Wednesday, 21 June 2017

More Sailing by

One of our Patchwork Group members hasn't been well so I offered to make her pair of blocks for the Group Quilt we are currently working on.

Finished them today:

I really like these blocks and I think we should have a lovely quilt to gift.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Creatures, Great and Small is completed

I accomplished what I intended to do yesterday and sewed on the binding for my latest baby quilt.

I didn't think of a title for this quilt straight away.  Because of the rows of elephants and rows of various creatures in the appliqued circles and Happy Blocks I originally decided to call it
 "Animals on Parade" but then didn't think that was quite accurate as there were caterpillars, butterflies, pukeko and hens included. I expect they are technically part of the Animal Kingdom but decided on "Creatures, Great and Small" instead.

Coincidentally I noticed Cathy's post yesterday (Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting) was called "All creatures great and small" but she is doing hexies.

A few photos:

The completed quilt
 Two close up of some of the "Creature" fabrics and Perle hand quilting:

The backing:

And a close up:

As I said yesterday nothing was bought specially for making this quilt, everything was in my stash.

The backing was a piece of fabric I bought at a reasonable price at the Festival of Quilts, maybe last year or perhaps the previous year - the time goes by so quickly! I wasn't sure whether it would be large enough, but it fitted just right, only strips to cut off when I trimmed the quilt. I have been very good and trimmed those strips and added them to the relevant bags of my Strings stash.  So they will someday appear in a future quilt!

There is a lot of work in this quilt: the fussy cut creature fabrics, the fusible webbing process, hand quilting and hand blanket stitching around the circles etc. I also spent quite a time designing the quilt and finding suitable fabrics from stash.
I am delighted with the result and now hope the new Mum who will receive it will enjoy using it for her baby and that it will get lots of use. It's a good size, 47" x 39" so it should be useful for a long time.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Almost there, we're almost there!

"Almost there, we're almost there"-  the Andy Williams' song from way, way back has been floating round my head all morning.

Almost a month ago I started making a quilt requested by my step granddaughter for one of her friends.  I have worked away at this, in between some baby knitting for a friend's baby.

This morning I sewed on the binding and this afternoon I will hand sew the back of the binding at my last Monday afternoon Group Patchwork meeting before we break up for the summer - which is HERE at last. We are having a heatwave at present.

A couple of quick photos of the quilt:

I love the backing, a piece I had in my stash.  In fact all the fabrics were from my stash, nothing had to be bought specially.
I have thought of a name for the quilt, to be revealed in my next post when the quilt is finished.  Baby was born last Tuesday, a few days early, so I want to finish it fast.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Busy knitting

My young friend Amy's baby is due in August.  She and her husband know if it's a boy or girl but are keeping that secret until baby is born. I wanted to knit a couple of cardigans/hoodies for her and asked for colours. Navy and grey were two of the colours mentioned so here is the cardigan I finished a couple of days ago.

I haven't knitted for a while and decided to buy some new baby patterns.  I have real problems with spacial awareness and found the knitting instructions hard to follow. I knitted the Left front OK but when it came to the Right front and the pattern just said "Reverse instruction of Left front" I got in a mess.  Fortunately one of my Patchwork friends who is an expert knitter came to my aid and I managed to finish it.  Don't think I'll be using this pattern again though!

However, I was pleased with how it turned out.  A hooded jacket is next - a different pattern - which I hope I can cope with.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sailing by

The Patchwork Group I belong to often make quilts to commemorate members' significant birthdays.
Mary, a lovely lady who was a member of our group, sadly died three years ago.  Her husband John will shortly celebrate his 90th birthday so we are making him a quilt. As John still sails this was our pattern choice:
Sailing Boats Quilt from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

We are initially making one of each block but eventually a few extra blocks will be needed.

We have the same background fabric for the boats and a few 2.5" squares for the 16 Patch but are using our own fabric for the sails and the extra 16 Patch squares.  This is so there is continuity in the quilt but also a bit more variety.  We are using a few different brown fabrics for the boats.

