits quilt is now available to purchase from shops that carry the Conservatory fabric line.  You can find a list of them here on the Free Spirit Fabrics website. This pattern combines fabrics from all three of the designers who contributed to Chapter 2 of Conservatory fabrics - Anna Maria Horner, Nathalie Lete and Courtney Cerruti.

Now that I've finished piecing the top, I can share a few tips about my experience making this top.  I wrote my first blog post with tips a few months ago and you can read it here.  It covered the central Dresden plate block and the large outer blocks. I said at the time that I'd write more about the inner blocks and side setting triangles, so I'll do that now.

3. The inner blocks

I love the colours in these blocks.  They are so vibrant, and combine so many fabrics I might not ordinarily put together.  I've just done the maths and there are 49 pieces in each block!!! Wow,  no wonder it took time to make them all precisely.

It's important to make the templates for these blocks.  I tried to do it without templates, but I struggled so quickly gave in and made the templates.  It's so much easier with templates made from template plastic.  Copy all the markings from the instructions, and label your templates.

It's easier to trace around templates if you work on fine sand paper.  I trace the lines, and then use scissors to cut the shapes.  I don't like using a rotary cutter with skinny template plastic.

The diamond template needs to be flipped over to get half the shapes reversed.  Keep the pieces in neat piles because the pieces are not symmetrical and shouldn't be mixed up.

I drew my own picture of how the blocks were to be assembled.  I then stacked my pieces on each side and kept them separate.

Once the orange triangles had been sewn on, I attached the dark corners, again referring to my own drawings so I didn't get muddled up.

When it's time to join the two sections, it's important to match the seams half way down the block.

I tried to match all the seams in each block, but with 49 pieces it was a little tricky.  The black diamonds stand out, so it's important to try and get their point to meet if at all possible.  In the end, it's your quilt, and as long as you're happy with what you've done, it will be great.  There's so much going on in this quilt, no one is going to study every single join.

4.  The side setting triangles

I fussy cut the Propagate fabric and it looks amazing.  Although this fabric is only two colours, it might just be my favourite in the quilt.
The pattern allows enough fabric for fussy cutting, so do fussy cut if at all possible.  This way the pattern will be centered on the side setting triangles.

I placed the Buttercup side triangles onto the Propagate fabric to determine where to cut.

This helped me to get the Propagate fabric centered.  Beware, Propagate is not perfectly symmetrical, but this method helped me to centre the design.

5.  The corner triangles

The early version of the pattern said to cut the corner triangles from a 13" square.  That really needs to be a 13.5" square because the adjoining block is 13" square.  Hopefully that's been updated in the pattern, but do be sure that you're cutting the triangles from a 13.5" square.

Don't end up like this with your corner pieces too small.

So, that's all my tips and tricks for making the Portraits quilt.

The next step is the quilting.  I'm still deciding if I'll hand quilt it myself or not.  The appliqued crescents are affixed with vlisofix, and I can't hand quilt through that, so maybe it will be a combination of hand and long arm quilting.  I would like to have some hand quilting on it, because I know that Anna Maria Horner is a hand quilting fan herself.

There are so many colours in the quilt it's hard to know where to begin!  I pulled out my Aurifil colour card and had a go at matching some colours.

It's been a real honour to make this quilt for Anna Maria Horner.  Her visit to NZ is getting closer and I'm getting excited to meet her in real life and take a class with her.  I really encourage you to attend a class or lecture if at all possible.  It's sure to be inspirational.  

Hosted by Fabco, Anna Maria will be teaching and lecturing around New Zealand for the first time. Contact the following shops to book your time with her! The shops have all released details of the lectures and classes now.

November 19-20 - All Things Patchwork, Auckland
November 21- Cottage Flair, Rotorua
November 22-23- Donna’s Quilt Studio, Hamilton - the class is FULL
November 25-26- Busy Bee, Wellington
November 27-28- Quilter’s Lane, Masterton - only 4 spaces left in the class
November 29-30- Quilting Shed, Oamaru

Friday 9 August 2019

Weekly wrap and the Peacock Party

I feel like I've dabbled in many things this week, and not got very far on any of them.

Two nights ago I pulled out my Gingerbread Retreat Cottage.  I'd really like to get this one finished before Christmas, and then it can join the others on the shelf. I'd already started the brown roof  months ago, but this week I started the front panel. 

I have an embroidered Gingerbread Village that I bring out each Christmas.  The patterns are designed by Thea Dueck of the Victoria Sampler.  You can find plenty more photos and information on the Gingerbread Village tab at the top of my blog. 

I took my Kim McLean Giraffe cushion into Nancy's Stitch Studio to get it turned into a cushion.  They do such a great job of stretching the canvas and turning it into a beautiful cushion.  I'm going to use that gorgeous piece of Kaffe Fassett fabric on the back. 

Speaking of Kaffe Fassett, look what my mum made for me! Some hand knitted woolen socks, and matching fingerless gloves, all from Kaffe Fassett wool.  It's till winter here, so both gifts will be well used over the next few weeks. 

My socks even match the rug (blanket) that I crocheted a few years ago. 

I posted a photo of the pincushion online, and lots of people wanted to know where to get the pattern from.  If you're interested, it's an English Paper Pieced pattern from a small New Zealand company called Tis the Season.  Here is the link to the Vera pattern

I've also spent a fair bit of time stuggling with velcro this week.  If you're a Kiwi, you'll know what that means.  Yes, I've had a quilt accepted into our national show at Quilt Symposium Auckland.  Some of our exhibitions use velcro to hang the quilts, rather than hanging sleeves.  Don't ask why, because I don't know why.  I hate putting velcro onto my quilts, but it has to be done if you want your quilt to be hung.  I am delighted to have a quilt in the exhibition.  This is the only show open to everyone in New Zealand. 

I've also just finished my silver hexagon mini quilt for the Aotearoa Quilters' 25th anniversary challenge.  These quilts will also be on display at Symposium, and they also need velcro.  I'm not going to post any photos of my silver quilt until they are all on display.  I was determined to enter this challenge after seeing all the pink ones at Palmerston North. Making a hexagon shaped quilt wasn't easy!

So, I'll have two quilts in the exhibitions at Symposium.  If you live in Auckland I hope you can come and view the exhibitions, even if you're not taking any classes. 

Now for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post. 
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter