Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wool felt applique cushions

While I was in Sydney I went to the Material Obsession shop, and was fortunate enough to meet up with Wendy Williams again. I'd first met Wendy when she taught a class at Handmade in Wellington in June 2013. I was really inspired by her designs, and have used quite a few of her patterns since then.

I took my cushion covers along to show her. These are made by cutting circles or flowers out of fabric, and then appliqueing them onto felt. If you're going to try this at home, don't cut the felt until you've sewn the fabric on - it's too hard to made the fabric fit a precut circle. Once you have a pile of flowers on felt, you can plan the layout and hand stitch them onto the background using Perle 8.

my first wool felt applique cushion

and the second one
I purchased these patterns from Wendy at the Handmade workshop, but they are available on her website: Flying Fish kits if you're interested. They're also included in her book called Wild Bloom and Colorful Creatures, along with may other templates for birds and other creatures. The book is better value because it contains lots of patterns, but the book wasn't published at the time I bought the patterns.

Wendy William's book

As you can see, I changed the patterns up to suit my colour scheme - pinks, blues and the odd bit of purple.



Those with eagle eyes will note some of the fabrics from my Bordered Diamonds quilt have made it into these cushions. I've been making good progress on quilting those last diamonds and now only have 3 more to go (plus the 10 I'm going to redo). I'm hoping to get them all finished this weekend, but I don't think I'll be able to get a photo because the forecast is terrible.

While I was at Material Obsession I saw this great cushion on a chair, which had clearly been made by Wendy:


I think that I might just have to make myself a 'W' cushion too, but not until I've finished some of the other projects I have on the go.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Capital Quilters 2014 Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Capital Quilter exhibition and saw a wonderful range of beautiful quilts. The Capital Quilters is made up of all different types of quilters from Wellington, New Zealand. I didn't have any quilts in the show myself because I wasn't a member, but based on what I saw, I have decided to join up and am now officially a member of Capital Quilters. I think the next exhibition will be in two years time, so maybe I'll have something to enter then.

Tropicana by Elizabeth Knox.
This was my favourite (maybe it's because of the purple and lime green?) 
I thought I'd share some of my favourite quilts so you can get a taste of the wide variety of quilts that were on display.

Pinwinne by Irene Anderton.
This quilt is made of wool and is hand quilted.

A Little Splash of Orange by Shiela Christensen
using Kathy Doughty's Fractured pattern 

5 Days and 5 Nights in New York by Tracy Carew


De-Flowered by Helen Malanchak
I love the flowers and the range of colours (sorry about the poor photo)

Siren Song by Shirley Mooney
this is a very clever, precisely pieced wall quilt  

My friend Alice from our Possum Magic group also went to the show, and she put photos of her favourite quilts on her blog (click here to see her post). Funnily enough, she took photos of 8 quilts which are all different to the ones I chose. Isn't quilting great like that? There's something to suit everyone.












Monday, 28 July 2014

I'm back ....

Yes, I picked the best week to take a holiday in Sydney. Wellington had it's coldest week of the winter so far, reaching a maximum of 10 degrees C = 50 F, while Sydney was experiencing a very mild winter with temperatures of about 18 degrees C each day (= 65 F).

My favourite animal at the zoo - a rhino work of art

It's five years since we've been to Sydney so we enjoyed exploring the city and surrounds again. We took a boat cruise up the river to Parramatta, went to the Zoo, The Lion King and Strictly Ballroom shows, and the Blue Mountains.  Sydney really is a beautiful city, and that extra bit of warmth made it all the more enjoyable.  Here's some photos:

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Apartments on the harbour

the view from the bird show at the zoo - the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (between the branches of the tree)

This photo was taken while we waited for the bird show to start. It's the same bird show that William and Kate saw while they were in Australia earlier this year.

For the last night we hired a car and stayed in the Blue Mountains.

The famous Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains

The Skyway - 270 metres above ground

and it has a glass floor!!

I wasn't brave enough to go in the Skyway, so I drove around to the other side to collect my husband and younger son who are more adventurous than me. You can read more about it here.

I didn't do a lot of shopping, but did get to Material Obsession and a couple of craft shops in the Blue Mountains. I'll write about them in my next post.





Friday, 18 July 2014

I"m hopping across the ditch

Yes, that's how a lot of New Zealanders refer to the 3 hour flight to Australia. Many kiwis (especially those of us who live south of Auckland) like to go to Australia in winter, because Sydney and Brisbane are significantly warmer that New Zealand at this time of the year.

Sydney Opera House - photo taken on a previous visit to Sydney

Tomorrow I'm off to Sydney for a week, so I will be taking a break from blogging. However, I won't be taking a total break from quilting, because I"m going to the Material Obsession shop. I've got the bus route all worked out, so there's no stopping me now.

I'll report back in a week's time, hopefully with some goodies to show.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Possum Magic - Alice's block

I met my Possum Magic friends through the New Bloggers' blog hop and I'm really happy that I did. It's hard to imagine that I didn't know these people back in April. Now we've all completed our centre blocks and are working on the first borders of someone else's block. I've finished adding to Alice's block and now it's time to post it onto Sharon.



