Friday, 16 March 2018

Batik Bliss for Cosy Kiwi Kids

A finished quilt ready to donate to a local charity.

I won these Batik Bliss blocks at a Capital Quilters' meeting back in March 2016.  Exactly two years later the quilt is finished!

The blocks were originally 10" square, but I wanted to be adventurous so I trimmed some of them smaller and mixed them all up.  You can read more about my process and inspiration here.

A number of long arm quilters at our guild quilt charity tops for free, so I gave it to Tina Mills and she kindly quilted it for me.  I put the binding on myself, and now it's ready to donate to Cosy Kiwi Kids.  They will give it to a child in need through the Social Workers in Schools programme.

Tina Mills chose a design with little people in it which is just right for a child's quilt.

I hope a child will be happy to receive their own quilt before winter arrives.

Finished size: 62" x 75"

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A weekend away in Taupo

I'm just back from my work Social Weekend in Taupo.  As we leave Summer and go into Autumn we often have warm days, but cooler nights.  The views from my room at Millennium Hotel were beautiful.

There was so much activity on the lake - sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, paddle boarding, rowing, kyaking, fishing ....

If you've ever been to Taupo you'll probably recognise these views from the township.

And the 10km paved path around part of the lake was very popular with people walking and biking.

I didn't get any hand sewing done, but I did manage to glue baste some more pieces for my Ballet with Kaffe quilt. I was too busy admiring the views and trying to make sure everyone was at the activities they had signed up for.

Now I'm home again, and looking forward to some sewing later today.

You can read all about my cute sewing machine cover in this post here.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Holiday Sewing Part 4 - Sue Spargo sewing roll

This is the last last item from my holiday (Christmas) sewing with Mum.  We were very productive, but we did also go out and enjoy the outdoors.

Last year Sue Spargo shared a gorgeous sewing roll pattern in Inspirations magazine.  Here it is on the cover of Issue 94.

Mum and I bought supplies to make our own versions back in May last year.

Mum finished hers long before I started mine, so when she was here for Christmas, I plucked up courage and made a start on mine.

I designed my own cover and I quite like it.  I used similar colours to Sue Spargo, but changed it up.

On the back I used two different ribbons plus ric rac - as per Sue Spargo's instructions.

the inside

Inside there's a pin cushion and a needle book, plus lined zip pockets on either side.

the outside

My own tricky enhancement was to include some of the measuring tape ribbon I've had for ages.  I often need to check measurements when I'm sewing, so now I'll always have a tape measure handy.

There's a place for pens and pencils (and gluesticks!) on the the back cover.

I'm very happy with how this turned out and I'm sure I'll use it a lot.

from Inspirations magazine

Friday, 23 February 2018

Mrs Bannister's Stars - designed by Jen Kingwell

Last week someone in the Jen Kingwell Designs Facebook group asked if anyone had made Mrs Bannister's Stars.  That reminded me that I had, but I hadn't blogged about it yet. I actually finished my version back in November 2016.

Each block is 12" finished and it's quite a tricky pattern to make. I think the real reason I didn't blog about it was that I wasn't 100% happy with it.  There's a lot of "Y" seams in these blocks, and when I made it I didn't know how to hand piece.  I'm sure I could make it again more accurately now, but life it too short, so I'll live with it.

Mrs Bannister's Stars from Jen Kingwell's book, Quilt Lovely.

I fiddled around with hand piecing and English Paper Piecing and I got there in the end.

I considered make scrappy sashing, but decided that a plainer grey print from Cotton + Steel would look better.

I've made two other cushions from the Quilt Lovely book, and they were both easier to make, even though Wheel of Fortune has curved piecing.

You can read more about Wheel of Fortune here.

And you can read more about Small Wonders pillow here.

The Quilt Lovely book really does have some gorgeous patterns in it.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ballet with Kaffe Fassett progress

I pulled out my Ballet with Kaffe quilt again on 8 January 2018.  I'd neglected it for a few months due to Symposium and Christmas, but I still had all the fabrics set aside in their own box.  I cut and glue basted some pieces to take on our holiday to Australia, and I've continued working on it since we got home.  It's quite addictive once you get going again.

I really do think that this quilt is more challenging than la passacaglia! It seems harder to work out how the stars and rosettes all fit together.  I also miss having an overall diagram showing how it all works.

Anyway, I'm making progress and I like where it's going.  The photo below shows how I chose fabrics.  My inspiration fabric is at the bottom of the photo, and I just try fabrics where they will sit until I'm happy with the combinations.

There's still a long way to go with this quilt.  I might even "cheat" and make my quilt smaller than the one in the book - Millefiori Quilts 2.  That depends on how I feel about it once I get the top half joined up.

You can read more about this quilt, and see my previous posts, on the Ballet with Kaffe tab at the top of the page.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington - January 2018

Last Sunday I attended my second design class with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.  (The first was two years ago which you can read about here.)

Kaffe talking about my quilt

This time we were making Green Diamonds from the Quilts in Ireland book.  I wanted to push my own boundaries and try something new, so I chose a rich, tamatoey red as my base colour!
I found a snazzy colour wheel online at which tells you what other colours work with any colour you chose.

So, I set about pulling all my red and green Kaffe fabrics that matched these strong colours.  Here's what I took to class (plus more of course).

Kaffe and Brandon don't mind if you bring along non Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics, but I thought it was a good opportunity to go all out crazy and put lots of Kaffe's fabrics together.

Mine is on the left

We were encouraged to work quickly and get a few of our first diamonds cut and up on the wall.  Then we could stand well back and see if the fabrics were working together.  Seeing them cut to size is quite different to looking at them on a table.

From there it grew and grew as we got the idea of how the colours could transition from one to the other.  Those green and blue spots you see on the bolt above are for the top and bottom half rows.  I thought the red and orange spots would be better, but as Kaffe says, you never know until you put it up against your fabrics.

We didn't do any sewing in the class - it was all about designing the quilt.  At the end of the day we rolled up the design wall fabric from the bottom up, and the diamonds were preserved in the correct order.  Any bets on how long it is until I unwrap this sausage?  I can't at the moment because it's too hot and all the doors and windows are open and the pieces would blow away. (excuses, excuses)

At the end of the day Kaffe walked around and talked about every single quilt.  We had 28 people in the class and we all heard his thoughts on each of the quilts.  Here are some of quilts:

So you can see that we had a wide variety of colour schemes.  The room looked very colourful by the end of the day.

It was a great class, and even though I've been before, I'd still go again if they came back to New Zealand.  It really was a privilege to learn from one of the great masters of colour and design.