Quiltmarket - Making Connections

This year I went to Quiltmarket in Houston for the first time ever. Wow, what an amazing event - there are so many designers, manufacturers, exciting stalls and new fabrics.. it was hard to know where to begin.

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Quiltmarket is an event for shop owners, designers and people in the business of quilting. It goes on for three days (plus a day of 'schoolhouses' at the beginning), and then the whole area is cleared out to make way for Quilt Festival, which everyone can attend.

I was just in seventh heaven, going to presentations by designers I have become familiar with over the years of running the shop, seeing all the new designs and meeting lovely people.

One of the main reasons for attending this year was to meet Kim Moos, founder and CEO of Cotton Cuts. Kim and I have been talking for a while about taking my Mystery Quilt programme to the USA, and it was so much fun to meet up with her in person. Kim is doing a great job, working with a disabled workshop in St Louis to cut the fabrics for the 2017 Mystery Quilt. So now, you can buy the precut Mystery in the USA as well as from Quilters' Lane in New Zealand!

We visited lots of stands Tula Pink's (see photo above) was amazingly bright and colourful, and then we went to see Jennifer Sampou, who designed the fabrics for three of last year's Mystery quilts.

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I love Jennifer's style and her use of natural colourings and motifs in her fabrics.

We also got to visit some other fabric designers, some of these may be appearing in future Mysteries!

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Jackie McFee of Camelot

 

15349765_10202358943852850_1340929427500057487_nPatrick Lose

 

I was so happy to get to know Kim, and I am really looking forward to working with her and Cotton Cuts to bring the fun of the Mystery Quilt to the USA!

 

About Kim

Kim Moos

Hi, I'm Kim and I'm the Chief Fabric Enthusiast at Cotton Cuts! I've been married to my best friend for 15 years and we have two boys, Lincoln (6) and Dominic (4). We live in St. Louis, via California, Arizona, New Orleans and Boston.

I've been quilting since I was 13 years old. It was a formative year - not only was I able to learn how to use a rotary cutter (life changing), but it was the same year I obtained my first hunting license. There were some basic tenets of my mom's teaching - no scrap left behind, no need to backstitch, press early and often, cut as few times as possible, always use 1/4", only use pins if you have to. I made my first quilt for a friend in high school. It was a quillow (remember those quilts that used to fold up into pockets to make a pillow?) I love to make baby quilts because they are quick to sew and can be done in a weekend - perfect for my busy go-go life.

I started Cotton Cuts earlier this year because I was looking for a new source of inspiration for my own quilting. I was stuck in a rut with the baby blankets – I could only do the same thing for so long. With many of the local quilt stores near me closing, I went online and found site after site of fabric stores but felt overwhelmed by all of the options. Wouldn't it be great if someone could help me navigate all of those options and provide me fabric that I might not buy for myself but would actually love? Cotton Cuts was born!

I recruited some friends to be fabric enthusiasts and to help with all things member care, while I focused on operations. I knew that I wanted to outsource all of our cutting and folding, but it was important to me to invest in my local community and keep all the work close to home. I discovered a workshop for disabled individuals that was willing to take on our project and knew I had found the perfect partner. I had used workshops for other projects and knew the capabilities of these very talented folks. Every Cotton Cuts purchase contributes towards supporting local jobs.

A few months ago, Sheila reached out to me about her Puzzle Mystery Quilt.  I was taken from the first introduction - I am a sucker for quick, fun and new projects.  This wasn't another block of the month and it wasn't a heavy lift for the quilters involved.  It keeps you guessing for 10 months, we do all the cutting AND you get your choice of colors?  It fits so well with the vision and mission of Cotton Cuts, I had to say "Yes!"

It has been my vision that every Cotton Cuts (boxes and Mystery Quilt) delights your inner quilter and challenges you to step out of your comfort zone to try something new.  I hope that we deliver on that vision every month!
 
To sign up for the 2017 Mystery Quilt go to
 
New Zealand: www.quilterslane.co.nz
USA: www.cottoncuts.com
 

Shifting Strata - when grey isn't just grey

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

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And here is Wendy's original

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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 :)

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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 realised that messing with mother nature is not necessarily a good idea. Now they make a beautiful cathedral, and the native bush is growing up inside, rata vines clinging to the trees and epiphytes growing in the high branches.

