Wednesday, 11 September 2013

~~~~~~Etsy's Quilts Quilts Quilts Team~~~~~: Copyrights

~~~~~~Etsy's Quilts Quilts Quilts Team~~~~~: Copyrights: Are you one of the many people heading off to your local fabric store.. to purchase licensed fabrics to make something to sell at your local...

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Block Swap

Lorrin of Enchanted Birk decided that she'd like to host a block swap. So in due course she put a notice up on the QQQ forum about it. Now, I'm not much of a quilter, because I design fabric, but I like to try my hand at it every now and then. I thought about it and decided that I could sew a reasonable looking 12 inch block, so I put my name down. It works like this:
1) send your Address to the person Below you.
2) send your Block to the person Above you.

Easy peasy.

At the end of a couple of weeks Lorrin decided that we had better get it moving so she shut off the application and even though there were only 4 of us doing it, we decided to carry on. Well it's the first time and we feel that in the future more of our members will decide to join in the fun.

This is a picture of the four blocks that were made and sent on.
Lorrin's Shop is Enchanted Birk =
Sylvie's Shop is Art On Fabric =
Kym's Shop is Fabric Fascination =
Tanya's Shop is Spool and Thimble =

I've decided that I'll make a quilt with all the blocks I get. It will be a fun special quilt, with the pieces from the QQQ team members. :^D
Cheers till next time,

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Moonlight Sonata with Freddie Croaker and the Clockworks!

You might be asking yourself what on earth is this woman on about now. Surely she's finally gone off the edge... and it may be so this time. You tell me!

Spoonflower is having another contest. This is the Theme:

Where we live, spring nights tend to turn into joyous and noisy frog parties. To celebrate our amorous little friends, this week's theme is fabric designs featuring frogs. Previews will be show at a swatch size (8" x 8"). Deadline for entry is Tuesday, May 28, 2013.  will be the link for this contest when it's in action.. after the 30th May.

My eyes saw 'Noisy Frog Parties' and my mind went back in time to my childhood and the very sound of frog parties that used to lull me to sleep at night. I know now that you can build a pond and frogs will not come and live there, unless you put some tadpoles into the water. A frog will live around and near the pond he or she was born in and will only go back there to spawn.. so if you destroy a pond or a source of water, you can destroy a species of frog.. WOW!
Anyway I digress.. really badly, sorry... Frog Parties, Spring Nights and Joy... these are the keys to my design.
I created a tree frog, ( they're my favourite frog ever), except I didn't want him to be ordinary so I made him a steam punk frog. 

Introducing Freddie Croaker!
I decided that I would have to go all the way and get more involved in the steam punk idea, so I designed nautilus shells and put the hours of the day in them.
Another tree frog hugging a Nautilus Clock.
Next I wanted to create another type of frog that sits on a lily pad ... These chaps would be serenading and backing up Freddie in the Moonlight Sonata. Of course the night sky and rising moon would also have to be created just right to set the mood.....
The clockworks, frogs on watch lily pads,
 back-up singers to Freddie Croaker.
I put it all together and this is what it finally looks like.
Freddie Croaker and the Clockworks, getting ready to sing the Moonlight Sonata to You ,
 should you wish to come on down and join in the FUN!
The night sky, for some reason changes with those fat dark stripes whenever I reduce the picture.. but in actual fact the real deal is the same all the way up. The design can be seen here if you want to see it in yardage etc. 
Feel free to leave comments either here or on the design on Spoonflower... You don't have to be a designer to have an account on Spoonflower, and that's the only way to see the comments written under the designs...some of them are really fun reading.. LOL

Saturday, 4 May 2013

My very First Paper Piecing Block

I was surfing the net the other day and saw a beautiful quilted block on Pinterest. Thought to myself... oh I'd love to be able to sew like that. SO I put the question out in our QQQ Team on Etsy, asking how is something like that done and got a few really helpful answers.
This is the quilted block I saw and fell in love with :
One of my Etsy friends, Patricia Caldwell of The Butterfly Quilter, said I should look at this site : and another friend steered me towards 
Soma of Whims and Fancies ....who does a LOT of paper piecing.. she has a web site : where she holds paper piecing hops every month :-) Very interesting... Also she has a paper piecing pattern tutorial for beginners called the School House...

