Monday, 18 February 2013

Nap time

Henry Fish is having a cup of tea and a lie down before he gets pressed and has borders added.

Friday, 15 February 2013

When Henry met Denise

It's Friday, so I had grand plans to have a finished quilt top to show off. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans.

So instead I am celebrating some mini finishes:
* my Henry Fish blocks
* sashing two rows of Henry Fish
* buying all the fabric I need to finish Henry Fish

(This all leads to an interesting debate as to what constitutes a finish, but let's leave that for another day!)

The last one is the big achievement. As the dreaded lurgy is still very much present, leaving the house is a Big Deal. But I felt compelled. Spotlight still has $6 discontinued fabrics and then on top of that, 30% off if you buy the bolt (I should market for them). So that is $4.20 a metre!!! But only until next Tuesday. Dramatic pause. What to do? Well I couldn't leave those lovely fabrics to be snatched up by the other crazy quilty people on the North Shore just because I am on my death bed, so I put on my big girl undies (literally, the baby won't tolerate anything else) and drove my diseased self to the shop. I bought a little teensy weensy bit of fabric. Including a lovely DS blue print to border Henry Fish and the matching blue and pink tartan to back it with. Hooray. That means the other backing I bought is now spare. Hmmmmm. And I may have bought some other bits and bobs just because I liked them.

So now I am going to have a chokkie bikkie and a nap to celebrate my intrepid journey. And will emphatically deny ever leaving the house, if anyone asks.

Here's another rubbish photo - of Henry meeting his new Denise Schmidt border and backing. I hope he's happy.

Hey girl

Fluffy Sheep Quilting has some very funny Hey Girl meme pictures up. Which made me think we should have our very own to cheer us up here in New Zild. Derivative? Yes! Entertaining? Hell yes!

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Well I am pleased to announce that all of the long awaited Henry Fish blocks are done. Phew. Now to trim those babies down and sash them up. Although there has been a bit of a hitch in that plan, caused by a grotty grotty cold.

To anyone considering getting sick when 39 weeks pregnant, I would suggest taking a pass. It's not something you need to tick off the bucket list. So I am lying in bed, imaging this done! Soon...

Sorry for the grotty photo - my quilty wall is in the hallway, which is too dark and narrow for decent photos. But you get the idea.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Look what arrived! It is taking every ounce of my will power not to rip these babies open and start something new.

Internal monologue: "Finish Henry Fish, finish Henry Fish."


Monday, 11 February 2013

Who's this? Henry Fish!

So this is the quilt I am supposed to be working on instead of getting distracted with jelly roll quilts for the lounge and baby quilts for friends.  I suspect the reason it isn't getting done is because of the pressure to get it finished.  I'm contrary like that!!

Lovely Henry Fish, waiting to be a quilt

Henry Fish is the name of that gorgeous fabric you see peeking out in the middle of the block.  I discovered him on a Cabbage Quilts post from yonks ago, talking all about the wonderfulness that is Spoonflower.  That started a Spoonflower affair that I am still trying to keep secret from my husband.  Anyway Henry Fish is designed by Peagreengirl, and can be found by searching Spoonflower, if you are keen.

Henry Fish was not destined for this quilt.  He was destined for something delicious for me.  I don't know what.  But Mum came to visit last Christmas, just after I had started the quilting journey, and spotted him in my stash.  The Circa 1934 charm packs I had bought for a quilt for her didn't have a look in (they're now being turned into a puff quilt, but that is a story for another day).  So Henry Fish is going to Mum's, for her spare bed.  And just to add to the pressure, she has re-decorated the entire spare room around the quilt colours.  I was forced into paralysis by all the expectation (not helped at all by getting pregnant and doing nothing but collapsing into bed every night after work).

This was all made worse by the fact that I had calculated it needed 72 blocks.  Urrrggghhhh.  Anyway, would you believe that I have the blocks out, and those blocks are getting done.  And would you believe, it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be!! Typical.  I have made life easier for myself by bringing the blocks down to 48, and have decided to put a large borders around the edge to get it up to size.  Which has the added bonus that I'll need to get back on Spoonflower for more fabric.  So there is a remote prospect the top may get done before the baby arrives.  But lets not tempt fate ...

The block is called Garden Fence, and a great tutorial can be found here.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Saturday morning sunshine

Today is a good day! Why you ask? Well because:

* I've finished work (phew)
* the weather in Auckland today is uh-mazing (after last summer's dismal effort, I think we deserve it); and
* the little baby quilt is all done, tied up, and ready to go to its new home.

Of course now I really, really wish I had gotten around to ordering some quilt labels on Etsy - but that's the sort of thing I can do as a lady of leisure in the brief moments before no 2 arrives.

I did a much better effort on my machine binding this time. After sewing the binding on the front (there are masses of tutorials on this - Crazy Mom Quilts has a really good one), I ironed it before I pinned it around the edge of the quilt. This meant I had a cleaner line for my "stitch in the ditch" for sewing the back of the binding down. I also pinned the binding down (which I havent done previously) which meant that I didn't miss the seam on the back. And finally, I slowed right down. I figured the slowest machine speed is still waaaaaay faster than hand sewing. Its not perfect, but I managed to catch all four corners properly, and didn't need to re-sew any of it. Practice makes perfect, huh.

So here's an action shot of me sewing down the back of the binding, and the finished product. Yippee.

Although now I need to get back to Mum's quilt. *sigh*

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Soooo close...

