Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas making

Christmas can be a season of making, it has been for me :-)
I made a little needlebook as my secret santa gift for Monday Modern.

Originally I planned to give the Christmas tree ornament below, but I had a lot of trouble with the piping. It looks ok in the photo, but doesn't stand up to much scrutiny in real life. So its on my own tree now.

And finally, I finished my nephew's book cushion. The book is wrapped and in situ :-)

Wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Vintage Spin

I stitched my Vintage Spin blocks together over the weekend - I think we can safely say this is the last quilt top of 2015. I think I will get it long-armed even though its not very big (around 56"square from memory). All the edges are bias edges and I can just see things going horribly wrong if I try to wrangle it through my machine.

The colours are quite intense close up. I'm happy with the centre fabric I chose, its kind of there, but not really fighting with the other fabrics for attention.

Unexpectedly there were a few tidy points too. I used a fair few pins when stitching this together, it is so thrilling when sometimes it is worth the effort!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Christmas cushions

Some time ago I decided that rather than make a Christmas quilt (because unless something weird is happening with the weather, a quilt is way too hot for summer in Auckand) I would make a new Christmas cushion each year.
I made this one last year:

It looked very jolly on the couch. All going according to plan it will have a mate this Christmas.

I also decided to make my niece and nephew 'book reading' cushions for Christmas. I heard a great interview on the radio with Andy Griffiths, author of the Treehouse books, who was talking about the importance of helping children associate book reading with pleasure. My mother did a great job of that with the three of us, so I'm going to try and do my bit too. I figured a squishy down-filled pillow would be a great present to accompany a book. 

Lions for my nephew:

And some Tula Pink for my niece. Mum bought her a new duvet cover for Christmas, pink of course because she's a girl *snort. So I was asked to make her something to match. (I'm not anti-pink by the way, just anti-pink-because-you're-a-girl). I'm a bit further on with this one. It has some less than stellar quilting on it, and the back and edging sorted.

Now I just need work to be less crazy busy so I can get on with being Santa's little helper...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Auckland Festival of Quilts

We have had a beautiful sunny summery weekend here in Auckland, and what better way to celebrate the approach of summer than a quilt festival?! This year Auckland's Festival of Quilts was held at a new venue (the Auckland Netball Centre in St Johns).  It seemed, from what I overheard, that most people thoroughly approved of the new venue. I really liked the light and space. 

As always there was much to see. I was especially taken by this little wallhanging called 'Frida' by Ngaire Fleming and quilted by Leonie Wihongi.

I am a long time admirer of Robyn Croft's work. She had several lovely pieces on show, including this modern landscape - inspired by the Waikato country side and the changing colours of the horizons beyond those ubiquitous fences!

One of my quilts 'Treasure Hunt' (pattern by Amanda Woodruff) came second in the amateur small quilt (multiple makers) section. It was quilted by Carol Fearon, who did a fantastic job with it.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Round Robin blocks

I've have completed my third round robin border, each one felt a bit harder than the previous one - I guess that's because you have more to try and work in with each time. I thought I would do a bit of a retrospective of the journey so far!

First up I received Catherine's block.

Catherine had done a small piece of seminole patchwork, so I kept that in mind as I added to the block.

Then I received Karyn's Tui cuckoo clock which Carolyn had added to with whimsical circles. 

I added some flying geese, some brown (which seemed in keeping with the whole arts'n'crafts cuckoo clock kind of idea), and finally some little woodland creatures which I attached using raw edge applique.

And then I received June's centre block, which Catherine had worked on before me. I had what I thought was a great idea when I saw the block, so I started by swapping out a couple of the colours Catherine had used so that I would have enough fabric to do it (Catherine had handed on some of her fabric). So this...

Became this,

I really wanted to join up those little strips in Catherine's border so they formed a completed rectangle in my border, but I eventually realised this would drive me I.N.S.A.N.E. Much, much indecision was to follow. And unpicking. Lots of that. It was quite difficult to get the colour balance working in this piece, and the rectangle shape didn't have a common denominator, so many block ideas I had wouldn't work. Lots of things I tried seemed to overwhelm the centre.

I finally came up with an idea that I could materialise AND that didn't overwhelm the centre. I particularly like that I could use the aptly named friendship block in the corners.

The final round is quilting a binding. This is feel a bit apprehensive about as quilting is not my strong suit!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Vintage spin {progress}

I finally finished making the 16 blocks I need for my Vintage Spin quilt. It's a fun block to make but I am happy to finish at 16. I had a trial layout to make sure there was enough balance between the light and dark blocks. I might need to move some of the blocks around, but I think it will work ok.

