Friday 28 June 2024

Kokomo (Stars Upon Stars)

Where do I even begin to describe my happiness with how this quilt has turned out?

I'm thrilled with it and I'm not going to let it out of my sight.  I've even considered sewing an Apple AirTag into it so if it goes missing I can track it down! I've spent so many hours making this quilt but I've enjoyed them all. 

I started this quilt back in January 2020.  I've spent four years working on it in the background.  I haven't once put it on social media or even shown my friends.  I knew it was going to take a long time and I just wanted to enjoy the process and take my time with it. 

There's so much to say about my Kokomo that I am going to break it down into a series of blog posts and then link to them all from a new tab at the top of the page. I will cover:

- my fabric selections (Tula Pink Zuma range mainly)

- planning the colours

- assembly - I hand pieced it all

- hand quilting - and then I hand quilted it all. 

But firstly, the name. 

I've called my quilt Kokomo because it reminds me of that fictional place in the song by the Beach Boys (made famous in the movie "Cocktail", starring Tom Cruise).  

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego
Baby, why don't we go?
Off the Florida Keys
There's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go
To get away from it all

Back in 1988 when the movie "Cocktail" was released, and "Kokomo" was racing up the charts in New Zealand, I went on a four week work trip to the Cook Islands.  The cruisy songs from "Cocktail" were on the radio everywhere we went in Rarotonga.  We even thought that "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was a Cook Island song and were surprised to hear it on the radio in New Zealand when we got back.  That movie soundtrack was always playing in the background as we swam in the pool and Muri lagoon each day after work.

The sea glass colours in my quilt remind me of the sparkling waters of tropical lagoons and beaches.

I'll be back in coming weeks to explain more about how I made my quilt and all the thinking that went in to achieving my super special quilt. 

I'm so happy to finally be able to talk about it and share it with everyone. 

Friday 21 June 2024

Sunshine Coast

I'm just back from a lovely holiday on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.  The Gold Coast is an hour south of Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast is an hour north of Brisbane.

As soon as friends knew I was in Noosa they all told me to go to Sand Salt Sew so of course I had to! I love a quilt shop that knows their target market.  My husband and son and agreed to allow me 30 mins max to visit the quilt shop and a dress shop while they waited in the car.  There was no time to buy yardage and ponder about what I could make with it, so I chose a kit for a bag that had everything included - pattern, papers, zip, batting and even thread for embellishment. Just perfect for a quilter in a hurry because there's so much to see and do in Noosa.

The bush and the beaches around Noosa are all lovely, and the surf clubs are all very welcoming with their big restaurants and views over the beaches.  We visited Noosa, Sunshine Beach, Coolum, and Alexandra Headland surf clubs and they were all great. 

Noosa from Laguna Lookout

Noosa Beach

Alexandria Bay - only visible after walking to Hell's Gate

We spent the first four nights at Noosa.  One morning we walked out to Hell's Gate and got a great view of the vast Pacific Ocean and the spectacular surf beaches.

Maroochydore River sunrise

same view at sunset

Then we moved down to Maroochydore and spent a few days with family. That was fun too and they took us up into the hills and we got great views back to the coast.  We had an icecream at Maleny because the days were lovely and warm while we were there - about 22c each day and no rain.  

Now I'm back home in New Zealand and it's winter, but I guess that means that Spring is next and that will be nice. 


Friday 7 June 2024


There's nothing like an exhibition deadline to make me hurry up and finish a quilt.  

This one all started when I saw an offcut of the beautiful Stone Flower centre in the remnant bin at my local quilt shop.  I knew I had to take it home and and turn it into something pretty. 

There's always a good selection of medallion quilts in Kaffe Fassett's books so I perused my little library and came across the Blue Square Dance quilt in Quilts in the Cotswolds.  

I didn't fancy making the final border on the Blue Square Dance quilt, so I turned the page and used the border from the Flowery Jar pattern instead.  

The final touch was a great Kaffe Fassett print for the binding that incorporated all of the colours used in the quilt - Chevron Stripe in Blue. 

I've called it Faith because:

a. I love George Michael's music

b. You've got to have faith to build an impactful quilt.

I had it custom quilted by Sue B from Busy Bee Quilt Shop and I'm really pleased with it. 

Finished size 74" x 74".