Sunday, 19 March 2017

In short bursts

It's been harder to leave work at work over the last few weeks, but this weekend I made a big effort to do 'normal' stuff. On Saturday hubby and I worked together in the garden, but on Sunday I got my sew on :)

Blocks 17 & 18 - just two more to go!

A few weekends ago, Suz and I went to our LQS (a good hour 's drive south of us). Amongst a few other things, I bought pattern & materials for Annie's Carry all Tote - perfect for the beautiful music inspired material Suz gave me for a past birthday:

It now carries my lunch, tablet, papers, charging cable etc. between work & home. I still LOVE work, but I could do with more time in my sewing room...

Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I'm still here!

Just checking in, I have not disappeared from the blogosphere or from my sewing room lol In fact I have had a bit of fun, playing, thinking, browsing, buying :) Not long until dinner, but I quickly wanted to update the progress on my resolutions:

  • Finish Press Start
  • Finish Giant Chevron - still just over half way through background fmq; after reading a post by Karin from The Quilt Yarn I have decided I will play with tension (esp. bobbin) and with different needles again to see if I can make fmq more enjoyable.
  • Finish Opal Essence - 21 cubes quilted
  • Complete remaining Vintage Quilt Revival blocks - currently piecing block 16 of 20:
    Exploding Star

    Star and Pinwheel

  • Piece Metro Rings top
  • Flimsy is a very suitable term, it will need a lot of starch and pressing, and then I plan to quilt it extensively :)

  • New little project - steadily adding to the little pile

  • I enjoyed a bit of online shopping, now I'm waiting for a package from Craftsy with batting and another one from Pink Castle Fabrics with Me & You Batiks :) Thanks to Karin's blog (mentioned above), I have also ordered another ruler foot, and I'm determined to make at least one of them work:)

    Work is great, I absolutely love it! Working hard, but everyone is incredibly supportive, and we are already starting to see positive results.

    Not a bad view from the office...
    Flagstaff on Waitangi Day
    Happy Sewing!

    Saturday, 21 January 2017

    Progress Update

    Just a quick update, using the Blogger app which can be fickle, so please be patient with me:)

    This was my resolution:
    • Finish Press Start - DONE and on middle DS' bed :)
    • Finish Giant Chevron - quilting of the background around the outside: Approx. half way
    • Finish Opal Essence - quilting the cubes: 19/40 done
    • Complete remaining Vintage Quilt Revival blocks - completed block 14/20
    • Piece Metro Rings top 
    • New little project - 15 blocks completed

    • Something 'arty' - no progress yet.
    • Nursing a cold in them middle of summer is no fun, I hope it will disappear by Monday when I start a new job as Head of Education at Waitangi National Trust, the place where in 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori tribes and the English crown were signed, the foundation for New Zealand today. I am hopeful that I can keep some momentum going in my sewing, even when back at work.

      Happy Sewing!

    Wednesday, 11 January 2017

    A write-off?

    Happy New Year:) With all the 2016 reflection and 2017 resolution posts floating around the blogosphere, it is time for me to say 2016 has been a write-off for me in regards to blogging. All of 4 posts!!! I put a few things on Instagram and posted some into the BMQG Members Group on Facebook, but the number of posts is a reflection on how I felt about my year - nothing much worth sharing. Let's see what comes to mind as reflection:

    At the end of January I had started in a new position, classroom teaching, and it has been hard work. I ended up getting sick at the end of the school year and sadly didn't have a chance to see the last few days of the school year out with my class. Work had a big impact on my quilting, and it's only now that my contract has finished that I feel creativity and a need to work on something and to make stuff have returned.

    The boys have all settled in well at their high school, all received a price / certificate in some shape or form at their respective end of year assemblies, and the oldest has last week passed his Learner's Licence; now to persuade him to actually learn to drive a car... DH has had his contract for the next 6 months confirmed and he is enjoying his work (teaching for a tertiary institution).

