Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Knitted Cowl/shawl Pattern

Last year I made this cowl out of three balls of Italian sock yarn.
Every time I wear it customers ask me where I got if from or how was it made.

So over the last three weeks I have been making another one using Naturally Boho Sock yarn which is a 3 - 4 ply on size 2.75 needles.  Yes I know - its sounds time consuming and on small needles!!!  Its just one of those projects you can pick up any time and knit without having to know where you are up to in the pattern and its all in Garter Stitch.

Naturally Boho Sock Yarn

Both cowls/shawls opened out.
Here is my very simple pattern. 

Cast on five stitches.
Row 1 Knit
Row 2 and every other row Knit, increase in the first stitch and into the last stitch of EVERY row.
Repeat row 2 until work measures 37cm from the centre (cast on row to the top).
Knit 3 rows without increasing.
Cast off
You should have approximately 375 stitches (give or take a few that you may have forgotten to increase).

Here is how you wear it.

Place one end over your shoulder
I am left handed so I place mine over my right shoulder
Whatever is your preference

Bring the rest around the neck towards the front

Then over your shoulder and around your neck again.

Both ends are in front.

Bring the end to the shoulder Tie ends into a knot.
The Knot is on your "starting shoulder" 

Place large section of your cowl over the knot to cover it.
Enjoy its warmth along with the decorative interest sock yarn can give.

You can knit this in a larger ply though you may need to make some adjustments.
The full length between points is 164cm.
I used circular needles with a 120cm cable.   You need 150gms of sock 3-4 ply sock yarn.

If you are in the Wellington Region (New Zealand) this cowl will be displayed by Wellington Sewing Centre at the Craft and Quilt Fair 8 - 10 September at the Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua.

Happy stitching

Friday, 19 August 2016

Word Quilt Competition Winners

Woo Hoo - Three from New Zealand win awards.

Here's the list.  Hopefully we can access photos soon.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Machine quilting for beginners

I always forget to take lots of photos in my classes - so here's just a few to show off today's students new discovered talent.
Great day for sewing 😍


Sunday, 7 August 2016

A Quilter's journey

Its been a while since I have written on my blog.  The shop where I currently work has been sold and I have been putting all my energy and extra time into helping Joanne (the new owner) make changes.  She has owned Wellington Sewing Center for four months and I would say we are two thirds of the way into revamping. 

Change or something new always makes everything very exciting.  Just like learning to quilt.
When you hear your students talking about their next quilts - they are hooked.
It reminds me of the excitement I felt making my first quilts.  Yes quilts - plural.

Erica Lineman was a great tutor.  The class was for a year (1997) during the school term every Friday morning for 2 hours.  My boys would attend a crèche for $1 each (so cheap - more $$$ for fabric).  Expectation was by the end of the year we would have completed a quilt. 

Hmmm not me.  The class was kept at the same pace so I was always finished ahead of my class mates so while I waited, I made another four quilts that year.

This was my years project.  Andrew my youngest was only a baby.  The quilt was a sampler.  Like all beginners I struggled with my fabric choices and had to unlearn the drill my school sewing teachers had instilled in me - you don't put dots or stripes together etc.  The boat block was my own design.

At the same time I was making Andrew's quilt, I had started another for my Daughter. 
"Hearty Pink"

Catherine was 4 years old and chose her own fabrics and selected which blocks she wanted me to include in her quilt.  How their tastes change - by the time she was 10 she didn't like it any more.

Again - waiting for my class mates to catch up I started a quilt for my son Steven who was 3 at the time.
Not wanting to make another sampler, I borrowed some quilt magazines from a friend and Steven chose the design, fabrics and colours.  I was fascinated as to why he selected green and yellow fabrics. When I asked, he told me his favourite song was about a Monkey eating yellow and green bananas.
All these quilts were hand quilted.

Erica invited me to attend her local quilting club - Capital Quilters in Lower Hutt (New Zealand) where I have been a member since.
Also that year I purchased my first New Zealand Quilter magazine which just happened to have Erica's quilt on the front cover.  "Lust in a Log Cabin".  Winner of the Wellington Quilters Quilt Challenge 1996 and selected for the Suitcase Exhibition 1997.

That's the start of my quilting journey.   Every quilt or craft item we create has a story and so I have diarised the first 10 years of my quilting journey.  Have you thought about writing yours?

These quilts below are from my beginners class held at the end of last month at Wellington Sewing Center.  They each have their own story and these ladies are now on their own quilting journey.

Abby's completed quilt top for her niece.

Janet's baby quilt for new Grandchild

Cathy has used her husband's ties to make a lap quilt.
A quilt made out of ties is a great idea.  Cathy stabilised her tie fabrics strips by sewing them onto a backing fabric first.  She then used starch to help firm the fabrics when ironing.  These two techniques work well when using different types light weight fabrics.

Till next time
happy stitching

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Still Cre8ing Exhibition

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the opening of an exhibition of work by eight textile artists from the Hutt Valley (New Zealand) and Australia.

Still Cre8ing is their second exhibition held at the Odlin Gallery, Myrtle Street, Lower Hutt.  Their first exhibition was held in 2014.

The exhibitors are Margaret Davidson,  Brenda McPartlin,  Karen Johnston, Galye Downes, Cherie Gurney, Jo Rothbaum, Jenny Hughes-Allen and Rebecca Staunton.

The featured project for this exhibition:
To give new life to tattered, stretched, worn and torn, felted wool covers.  These covers were originally used to protect new born lambs from the ravages of a Canterbury winter (New Zealand).
The challenge for these artists was to turn these into pieces of art.
Some of the art work made from the lamb jackets.  Note the pile in the bottom right hand corner.
This is an example of the condition the jackets arrived in.

By Karen Johnston
Canterbury Spring  Lamb by Gayel Downes
Over Cast Day By Cherie Gurney

Echoes by Cherie Gurney

Segments of Time by Cherie Gurney
Queen Anne's Lace by Gayel Downes


Baracudas by Jo Rothbaum

I definitely have to revisit this exhibition with my camera.  The Gallery was very crowed last night so taking photos was restricting.

This exhibition is running from the 13th - 24th July at the Odlin Gallery, 9-11 Myrtle Street, Lower Hutt 10am - 4pm daily

I hope you have the opportunity to visit .



Saturday, 11 June 2016

QAYG and my latest gadget

Today's class was held at Krazy Cow in Levin.  It is located at the south entrance to the town in an old railway station.  I think it's pretty cool.  Stitching away with the occasional rumble of trains coming past.
Krazy Cow Is a quilting store with the addition of knitting yarns, small haberdashery and sewing machines for sale.  Trish offers a quilting service.  Her current website is about to have a revamp. 
You can follow Krazy Cow Quilts on Facebook.  Web site is
A very popular stop for a "girls road trip".

I got engrossed playing with student blocks and I forgot to take photos.  I missed a few. Here's what I did photograph.

My latest gadget is this folding ruler.  Great for the travelling quilter.  I am happy with it. The key is to ensure you are using it on a flat surface.
It is available in most quilting stores.

Till next weeks class.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

QAYG with Capital Quilters

Great class today with Captial Quilters in Lower Hutt and with the large number of blocks created, we had fun playing around with block layouts.

Next class is at Krazy Cow in Levin on the 11th June and Sawmillers in Te Marua 18th June.