My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flying the New Zealand flag in Paducah

How lucky I am that I am able to take advantage of my brother living near Nashville....last week my sister-in-law and I headed up to Paducah, 2 hours away, to the AQS quilt show.
Sandie and I went 3 years ago - and I was totally overawed at the shear size of everything and the amount of people there.  This time I wasn't quite as gobsmacked (I'm an old hand now!) but was still majorly impressed.
Naturally, there were quilts everywhere! In the convention centre, in the Pavillion, in the Quilt Museum, in shop windows, on the street. I could have spent twice as long there and still seen something new every day. The whole town gets behind quilt week and there is a real party atmosphere everywhere.
I really don't know which quilt photos to share, I started out taking photos of everything, marvelling at the design, the colours, the quilting, the embellishments, the ideas... but of course there were so many I gave up! So I'll just show a selection where the photos turned out ok..... (and ones that I enjoyed for a variety of reasons)...
Best of Show - Arandano by Marilyn Badger.
Incredible detail
I adored this one.
Kalocsa by Chieko Shiraishi.
First in Hand Quilted quilts.
Those who know me will know I love these colours...but look at
 the crochet flowers and edging!!!
Why Not? By Angela Petrocelli
Second in Large Wall Quilts, Home Machine Quilted.
This is taking small blocks to a whole new level; an entire quilt
made out of them.
The farm girl in me loved this too,
One Fine Day by Laurie Britt.
Third In Large Wall Quilts, Pictorial.
Happy Halloween 2 by Aki Sakai.
Best Wall Hand Workmanship.
So much fun, so much detail!
The Japanese quilters had an incredible array of quilts in the show. I think their variety of styles is getting broader but the same attention to detail and beautiful handmanship is a common theme across them all. The hand quilting on them was amazing.
Celestial Orbs by Sylvia Schaefer
Honorable Mention, Modern Quilts.
A King on his Throne by Nancy Sterett Martin.
Christmas Colours? by Sharon Hendrix and
My Applique Addiction Continues by Diane LaCombe.
Autmn Baskets by Kathleen Littin and
Eternal by Kazuko Noto
Red Chairs by Mary Ann Van Soest.
This quilt really drew me in, I was ready to sit on those chairs!
Shadows by Carol Perkins.
The 3-D effect/shadowing was very real looking.
Vintage Blocks - Tossed But Not Forgotten by Jane V. Cole and Quilters.
Third in Group Quilts.
Another clever quilt, the centre of the blocks are all vintage.
Ok so I could go on forever but will stop here!! I also took lots of photos of 'bits' of quilts, a bit of quilting here, a bit of applique there and so on.  
The Quilt Show has a slideshow of some the quilts *here* if you want to see more.

I took 4 classes while I was there. Two were with Kathy McNeil, the designer of the beautiful Audubon quilt (and more of course). Those classes were lecture/discussion style on different aspects of design and I enjoyed them a lot.
I took a class with Carolyn Konig, an Australian designer (ironic isn't it, going all the way to America to be tutored by an Australian!). The class was titled Fussy Cutting but really covered paper piecing technique...still enjoyable though. Below is a quilt Carolyn shared with us, it is her reproduction of The Sundial Quilt which is in the V and A Museum, and toured Australia a few years ago. There were numerous tiny pieces and it was hand pieced. Very beautiful.
 The other class I took was an all day one with Pat Sloan, Wild and Free Backgrounds. It is an applique wallhanging with a pieced background..... I decided it would be a good one to stretch me!  I had ideas of breaking out and using fabrics that were completely different to those I would normally choose, but in the end used "Raewyn fabrics" (as my sil describes them). They were a little different to those chosen by most of the gals in the class so it was fun when Pat chose my pile as one of the ones to play with in her demonstration. And then I challenged myself to use a totally different selection when it was my turn to play.
Pat and I with my background. The large floral I brought from
home and used as my guide for collecting fabrics.
At the end of the class Pat shared with us her Splendid Sampler blocks; it was great to see them and to see her enthusiasm for the whole project. She is excited by the quilting community that is being created by it. (If you don't know about it, *here* is a link to the Splendid Sampler project ... I've been collecting the patterns and hope to start them when I get back home).
There is an evening performance every year; Ricky Timms (from The Quilt Show) kept us entertained and in stitches (the laughter sort) with his music, tales and quilts. A lot of fun.
Ricky with some of his quilts.
Well this is pushing it a bit, fitting all these into one post but that's how it is. I'm still getting used to using my tablet for stuff like this and was on a roll today so didn't stop :-)
See you next time, from somewhere in the US,