Donna of June Bug Quilts posted a link to a video on Utube : that shows paper piecing.... all so very helpful, thank you All!!!

Anyway I digress, I sat down with a cup of hot Bovril, don't do coffee and I've run out of Green tea with Mint... so Bovril it is. and started reading.. I looked through that school house pattern and thought.. Wow that sounds quite simple, but I don't want to do a school house... hmmm Next I looked at the link that Patricia had given me... ummm well a tad more complicated I thought, till I started! 

I had to draw my own pattern out, so I made it an 8 inch block against the 4 1/2 in the pattern. I needed something BIG to start off with.. Then I had to choose my fabrics... that took a wee while and eventually I started...

All I can say is that IT'S TOTAL FUN :^D !!!
This is the outcome :

Of course you should mentally cut off the 1/4 inch seam around the outside edge to get the outside pointy bits be the same as the  AND I didn't hand sew the brown handle onto the fan.. i sewed it with the machine... I didn't realise at the time that I was doing that bit wrong.. but I still sort of like how I 'fixed' it..I think I'll change it later though..  hehe 
It's nowhere near the first photo, but I think it's a great start.. don't you?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sailing Fabric Design

There is an upcoming Spoonflower contest called "Sailing". I've entered the following design into it. I first designed the centre section with the lighthouse and then designed the other sections around it. Notice the birds by the trees at the top left side. :^D

Do you see the dolphin playing at the bow of the yacht and the birds sitting and flying in a group behind the yacht. We have been in this situation many many times. It's amazing and wonderful. :^D
Modern Day Ocean Crossings.

Both David and I raced dinghy's from the age of 8. This next drawing brings back memories of those days.
Childhood Racing Memories...
This next one grew from memories of sailing in the Indian Ocean off the Mozambique Coast. The locals sail little boats at night with no navigation lights, so you have to be very careful you don't hit them. Notice the star constellations, there is Pisces Austrinus, Part of Sculptor, Part of Grus, Part of Capricornus and Part of Microscopium. These are constellations seen in the south of the Northern skies in Autumn. Not the stars you'd see sailing off Mozambique, but ones I like :-).
Memories of Mozambique.
This next section is all about racing and these yachts are supposed to be those huge cats that are racing in San Francisco at the America's Cup. We've sailed there and I'm able to imagine these yachts racing there too.
Racing in or near San Francisco
The picture below is a reminder of how our ancestors travelled across the oceans, braving the weather and awful conditions on the ships, to be able to start life anew. Some of the Stars seen here are the Southern Cross or Acrux and Mimosa, The Crux, Orion, and Musca,

Historic Ocean Travel.
Here we have another nostalgic modern day cruiser sailing the oceans looking for an anchoring spot on the far side of this island for a while... or maybe continuing on through the night to a destination they have chosen. A red sky at night.. means a clear night with no rain.
Cruising the world, visiting wonderful new lands.
This is the complete picture. One repeat of the design that is 18 inches by 21 inches in size. A Fat Quarter as the Quilters know it.It's a half drop repeat so 3 full ones and two half designs fit into a yard.
One repeat
I'm thinking that this design would look great made into a scatter cushion / throw pillow, or even as curtains.  Here is a picture of it repeated.
This is what a yard would look like..
If you like it, During the week starting 24th April to 30th April, this design will be available to be voted please take a few minutes to vote for it : This link is to the present contest, but they're all run off the same page.. The sailing contest will be number 186.. so just change the 5 to a 6 and hit enter.. you'll see it :-) 

At the moment I have another design about Pop Art Chickens, that is in the 185 contest. Busy Busy.. heehee.. AND a whole new blog post...

