Sunday, December 10, 2017

Summer top - a return to dress-making

Decided I should make use of my sewing machine to get back to making some of my own clothes (in an effort to get some shirts that fit the length of my torso rather than all stopping at my bellybutton).


It's been a couple of decades since I've made any clothes (and even then I didn't make very many) so I decided to start with a simple tank top. This will certainly be a good choice to add to the wardrobe as hopefully the last two (very hot) weeks are an indication of what to expect for the next two months or so!


Called into Spotlight during the week and got this Simplicity pattern at half-price and the lovely navy blue paisley rayon was 30% off  - it has made a great tank top as it feels light and cool.  

Was a bit worried about sewing with a 'slippery' fabric but I'm not trying to win Project Runway so a few crooked lines are no big deal and I think it has turned out pretty good.


It's a nice, easy pattern that probably took me only about two hours in total - I will definitely use this pattern again: I plan to try making a version with more of a scoop neck, as well as slightly wider shoulders and also will add another 2-3 inches onto the hems (I already added two inches when I cut this one out, but would still like to see a slightly longer top).

I have a pretty arrow-print poplin to try Top A with (with the detail at the back). I also have another gorgeous rayon covered in hummingbirds that I want to make into a blouse, so this was a practice run for sewing with rayon.  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Kaffe Fassett Pouch Bag


When you need a half hour break from writing reports, what better than to grab a little kitset?


Bought the kit, with ready cut pieces, from a stall (can't remember which one) at the National Quilt Symposium in October. Thought it was a nice little introduction to using some Kaffe Fassett fabrics.


Is about 8.5" wide and 5.5" tall. Just right for holding my slowly-developing collection of machine embroidery threads.

Joining up with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pasifika #1



Another finish of a project started during one of my classes at October's National Quilt Symposium in Christchurch.

This is a white dupion silk, free-motion quilted wallhanging, using Pasifika designs - a class tutored by Donna Ward (who won three prizes at symposium, including Best in Show!)



I used an aqua-blue theme for the quilting threads (because if it turned out okay I planned to hang it in our bedroom)...aqua in the middle, a variegated in the top right corner, and a deeper blue on the bottom left corner designs.



Donna was another friendly, relaxed and supportive tutor who gave us lots of tips about quilting Pasifika-themed designs; I really enjoyed her class.


Here it is 'in-situ'... it measures 18" x 16"...


The backing of the wallhanging is just a simple pinstripe with corner pockets for the hanging stick to sit in. 

And a Pasifika 'kia ora' or 'talofa' to visitors from Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday!! And I am thrilled to have had my Halfmoon Bay quilt featured in Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday linky!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halfmoon Bay


This is a completion from a project started during my class with Brenda Gael Smith at the National Quilting Symposium in Christchurch earlier this month, for her 'Serendipity Circles' quilting class.


Brian had asked me for a quilt for the auction at the Southland Charity Bowls event (which is next weekend) so when I was in the class I knew I would use the blocks for a lap quilt.


All the fabrics have come from my stash (I LOVE blue) and I am so pleased with how it looks with the mix of light and dark blues/mints/aquas. 

I wanted a square lap quilt so added the side strips to make it about 48" square.


I used a variety of free motion quilting designs for different parts of the blocks, using same-colour threads on the top and an aqua thread in the bobbin, to do a loose side to side zigzag 
for the sashing, a flower petal design across the curved blocks, and stippling for the rest of the block.



The backing is whole-cloth, wide yardage that was in my stash and is the perfect shade 
of deep aqua blue.



For the name, I wasn't inspired so I posted some in-progress photos on Facebook and some of my friends suggested names. I nearly went with Susan's suggestion of Every Which Way Is Blue, but Lenae shot in a last second suggestion of Halfmoon Bay.

That name immediately really appealed to me as all the blues remind me of the different moods of the ocean and waters found around that gorgeous piece of NZ as well as the fact that the kids and I are currently reading a Des Hunt novel that is set on Stewart Island - that seems serendipitous to me!


Linking up to share my project with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday! Kia ora!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

National Quilting Symposium - Christchurch 5-10 October 2017

I feel very lucky to have been able to attend five days of wonderful tutorials during these school holidays, at the National Symposium in Christchurch.

I loved every one of the five one-day classes I had. I got to spend time with five talented NZ and international quilt artists, learning some of their awesome techniques.  Each lady generously shared her knowledge and skills and was so supportive and encouraging of us as we learnt from them.

