My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Auckland Festival of Quilts

Last weekend I left my calves in the trustworthy hands of my son-in-law and went down to Auckland for this year's Festival of Quilts.(Golly, it was nearly 2 weeks ago now!)
The Country Yard had a stand there again this year.....I worked at the shop on Thursday and by the time I got down to Auckland (with more supplies) Kerryn and Bernice had done a marvellous job of setting up our stand.
Friday morning - time for a quick team photo before I went off to play....
I met up with Linda and Julie and spent a lovely few hours in their company. Quilts and shopping. Fun :-)
On Saturday I worked on our stand and that was a good day too. Home that night, tired but full of quilty inspiration:-)

The photos are in no particular order and I apologise in advance if there are too many and that they're not all square, etc etc —
I actually thought this quilt was Best of Show, but discovered a day later it was Amateur Best of Show, rather than the penultimate.
Whilst the Hand Heals by Jenni Scott.
Using Yoko Saito's Traditional Pattern Lessons.
A lot of this quilt was completed while the maker had her wrist in plaster.
Who Am I to argue with the judges, but I didn't actually take a photo of the Best of Show.

I follow Esther Aliu's blog; she designs beautiful quilts which are always works of art. I started one years ago and didn't get very far but would love to finish it someday before starting another of her's.
Her designs often win awards, all around the world. Here are two by Jenny Henry —
Secret Garden
Red Delicious
It seemed that this year there were quite a few quilts in surprise fabrics (to me, at least). For example, below is a Dear Jane quilt in Kaffe Fasset fabrics. Quite a different look and quite pretty.
Dear Jane, by Margaret Reid.
Wendy Williams seems to be a popular Australlian designer here in New Zealand; there were a few of her quilts. 
Around the Garden by Rebecca Bishop

Sonya Prchal makes beautiful painted and then thread painted quilts. Her Cats is no exception.
Cats by Sonya Prchal
I was pleased to see a Foxley Village, designed by Natalie Bird. This was a BOM in last year's Australian Homespun magazine. The original was in Tilda fabrics, not sure what was used here. I've collected the patterns and fabrics for this and is another on my to-do list.
Foxley Village by Mary Metcalf.
There was no hand stitching in this version.
It was fun to see the Birds of a Feather quilt by Tish Brindle. I've often looked at these birds and thought I'd like to make some. They'd make a good swap or scrap challenge block.
Here are a few with a New Zealand flavour.
A truly unique Eye-spy by Ku Bailey

Neighbours by Dianne Dowd. NZ and Australian birds.
Helen Godden class using Lumiere paints and free motion quilting
Year of the Kiwi by Kathy Ronson.
Southern Hemisphere activities!
One of the more traditional looking quilts.
Little pieces of Yesteryear by Colleen Burr.
This hasn't photographed very well so I've shown a close-up photo too.
Bluebirds by Tracey Roberts
As usual, plenty of lovely quilting to look at —
Churn and Dash again by Judi Schon
Sue Flego's Just for Fun.
Her interpretation of a Sarah Fielke design
High Rise City.
Anne Joule makes beautiful EPP quilts from tie off-cuts. Most years she has
another one to exhibit.
This has got quite long!! But if you want to see even more quilts, pop over to Julie's post about the show.
Charlotte has also written about it in three interesting posts.
If you want to see what Linda bought - oh la la - head over *here* and *here*- it was exciting to be with her when she found this treasure :-)

Well done if you've got to the end! I hope you've enjoyed seeing the quilts.
Till next time, 
happy stitches 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tidying up loose ends

I've spent the last week or so trying to tidy up some loose some projects before starting something new.
In my last post I was working on two test blocks I made for Juliet of Tartankiwi; a Scottie Dog and a Basset Hound. I was turning them into cushions and was up to quilting them and their backs.
I finished the Scottie Dog last week —
Can't see it? Here's a better shot —
The girls tested it out for me and decided it was fine!
It's fun playing at Ganma's!
Today I finished the Basset Hound —
As with the Scottie dog (in my *last post*) I had a good old time playing with different quilt designs for the front and back —
The flower and spiral design was inspired by Lori Kennedy's tutorial. I loved doing that one! (Quilting spirals on the stripes was extra challenging for the eyes!!) 
I really struggled with what to put in the border of the Basset, but the alternating squiggles ended up working really well.
Two fun backs :-)
And two fun finishes.

