Waiting In The Wings

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gypsy Wife - sections 8 and 9

Yes, sections 8 and 9 are together, at least for the moment. I'm not happy 
with the bottom block on the LH side, so there
may be a little time spent unpicking at some point.

It's just getting that balance right, trying not to have
too many dark blocks clustered nor too many light ones and I think
I've failed with the above mentioned block.

I felt as if I'd hit a brick wall with these two sections, don't know why, but I'm
not doing any more on this until the end of next week, maybe the brain
needs a break from gypsies!

I took myself off for a walk the other evening when I was feeling
particularly peeved off with the whole thing, just before dusk the sky was
a delight to see, good for the soul! After that I arrived home
feeling much less stressed.

This was the view as I walked along the ridge looking out to
Rangitoto in the harbour - I've decided to try and take that walk most evenings
just before dusk to blow away the cobwebs!

Hope you're all enjoying your week and your stitching.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

sew, stitch, snap, SHARE

I'm working on a very late New Year Resolution - finishing projects!

First off the block - my Teapots begun in RSC 2015, these two I appliqued
down today.

I've tried to get a reasonable match with the colour of thread
and the main teapot colour, not that easy with Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs 

The three below were stitched down early last year,  when all 12 are finished
I can set them out in their allotted place in the row and
 add the sashing and border.

The eyes take quite a beating peering a few inches away from the
needle to make sure it hits just on the edge of the fabric to be
stitched down, two is all I can manage at one go.

Something new now

Linda at Koka Quilts
Julie at JulieLou

have joined forces to create a new link up
sew. stitch, snap, SHARE
I'm heading over  now to join the link and you can visit by going to their
blogs above.

Oh, and in the midst of this torrential rain we've been having here
in New Zealand this Vireya had opened up in the back garden
to brighten my day!

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Hooray - I feel I'm now "back in the saddle" with my quilting.

The yellow/green segment of Chinese Coins.
Starting on the red/yellow section Monday.

Concentration was needed with cutting the strips, it was so easy
to cut the original oblong fabric pieces in the wrong direction. so I now
have quite a few double ups in my parts box!

Measurements of the above segment 35" x 15".
I don't have a "set in concrete" plan for this small quilt,
I'll just play along and see where it takes me.

Is anyone else noticing that the list of blogs they follow
is becoming smaller?? I think a lot of folk are using Instagram
and Facebook, perhaps this is due to the amount of time
some quilters have available.

I love looking at the sky at sunrise and sunset this is 
one from a few days ago.

A truly "brooding" sky here!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Long Time Gone!!!

My post heading is nothing to do with the pattern
from Jen Kingwell which I wrote about a while ago.
This is giving a nod to my not posting for over two weeks - again!!
Let's start with a sunrise yesterday.

The reason for my continued absence
was my husbands'  health
problem, thanks to a mosquito bite right on the elbow.
Won't give the gory details but after visits to emergency,
three days on IV antibiotics for huge infection and three weeks of oral,
the elbow is slowly getting back to normal after growing to the size
of a grapefruit!

So, quilting once again took a back seat but I had been playing
with Gypsy Wife - two different versions of one block, deciding which
one will fit in best

My Chinese Coins took a back seat, way behind now as this week
was the last week for a link up. Below is a mock up on my
design wall from before my husband became unwell

I'm just playing around and have quite a bit more stitching to take
care of, hopefully next post will show progress - fingers crossed.

I have lovely hibiscus flowering in the garden, two below, and Leila now a one year old 
deciding whether to go up onto the roof  and watch the birds.

Back during the week - once again, fingers crossed!!
Enjoy the weekend.
I'm off over to visit Ann and Kaja
for a quick peek of my Chinese Coins so far.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Colour, colour and more colour........

In the past two weeks I haven't been sewing, not on my own quilts
at least, but I have been quilting and binding a small colourwash piece
which I bought last year from
Wanda at Exuberant Color

I've always loved the stunning colourwash quilts made by Wanda and when
I saw this on her blog I quickly sent off an email!
 Just quilted vertically, the emphasis being on
the colour and placement of fabrics rather than the quilting.

I just had enough of the batik for binding but made a stupid mistake with the scissors
when I came to join the two ends together so
there are a couple of wonky bits, I am waiting for more of the
fabric to arrive then I'll resew.

In the package was a surprise gift of one of her
mug rugs

and what a beauty it is!

For a little colour co-ordination

this day lily is out in the garden,
it doesn't usually flower until August/September,
how come it's putting on a show in March is a mystery.

In the mail today

this will make good bedtime reading tonight and would
have looked a lot better if the postie hadn't
folded it in half when leaving it in the box!

