Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas projects

Recently our Monday Modern group celebrated the festive season by exchanging gifts made in secret. We did it lucky dip style so no-one knew where things would end up.

I got a lovely Liberty pincushion, thanks Linda :-)

For my contribution I used Svetlana's pattern to make a zippy pouch - because you can't really have too many zippy pouches in my opinion. Especially if said zippy pouch has cats on it :-)

This weekend I decided (out of the blue) that I was going to make a Christmas cushion. I think it was the super cute Aneela Hoey fabric that wouldn't let me ignore it any longer.

Ok Christmas - I'm ready for you now!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tote bag

I do love a good tote bag. Its seems I carry a lot of stuff around, particularly books and papers, so for me, a good tote bag needs to be sturdy and have handles that are a comfortable length. I have been wanting to try Adrianne's tutorial for a while now, and finally got around to it this weekend.

I used some of my very favourite fabric for this bag (Lizzie House Catnap) and the Soft and Stable that Adrianne recommended (from Stitchbird for any curious kiwis). 

I also found some great fabric for the lining which I had tucked away in my stash. I love it when I can shop from my stash - I think it is a Denyse Schmidt fabric that I got from Spotlight.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Monday modern {block lotto}

Our Monday Modern group has been playing block lotto this year. As I set to work on the last block for for the year, I felt a twinge of guilt that I had not yet sewn the blocks together that I won months ago. So this morning I got to work - job done!

This will make such a fun baby/toddler quilt finishing at 36"x 48". The fussy cut centers are really cute and I love the bright colours.

'Migration' is the last block for block lotto this year - a wee bit fiddly (lots of hsts) but it is a pretty block.

I also wanted to try out a pattern that I have had for ages called Russian Rubix by April Rosenthal. I thought it would make quite a nice Liberty quilt. The pattern calls for a bit of precision and quite a lot of trimming. I don't mind trimming as long as it all works out in the end.

Happily I can report that it is a well-written pattern so everything does work out it the end. Phew.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Pussy cat pussy cat where have you been?

Pussy cat pussy cat where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen!

Well, actually Queenie didn't invite me up to the palace for a cuppa and a catch-up, maybe next time?
Although I went to London for work, I did manage to fit in some sewing-related shopping. Who'd have thought??

First stop, the gorgeous Liberty shop. The old part of the building is made from timber from an old ship so in keeping with its origins a mast and sails occupies the centre space. Beautiful!

Liberty is not a shop where it is easy buy smaller fabric cuts, on the whole you could mostly only buy half metre cuts off the bolt. A little rich for my diet (great self-control Megan) but I did find a WOF that made its way into my shopping bag.

I spent a weekend with a friend I used to flat and craft with. She had bought me a bundle of fabric from the V&A museum to celebrate my arrival. The fabric is a little unusual but I'm thinking it might look good made up using Adrienne's High Tea pattern.

For a book lover like me, the huge Waterstones near Picadilly Circus had me in seventh heaven. Floors and floors of books *sigh*. Resisting the urge to fill my suitcase with books, I settled on a couple of poetry collections and just one quilting book.

The instructions inside are so clear and there are lots of fun looking projects to try - I've not seen this book before, so it was a very happy find.

I had a lovely time away but as always, am very happy to be home and I'm looking forward to dusting off my sewing machine :-)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tula Pink Nest hexy cushion

I really like hexies and the whole EPP process. Although I've made a few hexy flowers over the years, I've never used them for anything. Until now. Yippee.

The hexy fabric is Tula Pink Nest. I bought a little hexy kit, then Liz shared some extra fabric she had sourced with me. 

There were a few firsts for me in making this cushion. First time doing applique, first time hand quilting. I enjoyed doing both. I didn't want to waste the extra squares I had, so I stitched them together for the back.

Mum has been visiting and I offered her this cushion, but now that I see the pictures I'm not sure I want to part with it. Oops.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Welcome Daylight Saving!

I love this time of year when it seems like summer might be just around the corner as evenings get lighter and lighter. In fact, I felt so cheerful this morning, I was ready to get Gypsy Wife out of the cupboard and tackle another section.

