Saturday 31 January 2015

Caturday Wisdom #105

In this heat you must conserve all water. Particularly nose water. Ivy

If you've ever had a cat sneeze in your face while snoozing on your chest you'll know exactly how much 'nose water' they can hold. Blegh. 
It has been extremely hot, sunny and bright this week in Wellington, uncharacteristically so - you'll have to excuse the exposure on this photo. Ivy and Ralph have become pools of liquid cat, you will find them spread out on the floor apparently incapable of moving but still able to mew pathetically for a belly rub. Otherwise they can still reliably be found sitting in their most favourite box in the relatively cool spare room.
Hope you have a temperate weekend! 

Friday 30 January 2015

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

Today Anne from Play Crafts and I are thrilled to announce that we are co-hosting the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala! We loved running the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge last year, and we can’t wait to see what amazing creations you come up with this year.

We've got some inspiring posts lined up, fabulous guest judges, information on where you can find awesome Marsala fabric to work with, not to mention the incredible prizes up for grabs which have been provided by our wonderful sponsors.

This swatch is the official Marsala colour.  We know that finding fabrics in this exact colour isn't easy, so don't worry, the fabric in your quilt does not have to match Marsala perfectly.

Grab our button and spread the word that the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala is on now!

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

So, straight into the nitty gritty, here are the rules.  They are pretty much the same as last year, with a couple of very small tweaks.


All items must be finished in 2015 to be eligible to win prizes.  

We will be enforcing the rules and will remove any entries that don't meet the requirements.  See below for more information about a separate linky for quilts that don't meet the requirements.

1. There will be 3 categories:
 - Minis: Shortest side under 30". Pillows, table runners, place mats, mug rugs, etc. will count as minis.
 - Quilts: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30'').
 - Just the Top: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30'').

2. This is the Marsala Quilt Challenge, so your project must contain at least some Marsala or similar colour. You can also use any other colours or neutrals you like (and as many as you like). That said, we would like to see Marsala as the feature colour of your quilt and we will be asking the judges to take your use of Marsala into account when making their decision.

3. You can submit one entry per category. Entries for quilts and minis should be completed projects, including quilting and binding.


1. A link party/gallery will be hosted at Play Crafts and On the Windy Side. Entries will be open from April 17 - April 24 2015. Entries will close at on April 24 at 11pm PST and winners will be announced on April 29 2015.

2. Each entry should link to a blog post / Threadbias post / Flickr page

3. Each entry must include quilt dimensions.

Now, onto the exciting stuff!  Our sponsors have been more than generous, which means we have wish-we-could-win prizes on offer.  Here are the details, and while you're there, please check out our lovely sponsors.


Quilts - judged by Amy Gunson from Badskirt

First place - Hawthorne Threads - $75 gift certificate
Second place - Fat Quarter Shop - Fat Quarter bundle of the winner's choice
Viewers' choice award - Westwood Acres - $50 gift certificate  

Minis - judged by Jeni Baker from In Color Order

First place - Green Fairy Quilts - $50 gift certificate
Second place - Stitchbird - 10 piece Japanese fabric fat quarter bundle
Viewers' choice award - Fat Quarter Shop - $50 gift certificate


Just the top - judged by Kristin Link from Sew Mama Sew

First place - Aurifil - Large spool thread collection
Second place - The Intrepid Thread - prize to be confirmed
Viewers' choice award - Fat Quarter Shop - $50 gift certificate


As you can tell, we have expanded the viewer participation element of this challenge so that there is a viewer's choice award for each category.  We know you'll have fun looking at all the entries and voting for your favourite in each category.

Finally, we would really really love to see an entry from absolutely everyone who feels the slightest bit inspired by Marsala, regardless of skill level, so an entry in each category that hasn't already won a prize will be drawn at random, and will win one of: a $25 gift certificate from Sew me a Song, a a set of four large spools from Aurifil, or a £20 gift voucher from Karen Lewis Textiles.


We are delighted to have three fantastic guest judges on board.  These ladies are seriously talented quilters, designers and authors.  We love their work and know they'll do a fantastic job when it comes to judging your entries!


From left to right: Amy Gunson from Badskirt, Jeni Baker from In Color Order, and Kristin Link from Sew Mama Sew.

Non-judged entries:

We thought it would be fun to provide a place for people to share quilts that feature Marsala that don't comply with the rules for the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala (for example, because they were not finished in 2015).  We will be providing a separate link-up for people to share these quilts.  However, they will not be eligible for judging, voting, or to win prizes.

Other important information:

We are well and truly aware that people have their doubts about Marsala.  Nevertheless, we really encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try using it in a quilt.  You can always just make something small so that it's not a huge investment of time and fabric - and you know, it's called a Challenge for a reason!

To give you a helping hand on your Marsala journey, here are some posts to get you started:  my thoughts on Marsala including a fabric pull, Anne's thoughts including some suggested palettes and quilt designs, Latifah Saafir's thoughts and Debbie at A Quilter's Table's thoughts.

We would love to see your creations while you're working on them, so be sure to add them to the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala Flickr Group, or tag them on Instagram using #pantonequilt.

If your stash is, like many, a little light on Marsala coloured fabrics, never fear, Hawthorne Threads has put together a digitally printed Marsala collection especially to celebrate the Pantone Colour of the Year:

You can find all the prints in this special Marsala collection here.

Keep an eye out for more suggestions on where to find Marsala fabric - we'll update you if we find any other bundles.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

WIP Wednesday

This weekend I had a surprising amount of fun making these blocks for Elisabeth (who blogs at Woozy Quilts), as part of a small bee we are part of.

She asked for traditional blocks with modern fabrics, in a colour scheme of mustard yellows, happy greens, and low volume fabrics.

Fussy cutting was optional but strongly encouraged.

I'm now tempted to make a sampler quilt for myself!

I found the patterns for all of these blocks at the Quilter's Cache website - in the order in which they appear in this post, they are Antique Tile, Bachelor's Puzzle, Ohio Star, Castle in the Air and Cross and Crown.

I can't wait to see the other blocks that are made for Elisabeth, and the quilt that she ultimately makes.  Technically, this is someone else's WIP now, but I'm going to link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced anyway!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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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 7.00pm.  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 7.00pm.  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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