Sunday, July 2, 2017


I am a fan of Claybird ceramics, so when I saw Yon was holding a class at Vida Flores in Newmarket, I signed up.

There were about 11 in the class and we played - mainly using the 'pinch pot' technique. At the conclusion of the class, Yon took everything home, fired and glazed and fired it again for us. I picked my finished works up yesterday.

It was really enjoyable (although harder than you think, so quite concentratey) and I am keen to do more of this.

Friday, April 14, 2017

No Sewing. Just School and Stuff.

I haven't done any sewing since the end of the summer hols. And I haven't felt like doing any either.

Instead I have written the final report for our Teacher Led Innovation Fund project. It was a big write up, but good to pull the story of the last two years together. We've had some good feedback including the report being taken to the Minister's Cross Sector Forum. The report led to co-authoring an article with my education guru for a teacher journal - still to hear whether it's been accepted. The report also led to a visit from the leader of a new NZ education not for profit. And we had two school visits from the South Island.

And I had 10 days in California. I attended the ASCD Empower Conference in Anaheim with 8000 other 'educators' and then trained down to San Diego to Deeper Learning 17. Deeper Learning kind of holds together the High Tech, EL (formerly Expedition Learning) and the Big Picture schools. They are schools I have followed for a long time.

I had a day pre-conference in Anaheim so did an organised tour of LA. The tour included Venice Beach (dodgy as), Santa Monica pier, Rodeo Drive, The Grove and Farmers' Market, Hollywood Boulevard (a way smaller and much dirtier version of Vegas). I am glad I did the tour. I have no desire to go back to LA. Give me America's small towns and National Parks any day.

Deeper Learning finished at 1.30pm, so I spent Friday afternoon at Balboa Park taking photos and soaking up the warm spring sunshine.


Then I had Saturday morning before I flew home, which I spent at Old Town.

My flight got in at 5.15am. I was home by 6.15am and at school by 7.15am.

I was back to school for five days before heading to Hawkes Bay for the Dixie Chicks at the Mission. They were fantastic and I have had their songs in my head all week.

Now it's the Easter and April hols. I am looking forward to a rest.

Maybe I will feel like sewing next term.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Made Some Dresses

And I chose what turned into the windiest day in Auckland ever to photograph them.

It started between Christmas and New Year with this one -

It is Vogue 1496. I made it with the less low v neck, although it is still quite low. I think I also stretched the fabric around the neck when making it, so the neck doesn't sit as well as I would like. However, I will make this one again and I have some nice navy linen I might use. This one is made from a navy print rayon.

I then returned to good old Style Arc patterns for two more Adeline Dresses (above) and one more Mary Shift Dress (below).

I also made two dresses for Lucy the niece. She chose the fabrics - one is bright pink with orange spots and the other blue with flowers and butterflies! I forgot to photograph them before gifting them.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Finished the Blue Rings Quilt

So here are some clothesline photos taken on a cloudy and very humid Auckland morning -

Friday, January 13, 2017

I Did Some Quilting

From the start, I knew this one was going to be hand quilted. Mainly because it's small and it's already partly hand stitched. I finally got around to watching that Sarah Fielke hand quilting video that people talk about. The quilting towards you idea is new to me. I think with her method you get better stitching on the back - stitches you can see rather than just dots.

I am using a wool batting - mmm the softeness and the puffiness - Chenille needles (probably purchased from The Ribbon Rose in Mt Wellington) and some variegated thread made in Romania I bought at JJ's Crafts in Taradale a year or so ago. These three things make a great combination.

Nothing beats hand quilting. In fact, I think I am going to make start on my smaller and favourite works in progress and actually get them finished!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Finished the Blue Rings Quilt Top

Original name, I know.

My compulsory job yesterday was pressure cleaning the deck and today's job was to get the back of the house's outside windows washed. When my compulsory jobs are done, the rest of the day is mine. I find it helps me get the sucky jobs done and it also makes sure I don't entirely fritter away my holidays. I just finished the blue rings baby quilt top.

I am pleased with how well it all came together. Initially I thought it would be so much easier to machine the curves, but I don't mind hand sewing. And it kind of slows things down. In a good way.


It measures about 97cm x 97cm. I have great plans to hand quilt it .... with perle thread.

I can see myself using this pattern again. Now to put all the blues and greens back on the shelf.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Started a New Quilt

This one will be small. Just four 18 inch blocks. A baby quilt for a colleague. I hope it's not too serious for a baby quilt.

So far I have made three blocks -

As you can see, some sections of the rings line up better than others!

The pattern is called Ring Around and is in Kathy Doughty's Mixing Quilt Elements: A Modern Look at Colour, Style and Design. It is made using a wedge ruler and the sections of the rings are appliqued onto the backgrounds.

I was stumped for something original. Instagram is full of 'pretty' in style and colour quilts full of squares and triangles, or EPP. I guess one of the downsides of social media is the jumping on the bandwagon and FOMO which means people follow the trends to be one of the cool kids.

So far all of the fabric has come off the shelf, but I am out of 'dirty' blues for the backgrounds, so will add that to my shopping list when I go looking for a good quality and nice feeling blue solid. Maybe I will do that tomorrow. The joy of being on holiday.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Made Two Quilts in the Holidays

I rescued the big blue floral print from the sewing room at school where I thought it wouldn't be appreciated. I think it's quite old as it's barely 1 metre wide and it has a bit of a sateeny finish. I had been keeping it for another project, but when I saw Linda's version of Jo's Aunt Bet's Quilt, I knew I would be cutting into old bluey. I supplemented old bluey with two Art Gallery bundles from Moona Fabrics on Etsy - Indie by Pat Bravo and the loveliest feeling solids ever - Pure Elements, Citrus Shades. The rest of the fabrics were off the shelf.

I really like this style of pattern. I like that it's not too contrived - it has handmade look to it. The first quilt ended up more golden and green than blue.

At our final Monday Modern gathering for the year, Liz was giving away fabric and I took a piece of maroon floral furnishing fabric knowing I would use it for a second Aunt Bet's quilt. I also used the Art Gallery and the off the shelf fabrics in this quilt too. I added an extra row of flying geese to this one to make it a bit longer, and I reversed the second row of partial log cabins. This one measures about 1.7m x 1.6m.

The bins out the back proved to be a good place for taking pics.

I plan to send these out to be quilted. I don't have any more quilts on the go at the moment other than Botanics which is partially hand quilted. I would like to find other quilt patterns in this style. I do like the look of Catherine-Maree's Musu Quilts. While I look, I will get busy with some dresses for the new school year and getting the backs made for these two.

(Link to the pattern at Frankie and Ray - Australia).