Friday, 25 March 2016

An interview....with me!

A few weeks ago Charlotte Scott asked if she could interview me for her pod cast series.

Charlotte is a New Zealand quilter and textile artist who lives on a boat and runs an art gallery! She has a blog called The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady.  Charlotte had seen photos of my la passacaglia quilt, and thought the story behind it would be interesting to document.

Here are some links to the interview.
Charlotte's blog post with the interview
or
a link to Podbean where all Charlotte's interviews are stored.

Don't worry if you've never listened to a pod cast before, I was quite new to this too.  It will work on your computer, iPad, tablet, or phone. We had a lot to talk about so it goes for 52 minutes!!  But it's like listening to the radio - you can do other things while you listen. You can also pause it and come back to it later.

Of course we talked about more than just la passacaglia - here's some of the things we covered. There's tabs across the top of the this page with more information on most of these quilts:

my first quilt made in 2005


My Flower Garden wall hanging


My gingerbread village - cross stitch

my Possum Magic round robin quilt

my sashiko quilt

my la passacaglia - still to be quilted

 I hope you enjoy listening to the interview.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Travels to Rotorua

Last weekend I went to Rotorua for a work social weekend.  My husband and son came along too, and we had a good time exploring Rotorua.

the museum in Government Gardens

Although I was really there for work, I did make time to visit Cottage Flair, a lovely quilting shop on Fenton Street.  They had a lovely Jen Kingwell cushion pattern made up, and I bought a few fabrics for when I make it myself at home.  I received Jen's book Quilt Lovely for Christmas, so I've already got the pattern.




On Saturday morning everyone split up into groups and went golfing, mountain biking, walking in the Redwoods forest, or exploring the geothermal areas.  We chose to go to Waimangu Valley which includes the beautiful Lake Rotomahana.

Inferno Crater Lake - do NOT enter - boiling hot

steam from boiling water in the cliffs on the side of the lake

native bush - I love the greens

Lake Rotomahana was created when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886, killing 120 people and burying the pink and white terraces. You can see more about the pink and white terraces here.  They must have been beautiful and it's such a pity that they now lie 60 metres (200 feet) below the lake level.

This volcanic area is still very active today, but there are many monitoring systems in place and the guide assured us they would have two weeks notice if there was to be another eruption. This valley is linked to White Island, and New Zealanders all know it still erupts from time to time.


Mt Tarawera as seen from our boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana

You can read more about Waimangu Valley here - there's a lot to see in the valley, so allow at least 3 hours if you intend to visit. Like most of the geothermal areas, there are admission costs.


In the afternoon we went up in the gondolas because it was such a gorgeous day, and you do get a great view from the top.

the gondolas

The Crankworx mountain bike event was on at the base of the gondola, so it was a very busy day with sightseers, mountain bikers, and people riding the luge.



Somehow Rotorua has acquired the nickname Rotovegas, but it's good to see them embracing it.

All up - it was a lovely break away, even if I did have to work part of the weekend. We're fortunate to live in a beautiful country.

Friday, 11 March 2016

More WIPs - when will it end?

I finished the hand stitching on the first Sue Spargo Instastitch block.  I'm happy with it, but next time I'm not going to use Perle 5 on cotton fabrics.  It's just too thick to pull through easily.



After saying I was making it all from my stash, I did just purchase another 2 reels of Sue's variegated Perle 8 for future blocks.


I've dug out my second Spinning Stripes quilt which has remained untouched since my class with Shirley Mooney back in June 2015.


I started to assemble it as we had laid it out in the class, but I was really struggling to make sense of the pattern - see next photo below:


So I decided to ditch that idea, and instead make it similar to Shirley's original design - see below:



It meant I had to cut more triangles, but I still had enough fabric left, and I don't have any other special plans for that fabric.  I'm feeling better about it now.



Below is my first Spinning Stripes which I completed last year. You can read about it over here. 

Spinning Stripes v1.0 - finished in 2015


I've also finally started on my peacock tapestry cushion.  I've had this pack for over a year now, but I kept trying to finish other things first.


I used the excuse of going to Rotorua for starting this tapestry.  Hotel rooms always have bad lighting, so I need something with big holes so I can see what I am doing.  I don't know if I'll get any of it done, but I'm taking it with me when we go to Rotorua tomorrow.

Just a small start to test it out

I'm using tent stitch (continental) for those who are interested.

I'll be back next week with some tourist snaps from geyser land.  Yes, there is a quilt shop in Rotorua, and I have looked it up on google maps, but I am going to Rotorua for work, so I may not have time for fabric shopping.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

March update

Here's a little bit of what I've been working on lately:

Gingerbread Quilt Shop

As some of you know, I have a little Gingerbread Village I bring out at Christmas time. Last year I was rushing to finish an ornament in December.  That won't happen this year.  I'm aiming to assemble my first ornament of 2016 at Easter, and still get the Needlework Shop completed in October too.  Don't panic about these photos - they are all the same piece of linen, it's just hard to get consistent brightness to photograph.

finished

finished with room for the vestibule to be attached

not finished yet

I'm working on the final side now

my roof will be red




This is what I work on the evenings in front of TV. You can see the rest of my village here - All patterns are by the super talented Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler.


Oh! Christmas Tree

Pattern by Wendy Williams and available in Simply Moderne issue 3 (by QuiltMania), or directly from Wendy's website here.



I still haven't finished the centre panel for my Christmas Tree quilt yet, but I was missing my sewing machine, so I jumped ahead and made 26 wonky stars for the final border.  Of course they took much longer than I expected, but they were fun because I got to play with pretty fabrics.








If you interested in making this quilt, take a look at Elizabeth's blog Occasional Piece.  She's running a quilt along and even giving away some prizes this week. Elizabeth has spent lots of time writing step by step guides for how to do wool felt applique.  I sent her some of my photos to include in her post.


Sue Spargo Instastitch

Sue Spargo is a super talented lady, and she very generously decided to release a FREE pattern for a mystery block of the month.  I only saw this pattern yesterday morning, but by dinner time I had already chosen fabrics from my stash and sewn the first block.  Now I just need to add the recommended hand stitching embellishments (which is what Sue is world famous for).

the options - all from my stash


my finished block - 16" x 16"
If you'd like to read more you can find the patterns on Sue's blog here.

So that's what I've been up to.  The weather is still beautiful in Wellington. As they say, you can't beat Wellington on a good day.