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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A quilting event

On Saturday the Wellington Quilters Guild hosted the 'Coast to Coast' quilting event.  The five Wellington region quilting guilds usually have a quilting event every two years.  

It was held at Wellington Girls' College and there were merchants, show and tell, jelly roll competition, speaker and three challenges.

My entries for the challenges:

Cat not included
Flag - to redesign our New Zealand flag.

Bloke's block - circle of jandals
All the blocks will be joined into a quilt/s and donated to the Wellington City Mission.

Child's block - noughts and crosses on blackboard fabric
All these blocks will be put together as a quilt/s and donated to the Women's Refuge.



I won first prize and viewers choice for my flag.  Hmm there were only three entries!  My prize included a New Zealand flag and a voucher from Sawmillers Quiltery which I redeemed for some Aurifil thread.  

The flag was created with freezer paper stencils and coloured with paintsticks, textile paint would have been easier and faster.  To get the colour more intense required quite a few applications fortunately we had a few sunny days.  I find the paintsticks a bit messy for using inside. 
paintsticks, freezer paper (white)

Selection of the challenge block entries ...
 

 kids blocks








blokes blocks












Interesting to see the final quilts.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sampling

I've been practicing my freemotion quilting.  Previously when I've created practice/sample pieces they tended to be on scrappy fabric/batting or larger pieces.  

I've been looking for an efficient way to have a quick reference to refer to when deciding what designs to use on a quilt.  Often I find that I've used a quilting design then forgotten about it or can't quite remember what it looked like or how I did it.  

On Candy Glendening's website she shows how she created a freemotion quilting sampler book, with small quilt samples loosely bound together.  This is perfect for what I want to achieve.  

Here is my bundle so far ...

 














Candy used metal eyelets - my eyelet installing ability failed me so I resorted to using the eyelet stitch on my machine.  The size of the samples is ~9 1/2" square - the same size as one of my rulers.
 
Individual samples ...

 










On each sample I've recorded the type of thread, bobbin thread, needle, batting used and anything else useful.

 



As well as patterns I'm trying different needle types with a variety of threads.  I'm also interested in creating textures so will explore different battings and combinations.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A day at the beach

A few Sundays ago we spent an afternoon at Castlepoint - east of Masterton and about 2 hours drive from Wellington.
Castlepoint Lighthouse
It was a lovely sunny winter day.  Eating our picnic lunch (purchased from The French Baker in Greytown) we noticed an odd sequence of waves at the main beach.  Within minutes the gently breaking waves became huge then back to gentle.  Somehow all my photos were taken when the waves were calm. 


We ventured towards the lighthouse. Some time ago there was a partial bridge/walkway across to the lighthouse path.  This has now gone, and the part of the beach we needed to walk across had waves splashing over in both directions.  We watched for awhile as we weren't too keen on getting wet feet or having to take our shoes off - think chilly winter day!

the vehicle (on the right) was firmly stuck
and was eventually towed out

We knew something was up when the fishermen started moving their boats/trailers further up the beach.  One of them told us that high tide was another hour away! Visiting the lighthouse no longer seemed important.  

Instead we walked towards Castle Rock still noticing the odd waves.  

Castle Rock (on the right)

Once we were home we learnt that huge waves had battered Wellington's south coast - while most of the harbour was calm.  

A great video of Castlepoint and the lighthouse, that I think was taken on the same day we were there.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Almost a Quilt

My daughter's hockey coach recently had a baby girl.  I was asked to make a polar fleece blanket from the team. 

Completed blanket

After wandering the aisles of Spotlight a navy blue and a light blue spotted fabric were chosen - even though we knew it was a girl.  The plan was to have hearts on one side and mostly the spotted fabric with the team name on the other side - instead of attempting to use each girl's name.

The 15 girls were asked to draw a heart that was a similar size to their hand - interpreted in a range of sizes.  

Cutting the pattern for the letters was made heaps easier with my new Silhouette Cameo cutter.  Choose a font, size, type in the words, load the paper, push a button and out come the pattern pieces for each letter.  Way easier and faster than getting the right font size, printing then cutting out each piece with scissors or a blade.

Testing layout with paper pattern and trialling fabric options.






The pattern pieces were pinned to the fleece and cut out.  As fleece moves alot I firmly tacked each heart before sewing them.
layout assistant

The blanket was presented to the family the day after the baby was born - not bad considering she arrived a week or so early.


other side of completed blanket

Monday, June 29, 2015

SAQA Benefit Auction 2015

Every year SAQA holds a benefit auction where members can donate a 12x12" quilt.
While the auction starts in September, the quilts can be viewed on SAQA's website.  My 12x12" quilt 'Like Tapa' appears on page 5.

Like Tapa

For this years quilt I wanted to create the look of a tapa cloth using non-traditional materials.  

The first stage was to transfer my hand drawn design onto an Ezy carve printing block using Saral transfer paper. I've been using these blocks as I find them easier to carve into than the usual lino.  I haven't found them in NZ so whenever I go to Australia I buy a few more.  They come in a range of sizes, using the 12x12" size is perfect for this project.

design drawn on a piece of paper
 









 

initial cuts (red marks from transfer paper)
cutting more detail






cutting complete


adding another layer of colour

Creating the pattern by rubbing with Paintsicks.  






Pinning the fabric to the base helps prevent unwanted movement and ghosting of the image.



selecting thread for the handstitching

The flowers and the darker strip had an extra layer of batting to give a trapunto effect. The machine quilting was mostly done with co-ordinating thread around the shapes to emphasise the trapunto.







Videos have been made detailing the creating of some of the quilts, have a look here.