Saturday, 13 September 2008

Fun with BOM

I've been shopping again and chosen all the fabrics for Judy's Star BOM. I hadn't meant for it to take so long to get around to doing this. Life seems to have gotten in the way a bit - with all the hassles at work, and then deciding to put our house on the market because we found something else we want to buy (and it's a project!!!).

I started by making Block 3! I once read somewhere that if you get behind with a monthly project, the thing to do is to make the current block and work backwards on the ones you missed. So make Block 3 now, work on Block 2 when I can, make Block 4 once it is available, then make Block 1. That way you don't feel like you are constantly 3 months behind. It sounded like a good plan to me so I'm trying it.

I'm pleased with the way the colours worked out in this one. The number 7 fabric is quite light but I think that it will work in the big picture.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Progress with fabrics

I had a day off work on Friday and used the long weekend to do some quilt shopping for the Star BOM that Judy is doing on her blog (check it out here)

These are fabrics 1-4 from left to right. (I chose 2 different prints for the third fabric - one for the sashing and the other for the borders.)

I found the hardest thing was the background fabric. In the end I chose this solid, chalky coloured plain because it seemed to be the only fabric that was the right colour. I've had this problem before. I wonder whether the importers here choose to buy in all the "wow" fabrics - with fabulous prints - overlooking the basics that are needed to support these fabrics.

My next expedition will be to find the four contrasting fabrics. I had to put that off because on Friday the quilt shop was filled with the sound of a drummer rehearsing nearby. It felt like the sound was inside my head so I called it a day with this bundle and will look out for the other fabrics over the next week or so.

I'm getting excited about making this quilt.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Judy over at Patchwork Times is running a BOM which is really beautiful so I'm going to make it. Check it out if you a looking for new project. I have no fabrics in my stash so I'm going to have to shop. Yay!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


There's a bit of an orange theme to this post. Sandy saw my blog with the recycled bags and sent me a tablecloth. I used it to make this bright bag, and still have lots of the border print to use in some others.

I'm really enjoying having these bags to use. They are so much nicer to carry than plastic ones, and they hold lots! I have 6 this style now which are great for big grocery shops. I've made a couple of others that are based on a plastic supermarket bag and these are good if you're carrying stuff for a longer period of time - they just seem to enclose everything really well.

The other touch of orange is my finished Orange Crush top. I had a bit of a panic with the borders because I didn't have enough red and the store I bought it from had sold out. I was so pleased to find it at another store while helping a friend choose borders. The quilt is big, so doesn't quite fit on the clothesline, but you get the idea. The pieced border has really big impact "in person" though it's not so strong in the photo. You can see the variety of scrappy fabrics in the close up.

Now I need to find another big project to work on :o)

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Shortest Day

Yesterday was the shortest day. It seemed quite long to me but that is because I was fretting over some things that are happening at work, and trying to decide how to deal with them. I hate those situations where people behave badly and force you to either let them have their way (walk all over you) or fight a battle you don't want to be in. I'll have some interesting negotiations coming up this week. We drove to the beach to distract me...

Today I've been doing quilt-therapy. These little ones are 18 inches square for a neo-natal which put out a call for quilts through one of the on-line quilting groups I belong to. They take very little fabric, use up left over batting and are easy to quilt. Perfect for a rainy day like today. At the beginning of this year I made a very lofty goal to donate 4 quilts to another charity but I haven't made a lot of progress. With these 2 complete I feel that I've made a start at doing something to help someone else.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Little Bits

I've done quite a bit of quilting this past week. As well as putting together the pieced borders for my Orange Crush quilt I've worked on some little pieces, so I have pictures to share.

This first if my June journal quilt. The technique for the month was "metal foils or wires". I got the idea for this from a Christmas embroidery design by Bronwyn Hayes. The hats her ladies wore got me thinking about some metal foil I had saved from a champagne bottle which would make a perfect crown. Her figures were too small so I sketched a larger version and then kept drawing my own and changing the shapes so that the applique would work. It looks really simple, and now it seems surprising that I stitched every night for a week to finish it. I almost exhausted my bead collection on the jewellery - clearly I need a much bigger selection :o)

Next is a very simple landscape using Karen Eckmeier's techniques. This was so quick to put together using little scraps.

