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Summer light

Summer is moving along here in the Wairarapa. We have had stinking hot days and some pretty cold ones as well. I have been enjoying doing my hand pieced quilts but also getting in some sewing machine time.

The nice thing about having a lot of 'UFO's is that when you do pick one up it doesn't always take long to finish it. Some time back I started a quilt that was a version of a Lone Star, all with strip piecing. Having decided to teach the quilt as a class it was time to get the thing finished, so that was today's job (being Wellington Anniversary day). I had started with a cream fabric for the centre

 

Lone Star cream

 

 

I decided the cream wasn't working so tried out a couple of other ideas. Here is the blue Philip Jacobs coleus fabric:

 

Lone Star blue

 

I quite liked that but it wasn't working with the pink background, so I went back to the original idea which was to put the outside fabric in the centre also. And here is the finished block:

 

Lone Star

 

I;m pretty happy with the way it has turned out, and now I'm planning what to put around it to turn it into the centre medallion of a quilt.

I'll be teaching this Lone Star at the shop in March so if you are interested in making one yourself do contact us.

The other main project I've been working on over the summer is the Nancy Horsfall cot quilt from Brigitte Giblin's 'Feathering the Nest'. Based on a quilt made in 1835 in Wales it is made up mostly of blocks with English paper piecing appliqued on top. I've really enjoyed having the hand sewing to do on summer evenings.

This is a picture of the original:

Nancy Horsfall's Baby's Crib Quilt

I love the way Brigitte has used different scales of fabrics in her quilt. The chestnut coloured rose fabric inspired me to find something special to make my quilt with, and I chose a Philip Jacobs Peony fabric. Finding the partner fabrics took some time, and my quilt has turned out quite bright compared to the original. It is feeling like it is really my own even though I am using a pattern designed by someone else. It is a great feeling to be connected through time to someone else's thoughts and ideas. Here's the progress so far:

 

Nancy horsfall

 

I haven't worked on this quilt for a week or so and I'm looking forward to picking it up again.

As you may have noticed I am using my design wall a lot. If you have space to fit one in they are very useful. Mine is made from board that is used for noticeboards - it can take pins well without disintegrating. I've covered it with the extra wide flannel backing we have in the shop. With the flannel, small pieces of fabric will stay up without pins, so it's a really useful tool for planning colours and fabrics. If you can, put your wall somewhere where you can stand back a good way to look at your design.

If you don't have space, another method to check your designs is to use a camera, either just looking thorugh the viewfinder or actually taking a photo - phones come in very handy for this too. It really helps you see the quilt as a whole entity rather than just focusing on one part at a time.

Back in the shop it has been full on with registrations for the Mystery quilt. Some of the colourways are sold out while we will be cutting some extra of some of them. Customers have been busy bringing in their wonderful quilts to show us. Erica made these two lovely little cot quilts:

Erica pink

 

Erica elephants

 

They are both quilted beautifully - don't the quilted hearts look great in the top one?

Penny brought her 'Petal Pop' quilt blocks to sort out some extra fabric:

Penny petal

We've also received the new Philip Jacobs Botanical range, so of course I had to bring home a charm pack to do some serious thinking:

Adventures in colour

 

Well that's all for now. I am getting very excited as I am going to the Kaffe Fassett class in a couple of weeks, lucky lucky us to have so many great internationally known quilters coming to New Zealand to share their talents!

 

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