Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Not quite a rugby quilt

Now that all the hoopla surrounding the Rugby World Cup is over life as we know it can get back to normal.  No doubt some quilters with mad keen rugby supporters in their households have whipped up a rugby themed quilt or two, as I’ve noticed rugby panels for sale in my local quilt shop.   Robin already has his own quilt with a slight rugby theme – although not quite a rugby quilt it has many memories attached. 
For Robin’s 60th birthday several years ago,  I wanted to  make him something special. Some of his unwanted tee-shirts had interesting pictures so I decided to use them in a quilt, a sort of “this is your life” quilt. I used iron-on non stretch Vilene to back the knit fabric, and a black and white New Zealand silver fern print as the background. The quilt is backed with winceyette and is machine quilted.
Robin's T Shirt Quilt Robin’s tee shirt quilt
The six tee-shirts used were: 
Hawkes Bay Brewery (now closed) purchased after a tour through the factory.  Hard Rock Café, Honolulu, purchased on our first ever overseas holiday.  New Zealand Rugby World Cup 1991 tour, featuring commemorative stamp issued by New Zealand Post.  C J Pask Winery, Hawkes Bay, purchased on a wine tour.  Norsewear New Zealand Ltd, brought from the iconic factory in Norsewood which previously made a range of woollen items, (now sold to another buyer and producing socks).  Taihape Centennial 1994, purchased at Taihape after arriving in style on a steam train from Wellington. 
DSCF7290Rugby World Cup 1991 tee-shirt
Down the side borders are logos from former workplaces, New Zealand Post Office, New Zealand Fire Service, Cityline Buses  and Toops. Also included is a logo from Caravan Camping NZ, and one from a treasured and sadly worn out Rugby World Cup fine red wool jersey.  I named this quilt “Memories of Work and Play.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pinestream Quilters October Club Night

Seating seemed to be at a premium on our October club night, but we all managed to find somewhere to sit on this, our second to last meeting of the year.  Our speaker for the evening was one of the owners (sorry, but didn’t catch her name) from Creative Craft Supplies from Johnsonville, Wellington.  She brought along a selection of products for those with an arty streak, telling us that a lot of what they sell are for those interested in “burning, slashing, dyeing, gluing and painting”.  I can’t be trusted with those messy applications as I would be sure to get the glue, paint and dye all over me instead of what I was working on.  The company also sells quite a range of machine and hand embroidery threads, and did a roaring trade at the end of the meeting.
DSCF7826 Members looking at the goodies
“Show and Tell” was the highlight of the evening, and as always, very inspiring.  Both Silvia and Maureen brought along some little Neo Natal baby quilts to be donated to Hutt Hospital.  These two ladies both work very hard on this project, and are to be commended for their generosity.  Another finish for Silvia was her Susan Claire designed appliquéd child’s quilt.  Isn’t it just wonderful?  Several other club members are also doing this pattern so no doubt we will see them all in the future as they are completed.
DSCF7827 Silvia’s appliqué quilt
Our club President Brenda brought along her version of the ever popular “Disappearing Nine Patch”.  This version used black and coloured fabrics, and is machine quilted.
DSCF7830 Brenda’s Disappearing Nine Patch quilt
Here in New Zealand we don’t usually make a big deal of Halloween.  But after living for several years in USA Clare is hooked on Halloween and brought along a couple of items she had made to show us.  This is her version of a Baltimore, and she calls it her Halloween Baltimore.  I can see bats, witches, owls and black cats in here.
DSCF7824 Halloween Baltimore quilt
I thought this was a little purse, but Clare explained that she hangs it over the front door handle, and has made other seasonal door decorations too.
DSCF7829Halloween door hanger
A group of friends who meet weekly all took part in a challenge recently and were given a piece of purple batik to use in their creation.  All the ideas were quite different, and I loved what Janet had made -  this gorgeous little wall-hanging featuring a beautiful singing bird.
DSCF7825 Janet’s challenge entry
We know Christmas is coming up with a rush, but Sandy was the only member to bring a Christmas quilt along to Show and Tell.  Perhaps there will be more at the next meeting?  Sandy used a nice selection of Christmas fabrics, and the striped border and binding look great.
DSCF7828 Sandy’s Christmas quilt
Another good meeting, with plenty of quilts to look at, many more than I have photographed.  It was great to catch up with fellow blogger Julz again, who is planning to join Pinestream Quilters. And as for the supper, just yummy.  Hopefully the ladies who brought along the microwave Brownies, and that delicious Lemon Cake will send their recipes onto the Newsletter Editor so we can all try them at home?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Zealand in Vogue

