Saturday 30 November 2019

Things Here Lately

Believe it or not, I have actually been doing things other than my Folk Flower blocks and admiring my dahlias lately.  So here are some random happenings of what else has been keeping me busy during the month of November.

  • I made a small improv log cabin cushion for my Dad to put behind his back when he's reading.  A mixture of linens in natural, blues and a pop of red.
  • Speaking of reading, I am still doing lots.  This is a new to me author, who writes novels mainly set in Australia.  I really enjoyed this novel, which was about American soldiers who were sent to Australia during WW2, and the racial problems which occurred. Based on actual facts.
  • We have had some stunning sunsets lately, partly due to the smoke which has blown over to New Zealand from the massive bushfires which are burning in Australia.  Praying the get much need rain and relief soon.
  • The vegetable garden is flourishing, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, cucumber and herbs.
  • Some new dahlias have flowered - Park Princess and El Paso. Lovely strong straight stems will make them perfect for picking.
  • And then there were seven Folk flower blocks.  I have also made myself a design board out of an old noticeboard, which I covered with batting and have propped on my cutting table. I son't have room for a design wall, so this can be moved away if need be.  Currently it's filled with folk  flower block possibilities.
Wish you all a wonderful weekend, let's hope December isn't to chaotic for you all.

Thursday 28 November 2019

Folk Flowers and Dahlias

Since returning from my Folk Flower Workshop with Anna Maria Horner, I have made more blocks. They are actually rather addictive, and while a little faffy to make,  I am enjoying the process and the opportunity to fossick through my stash for large floral prints to use as the focal bloom.

I did very slowly and patiently unpick the purple block I made in the workshop and redo it.  I am using a different type of applique/blanket stitch on my machine and am much happier with the results.

Seeing the blocks together I can't help but think that my colour palette has subconsciously been influenced by the dahlias that are currently flowering in my garden and gracing a vase in my sewing room.

As yet I still don't know how big this quilt will end up, but it is nice to playing with lots of colour.

Saturday 23 November 2019

Folk Flowers Workshop with Anna Maria Horner

Our workshop's scrappy quilt.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you will know that I am a rather huge fan of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  They are bright, bold and beautiful and  usually always feature lots of florals in a clashy yet co-ordinated bohemian style.

When I heard that Anna Maria Horner was coming to New Zealand I hoped I would be able to attend a quilt show of hers, never imagining that I would be attending her Folk Flower quilt workshop (imagine me jumping around in excitement when I booked my place)  in Tamahere today, organised and hosted by Donna's Quilt Studio

We had been sent a list prior to the workshop detailing what to bring.  I have to admit that choosing background fabrics caused me some angst.  How much was too much fabric to take along?

I couldn't comprehend the enormity of choosing all my fabrics for a quilt, at this point so decided that I would make scrappy blocks at the workshop, with the hope that one day I'd have enough for a quilt of some description.

We watched Anna Maria make a block, explaining and demonstrating various techniques to us, including reverse applique, a technique I was not familiar with.  Then we set to work on our own.  For a lot of us it was the first time we had used the applique stitch on our machines so it was very much learn as we go. I'm sure I am am going to attempt to unpick the applique stitch around one of my flowers.

At then end of the day, all the blocks made were attached to a quilt so we could see what a scrappy version would look like.

I had a wonderful day, catching up with some of my original weekend sewing crew and meeting lots of other like minded sewers.

Friday 22 November 2019

In My Garden


Looking up the dahlia garden

Dahlia 'Dracula"

Anemone Dahlia "Lifestyle"


Back yard garden

Side yard garden

Fubuki Dahlia 'Four Queens'

My garden has always been something which has given me a lot of enjoyment.  However since I started working part time, 5 or do years ago, and as I've aged (my back doesn't like gardening for hours on end anymore) it had become just another job to get fitted in on the never ending to do list.  I have made it a lot more easy care, with mulch and plants which don't require too much attention.

However this year something has changed.  I think when I fell in love with all the dahlias  on instagram and started looking at other garden pages, I felt re inspired to recreate mine, while still working within the same boundaries I've had.  I hauled out some plants and gave  some of them away, while others were dumped, giving me a blank canvas to revamp.  I've planted some astilbe, lomandra ( a hardy little grass) moved some plants around, interspersed some pretty pots which will hopefully add height and colour to areas and of course made myself a dahlia garden.  The dahlia garden is giving me a great deal of joy, I love checking the progress on each plant, how the buds are opening and their flower when they open fully.

There is still a lot of green in the garden, but as it warms up more colour will appear as the cannas, dahlias and astilbe bloom.  Hopefully putting on a bright beautiful show in time for Christmas.

Sunday 17 November 2019

Eva Dress #3


A late evening sewing on Friday, saw me finish the first garment from my #summerofbasics2019 challenge.

This is the third version of Tessuti Fabrics Eva Dress pattern I have made. See here and here for the others. The instructions are very clear, the finishing details - binding, topstitching, lantern skirt and pocket make this simple dress rather elegant and cool for summer.  I made version A, which is meant to have sleeves, but I omit them.  This is the XS with no adjustments.

After a couple of washes, the linen will soften a little more and it will hang a little more softly in the skirt.  I can't wait for some consistently warm fine weather to wear it now.

Photos by MissB

Thursday 14 November 2019

Sewing and Gardening

In between moving piles of mulch around the garden, I have managed to get a little bit of sewing done. 

Firstly this pin cushion constructed from one of the wrongly sized blocks I made for my solstice dream quilt.  The finishing touch was the beautiful rainbow fringing.  This was gifted to a fellow sewist at work for her birthday.

I have also joined the #summerofbasics2019 sewing challenge.  This is where we list three garments we intend to make over the summer months.    I have started November's one, which will be another Eva dress in this beautiful maple coloured linen.  Just the skirt and pockets to sew , top stitch and hem before attaching to the finished bodice.  This will be the third version of this dress, which is one of my favourite things to wear over the hot summer months.

A few before and after photos of my garden all freshly mulched and  most excitingly, the first of my dahlias are flowering.  The top one with dark leaves is Dracula and the bottom one is an anemone type called Purpinca.

Wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.