Friday 28 November 2014

in the pink

in the garden

lovely liberties

present WiP 

last minute sewing

  • My sweet peas have just started flowering this week. So tempted to cut some & bring them indoors, but I'm waiting until there's just a few more!
  • This year I have been collecting little bits of Liberties from Westwood Arces. There are quite a few of them now and they all look so pretty, this latest bundle was particularly pink! A couple of weeks ago I thought it was time I made something from them and I started out using this pattern here but I'm cutting my HST's a bit differently. It's all looking good and I really really just wanted to keep sewing... 
  • ... but right now I'm on a bit of a mission!  My daughter belongs to the local La Leche group and they are fundraising this Sunday with a table at the children's market on Herald Island. I promised a while ago that I'd donate a couple of quilts. Luckily, I do like to have a few unfinished quilts here, just waiting for a home to go to, including a simple squares quilt which I have made several versions of now. But of course, I've left everything to the very last minute - it's a family trait!- and so I need to get a wriggle on and quickly put the binding on two or maybe three little quilts.
  • Edit ... Whew... two little quilts all finished just in time! Hehe maybe I should work to a deadline more often!
Have a lovely weekend! 

a bit more #24
I came across this site
fresh blocks inspired by vintage quilts
... actually I love those old worn out quilts just as much as the fresh versions, don't you?

Friday 21 November 2014

classic meets modern {update}

November block

I quite like the  busy feel of the blocks next to each other

and I also like the same blocks with sashing & cornerstones

Sampler quilts... I enjoy making the occasional sampler mainly because I have a short attention span and I've found that as each block is different I don't get bored! If several techniques are used, it's also a real good learning process too. And I've liked this particular BOM actually because there is no applique!

My initial thought way back at the beginning of the year was to try a more modern makeover version each month, not just do the same-old-same-old... and so I've been brave and used more & more solids as the year has progressed, and while I haven't totally used only one designer range, I have stuck to a limited colour scheme! Since I doubled up on one block earlier, I now have 12 blocks finished and so this weekend I'm at the point of deciding about alternatives to traditional quilt top layouts.
Keeping simplicity in mind, I'm using Grunge Basics Essence which, while it does have a slight blue tinge to it, is also an overall neutral light coloured solid. I'm happy for some blocks to merge into the borders, giving a calming effect and creating more -ve space for some quilting! In my mind, the more whiter bits here & there add the sparkle! And definitely a scrappy binding later to add the finishing touch!
A couple of blocks have turned out not quite exactly 12 1/2" square, but in the spirit of 'embracing-the-process' of making a hand made quilt, I'm not too worried. There's a bit of wiggle room if I add sashing, so at this point I'm going with the 2nd photo. What do you think... sashing or no sashing?
Or then again, maybe I could put them all 'on point' ? oh dear, endless possibilities!
Linking up with Erin
WiP Wednesday

Sunday 16 November 2014

the weekend in brief

  • I resuced a few flowers from the garden before the wind ruined them
  • A package arrived from Hawthorne Threads... a few fabrics from the Honor Roll range, AMH
  • And a rather mellow collection of Persimmon BasicGrey, Moda arrived from Fat quarter Shop. I began mixing things up straight away, not too sure where this is headed yet!
  • We braved the weather, went into town to see "My Old Lady" at the Lido, I think everyone else in Auckland had the same idea!!  
  • Finally, the beginnings of a vege garden.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Auckalnd Festival of Quilts & different points of view

My son & daughter-in-law are staying with us for a couple of months until they go over to Melbourne to live. Charlotte came with me to the quilt show this weekend, the Auckland festival of Quilts. She has just finished her Bachelor in Design, majoring in fashion with honours and it was very interesting to see which quilts caught her eye!
She chose quilts that were rich in colours like the oranges, greens and purples. She liked that some quilts actually make a picture rather than something more abstract. She loved the colours in the fractured 9patch and also liked the way that there were both straight & wonky lines to it, a sense of controlled chaos! The desert one made her think of Australia, where they are headed all too soon! Her favourites were...

{sorry names not all captured}
There was one wall hanging that we both loved ...

Pyjama Party, Annie White
funky flamingos made in metallic & fluro threads

My picks for the day were really rather different! I just loved a few of the more old fashioned ones, the workmanship & time to make them was impressive. 
And so some of my favourites- in no particular order- were...

Perseverance, Alison Hartley

Mrs Billings Returns, Sue Flego

Serendipity, Jocelyn Atkinson
What was the front is now the back!

... and this...

Windmalls of my Mind, Julia Vazel

...and then three more "fresh," more modern looking quilts...

Inside Out, Judi Schon
variation of log cabin - look at all the ribbons!

Brain Waves, Robyn Rognstad

Fractured, Heather Basset

Oh, and both Charlotte & I were quite impressed with this hands-on-book. She did a bit of a sales job for them while we looked thru' it!!

Farmer Joe's Quiet Book, pattern made by Kids Quilts right here in Laingholm.
It's an activity book/play mat
and Charlotte bought the pattern!

We had a lot of fun together at the quilt show. I shall miss them both heaps when they go - but still it's easy enough to pop-over-the-ditch, isn't it?  

Thursday 6 November 2014

around the world blog hop

What a lovely surprise to get an email from Kathy in Boston asking if I'd like to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop! She writes over here @ I enjoy reading about her quilty adventures and her FMQ is lovely, pop on over for a little look! So here we go, here's a little bit about me...

