Monday, March 26, 2012

March Retreat 2012

Last weekend, a dozen or so quilters from our guild filled up a school camp hall with our machines, boards, rulers and fabric and sewed and chatted away the days.  Margaret was strip piecing lots of little bits.  She put them all away though when she decided that she didn't like the cream blocks she'd brought to go with them.

Darryl reckoned she didn't get much done, but she managed to finish quilting this quilt-for-kids quilt and she solved lots of problems for people!  You can see the whole quilt pinned up on the wall below.  I love this graphic pattern.

Perfect for a boy .

Leonie worked on a few things including this wreath.  But I missed a shot of her gorgeous pleated bag!

Jane worked on these poinsettias. 

And these neat little foundation pieced blocks.  Some clever fussy cutting makes them really effective.

Here's a progress shot of Vicki's wall hanging.  She started it 12 years ago!

And now she's finished it!  Well, she still has to quilt it, but major progress has occurred.

This was also Vicki's, from a Gloria Loughman class she took at Symposium.

Delores was also pulling out the ancient UFO's.

And here is the final layout (except for one block that blew off the wall as I was taking the pic).

I finished a mat and ruler bag for myself.

Here's the back.

And this is Camilla the Gorilla who comes to retreat with us.

She always gets up to mischief of one sort or another!

These stunners are Alison's.  She won them in a raffle and so has been adding some more.

They are made from ties and are just gorgeous!

Beryl and Leonie were both working on projects made in a Hazel Foote class at Symposium.

 Edna was going crazy piecing teeny weeny squares.

 But the top kept growing and growing.

There is a large, square, stainless steel kitchen bench.  Perfect for basting.

 This is Darryl's.  She wanted to unpick the orange feature squares but was bullied talked into keeping them in there by the rest of us.  I think it's stunning!

And this photo doesn't do this wall hanging justice.  It's Beryl's and she's done it on a linen background.

 Gaylene was crumb piecing.  We've crowned her Queen of Crumbs.

You can see why when you see her quilt up on the wall.  I think she should call it Google Earth!

More of Edna's handywork.

Alison did some thread sketching of a favourite bouncy wee dog.

Delores finished off this kaleidoscope top. 

And last word goes to Margaret who reckoned these counted as a finish!

See you all next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On the Line Challenge Winners

Recently Aotearoa Quilters (the National Association of New Zealand Quilters) held an on-line challenge.  Members were encouraged to make an A3 sized piece of work in a horizontal orientation that interpreted the theme: On the Line.

The winners have been announced and all entries are now viewable on their website:

Best in Show Snakes on Ladders by Helen Beaven  prize sponsored by Distressed Threads

Best Traditional On line Flowers by Ruth Wheelerprize sponsored by Patch and Quilt Taradale

Best Innovative Floating Free by Sheryl Anicich prize sponsored by Dye-it Fabrics

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jeanette DeNicolis Meyer Workshop

What a weekend!  Jeanette's workshop 'Layers of Lightness - Quilt and Collage with Translucent Fabrics' was a  huge success.  Everyone I spoke to took something away with them, whether it was new skills that they were sure they would use again, inspiration for a new work, or just more of an idea of where they are heading in their quilting journey.  

Day one and we got to play with lots of paint.  Trying out colour mixes, methods of laying down paint and getting texture were all part of our experiments.  We were painting on silk organza for the most part and it was wonderful stuff.

Our drop cloths were almost as exciting as the organza, and I for one, caught myself planning my next colour to match my drop cloth rather than what I needed to complete a range of colours in my organza!

We all ended up with a pile of beautiful fabrics.  And they were all completely different. 

Day two saw us learning about the different ways to seam our fabrics and then we jumped right in to composing.  Sue was congratulated in being so brave as to cut up her beautiful piece of organza that forms the centre of her quilt.

And here are our compositions up on the design wall.  Above, from left to right, are Kerry, Gaylin and Terri's pieces.

From left to right we have Vikki's, Charlotte's (who did two) and Sue's.

Then we have Shirley, Petra and Dolores.

From left to right again, Carol and Donna.

Then we have Patricia, Robyn, Cynthia and Monika.

And last, but not least, we have Suz.

You can see how different each piece is.  Yet we all started with the same white organza and the same paints.  Some people used their drop cloths and others added a patterned fabric as their base to work on.

Jeanette is a fabulous tutor and a wonderful person as well.  She is teaching again in New Zealand next year, Wanaka's Autumn Art School (this links to the 2012 programme as they haven't put up the 2013 one yet) from from 22 to the 26 of April 2013.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with her, you won't be disappointed, whatever it is she may be teaching.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Are you a quilting book collector?  I hear some people's book stashes rival their fabric stashes.  And should we talk about magazine stashes?!
Image: Ambro /
Sometimes there is a particular book you want.  You search your local quilt shop - no luck, you search your library - no luck.  What do you do?  Well, have you tried Fishpond?  Fishpond is kinda the NZ local equivalent of Amazon, a big on-line bookshop.  They often have specials and they have free postage within New Zealand.  You can set up a wishlist and you can send that wishlist to your hubby as a birthday hint!

I went in and searched for 'traditional quilts' and more than 1000 products were found.  Gulp!  It might take you a little while to browse all those, but I'm sure you'll have fun while you do it.  Here's the link for my search:

Otherwise, click here to go to Fishpond's home page.

And no, I don't get any kickbacks from Fishpond, and please support your local quilt shop when you can.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Faced Binding Tutorial

Using a faced binding can be a nice way to finish off a wall hanging or small art quilt.  A traditional binding can sometimes be 'too much' and a faced binding finishes the edge without adding anything to it.

Judy Coates Perez (who is an amazing art quilter and, if you haven't already, you should spend some time looking at her work) has generously shared a faced binding tutorial on her blog.  I have seen some other tutorials but this one is the easiest to follow in my opinion.  She has nice clear photos and well-written instructions.

This is what the back of a quilt with a faced binding looks like.  Image from 
So if you are looking for a new skill, something to help you finish those little quilts you've made, then take a look here:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Graph Paper.

Do you draft out your own quilt designs?  How about playing with layouts and colour options for your latest hexie quilt?  This website has free graph paper in all sorts of different shapes and sizes - you can download and keep a PDF of your most used shape.  There's diamonds, triangles, hexagons and squares of course.  You set the size you want and off you go.

 (Images from

Friday, March 2, 2012


Do you feel like you are lacking something?  Is the start of Autumn getting you down?  Are you looking for a little wow?  Well, check out Melody Johnson's website for more than a little colour infusion!

Image from
Click here to go to and have a cruise through some of her fun-filled and bright quilts.  You can also find a link to her blog if you would like to follow Melody as she knits, dyes and quilts her way through life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beneath the Southern Sky

Image from
Beneath the Southern Sky is a travelling exhibition of 30 contemporary textile works.  It will be touring Australia and a couple of venues in the USA and you will be able to see the collection in New Zealand at the Craft and Sewing Show in Auckland,  15th to 18th of March.  It is being curated by Brenda Gael Smith, one of the now famous twelve by twelve quilters.

For full details on this exhibition, have a look at the website

Check it out if you have the chance - it looks like it will be a great show!