Monday, 26 January 2015

Upcoming classes at Stitchbird

I really enjoyed teaching last year, and this year I'm very pleased to be teaching classes at two of my local quilt shops - Stitchbird, and Nancy's Embroidery.  I'll post about the classes I'm teaching at Nancy's when their class syllabus is out, but for now I'm excited to share the classes I'm teaching at Stitchbird.

First up is a class where you can learn how to make my super simple tote bag using Soft and Stable (find the class here).  It's a single day class which runs from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 3 May, and participants should be able to finish the bag in the class.

Echino bag

The next class runs over four two-hour lessons, in the evening of 12 and 19 May, and 2 and 9 June, starting at 7.30pm.  Participants will learn how to make a simple modern baby quilt, using a square in square block pattern.  I've used a couple of quite different colour schemes for the class samples, and I really look forward to seeing participants' fabric selections.  You can find all the class details here.

Neutral Modern Baby Quilt 

Bright Modern Baby Quilt

The last class at Stitchbird is an equilateral triangle quilt class (details here).  Again, it runs over a series of four two-hour lessons, in the evening of 21 and 28 July, and 4 and 18 August, starting at 7.30pm.  I taught this class last year and it was really fun seeing all the different variations on an equilateral triangle quilt.

Autumn with a Twist Quilt

I'm also planning an introduction to free motion quilting class at Stitchbird later in the year, and I'll share more about that when more details are available.

My aim with all classes is to share the quilting knowledge I've picked up from other people and from my own experience, and also to make the class fun.  I provide really comprehensive notes, including diagrams, so you don't have to worry about writing things down in class.  My view is that quilting should be fun, and there is usually more than one way to do things.  I like the provide the techniques to achieve precision, but let each person decide how precise they want to be with their quilt.  I also love talking colour and fabric choices (and in classes we will talk about things like print scales, value, etc.), and I really encourage people to develop their own ability to choose colours and fabrics.

If you're local and interested in any of these classes, but have questions, please feel free to let me know!

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Caturday Wisdom #104

When fear stands in the way of something you want, just glare at everything and remain pitiful. Ralph
Cat wisdom should not be applied to human life.
Ralph is torn between the joy of rubbing dirt and dust from the concrete into his fur and the terror that is the outside world. Ivy has no such fear and will rush out and roll and crow loudly about it all.
This weekend is supposed to be beautiful in Wellington, Ralph will get another chance to face his fears but will he conquer them..?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Symposium Quilts

I thought it would be nice to share a few of the quilts on display at Symposium that particularly caught my eye.  None of these were made by me - the name of the quilt and the maker is below each photo.

Raffle Quilt - Paula Shailer 
This quilt was being raffled off - it didn't have a name but was beautifully quilted by Paula Shailer

Is it Art? - Melanie Martin 
This quilt won Best of Show - it's called Is it Art? and is by Melanie Martin

Off the Floor #1 - Gael O'Donnell 
Off the Floor #1 by Gael O'Donnell

Sparrows in my Garden - Griet Lombard 
Sparrows in my Garden by Griet Lombard

Conquering Christchurch - Sophie Wood 
Conquering Christchurch by Sophie Wood

Rural 1 - Robyn Croft 
Rural 1 by Robyn Croft

12345 - Margaret Rogerson 
12345 by Margeret Rogerson

Stand My Ground - Gael O'Donnell 
Stand My Ground by Gael O'Donnell

Lehuna - Nobuko Windecker 
Lehuna by Nobuko Windecker

Nightwatch - Anna Prussing 
Nightwatch by Anna Prussing

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden - Sheryl Anicich 
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Sheryl Anicich

Kamloops - Vivienne Franklin 
Kamloops by Vivienne Franklin

Circle the Wagons - Gael O'Donnell 
Circle the Wagons by Gael O'Donnell

Vodka Cruiser - Jo Dixey 
Vodka Cruiser by Jo Dixey

Cable Car - Lorna Newsome 
Cable Car by Lorna Newsome

Hopscotch - Alison Laurence 
Hopscotch by Alison Laurence

Keeping up with the Joneses - Anne Read 
Keeping up with the Joneses by Anne Read

Refraction Fiesta - Debra DeLorenzo 
Refraction Fiesta by Debra DeLorenzo

Postmodern Quilting Is All About the Fabric - Catherine Croucher 
Postmodern Quilting Is All About The Fabric by Catherine Croucher

Lest we Forget - Fay McGregor 
Lest We Forget by Fay McGregor

Linen and Lace - Carol Newsham 
Linen and Lace by Carol Newsham

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit - Jeanie O'Sullivan 
A Gentle and Quiet Spirit by Jeanie O'Sullivan (this whole quilt was beautiful but I really wanted to highlight the stunning hand quilting and that insane scalloped binding).

