Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Oh my Stars" and two customer quilts.

It's a very dark wet day here in Whangarei, one of those days where I feel like lighting the fire and cuddling up with a good book (reading for the second time Barry Crump's 'Wild Pork & Watercress').....................but that won't get the quilting pile shrunk will it!
I delivered Pauline's two quilts this morning and she was delighted to have them home ready to attach the binding.
The first is a panel that she asked if I could custom quilt using a gold thread.

Pauline loves black and has this colour as a fairly main feature in her home, as well as creams, browns and golds.

I quilted some straight lines, diamonds and filled the larger diamond with a pattern meander or ribbon candy. I 'ditch stitched' around the printed panels then using black thread pebbled to give a 3D effect.
Facebook followers and stalkers would have seen the next photo featured there.

                   Back lovers you are about to have a treat..............this is a cool back!

The second quilt for Pauline was a very simple quilt made using up the last of her brown fabrics. Pauline asked for simple cross hatching.

                                                             Thank you Pauline.

Sunday was Mothers Day and I thought working on my Star blocks would be a nice gift to myself.
I came up with an on point/zig zag setting.

I was working on these blocks at retreat. I have made 25, but the lighter background fabric was in short supply so I had to alter my plans to make a smaller quilt. I can make another quilt with the other stars. I would like to have a border with applique featured, so I have been auditioning a few suitable partners for the border.

   While enjoying my day I had two kinds of help, one wanted, the other was really no help at all!!

I'm not a pin in your mouth kind of person, but I found when piecing these stars together that's just where I went to put my pins! Thankfully I remembered my wee finger mouse pin keep.

I know a friend who needs one of these as she gets bombarded with scoldings for putting her pins in her mouth! You know who you are!!
My other helper..................................................

                                            Thanks Simon, you were a fabulous help!

The other bit of my sewing I have done is The Country Yard's Tuesday Mystery Medallion.

Waiting to see what the next round brings. I have used Kansas Troubles fabric and scrappy creams that work in harmony with these fabrics and the fawny/taupe tape measure fabric that must be used in each round.

Next up for quilting........................................

Appliqued crinoline ladies and hand embroidery, this is a very pretty quilt and it is large, wish me luck! Thanks for stopping by, all forms are accepted and appreciated publicly and privately  stalking!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Another week gone!

Is it just me, the weeks are going ever so fast. One moment it's Friday evening the next it's Friday evening the following week! How does that work I ask you???
Last Friday morning I headed off with my car loaded down with a mountain of projects to be finished at my annual retreat.
The drive out takes me just under an hour to get there, the most part of the drive is along the coastline, it really is so pretty here in Northland.
The retreat has been going for five years now, I have been coming from the beginning and I NEVER tire of the views!

That's a large ship in the distance, we saw several heading in and out over the weekend.

Little baches (and not so little baches/holiday homes!) scattered along and around the many bays. Some homes are occupied permanently.

Setting up in the big hall is always fun, lots of tables made into cutting stations with ironing boards and irons at the ready.

This was my little nook, a big plastic storage box to my left with all the projects needing finishing.
I make sure my sewing machine is covered up when I head to bed each evening.

The next two photo's were of my efforts for the weekend, see further along in this post to see close ups of three of these projects. The second photo is of my stars blocks. I now have 25 blocks completed, I am currently contemplating what the setting of my blocks will be.

Each morning I headed off for a brisk walk, all the while taking in the peaceful surroundings. Here the rising sun shining on Marsden Oil Refinery, Yachts anchored in a bay.

Mt Mania keeping watch over all the happy patchworkers! The camp where we have our retreat is just below the mountain.

                Our weekend is full of productiveness, laughing, eating and a wee bit of sleeping!!

For more photo's of retreat that are so much better than mine, head over to Raewyn's blog, she has a great little camera that has this cool setting for panoramic photo's.................my little iPod touch is pretty basic for photo's.
Two of my projects finished over retreat weekend were two hot water bottle covers, one for my eldest  granddaughter and the other for one of my daughters.

