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2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Nine

mystery quilt Oct 03, 2016

Here we are at the last but one clue! Will you be ready for next month's Big Reveal? Make sure you get all of your clues up to date and labelled. It doesn't take long once you sit down and get sewing.

I'm so excited to have both sample quilts back from Noeline at the Quilting Shed, she has done a lovely job with the quilting and I just have to get the binding on them now!


M1 M2 4 and 7

Here is step 1

M1 M2 7 and 4 step 2

step 2

M1 M2 4 and 6

 step 3

M1 M2 6 4 and 2

and step 4

M1 M2

and here are my parts M1 and M2 all done.

Now onto parts N1 and N2

N1 N2

N1 N2 step 3

N1 N2 step4


Extra pieces for the double quilt....


LC3 1 LC3




That's it! All the pieces are made and ready to assemble next month. The Big Reveal is on Saturday November 5th (New Zealand time).

See you then!



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Jelly Roll Fun


Our team standing in front of the finished quilt top.

This Saturday I went to Capital Quilters, one of the quilting groups that I belong to. In place of the usual meeting the committee had decided that we would spend the meeting making charity quilt tops, using Jelly Rolls. The idea was to make the event fun and have a bit of healthy competition thrown in. Seven teams of three worked on quilt tops and most completed them in the two hours. One team even came all dressed up in their PJs and mop caps!

A few of us drive over the Rimutaka Hill from the Wairarapa to Lower Hutt each month for the meeting, and on the way we usually stop for a bite of lunch. So it was over lunch that we firmed up our plans for our quilt top. Pam brought a notebook with some sketches in, and with great foresight she had brought along some fusible web, Lyn had remembered her cutter, mat and sewing supplies and I brought the machine and Sew Ezi table. We were all set and ready to compete!

Most of the teams...

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Playtime in the Park

Today was pretty wet and miserable. Not really a great day for taking my quilt for a walk. I decided that rather than go to the mountains where it would probably be even wetter, I would walk to our local park. It's about a 6km (3-4 miles) round trip, so would give me a good stretch.

To cheer up the grey weather I decided to bring my latest quilt, Playtime.


On the way I saw this beautiful Kowhai tree.

Native New Zealand Kowhai Tree

Kowhai is the Maori work for yellow, and the blossoms let you know that Spring is here.

Kowhai Blossoms

 Where better to take a Playtime quilt than to the park? Here it is, at the amazing kids playground. This was a community project built by the town just before I came to live here. Nearly all the posts have the names of people who contributed.




To make this quilt I used Riley Blake's Wheels 2 range and added some solid colours. On the back is the Wheels2 playmat in canvas, so it's a reversible quilt. Here it is one the only dry surface I...

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Binding 101 - Part Three - Mitred Corners

techniques and tips Sep 19, 2016

Welcome to my binding tutorial. If you haven't done so yet, make sure you read parts one and two before moving on to this step.

Ok, so now we have reached a corner.

Take your quilt over to the ironing board.

Take the binding strip and fold it out to the right, making a 45 degree angle like this and press:


Fold binding to the right


Keeping this fold in, fold over to the left and press.

Fold back over to the left


Continue sewing from the top edge of the quilt.

Start sewing again from the top

Carry on all the way around, repeating this method for each of the corners.

This is what the corners will look like from the front:


Once you reach the final side, stop sewing at least 12" from where you started. Don't cut off any of the binding strip yet, we will use it in the next step when we make the mitred join.

The orange pins show where I started and stopped sewing

Join me next for part four - my mitred join technique.

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Binding 101 - Part Five - the final step

techniques and tips Sep 19, 2016

Hi and welcome to Binding 101, the final step.

Don't you love it when you get to the end of a project and know that all the hard work you have put in is finally done, and you can move guilt-free onto the next one?

Once I have my binding sewn down by machine I look forward to spending the evening quietly contemplating the enjoyment of the project, and anticipating the next, while sewing down my binding.

Love it or hate it, hand sewing does make for a lovely finish, and hopefully with these tips you will find it enjoyable.

To start off, I press my binding back.

Press the binding back from the face of the quilt

This is what the corners will look like


Fold the binding over to the back of the quilt.

Use a fine needle to sew down your binding, this makes it easier to achieve an invisible stitch.

I use a fine applique needle #12 (Clover or Bohin brands are what I have available). These are easy to thread with the Clover desktop needle threader.


I am using Aurifil #50 cotton in Dove...

