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

Monday, May 27, 2013

A town and country sort of weekend

It is nice to get to the end of a weekend and feel that you have achieved something :-) On Friday night I finally finished the applique for this block. This is one of the blocks from Just Takes Two which was a BOM from last year, mine is all in these two fabrics. There are 100 blocks in the quilt and I think I am about a third of the way through them! It's one I pull out from time to time and do a little then put it away again to mature. Just a couple more and I will have one section fully formed so I'll be able to show it then.
(EDIT) Please go here to see Bea's finished (and quilted) Just Takes Two quilt.
After Saturday sewing at my favourite quilt shop (they hold this once a month) I went into town and down to the Town Basin. The MOML remembers this area as all boat sheds and mess when he was young but it is now a nice little place to go with nice boutique type shops, cafes and restaurants. It is a nice place to take visitors to the city.
Saturday was a drizzly-yuck sort of a day but you can see the marina and
get an idea of the Town Basin.
 Down in the Town Basin is Reyburn House, an old villa that holds various exhibitions. It is currently hosting a travelling exhibition showing the 20 selected quilts from the 2012 Biennial Challenge of the Aotearoa Quilters. The theme for this challenge was Connections and it was really interesting to see each quilt, read the artist's statement for each and study each quilt.
(Only photo I was allowed to take).
I wasn't allowed to take any individual photos but they are all shown here on the official website. 

After visiting Reyburn House I went into The Bach, which is a shop in the same area selling work by local artists (it is a lovely and interesting shop to browse, lots of talented people contributing all sorts of items). 
There is a community project going on there at the moment and a huge loom has been set up for it. Its purpose is for tapestry weaving (as opposed to the weaving we usually picture when we think of looms).
Members of the public are invited to come in, sit down, weave, and ultimately contribute to the finished tapestry.
Working on the tapestry. Beverly was lovely to talk to,
a great ambassador for the project.
This is  what the finished tapestry will look like.
It will be huge!

Showing the spindles used.
All the wool and the timber used for the loom itself has been sourced
from Northland.
Any of you locals, if you get a chance to go and visit them, please do. I intend to go back and sit and do some. I guess the more of us who help the sooner this will be finished!
You can visit a blog about this project here.

Another goodie from the weekend was getting my pinwheel quilt together!!
A group of us did a pinwheel swap last year, and gradually we are all (?) getting them put together.
I am linking up with Scrapbasket Sunday (click here to see what others are doing with their scraps) today as it is a real scrap quilt... it is nice to look at it and not only remember the fabrics that I used, but to recognise the projects my friends have done over the last few years.
It is a decent size! The spare bed is convenient for lying out projects!
Here is a better shot of it.
It may end up with a border - but I am still thinking about what
I would like.
This morning I saw this rainbow from my ironing board. It was about 7am and I was quite surprised to see one so early in the day.
 Thank you for visiting and reading along, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and find a bit of time for some creativeness,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photos only.....

OK... and a few captions...
One Flower Wednesday
A tui in a Pohutakawa Tree. here to see more..
I've had 2 Pomegranate trees for years ...first fruit ever :-)
Delicious with yogurt and cereal for breakfast.
Autumn days are here again
Beautiful blue skies and  trees getting ready for winter
Farm recovering well after drought breaking rains.
Nice and green but not a lot of food value in the grass yet.
(PS it's still very watery, it usually takes about 3 weeks to 'harden up').
Loved the dark clouds on the horizon line - looked like another range of
trees or mountains!
A lovely gift from a lovely friend.
See you all another day!!
Happy sewing,
[PS MEANT to share... Marie Bostwick fans may be interested to listen to a podcast interview with here... mostly about her latest fabulous book, Between Heaven and Texas.]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scrap play on Sunday

When I got up this morning I did not intend to sew scraps...
The day started sedately enough, I did some needleturn applique ... and made a little progress on one of the blocks from Just takes Two. (This was a BOM from last year.)
Block 27
After feeding the animals and playing outside a bit, I sat down to lunch and browsed through 'Best of Fons and Porter Star Quilts". I suddenly realised the mini quilt I was looking at had star blocks which finished at 1 1/2 inches!!! Rising to the (self-imposed!) challenge, before I knew it I was rummaging through my smallest scraps and ignoring any other plans for the day!!
Isn't it just too cute for words?!
Finished size - 1 1/2"
Think I may have to make a few more of these - a great use for tiny scraps!!
Just so you can get an idea of the size!!
(BTW - pieced, not foundation pieced)
 More scrap play followed and I also put this together. I've always been fascinated with Cathedral Window blocks and came across this tutorial recently.
It needs touching up in the odd place but I am pretty happy with it.
It will make a sweet pincushion.
Today I'm linking up to Scrapbasket Sunday on Kim's Big Quilting Adventure. To play along, and visit other scrappy playing, visit here.
Thank you for visiting, happy creating, 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friends, gifts and books

