Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

In a few more hours we (in New Zealand) will begin the countdown to the new year. 2009 is going to be a year of new beginnings, lots of art quilting, a new job and a new me. This year has been a sabbatical in which I have managed to do lots of sewing. I have 2 more stamp challenges for the Wellington Symposium at Easter finished. Here is a small close-up of both of them:
this is inspired by a 1960 issue 3d pictorial, and this one is from the same series but the 4d stamp.

The middle colour is actually teal, not green. I will need to take the photos with natural light for it to show well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something to Share

I have been able to enjoy the Pohutukawas (New Zealand Christmas tree) coming into flower the last few weeks on my daily walk, so today I took the camera to share these photos with you.
This is the flower unfurling:

In all it's glory:
Here is a tree (a very young one) with more flowers opened - just in time for Christmas!

And here is a yellow one, which I haven't seen before. It doesn't look as dramatic as the red, but still pretty.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The New Machine is Finally Here

WooHoo! today I went into the store to find out where my prize winning sewing machine was - and they had one to give me - it doesn't have a plaque on it, as you would expect after all these weeks, but it has that new smell and lots of things for me to try out. For example, I've not used a knee lifter before, and I'll HAVE to read the manual, even before turning it on.
So, see you around!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Retirement Quilt

My friend Gendie turned 60 this last September and retires from her workplace after 15+ years. I figured that she deserved a quilt especially for such a significant birthday. So I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself that I have made this lap quilt in a week and that I can present it to her at the 'retirement afternoon tea'. It's called Sudoku and measures 49.5 inches square (126 cm).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another Competition Entry

This is a portion of my entry into the inaugural quilt competition by APQ (Australian Patchwork and Quilting) magazine. The theme was "Fantasy" and I chose to do a wholecloth quilt with Icarus as the central image. I 'painted' his body and the wings with tea and the shadows are emphasised with coffee. Over the top of the wings, which are stitched in the feather stitch, I glued glitter - unfortunately it shows up here as blue, but that is the shine from the flash. It is hours of quilting but I have the entry posted off in plenty of time, thank goodness! Now to the next project.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Quilting Bee

This last Saturday some of my quilting group got together at my place for a quilting bee. We were helping out my friend Marjorie who wanted to make a wedding quilt for a niece, but this was a too much for her to manage especially as she is fighting cancer on 2 fronts.
Marjorie was having complete bed rest in hospital so couldn't join us.
But, we started with the fabric (New Zealand fabrics) and a picture ...

Pam, Jenny, Sue and I had our 4 sewing machines going while Biddy cut and ironed fabric.

Pam doing push-ups to get up off the floor and an almost completed top.
8.5 hours later we had finished the top, almost finished piecing a backing, eaten great food and had a lovely day working together.

From left: Pam, Jenny, Sue, me, and Biddy.
Well done ladies!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Prize Winner!!

This was my entry into the Spotlight Quilt Challenge and today I got a phone call from Australia to say that I was the GRAND PRIZE WINNER! I had just about given up hearing from them and was deciding whether I should enter it anywhere else. You just never know - they loved it!! The prize is a Brother NX-400 sewing machine - I was just hoping that I could win some money to spend in the store and didn't bother too much about the machine!! WooHoo!
Watch this space!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Collaborative Art Journal - Brights

This is the last of the Collaborative Art Journals, which is Brights, belonging to Barbara Pritchard. I received this in July and have been procrastinating about the last pages for over a month :-(
The first page is a branch of wattle - they are the brightest flowers out in winter and there are so many down our street. The flowers are actually tiny pom poms and I made the leaves by using the pinking shears to cut out the shape then snipped the edges.

My next page is just playing around with lots of pieces of bright fabric and threads, starting with roosters Rise and Shine. It is covered with gauze, which I am not too happy with - too dense for this piece.

The next page was fun to make as I had bought some beads because they looked like licorice allsorts, the others I had in my stash. The jelly beans are painted wooden beads. Here is the sweet shop:

Now the piece of procrastination: the parrot! My friend Ray Clifton is a keen photographer and I told him about my idea of doing a bright bird - perhaps a rooster. He found this photo and I have played around with ideas for it. In the end some of the pieces are glued on. I used stitching to make feathers, the background is upholstery fabric. This page is not as bright as the photo, so I included it as well and made a frame for it.

We have all had a great journey working on these journals and will present the finished articles to Rose City Quilters on the October Club meeting.
I think that next year some of the group are wanting to try a similar thing but with a different approach. Perhaps making our own journals using different techniques and with a theme each month - that may be harder to keep on track - we'll see!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Teaser!

Sorry this is all I can show you for another challenge!
I have used these 2 fabrics. There is a tree, applique, hand stitching and lots of beading - well it is a wall hanging size and it really does have to catch the judges attention - from a photograph, that's only 20 seconds.

