Friday 31 December 2021

2021 - My quilting year in review

It's 31 December, so time for my end of year wrap up.  At the end of each year I like to look back on the goals I set myself at the start of the year.  

2021 finishes

My priorities for 2021 were:

1a, 1b, 1 c, 1d and e... Millefiori Quilts

I've done quite well on that goal.  My Raindrops are Falling on my Head quilt is just finished, and I'll blog about it soon. I've called this quilt Bollywood. You can see it in the background on this photo.

I also finished Dancing Cheek to Cheek, Bont en Blauw, and Fiesta Gitana - all from Millefiori Quilts 4.

Trans-Tasman Bubbles (Dancing Cheek to Cheek)

Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Bont en Blauw)

2. Topsy by Sheila Christensen

Finished, and gifted to our son for his 21st. I called this quilt Mirage and you can read about it here


3. Cross Country by Anna Maria Horner

Finished and now called Material Girl.  You can read about it here

Material Girl

4. Ballet with Kaffe Fassett

I finished my Ballet with Kaffe Fassett quilt in February 2021 and it hung in the Aotearoa Great New Zealand Quilt Show in Rotorua in May.  I've called my version "Fireworks". I love this quilt.  It took three years to finish, but the time spent getting it right was well worth it. You can read more about it here.


5. Neptune and the Mermaid by Wendy Whellum

This one is so close to finished.  I had to stop hand quilting it when my finger flared up in August, and I haven't got back to this since, but maybe it could be my first finish of 2022. My last blog post about this quilt was in April 2021 and you can read it here. It looks a lot better than this in real life!

Neptune and the Mermaid

6. Prize giving quilt

This one is still languishing in a box.  I think about it from time to time, but it hasn't seen any action in 2021.  

7. Smoyg by Yvette Stanton

It's finished! And just back from the framers.  This one will be hanging on the wall as soon as I take down our Christmas decorations.  You can read about my Smoyg here.

8. Pandemic Sampler by Long Dog Samper

Well, just as the Pandemic has dragged on, so has my cross stitch.  I lost a few months when my finger flared up, and I've been very careful with my hands since then.  So progress has been slow.  But I am 85% finished now, and I think I will make a new goal to finish it by Easter 2022.


Pandemic Sampler

9. Gingerbread Flower Shop by Victoria Sampler

I haven't made much progress on this one either.  I feel sad because Thea Dueck is retiring and there aren't go to be any more houses in the Gingerbread Village.  When I finish this one it will all be over.  Maybe that's why I'm stalling, because I don't want this lovely journey to end.  

Gingerbread Flower Shop

So that's what was on my list in January 2021.  I think I've done quite well.  

I did start something that wasn't on my list for 2021.  When New Zealand was thrown into a Delta snap lockdown in August 2021, I decided to start the Wendy Williams Tea Party block of the month that had been sitting in my stash for quite some time.  There's still plenty more to do on this one in 2022, but here's how it's looking right now. 

Tea Party block of the month

So, 2021 was a good year for finishes for me.  I got to work on lots of bright, colourful quilts, and I got to share my quilts with others at Rose City Quilters in Palmerston North, and Capital Quilters in Lower Hutt.  I also shared my embroidery with Wellington Embroiderers Guild when I was their guest speaker back in June. 

I'm already forming lists of what I want to work on in 2022, and I'll share that with you next week.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a lovely Christmas day with family and friends.  

This Christmas I'll be in Auckland with my husband, our two sons, and my mum and dad.  I'm really looking forward to seeing mum and dad and our eldest son again.  They've all been stuck in the Auckland lockdown since mid August, and I've missed seeing them.   

This year I've changed my decorating around a bit. I've only included one house from my Gingerbread Village this year - it's the Retreat Cottage, and it's sitting on top of the piano, next to my beautiful house from Department 56 in USA.  

In case you're missing my Gingerbread Village, you can see a photo from last year below, and read all about them on the Gingerbread Village tab at the top of my blog.  I promise to have the Flower Shop finished for Christmas 2022!

Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you very much for your support over the years. 

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.  

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Sunday 19 December 2021

NZ Quilt Shops - a helpful journey planner

It's nearly Christmas, and almost holiday time.  I know a lot of Kiwis will be hitting the roads and exploring new parts of New Zealand over the coming weeks.  

I've complied a very handy list of quilt shops in New Zealand.  You might want to make a few stops or detours on your road trip. 

The quilt shops are all listed in a separate tab on my blog here:

Be sure to check the Christmas hours of the shops before taking any big detours! 

Have fun exploring new quilt shops, and enjoy your summer holidays. 

