Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hand Applique

Goodness knows, my hand stitching has never been anything to write home about but I am planning to make a quilt from a pattern I bought when I was at the Quilt & Craft Fair in Hamilton a couple of months ago. The pattern is a wall hanging with 16 fused daisy blocks. I want to double it in size to make a bed quilt and I don't like fused applique on bed quilts . What method of hand applique to use?

While I have done heaps of fused wall-hangings I haven't done a huge amount of hand applique and mostly it has been single layer. I've used freezer paper on the back, spray starch painted on the seam allowances and the iron to press them over. I then take the freezer paper out and hand stitch the applique piece on. I thought I would make a couple of samples to try the back basting method and compare it with my freezer paper method. Here are the results so far:

Can you guess which method is which? Which one looks best?

There is a circle to be attached to the middle and the background is cut out as a circle to be appliqued onto another background. Then there are the pieced blocks to do. This ain't gonna be a quick quilt!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Quilting Content - and about time too!

This blog has been bereft of actual real quilting content (as opposed to the fabric acquisition content) so I thought I would post a photo of a teaching sample I have made. Recently I was asked if I would teach some beginners quilting classes as a local fabric shop and this is what I came up with. It measures about 85 cm square and I am calling it the "Rookie Quilt"

I'm teaching it in 6 parts, both in an evening class for 6 weeks and a Saturday class for 3 weeks with double lessons. We have done the nine patch blocks and the inner border(the blue & red bit.) in the evening class and the Saturday class starts tomorrow. I have to say I wasn't totally happy with the design or my fabric choices but deadlines loom and sometimes you just have to go with what you've got.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Final Instalment of Girls' Big Day Out

After lunch we headed for Taia Textile Gallery, the home of the fabulous NZ Quilter magazine. Ann Scott provided us with lovely tea, coffee juice and bikkies and I was humbly thrilled to be presented with a 'thank you' package from the ladies on the trip. I had no idea that a whip-round had been organised - very sneaky weren't they?

Lorraine had made badges for the trip:
Cool eh? I made some giveaway prizes for people who had different things on their badges. Unfortunately some bits fell off during the trip and I couldn't award one of the prizes. So I decided it would go to the "best stripper". I didn't see it, but on one of the other buses Karen got hot and had to remove one of her undergarments!

Our last quilt stop was at Shed 11 on Wellington's wharf for the Quilt Show & Sale put on by Quiltsellers Ltd. A great display of quality quilts, all for sale, and we were allowed to touch them!
Here are some of us discussing the finer points of one of the quilts:
Part of the display. All the quilts folded on the shelves were allowed to be unfold so they could be looked at:
For tired quilters a great little sitting area:

More quilts on display:
A mystery knight in shining armour came to our rescue and took our group photo:
And here we are:

We stopped for dinner at Fisherman's Table on the way home and this is the view from the restaurant:
The weather was getting a bit squally by then!

Post script:
A few days after the trip I got a 'thank you' bag of edible goodies to distribute to the drivers. Audrey signed the card with "blessings from a very tired person". That just about sums it up!

And an apology:
The photos are poor quality because I didn't realise the lens on my camera was dirty. I must have stuck my sticky finger on it by mistake!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Girls' Big Day Out

After leaving Masterton we headed south over the Rimitukas. Since we had people whose bodies protest at going around bends I had to take things very slowly over the winding road. A challenge for me because I am known for my 'heavy foot', or as a friend puts it, "You drive like a maniac, Helen." Our next port of call was Thimbles and Threads in Upper Hutt. Sharon, the owner was overseas but she had her staff ready to serve us tea and coffee and see to our every purchasing need! Her husband was very helpful carrying our catered lunch boxes up the stairs to the classroom where we partook of more sustanence. I'm sorry to say I forgot to take out my camera at this stop but I did make a couple of purchases:
The bottom ruler is a 6 1/2" by 12 1/2" non-slip ruler from Creative Grids. Gotta love those extra half inches! The top one is an "Easy Angle" from EZ Quilting. I pretty sure it does the same thing as the Fons and Porter ruler for cutting half square triangles from the same width strip of fabric as the matching whole square that I wrote about in an earlier post, but I haven't tried it yet. As you can see it is still un-opened. I think the Fons and Porter product will also do the Quarter Square triangles as well, so I guess it would have been a better choice (had it been available - not sure if you can buy them in NZ)

Hey, no fabric!

