Sunday, 24 September 2017

Coastal Quilters Challenge quilts plus more

Hello- yes its been a while.  I have been absorbed in the NZ Quilt Symposium 2017 class prep.  Testing my diagrams, student notes and preparing samples. Symposium is less than two weeks away.  Yay.

Last month I had the opportunity to be part of the Quilt and Craft fair held in Porirua New Zealand.  Jo decided to take the shop to the fair and the staff took turns at manning the stall each day.  Part of this fair was an exhibition by Coastal Quilters.  I photographed their "Scrap" challenge for you to see.  Quite a good turn out.  Awards we present by viewer choice only.  Three quilts were awarded.

If you scroll into each picture you will be able to read the quilt details.

"N" Scrap the dash-a-doodle by Iosbel Whooley (right)
viewers choice award

"J" Demolition Boro by Claire Smith (left) viewers choice award

"L" Old Girl by Dianne Barnden views choice award (left)

I will be sending my quilt for the Symposium Tutors Exhibition this week.  Its is the only quilt I have managed to finish in the last 14 months.  Think 'young" girl when you see it.

Here is its story and the quilt for those of you who are unable to attend symposium.  My photographs are not that great (from my washing line) but I hope to take better ones once it is hanging.

Wimsical  (without the H)
Every quilt that is made has a story.
Fabric designers spend hours creating their unique fabric designs for quilters, crafters and dressmakers to enjoy.  For several years now I have been creating quilts out of one fabric.  Basically, I cut up a fabric and re-design a different look by manipulating the fabric using traditional blocks.

I love visual textures, illusions and where possible also like to add tactile surfaces to some of my quilts.
The inspiration for this quilt came from the fabric itself - Marianna by Gray Sky Studio for ‘In The Beginning fabrics’ (2015). I was drawn to the elegant shapes, curves and subtle colours of the print. 

The centre of my quilt is made up of kaleidoscopes using the four-sided kaleidoscope block method.  Inserted between each kaleidoscope I have added a windmill block to add colour.  It was exciting to lay out my blocks on my design wall.  Sewing them together incorporating the windmills was a bit of a challenge.
Wonderfil Dazzle has been couched into the borders to add sparkle.

This quilt is Whimsical but I have left out the H in memory of my uncle Wim who took me to visit a windmill for the first time in Holland in 1967.  I wasn’t so much in awe of the windmill itself, but of the family of eleven who were about to eat their dinner sitting around a dining table that stretched right across the room. 
One day this quilt will be passed on to a young girl to enjoy.
Very Wimsical.

That's all for now.  I intend to post from the Symposium.

Happy stitching

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sympoisum 2017 - QAYG class

If you are booked on my QAYG class at Symposium in October and you haven't bought your fabrics yet, here is an alternative layout you could consider. 

The front
The back using a variety of fabrics.
This is the class example.
See you there


Friday, 25 August 2017

Crazy busy August sewing and weaving

Several groups of quilters have been attending my QAYG techniques workshops this month.  Four different block construction techniques, four different joining techniques and machine  your binding without a binding foot attachment.  There is a lot to cover in this class which is run over two full days or 4 half day sessions.
Usually when you attend a QAYG class you are making a whole quilt using one technique.
The little quilt made in my techniques class becomes a reference.  I encourage attendees to use their scraps.  Quite funny really - most struggle to use their scraps and still want their reference quilt to look co-ordinated.  Here are some of the completed ones - with more still to come hopefully.

My husband was being very helpful and washed his quilt that I made him in the late 1990s.  Yes you know what happened!!

The woollen batting shrunk.

Paul bought his fabric for his own quilt on a business trip to the USA in the late 1990s.  This was only the fourth quilt I had ever made.  Hand quilted over a two month period.
So I unpicked it in one night :).

Horrified at the size of some of my seams!

Batting has shrunk but I can reuse it for another project.  Ideas are starting to form!!

My plan is to gently wash the top and iron it dry, closing up my stitching holes as I go.  Won't be a quick process.  Paul has also asked that I add another border to make his quilt bigger.

Back to my NEW addiction - Weaving.  Last week I completed a scarf for my friend Freya and this week a cushion  - a bit of an experiment.  I have learnt that the warp thread can be quite controlling and that it is a good idea to use a dark colour on the outside of the warp threads to hide an uneven selvage.  Blocking is very important and to cut joining threads after the garment is dry.  My work colleague suggested that I wash my woven items in a bucket of warm water with hair conditioner. I was very surprised at how soft the weave became.  Even the softest of yarns feel hard when woven.

Double knit warp thread with a home spun sock yarn with glitter spun into it.

I made this pattern up as I went.  Note to self - hmm maybe draw up a plan using quad paper.
Blocking it on a yoga mat using sewing pins down the sides.
Notice the threads on the top?  These are cut once dry.
I made the cushion 10 cm smaller than the insert but I didn't quite get the length
correct so the over hang at the back was minimal but I still could stitch it closed.