I sewed mine this afternoon. Pictured with the book pattern.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Irish Blessing

I was ironing some tea towels I had brought back from church to wash.

This was one of them:

It looks like cross stitch - which I have never done - but I thought the words we appropriate for quilters too.
My hands have been sewing up some more stash blocks:
4 one colour 5" string blocks, 4 Spool blocks and 5 more Twinkler blocks.
I have sets kitted out ready to sew and I make a few when I feel like doing so. Sometimes I make the Spool blocks in Leader and Ender style but the other blocks I make as a proper project. Really because I like to lay out the Twinkler blocks in pairs and make two at a time (Bonnie Hunter style, chasing each other) so I can web each block. Of course this helps to line up the seams when sewing the rows together.
When I am making the String blocks I make my stitch length much smaller so taking off the paper foundation is not a problem. Not suitable for making Leader and Ender style or I would be forever altering the length of my stitch!
Here they are:
Must have a count up and see how many of each type of block I have.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A little gift for a blog friend

I love how quilting brings together people from different parts of the world.
Over the past few years I have followed many quilting blogs and feel attached to many quilters whom I know I will very probably not meet in person.  We do, however, have "conversations" via email and their blogs so, in a weird way, I feel I "know" them, am interested in their projects and what is going on in their worlds.

So, as a little "Thank you" to a lady whose work and zany humour I very much admire, I sent a little gift:

and the other side.................

I added a little hand stitching and pretty buttons for embellishment.
Inside I popped a few of my 3" 9 patches.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

New baby quilt being created

Our step granddaughter has asked me if I would make a baby boy quilt for her friend who knows the baby she is expecting in June will be a boy. We have looked at some photos of baby quilts I have made and she has chosen a strippy style one with the name appliqued near the top.

I made a start on it this week and have made 2 strips of Happy Blocks:

And 2 strips of fabric circles: each one is a different animal fabric.

 I have already started to applique these with hand blanket stitching. Once they are all stitched I will create a strippy quilt, interspersing these strips with strips of bright fabrics.
I enjoy making these quilts as I design as I go along. Good fun!

I have also started some baby knitting today. One of my young friends is expecting a baby in August and I asked  her if she would like some hand knitted cardigans.  Yes was the answer so I was off to the Wool Shop for some new patterns and wool. Amy sent me some photos of the type of style she likes and when I looked through my patterns I decided I needed more up-to-date ones.
The colours are different for me too - navy, grey, yellow, red. I have bought navy and grey for one cardigan and a lovely variegated soft greys wool for a hooded jacket.  I haven't done any knitting for a while so this is a lovely change for me.

Well, I'm off to do a few more rows of knitting before I make our tea.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Where's Mr Pukeko?

I have just finished a baby boy quilt using Cathy's "Happy Blocks" idea.

Each Happy Block measure 6.5" before being sewn into rows.
Each centre ( cut at 4.5") is different, cut from scraps and yardage and I tried to make the framing strips ( cut at 1.75") from a variety of fabrics.

One of the blocks features pukekos, a beautifully bright New Zealand bird.  We see a lot of them when we are in NZ, one of my favourite birds as they are so distinctive with their bright blue feathers and Pillar box red beaks, legs and feet.  Their other name is Swamp hen as their habitat is swampy paddocks.

The quilt is going to baby Jayden, born in NZ on 29th April, a new grandson for friends Miriam and Frank.  So, the title of the quilt is "Where's Mr Pukeko?" and I hope baby Jayden will have fun looking for the pukeko when he is a little older.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Definitely a Girl's Happy Blocks quilt!

I am enjoying making Happy Blocks from my stash.  They are fun to make, sorting out suitable fabrics for the centres and the block borders and the quilt tops come together very quickly.

