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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meeting a challenge deadline...

...with my Freemotion Quilting - whew - here in New Zealand it is the end of the month so I had to get busy and complete this month's work for the SewCalGal's  FMQ challenge.
Sarah Vedeler was this month's tutor. Sewcalgal showed us some beautiful photos of her work, so once again, we were lucky to have instruction from such a talented quilter.
Sarah talked to us about doing spirals. We needed to do them inside boxes and I must say it was easier said than done!
Keeping them nice and even was an issue for me, maybe the 15 minutes practise a day all month that Sarah recommended wouldn't have gone amiss!

When I looked at it all later, I came to the conclusion that I lost the plot. I seem to get sidetracked when doing repetitive things....(there's more than just spirals in there!!)

Here are pictures of the finished piece. I did four of the one inch spirals in the centre...
...and a border of the two-inch spirals around the outside edge of the block. And to give distraction from the 'awkward moments' I echoed around the outside of each group of spirals, and stippled in the remaining space.

We are nearly at the end of this challenge and my sampler quilt is filling up nicely. I am still finishing one block from a few lessons ago. Here I'm combining both Cindy Needham and Terri Lucas's ideas in one of my large rectangular blocks. A work in progress (and having fun playing!).

A special thank you to both Sarah and SewCalGal for stretching me again:-)

Some of you may remember the fruity quilt I made for Dad a little while ago. I visited my parents last week and was so pleased to see the quilt in use.
And just outside in the orchard a few minutes ago, I realised the Feijoas are in flower. These are the flowers I was trying to mimic on the quilt.

I think that is more than enough chatting and showing for tonight. This post has ended up twice as long as I'd imagined!
I hope you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!
Happy sewing,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rabbiting on.....

I have been continuing to catch up on my Hannah and Harrington blocks which the lovely Michelle of Raspberry Rabbits has been offering to us as a free BOM this year.
Continuing on from this post, here are some more blocks (yes, the bunnies are still missing their eyes!!)
Block 5 (aka May)
Block 6 (aka June!)
Block 7. Stitching not quite complete but complete enough for a photo!!
I have sewn the first 6 blocks together - aren't they nice?!!
It's exciting getting this far - I cant wait to get more of them made and joined!!

I've also been stitching this little needlecase. It is a Cottage Garden Threads pattern, using their products. The threads and felt and lovely to sew with.
Another little finish for the month.
Excuse the stray threads in the photo - I didn't notice them till just now!
Isn't it such a lovely shape?
 Have a great day everyone, thank you for visiting,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Christmas Wreath

(Warning; Post is heavy with red and white photos!)
Who would have thought me capable of a second finish in a week?!!
Combine this -
-and this - 
And you get this!
The stitchery is a Rosalie Quinlan design which came pre-printed on linen. The finishing instructions say to stretch it over canvas (which would be nice) but I decided to border it with little stars instead.
[Click on the photos to see them better,if you like.]
The stars are 3" finished but weren't too painful to make!
I didn't get too fussy with my points either!
So much cute detail in the wreath. It was a joy to stitch.
I quilted a very simple feather design in each corner. 
This reindeer is such a cutie! I thought I should somehow connect
each  'feather corner' along the sides but didn't really know how
 to do it in a stylish manner! (grin)
I cross hatched the centre of the wreath.
I marked only a few 'keeping me straight' lines but got scared so drove along
the edge of my little ruler to keep me even. (I didn't trust my eye after all!)
 Worked OK. 
 Now for a couple of non-red and white photos.
What's going on here...? (below)
I bet you are saying,"Oh dear, Raewyn is cutting up her father's old shirts for (yet) another quilt...."
Nup - wrong....
Mending an old shirt for Dad using an even older shirt. Not actually turning the collar (this time), but giving it a new lease of life anyway!
Inside of collar on Blue checked shirt has a patch from Green checked shirt!
Hope you're all getting some sewing done (even if it's just a spot of mending),
Happy creating,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Doggone - a finish