Monday, April 18, 2016

Flying the NZ flag in Tennessee

When I last posted, I didn't think that the next time I would be posting it would be from the USA. But here I am, enjoying my first few days at my brother's in Nashville.
After 26 hours between the first plane taking off and the last plane landing I was happy to get here, that's for real! But I'm all in one piece so that's great.
I had a bit of sewing I wanted to complete before I left home and I'm pleased I met my deadlines; one of my projects was this kiwiana quilt for my brother and my sister-in-law to bring with me. I've wanted to make them a kiwiana jellyroll quilt for a while now and when I stumbled across this star block, I knew I could finally get it made.
I had imagined taking photos of this quilt in amongst the native bush on our farm but, once again, the plane wasn't going to wait for me while I fiddled around with a mere quilt. So I took the photos in amongst a stand of old Totara on the hillside below the house.
The fabrics are all NZ flavoured, an assortment of bird/nature prints, novelty prints and Maori designs. Kiwiana fabric doesn't come in co-ordinated ranges so it can be tricky to use all in one project.
The quilting on it was probably lighter than I wanted but the time factor reared its ugly head again...there's enough, just...
I included the spirals to represent Koru, the unfurling of the Silver Fern frond, and signifying, new life, growth, strength and  peace.
And above, just enough quilting on the stars to stop them billowing out.
You can see below, the block is fairly straight forward -
But I did have to think from time to time so I didn't end up with this- 
As always, I had fun while sewing -
I had a few other things to share but the photos are on my other memory card back home in New Zealand. Hehe I do have this photo with me though - the last morning of our babies visit to NZ. We so enjoyed their visit and it was hard to say good-bye :-)
My sister-in-law and I are off to the AQS Quilt Show at Paducah this coming week. We are very much looking forward to it. We're taking a few classes and aim on having a blast!
So, 'til next time,
have fun, 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blocks and family time

It's been a case of "Blink and you miss it!". I can't believe that the month is nearly gone ... high time I posted a quick update on what I've been up to lately.
Not much, it seems — the month is ending quietly, with just one finish (which I shared *here*) and a few blocks made. There's also been some secret sewing going on but that sort of project makes for an empty post, doesn't it?!
I've come to terms with the fact that I won't finish my OMG (One Monthly Goal) this month - it felt like a realistic goal at the time, but oh well it's just not going to happen. Now that I have the 'forgotten' box out and in a prominent place, I like to think that I'll be able to work on it in the not too distant future!

Last post I mentioned the Fabulous Friday mystery quilt I am doing with my LQS... the first clue was Churndashes and you can click *here* to see The Country Yard's gallery of all those fabulous blocks - it was very exciting seeing everyone's finished blocks when they brought them in for 'checking' the other Friday.
The next clue was for these flying geese.... here are my 'proper' blocks —
One row of Geese is on the shop wall, there should be four rows  :-)
and another set in some scrappy browns as well —
The next 'show and tell' day is this Friday; I cant wait to see what everyone has done.
For those who have done their homework, below may be a sneaky peek of the next block —
(You'll see on Friday!)
I surprised myself when I counted up this month's leader and ender scrappy 9-patches. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for this month was purple, and I managed a few plus completed some of the brown ones leftover from last month.
I don't think I've shared what these 9-patches are for...two fairly ambitious projects... the larger ones (3" finished size) are for Leesa Seigele's Ring Cycles quilt and the small 1½"finished ones for Sue Garmen's Omigosh quilt ... both beautiful projects but very much long term ones! (And hopefully good scrap busters!)

I'm hoping you all had a wonderful Easter? For our family it was a time of celebration as a niece got married. Of course with that came the gathering together of lots of family. It was a beautiful wedding and a second highlight (for some of us) was the arrival on NZ soil of our two wee grand-daughters.
Family photos follow, so feel free to stop reading here :-) —
First party dress
All tuckered out
The rest of us in our party clothes too. Hubby and I with our kiddies
 and grand kiddies.

Kaliah and Saydee and their Mummy.

With Great Granny. The girls are 8 months old now.
Just another family shot but think hubby was busy yakking and cooking
brunch on the BBQ! 
I feel caught up now,
'till next time,
happy stitching :-)