New Zealand in Vogue exhibition is a long term exhibition currently showing at Te Papa Museum, Wellington.  In 1957 British Vogue magazine established Vogue New Zealand,  the first Vogue magazine published outside of America and Europe, but sadly was only printed from 1957 to 1968.  The exhibition is inspired from its pages spanning this period.  Sheila Scotter was appointed editor and her role was “to lead, inform and guide a relatively unsophisticated fashion industry”.  These garments are from 1965.  The silk sari evening dress was made for opera singer Kiri Te Kawana.
DSCF6901  Fashions from  1965
Vogue writes “there is simply no stopping the black dress for evenings in or evenings out this winter”.
DSCF6912 Little black dresses
DSCF6911Black mini dress with diamante trim
Vogue offered a range of paper patterns in three categories, Vogue Paris Original, Vogue Couture Design, and Vogue Young Fashionables.  These were marketed to “those of you blessed with dressmaking talents, or the possessors of a little woman around the corner”.  Home sewers could even request a Vogue label to sew into their clothes.  While I certainly did enjoy the exhibition, I have to admit that neither the Vogue magazine or patterns were ever part of my life.  Sadly my sewing talents were no match for those tricky Vogue patterns, I used the much simpler Simplicity patterns.  And by the mid 1960s I was a young Mum, with no time to sew for myself.  With two babies born 12 months apart, I can remember sewing little dresses, shirts and shorts, and winter pyjamas.  Not to mention all the baby and toddler knitting I did back then.    As the blurb says: “This exhibition draws its inspiration directly from the pages of Vogue New Zealand. It showcases garments from top New Zealand designers, and those made here under licence from the world's leading fashion houses, such as Christian Dior.”  This exhibition has another 12 months to run, so do pop in to see it next time you visit Te Papa Museum.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!!

I celebrated my birthday last weekend while away at a caravan rally.  It was the Wellington Caravan Club’s 60th Birthday Rally, so it was a rather busy weekend with all sorts of things going on.  In fact, there were two birthday girls at the rally, and the MC called us both up to the front of the hall while everyone sang Happy Birthday to us.  We joined in the singing too – after all, you have to celebrate your special day, don’t you?
PA220390 All singing along
Some exciting looking parcels had arrived in the post during the week, so I packed them in the caravan to open on Sunday.  It’s always fun getting parcels.  Want to have a peek at what I got?  First up was a lovely new diary for next year, and a tube of hand and nail cream from my good friend Merilyn, in Dunedin.  With aloe vera, plus vitamins A, B, and E in the mix, the hand cream is sure to work wonders for my washer woman hands.
DSCF7822 New diary and hand cream
Two parcels arrived from England, from my quilting pen friends.   Glennis sent me a fat quarter of Easter Egg fabric, plus a packet of note-cards showing scenes from the Cotswolds, the lovely picturesque part of the country where Glennis lives.  And my pen friend Janet sent me a silk scarf in lovely shades of pink and lilac, with a cute little hardanger piece to hang up somewhere – on the Christmas Tree perhaps.
DSCF7821 Received from England
My daughter Nicky sent me a bright and pretty tea-towel featuring New Zealand native flowers, together with a Penguin book,  Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D H Lawrence.  Allen Lane started Penguin Books back in 1935, when he despaired of finding a good book to read on his railway journey.  The aim of the company was to produce a range of intelligent books for the public, at a low price. Penguin Books were prosecuted under the Obscene  Publication Act at the Old Bailey in 1960 for publishing this book.  The jurors returned a Not Guilty verdict, making D H Lawrence’s last novel available for the first time to the public in UK.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading this classic story – no doubt a little tame by today’s standards.
DSCF7820 From my daughter Nicky
Amongst my cards was one containing this poem by Emily Matthews which certainly reflects my stage of life.
What we value most in life, the years may change somehow
What once seemed so important, may not matter to us now
For over time we learn and grow, and find, as we’ve matured
The things that mean the most to us, are those that have endured
With two more parcels winging their way from overseas, my birthday is not over yet.  Lucky me!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stonestead Stitchers meet again

