Friday 25 June 2021

Another retreat

 Yes, I'm going on another retreat this weekend.  This time it's for quilting.  I wasn't intending to go, but someone has had to pull out, and her place was up for grabs.  

As I said last week, it's winter here, and wet and cold, so I'd just be quilting at home all weekend anyway.  This way I get to do it with friends and see all the exciting things that they are making.

I'm not even sure what do at retreat yet.  Often I just take hand sewing because I can't be bothered lugging my sewing machine along. But also because I have so much hand piecing and applique to do.  I could pull out the Don't Leaf me applique quilt that I worked on at retreat a year ago.  It hasn't seen much daylight since then, so perhaps it deserves another outing.  

I'll also take Raindrops are Falling on my Head that I talked about last week.  It's a good opportunity to cut a lot more pieces and perhaps even hand sew some more rosettes together. 

I might take this drawer of gorgeous fabrics along and cut some blocks for my house quilt.  I've just noticed that the colours match the Raindrops quilt above and my Rebel Rebel cardigan below! I guess that says something about me.  

And I'll take my knitting too because it's easy to do if the light is poor or I want to relax in an armchair.  

So I've got plenty of options.  I'll report back next week on the retreat.  Will I sew much? Or will I just talk and enjoy the company of other quilters?

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 18 June 2021

It's Winter

Yes, it's winter here, and the raindrops certainly are falling on my head.  

A lot of people marvel at how green New Zealand is.  That's because it rains a lot here. So it seems appropriate that I'm back working on my "Raindrops are Falling on my Head" quilt by Willyne Hammerstein.  

Strangely enough though, my quilt is full of hot colours, so I might have to think of a new name for it before I finish it.  

I'm hand piecing this quilt.  I used to do a lot of English Paper Piecing, but I found it hard on my hands, so I set myself a goal of learning hand piecing.  You can read my previous post about Raindrops are Falling on my Head here.

I've made quite a few hand pieced quilts now and I really enjoy the technique.  Here's a couple of them:

Lady Wigram using Bella Ruby pattern by Treehouse Textiles

Glitter in Green using Glitter pattern by Jen Kingwell

Lots of people asked me how I do my hand piecing, so I made some YouTube videos and put a tab for them at the top of my page (or you can click here).  I've received a number of messages with people telling me that they have found them useful, so that's very nice.  

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 11 June 2021

Topsy Quilt

The Topsy quilt top is finished and I dropped it off to my long arm quilter this morning.  We looked at a lot of quilting designs, and I chose a custom pattern that I'm quite excited about.  I hope you'll think I made a good choice.  

I'm really pleased with how this quilt has turned out.  I loved going through my blue stash and finding all the fabrics that would work.  

My son will turn 21 in July, and this quilt is for him.  As you can see below, it matches the feature wall in his bedroom.  I'm not sure what will happen to it when he finishes university and leaves home.  Will it stay in this room? Or will he take it with him? I don't mind if he wants to take it with him, provided he looks after it and brings it back home if it needs washing. 

My previous post about this quilt is here and it has lots of details about the Topsy pattern designed by Sheila Christensen.  

I enjoyed making this pattern and may well make it again in the future in a totally different colour way. 

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

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Friday 4 June 2021

Trans-Tasman Bubbles

Here's my latest finish, Trans-Tasman Bubbles.  

This quilt is all hand pieced and hand quilted by me.  The pattern is by Willyne Hammerstein from her book Millefiori Quilts 4.  In the book it's called "Dancing Cheek to Cheek", but I called my quilt trans-Tasman Bubbles, because the circles keep disappearing and re-emerging as you look at it.  

The trans-Tasman bubble is an agreement between the New Zealand and Australian governments that lets citizens of those countries travel between the two countries without having to stay 14 days in managed isolation/hotel quarantine on arrival.  

However, as soon as there are community cases in either Australia or New Zealand, the trans-Tasman bubble is suspended and people can no longer leave that city and go back to their home.  

That's why I won't be going to the Quilt NSW Sydney Quilt Show this year.  I'd love to go, but I don't want to risk being stuck in Sydney for extra days or weeks.  

But back to the quilt - I started this quilt for three reasons:

1. I'd always wanted to make a Winding Ways type quilt with optical illusions

2. I wanted to try out more of the patterns in Millefiori Quilts 4 because they fascinate me. 

3. Quilt NSW were going to have a special blue and white challenge at the 2021 Sydney Quilt Show and I wanted to enter (it's now deferred until 2022, but I'm ready!).  

I've experimented with the Quick Curve Ruler and sewing curves on my sewing machine, but I decided that it might just be easier for me to hand piece a version of the Winding Ways quilt.

So I bought the hand piecing templates from Paper Pieces in USA.  I always opt for the 1/4" seam allowance because I think 3/8" is too bulky. 

I won't say it was easy to hand piece curves, because it wasn't, but I did get quicker as I went along. My main piece of advice is to mark extra registration points on your templates, and copy them onto the back of the fabric.  I know some of you would like me to make a video of how I hand piece curves, so I'll try and do that soon. 

I entered this quilt into the Great New Zealand Quilt Show in Rotorua in May 2021. It didn't win any prizes, but a number of people told me they loved it, so that was nice.  I love it, and that's what's most important.  And I learnt a new skill making it.  

Size: 43" x 49"

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

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