Saturday, 14 January 2017

Twinkler blocks

I really enjoy following Cathy and her posts on her blog called Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.

Cathy does all the things I like to do - use up scraps! She follows the RSC each month and then some! She makes loads of different blocks each month and then when she has enough of one design of block she makes a quilt from them.

One of her recent quilt finishes was using blocks she called Twinkler blocks. 
I had never heard of these blocks before and trawled back through her posts to find a pattern for them.  Now, of course I can't remember where I found that but whilst I was cutting up my NZ scraps I made a pack for Twinkler blocks: 2.5" squares of all the different coloured fabrics I had and 2.5" & 1.5" cream calico squares cut from various bits and pieces of calico. 

Yesterday I sewed some of these blocks together, 9 so far and I love them.

As you can see there are even some Christmas fabric scraps in the blocks but I think that just adds interest ( I did leave out the squares of red fabric with 'Merry Christmas" written all over them in gold!).  I am also an avid Bonnie Hunter fan and I know she would add Christmas fabrics so, if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for little old me.
Lots more scraps left so I can happily sew some more at my Patchwork meeting on Wednesday. I bought an orange dot Fat Quarter at the Show on Thursday so I'll cut up a few squares from that to add to my orange mix.
Joining up with Nicky's Scraptastic Tuesday on mrs sew and sow blog

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Local Quilt Show

Yesterday I had a super time, firstly attending an excellent lecture by a wonderful quilter called
Ansa Breytenbach, now living here in New Zealand but originally from South Africa. The Show was being held at St Thomas's Church in Motueka and before the Show officially opened Ansa inspired and amused us all explaining how she came to quilting after she and her husband and sons arrived in NZ back in 2002.  She had always been able to sew but had not been interested in quilting until her husband enrolled her in a quilting class to help her overcome home sickness.

What a journey he started Ansa on!  Her style is machine applique, very large quilts with amazingly intricate machine quilting.  She enters many shows, a lot in the States and has won Blue Ribbons. Several of her quilts wer hung at the Show and they were absolutely breathtaking.  The amount of work, applique and quilting were unbelievable! Google Ansa to find out more of her work.

This huge quilt was called Good Vibrations (remembering the Beach Boys' pop song)

 And here is the back where you can see the amazing quilting!  
You can see how Ansa matches all her colours of threads to the actual colour of fabric in the quilt top.  She does all her quilting on a domestic machine!

These four stars were part of a very large red and white quilt: amazing points, quilting and hundreds of diamond-like tiny beads.

One of the stars in even more close up.

And a fun quilt, smaller this time, with funky frogs.


One of the local quilters, Linda Payne, had this amazing work on show.
She had taken 17 years to complete her work of art. The idea started when she saw an article in a newspaper article about a Persian rug which was in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The rug was over 2000 years old and caught Linda's attention. She decided to replicate it.  Just incredible.  Can't imagine how many thousands of stitches are in it.
This photo shows most of the rug, but I couldn't get all the borders and the wool fringe top and bottom into my picture.

Part of the centre Stars section in close up:
One of the horses in a border. Some of the horses were being riden others led:

Another border of moose-like animals: 

Many, many more lovely quilts, showing all kinds of craftsmanship.
This cot quilt amused me. The maker said she had been given the partly worked cot quilt so she had finished it. She now had to make another as her daughter is expecting twins!
I loved this Dragonfly. It's body was 3D:
And the Owl Quilt, which was full of Maori symbols:
This sign explains their meanings:
So, a wonderful Show, a great tribute to all the clever sewers in our district.  Thank you to the organisers, the contributors, Ansa and all the folk who set up the Exhibition and who will be taking it down tomorrow teatime.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sorting out my NZ stash

As we have sold our NZ house I am sorting out all our belongings ( not too many, thankfully!) and that includes my sewing things.
Last year I made a conscious effort to use up old scraps so when I got out my stash yesterday it looked like this:

A cabin bag of larger pieces ( not yards, just pieces left over from backings etc)

And packs of completed Crumb Blocks, 4" and 4.5" sizes, packs of scrap squares of varying sizes, a small jar of buttons ( although I have since found a larger jar and lots of loose ones!) and a tin of embroidery flosses.  I also have the usual cutting mat, rotary cutter, rulers, sewing kit, threads and so on.

I also have a large pack of 5" Liberty-style squares. Not really my taste, too pale and flimsy:

And a pack of Fat Quarters:

As I love making Scrap Quilts and over the years I have enjoyed looking at so many lovely RSC photos I decided to make up kits for 5" String blocks (each one in a set colour: blue, red, pink etc), Twinkler Blocks, again in a set colour with the same cream muslin star, 9 patches using 2.5" squares, and perhaps some strips of joined rectangles I can use in a Coin Quilt.

So I have been busy ironing scraps and cutting as efficiently as I can into the sizes of strips and squares needed for these projects.  Now I am all set to go to the various Patchwork meetings I will attend whilst I'm here in NZ.  I belong to two groups so I hope to sew a lot of scraps up into useful blocks, perhaps even a little quilt?

As I write this post I am smiling at the reactions of me bothering to use up such small quantities of fabric! I know from reading many blogs that so many folk have huge stashes and mine - including my one back home in the UK - must seem so tiny! However as a post WWII child I was brought up on the Make Do and Mend school of thought so I hate to waste anything. If I can make some useful blocks I shall be pleased.

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy New Year

Not quite the New Year, I know but tomorrow we are off to New Zealand via Singapore. We will be in Singapore on NYE, looking forward to the huge firework display.

I have  had a quick look at my totals for 2016. 20 completed quilts, from premature baby quilts to larger ( 60" sizes). I gifted 19 quilts but one of those was completed in 2015, waiting for the right recipient to come along. I made a few smaller gifts including a knitted beanie, Christmas place mats and Christmas tree decorations. I finished a few UFOs, putting together a couple of sets of blocks and creating 2 lovely large quilts which I donated to Siblings Together. I have a UFO Spider Web quilt waiting for me to finish when I get back to the UK in the Spring. And of course there are more UFOs to tackle and lots of new quilts to make - loads of ideas buzzing round my head!!!!!

Not sure how much sewing will be done in NZ this time so perhaps the totals for 2017 will be rather less. We'll see.

Happy New Year to you all and Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Last Patchwork Group before Christmas

This morning we had our last Patchwork Group meeting before Christmas.
All 20 of the Group's Premature baby quilts were on display and I took a few photos:

I love the rabbit in his Carrot Car!
Amazing what can be made from scraps and orphan blocks.
Happy Christmas!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas is coming

Our little granddaughter has a room at our house which is "hers".  She is staying overnight so I decided to surprise her by putting a Christmas Quilt on her bed.  Hope she likes it!

From the label I see I made the quilt back in 2002 when I went on a course.  I have had it packed away all these years, suddenly thought about it today and thought it was time it went on to a bed.  I had forgotten what a good size it is.

Are you getting into the Christmas Spirit yet?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Final finishes

 I have just completed the last Premature baby quilt for my local hospital which I think my Patchwork Group will hand over just before Christmas.

I have made 5 and they are nice and bright and cheerful.

3 were made using 4" Crumb blocks & 4" squares from stash:


One used up my last remaining scrap from a piece of novelty fabric I was gifted several years ago.
I used the elephant/jungle scrap as the centre for a medallion-style quilt. The 2.5" squares and strips for borders were all from stash:
And this last quilt used my last frog squares:

I have enjoyed making these little quilts ( 15" x 20") and hope they will bring joy to the parents of premature babies.