Thursday, 10 September 2015

Helix quilt

My 3rd Aussie Charm Swap with MsMidge was for fabrics from the Cotton and Steel ranges.
I trawled Pinterest and finally found a photo which was rather different to anything I had made. The photo which was followed to a blog says it was made from HSTs, so it would work for  5 inch charm, squares. 

I sorted the HSTs into colours. There were 6 piles. and a column made with each pile.  For design purposes 5 columns was more pleasing, so the 5th green/ mustard column was made and saved for the back

I decided to graduate the colours, with some of the bottom being fairly pale.
Alternate columns were offset by 4 inches, just to add a different element. Ideally I would have liked to add a wide border top and bottom, but I ran out of background fabric, so had to make do with the 3 inch border which is the same as the sashing.   The background is a Cotton and Steel fabric from the Honeymoon range by Sarah Watts - Colibri in Neutral. It has cute little humming birds all over it

The quilting- the background is straight line quilted following the zig zag formed by stepping down alternate columns. Each column is  free motion quilted differently.

So here is the finished quilt- Helix.
Fabric- assorted Cotton & Steel 5 inch squares
Pattern - an un-named  photo on Pinterest.
Size - 62 1/2 inches high by 86 1/2 inches wide.

This will link with Ms Midge for her Parade of quilts

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Quiet Play Monkey Number 2

I have a friend who makes gorgeous Sock Monkeys for childrens charities. After I had made my Monkey for my Quiet Play Zoo Animals Quilt, I  just had to make one for her. Her favourite colours are blue and yellow, so chosing fabrics was easy.
I have made it into a mini quilt using a very simple setting and quilting.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


I had a bit of a mental block recently, not being able to decide which quilt to make next. I had been wanting to make a  Swoon quilt for ages, but kept putting it off.  This was the opportunity to do it.
I have several half yard collections of Free Spirit fabric which I wanted to dig into, so chose Fox Fields by Tula Fox.   The blocks went together really well, but the colours were a challenge for  block No 9 when I was down to a narrow selection of remaining prints. This resulted in 2 blocks for the back.
Here is the quilt
 And the back...
The colours are terrible in the photos. They are so much prettier in real life. Hopefully new photos will replace them some time soon.
Swoon went  straight on to our bed. It is so cold right now, and this covers us well in our king sized bed. It is 88 inches square.

Friday, 7 August 2015

The Monkey- Quiet Play Zoo Animals BOM

This months Zoo Animal is the monkey. Kirsty of Quiet Play said the blocks would get harder over the 9 months. The monkey was very straight forward- until I came to the last pieces- the eyes. These eyes are tiny. The first one was tricky- in fact that one ended in the bin, and the eyes put away for another day.  Fore-warned, I then took it more seriously, and took it slowly.   The little guy goes together really well once those eyes are mastered. This monkey is definitely not going to Speak any Evil- I think I need to embroider some nostrils and a mouth.

The first photo is the eye. Pictured beside a pin to show it's size

 The monkey.
Here he is with his mouth. I did a machine straight stitch for the mouth, which worked out pretty well.

The 8 blocks so far. Just waiting for Cecil the Lion in September and these can be made up into a baby quilt.  This last photo is a truer depiction of the colour of the background.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Koala- Quiet Play Zoo Animal Block for July

July's months Zoo Animal  in Quiet Plays  paper pieced BOM. I did this one as soon as it was posted seeing I was late in June.  I have just looked at the other Koala's  to find that I did not blog about it so I could add it to Kristy's parade.
I loved this block- he was very straightforward to make and  he turned out so sweet.
We are nearing the end of the blocks with only the lion left to do. With lions being in the news this last week, it is probably a good thing that he was not this month's animal.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Heather Bailey Charm Swap

The designer of my 3rd charm swap with the MsMidge Aussie Charm Swap is Heather Bailey. Most of the fabrics are soft colours, with the occasional pop of stronger colours. As with  all of the charm swaps, the fabrics all work so well together. So many inspirational quilts have been made by a talented group of swappers.

