Tuesday 27 November 2018

a quilty hug

Love that feeling when I finish a quilt, don't you, like really finish it, with the quilting and the binding all done too. And this year has been a good one in terms of my personal start to finish ratio.
Often I don't have a specific purpose in making a quilt. I get a lot of pleasure from making a quilt, and after it's finished, and it's lived with me for a bit, I'm happy if my quilt finds a new home.

This week, as Christmas approaches us fast, I found myself sorting through my quilts. And today I bundled up a few of my quilts and popped into Mercy Hospice at College Hill here in Auckland and met Julie. She was a nurse and is now the Volunteer Manager there and we had a lovely time chatting over a cup-of-tea. It turned out that she & I knew others who had trained at the same time, way way back, and she also knew our close neighbour too, pat-next-door.

I know the team at Hospice provide so much support to so many of us. I received comfort and guidance when my mum was ill, and my daughter is now a nurse there. It's so nice to think that some of my quilts can provide a spark of bright colour or comfort during a difficult time . . .

. . . or simply a big quilty hug

Thursday 22 November 2018

in the works

New project in the works!

I have had my eye for a little while now on the free Kaffe pattern 'Cameo Snowball Quilt'
{found at FreeSpiritFabrics}
and I’m excited to finally have some time to work play with it.

I used one of Kaffe's lovely cameo panels for my starting point. The other fabrics are mainly from Anna Maria Horner's latest collection, conservatory fabrics with just a few others thrown in because I am almost incapable of sticking to one designer or range.

Here's some tentative design wall planning
 . . . so keen to keep going with this, but things will have to wait for my next free time.

What's on your design wall this week?
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

Tuesday 20 November 2018

what's happening in the sewing room

Well I've shown you a couple of weeks of progress pics,
so I thought I'd show you my finished 'feeling plummy' quilt top now too

I used the 'wagon wheels' quilt pattern from Kaffe's book 'Quilts in Italy'
And for earlier details about my processes & colour decisions, etc pop back here and here

 and just one more pic, with that sort of stained glass window effect . . .

Another one to join the pile waiting for basting & quilting
- and my design wall is now bare!

Linking up with Caroline from sewcanshe here
and with Em for 'moving it forward Monday' here at emsscrapbag

Sunday 18 November 2018

feeling plummy {pt3}

I've spent my sparetime this weekend making up the last three blocks for my 'feeling plummy' quilt {see back here for earlier details}. Here's a few progress pics . . .

I’m trying for a soft and yet punchy palette
I've used an eclectic mix of fabrics that I love, with lots of spots,
rearranging things over & over

Why does fabric chaos like this make me smile?

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

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 findtheone.com. 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}