Friday, 10 July 2020

Pandemic Sampler by Long Dog Samplers

I've always admired very complex cross stitch samplers.  A couple of week ago Long Dog Samplers launched a Pandemic Sampler to mark the chaos that 2020 has been.  




The full view!!!

I loved the look of the sampler, so I jumped on board and I've started it already.  

I asked my local needlework shop, Nancy's Stitch Studio, to get me in a ginormous piece of 28 count linen in Flax colourway.  I've decided to stitch my sampler with 2 stands of Madeira silk thread. I know it's going to take a tonne of thread, but silk threads are a dream to stitch with and it's hard to go back to cotton thread once you've experienced silk thread. 
 
Day 1





 

I love how it's looking so far! There's backstitching to come, but I'll do all that at the end.  That bird will have feathers in his hat to make him look even more snazzy.  

I know a lot of stitchers start their cross stitch in the top left hand corner, but I prefer to start in the centre and then I know that my design is centered.  



So what have you been up to this week? Have you started anything new?

I feel bad that I haven't had time to reply to comments or linkups lately.  My work has been busy and family life is busy too.  Everyone is making up for lost time now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in New Zealand.  I'm on the committee for our guild's quilt show in August which is going to be fantastic.  I'm also on the local cricket club committee and we're preparing for the season. 

Don't worry - we do appreciate how fortunate we are to be free to meet again, but the price we are paying is that the borders are closed for the foreseeable future. 

Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:




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Friday, 3 July 2020

Checking in at 30 June

Each year I like to set myself some quilting goals.  That way I don't forget about the quilts that I've started, but never got round to finishing.  

Setting goals also forces me to hesitate for a moment before I jump into exciting new things that I see online.  I pause, and think of all the things that I said I really wanted to do, and then I usually jump in anyway! How tragic is that!!

Here's what I said I'd work on in 2020 when I set my goals back in January.  

1.  Ballet with Kaffe Fassett by Willyne Hammerstein from Millefiori Quilts 2.
See the tab at the top of my blog for all the details on this quilt (or click here).  I started this quilt in June 2017.  It's all ready for hand quilting now and I hope to finish it in 2020.




2.  Glitter by Jen Kingwell
It's finished! And just waiting to be hung in an exhibition.  I started this quilt in a class with Jen Kingwell at the Christchurch Quilt Symposium in October 2017 so it contains lots of happy memories.  I hand pieced my blocks, and hand quilted it.  I'll share it once it's hanging in the exhibition later this year. 



3.  Cartwheel by Liza Prior Lucy for Kaffe Fassett Collective Quilt Grandeur book.  
Also finished, and now called "You Spin Me Round".  This quilt will be in Capital Quilters Exhibition on 22-23 August 2020. 




4.  Green Diamonds
This is my own way to use up some of the diamonds we cut at the Kaffe Fassett class in January 2018.  I'm in the middle of hand quilting this little quilt now. 




5.  Neptune and the Mermaid - pattern is Pieces of the Past by Wendy Whellum
This was so much fun to make (click here to read more).  It's basted and waiting for me to start hand quilting it.  




6.   Cross Country by Anna Maria Horner
I started this quilt in a class with Anna Maria Horner  in November 2019 (click here to read more).  I now have the fabrics to finish it, but I need to decide if I want to add applique in the big triangles. (That's carpet you're seeing in this photo.)




7.  Don't Leaf Me by Wendy Williams
I've made a little start, but there's still a long way to go with this one. I haven't had much experience with needle turn applique, so I'm going to use this quilt to improve my skills. 




8.  Endless Summer by Anna Maria Horner
Started and finished during the COVID-19 lockdown.  I've now called my quilt Endless Lockdown, because it felt like it at the time.  



9.  Stars Upon Stars by Edyta Sitar
I know, I say it every year. but 2020 is the year I will start this quilt.  Now I've got rubber stamps and I'm going to hand piece my quilt just like the Dutch ladies do.