Lastly a favourite photo my grandad and niece, printed on fabric and embellished. This one has got all sorts of techniques in it. I used part of an old tablecloth behind the photo with added fabric paint to enhance the colour of leaves. The flowers are bonded and painted plastic bags with centres made from Cherry Ripe wrappers and these are sitting on stamped silk scraps, with loopy ribbon leaves. For the mesh at bottom I used solvy over yarns and organza (this was intended to be the background for the flowers but it didn't work that way).

My next project is to get those borders on the Orange Crush quilt and get it finished. Today is a beautiful sunny day and I should be in the garden but I really want to get this one done (and the leftovers tidied away).

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Crushing is done

Yesterday was our monthly quilting day so I was able to get my Orange Crush mystery quilt together.I have to say I'm not thrilled with it. I spent a short time thinking about what I could do to make it "work" a little better but then decided to cut my losses and just get it together. I hate to let partly made projects sit if I'm not happy with them because I spend too long thinking about what do with them and how to make them better. Now that I see Sandy's quilt with a much more subtle accent colour (my blue) I think I should have gone with something a little less bold. Oh well, that's what happens with mystery quilts. The ladies I was with yesterday thought it would make a great picnic quilt - nothing would show because there are so many different scraps in there.

We're off to lunch now for DH's birthday. It's a lovely day after stormy weather yesterday so we will find a nice place in the sun.

Monday, 2 June 2008

More of autumn

I've finished all the Orange Crush blocks. I still have lots of fabric left so I'm hoping that Bonnie has a setting planned to use that up and pull it all together to make it look stunning.

I've also been working on my next journal quilt. Also the stitchery BOM from Capricorn Quilts - I'm a few months behind on this one so it's time to get back into it.

The autumn photos are for Sandy as inspiration for her leaves quilt. The trees are really starting to be past their best now - a bit much wind and last night it rained hard so they all lost more leaves. I love autumn.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Doing the Orange Crush - Part 2

The whole blocks are finished and now it is on to the half blocks. I have laid these out in the setting that would seem "obvious" and they look ghastly. I'm hoping Clue 6 will contain a miracle that completely changes the way it looks - LOL. I still love my feature fabrics, but they all just seem to blur into one when I alternate the blocks. That the "joy" of mystery quilts I suppose :o)

Doing the Orange Crush

Today I'm working on Clue 5 of the Orange Crush mystery. I'm excited because I get to use my orange and blue,which is actually 5 different blues because I fell in love with them all and couldn't narrow it down to just one.

Don't they look awful on the ironing board cover?

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Autumn at last

Here's the autumn colour I promised Sandy

These have been a while coming due mostly to a bout of shingles which slowed me down. I took these photos on a walk through the Victoria Esplanade. The sun kept moving into cloud so the light wasn't good for all of them, but I think the colours show quite well.

Cos I'm on catch up with pics here is my May journal. The technique for the month was *recycling*. I have been making lots of tote bags lately to use instead of plastic bags so it was easy to choose a theme. I made the letters for "Ban the Bag" by fusing several layers of plastic bag together. They come out with a nice wrinkled texture and so I hand stitched them down. The "Take a Tote" letters are made from junk mail, layered onto computer paper and painted with ModPodge. The binding is another plastic bag which I sewed on and then shredded to give the frilly look. It was a lot of fun putting this one together.

It's Queen's Birthday Weekend here so I'm planning to get lots done and having lots of pictures to post to make up for being silent so long :o)

Sunday, 27 April 2008


My friend Helen came up with an idea a couple of weeks ago that the two of us should make bags from recycled fabric. We set aside a Saturday and spent the morning exploring the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Hospice stores. Helen fell in love with denim and chambray shirts for her bags, and I found tablecloths and scarves for mine.

This first bag is made from a small souvenir tablecloth and lined with homespun. The front:

The back:

The lining:

This bag is made from leftover fabric from an earlier bag project and lined with a 50 cent silk scarf.

