Thursday, 30 December 2010

A WIP and a Finish

I've spent some time on a Work in Progress this week, Double Delight from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website. This was last year's mystery quilt so I'm a bit slow, but I'm over half way now. I love these quilts with lots of little pieces.

And this is the baby quilt I finished up before Christmas for my friend Melissa's second little boy Christopher. With the exception of the green, these are my own hand dyed fabrics.

We are enjoying a very relaxing Christmas holiday here at The Quiltery, good books, stitching, holiday food... and some very chilled out pets.
Cheers for now!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope all my quilting frinds are enjoying a lovely Christmas. I took part in a couple of swaps this year that have added to the fun of Christmas Day.

The first swap I joined was a "secret" swap organised by Maree - each person was assigned someone to send a Christmas parcel to, and they received a parcel from a third person but no one knew who was who until today. There was a list of 5 things that had to be included in the gift - something handmade, something smelly, something to eat, something Christmassy, something for the studio. My parcel came from Marina at Maisie and the Boys and she has really spoilt me. This parcel contained the most beautiful Christmas wallhanging, a very cute scissor keeper (I think I might have to work out how to make these), a cup cake pin cushion, chocolates, a magazine (this is next on my to do list with a cup of coffee).

One of the little extras in this parcel is an old wooden cotton reel. What Marina couldn't have known is that I am collecting these to fill a vase, and she even sent my favourite brand, Sylko. One of the things of love about these old threads is that the colours have names. Marina sent "Coral Pink" which I will add to my collection below.

I had had so much fun putting together my first swap that when Kiwi Quilts announced a Christmas Swap I signed up for that too. This one was a little easier - a quilty item, fabric and something Christmassy, and it only had to be posted in New Zealand. My lovely partner was Elaine and she must have had some sort of sixth sense because she she sent an enormous pin cushion with pockets, and tucked into one of this was a beautiful pair of scissors with a tiny little version of version cushion attached. I must have said a dozen times this year "I love pincushions". The chocolates in the parcel even had 2 Golden Retreiver puppies on - now my boys are well into middle age but she couldn't have chosen a more appropriate image. And she popped it all in a stocking, which is wonderful because I've been looking at stockings lately... theres a 2011 swap you see ;o)

My friend Carolyn popped in yesterday and surprised me with a gift. She has made this clever little folder which contains an ironing mat and cutting board.

In receving all these lovely things I am, as always, overwhelmed by the cleverness of other people! Everyone's work is so beautiful and it is such a pleasure to receive.

On a non-quilty note we had the most delicious asparagus at lunch today.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

12 x 12

Kiwi Quilters is running a 12 x 12 challenge after the success of the 12 x 12 quilt exhibition at the Hamilton Quilt Show. The original 12 x 12 quilters are publishing a book next year and their work - here - is fantastic.

The November theme was "home". I wanted to use an old embroidered piece to convey happy images of cottage living - reflecting the fact that we are now past the horrors of the major renovation work on our cottage. I do have to say that our house, and more particularly our garden look nothing like this pretty stitched scene!!

I did intend to stitch it in a grid, like Philippa Doyle my inspiration for incorporating embroideries into quilts... but I whimped out. I might still do it if only I can get brave enough.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Isn't this pretty?

This makes me feel like Christmas is coming.

I know Christmas is on the way because today I packed up my parcel for the bloggers Christmas swap. It's a secret swap so I can't say who it is going to, except that it is going to the cutest address that a quilter ever had!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

How do we mourn?

New Zealand is in mourning for the 29 miners who lost their lives at the Pike River Mine this week. At times I have wondered if we know how to mourn.

This is in several places on the internet. It moved me.

The church bells rang 29 times
so we knew it was final and the end of the line.
Now 29 miners are at Heavens gate
with coal silt dirty faces asking is it too late?
When God replies with half a grin
"no my children, come on in"
They place their mining lights gently down on Heavens floor,
when God said
"job well done- leave your boots at the door"

Repost in memory of the 29 miners that died at Pike River Mine

At the U2 concert in Auckland Bono says "People deal with grief in all kinds of ways... anger, sorrow, silence, in Ireland we sing".

Flags fly at half mast... on Government buildings, at the occassional private home, and at McDonalds. Some of the flags are ratty tatty old things - we're not big flag flyers and some of the flags come out of the cupboard just to fly at half mast.

Councils around the country have Condolence Books for people to sign. These will be consolidated in January and sent the Mayor of Grey District.

Shirley Goodwin is organising quilts for the victims families.

Wednesday, Prime Minister John Key says that national memorial services are usually held at the nearest large centre and so in this case that will probably be Christchurch. I cringed. On Thursday he announces that after discussions with the Grey District Council the service will be held in Greymouth and I feel hugely proud of and relieved for the people of the Coast.

I hope all of this helps people.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Many colours

These lovely coloured fabrics are the result of a fabric dying class at Village Books and Crafts last weekend, and the pink-orange-yellow lot I did at home yesterday.