Our happy group met up again for the fortnightly stitching group.  Some ladies make it each time, and others come as time and circumstances allow.  No matter, whoever is there makes for a happy group, full of chat and helpful advice.  Some ladies had long term projects on the go.  Mary was working away hand quilting her Christmas Welcome Banner, and Carol was stitching down the last few felt leaves on her little wall-hanging.  Dorothy decided to alter some of her Grandmother’s Flower Garden hexagons to add a contrasting hexie in the centre of each flower.  It was quite a bit of extra work to deconstruct the flower and change the centre, but she is really pleased with the finished result.
DSCF7779 Dorothy’s Flower blocks
Ruth had something new to show us – she had recently attended a class on transfer dyeing ran by the local Embroiders Guild.  The design was transferred onto nylon fabric, and she is hand stitching around each design.  The embroidery will then have a border added and will end up as a cushion when the stitching is completed.  The colours are so fresh and pretty and we all look forward to seeing the completed project.
DSCF7777 Made in a class on transfer dyeing
Vicki-Ann was getting ready for Christmas cooking with her newly completed Christmas oven mitt all ready to help her take the turkey out of the hot oven.  It is made with a cheery Christmas print, and finished off with lime green satin bias binding.
DSCF7781 Vicki-Ann getting ready for Christmas
It was just a matter of stitching down the binding on a lovely bright kiddie’s quilt which Cheryl had brought along, and it was all done.  This fabric was sourced from a “specials” bin in the local curtain shop, so it was a very economical project indeed.  There are no immediate plans yet for this quilt, and it will get put away for sometime in the future.  It is such a bright and happy quilt that whoever gets it will be sure to love it.  Cheryl was making a matching changing mat too.
DSCF7780 Cheryl’s cot quilt
At our last get-together Cheryl had showed us the top she and her SIL were making for a family wedding.  It has now been commercially quilted in an over-all pattern, the binding is stitched down, and the label added to the back.  “Mystic Magic” is all ready to be presented at the forthcoming wedding.
DSCF7778 Cheryl with Mystic Magic
I didn’t have a great deal to show for my morning’s work, certainly nothing worthy of a photo.  I pinned down a quilt binding and started sewing it down, then some unpicking with my trusty “Quick Unpick”.  Where would we be without these handy little gadgets, I wonder?  Thanks for your company, ladies, it is always nice to sit and sew with you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the cutting board

I’ve been busy at the cutting board today.  With several Christmas projects planned, I thought I should get on with it.  First I cut out this green fabric, and interfacing.  Any guess what this will be?
DSCF7773 Green Christmas project
Next was some rich traditional Christmas red and green.  This is for a swap so it’s still a secret.
DSCF7774  Fabric for a Christmas Swap
I love Christmas craft magazines and have collected quite a good supply over the years.  My secret swap pattern is in this one, an Australian Handmade magazine, and so far I’ve traced off a couple of hearts.
DSCF7776 Handmade Christmas magazine
I don’t know how other people cope, but I tend to get a bit stressed with Christmas approaching, with my long list of  Christmas projects.  Some I really must make, such as my swap.    Then there are a few items I would really like to make, if I can fit them in OK.  And did I ever mention the large Christmas quilt which is sitting there feeling sorry for itself as it is still only half machine quilted after all this time?  Guess my “time management” skills need a bit of a shake-up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Stitching Monday

