Friday, 17 September 2021

Material Girl

I have another finish to share with you today.  

This is "Material Girl", a quilt that I started in a class with Anna Maria Horner back in November 2019, in Wellington, New Zealand.  It's based on Anna Maria's pattern called Cross Country. 

My plan was to use a lot of Anna Maria Horner's fabrics in this quilt, but somehow I gravitated back to my Kaffe Fassett favourites as you can see below!

I spend so long dithering over what to put in the large side triangles.  I eventually decided on Cactus Flower by Kaffe Fassett and I'm very pleased with that decision. 

I decided not to hand quilt this quilt.  Instead, I took it to my friend Rayna Clinton of Tui Song Quilting in Wellington, and together we chose a flowing edge to edge design.

Now that it's finished I can see that the quilting almost disappears due to the highly patterned fabrics, so I'm very glad that I didn't choose to hand quilt it. 

I do LOVE the back. It's a Kaffe Fassett wideback called Full Blown.

The Cross Country pattern has three major variations.  Anna Maria carried all three quilts to New Zealand to show us - plus more!

I instantly knew that I liked the third variation, so that's the one that I chose to make. I like to have lots of different fabrics in my quilts, and the third variation allowed for that. 

I started off with this centre in the class:

But when I got home I struggled to extend it out, so I started again with this centre and it felt much more natural for me. I do like to challenge myself to try different things, but sometimes I just have to give up and go with what I know will work. 

Here's a link back to my post on the class I attended in November 2019 with Anna Maria Horner. Click here

Finished size is 72" x 72" 

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

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Friday, 10 September 2021

Green Diamonds

I've decided that I'm tired of walking past this quilt every day, so it's time to finish it.  

I did have grand plans to use this quilt as a hand quilting sampler, but I really don't like hand quilting through cotton batting.

I prefer to use wool batting when I'm hand quilting, but I must have had a piece of cotton batting lying around that fitted perfectly, so I used cotton batting this time.

I can see that pieces of the batting are pulling through with my stitches when I'm using the thicker threads like Perle 8 and Aurifil 12wt.  And I don't want wispy white bits of batting on the surface of my quilt.  

So I unpicked the small bit of hand quilting I'd done on the borders, and last weekend I just did four straight rows of machine quilting with my walking foot.  They're barely visible, but I needed some quilting on the borders, and it was the borders that were preventing me from finishing this quilt. 

There's still a bit more hand quilting to do in the middle, but it should be finished in a few weeks now. I'll be sure to show you the whole quilt when it's finished.  It's just a small one - lap sized.  

I actually started this quilt in a class with Kaffe and Brandon back in January 2018.  My end result is going to be quite different from where I started out. You can read an earlier post about it here.  

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

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Friday, 3 September 2021

Tea Party quilt - part 2

Shirley from Zipzog blog in the Netherlands got in touch after my post last week, and told me that she had made the Tea Party quilt with some friends.  Here's Shirley's finished quilt.  It's gorgeous!

by Shirley of Zipzop blog

You've inspired me to keep going Shirley!

I've finally chosen my fabric for the tea pot.  I feel that the tea pot sets the tone for the rest of the quilt, so it needed to be right.  I've chosen the flowery fabric at the bottom in the photo below. 

There are 16 large blocks around the outside, and I've pieced six of them so far.   I've decided to machine piece all the blocks before I start adding the decorative wool felt applique.  

Most of these fabrics are the ones supplied in the Block of the Month packs, but I have decided to change the outer borders on some of the blocks.  This green above is from my own stash, and I'm going to make more substitutions in coming blocks.  I don't want too much orange in my quilt.  

So that's where I'm at.  We've had a slight easing of lockdown restrictions where I live in Wellington, but the only real difference is that we can have takeaway food now - coffees, fish and chips, McDonalds etc, and order more things online. Office workers are still all working from home. 

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, 27 August 2021

Tea Party quilt

 If you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember this one.  It's appeared on my annual To Do list a number of times, but somehow I've never got round to starting it.  

This is a Wendy Williams Block of the Month from 2016.  I didn't enroll in the programme, but I came across someone else who had, but then decided she would never make the quilt.  So I purchased her unopened packs, and I have had them in my quilt stash for five years.  

I initially thought that I might substitute out some of the fabrics to make my quilt a bit darker (more blues, greens and purples), but as I started to open the packs this week I decided against that idea.  

The fabrics in the packs are amazing - such a range of beautiful fabrics, many that I haven't seen before.  Material Obsession carries lines that we don't see in New Zealand.  

When we went back into lockdown on 18 August, I knew it was time to tackle something challenging. This quilt is challenging because of all the curved piecing.  I intend to machine piece all the blocks first, and then I'll do the wool felt applique later.  

So far I've

- prepared the background for Month 1

- made the borders for Month 2

- made the blocks for the borders in Month 3

- machine pieced the two blocks for Month 9

- made the blocks for the final border in Month 10

So, I'm all over the show, but I'm having fun and that's what counts during lockdown. 

Thank you for all the lovely comments on Mirage and Fireworks.  I've tried to reply to everyone, but some of you are No Reply Bloggers so I can't see your email addresses.  I do appreciate all your kind words thank you.

