Thursday, 11 January 2018

My quilting priorities for 2018

I'm the type of person who likes lists.  When I write a "to do" list it keeps me focused, partly because I love ticking things off when they're done!

Here's some of what I hope to achieve with my quilting in 2018:

1. Kaffe Fasset Tropical Hexagons

Yes, top of my list is my Kaffe Fassett quilt from Kaffe's class in Wellington in January 2016.  I'm almost finished the hand quilting, and would love to have the binding on before Kaffe and Brandon return to Wellington on 28 January.

2.  Southern Stars Challenge for QuiltNSW

(No photo of my quilt because it's a secret!)

I've pieced two thirds of the top, so I just need to finish the piecing and then hand quilt it.  This is a small quilt because the challenge has a size limit.  Entries close on 12 March 2018.

3.  Capital Quilters Exhibition

Our guild is having an exhibition on 10 August 2018.  I would like to enter something new so I've started piecing something on the quiet.  Again, no photo because it's a secret.

4.  Sue Spargo Instastitch

I've started machine quilting this quilt myself.  I just need to decide when enough is enough, and add the binding.

5. Half Square Triangles

Not the best photo, but it shows that I've added more rows since last time

These are the blocks I won in our guild's Block of the Month.  This quilt is basted now and I want to hand quilt it with red thread.

6. Ballet with Kaffe

I picked this up again last week.  It's months since I worked on it, but I'm determined to make progress on it this year.  I've got lots of fabrics set aside for it and I want to reintegrate those fabrics back into my stash if I'm not going to need them for this quilt.

I actually think this quilt is more complex than la passacaglia! Just as well I did the "easy" one first.

7. Glitter

I love the colours in my Glitter quilt, and can't wait until it's on my bed.  Unfortunately progress is slow because I'm hand piecing it.

8.  Cobwebs

Chris Kenna's quilt hanging in the background

I love this quilt too, but again it's labour intensive because it's Foundation Paper Pieced.  I have to decide on my approach for the background stars.  It's all set aside and ready to tackle when the mood strikes.

9.  School Prizegiving quilt

Back in December I was sitting through my son's school prizegiving and I had a good idea for a quilt.  I've made a small start on it, but it will be a long term project so it's tucked away now.

10 - 12.  Kaffe quilts x 3

Yes, there are three Kaffe quilts I'd like to make if I get time (ha ha!).  Green Diamonds will be started at the class on 28 January.  I think most of the cutting out will be done at the class, so I'll just need to sew it up.

I've also been admiring another quilt from Quilts in Ireland, and one from Quilt Grandeur.  I have a huge Kaffe stash now after I bought a lot of pieces off my friend, Anne.  So I certainly have the supplies to make these quilts - I just need the time.

So - that's 2018 planned out.  I wonder how many I can achieve from this list.  I'm certainly hoping for six.  That would make me very happy.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Holiday Sewing Part 2 - Liberty Hexies pillow

You didn't pick me as a Liberty person? You'd be right.  I'm not really, but I saw some precut Liberty hexies at the Strawberry Thief stall at the Sydney Quilt Show, and thought I'd give Liberty a try.  I knew I already had 1" hexagon paper pieces at home.

There were 80 hexies in the packet, so I mixed them up with a bit of metallic Cotton + Steel and made a little pillow.  I hand quilted the front piece with a simple line down the centre of each row.  I used Aurifil 28wt because of the fine nature of the prints.  I thought 12wt might be too thick on this occassion.

The top has been finished for weeks, but I just need mum beside me help me turn it into a pillow.  Turns out it wasn't that hard after all, but mums tend to have these short cuts which you usually find out after the event.  This time I could ask first!

I'm very pleased with the result. Here's one last photo to show the scale.

The photo below was my haul from the 2017 Sydney Quilt Show.  I'm trying to use everything so if I'm really good I might be allowed to go back again this year.  I think I'm doing pretty well so far.  I've used at least five of those quilt labels, and I've made Flocks by Night.  I've used the Bloc Locs buried at the back right, and I cut into those Aboriginal prints this week.  Now I've used the Liberty hexies too.  I'm on a roll.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Holiday Sewing Part 1 - Daytripper 2.0 bag

The last two weeks have been very enjoyable.  I've had my mum and dad staying, and together mum and I have been busy sewing many things.