Just a small group this month, only six of us this time.  But there was plenty going on, Three were machining and the other three were busy doing handwork.  Jo had brought along all her sewing things in her newly finished big bag, big enough to hold the cutting mat, rulers and all those sort of necessary things that one wants on a sewing day.  She had also made a matching thread catcher with an attached pin cushion, all done in retro autumn prints.
DSCF7761  Jo’s new bag and thread catcher
A friend of Jo’s was downsizing and had a big bag of patchwork scraps looking for a new home, with lots of kiddie’s prints included.  Jo snapped them up and thinks she has enough in the bag to make a bright quilt for her grandson.  She was busy pressing fabric, cutting, stitching, then cutting the blocks down to size.  At the end of our stitching day she had made all these.  There were lots of interesting prints in the bag and I bet her grandson will love the alien fabric!
DSCF7768 Jo’s wonky blocks
Margaret was making a quilt for her grandson too, in fact she was making quilts for two grandsons.  She held up this lovely Eye Spy top to show.  This is from a Kaffe Fasset pattern and is made up of squares in three different sizes. 
DSCF7762 Margaret’s Eye Spy quilt top
Maureen was completing another little neo-natal quilt for Hutt Hospital.  A horse drawn carriage is pulled past a fantasy castle in the central motif, and the quilt uses two different prints featuring cute little babushka dolls.
DSCF7765 Maureen with her neo-natal quilt
We were all very impressed with Joyce’s black and white Snail Trail blocks.  There were just three more blocks to stitch, and once these were done Joyce laid them all out on the carpet.  With an adjustment here and there, they were soon arranged to her liking.  She made a good start of sewing the blocks into rows before it was time to pack and and head home.  This quilt will be for her grand-daughter’s wedding.
DSCF7764 Snail Trail blocks
Heather likes to have hand work to take along and she is working on some lovely needle turn appliqué blocks.  The design is Wild Rose and each one has four different creams in the background.  When assembled, the green stems join up to make a circular pattern.  This is going to be a really pretty quilt.
DSCF7767 Wild Rose appliqué block
I was stitching away diligently sewing buttons onto a “secret” gift I’m making, I didn’t realise that sewing buttons on would take me so long.    This is for a special occasion, so I can’t show a picture just yet.  I had taken another couple of things to do “just in case” but didn’t even get them out of the bag.  Never mind, there’s always next time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What’s in a Name?

Recently some of the blogs I follow have been telling the story behind their choice of blog name.  Perhaps you might be interested in the background behind Romany Quilting?  So here is my little story to add to the others.
It all began when we started our Travel Blog.  With an exciting 10 week trip planned to the UK in 2008, we decided to start a blog so that we could record our adventures.  The name we chose was Romany Rambler, because I had discovered that way back in my family I had a gypsy connection.  My great, great, great grandfather Robert Beresford was of gypsy descent, and I can just imagine this darkly dashing young man sweeping a young lady off her feet.  Oh, the romance of it all, but I do wonder what my great, great, great grandmother’s family made of his marriage proposal.  Perhaps my (rather watered down by now) gypsy blood explains why we have a caravan, and why I love to travel.  But I didn’t inherit those dark flashing eyes, or a head of long lustrous black curls either. 
As much as I enjoy working on our travel blog, I really wanted to write about quilting too, and didn’t feel it was appropriate to include my stitching stories in the original blog.  So Romany Quilting was born – still using the gypsy connection in the name. 
We have been travelling in the caravan this last week, and I spent a little time on my stitcheries in the evenings.  Happily I can say that I have now completed all my “Under the Sea’” blocks, finishing off .the Sea Snake and the Seahorse  blocks.  Of course the next job will be to trim the blocks and sew them all together. 
DSCF7755 Final two blocks completed
If you would like to read about our travel adventures over the last week, please go to www.romanyrambler.blogspot.com.  We travelled over 1200kms to Hamilton and back and saw some glorious scenery.  Sadly I didn’t stop at a single quilt shop – that wasn’t very good planning, was it?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kiwiana in the Caravan