I didn't have to buy any fabrics for this first border - they were all in my stash. Here's a before shot of Alice's centre block:


I turned it on point, added a thin border, and then the 4 triangle corner pieces to complete it. Alice and I both live in Wellington so I've shown it to her and she's happy with it. She won't see it again for many months as it travels around Australia, and then back to Wellington via Tauranga some time in 2015.

You can follow our progress on the Possum Magic tab at the top of my blog. I'm the third person to finish the first border.

The final group in the New Bloggers' blog hop posted their introductory posts yesterday. I'd encourage you to check them out - you might find some new inspiration amongst them. The first 4 names on this list are all members of Possum Magic :
Serena @ Sew Giving
Carmit @ Quilting Rainbows 
Jenny @ Jack's Room
Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @  Capitola Quilter

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Bordered Diamonds - WiP

Last week I put my sewing machine away and cleared the table tennis table I use for sewing. The reason? I really had to get out my Bordered Diamonds quilt and finish it.

Bordered Diamonds quilt
I've been working on this quilt for quite some time. I first saw the Timeless Treasures Plume range in my local quilt shop back in January 2012. I just loved the colours in the Peacock fabric, and knew I'd like to make a quilt with it. I spent 24 hours going through my saved images, thinking of a pattern I could use that where I could keep large sections of the fabric in tact. I'd always admired the Kaffe Fassett Bordered Diamonds pattern, so decided to use that.

I went back to the shop and bought some of the Peacock fabric plus a couple of other fabrics in the range. I then spent most of 2012 collecting complementary fabrics. I picked up more of the Plume range from other shops, plus some from the Shimmer range, and other fabrics that I knew would tie in well.


It wasn't until January 2013 that I started to cut into the fabrics. By then I had far more than I needed, but that's a whole other quilt. (I made another quilt from the scraps which I'll show once this one is finished).

I pieced the top during the early part of 2013. I then started to think about the backing fabric and I knew I wanted a new design by Chong-a Hwang from the Tree of Life range by Timeless Treasures.

By mid 2013 I had a quilt sandwich, but it was the biggest quilt I've ever made, and was going to take time to hand quilt. I quilted in the ditch around each of the 108 diamonds with quilting thread, but I knew it needed something more, so I started to hand quilt with Perle 8 inside each of the diamonds. I got about half way through this, and then put it aside for some reason.

Hand quilting inside the diamonds
Once I had quilted all the diamonds on the edges, Mum helped my out by putting the binding on during one of her visits.


Now it's winter again and I really have to finish it. There are less than 40 diamonds left to do, and I can do at least 4 each day, so that's only 10 days of quilting. The only problem now is that the stitches I'm doing now are different to those I did a year ago. I think I'm going to finish the whole quilt first, and then give myself permission to unpick the 10 blocks I'm most unhappy with. Otherwise this quilt will never be finished!


I'm linking up with Alyce at Sew Cute Tuesday, Esther at Esther's WOWsLee at Freshly Pieced, Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop - Hello and Welcome

Hello, and welcome. I’m Wendy and I’m a modern hand quilter from New Zealand.

What does that mean? It means I make modern quilts and I hand quilt them with colourful Perle 8.

I’m part of the New Bloggers’ Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June, and my blog is one of the lucky ones to be featured this week. (Please check out the others at the end of this post when you’re finished here.) We've all been encouraged to reveal a bit more about ourselves, so I'll jump right in with a few lesser known facts about me:

·         I’m Wendy Welsh and I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I just love it here. It’s a beautiful clean green country, with great beaches, bush and mountains, and 5 million friendly people.
·         I met my husband during an audit on a tropical island. We were both selected to audit the Cook Island’s Government in Rarotonga, and stayed there for a whole month. The weekends were so hard – swim first, or sip a cold drink on the beach for a while?  

Six members of the audit team taking a break - I"m second from left and my future husband is in the centre. 

·         We’ve got two teenage sons aged 14 and 16, but I’ve promised not to mention them on the blog, so I’ll say no more about that!

The one and only photo you'll see of my family - taken at a wedding in March 2014
·         I’m a Chartered Accountant / CPA, but I’ve also spent a number of years working in IT on financial management systems. I currently work for the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys.
·         My dream holiday would be a trip to Melbourne to watch Roger Federer play Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open. That's looking more possible since Wimbledon 2014.
·         My favourite movies are Bridget Jones’s Diary 1 & 2, and Love Actually (note the common theme of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant)
·         I love embroidery as well as quilting, and feature both on my blog.


Now to show you some of my quilts. 

First up is the quilt I made earlier this year for the Pantone Radiant Orchid challenge.  I started with the poppies fabric, and chose other fabrics to complement it. I hand quilted in the ditch and then quilted diagonal lines in Perle 8. You can read more about it here.
 