10.  Something new from Millefiori Quilts 4
I've been browsing through my book but I'm still deciding which pattern I would like to make. 



11. Marshal by Jen Kingwell - the Quiltmania mystery quilt. 
I took a wild departure and made something new with half of the blocks from the Marshal Mystery quilt.  You can read more about it here.  I'm going to enter this quilt into Capital Quilters exhibition in August 2020.  




12.  And, I've finished the wedding quilt for some friends getting married in October.


So that's 4, almost 5, quilts finished in six months!!!  Of course some of them have been WIPs for a few years, but that's still pretty impressive for me.  It's amazing what I can achieve when I'm forced to stay at home.  



Now it's time for the Peacock Party. What have you been up to lately? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  


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Friday, 26 June 2020

Quilt Stories (also known as Artist's Statements)

Our exhibition is getting closer! This week I'm going to give a short talk to our guild about Quilt Stories.  You know, that blurb the quilt maker writes to go with their quilt.  

Disclaimer - I'm no expert when it comes to grammar and sentence formation, but I do know what I like to read when I go to a quilt show. 




I know many quilters are modest people and struggle to say something positive about their own quilts!
But I urge you to be proud of your own work.  You've chosen to enter it into the exhibition, so make sure your Quilt Story presents it in it's best light.   Don't tell us what's wrong with it, but rather tell us some interesting facts about it.  I've provided some examples below.




Most exhibitions put a limit on how long a Quilt Story can be.  It's usually about 60-100 words, so you have ample room to write three short sentences.  I tend to write:
  • what inspired me to make this quilt
  • an interesting aspect of the quilt
  • anything else of interest

Please don't drop the pronouns from your story.  There's plenty of room to write "I". For example:
I made this quilt from the scraps I had accumulated over the past three years. (15 words)
is much nicer to read than
Had too many brown scraps so had to use them up. (11 words)




Here's some examples for you:

1. What inspired you to make this quilt?
  • I've always enjoyed needleturn applique and I fell in love with this pattern when it was released three years ago.
  • I've always wanted to make a snowball quilt and I love the fabrics used in this pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Italy book.
  • My mum taught me to English Paper Piece when I was about 10 years old, and she would be delighted to see I'm still doing it now.
  • I saw a beautiful blue and white quilt in the Festival of Quilts in the UK, so I came home and created my own version from all the scraps I had saved over the years.
  • I decided to start using all the Liberty fabrics that I had collected over the years.  I found this wonderful pattern by xxx and have happily spent the last three years sewing my Liberty pieces together.
  • My granddaughter loves Elsa from Frozen, so when I saw this panel I knew I had to make it for her. 
You get the drift? Tell people what drew you to your pattern or fabrics. 

2. An interesting aspect of the quilt
  • The quilt was a block of the month and each month I eagerly awaited the next pattern release.
  • This is my first attempt at wool felt applique.
  • I started this quilt in a foundation paper piecing class with xxx.  
  • I've recently started using rulers with my machine quilting and they've enabled to be achieve quite a different look. 
  • This colour palette is different to my usual style, but I love the result.
  • I hand quilted my quilt with 12wt variegated thread. 
  • This quilt was started 10 years ago in a class with xxx.  I found it again when I cleaned out my sewing room during the COVID-19 lockdown.  I took it to retreat and finished it there.
  • This quilt has been all around the world.  I've worked on it on planes, trains and ships.  It reminds me of my travels through Europe in 2018.   
Tell people something about your quilt that they might not notice immediately.

3. Anything else of interest
  • If you're going to give the quilt away, who is it going to? a grandchild? a wedding gift? charity?
  • How long did it take you to make it?
  • Are these fabrics a departure from your usual style?
The third sentence isn't essential, but it helps the reader to know a bit more about you and your quilt.






Be proud of your work. You spent many hours making this quilt, and it's hanging in an exhibition for just one weekend.  Stand tall and say "Yes, I made that".  




