Saturday, 20 December 2014


Free fat quarter of fabric from my stash to the first person that can correctly identify what I'm trying to do:

And "something to do with Doctor Who" doesn't count.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fun and games (with extra fun points at the bottom)

While not all directly quilty, I have been having some fantastic crafty fun the last couple of weeks cobbling together costumes for the whole family for AetherCon Wellington. A small Steam Punk convention this weekend just been.

First of all, purely quilty - my latest little able student with her doll quilt ready to hand stitch the the binding down:

CH so (rightfully) proud of herself
After sorting out 4 costumes, I was missing something. An appropriate handbag! Sacrifice of an old, damaged trashy hardcover (oooooh did that feel WRONG though). Aged metal cover, check. Fabric lining glued and sewn in for safety, check. Minor injury achieved  during assembly, check.

New Steam Punk handbag!
Minor injury so worth it!
Plenty big enough for the essentials
And now for the really fun part. Us all dressed up:
My little spy Rocketeer, with a light up rocket pack
The mad scientist complete with evil mustache and crazy eyebrows

Close up of Lady Vapour's corset (dealer in perfumes and poisons)

My happy crazy family (yes that is a teeny corset on a 2yo - CUTE!)
The suave Murtagh Burr down from Whangarei for the event
And the bonus fun points from the ball later in the evening - Lady Vapour and Murtagh with a steam punked Captain Jack Sparrow in a kilt!!!

Because this is what we do!


Monday, 17 November 2014

Do you have a "thing"

Something you have done as long as you can remember "just because"?

What about something you do in remembrance of an event (or the passing of a loved one)?

Some have family traditions. Some are personal quirks. Some are just to make you feel happy/creative/zen.

I have lots. But one I do daily.

My family has waffles every Christmas made with a waffle iron that belonged to my Aunt (RIP).

I sign off my blogs with "Cheerio" not "Goodbye" as my beloved Nana couldn't stand to say goodbye.

But I have an obvious quirk that a lot of people notice, a few comment on, but very very few know why (and it's not because I'm lazy).

Once upon a time I had an interesting and challenging job that I loved, with people I enjoyed spending my time with. Except one person. My direct boss. A micro-managing bean counter that fixated on me as I had made the mistake of being young, smart and pushing back when stepped on.

This man actively sabotaged my efforts at changing roles to further my career. Had me writing 15 copies of the same report, making deliberate changes each time, only to change his mind several iterations later to the original wording. Questioned the appropriateness of my attire in our corporate environment (despite my at the time conservative style for working). Forced me to justify my time in 6 minute increments in daily timesheets. Managed to sabotage several appointments with my fertility specialist and eventually making me leave that job.

Several things kept me sane at the time. The fact that I was not the only one was a biggie. That department had a HUGE staff turnover. But once I started getting flak any time I wore something other than a fully tailored suit I had what was (for me) a much more effective way to keep my sanity.

A little thing, a rebellious thing that was mine alone.

And the habit stuck. Ha!

Do you have a "thing"? Does it have a story, or just because?


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Wellington Quilters Guild Exhibition - A Snapshot

We recently held our bi-annual quilt exhibition, but due to numerous family illnesses, I have not had the chance to post any pictures yet!

A couple of disclosures first:
1) I love white glove duty! Getting to lurk? Quietly following around groups of people that know a bit about quilting, or just have strong opinions on what they like is really entertaining. I loved listening to the conversations of people and getting to look at the quilts on show with new eyes.

2) The battery on my camera was nearly dead (yes I forgot to check). These photos were taken really quickly and with no flash, so they are mostly bad photos - sorry!

This is not a juried exhibition (no one is pre-judging the quilts that get hung for a "good" show). Every paid up member of the guild has the right to have a quilt shown regardless of skill level. That is great for those of us that get daunted by the guild heavy-weights!  We also did not have a lot of hand work on display, which means I was a bit gutted I chickened out of putting my Mustard Madness quilt in as well as Fente Hunts.

Enough of the talky bits, these are just the quilts that spoke to me.

