Monday 29 June 2015


Ah- a pile of finished quilts! And if you make quilts, you & I both know it's inevitable that you will end up with lots of scrappy bits, some favourite pieces, some pre-modern stash, some maybe not so pretty. But all of it can be used... yes?

Last week was spent sorting my messy scrap basket under my sewing table, one piece at a time - cutting 2 1/2," 3 1/2," & 5" squares & putting aside any longer strips. And the thing I noticed while I've been having a "Jolly Good Old Sort Out" is that I seem to have accumulated quite a few Kaffe fabrics. When I got back into sewing again after quite a long break, the fabric ranges were fairly limited.The Kaffe fabrics stood out, not everyone's cup-of-tea, but they were very colourful, and very different at the time. 

Fast forward to now, and what to do with those leftover scrappy bits & pieces? Well, after some thought, I decided on a couple of plans! First up, I wanted to sew an 'all-one-collection' scrappy quilt! I only needed a variety of long light & light/medium 3 1/2" strips to make a few blocks! I started out with a cool pastel-y palette and simple structure, lots of 16 patch blocks. Something like Liza Prior Lucy's quilt in an earlier Kaffe Fassett book, "Quilts en Provence" but of course, my leftover scraps, while similar, are really very different from Liza's fabrics!   

so some blocks worked -

- and some blocks didn't! 

- and, I had to substitute bits in some of them 
{all part of the fun!} 

-here's where I ended up today

lots of simple repetitive sewing
... and there's something really very satisfying about using up some of those scrappy bits! 

Wednesday 24 June 2015

making more daisies {a WiP}

I guess it's the mixing up of all sorts of fabrics that makes a quilt really yours, yes? 

I'm enjoying making this quilt, slowly sewing one scrappy daisy at a time. This pretty block is a re-make of a 1930's pattern, using templates by Meredithe Clark. {check out her blog pomegranate and chintz for some great inspiration!} The petals are stitched on to an octagon and squared up with triangles & squares, all with inset "Y" seams!
I'm having lots of fun choosing each set of fabrics. I've been getting the Amitie stash club alternate months, usually we receive 10 x 10" squares of their latest fabrics. They were late posting out this time, but when my parcel arrived, it contained a layer cake of Gardenvale as a 'thank you for your support' extra! Lovely surprise, so I'm able to use these along with my own earlier bundle, and combine them all with bits from my scrap basket to get some of that real scrappy variety happening!
And if you're thinking you have seen something similar to this quilt just recently, you'd be right... on the cover of Jen Kingwell's new book! Her version is called "Daisy Do" but in contrast to this block, her daisies are all connected with a very small background piece, and are just a bit more complex with inset seams too, and just a bit of applique, and just a few more pieces!

Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday
and to sew-cute-tuesday
and with Cynthia for 'oh scrap'
where you'll find lots more wonderful inspiration!

a bit more #31
Just thought I'd better check back to "the list"...
... you know, the 2015 Finish Along Q2 list! and 30th June is the 'Finishes' linky party
Hm-m-m, I've completed two out of my four things listed, if I hurry I could possibly make it three, or not! 
How are you all going with your FAL lists?

Saturday 20 June 2015

the neverending scrap story

A scrappy quilt is without a doubt, my most favourite sort of quilt! And there are, of course, many ways to try & use up all those scraps, see here and here for heaps of ideas. It's funny though, how you always think that next scrappy project will make a real dent in the overflowing scrap basket! But here's the thing... sorry, it doesn't! If anything, those scraps seem to multiply, now how is that?

I'm a messy sewer! Years ago, when learning to sew at school, we all just dropped our off cuts & threads on the floor, someone was always on 'sweeping duty' at the end of the session! And so usually I can just sew & sew, happy in all this scrappy messiness. But today when I walked into the room, I felt a bit over whelmed by it all! After a bit of intensive sewing getting my last project all finished, my sewing room had ended up a disaster site! And when I began auditioning fabrics for my next project, I couldn't find that one particular fabric I really really needed - you all know how that feels, yes?

I had bits & pieces everywhere, pieces too small to be folded, too big to be thrown away, and the basket under my sewing table was overflowing, and there were bundles of 'special' fabrics cluttering up the shelf waiting for inspiration. You couldn't even see my little collection of teddy bears, they were hidden behind a mountain of oldish stash I'd sorted for backings!

Even my design wall was starting to looking chaotic! Sometimes all the quilty ideas race round & round in your head, either you have to write it all down or start playing! I find the best way for me to really decide what I want to make next, is to sew a few trial blocks. Consequently, sometimes there's a lot happening up on the wall, here's a wee peep...