Here it is - excitingly named 'section 7'. It is the long panel bottom right which looks deceptively simple but took quite a lot of concentration.

Making the most of my burst of enthusiasm I did the big block needed for another section called 'Crazy Anne'. Yep, caused a little craziness and some of the points are a bit off, but I'm calling it a victory :-)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Round the World Blog hop

Rachel at Wooden Spoon Quilts tagged me recently for the Round the World Blog hop. Rachel has just started a blog although she has been very active on Flickr for ages. If you don't know her you need to check out her gorgeous work immediately!

Read on if you want to know a couple more things about me...

Where do I live? 
I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I grew up in Wanganui and moved to Wellington when I was 18 to go to university. I arrived in Auckland in my early twenties and never quite managed to leave again. Mystery photo below - a local would recognise it :-)

What am I working on?
This weekend I have been working on my Ginger Crush BOM. I'm really enjoying the lovely fabrics and the sense of satisfaction that comes with getting something finished.

Just that star to applique on.
I've also made a start handquilting (*gasp) my hexy cushion. I may be some time...

How does my creating process work?
Um... I get an idea, jump in boots and all with limited planning...problem solve when I hit a wall, then feel ridiculously pleased with myself...fall out of love with the project and put it in a dark cupboard for a while...have stern words with myself and force myself to finish...finish and decide I quite like it after all. Yep, I think that's about it.

I'm not tagging anyone in particular - but please do feel free to consider yourself tagged if you want to play along!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Some quilty secrets

There seems to be a rash of sharing quilty secrets going on in blogland. I can't promise you 10 - in fact let's skip the counting all together.

  • My Gypsy Wife and I are officially on a break. I'm not sure how long it will last or whether we're going to need couple's therapy, but there it is.

  • I love stars. I can't get enough of them. Hence the completely random decision to start a new project as WIPs pile up around me. I've called this project "Adrianne's stars" :-)

  • I nearly always start projects without a real plan. A while back I started some sewing some hexies together. I like how this is looking, but I'm not sure what will happen next.

  • Because of my reluctance (inability) to plan ahead, sewing is generally just one big problem solving exercise. Exhibit A - this one is due to the very popular not quite enough fabric:

  • I get deeply and profoundly mad when the print on a fabric doesn't run along the grain. It's like the fabric makers are out to make your sewing look bad. Grrrrrr.

  • I occasionally make lists so I can enjoy ignoring everything on the list. 

  • I have pruned my blog post right back. I just want to see what you are making guys. Not read your advertising or your angsty story about not feeling good enough.
  • I have a thing for cat fabric. I pretty much never sew with it, so I guess we could say I 'curate' cat fabric. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Star blocks

I love star blocks, I return to stars again and again. When it was my turn to suggest a block for our block lotto at Monday Modern I made this one.

The pattern is from Clover and Violet but I saw it on Adrianne's blog (or perhaps it was IG). Adrianne later adapted the original pattern changing the proportions of the star a little and posted instructions for different sized blocks 12", 9" and 6" finished.

I was in the mood to make another star quilt so I have begun her adapted version. I'm loving the way it is looking so far!

I am continuing to make slow progress with Gypsy Wife. I have to concentrate when I am working on it so it's not conducive to evening sewing. Evening sewing now sometimes sees me practising hand quilting. I drew some lines to follow after my first free style attempts :-)

The back looks pretty bad. I'm not sure if the stitches are supposed to be the same size as those on the front but I have a sneaky suspicion the answer is yes.  

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ginger Crush

I have always wanted to try a BOM. In the sometimes crazy busy chaos of my work life, the idea of structure can be very appealing. I admired Liz's progress on Citrus Sweet Love and when it came to pass that Treehouse Textiles & Cabbage Quilts were offering Ginger Crush as another BOM, I signed up in a jiffy!