Thanks to all for your good wishes, hope I've not missed
replying to anyone!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time Out

I'm going to be taking a break from posting until Saturday week.
I have quite a number of health issues to deal with permanently
but a couple of them have been causing me some grief lately.
So, I'm going to just relax and enjoy pottering around. 
I have some
things I should like to re-arrange in my sewing
studio, I need a little time relaxing in the garden before
Autumn kicks in, more time for reading and just to
work on my quilting at a slower pace for a few days.
I guess my batteries need re-charging, they're feeling pretty run down!
The above isn't referring to my pacemaker batteries!

All the above hasn't stopped me buying a little fabric the other day
when my DH took me to look at a sewing/quilting cabinet. Opened out it gives 5'
of quilting space behind my Bernina, plus space on the left,
a great swing out section with a cubby  and deep drawer
and compartments on the RH side. One is now on order for me.

These are Tilda fabrics and not my normal colour choice
but I thought it's always good to try something different.
Reading your blog posts will, of course, still be on my agenda!!

Take Care

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cutting out and Computers

Why do computers cause grief just when we need to edit photos
and write a post!!
I haven't been able to check my reading list properly for
a few days and the darn computer totally closed down on me
earlier this afternoon, hopefully it will keep working until
I've finished this.

 First up I've now sliced up 8 and 1/2" strips for Chinese Coins
and been playing around with added solids

and  many years ago we bought six of these large Chinese Coins below
in one of those ethnic shops, presently used as mats for hot mugs
of tea/coffee, I intend to  incorporate the shape
into the quilt. Possibly raw edge applique or even photo transfer.

More cutting for Kaleidoscope

more spot fabrics for the four corners and plain cream for the
alternate wedges.
I also pulled more strips from my clean up cut bin and started
on those.

It's great fun just feeding these strips through the machine
without thinking of trying to co-ordinate colour or pattern.

I ended up with rather a good plateful - thanks to Julie for a great idea!

 I was looking at the Japanese Maple in the back garden this morning
and noticed the colour was just beginning to turn,

eventually we'll have lots and lots of the little two winged seed capsules
floating all over the place, I thought back to when we were kids in Autumn
 in England,  there would be thousands of these things falling
from the trees, whirling around and around - we just called them aeroplanes,
I guess because of the similarity to propeller blades, just like the eight "blades"
in the kaleidoscope block.

Not what I would call a stimulating post from me but
before my computer packs up on me again I'm off to try and catch up on two days of blog
posts, hope you're having a good week free from computer glitches!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chinese Coins - a start

It's a start in that I have most of the fabrics together.

The solids and hand dyes are being played around with presently,
still need to make a final decision.

I'm cutting 8 and 1/2" across the width of the fabrics,
cutting these into half again, keeping one set as spares
and starching the remainder.

My new trolley is coming in handy here, this is not an Ikea, which I would
dearly have loved in their turquoise colourway, but given that they
seem to be around US$25 or so for quilters in the USA
and the price here is NZ$169 I went for a local made trolley, this is
a soft green and a lot cheaper!

Now I've had a break to write this it's back to the cutting
and starching.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Gypsy Wife

Slowly working on Section 9 presently.
I had to change out two of the strips which follow down the
length of the quilt, just breaking for blocks here and there.

The strips on the RH side above were the originals but I wasn't
happy with how they looked, I kept the two narrow middle strips
but added different fabrics either side along

with another strip element and a bordered
pinwheel block directly below.
It's really important to keep in mind which fabrics are
going to hit each other, something you think will work well
doesn't when you actually get the pieces on the wall.

You can see some of the top part of the quilt below,
I don't stitch the individual elements together until I have everything
for that particular section up on the wall, so you'll be seeing threads and
pieces which need trimming.

Taking me away from the machine were two new books

as different as chalk and cheese, as you can
see from the covers,  but both beautifully presented.
I'm setting aside some time to sit and read through the
Judy Newman book, or a good part of it, this weekend.


Monday, February 6, 2017

That Was The Week That Was

I'm using the title of a TV show from way, way back
for this post.

Almost two weeks since I last posted, it's been a bit hectic around here.
I've not been well, add to that a doctor check up which showed
my blood pressure at 196/90 - doctor not best pleased - and she
promptly doubled the dose of one of my meds.

That same evening very late at night our daughter
called me from the emergency department of the hospital.
She had been admitted in a hurry with a bad kidney infection!
A worrying time but after three days they allowed her home
with oral antibiotics (she'd been on IV during her stay).
She's slowly beginning to feel better.