A little while ago I ran a series of 'skills' classes at my favourite quilt shop, The Country Yard. The classes covered stitchery, turned under (needleturn) appliqué, foundation paper piecing and english paper piecing.
Some participants came to all the classes and some just one or two. I devised the project/design below for them to do at home, if they wished to, to practise the skills we covered in class.
My project sat unfinished for a while - firstly, so that the class participants could look at the back of my work to see how I had done something, and then secondly, because I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to finish it!
I finally decided it would make a perfect cushion, so being inspired, I forged ahead and got sewing. I challenged myself to have some skills practise of my own and had a play with my free motion quilting.
I added some texture to the border and tried to highlight the 
lovely round scallops. 
(English paper piecing class)
Dimension added to the centre panel with the sunflowers
(See how well the variegated thread worked on the centre of the sunflowers?)
The dog might be gone, but he left his bones behind!
I tried to balance the quilting after the 'heavy' border work with meandering
in the flying geese  border (foundation piecing class).
I used subtle quilting so my wonky stitches wouldn't show too much, and so as not to overshadow the initial class work. (Beige and white Mettler Seralene (120 wght) thread).
All in all nothing too earth shattering but a fun thing to do. Lots of practise playing and 'designing'. Nice to see that  practise does help my fmq skills and confidence grow!!
Edges bound and finished as if it were a quilt. I wanted the edging to frame the piece.
Just need to find a 20" inner now.
I played around with fabric for the back. (Having fun)
 At the recent Country Yard exhibition, I was delighted to see these three finished projects from the classes, all made into cushions.
Jan's Cushion
Barbara's one. She also made a second cushion using a slightly different centre block.
 Barb is very good at using up her scraps - these are leftovers
from her beginner's quilt classes last year!
Liz made hers into a cushion cover, also.
A nice display.
It's great to have another project ticked off my list of to-finish projects! (Maybe I can start something new now?....he he just kidding!!)
Have a lovely week everyone,
Happy creating,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favourite little quilt

Don't you just love how one blog leads you to another which leads you to another which...and so on.... today Doniene's latest post led me to Taryn's blog called Repro Quilt Love  - which looks like it will be one I will visit often. And leaping in feet first, I decided to join in with Taryn's Online Quilt Show; where we share a favourite mini or doll quilt.
Regular followers will know that I have had a bit of mini thing happening this year so I've shown those in various stages of construction quite recently. However, another favourite (which I have shown a while ago)  is this little one that greets me every time I come up the stairs into the main part of the house.
 The stitchery is a Gail Pan design from Australian Homespun magazine number 58.   It sat waiting for inspiration until I found the 2 1/2 inch squares to put around the border.
It is very simply finished with a bit of invisible fine (machine) quilting around the stitchery and a faux hand-quilting stitch in the border.
Thanks for inviting us to the Quilt Show, Taryn. To see all the quilts on show, visit her blog here.
Thank-you for visiting, happy creating,

Monday, November 5, 2012

A NZ flavour

At the Festival of Quilts last week there were some quilts displayed that had a real New Zealand flavour. I thought you may like to see some of the ways our country is interpreted in quilts. There were some real beauties (and I didn't get photos of them all).

Incredible details
3-D work - look at the edging on the cloth
There were lots of birds on display.
Our Kiwi put in an appearance. Again very 3-D with the lichen and the feathers.
A Tui in a Kowhai tree.
Capturing the Kowhai flowers beautifully.
More NZ birds in a variety of trees.
The Kereru in a Puriri Tree. The wood pigeons love these berries.
The Pukeko and Pohutakawa flowers.
Sorry, I don't know the name of this particular Maori design.
The Tui is in a Flax bush this time. Lovely nectar in these flowers.
O golly - beautiful!
A really common sight at Christmas time
- the NZ Christmas tree, Pohutakawa

A lovely NZ scene.

 Hope you've enjoyed this little gallery - I'm in awe of the talented people who produce such beautiful work :-)