I’m doing my bit to bring a little Kiwiana into the caravan.  I’ve been busy stitching away, trying to use up some left over pieces of New Zealand fabric.  Several years ago I made four quilt tops out of these sorts of fabrics.  These were then given away as gifts to my English quilting pen-friends during our UK trip in 2008.  Now at last I have my own  Kiwi inspired top, which I turned into a tablecloth for our caravan.  I think that those New Zealand prints all go so well together, with the black sashing.  There is a mixture of flora and fauna fabrics, and Maori designs.
DSCF7604 Caravan tablecloth
Hanging on the wall is my little kiwi wall-hanging.  This was made with a hand painted panel purchased from a market during a trip to the South Island.  I added borders in a burgundy fabric to tie it in with the soft furnishings.  Just a little machine quilting was needed to to finish it off, and here it is, my very own “golden kiwi”. 
DSCF1901 Kiwi wall-hanging in caravan
And hanging over the door is another tiny quilt with a New Zealand flavour.  The tree and flax panels were appliquéd onto a cream New Zealand fabric.  Can you see my kiwis up there on the ledge?
 DSCF7600New Zealand bush scene, where the kiwis like to hide
So that is my little bit of Kiwiana flavour in the caravan.    We are currently on our way to Hamilton to get some repairs done on the caravan, and staying at Turangi overnight. Just over the fence are 100 free range chickens, and they are delightful to watch as the go about their business. They scratch in the dirt, peck at the grass, and just enjoying being chickens the way they should be, instead of being cooped up in cages all their lives.  The owners showed us around the hen house, and we bought a dozen freshly laid free range eggs, still warm from the nesting boxes.  You can’t get much fresher than that, can you?
DSCF7646 Chickens at their self feeders
DSCF7649 In the nesting box
Both Robin and I feel that everyone should be proud of the country they live in.  New Zealand is often referred to as Godzone,  a running together of the words “God’s Own Country”.  You can follow our trip to Hamilton and back and catch up with our sightseeing adventures on our other blog: www.romanyrambler.blogspot.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

October Stonestead Stitchers get-together

The weeks roll around and it was time again for our Stonestead Stitchers get-together.  There is always something new to see, as the ladies bring in what they have been working on.  Whether a finished piece or still a work in progress,  it is always good to see everyone’s projects.  Ruth has completed her two lovely little pieces of Carrickmacross Lace, the same sort of embroidered lace that adorned Katherine’s royal wedding gown. Two is enough, she decided.  They may be tiny, but this sort of work is so fine and very labour intensive.  Ruth plans to hang these on the Christmas tree as decorations.
DSCF7611 Ruth’s hand made Carrickmacross lace pieces
Mary has been diligently working away on her Welcome Christmas Banner for the last few months.  It is now all assembled and she has just started the job of hand quilting it.  Perhaps it will be finished in time for this Christmas, or perhaps not, she will just see how she goes with it.
DSCF7612 Mary working on her quilting
DSCF7614Mary’s Christmas Welcome Banner
With a family wedding coming up, Cheryl and her SIL have both been working on one half each of a wedding quilt for the lucky couple.  These two halves have now been stitched together, and she brought it along to show us all.  It is a lovely pattern in shades of purple, green and cream, and they have used mostly batik fabrics.
DSCF7617 Cheryl’s quilt for a family wedding
Liz has put her hexagon quilt together but  now feels it isn’t quite big enough.  Luckily she has plenty of fabric left, she said,  so will make even more hexagons till she is happy with the size.
DSCF7619 Liz is hiding behind her hexagon top
Therese is not really a stitcher, she told me, and she enjoys paper crafts like card making.  She brought in these little book marks that she had made recently.  Those cute little designs are inserted on top of giant paper clips, and will make nice gifts for children who enjoy reading.
DSCF7613 Book marks made by Therese
And what was I doing?  Stitching sea snakes on my “Under The Sea” stitchery block.  This one is almost finished, then I just have the last panel to stitch.  All in all another enjoyable fortnightly meeting, with a tasty Devonshire Tea delivered to us at lunch time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Library Bag Makeover

