Monday, 22 April 2019

Taking stock

While 18 (soon 19) posts for the year so far really aren't bad for me, it's been a month (!) since I last posted! As expected, work has been just go-go-go, and the weekends are filled with utter exhaustion - and housework :(

[I had just written my goals at the bottom of the post, but that's where they get lost so I cut & paste them right here at the top, so there's no excuse lol]

Plans for the next six weeks or so:
  1. Finish #zenstudioqal in time for baby shower (date tbc)
  2. Continue piecing #patchworkcity2018 when blocks are posted
  3. Continue piecing Rainbow at Sea
  4. Finish #scrappyappliquequiltalong
  5. try to not fall into too many other rabbit holes!

This is what I've been working on lately:

Firstly, Mstr 14 had requested a new cushion cover as the old 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' ones had disintegrated. He requested 'a sunset with elephant silhouette'. After some online research I drew up this:

Seams just suck up material - I had to add a row and then some to make it fit across

4th finish for 2019
He says he likes it - the highest praise a mother can get from a 14y old 😏

IG is for me like the rabbit hole for Alice, and I fell into yet another QAL:

Shannon Brinkley runs the #ScrappyAppliqueQuiltAlong; I liked the idea of using my scraps for this...

I bought her Globe pattern, but I didn't like the idea of NZ at the bottom right end of Globe 4 😮.

I toyed with the idea of my own world map but decided to go a bit smaller for now:

Aotearoa New Zealand, right here on my design wall :)

Mistyfuse-backed green shapes cover the outline; not sure I would go for the same fluffy pellon again?

Excuse the odd colours; Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) and Rakiura (Stewart Island) are fused to the background.

Aotearoa all fused down

Zigzag in variegated green to stitch the edges down; next time I might either try invisible thread or a full satin stitch.

FMQ stipple for the land...

A first, unsuccessful attempt at quilting the background - everything was wrong, colour, scale, shape...

Feeling much better about this one - 

- so I'm now fmquing the background all over, using a invisible (white) thread in the top with a grey 50wt Aurifil in the bobbin.
My other IG QALs are also progressing:

We have a completed flimsy for the #zenstudioqal!

It's not that easy to match the vibrant colours with a different line of fabric, I bought a bubble minky in red for the back but it looks too pink with the way the light reflects off it, thankfully the lovely Suz parted with a warm red flannel so one of these days I will sandwich and quilt it. My go-to for baby quilts is an all-over pattern, after talking with Suz I am toying with the idea of treating different areas of the top differently but we will see how much time I get before that baby is due ;)

The #patchworkcity2018 QAL is also still going, I have now completed 16 blocks plus 3 bonus blocks.
The moment when you realise a minion is watching you from your design wall...

Week 16

The blocks for Week 17 have already been posted, I better get onto those soon :)

I'm rather excited for a parcel I'm expecting, I ordered one of Judi Madsen's 'Celebrate' panels from Honest Fabrics when there was a sale recently, after watching it being moved between various Los Angeles shipping facilities for a fortnight it has finally arrived in and departed from Auckland, so with a bit of luck it should be in my hot little hands this week. While I'm still a bit ho-hum about the 'polyester blend', I want to use it to give my quilting rulers a work out.

I have just updated my Quilt Planner:

- and now I have moved my goals for the next six weeks to the top of the post where I simply CANNOT overlook them 😇

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 17 March 2019


You know those weeks that just fly past, and you think you have achieved nothing? I felt like this over the last fortnight, but I actually still made some progress:

Block 14 - completed at the end of Feb but I don't think I have had it on the blog yet

Block 15: I had wanted to save on fabric for the top left block Forest Park, but in the end had to recut the triangles... Note to self: Measure twice, cut once... The rest went together very quickly.

One of the examples of how much material gets sucked up in the seams; from this...

... to that!
The #zenstudioqal has come along in leaps and bounds:
Week 4 asked for the blocks with furry friends... here you have one of our kittens and her 'furry' friend (Master 14 needs a haircut...)
Week 5 saw the 24 block centre pieced together...
... and the IG challenge required toes peeking out from under it - thanks Master 16y!
The cushion pattern had the first two fabrics chosen...
Amazing what one can find in the scraps box...
Thanks to my hunt through scraps (which I continue to cut down using the Scraptherapy approach) I rediscovered my #berninazenchicqal leftovers and started playing with triangles to cover the footstool to go with hubby's chair:


Overshadowing everything is the absolute tragedy that has unfolded here in New Zealand since Friday afternoon when one gunman killed 50 people in two Christchurch mosques and injured another 50 - absolutely unprecedented in Aotearoa New Zealand. The outpouring of love and support for victims and their families from around the country and from overseas has been immense, and the one good thing that I hope will come from this is that Kiwis and other peoples will be closer and more united against hatred and racism. He tried to steal the innocence and the peace of Aotearoa New Zealand but he will not succeed.

Kia Kaha - Stay Strong!

