Friday, May 29, 2009

That's my boy

I have just had Cass staying for a couple of nights as he was down here with his boss attending an engineering seminar at Canterbury University.

Cass has a delightful retro style of dressing - here he is, as we were leaving for the airport. That's a large leather satchel he has slung across his shoulder. The hat (called a 'cheesecutter") once belonged to a friend's grandfather. The jacket is actually a woman's jacket that he bought at an op shop for a party costume, and then found he liked it.

The style suits him.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Art by Mother Nature

I'm in the middle of creating more quilts but will post photos when I'm more advanced. In the meantime, here's some of Mother Nature's art.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Frankly, I'm amazed

Yes indeedy. Today I'm quilting Bronwen's quilt - she moved yesterday and I hope to be able to give this to her tomorrow. Having been inspired by the lovely Patsy Thompson, I decided to quilt it with feather designs.

Now those who are familiar with my stitching will know it elicits more of the "well, I guess it's quilted" rather than the "Wow! Look at the control, the precision, the exquisite stitching!" that Patsy gets. My feathers have shown a rather alarming tendency to become ferns or leaves, and on the borders, they change direction regularly, but overall, they DO manage to show some degree of featheriness. At least to non-quilters.
This is the reverse - I drew the spine of 4 main feathers, then did the rest freehand, which is how I usually quilt.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Winter Weekend quilt

I made this today using the batiks I showed in Saturday's post. Just call me "prolific"! If I can actually earn some money as well, I'll be happy. I called this "Winter Weekend" because I'll offer it as a weekend class. It's 44" by 35" finished size, so suitable for a lap quilt or for children. I wasn't sure that everyone would like these fabrics, so I made a couple of "alternative idea" blocks as well.
I find beginner quilters are often unable to visualise a quilt in anything other than the sample fabrics, so I hope these will help them to see how the design can be translated into other patterns and colours.
Regular readers will know that I'm intrigued by how my dogs, who are litter mates, often lie together. Here's a partial back to back.
Foot to foot. These photos were taken during the course of a day, so this is a common occurrence.
And an almost mirror image back to back. The dogs have always been together and I don't even want to think about when they get old and one of them dies before the other.

The Villa Quilt

My friend Bronwen (who doesn't read my blog) is moving into an old villa on Friday. She loves quilts but doesn't sew, so I decided to make her one as it'll suit the house. On reflection, I probably shouldn't have used the pink rose fabric, but I wanted several small floral prints and I didn't have much in my stash to choose from. The main fabric is one I bought the other day for the double pinwheel quilt, but when I looked at the pattern again, I realised it wouldn't suit so put it aside. It's perfect for this project.

Because it's a simple pattern, I photographed each stage to make it into an online class for beginners. Hopefully I'll get time over the next week to sandwich and quilt it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fabric frenzy

Firstly, thank you to my blog readers and friends for your support and sympathy - I will always grieve for Roxy on her birthday and the anniversary of the day she died, because that's all I CAN do - keep her memory alive.

Secondly, I have had a fabric frenzy. I am so excited by my new plans to teach quilting using traditional and modern block designs, which has surprised me as I really only make art quilts these days and didn't think I'd get excited about block quilts. What has also surprised me is my desire for fabric, as I tend to mainly dye my own and use little commercial stuff.

However....I decided that if I was going to make sample quilts to entice people to take my classes, then they need to be beautiful and eye-catching, and not look like they were cobbled together out of leftover odds and ends such as I have in my stash. Also, because I'm starting to do classes through the local quilt shop, I needed to use more than just hand-dyes in my samples.

And because I never do one thing at a time, I am now making 5 more quilts in addition to the Bento Boxes one I've already shown you a glimpse of. Here's what's coming up:

These 2 will be combined with a pale purple hand dye to make a pinwheel "make a queen-sized quilt top in a day" class.

These 4 batiks will make a beginner's quilt.
I even bought a jelly roll to make a fabulous quilt designed especially for them. This colourway is called "Mint Chip".
These 3 will combine with a plain fabric (maybe calico) to make another beginner's quilt.
And the piece de resistance (due to the substantial cost!) will be this quilt. It took me about an hour to pick 7 other suitable fabrics to go with the main fabric I chose, which is Hoffmans "Feathers" (centre). There are main blocks, sashing blocks, and 2 different lots of setting triangles, so it's for intermediate quilters. The Feathers fabric is the centre of the main blocks, and also the border. This should look stunning.

Friday, May 15, 2009

30 years on

Thirty years ago today, I had my first baby. Roxy grew to be a lovely intelligent child despite my complete lack of knowledge and experience with babies. This photo was taken in hospital shortly after she was diagnosed with the leukaemia that ended her life at age 4.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Autumn days

I'm in the middle of making a lot of things but don't have much to show you at present, so here's a couple of shots of the snow-covered mountains that I can see from my upstairs. Part of the reason that I bought this house!
These are the foothills of the Southern Alps, New Zealand's huge mountain chain. Click on the link to see how these mountains dominate the South Island. I live about 1/3 of the way down the island, slightly north and inland from Banks Peninsula on the right-hand (eastern) side. Prior to starting this blog, I lived in Lyttelton, which is the harbour at the top left of this next photo of the Peninsula. It's a sunken volcano, as is Akaora harbour at the bottom of the photo.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Class patterns

I'm putting together some samples for classes that I hope to teach through the local quilt shop. In addition to my original wallhanging designs, Monet's hexagons (above) and Reverberations (below), which I already have instructions for and samples of, I want to offer some other patterns.
So I've started to assemble Bento Boxes (below) in a mix of commercial and hand-dyed fabrics. I may also make another sample in a completely different range of colours - watch this space.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

That's my boy

I've been in Auckland for a couple of days, staying with my children(who now flat together). I missed seeing Cass graduate with his Bachelor's degree last year as his ceremony was a week after Sophie's. This year he was capped for Master in Architecture with First Class Honours.
Here's the parade up Queen St, on its way to where the ceremony will be held. This was the first capping ceremony for Auckland university this year. There will be quite a few more.
Some of the others with lemon hoods - these are bachelor graduates, as they have the fur edge on their hoods.
And later at lunch - the "I wish you'd stop taking photos of me" look.
At the flat (it's a house actually, 4 of them live there), I saw this quilt that I made many moons ago and which Sophie took with her when she went away to uni. It's the Stargazey Daisiez pattern from a class I did with Jan Mullen. It must be about 8 or 9 years old by now and has faded somewhat, but it still looks good.