The photos have to be in Australia by the 14th September, so I am on schedule (thank goodness it's all finished!).

Monday, September 1, 2008

D is for .....

dosing, and

Mother duck had brought her babies into the chook compound hoping for an easy feed this morning.
Nolan and I spent an hour rounding up the sheep so we could dock the lamb's tails and vaccinate them with a triple vac. for pulpy kidney. 5 male and 7 female lambs and very muddy clothes which are now in the wash and should get dry today.
It is the first day of spring and we have had 3 days of sunshine to celebrate. I have been able to dig in new trees for the orchard, we both mowed the lawns yesterday and I fell asleep pretty much after tea!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Could Be Trouble!

Poor Chloe, it was too much to bear. Here she was, lying out in the sun, minding her own business when this little lamb came to investigate - yep! too close for her - it might think she's the mum!

Unfortunately the weather has been soooo very wet lately, I found the little one on the right, dead this morning. Most likely a combination of the wet and cold and it was the smallest twin. Still sad though.

You'll Never Walk Alone

My very dear friend, Marjorie started chemotherapy for her cancer today. Over the last 10 days I have made her this quilt, it's really very simple but every stitch has been stitched with love, it has fabric with angels on it in the centre and I have quilted angels, hearts and feathers around the border. It is backed with soft, fluffy wincyette and has 80% wool 20% cotton batting and measures 54" square.
There will be times when she feels very alone and the struggle will seem all uphill, but she will know that she is being loved and cared for every step of the way.

corner angel

All my love, Marjorie - this is so for you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Brighton Pavilion - an Art Quilt

This my interpretation of a postcard for the Challenge at Celebration of Quilts last weekend. The postcard was the Brighton Pavilion. Certainly the colours are not correct but I loved the 'Turkish' look of the building. So I have used copper for the onion roofs - heated and scored. Stitched the lattice work and made the uprights from satay sticks. Overall size is 420mm x 300mm.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quilt Show

Next weekend Rose City Quilters has a Quilt Show here in Palmerston North at the Convention Centre. Today committee members sorted the quilts ready to hang on Thursday, the challenges were judged and those in the general show that quilters wanted judged, were also judged. We also put labels on each quilt with the maker's name, the quilter and a little information about the quilt - this saves having a programme to search through. How exciting! We have over 200 quilts submitted for showing and these have been made since the last show we had in 2006. Of course having a Symposium last year meant that there were quite a lot of new techniques people had tried.
I made a quilt for the Challenge. Criteria was:
  • to be inspired by a postcard
  • A3 size (420mm x 300mm)
  • horizontally presented
We had 4 entries for Novice, 4 for Intermediate and 14 for the Advanced category. Quite a good selection and a large number of styles.
I haven't even taken a photo of my quilt. It was finished at 1:30am this morning while I was watching the opening of the Olympic Games. I used copper shim for the first time - thank goodness it was a small quilt because the copper shows up all the bends otherwise!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh No! It Can't Be Spring!

On Saturday when I walked up the drive to collect the mail, there was a bright yellow daffodil head bobbing in the breeze! I've never had the daffodils so early - I planted the bulbs late and the flowers would appear at least a month later than my neighbour's down the road. I so wanted to get a photo but my right brain isn't functioning too well at the moment - still in Jury Service mode (thank goodness we should be finished tomorrow, but who knows!).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Wish I Could .....

ice cakes as well as I do applique! Baking them is not a problem, I just can't seem to get the colour correct and then doing fancy stuff is too far out of my league. Anyway, today is my little girl's 24th birthday. She was a 'Strawberry Shortcake' when little, and still is now! Hence my blog name Sberry (Strawberry's) Mum.
Here's the birthday cake:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hurrah for Me!

I've had the new chook house for 2+ weeks now and everyday have been trying to entice the Blue Andalusians into it. At least they were allowing me to get reasonably close to them!
Well, last night I managed to catch all 4 of them - rounding them up, using the badminton net to throw over their flapping wings, putting my hand over their heads to stop them letting the whole valley know something 'bad' was happening, and finally letting them loose in their new home.
This morning the body aches in a few places, from the bending and hunkering down to catch them. But, I'm so pleased it is done and was relatively easy.
This is 'Blue', he's such a beautiful rooster and very gentle.

Here are 2 of the girls.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Collaborative Art Journal - Burgundy

I have finished my work in Sue's Burgundy/Wine Art journal.
The first page has a little poem by William Morris about autumn, which I thought was relevant to the time I received it. In the center I painted some gesso and stuck some muslim on top, then with watered down pva glue, glued the liquid amber leaves which I had pressed. The pva gives it a varnished look which I hope will keep the leaves in tact.

This page has a selection of my chrysanthemums which have been organised with fdtoys into a mosaic and you can add the writing.It has been finished off with buttons tied on- can you see the ladybug one?

