Monday, October 8, 2012

Funky Christmas Tree

Just finished this wall-hanging. It was quilted as an example of layering the quilting designs, from the Cindy Needham class on Craftsy. If I was to do anything different, I wouldn't quilt the 'tree' so much then it would 'pop' better, otherwise it's quite nice. I also did the same design but with straight vertical lines - that one looks minimalist and modern.
Here's Funky:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Online Contest - Voting Now

I just can't resist it! I've entered the Quilting Bloggers Weekly Themed Quilt Contest - again!
I entered this quilt into the contest - it's the group exchange quilt contest:
This was part of the S.I.X. block exchange this year. It is titled Steam-punk Time Machine. If you wish to look at the other entries and vote, go here. Scroll down to vote.
You have until Monday, 1 October 8:00am (EDT) to cast your vote (you can have 4 choices).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Online Class

I've just done an online class with Cindy Needham (Wholecloth Linen Quilts) through Craftsy. It was an excellent class to take and I can fully recommend it. In this set, Design It, Quilt It, there were 11 lessons, all videos ranging in length from 10 minutes to 47 minutes. Plus Cindy answers your questions, as well as a class platform, where everyone in the class gets to ask or shoe their work.
With some advice from Cindy, I have just finished re-working one of my Celebration Challenge quilts. I wasn't entirely happy with the whole-cloth quilted one, especially 3 of the borders. But I practiced, changed my sewing foot, and now it is completed!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Challenges Revealed

I can post photos of my challenge entries in the Rose City Quilters Celebration of Quilts. Our 30th anniversary. My first quilt had a background, a la Gloria Loughman, and oyster shells handmade from a brown paper bag. It is titled: A Pearl for Me ... and the artist's statement went: ... and a pearl for you! Beach combing at it's finest!
The sponge is made from some French knitting I had lying around - it just needed a little painting for correct colour!
I won  Merit ribbon for this entry!
My other entry is titled: Celebrating 30 years of Quilting. The artist's statement went: Take a piece of plain cotton, or leftover party dress fabric, a straight stitch, decorative thread and a pleasing design. Enjoy the transformation!
Arum lilies on the right hand border, roses in the bottom, and one of the Maori designs is called Kano which means 'seed', so I stitched pearls in each.
Celebrating 30 years of Quilting
Reverse - stitched on cotton
The top border has a couple of fantails sitting on a branch of kowhai, the large Maori design on the left is called Raranga which means weave, and the other design is called Manawa, which means heart. I quilted it with green variegated rayon, because green is supposed to be the colour for 30th anniversary (along with pearls and lily).
My quilting colleague Liz also won a Merit for one of her entries (she is in the Advanced category), and my friend Lynette won first prize for her entry in the Intermediate category. Congratulations, lovely ladies!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Challenging Work!

Phew! it seems I've been away for a while. But no, I have been working on two challenge entries for this weekend's Celebration of Quilts in Palmerston North. Unfortunately I can't show you my entries just yet, but I will say that I used some designs on one of them from these two books.
I purchased them second hand and just love the New Zealand-ness of the designs!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Landscape Quilt Completed

I finished my Gloria Loughman landscape quilt, which was started in a workshop 2 weeks ago. I don't 'do' landscapes because I want them to be realistic, so this was an exercise in dealing with something almost abstract.  I didn't have an actual picture of my landscape, so I think it helped me be less perfect in the design. I took photos of some of the aspects, but overall it was a memory picture.
Also, I had wanted to use what I learned in class in another of my ANZAC banners (as boring as it is to many people it may not be every one's cup of tea, but to me, there are many stories to be told).
When I attended this year's ANZAC dawn service at our local military camp, Linton (and also my workplace), I watched the sunrise through one of the Camp's many huge palm trees. There was also a very tall soldier standing in front of me, so I got his silhouette and the tree with the sun lightening the sky over the Tararua Ranges.
Here we have it:
Here is a close-up of the soldier - to ensure that the lightness of his face didn't distract too much, I covered the fabric with fine tulle.
Most of the green fabric has been painted with fabric paint - I needed to get a variation for depth of field.
All I need now is a title.
Any one have any ideas?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Knitted Cowl for Winter