My effort was inspired by a Big Bear Paw bee block on Terri's Notebook  I auditioned many solid colours, and much to my surprise the hot pink came out the winner. This colour is way out of my comfort zone, but once decided I went with it.  It is always  good to be challenged , whether it be by colour or by the design.
These blocks are big at 28 1/2 inches each, so only 4 were needed to make a throw.
The finished size is 67 inches by 67.

Because of the Big Bear paw I named it Ursa Major. My daughter loves astronomy and this quilt is destined for her, so the name is very apt.

I am linking to Ms Midges blog for the roll call of Heather Bailey Charm Swap Quilts

The label is a reverse Bear Paw block.

Hillside Houses- A Finish

For several weeks over May and June I joined in with the Hillside Houses Quilt Along with Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts. I love this quilt and have enjoyed every moment of making it.
I finished my version today.

The quilting is just wavy lines running horizontally across the quilt. I think modern quilts often lend themselves to simple quilting.
Thanks so much to Cristina for sharing her lovely patterns and for hosting the Quilt Along.
The patterns are still available on her blog at the time of posting this.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Quiet Play Zoo Animals- Macaw

I am late with Junes Zoo Animal  in the Quiet Play BOM. Knowing how bright the blue a Hyacinth Macaw is, I looked for the brightest blue in my stash. I think I did pretty well with the colour.
This went together really well. There were a lot of pieces in the eye section, but we are used to that now.  The animals are getting more complex as we go, with only 3 remaining in the  set. The July Pattern for the Koala has been posted so that may be tomorrows sewing.

Linking to the Quiet Play blog.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Cushion Cover Time

I have made cushion covers for gifts for  a couple of people lately, so I thought I would put them all in one post.
The first one is a Swoon one. I needed to make a Swoon 16
 block for a practice, to see how easily it went together.  I chose to make it in  the favourite colours of a lovely girl, so it could be make into a cushion cover for her. The block makes up perfectly into a nice sized cushion cover.

The second one is for a new New Zealander, so I chose to use a Kiwi  Paper pieced pattern by Juliet from The Tartan Kiwi  She makes beautiful native birds patterns and also other animals and birds. The Kiwi went together so easily, and he looks great. I chose to use blues and greens representing the sea and the mountains around where the recipient of the cushion lives.

The third cushion was made when I was in a hotel room, so with limited tools, stash fabrics etc.  I went to the library in the city we were visiting  and downloaded the pattern of A Circle of Geese. This is a great free paper pieced pattern by Piece By Number and is a perfect one for a person who is learning wants to practice Foundation paper piecing.
The recipients favourite colours are aqua and blue so I chose to have an aqua background and use several blues for the "geese"
Again the photo was at night and I hope I can change the photo later.
The last cushion is still in transit to it's new owner.  Cushion covers are so satisfying to make. A quick project which can be indivisualised so easily, and is always very well received .

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Scrappy Finish

I always like to have one scrappy project on the go. It is usually a Leader-Ender project, so it can grow slowly.
This one started as a monthly block, Key Lime Pie,   here on Patchwork Times  which Judy started to try to get her quilting mojo back.  The idea was to make blocks and then make it up near the end of the month regardless of how many blocks were made. We were to avoid creating UFOs
At the end of the month I had about sixteen  8 1/2 inch blocks made- not enough for anything really. I decided not to make it up but to continue making blocks until I had enough.
This became a UFO once the blocks were made. Eventually I added a scrappy neutral border and called it done.
This quilt was on the top of my "Finished top but unquilted  " pile for a year or so until it's turn came for quilting.

It was made in a planned scrappy way- alternating blue and red stars, and the centre of the star is a solid left over from a recent (then) project. 