Fiona's Birthday Quilt by Vivienne Ellison

Antique Afternoon Tea Delight, by Jeannette Orr

Anemones, by Merle Roberts (RIP Merle)

Hockey Rules, by one of our Guild's 2 junior members

Dreaming of New York, by Heather Uwins-England (this one won a slew of well deserved awards)

Scraps n' Shirt Tails, by the inimitable Fyvie Murray

Barry's Quilt by Nancy Goggin
Modern Quilt #1 by Alison Elliot (who kindly let me take the picture with her in it!)
A selection of lovely small quilts
From top left:
Te Awaiti Sunset by Adrienne Howard (started in a class with Gloria Loughman at Taupo Symposium)
Towards Houtbay by Teresa Vaughan (also started in a class with Gloria Loughman at Taupo Symposium)
A Slice of Wellington by Nanette Clough
Algal Bloom by Christine Singleton

Close ups of my fave two in the bunch:
Towards Houtbay

A slice of Wellington
 And last but not least, our family contributions.

My portrait challenge entry:
I Do, by Kelly Warriner-Simpson
My Pet Dog, by Short Critic #1

Fente Hunts, by Kelly Warriner-Simpson
Hope you like my little snapshot.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Here fishy fishy. Or to make perfectionists twitch!

I have so much to share this time, lots of photos and will have plenty more in a few days. And it is spring here now - time to get rid of the wintery blog background.

I achieved a big goal this week, and Short Critic#1 achieved one of his goals.

Steamy Dreams arrived home from America this week after appearing in the AQS Chattanooga quilt week as part of the Bad Ass Quilters Society exhibit, And she came home with a little friend:
The middle of the ribbon is a pin that comes off! I can rock that.
On Thursday night the Wellington Quilters Guild exhibition opened with a prize giving evening. It was a lovely night and it marked me having one of my quilts on display in shows on opposite sides of the globe in the same month.

I have two quilts in the show (a challenge quilt and Fente Hunts), and SC#1 has a quilt in the show too. He had a goal that he wanted to enter and have both of us win an award in the same show. He achieved his goal. He got a Junior member merit award, and I earned a merit in machine applique. The show runs for 10 days, so if you are in Wellington between now and the 5th of October, head done to the Portrait Gallery. I was pleased to have won an award considering the quality of quilts on show - they are gorgeous and in a fabulous venue!
SC#1 is pleased his quilt is just beside my challenge quilt

Must teach him not to take the photo with my eyes closed!
I have been very industrious waiting in the car for school pick ups lately. I got to enjoy one of my favourite jobs:
Is it just me that loves pulling the paper out of finished foundation pieced blocks? Getting covered with confetti makes me feel like I've really accomplished something, especially when you press it and turn it over and it looks as awesome as this:
Free pattern from Craftsy Here
 Yes, I am totally going back to my roots and getting my geek on. Makes up for accidentally doing this in the car the other day:

No more hand-sewing for today Kelly!
Yep yep yep, I actually managed to snap a needle in two places at once - gold star to whoever can correctly guess how I managed that one. I was very impressed with myself. There is no way on God's green earth that I am ever going to be able to replicate that one.

There is something deeply satisfying as a parent to inflict your geekdom on the next generation isn't there? We are planning on attending Aethercon later this year as a family. This is a little SteamPunk convention (followed by a ball) in Wellington. So what else are we to do but dress up in full cosplay as a family! My costume is still very much a WIP, as is SC#2's mini-me version, but SC#1's costume is nearly complete. He is going to be our little steampunk Rocketeer. I have finished his rocket pack
And his favourite bit:
It lights up

And now for the fishies.

Blocks of the month/bee swaps/guild swaps...  I know a few ladies that choose not to participate in them because everybody (rightly) has differing standards of accuracy. These are usually ladies that can piece like divas. No matter how complicated the block. They can knock out a full feathered star with to-the-thread accuracy. I can only sit at their feet and cut their scraps into strips in homage.

I was lucky enough to win our Guild's block of the month in August for June's lovely iceberg inspired blocks
So peaceful
I love them and am so stoked. There are just enough to do a nice sized baby quilt and I know a baby-to-be that this will be perfect for. But I was stuck with a dilemma. For a block that was supposed to finish at 6 inches square, I have a range of sized from 5 3/4 through to 6 3/8 of an inch with some not square.