I started a "Girl" top on Sunday, using quite a few charms from a set I won from Sew Sisters in a recent Scraptastic Tuesday draw. I needed 25 centres, all different and I found some that were suitable in my small packet of already cut 5" squares. I only had to cut a few more from stash scraps.

Then I cut some 2" strips from other scraps for the borders of the Happy Blocks centres and started to sew those to the centres.

Yesterday I finished making all 25 blocks and sewed them up into a quilt top:

Now I have two Happy Blocks tops ready to sandwich with batting and backing.  Both quilts will finish at around 38" square, a size I like to make for new baby gifts as they are useful as a Playmat as well as a snuggling quilt.

Thanks again to Cathy of Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting for the idea.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Enjoying revisiting a Riot of Colour

Almost 4 years ago I made a scrap quilt which I called a "Riot of Colour".
Two years previously I had taken part in a Bento Box blocks swap. I seem to remember I was the only UK participant, one from Canada (I think), everyone else from the USA.

I loved the idea of making 20 blocks, cutting them into quarters, sending 3 of those quarters on to the organiser and then waiting to see what my parcel contained!  It really was exciting.  However, around the time the blocks arrived I discovered I had breast cancer, so treatment rather put sewing onto the back burner.

Fast forward to July 2013...................... I discovered the pile of bright blocks in one of my Sewing Room Sort Outs and a Riot of Colour was born. It had to be gifted to our beautiful granddaughter as she is the bright spark for us! 

Dear GG spends a lot of time at our house and I decided I would like to "borrow" the quilt back to put on the bed she has here.

So, here it is, on her bed at Granny and Grandpa's house:

It was rather dull when I took these photos and the colours don't appear as bright as they actually are!!

I loved looking for "my" Bento quarters ....... amazingly I still have some scraps of them left.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

On a roll with Happy Blocks

After a very busy week I decided to spend much of yesterday and some of today making
Happy Blocks. Idea gleaned from Cathy's Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog.

I have made similar blocks before, using 2.5" chicken themed fabrics and a double frame around the blocks,

This time I looked through my stash for "Boy" fabrics, either 5" Charms or fabric I could cut 5" blocks from.  As I want to make a few baby quilts I cut an extra set of blocks and also a few extra
2" strips for framing the squares.
Today I finished sewing 25 blocks together and made this top:
I have set it aside whilst I think of a border fabric.
Here's the other set of Boy squares and the 2" strips for framing them.  Not enough strips so I need to look through my stash to find some more.
Now I'm off to find some Girl fabrics for another 2 sets of 5" blocks.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Spools & Strings & other things

After I had put away my tiny 9Patch blocks yesterday I made some 5" single colour String blocks.
As I had been sewing the 9Patches I made a few Spool blocks, Leaders & Enders style.

6 of each to add to my growing stash.
Here they are:
Last night was Awards and Quiz Night for the Hospital Radio Station where I have been a member since March 1997.
I broadcast every week, was Duty Producer of the Wednesday evening team for around 11 years but now I only write and produce special programmes.  Since I was ill 5 years ago I am wary of visiting the wards as I don't want to lay myself open to infections. This is a sadness for me because I loved going round the wards, chatting to patients and their visitors, collecting requests and then being on air for 2 hours, creating and delivering a Request Show programme with my team.  We had lots of fun and the patients loved the shows.
However, last night I had a lovely surprise, as I was awarded with my
20 years HBA - Hospital Broadcasting Association - certificate.

It was a lovely evening, good fun with the Quiz (3 Radio friends and my husband).  We called ourselves III + II as we were 3 ladies and 2 men!  Very tight match only a few points between us and the winners.  Lots of laughter and  conversation. They're a good crowd.

So today has been Church, a bit of gardening (lots to do but my cold has stopped me doing much this week), housework and now I'm off to get our tea, a Prawn Stir fry.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Practice makes perfect

Over the years I have been quilting I have made loads of 9Patch blocks, usually using separate 2.5" squares as I always have a supply of these on hand, cut from small scraps.

eg in my numerous Wonky Wishes star quilt and blocks:

I have already used the strip method of dark, light, dark matched with light, dark, light but again I think I have usually used 2.5" strips to make those 9Patches.