First up was this gorgeous Daytripper 2.0 bag.

Mum gave me the kit for Christmas.  It was a total surprise - she clearly knows me well and knew I'd love the new Kaffe Fassett Artisan fabric.

The pattern is byAnnie, but mum bought the whole kit in New Zealand from The Ribbon Rose. It even included the Soft and Stable, zips, buckles and webbing for the strap.

I made the bag "with parental supervision".  It was great to have mum in the house providing expert advice as required.  There were a few tricky bits, and I don't think I could have done it without my walking foot because there are very bulky sections.

It will be a great travel bag.  I like to have a crossbody bag like this when I go away because it leaves both hands free for getting on and off buses and trains.

I'll be able to try it out when I go on holiday next week.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone.  I know it's snowing in North America, and even parts of the UK, so I thought I'd share a few photos of our Christmas in Wellington, New Zealand, where it's the middle of summer.

Oriental Bay, Wellington 30 December 2017

We had Christmas at home this year for a change. My mum and dad came to our house and we had a quiet Christmas together.  I took these photos when we went for a walk around Oriental Bay.  In some parts of Wellington the houses are built on very steep hillsides., but they have great views. 

Oriental Bay, Wellington

I know some people who read my blog have been to Wellington on cruise ships.  You will remember the lovely harbour.

We also went to Ruth Pretty's kitchen shop at Te Horo for a cup of coffee and piece of her amazing Christmas cake. The garden room is an old hot house converted into a sitting area.

I loved these flowers.  Are they Artichoke Thistles? I'm not sure, but they were very tall.

Happy New Year everyone.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 - My embroidery year in review

I don't have as much to report for my embroidery as I do for my quilting.  My evenings now seem to be taken up with English Paper Piecing, hand piecing and wool felt applique.

I do still enjoy embroidery, but I guess I'm enjoying quilting more at this point in my life.  Anyway, I still managed a couple of finishes this year.

My embroidery priorities for the year were: (you can see the list here)

1. Holey Moley
This was a series of lessons at Nancy's Stitch Studio in Wellington.  Anne-Marie Moorehead was the tutor and I enjoyed learning new pulled thread stitches.  I've learnt all the techniques now, and just have to finish the piece in my own time.

The teacher's sample

2. Textured Floral Extravangza
This was another series of lessons with Anne-Marie Moorehead at Nancy's Stitch Studio.  Unfortunately I never really got into this piece.  I don't know if my colour selections weren't so wise after all, or if I never felt my stitches were good enough to start on the real fabric.  Anyway, I've already accepted that this piece may never get any further - which a very unusual admission for me!

How far I've got

What the finished piece should look like!!!

3. A Treasured Time
Finished and framed and hanging on the wall.  Success! I really enjoyed stitching this design, but won't be rushing to do another Dimensions kit soon.  It's a different technique stitching half cross stitches on Aida fabric.  You can read more about this piece here.

4. Peacock at Sunset
Another finish! I finished this Ehrman tapestry and got it made into a cushion at Nancy's.  You can read more about it here. 

5. Twelve Days Ornaments
I finally made a start on these ornaments in December (when I should have been writing Christmas cards).  The patterns are by Larissa Holland of mmmcrafts and you can download and print them at home. I have now made two ornaments for each of the first three days of Christmas, so six in total, except day one has a partridge and a pear, so there are actually eight ornaments in my box now.

So, that was 2017.  I finished two items on my list, and started on a third item.  I guess that's a 50% success rate and I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

There are so many lovely things I'd like to stitch, but unfortunately I just have to admire a lot of them and admit that there isn't time to do everything I like.  I'll start compiling my 2018 priorities list soon - one for quilting and one for embroidery.  I do think it's a good way to keep on track and avoid too many new temptations.

Have you got anything special on your 2018 crafting wishlist?

