Monday, February 26, 2018


We stopped in a small town traveling from Auckland, to Rotorua over the weekend and ran across all this local art.  
This tile sofa was really interesting, however I see a possible wall hanging idea for this one.
There were all sorts of decorative pieces around this town like this, but this one really catches the eye.  But I have another idea in mind as well.  In Auckland the first day we arrived in New Zealand we did a hop on hop off bus around the city and saw the sites.  We took this picture and I plan to reproduce it in fabric and it will be a wall hanging for my entry for sure.  
We won't be headed home until the 8th of March, but some fun ideas to think about when I do get home.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


New Zealand has a quilt history too.  At a museum on the way to the Bay of Islands we came across this display.  

And of course this item which some of my quilt friends use regularly even today.  
Our trip has included some fun events.  We spent some time watching dolphins in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
And of course my traditional Maori greeting.
We did a traditional war canoe across the Bay of Islands up a river to their traditional meeting place and a water fall.  Important to get involved with the traditions of another country.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Zealand News

We were on our way to the Bay of Islands on the big Island.  We read across this shop doing this woven tapestry.  

This is what it will look like once done.  Our Internet service is awful so I am just posting as quickly as I can.

Friday, February 16, 2018


My quilt guild does a quilt show every odd year in January.  So 2019 is fast approaching, as far as the planning and preparation  stages.  At a recent meeting we decided to do a boutique of hand made items to sell.  These have to be made by our guild members.  
I decided to make placemats.  
And here is my first one.  Now they have to be easy to make, so I can make a number of them, and I have to be able to teach other guild members how to make them as well.
To make four matching placemats I cut 4 strips of 9 different co-ordinating fabrics.  I used fat quarters so the strips are cut at 2.5 inches wide by approximately 20 inches long.  
 I cut a 22 by 16 inch piece of cotton batting and a back for the placemats the same size and spray basted them together.  
Then I proceeded to sew my strips down in the [quilt as you go] method.  Once all the 9 strips were sewn down I trimmed the placemat to 14 by 18.5 inches.  I bound it with 2.25 inch binding strips, and machine sewed the binding down by stitching in the ditch from the front.  If the binding is carefully pinned down evenly the binding comes out beautifully.
This is my next set of four ready to go.
Along with its back and binding.  
This sad little pup has just heard that hubby and I are headed to New Zealand for three weeks.  Our poodle refuses to even have her picture taken she's not happy.  The pup and house sitters are coming Sunday so they will have lots of human and friends company while we are gone.  They each bring their pups so there will be another Yorkie named Lilly and a handsome Multi/Pap named Trots to keep our girls happy.  I bring a laptop along with me everywhere, so you may get at least a few posts while we are gone of the sites in New Zealand.  Maybe they even have quilt stores there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


A few months ago I decided to try a block I saw on Maureen Cracknell's blog site.  It did not go well. I just could not get the blocks to properly line up.  
 I finally gave up and decided on a different layout.  You can see the results today on my Featured Post.  That quilt is now at the quilters and I can't wait until it comes back home.  However, I just could not get this whole idea of this particular pattern out of my mind and I went on a hunt to solve the problem.  
I cut my strips, organizing my stash really helped me see what was available without buy a single piece of fabric.  
On my search of the internet I realized I had gone about the first try all wrong.  The pattern is a Braided Block.  I now knew my size I needed and actually how to accomplish it.  
And here is my first block complete.  They are so easy.  The strips are nine inches long by 3 inches wide. 
Once I decided on the size, 7.5 by 14, I cut a template for my self and marked the center to line up with the center of the block.  Yes there is lots of wasted fabric.  I probably could cut the strips a bit smaller maybe 8 inches instead.  
And row one is done.  I am not sure yet whether to make 5 or 6 rows.  Right now the width is 63 inches wide.  5 rows makes it 67.5 inches long, so I am thinking about 6 rows at 81 inches long.  It will be somewhat of a matching quilt for the original quilt I made.  Great for cuddling on the sofa or recliner in the winter evenings. 

Friday, February 9, 2018


More Dresden Plates, these have turned out to be such a fun thing to make.  Plus they give one all sorts of embellishment  ideas.  
This particular Dresden was only a half placed on the edge of the block background.  I figured a simple bias strip to finish off the center and show the background fabric through seemed like an interesting idea.  
This plate wasn't even a full half.  So just a fabric center seemed like a good idea.  I ended up using 12 wt Aurifil thread for the blanket stitch.  It really came out nicely, and almost looks like it was hand done.  I really like the way the stitches stand out.  
The last one for this week.  Again just a smaller bias strip to finish it off in the corner.  Yes I still have 2 more to go.  So will see if I can't get those done by next Tuesday to post.
Time to keep sewing.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Number 9 has turned into a real chore.  There are three full circle Dresden Plates and four partial plates.  A total 85 blades.  OH MY! These are not my favorite thing to make, and I was never very good at them either.  Time to learn.  
 Great, the first full set is 2.5 inch blades.  Take a breath and go for it.  
There were a couple of mishaps.  But lesson one was to use really small stitches to form the points and join the blades.  
Hmmm, this actually worked well I am beginning to feel like I might just manage the next six of these after this one is done.  
One down and ONLY six more to go. However, once one is done the ability to accomplish the task becomes so much easier.  
The second set I was able to work with 3.5 inch blades.  They are a bit larger to work with.  
 So much faster and the idea of using an old doily and a smaller one for the center that was purchased at a quilt store with several of them in a little bag made such a fun center finish.  I am actively working on a couple more with some different center ideas.  Stay toned for the second episode on Friday's post.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Yes, I have a naked Longaberger market basket.
I bought this basket many years ago.  It has a permanent place in our kitchen for STUFF.  You know all those bits and pieces that you need, but really don't want anyone to see.  
It came with a pretty fabric spring print liner.  That doesn't work so well for the fall season or Christmas.  So I did some strategic pattern making and successfully made a fall and Christmas liner for it.  However, what about other times of the year?
When our Beverly's fabric store closed I did some serious shopping.  This print was one of my finds.  Not my usual fabric taste, but for some reason I fell in love with it.  So much so I bought the rest of the bolt, just a bit over 5 yards.  I figured a really pretty quilt back some day.  But that basket sort of called out for it.  
So lots of little hems and ruffle tops.  I was really smart the last time I made one of these to write down a complete pattern direction for this liner.  It is a bit more complicated given the handle that move up and down on both sides of the basket.  
And it is done.  The last touch, purple ribbon to draw the liner around the outside of the basket.  The liner will stay nice and clean too, as the basket has a plastic liner that slips into the basket after it is lined with the fabric liner.