Below are some pictures of the projects I worked on - these Prayer Flags will be hung up in my sewing room once I get my machine back from its service tomorrow and put a running stitch along the tape.

Finished! Prayer Flags - tutor Judy Coates-Perez
Judy has posted a video of the photos she took on the day (my flags are the cover shot!!)


We hand dyed, stamped and printed our fabrics.




I had a class with head judge, Brenda Gael Smith, for her Serendipity Circles class.
We all tried the fused block and then the pieced block, before carrying on with whichever technique
we preferred to use to make our own set of blocks.

I chose to do the pieced circles using some of my blue and turquoise scraps
 - this will become a large lap quilt in a couple of weeks' time hopefully!

One of my classes was with Pat Archibald to create a version of her Auspicious Symbols wallhanging,
based on the Hong Kong skyline and elements of Chinese art.
We used a stencil and paint sticks to put a good luck symbol under our sun or moon
before stitching around it with metallic thread.
I still have to do some quilting of the skyscrapers and then couch the edges of them with
some metallic thread before adding some 'windows' with foil, then I will finish the edges to make a wallhanging.

(Half of our group - photo via Pat Archibald on Facebook)

I had picked a class for Pasifica-themed free-motion quilting with Donna Ward -
a great choice as it turned out as she won three major awards including Best in Show, Best Piecing and Best .


We worked on a large piece of silk to practice our motifs.
I will finish this off to hang it on our bedroom wall.

My fifth class was with Lyric Kinard for her 'Abstract-a-Licious' class.
She took us through some exercises about the visual language of art and we
created our own 'postcard' of abstract art - watch this space (aka my blog) to see how this
looks once I have added the black handstitching that I have got planned for it!


#patarchibald #brendagaelsmith #judycoatesperez #donnaward #lyrickinard

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Arrows for Angus


Just another little something I've been whipping up in the past few weeks - was keen to get it delivered to handsome young Angus Hyde on my way to Christchurch this week...and stopped to snap my photos at the intersection of the road that the Hydes live on.


I based the quilt on this design that I had seen online and chose to use a variety of blues, 
with a light beige contrast solid. 


It measures 47" x 55" so is a good-sized lap quilt/small single bed quilt.
I quilted a 1/4" border around the triangles (technically 'flying geese' made with half 
square triangles) using a navy thread, then did a half inch border in beige thread around 
the outlines of the negative spaces for the large solid areas.


The backing is made from the binary code navy print that you can see at the top of the photo above.




And here's Angus with his quilt - he probably won't get much use out of it now 
until next winter (it was about 24 degrees C yesterday), 
but at least he's got it!



Linking up this week with Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday - and my other favourite linky,
Crazy Mom Quilts' Finish It Up Friday - Hi everyone!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bright Blessings for Jo


Created this baby quilt over a week of evenings and a weekend of sewing
 - an easy-peasy pattern called Tweet from a Spotlight promotional magazine.


It was a baby shower gift for my lovely workmate Jo Stanway, expecting her bundle 
of joy in November.  I had asked her when baby was due and what colours she would like me 
to make the quilt in (because she would know I would want to 
make a quilt) - so she was surprised, at the surprise shower last Tuesday
 afternoon, that I had made it so quickly.


The quilt measures 47.5" x 55.5" and has a mixture of bright solids, a gingham, 
a geometric, the dog paws print and the Dr Seuss ABC print.  
Jo and her husband 'Ces' don't know the baby's gender so brights cover both bases.
Jo always has dogs or puppies around her on the farm so I was thrilled to 
find the pawprint fabric at Kitz'n'Things in Invercargill.


The backing is a polka dot flannel, so cosy! 
And I just used a large all over stipple in a navy thread for the quilting.


And here is the mum-to-be! It has been a busy term at school so we decided 
to have the baby shower this week as a nice way to finish the term off! 
And it meant Jo was very surprised as she knew nothing about it happening!


And I love being able to share my work with like-minded crafters via Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday - I hope the week has gone well for all of you! I've just got back from five days of wonderful tutorials at the NZ National Quilting Symposium in Christchurch.

 I felt very lucky to have learnt from quilting artists such as Lyric Kinard, Pat Archibald, Donna Ward, Judy Coates-Perez and Brenda Gael Smith - I was in a state of crafty-bliss for five days!
I have posted by projects at this link