Another loose end I had to tidy up was to put buttons on Lily's cardigan.
Done, tried on and worn :-)
Rolling over to show us the back.
Well modelled I would say.
So yaay, another finish for the month :-)

I got a little distracted this week and 'whipped up' a tea towel.
Decorated some tea-towelling and hemmed it to make a tea towel, to be more accurate.
I used a washaway stabiliser for the first time and was very impressed with how easy it was to use. I traced the motif onto the stabiliser, peeled off the backing and stuck it onto the fabric, Stitch through it. Easy.
The stabiliser washes away.
The little motif is a Bird Brain design and I think he sewed up quite cute.
(Whoops I meant ot take a photo of the back to show how well I'd done keeping it neat; you'll just have to believe me with that one...!)
I'm cutting it rather fine for an end of month report but I'm nearly there, with less than an hour until the calendar turns over. I feel quite organised for once!
This weekend I'm off down to the Auckland Festival of Quilts Show. So I'd best get to bed so I can be up bright and early to pack my bags. I have one play day and one work should be fun. And hopefully next post will be a report on the show :-)
'till next time,
happy stitches,

Monday, October 22, 2018

Friday Night and Saturday and Sunday

Somehow my Friday night post has become a Monday post....
I was pleased to take part in Friday Night Sew In this week. We'd had a busy week so crafting with online friends from the comfort of my armchair sounded just perfect :-)
My goal was to finish the spring cardie I started last week. It's a while since I've knitted in 4-ply (8-ply/Double Knit is my go-to yarn) so this one had more stitches and more rows than I am used to!
But by the end of Friday night I had got this far —
(Ever wondered how people get a cute little picot edging on knitted cardies? I had, and now I know....knit a row with 'holes' in it then turn it over and stitch it down.....)
By the end of the weekend, barring the buttons, it was done!
Sunnyside Cardigan
Thankyou to Wendy of Sugarlane Designs for hosting us on Friday night. You can visit her, and the link-up, *here*.
My plans for a sewing Saturday were foiled by two long power cuts - we'd just got back home after weaning another mob of calves when the power went off!! A couple of hours later it was back on again, but later on it went off for several hours again!
However, I finally was able to finish this Santa hanging —
I didn't have much left to do on it and actually it still needs a couple of buttons on the tabs. I've stitched a couple of Xs in embroidery thread so it's useable and I'm calling it done (for now!).

I've stalled on quilting the Piglet quilt while I wait for another colour thread to arrive - silly me assumed I'd have the right colour in my thread boxes but none were right. (After making Mum's 80 hearts quilt this time last year I was sure I had enough reds/pinks to make do. No!)

Instead I've been concentrating on finishing my two dog cushions.
Have you ever made quilted backs for your cushions? Although extra work, they give the cushion a really nice finish. I decided to finish my two daog cushions with quilted backs so that I can have a fun time with some quilting.
Most of my quilting lately (not that I've done much) has been based around rulers so I decided to toss those aside and do 'pure' free motion fun fun.
During the week I'd sorted through scraps of fabrics and batting and made a quilting pile. I've decided to practise some different designs to those I've done more recently...sampler quilting really.
The bottom half of the back of one cushion
Of course I'm doing the backs scrappy and different coloured pieces mean different coloured threads so there's been a bit of changing and going between one project and another but I am making headway.
Red and black pieces here each have one edge bound and will be the two pieces
needed for the back of the Scottie Dog cushion(below).
The blue is one of the pieces needed for the second cushion, The Basset Hound.
Just about got the front done before duty called and I had to stop.
A productive weekend, on the whole :-)

I've shared photos lately of 'grandie time' - how lucky we are to have all our grandies living close by. We're currently baby sitting two more grandies while their mum and dad are away on holiday...these ones are the four-legged kind. Kit and Rollo are two big oversized pups! To say that it gets chaotic around here at the moment is an understatement but lucky for us the excitement of being at Ganma and Gandad's is wearing off and the boys have calmed down a little. After walks on the farm, they're happy to chill and sleep for long stretches of time.
A good hill climb -
- followed by a swim.
The only time I've managed to get all 4 dogs in one photo!
Our farm dog Emma is the perfect older cousin for our younger dog grandies. Loves to play like a puppy herself but knows the rules and the routines and keeps the younger ones under control.
One last photo —
I mentioned weaning another mob of calves. I wrote about it in my last post but I've taken another photo so you can see where the weaner calves end up after that big long walk....
(You may be able to tell I love taking scenic farm shots!)
Have a great week!
Happy stitches,