Monday, 31 March 2014

1000 Visitors!!

I signed in this morning for my morning bloggy reading and spotted that I have ticked over 1000 visitors to my humble little blog.

Considering I never thought that anyone other than one or two friends would read it, that is a bit of a milestone for me. To celebrate, I'm going to have a hunt through my stash and do my first ever giveaway!

To be in to win, simply comment on this post with what city in the world you call home, and what your favourite colour is before the 14th of April.

I'll do a random number draw and send a Fat Quarter in your favourite colour to whoever wins (yes I will post internationally).



Saturday, 29 March 2014


We discovered something interesting during my class on Sunday last weekend. The pattern requires that you work with standard fat quarters as you will be cutting 4 blocks from each  at 9 inches square.

A number of ladies had issues with one or more of their pre-cut FQs being ever so slightly too small to work with. It turns out that almost all of the FQs were purchased from the same store in town and I worked out what has happened.

In New Zealand (and over in Australia) despite us quilters usually working in inches, fabric is sold by the metre. Our FQs reflect this, so are usually approx 50cm x 55cm (around 22" x 24" for the Americans!). An American FQ is a wee bit smaller  at 18" x 24" as they sell fabric by the yard.

It seems that we have one shop that is selling their pre-cuts in American sizes.  Now there is nothing wrong with that in principle (it's certainly one way to improve your profit margins on pre-cuts), but it makes it very awkward when they are a little bit canny about not warning their customers! Using patterns that have been written locally assumes a certain sized FQ and you can easily find yourself short enough fabric! Not a great way to inspire customer loyalty.

The major bug-bear I had with it was that when we measured some of them to see if with careful cutting we could still use them, several of the dodgy FQs measured at only 17.5"!

On another note, I am currently trying to construct my borders on me shhh-secret-squirrel project and I'm loving how it looks. Lets just hope it fits onto the centre piece properly!
Cheaty freezer-paper, starch, and top-stitching. No curved seams!!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Teaching "Going Dotty" for the Wellington Guild

On Sunday I had the privilege of teaching a lovely group of ladies from the Wellington guild "Going Dotty"

I fully admit to being nervous before hand given that the class had 3 times as many as I had taught at one time before. A full 14 enthusiastic ladies plus my wonderful angel-helper FM.

As a teacher, seeing the busy hive of activity is an awesome feeling. As is the feeling of amusement when you tell a class exactly how much bias binding they will be using and watching the horror on their faces slowly change as you show them how to make huge screeds of bias with almost no waste in a continuous strip.

The Karori Arts and Crafts centre is a fabulous space, light and airy, well equipped with plenty of tables. Even with 14 students plus me, we each had a table to ourselves to spread out over.

Concentrating on marking blocks

Piecing up a storm

Rightfully proud as punch of a finished block
I loved getting to see the different fabrics everyone worked with - you could really see personalities coming through. And I can't wait to see finished quilts start to appear at guild meetings over the next few months.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A family tree

This year the Wellington Quilt Guild has their bi-annual exhibition. I have been working on my design for a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG time and I have been really looking forward getting stuck into it. I only have until mid-August to get it finished to give me time to wash and block it before submitting it for the show {panic!}

Unfortunately just before Christmas my extended family had some dramas, resulting in my quilt having to take a back seat while I made a little boy a comfort quilt. That quilt is done now. I made him a family tree, with fat green caterpillars for each of the members of his family and bright yellow butterflies for family members who have passed away
L's Family Tree
Pretty and straight stitches!

Even properly labelled
In the interests speed I used two techniques I usually don't - printing the label rather than hand sewing or writing it, and machine finished binding. Both turned out much better than usual! Yay, I don't mind sending them out to others when they actually look up to my usual standards heh.

Which means.....

I can start putting thread to fabric on MY project....
Shhhh secret squirrel

And no, I am not allowed to relax quietly in the sun by myself. I have to have company with sharp bits
Die hammock, die!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Nearly two projects down!

Working hard over here! I have finished my new favourite quilt "Shine bright, sleep tight". Great big scrappy polka dot stars for short critic #2's big girl bed.
Helper #2 assisting with quality control
This quilt is completely reversable with brights on the other side.
I think she likes it..
Also (almost) finished is my family tree quilt I have been making for a little lad that lost his father just before Christmas.

Here it is all pinned up ready to quilt:

Once I have finished quilted it, I need to add all the boy's family critters to the tree.  I will hopefully have that done before guild next week!

Then I can work on my BIG project of the year - an entry into the guild exhibition. That is the only project I am going to be working on once the tree has been finished. I will need all the time I can scrounge for sewing.

Last time I turned a few heads with SteamPunk, but in a traditional medallion style.  Let's see what the ladies think of dragons this time. Will post photos when there is something to see.