Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spring time

This is the first week of Spring and there has been a great range of flowers appearing in the garden over the past few weeks.
selection of spring flowers in the garden
The Tuis have been visiting the Kowhai trees and a smallish tree, that I don't know the name of, that has lovely pink flowers.

Tui - this photo isn't sideways!
Kowhai flowers and last seasons seed pods


Friday, August 29, 2014

Design Wall

I now have my very own design wall.  So no more (or maybe less) using the floor for trialling layouts. 

We bought a sheet of Fome Cor - Foam Board from PSP in Petone, who also delivered it.  The board is only 5mm thick and incredibly light, similar to the paper coated foam board available in art shops. 

The sheet needed to be trimmed to fit the space where it is to hang, super easy to cut with quilting tools! blunt (for fabric) rotary blade, ruler and cutting board. 
mitred plastic strips

plastic strips (the shorter edge is on the front)
The board is covered in thickish brushed cotton fabric that is mostly used for curtain interlinings - the extra layer between the curtain and the lining.  The fabric was cut a little larger than the board and fixed in place with plastic strips (Hardiglaze 6mm Premium Capping Mould - select accessories) purchased from a local hardware store.  The strip slides over the edge and holds the fabric without the need for glue.


The board is attached to the wall with 3M velcro-like strips that had been cut narrower. The velcro is on both sides so the board can be removed and turned around so the shiny side can be used.  

Works a treat, maybe my quilts will now get a bit bigger!
completed design wall - still no progress with the stars ...

Friday, August 22, 2014

More good reading

The second edition of the online magaine 'Through our Hands' is now available.  The magazine is put together by Laura Kemshall, Annabel Rainbow and Linda Kemshall and features interesting articles and heaps of eye candy. 
Add caption


Click here to read the first edition.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Last school term saw me exploring the streets of Newtown while my kids had sports/training near by.  This term the training has moved to Kilbirnie.  Kilbirnie isn't nearly as interesting as Newtown for people watching, cafes and exploring the streets.  

Although it does have two very good quilting related shops - Stitchbird and Wellington Sewing ServicesThe Children's Bookshop is a fantastic shop that I could easily settle into one of their comfy chairs for quite awhile - you don't need to have kids to enjoy this shop.

Last week, even though it was blowing a bit of a gale, I walked to Lyall Bay, stopping at Elements cafe to enjoy a coffee and something to eat.  
an empty Lyall Bay beach

Then as it was only a block from the sea had a quick stop at the empty beach.  The sea was mostly flat - the wind was a northerly, so no surfers.  The walk back was a good workout - walking into the wind.
a couple of rowdy locals

For a couple of weeks there is a break from training - so no Kilbirnie for awhile.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

For the Bach

A couple of times a year my stitching group have a weekend away at a bach (holiday house) at a beach north of Wellington.  We arrive anytime from late Friday afternoon to the evening, even though we can leave Wellington in the morning it can take most of the day to get there - just a few shops on the way!!

These are weekends with lots of stitching, great food and company.  The bach has a rather worn quilt on the couch and we decided that it couldn't really be repaired so we created a new one.  The finished quilt ...

Based on 7 1/2" log cabin blocks with the same reddish centre square, bound in red (unfortunately the photo misses this).  As I missed the weekend when the top was sewn together, I sewed my blocks into cushion covers.

To create the cushion cover, I first quilted the top, batting and backing.

To mark the circles for quilting traced around a plate with a chalk marker.  Following the lines (but not completing the circle) free motion quilted in a spiral towards the centre, then restarted from the outside to increase the size of the circle/spiral.  Finally filling in the spacing between the circles.

Before attaching the binding I used two overlapping pieces for the back of the cushion cover - I avoid zips!!  As long as there is enough overlap the cushion inners fit quite well.  Then add binding as usual.
overlapped backs pinned to quilted top

separate piece for the back

The finished cushions showing the overlapped back opening.  The quilt and cushions are now with their owner, hopefully later in the year we'll have a visit to the bach and be able to enjoy our creativity.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Joining the Stars

At a recent guild meeting I won some star blocks, that I posted about here.  

As the blocks are not all the same size I thought I could add white strips to each side and then turn the block on a slight angle and cut a bigger square so the star was slightly wonky.  This would (hopefully!) mean that the blocks would be the same size.

I took the blocks along to my stitching group and viewed them on the white design wall.  That showed that some of the yellows didn't contrast enough with the white.  So a suggestion was made to try grey - advantage of being at a house with a large fabric stash - out came a piece of grey.  It made such a difference.

At home I went looking for grey and happened to find two pieces, so tried some blocks on each.
on white

Now looking at the photos I'm not too sure, having ironed the pieces first would have been a good idea.

I still sort of like the white, maybe a bit more trialling needs to be done.  And, I now have my own design wall - more on that another time.
on grey

on darker grey