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June 2016

Midnight Madness

Every year around Matariki and the Shortest Day, I hold a Midnight Madness class in the shop.

This year we were making my new pattern, Propellors


(Thanks to Linda Graham for making the sample and Noeline Day of the Quilting Shed for quilting it). Pattern available in my Craftsy Store and in the shop


It was already dark when we got to the shop to get started. We had a full class, and it was great to welcome Heather all the way over from Wellington, as well as Ruth who is staying in the Wairarapa but visiting from the Waikato.

As this quilt uses a jelly roll, we were straight into sewing strips together


It was heads down, sewing machines going full speed ahead.


Lovely piles of fabrics started taking shape, and we were on to cutting out.


With the central counter cleared of sewing machines, we had plenty of space to stretch out.

After satisfying our appetites with Carl's delicious home made steak and cheese pies,  we were ready to get some blocks made up.

I had great fun seeing all the lovely colour combinations


Mel picked her jelly roll from fabrics in the shop, and we cut the strips for her.


Ruth is using a Free Spirit 'True Colours' jelly roll


This is another custom cut jelly roll, selected by Annelore from our yellow and grey fabrics.


Jan is using Moda's Li'l Red. It is so cute with Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf!


I love this vignette with Pauline's fabrics and her gorgeous little box.


Another custom pick, Heather is making a divinely soft blue/grey combination for a baby's quilt


This one was my sample block for teaching, but wouldn't red and black make a great combination?


Thanks ladies for such a fun evening, I'm already looking forward to next year!



2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Six

Happy July to you all. Here in New Zealand we are really starting to feel the chill of winter. My lemon tree was pretty frosty this morning!

Frosted lemons

You can just see the mandarins in the top right as well. Yesterday I picked a whole bowlful of these, it's the first year they have been edible.

Today will be a busy day in the shop. People will be coming in to pick up their month six Mystery packs, we have the Hoffman Challenge quilts on display, and this afternoon we are having a hexy stitching session. This is for the Katja Marek quiltalongs that we are doing. I have put the link to Katja's quiltalong pages on the sidebar.

We are rolling along with our Mystery Quilt! I hope you are enjoying putting it together.

Here are the photos for this month's sections:

I1 to I4 4 and 5

Here are my half square triangles sewn together for sections I1 to I4

I1 to I4 rect 2 4 and 5

I added the rectangles, here are I1 and I2


And nice and easy - I1 complete.

Now onto sections H1 and H2

4 and 7 triangles

I like to chain piece my triangles, so I have done the other HST's next to keep my production line going!

H1 H2 4 and 6

Now to add the squares:

H1 H2 rectangle of 2 plus 4 and 7

H1 H2 4 6 and square of 7

And finally putting it all together

H1 H2

Here are the sections for the double quilt

LA2 four


Keep on growing that quilt step by step, you will have a quilt top in no time!


Free Tutorial - No Waste Flying Geese

Hi all!

Here in the Lower North Island of New Zealand, five quilt shops run a Shop Hop. It's a great way to visit other shops and see our beautiful countryside!

Rainbow    View from Fensham Reserve

I took these photos yesterday on my walk in Fensham Reserve, near Carterton.

On this year's Shop Hop we are giving the participants three fat eighths at each shop, plus a pattern to use them. Each of us has chosen a different fabric range, and you can pick which range you want to collect. My choice is Moda's Grunge Blenders in rainbow colours.  How great to have spotted the rainbow on my walk when I had already been planning a rainbow quilt!


I just love the textures in these fabrics!

So I have been giving some thought to writing my Shop Hop pattern. Here it is, Candy Drops in two different colourways. This pattern will be available soon on Craftsy, complete with Grunge fabric numbers.

Candy Drops Vanilla background             Candy Drops onyx background

There are quite a few flying geese units in this quilt, so a bit of maths later and  I figured out that the no waste method would get really good use out of the fabric. 

I decided to do a test block. I'm not using the Grunge for this block, I raided my stash and found a pretty fabric that I got in a swap during Gail Garber's class at the Taupo Symposium. Isn't it great when fabrics have so many memories?

Step 7

This method works really well if you need lots of flying geese in the same fabrics.

First, cut a square 1 1/4" larger than the finished width of your unit. So for example if you want your flying geese to be 6" by 3", cut your square to 7 1/4". (Note, if you are using this tutorial to make my Candy Drops pattern, the measurements will be different - please use the measurements in the pattern).

Now you need four squares of background fabric. These will be 7/8" bigger than the finished height of your units. For our 6" by 3" unit we will cut these squares to 3 7/8".

Draw diagonal lines on the backs of the background squares, and lines a scant 1/4" either side of these lines.

Place the background squares on top of the large square like this:


See how they overlap? This is important, and you will sew right through both squares.

Now when I make half square triangles like this, I sometimes 'cheat' and draw my lines quite a bit less than 1/4". That makes my squares come out bigger than I need, and I can trim them to size afterwards. Don't do that with this method! Believe me, I tried and it doesn't work. So you need to be a bit aware of the width of your pencil lines and ruler, and do this bit accurately.

Now stitch on the two outside lines.

Cut on the middle line and this is what you get

Step 2

Now you are going to press those little triangles out.

Step 3

Have faith, this weird looking thing will work!

Place another background square on the corner of each of these units.

Step 4

Stitch on the outside lines, and cut down the middle

Step 5

Press, and Hey Presto!

Step 6


Step 7 Step 7

You will get four flying geese units from each of these sets, a great way to make them quickly and accurately, just be careful with your drawing and cutting lines!



2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Five

June in New Zealand is when we have the shortest month, but whether it is hot or cold where you are, take some time out to complete your fifth clue in this year's Mystery Quilt.

Here are the step by step photos for you to follow along with your instructions.

If you are new to the Mystery Quilt, you can download the free guidelines from my Craftsy store, and then purchase clues each month. Visit www.craftsy.com/user/7013885.

Step 1: Fabrics 6 and 4

Step 1

Step 2: Join to fabric 3

Step 2

Step 3: Fabrics 7 and 4

Step 3

Step 4:

Add fabric 7

Step 4

Step 5: Join together

 Step 5

Step 6: Add fabric 5


Here are the four sections G1 to G4

G1 to G4

Here are the extras for the double quilt:





Don't forget to post photos of your quilt in our facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/mysteryquilters

So now you are halfway through the Mystery,