November ALYoF completed

ALYOF logoManaged to complete my November project (No. 51 in the November goal setting party at, even if it did turn into an interesting rescue job when I trimmed off the excess batting and backing, and THEN realised I hadn’t yet attached and allowed for the borders! Talk about a senior moment … 😦  Anyway, ended up inserting separate strips of batting into each of the borders, which was fiddly and time consuming, but I really wanted those borders and was determined not to be beaten! 🙂

Changed my mind about the backing, too, and instead of minky I used a dark green fabric purchased a year or two ago, which went well with the light green thread I used for the big stitching.

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I was leaning towards keeping this one at home anyway, and my error with the borders made the decision to do so all the easier (hmmm … a little bit of subconscious planning going on in my brain at the time?? 🙂 )


What a fun day I’ve just had!

I’ve spent the day playing today, at a surface design class organised by Christchurch Quilters, and I had such lovely fun! 🙂

Techniques we tried included sun printing; stencilling; stamping; mono printing with Gelli-plates; Shiva Sticks; and layering different techniques on top of each other.  Our tutor was Catherine McDonald, a very talented quilter and textile artist (you can check out some of her work on her Facebook page at  Funnily enough, in another life Catherine used to be my manager at Christchurch City Council, and it was great catching up with her again.)

Because I was so interested (some might call it nosy …) in what others were doing, I wasn’t as prolific as some in my output at the end of the day, but I was still very happy with what I got to try and with my results.  I’m definitely going to try some of the techniques again, and would love to be able to use the fabric in a quilt somewhere along the way.

Unfortunately the sun chose NOT to shine this morning when we were doing the sun printing, but we just laid all that work out on the floor in another room and turned the heater on, and still managed to produce some beautiful results 🙂  I think I enjoyed the Gelli-plate printing the most – found the Gelli-plate itself quite fascinating, but also enjoyed the mixing of paints and the different ways of designing patterns to be printed onto our fabric.  The Shiva Sticks were interesting, and Catherine had some beautiful examples to show us of what can be done with rubbing these over stencils, embossed items, etc.  I was tempted to try doing some hand prints, but resisted – although somehow I still managed to get quite bit of paint on my hands, despite wearing gloves – I think it was because I kept taking them off so I could feel what I was doing as well as see it! 🙂

Here’s a selection of photos from all the work displayed at the end of the day.

And after all that excitement today, tonight I can look forward to getting on with my current project:  a stack’n’slash quilt on which I’m trying quilt as you go for the first time.  So far things are going well, apart from a couple of slip-ups in the rearranging of the fabric after slash no. 3, and a mistake in cutting the first few backing blocks the same size as my batting block, instead of the same size as my top block – nothing major, thank goodness!   I’ll take some photos tomorrow to share with you 🙂




But wait! There’s more!

Look what arrived in my mailbox this morning, from my sister in Australia:

DSCF9013 croppedAren’t I a lucky girl??!!  Oh, I’m going to be so chilled out and de-stressed with all these creative goodies and opportunities around me – wish I could retire now! 🙂

Thank you, mine sister, I remember we enjoyed looking at some of these books while I was with you, and you obviously remembered too – well done! 🙂

Lots of goodies!

What with my recent month’s holiday in Brisbane, sales at Spotlight back home in Christchurch, and special online offers from Grandmother’s Garden Patchwork & Quilting in Hamilton, there have been quite a lot of fabric purchases in my life recently (and quite a lot of money going out of my pocket … but then I think to myself that in less than a year I will be retired, and I will need all that fabric for all the quilts I’m going to be working on in all that time I’m going to have on my hands! 🙂 )

Actually it hasn’t all been fabric purchases:  there have been other useful things as well, such as tools to help me practise and master free motion quilting; books to help me learn diamond chain quilting, and building block quilts, and dazzling patchwork quilts Sassaman style; and books to start me off on colouring for mindfulness, and to help me get back into tangling, and coloured pencils to help me do it.  And some of these have been gifts as well, so it hasn’t all been purchases, either 🙂

So, are you ready for a quick show and tell? 🙂

Fabric first.  My younger sister in Brisbane had discovered two new quilting stores since I was there last year, and since our older sister from Wales was with us for the month as well and she also sews (although she’s not into quilting (not yet!), the 3 of us took the opportunity to visit said stores, and yes, I bought fabric …

And we also visited a lovely quilt shop in Maleny, where I was delighted to find this:

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Which I took along with me on a visit to another quilting shop, where it proved very useful in helping me make up my mind about the suitability of this gorgeous Australian fabric for a one block wonder (OBW) quilt:

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(How could I resist that fabric when it’s going to give me such exciting hexagons???!)

