Friday, May 31, 2013

Stash busting? Not so sure anymore.

Last week I wrote about my 'stash busting' shopping excursion in Tauranga.

Then yesterday I told about the 5 quilts we gave away this week - all stash busters.

On the same day a friend came to visit.  She had a shopping bag full of autumn tone quilting fabrics for me.

Stash busting?  Perhaps it is time to forget about that and just enjoy the ebb and flow of fabric in our lives.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finishing quilts

Not sure that I can ever remember this happening before but between us this week, Linda and I managed to finish off five quilts.

On Monday I was able to mail these two scrappy chevron quilts to Auckland for the Afghan refugees.

Yesterday Linda delivered this baby quilt for the soon to be mother.

Today we finished off the bindings on these two community quilts which I made and Linda quilted.

They are to go to Taupo Quiltmakers to be used for people in the community who find themselves in difficult circumstances.  They are distributed at the discretion of the committee.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cot quilt panels

Several years ago Linda and I went for a trip to Sydney.

While we were there we had the opportunity to go to a clearance sale for a fabric shop that was relocating.

I bought some cot panels.  From memory they were AUD$4 a panel and even better they came with their own backing fabric which repeated the balloons and bears theme pattern.

I am not sure whether I bought three or four of these panels.  At the time I did not have any babies in mind that they might be suitable for but felt sure they would be useful someday.

Yesterday Linda machine quilted the last of these panels and I did the binding.

We had made friends with a waitress at our favourite local cafe and she is about to give birth to a baby girl.

Our cot panel is our gift to her to welcome a new life into the world.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Love that change the texture makes

I never cease to be surprised by the change that machine quilting makes to a quilt top.

While I was away in Tauranga buying more fabric, Linda was busy machine quilting this top that I made in February.

The large applique flowers have been nicely bedded down with floral quilting.

The wedge shape pieces with snake lines.

I was pleased I had enough of the pink fabric in the quilt to sew a binding on yesterday and tonight Linda is busy stitching it down.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stash busting?

I am really determined that I should be stash busting this year (and probably every year for the rest of my life) so how can I justify the purchase of more fabric?

I had been staying with sister, Barbara, in Tauranga for a couple of days and while I was with here I heard that a local fabric store, Arthur Toye was closing down and everything was reduced by 50%.

I just had to go and have a peek to see if there was anything that I really, really needed.

Quilting fabrics were reduced down to NZ$7.50 per metre (approximately US$6.00) and so, somehow, just over 5 metres ended up coming home with me.

Nothing spectacular about any of the fabrics but it is to be hoped that they will add to my existing palette of colours to help me in the seemingly never ending goal that I have.

There is over 2 metres of the pink fabric at the bottom and, if nothing else, could be well used as a backing for a quilt.  The one on top is a soft aqua with a large overall floral design and I would like to use it for in between rows fabric for a scrappy chevron quilt.

Stash busting will continue.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Worth it in the end

I remember feeling quite cautious about embracing the concept of making a quilt for a baby in these colours. 

I need not have worried.  This was the mothers response when she received the quilt:-

"Hey! We received the BB quilt! Thankyou so much! It's amazing! Your mum is pretty talented :))Can't wait to drape it over her pram & stroll her onto the courts :)) we'll take a kitted up photo when we get a chance & send it to you :)

I hope to see a photo of baby and quilt real soon.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just because I can

Aaron and Marcele live in London and I live in New Zealand and I have no idea when I will get to see my new granddaughter, Anna-Clara so I am constantly requesting photo updates.

Marcele's family live in Brazil so they are always asking for updates too.

This morning this picture was posted on FaceBook.  Marcele with Anna-Clara - just over two weeks old.

I am suitably besotted (as any grandmother is entitled to be) with Anna-Clara, just as I am with my only other grandchild Jackson.

Photo: Jackson celebrates Cinco de MayoJackson is seven and will be coming to visit with Mom and Dad from Seattle in December - yes!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Andreena's Birthday Blocks

On May 18 I wrote about making this birthday block for Andreena.

Today the Sweet Pea ladies met at our place and Linda presented Andreena with 9 blocks from the group.

When Andreena unwrapped them I pinned them a design board and this was the result.

It was so nice to see them all grouped together and to see the secondary design that resulted from doing this.

