Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A 100 Day Creative Challenge for you

Hi all, I have started a 100 Day Creative Challenge. I am working on 6" white blocks of fabric with the themes "green" and "circles". Two friends (organising and) doing it are 1. drawing shoes and 2. taking photos of road side trash each day.

I'm enjoying it so far - I started with something really basic to get me going - and hope to have a quilt by the end of it! If I last 100 days and add a big white border it will be a decent sized quilt.  Worst case a cushion or cat blanket! It's going to be a great way of just playing without having to stick to a pattern.

Anyone want to join in? The challenge is open to all. Lucy is going to start soon :).

Here are my day 1 and day 2 blocks:


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Finished projects new and old.

The quilting has bought this quilt alive.  I am really pleased with how it has turned out and looking forward to getting the other quilt that I made from the other half of the jelly roll quilted.  Every time I look at these quilt, it is hard to believe they have been made from one jelly roll.  I made these quilts about 3 years ago, but like everything we move on to 'new' projects.  It is great to at last have one of them out and on a bed.

This is the other half of the jelly roll that I used to make this quilt.  
My first batch of crab apple jelly, picked from my apple tree. 

I made this quilt the other day.  I have had this fabric for over 6 years.  I bought it when I visited my friend Deirdre who lives in America.  We went to a wonderful Amish town called Shipshewanna.  I just had to have this fabric with the Jack Russell dogs on as it is so like our JR Alife.  This is the same quilt top pattern that Susan made on her holiday's last Christmas for a friends baby.  A great size quilt that goes together in no time.  I just need to get it quilted now!


Thursday, 10 October 2013

What I have been up to...

Hi all

I am currently laid up with Sciatica! Have been resting flat for 10 days already and am very frustrated and bored. Frustrated because I was in the process of finishing one job and was due to start a new one on Monday. However, this has been put back a week, I just hope I will be able to start the following Monday, as good as the firm is about being understanding at the moment I cannot expect them to wait indefinitely. I am currently seeing an Osteopath and going for acupuncture next week, I am also doing regular exercises as prescribed, taking magnesium and moving about as much as I can until it becomes too painful down my lower left leg. I am up to just over 5 mins but am hoping for fast progress next week, fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I am able to use the computer without any discomfort so thought I would put some photos up of what I had been working on.

These are some drawstring bags I recently made for gifts. Wendy showed my how to make these years ago and they are still one of my favourite things to make. I don't know if you can see it but the blue and white one has tiny blue and white china beads attached to the end of the drawstrings that I bought in Shanghai. When I give these as presents I sometimes put a small packet of tissues, hand cream, lip gloss and nail file in as they are handy on the bedside table, other times I might put sewing things in as I have one that holds the sewing items I use the most, or I might make some cookies and put them in there (in a plastic bag first though), just depends who it is for.

For Christmas this year I plan to make lots of these little Christmas boxes and fill them with candy as gifts. I bought the pattern at the Quilting Expo in Melbourne earlier this year:

Last Christmas I went home to England for a month. Whilst there I bought some Tilda fabric squares from Coast & Country quilt shop.  I love visiting that shop as it is out in the country rather than in a town and next door is a lovely deli/cafĂ© with good country food and coffee. There is something very special about going to these sort of places around Christmas time as they are always decorated so beautifully and feel so homely and welcoming.  Sally stocks a fabulous range of Tilda products which is why I particularly like going to Coast & Country. I find the Tilda range of fabrics are always so fresh and crisp and make me smile when I look at them. I decided to slice the squares into various width strips and then join them in rows. This is it so far:

I am thinking I might put a wide white border around it with a red/pink bias. Just need to take it to a quilt shop and decide there.

Seeing Joanne's Inner-City Quilt finished has inspired me to get on with mine.  I also started mine in Shanghai but hadn't touched it for a few years. As you can see it is still really small but I will probably not make it quite as big as Joanne has made hers. I have been furiously stitching more blocks and so have about 30 more to add. I might be able to do that lying down, we'll see.

I have been enjoying my time in the kitchen recently too, although that has ground to a halt, I am so glad my 17 year old has been on school holidays, he's been brilliant running around and doing things for me. He even went off and did the groceries this morning! I think he will be glad to go back to school tomorrow for a rest! I am also glad he knows how to cook or it would have been never ending takeaways for the last couple of weeks. Anyway before all this happened I had been experimenting with pancake recipes and tried Lemon Ricotta ones and Gingerbread ones. Although we liked the lemon ones it took quite a bit of time and multiple bowls to prepare the batter, whereas the Gingerbread ones took one bowl and were very quick to put together. Here is a picture of our weekend brunch:

Gingerbread pancakes, bacon, caramelised apples in cinnamon & nutmeg (homemade), Greek yogurt and Lemon Curd (homemade from the WI book you gave me Wendy)... Yummy!

Well that is about all my news for now. Hope you are all well and healthy!