... and back to my scrappy situation
Like others, I have found it gets easier to give fabric away as the years go by
but most of it was bought for a purpose, and using up my stash & scraps is a fun challenge!
Just wish there was a little fabric fairy here at my place to tidy & sort as I go!

So this weekend, before anything else 
it was time to try & get some organisation in here! 
I've spent a bit of a lot of time sorting & folding & putting fabric away (again!)
and it feels so much better!

but somehow, my AMH scraps keep multiplying, 
maybe they jump into the shopping basket while I'm not looking? 

And as for the design wall... 
well, first up now is finishing those scrappy pretty daisy blocks.
See that last pic of scraps-in-a-basket, it's all ready to go and 
I've only got a few more daisy blocks to make, so no problemo! 

And how about you? 
Do you find the neverending scraps a case for regret or rejoice?
Linking up with Julie here at pinkdoxies
and Cynthia here for 'oh scrap' 

Thursday 18 June 2015

trippin' lightly round & round

It's all got a bit messy in the sewing room this week
I've sewed a little bits quickly & then left the chaos quickly   
- no chance of vacuuming in here!

I've been slowly piecing the last ten blocks for my version of 'Tripping Lightly' 
a lovely, low volume trip-around-the-world quilt I originally saw at a local quilt show. 
I decided to enlarge my quilt
so have been looking rummaging madly through my stash
for more low volume, blending bits & pieces....

... but believe it or not, I did have a little system happening...

... see!

b&w pic to check the values 

Goodness... I've just loved making this quilt! 
A traditional design and yet not totally - 
there are chains of planned colour yes, 
but I think the scrappy fabric assortment adds some interest to those radiating diamonds! 
It's all ready for quilting now!

Hope you had some time to sew too!
Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday
and with Julie here at pinkdoxies

Saturday 13 June 2015

and the winners are...

hosted an Orphan Adoption Event last weekend. 
Many of you joined in the fun! 

Thanx to all who entered here on kokaquilts. It was really lovely reading all the comments, so many caring people and such great causes. It's great to be able to pass on my two unfinished projects to someone who will finish them & in turn pass them on to be used & loved! It was a tough decision, so I popped all the names into two sunhats & drew the winners that way. And so the winners are...{insert drum-roll!}...

Winner of my Unfinished Project #1 is minibea12, Niki


Winner of my Unfinished Project #2 is Karen Thurn

 I will email you both to organise postage details
Cynthia is planning to make the Orphan Adoption a regular event twice/year
keep an eye on her blog so you don't miss it!

Thursday 11 June 2015

peachy quilt {a finish}

auditioning for binding

close up of backing, binding & border

I finally sourced the binding fabric for my peachy quilt & it arrived the other day! 
 I spent one evening this week sewing it on and now the quilt has gone to it's new home...
... as a floor quilt for the new little babies at La Leche.
Tummy time!

I found the pattern in an old NZ Quilter magazine, 
combining large & small squares, 9 patches, four patches, and stars. 
This was a little exercise for me, trying to just work with a limited colour palette! 
I used lots of peachy themed prints, including
a few vibrant Kaffes, mixed up with an oriental fabric, and others from my pre-modern stash!   
It was machine quilted by Annette,Wild Cotton. 
Finished size 140cms x 170cms. 
Linking up with tgiff here 

a bit more #30
not patchwork-y, but I thought you might enjoy this
music clip
from the film Amelie.
p.s. we "dance" to this at our Wednesday nite class! 
{4th track in}

Tuesday 9 June 2015

still the star of the show!

This week 
I put my lone star all back together again!

a clothesline and a sunny day! 

piecing the binding

I took my finished Lone Star quilt top along to our Monday Modern group for 'show & tell' last night, {lots of inspiring pics here @ the modern monday photo pool}.
Admittedly, there's nothing 'modern' about this quilt top with it's traditional pattern & old fabrics! But  - it did prompt an interesting discussion around what one actually does with those unfinished projects, and also what some of us I can do with a dated fabric stash!
The original fabrics in this quilt date well back to '85, lots of little small scale prints, goodness, fabrics and tastes have certainly changed over the years! But after trying to give this quilt top a bit of a makeover, I'm glad I opted for not changing the integrity of the original quilt - well, not too much anyway - by leaving the star untouched!
I have been chain piecing together leftovers from those old fabrics & some blending scraps from my basket for the binding. I used a 2" acu angle ruler to then cut my binding strips - I've had the ruler for ages but never used it before! It was very handy lining up the diagonals prior to slicing! Hope you had some time to sew this week too!

a bit more #29
pop on over to Megan's 
another Monday Modern group member who writes here 
... an interesting dilemma! 