Then it was on to the business of making the centres. I am a novice at applique so I started by re-watching Sarah Fielke's craftsy class "Big Techniques from Small Scraps" and then I was off!

Unintentional fussy cutting from the cardboard box I used

Friday, 25 September 2015

Modern Wedge workshop with Kathy Doughty

Last Saturday I went to the Modern Wedge workshop with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame at All Things Patchwork. I had such an enjoyable time! Kathy was really interesting but also kind of chilled out - a great combination in my mind.

Kathy began by talking about some of the beautiful quilts she brought with her. Then she had us lay out all the fabric we had brought with us in warm and cool colours, and from dark to light. This was so we could think about contrast looking at the fabric we had. Then we got got started on making our modern wedge combos. At one point when I was standing looking anxiously at my pile Kathy asked me what I was thinking about. I said I had just grabbed anything from home and hadn't thought about whether they 'went' together.
Kathy: "Well, do you like the way they look together here on the table?"
Me: "Um... yes" (Add a little of that kiwi habit of going up on the end of the sentence and you'll get the expression).
Kathy: "Ok" (Facial expression - "so what's the problem??").

This was very liberating. So I just got to cutting anything I liked the look of.

The great thing about this process is that you cut the wedges and lay them out, and if you don't like what you see, you can try different options.

Kathy also showed us an abundance of possibilities using the wedge ruler. I was particularly taken with this block:

I would definitely do another class with Kathy if there was the opportunity - a great way to spend a Saturday. If you haven't already you might want to pop over and see how Linda, Karyn and Rachel got on.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Creating colour palettes with Anna Maria Horner

I can't quite recall how I came across this class with Anna Maria Horner on Creativebug, but I'm glad I did. I'm not very confident at choosing fabric when I set out to make a quilt and I have been known to be disappointed with the final outcome :-). A little colour theory class seemed just the ticket! You'll need to watch the clip yourself if you're interested, but this is what happens...

1.You start by making a colour wheel using some paint cards (thanks Resenes).

2. You follow Anna Maria's instructions, without overthinking (what?? Is that like, not breathing??), and you end up with six different palettes.

3. Then you choose the one you respond to and see if you can make it work with fabric. I love that word respond. My choice surprised me - it's from the part of the colour wheel I tend to avoid - the yellows! (Right next to my other not-favourite, the oranges).

I love this little palette. Next week when I have some holiday time, I'm going to going rifling through my fabric drawers and see if I have anything in fabric that might correspond with these paint cards. I kind of doubt it, but I may surprise myself.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Round robin {Karyn}

We swapped round robin blocks at our Monday Modern meeting last week. I received the cuckoo clock that Karyn started. Cuckoo clocks are kind of quirky to my way of thinking, and I really liked what Carolyn had done before me with the sort of deconstructed circles. I started by raiding my stash for anything that looked like it might fit. I particularly wanted to use some quirky Dr Suess type (?) fabric that I had.

I forgot to photograph my out takes and revisions. Anyway...this is what it became.

I'm no designer, but if anyone wants to know what I was thinking, read on...
Firstly - that brown fabric (is it actually Dr Suess? I don't know) reminded me of clock pendulums and the colour seemed to work really well, as did the little circles which kind of play on Carolyn's circles. I didn't want to do flying geese as they featured in a number of blocks this month, but something about the shape of the top of the clock made it a bit irresistible. And finally, I wanted to add some hour glass blocks. You know, in keeping with the whole time theme... I'm not completely happy with the bottom left block, so it might get a makeover before next month's meeting.

Friday morning was spent setting up at Alberton. I managed to get one picture before I had to leave for work.

Pop along if you're local - its worth it for the beautiful old home alone.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Hamilton Craft and Quilt Fair

I made a flying visit down to Hamilton yesterday for the Craft and Quilt Fair. Here are a few of the quilts that caught my eye:

City Shadows by Hellen Borrington
Sea Blue by Dianne Firth
Sea Blue (close up)

Gathered Consciousness by Cindy Watkins

And a very rare shot of me (mostly for mum) in front of my Anna Maria Horner quilt which was part of the Road to Colour exhibition.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Folk song {a finished quilt}

Not too many words needed today...

And finally, a cosy pile of quilts ready for  New Quilts for Alberton Beds. Just need to keep the cat off them until hand in day :-)