Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bee blocks

I have finished up my last bee blocks for the year. I love the Modern Stash bee, as each round only goes for 6 months and you generally end up with blocks you want, rather than those that don't fit with what your vision is for a quilt.  I think this is the only bee I will keep on with next year.  Karrie pretty much gave us free range of whatever block we wanted to make but had specific colour ranges. When she first said coral, pink and aqua, I thought, yikes, coral is not a colour I have in my stash, but a bit of searching revealed some Tula Pink in the perfect shade.

Modern Stash bee - Karrie's block

Modern Stash bee - Karrie's block

Both blocks are from Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to make with friends by Lindsay Connor.  The first is Elizabeth Dackson's block, which I scaled down as the original is a 20" block and the second is by Lindsay herself. I had some troubles with the second block getting it to remain wrinkle free around the circle edges, but I ended up using spray starch which seemed to help. Some swearing was involved as well!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Flea Market Fancy wonky stars finish...

I hope everyone has had a fabulous Christmas.  I just had family here at home which was lovely and sister, her partner and children, my mother and her partner and all my tribe....14 of us in total.   As usual, I ate too much, but it's hard to say no when there is so much delicious food.

We always take a photo on Christmas Day.  It's always fun to look back at how much they have grown. I'm the shorty of the family now, even though I am 5'7".  My kids from left to right Sarah (12), me, Hannah (17) and Nick (14).  

I managed to get some time in the afternoon when everyone was having nana naps to finish my FMF wonky stars quilt.  I decided to FMQ uneven loopy stars to match the wonkiness of the stars.  For the back I made one large wonky star and used some of my fav FMF prints at each end.  The binding is a Denyse Schmidt print.

Close-up of the quilting

Monday, December 16, 2013

More Tula Pink blocks

Blocks 88, 89 and 90 are all done...just 10 more to go.

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 88

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 89

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 90

My baby girl, who is all of 12 years old, had her Year 8 ball the other day.  In NZ, this is the last year before they head off to high school.  It's become quite the tradition to end of year balls or dances for them now. Seriously, some of those girls go all out.... get hair done, make up done and buy very expensive dresses and look like they are about 18 years old.  Some of the girls were tottering around in heels and could hardly stand up.  It's ridiculous, but Sarah was quite sensible about it all and there was no way I was going to buy her high heels!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Yay...another finish

I worked like a mad woman over the weekend finishing my quilt. I chose one of my fav Lizzy House prints and an Art Gallery fabric for the back. Nothing fancy...just half and half.  I decided to straight line quilt it as I was fairly time pressured.   It is for a friend who has cancer and I need to give it to her this week, so wasn't sure if I did FMQ I would get it done in time.

HST quilt from Sewing Summit 2013

HST quilt from Sewing Summit 2013

I found a cute little saying on the internet "Friends are like a bra: Close to your heart and there for support". It was just perfect for her so I attached the label with this on it.

HST quilt from Sewing Summit 2013

I have also finished another 3 Tula Pink City Sampler blocks, so this is 85, 86 and 87.  Yikes, I can't believe I have nearly finished all the blocks.

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 85

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 86

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 87

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I'm on a roll...

I have finished 3 more Tula Pink blocks (82, 83 and 84)

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 82

Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 83

  Tula Pink City Sampler - Block 84

So I have put my distaste of basting aside and am tackling another quilt to finish.  This is a quilt I started at Sewing Summit in Amy's HST class. I don't have a hard floor so for the bigger quilts, it means I have to get down on the carpet.  I usually wait until some trashy TV programme is on and then it's not so tedious. I think Sheldon and Penny kept me amused for a while last night!!

And then I got a helper...

But he helped just a little too much!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Equilateral Triangle quilt and more Tula Pink

I have finally finished my Equilateral Triangle quilt that I started in Jeni Baker's class at Sewing Summit. To be honest, I am not the type of gal who can just put things together randomly, so it was a real effort to consciously not to think too much about color placement. I basically put all the triangles in a big bag, shook them all about, then made a pile, from which I just took one, sewed it, took another, sewed it and so on. The only time I would not use it if it was identical to the triangle I had just sewed.  Otherwise, I knew I would overthink it and the colors would look too "organised".

I hope to get the back made for it this weekend and basted. I have decided I am not going to start any more quilts until I have cleared my backlog of WIPs.  I have to take that "basting hatred" beast by the horns and just tackle them.  So look out for a ton of finished quilts coming up!!

