Friday 22 December 2023

2023 - My quilting year in review

Well, it's almost the end of 2023 and it's time to look back at what I've achieved this year.  

My biggest achievement this year was my 5 week trip to Europe.  I loved every moment of it, but it did mean that I didn't make as many quilts as usual.  

That's OK because my goals for 2023 were to:

  • finish what I'd already started
  • use what I already had
I think I did quite well on both of those goals. Here's what I made in 2023.

Four of these quilts were started prior to 2023 so they fit the goal of finishing what I had already started.  

The three new quilts were all made from fabrics that I already had on hand so they meet my other goal of using what I already had. 

I can't promise I'll be so frugal in 2024!

I also finished three more quilt tops in 2023 and I will show them again when they are finished in 2024.  They are Licorice Allsorts, Don't Leaf Me and a mystery one. 

Licorice Allsorts - pattern by Wendy Williams

Don't Leaf Me - pattern by Wendy Williams

My Summer in Tekapo bags were also an important part of 2023.

It feels funny to be signing off without opening the Peacock Party, but as I said last week, I've decided to retire the Peacock Party of five years of hosting.  Thank you for all your kind messages and understanding. 

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year too.  I'll be back in January. 

Friday 15 December 2023

Happy 10th Birthday to my blog

I can hardly believe this, but I started this blog 10 years ago today.  Here's a link back to my very first post.  

I started my blog because my friends and relatives had told me that they really looked forward to receiving my Christmas letter and seeing photos of the things that I had made during the year.  And also because I wanted to keep a personal record of what I had made.  

Some pears I finished last week

I've made 689 blog posts since 16 December 2013 - that's at least one a week, every week for 10 years!!

Five years ago today I started the Peacock Party - a weekly link up party for fellow bloggers to share what they have been working on. 

Since December 2018 I've blogged and hosted the Peacock Party every Friday.  When I've gone away I've scheduled posts in advance.  I'm really grateful to all the people who link up to the Peacock Party week after week, and to all the people I meet who tell me they look forward to reading my blog.  

But hosting the Peacock Party has been a big commitment so I've decided that this will be the last Peacock Party for the foreseeable future. 

BUT, I will still continue to blog on Fridays when I do have something to share, so please continue to check in, and you can always follow me on Instagram or Facebook because it's easier to share a quick photo there.

Another decoration I finished last week

I've been working on a at least three secret quilts this year and it's hard to find things to blog about when all my time has been spent on projects I can't to share yet.  Some of these projects are secrets because they are Block of the Months and we are not allowed to show anyone yet, and some are my own quilts that I want to keep a surprise until they are shown in exhibitions.  

So there's going to be plenty of eye candy on my blog in 2024 when I'm finally allowed to share these secret projects. 

I will not let my blog die - it's been a great way to connect with so many people, and it's also my own personal record of what I make.  I'm still going to do my recap of 2023 before the end of December because I like looking back before we start another year.

So, for the very last time, feel free to link up a recent blog post below. 

Thank you to everyone who has linked up over the past five years. 

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Friday 8 December 2023

Christmas Stocking

Do you like the Christmas Stocking I made?

A few months ago a family member asked if I would make a Christmas stocking for her baby.  It's baby's first Christmas so of course she needed a stocking.  

I spotted this very cute fabric by Mia Charro for Free Spirit Fabrics so I bought it and proceeded to quilt it with my walking foot.  Then I cut out the stocking shapes and bound it using my Patterns byAnnie instructions. I do like the red striped binding - it finishes it off perfectly.  

After two long weeks the parcel has finally arrived in Australia and the baby has given it her seal of approval.  I hope she received lots of presents in it at Christmas.

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

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Friday 1 December 2023

Peppermint Purple 2023 SAL

The Peppermint Purple 2023 stitch along finished on Wednesday and I can now show you what I've been working on all year.  

I love how the outside border is the inverse of the inside border - clever.

Clare from Peppermint Purple has been running mystery stitch alongs for a few years now and she's really perfected the art of running a very well organised programme.  

She releases one little black work design each week and people stitch along at their own pace with their own fabric and thread choices.  It usually only takes about an hour to stitch that week's filler pattern. 

The best bit is that there are so many variations amongst the finished pieces because Clare also releases about 20 different layout designs.  A few are free, but the best ones are the ones you pay a few dollars for and they really are worth it.  

The 2023 stitch along is finished now, but the 2024 version is open already.  It costs nothing to join, and just a few dollars to buy the different layouts.  There's a lot of support in the Facebook group for people who are uncertain about their colours, or are just interested in what everyone else is doing. 

I used hand dyed linen from Cath at Country Stitch in New Zealand and one strand of some variegated DMC that I had left over from something else.  

I've really enjoyed this stitch along and am very pleased to say that I both started AND finished something in 2023! And I'm going to get it framed in the new year.  

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

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Friday 24 November 2023

Spooky Darlings

It may be Thanksgiving where you live, but I've just finished my Halloween quilt!  I've called it "Spooky Darlings" after the fabric range that I used.  

The design is very simple 60 degree triangles, but what makes it special is all the hand quilted spider webs and the quirky fabrics.  I used a stencil to mark the spider webs and hand quilted in three different shades of grey Aurifil 12wt. 

I only had a fat eighth bundle to play with so I made the biggest triangles that I could and combined them in alternating dark and light rows.   

The selvedges on these Ruby Star Society fabrics are so cute and too pretty to throw away so I included as many as I could on the back. 

Finished size is 48" x 66" so it will be good as a throw quilt for winter evenings or on a single bed.  