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



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Friday, 19 June 2020

Capital Quilters' Retreat

This weekend I'm going to our guild's retreat.  We're quite a big guild, so we usually have 3 retreats a year - 2 at Silverstream in Upper Hutt, and one at Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington. Different groups of members are regulars at each venue.  I only go to the Home of Compassion retreat which is usually in the middle of winter.  

We arrive on Friday morning and stay for two nights, so I need to take plenty of things to keep me busy for three days.  

The last couple of years I've left my sewing machine at home and only taken hand sewing.  Some people think I'm crazy! But I have so much hand sewing and hand quilting to do, that I can easily keep busy for three days.

This year I'm going to work on:

1. Modified Marshal Mystery Quilt - hand quilting



2. Don't Leaf Me by Wendy Williams - hand applique





3.  Our retreat block.  This year I had the pleasure of choosing our retreat block.  I chose Panama Pyramids by Linda Collins of Quilts in the Barn in Australia.  It doesn't look much like this, but it's going to look great when they're all on the wall at retreat.  


Linda Collins has kindly given me permission to use her pattern.  Linda’s pattern is based on an antique quilt that she owns. I purchased the pattern from Linda’s Etsy shop for NZ $10 here . Linda also sells acrylic templates for Panama Pyramids, so if you love the design and want to make a whole quilt I recommend that you get in touch with her.

It's a hand piecing pattern, but can also be pieced with English Paper Piecing or by machine. 

I've made my blocks, but I made need to help others who want to try hand piecing. 


Of course I've popped in a few extras in case I get bored, but these will be my main focus (when I'm not chatting to others).  


Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post and let us know what you've been up to recently.  




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Friday, 12 June 2020

Catch All Caddy 2.0

I've got another finished bag to share with you.  

This is the Catch All Caddy 2.0 from Patterns by Annie.



I gave my mum the pattern for Christmas and the fabrics for her bag (Land Art by Odile Bailloeul for Free Spirit Fabrics), shown on the left above.  



Then, after just a few days, it dawned on me that she might make one for me too, so I quilted the panels for my bag before mum went home to Auckland.  She took them with her, and when we went to Auckland a couple of weeks ago she presented me with my finished bag. 



This bag has so many pockets!  I'm looking forward to using it when I go to our guild's retreat next weekend.  I think it will be ideal for storing fat quarters, plus rotary cutters, scissors etc.  

My bag is made with beautiful Art Gallery fabrics from the Legendary collection by Pat Bravo.  I bought them at Material Obsession in Sydney last year.  The bright yellow trim is also by Pat Bravo from her Matchmade range. 

Fortunately I had the perfect Aurifil colour for the machine quilting:


  Mum has decided that her Catch All Caddy is very useful for holding her knitting.


So, were both very happy with our matching Catch All Caddies. 



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



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Friday, 5 June 2020

Capital Quilters 2020 Exhibition is ON

Yes, I have great news for all the quilters in New Zealand.  

Our raffle quilt - see below for details


Capital Quilters' 2020 exhibition is going ahead on Sat 22 - Sunday 23 August 2020.  Everyone is welcome - we'd love to see you all there.  



There's lots to say about the exhibition, so I'll work through all you need to know.

WHO: Capital QuiltersI'm proud to be a member of Capital Quilters.  We're a large guild based in Lower Hutt, Wellington.  We meet at Waterloo School on the last Saturday afternoon of every month.  We have many talented members who have won prizes at national and international competitions.   You can follow our guild on Instagram @capitalquilters or Facebook CapitalQuiltersNZ to see more of our members' work.

WHAT: Our exhibition aims to showcase our members' work.  It is not a juried show, and every member is entitled to have a quilt in the exhibition.  Last time we have 200 quilts on display, and six vendors selling a wide range of quilting and craft supplies.  We're just confirming our 2020 vendors now, but there will definitely be quilt shops there to tempt you.  




WHEN: The exhibition will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August 2020.    Entry is $8, with children 14 and under free.  

