Friday 22 December 2023

Papercut Patterns - Lulee Dress



As soon as I saw the new Lulee Dress pattern from Papercut Patterns, I knew I had to make this.

I had two fabrics suitable in my stash, a beautiful cornflower blue linen and a hot pink /orange rayon.

Needless to say I chose the more difficult option - the rayon.  Hanging it outside on the clothesline and spray starching it made a huge difference to it's manageability when cutting and avoiding stretching on the bias.  I made a size 4, and it's very true to size, I shortened the sleeve to sit halfway between the short and long-sleeved lengths, and shortened the dress length by 3"/7.5cm.  Probably the hardest part was inserting a 35cm invisible zip in the side seam.  For a change this went in beautifully on the first attempt.

I love the fit and feel of this dress, the keyhole in the back and the swishy bias skirts and puff sleeves.

I'm sure I might need to find some heels in the perfect shade of orange to go with this.

Monday 4 December 2023

Kismet Kiss - A Finished Quilt


Photo from

Yay - I'm so pleased I managed to finish a quilt this year.

I started my Kismet Kiss quilt back in April 2021 and as usual, with my quilts, it has been a slow process. 

Originally I had planned a totally random scrappy quilt, but decided to make it a little more cohesive using colours from a  beautiful floral arrangement as my colour palette.  I think I managed to work within the restrictions quite well. 

The English paper pieced blocks (EPP) were supposed to number about 48, but I got sick of doing them and stopped at 25.  These were all pieced together in January this year .   Borders from Kaffe Fasset fabrics were added to make the quilt a useable size, and a multi fabric pieced backing in colours similar to those I used used in the quilt front was made.  I decided to hand quilt it using a deep purple perle thread, my stitches are definitely not even, but really no one will be looking that closely ( hope)  and I do think that finished is better than perfect. 

The binding is an orange grunge fabric with colours found in the quilt too.

I am really happy with how this quilt has turned out, and as yet haven't decided if it will be a keeper or gift.

Monday 10 July 2023

Tama Lakes


Lower Tama Lake

Me at Upper Tama Lake, Mt Ngaruahoe in the background

Taranaki Falls

The Scout and I have just come back from a few days break away.  We stayed and Taupo, which is a rather chilly place in winter.  A lot of reading, some walking and hand sewing was done by me.

Probably the highlight of my break was a trip down to National Park in the centre of the North Island.  This is the major ski area of the North Island, and still an active volcanic field.

We are not skiers, but chose to do the Tama Lakes hiking track, returning back to our vehicle via the Taranaki Falls track.  Thankfully it was the most beautifully fine day, if rather cold.  I had all the thermal layers on.  The return trip is about 18 km, 5-6 hours walking, depending on fitness and how many times you stop to take photos.

It was icy, very windy in places, the plant life was very different to what I expected too.  There was low level snow in places, and icy parts of the track to navigate.  The final 1.4 km from lower Tama Lake up to the Upper Tama Lake was hard work, but oh so worth it when I got there, with picture perfect views of Mt Ngaruahoe.

The walk back down seemed harder, though the waterfall was pretty spectacular. 

All in all, it was a fabulous day, with astounding views, and great memories.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

"Make it Up as I Go" Quilt


I've started a new quilt.  I have a really vague idea of how it will look, as it's sort of very loosely based Tales of Cloth's Seedling Quilt.  I've made a lovely central block and lots of lovely rows and columns of various blocks and strips of bright prints and low volume.  There will be a mix of English paper piecing and machine pieced blocks.

I still have a way to go before I can actually piece all the strips and rows together, but I'm having a lot of fun hunting through my stash for interesting scraps and fabrics.  I'm hoping I'll at least get the top finished this year.

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Things Here Lately

Wow - it's been an age since I last updated my poor neglected blog.  I've sewn lots, hiked, read and cooked, so I'll do a round up post in the simplest form possible.

Quilting: Recently I finished the flimsy of my Kismet Kiss Quilt - I've made it bigger by adding borders and have plans to hand quilt it.  I've also started another of my "make it up as I go" sampler type quilts, that I'm enjoying using beautiful colours and fabrics on.

Eating: Cold nights call for decadent saucy desserts - this was enjoyed by all my family 

Planning: Somewhat anxiously, a bathroom renovation, perhaps I should say facelift, each quote I get, changes the plans somewhat.

Sewing:  I'm still making clothes, but have slowed down a little. I have to admit I do so much prefer making and planning a summer wardrobe, although I am contemplating a new winter jacket/coat.

Walking: I'm trying to be good and walk at least 5 days a week, most are before work at 6am, so it's dark but quiet.  The other day I had a late start at work so was able to walk as the sun was rising.  So worth  the slow walk to watch it.

Hiking:  About a month ago The Scout and I attempted to hike to Bog Inn Hut in the Pureora forest, we actually ended up turning back due to track conditions.  Some ancient old trees, lots of interesting fungi and the beautiful Waihora Lagoon made it and interesting hike.

Reading:  Currently I'm enjoying All the Days of Summer by Nancy Thayer.  I have also been reading and enjoying the Verity Kent crime series (set in the early 1920s) by Anna Lee Huber.

I'm sure I've done lots more over the past six months, it's hard to actually get back into blogging after such a long break, fingers crossed I can at least manage one post a month from now on.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Holiday in Queenstown


Lagoon walk at Glenorchy

Looking over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu

Sunset at Lake Hayes

Historic miner's cottages - Arrowtown

Chinese miners cottage

Tree in the Lake - Wanaka

Last month The Scout and I celebrated out 25th wedding anniversary.  We decided to celebrate with a 
no children, week away in Queenstown  (somewhere I have never visited) in the South Island.

It's about a 1.5 hour flight from Auckland, and I was amazed at the views of the mountains and ranges as we flew in to Queenstown. Such a different landscape from Auckland.

Day 1:    After picking up our rental car, we drove out to Glenorchy, the scenery was absolutely stunning.  Blue skies, calm waters, mountain ranges everywhere I looked.

Day 2:  A visit to a local lavender farm, then onto explore Queenstown township and a trip up the gondolas for amazing views.

Day 3:     We caught up with friends, and went out to the historic Cardrona Hotel for lunch,  The beautiful lake Hayes with afternoon and sunset views.

Day 4:    Explored historic Arrowtown,  and the old Chinese settlement. Highlight of the day was the Shotover Jet boat road up the Shotover Canyon.

Day 5:  A trip out to Wanaka, caught up with my cousin who lives there, and visited the famous tree in the lake, which unfortunately due to low lake levels is currently a tree out of the lake.  Driving home through very wet but beautiful conditions.

I had a lovely holiday, it was such a beautiful place to explore in summer, not sure how I'd cope with the cold winter conditions though.