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

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Friday 17 November 2023

Pretty in Pink

Here's my latest finish - Pretty in Pink. As I said last week, I had to rescue my Tilda fabrics from a plan gone wrong.  There's little snippets of Tilda in this quilt, but they seem to have been over taken by Tula Pink!

I enjoy watching Tula Pink's videos each week on Instagram (or Facebook) and she often talks about how all of her collections are designed to work together.  I've used fabrics from three of her collections here and they really do all work together.

The Lazy Stripe pink sashing and Dragonfly border are both from Moon Garden.  

The bright green border is Tower 7 from Zuma, and the Tent Strip Karma binding is from True Colours.  

I've called it Pretty in Pink because it is pretty and it is pink.  I loved the movie Pretty in Pink when it came out in 1986.  The lives of American teenagers looked so much more exciting than our ordinary lives here in New Zealand.  We walked to school every day in our school uniforms while American teenagers whizzed around in cars and wore mufti every day!

I especially love the main song from the movie - "If You Leave" by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark.  Here it is to save you looking it up. Enjoy a blast from the past. 

I had this quilt machine quilted at Busy Bee Quilt Shop in Wellington.  The pattern is "Maze e2e a" from Sharon Perry of House of Creations.

The pinwheel blocks at 10" finished and the finished size of the quilt is 60" x 70".

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

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Friday 10 November 2023


I've just picked up this quilt from my long arm quilter at Busy Bee Quilt Shop and I love it.

I don't want to post a photo of the whole quilt yet because I'm going to put the binding on this weekend and it will be worth the wait.

Tilda meets Tula

I didn't set out to make a pretty pink quilt, but now that I have I'm really happy with it.   

You may remember that a few weeks ago I started puddling around with some pretty Tilda fabrics.  I rushed in to making a foundation paper pieced pattern, but then I started to doubt myself - even though my blog followers expressed great confidence in me to turn it into something good.    

At our guild meeting someone held up a lovely pinwheel quilt and I thought, "That's an idea - I could make some pinwheel blocks to break it up". So I started to make pinwheel blocks, but then I decided that I liked the pinwheels better than original idea so now I have a pinwheel quilt. And there's minimal Tilda fabrics in it because they are still in the blocks that I don't like any more.  I only bought fat quarters so I'll have to rescue some of the fabric soon because I really do like the Tilda. 

Anyway, I'm going to put the binding on this quilt this weekend and take photos of it along with two (yes two!!) other quilts that I'm in the process of finishing this weekend.  After months of not a lot of action I'm now going to finish three quilts in November.  

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

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Friday 3 November 2023


Well, I finally feel that I'm making some progress with my quilting.

Don't Leaf Me - pattern by Wendy Williams

I finished the applique on the second panel of Don't Leaf Me and joined it all up.  It was great to open the box and have the centre panel already pieced and waiting for me. I took it in to Busy Bee Quilt Shop to be basted on the long arm so I can hand quilt it during January and February.  

While I was there I picked up a quilt that I've had custom quilted by Sue B at Busy Bee Quilt Shop.  I walked out of the shop very happy because were really pleased with how it had turned out, and I am too.  I'm going to get the binding on as soon as possible and take it to Capital Quilters final guild meeting of the year on 25 November.  I'll post photos on my blog before the end of the month. 

I've only got 8 more blocks to hand quilt on my Spooky Darlings Halloween quilt and I'm not going to put it away until it's done. It's my top priority at the moment.

I hope to get quite a bit of it quilted this weekend because I've decided to skip the Auckland Festival of Quilts this year.  I've been away a lot this year and I've got one more trip yet before the year is over.  

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

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Friday 27 October 2023

Halloween 2023

Well, it's that time of the year again.  Halloween is still viewed as an American tradition in this part of the world, but more and more people are getting in to trick or treating each year.  

My Spooky Darlings quilt won't be finished for this Halloween, but it is progressing well. 

I live on a street that is well known for Halloween because it's wide and straight and a safe place for kids to trick or treat.  It's Spring in the southern hemisphere and it doesn't get dark here until after 8pm at the moment, but the kids can't wait that long so they start about 5pm. 

I need to get my Haunted House out again and enjoy looking at it before it's time to get out the Christmas decorations.  Help!!!

It's been a while since I've shown my Haunted House so if you're after more information you can find all my notes about the Victoria Sampler Gingerbread Village on the Gingerbread Village tab here on my blog.  And more specific information about the Haunted House here.  

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


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Friday 20 October 2023

Tauranga visit

Well, I went to Tauranga and it is a small world because I met my friend Helen who I first met 10 years ago when our kids were at school together in Wellington. 

I had a great weekend in sunny, warm Tauranga.  There were 15 people in my wool felt applique class on Saturday, and 17 in my big stitch hand quilting class on Sunday.  

We had a great time and everyone learnt new skills. Belinda from Stitch Makers in Greerton was there with a stand filled with Wonderfil threads and wool felt.  I think everyone found an excuse to buy something.  I stocked up on wool felt because the bright pink is hard to come by. 

When I mentioned using stencils for hand quilting designs they pulled out a huge pile from the library cupboard.  

I was fortunate to be hosted at an avocado orchard - and the harvest occurred the very weekend I was there.  These big bins are ready to be taken for packing and export now.  

And then, when the classes were over I had a brief stop at Mt Manganui before I had to go to the airport and fly home.  Nothing says summer like the white sand and surf at the Mount. If you've sailed around New Zealand on a cruise ship you will have sailed along this Bay of Plenty coast. 

As a final bonus I got to see a beautiful sunset from the plane.  It made up for the slightly bumpy landing at Wellington.  

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


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