I love our local library, and usually pop in a couple of times a week.  The library buys a selection of new books each week, and I like to see what is on offer.  Any new books by my favourite authors or others that take my fancy can be ordered for $1 each and I take advantage of this service.  This saves me from having to keep looking for them on the shelves. I purchased a Book Bag from the library some months ago and it is certainly handy to keep my library books all together in one place.  But……..these bags were all the same, and I decided to give mine a “makeover”.  My bag started off like this.
DSCF7244 My library bag
Flicking through some magazines, I came across a stitchery pattern featuring books which would work quite well with a change or two.  “Scrappy Vintage Favourites”  was the name of a quilt featuring stitchery blocks and designed by Michelle Ridgeway.  This pattern was published in Creating Country Threads, vol 10, no 9.   I stitched the names of a few of my favourite authors on the book spines, added a narrow border, and stitched the panel on the bag.
DSCF7519My library book stitchery panel
For the other side I stitched a heart with the words “I love to read”.  Then I undid the stitching holding the handles in place, added the floral band to the top of the bag, then stitched the handles back.  I’m rather pleased with how my “personalised” library bag turned out.
DSCF7521  The other side of the bag
Yesterday was the monthly Book Club meeting and the theme was “Kiwi Made”.  This could be books written by a New Zealand author, or something about New Zealand, fiction or non fiction, the choice was ours.  To me, Barry Crump is a real Kiwi bloke who writes books, and I talked about one of his which I had only just discovered, called “Scrap-Wagon” – quite a light read I thought.  My second choice was written by Barry’s brother Colin Crump, “In Endless Fear”, an autobiography which tells of the the horrendous violence the whole family endured at the hands of their cruel father.  Colin Crump decided that the thing he most wanted in life was “not to be like his father”. One of his aims in writing this book was to explain to Barry Crump’s sons why his brother Barry, their father,  turned out the way he did, who with his upbringing, was never going to be happy living the family life in the suburbs.  When relationships went wrong for Barry, he just “went bush”.  Even though this book was hard to read in places, I can certainly recommend it, and I was moved to tears by the story.  Well worth a read for those who want to gain an appreciation of the early years of Barry Crump, New Zealand’s  original “Good Keen Man”. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A good day for sewing

What’s happened to the weather?  It’s wet, misty around the hills, and quite cool.  Too wet to be outside, but just perfect for a couple of hours at the sewing machine.  I’ve been busy cutting strips from my New Zealand designed fabrics and stitching them together with some pale green homespun.  I’m turning them into Rail Fence blocks and I stitched the last of them today.  I’m planning ahead, and these blocks will be coming down south with us next February when we undertake our “South Island Odyssey Trip”.  The plan is to use these blocks as a trip record.  The pale green strips will be ideal to write the name of places we stay, sights we see, and maybe, the names of any friendly South Island quilters who I come across.
DSCF7601 Rail Fence blocks all done
“But what about”, I hear my conscience reminding me most accusingly, “the blocks for the signature quilt you took to England in 2008?  You haven’t even finished that yet!”  That’s true, I haven’t, and I took a whole pile of half square triangles around with me as we travelled from B&B, to churches and cathedrals, on planes, boats and trains, even Buckingham Palace, getting people to sign them for me.  In my defence, I have made a start on this quilt, and stitched a couple of sections together.  Perhaps I should make it my next project to finish?  But then again, I’ve got lots of UFOs, so just which one shall I chose next?  Procrastination – it’s the story of my life!
DSCF3466 UFO Signature Quilt made from blocks taken on our UK trip

