Sunday, 29 January 2017

Trying to be technical

I am not a technical person - not at all!
I very kind lady called Margaret found my blog via a friend but has pointed out to me that I don't have a "Follow me " button on my blog. I'm sure there used to be one, so I do not know what has happened to it.

I have spent ages trying to figure out how to rectify this problem.
So this post is so I can see if it's worked.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Using up scrap strings

When I ran out of small calico squares for my Twinkler blocks I made some string blocks.  I didn't have many strings in my stash but I sorted them into colours and just used a 5" paper foundation for them.

This what I made:

and then these mistakes!

Not sure how it happened, but when I came to trim the blocks I discovered the papers hadn't been cut at 5", more like 4.75".  Also I was running out of lengths to make the strings so started piecing strips.
I used one of those pieced yellow strips for the centre of the block and it doesn't work, the definition of the centre is lost.  However, we learn from mistakes so I won't do that again. The pieced strings look OK in the other parts of the square.
So, I have put these 5 blocks aside to be used as Orphan Blocks in the future.
And that's the end of my strips that can be used this way. Just a few scraps left which can be incorporated in Crumb blocks.
I will take the string blocks home with me to the UK and then I can make loads more to add to them so eventually I will have enough for a quilt.  I'll probably take the Twinkler blocks back too as I don't think I will be able to make enough here to make a quilt.

Loving making Twinklers!

I had another Patchwork Group sewing day on Saturday, then a couple of hours on Sunday morning when I was able to work through my plastic bag of Twinkler block sets to make a LOT of Twinklers.

Blue ones:
Yellow ones:
Purple ones:

Green ones:

Pink ones:
Red ones:

30 Twinkler blocks in total!
I still have more sets of coloured squares cut out but I ran out of calico 1.5" squares.
I have now cut out enough to use up all my coloured 2.5" squares so next Patchwork Group day or the next time I have the opportunity at home to sew, they will be completed.
I love these blocks, so pretty and a great use of scraps.
Thank you, Cathy of Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting for giving me this idea.

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!