The quilt has pretty muted colours, quite hard to capture well in photographs. I am practising my handquilting because I think I will want handquilting on this quilt when it is done :-)

I'm not too partial to butterflies, so I replaced the applique butterfly in the top block with a little wonky star.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Gypsy wife {small scale crisis}

The problem with making a scrap quilt is that it's difficult to determine how many 'scraps' you're going to need, and if you're like me and have a rather eclectic fabric stash, not everything can be part of the #scrapiliciousness.
Here I am with Gypsy Wife to date:

I have made quite a few blocks for the other sections but I've now used up most of my original fabric 'scraps'. I promptly emailed Amitie to ask for me but unfortunately they have sold out of many. So, as of today, GW is on a break while I wait for the fabric Amitie did have to arrive. Then potentially I will have to source some other fabric depending on what I think I will need. I have a feeling the break will do us both good. Last weekend my brother popped in for a coffee while I had this on the lounge floor.
Brother: "So where exactly are you heading with that??"
Me: "Nowhere fast, that's for sure, it's tricky".
Brother: "It's pretty intense. What about a cat mat?"

In the meantime have a back up sewing plan. I found some fabric that I think will be a perfect backing for my Tula Pink hexies. So it's handsewing on the 'to do' list while I wait for the postie to turn up with some fabric packages.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Did I tell you about the time...?

Did I tell you about the time I decided I had to make a hottie cover immediately? And it had to have a unicorn on it. I used a 'pattern' from Spotlight which in retrospect was probably better described as 'very broad guidelines'. Not being one for reading patterns before starting, this only dawned on me part way through.

So once again I have made the skinny jeans version of something. A long time ago I did the same with a Kindle cover. Never mind, I wrestled the hottie in and I don't imagine I will be taking it out all that often.

I sewed the back flap on in the wrong order so it is a little unconventional :-) The good news is that it doesn't seem to have caused any functionality issues.

I was so taken by the colour combination I decided to use up the scraps by making a baby quilt (or perhaps a mini lap quilt). Here are a couple of shots of the quilt top enjoying some rare winter sun.

It's 40x48" so it shouldn't take those quilting fairies too long to quilt up when they turn up at my place. Cross-hatching I think - I must remember to leave the fairies a note and perhaps some scrummy afghans.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gypsy Wife {the July edition}

I made a bit more progress on Gypsy Wife today. I'm pleased with my decision to start working my way through it section by section, rather than the original schedule. It means I can keep a bit more of an eye of how its coming together. It's not easy though, it is a very different type of quilt to those I am used to making so it stretches me.  I don't have too much of a plan but I'm trying to keep an eye on value, and trying to not end up with pockets of similar colours in one area. Note that the last point hadn't really impressed itself on my brain when I put this part together and I've ended up with a green/aqua band. Still, unpicking is not my gig, so it shall remain.

I love the vertical lines that are in this quilt. Now that I can see some of them appearing I am happy! I have managed to devise a highly technical system to keep the strips in order when I am not using them. Exhibit A:

Yes, the trusty old safety pin has many uses. You can also see the notes that patient Liz made identifying which block goes where, which she then kindly passed on to me. As previously mentioned this pattern is a tad light on detail. And I can be a tad light on patience :-)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Aerial {a finished mini quilt}

I finished hand stitching the binding on my Aerial mini quilt last night. Yippee.

I didn't follow the pattern exactly. Sometimes I had to redraw some of the lines as I was going (it's paper pieced) because I had miscalculated the size of the fabric needed. I was using some small Oakshott pieces I had in my stash, so the design process was constrained by the concept of 'available fabric'.

I used a grey Aurifil for quilting, choosing one that went best with the grey frame and quilted it at 1/2" intervals. I marked a few lines first with my Hera marker to keep things reasonably straight, then just filled in the gaps using my walking foot as a guide.

You can see the quilting lines are not perfectly straight. The Oakshotts were a bit shifty after I had taken the paper off so I decided to have the same imperfection echoed in the quilting. (Do you like the way I make it sound like I have some control over how my quilting works out???)

I even made a little dowel system for hanging so its ready to go up on the wall in my office. The cat quilt currently there is going on a break :-)