It's challenging working with these fabrics because you have to make the pattern fit the fabric. Both bags turned out smaller than I planned and the designs changed along the way.

My April Journal Quilt was from another silk scarf bought on the same shopping trip. I wasn't happy with the first try so recycled it into this. It now has lots more texture (one of the themes for the month). I think some beads down the panel on the left would be good.

This weekend I also finished the Split 4 Patches for Bonnie's Orange Crush mystery. I cut far too many big triangles so now I've got lots ready for another project. Roll on clue 3.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Weekend catch up

Sandy at Comforter Quilts is working on an autumn quilt called Third Week in October and she is looking for autumn inspiration. It's still quite green here but this vine on the drive way is starting to colour nicely.

The border are on the Bargello Quilt and I love how it turned out. I think I'm going to call it "Bonnie's Bargello Quiltville Cat Quilt" because when making this quilt from Bonnie's Quiltville site I finally cut up some "precious" cat quilt which I had bought in bulk and never found the perfect pattern for.

This next pic is my first attempt at an April Journal Quilt. The techniques for the month are "painting on visofix" and "texture". This is a hand-dyed silk scarf that I bought at the op shop for 50 cents. The two pink flowers on the left are painted on visofix, ironed on and quite roughly stitched with gold thread. I have quilted to the background of the top (blue) section but the bottom (green) section is unquilted to give different textures.

I'm not all that fussed with the effect of the paint on visofix. I've seen other people do it and get great texture but this is quite smooth. I think I will have another try at this one.

I have a busy week planned at work this week with lots of visits to promote the community awards we run. I'm looking forward to being out of the office. Hopefully tomorrow the ruler I ordered for the Orange Crush mystery will arrive and I will be able to make a start on step 2.

Have a good week everyone.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Catching Up

Now that I have a lovely new camera I can catch up with sharing pics of some of my projects.

This is my March Journal quilt. The technique for the month was *abstract from photo* and the theme was *reflections and memories*. Our clocktower won an achitectural award in March so I chose to try and abstract a photo taken last year when the new lights were officially turned on for the first time after a major refurbishment (to earthquake proof the tower). The clocktower is actually white and very solid looking but I chose to just use the colours of the lights. The shiny patches are angelina which is a bit more subtle in real life and is meant to be rain in the sky and puddles on the ground.

This one is my first village quilt after hearing Karen Eckmeier (check out her website here) speak in February. Another village is in progress and nearly finished, and I'm even more pleased with it because I changed some of the techniques.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Orange Crush in Person

These are my fabrics for Bonnie's *Orange Crush* mystery quilt. I had such a lot of fun choosing these fabrics. The blues are for the accent - I bought several because I couldn't narrow it down to just one choice.

The scrappy 4 patches look quite co-ordinated here but they are actually just a mix of scraps. The only effort I made to match them was to include some dark browns and blacks in the last few strips.

I'm looking forward to the next clue :o)

Monday, 7 April 2008

Look - pictures!!

As you can see I haven't got the hang of cropping images on the new camera software yet but here is the bargello quilt. So far it only has 2 outside borders on because I miscalculated the fabric I needed and I was short by 7 inches which is kind of crazy!!!

Thinking I was being smart I scanned a piece of fabric and phoned the store to get their email address so I could order more, only to be told they don't have email and could I "just post a piece down". I will just have to be patient and wait for it to come.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Doing the Orange Crush

I'm working on Bonnie's *Orange Crush* mystery quilt. I couldn't resist! Last weekend DH and I went on a shopping trip to the big smoke in search of fabric. I bought the most beautiful fabrics. The shop staff were really understanding - they left me alone to play until I found the perfect matches which was just what I needed. I wasn't going to use Bonnie's colours until I saw the range of oranges in the store and fell in love with them.

I have made all 150 scrappy little 4 patches. I think I might make some extras though so that I have a better mix of fabrics and colours (and cos they are so much fun to whiz up).