And then when I got back home to Christchurch in mid-October, there was Spotlight with 40% off their quilting fabrics; and Grandmother’s Garden Patchwork & Quilting emailing me about their clear-out specials to make room for new fabrics, so, yes, I bought some more …

And then there were the quilting books and the tools:

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And the colouring and tangling books and pencils:

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One thing I can say for sure – in the next year, if I use or tackle even half of the fabric and projects pictured above, I’ll be doing well:  but wait, oh, just wait until I retire this time next year, and then see what I get up to! 🙂

For those who live in or near the Brisbane area, the quilting shops we visited were:

East Coast Fabrics, 14 Paisley Drive, Lawnton, Q4051 (website – their fabrics are quite a bit cheaper than most other stores, good quality and a good selection of all types of fabric, ie not just quilting.  (They also have branches at Burleigh, Maroochydore and Springwood.)

Spotlight – I’m sure most of you in Australia or New Zealand will already be familiar with this chain of stores, where I’ve never had any trouble finding fabric to my liking!  And their prices are reasonable, too, although the quality is sometimes a little lacking – quite a bit of their quilting fabric is imported from India, Pakistan or Korea, and I find the quality not as good as the fabric I buy online from the USA, for example.  (They have stores in a number of cities.)

The Quilters’ Store/The Embroiderers’ Store, Shop 4, 286 Evans Road, Salisbury, Q4107 (website – don’t be put off by the exterior of this very ordinary looking store, it’s an absolute treasure trove inside!!  Over 9,000 bolts of fabric, it goes back and back and back once you’re inside – truly amazing!  This is where I got the Australian fabric, and there were several others in that range that tempted me as well – but I resisted – with great difficulty! 🙂

Maleny Magic Patchwork and Quilts, 924 Maleny-Montville Road (website – this is where I bought the fussy cut mirror, and they have a lovely range of fabrics and notions.  It’s on the Sunshine Coast about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, so a little far to go unless you combine it with something else, which we did – a lovely visit to Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World (website, which was fabulous and well worth the drive! 🙂

Make It Hobby and Craft, 70 Rostrevor Rd, Boondall (website – nice range of batik and other fabric and very pleasant staff.

In the meantime, it’s back to my November ALYoF project, which is going well – but I do keep taking breaks to look at my books, and stroke the new fabrics, and think about what my next project might be … 🙂





Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair, October 2015

WARNING:  This post has LOTS of photos in it! 🙂

I’ve attended the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair each year for the last 5 or 6 years now, and never tire of seeing the amazing selection of quilts on show.  Being a novice wannabe quilter myself, I find it really inspiring to see how others use fabric and stitching and embellishments in their creations, and I’ve also enjoyed attending some of the workshops in the last couple of years as well.  I particularly like seeing the various challenges, whether it be to use a particular fabric or to work to a theme – with such a broad range of entries, it’s always interesting to see the different interpretations and ideas.

Here’s a selection of some of the quilts on show – not all of them were to my personal taste, but some of the work and time involved was so incredible I thought they still deserved inclusion.

First of all, some of the challenges – this first one involved use of a zebra striped fabric in the quilt (you can see a piece of it in the bottom right corner of one of the second prize photo):

Celebration of Colour challenge:

AQC Challenge – True Blue entries:

Next, a few animal/bird quilts:


And finally, medallion or patterned quilts (for want of a better description!):

Some pretty amazing work, isn’t there?  Highly unlikely that I’ll ever achieve anything even close to these standards, but I still get a lot of pleasure and fun out of my attempts, which keeps me happy! 🙂


November ALYoF project

ALYOF logoThis month I’m aiming to get another one of my UFOs finished off – this is one of two batik Disappearing 9-Patch lap quilts which I got to the flimsy stage back in August, and then put away while I worked on other things.  The backing for this will probably be a fleece or minky kind of fabric, with some big stitching to finish it off.

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