Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Heading towards 2015

My cat quilt should really be here on this post along with the other finished quilt tops but two more rows  to go with the cats and five other tops waiting to be quilted!! I also have a few other projects in either cutting or sewing stage and in order to move things along I'm joining with
Vicki of Field Trips in Fiber and others
taking part in her three projects for the coming year - go along to her web site or I have the three new buttons on my side-bar which will take you along to her site for all the information, it's going to be busy but lots of fun.

As if I don't have enough fabric to last me many lifetimes I took advantage of price reduction at some of the stores on-line and just before Christmas I had
some lovely squishy packages arrive from the USA







The fabrics below I picked up in one of the stores here in Auckland


some of these fabrics will, I hope, be creeping in to the projects for 2015.

We now have just under four hours to go before we see the end of 2014 here in New Zealand and I'd like to wish everyone a

Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2015

see you in the New Year!

Maureen


Monday, December 29, 2014

RSC 2014 - almost there!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and now looking ahead to 2015.

The time is here for our last link up for RSC2014 and I have not quite
finished sewing all my cats together, we had a busier than anticipated Christmas and
a visitor from Australia, however one half is put together
so I can post a photo of that, the remaining cats are
sitting underneath hence the slightly wonky
shot.

Alley Cats
I have good intentions of having this all complete for a post 1st January 2015.
One or two of the ears are slightly "chewed" at the top but as alley cats sometimes
get into scraps whilst they're out on the tiles at night I'm putting the missed points down to that!

Apart from working on the quilt over the next few days I hope to put in a day just working out finishes, 
new projects, quilt alongs etc. for the New Year so I guess I could fill up a whole rayon this.
 Tidying bits of the blog is also on the agenda.


This dahlia was a put in the front garden bed around 6 weeks ago as a single tuber and it's
a stunner. It measures just over 7" across and there are another six buds waiting in
the wings. I'm thrilled with it although I hadn't anticipated the depth of colour,
it looked more peachy on the label.

Time now to link and wave goodbye to
Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014
and all the lovely projects on show.

 Happy Quilting
Maureen



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Two more sleeps until Christmas Day

Two more sleeps here in New Zealand that is!
I'm conscious that I haven't done a post for just on a week or so now 
and didn't even link up with Angela for the next to last
Saturday in the RSC 2014. Not been too well and just didn't manage
to sew more than four cats together in the past week so nothing much to show
on that score. I can show the beginnings of
a new piece which I posted to
Cultural Fusion Quilts early last week, this is
a new blog from Sujata Shah of The Root Connection and I am thrilled to be a contributor
to the blog, please go and visit, it's going to be great!

Sailing Through Suez

Just at the stage of playing around with colours and going with the Flying Geese setting
based on the Hourglass block from Sujata's book Cultural Fusion Quilts which you can see
on the links above.

 New fabrics arrived in the mail this week which cheered me no end
and I needed some cheering as blood tests
 tell me that in addition to other health problems I am pre-diabetic - pretty high results!!
Sugar is a no-no and fats are also on the "careful watch" list, please think of me
when you're all enjoying your Christmas turkey or ham and and all the trimmings,
not forgetting yummy mince pies and cream!

Over the next few days I hope to spend time planning out projects for next year,
Vicki over at Field Trips in Fiber
has some great ideas which will keep me busy! Pay a visit - the more the merrier.

I must end this post with photos of the sunset yesterday evening





Just Glorious

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas
Maureen

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Just another Manic Monday …….

I intended posting this last night but time got away on me and
it was a real busy day, more present shopping, laundry, ordering fabric and so on!
My cat quilt - Alley Cats - should have had a few seams sewn yesterday but didn't
happen because of the above reasons and I couldn't
stop myself from starting a small quilt using the Hourglass Block from the new book by
Sujata Shah - Cultural Fusion Quilts - over at The Root Connection
pay her blog a visit, it's wonderful.