I was looking at Cathy's Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog and admired the tiny 3" finished 9Patches she made from 1.5" strips.  She describes in detail how to make these in a tab (HELP WANTED!!! (39P Swap) at the top her blog.
As I have a lot of thinner scrap strips I decided to give it a go. I am not the most accurate of sewers so found this exercise quite challenging.  But I persevered and am amassing a collection of finished tiny 9Patches.

Finished earlier this week:

Completed 9Patches in piles (2, 3, 4 or more of each colourway)

Today I sewed already cut strips together, number of finished blocks I cut make depended on the length of strips I had:

These were sub cut into 1.3" pieces:

And then assembled into 9Patches:

No plan to use them yet, so I'll squirrel them away until a suitable project pops into my head.
I thought I could use them as corner stones in borders, or even to make a quilt border.
Or alternate them with solid coloured patches.  We'll see.

Now off to make some more 5" String blocks which will be a nice change from being so precise!!

However I do think the old adage "Practice makes perfect" is right..............  in my case I think I am getting better, certainly not perfect!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Playing with Scraps

Over the Easter weekend I managed to find some time to sew, making up the Spool blocks I had put together in sets a few days ago. That made another 19 Spools to add to my previous ones.

Then I decided to look through my bags of strings and sorted out ones which were narrower than the 1.5" widths I needed for Spool blocks or strings which weren't a uniform width.
These I sorted into colours and made more single colour 5" String blocks.
This time I made some neutral ones too:

I really enjoyed making all of these scrap blocks and now I'm off to cut out more strips to make some 9 Patches using 1.5" strips.
Finding sewing is good therapy for the cold I woke up with this morning!
We have had such cold weather this last week after a very warm weekend the one before Easter so I think the huge change in temperature is the reason why I've got a cold.  I had intended to do some gardening today but I'm afraid that's not going to happen.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Here's the link
Cathy's Spool Quilt
 For Cathy's Spool quilt

Sewing Spool blocks

I love making use of scraps and have admired the Spool blocks Cathy has made and shown on her blog Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.

Cathy made them over ( I think) a couple of years as part of the blocks she makes each month in her Rainbow Scrap Challenge collection of  blocks.  Recently she showed the completed Spool Quilt which was amazing. Do take a look at it! Sorry I don't know how to direct you to the actual link - I don't have sufficient technical skills.

783 Spools: A Finish is the title of the post on Sunday 26th March 2017.

I haven't had much time for sewing since our return from NZ but I have cut out lots of pieces to make Spool blocks and have managed to squeeze in a little time to sew a few together.

I love the variety of fabrics, hoping to sew a few more together in the next day or two. Some of the background fabrics I have chosen have worked out more successfully than others.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Last quilting in NZ

Yesterday was my last Patchwork meeting in NZ for 2017.
I had a very productive day, using scraps to make 2 more drawstring bags for Jennie's stall:


And back

And back
I also made 3 more 10.5" QAYG String blocks for Jan at Sew many quilts too little time blog.
That makes a total of 9 blocks which I will mail to her when I go into town on Tuesday.
It's cheaper for me to send blocks to Jan in Australia from here in NZ than from the UK ( postage charge is quite prohibitive now).
Here they are, all 9 of them:

Hope Jan likes them.  I know she is busy using up QAYG blocks that have been gifted to her so perhaps these will mix in nicely with ones she is sewing up at present.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Drawstring bag

Yesterday was my last Motueka Quilting Connection meeting before we go back to the UK. 
I used the morning to make a little Drawstring bag, using 2.5" squares kindly gifted to me by my lovely Blog-land friend Jo ( her blog is butter z).

The pattern is from Pink Penguin blog, a Tutorial for a Reversible drawstring bag.
All the materials came from my rapidly diminishing NZ stash.