While I was at the store I also bought some very funky fabric for the borders of my scrappy Bargello quilt. The best part was that I chose fabric that was completely the opposite of what I had in mind. Instead of something quite solid to try and subdue the piecing I went with a wild print that just makes it buzz even more. Getting these on is going to be my very next project.

Daylight Savings finished overnight thank goodness. I'm convinced that shorter evenings will mean more quilting - LOL

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


I'm really tired at the moment. It's partly because work is busy - there are lots of events coming up and none are going as smoothly as they should. In particular those ones where there are lots of people involved - "too many cooks spoil..." etc etc. I think the other reason is because it is so dark in the mornings now that getting up is really hard work. This is the first year that we have had extended dates for Daylight Savings. Normally we would have wound the clock back by now but we still have another 3 weeks to go. It is hard to get out of bed when it is still grey out the window. What a silly idea. I wont even mention the problems it caused with Outlook calendars. There's a patch, but it's only so good.

My weekend was lovely though and I put the borders onto the Jelly Roll quilt from the 60 degree ruler class last month. I love the blue fabric (it's Moda Shangri La) - it's got depth for a light colour.
I'm off for an early night!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Who makes my day

My blog has been so quiet that I missed seeing that I have been awarded the You Make My Day Award by Mary over at Stitches and Ditches

How exciting! Thank you Mary!!!!

The rules for the "You Make My Day" award, are to re-present it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know through an email or posting to their blog so they can pass it on.

I'm not sure that it's going to be easy to choose just 10, but I'm willing to give it a try. So I would like to award the following people:

This is when you realise that you don't always know the names of people whose blogs you visit. Chooky Blue - she quilts, she stitches, she bakes...

Corry at Dutch Quilter - because her blog is beautiful, as are her senses of colour and design

Queen Helen of Quiltland - Helen writes really dry, witty observations about quilting and the quilting community and I love her blog.

Rene at Fembellish - for her fabulous tutorials and arty ideas (which I must try more of)

Sandy at Comforter Quilts - 'cos she's my friend :o)

Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting - she has a great sense of colour and design, freely teaches others, she's funny, she lives in Paris so her blog is littered with gorgeous photos... what more could you want in a blog? Especially check out her tutorials on making letters!

Kim of Kim's Big Quilting Adventure - Kim's blog is a really good read, and she makes great quilts

Tracy at 'Tis the Gift - Tracy shares her gentle spirit and her journey adopting her son from China

Finn from Pieces from my Scrapbag - I love Finn's blog because reading it makes you feel like you have visited an old friend

Nancy at Not So Fancy Nancy - colour, glorious colour - across a range of crafts, not just quilting

Thank you guys for making my day with your great blogs!


Saturday, 15 March 2008

A better picture

That photo really doesn't show much does it? Here's another one, this time from the scanner.

I'm Still Here

It has been a while hasn't it. The camera problem is still... well a problem. Mostly because just after the camera broke, the washing machine broke and died. That had to be a priority to replace. So the camera has had to wait. I took a couple of little projects to work though, and photographed them so that I would have something to show.

This is my February journal. It's called Long Hot Summer. The technique for Feb was collage or layering with scraps. I had no ideas for this, so I decided to just "play". I made a background sewing strips of black and dark blue marbles and batiks and I sliced and resewed these. Onto that I ironed lots of leftovers from applique projects - those shapes that are left with steam-a-seam on after you cut out your applique pieces. I just kept sticking and ironing these on until I had a colourful busy piece. At this point I was back to square one - no ideas about what to do next - so I left if lying on my desk for a few days. One evening when I strolled into the quiltery a spiral design of the background black caught my eye, so I started to work with that. I cut felt pieces to give texture to the black, beaded, couched, stitched (hand stitched even!!!) with lovely hand dyed threads that have been lurking in my drawer ever since I fell in love with them at a show... and eventually along came *Long Hot Summer* The centre spiral is copper wire with orange beads that move around (DH says it's like a round abacus).

I had lots of fun with this and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I used lots of scraps - the fabric, the felt, the yarn around the edge - so the technique is covered. It has some good texture and dimension (though it might not show in the pic cos it's not great quality), which is a step up from my usual attempts at arty projects which tend to be quite flat.

