Sunday, June 25, 2006

Still blending

I am still working on this quilt made from my new "Blended" fabric range (available here). It's a bit hard to photograph it at present with the sun so low. I can't make a decision about whether to put any kind of border on this - any suggestions from readers? No? Yes? Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 23, 2006


I am so thrilled at having a pattern published. Here is the magazine, with a big photo of my quilt on the Contents page. They have renamed it "Oamaru Cottage", seeing as I live in one! My mother has asked for a copy of the magazine, so I'll have to see if I can find one; otherwise I'll get it photocopied. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Almost the Shortest Day

Here's a couple of pix taken around 7.30am - it is of course, winter here, and at this latitude south, the sun isn't rising until after 8am. There was a lovely colour along the horizon, and the moon was still up - that's it in the upper left of the left-hand photo, looking up through my denuded ficus tree with only one leaf at the top. You can see my bamboo wind-chimes on the clothesline. It's the coldest day here so far this winter, and my indoor-outdoor thermometer is reading ) degrees C (32 degrees F for you overseas readers). Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 19, 2006

Home is Where the Hearts Are

...and today, my Hearts quilt (full title as above) has come home from Australia. Huh! Even I haven't been to Oz but Hearts has been there since February. It's one of the quilts featured as a pattern in Patchwork & Stitching magazine this month, and it's been there so the publishers could photograph it. This is the first time I've had a pattern in a magazine!

My daughter Sophie commandeered Hearts last year as spare bedding for her flat, because it's so cosy. It is, in fact, a "faux flannel" quilt, fully reversible, and made with exposed frayed edges like flannel quilts but it's made entirely of ordinary cottons (mainly my hand dyes, of course) with cotton batting. The exposed edges are clipped with scissors to make them fray and fluff up. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chips without fish

A week of doing stuff I have to, so nothing much creative happening apart from knitting the apple green wool shown in last Sunday's photo. I'm putting together a new customer newsletter for my dye business, which involves deciding what to feature, writing the newsletter, updating the website because none of the featured stuff is on it, working out how to upload my ebook (I keep putting this off, as it involves applying myself to read instructions - heaven forbid!) and also, finally getting a new colour chart of fabric chips onto my site. I've changed dye suppliers, but the new one doesn't distribute printed colour charts. As most of the stock I had was from the old supplier, this hasn't been a problem until now. So I've dyed up little squitty bits of fabric and cut and pasted (about to in the photo) them so customers can see what they're buying.

So much for not working at weekends. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 12, 2006

Blended Overdyes

Pic as promised. I am not at all inspired by these . I will have to think of something else to do with the rejects. Posted by Picasa

New babies

Here are my new babies, the Blended fabrics I made over the weekend, now that they've been washed, ironed and converted into fat quarters. Now I have to think up names for each colour set. There were a couple of pieces that I thought were awful; the colours just hadn't blended the way I want, so I've overdyed them. Maybe I'll have a Blended Over range as well! Pix coming later. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Not doing nothing

True, I've been a bit quiet on Blogger lately. And I haven't been visiting other blogs as much, so my apologies for the silence. However, I HAVE been doing stuff. Above (clockwise) is the completed jacket I knitted for my daughter Sophie; this morning's glorious sunrise; the 12 metres of fabric I dyed yesterday waiting to be rinsed, washed, dried and ironed; and the wool I dyed to make a similar jacket for Hattie, my son's girlfriend.

I've started to make the fabric, which I call my "Blended" range, in distinct colours so that I can put it on the website for sale. By distinct, I mean recording the dyes used and giving each colour mix a name so I can reproduce it. There are 5 or 6 colours on each piece.

A major reason for my lack of blogging is that I'm wrestling with what direction to take with my business. At present, my income is from my dye business . My fiber art doesn't make any money and is unlikely to be major income source as no-one in New Zealand can earn a living this way. My business used to sell fabric (it was an existing business that I bought), but as I wasn't attending trade shows where most of the sales were, I stopped featuring it on the website. Now everyone and their dog is selling hand-dyed fabric, including my own customers, and it's also sold on auction sites (which devalues it). So my Blended range is a way of producing something different, as it's not immersion dyed like everyone else's fabric. However, I am reluctant to sell it to shops because a) they're notoriously slow payers and b) I have to accept so much less for it wholesale. My dyeing method is very time-consuming and hands-on, and my price of $30 per metre (equivalent = US$19, Aus$25, 15 Euros) reflects that. So I am trying to work out the best way to market it, and I don't have thousands of dollars available for advertising.

Dyes is also a product with a limited market, New Zealand being very small, and I want to expand out into something else but I don't know what . (If you, dear reader, know of any wildly desirable, high profit items related to what I'm doing now, please email me separately!!!).

Sigh. Decisions, decisons....... Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

Not the actual birthday

Today is Queen's Birthday holiday in New Zealand, though not the Queen's actual birthday.
I spent the weekend at the North Otago Quilters' Exhibition, and here's a shot of a quilt top I'm whipping up out of my new range of "Blended" fabrics. I'm keeping it simple, so that it's a)quick and b) shows off the stripey look of the fabric. This is just the bit I've made so far - it will be bigger than this. I plan to applique some circles on top of the strips.

June sunrise...

These shots were taken a few minutes apart a few days ago.