I knitted up this cowl for Sarah for Wellington's winter.
I used a ply of 8ply pure wool and a single ply of silk. The pattern is a leaf design by Emily Kausalik and I got it from Ravelry (this is a free site to join, and some of the patterns are free - such a great range!). The cowl still needs to be blocked (it was a last minute birthday present for Sarah) and I made it longer than Emily's instructions. Ideally I would have liked it to be a little longer for the over-the-head use (but I was running out of wool):
If it gets a little baggy around the neck you can use a lovely clasp to secure it tighter.
I really liked the design and will probably make another one using wool and alpaca plied together.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quilt Group Challenge - Revealed

Yes, my quilting group, Quilty Pleasures, had the challenge quilt reveal this afternoon. It's always good to get together over tea/coffee and yummy food and show-and-tell.
Our challenge was:
the fabric for the top had to be from our stash,
the block was (6.5" x 3.5") x 4,
and the minimum size was to be a lap quilt size.
So here are the quilts in the order that were shown (we had to pick a numbered piece of paper out of a box):
Jenny's batiks
Sue's African fabric mix
Biddy's "Tomato Rose"
Pam's Brights - these she won In a Rose City Quilters raffle
My quilt - I had a request to make a quilt with polar bears and penguins
Majorie's quilt which she has made for one her daughters
I think that Marjorie had the biggest challenge as she hasn't been quilting for very long - doesn't have a stash, made a bigger size and then quilted it herself!
Anyway, I think we all had fun and certainly there is quite a variation between them all!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Play Day with Friends

Rhonda, Lynette and I got together at Lynette's house for a play day today. We were going to use the transfer paints that were left over from a workshop with Sandra Meech about 3 years ago! Would the paints still be OK?
We couldn't find any instructions from the workshop so were trying to rely on our collective memories and other books we had read. Anyway there was painted paper left over from the workshop and we used whatever was to hand.
So here we have a selection of painted paper drying before we can use it:
some painted paper with salt crystals:
Here is my material (polyester sateen) with some mesh for design, and the crumpled transfer painted tissue:
End result:
It is hard to tell what the paint will be and the hue. We found that different papers released paint differently and some could be re-used more than others. It also depended on how hot and how long the iron was in contact with the paper.
This one, for example was used on satin, vilene and lutradur:
The painted paper is the darkest sheet in the photo.
So not only did we have various painted fabrics, Lynette and Rhonda have papers to use for journaling and card making.
Lynette has a giveaway over on her blog. A small book she has made with her decorated papers (she is so clever!). Actually so is Rhonda! And I learn so much from both of their work.
Ahh! 3 days of fun!
Hope the sun was shining at your place today!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day Two

Today was the second day of Gloria's workshop. I did a bit of homework last night in order to start quilting this morning. That meant I had to add more tiles to the sky including cutting more (much more) fabric.
So this is where I was at just before lunch:
Just 2 lines of stitching on each tile - take took at least 2.5 hours!
It doesn't look as if I did much in the afternoon either!
Hills have been added, after I painted the fabric. I'm not sure if you can see, but the little hill on the left has some hand stitching (french knots). It was on a piece that didn't make it into another project - but the colour was good and it adds a bit of interest.
I still have the foreground and points of interest to do - hopefully in the not too distant future!
I finished my sewing group (Quilty Pleasures) quilt challenge. We are having a reveal on Sunday afternoon over tea and cakes.
I can only show you the block. Each piece of fabric was cut at 6.5" x 3.5", so all you needed was a 10" square to get the 4 pieces.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Gloria Loughman Workshop

