Friday, 16 November 2018

a mixed bunch

I've got a mixed bunch of flowers things to chat about today,
patchwork blocks & books & bathtubs.

I've been back working on my "feeling plummy" quilt blocks, using Kaffe's 'wagon wheels' pattern. The first thing I did was to fussy cut new centres for two of the earlier blocks. It'll be a simple fix, and will be so worth the extra bit of unpicking and restitching, here's a wee closeup peep . . .

As I cut out more blocks I was mindful of other fussy cutting opportunities too . . .

I've tried to use an interesting selection of fabrics, lots of little snippets of quirky and whimsy and pretty. Must admit though, after my initial creative burst, I found teaming up the fabrics for the next few blocks a little tricky. 
I trialled quite a few combinations, changed quite a few things, and digged into the stash looking for just the right mix.

And it's all still very much a WiP, but here's how my design wall is looking so far . . .

- only three more blocks to go !
Linking up with Myra for 'finished {or not} Friday here 

Next up, my top picks for bookclub. This will be our last getogether this year, we're having xmas nibbles and discussing our three personal favourites for the year. 
My no.1 pick was 'A Spark of Light' a new book by Jodi Picoult - focusing on a Women's Centre, where several people are thrown together for various reasons when a gunman bursts in and opens fire. This story counts backwards through the hours of the standoff, and - as is Jodi's style - tackles a complicated issue in this gripping novel. 

No. 2 was 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman - Eleanor struggles with appropriate social skills, tends to say exactly what she’s thinking, and avoids social interactions. But everything changes when she meets Raymond, a bumbling IT guy from her office. A warm, quirky and very moving read.

And my no. 3 pick was "I See You' by Clare Mackintosh - a thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world. 
During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her, a grainy photo along with a phone number and listing for a website called A sort of grown up version of "stranger danger", an edge of your seat read, with a crazy twist. 

What book(s) would you recommend as a good read?

And to finish up, here's a few pics of my summer veges-in-the-bathtub
There's quite an overcrowded selection of silverbeet, lettuces, spring onions, parsley, kale, 
and in the midst somewhere, a row of red peppers

Happy Friday 
{or Thursday depending on where your home is}

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

blogiversary @ kokaquilts

This month is the six-year blogiversary of kokaquilts, gosh I can hardly believe it! I don't usually write about my blogiversary because I don't usually remember it, but, well 6 years and 556 posts later, it's a fair bit of time spent blogging, yes?

There are names I recognise of people who’ve been visiting and commenting on my posts for years, and I’m very touched that these people have come back for more, time and time again. Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

If you have stopped by before, you will know I love making quilts. I also love writing my posts, sharing my progress and pics. This year I have made an effort to up my photograpy game, trying to keep things interesting by presenting my quilts in a variety of ways. I have a little camera, nothing fancy. I like to try for both indoor & outdoor pics, and to get more of a 'lifestyle' photo I guess, working with what I have here, using things around my house as props, like decks, wooden table, threads, scissors, plants, thrifty finds, etc.

Today I thought I would look back over some of my older posts and pick out some of my favourite makes, a few of which have been gifted over the years. The quilt on the washing line - in the pic above - is one I made for my first granddaughter Olive. I didn't have a pattern so I combined ideas from a couple of quilts, did each part slowly & with fingers crossed, it all went together in the end. Here's a few more personal favourites . . .

Gypsy Wife, pattern by Jen Kingwell
Loved making this so much,
and am mid flight making a more modern version but have stalled with it!

HST quilt #1 scattered value layout and HST quilt #2  rhythmic value layout
There's something so appealing about those simple HST's

Vintage Spin, before & after quilting

Green Tea & Sweet Beans, WiP up on the design wall
note to self: I must get back to this soon & get it finished

Emperor's Wheel
Up on the design wall & out in the garden
Now all quilted bound & finished - possibly my all time favourite so far

Vintage Butterfly

Daisy Days quilt
- another from years ago using a sweet selection of pre-modern fabrics

Aunt Bet's Quilt
Using a restriced colour palette & simple shapes

Bright Stars
I faffed around for ages trying to decide on my setting for these stars,
love that yellow outer border

and another star quilt, a very early quilt, Spinning Stars
- on location at Waihi beachhouse

 BOM quilt pattern from Material Obsession
so glad I chose the pretty pastel palette for this busy quilt, so easy to sleep under

Retro Flowers Quilt
an oldie but a goodie!