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy to Help

Dot’s quilt has been in the UK for the last five years or so, covering the bed on their boat “Narrowboat Gypsy Rover”.  After selling Gypsy Rover the boat, Dot and Derek now travel around in Gypsy Rover the motor-home, and they have recently returned home to New Zealand.  After all that time travelling, the quilt was getting rather grubby.  “Give it to me”, I offered, “and I’ll wash it for you”.  After all, I am a quilter, and used to carefully laundering such a prized possession.  On a recent perfect sunny day, with a little breeze,  I soon had that quilt washed and hanging up to dry.  There is nothing like a bit of sunshine to make the laundry smell nice and clean.
I remember when Dot wanted to make a quilt to take away on their narrowboat adventure.  Dot and Derek had rather liked the quilt I made for the bed in our caravan, and thought that one of their own would be nice.  “I’ll help you make a quilt”, I told Dot, “it will be fun”.  First of all, she had to choose a pattern, nothing too complicated for a first quilt.  Dot chose a simple block with cornerstones, put together with a plain alternate block, an adaptation of “Daisies won’t Tell”  from my book “"Triangle Free Quilts”, by Judy Hopkins.  Then it was time for fabric shopping – and the chosen palette was burgundy and cream.  We found a lovely burgundy batik, and a lighter Fossil Fern to go with it, with a darker burgundy print for the sashing. 
As I had all the necessary tools of rotary cutter, ruler and board, I took over the job of cutting all the fabric.  The pieces were pinned together, and I showed Dot how to assemble the blocks.  She didn’t want any help with the sewing, as she was determined to do all the sewing herself.  As each block was stitched, then pressed, they were laid out in rows, and the rows then stitched together.  The triangle borders were easily put together using half square triangles.  In no time at all, the top was done.  On my suggestion, it was commercially quilted, in a nice all-over design.  Then I showed Dot how to attach the binding, and once again, she was keen to do every stitch herself.  A first quilt is a big learning curve, and she did a wonderful job.
DSCF7528 Dot’s quilt, all freshly laundered
“You must have a label”, I told her, “so how about a photo label?”   Perhaps she will need to add a second photo label as they now have a motor home?
DSCF7522 Photo label
Dot and Derek are sure to have all sorts of exciting travel adventures now they are back in New Zealand – there are roads to travel, places to explore, and sights to see.  And their nice clean quilt can grace the bed again.  It was no trouble at all - I was just happy to help!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Kapiti Coast Quilters Exhibition