Better late than never...

Hi All

I just noticed the add a photo button is back! whoopee! At last I can attach a photo of Mum's (Karen's) Around the World Quilting Bee quilt top for you all to see:


Monday, 12 August 2013

Susan and Joanne last week

Last week Susan came to stay Sunday - Friday.  We stitched flat out and did some good homestyle cooking. We both had so much we wanted to achieve. When one of us got tired the other pushed us to just finish x.
Susan was on a mission to get a Dr Who Tardis quilt together for Jason to take to Uni next year. Jason had found one someone had blogged about making online. We nutted out the dimensions and then she was off at a fast pace. We stopped for quick lunches outside because the weather was like the photo below all week:

Frostie and Marmite helped us...


Then there was a Tardis quilt top:

It took us ages to figure out the lettering but we got there in the end.
Jason's quilt was so cool and Devin liked it so I decided to make Devin one too.  He is also off to University next year. The week turned into a Tardis production line - not that I was going to start a new project as I have 8 others on the go plus my knitting - that's not including many UFO's! I so wish I didn't need 8 hours sleep a night.


Susan also hand tacked together her big bright Kaffe quilt, she pieced on our Maraetai beach trip, ready for hand quilting in a bright pink pearl 8 thread.
I pinned together my big orange "One Fabric" quilt and finished and pinned together my small Inner City (symposium winner) quilt. I want to hand quilt them both so I now have plenty to do. I'll practice my machine quilting on the Tardis on the Handy Quilter frame and domestic machine I have borrowed and have set up in the kids lounge. Bating for it arrived from today (cheaper than buying locally and Quilters Dream Cotton is not available here), so no excuses now.
There is nothing like attending a quilt exhibition and having a quilting buddy over to get you motivated. Keep quilting, Joanne.

NZ Biannual Quilt Symposium

Hi there from down under. Catherine and I met up for the day at the recent biannual NZ Quilt Symposium. For the first time I entered a quilt into the judged exhibition. I got the shock of my life when I won the Amateur Traditional section. Here's a photo of my quilt.

It took me 5 years to hand piece and hand quilt it. It was fun making the blocks as every one is like a new quilt with different fabrics and I could stitch them on planes trains and in the car. Putting it all together was a long slow job.  I over achieved on the number of blocks I needed so have just finished the top of another the same and about 2/3 the size!

I haven't decided on my next hand pieced project yet - they are great to have when travelling. Joanne.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

You have all been busy. I am was inspired to tackle the Lone Star UFO....nearly there now. You are all looking well!  I am off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham  on Thurs. Do you remember Carole Brown Joanne? She is going on Friday so I will call in again!!!!! I am promising myself only to buy fabric for a specific project!!

Still lovely here despite the odd shower.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Whangamata Retreat

Hi All
Just checked out the blog to see Jackie's lovely summer photos and Wendy's lovely quilting projects.
Last month Susan, Joanne, Claire (a friend of Susan's from Australia) and myself spent a weekend at our beach house in Whangamata.  It was a great weekend of sewing and also managed a trip to Waihi to a quilt shop and a spot of clothes shopping in Whangamata.
Last weekend in Taupo it was the New Zealand quilt symposium where Joanne was signed up for some classes and I spent a day with Joanne viewing the beautiful quilts and seeing Joanne's City Block quilt win her section.  Fantastic.  I will let Joanne put a photo on the blog of her in front of her quilt as I know she has a few of them!!
Anyway a few pictures showing what we were all working on at Whanagamata.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Darcey's quilt and book pillow

Hi Ladies

A few of us must all be thinking the same.  I have missed my envelopes of fabric arriving each month and reading the blog to see what everybody has been up to.  I do drop into the blog every know and then just to see if anybody has added anything.  Really good to see some new postings.

I have at last finished the final baby quilt, until my friends decide to start round two!  I have loved making them all, and they have all been very well received, which is why we put the work into these projects.

The book pillow was from a recent purchase, 'Growing up modern' by Allison Harris.  I really wonderful book with 16 fantastic projects.  Aimed at children, but I personally would adapt to any age- young or old.

We have just had two and half weeks of amazing weather.  I don't think I have eaten so much BBQ food in such a short space of time.  You could sit out in the evening until 10 pm and not need a cardigan, a real summer for a change.  Even though the rain is very needed for the garden, it is a shame to see the temperatures drop, but it is still warm and we do need some rain, the water butts are empty.

Having worked on baby quilts for the last 18 months I was very excited at the prospect of starting something new, but the UFO stash called, and I am quilting a quilt I made about 3 years ago using a jelly roll.  It is from the book two from one.  Very pleased with the stencil I am using and I always quilt using the anchor pearl cotton.

I hope you are all enjoying the season that is with you?  Keep up the blog, it is great to share.
Wendy  xx

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Summer is here....

Summer has finally arrived here in The Netherlands....