Pinwinnie - Irene Anderton 
Pinwinnie by Irene Anderton

Disappointment and the Grande Dame - Catherine Croucher 
Disappointment and the Grande Dame - Catherine Croucher (Anna Prussing is a well-known New Zealand quilter - her quilt Nightwatch is above and won first prize in its category.  The low volume striped section at the top of this quilt is similar in style to some of her quilts.)

Branching Out - Ruth Wheeler
Branching Out - Ruth Wheeler

This is just a selection of the wonderful quilts on display.  I have more photos as well, including of the tutors' exhibition, which featured some lovely work, so I will try and do another post of Symposium Quilts soon.  I always feel I need to edit photos like these, taken indoors and under artificial light, so it's not a super quick process!

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Year 30 quilt update

I thought it was time for an update on my Year 30 quilt (this is the project where I'm making a block every day between by 29th birthday and my 30th birthday).

#year30quilt (121 blocks)

I've now made 125 blocks, but this is the first 121.  I'm still loving this project, and I've got into a slightly better pattern of making blocks in themes.  Now that I have more blocks, it's looking more like a real quilt, which is nice.

If you're interested in this project, you can read my previous posts here:

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Argh my eyes!

I've just been at Symposium, New Zealand's big national quilting conference, with workshops, lectures, social events and several exhibitions.  I entered two quilts in the exhibition, but only one was accepted (ultimately, it worked out for the best because the quilt that was rejected from Symposium was accepted into the QuiltCon exhibition).

Anyway, one of the rules for Symposium was that you could not have shown your quilt before, including on the internet.  I finished my quilt months ago, but I haven't been able to show it until now.  

Argh my eyes! 

One of the exhibition categories was "alive with colour".  I decided to make a quilt to fit that brief.  When I first started quilting, I really struggled with quilts that were busy and full of colour.  I wanted to add a lot of white, or other neutral solids, and negative space.  As I've made more quilts, I have become much more comfortable with full-on colour and this quilt was my attempt to incorporate lots of bright, clashy, crazy prints while still creating an effect that is harmonious

Argh my eyes! 

I've been enjoying experimenting with improvisational curved piecing lately, and this quilt uses curves cut without a ruler to add interest.  It's sort of a spin on the St Louis 16 Patch block that went crazy a couple of years ago, and is a great stash busting block.

Argh my eyes! 

Honestly, making this quilt was more challenging than I thought it would be.  I had to raid my friend Anne's stash because I ran out of fabrics that were quite crazy enough.  I ended up making five or six blocks that weren't ultimately used in the quilt because they didn't look right.  The layout was shuffled around many times.  It's really hard to photograph and looked more like vomit crazy than good crazy in the photos I took while working on it.  But, when it was finished, it was one of my favourite quilts I've made.

Argh my eyes!

With a completely mad top, this quilt just needed simple quilting, so I stitched a 1" grid over the entire quilt top.  The red/orange and white stripe has been in my stash forever (I think it was in my first ever online fabric order!) so I was thrilled it made the perfect binding.

Argh my eyes!

Because of my teaching work, I had to enter this quilt in the professional category.  I really wasn't expecting to win any prizes - I just wanted to show my work.  For that reason, I was very thrilled to awarded a prize for best interpretation of the theme for this quilt.

I did a great workshop at Symposium, so I'll be sharing more about that soon, and I'll also be posting some photos of other quilts that caught my eye in the exhibition.

Quilt Stats 
Pattern: my own improv-ish design
Finished Size: 70" by 84"  
Fabric: 60 different fabrics - too many to list!
Backing: two different out-of-print Anna Maria Horner fabrics
Binding: Michael Miller Clown Stripe in Fire
Pieced and quilted by: me

I will be linking up at finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts.

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