Despite a complete lack of sleep (my husband's unborn child has decided to prep me early for those first 6 weeks of misery by keeping me up day and night now) the little "not really a quilt baby quilt" is nearly finished. The quilting is done, binding made and sewn on one side. I am most definitely in the machine binding camp, so I just need to machine the other side of the binding down.

And all for $24 - with 1/2 a metre of those lovely polka dots left.

I wish now I had more time to quilt it more heavily, but I still think it looks good.

And for a special treat I have some pictures of my friend's new quilt top and back as well. Don't tell her that I'm putting her photos up though, because she might get cross. It's very simple, but the fabrics are gorgeous.

She had this great idea to sash up her backing fabric to look like a window, which I think looks fantastic. I am totally going to steal that idea and pretend it was mine. Roger the cat is equally impressed.

Quilty loveliness

Roger in situ

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fabric, yummy fabric

There are lots of lovely things about living in a small country at the bottom of the world.  Great food and wine, sunny beaches and exciting outdoor living, nice people, and a great big garden for the kids to run around in.  But one small downside is a lack of extensive quilting fabrics.  Don't get me wrong, we have some lovely local quilt shops with great fabrics, but for a wide range of reasonably priced designer fabrics, we need to look overseas.

And shopping on-line for fabrics is something I can do VERY well, even as an amateur!  So I was very pleased to find the Missouri Star Quilt Co the other day - I was actually looking for jelly roll quilt pattern inspiration and was lured by their YouTube video for a quilt called "Summer in the Park" - looks cute by the way.  I found they had lots of lovely Moda pre-cuts and a discount on international shipping.  Shopping heaven!  But the best thing is that they have a sense of humour.  The shipping confirmation email is a real treat - although I am sure it will wear thin after a few orders.  I won't tell you what it says, in case I ruin the surprise for your own order.  In the meantime, I hope everything arrives as promised, so there is a next time.  I did go a teensy weensy bit crazy.

So while I wait for that to arrive, I need some inspiration for these wee treats in my stash - a lovely Moda layer cake, some Spoonflower deliciousness (love), various Gumnut Baby cuties and the gorgeous peacock fabrics.  Here's hoping this will keep me off Spoonflower and other online shops, at least until the baby arrives!

Fabric yum

Monday, 4 February 2013

The not really a quilt baby quilt

So I have grand plans to go back to beginning of my quilting journey and share all the exciting things I have learned since I started (including what fabrics NOT to put together for your first quilt - but that's for another day).

But already I am thwarted. Why, you ask? Because I have managed to get distracted with yet another project. Don't tell my mother though - she thinks I'm working on a quilt for her. But it's for a good cause. My hubby's friends had a wee boy a few weeks back and are having a BBQ this weekend to celebrate him reaching 6 weeks and Chinese New Year. I don't have time to make a 'real' quilt, so have a plan to make a quick and cute baby blanket. I was inspired by some baby quilts I saw in a posh Ponsonby shop over the Christmas holidays (with posh Ponsonby prices). My mother was oohing and aahhing over these quilts - which were just bound pieces of a single fabric with free motion quilting. I snorted and told her in no uncertain terms that they were not real quilts, because they weren't pieced. But they WERE cute.

Fast forward to Sunday, when I was off at Spotlight trying not to buy the entire range of $6 p metre fabrics. They had some cute Classic Nursery fabric left, and a red polka dot. I got 1.5m of each main fabric, some spots for the binding and called it a deal. At home I pieced together some scraps of low loft cotton batting (overlap by a mm or so, and zigzag the hell out of it) for the batting and used one fabric on each side of the quilt. I ended up with a basted quilt approx 1m by 1.5m. I am simply straight line quilting across the quilt to give it some texture (masking tape is my friend), and then will call it a day. My free motioning quilting skills aren't yet up to speed for anything flash, and, to be honest, I don't have time for anything more complex. Hopefully it will look cute and be useful. The idea is that it can be thrown in the washing machine regularly and used on the floor or as a cot blankie.

You can give me your verdict when it's finished. In the meantime, here's the fabric. Sweet, eh!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

First up

Hello everyone. This is my first ever blog. I have been inspired to start putting down my quilting journey (as a beginner quilter) by my long suffering friends who are not remotely interested in quilting and who are sick of hearing about layer cakes and the relative merits of cotton and bamboo batting ( I haven't used the latter yet, I'd be interested in your thoughts!).

I'm only onto my third quilting project at the moment, although I have several more on the go. I cannot believe how much I have learned already - mainly due to the extremely generous people in blog land and on YouTube. But I DO have Piles. And. Piles of fabric already. How does that happen? NB: Spotlight sale currently on - $6 per m discontinued fabrics. Insane.

So I starting a year ago, bullied into quilting by a friend who was keen to try. I got one small cot quilt and 2/3rds of a single bed top done before I got pregnant with number 2. It turns out morning sickness and quilting do not mix. But since Christmas I've finished the second top and basted, quilted and bound that treasure, and moved onto another top, which is also ready for basting. The quilting disease seems to be firmly entrenched!

Here is the current top: Moda Cherish Nature jelly roll quilt top - pattern from Pam Lintott's Jelly Roll Quilts - Pandora's Box. But I added a little extra sashing, because it turns out I like white. A lot. I have some baby blue spots for the back and sashing, to lighten it up. The jelly roll was bought online and was not the full range of fabrics- so a lot darker than I thought. That's what you get for buying online specials and not reading the small print!

Talk soon!