Thanks! :^D

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Aftermath and Painted Eggs

In my last post;

I told you all about my talk at the KeriKeri Quilters monthly meeting and the wonderful day I had with them. Quite a few of them had asked me if I'd please turn one of my paintings into a fabric design. So I did and here is is: Guinea Fowl. 
Since then I've had the pleasure of visiting the Whangarei Quilt Group at their monthly meeting. Yet Again I was openly and warmly accepted. I listened to the speaker of the day who was a supplier of threads. Wow, she had an amazing selection to choose from and some really helpful tips about bobbin winding, and other things I didn't know. I couldn't help myself . I bought a reel of orange variegated cotton thread to use on my Turtle Quilt. 

The bobbin info... okay, I'll pass it on... when you're putting thread onto your bobbin it's apparently VERY important that it isn't done too fast and that the thread is wound on evenly. If it's not done properly you'll have no end of trouble with the thread misbehaving under the fabric. So there you go.. I didn't know that and I've had no end of trouble with my bobbin thread... so next time I wind a bobbin, I'll be taking a heck of a lot more care. :^D 

I've been designing since my last post here and thought I'd show you some results. 
This design is called African Easter Eggs.
I've submitted it into the latest Spoonflower Contest 'Painted Eggs'. Click here if you'd like to check out the contest. When you get there, click on the words 'Painted Eggs' to see all the submissions. I cannot tell you which page my design is on, because each time someone clicks on the contest, the design order changes. 
I also did another that I called Ostrich and Eggs
Admittedly it was a hard choice to make. which one to submit to the contest :^D 

Back to the great folks of Whangarei. I have here the link to their Quilting Blog if you'd like to see what went on that day.
Leeann, who runs the blog, was really kind to include me in her latest posting. I did a bit of a 'show and tell' there, with some of my quilts that are made from fabrics I designed and had printed, or that I dyed and painted. 
Thanks for visiting.. see you again soon.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Chat with Quilters in KeriKeri

It was time. My belly filled with butterflies. Whew I hoped I'd not show how nervous I was. My bullet notes were on the table.. all my paraphernalia laid out in order. All I had to do was open my mouth and talk.
Talk about the thing I loved doing most. You can't put it under one umbrella. It has several titles and they are; Designing Fabric, Playing with Colours, Dyeing Fabric, Helping Quilters get the right colours in their chosen design so that it matches what they want to do...

If you see a design of mine that has fairly simple colours.. not too many half tones ( colours that fade from one to another ) and you like it, but, it's the wrong colours, you can drop me an email and I can look into changing the colours for you to suit you.

I spoke about my background and showed then examples of work from early 2001.
My African Quilt.
This is what it looks like today.
Each section here, except for the black, gold stripes and maroon stripes, was hand dyed and stencilled or painted. I've dragged it around the world with me, thrown it into washing machines with the wash. I wanted to see how well the dyes lasted.. and they have!

I showed them more hand dyed and painted quilt blocks... :

There are a wide range of them and they can only be seen if you visit me OR on

I have, since May or June last year, begun to design fabric by the yard.. or fat quarter.. on a site called spoonflower, where I have my own studio.
THIS is the place where I can change the colours in some of the designs... for example this design:
Various colourways of the crackle fabrics.
I have these on Spoonflower for sale, you can order them just as they are OR you can contact me and we can discuss colours.. I can change them to look like this:
 or this......
 or this.....

There is no limit to the colours you can get them at.
I can also change the repeat size on MOST of my designs.. either making the print bigger or smaller.. all you have to do is ask.. :^D

My talk went well I thought, The ladies laughed in all the right places and asked me some delightful questions. It was a lovely day. I think we all enjoyed it tremendously!.

These are the Quilters I went to talk to this week.