I am continuing with my Tula Pink blocks. I am still enjoying these and can't wait to start sewing them all together. Here's blocks 76 - 81.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Finish, Tula Pink and a Foray into Cake Decorating

Its been a long time since I posted a finish. I started an I-Spy quilt for a friend of mine about 6 months ago who was expecting a baby.  It sat in its unfinished state with the top and backing just waiting to be basted. I hate basting.  In fact, I despise it. That is probably why I never finish a quilt! That baby is about 3 months old now! I also have another friend, Amelia, expecting a baby, and her baby shower is this weekend, so I got my act together and finished this one off in just a couple of days for her. I will have to make another one for my other friend. She will never know!! 

The front of the I-Spy quilt
Baby quilt for Amelia - The back of the quilt
The back of the quilt

I have also finished a few more Tula Pink blocks. We only have about 20 blocks to go. I will be sad to see this QAL finish as the blocks just whip up so quickly and I love the look they are creating.

And a finish of a different kind. One of my other passions is cake decorating but I am mainly self taught.  You Tube and the internet are wonderful teachers! For my birthday back in August my hubby bought me a Wilton cake decorating course at Milly's in Parnell. It was a 2 day weekend course, so we stayed in Auckland for the Saturday night.  It was such a fun weekend and we learnt the basics of piping and working with buttercream.  My finished creation....

Wilton Cake Decorating - Course 1

Wilton Cake Decorating - Course 1

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bee blocks and Tula Pink blocks

I am all caught up on my bee commitments. I belong to just 2 bees now, the Mo Stash bee and the 3 x 6 bee, and think I will keep it like this for a while. I love making blocks for others and getting the squishy parcels in the mail, but am finding I have a zillion quilt tops to put together from all my bees, plus I am not getting the time to make my own quilts. Now that summer is coming I will probably spend less time at the computer and at my sewing machine and more time at the beach or gardening.

The first 2 blocks are for Linda in the Mo Stash bee who wanted any combo of aqua, red, chartreuse, fuchsia or dark purple with a white background.  

Modern Stash bee - Linda's (ljs742) block

Modern Stash bee - Linda's (ljs742) block

The next 6 blocks are for a Star hive in the 3 x 6 bee. I loved making these and think I will make a quilt top for myself using this pattern.  I did a log cabin block for the centre and then wonky star points. I have just bought Quiltography for my ipad and love it.  Easy to use and suits my needs perfectly. I was inspired by this pouch and drew it up on the ipad in a few quick minutes.

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Sara's (thompson.sarag) block

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Ella's (shimmyblister) block

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Nicole's (nicolehc) block

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Lis's (menolly13) block

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Anna's (Somethingsewn) block

3 x 6 bee Star hive - Melissa's (hunnybee1977) block

And my Tula Pink blocks from 64-69...

Monday, October 21, 2013

San Francisco and a spot of sewing

On Pier 39 with Alcatraz behind me

Well, after Yosemite we headed to San Francisco. I loved this city. We rented an apartment which was perfect for our needs.  Loved the vibe of this city and there was always something to do, places to go and food to eat. One thing I noticed though was the absence of large bookstores. I love browsing books and even though I have an iPad I still prefer hard copies of books and magazines.  Apparently the two Barnes and Nobles had closed down and there were little independent bookstores, but no major retailers. I hope it's not the way of the future.

We took a Hop On Hop Off bus for a day to orientate ourselves to the city and got to see many of the city's landmarks from the top of a double decker bus. With an entertaining tour guide for the 90 minutes round trip, this was a great way to figure out where we wanted to go.

We also discovered Wild SF Tours; 2 hilarious guys that take groups around the city with anecdotes, snippets of history, musical interludes and just a general fun time.  We walked round the Castro and Mission districts for the first one with "Wild Wes" and loved it so much went back and did the Chinatown and North Beach tour with "J. Jo"

Wild Wes!

A view of the city from Dolores Park

Yes, it is legal to be naked in SF as long as
you have a covering for your privates and
a towel to sit on!

Loved this building in the Castro

These were typical all through the city.
Reminded me very much of Wellington.

We also visited Alcatraz which was fascinating. They have an amazing audio tour that you do at your own pace with a set of headphones. It was very well done and was very sobering. 

And what visit to SF would be complete without a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge?

So we are back to reality now and enjoying the almost summer! I am way behind in my Tula Pink City Sampler blocks, so I had a sewing marathon in the weekend to catch up.  I picked up a FQ bundle of Acacia while I was in SF, so started to incorporate that into my blocks. After Birds and Bees, I think this is my next favorite range of Tula Pink's.


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