Friday 17 December 2021

Christmas Embroidery

It's only a week until Christmas Eve, and I'm sorting through my Christmas embroideries.  I think Christmas cross stitch is the best kind of cross stitch. I've made a few gorgeous Christmas cross stitches over the years, but of course there are still many more that I want to do some day. 

Celtic Snow by Northern Expressions Needlework

A Treasured Time by Dimensions Gold

A mystery stitch a long by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

A free pattern by Victoria Sampler from 10 years ago. 

And in the "still to be completed pile":

My Gingerbread Flower Shop

Christmas Ornaments by Dimensions Gold

I found it very hard to stitch the Dimensions ornaments on the 18 count Aida.  So I'm going to stitch the rest of them on 32 count linen.  They may come out slightly bigger, but I don't mind.  They will be spread around the tree anyway.  

I follow a number of bloggers who have wonderful Christmas trees filled with hand stitched ornaments.  If you'd like to see more check out Katrina from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand here
and Carol from Pennsylvania here

I know there's many more cross stitchers out there, but these are two of my favourites who do wonderful Christmas stitching.  

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. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday 10 December 2021

Stone Flower by Kaffe

Last week I was at one of my local quilt shops, and I saw a piece of Kaffe fabric in the bargain box.  It was a fabric that I'd never had it my stash, so of course it was calling my name. How could I leave it there?


So I bought it home with me and immediately started going through my stash to see what else I had that would work with it.

It turns out I had quite a bit, because it's my favourite blue/purple colour.  

The Stone Flower piece that I bought is a Free Spirit sateen wide back, so slightly heavier than quilting cotton, but still perfectly fine for the front of a quilt.  I'm thinking that I'll made a feature of the motif and build a medallion quilt around it maybe.  I had a quick flick through some books and liked these ideas:

From Quilts in the Cotswolds

from Quilts in Italy

Although now that I look at Cloudy Skies again, I think I mainly like it for the colours.  I'd prefer to see larger pieces of the other fabrics, like in Glamping Medallion above.  

So this might be something fun to start between Christmas and our holiday in January.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

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Friday 3 December 2021

Christmas Quilts

 This week I bought some Christmas fabrics. 

Well, one real Christmas fabric and some complementary fabrics to go with it.  The skiing reindeer are called Jolly Season by Abi Hall for Moda.  I bought mine from Stitchbird in Kilbirnie, and all the other fabrics in this photo are from there too.  

I don't do a lot of Christmas sewing because Christmas falls in summer time in New Zealand, and we don't need quilts on the beds.  I think the last Christmas thing I made was a table runner because the fabric was just so cute (sounds like a similar story to the fabrics above!).

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the blue Christmas fabrics yet.  Maybe I'll just think about them until November 2022, and make something for next Christmas.  

In the mean time I've got these pretty Christmas quilts to keep me happy this year. 

Oh! Christmas Tree 

Holiday Patchwork Forest

These quilts all reflect what Christmas is like here in New Zealand - bright and colourful. 

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday 26 November 2021

Tea Party part 5

I made a lot of progress on my Tea Party quilt this week. 

And I'm loving how it's looking.  I was slightly worried when I put the first border on and the red crosses were a bit concentrated in the bottom half (see below). But I kept going and the next border has balanced out the colour placements.  The next round of blocks will disperse the colours even further, so I'm confident that it's all going to be OK.  

The next round is the 16 feature blocks - I've finished 8 of the blocks already, but I still have to do the wool felt applique on the 8 blocks with tea and coffee cups.  

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.

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Friday 19 November 2021

Tea Party part 4

 I did it! I started the centre block.

It's quite hard to hand applique on a piece this big, so I'll be pleased when I'm finished this block.  Then I can machine sew on two borders that I've already got ready, and then suddenly I'll be able to see real progress.  

Here's what I'm aiming for.  There's still so much left to do!

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

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Thursday 11 November 2021

Pandemic Sampler

My Pandemic Sampler is not going to be finished in 2021 after all. I've only got 4 more pages to go, but each page takes me about two weeks when I'm working on it every night.

Everything was going fine when I last posted about it back in July, but then in August I started having real problems with my right hand.  My middle finger became really swollen, and then the tendon in my palm tightened up.  I couldn't do any hand work for about 10 weeks.  

Fortunately my hand is better now (thanks to 2 steroid injections and a round of prednisone), but I'm taking care of my hands and operating on a strict rotation schedule so I don't do too much of any on thing. 

That means that I've had to let go of my goal of finishing this sampler in 2021.  Given that the Pandemic is still lingering on in our little corner of the world, maybe it's appropriate that my sampler completion date will drag into 2022.  

Here's a pretty rose from my garden to end on a high note.  It's Heart of Gold, and new in my garden this year. 

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 


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