Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bring on 2014

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and that you're all getting ready for the New Year.
We had a great family gathering on Christmas Day and presently I am busy sorting fabrics, tidying papers and writing down in my diary and on the whiteboard just what my deadlines are on the quilting front, in additon to joining Fabriholics Anonymous I have committed to the Tea Towel Challenge 2014  then I became aware of the two below and these are also on my list,

Soscrppy
Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014

and

Threads of Memory
Threads of Memory

so am I going to be busy, but that's how I like it !

It's been quiet on the quilting front for a week or so only cut 400" of binding for my monster quilt, bought a few pieces of Jane Sassaman fabrics


decided to start a quick throw size quilt same pattern as below but probably using a Jelly Roll in purples, pinks and creams


managed to fit in a quick wander around the garden following a torrential downpour during the night and my canna lilies are flowering well, following the rain we have had a scorcher of a day!


That's all for today, I may post Tuesday morning to catch a link with Judy at Patchwork Times
for Design Wall Monday - should have something on the wall by then but it may be a WIP which some of you will have seen before.  Oh just remembered I did start on a Prayer Flag - so I can post that!

Happy Quilting
Maureen

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Back Home


Yes the quilt for my daughter has arrived back home!
Thanks to Linda at  RazzleDazzleQuilter for all the lovely quilting,
I now have to stitch on around 400" of binding - not looking forward to that one bit.

No quilting done at all this week unfortunately, Christmas preparations seemed to take most of my time,  but tomorrow the family are all getting together for a Christmas meal and I am looking forward to catching up with children and grandchildren.

I am conscious that on 1st January 2014 all of us who have pledged no fabric buying for six months will be working our way through our "to do lists" and our "want to do" lists using up the fabrics from our stash with NO more fabric buying for six months. I am seriously considering putting in an order today and even though the parcel would arrive after the 1st, technically it will still count as stash as it was ordered before the 1st!!

If you would like to know more about Fabriholics Anonymous click below

FabAnon

We have rain forecast here in New Zealand for Christmas Day, shame as we have had a run of super sunny weather but it sounds like we will all be indoors for the day!
Usually the Pohutakawa trees are blooming merrily at this time of year but they are a little late, known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree down here  they are a sight to behold when full of blooms. We managed to take a photo of one just flowering


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Peaceful New Year
Maureen

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The REAL Studio Tour

The REAL Studio Tour

Here we are on week three to reveal the room where we create, hosted very kindly by Vicki who has organised the links each week, go along and visit and see the stunning studios there!

My studio is very much a cobbled together place, it is the smaller of our four bedrooms only 9' x 9' so not much room at all in there, this year we hope to go through into the adjoining bedroom to give me twice as much space! For the moment what you see below is rather cramped.


Above as I come in the door on the left hand side I have a design wall which can cope with a quilt up to 72" and presently being used for MATO,  at the side of this is a small one with the start of the baby quilt


along from the wall  is my cutting table with a small ironing area, boxes with strips, my special embroidery threads and white board and bits and pieces. At the left hand side of the table out of picture is a deep two drawer plastic container with my GO dies on top and cutter at the side. Presently fabric yardage is stored on the shelf underneath the table, I will be getting hold of shelving for these when we extend the area.


Under the window is my small extending table with my machine, underneath  the serger and my embellisher


going around the room I have more storage drawers and my little rimu chest holding threads, you can also see the board holding pieces of fabric ready for my 9 patch on the MATO


my other sewing machine is alongside my thread chest and my magazine holders behind


at the side of the machine are two more storage drawer carts with another small chest of drawers on top holding scissors, cutters, pins and needles, and other bits and pieces


behind the two storage sets are my wire storage baskets for fabrics 


there is a small area between the drawers and the baskets of fabrics here I have four more wire baskets slotted under the table extension and I use these for holding fabrics for current projects  before putting away in their baskets when they are no longer needed.

Hopefully this will look quite different in a years time and I will post a photo or two of the re-vamped room.

That's it from me - time to decorate our Christmas tree, we're behind this year!
Don't forget to go along and see all the other studios at the link hosted by Vicki, a big thank you goes to Vicki for organising and hosting this tour!

Enjoy your weekend
Maureen

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tea Towel Challenge 2014

Join me for the Tea Towel Challenge 2014


Maybe it's the Christmas season that has sent me slightly crazy but I am signing up for the Tea Towel Challenge 2014 organised by Sophie, hop along there to see the link-ups.