The weekend looks like being very relaxing... the borders of the Jelly Roll quilt beckon and the garden needs some weeding.


Sunday, 10 February 2008

A post with no pictures

I'm so frustrated not to be able to post some pictures today because I have quilty things to show you all. It seems our camera didn't like its last trip to the river. The dogs kept swimming and then shaking sand everywhere so I think there might be some in the camera making it unhappy. Between that and the problem with the battery cover not closing properly I think it might be time to look for a new one.

I have finished the first two blocks of the *Quilters Blessings* stitchery from Capricorn Quilts I'm doing mine in an antique mauve colour but you will just have to imagine that until I sort the camera problem out.

I have made up the first 1/4 panel of Bonnie's Superbowl Bargello quilt. This picture on
Bonnie's page convinced me to do it. I don't know who Debbie P is but I love her colour choices. I tried to choose strong colours from my stash for my version, and used some batiks which should really make it zing.

And yesterday I spent the day in Wanganui at a quilt class with a really lovely group of ladies. The tutor, Chris, taught us how to use 60 degree rulers to hexagon shapes from Jelly Rolls. I have the top laid out ready to sew into rows. I haven't enjoyed a class so much in a long time. Everyone was so friendly and there was lots of laughter. The Jelly Roll was fun to use. So easy to have 40 fabrics pre-cut and chosen so that you can just start sewing.

Driving over to Wanganui really made me realise how dry it is this summer. Our normally green hills are almost white. We have some cloud today but I'm not sure whether it will turn into any rain. We are lucky not to have any water restrictions.

If you've read this far... thanks for sticking with me during my lack of pictures.
I'm off to work on the Jelly Roll quilt some more.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

A little finish

I forgot to post a picture of my last holiday "finish" so here it is...

It's a Hatched and Patched design that has been a UFO for a long time because I was a bit scared of making the angel, doing the embroidery and making the puffs for the flowers. I managed it in the end though :o) and I really enjoyed doing the handstitching - so much so that I've started browsing at stitchery designs for another project. Typically I'm really taken by big projects like *A Quilters Journey*. I'm not sure about committing to something that big and costly because I need really good instructions when I'm doing something new and I want to make sure that's what I'm getting. If anyone has any favourite patterns I designers I'd love to hear about them.

Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Quilting not piecing

Now that my holidays are nearly over I'm wondering what exactly I got done on the quilting front. Along with the various piecing projects I have quilted two quilts on the Gammill which I'm very happy about. DH does all our business quilting and I just don't seem to get a lot of time to use the machine. This might change now that we have zippered leaders and quilts can come on and off in a flash! Anyway the quilts...

*Joy* is just stippled in all the background areas. When I quilt on my machine I'm very fond of stitching wiggly lines all over everything (cos it's easy). I wanted to do something completely different on this one so stippling was it. I found the stripe at a new (to me) quilt shop for the binding and just love the effect of it.

This second one is a little Shooting Star quilt and I did my first ever pantograph on it. I love making this scrappy pattern from Quilters Cache and I've made several quilts like this. They make great gifts.

If I am going to get anything more done these holidays I had better get off the computer - I get so distracted by all the lovely pictures on the blogs I read.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Class Project

I have been part of Tonya's winter/holiday class and now have a completed flimsy to show for it...

You can see what the others in the class have been doing here. There's some really creative stuff.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

A New Year Project

Happy 2008! I haven't quite decided what my plans or goals are for this new year, but when I saw a journal quilt challenge mentioned on one of my Yahoo groups I *had* to join up. I think I've joined so many things lately that I've forgotten what half of them are. Anyway the journal quilt challenge seems like it will be a lot of fun and I have made my first quilt.

I made a sunflower because the theme was *seasons* and we just grew a giant sunflower this summer. It also allowed me to use a couple of the optional techniques - metallic thread and bobbin thread. This is pretty much the same as my bigger sunflowers quilt that I posted a while back, but I was able to correct the leaf shape with this one which has made me happier :o)

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...