 Cats -  I made around 126 for a quilt 70" x 81" and was undecided whether to set them as the original or put a narrow strip between rows.
Putting them up on the wall I realised I didn't really want it so big
more of a throw over the couch or over a chair, even
hanging on a wall in the hallway so I lost the bottom row and two side rows

Alley Cats
here they are in the final arrangement, untrimmed and still with threads hanging off
some of them but I'm not worried about that I just
wanted to see how they all looked. Also you can see I'm going
with the original design. Head on over to
Super Scrappy and RSC 2014 and catch up
with everyone, only two more Saurdays' left now.

 On to the sewing machine to get them all in order, before doing that I need
 to go and dead-head some of my roses, the wind and rain here
have ruined the blooms.
I did take a couple of photos before the bad weather


Can't remember the name of the rose


day lilies and penstemon

Off to the sewing machine  - happy quilting.

Maureen

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cats for RSC2014 - stripping!

In my last post to RSC2014 I showed a few of my cats
set out in two rows HERE and
 Sally T left a comment with the suggestion that perhaps a thin black strip between
rows would improve the look of the cat's ears
coming right into contact with the row above
so


tried out with a few more cats with what would be a 1" finished strip between.
I think they look much happier (bearing in mind they're just popped up there
nothing sewn yet, nor will be until 126 of them are all there).

What do you think?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cats Creating Mayhem for Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014

Actually I think I'm the one that's creating mayhem, I was doing so well tidying things up in my little studio and then went off at a tangent with something
else - looking at the quilting books available with Amazon
for reading on my iPad - fatal!!!!

Cats - I just pulled them out of their drawer and began
playing with a few on my moveable design wall which of course isn't big enough
so I need to use my larger one which is fixed to the wall.
So, then had to move a stackable set of drawers to another
space in my studio but there isn't one!
It is in a temporary home at the moment so I am just posting
a photo of a few cats on the too small wall.


Ignore colour placement, and the fact that they are not in a straight line on the
wall, they look as if they're sliding off on the right, I was in hurry to get moving things around.
This is just to give you an idea of placing right and left facing
creatures.
They will be set 14 across by 9 down in straight rows!

I think we're all busy arranging blocks ready for a grand reveal so I don't feel too bad about not having stitched anything together yet.

Heading off to link up with everyone at Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday - an early start

An earlier start than I would have liked because of going down to the laboratory 
for a whole lot of blood tests following
my visit to the Rheumatologist yesterday - a downer was that
two of them had to be fasting so I was outside
the door as soon as they opened!

I haven't done a thing for a few days with quilts, grabbed a handful of
clean up fabric strips yesterday to make a cover for my birthday
iPad, turns out most of the strips were in the green range


quilted the lining and now need to trim to the size needed. I may not quilt the strips, 
I did flip and sew so they should be OK, I'll think about that
whilst writing this post.

Yesterday I found that I had quite a collection of yellow fabrics bought
maybe two years or so ago with the intention of making
a yellow diamond quilt - now I've changed my mind so I 
have heaps more yellows to add to my already considerable yellow stash.


I also bought around two and half yards for the border


so I will not need any more yellows!

Sorting out scraps is turning out to be a major I have just folded some of the ones I have 
used recently which were piled up on my table and
decided to keep them in one drawer just for Kaffe Collective scraps 


I would really like to begin on a quilt from the book by 
Sujata over at The Root Connection
but as having my eyes dilated is on the cards for around lunchtime and therefore not
being able to focus for a few hours after that the new start is out!

Off to make the most of the morning whilst I can still
see clearly - have a good week!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last of the Blues!

Yes it's officially the last Saturday (Sunday here in NZ) for anything Blue for Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014, sounds as if something exciting is in the pipeline for 2015 so go along over to
Angela at superscrappy
she's not giving much away but
Vicki over at Field Trips in Fiber
will have details in her December Newsletter.

Well, I am all "catted out" right now but have two more 16 patch blue blocks


excuse the large watermark on this and the next photo, far too large but I'll remedy this for next post.

My H blocks kept me busy yesterday and some were blue, well sort of blue


I made a few positive and negatives in two other colours and four others





so nothing exciting this post I'm afraid!