1. What am I working on? 
Well, the next couple of weeks are a bit hectic for me so my priority just now is finishing up a few things. I have a couple of quilts that I want to gift for Xmas but they need quilting first. I struggle with FMQ so will opt for simple straight line quilting on both on them.

I am a bit of a multi-tasker I must admit, often juggling a few things all at once, so I also have a couple of other WiP's up on my design wall! I am doing two BOM's, Ginger Crush which uses lots of soft  muted colours and Classic meets Modern which finishes up next month. I have just started a new quilt using my lovely Liberties. But I've been held up with any further progress as I am waiting for more Kona cotton to arrive. And I have also got one quick piecing fun quilt that I'm making whenever I get a moment to sew. It's a version from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 Minutes of Play book, creating made-fabric from scraps. I should tell you thou' if you do give this a go, it's a lot of fun and it's very addictive sewing!

2. How does my work differ from others of its gene?
Over the years, I think I have made what some would call quite an eclectic selection of quilts! I love making scrap quilts the most, I enjoy mixing up fabrics from different ranges, playing with the values and experimenting a bit. I have found from experience thou' that a scrappy quilt can sometimes get a bit out of control and sort of lose some of it's charm, but I've worked out a few ways to tame my results! {e.g. common background fabric, or using a multicoloured print as a focus, or using a limited colour palettte,or maybe repetition of an accent colour.}
I haven't, so far, made an "all solid" quilt. And I don't really enjoy using all white as a background, I much prefer mixing assorted creams, whites & greys together from my stash to get an interesting effect.  

My tastes have definitely changed a little over time, mainly due to all the inspiration that's out there in blogosphere! I feel I'm kinda moving away from the traditional to a sort of happy mixture somewhere inbetween the old & the new! I also belong to a little group of quilters called "Monday Modern." We meet each month and I have found this to be a great source of inspiration and a wonderful way to share & meet like minded quilters. 


3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I love colour.. and fabric! And like many, I love to gift my quilts, to learn new techniques, and to have fun using up my stash. 
Years ago I didn't take photos of the progress I made with making any of my quilts or of my actual finished quilts, it was way too expensive! So for me now, blogging is such a great, easy way of documenting my quilting journey! And it's alot of fun, I've met lots of new quilty friends, and my photography & computer skills have increased heaps! (many thanx to Megan @  for initial afterhours assistance!)  

scrapbox delight

 little cot quilt all layered up, pinned & all ready for me to quilt

retro flowers quilt, home machine quilted

mixing the old with the new!

gypsy wife quilt.. done!

4. How does my creating process work?
Again I guess like many, I start with either a colour scheme that appeals, or have a particular fabric that I want to use, or maybe a pattern I want to try out. But while I often may have some initial concept in mind, I always seem to end up changing things along the way... sound familiar? Luckily, I really enjoy the actual processes involved in making a quilt, you know, all that fun of choosing the fabrics, all that trial & error of what works & what doesn't, all that fudging your way thru' new techniques! I do get there in end and usually have a quilt I'm happy with, it just takes a bit of time, which is ok!

curved star hexagon quilt, a long term WiP

Thank you Kathy for tagging me and in turn, I am tagging Robyn who also belongs to the Monday Modern group too. She blogs over here @  I love her fresh approach, and you should see all those tiny bits of piecing in her Brain Waves quilt, it really is quite amazing! Pop on over and check it out on her post later on. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished Brain Waves quilt in-the-flesh at the quilt show this coming weekend... for those overseas, here in Auckland, NZ we have the huge Festival of Quilts happening, the annual show of the Auckland Quilt Guild. 
I am also tagging Juliet from I love her unique paper piecing patterns (haven’t as yet got into paper piecing myself!) and her attention to detail is amazing, pop on over sometime to check it out!

Linking up this week with Let's Bee Social for the first time over at  Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday 1 November 2014

making a list

I woke up this morning and finally made a list of things to sew! After a couple of weeks of not actually sewing I seem to have a lot of new ideas running round in my head! I also have a few almost finished quilt tops lurking around which I want to gift for Xmas so I better get a wriggle on! Time to reassess & prioritise... and to make the list! Do you have lists too? do you find you actually follow them? and do you religiously tick things off as you go?

lots of lovely sunshine today!

Priority this morning was to finish up making HSTs for my neutral quilt. I rumaged thru' my stash to find as many geometric prints as I could for added interest, and I tried not to over think what-would-go-with-what as I made the HST's! Some combinations have been repeated and I have used one particular yummy fabric quite a bit too-that vogue new trends back to tradition one-just to help with continuity.

And like Cheryl, I've also tried to make the value difference in a couple of the blocks quite subtle, where they almost blend right into each other which I think is nice. I think this is one quilt that will be very easy to live with... so soft & peaceful!

My inspiration for this simply pieced quilt came from a couple of places, here
(if you look closely Cheryl has also added cheeky little yin/yang halfcircles in some of her blocks!)
and here too
(scroll down a little to see Mary's lovely scrappy triangles)

a bit more #23
and in the evenings
I've had fun trying out a little bit of fussy cutting with my curved star hexis

I'm off to do some long overdue gardening now
Have a good weekend everyone!