Saturday, October 25, 2014

Count Down

The Manawatu Quilt Symposium is in January.  The deadline for quilt entries is the beginning of November.  My entry forms are finished and posted.  

The deadline is actually before the 1st as the entries need to be posted via snail mail with the images of the quilts printed and on CD - entering online is so much easier!   I don't envy those who have to enter in the details from all those handwritten forms - I did try to write neatly!

I struggled with one of the artist statements. I was sort of playing with a technique and the quilt just evolved, there were times when I almost stopped as I didn't think it was working.  Once I'd trimmed it to size and cut away the binding it looked OK, so I kept going.  

A week or so ago the letters detailing our class choices arrived.  I'm attending Betty Busby's class 'Artistic Yardage' which is painting on silk  - something I'm keen to try. The other class is Rosalie Dace's 'Earth, Wind and Fire'. Rosalie was here in Wellington a few years ago and I missed her talk, which apparently was amazing and a friend has never let me forget that I didn't go!

Better get on and look at the class requirements - usually involves a google search for things that we can't get in NZ easily or items that have completely different names.

Friday, October 17, 2014

My very own quilt

Not so long ago some quilting friends made me a quilt.

They seemed surprised when I requested a traditional quilt.  My reasoning was that I'd probably never make one for myself and why would I want another art quilt!

The quilt is now on our bed and I love it (and so does the fluffy cat who often has dirty paws!).

Only briefly did I try and guess who made which blocks - I was so wrong with my initial guesses that I'm not going to try again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Below is a photo of the completed and signed banner hanging at the Rawleigh Hockey Tournament in Wanganui last week.  
After four days of great hockey the Wellington 'under 13b' team came home with the trophy.  The banner was a success as well, thanks to enough eyelets and cable ties it stayed in place during a range of weather!

banner in place - maybe it could have been a bit bigger!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Almost a Quilt

My current project is a banner for my daughter's rep hockey team.  Now banners aren't usually like a quilt - well this one is - three layers of fabric stitched together, just no batting. 

After volunteering to make the banner my first thoughts were to use paint - I hadn't quite worked out how I'd create stencils so big and what fabric to use.  Searching local fabric stores - the best I could find was black calico - not very inspiring.  

During a visit to Nancys I mentioned to Mary what I needed to do and it is thanks to her for the suggestion to use layers of fabric and cut away the top.  That was it - I was off - only problem was to find some suitable fabric - last option Pete's Emporium.  After spending a while ferretting around their fabric - for those that don't know Pete's Emporium their fabric is stacked randomly and in a rather crowded fashion.  I found some sturdy black nylon and just the right yellow, for Wellington colours, raincoat-like nylon.  

Before going large scale (1.5m x 1m), I created a prototype.  


For the letters I used Microsoft Word, printed the letters as an outline, pinned the paper to the layers of fabric, stitched along the lines, ripped the paper away and carefully cut (only one minor snip in the wrong place) away the black top layer revealing the yellow below.   I had four layers, as my plan was to have the banner double sided, this quickly changed.  Mostly because of the bulk.

paper pattern

A hint: in Word underline each letter so when the letters are taped together just match the horizontal and vertical lines of the underlines and the letters will line up nicely.  

paper partly removed

I'd used the underlines so I could line up the horizontal lines and it was a happy accident to discover that matching the vertical lines meant the letters were correctly spaced!


To create the final pattern I again used Word - the big letters are 550 point.  After printing the pages, I taped them together and then taped them to the fabric. Changing the needle on my machine to a denim needle, stitched along the lines.  For the first letter I carefully turned the fabric as I sewed around each corner.  I only did that once!!  The rest of the letters were stitched free motion, yah for all that quilting practice!  The nylon doesn't seem to fray so just a few rounds of straight stitching was enough.

Almost finished ...

...  just need to finish the edges and add some eyelets.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Out and About

The World of Wearable Art (WOW) is currently on in Wellington.  Performing in the show are a group of Shaolin Monks.  The 14 monks, with the youngest only ~11 years old, are from a monastery in Zhengzhou, in eastern China. 

They have been a few free peformances around the city.  The kids and I watched them at Midland Park.

We were right up close ...

Click here for a video of their performance.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


My local guild has an exhibition on at the Portrait Gallery until Sunday 5th October.  If you're in the Wellington area go and have a look, its a ideal venue and there are some great quilts.

After viewing all the quilts I did think there were a few 'interesting' choices for awards and wondered why the judges hadn't recognised other quilts that appeared to be better.

Does this mean me and my entries? No, not this time, as I had no expectations, especially as I've been focusing on entries for other exhibitions.  My entries were small quilts (A3 and 12"x12") that I hadn't even made specifically for this exhibition. I think this enabled me to have a different perspective when viewing the quilts and the judges awards.  

It has taken me awhile to learn and accept that judges decisions are exactly that, they are their decisions and you're never (well hardly ever) likely to get an explanation as to how and why they made their choices.  

As long as you like your quilt, enjoyed making it, what does it matter that someone else has thought that another quilt better meets a particular category and gets a lovely prize?  Actually this is quite hard and I'll try and remember these words!!

I've also realised that I prefer to enter juried exhibitions where a specified number of quilts are selected, and often there are no awards.  If my quilt is selected then I know I've met the required standard and that the quilts are often selected to fit a theme and an overall look for the exhibition.

Don't let any of this stop you entering quilts in exhibitions.  After being on 'white glove' duty today, all the quilts in this exhibition were enjoyed by quite a wide range of people, many weren't even quilters.

Well after this bit of a ramble I'll leave you with a picture of my 11 year old's quilt 'Hockey Rules', and yes it is way bigger than my entries and she won an award with a bag of goodies.