Linking up for another 'show & tell' over here at ihavetosay
and over at Lily's Quilts here at the small blog meet
and then with Lee for WiP Wednesday here

* Edit: just found an excellent Lone Star tutorial
here at moda bake shop

Sunday 7 June 2015

Want to find a new project or get rid of one?

Do you have old works-in-progress that you don’t love or blocks that you don’t want to make into anything? Well yes, of course we all do! Cynthia from quilting is more fun than housework is hosting an Orphan Adoption Event Saturday June 6, 2015. This is a one day event and everything must be given away for free.You can offer as much or as little as you wish, blocks, patterns, kits, anything that you hope someone else can use. A perfect chance to give away your unfinished projects to someone who will love them and make something from them, or maybe turn them into a quilt for charity. 

I have two unfinished projects that I am abandoning. So, here we go with just a few easy details from me...
  • Simply leave a comment, stating clearly which project you are interested in and the charity or person you'd like to make it for.
  • This post will be open for offers until Saturday June 13.  EDIT: Saturday (NZ) June 13 This offer is now closed. Announcing the winners very soon! Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! 
  • I will be selecting the winners here at kokaquilts after June 13. 
  • If there is more than one person interested in a particular project, I will draw names from a hat. 
  • I am in Auckland NZ, and happy to pay for postage/shipping costs overseas 
  • Please include your contact details if you are a no-reply blogger


He- he, I'm really not an applique kinda gal! Simple Pleasures is an old BOM with patterns & fabric for 12 applique flower blocks. Four blocks completed, by machine applique. (but can be either hand or machine applique) Border fabric & pattern also included.

close up of two of the completed blocks



Pretty in Pastels... a quilt top in assorted Kaffe pastel fabrics, a couple of which are hard to find now. A sort of 'slice & shuffle' pattern, with repeat blocks rotated randomly.  Inner stripey border finished size 5cms, outer floral border finished size 12cms. Quilt top only, finished size measuring 125 cms x 155 cms.

detail pic of 'slice & shuffle' block

If you are keen to finish one of these items up and give it a good home, then join in the fun!
Linking up today with Cynthia here for the orphan adoption event
- pop on over to see what others are giving away too!

Saturday 6 June 2015

treasures from the wardrobe

First up, thank you so much for all the input about my little challenge last week! The Lone Star pattern really is one of those 'oldies but a goodie'. I pulled my old WiP out from the depths of the wardrobe last week for another look, fresh eyes and all that! I figured there must be some way to make it into a quilt that could be used & loved.

Here’s a pic of my Lone Star I made in a traditional style many years ago. Pretty formal, and kinda severe looking, and not my usual scrappy style! It's put together in an organized manner with the same fabric used in the same placement in the diamonds that make up the star.

My unfinished quilt has sat carefully folded up in the wardrobe for so long, destined to be a UFO for life! And you know, sadly you do sometimes see unfinished quilts. There's lots of reasons why, many of them have problems, like maybe not sitting so flat! If the 1/4" piecing isn't accurate at the start on the Lone Star, the star will bulge in the middle. Luckily, my middle is flat.. well, on the star anyway!

I really wanted to bring it into the present day somehow. Over the week, I unpicked the star, washed it, and then the fun began! I was torn between trying 'modern' settings {see here and here} or do I go with keeping more of a traditional feel? I played with different fabrics for the background, I played with different border ideas, I played with larger scale prints, and I played with smaller prints more in keeping with the original!
It wasn't easy! And my personal fabric consultant, my daughter, didn't agree with any of my combinations! So, while I started out keen to revisit this quilt and give it a makeover only using what I had here, when the going gets tough... the tough go shopping! I popped out to all things patchwork and spent a lovely hour there pulling fabrics off the shelves for auditioning! The lady there, sorry don't know her name, was very patient!
I ended up choosing a loose woven check in blues with a thin peach stripe for the backgrounds, and a larger scale, deeper coral chintz print for the final border, which I think hope adds a bit of warmth and playfulness to the whole quilt!

So it was back down on the "design floor" again today laying it all out.
And here's what I finally came up with
... and I'm much happier!

Linking up with Julie over here at pink doxies
where there's lots of other lovely projects on the go too!