The sounds of birds singing and streams flowing with meltwater are so much more soothing to me than the tinned muzak in the shopping malls that we usually get at this time of year. It seemed like everyone else was frantically making their preparations for the big day, as the bush was so quiet I only ran into one like minded soul in two hours of walking. She was headed up to Blue Range Hut - a 700m climb I will have to work up to over the coming season!

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Although the path up towards Blue Range is pretty steep, there are some great stopping points. I laid the quilt out on the ground beneath a massive Totara tree

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Time for a nice morning tea break, hoping the earth doesn't start shaking and bring the tree down on my head!

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There's not a huge amount of showy colour in the bush - no bright flowers or bird plumage. But there is an enormous variety of shades and tonings, and there are some beautiful surprises. Look at the wonderful bright green on this moss covered rock

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These leaves stood out amongst the duller colours too - see how the dark green ones behind sit right back - a lesson for colouring our quilts!

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The interesting shades I observed reminded me of choosing the colours for Shifting Strata. When I made this quilt, I wanted to do it all in neutrals, so I started with greys, taupes and a little bit of brown. It sat on the design wall in the shop and I would keep looking at it every time
I passed. It seemed dull - how could I add some colour and interest without making it garish?

At the time I was reading and soaking up as much information as I could about colour. One of my go to books was Gloria Loughman's wonderful book Quilted Symphony. From this book I had learned that there is really no such colour as grey or brown - every grey is just a shade of one of the hues on the colour wheel, and brown is just a version of yellow. I realised I could add other yellows to go with the brown, and I played with the greys which had purple tones, and added some purple hits as well. All of a sudden the colours began to work!

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After climbing back down the steep track, I carried on around the loop track. This area is full of streams and is always pretty wet and muddy, only drying out in the real heat of summer

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I ended up washing my muddy boots in the sparkling stream

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This is such a beautiful area, a lovely walk and a bit of a work out for me, I can't wait till next time - now which quilt shall I take?

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Wendy Williams is at www.flyingfishkits.com.au. We stock many of her patterns at www.quilterslane.co.nz and can get any that you like into the shop.

Gloria Loughman is another wonderful Australian quilter, see www.glorialoughman.com. We also stock many of her books.

Both Wendy and Gloria will be teaching at the New Zealand Symposium in Christchurch in October 2017. See the link to Creative Construction on the right hand side of this page.

To learn more about colour in quilts from me, sign up for my Patchwork and Quilting techniques class at Quilters' Lane, starting again in 2017.


Plans afoot!

Since the 2016 Mystery Reveal I have had a lovely break away, doing a little traveling around New Zealand.

You may have heard the news about the large earthquake that hit the South Island. There are lots of photos in the news of the damage to the roads and infrastructure there. Although we only felt relatively little shaking here in Masterton, a lot of damage happened on the other side of the mountain ranges in the Wellington area.

Queensgatesource: stuff.co.nz

This is the Queensgate mall  which was closed for a couple of weeks and is now only partially open. I travel past here when going to my Capital Quilters meetings, and when I went last Saturday it was eerily quiet - usually at this time of year it would take ages to drive through the town. Buildings are being demolished and there is a lot of work going on to get things back to normal.

Meanwhile back in Masterton, I am preparing lots of exciting things for next year.

MYSTERY 2017

We had so much fun making the 2016 Mystery quilt. I'm loving seeing the results that people are posting in the facebook group.

Here's Sue's Glittering Paua colourway

  Paua Sue
Miep made the Teal and Steel with extra large borders

Teal and Steel Miep

This is  Stone and Moss made by Marion

Stone and Moss Lisa

If you missed making the 2016 quilt, you can still buy the month by month clues in my Craftsy store - see the link on the right. Start with the Puzzle Mystery Details download which tells you how to pick your fabrics.

The colourways for 2017 are all ready to go and will be launched on the shop website this Saturday, December 3rd.

There is also exciting news for those of you in the USA who want to take part in my Mystery - I am partnering with a company in the US to offer the Mystery as a precut block of the month. Watch out for more information in the next few days.

 

TOTALLY TRIANGLE QUILTALONG

The second project is my Modern Triangle Sampler, which I will be running as the #totallytrianglequiltalong next year. My trusty pattern testers have been busy making blocks and checking my instructions. Linda has made the sampler quilt in all red and white fabrics

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I love it in these colours!