Radiant Poppies - made for the 2014 Pantone Challenge

Next is my Flower Garden wall hanging. This is wool felt applique flowers, hand stitched onto the background. I really enjoyed making this quilt and have since made cushions using the same method. I loved doing all the hand stitching in this quilt. 

Flower Garden

The last quilt I'll feature here is the black and white tumbling block quilt that I made for my younger son. I chose the Kaffe Fassett pattern, and he chose the colours. It was mathematically challenging, but I like a bit of a challenge in my quilt making. You can read more about it here.

Black and White Tumbling Blocks

So that's a quick trip through some of the quilts I've made. You can see more on the Finished Quilts tab at the top of my blog. My quilts take time, so I don't finish many quilts in a year, but I'm always working on something, and I like to share my progress on my blog.

Before you go, we've been asked to share a couple of tips with readers. So here are my tips:

Blogging tip. If you don’t already use a system such as Bloglovin or Feedly to follow blogs, I’d really encourage you to do so. I only started using Bloglovin to follow blogs earlier this year, but wish I’d done so ages ago.  I had thought I’d receive emails every time someone I was following posted something, but that’s not the case. You can choose how often you get notified – instantly, daily or not at all. If you choose not at all, you just see a list of unread posts from the blogs you follow when you login. 

Quilting tip. My quilting tip for you – don’t rush, and make your pinning and seams as accurate as possible.  No one likes to open up their seam and see that it doesn’t match where it should. A few more minutes spent measuring and pinning can save you unpicking later.  

my embroidered Goldwork Elizabethean 'W'
I've met some great online friends through blogging, so if you'd like to leave a comment, I’d love to know where you’re visiting from, and what project you’re currently working on (don’t list them all though, just your top one please).

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you feel you know me a little bit more now, and might come back to visit again in the future.

Plum and June



I'd really encourage you to visit these blogs too. They're all members of the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop and have written special introductory posts too:






Monday, 7 July 2014

Mini Medallion Quiltalong - part 2

A couple of weeks ago I started a mini medallion quiltalong through Clover and Violet. They issued the first border pattern at the weekend and I made up my border on Sunday.

Mini Medallion Quilt a long - centre + Border 1
I'm please with it, but there is quite a lot of teal in mine at the moment, so I'll add more of the of the yellow and white on the next border to even it out. It's strange doing a mystery pattern like this and not being able to plan the colour placements.

The best bit about this quiltalong is that it's made me join Instagram so I can see what the other people's blocks look like. If you're on Instagram it's #minimedallionqal, and I'm @wendysquiltsandmore.

Here's a link back to my first post about this quiltalong- click here.

Centre only

In about 24 hours I will be doing a special introductory post because I'm part of the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. Be sure to check back then, because you'll probably find out some things you never knew about me!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Quilts from gifted fabrics v2

Yesterday I showed you the green quilt mum and I made with the gifted fabrics. Today it's time to show you the blue quilt.



Photo taken in mum's garden in winter
I separated out all the fabrics that were mainly blue and put them all into this quilt. By then I had started making my Blue Garden quilt, so I suggested that we make another quilt with the same Rock n Roll pattern by Lyn Brown.



We initially chose a blue ombre for the sashing, but we didn't like it, so we just used the solid blue portion of it. The borders are a great Pacific style blue and green swirl.


Between mum and I we also made this quilt top over a couple of days, and then mum hand quilted it after I had returned to Wellington.

So, I had a very successful and productive July holiday last year. This July I'm only going to be in Auckland for 2 nights, so I don't know how much we can achieve in that short time. I'll keep you posted.

The facts:

The pattern is Rockin Roll by Lyn Brown
The finished quilt measures 60" x 76"



Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Quilts from gifted fabrics v1

July marks the mid point of the school year here in New Zealand, and schools always have winter holidays for at least 2 weeks. I usually take our boys to Auckland to visit my parents for part of the holidays - it's slightly warmer there than Wellington, and there's different things to do. (Indoor trampoline park, ice skating, better skate parks for scootering, etc, etc)

 

Last July when we went to visit, my mum had just been given a lot of beautiful quilt fabric samples from a sales rep who was retiring. The collection included Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner fabrics. The samples were all different sizes, but ranged from 12" x 12" to 18" x 24". There were lots of blues, greens and yellows.

photo taken in mum's garden

Together we decided to make one blue quilt and one green quilt for the spare beds in her house.  This post is about the green quilt - tomorrow I'll show you the blue quilt.


For the green quilt we decided to use a pattern from a Jelly Roll book - Stacks of Colour from Jelly Roll Dreams by Pam and Nicky Lintott. We went to a local quilt shop and chose the fantastic ombre green for the sashing. Doesn't it work well?


We made the quilt top in a couple of days, and mum then hand quilted it over the next few months.

The back is quite simple, but has the stripe for interest.


These quilts will be on the spare beds when we got to Auckland for the school holidays next week.

The facts:

The pattern is Stacks of Colour by Pam and Nicky Lintott
The finished quilt measures 66" x 84"