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Binding 101 - Part Two - Attaching the binding to the quilt

techniques and tips Sep 19, 2016

Welcome to part two of my binding tutorial!

We are starting with the trimmed quilt and binding strip that we prepared in part one.

Now we are going to attach the binding to the front of the quilt by machine.

First you need to set up your needle position. I like to sew my binding on with just over 1/4" (about 5/16") allowance.

Use your ruler to work out where your needle needs to be. If you have a machine where you can adjust the needle position, this is easy.

If you can't adjust your needle, work out where you need the edge of the quilt to be as you are sewing. You can mark this with a bit of masking tape.

I use my walking foot when attaching the binding.

Set up your needle position between 1/4" and 3/8"


Now lay the binding on top of the quilt with the raw edges together.

Make sure you leave a really generous allowance of binding free - at least 10" for joining at the end.

Start sewing your binding about halfway down one side of the quilt. Stitch length about 2-2.5mm.


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Binding 101 - Part One: Trimming the quilt and preparing the binding strips

tecniques and tips Sep 19, 2016

Here is part one of my step by step binding tutorial.

I always find this the hardest part of writing instructions and patterns, so I decided to take step by step photos as I did the binding on the Modern Triangle Sampler. There are many different approaches to binding but this is the method I have tweaked over the years to suit me.

Binding 101


Part One - Trimming your quilt

Once the quilting is complete, trim your quilt. If there is a handy seam close to the edge, I use a ruler and measure from this seam to the outside so that I can keep this distance the same. Cut with a rotary cutter. Here I can see that if I use the 4 1/8" line on this border, I can trim the outside edge close enough so I won't see any batting when I sew on my binding.

Line the ruler against the border seam and trim

When you get to a corner, use the ruler to keep everything square. Square corners will be your friend!


2. Preparing the binding strips

First you need to work out how many strips you...

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Binding 101 - Part Four - Easy mitred join (no rulers!)

Welcome to part four of my Binding 101 tutorial.

Joining the ends of my binding was always a bit of a hit and miss affair. I used to fold one end inside the other and hope for the best. This didn't look good as it produced a lumpy, straight join when all the others were mitred and nice and flat.

I tried using various binding gadgets but could never figure out from one quilt to the next what to do, and got frustrated when I cut too much off, or cut the wrong way round.

Then one day I decided the only thing to do was to try and figure it out for myself, and I eventually came up with this method which for me is more intuitive and I can now actually remember how to do it every time!

Get a beautiful join in your binding

Give it a try next time you join your binding...

Start by leaving yourself PLENTY of room to work with. I start sewing my binding 10-12" from the beginning of the strip, and leave a good 12" gap at the end. The orange pins in this photo show where I started and stopped...

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Taking my quilts for a walk

It's a beautiful spring day here! As I drove to the foothills of the Tararua ranges this morning, I passed the quintessential New Zealand spring sight, a ewe feeding her twin lambs. What a great day to take my quilt for a walk!



I love my walks in the bush, I usually go alone and I enjoy the peace and solitude. It helps me revive and recharge my batteries before another week in the shop or behind my computer or sewing machine. Over the winter I haven't been getting out, and last week was my first walk for ages. I decided that it would be fun to bring my quilts along. So this week, that's what I did!

As I packed my backpack, I wondered how much the quilt would add to the weight I had to carry. Standing on the scales, I realised that the total of me plus backpack was still 6kg (about 12 pounds) lower than I weighed on my own this time last year, before I started my walking habit! No problem carrying that extra weight then.

This week my companion was Blue China, a quilt I made...

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Nanny's Singer

reflections Sep 05, 2016

My uncle was a very keen photographer and his son (my cousin Phil) has kept and treasured all his family photos and slides. This week Phil posted this slide from the 1950's on his Facebook page.


As Phil says, the colours are so realistic in these slides that you could almost be in the room with them. I was so absorbed in looking at the images of, from the left, my Great Auntie Nance, Grandad and Nanny that I almost missed seeing the all- important Singer treadle behind Nanny. I expect she used it to make her 'pinny' - the only time I ever remember her without one on was at weddings.

I remember exactly where this photo would have been taken. The house was a tiny two-up two-down in Twickenham, and this was the back room. The door you can see led to the add-on kitchen which always smelled of coal tar soap and where you would find Nanny making yorkshire pudding batter in an enamel dish. Grandad would usually be found out in the garden, which was very long and where he grew his...

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