Happy New Year everyone.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

2017 - My quilting year in review

I like to review my progress against my goals at the end of each year. Way back in January I blogged about my quilting priorities for 2017 (you can read that list here).  Although I reviewed my progress back in July, I still like to do an annual review and remind myself of what I have finished during the year.

I like to use my blog as a personal record, as well as a way of sharing my quilting with others, so I totally understand if you just scroll through this list and look at the pretty pictures.

First I'll work through what was on my list in January:

1.  Symposium Quilt 1 - Vibrant Curiosities. I'm pleased to say that I finished it before the dealine, and it was accepted into Symposium.  It was all English Paper Pieced and hand quilted within six months, so that's pretty good I think.  You can read more about it here.

2.  Symposium Quilt 2 - this idea never got off the ground, but I still have all the fabrics put aside for it, and I hope to make it for our next Symposium in 2019.

3. Possum Magic - I spent weeks hand quilting this quilt, and finished it in April.  I entered it into Symposium, but it didn't get accepted.  I'm fine with that because only half of the quilts entered were accepted.

4. Kaffe Fassett Tussie Mussie I had admired the photo of Tussie Mussie in "Quilts in Italy" for some months before I decided to dive into my Kaffe stash and make this pattern.  I had this quilt quilted by a local long armer because I have too many tops waiting for hand quilting.  You can read all about it here.

5.  Instastitch with Sue Spargo.  I finished the quilt top, and have started machine quilting it myself.  It's still a work in progress.

6. Wendy Williams Tea Party BOM - I made a tiny start on this at our retreat back in July, but I haven't done any more since then.

7. Tropical Hexagons.  I've passed half way with the hand quilting, and really would like to have this finished before Kaffe and Brandon make a return visit to New Zealand in late January 2018. The problem is that it's already hot here, and hand quilting a quilt with woollen batting isn't all that appealing right now.

So that was the 7 quilts on my list for 2017.  I finished 3 of them, but started quite a few other things during the year too.

8. Holiday Homies - When I saw these cute Christmas fabrics by Tula Pink I just knew I need to make something with them.  Of course it's summer time when it's Christmas in New Zealand, so we don't need big Christmas quilts.  I just made a cute wall hanging or table mat.  You can read how I made this quilt here.  

9. Holiday Patchwork Forest.  I initially thought I'd use this pattern for my Holiday Homies fabrics above, so I made a few test blocks to see how it might work.  It turned out that the animal heads were too big to fit within the trees, but I kept my test blocks anyway.  Then a few weeks ago I got an urge to finish these blocks and I made a fun, scrappy quilt with them.

10.  Flocks by Night.  I bought this Wendy Williams pattern from Material Obsession in June.  I'd admired it for quite some time and thought it would be fun to make.  I just finished it on 21 December and am very pleased with it.

11. Cobwebs.  I started this quilt in a class back in March.  I've made quite a few of the cobweb blocks, but haven't made the background sections yet.  I'm still deciding how I want the background sections to look.

12. Glitter.  I started this in a class with Jen Kingwell at Symposium in October.  There's no rush on this because it's hand pieced and I know it's going to take time.  I've got so many green and grey fabrics set aside I simply have to continue!

13.  Ballet with Kaffe.  I started another Millefiori quilt from Willyne Hammerstein's second book.  But then she released a third book and I'm still deciding if I'll continue with this design, or morph it into one of the ones in her third book.

14. Block of the Month Half Square Triangles (BOM-HST).  I won all these half square triangles in our guild's block of the month.  I've put them together and now the top is ready for hand quilting when the cooler days arrive next autumn.

15.  Southern Stars.  QuiltNSW are running a challenge for 2018 and the theme is Southern Stars.  I've started a quilt, but won't be showing any photos until it's hanging in the exhibition.

Wow! I'm tired after writing all of that, but also feeling energised to finish some of these quilts.  I think I've had a productive year.  How about you? Did you get much quilting done in 2017? Feel free to tell me what you've achieved this year in the comments below, and even put a link to a blog post if you've done a summary like this.

In early January I'll post my quilting and embroidery lists for 2018, but I can tell you now that it's going to start with finishing all the extra things I started in 2017.

Happy New Year everyone!