Sunday, December 27, 2015

Home again

My mini Anzac quilt 'Places of Anzac' is back home after tripping around Australia and New Zealand as part of the 'Lest We Forget' quilt challenge.

Places of Anzac

All the quilts can be seen in this slideshow along with the description for each quilt.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fabric twine placemats

My playing with fabric twine progressed to an actual project.  I had a metre or so of a darkish batik that had been bought as a backing fabric, yet it had never found the right quilt.

It was ripped it into ~1inch wide strips along with three lighter batiks.  An easy project to pick up and quickly a reasonable amount of cord has been produced.  

The idea was to create placemats as a Christmas present, after working out how much fabric and effort was required to make 8-10 placements - the intended recipient has a large table, I settled on placemats that could be used in the centre of the table.  

As I wanted an oval shape I started with two longer strips before starting to go round and round.  

The peg held the pieces together until the stitching had started and prevented the twine unravelling.

Going round and round ...

 ... almost done.  

It would have been easier to have the mat on the left of the needle!

Three completed placemats that are mostly the same size and shape.

Either side can be used, I had black in the bobbin and a variegated polyester on the top.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas decorations

Our Christmas tree has a rather eclectic collection of decorations from handmade to purchased. 


Felted balls with added beads, see here for instructions by Judy Coates Perez.

These are super easy and fun to make.


Hand crafted decorations from stitching friends

Felted hearts

Two pieces of acrylic felt decorated then blanket-stitched together with a small amount of stuffing.  

Some have had other fibres, including sparkly angelina fibres, needlefelted onto the felt before stitching.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Plodding along

Not alot of quilting is happening at the moment.  

I have finished the handstitching on a project that I've been taking along to my evening  stitching groups.  Now what to do with it?


Machine quilted wide spaced curving lines, also some bobbin work.   

Then 'coloured in' with hand stitching using a range of threads and stitches.  

Inspired by the work of Carol Ann Waugh.

 a closer look

 a few threads

The reason why there hasn't been any quilting is that I've been sewing a formal dress for my daughter. 

It has taken some time as I've been over cautious, with good reason as there have been expensive sewing failures in my past.  I've been so tempted to work on other things but have persevered. The deadline is Friday, just the hem and a button to sew on plus a bit of thread trimming.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snug as a bug

My sort of Christmas themed neonate mini quilt ...


I have a lot of white narrow strips of fabric, mostly left over from trimming quilts.  So started playing with a selection of red, orange and lime green fabrics cut into smallish squares with even smaller white squares on opposite corners like this ...

After sewing what seemed to be a rather lot of squares with even more to go to make a 27" square quilt something was needed in the middle.

The something was a ladybug, although here in New Zealand we call these ladybirds.

The fabric had fusible ironed on and then cut on my Silhouetto Cameo cutting machine.  

The shapes and letters were fused on to a square of white fabric that had another layer of fabric to help stabilise the applique.  

Using a straight stitch, stitched around the letters 3-4 times.  The bug has a mixture of straight stitching and blanket stitch.

There was one false start ...

When I cut fused shapes I've been placing the fabric side down on to the sticky carrier mat as I've found it is easier to peel the pieces off and it seems to cut better.

Using the mirror image is a bit more useful.


Final layout.  

I kept the quilting simple with cross hatching around the bug and the words.  Each white square was quilted in the ditch, while a little bit time consuming the end result is what I wanted.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Poppy Field

Over the past week or so as we've been driving past Appleton Park (near Karori tunnel) we've seen people installing white ball-like things on the end of waving stalks.

There is no signage so one day we stopped and a guy, who was lying on his stomach working on cabling, told us it was an art installation called 'Remembrance' to mark Armistice Day, 11th November.

The ~860 LED lights on poles pay tribute to the Wellingtonians who died at Gallipoli in World War I. During the evening the LEDs glow red creating a poppy field and during the day a field of white flowers.

A couple of days ago some of the lights were still to be connected.  

They are quite fun to walk through especially as they move in the breeze.

The installation is there until early December.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Playing with Fabric Twine

Recently a friend demonstrated how to make fabric twine.  I watched but didn't pay too much attention ... a couple of days later happened (!) to come across instructions (see here, includes a video) and had a play.

A few pieces of abandoned hand dyed fabrics ripped into roughly one inch strips ...

... and rather too quickly had a large ball of twine.


Days later had whipped up a bowl.

How the bowl was created ...
Using a wide and long zigzag sewed the strips together in a circular shape.  I used a large jeans needle (100/16) that sewed easily through all the layers.

To start the bowl shape, tilted the piece as I sewed.

To add a handle, held the twine away from the edge for a couple of centimetres, stitched and then rejoined on the other side and continued stitching.  

The trick is to evenly place the handle on the other side.

To shape the base, use a similar sized dish and iron the base and the edge.  The ironing flattens the twine and seems to hold the shape quite well.

Now on to the next project, this time with a more controlled colour scheme.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A bit of doodling

I have a colouring in book that is full of lovely designs that, for some reason, I can't bring myself to colour.  It does have some great designs for quilting, etc. 

So instead I've created my own colouring pages.  During our recent holiday I took along an A5 sketch book, black gel pen, selection of Inktense pencils and a brush for a bit of doodling.

First effort, coloured with Inktense pencils then brushed over with a moist brush.  

To avoid the colours running into each other, I did one colour at a time, left to dry before wetting the next colour.

 Next effort, this time just brushing over in one go.

water still to be applied 

A selection of pages to be coloured.  


  Next to try on fabric.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Showing in October

October is a busy month for some of my quilts, two small pieces are on display this weekend and other pieces have been shown during October.

Aotearoa Quilters Green 12x12 challenge is on show this weekend at Whangamata Patch and Quilt exhibition.
photo from Aotearoa Quilters FB page,
mine is middle solid green one (here it is below)

Also on this weekend is a display of postcards created by Oceania SAQA members at the Stitches and Craft show in Melbourne.  The postcards were shown earlier this year at SAQA's (Studio Art Quilt Associates) annual conference in Portland.

mine second to bottom row, third on the left

My quilt 'Knit One, Paint One' is part of SAQA's 'Redirecting the Ordinary' exhibition and has been showing in Europe.  It has just shown at Abilmente Mostra-Atelier Internazionale della Manualita Creativa, Fiera di Vincenza, Italy.  

During September it was at Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork, Alsace, France.
'Knit One, Paint One' third from the left
'Redirecting the Ordinary' at Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork
photo from SAQA's Europe/Middle East blog

My quilt 'Caveman txts' is in SAQA's exhibition 'Text Messages' and showed at 'Original Sewing & Quilt Expo' in Fredericksburg, VA, in early October. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

The banner in action

The completed hockey banner (see here for construction details) had its second outing in Palmerston North last week.  There were 24 teams representing their regions in the 2015 Collier U13 tournament. 
Banner in place and enthusiastic Wellington supporter!

At the opening ceremony the banners were on the ground in front of each team, the Wellington banner was one of the few that didn't blow away in the strong breeze.  The yellow nylon-like fabric is quite heavy duty and with two layers it isn't particularly light.

Opening ceremony
almost windproof banner

small selection of banners
During the tournament the banners were hanging on the fence.  They ranged in size and style with a mix of professional and hand crafted.

The girls had a fantastic time and played some great hockey.