Monday, 24 November 2014


I haven't been swapping much this year, but when I saw heaps of my online quilting buddies signing up to the #igminiswap being run on instagram, I couldn't resist.  It's being run by Sandy aka @curly_boy1, and the mailing deadline for international participants (i.e., me) is coming up soon.

igminiswap quilt

This is the mini quilt I've made for my partner.  I wanted to use some of the very special handprinted fabrics I got from Karen Lewis Textiles (formerly Blueberry Park).

igminiswap quilt

This log cabin variation, which uses wide logs and narrow logs (which are half the width of the wide logs), is something I've been wanting to play with as well.  I know my partner likes a low volume background, so it seemed like the perfect way to let the hand printed fabrics shine.

igminiswap quilt

Hopefully this doesn't give the game away, but my swap partner has some mad machine quilting skills, so I decided to take the complete opposite approach and hand quilt this mini.  I've been enjoying hand quilting a larger quilt but it's taking FOREVER, so it was nice to have a quicker hand quilting project!  I used Aurifil 12 weight thread in white (2024) and I love the effect.  I actually bought a box of assorted 12 weight threads (this one) because I see more hand quilting in my future.

igminiswap quilt

I bought a cute "made with love" stamp from Typo a couple of months ago, and I've been waiting for the chance to use it.  I used permanent fabric ink with the stamp and then added my own name and my partner's name (edited out in these photos) with a fabric marker.  The hand-worked blanket stitch is kind of my label signature now.

igminiswap quilt

I had a few scraps left over from cutting the logs for my mini quilt, so I decided to use them to make a cute little pouch to go with the mini.

Scrappy stitching pouch

I'm not sending the threads but they just looked so pretty with the colours of the pouch!

Scrappy stitching pouch 

My partner can use this pouch for whatever she likes.  But, it does fit lots of threads!

Scrappy stitching pouch 

As usual, I used the open wide pouch tutorial, but made a fairly random size (basically the size my scrappy panels came out) and didn't box the corners.  I quilted the pieced exterior to a scrap of batting to give the pouch a bit of body without having to use interfacing (I hate interfacing so much!).

Scrappy stitching pouch

I'm really happy with how this mini turned out, and I enjoyed making it.  I really hope my partner likes it!

Have you been making things to swap lately?

Quilt Stats 
Pattern: I think this is a traditional block, but I did the quilt math myself
Finished Size: 18" by 18"  
Fabric: various low volume fabrics, Pretty Potent Co-ordinating Solids Fat Quarter bundle, printed by Karen Lewis Textiles
Backing: Ephemera
Binding: Print from Lotta Jansdotter's Sylvia line
Pieced and quilted by: me

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Friday, 21 November 2014

Guest post from my friend Anne: all the tote bags!

Hi everyone - my lovely friend Anne is guest-posting today about all the tote bags she has made using my tutorial.

Hi there! Anne here, one of Adrianne’s quilting friends. I am lucky enough to be in a quilting group (the Ratbags) with five lovely ladies, one of who is Adrianne.  

I am writing a guest post today about the tote bags I have now become obsessed with.  I watched as Adrianne made the first bag with cat fabric I brought back from Tokyo for her.  Then another appeared for Helen (another Ratbag) on her birthday.

I too am lucky enough to have a hand made item by Adrianne (a laptop sleeve made for Anne's birthday last year).  We had a quilting retreat in September and I watched as she whipped up a bag, which was used in the tutorial, and I thought maybe I should make one.  

A few weeks later upon visiting Stitchbird I found some perfect striped webbing for handles and my first bag was made.

First tote bag

This Alexander Henry fabric was perfect with these straps.

Then after another trip to Stitchbird, I found some fabric that had to be made into a bag, this time for my lovely Mum who helps me with my gardening.

Mum's bag front Mum's bag back

Then the wife of one of my wonderful staff members made enough lasagna to feed me for a week - that was another excuse to make a bag!

Another tote in progress. This is your fault @adrianneonthewindyside I think I'm addicted too. Thanks again for tutorial #ihaveafabricproblem #ihaveatotebagproblem 

Ester's bag 

Inside Ester's bag

While at Wellington Quilters Guild meeting last Thursday, I saw Helen (another Helen!) who blogs at My Inner Thread carrying a bag that looked familiar.  “Is that an Adrianne tote?” I asked.  “Why yes it is” she replied.

