Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Catch up on the day to day work I do, and the occassional thought. It's ok, I wouldn't subject you to all the gory details. For more of the handmade art and craft, jewellery and textiles I make and sell, see my online store.



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quilt Show and Sale Now on.

Sometimes you think you never finish anything. Last night I set up my stand at The Auckland Quiltmakers' show at 545 Parnell Rd, Auckland and I realise I do finish things. Lots of things! 
Come and check it out today and tomorrow.








Monday, October 6, 2014

Memory Quilts

Recently I was asked by Candice Fraser if I could make a quilt from her mother's clothes. Candice has recently lost her mother, and she wanted to be able to cuddle up with her memories. Such a great idea, how could I say 'no'?

There were, however, one or 2 obstacles. The biggest of these being the small number of cotton garments and the large number of polyester items. There were also some rayon options. So we decided to put the polys aside and work with the rest. Fortunately,  it seems Candice's mum had quite a coordinated wardrobe. I cut a lot of pieces into 6.5 inch squares. Of course,  as soon as I moved the rayons they had wriggliest sides imaginable. Piecing them was like piecing jelly worms. I still have not found a spray that will stabilise rayons, but I have tried a few.

Some extra squares were needed - enter the ever versatile 9 Patch.  A sudden idea to put a lopsided diagonal through the quilt top, and things started to come together. 



We had decided on a cotton backing fabric, and a quilting design that reflected her mother's love of sewing. Candice wanted a wool/poly mix batting for cosiness and washability.  As several of the fabrics were less than robust, I chose Matilda's which has a scrim base for added stability. 
Quilted with Eggplant coloured thread and bound with the last of the black and white cotton shirt, it is now with Candice, and I could just about bet she is snuggled on the sofa under the quilt as I write this.


As a final touch, I took the pocket from the shirt and stitched it on the back. I thought if it was my mum, I would probably write her notes and put them in the pocket.


It was so nice to be able to help Candice keep her memories.
Keep piecing.
Helen.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quilter/wanna be mixed media artist.

I'm a quilter. There's no doubt about it. I've been a quilter for almost 40 years. I started out when all you needed was fabric, scissors, needle and thread.  Nowadays it's about fabric, rotary cutters, mats, rulers and templates and about 10 different sorts of batting. I can make a quilt by deciding on a design and then just carrying on, with no self doubts.

However, I have a desire to try out mixed media. I have bought paints, papers, boards, gesso, brushes, stamps, stencils, molding paste, stamp pads, ink, jelly pens, pastels etc, etc, etc. I have bought, and watched, more than a dozen 'how to' DVD'S. And watched them again. And made notes.
My stumbling block? Getting started! And then when it doesn't turn out like the videos I wonder what I've done wrong. It would be so easy to just give up .
But I'm not going to. I wonder if that disaster is retrievable. Or perhaps I will start again.

So I am going to use my blog to record my progress, disasters and all. It may not appeal to everyone, and I'm sorry if it's not your cup of tea, but it's something I need to do for me.

You would think, being so textile oriented, making fabric journal covers would be a piece of cake. Not so. I like precision and have worried that my cover wouldn't fit my journal,  or the next journal.  So anal!
I have spent a couple of years making journals in my head. So now I have spent a Saturday with some fabric and determination and came up with a couple of reasonable journal covers. Perhaps there will be more on the way. :-)




I made them so they could be reused on another journal some day. But perhaps they will just stay with this journal. 


I'm looking forward to seeing what gets written drawn or painted in these. :)
Happy Birthday to 2 Grandchildren and a successful 'play' weekend for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Comfort for cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 
Hello All.
It was a busy month with a couple of 'Girls-Nites' organised by Curves Whangaparaoa to raise funds for Breast Cancer.
 
I made this quilt which is for sale on my website and 20% of the sale will go to this great cause.
 
 
 
The quilt will also go to a great cause. It would really suit any girl/woman who is fighting a battle. There is a CanTeen scarf in the centre and Pink Ribbon quilting for support.
 
 
 
 
The back of the quilt is Pink spotty Minky. This is a very 'strokable' soft plush fabric that will wrap a special person with love and cuddles.
This could be your special person.
 
I enjoyed making the quilt. It has a polyester inner, so is very machine washable.
 
I'm looking forward to donating to Breast Cancer and I really want the quilt to go to a good home.
 
In quilting
Helen.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Quilts and Wineries

What a great combination!
 
After a fun time at the quilter's festival, my first customer's quilt was this lovely bargello design by Anne Golder. It is a King size quilt, so this is just a portion of it, but the lovely turquoises and corals look great offset by the neutrals browns.

 
 
The quilting design is Sweetest Hearts by Tammy Finkler and shows up delightfully on the back of the quilt. Because the quilt has a 100% wool batting (washable) it is light and puffy and will be very cosy to sleep under.
 
 
 
 
Thanks Anne for bringing me your quilt.
 
And I have to admit our trip to Adelaide was not ALL about quilting. Our last day was spent on a Barossa Valley wineries tour. 4 wineries plus Maggie Beers Farm (delicious pheasant pate) and by the end I was completely shirazed out.
We started at Wolf Blass and ended up at Chateau Tanunda.
 
The Chateau was very impressive but Langmile Winery was the most picturesque and I loved the history lesson that went with it.
 
 
 The vines around the pillars are a combination of wisteria, just in flower, and grapes, coming into new leaf. Very pretty!
 
 
This is the wall of the original blacksmithing building. I'm not sure how old, but their oldest vines are 169 years old, so it would be a bit older than the vines.
 
Thanks Penny for being such a great travel companion. Where to next?
 
Happy stitching.
Helen.
 


Monday, September 24, 2012

On Safari

 

African Delights

Maureen created this lap quilt from a panel with some added extras. And then wanted an interesting 'African' designs quilted on it. Especially Lions!
 
 
 
After much searching and researching I found a group of Safari designs from www.annnebright.com and I have been able to join together the ones I wanted. I chose the Lions (of course), birds and rhinos.

 
The stripe on the back does make it difficult to see the quilting clearly, but look closely and you will see the male lion in the centre and the head of the lioness just below.
 
I have many more designs from this series, so if you have an african style quilt, or perhaps a child's quilt that could do with some animals to enhance it, give me a call. I would love to be able to help you.
 

Keep cozy
Helen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Welsh and Kiwi Unite

 

This quilt is amazing.

 
Thank you Jalaine Armstrong for bringing this wonderful quilt to me to add the quilting. And what a wonderul story.
 
 

The Wedding Quilt

Jalaine's Kiwi daughter is engaged to a Welsh lad. They love Rugby. They became engaged at the Rugby World Cup.

 
 
Quilting this was interesting. Can you see the rugby balls surrounding the Welsh Dragon?
 


Harder to see, but the background of this flag is grey tikis etc on a black background. And the quilting has a definite tkit/koru flavour to it. And all surrounded with a cable design.

 
Sometimes it is easier to see the quilting design from the back. I'm not sure, but you can make up your own mind.
 
I wish the happy couple all the best and hope they really enjoy their wedding quilt.
 
 
Keep cozy
Helen.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cat Chase

 

Can you see the quilted cats?

 
I finished this quilt earlier in the week. Take a good look at the back and see if you can figure out where the cats are going.
 
 
It is a small lap quilt for a cat lover. Thanks Maureen for asking me to quilt it for you.
 
 
Keep cozy
 HelHO Machine Quilting.