And the other side:

I am gifting this to my Patchwork friend Jennie for her stall which sends money to the Gambia which supports a school over there.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A better photo

A better photo, I hope, of the quilt I posted yesterday:

The first photos I took yesterday showed the colours in the quilt quite well but for some reason the computer rotated them through 180 degrees! It was possible to rotate them back correctly to add to my Flickr site koshka2
but that didn't work for my blog post.
So I took new photos which I used in my blog yesterday.  It had started to get dark by then so the colours weren't as sharp and bright.
I am hoping today's picture is better!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

All that Jazz

I had a productive day at my Vintage Quilters Patchwork Group yesterday.

I used 16 already made 4.5" Crumb blocks and a FQ from the same bundle that I used for my last Strawberries and Butterflies Quilt and make a Premature baby quilt top.

During the day I made the top, sandwiched and machine quilted and bound it.
My second quilt finish this year.

It measures 21" x 22".

The backing I bought from Spotlight, not for this quilt, but for my UK stash.
I didn't have enough strawberry fabric left for the backing so used this pretty animal one.

Both of these photos are far too pale: the actual quilt is much brighter and vibrant,
hence it's title: All that Jazz

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Strawberries and Butterflies - a finish

My first finished quilt of 2017..............................  Drum roll please!

I present "Strawberries and Butterflies"!

This little Premature baby Quilt was made from already completed 4.5" Crumb blocks, alternating with 4.5" butterfly fabric blocks cut from a FQ which has been in my NZ stash for some years. The sashing is a Strawberry one which I bought this year at Spotlight. I also used the Strawberry fabric for the backing and binding.
The quilt measures 22" x 24" which I understood to be the size required by our local Maternity Unit at Motueka. Apparently those are the maximum measurements: anything from 18" x 21" is required.
Thankfully mine was acceptable and I received some nice comments following Show and Tell.

So pleased to finally have a finished quilt to show for all the sewing I have done since being in NZ from the beginning of January.  However  today at my Quilting Group I put together another Premature baby quilt and sandwiched it ready to quilt and bind at my Saturday Group meeting.

I handed in Strawberries and Butterflies at today's meeting and will give my current project in at the next meeting on 15th March. It's another variation of Crumb blocks

Monday, 20 February 2017

UFO, finished Down Under!

Still in full swing using up scraps here Down Under in NZ.

This time, a pair of almost finished placemats. Why didn't I finish them? No idea, but they have been languishing in my NZ stash for years!

Now finished and ready to be gifted. One of my Patchwork Group friends, Jennie, is having a stall at the next Quilt Show in May. She raises money to help a school in the Gambia.  I thought perhaps someone might fancy these appliqued placemats - every dollar helps.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Orphans no more!

I have had a busy week on the sewing front, including 2 Patchwork group meetings ( one with each of the groups I belong to here in NZ).

I put into practice my idea to use the 5 "mistake" orphan string blocks, trimmed them down to 4.5" and turned them into QAYG star blocks, finishing at 12.5".

These are for Adrienne's Block Drive ( On the windy side blog), so she can make Children's Quilts which will be sent to Kaikoura for children affected by the November earthquake.

Not a great photo, doesn't really show up the colours and the Perle stitching.

My favourite block is this one:

I was also pleased with how the yellow string square showed up in the star block.  It hadn't worked as I had intended - hence being relegated to "Orphan block" status.
But as the centre of a star I think it works well.

Thanks to Jo's contribution of extra 2.5" squares I was able to make another 16 Twinkler blocks:

That takes my total of Twinklers to 61.  These will go home to the UK with me and then I'll probably need to sew more of them so I can eventually make a quilt for the Siblings Together charity.
Haven't worked out the maths yet as the quilt size requested is a minimum of 50" square.

I have also made a Premature baby quilt for our NZ local hospital but that will be in another post when I have finished hand sewing the binding,

So I feel I have had a productive week and enjoyed the company of fellow quilters too.