Oh goody, a quilt show, and I had been really looking forward to going to this.  I travelled up SH1 to Waikanae – about an hour’s drive away, to meet up with my friend Shirley.  Shirley is a quilter too, and it is always so much nicer to attend a show with a quilting buddy at your side as you look at all the quilts on display.  Just in the door and after paying our $3 admission were the ladies with the raffles.  There was a raffle quilt and several interesting baskets full of goodies.  Wonder if I will be lucky enough to win one of these wonderful raffles?
DSCF7572 The raffle table
There were several vendors with stalls and Diana from Kapiti Coast Bernina was demonstrating “Slice Fabrique”, a digital fabric cutter.  This interesting little machine cuts selected appliqué shapes and alphabet letters at the touch of a button, and cards are available to purchase for extra shapes, such as the Christmas Collection.  This could be a very handy tool for those who do a lot of appliqué.
DSCF7575 Diana demonstrating the appliqué cutter
The hall looked so colourful with all the quilts hung on the display frames.  We wandered slowly along, taking in all the details. I loved this stitchery quilt by Sandra White, titled “Snowman Collection”.  It won a ribbon for Best Quilt for Children.
DSCF7577  “Snowman Collection”, by Sandra White
What could be more “Kiwi” than these  long legged pukeko native birds?  “Playful Pukekos” was made by Barbara Parker for her first grand-child.  This is a counting quilt and the panels say “One pukeko, two pukekos, three pukekos” and so on, ending with “and more”.
DSCF7578 “Playful Pukekos” by Barbara Parker
“Eastern Dreaming”, by Robin Goring, was a beautiful bed quilt with a Japanese flavour, with motifs stitched in the black alternate blocks.  This quilt won an award for Innovative/Traditional with a Twist. 
DSCF7579 “Eastern Dreaming” by Robin Goring
DSCF7580The alternate blocks all had different designs stitched in gold thread 
And here is my friend Shirley with her entry “Supernova”.  Didn’t she do a good job?  This spectacular design is an “exploding star” and Shirley has quilted stars in the borders.
DSCF7581 Shirley with “Supernova”.
Black and white is always a winning combination, and Valerie Cameron made this very striking quilt “A Touch of Red”.  The arcs give this quilt a lot of movement.
DSCF7582 “A Touch of Red”, by Valerie Cameron
There was a whole lot of little ladies displayed together.  “Tea Cup Friends” were made by members of the Kapiti Coast Quilters at a recent workshop.
DSCF7583  Lots of Tea Cup Friends on display
We decided to stop for a cuppa at the cafe tucked away in the corner of the hall.  This was being run as a fund raiser for the Paraparaumu College Cricket Club for their school trip to Australia.  Boys from the team were helping out serving the food and drinks, and no doubt the Mums provided all the delicious food.   We enjoyed a light lunch of home-made pumpkin soup, followed by a piece of some of that delicious baking each.  After that we were feeling fortified and ready for more quilts, and had spotted a Baltimore variation from the cafe, so went to check it out.  Judith McDonald won Best Appliquéd Quilt with her entry, “William and Me”, using William Morris fabrics, and was beautifully hand quilted.
DSCF7585 “William and Me”, by Judith McDonald
Shirley and I were both taken with this simple little Charity Quilt, made by the club for the Hospital.  As we looked at it we both commented that it would be an ideal pattern to use up some of those never ending scraps that we all seem to have so many of.  Made up of nine patch blocks teamed with half square triangles, it would be reasonably quick to assemble.
DSCF7586 Hospital Charity Quilt made by club members
The Club Challenge was to make something reflecting “Kapiti – our Coast”.  First prize went to “Moody Blues”, showing a stylized tui flying past Kapiti Island – sorry but I didn’t take note of the maker.  A quilt showing  Happy Feet the Emperor Penguin was part of the challenge, as he was found sick and lost on nearby Peka Peka Beach.
DSCF7587 The challenge quilts
Best in Show was a wonderful quilt by Eleanor Barker.  Called “Historic Buildings of the South Island”, the inspiration came from photos of these lovely old buildings taken during a trip down south.  Each building was then translated into an intricate appliqué with the details heavily embroidered.  Close inspection revealed all sorts of details, from the embroidered fence and bicycle, and lots of embroidered trees and flowers.   We can just imagine the time taken to make this hand appliquéd, hand embroidered, and hand quilted masterpiece.
DSCF7590 Best of Show by Eleanor Barker
DSCF7591 Close-up photo showing embroidered lavender hedge, trees and flowers
There were so many lovely quilts, wall-hangings and miniatures on show but I could only share a few of my favourites with you.  Shirley and I had a lovely time checking them all out, and catching up with other quilters who we knew.  Now, wonder if I could just manage to win one of those wonderful raffle prizes?  That would really make my day!