WHERE: This will be our second exhibition in the Lower Hutt Events Centre.  It's a beautiful modern building built specifically for exhibitions and conferences.   It's nice and cosy inside.
The Lower Hutt Events Centre is at 30c Laings Road, Lower Hutt. It is next to the Lower Hutt City Council building and the Town Hall, and is on the site of the old Horticultural Hall.  It's just a short stroll from Queensgate Shopping Centre.

My Vibrant Curiosities won Best in Show in our 2018 exhibition


FOOD: Tutaki Cafe is onsite at the Events Centre, and Bellbird Eatery is just across the road at The Dowse. There's also the Crooked Elm pub for lunch, and cafes over at Queensgate.  You won't go hungry! We offer pass outs so you can return on the same day for a better look at the quilts. 

TRANSPORT: If you're from out of town and decide to stay in Wellington, you could easily catch a bus out to Queensgate.  The Airport Flyer bus runs every 20 mins and costs $12 each way, or the regular bus runs every 30 mins and costs $8 (unless you have a Snapper card).  



FRIENDS: We're a very friendly bunch of people at Capital Quilters.  We're ready to welcome everyone to our exhibition.  We know many of you have had to cancel holidays this year, so how about taking a trip to Wellington and spending a few hours meeting new people and admiring the quilts at our exhibition.  I'm one of the organisers so I'll be there most of the weekend.



RAFFLE QUILT: I know there's going to be a lot of interest in our raffle quilt.  Jeanie O'Sullivan and Anne Read made this quilt after they were inspired by Maria Shell's quilts at the Auckland Symposium.  Rayna Clinton of Tui Song Quilting quilted the raffle quilt.  We've called it "Reality Check".

Raffle tickets are $2 each and limited to 2,000 tickets.  If you live in New Zealand, and are not a member of Capital Quilters, you can buy tickets through me.  Please send me an email to wendysquiltsandmore @ gmail . com (without the spaces). 

We are not selling tickets to people outside of New Zealand because the bank charges and postage costs would make it prohibitive.  



So, are you excited? Will I see you there? I certainly feel excited now that there's something good to look forward to.

Apologies to all our international friends - New Zealand's borders are closed to everyone except New Zealand citizens at the moment and that is unlikely to change in the short term. If the trans-Tasman bubble starts before 20 August we would certainly welcome any Australian "cousins".  



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



 

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Friday, 29 May 2020

Zip It Up bags

A couple of weeks ago I watched Tula Pink's video launching her new black and white fabric line - Linework (It won't be available for months yet, so don't panic).  Towards the end of the video Tula showed two Zip It Up! bags she had made.  I thought they looked amazing so I dashed off and ordered the pattern from the Ribbon Rose in Auckland.





Here's a link to Tula's video.  The bags appear at about 22 minutes in.

Of course we can't get Linework yet, so I ordered some half yards of Tula's Homemade range for my bag.


I hadn't seen Homemade in real life, but I was very happy with it when it arrived.  I love how green the "Cut Once" fabric is, and I was very impressed that the squares really are 1", just like on my ruler.


I machine quilted the exterior with a pretty pink Aurifil, using a design from Jacqui Gering's Walk book.

A secret pocket on the back

The pattern has a pocket on the front of the outside, and then two pockets on the inside - one mesh and one vinyl.  I didn't like the idea of sewing vinyl on my sewing machine, so I made two mesh pockets, and I changed the exterior pocket from the front to the back.


And then I decided to make a smaller second Zip It Up! bag while I was at it.


The secret pocket on the back

I used a different design from Jacqui Gering's Walk book to quilt the Pokemon fabric. I enjoyed experimenting with different quilting designs.


The selvages on this Pokemon fabric are great, so I decided to incorporate them too.  (The fabric was purchased in Japan some years ago.)


Yes, it's a Gameboy Advance! A Zelda special edition.


So that's my latest experimentation with a Pattern by Annie.  Annie has so many great patterns.  Maybe I'll do a wrap up of all the bags I've made from her patterns in my next post.



What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post to the Peacock Party below.
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