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Learning through Mistakes

Some projects just take FOREVER, and my Metro Rings quilt is one of those projects... I first mentioned it in a post on 12 May 2015 while we were living in Brisbane, I have posted about it a few times and it's been languishing next to my Sweet Sixteen for months now (it's be a favourite sleeping place for our cats, some of the stains on it are from kitty cats that are no longer with us...). Yesterday I picked it up again and added some more quilting.

After some more work on it this afternoon I decided to assess where I am at for now (that left me rather frustrated...).
I found a new place to hang up quilts - on the pergola

To put it on record (after all, it doesn't count if you don't blog about it, aye?), this is what quilting is still left to do:

  • Giant 8s in the pieced rings: 15 blocks
  • Feather inners: 19 blocks
  • Orange peel & micro-stippling in corner stones: 11 blocks + 3 blocks that need un-picking and re-doing
  • Above quilting in HSTs: 9 blocks + 3 blocks to unpick & re-do
  • Above quilting in quarter-triangle (is this a word??): 2 blocks
  • Ghost rings: 9 blocks
  • Secondary pattern (white on white): 25 full blocks, 16 half blocks, 2 quarter blocks
Rather a lot left to do still but I am hopeful I will still like it - let's see if I can get this done before the 4y anniversary :)

I like the texture in the late afternoon sun...
... and I think this looks very cool (even if I say so myself)

I learnt so much through the mistakes I made in this quilt, incl. piecing of circles, using rulers for quilting, suitable motifs to distract from mistakes, using S16 to quilt etc. etc. that I decided to call the quilt "Learning through Mistakes". Let's hope I won't have to learn too much about removing the stains from this top...

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 2 March 2019


Once upon a time, when I started quilting, I had the intention of only every buying what I would need for a quilt (insert a laughing tears emoji). Suffice to say, that didn't last long, and while my stash goes through highs and lows, I also have a considerable amount of scraps. I remember seeing Charlotte aka Miss Lottie or The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady cut up her scraps into usable sizes, and last October I finally decided I would follow suit.

I borrowed Suzanne's copy of Scraptherapy by Joan Ford from Hummingbird Highway and got cutting... There is still several bags of scraps I need to go through, but here are some of the blocks I have pieced so far:

I had wanted to make an 'Irish Chain kind-a' quilt for a long time...
Closer up: A mix of prints, batiks, solids etc. Many memories in these scraps!
I want to add more colours, so until such time I won't decide on a final layout 
As per my usual MO, I had to have a 'home' for it in mind, so I'll aim for approx. queen size and will put it on the bed in the uni student's room when we have visitors - at the rate I am (not) going at the moment, that might be a few years away still...

Happy Sewing!

Like a hole in the head...

Did I need to start a new project? Nope - but it's good fun anyway :)
Week 1: Malka Dubrawsky Simple Marks Summer - such yummy colours...
... cut up into the required sizes

Week 2 - 6x Block A - the log cabin block is so versatile!
Week 3: A Block B in the wild...
This is what Michelle's pattern could look like:


Calling all last minute QAL registrants!! Today is the last day you can register for the Zen Studio Quilt Along. It’s also the last day to get 20% off the pattern!! Link for both are in the bio. And if you’re worried that you might be a little behind, no worries, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up. 🐘〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️🐘 I’m working on next week’s blog and checking out all the posts for this week’s contest. Be sure to share a pic of your fabric in your feed/timeline. I can’t see it if it’s in your stories and those disappear 🤷🏻‍♀️ And if you’re being shy about posts, please remember the whole point of the QAL is we do this together and share our progress! I love seeing all your creative fabrics and layouts! 🐘〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️🐘 #zenstudioqal #jellyrollquilt #quiltingismytherapy #throwquilt #sundayfunday #creative #fabrics #quilts #quiltalong #qal #quiltpattern #pattern #sale
A post shared by Michelle (@schneiderhousequiltstudio) on

 - and this is my layout so far on my design doors:

Tetris anyone?
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Rainbow at Sea

I have been thinking of making a Storm at Sea quilt for years. In October the wonderful Suzanne shared a pattern with me that finally got me over the line:
A free pattern from Free Spirit which I adapted to fit my colour preferences and my size bed ;)
A little shopping at my LQS The Country Yard...
... added to fabrics from my stash
Here it goes! I drew up a FPP pattern for those parts that were pieced in the original instructions
Block 1
Blocks 1 & 2
Block 3 laid out
Blocks 1, 2, 3 & 4 - yay! 10 down, 32 more to go lol
Wouldn't these four blocks would make a cute Medallion?

As mentioned in the captions, I drew up FPP patterns for all parts of the block (even where the Free Spirit pattern said to piece). I like the accuracy you get, though sometimes matching points can still be a pain. For the fourth block(s) I trialled piecing the bottom right corner but I ended up with bias edges which were a (different) pain to match. I will go back to FPP despite the amount of paper I am going through, it gives a much nicer finish.

This is definitely not a quick quilt to make, but I LOVE the rainbow weaving across the top so I will just hang in there and it will get done when it gets done:) About 10 years ago I had wanted to make a flame coloured Storm at Sea quilt, but I didn't have the confidence I cold make appropriate fabric choices then. Now I know I can do it, so one day it will happen :)

Happy Sewing!