Ha! I know! Embrace the wonky! Play time. Slice up some uneven wedges (who needs a ruler), whack them around the edges, lop off points with gay abandon if they get in the way, who needs an accurate 1/4 inch seam anyway?

Ooooh look at that, I can trim them all to a perfectly uniform size now, even if every one is now set at a slightly different angle! Some of them are even *almost* set straight.
Now when put together they look like a lovely school of tropical fish, all swimming in the same general direction. Or not. I'm considering throwing them in the air and sewing them together in whichever orientation they fall. I can see some of my friends twitching all ready...



Saturday, 6 September 2014

Working on some cool projects

But not able to share photos yet.

The big one is a quilt that will eventually be a birthday present for my lovely brother-in-law for a big number birthday that is coming up in a couple of years.

I know I have plenty of time to get this one done so I was planning on taking my time, playing with a few ideas and seeing what came together closer to the event.

I wanted something very blokey as he is a long time bachelor, but still stylish (as I have high hopes of him finding the perfect woman one day). I had several ideas floating around that would have been great but none of them really wheedled to get pushed to the top of the to-do list so I have let it sit for a while.

Dresden rulers are great fun, aren't they? Loving just cutting wedges and playing. I started noodling around with some scrummy yellow and tan fabrics that reminded me of sunflowers in the summer. My Mum would LOVE them too bad I looked at them with different eyes a wee while ago and saw how much like cog wheels they look when placed closer than a standard "Dresden Plate" layout.

More than any other person I have met, my B.I.L. is a thinker. He is quiet and reserved and in social situations sits back and observes everything - and then comes out with a one-line zinger that absolutely floors anyone in hearing range. He has a wicked sense of humour and If I hear a sudden lull in conversation followed by raucous laughter in the corner of the room I know he has come out with something that stunned everyone for a moment.

So we have a quilt top nearly at completed flimsy stage, with a working title of "Can you see the cogs turn?" I can't post photos, because at the rate I'm working, I might actually have it finished in time for entries to Symposium. The Manawatu Symposium has new rules that for all categories but one, entries can not have been displayed elsewhere (including on blogs) so have to keep it under wraps.

That one category for quilts that have been shown elsewhere is going to be a big one I think!


Saturday, 30 August 2014

A bit of slow stitching

This is what I call a car quilt - something to stitch while waiting in the car for the school bell to ring.

It will be a long term project as I plan on it eventually being queen size. Long, long term project!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

This week is busy!!

I realised while madly stitching on the hanging sleeve on Fente Hunts in time for hand in this weekend that I hadn't posted in a wee while.

Short Critic #1 twisted my arm to make two of the BOM blocks for Guild on Thursday because he wanted to be in with a chance to win too (aren't I a good mum).
"Ice Crystals" set by June N
Putting two in rather than one, meant that at the meeting there was a nice even number of blocks (perfect size for a baby quilt). SC#1 was so proud of himself writing our names down on the entry form and thanks to my lucky charm - I won for the first time! Yay! And perfect timing as I know the perfect home for this.

My mug rugs for the summertime memories mug rug swap headed off on their journey to New York this week, and once I know they have arrived safely I'll post a picture of what I came up with (hope you like them Betty).

I managed to make myself a lovely little bag for my sewing bits when I stitch out and about - Sew Together Bag. It came together really well despite me using far too thick batting. Hey, it was what I had on hand, but my machine REALLY didn't like sewing through a couple of places

It is almost Tardis-like in the amount of tools you can stuff in here!
I have also made more progress than I thought I would on a slow stitching project I have been taking along to do a few stitches in while waiting for school pick ups. It is amazing what 5 minutes of stitching will add up to pretty quickly. This one is a very long term project so I'll make sure not to spam the blog with too many pics. Might try to remember to do a slow stitching Sunday link up with it soon.

Time to finish a hanging sleeve for me!


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Steamy Dreams is off to the USA!

In the wee hours of the night a short little email pinged into my inbox. Quiet and unassuming, little did it know it was to set off a SQUUUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
My humble little SteamPunk quilt (ok ok, my pride and joy cloth-child), will be displayed as part of the Bad Ass Quilter's Society exhibition as part of the larger AQS quilt week exhibition in Tennessee!