Next in line for the loom.

Here are my completed woven items from earlier this month.
Scarf for my husband
My very first woven item unfortunately this scarf is nearly 3 meters.
Will need to short it.

Something for me which is on display in the shop.

Happy crafting,





Sunday, 23 July 2017

New class plus other things all crafty

I spent yesterday with 14 members from Kapiti Quilters in Waikanae New Zealand, learning four different block construction and four different joining methods of Quilt As You Go.
The club hold their meetings at their local Bridge Club.  I have taught here before and love the great facilities and space.  Here's just a couple of snaps of our day.

I am attending a weaving class at Wellington Sewing Center.  We are using Ashford Rigid Heddle looms and our own yarn (mines from my stash - ah yes - have a yarn as well as a fabric stash). So much fun and maybe I'm getting slightly addicted!!

We carry around a very important and clever tool in our handbags, pockets or back packs.  Yes our mobile phone.  Use your camera to help with your crafting or creative work.  Here is an example.  One of our customers wanted to put a red boarder on her quilt (red is her favourite colour).  By taking photos we were able to guide her to look at other colour ways what would compliment her fabric.

The red is draining the colour out of her blocks and the blue is enhancing it.

I have had my knitting needles out again.   This time using Touch Alpine Mohair (12 ply 100gms), casting on 22 stitches using size 10mm needles.  Its gorgeous and quick to knit up. 1.9 meters long, sew ends together and you have a boofy cuddly cowl.

The alpine mohair hank below my cowl is called Whitebait.  Its also very cool.  I'm restraining myself from buying it. Click with our mouse onto the photo to enlarge it for a better look.

That's all from me. 

Happy stitching

Friday, 19 May 2017

Exhibitions, classes and Twined knitting

I have had a crazy 6 weeks so its been a while since I last posted.
Let me share some of the quilts I have seen and what some of my students have been making.

In April, Kapiti Quilters held their "Rapt in Quilts" exhibition.  Jo (owner of Wellington Sewing Center) and I had the pleasure of being one of the vendors at this event which was held at Southwards Car Museum.

The club members had to include this fabric in their challenge quilts.

Here are six of the challenge quilts. Very clever and I suspect these quilt makers had a lot of fun.

Other Quilts on Show
Pohutukawa by Sandra Killin
Best Contempory Quilt
A Mary Metcalf design

Soaring Compliments. Pattern designed by Caryl Bryer Falert.
A group of friends worked together making their own interpretation of this quilt.
Quilt makers:
 (top left to right) Judy Boyle, Bobby Duncan, Judith Dudson
(bottom left to right) Anne-Marie Dunlop, Barbara Hanaray Loarraine Murray

White Delight by Carol Denley

Dandelions by Sandra Killin

1388 Pieces by Sandra Killin

Pansy Beauty by Anne-Marie Dunlop
Best in Show

Crazy Patch by Judith MacDonald
Unfortunately my photograph was affected by lighting
For the Olive Grove by Paulette Meldrum

Kaleidoscope by Jacqui Balaam

Cocktail Twise by Carol Pedersen

Conway Album Quilt by Sheryl Meech

Night Flowers by Sheryl Meech
Best machine applique
Jo Morris (on the right) and me before the doors opened.

A group of quilters meet every Wednesday evening to work on their own projects and I am their to assist them - sort of like a mentor.  One member has been sick so these ladies decided it would be nice to make a quilt for her.  Over an eight week period they learnt how to paperpiece using one of Carol Doak's designs.
Here was the quilt top on my design wall which has now been completed and handed over last week to the recipient.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Tote and Gloat a Quilting event in Palmerston North organised by Rose City Quilters.  I have only taken a few photos of this year's event.  Not all the quilts were labeled with the quilt makers details.

Over the last month I have been teaching a beginners quilting class.  Tops have been completed and quilts pinned ready for quilting.

This is Tammie's quilt.  Quite different for a first quilt.
The top has been made from her Mother's cardigans.  

Jenny's Dr Seuss

Maina's quilt top.  Notice the teaspoons?
If you don't have a pin closing tool, teaspoons work really well.
I had the opportunity to attend a Twined knitting class with Beth Brown-Reinsel from the U.S.
She specialises in traditional knitting.  Her examples were absolutely stunning.  You need to google her.

This is my cast on using three strands of yarn

This is the class effort at the end of the day. 
My cutting table is covered in fabric for my winter wardrobe plus I seem to have far to many UFO's.
Time to complete more projects.

One more thing to show of.  This stunning piece of knitting (Gallipoli) was made by Jo Morris.  It has been on display in the shop for April and May.  Poppy contributions were made by customers and the crotchet club of Tawa College.  Note the purple poppy?  That represents all the horses and messaging pigeons that died.

Happy stitching