I learned several things. Firstly, when combining two colours of dye I need to mix them together more before adding the fabric so that I get more even colour. Secondly, I dont have a lot of confidence in zip-lock plastic bags. I was very apprehensive about squishing the fabric, dye, water/soda ash solution in the bag, having nightmarish images of bright orange solution woushing all over the room, and all over me. I think I might try another batch using some kind of plastic container instead. Thirdly, I learned that if you are going to re-use your zip-lock plastic bags it is important that after you wash and try them you must turn them back in the right way before filling with another batch of dye solution - ask me how I discovered this.

I also learned that I love scarlet. Scarlet is the fabric on the far right in the middle photo. I think I will need to do more with scarlet.

I'm in the mood for a little Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice...

Such a dazzling coat of colours
How I love my coat of many colours

It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And red and yellow and green and brown and
Scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And blue

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Amy is hosting her Fourth Annual Bloggers Quilt Festival.

The quilt I've chosen for the festival is one I made as part of an online class with Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting. This is the first quilt I've designed from scratch, I had so much fun doing it and it brings me great joy each Christmas when I hung it up.
Tonya had us choose a Christmas carol and extract elements about the holidays that we liked and turning them into a design, and then we used her tutorials to piece the various elements. I love the two colour combinations of purple and orange, and raspberry and lime, so it was a double the fun to put them together. Because it was my world I got to put New Zealand at the centre, and then I used a little old scrap to make Australia and put it off to left - VBG!! Making this quilt has given me a lot more confidence

Do check out the link above to Tonya's website, she's very talented and has lot's of tips and tricks to teach. I'm off to check out all the other quilts in the festival.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Pinehaven Quilt Show

The Pinehaven Quilters Show was at the Expressions Gallery and the quilts just looked stunning in this setting.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Postcards and more show pics

I took part in a spring postcard swap this month which was a lot of fun. I made friends with the man at the local stamp shop because I wanted to have my postcards hand franked, rather than subjecting them to the rigours of NZ Post's machines. Well the stamp man was not only very helpful, but he took a liking to my postcards and paid me to make him two, so I'm grinning from ear to ear.

More pictures from the Wellington Quilters Show at the weekend... these from the "less colourful section" as you can see.

You can see that these two quilts both have ribbons so the judges were more won over by their creaminess than I was. Though I was impressed with the judging for quilting. The awards for excellence in machine quilting (above) and professional longarm (which I didn't photograph) both went to quilts with simple quilting which connected well with the quilt. That didn't seem to be the case with some quilts where the quilting didn't seem to tie into the quilt.

One of the most exciting part of the show was seeing a Phillippa Doyle quilt with old doillies in, and another quilt inspired by her work. My photos didn't turn out very well unfortunately. I will have to change the settings on the camera before the next show.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Wellington Quilters Show

DH and I drove to Wellington on Saturday for a quilt-y day. The first show was Wellington Quilters. There was a lot of colour on show and I enjoyed seeing quite a few scrappy quilts exhibited, wondering if this is a sign of the economic times, or perhaps I'm just noticing them because that is what I like at the moment.

There was also a creamy section but Blogger is on the go-slow that might have to wait for another day. In the mean time I'll save the bright colours.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunny Weekend

We have had more than our fair share of rain but this weekend the sun is shining which makes everything feels good in the world. Yesterday was our monthly quilting day and I made good progress quilting the cot quilt I am making for a work friend.

These are the green inchies from last year's swap, mounted on canvas. The flash really picks up the gold paint, it's not quite that bold. This is hanging over my sewing desk now and I'm really enjoying seeing it there.

All this progress makes me feeling like baking something yummy to celebrate!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Remarkable Symposium

The Symposium book came in the mail today. I excited and confused. There are so many classes to choose from, though my registration number is rather high so I probably need to be realistic about my options.

My goals for the weekend are to tidy up the sewing room and finish my inchy project... and ponder the symposium classes a little.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Textile Weekend in Palmy

Palmy has had a busy textiles weekend. Rose City Quilters had their 2-yearly show, we had a great Fabricabrac and the SIX show at Taylor Jensen.

Because I haven't been going to Rose City Quilters lots of the quilts were new to me and I really enjoyed the show. I loved this quilt made by Tricia Sanders. It didn't photograph all that well which is a shame. It was made with a waterfall of curtain fabrics, and other curtain fabric leftovers. The textures were very effective.

I bought some great bargains at Fabricabrac. Some lovely silks "just because" and some retro fabrics both for projects that are still just in my mind.

The SIX show at Taylor Jensen was fabulous. Six very talented textile artists each made thirty 6x12 inch quilts. These look stunning displayed in the gallery. This exhibit runs for a few weeks so I will be going back to have another look at this. If only every weekend could be like this.

I got very motivated by all these lovely things to look at and I come home and finished sewing a small top - a baby quilt for a colleague, which now needs quilting.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

What a neglected little blog

No reason, all sorts of reasons, computer problems... but here I am.

Next weekend this is happening in Palmy and I'm going be there shopping:About a month ago Altrusa held a similar sale and I bought a giant bag full of old wooden cotton reels for less than $5. I now have a vase full sitting in the lounge and they look great. I love the names that the thread colours have - dark lovebird, festive orange, frost green, reseda, magenta.
I'm hoping to find exciting bargains at this sale too.

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...