I'm still sorting through my photos from when I was on holiday.....
One of the great things about holiday-ing is the opportunity to meet people. I was so excited while at Paducah to meet fellow blogger Sharon. Sharon was doing the 365-day blog at the same time as I was, since then she has set up another blog, More Curiously.
Sharon and I got on incredibly well, and we were lucky to be able to spend a fair bit of (but not enough) time together in between classes, drooling over quilts and shopping at Paducah Quilt Week.
We went out to tea together one night and - would you believe it - spent
 the whole time talking!! Sharon's friend Julie (on the right) was really
lovely as well; it was a bonus meeting her also.
Sharon and I exchanged gifts. She made me this gorgeous little bag/purse with a matching pin cushion.
Just beautiful - and being used already....
Isn't it sweet? The pin cushion is stuffed with a mixture of walnut shells
and some layers of old woollen blanket and has a wonderful feel.
I ran out of time before I left NZ to make Sharon a gift, so sadly, I was only able to give her a few 'NZ kiwiana' bits and pieces I had gathered for her. I did make a couple of 'kiwi-flavoured' star blocks for her but forgot to photograph them.
I've already posted about my trip to Texas, to stay with Doniene and her family. Doniene was also a 365-day blogger and we also got to know each other well, before we had met. Here is Doniene's main blog.
I had a wonderful visit there, and have a beautiful wall hanging made by Doniene to remind me of the time we spent together.
Isn't it great? It is so fitting, just love it!!
I love the clever use of the 'T' block and the border fabric - perfect!
 I made Doniene a table runner which I hoped she would find a spot for in her gorgeous wooden home.

 (The kiwi was a free pattern (foundation pieced) from Regina Grewe but I'm not sure that it is still available).

On the way to the airport to start my journey home, Doniene kindly detoured so we could attend a book signing by Marie Bostwick, promoting her latest book, "Between Heaven and Texas" .
I have loved all of the Cobblestone series so it was very exciting to meet Marie and purchase her latest book... and just so fitting considering the title of the book! Marie was such a lovely bubbly person, it was really lovely to meet her.
I refrained from actually wearing my newly purchased cowboy boots while reading the book but I was so tempted!! Loved the story!! Looking forward to Marie's next one, which she says is in the pipeline.
And my cup runneth over - I also won a copy of one of the Elm Creek series books, 'The Giving Quilt' by Jennifer Chiaverini in a recent bloghop through Wendy's blog; it was waiting for me when I arrived at my brother's place.
 The other new book I have to report on is one I bought at Belle Meade Plantation while in Nashville. Apparently Belle Meade was the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in America's history, and this novel is written around the plantation. It will be fun to picture the house and the farm that I saw while reading this.

Whew, I think I am all talked out now and this post has stretched on and on!!! I'll just leave you with a photo I took yesterday. How Nigel managed to get safely up there without toppling anything over beats me!!
Precarious Cat.
 Happy stitching everyone, and thank you for visiting,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

OFW and Sewing with Friends

I've had an itch lately.... to sew hexie flowers again and re-join up with One Flower here it is, Wednesday evening and a hexie-flower picture...yaay....
First hexie-flower of 2013!
Showing off the beautiful Kowhai flower.
Just one hexie-flower per week and before you know it, you have a whole quilt full of them :-) Visit Karen, here at Journey of a Quilter to see more or sign up yourself.
I sewed this tonight while spending the evening with my local friends (as opposed to my on-line sewing buddies). After scratching the hexie-itch, I pulled out my pinwheels. I collected quite a pile of these last year when we did a pinwheel swap; this is the setting I have chosen to put them together with.
The photo probably doesn't show the effect fully but it is too late now for
another photo -  I got home and was excited to lay out what I have done.
With approx 66 pinwheels and about the same of the setting blocks, this is going to be a decent sized quilt. Up until tonight the sewing of these setting blocks has been done leader and ender style so it has been growing gradually... I'm looking forward to seeing it grow some more.