There are quite a few things on my to do list for next year but I've found that taking part in the Quilt Alongs and Challenges during this year has been really good for my motivation. Yes, I can plod along at a leisurely pace working on my list but by taking part in these projects I have had to try and meet deadlines for posts, try new things,  and this has been good for me.

Another important part of all the above is "meeting" up with new people from all over the world and all walks of life - but who all love quilting, so when I saw the post come up in my blog list from Quiltdivajulie about this challenge  I decided to take part. 

My next challenge is to decide on a tea towel and then the fabrics.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are, here in New Zealand we are in Summer mode and Christmas is an outdoor/barbecue/beach celebration which is lovely, but I have to admit I so miss our traditional English snowy Christmas! However, that's life and here is a photo of the local beach to finish up with


Happy Quilting
Maureen




Saturday, December 14, 2013

Midnight At The Oasis

Another post from me - this time for an update on "Desert Rose"

Nine patch style border this time but I began by making mine as if they were nine patch blocks rather than sewing the 1" squares in a row x 3 then sewing them all together. Only finished ten of these and was having doubts about how they would look on my quilt given the way I had changed some of the borders, also the colouring of mine was quite different to the original pattern

On the design wall I placed the tiny squares down one side of the quilt and the result was just too busy for me and did look quite out of place with the other borders - I did take a shot of this but must have deleted it - sorry - it would have been good to show just how it looked.

Finally I decided to just make nine patches, all with the same coloured centre square and set them diagonally - happy with this!


As you can see this is as far as I have gone, just one of those times when other things held up my progress plus I have not been feeling too well for a few days. However as we don't link up again until the 3rd January 2014  I  have three weeks to get this round finished up and hopefully the log cabin style final border and celebrate Christmas with the family!!

Don't forget to go along to visit Sharon and Jess who have kindly organised this project and the link-ups

Have a happy quilty weekend
Maureen

The REAL Studio Tour - Week 2



Good morning from New Zealand
Yes, it's the second posting from everyone joining in this three weekly studio tour hosted by Vicki, when I have finished this post I'm going along to join in the link-up, if you would like to see the favourite storage ideas please visit her site

The REAL Studio Tour

Three items from my sewing studio are shown below


First one on the left is a small set of rimu drawers just 15 high and 12"across and I keep quilting cottons and sewing cottons in here, the spools just fit nicely laying on their side. One drawer for quilting, one with threads used for piecing, decorative threads and so on for top stitching. I've had this many years, it was a gift from my husband and I just love it.





Second item is another small set of drawers, this one I bought at a local Trade Aid shop and it's mahogany, very, very heavy, but I loved all the small drawers and it's 25" wide 12" deep and 13" high and the size of the drawers make it pretty useful for bits and pieces, the sticky labels were put on a number of years ago and they really need to come off now they look much nicer without them but you can see by the labels the sort of things I have in there. This was a hurried photo so apologies for the quality.



Something which I find really useful and also good to look at whilst I am at the sewing machine is my set of magazine holders


I have four of them lined up there (one didn't make the pic), one has all the manuals and so on related to the sewing machines, iron, embellisher, another has notepads, thread catalogues etc, two with books/patterns that I may be looking through and marking for future reference, my Quilt Mania magazine is tucked away there for the Midnight  At The Oasis pattern - I have to do this as there is not enough room where I sew for my large bookcase!

Come along next week when we have "the grand reveal" shots of our studios in all their glory as we work away. No tidying up for the camera just whatever is around gets photographed!

Don't forget now - hop over to see who has linked up with Vicki

Happy quilting
Maureen



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fabriholics Anonymous - first link up

So this is the first post from me as a member of Fabriholics Anonymous and I will then join in the linky party with Rebecca who has posted an enormous list of things she had to do - just have a look - it's amazing.

Before getting down to the business end of this post I took a photo of some of my hydrangeas yesterday off the balcony


thought this pic would get me in the mood for the long list below starting off with piecing projects.