    With moving into our new-to-us home at the end of February 2016 we found the garden very overgrown and in need of serious TLC aka chainsaw pruning. DH and I have spent a lot of time as of late to weed and mulch, and it's starting to take shape:


    While the rest of New Zealand seems to have a hard time getting sunshine and warm temperatures, Northland has been blessed with lots of good weather, to the point of a drought threatening. We have spent a lot of time relaxing at the pool, and with both my sister's family and my mum & partner living close by, my niece has learnt to bomb as well as her teenage cousins:


    Kerikeri Stone Store and Mission House

    We live in a beautiful part of the country, lots of historically significant places within walking distance or easy commute:

    Kerikeri Inlet from Kororipo Pa (Stone Store and Mission House towards left)

    Waitangi Treaty Grounds

    Reflection: I actually did some sewing in 2016 (the following in no particular order)

    Vintage Quilt Revival Block Exchange with +Suz J:
    Back in April 2016 there were 11, now there are 23 blocks:

    I laid out each pair of blocks side by side to show the similarities and differences between them. 
     7 more different blocks to go - we might get that done in 2017 :)

    Giant Chevron
    I've only just recently unfolded it again (it's been living in the corner on top of my sewing table) and I am still (!) quilting the background outside the chevron. Just about half way; by the time I am finished it will need a VERY serious wash owing to the cats that have been sleeping on it over time...

    An old photo, but it hasn't changed all that much...
    I have had less trouble with thread breaking since I started on this again, but I have noted, when I fmq a circle, clockwise, between 5 and 7 on the clock face my machine can skip stitches. It's not always possible to stitch anticlockwise, so I've been careful and slowing down to try and avoid this issue.

    Press Start

    This is now quilted, labeled, and I have started stitching down the binding. After some experimenting DS and I settled on invisible thread for the top and black for the bottom (I might live to regret this choice, but it quilted a treat and looks just like we wanted it to - blending in but not completely).

    From Gunda's Hope Chest
    Needs to be ironed...

    My MiL gave me beautiful damask from her hope chest when we visited Germany 3 1/2y ago. Instead of making duvet covers, I turned it into a large quilt for our bed. There is one problem with California King Size beds, the quilts need to be ginormous! Now I can put this on first and smaller quilts on top :)

    Opal Essence
    Yep, still walking foot quilting the cubes. Enough said...

    Aotearoa Quilt Challenges
    Tree of Life
    Winter Blossom

    I entered a piece each for the Yellow and the Floral Challenge.

    Totally Cactus
    I made a couple of these as Christmas presents:

    Whakapapa #1
    I don't think I blogged about this one? I finished it last summer, it's a piece inspired by the landscape of where we grew up in Germany:


    To a certain degree the success (or otherwise) will be influenced by work (and I am still applying for jobs atm). What I would like to do (again in no particular order):
    • Finish Press Start (binding, bury threads)
    • Finish Giant Chevron (quilting, binding, bury threads)
    • Finish Opal Essence (quilting, binding, bury threads)
    • Complete remaining Vintage Quilt Revival blocks (anything else is a bonus)
    • Piece Metro Rings top (anything else is a bonus) 
      Great way to use up my gazillions of leftover 3" squares from the Tokyo Subway Map quilt

    • Something 'arty' - it's been a long time since I made an 'art quilt' and I have various ideas floating around.
    Well, now that it's written down, I'll have to do it, won't I? 

    Happy Sewing!

    Monday, 7 November 2016

    Auckland Festival of Quilts

    A whirlwind trip to Auckland (to buy a new car for DH) allowed me to visit the Auckland Festival of Quilts. Here are some of my favourites:

    Minecraft is important in my day job :)

    A featured quilter

    Love the thread painting, what a stunning piece altogether!

    The colours pop!

    This quilt reminded me a lot of the candlewick quilts Donna from the BMQG enjoys making

    I wouldn't want to piece all of these, but a fascinating quilt to admire!

    An incredible piece, look at all the detail in the quilting!

    Yellow challenge - some of our Northland and ex-Northland quilters represented 

    Teeny-tiny blocks!

    Mine were there of course, too :)

    This was one of the most stunning pieces, unfortunately I missed out the label:

    I want to try out this black stitched outline around the applique shapes, it looked great (click on image to view larger)

    Probably my favourite quilt in this show:

    What do you think?
    I need to find a better photographer, I can't read it but it's obvious the judges liked this quilt, too.
    Enough inspiration to last a while...

    Happy Sewing!