I am so enjoying Gloria's workshop. It's a 2-day on luminous landscapes. Now, I don't usually make landscape quilts, but I do like what Gloria has been working on lately. Mine is still in with the ANZAC theme of banners (wait and see what), and involves a sunrise. Some of the other ladies are doing sunsets (using beautiful vivid colours) and some are doing forest type backgrounds.
Anyway here is the morning's work:
See the little piles of rectangles on the right? They are 2" x 3/4" and took ages to cut out.
Anyway, this is what I finished with at the end of the day:
Still have more dark rectangles to add and glue down, then on to quilting it. Tomorrow we work on the bottom pieces.
Gloria is a wonderful teacher. She is very encouraging, gave us quick lessons in colour and painting as well all the things to consider for a great landscape.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Guild Quilt Panels Project

Rose City Quilters are doing a quilt panel project. Each month we have been given a sheet of instructions, it's also been discussed/shown at club night, some new or different techniques. We were each to chose a colour so that we can have a rainbow effect at the next Celebration of Quilts, which is coming up soon.The finished size of the panel is only 6 inches, so hopefully we will have quite a few to display.
I chose yellow as my colour.
This is the bow tie block, which has a folded knot, and is made with only 3 lines of stitching! I quite liked doing this, although it took me a bit to figure out the instructions (duh!).
Next, I made the flying geese block (I do love flying geese), but these geese are folded and made with 1 seam (beautiful!):
The second set of instructions were about piecing - hand, machine, foundation and English paper piecing. Mmmm! well I'm not going to ever make my quilts with hand piecing or English paper piecing. But I did use the foundation method. I drew up the pattern for a kimono, but forgot to do the background as well (I am told that you have to do the kimono pattern in at least 2 separate pieces). So here you will see that the kimono is foundation pieced, then appliqued onto the background!
Because I only used one sample from the 2nd sheet I made another block from sheet one. It is woven fabric. I couldn't think of any time I had done this, so here we are:
The 3rd sheet of instructions is about applique - hand, machine, needleturn or raw edge. So the kimono is machine appliqued, but I used freezer paper behind a bird shape and then machined him on. He isn't finished yet - he needs an eye, some tail and head feathers, and probably some more decoration, but I will hand stitch that.
I'm quite keen on trying a Misty Fuse applique and/or a 3-D applique. I'll have to see what else is on the 4th sheet tomorrow night.

Taking Some Time to Enjoy

I'm doing a 2-day Gloria Loughman Luminous Landscapes workshop this week, so decided to take the week as annual leave.
Here's the start to finishing things, making things and taking some time to enjoy:
Fluffy flat white, freshly baked brioches and cinnamon roll, and new book to read.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Project and a Birthday

I have been busy - well, work seems to take a lot of time and energy! that I haven't really been doing much in the sewing department.
Anyway, here's a glimpse into something I'm working on - sorry you will have to wait a little bit longer to see it complete!
The little girl had her birthday a week or so ago, and her sister made this cake:
Pocky biscuits around the outside of a lovely double sponge cake! We all made something French for tea - I made the French onion soup, which was the best ever! I think the secret is to sweat the onions slowly and longer (my recipe said 20 minutes, but I'm sure I did it for longer).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cupcake Competition

I organised a cupcake competition for work, during the school holidays. I tied it in with the School Holiday Programme that is run at the Linton Community Centre, and today they were doing some baking.
Some other children in the housing area also made cupcakes, so I was pleased it wasn't a complete whitewash.
There were over 40 entries:
They were judged (by an independent judge) and then I had a Viewer's Choice, where everyone in the library at the time voted for the one they liked the best - fortunately different people won prizes! All the children won lollies by the organisers of the programme, for things like; Most Lollies, Most 100s & 1000s, Most Brightest, etc

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mmmm! Very Interesting!

This was on the garage wall. I can hardly say sunning itself, as there wasn't a lot!
But this was very big, as you can see with Derrick's hand in the picture.

It's 'tail' is at the bottom of the photo. Very definitely a stick (insect).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On A Roll!

