Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Auckland Art Gallery

part of Paradiso by Imants Tiller 1994

Woven date palm feathers - Hou Angiangi by Maureen Lander

The old circular stair case

MMM - My Mu"umu"u Mamas by Ani O'Neill

This Spanish chest and the art  dated from the 15th century

Sea Holly No. 1  c1949 by Eileen Mayo

Tree of Knowledge  1938  by Eileen Agar

Industry 1936 by  John Weeks

MacKelvie Gallery Pilasters - rediscovered during Gallery redevelopment 2008-11, after being enclosed by building additions

Whangai 2  by Arnold Manaaki Wilson 1984
Currently it is the school holidays in New Zealand, I am certainly enjoying not having the morning grumps to get Miss B and Mr J ready in time to catch the bus, and the odd sleep in.

Today we caught the train into the city and visited the Auckland Art Gallery.  I last visited an exhibition here when I was 14, so this was something new for me too.

There were certainly lots of different paintings, photography and sculptures to look at.  Certain types of artwork caused slight differences of opinion  - which made for interesting listening.  I did have to laugh though, as we entered the section with all the 15/16th century paintings complete with ornate frames, Mr J comments. "... some real art now"  There was also an interactive section called Wavelength - here you see us striking poses for coloured shadows.

Mr J certainly wasn't as interested as Miss B, so I suspect there may be a mother/daughter excursion in the future for us.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Birthday Sewing

My youngest nephew turns 4 in August.  Dinosaurs are his thing, so I decided to make a dinosaur pillow for his gift.  After googling dinosaur patterns, I picked the  paper pieced Triceratops from Tartankiwi.  This pattern has been sitting in my to do pile since February. Now I have a month to make it - the pressure is on.

After work procraftination sewing last week, resulted in this scrappy Wheel of Fortune block, destined for my Scrappy Sampler Quilt.  The pattern is from Jen Kingwell's new book Quilt Lovely.  I am really pleased with how the outer curves went on the scrappy section, those inner ones were hard though, and again I found it easier to hand baste them before sewing.

Anyhoo over the weekend, I knuckled down and started sewing the dinosaur.  I picked a batik from my stash (shock horror I know from all modern quilters), however I thought this fabric would help give the impression of large scaly plated skin.  This block was actually a lot easier to sew than I thought it would be.  It finished at 12' x 16", so I have added a little more of the backgrounds to even it to 16" square.  Now it just needs a border, quilting  and  then it can be turned into a pillow.

Hopefully I can get it done with out any more procraftination projects distracting me.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


The birthday girl - Rachel

Show and tell

Deb busy finishing the other Rachael's belated birthday gift.

Those margaritas were everywhere.

My sewing girls and I had our bi-monthly get together on Sunday.  This time Rachel (Woodenspoon Quilts) was the birthday girl.  After the present opening session in the designated birthday chair, we did our usual show and tell of swaps received, new quilty books and projects to ooh and aah over, and of course a beautiful potluck lunch.  New margaritas - this time plum sorbet flavour (made by Gwen ,  a new member in our group) were a big hit,

The gifts I made Rachel were: a Liberty pincushion, a Liberty covered wooden spoon to hang in her sewing area and a Denyse Schmidt and linen zippy Pouch.  I used a new tutorial for the pouch from Tessa at The Sewing Chick.  This pouch has tabs at each end of the zip and covered seams, so there was no need to turn it inside out,, which made it nice and easy.  It has a lovely flat base too, so stands up nicely.  Tessa's tutorial has great photos and clear instructions, so I will definitely use it again.

Now I am at home recovering from a full day of fun, good food, a little sewing and lots of laughter with friends.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Scenes from my Week

From the sewing room
  •  raspberry kiss blocks for my scrappy sampler quilt, made using my friend Rachel's tutorial
From the letterbox
  • my fabulous Mr Fox pillow I received from Kirsten in the X Factor Pillow swap. Details about the pillow and fabrics on her blog.  Round 11's theme is HST (half square triangles).
From the EPP box
  • the first of my cart wheel blocks is done - now it's decision time for the next row
From the book pile
  • Shotgun Love Songs by Nickolas Butler.  I enjoyed this book set in small town America, however I see it has had mixed reviews on Good Reads. 
From the back yard
  • I have a Tui that visits my back yard regularly and serenades me. Also known as the parson bird they have two voice boxes which means they have an incredible range of sounds they can produce. I am hoping The Scout will make me a bird feeder to put in the trees for the Tui's and waxeyes that visit my garden.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Scrappy Sampler Quilt Progress

Today I made a temporary design wall, so I could see all the blocks of my scrappy sampler quilt together.

The mini dresden/solid block really dominates the blocks so far, but it will be cut  to a smaller size when I start assembling the quilt top, it has just been  left larger because of the amount of fraying that happens with the shot cottons.

I think I need to find some  fabrics in my stash that bridge the warm/cool spectrum for a few more blocks, then it will be onto the low volumes for filler blocks.  Luckily some new ones arrived in the post a week or so ago.

Overall I like what has been made so far, and am having fun trying new blocks and techniques, and fabric combinations.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Mad Hatter's Tea Party Pillow

After watching on the sidelines for a couple of years, this year I plucked up the courage and joined the X Factor Pillow Swap group on Flickr.  This swap differs from others in that we are given a theme each round to sew to.  Previous themes have included Drunkards Path, hexagons and Low Volume. This rounds theme was Liberty Fabrics.  We are not allocated a partner, and are able to sew whatever style of pillow we want, as long as it fits the theme requirements.

Once we have finished we send a photo and details of our pillow to the group administrator, who then posts it on Flickr.  This way no one knows who has made what.  At the end of the round we all vote for our favourites, the person with the most votes for their pillow, gets to have their first choice and so on down the list of participants.

I decided to use all my Alice in Wonderland/Tea Party prints.  I had an idea of making a Mad Hatter's Tea Party themed pillow. Luckily I was able to find free tea cup and saucer paper pieced patterns here.  I sewed them all with a contrasting solid scrappy strip on the saucers and used Kona white as the background.  I wanted it to look like pretty china tea cups on a crisp a white table cloth.  Simple cross hatch quilting in the white fabric only completed the front.  The back is a plain natural coloured linen with a hidden zipper and binding is a simple floral from Dear Stella - Flirt collection.  Pillow size 20" square.

 This has now been sent off to it's recipient, and I can't wait to see what pillow I end up with. and what the next round will be.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


  • Twiggy branches have been found for my sewing room and butterflies have been attached, and some  for a vase in the house
  • I made start on my EPP Cart Wheel - and changed my mind on the previous post's colour musings
  • some days all the good books arrive at once - perfect for perusing in front of the fire
  • another little block finished for my sampler quilt
Hoping you all had a relaxing weekend too.

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