I will be polishing up the pattern over the next couple of weeks and then it will be available in my Craftsy store as well as in the shop. There will also be classes to learn the techniques - at Quilters' Lane and also in the UK next year at Lady Sew n Sew and Simply Solids.

Ask your guild or local quilt shop nicely and they might get me to come along and teach it too.

The Quiltalong to make the 25 blocks starts on January 7th, and I will be posting information about how it will run and what you need to get started. 

2017 is going to be so much fun,  I do hope you will join me in one of my projects!

 


2016 Puzzle Mystery - All is Revealed!

Hi there! What an exciting day - it's the Big Reveal of my 2016 Puzzle Mystery Quilt.

If you have been quilting along, this blog post contains photos of putting the quilt together. You will need the month ten instructions - either from your Mystery pack or by downloading from my Craftsy store.

If you are new to this quilt, the clues are all available on Craftsy. Start by downloading the free information which will tell you about the quilt and how much fabric you need.

So without further ado, let's take a look at the quilts.  My samples are in two of the colourways that we offered through the shop. We had fourteen different colourways altogether, and I will show you some photos of other colourways after the reveal day.

The single quilt is shown here in the Tokyo Garden colourway.

Mystery 2016 Tokyo Garden

And here is the double in the Pewter and Linen colourway

 Mystery 2016 Pewter and Linen Double

Did you guess the layout?

So now it is time to show you how to put all the pieces together:

Here are the photos that follow the instructions you will get.

Step One

D1/K1     D1 k1

 

B1 / D1/ K1

B1 d1 k1

Step Two

F1/M1

M1 f1

AA1/H1

AA1 H1

F1/M1/AA1/H1

F1 M1 AA1 H1

Step Three

Centre Section top half

Centre Section bottom half

Centre Section completeThat's the centre section completed!

 

Step Four : E1/L1

E1 L1

E1/L1/C1

E1 L1 C1

Step Five: G1/I1: - oops my label slipped, thank goodness for Paint,  I fixed it up on the photo!

G1 I1

G1/I1/J1

G1 I1 J1

Step Six

Step Six

Step Six 2

Step Seven

Step Seven 1

Step Seven 2

Step Eight

Step Eight

 

So here is the main part of your quilt top complete! Follow the written instructions to add your borders.

I hope you have enjoyed this year's Mystery quilt

 

Sheila

 


Remember remember the fifth of November!

Hi everyone

Here I am at Quiltmarket and feeling frustrated that I can't give you photos that are the right way round - I promise to post lots when I get back!

It has been an incredible few days and I have lots of news ahead, so stay tuned, and don't forget to look out for the Big Reveal of the 2016 Mystery this Saturday 5th November!


Mischief

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 run up there every week!

The view of the mountains with the snow still on the very tops was gorgeous

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It was hard work getting up the hill so I didn't take any photos, but when I got to the top and emerged from the bush I had time to look out at the view back down the valley

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Out came Mischief!

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It was pretty hard to get a decent photo as it was a little bit breezy up there

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It's also quite a busy track on a bright spring day, and I'm still a little bit shy about people seeing this crazy lady with her quilt, so I took a few more photos and headed on back down the hill.

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Another lovely walk completed, and the rest of the day to sit behind the computer dreaming up new designs!

If you like this Mischief quilt there is a pattern available in my Craftsy store, just click the logo on the right hand side.


2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Nine

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

N1

Extra pieces for the double quilt....

LC1 LC1

LC3 1 LC3

LC1L LC1L

LC1R LC1R

 

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!

Sheila

 


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.

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On the way I saw this beautiful Kowhai tree.

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Native New Zealand Kowhai Tree

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

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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.

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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 could find - in the middle of the bandstand!

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Queen Elizabeth II park is a masterpiece of Victorian visionaries. There are so many different elements that make up the whole. The lake is the centrepiece, and plays host to many wildfowl.

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Black swan
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The Duck family enjoying the rain

 

There is an island in the middle of the lake, with a mini train that runs around it. No trains today though!

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Playtime decided it wanted to sit on the steps to the Flying Fox

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If you are interested in making the Playtime quilt/playmat I have the fabric in store and will be releasing the pattern soon.

Have a great week

Sheila