Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Dogs Day Out & ANZAC Day

We've been having some lovely autumn weather of late - sunny days with not too much wind and it makes you feel happy the seasons are changing if though it means we are going into winter. Because we haven't had too much wind there are lots of lovely yellow and red leaves on the trees to make it all pretty.

At the weekend we took the dogs out to the river and spent the afternoon there. We had a picnic lunch, while they explored and ran off a lot of energy. They just love the water so they had a great time.

Today is ANZAC Day which commemorates the 1915 landing of New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli. Gallipoli saw a massive loss of life, especially in the context of such new, small countries heading to war for mother England. More and more these days ANZAC Day has come to include remembrance not only of the original ANZACs but of all our soliders lost to war, and the sacrifices that have been made to give us the freedom we now enjoy.

Last night I decided I wanted to play at making a "sort of arty" poppy quilt. It is meant to be one of the poppies that the RSA sell in the lead up to ANZAC Day as a fundraiser rather than an actual poppy. I think it is getting there but I should have used narrower strips of fabric, and it needs more stitching to make up the poppy shape. It was interesting to play, and seeing as I am usually the first to comment that so called art quilts are "just strips and they aren't event straight" it is quite a way out of my normal style.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

Saturday, 14 April 2007


I'm on a big learning curve about blogging right now, and I think I worked out how to add a photo to my profile which is why I'm posting this little pic of my Wonky Log Cabin.

I chose this picture because this is the one quilt that hangs on the wall in The Quiltery. You see, the quiltery isn't very large, and by the time you add two doors, two walls of windows a wardrobe and a couple of bookcase to a room you aren't left with a lot of wall space. I have my two favourite prints on the big wall which only leaves a 14 inch space for a quilt. So this little one fills the gap!

I made this just a couple of months ago. As is often the way, I didn't set out to make this particular quilt. I was going to make a log cabin, using dark and light homespuns for an Amish effect, and use up a chunk of my homespun fabrics. Just 6 blocks into the project I was feeling quite clever, because I was making such cute log cabin blocks - until I laid them out side by side and hit a problem. Where was my light and dark effect? I turned blocks, moved blocks, turned them again, and squinted, and then I could make out furrows - kind of. So I decided that I would just have accept that this quilt was going to need me to buy more fabric!

Resigned to having to go to the quilt shop I decided to sew some of the blocks together just so I was really committed to the project. And that is when the biggest problem of all showed itself. My "oh so cute" blocks were not the same size. Some were 3/4 of inch smaller than others. That was going to be a bit much difference to "fudge".

I played with the blocks to try and work out ways of saving the project and came up with the idea of cutting them in half diagonally, and resewing the dark halves together. Then I joined them haphazardly to create this wonky little wallhanging. I had just recently finished a project where I used curved piecing for the first time, so I was able to play with borders that weren't straight. I like the contrast of the very straight lines in the blocks and the skewed lines that frame it up.

After that long explanation, here's hoping I can post the picture in my profile!

Catching Up

Yay it's the weekend again. I did manage to get lots acheived over the Easter break. In fact I did everything on my list except for one of the pillows, so I am pretty pleased with that.

We had a great trip to Wellington and especially enjoyed Pataka in Porirua. The quilt exhibition by Anna Prussing really inspired me to use more colour in my quilts. Photos werent allowed but I did take this one of DH.

You can see thumbnails of the exhibition on the Pataka website.

We had a great lunch at Kaizen, the cafe at Pataka, so the visit was a huge success all round. We visited The New Dowse in Lower Hutt too, but that was quite disappointing. Many of the supposedly interactive exhibitions were not working or had "don't touch" signs on and the overall impression was of an institution trying too hard to be clever and missing the mark.

My goal this weekend is to tidy up the Quiltery. I wonder what I can find to do to avoid it.

Friday, 6 April 2007


I've put the borders on my Year Quilt but I don't know whether it needs something more. Originally I had thought of wide black borders but it seemed too overpowering, so in a fit of indecision I put on a 2 1/2 inch border as a starting point. Now I'm wondering if it can stay like this, or whether it needs something else. And if so what?

Any ideas anyone?

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Long Weekend

Easter is a long weekend here, and I've taken today off as well to make it that bit longer.

I have a list of projects to work on, and the first one is this Batik Circles quilt which just needs to be bound. This was one of those quilts that went together nice and quickly, but then it sat at the quilting stage for about 10 months.

I'm going to put the borders on my Year Quilt, and maybe make some more mile-a-minute type blocks for the backing.

My Stash Log Cabin needs the borders sewing on, as does the Strippy Flannel and those two pillows need to be finished.

Seeing all those project written down makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I'm being a bit ambitious about how much I'm going to be able to achieve in a weekend. We also have plans to drive to Porirua for a quilt exhibition so I'm not actually going to be sewing the whole time. It will be interesting to see just how much gets done.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Quality Control - caught in action

Here is the little quilt quality inspector caught in action on the job tonight. I think she particularly approved of this quilt because it is lovely warm flannel.

At the bottom of the stack is a strippy quilt which I put together at the weekend, and the blue and the red on top are hopefully the borders. If this goes together as planned it will have used up 95% of my flannel stash.

The quite small flannel stash has been fun. It has been lent out and passed from friend to friend so they can use what they need. They usually add some of their leftovers back in, so it has grown and changed.

Now all I have to do is persuade Tabitha to move and then I can make more of a dent in what is left.

Around here

My sewing at the moment seems to be focused on a couple of quilt-a-long projects I've joined. For a while now I've wanted to use u...