I am happy with how it has turned out and am sure it will find a suitable new home. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Hillside Houses Progress

We are up to blocks 8 and 9 of the Hillside Houses Quilt Along with Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts
My colours are not perfect, as I was limited by what was available in my Local Quilt Shop. I love  the colour and the effect of the houses though, and am so happy I decided to join in. There is just one row of 3 houses to go, so 2 more weeks of instructions.

Catching up

I have so much to share but haven't done a blog post in a while. It may all go in 2 posts.
The first is a quilt made in solids.
I belong to a small online quilting group. We had a Charm swap of solid fabric.
I mused for ages about what to do with them, but finally decided on the pattern Trellis Crossroads from the Modern Bee book by Lindsay Conner. I used all of my 100 + charms plus quite a lot of fabric from  my stash. The background was grey to tone down the explosion of colour a little.
There were no borders on the original quilt, but I added 3 as I love the framing a border gives. Also it meant that every scrap of my charms was used.

The label photo gives a better view of a block.
I quilted it with uneven vertical lines. This suited the modern look for the quilt really well, and I am very happy with how it looks.

While making this quilt I showed a friend the border by messaging. Her response was "Enough of the donkey"    To my donkey ???  she replied  Grey. She is not a grey fan.
This statement Enough of the Donkey stayed in mind overnight, so in the morning I did a Google search.  The result was Giddap the Democratic Donkey. The 1931 pattern from the Kansas Star newspaper was made with templates.  I used more modern techniques, but I decided to keep it using squares of fabric rather than larger blocks that we tend to now.  I chose to make it from 2 inch squares and to make it a mini wall quilt.  Of course he had to be grey, the same fabric she told me I had used enough already.

I forgot to take a photo of Giddap so this is one after he arrived this new home where he happily lives on the sewing room wall

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Hillside House Quilt Along

Here I am doing another Quilt Along. I know - but I do love them. Quilt Alongs are a group project so we get to see what others are doing, there is incentive to keep going, and we get a beautiful finished quilt at he end of it.
This one is particularly adorable, and I love the effect of the houses and the colour.
It is on the Pretty Little Quilts blog, and today was posted Blocks 2 and 3. there will be 2 new houses every Wednesday (US time).
I like to sew as soon as I can after the block is posted, so that I keep up.  That is just how I find it easiest. Anyway, blocks 2 and 3 are done, as well as last weeks block 1. I am going to change out the orange at the top left of Block 3. I am just not happy with it, as it is too bright. I hope our LQS has something more pleasing.    I am doing the largest size ,  a throw at 75 by 60 inches.  
I am linking up to Pretty Little Quilts

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sunday Stash No1

I have decided to jump in and join in with Molli Sparkles' Sunday Stash Report.
At the beginning of the week I received 2 parcels from the US.
Parcel 1 is from the lovely tammy at Butterfly Kisses  Tammy is expecting a baby soon, so has decided to temporarily close her store. Her prices have always been great, but she now is specialing most of the fabric.
On the top row, all are from the Daysail collection by Bonnie and Camille. I have a big bin of Bonnie and Camille fabric and this fits right in with their other collections.
On the bottom row are a selection of stash fabrics. From left, 2 Folklore  prints (Lily  Ashbury) a Birds and Berries (Laura + Jessi Jung) 2 prints from Simply style (V and Co) ad 3 of the very useful Oval Elements in Peacock, Sapphire, Silver Drops and Licorice. 
The second parcel is from Whimsy Quilts and Fabrics. Cristi had a 30% off promotion, which I can never resist. I again added some stash fabrics, filling a few gaps in my colours.  Cristi has had some Free Postage special- even for International orders, which makes a huge difference to those of us in New Zealand.  Her packaging is just the best and will fits 13 yards in a Fixed R ate Envelope.  She is well worth keeping an eye on.
The middle row has 4 of the Cotton and Steel Black and White fabric. I have more of it ordered.
Next is a  C&S  Basics- XOXO in Pink Cheeks. Botanique by Joel Dewberry, Winged by Bonnie Christine and Wanderer by April Rhodes.
Bottom Row are some low volume fabrics from Wanderer  and from Biology by Sarah Watson.
On the top row some extra little delights I picked up from within New Zealand. On the left some laminate of  Birds and Bees by Tula Pink which will become a Winter Tote. On the right a lovely remnant of and old Heather Bailey fabric- Cabbage Rose from her Fresh Cut range.
I am supposed to be on a fabric diet, but somehow muttering those very words sends me on a buying frenzy. <sigh>
Linking to Molli Sparkles