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, 20 August 2021

Ballet with Kaffe = Fireworks

Everyone loves a good fireworks display, so I've decided to call my Ballet with Kaffe quilt, "Fireworks".

Fireworks by Wendy Welsh

I'm so pleased that this quilt is finished.  I love it, but it did take me a few years from start to finish. There were times when I thought I might never finish it. In the end I drew a line on my pattern and decided to stop piecing at that line.

I started this quilt in June 2017, and I finished it in February 2021.  That's almost four years!!!

The Cotton + Steel floral fabric on the left of the photo below was my inspiration fabric.  I didn't use it in the body of the quilt, but I based all of my fabric selections on it, because I love the way that those colours work together.  I used it in the borders of the quilt, and I managed to secure enough to use it on the back too. 

Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane, Willyne Hammerstein and me - AQC in Melbourne 2018

Along the way I attended a class with Willyne Hammerstein at the Australian Quilt Convention (AQC) in Melbourne.  Willyne made hand piecing look so easy, but I'd already started English Paper Piecing (EPP) my Ballet quilt, and I didn't want to mix the methods, so I persevered with EPP. 

At the Great NZ Quilt Show in Rotorua May 2021

I finished the English Paper Piecing in January 2020, and then in April 2020 I added the fancy borders, inspired by the borders around Willyne's Moncarapacho quilt from Book 3, pictured below. 

Moncarapacho designed and made by Willyne Hammerstein

I do love hand quilting, and I wanted this quilt to be all my own work, so I hand quilted it with Aurifil 28wt in a range of different colours.  I enjoyed revisiting all the fabrics in my quilt as I hand quilted it.


You can read all of my previous posts about this quilt on the Ballet with Kaffe Fassett tab at the top of my blog, or by clicking here.  

I was going to say: IF you live in Wellington, and IF we're back at Level 1 by next Saturday 28 August, you can come and see it in person at Capital Quilters guild meeting.  But that's looking very unlikely now. I think we will have to reschedule my talk to Capital Quilters. 
Or maybe you could see it at Rose City Quilters on 25 October 2021. 

Finished size: 60"w x 66"h

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

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Friday, 13 August 2021


 It's finished! And I've called it Mirage.  (If I could insert the blue heart emoji here, I would.)

I love how the colours transition from top to bottom - that was my son's idea. 

The pattern is Topsy by Sheila Christensen, but I've named this quilt Mirage for a couple of reasons.

 Firstly, when I met my husband he drove a 1979 Mitsubishi Mirage and it was blue like this quilt. 

The well loved Mirage - that is not my husband in the photo.

Secondly, my son loves Transformers, and there is an blue Autobot called Mirage.  

This quilt is for my son's 21st birthday, so it seemed appropriate to call it Mirage.  

I do love the blocks where I made the extra effort to pattern match the stripes. 

Although I love hand quilting, I knew long arm machine quilting would work better on this quilt for two reasons:
1. it's for a young man and it will probably need washing more frequently than my other quilts, and
2. it's massive and I didn't have the energy to spend months hand quilting it.  

So I had it custom quilted by my friend Rayna Clinton from Tui Song Quilting in Wellington, New Zealand. We chose the pattern together and I'm really pleased with it.  It's called Snakes Hexagons by Sharon Perry.

I put the wide back Onion Rings by Brandon Mably on the back and I love that too. 

Finished size is 105"w x 97"h after washing.  

I used the Queen sized blocks, but added extra columns and rows to make it bigger.  

You can read an earlier blog post about this quilt here

I think this quilt will be my most significant finish in 2021. I loved making it, and I'm really pleased that my son loves it too.  

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, 6 August 2021

Something different

This week I'm throwing it over to you.  I've been super busy this week organising a conference and dinner for 160 people, so I haven't had any time for quilting.  

Almost ready for the big reveal

Yes, contrary to popular belief, I do have a job! I work for a great group of people, but once a year I have to organise a full day of professional development training and a fancy dinner. We're holding it somewhere quite special this year, so I'll take some photos.  

I'll have recovered by next weekend and have something good to show you then, but in the mean time, why don't you check out some of the links in the Peacock Party and see what other people have been up to. 

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Nearly Insane revisited

About six years ago my mum started to make a Nearly Insane quilt.

I told her at the time that she had to finish it before she died, because I didn't want to have to finish it for her! That seems a bit harsh now, but back then she was only 75 and she was still doing a lot of quilting.  

Recently mum pulled all her blocks out again, and decided to add some sashing and be done with it.  Don't worry, I get it, and I wouldn't have pieced all those blocks either. 

Of course when we buy a book with many blocks in it we think we'll make them all, but then reality sets in and we lose interest.  I think mum's limited colour scheme of blue and white might have made it a bit harder too, although the version that inspired her to make this quilt was red and white - click here to see the red and white version made by Frances Meredith in UK

It's a great quilt, but it does require a high level of commitment.  At least mum's abbreviated version will be finished before Christmas I hope.

Here's a photo of the book incase any of you feel the urge to piece a lot of tiny blocks.  

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

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