I'm trying to organise my three tubs of scraps but it's a mammoth task and only possible to achieve this in short bursts. I must have some fabrics in there from up to 20 years ago and I suspect some of these may end up being culled and go on to be given away.

Time for putting all my cats together this month and I need to baste Red Sea Sunset and Cotton Candy, these two should be basically straight line quilting, the tricky quilting will come when I have to work out how to quilt my cats.
I'm off to link up with
RSC 2014
Happy Quilting
Maureen




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One more for RSC 2014 and a few blues!

Recently Linda aka Razzle Dazzle Quilter a fellow blogger and superb quilter here in New Zealand emailed me a photo of her new feline friend!

What a beauty he is, I loved  his amazing colour - which is classed as Lavender Mink - and said what a good idea it would be to make a cat for my quilt in that shade.
This is the nearest I could find


so he will be in good company in my cat quilt! Note he will not have one ear larger than the other  both will be equal in size when he is stitched up with the others!

 I think I mentioned  that I found quite a few blue fabrics hidden away in a project (16 patch) started a few years ago,  so to meet the blue theme for the month
I have four more blocks made this morning.



It's a very humid day with us, not conducive to sewing and I'm really hoping this gets less towards evening, terrible trying to sleep when you feel as if you're breathing in water! No doubt we'll have to watch for things like downy mildew etc. on the veggies and roses.

Better get a move on and go link with

Angela and friends at RSC 2014

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colour Challenges

A few days ago I posted my purple block here all ready for me to deconstruct and put into the Purple Colour Challenge organised by Aotearoa Quilters here in New Zealand. Had to be predominantly purple and 12" x 12" - here is my finished piece

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


after another check for threads and a light press it was
 off by courier yesterday for the receiving deadline of tomorrow (Friday here)
 and I can see from the tracking system that it's out for delivery today, fingers crossed there are no hiccups along the way!

The only other achievements since my last post was more shifting things around in my studio, I really do have too much stuff crammed in here but I'm working on it slowly. My main issue is to come up with the best system I can for sorting my scraps I have stacks and stacks in assorted boxes and bags and drawers and it really annoys me to have to spend time hunting through these for what I need!

I decided on a pattern for a quilt for one of our grand-daughters now that I have the yardage of Guinea Flowers in a dusky pink on my shelf.



Also a few more H blocks and the next step here is to get them up on the wall
to see whether I need more brights and which colours, I have 36 so far.



Today more tidying and hopefully the last three rounds on Cotton Candy, ideally I would like to baste Red Sea Sunset but we'll see!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Almost There - RSC 2014

Yes, almost time to call it a day for my kitties!
Six more to add this week which actually brings me over the
total number needed and I now must  make a decision 
as to whether I add another vertical row to make
the quilt a little wider. Present measurement would be
70" x 81" and I guess this would be a good size.







There are a few cats in my collection
in the Guinea Flower design
which I'm very fond of. Rings
also I have, I think, in most
colourways.

Seems as if I once again I have resized one of the cats slightly larger  - the one here on the right - looks like a much fatter creature!







Beloved Batiks - I love working with these because it doesn't fray and the 
colours are glorious.  
The gingko kitten on the left I think is just beautiful, this is the only colour way I have in this design. Had I known it was going to look so amazing when the fabrics arrived 
I would have chosen a couple more colours.



 Besides my cats I'm into quilting my Purple Challenge piece and loving it, cutting more H blocks today and plan to work on Cotton Candy tomorrow.
If the old knees were in good working order I would be basting my Bargello but that's going to 
have to wait for another day.

After all the rain we've had here in NZ the garden is looking lush and flowers opening up left right and centre, the rose below is either Yellow Charles Austin or Graham Thomas, I've lost the label! It's a beauty.


Quickly on the subject of flowers I am expecting a bundle of digitally printed fabrics from
Fingerprint and one of their fabrics is just covered in fallen rose blooms, quite a delight to see. If you have the time go and have a peep.