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May Zoo Animals Block- Giraffe

This month's Zoo Animal from Kirsty of Quiet Play is a Giraffe. This one is adorable and is a fun animal to make.
I had some giraffe fabric in my stash which would be at least 10 years old - maybe 15. I love how Giraffe looks with this fabric.  

I am linking up to Quiet Play for the Giraffe Parade

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Irish Chain Twist Finish

I joined in with the last Quilt Along with Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Each of the weekly steps were very acheiveable, and , judging by the link up numbers, most people seemed to keep up to date.  I always enjoy Melissa's quilt alongs as she has great patterns, plus she is an involved and supportive  host. Her instructions are great- all step-by-step photos.

The fabric was all from my stash, which made me very happy.
I quilted this after watching a video tutorial by Lyn Durbin of the Loopy Clam free motion quilting.
I loved doing it and love the look. it gave this quilt. I have learnt to do it nice and big for the best look.

I took my quilt along to my favourite quilt photo place. It is a footbridge in Feilding (New Zealand)  the town closest to us.  The frame of the bridge is a  nice bright red, which  photographs well, plus the rails are easy to put a clip on to hold the quilt. The height above the stream means that even a big quilt hangs nicely so the whole design can be seen.
My quilt is "picnic" sized so it 79 by 79 inches.

My husband really likes this one, and indeed, it is one that men seem to find pleasing with it's regular irregularities. He says it is going nowhere, so I can see it will be on top of  our bedcovers this winter.

I am entering this into the Grand parade on Happy Quilting

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt along- Finished Top.

The quilt top is now waiting in the queue for FMQ.  Melissa from Happy Quilting is such a great host, and really encouraging which makes me want to keep up with her quilt alongs. I really like the colours in this. All of the quilts look great and there are so many colour combinations.
We have until the Grand Link on April 23 to try to get them finished.  I think I should make this deadline, all going well.
Linking to Melissa's blog.

The Walrus~ Quiet Play Zoo Animals April Block

The Walrus is the 4th of the foundation paper pieced Zoo Animals from Kristy at Quiet Play.
The 4  blocks together
Linking up with Quiet Play

Monday, 6 April 2015

Pantone Colour of the Year Challenge ~ Marsala

After seeing the beautiful quilts in last years Pantone challenge,  I wanted to join in this year. I looked around for some examples of Marsala fabrics. I bought a few fabrics online. but only one was the right colour - Amy Butlers Queen Ann Butterflies. Consequently, I wondered about just using the one fabric but a good variety of backgrounds. When I saw the Low Volume Plus quilt I thought it might work for that idea. Once I started I could see it needed a little something else. Using the origin of the colour name the alternative block  became gold,  representing a cork

The quilting is uneven parallel lines, which I thought worked really well.
I took the quilt with me  to the Hawkes Bay which is a big wine growing area in the North Island, to keep with the theme. Grape picking time was underway there when I took the photos.


Size 53 1/2 inches by 65.
This is not a prize winning stunner, but it is an honest quilt and is very masculine. It keeps well to the Marsala theme, and I really like it.

The colour and the making of the quilt resulted in a little research about Marsala, which was an interesting exercise.   In the 1990s we did a visited several North Island wineries one summer and I bought a bottle of Marsala from one of them. I remember making Chicken Marsala  once, and used it regularly in lieu of sherry in trifles. I have been inspired to buy another bottle and experiment with it again.