Work in Progress
  1. Desert Rose - this is Midnight At The Oasis Quiltalong
  2. Flying Owls - strippy and flying geese with owl fabric for grandson
  3. Okavango   - based on a Fox and Geese pattern
  4. Singing the Blues - 16 patch - probably finish a throw quilt size
  5. Pineapple - should be bed size but could be large wall quilt 
  6. Fruit Salad - Wall quilt made fabric with 15 Minutes Play
  7. Christmas Mats  - to match the table runner
  8.  Prayer Flags - just joined the Prayer Flag Project see my side button
  9. Pieces for an exhibition in March
Waiting to be quilted
  1. New York Blooms - small wall hanging challenge with 15 Minutes Play
  2. Catastrophy - my Fractured quilt made with the Quilt Along - side bar button
  3. My Irish Girl - bed quilt Bonnie Hunter bargello style (see story below)
  4. Sandspit and Setters - remembering our setters favourite sandbar

Planned Quilts
  1. Grey gridlock   - large quilt                             
  2. Ice Cream - large quilt
  3. Yellow Diamonds - large quilt
  4. Blue Pot-Pourri  - large throw size
  5. Lorna Doone  - large quilt
  6. Misty Log Cabins - large quilt
  7. In the Mid-day Sun - throw size quilt - bright African style
  8. Snowball - not sure yet whether throw or bed size
  9. Kaleidoscope - probably full bed size
  10. Blazing Star - not sure of size yet
  11. Unlimited scrap quilts
The first six above are from the Kaffe Fassett books but I may not stay true to colours and pattern,
I also found six bundles of fabrics all packed ready for future quilts which I would like to make.

Other projects planned
  1. A number of pieced cushions
  2. Two sewing machine covers 
  3. Two pieced table covers one very large, one small
So, there is my list and as I sew my nine patch pieces this afternoon I will no doubt thing of other things I could have added. The above will barely make a dent in my fabric stash I fear  and my pledge for six months of not buying fabric could actually stretch to not buying any more fabric ever!!!!!

My Irish Girl came about two years ago as my Irish Setter Mollie was losing her battle with metastatic cancer. I love watermelon colours and had ordered two Watermelon Bali Pops. The day of my birthday 2011 I knew that I would have to take that final decision for her and so the next day the vet came along to our home, I think you can imagine how heartbroken I was. The mailman came as I was sitting waiting with Mollie in the morning and the Watermelon batiks  were delivered. The decision was easy for me to make a quilt for my Irish girl.

No quilt pics today but I will be posting my MATO on the weekend and then linking with Sharon and Jess.

Just going to finish up with a view of the most glorious sunset yesterday evening




Happy Quilting
Maureen



Saturday, December 7, 2013

The REAL Studio Tour

The REAL Studio Tour starts today!!
Vicki of Field Trips in Fiber is hosting this Tour for three weeks. This first week is about our favourite non-traditional sewing tool ( two more weeks to go). Mine is a very simple effort, way back in 1989 a very dear aunt of mine passed away and many of her personal possessions came to me. She had been a great dressmaker and mender of clothes so she had a good sewing box at her disposal - that came to me. It was like an Aladdins Cave in there - old wooden Sylko bobbins, small and large safety pins from way back when, bias tapes and elastic which had perished from being in there so long, needles  - well you get the picture.

In the midst of all this was a small box holding huge needles, the largest of all was black with age and rusty and had a super duper point on it, now at that time I has having issues with hand joints (still) and finding it difficult  holding two small pieces of fabric in place whilst leading up to the machine needle  I  thought if I held onto the needle and stuck the point on the fabrics I could feed them through without much trouble, for a time that's just what I did (cleaned the needle of course)  my husband then had the idea of just shoving a wine bottle cork on top to make it easier for me - voila - perfect for me to hold between forefinger and second finger - I have used it ever since.





You can see in the above shot that I don't have to try and grasp a large handle, just a sort of light pinching hold
I keep this right by the side of the machine on an antique tile along with a few other necessities!


Next to the pin holder is a neat tape measure in a native wood case with paua shell insert on the top, the husband of a friend of mine makes beautiful sewing accessories using various native woods.

So - a quick post today but I did manage to add a few more batiks to my collection following a visit to the quilt shop - I only went along to collect a GO die!


Now do head along to see what everyone else considers to be their favourite non-traditional sewing tool, thanks to Vicki
I'm just going to link and head over there - see you soon and don't forget that next Friday we are showing our favourite storage solution
Maureen
Have a good weekend 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wet Wednesday and Work in Progress

After two hot, hot days we are having a very wet day indeed - good for the garden though and I just knew I should have dead-headed the roses yesterday but hopefully better weather Friday.


This is a photo of my all time favourite day lily and I think the name is Queen of Siam but not sure I should have written a label, this has a lovely scent  as well as being a beautiful colour.