Travel safe little quilt
This is HUGE for me. My quilt will make it to the USA far before I will. I won't get to see it in the show myself. If any readers are in the Chatanooga area mid-September, could you pretty please go and get me photos? {bats eyelashes}

Time to go try and get my toes to touch the ground again!


Monday, 21 July 2014

End of the school holidays

It was a loooong, cold, wet couple of weeks for the school holidays. It is the middle of winter here in Wellington and by the time we get some genuine sun and warmth it will have been over 4 weeks. 

Usually I love getting to hang out with my big boy. Not this time. Butting heads, attitude, stress, cabin fever. 

Between being rather ill, then busy with the kids, I've barely sewn a stitch since it was last sunny! So I was well over-due for some time in the troll cave and now have both of my mug-rugs for my swap partner together. Just have to quilt and bind them now and they will be ready to send to New York state.
I can't show too much in case B finds her way over here but I really enjoyed this challenge. The theme for the swap is "Summertime Memories". There is no pattern, we can interpret however we like. I have gone for two very different styles - one is old-school foundation pieced, and the other is fused machine applique. They look fantastic together though as I've used the same colour/fabric palette for both. I hope she likes them!

Sneak Peak
We have a relaxed and calm Kelly again.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Capital Quilter's Exhibition Part 2

The Quilting, A modern Tradition exhibition was held in the lovely Sacred Heart College auditorium in Lower Hutt.  It was a lovely venue but I did giggle at the the very "Hutt Valley" look of the entrance to the beautiful college (High School to my American readers) with the lovely manicured grounds welcoming people into the show...And an abandoned shopping trolley parked in a garden!

I found it really interesting going through this show as a member of the Wellington Guild. The Capital guild considers itself a "modern" guild. And it is. Through and through. They do have some exceptionally good "traditional" quilters but they are definitely in the minority if you go by the quilts shown. By contrast, the Wellington guild is predominately traditional quilters that often make modern quilts with a handful of purely modern quilters thrown in the mix. It is going to make an interesting contrast when we have our exhibition later this year.

I must apologise for the quality of most of these photos. I was trying to take snaps with a 2yo on my shoulders who loves quilts. She absolutely loves running her sticky little hands across the textures of quilts, so I was doing an interesting dance trying to stand back far enough to take a photo, while not too far because someone would try and throw themselves backwards off me to grab the quilts behind us!

On that note... lots of pictures time!

The first quilt that caught my eye when I walked in was a lovely quilt I had seen online several times on the lovely miss Adrianne's blog The Windy Side and was really pleased to see in person
Purple S-block Quilt by Adrianne Reid

Closely followed by some lovely and "calm" modern and low-volume quilts
I Heart Tula Pink by Anne Read

In the Quietest Moments by Jeanie O'Sullivan
There were a few lovely traditional quilts that really stood out not just because they were gorgeous, but also because they were surrounded by such a fantastic riot of fresh modern quilts
The Seasons Come and Go by Patricia O'Grady

This one stuck out for me not just because of the wonderful execution of all those triangles
Barbed Wire for Barb Dwyer by Ronnie Rutter
But also because all of those black zig-zags have the most glorious perfectly executed feathers winding their way up!
"Keeping with tradition" ribbon - and you don't get much more traditional than those feathers!
This perfectly pieced New York Beauty quilt drew you in from across the room
5 Days and 5 Nights in New York by Tracey Carew
And see those little green starbursts scattered around the borders? Yeah, they were smaller than the palm of my hand and check out those points:

Another couple of quilts that used quite traditional techniques (foundation piecing and applique respectively) but had such a lovely fresh modern feel. I could see them on the bed of an uber swanky teenager's room
My Fairytale Garden by Lyn Bell

Rebecca's Beauty by Teresa Keown
And last but certainly not least, my personal favourite. This is the one that got my vote for viewers choice. It is no secret that I LOVE butterflies. This one was around a corner and hit me in the face. Then I got closer and realised that all the colours in the butterfly wings were hundreds of tiny little individually fused pieces.
Exotic Butterflies by Lyn White
The polka dots were just perfect
And see those teeeny little mosaic bricks? Bliss.

I took so many more photos than I posted here. But so many of them were blurry and it was impossible to do the quilts justice.

That got the creative juices flowing!