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August 2013

Shop Hop Anticipation

Two years ago I had only just bought the shop, and was getting to know people in the local quilting scene. Among those lovely people I met was a group of shop owners who like me felt that we needed to offer more exciting activities for quilters. Owning a quilt shop is not just about buying and selling fabric. Quilting is really an entertainment industry. Yvonne of Sawmillers had seen Shop Hops happening in the States and thought we could do something similar over here. And so the Quilters Friend Shop Hop was born. The first year was such a success that we decided to run the event again, and now we are into our third year.

Each year the shops create a quilt that you can make. For the registration fee you get blocks from the quilt which you can put together as you like, or purchase a finishing kit to make the quilt as done by the shop. The creativity of the shop owners is put to work as we try to come up with interesting quilt ideas for you.

This year we decided instead of sampler quilts to make quilts with the same theme of a medallion centre. The results of the quilt designers' work are now complete and the quilts are doing the rounds of the shops so that customers can view them. Here are the quilts:


Quilters Lane Shop Hop 2013

This is my quilt. It is based on a Moda range called Papillon, and has very subtle duck egg blue and dusky pink colours. I have done both machine and hand quilting on this quilt.

Sawmillers 2013

This is the quilt from Sawmillers, with French Provincial colouring and beautiful dresden plate appliques in the corners.

Village Books 2013

Dianne from Village Books and Crafts in Palmerston North has made this gorgeous Batik quilt. I love the 3 dimensional effect she has achieved.


Crafty Pear 2013

This is the quilt from Ann at the Crafty Pear. I have seen this quilt up close and Ann has put a little insect or creature in every block - real attention to detail! This is the quilt that will be on display in my shop this week. Do pop in and take a look if you are in the area.

Cherry Pie 2013

This is the fifth and final quilt, from Lynette of Cherry Pie in Levin. This fabric range is absolutely gorgeous and I love the applique Lynette has done.

If you haven't done so yet, why not take a look at the Shop Hop facebook page www.facebook.com/nzshophop - this page has all the details including dates etc.

It's really good fun working with the other shop owners and anyone who has been on the Shop Hop before will tell you how enjoyable it is to take part.




Classes have been getting underway again, today we did the Big Stitch quilting class. I will be putting some photos on next time, so pop back and take a look,



Club Spirit

The last two weeks have been all about catching up. I have been making blocks for the Masterquilters raffle quilt, the block of the month, the retreat and for our 25th anniversary quilt. Belonging to the club is great fun and taking part in all the activities is what it's all about.


The raffle quilt is being made by most of the members creating one or two small snowball blocks each. It's only a little task for each person, but in the end there will be a beautiful quilt to be raffled off at our exhibition next year.

The block of the month is done at every meeting,  all the names of people who have made a block go in the hat and the winner gets to keep all the blocks. The only catch is they have to make a quilt from them by the following year. Again it's lots of fun and is part of what keeps the spirit of the club going.

The third block I made was for our retreat. Every year a number of us go away for the weekend and have a guest tutor, we have so much fun not only sewing (and eating of course!) but the retreat committee puts together a fantastic programme for us, including making us all a little gift, and don't forget dress-up night.Again we all make a block and we have a raffle to see who wins all the blocks, with the quilt to be made by the following year's retreat. This year's theme is 'Going Bush' - so the block is all green and cream with lots of kiwiana fabrics.

Finally, Masterquilters is celebrating 25 years this year, and the guild is having an anniversary dinner and making a celebratory quilt. All the blocks will be silver and black, and each paid up member of the guild will be putting their name on a block. It will be a very special heirloom for the club to keep.

If you are a quilter, but haven't yet joined your local guild, why not go along to a meeting? As you can see, we have lots of activities and it's a great way to make new friends. Quilting is such a unique hobby - it's not just about the sewing  - it's a special bond between like minded people. Go anywhere in the world and meet quilters, and you will have instant friendships.

Shop Hop Quilt

As well as doing the blocks I've been busy trying to get my Shop Hop quilt finished. Thanks Vickye for doing the binding! The quilt is now almost ready, here's a quick look:

Quilters Lane Shop Hop 2013

Over the next few weeks we will be displaying all of the Shop Hop quilts at each of the shops, so do go to your local shop to see them. More information will be posted on the Shop Hop blog  at http://quiltersfriend.wordpress.com/and also the facebook page (www.facebook.com/nzshophop). Again this is one of those great social aspects of quilting - you get to go on a road trip around five lovely quilt shops and be in to win prizes, as well as making the quilt of your choice. Why not get a group of friends together and plan to take part this year?


More One Fabric quilts

I've also been lucky to have customers coming into the shop over the last few weeks with their completed quilt tops from the One Fabric Wonder class. They are so stunning I have to share a couple of them with you.

This is Sue D's

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And here is Sue K's

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Aren't they amazing? I love the 3D cubes in this one. It's so hard to believe these quilts are made from just one fabric.

Well time now to go and start thinking about another Masterquilters project- my 12 by 12 quilt on the theme of Spring - hand dying and painting fabric is the plan this time.

Keep happy and have fun quilting




Phew, what a few weeks it has been! First the Taupo Symposium - , then on my return my 'beginners' had their 'finishing day' - a bit like a quilting bee of old. Then I spent the weekend helping my husband with his new catering business. It has been so busy I had to hide from the shop for a couple of days just to catch up!


I have just returned from the Taupo symposium. What a fantastic event! It was the first Symposium where I have attended classes. The open evening was lovely, with a powhiri for all the tutors – many of the international tutors were on their first visit to NZ and were blown away. I spent two days learning about colour from Joen Wolfrom, author of Adventures in Colour and Adventures in Design among other great books. Who knew there was so much to learn? After that I took a three day class with Gail Garber from New Mexico. Gail is an expert at paper piecing and curved piecing, and taught us how to draft stars, design our own quilts and paper piece swooping curves full of all different sorts of shapes including flying geese and ‘pointy dudes’. It was lovely to learn from these great quilters and also to renew friendships and to meet new people. If this sounds like fun why not think about registering for the next Symposium – there is a ‘mini’ symposium in Ashburton next year, where I will be teaching, and the next full symposium is in Palmerston North in 2015. Registrations are open for both of these now. The earlier you register the better choice you have when it comes to picking classes. Here are the links to their websites:

Ashburton Mini Symposium


Manawatu Symposium:



Beginners Finishing Day


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At the completion of my beginners classes we always have a day where everyone brings their quilt tops, we pin them to their backings and battings and then start to quilt, plus have a quick lesson in binding. It's so lovely to see the finished quilt tops and to know that everyone is getting started on the final stage of their project. With all of the current class being teachers, school holidays were the perfect time to have the day. Not only did all these ladies finish their sampler quilts, but they also came and did a 'jelly roll' class the week before, so have now each made two quilts. Congratulations to Lee, Emma and Hayley on joining the quilting community.


Men can quilt too


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Speaking of beginners, I am so proud of my husband Carl, who has not only made his very first quilt top, but also came to the Free Motion class, stipple quilted his quilt, did the binding and then stitched it down by hand beautifully. Not bad for someone who had hardly used a sewing machine before. So come on all you men, the challenge has been set - where is the Wairarapa's version of Ricky Tims? It's great to see that we have a male tutor at the Manawatu Symposium - David Taylor from Colorado - take a look at his website http://www.davidtaylorquilts.com/ - some stunning work!

Well that's all for now, off to get the Shop Hop quilt finished. I have lots more news including the new class list so hopefully will get it posted soon,