Posting this now and linking up with Angela and all at RSC 2014.
Hope you're all having a happy weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This and That

Not a hugely productive week so far at my place, it's been a busy week but not a lot of quilting!
I've finished cutting the huge hexagons
and half hexies for my quilt using the pattern and colours
from the newest Kaffe Fasset book "Quilts in Morocco".


I'm a member of Aotearoa Quilters here in New Zealand and they have run a colour challenge for the past two or three years, this year was deemed to be Purple but as the date for receiving entries is November 21st I thought I wouldn't have time to get the 12" x 12" challenge together.

Changed my mind late yesterday afternoon and decided to go for it. In the newsletter sent out to members we are told Purple or lilac, lavender, mauve, periwinkle, violet or amethyst so quite a range there! 
I put together one Fractured block yesterday, not a big ask as it is only a 12" block 


today this has been deconstructed in a similar way to three small pieces I made last year inspired by Rayna Gillman's work. I'll put a photo up when the quilting has been done which should be tomorrow or Saturday and I need to have it in the mail on Monday.

In the garden my roses are beginning to come out now and even our heavy rain and windy weather this week hasn't harmed them too much. A pink David Austin rose is blooming in our front garden



normally I would try and take a shot of a perfect rose/roses, one of the opening buds here has a few tattered petals but I'm looking at flowers in another way now. There is a book available from an Art Gallery in Auckland titled "Imperfect" by Emma Bass, this shows flowers, usually in arrangements which have obviously been around a while and are drooping, decaying and so on,  the promotional photos are absolutely wonderful. I  am sooooo tempted to buy this but it's quite pricey and needs a little more thought before I plunge in.

Meanwhile it's back to cats for me after quilting the Purple block - and a great surprise as I've made 125 and only need 126 for the quilt !! How pleased was I when I counted them but I shall make a few more and should be able to post these on Sunday or Monday.

Downton Abbey will on TV in 20 mins so I'm off to get comfortable.
See you soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blue Saturday - Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014

In my last blue cat post I said I didn't have many light blues - I found the reason why in the midst of my stash sorting and reorganisation - a project I had started possibly two years ago, obviously this had somehow got lost behind my plastic storage boxes at the very back of the stacks under my cutting table.

So here are more blue cats


going back to the colour of grey/brown/murky for last month below


and then



and the last cat for this week


and to end this post a photo of the bottom garden - perfect hiding place for cats!


Short post today (apart from all the cat photos) it's terribly hot here today so good for me to stay indoors and put in some more time sorting things out here in my studio.

Going over now to link up with Angela and all taking part in RSC 2014
take a few moments to go along and visit and check out the links!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Choices and bird watching

It's been one of those weeks where I just haven't been able to settle to do anything. I intended having the top of my bargello quilt all ready to go but after reading again the initial post from
Leanne at She Can Quilt
about Scraptastic Tuesday and the 45 comments that had been left for the post I decided I too needed better organisation for sorting scraps, fatal mistake as my studio is now in a worse mess than ever!!

However re the aforementioned scrappy quilt the fabric I originally intended for the border looks dull against the quilt top and I  think I'll leave it without borders and just bind with the green - what do you think? Actually looking now at the pics maybe the white of the design board is distracting me, perhaps it could work.




I have had to fold the top in half in order to fit on the small design board which is higher at one end than the other  so the shots are all over the place something else which needs attending to - not able to access the one fixed to the wall at present due to boxes and fabrics all over the place

 Bird watching - the three baby blackbirds fled the nest last Saturday, I saw them perched on the edge of the nest stretching wings and ten minutes later they were all off! Well, not really off they fluttered down into the bushes below for a day or so.
Parent blackbirds are still calling me for a few raisins every day, they're a delight to see

Poppa arrives for his fix ….


bit worried about the competition

now he has company. ….

and leaves just the one for her…..


Moving on from blackbirds I'm off to continue the great battle with my scraps and storage issues and general mayhem around me. Back at the weekend with a few more cats.