Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A nameless quilt

I'm not sure what to call this quilt. It's about 26"x30" and I have made it as a wall hanging (and actually hung it!). The colours are some of my absolute favourites - the colours of New Zealand waters in my mind - rivers, lakes and the sea.

I'm linking up to {sew}modern monday at canoe ridge creations. Happy creating everyone!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hera marker

I kept reading about these magic markers in blogs. I was in Spotlight yesterday - and I spotted a Hera marker! $15 - I nearly swooned (and not in the fun fabric way). I gritted my teeth and forked out what seemed a lot of money for a very unassuming looking tool. Happily the story ends well. It does (miraculously) work amazingly well for marking quilting lines:

I'm going to try and get the binding on this this evening - I'm excited to finish this project!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Liebster Blog Award

The lovely Nicole over at Mama Love Quilts kindly awarded me the Leibster  Blog award. If you haven't been over to her blog yet you must pop over and look at her gorgeous work. She uses colour in amazing ways.

The Leibster award goes to a deserving blog that has less than 200 followers - thank you Nicole! As a recipient of the Liebster, it now falls to me to choose five other blogs to pass the award onto. Here are my picks:

1. First up is Karyn over at millymadeit. Karyn makes beautiful things and is a hand-quilter to boot. Have a look at her clamshell quilting and her latest wonky log cabin quilt.

2. Lisa over at Shiner's View. My goodness those curves are stunning!

3.Krista over at Krista Stitched. Krista claims she is a mad scientist by day - but check out the lovely things she produces when she is not busy being a mad scientist. Her rose star mini quilt is beautiful.

4. Judith at Rags to Bags. Judith is a member of the Modern Quilt Guild Ireland and was featured recently on their blog. This Pippi Longstocking tutorial of hers is so clear and 'Pippi' is adorable.

5. And last but not least Marcia over at Crafty Sewing and Quilting. Her quilting is amazing - lots of great ideas - check out this post for example.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Courthouse steps

It was a sad day around the country today and at school as we remembered the devastation of the Christchurch earthquake. I got home and decided I wanted to immerse myself in some sewing to unwind. I'm still on my 'learning new things' project so I thought I'd tackle some courthouse steps - using Kim's really great tutorial.
I wasn't really too taken with my first effort:

I think I was too distracted thinking about construction and wasn't really thinking about the fabric. Not such a great idea to have the centre all the same colour. The second one I liked a bit better:

I'm not convinced courthouse steps are for me. Maybe they will grow on me. Hmmmmm.
In other news we had our first AMQG meeting of the year last night. We have a new challenge: Make a NICU quilt (neonatal intensive care unit) - the only real rule is that we have to use a design or block we haven't used before. I think that might be hard for some of the more experienced quilters! 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Paper pieced wonky houses

Here they are - paper pieced happy little wonky houses. The blocks are 4.5 inches finished from memory.

This one is my favourite I think - a  little New Zealand weatherboard house. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Thunderbolts and Lightening! (and paper piecing)

I'm really tempted to join in with the New York Beauty QAL, but I realised I should probably try some paper piecing first. A pretty dramatic tropical storm in Auckland on Friday evening meant cheerio to the BBQ plans, so sewing was back on the agenda. Inspired by Heather's post and really cute paper-pieced doll, I watched the video tutorial that she had posted about, then hunted around on the internet for a pattern I could use that didn't seem too hard. I found this cute wonky house pattern, and plunged on in, thunder booming overhead. I did wonder if that was a bad omen - did the universe not want me to attempt paper piecing?? It turned out to be way more fun than I thought. Here is one of my happy little houses, wonky quilting and all. Just thinking about binding then you can see my whole street of happy houses.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Southern Stars Quilt top finished

I really enjoyed making this and love the colours. A bit of a surprise for me to find myself drawn to these smoky colours, but love them I do. I'm going to find someone to quilt this for me, it needs something other than straight line quilting which is all I know how to do. I've booked a tutorial for Friday at Patchwork Passion to learn the basics of free-motion quilting I'm really looking forward to it. However, am pretty sure I'll be wanting to put in a fair bit of practice before I go crazy on a quilt top I have spent hours making.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Oh my stars!

I'm getting close to finishing. Taking Elizabeth's advice, I have joined up smaller blocks and I have even painstakingly pressed all my seams open...
I quite like the undersides of quilt tops, they have their own charm (and maybe a habit from the days when I did a lot of cross-stitch - I was forever looking at the back of my own and everyone else's stitching).

Monday, 13 February 2012


For quite a long time I've been thinking about how to turn the general idea below into something quilt like:

During one of my blog wanders I came across a pattern called Basket Case on Cluck, Cluck, Sew. Fantastic! It has certainly helped me avoid becoming a basket case. Although I have modified the pattern it saved me a lot of thinking and maths! I have decided to make this as a wall-hanging, provided I like it at the end (one can never really tell!!).

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Marmalade all finished

Finished. Ahead of schedule. Phew. Although these are not really my colours, I know my sister will love the orange and yellow particularly. What I really like about this quilt is how soft the fabric is.

Edited to add:
I'm linking this post up with the festival of Half-Square Triangles  - check it out! (Sorry I can't get the button to work today for some reason)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

I don't heart Coco

This job proved fiddly. Crawling around on my 'design' floor seemed to be quite time consuming. So I decided to go and have a cup of tea because I knew I wanted to move some stars around... Coco obviously also had moving stars around in mind. In she crept, the little ninja, and did her worst. Honestly she is so stealthy - nowhere to be seen until my back is turned. I threatened to take her to the SPCA and she just stared me down then sauntered off outside. Hmphhh.
Anyway... I got the layout sorted, photographed it and got all the little pieces in piles so I can start sewing.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Stars in my eyes

I have a thing for stars at the moment. This is Cherie's Carpenter Star block. If you click on the link you can download her tutorial. It is Swoon-like but I think I like sharpness of this shape better. I didn't have the size visualised in my head when I decided to make it (18 inches but still smaller than a Swoon block by all accounts) so I don't have enough fabric to carry on and make a quilt, but I am quite tempted to start gathering fabric for just such a project. I really enjoyed making this block and didn't want it to go to waste so I have quilted what I have done and am planning to turn it into a lovely cushion...
So... did I spend my long weekend preparing for my first full week of teaching this year??? No.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

January NICU quilt (in February)

My New Year's resolutions often unfold over the course of the year...
I decided a little while ago (last week to be precise) that I would try and make a NICU quilt each month this year, so here is my January quilt just slightly behind schedule. This is a version of Rita's 'Jacob's Ladder' (Red Pepper Quilts) - I just looked at the picture and away I went. I'm not sure what size her blocks are but my blocks look quite a bit bigger (they are 4inch). The finished size is 20x24inches - such a joyously quick project!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

In a bind!

I've been a busy little binding bee! This is the second quilt I ever made. I did it last year at Patchwork Passion as a follow up to the Easy Retro Quilt class. When I finished the top it went into the cupboard because I was too nervous to quilt it. Mum was staying recently and asked where it was so I had to confess it was a UFO. I finally got around to quilting it, then it went back into the cupboard. I think I've never been completely in love with it which is strange because it is made with some of my very favourite colours. Anyway, I've been on a binding buzz so it's all done. And its going to Mum because she likes it much more than I do - something about those birds...

...and so on with more binding. This pile is destined for my Marmalade quilt. It's looking a bit reminscent of a sea-snake I saw once when I was snorkeling in Fiji. I'm hoping it will look less snakey when it is attached to the quilt.