Even with the wet weather I had a good day and a package arrived with a few pieces of fabric and yes I know I have joined with others pledging to not buy fabric for six months beginning 1st January 2014 so I am getting my fix now. The purple on black dot was needed for my MATO so there was no way I could avoid buying that and a little extra fabric crept into the packet. The turquoise shell montage will be used as a border for a future quilt  with the pattern yet to be decided on.


These can wait on the table until tomorrow and then join the stash. Still busy with MATO (see last post) and I am playing around with nine patches at the moment.


This next round needs to finished by Friday next week so I do need to get busy in case any last minute problems arise. We then have the log cabin style border and that's the last one. Final link up is at the end of January for the finished quilt!


I'm onto the quilt for our grandson  just cut out at the moment and hopefully this will be finished by Christmas. 

Strips of the Owl fabric with the green/blue stripe will alternated with strips of flying geese.  Should measure around 32" by 45" and after posting this I'll go back and start sewing the geese together, tomorrow is MATO sewing day.

A good quilting day for me and hope it is for all you quilters out there

Happy Quilting

Maureen

Friday, November 29, 2013

Midnight At The Oasis - should be a Churn Dash border!

The post header says it all - a 3" finished Churn Dash border is the third one to be added, I did give it a go but the pieces were just too hard for my hand joints to deal with, even tried on foundation but still no joy. Sharon had used some of a favourite fabric for one of her borders instead of appliqué and thought what a clever girl! You can see I took a leaf out of her book, my non-Churn Dash section is made up of a fabric which I loved the instant I set eyes on it,  it's the same one used in my flying geese border. I have about one and a half yards left in my stash so it will be used sparingly in the future.

"Desert Rose"

My camera is playing up so this was taken with my iPhone by my husband, the light from the window hits my design wall and mid morning shots are better lit really but this was taken in the afternoon and the top of the quilt looks slightly darker than the bottom half, must be better organised for photographing.

Below is a close up shot of the fabric and you can see there is a pattern there and I just love the colours, it reminds me of a journey to NZ when I was 16 years old (a long, long time ago now) and we sailed by Suez and down through the Red Sea, I vividly remember the banks of sand and palms, resting on the deck rails absorbing these amazing sights and especially the sunsets.


John said the fabric reminded him of the "desert roses" he brought home for me from the times he was  in Al Ain and I thought  great idea no more having to think of a name for this quilt - problem solved!

I now have to box on and finish cutting for the nine patch style border,  I've done a few mock-up blocks and I think they'll be fine.

Sharon and Jess are the girls hosting this Quilt Along and we're all linking up, please go along and see how we are working this pattern. 

Back to nine patch 
Have a good weekend
Maureen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Slower progress than I had hoped on my Midnight At The Oasis quilt, still to sew the last round of blocks and I am cutting the next round, Churn Dash which should be 3" finished, but following the lead from another participant in the Quiltalong I intend to make them a little larger. 


I'm going to be linking with Judy at  Patchwork Times on her Design Wall Monday, loads of lovely work in progress to see there!

I have two or three other projects on the go and I bought fabric yesterday to start another one.


This cot size quilt will be for our newest grandson, I have one or two more fabrics put away to add to these, but I just love owls and couldn't resist buying this. I had bought safari style fabric a few months ago for him but decided it wasn't colourful enough so that's waiting for another day! This will be one for DWM in the next few weeks.

House chore list getting longer so time to get busy

Have a good quilting week and Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends

Maureen

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catching up!


Yesterday first on my list of things to do was   deciding on backing for my Fractured quilt - for those who haven't caught up with the Fractured Quilt Along just click on the appropriate label on my side bar, there were a number of posts.
The very bright tropical fabric had been earmarked earlier and was long enough but not wide enough so that took me along to sorting through the fabrics under my cutting table. I had a huge pile of fabrics put aside for backings but the only ones I could find which were bright enough were half yard pieces, I pulled these four and will have them on either side of the tropical for my width. They have been there so long the creases from the folding are pretty obvious but  a light iron with steam should put this right. 


Also came across this Nancy Halvorsen calendar panel and as you can see the date was 2007!!!! I had intended just using the the Angels  along with the fat quarters I bought at the same store but never got around to it, would love to do this for Christmas this year but somehow I think my chances of that are pretty slim.






Last quilty thing yesterday was to put up the nine blocks which I started for 15 Minutes Play and I still need to make another seven blocks using the "made" fabric. The blocks  finish at 6"square and then I have to think of the border.  Sadly this photo isn't showing the true colour of the Pear Aboriginal Dot fabric, it really is a lovely soft green/yellow. 