Monday, 11 February 2013

A quirky, cheeky, humorous gift idea

We know it's not a quilt, or some fabric that can be used in a quilt, it does use some fabric though :^D 
  My partner, David, and I came up with this FUN idea. 
Our new creation is a type of To-it. 

The To-it or Tuit  have been around in one form or another since the mid sixties, and this particular To-it is a Nautical To-it, and should address the problem of unfinished projects.
So now you can get around to it.

Our To-it was designed and crafted on deck of an ocean going vessel out of traditional shipboard materials.
It's a weird name I agree. 
Do you think it's weird enough to catch the attention of the worlds populace? 
We certainly hope so!

This is what our To-it looks like :
The To-it can be found in my Etsy Shop, just click HERE
The back of the To-it.. 
Please tell everyone you know about our To-it.. we'd really appreciate it.

Remember you saw it Here FIRST! :^D

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Quick Easy Quilt

Just before Christmas I ordered some of my fabric from Spoonflower and in the order was a yard of Big 5 Headboard Quilt I designed it so that it looks like a finished quilt top, so that all you have to do is put it together with Batting, Backing and Binding.

The fabric draped over our saloon table.
The batting I decided to use was a lovely thick fleece fabric. The backing I finally decided on after a lot of agonising was some beautiful Faux Suede and the binding I used was a lovely gold Silk.

Before I did any freehand quilting I stitched along the edges of each strip and square to get the three sections joined together. The first long stitched rows I did went along smoothly, but when I came to stitch across the quilt....I wished I had a 'walking foot' to stop the top being pulled and then puckering.. It was a learning curve to figure out how to stop that happening with an ordinary foot. But I kind of pushed the fabric towards the foot so that it pulled it through and so when I got to a cross piece of sewing there was no pucker...
Then I got to the scary /fun bit.. lol

Some free hand quilting.. My first attempt :^D 
On the gold batik crackle fabric I drew some trees and various animals, Giraffe, Ostrich, A hippo yawning, A termite mound, some more giraffe.. ha ha and then had to put my new as yet unused quilting foot onto the machine, take a deeeeep breath and start sewing... ha ha ha ha I had to unpick and unpick... It took me a bit of time to realise that it was up to me how long each stitch was going to be.. so now I have the fabric in an embroidery hoop.. to keep it nice and tight... and I have to move it at a certain pace and also try and control how fast the machine is sewing.. Oh BOY!
Lets just say.. I'll have to do a heck of a lot more quilts before I'm as good as the ones I've seen on shows... whew! LOL :-)
Some freehand quilting around the Lioness and her Cub.
This was interesting to do...
I went around the design that was originally stencilled over the batik crackle..
to enhance it.
This is a close up of where I quilted along the Ellie's trunk and around her eye. 
The Animals were a challenge too.. The Elephant may not look so good in this view but overall she looks great. :-)
A Shot of the back of the quilt where I quilted the Lioness and Cub.
The back of the Quilt with it's sleeve at the top so it can be hung if required.
The Sleeve is quite wide. I followed instructions that I found on the internet as to how to do it. The width of the sleeve allows the quilt to hang nicely without any bend or bulge or puckering at the top. I made the sleeve from the same silk I used for the binding.
All the corners ended up right.. yay!
The first time I did the binding.. yeah I had to unpick the whole anyway the first time I did it, I sewed it onto the front intending to fold it over to the back and sew it down.. ha ha ha for some reason the corners just would not work  so i unpicked the whole lot and sewed it down on the back of the quilt, folding the fabric over to the front and sewing it down by hand. It worked perfectly... as you can see by the picture above. My Binding could have been tighter and so more..smooth.. but I wanted it this wide and so it's not as 'Full' because I didn't leave a enough edging sticking out to fill it up with.. I now know that if I want a one inch border or binding, I need to have at least two inches of stuffing, to make the binding nice and tight and full. Well that's what I figure anyway.

Previous to this quilt I always used to make small 1/2 inch bindings and so have never had this problem before. LOL..
The finished Quilt.
Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Cheers for now.