Look What I Made!

Quilters' Compendium - openRecently, members of Village Quilters learned how to make wonderful compendiums with an ironing board on one side, and a cutting board on the other. I missed the session where they did this, so was very glad when Adie offered to show me how to construct one when she put together a second model as a gift for a friend. Two other members had also missed out, so there were four of us working on the project last  Tuesday. The pattern and instructions had been devised by Sue, and she generously stepped in to offer help, and also supplied the ultra-heavy cardboard and the silicone backing sheets for the ironing board section. Thanks Adie & Sue – I’m so pleased with how mine turned out!

So that you can enjoy a little more of the funky batik fabric I used to cover my compendium, here’s a picture of the project closed:

Quilters' Compendium - Closed

Recent creativity

I’m doing a Studio Calico on-line class called Pop Off the Page #2 and I’m learning a lot. The community at Studio Calico seems nice too – it’s always good to get supportive comments and the general scrapbooking forum is full of ideas.

Here are two pages I have just posted in the Studio Calico Gallery:

Fly BoyThis page features a few photos of DS helping to sweep up some of the dreaded Cluster Flies that plague us during March and April if there’s been a damp summer. I loathe the little horrors and the daily ‘sweep up’ of the buzzing hordes of dying insects really gets me down. It was so nice to have the job done for me in my scrapping space one weekend when DS was home. Although the drought this year has been hard on many, at least it’s meant we have been almost Cluster-Fly-free!

A Mother's LoveThis page is about my dear friend Mary’s last sewing project – a quilt she made for her daughter’s 21st birthday. She poured her love into every stitch, so the result was very special indeed. The photos are from 2010 and Mary died at the very beginning of the following year; it’s taken me a while to be able to write what I wanted to say about working with her to create this extra-special gift.

The background to the layout was inspired by one of the POTP#2 videos. It is fabric – first painted with gesso, then misted, stencilled, stamped and stitched. It is very pretty with a shimmer from some of the mists I used, and I think it almost does justice to the quilt.

I want to make…

I-want-to-make-postThis is a quilt I have been working on for years. The four-patch and half-square blocks were part of a block-swap from 2011, and I have been sewing them together in infrequent batches ever since. I am SO glad to be nearing the end of this project. I need another 28 4-patch blocks to complete the outer border, and by posting this I am hoping to motivate myself to get them made and sewn together.

I have another quilting project I want to get onto. DS’s 21st birthday quilt is calling to me (it is currently only an idea and a pile of fabric); it’s just as well he’s not really expecting to get it before he’s 25!

My signature

It’s no secret that I love to create and place a high priority on carving out creative time in my schedule.

My sewing machine is often used to create colourful quilts. While I enjoy the process of making them, the process of giving them to the recipient is actually more fun:

I made a quilt for my niece, using lots of different cat fabrics. This was so she could have cats on her bed even in the university hostel!

The first quilt that was entirely of my own design was a play-quilt (again featuring cats), made for my great-niece. Seeing her move the cats around their various homes on the quilt was such a thrill.

I have also enjoyed making albums for non-scrapbooking friends to easily show off their baby photographs (this one is based on a template shared by Angie Lucas in the Nove/Dec 2007 issue of Simple Scrapbooks):

As well as making gifts, my enthusiasm for hand-made items has led to work with children to create colourful art and crafts. There is something almost magical in children’s enthusiasm for learning and enjoyment in their finished product:

After a holiday craft session at the library, the children happily posed with their decorative kites – look at the wide smiles (but mine was probably wider!).

Through this reflection I have learned that I am happy to have ‘handmade’ as a signature trait. I have also learned that I am grateful for the photo organisation system DH has imposed on the photo files in the computer – I can find what I am looking for!

Everything I ever needed to know about quilting…

… I learned from these women.

These are some of the members of my stitching group Village Quilters, who meet every Tuesday from 10am to 2pm. The meeting room we hire is part of a renovated church building and it’s lovely and light – just right for a craft involving decisions around colour and placement. I don’t know if it’s obvious to you, but when I look at this picture I see women sharing ideas and knowledge. Everyone is in conversation with someone else, and they may be discussing just about anything quilt-related, and a good deal that probably isn’t.

I have received advice on the colours of fabric that might look good, had my layouts rearranged (for the better) and learned how to join my quilt bindings with an almost-invisible diagonal join. I have had great discussions on books and have a long list of titles I now want to read; I know which current movies to see and which to avoid; and I have learned the recipe for lemonade scones. Above all I have learned that a group like this is a fantastic support network, caring and sharing love through quilts with its members, their families and the wider community.


What I did on my vacation

A few weeks ago I left this weather in Wellington,and travelled to Nelson, to this school

to attend this event.

There were more than 300 other quilters from all over New Zealand attending over the four days of classes, and we also viewed an exhibition, attended a lovely dinner, and made firm friends with many fellow-attendees.

I was lucky enough to work in this classroom

for three days with this group of women (second from the left is our tutor, Ronnie Martin). Somehow Maria escaped being in the photo – but she was definitely in class too!

We learned all sorts of fun techniques with fabric paints, heat guns, transfer media, embossing powder, foils, beads, threads and stamps – to mention only a few. We used these in fabric books, that were as varied as the women who created them.

Here are the middle pages of mine after Day 2:

I have since nearly finished the book, which is based on the theme “Autumn on the Grove”. All the machine sewing has been done, but I could go on hand-embellishing for ages, adding a touch here and there on the four sets of pages. One day I’ll decide it’s finished.

After the Mini-Symposium was over, my friend and I went to this museum:

The costumes from WOW (World of Wearable Art) were amazing – and for a pair of quilters, just the thing to finish off a long-weekend away. We spent over two hours examining the collection, and didn’t even get near the classic cars that form the other half of the museum.

All too soon it was time to catch the plane back to Wellington, and the train home to the Wairarapa. What a great vacation!