Tonight we also had a bit of a play with some small blocks ... I showed the ladies how to make the little blocks (shown below) Heartspun-Quilts-style (as I've gone on about before!). It was exciting to see that they enjoyed making the 2 1/2" blocks as much as I everyone has been challenged with doing something with these for when we meet in a few month's time...that will be fun!
Concentrating and cutting...
Cute-cute-cute - the pattern to make them is here.

And to top off a great evening (well, actually, to start it!) we had a beautiful sky tonight...something to make up for the dull autumn weather we have been having over the past few days.

And on that happy note I will sign off. See you all next time,
happy stitching,

Monday, May 13, 2013

Quilt Week at Paducah

Wow!! What an experience!!
Aren't I lucky that my brother lives only 1 1/2 hours from Paducah!
And that my sister-in-law is a fellow crafter and quilter :-)
Can you imagine 4 days of non-stop movement, diving from quilt to quilt, booth to booth, talking, talking, meeting, greeting, sighing, thinking, scheming, oohing and aahing? [No time to eat, little time to sleep!!].

That was Sandie and I while we were at Paducah.
Quilt week started off with a boom; flash mob style---copius amounts of quilters dancing and waving behind a local school band weaving it's way around the convention centre - so much fun - what a blast. (It was also great that the 'mob' finished in the main convention centre so we didn't have to queue to get in!) (To see the fun, click this link if you haven't already seen it- I am the goofy one calling "Hello from New Zealand!).

And it was non-stop from there.
Quilt week at Paucah was HUGE - like nothing I have experienced before. It had at least 4 BIG exhibition areas and many other places around town to hunt out and explore. It was fabulous having so many exhibition quilts to examine and so many booths to get lost in.
So many people, this was the lunch area on one of the fine days.

It was incredible to see all the quilts on display. So much inspiration and beauty. Lots of very clever quilters out there. Quilts old and new, small and large, colourful, muted and made using every technique you could think of.....I took so many photos of them all - where I was allowed to - and to show my favourites would take a Very Long time. Instead I'll just show the Best Of Show, an applique quilt by Karen Kay Buckley. The quilter was Renae Haddadin, and you will see that she surely deserved to be sitting up there with Kay's eye-catching quilt.
Best of Show, Fiesta Mexico by Karen Kay Buckley.
Longarm quilting by Renae Haddadin - Back of Best of Show quilt

I took two great classes - both centred around free motion quilting - how great to have the opportunity to take classes with Sue Nickels and Jenny Bowker.... both have made award winning quilts and are reknown teachers. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their creations.
Sue Nickels and I. Class - Feathers Wholecoth.
One of Sue's beautiful quilts, which was inspiring to
fondle and examine.
Sue used a camera and an overhead screen to show us closeups of her demonstrations. Very effective.
Jenny Bowker and one of her inspiring quilts.
Class - free motion quilting with an inspirational piece. 
Jenny Bowker was also responsible for bringing the Tentmakers of Cairo to Paducah. Historically the insides of their tents were decorated with colourful applique - nowadays the same techniques are used to make quilts for sale. It was fascinating to watch the tentmakers in action. Incredible skills.
Very fast needleturn. 
All made using huge sicssors and big needles!!
Beautiful quilts by the Tentmakers of Cairo. For Sale.
We also visited the National Quilt Museum... amazing to see even more (famous) quilts - the highlight being seeing Innocence by Hollis Chatelain (please go to this link to see it) which won viewer's choice at the Houston International Quilt Show in 2011. Absolutely heart shopping, if you ever get the chance to see it in the flesh, please do.
We also got the opportunity to meet some quilting legends. Eleonor Buns was a hoot, and the evening spent with Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman was very entertaining. It's so sad to hear of Libby's illness since Paducah and I hope she recovers soon.

 The bag I made to take to Paducah was well used... it was often heaving with purchases [:-)] and is looking slightly more adorned now than it did when I left New Zealand.
Fun to have these signatures and badges... Alex Anderson, Ricky Timms,
Gwen Marston, Sue Nickels, Pat Holly, Jenny Bowker
Karen Kay Buckley (Best of Show), Lisa Bongean, Lori Smith
and Edyta Sitar.
Of course there was so much more to see that I haven't shared... but I hope I have been able to give you a little insight into what Quilt Week was like. If you ever get the chance to go, I say, grab it with both hands. I've started saving for my next one!!
Happy stitching everyone,