Monday, December 30, 2013

From under the tree

Well Christmas has been and gone for another year.  A lovely sunny day with a Christmas lunch picnic at the Botanic Gardens.


One of my presents ...

 Fabric Manipulation by Ruth Singer.

I've followed her blog for awhile and enjoyed her work. Now to try some of her techniques.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mostly ready ...

The last Christmas decoration has been created and in place, we're ready for the big day.

Although I suspect the DD creator will need to update some of the reds and greens before then.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last minute Christmas decorations

My friend Suzy gave me this lovely decoration.

She found the pattern here.

It looks lovely hanging on the tree and at first glance looks really easy to make (and they are), so I might just have to make some.  

I can see that I'll be varying the instructions a little ... and using my trusty Janome felting machine.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Trunk Show

I've created a small quilt for SAQA's 2104 Anniversary Trunk Show, this will be a travelling exhibition.  The quilts are to be 10" x 7" and will be mounted on a 12 x 9" black backing board.

Here is a glimpse of my, still un-named, entry.  

I've used my favourite freezer paper stencils, paintsticks, some Trapunto padding and dense quilting.  I've been using Sennelier oil sticks, their colours tend to be much more vibrant than Markal/Shiva but can be muckier to use.  Definitely for using outside!

A similar SAQA trunk show even made it to NZ earlier this year and showed in Taupo and Hamilton (picture below).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Botanic Gardens

In my previous post here I showed photos of the quilted garden planting at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. 

I wandered further and came to the rose garden which had taken a bit of a battering with the rain and wind.  The scent seemed to be accentuated by the misty rain.
Oranges and Lemons
The Pilgrim
More pictures ...

Rose Gardens

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Quilted Garden

The Wellington Botanic Gardens currently have a quilt themed planting, with the flower beds in the main garden having been transformed into living ‘quilts’.

Throughout January there is to be a real quilt exhibition at their Treehouse Visitor Centre.

Some pics (taken on a drizzly wet day).  The gardens were only planted earlier this month so should look pretty amazing throughout summer.
Grandmothers Garden

Christmas Tree

Nine Patch

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'The Backseat Band' - voting now open

This year Bernina NZ have been running a Music Challenge.  The size of each quilt had to fit within A2 (594 x 420mm). 

Completed entries were taken to the local Bernina dealer.  They then selected a winning quilt which will be part of an exhibition that will tour the country during 2014.  

Each dealer also ran a 'viewers choice' for the most humorous quilt, which then competes with all the other humorous quilts for the overall winner.

My entry 'The Backseat Band' won the viewers choice for Nancy's Embroidery Shop (my local Bernina dealer).  

Voting is now open on Facebook (click here ) until Tuesday 10th December 2013 (NZ time).  If my quilt makes you smile (or not) and you felt like voting then please do so. 

The Backseat Band
I was inspired by the stick figure stickers on the back windows of cars, the ones with Mum, Dad, the kids, the cat, the dog, etc. - which I refuse to have on my car!  The quilt pretty much represents our musical (!) family, including the fellow on the right who wants the noise music to stop.

The figures were stitched first with double lines and then coloured in with Tsukineko inks.  Before applying the ink I painted on Aloe Vera gel (a Judy Coates Perez technique).  This seems to make it easier to apply the inks onto the fabric while also stopping the ink bleeding out onto the fabric.  The quilting also fits the musical theme with the repeating five lines (staff) and the music notes flowing through.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


What to do with less than successfully dyed fabric? over print of course!

I was inspired by Catherine Parkinson's blog entry (see here) where she has a great tutorial for making quilted pouches.

The original pieces of dyed fabric were interesting colours but rather washed out and not very appealing.  Using a few stencils, a selection of textile paints, Golden acrylics (with fabric medium) they were transformed into ...
add a bit of quilting, a bit of sewing ...
selection of clutches

Monday, November 18, 2013


I haven't posted any pictures lately of the small quilts that I make for our local Neonatal Unit.  These ones have been sitting on my shelf waiting for the final touches - threading threads in.

These two are similar except the one on the left has partial seams.

Practicing my free-motion quilting.  The quilt on the left has a sort of circular swirl in differing sizes.  