Linda and Andreena tweeked the blocks after this and changed the order a little.  Andreena has taken them home for piecing and we are eagerly awaiting the outcome.

It is turning out to be a good experience for us all, making blocks that we would not normally do and seeing what the collective result is.

A little bit of a break before we commence on the next block which will be in hot pink, black and lime green - now that could be a very interesting combination.

Linking to:-

Freemotion by the River - Tuesday Linky Party

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Changes in landscape

Our vegetable garden lies in the area below this image.

The growth of the trees along the fence line over the years has meant that the vegetable garden gets less and less afternoon sun and, particularly during the winter months, this has meant that the chances of vegetables growing are minimal.

Earlier this year our brother, Alan, cut back some of the trees on our side of the fence line and suddenly the cabbage trees have taken on a life of their own.  The fence partitioning has become more obvious too.

Interestingly enough, with the clearance we can now see the glow of the autumn leaves of the trees in our neighbour's garden.

They especially look very pretty in the early morning sun as I look out at them from the sun room while I have my first cup of tea for the day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

In addition to texture

When we make our quilts we usually like to put labels on them.

My chevron quilts are going to Afghanistan refugees and so I thought I would like to add something a bit extra.

Our grandmother, Susan Dassler, wrote short stories and poetry in her time and often had works published in magazines.  She was good enough to acquire a small supplementary income through her talents.

One of the poems she wrote was called 'Kiwi' and this came to mind when thinking about the label and so I decided to include it in the labels on the back of the quilts.

For your interest, this is what Kiwis are all about:-
Why are we labelled Kiwis?
Where can we place the blame?
What charms has this unlovely bird,
That we should take his name?
He cannot fly with ne’er a wing,
He has no voice – he cannot sing
No song of joy, no liquid note
Has ever issued from his throat.
He’s down-to-earth, and drab and shy
And he ne’er looks up towards the sky
He has no tail to flirt and spread,
To lure a mate into his bed.
He shuns the day, and while it’s light,
He sulks and lurks beneath the scrub,
But digs and delves throughout the night,
And he thinks of nothing but his grub!
He’s really neither smart or nimble-
Why do we make him our symbol?
Upon one point you’ll all agree-
He is UNIQUE and so are we!
by Susan Dassler

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A bit more texture

Since writing about completing the blue I Spy chevron quilt I have moved on to finish the Kiwiana chevron using the same stitching style.
On the blue one I used invisible thread but this time I used a red and black variegated thread and this gave a good texture as well.
Result.  I now have two quilts ready to be sent to their new homes with Aghanistan refugees.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Back to birthday blocks

Following on from making birthday blocks for our Sweet Pea, Trish, we now have Andreena's birthday at the end of the month.

Yesterday I put mine together - Chinese Lantern.

We meet on Wednesday this coming week so it will be nice to see how they all come together.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Still in our garden

 After our visit to the local rose garden, yesterday I took a wander around our own garden to look at the remains of what autumn has to offer.

This tree provides some borrowed landscape from our neighbours driveway and is resplendant in shades of autumn.

Our garden is still busy flowering, in parts.  The yellow flowers are a result of some chrysanthemun plants we bought at a church fair.  We had no idea what flowers the plants  might provide.

The orange flowers are from an arctotis plant that keeps growing and growing. Considering it was only planted this year it has gone ahead in leaps and bounds.

Rain has set in today and is expected to continue well into next week.  It remains to be seen how many of these lovely flowers will remain after that.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Still time to smell the roses.

When Linda wanted to take photos of this quilt last week we went to the local rose garden.

Being May I thought the roses would be long gone but I was pleasantly surprised.

Roses are still alive in well in Taupo, for the moment.

As well as taking photos of the quilt it was nice to take time out to 'smell the roses' - long may they last.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adding a bit of texture

scrappy I Spy chevron quilt For a while now I have been making quilt tops and passing them on to my sister, Linda, for machine quilting.

A call went out this week for quilts for Afghanistan refugees and their families who have recently arrived in New Zealand.

I have two scrappy chevron quilt tops in hand waiting to be quilted but the demands on Linda's time meant that she would not be able to give her attention to these for some time.

It was time for me to step up to the mark.

I had a discussion with Linda and she showed me a zig zag stitch on my Janome that can be used for sewing straight seams but giving the seam a slightly textured look.

