After a busy 2017 it was lovely to be able to close the year with a walk to my favourite place by the Atiwhakatu stream.
The perfect companion was Silver Fern, one of the colourways for my 2017 Mystery Quilt 'All Aglow'.
The Silver Fern is an emblem of New Zealand and can be found everywhere in the bush. It is also the emblem of our mighty All Blacks rugby team.
The weather has been mixed this Christmas but New Year's Eve was a beautiful day, with a light breeze (which means quite a strong breeze in the Atiwhakatu valley!) and lots of sunshine.
The place by the stream is about half way to the mountain hut, about an hour and a half's walk from the car park for me and enough of a good stretch after not doing much exercise all year.
I love taking a quilt with me, they have so many uses! This time it was a great cover-up against too much sun as well as the biting sand flies.
Eating my lunch by the stream I heard a pair of Kereru...
The last few months have been really busy with the New Zealand Quilt Symposium plus a trip to Quilt Market in Houston where I was lucky enough to meet up with Kristy Lea of Make Modern Magazine. When I got back home I was excited to see the launch of Issue 19 of the magazine which contains the first block of my Mini Wonders sampler.
This sampler is made using my 60 degree patchwork technique, which is also the method for my Modern Triangle Sampler quilt.
Make Modern is a digital magazine, which is fabulous as you get a huge amount of content in each issue and can just print out the patterns you are interested in. Subscribe to this magazine by following the link on the right hand side of this page.
I hope you will have a go at Mini Wonders. I love the beautiful Alison Glass fabrics in the project, the ones in the photo are Sunprints, and I am now making another using her latest Diving Board range. Another really exciting part of going to Houston was meeting Alison, and I came...
This month I have been visiting family in England, and while I am here I have been teaching my Triangle Block Party class.
My walk this time doesn't include a quilt, but look at these beautiful native bluebells that adorn many English woods at this time of year
When I was a child, we would gather armfuls of bluebells to enjoy, but these days it's not allowed, and really so much better to see them in swathes in their natural setting. My sister, great niece and I loved our adventure in the woods, and the added bonus was a beautifully built wooden playground.
After a bit of catch-up time, I was off on the train to Huddersfield. Nestled in the Peak district in the North of England, Huddersfield was at the heart of the wool trade in the nineteenth century, and many mills have now been converted for new purposes. Four trains from Bedford, I arrived in the village of Slaithwaite (pronounced 'Slawett'), and met Justine and Lisa, who run Simply Solids. It's a great shop stocking a fabulous...
This year's southern hemisphere summer is drawing to a close, and it's been a bit underwhelming. Usually we get weeks on end of long, hot days when all you want to do is lie under a tree and take a nap, but this year there has been rain, and days when the weather has blown in a big chill from the Antarctic.
Officially we are now in Autumn (New Zealand classes its seasons in complete months - in England it wouldn't change until the equinox). However, this weekend we had blissful summer weather - not too hot to go outside, it was just calling me to make the most of the warm weather.
The quilt taking an outing this weekend was Candy Drops. I designed this quilt for our Shop Hop last year, and the pattern was published this week in the digital magazine Make Modern, Issue 15.
It's surprisingly easy to squish a quilt into your backpack - this is quite a small pack that my Mum bought me for a significant birthday. It holds all the necessities - emergency kit, spare layers, lunch, tea...
The #totallytrianglequiltalong has started! It is so much fun to see the blocks that are being made. I hope you will join in. This is my first block, the Triangle Nine Patch.
You can see other blocks in the triangle quilters facebook group - anyone can join even if you just want to take a look for now. You can also see them on Instagram.
I will be posting more blocks on here as well as some tips for sewing with triangles as we get further into the quiltalong.
It can be a bit scary trying something new, but everyone who has tried these blocks seems to get into them really quickly and enjoy making them. You can get the pattern from Quilters' Lane, or from my Craftsy store. Why not have a go?
Though you may feel a bit like I did when I got back into going for walks in the bush last year, and was faced with walking across this swingbridge for the first time....
....just take a deep breath, be brave, and you never know what fun is to be had on the other side.
Here's my Lonestar...
It was time to go for a walk .....
The last couple of months have been so busy, I needed to take time out and stretch my legs. My quilt companion is Shifting Strata, a small quilt I made based on Wendy Williams' Crossing Paths pattern back in 2012. I named it after the Christchurch earthquakes. Here's my quilt
And here is Wendy's original
Given the recent shifting of the earth under our feet, it felt like Shifting Strata was a very topical quilt to bring. This was one of my first 'improv' style quilts, and also my first attempt at big stitch hand quilting. It was also one of the first to win me a ribbon, at the Capital Quilters exhibition later that year :)
Having done very little walking over the winter, I took it fairly easy this time. From Kiriwhakapapa campsite there is a loop walk that passes through a grove of redwood trees - these were planted way back before we realized that messing with mother nature is not necessarily a good idea. Now they make a beautiful...
A few years ago we had a great range of fabric in the shop by Nancy Halvorsen, called Curiosities and Mischief. Curiosities had a lovely combination of pink, lilac, strawberry and yellow. Mischief was full of green, brown, orange and teal. Both had cute little pictures on some of the fabrics. We got through metres of that fabric!
One of the projects we made was a railfence quilt based on a mini jelly roll of twenty strips. Since we have now sold out of the fabric I really need to get round to making another sample quilt in a new range, and the sample we had in the shop has been unloved for a while. When I was looking for a quilt to take for a walk this week it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give Mischief a little love.
In a few weeks I am going on a long (73km) walk with my sister, so to get in a bit of training I decided to hike up to Rocky Lookout. It's a 350m (over 1000 feet) climb in just over 3 kilometres, so quite a challenge for me if not for the super fit Kiwis who...
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.
Kowhai is the Maori work for yellow, and the blossoms let you know that Spring is here.
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...
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...