Tote by Helen Bevan who blogs at

Helen made her own straps using the main exterior fabric from the bag.

I have one more tote planned for my non-quilty friend who may or may not like the handmade item.

My next tote

How can you not like something handmade!?  My non-quilty friend just phoned while I was typing this and demanded I come up with an acronym, as she didn’t like being referred to as a “non-quilty friend”!  Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks Anne!  Anne has the most amazing stash and she's very generous with her fabric and her support.  Seeing all these lovely variations on this simple tote really makes me want to make another one for myself!  If you've made one, let me know - I'd love to see it!  Kiwis, don't forget you can get Soft and Stable from Stitchbird now.

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Purple challenge

Aotearoa Quilters has been running a series of colour-themed 12" by 12" quilt challenges.  They've run a red version, and a blue version, and the most recent is a purple version.  I've finally gotten my act together and produced an entry!

Aotearoa Quilters Purple Challenge

This quilt was really made to allow me to continue my play with striped blocks, created by stitching 1" strips of fabric together, cutting them up, and sewing them back together again. I used a mix of prints and shot cottons in a variety of fairly intense purple shades for this quilt - I was feeling quite literal when I made my fabric selections!

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the back of my piece before it was quilted.  I think I'll definitely have to do a "wrong sided" quilt someday.

Aotearoa Quilters Purple Challenge 

Here is is finished, and you can see that even the back is purple!  Don't worry, the quilt will be getting a label, I just hadn't stitched one on when I took photos.

You can see I quilted this little mini quite simply, with a grid of straight lines spaced 1/2" apart.  I think it works well for adding texture but not distracting too much from the piecing.  Unusually for me, I thought this quilt cried out for slightly shiny thread, so I used a 30 weight rayon thread that I would usually use for machine appliqué.  It was absolutely fine for quilting, but I did use a Superior Threads 90/14 Titanium top-stitching needle because this quilt is quite thick in places with all the little pieces.

Aotearoa Quilters Purple Challenge

A simple solid slightly brighter purple binding adds a definite frame to the quilt without detracting from its essential purple-ness!  All the entries in the 12" by 12" challenge are hung together, and it looks really effective - I can't wait to see how other people have interpreted the purple theme.  The quilts will be shown at Quilt Symposium in Palmerston North in January 2015.

Have you made a quilt especially for a challenge before?  I rather enjoyed this challenge, and the size means it's not too much of a commitment!

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Echino ruby dress

Phew - it's been a bit quiet around here lately!  Happily, I had a quiet weekend which allowed me to finish a few bits and bobs so I have some things to blog about.

Echino Ruby Dress

Back when I made my first Ruby dress (and my second, in the same weekend...), I bought this Echino fabric from Stitchbird with the idea of making a summer version.  Apart from the lovely print, I really liked this slightly lighter weight linen/cotton blend fabric - I think the linen content makes it drape slightly better than a pure cotton, and it's extra wide as well (yay!).  I pre-washed the fabric and then it sat around for quite a while, until I realised that my day trip to the Auckland Festival of Quilts with my quilting buddies was coming up fast, and that it would be the perfect place to wear a crazy quilty dress! (It was, and it was also an awesome day where I got to hang out with my local quilting girls, and catch up with or meet a bunch of lovely kiwi bloggers who you should really check out, including Rachel, Deb, Julie, Juliet, Leonie, Liz and probably others that I've missed!)

Echino Ruby Dress

I whipped this version up in a day - it really is a super easy make.  I ended up making a size small (the first version I made a size medium, and the second version has a medium yoke and small body pieces), which was definitely a good move in this lighter fabric.  I also added about 4" of length to the body pieces, which, for me, still left the dress above the knee but a bit longer than a mini dress.

Echino Ruby Dress

This is the back view - it's a very comfortable dress and I'm sure I'll get a decent amount of wear out of it in summer when the weather is warmer.  Rae's Ruby Dress and Top pattern is great and I would totally recommend it if you're a quilter wanting to dabble in garment sewing.  I think I'll have to try the top version soon!  And sorry, I know there are no pics of me wearing the dress.  I've been sick lately and I just couldn't summon up the energy to get dressed up and take photos!  I may post pictures at a later date though.

I'll be linking to finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts later in the week!

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