Time for sitting in the garden...

for enjoying the lovely colours....

for eating the local strawberries (Eton Mess)....

and for making a summer quilt....this one is for baby Isabelle Clara born on 6th June.

Monday, 6 May 2013

It's been a while.

Hi all, I have been very slack in adding comments to our blog sorry. I do enjoy getting yours in my email inbox.

I'm currently at the Auckland airport filling in time before our flight to Santiago for 3 weeks as a tourist taking in Easter Island, Iguazu Fall, Lima and the inca trail out to Macchu Pichu.

I confess my group quilt has not moved. I have not achieved a lot of quilting time of late but have finished my 5 year hand pieced Inner City quilt in time to enter it in the biannual NZ quilt Symposium in July.  Have yet hear if it has been accepted. I have also finished my Crystallisation wall hanging started 2 years ago at the last symposium.

A few weeks ago I went to a class by Sarah Fielke. She was with Material Obsession in Sydney but she and Kathy Doughty have parted and Sarah is out on her own now. It was a great class.  We could choose to make any one of her quilts (she has two books plus the two material obsession books). I chose one with 696 flying geese so got very speedy at making them. I found some cool funky bird fabric to go with them. I hope to one day show the top together on this blog, along with my group quilt!

I also have a 21st quilt to make for a nephew by Sept. He wants rich dark blues and greens with a shot of rich reds. So that's got the colours sorted just need an idea for the design now!!!

A lady in my quilting group here has lent me all the bits for a Handi Quilter.  That is a frame you use with a domestic machine to quilt like it is a long arm quilter.  I just have to buy a 3m x 1m board to set it up on and I'll be away - sounds easy!  But how does one get a board that big from the DIY store to home? And there is no instruction book with the Handi quilter. But I'll get there and will be machine quilting to my hearts content before you know it - I HOPE. Its good for getting quilts on beds but my real love is still for hand quilted quilts. I'm keen to get going on hand quilting my big orange and black "One Block Hexagon" quilt. I'm going to use orange pearl 8 thread - a la Sarah Fielke. So much to do, so little time.

Well that's me, nothing to show but lots to tell.  Keep the blog entries going. It's lovely to see what everyone is up to.

Keep quilting, Joanne.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Beach Quilt put together

Hi All
I have spent a productive weekend (a wet one) putting the final border on my quilt and I am so happy with it.  It took me a while to find the right fabric to sash it with and then I completed a border using a lot of my scraps and joining them together.  Now it is the backing fabric and how to quilt it, but we will leave that until next time.
I have not started any other quilting projects at the moment as we have been busy getting the house painted and a few other projects on the house before winter sets in.
Keep posting all your projects as it is great to check out what everyone is doing.
Thank you all again for your wonderful blocks that make my quilt so special.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Some finished quilts....

We still seem to be in the grips of winter here in Northern Europe which means no time spent in the garden and more time spent finishing quilts indoors!  I have finally finished a scrappy quilt for my niece (it was supposed to be an 18th birthday gift last year) and I have completed a crib quilt for a new baby girl in the family.  Also attached, is a photo of the block I made for Liv.

Alice's quilt...machine pieced using Marti Michell's hexagon template set.

Below the quilt for baby Orla...

And the heart block for Liv - I added some fabrics left over from the crib quilt.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

January Beach Blocks

Hi All
Thank you all so much for the lovely Beach Blocks that I received in the post.  Talking about the post isn't it lovely to be able to open the mail box and get a thrill to see a small package of either fabric or a completed block, thank you.
As yet I have not had the time to join all the blocks up but I have laid them on the floor and photographed them for you all to see, they aren't in their right place yet either as I can see some that don't look right side by side.  I intend to sash between the blocks with a dark/bright blue if there is such a colour, so keep watching and maybe after Easter I will have this done. 
Easter for that matter is not far away but we are still basking in lots of sunshine here which I love but many a farmer in New Zealand is not happy about due to the very dry land, no doubt when it does rain it won't stop.
I hope this brightens you up a bit in the northern hemisphere and I am sure your days already are starting to get longer and all the spring bulbs will be starting to flower, I really do miss that time of the year in Europe where everything comes alive again.
Happy sewing

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Looks like the UK isn't the only place that is cold...we saw the snow in Arizona on the TV! Did you build any snowmen Jenny? Thank you for my block and the notebook is fun to get these little parcels!

Liv I have posted off your heart today and so comes the end of our Bee. My blocks are laid out on the floor and I am really pleased as you can put each block in any position and it works!

Hope everyone is well and Joanne is recovering from the party!!!


Saturday, 26 January 2013

My Blocks

Hello Ladies
Here are the blocks I've received back so far. Isn't it looking great? I'm immensely pleased with how they all turned out. 

I've made a few more blocks to make the quilt a bit bigger. 

Happy Birthday Joanne! I hope you had a wonderful Birthday celebration.

Vreni x