My Midnight At The Oasis is coming along and all ready to start on the Churn Dash blocks - all 3" of them!

Back to sorting fabrics - have a good week

Maureen







Sunday, November 17, 2013

Midnight At The Oasis

I'm another one who is making slow progress for this posting, my lateness is due to the fact that I decided to make a change with the fabric I was using for the second border (should be applique but it's not) and decided I would rather like a darker background fabric this time. Duly began and after six blocks were up on the wall I decided it was just too dark


both blocks are the correct size but I virtually just threw them on the wall so one of them looks as if it is larger at one side than the other.
I do love the black fabric with lilac polka dot but not quite so much of it all at once, so I reverted back to my original colour which is the background of the centre block but having done that it put me back a little having to start cutting the fabric all over again. Also I have just bought two more sets of basket stacks for my fabric so precious time has been spent arranging things there.


Only five of these blocks are sewn together the remainder just positioned on the wall,  please excuse the thread covered bits and gap in the design wall just waiting on the fabric from Glorious Colour to re-cover the panels. I'm pleased I decided to revert to my original choice of colour here, and next posting in two weeks I should have finished this round and also the next one, Churn Dash - which is tiny just 3", that will be fun!!

Time to link up with Sharon and Jess and shoot over there to see what everyone else is doing - please go along and have a peek, you can also just click on the button on my side bar to learn more about MATO

Enjoy the coming week and happy quilting!
Maureen



Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's on the way - hooray!

The monster quilt should be arriving at Taupo for quilting any time now!
What a relief to get it off on the courier -  the quilt top was quite a weight to manhandle, no wonder I had sore shoulders!


Didn't have room to put it upon my design wall so this is the best I can do at the moment but I  have a sort of display frame in the garage which has been languishing there for years and I had forgotten all about it - I will resurrect that and use it for photographs. Sorry about the sunlight blocking out the edge of the quilt, turned out to be a lovely sunny day here yesterday.

There were a couple of shots yesterday of blocks for MATO, slight change of plan with background colour so more triangle cutting and the sewing machine will be going flat out this evening so watch for my post tomorrow evening or Saturday (NZ time).
Also have been cutting more narrow strips for these blocks  - good old Accuquilt. 


Two grandchildren arriving from school shortly so better get a move on
See you soon
Maureen

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ready for quilting!

At last I am just about ready to send off the Bento Box style quilt (started quite some time ago ) off down to  Linda for her to work her magic with the quilting!  Just onto the last border now and then  I will courier this down to her tomorrow morning. It's a big quilt (104" x 84") to manoeuvre around in my small sewing area -  here it is all scrunched up on my cutting table for pinning and then scrunched up again for sewing! Ironing is another issue




  
















I have also been busy working on the next round for the QAL for Midnight At The Oasis and there will be post from me again on Friday, so come visit, and a link up with Sharon and Jess. These quilt alongs are great fun - I would love to take part in more of them, great fun getting to "meet" everyone 
taking part. I have found more super blogs amongst the ladies joining in  which I now have on my blog list, so more time spent reading posts every day!





The next border will be made up of the blocks above (excuse the shadows on these pics)  click the  button on the right hand side bar to see who is taking part and how they are working  with the pattern.
Thank goodness for my Accuquilt it has been great for cutting my strips and triangles!

Apart from being busy with quilting I have been enjoying wandering around the garden, I love doing this early in the morning, it's very peaceful and a great way to start the day and gather my thoughts!
I have a few new roses and dahlias in the garden




The rose is another David Austin named after his wife Pat Austin, it's an absolutely amazing colour and she lives now amongst purple and copper day lilies and just glows in the sunlight.
The dahlia is settled amongst the pink roses along side my established dahlias and day lilies. Some time ago  I also took  cuttings of a purple penstemon and plonked them in the ground, they have taken beautifully so there should be some lovely colour going on in those particular garden beds. I just love purple and golden copper or apricot/peachy colours in the garden, and you can  see that I have used those colours in my Midnight At The Oasis quilt! 

Time for a morning cup of tea and then back to finishing the last border on the quilt - I am so looking forward to seeing what Linda will do with this and will post when I get it back again!
Don't forget to stop by Friday (Saturday am New Zealand time) for the latest episode of Quilting At The Oasis!

Have a good week
Maureen