Well, I figured that I still had wool to use up - only partial balls, so I may as well carry on!
Here we are - slippers for visitors :)
All of the wool is homespun and shorn from my own sheep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Knitting Bag

A couple of years ago, I had Judy Coates Perez stay with me. She was the guest speaker at Rose City Quilters Tote & Gloat and also took a class afterwards. I made this fabric.
Later on I found a 5-day quilt challenge in a Quilting Arts magazine and used the fabric to do the challenge - then I got stuck! (well, I couldn't figure out how to finish it off).
Over the weekend I set up the overlocker and overlocked the edges (about 4 times), then stitched it into a tube, sewed up the bottom end and finished it off with sewing the bottom points so that it sits really nice (like a square bottom tote bag - see here for easy instructions).
Viola! here is my new knitting bag!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dyeing Fabric and Wool

I'm trying to clear up some loose ends around the sewing studio, and with a 2-day class at the end of the month, have started organising items on the needs list. I wanted some background fabric that will have pieces of colour added on top in a mosaic form.
Time to dye and use something pretty ugly!
Here is the fabric, and some plain white homespun wool I put into the same dye-bath.
 As I was using the Dylon permanent fabric dye, mixed in a bucket, I was able to dye both at the same time. It takes about an hour with occasional stirring.
This is the end result:
The fabric on the left was in the dye-bath for the recommended period of time, the fabric on the right was left in overnight.
I made myself some slippers with the homespun wool:
The pattern is a free one from Ravelry.
I tried to make another pattern to felt knitted slippers, but using homespun Romney wool doesn't felt very successfully!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A New Book for Inspiration

Sometimes it's really hard to think of a quilting design to use in a quilt you have made. I really like to design the quilting as part of the overall design, but sometimes I'm in such a hurry rush to get a quilt finished (there are so many other things to do after all) that I just can't figure it out.
Yesterday I had a short course for work to attend in Wellington. Fortunately for me, there was time to visit Minerva bookshop in Cuba Street. I used a Christmas voucher to buy this book:

use Amazon's look inside feature. 
There are lots of ideas and I especially love the Peony quilt on page 56 (it is also on the back page).
I hope you are finding lots of inspiration for your quilting!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stash UFO

I found a small pile of quilt tops and backs in a wardrobe a few weeks ago. It's time that these were finished and sold. So here is one I have finally finished - the blocks were left over from a very large quilt I made a couple of years ago. Actually the original quilt was too big, and I had to take off the flying geese blocks along both sides - they have been used here. I used almost all of the fabric up including having it on the back.
girl's lap quilt - measures 38" x 51.5"
Here is a close up of the quilting - I started with a feather heart just above the center, then quilted row by row.

Off to do some sewing on a quilting group challenge quilt which needs to be finished by next month.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New Chicken House

My parents came up last week from Blenheim to stay a few days and on the back of their little truck, Dad brought a new chicken house he had built. We finally got it in place today after I painted it on the weekend.
It's  a Jubilee House - painted in royal colours of red, white and blue:
Front door-way facing north to get maximum warmth in winter
4 internal nesting boxes - we'll see if the bottom ones get used!
Self-feeders - especially useful if I'm working late or going to be away for a short time
The flock were very suspicious tonight, even though I feed them outside the new house - I guess it'll only take one to use it on a cold night.
Also made up 4kgs of feijoas into jam this morning - mmm! delicious!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ANZAC Collection Title

When I exhibited my ANZAC quilts at Tote & Gloat, I needed a title. After much searching, and research, I came up with Lest we forget : remember & honour. I was going to just laminate it but decided to make one with fabric.
So here it is finished ready for hanging:

It's not competition quality, but I think it looks OK - has a New Zealand flavour in the quilting designs which I traced onto Solvy to get them to fit properly. I tried tracing them with fabric carbon paper but it  didn't work too well and I was a bit worried about using something dark in case it didn't come off later (I've had that happen where the 'dye' was trapped under the quilting thread).