I applied the technique and it worked for me.

Not necessarily what might be used for other quilts but for this design I was pleased with the outcome.

I have used the same stitch on the other quilt.  Still a work in progress but soon to be completed.

The back of the quilt also gives an idea of how the stitching worked for me.

Linking to:-

Sew Cute Tuesday

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My little bit of excitement

Linda has been very busy over the last week or so, giving a modern quilting interpretation to a very modern quilt.

You can read more about the making of this quilt at This Guy Quilts.

My little bit of excitement is that I got to put the binding on the quilt.  It has cotton batting so it was a dream to put the binding in place.  All Todd has to do now is hand stitch it into place.

This is some of the close up detail on the quilt.

The quilt has an overall pattern of tiny triangles and so Linda overlaid these with giant triangles interspersing each other.

Quite a challenge with an amazing result and well worth every moment of input.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sweet Peas/Memory Quilts

One of the lovely things about Sweet Peas is what we can learn from each other as we share our latest projects.

I spent quite a bit of time during April writing about a memory quilt I was making.

When I shared the result with our Sweet Pea group, Debbie was very interested in how it had all come together.

She had been given some baby garments and asked to do something like this but was not sure how.

Once she saw that I had put fusible interfacing on the back of stretch knit fabric to give stability she was off and away.

I think she has been far more adventurous than me with her projects.

She has even sewn the remains of a soft favourite toy into the bottom row second from the right.

This quilt includes the original pieces Debbie was given.

They are for a little boy named, Patrick.

Note the inclusion of a pair of baby booties towards the top left.

Bottom right has a pocket with a favourite toy stuffed inside.

Debbie also included a few items in the quilt that had poppers and could be opened.

Patrick's Mum thought that some photos behind the poppers would add some interest.

I put the photos on to fabric and backed them with fusible webbing so that Debbie can secure them in place.

Great extra touch, Debbie.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Sweet Peas at Clever Hands

Yesterday our Sweet Pea group gathered for morning tea at our local quilt shop, Clever Hands.

Janelle, centre back, is the new owner and made us feel very welcome.

Mary, on the left, is having her turn at show and tell.  Maxie is in the foreground with Rochelle on the right.

Just in case you are wondering what Mary's show and tell was all about, she has just completed this very bright and cheery quilt top.

There was more show and tell which I will share about on another day.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A little bit topsy turvy

Things have been a little bit topsy turvy here of late.

The reason?  A new grandchild for me.

On the 5th May Anna-Clara came into the world.

Mum and Dad live in London so we have been patiently waiting for contact and details.

With a bit of help from modern technology we were able to see and talk to both Mum and Dad with baby today.

Uncle Ricky lives in London too and the proud uncle, bottom right, has been able to share in the excitement as well.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Thoroughly modern baby quilt

If you are wondering what these bits and pieces were all about -

modern quilting, baby quilt
they have become this.

I am still getting my head around this being a quilt for a new born girl but in this modern world anything goes.

Apart from my personal thoughts  I do like the contrast of the colours and was very pleased with the outcome.

Baby was born at the beginning of this week and all is well.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Still fascinated by scrappy chevron

I Spy scrappy chevron quilt
I remain fascinated with the possibilities of the many variations for scrappy chevron quilts.

This one could be considered to be a stash buster but the dent in the stash is not visible yet.

The colourful strips are made up of 3.5 square inch I Spy theme fabrics.

The in between blue is a metre of fabric I just happened to have in my stash.

I did not have a person in mind when I embarked on the quilt but Linda and I made a quilt for one of our great nephews when he was born and he would be on age now where he could appreciate a few games of I Spy.

Once the machine quilting is done we will be able to send it on its way to him.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Very modern quilting

The request came from one of my sons.

A friend was having her first baby and he wanted a baby quilt to be made in team colours - black background with orange and white lettering and trim.

A black quilt for a first baby (any baby)? 

I was taken aback and did suggest that maybe I could make a scrappy quilt with a mix of these three colours.

No, the request was quite definite and so I have embarked on the project.

I had my doubts but now that I have started to put it together I am beginning to like it.

After all, what would a 64+ grandma know about modern quilts and their colours? 

I may be helping to contribute to the trend of very modern quilting.

More will be revealed - it is the 1st May and baby is due very soon.