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August 2016

Computer Day is here again! On Mondays I try to catch up with my website maintenance, blog, newsletter and pattern writing. Today's job was completing the final assembly instructions for this year's Mystery Quilt. It's a great feeling to have them done and ready for testing. I feel like I am getting better at juggling the diagrams and text!

Big Bear Hugs Pattern

I have just published a new pattern! This one is called Big Bear Hugs, and it is based on my Bears Paw quilt. You can buy this pattern in my Craftsy store or at Quilters' Lane.


IMG_3292   Solid colours no border

Last year I made this Bears Paw quilt as part of the celebrations for the Capital Quilters group that I belong to. The group was marking its 30th anniversary, and members were asked to make a Bears Paw quilt, since the Bears Paw block is their logo. The Bears Paw is also known as the Hand of Friendship, a very fitting block to have for a quilt group!

For my quilt I used Philip Jacob's Japanese Chrysanthemum fabric in green, from the Kaffe Fassett collective.


I drool over Philip's fabrics, and had been wanting to use this one for some time.

The plan for the block colourings emerged as I made the quilt. I used lots of different fabrics in three colour groups - turquoise, green and purple, to reflect the main fabric colours.

Once the blocks were made, I added sashings in a blue Fossil Fern, similar to the background of the main fabric. These are fabrics I haven't used much but it just worked perfectly for this quilt.

Last week, I taught a class in the shop and the ladies picked some great colour combinations.


(excuse my feet!)

Charlene, who is also taking my beginners class,  is using a lovely Kiwiana fabric, with our native Tui and Pohutakawa blossoms on a navy background. Combined with these lovely Moda Grunges it is looking a treat. Her other blocks will have the blue grunge and a green moko fabric. I can't wait to see how her quilt comes along!


This is Karen's lovely block, she is using some beautiful bright and saturated colours in batiks.


It was so much fun to see these ladies breezing through their half square triangles. If you are quite a new quilter this pattern will show you how to make the blocks the easy way, and you will gain confidence making the half square triangles.

Go on, give your family some Big Bear Hugs!




Hand Quilting my Modern Triangle Sampler

I decided to hand quilt each of the blocks in my Modern Triangle Sampler with big stitch quilting. There are twenty five blocks in all and each one takes nearly an hour to do, so it has taken a lot of Olympics watching time to get it done!

Banner 1

I used a different Sue Spargo Eleganza perle 8 thread in each of the blocks. These threads are lovely to sew with and there is a great choice of colours. These are the ones I used, some of them are the solid colours and some are variegated:


My next step is to do some straight line stitching in all the white areas. I will use Aurifil 50 weight thread for this as it sits down so nicely in the fabric.

2016 Puzzle Mystery Clue Seven and Sew Marlborough

What a busy month it has been! In July, we had Sew Marlborough, the New Zealand mini Symposium. Hundreds of excited quilters gathered together in Blenheim on the South Island of New Zealand for five days of classes, exhibitions, merchants and meeting up with friends old and new.


We were up before dawn to get to the ferry terminal in Wellington


What a view we had from our seats at the front of the lounge area! This is the beautiful Marlborough Sounds on the South Island of New Zealand.

Opening night arrived and I was up on stage to award the Hoffman Challenge prizes for 2015. Here is the fantastic winning quilt, 'Sarah and Getty', by Debby Williams.


You can see photos of all the quilts on the New Zealand Hoffman Challenge page.

Over the next couple of days I went to a class with Jacqui Karl of Kowhai View creations. Two days of art quilting, using freezer paper stencils, discharge paste and paints was just what I needed to completely relax and rest my mind from the day to day business of the shop. Jacqui is a great teacher and a lovely, generous person. She has her timing down pat, and I managed to complete my little quilt in the class. It's always a bonus when you don't have a UFO to bring home!

Here's what I made



Every night at Symposium the participants gather for Happy Hour. When you think of Happy Hour, especially in the heart of Marlborough wine country, you think of Sauvignon Blanc. Not so. Legislation made it too hard for the organisers to serve wine, but nobody missed it.  The presenters, Clare and Venice, had us in stitches every evening with their double act. Here they are dressed in their grape vine costumes, organising the Iron Woman championships.


Competitors in the Iron Woman championships working their seam rippers furiously in the unpicking event.

All in all a great few days in a beautiful place surrounded by wonderful people!

So, on to this month's Mystery clue.....

Welcome to the photos to go with clue seven of this year's Mystery. If you are new to my Mystery, you can download information from Craftsy, and the clues can be purchased from there each month. We also have a facebook group where you can share photos and news with other Mystery Quilters.

Here are the photos for sections J1 to J4

J1 step 1


Well that was nice and easy, now on to sections K1 and K2



K1 4 and 6

Fabrics 4 and 6

K1 6 4 6

Plus a square of 6


K1 4 and 6

Another 4 and 6

K1 step 1

1 and 6


K1 6 4 1 6

Joined together


Section K1 complete.

Now the extras for the double quilt:


Here is LA1


Make two of LA3




And LA1R


I noticed that in an earlier month I had not been paying attention to my stripes when making the parts like these, so had to do a bit of unpicking!  If you have a directional fabric, make sure you use the correct small triangle on each one to get the stripes going the same way.


So that is month seven complete. Just three months to go now until the big reveal! I have just about completed my sample quilt and I am already cooking up next year's Mystery......


The sampler is done! Well, the quilt top anyway. It is now away being basted and hopefully I will get started on the quilting this weekend. We have been forecast some very chilly weather, so it might be the perfect time to sit in front of the sewing machine....

Modern Triangle Sampler Sheila Christensen 2016