The little runner has been painted using pebeo Setacolor transparent paint. This allows you to paint the whole piece of fabric then lay a design on top (reverse resist). Leave out in the sun to dry, take off the design and viola!

My piece de resistance is a velvet vignette. The corks have been cut into 3 lengthwise and stitched on with the machine like a button and the wee bottles are findings which just had to be used with this theme!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oh! Oh! Antonio!

Yesterday was a very cold day in Palmerston North. Around 10:00am we had thunder and then a hail storm - not big stones but lots of them, and because it was so cold it stayed around for hours. Here is my car:

Here are the lower hills of the Tararua ranges, the view from my front door:

this is at the end of our valley (to the east) and this is looking south-east.

The hail was worse in places in town and was still lying around 2 hours later. Not a usual sight, but I guess that it is another sign of 'global warming'.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Zealand Postcards Quilt

Another WIP - Works in Progress - that I have finished, yippee! This top I made about 3 years ago after I made the same quilt for my best friend's 50th birthday. I liked it so much I had to make another, but it's taken this long to quilt it.

This is the backside of the quilt. The central design is a feathered Silver Fern, then there is a fantail, a Maori fish hook, tree ferns and korus. Click on the photo to get a better view.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice was here this weekend with perfect weather - the moon and Venus were very bright, heralding longer days for us in the Southern Hemisphere. Saturday I was out planting the garlic in a special garden and to keep the chooks from scratching the bulbs everywhere, I laid down newspaper under some grass clippings. Boy, am I glad I did that! We have had so much rain today the bulbs would be rotting away before long. This week is supposed to be very cold too - so I think lots of sewing will be done!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Have Been Working On ...

a quilt for the Stamp Challenge for Quilt Symposium 2009 in Wellington. I've been obsessed with it lately, and I needed to get it finished so that something else could be started or even finished. Here is a teaser:

I have also finished quilting a couple of quilts for other people as well as working on a couple of pages for Sue's 'Wine' Art Journal. I'll show you some pictures when the pages are all finished.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Best Fruit in Autumn

Yesterday was an ideal preserving day - overcast, sometimes raining and not too cold. So I set about making Feijoa jam. From 1.5 kgs of fruit I got 5 jars of jam - mmmm! yummy! Fortunately half the bushes we planted are the 'Mammoth' variety so some of the fruit is much bigger than what is sold in the supermarkets. Best source of vitamin C for this time of year.

Friday, May 30, 2008

New Lap Quilt

This past month I've been working on a new lap quilt. Nothing fancy, just traditional 12 inch blocks using what was in my stash. All I've had to buy (well at this time, 'cause I've had to buy the material at some stage in the past) to make this are 3 reels of thread (600m). I'm pretty pleased with the quilting and the colours are just right for a Crusaders/Canterbury rugby fan.

Here is the back view. You can see that I've used variegated red/cream/black thread. Finished size is 50 inches square.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Zealand Wallhanging

I started this in 2005 for a Tote and Gloat challenge which was a New Zealand icon - it has squares of New Zealand fabrics forming the map. But, before the challenge date, I saw the fabric manufacturer had an advertisement of the same thing, so I figured I really couldn't enter with this. Since then, I've had quite a quilting journey. On this you will find the national flag, a silver fern and the rest represents the ocean currents that swirl around and through the Cook Strait separating the 2 major islands.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

29 years today!

Collaborative Art Journal - Phase 5

Here is the work I've done on the red journal which belongs to Cheryl.
Simple scrapbook page. An empty page between other's work, just begging to be filled. I was looking through a magazine for red shoes when these lovely ladies and red carpet were mentioned on the same page - how perfect!
Another scrap page with cotton paper, and my vision for Cheryl of handbags and red shoes - what could make you feel happier in winter than these 2 things!

A romantic quilt with words paint stamped.

A sampler on velvet, reminiscent of times past - kings and queens and glorious rich clothes.

A sample of an idea for a challenge - war poster, the battlefield and poppies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Well, I've never seen ...

a chicken's egg so small!
It must be from my bantam chicken. The other eggs are from the Blue Andalusian chickens.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Whoo!Hoo! A Place in the Winners' Circle!

We had an excellent Tote & Gloat today - it didn't rain, so we didn't have to worry about the speakers not being heard, there was a great array of Happy Villages and Accidental Landscapes for people to view as they came in the door, lots of challenge quilts, a fantastic mix of vendors and an on-site cafe.
Our guest speaker was Sandy Corry from Australia. She had a beautiful display of her quilts, many of which have won prizes. She also judged our challenge quilts and because there was only one entry in the group quilt an extra prize for 3rd place was made in the Advanced Category, and I won it!! with this little quilt!
I was so surprised because there were so many fantastic entries. But I had fun, and if you click on it to enlarge it you will see some pretty good quilting and innovative ways of joining the blocks together - so you see, you just don't know how things are going to be judged, so take the risk, jump in and try a challenge!