I am linking to On The Windy Side for the parade of quilts

Charm Dash Quilt Along

Earlier this year I joined in with the Aussie Charm Swap with Ms Midge. This time the designer was Anna Maria Horner. I took 2 places when the swap had a few  extras, so I received 2 lots of 112 five inch charms.

With one set of charms I decided to make Charm Dash- a pattern by Ms Midge. I thought this was a way to thank Melissa for her work with the swaps.

The Free Motion Quilting took the longest of any I have ever done. The elements were not hard but the planning, unpicking and making all of the elements work together took time.  This was my first time doing Feathers as I wanted to make a feature of the large white snowball area. They were fun to do and I will definitely use them again soon, especially on a more traditional pattern.

The photo above is with our eldest grandson, Cooper.

I love my binding print- Stocking from AMH's Lou Lou Thi range. I loved it so much that I  bought a border sized piece of all 3 colourways.
Size: 64 1/2 inches by 77 inches.

Linking up for the Finale with Ms Midge

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Year of Schnibbles- Sample

This month's quilt is Sample by Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosies Quilt Company. Patterns are not available from the website now so I have not linked it. I bought mine from Fat Quarter Shop  
Sample is made using 2 1/2 inch squares or mini charm packs.
I used a charm pack of Glow by Amy Butler. The background and sashing is Bella Snow.

I decided to make Sample No 1, which is the one set on point. I didn't read the number of blocks required very well, so just kept on making them, and ended up with 20. Not liking waste of work and materials I decided to make a smaller version of sample No 2 with the remaining blocks (plus a reject and an extra)
These blocks are little. They finish at 4 1/2 inches - very cute little blocks. The larger Sample finishes at 28 1/2 inches and the small one at 19 3/4 inches.

The photos are hasty seeing we are working at the last minute here, and I couldn't decide a nice way to display them. The late summer/  autumn flowers in pots were my first port of call.

I am joining the monthly parade with Sinta at Pink Pincushion and  Sherri at A Quilting Life

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Irish Chain Quilt Along- Appliquéd Blocks

This is the 3rd block to get sewn in the Happy Quilting Quilt Along.  I didn't get my Appliquéd blocks cut out last week, and I have left it til the very last minute this week to catch up and get up to date. Luckily both steps were quick and easy.

The colours are so pretty. I hope they all look as nice once they are all together. I am not peeking until tomorrow when the next clue will be posted.

Linking up to Melissa's post

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Quiet Play Zoo Animals Blocks- Polar Bear

This months block is a Polar Bear one. Quiet Play provide the pattern free for the month of release, but make a small charge after that. It pays to keep up, or at least download the pattern on time.

This was an easy one with the eyes being bigger. It may just that I am getting used to doing them.
My first version had grey as the darker fur on his neck and ears. I didn't like it as I felt my grey was too dark, so I did another one with cream as the darker colour and the white as the main colour. I am much happier with this one. The first one will not go to waste. It will either be made into something for No 3 son, whose school rugby nickname was P. Bear, or it can go on the back.

Linking to Quiet Play Linky

Irish Chain Quilt-A-Long Modern Patchwork Blocks

The Irish Chain Quilt-A-Long is well underway on Happy Quilting
This weeks blocks were done at the very last minute. It hasn't been a good week for me.

We put together our 2 sets of 4 patches this week into a block.
I have just noticed my blocks are not always exactly in line. I see a late night up realigning  the sashing in some of them. I was obviously in too much of a hurry to get them done.
Next clue  will be here in the morning when I turn on the computer.
Linking up on Happy Quilting

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt Along- Part 4

On to Part 4 of the Happy Quilting Irish Chain Twist Quilt Along with Melissa Corry. It isn't too late to join this Quilt Along. Each part is fairly quick so could be caught up with quickly. I gathered my fabric from my stash and only had to buy background. I am doing the Picnic size, so needed 5 1/2 yards of background fabrics. A quick trip to the fabric store and I was ready.

This part uses my aqua fabrics for the first time.  This was a very quick one, which Melissa calls Twists on Tradition Units.

Linking the photo to Melissa's post