Needless to say, we've been very busy and my quilting has been
on the back burner, but today I spent a little time on these
two special pieces.


There is a story behind these two littlies.
In a post February 2014 HERE I showed two photos of
a pukeko, a New Zealand native bird, beautifully coloured and
a real character.
Sally T at The Objects of Design
loved the birdy and made a block.

Fast forward to August last year when I was the winner of a Jelly Roll
in a draw on Sally's blog. I received the package and tucked away in there
were three surprises for me.

One  was the pukeko above, he's been living in a drawer in my
studio, today he was liberated and had two borders added, now he's going back
into the drawer until I can baste him - with needle and thread!

The second surprise was two cat blocks, each with a mouse in the tummy.
Sally and I had been having fun with cats and kittens during
the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge, these two were obviously
escapees. They were stitched together today and
two borders added, again they're waiting to be basted.

Surprise number three will be revealed in a later post.

Fingers crossed that life can get back to normal for a while, I am
suffering from quilting withdrawal symptoms!

We've had some hot days recently, today is terrifically hot, and
thinking about a dip in the sea I brought up this photo below,
 the view from the front lawn of a friend's place taken
three weeks ago

I'm feeling cooler by the minute!

Have a good week!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Which way??

I posted one of my two feathers a few days ago, both are
sewn up and on to the setting now.

So, there are three ways

Number one

Number two

Number three

I like number three best, it will be a smidgen smaller when I stitch the
centre seam and they need  trimming.
Which of these three settings do you think would
look best for a cushion/pillow? Let me know.

Photos are not the best, number one doesn't show the background

fabric clearly, the sun was coming out and going in,
the last one is nearer the true colour.

My Gypsy Wife is coming along, I'll post an update at
the weekend. I've enjoyed making this quilt so much that
when I saw a post from 

Angie at Gnome Angel
with details of a Sew Along using a pattern by Jen Kingwell -
Long Time Gone -  I thought, yes, that's for me. Sent off for
the pattern booklet and it arrived yesterday.

Now, having seen the size of the pieces I may shall pass on the Sew Along which
is held over 4 months and just proceed at my own pace over the year, maybe longer!
The size of the quilt is 66 and 1/2" x 67 and 1/2" so you can see 
there's a heck of lot to fit in!!
I don't need the pressure of a deadline for this.

Back to quilting my grandson's quilt, not many more blocks left now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Slow Stitching and Unpicking!

I haven't hand quilted for a few years, used to love it but my arthritis in my hands
put a stop to that.
Feeling the need to sit, relax and hand stitch again (with the aid of
good pain medications) I'm working
on my Paintbox quilt - just look under Labels on my side bar
for older posts.

Because I like these fabrics to take centre stage
the quilting will be minimal, just outlining the central wedges
in the ditch with 

a beautifully variegated Oliver Twist cotton which blends in rather than
shouting "here I am, in fact you can barely see it at all.

Unpicking an older quilt is quite a relaxing
task for Sunday Slow Stitching! This is a wall hanging made 
many years ago, lots of black fabric which had faded badly.
Some components could be salvaged, the central log cabin portion was
made from my own dyed silks, lilac silks from one of my
daughter's ball dresses and a few pieces of bought
hand made paper with silk which I dyed.

 I was hoping my border of Flying Geese - again the dyed paper/silk -  could be saved,
it was always quite fragile and over the years of storing it's become
really fragile, I could only save the piece below.

So that was my stitching on Sunday and here we are with another
Monday morning, washing out on the line making the most of the sun
and the windy weather.
Floors swept and shopping put away, the rest of the day
is mine!!

Linking up now with

Saturday, January 21, 2017

More Strips and a Sunrise

Let's start with the strips.
I have a birthday gift to make for the end of February and thought
that for once it would be good to get in early!

Strips out of the clean up cuts bin, but I did cut them down
into various widths 1 and 1/2" through to 3".

Some of these strips were too short for the project,
I just joined two together of similar colour.

I'm making a pillow with two of the Anna Maria Horner
feathers.  I still have
the side pieces to sew on tomorrow, and one more
to get together.

I had to starch the strips within an inch of their lives to try and make
sure they held their shape, they do need trimming up a little.
Also I've gone for slightly more subdued colours, had they been for myself
I might have gone quite wild with very bright fabrics, but not everyone
likes "in your face" fabrics!

You all know I love my sunrises and sunsets, here was sunrise
on Thursday morning.

Sadly we still have the overhead telephone and power lines in little old Howick, at
least on this street.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be linking up with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!

RSC 2017 have purple as the colour of the month but I have three
from last year so I'll wait for next month's colour.

Enjoy your weekend.