Actually, that's not quite true. I did buy 3 metres of black cotton to play with discharge dying but I got that at Quilters' Lane. I also forgot to say in my last post that Lynn and Debbie from Quilters' Lane gave us a squishy packet to use as a club raffle. Very, very generous! Thanks a bunch.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Girl's Big Day Out

It was our club's Mystery Bus Trip yesterday. I took 33 keen quilt shoppers in 3 mini buses on a trip to Wellington via Masterton. I'll post some photos over the next few days (it might give me motivation to blog a bit more often!)

Here are the troops at 7 in the morning on a grey day in Wanganui (the weather improved, thankfully):

Our first stop for shopping was at Quilters' Lane in Masterton. Lyn Bell and Debbie Joblin had their shop in pristine condition with lots of delicious fabrics for us to drool over. They kindly provided morning tea for us, a couple of slices they said. This is the feast that awaited us:

Club sammies, scones with jam and three slices! After 2 hours of travelling it was a very welcome treat. They really went out of their way to make us welcome. Thanks!!

Here we are, tucking in:

The shop offered lots of cool selections for us to choos from:

And the fabric was beautifully presented:
Audrey won the "bargain of the day". She fell in love with a hand bag that had gorgeous feather trim and negotiated to purchase it!
Not a great photo, but she was certainly a happy customer and we were all envious of her successful bargaining:
Pretty cool bag!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I wish this one was mine!

I found some more retreat photos I forgot to get off the camera and here is a quilt on one of the beds. Frances had the privilege of sleeping under this beauty. Karen at Parklee has just recently finished it. She said it was for her son and daughter-in-law but they didn't like the colours, until the quilt was finished and then they liked it very much! (Apparently they were tough out of luck having already turned it down - I guess it was a case of looking the gift horse in the mouth!) I like it too. I wish it was (or should that be 'were'?) mine.
I think Karen said the quilting was done by Jacqui Karl. Jacqui does fantastic work on her domestic Bernina. She is a wonderful tutor and makes beautiful quilts in a wide range of styles. We have her booked for another workshop next year.

This is the quilt that I slept under (an "oldie but a goodie"):

P.S. I forgot to say that Frances said I was allowed to say she was in her jim-jams early of Friday night at the retreat (see her nightie in the photo in the previous post.) She said that a lot of you will totally be able to relate to that!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Quilting Heaven

When I die I want to go to Quilting Heaven which is at Parklee Quilters' Retreat in Kimbolton (north of Fielding, about an hour and fifteen minutes from home - just the right amount of distance.)

Last weekend I had the most fabulous time away with 6 of my quilting buddies. The studio was large and well equipped. I was most impressed with the ironing surface on top of the chest freezer - so much easier having a large ironing surface - I want one! The beds were warm and snuggly with quilt patterned sheets and topped with fab quilts. The food was fantastic! Roast pork and apple sauce with home made gravy and roast veges. Yummy lemon pudding with whipped cream to follow - and that was only Saturday evening. Home-made jams and toast bread for brekkie (fruit and yoghurt for the health conscious amongst us along with the usual cereals.) Delicious lunches and the best part was that I didn't have to cook any of it! Did I mention the chicken and broccoli bake or the tune quiche? I didn't realise how much more quilting time I have when I don't have to stop to get meals ready, clean or do laundry. I could get used to this real quick.

We arrived on Friday evening and soon after (a few wines to wind down) the machines were whizzing along. Carol won the prize for the first project finished (well, she did bring Phd's and the first one was a bag made from 2 fat quarters):

Did you see that Featherweight Carol was using? What a sweet sound to listen to!

Carol also completed this fun top. Some of the blocks were from an internet exchange. The pattern is called "It's always 5 o'clock somewhere" by Pat Sloan:

Frances got comfortable:

And I didn't take nearly enough photos.