At retreat I finished a quilt top (a cot panel that I added borders to) this week in between quilting my customers quilts I quilted an all over quilting design on the cot quilt.

I have finished two quilts ready to head back to the owner in Taranaki, one a custom quilting job the other has an all over quilting design (edge to edge). This evening I finished another custom quilting job, so next week when all quilts are back in their owners arms I shall share these lovely quilts with you!

Leaving you with this quotation:

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action" ~ Frank Tibolt

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Custom and all over quilting designs and a video

                                  Hi there thinkers, dreamers and lovers of all things fabric!
                                          First up today is a custom quilting job for Pat.

This a design by England Street Quilts called "Summer at the Beach". Pat asked if I could please custom quilt this black, white and red beauty for her.

I did so by starting off with stitching in the ditches, then I moved on to straight lines and pebbles. This was a time consuming procedure, but so worth it.

                If you are interested I made a short (5 minutes) video of how I quilted this block.
My machine a is hand guided long arm (no computers). For the straight lines I used stitch regulated and for the pebbles I used my motor speed, which is like free motion quilting on your domestic machine - you are controlling the length of your stitches.
                         For your viewing pleasure I even managed to add some fancy music!

                                Next is a quilt with an all over quilting design (edge to edge).
                              Trimmed and photographed ready for me to attach the binding.

This is Rossie's second quilt, very simple but so sweet. I have quilted meandering butterflies in a beigey thread, the name of the thread is a sweet one : mothergoose.

Rossie tells me she purchase the middle fabric on a trip to Japan last year, then a friend helped her come with a pleasing design. Rossie plans to add some vintage doilies and laces to this pretty quilt.

A reasonably productive week, I hope to have the same desirable results at our annual retreat this weekend!
Sue, this next photo is to keep you happy! This is Simon (aka 'The Supervisor) having a lovely sleep on the sofa between me and my Mr.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Stitchers Garden and a birthday celebration.

        Check out Jacki's stunning "Stitchers Garden" quilt! Made in a class at The Apple Basket.

Made with some gorgeous scrummy fabrics, linens, textured fabrics and fabrics with a slight overlay of sparkle for a teeny bit of 'bling'!
You may remember seeing the same design a couple of months back when I quilted Chris' version. See this post.
Jacki asked for a few points of difference, in her words :"no frilly dilly stuff"...............................
So it was straight lines in and 'frilly dilly' quilting out!!

 One of the challenges I faced with this beautiful quilt was the applique blocks have already been quilted, the backgrounds have a semi lofty stabilizer on the back side and each background has it's own 'quilting'. You will notice the above block shows diagonal decorative  pin tucking, so this was my challenge, I was reluctant to do any quilting in the background. 

You can see in the photo above the decorative stitching on the background fabric, all that can be done on these blocks is ditch stitching as not interfere with these decorations. Some of SID (stitching in the ditch) had to be 1/8th or 1/4" from the edge of the appliques as the decorative stitching often protruded over the edges of the applique shapes.

A swirl and some curling ribbon on the border wasn't to frilly for Jacki she rather liked the touch and the fact that the fabric is patterned the quilting gives texture more than a stand out quilting design.

I have been quilting for Jacki for several years now and I feel like I know her style : clean lines, simplicity and definitely NO  frills.............................I had to send the feathers packing for this quilt!
Thanks so much Jacki. Back lovers will enjoy the backing of this quilt, Jacki always makes special quilt backs for her quilts.

I like this early morning photo, un- cropped, with my wilderness garden, to the left is a large Australian Frangipani tree waiting for planting.

Monday saw a friend ready for another birthday and why not share it with a few friends? I invited a few friends over to share the celebrations with coffee and cake and of course there were presents!
This is what I nearly didn't give to my friend..............................................

                                     And the back...................................................................

 This cushion looked so nice just resting to be wrapped up that I think I shall have to make myself one!

I had one strip of squares left over, so I pondered what to do with the strip? Then I remembered the hand towels I like to decorate.......................................

As much as I like my friend and value our friendship, I did find it hard to wrap these gifts up and give to her, but I did!