Scrappy Drunkard's Path

Beige & Red Liberated Log Cabin
an early play with improv

Scrappy Stacked Coins Quilt
- all finished with teal binding & gifted

Thank you for taking a walk down memory lane with me.
Happy Wednesday
{or Tuesday depending on where your home is}

Thursday, 8 November 2018

every quilt tells a story

It's so true isn't it, every quilt does indeed tell a story.
I had a lovely, long conversation with Jean today and she told me all about my new old quilt . . .

A long long time ago, in 1994, Jean went to America. She had been invited to be a juror for a Baltimore quilt competition, in Pennsylvania . While in the States she had the good fortune to go to Paducah too and bought three quilt tops.
Once back home in New Zealand again, the three quilt tops ended up spending a few years together, wrapped up in tissue, in a camphor chest. 

One day she decided she should try and fix the quilts up, and get them finished. The peach eight point star quilt was not in good condition. The eight point stars had all been made by different people, as practise blocks for young girls learning to hand sew. Someone had collected them all up and pieced them together, maybe to gift as a wedding present.

However, the blocks had been hand stitched together with black embroidery thread and in one complete corner, there were several stars that needed replacing totally.

Jean spent quite a lot of time unpicking the black thread and repairing the damaged stars. The fabrics were a selection from the mid 20's to 40's era, and luckily she had bought a bag of 30's scraps while over in the States. She then hand quilted it  . . . and the quilt, almost almost finished, ended up back in the camphor chest again.

Fast forward to the present day, and Jean & hubby decided to move from Auckland up north to Whangarei. She needed to de-stash and so she had a 'suitcase' sale at the local guild meeting, selling her fabrics and quilts. And she also put the peach star quilt, along with the two others up for sale at the recent 'Auckland Festival of Quilts'. Where I stumbled upon it . . .

. . . so happy to be the new owner of this lovely quilt,
 I will treasure it.
Thank you Jean for sharing your quiltstory with me.
oh, and I promise never to put it back in the camphor chest. ever. again!
The End

Linking up with Esther over here at estheraliu

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

feeling plummy

Well, after spending some time with a few forgotten projects and getting them to the basting & quilting stage, I thought I'd start something new. I'm using Kaffe's 'wagon wheels' pattern from his book Quilts in Ireland, it's very similar to this pattern here by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts.

This quilt started out with a lovely Phillips Jacobs fabric capturing my attention first.Then I needed to decide on some fabrics to work in with it.

I definitely wanted to include lots of spots, loving the spots lately. I also wanted a variety of soft neutral prints for the background sections, and little 'pops' of plum here & there.

There are some combinations that surprised even me, a few AMH new conservatoryfabric mixed up with Kaffe & Keiko Goke. And using those light grey busy pastel Kaffe prints as a neutral seems to work too with the plum accents.

It's a real work-in-progress at this stage, with things changing along the way. I'm still undecided about going with a light or dark inner narrow border and I may unpick a couple of the centres and do a spot of fussy cutting. Nothing definite yet, just making one block at a time and going for a sort of "mix and don't match" look.

These wagon wheel blocks are quite big blocks, finishing at 16 1/2" and I've got four now. I'm probably going to make nine all together and then gather them all up and make a busy scrappy quilt! Love to hear your thoughts on my 'printsonprintsonprints' version.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

a vintage quilt find

I spied a few quilts for sale while at the Auckland 'festival of quilts' yesterday. This kingsize scrappy star quilt stood out, vintage looking & very different from anything else there, and it came home with me.
It was made by Jean Nutter and was hand pieced and hand quilted. I didn't get a good overall look at it until I spread it out at home, so many lovely little snippets of different fabrics and the points were consistantly good. I'm guessing the binding has been put on more recently. Overall it's in great condition, however I did notice one small area where there has been a 1/2" repair. I can live with that!
I've got a few questions, I'd love to know how old this quilt is & how long it took to hand piece all those little stars, but there is no quilt label nor did I glean much info at the stall. Taking a risk and giving it a gentle wash next.
And, while it's not my quilt, it's still a very lovely scrappy one so I'm linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here

For lots more photos of the show quilts, pop on over to see Julie from justjulielou latest post. I'll leave you with a pic of my favourite quilt from the show . . .

So many delightful little blocks and such a fabulous choice of fabrics.
And it won First Prize Large Bed Quilt and Best Hand Appliqué at Auckland Festival of Quilts