The quilt on the right is my interpretation of McTavishing

This quilt was intended to be a scrappy quilt using up scraps of solids.  As I was arranging the squares I could see a sort of pattern emerging - so quite a few other pieces were added.

The circular quilting is free-motion.  A few wonky moments but an interesting experience.  

pieced back, complete with cat's tail

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blue 12x12s

After their successful RED 12x12 challenge Aotearoa Quilters now have a BLUE 12x12 challenge.  This is due end of January and will be displayed at the Craft Fairs in Christchurch and Palmerston North in February 2014.

Here is a work in progress view of my first blue entry (there may or may not be more!):

I've used shot cottons from Oakshott (purchased from Patchwork Passion) and Reece Scannell (purchased from Plume Art).  The shot cottons are great to work with and certainly suit this kind of piecing.  

Definitely inspired by Gwen Marston!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Back Home Again

My quilt 'Out my Window' has arrived home.  

It was part of the 'Beneath the Southern Sky' exhibition and has been travelling since early 2013.
A couple of pics showing the hills and sky that inspired the quilt.  The sky had been a lot bluer just before I took the photos.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caveman Txts at Houston

Earlier in the year I entered my quilt 'Caveman Txts' into SAQA's Text Messages Exhibition and it was selected!   Click here to see the whole exhibition.

This exhibition is currently showing at Houston.  I wish I was there!
Caveman Txts

The fabric is rusted, even the blue.  The background images are lino printed and freezer paper stencils as are the words.

The idea was the comparison with caveman drawings and text messaging today.  Cave drawings have survived forever, text messages, once deleted, are gone forever (mostly!).

Monday, October 28, 2013

SAQA Auction at Houston - updated

The second part of the SAQA Benefit Auction starts this week and features my quilt 'Fishnets'.  Check back here for the quilts from other SAQA Oceania members.

Online bidding starts on Monday 28th at 2pm Eastern, (this is about Tuesday 7am NZ Time - according to

Bidding online continues for a second day then in-person at the International Quilt Festival in Houston from Wednesday through to Sunday.
Wish I was there ...

Update - it sold!  I hope Maria enjoys this little piece from down under.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Holiday snaps from Oz

The recent school holidays saw us having a quick visit to the Blue Mountains and Sydney.  Some fairly random holiday snaps.

We were there before the major bush fires.  While I'm very thankful that we're home, I'm hoping that our family there continue to be ok. 

If you'd like to assist with quilts for those affected by the fires, try this link  for the 'Springwood Winmalee Bushfire Quilt Appeal 2013'.

Sydney Opera House
Opera House and CBD views

entrance to Sydney harbour

St James

city scape

Blossums, Leura

near Katoomba

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Japanese Quilt - finished

Previously I've blogged (here, here and here) about the Japanese inspired quilt my stitching group was making for someone with a significant birthday.  

Well it is complete and has been given to the recipient, unfortunately I missed the event and don't have a photo of the completed quilt.

Here is a photo - where it has been mostly quilted and before being bound (and possibly before another border was added).  
The quilting is a mixture of hand and machine.  The batting is wool which is rather boofy, its been around awhile and is quite loose.  This looseness did cause some problems - although nothing that a bit of machine quilting couldn't (mostly) eliminate.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Flower Power

My Guild recently had a challenge called 'From the Page' where you received a page from a magazine. 

You then created a quilt that represented that page, using the page design, layout, colours, topics, or any other element on the page.  The creation could be 3D, as long as it fitted within a 50cm cube.

Here is my page from the magazine:

Using the flower image on the left I created a double-sided printing block and printed various prints until I got the colours I liked.


The final result (36cm by 48cm): 

For the larger flowers I used a freezer paper stencil, that was reused for the stitching outlines. 

The flowers are outlined using Madeira Lana.  A great thread that is 50% wool and 50% acrylic, this thread can be used on the sewing machine, just needs a larger needle such as a jeans needle. 

Awhile ago I bought a selection of these threads from the Linda and Laura Kemshall's online store.

The judging was last week, unfortunately I didn't win anything.  The winning and merit entries almost/exactly represented their page/s.