Inside My Studio

It’s so nice to have everything organized in my studio now, so much easier to have everything in one place instead of scattered around the house. With the birds singing outside and sunshine flooding the room, it really is a pleasant place to work and play.

The Holly Hobbie quilt hangs over the front of the cabinet, hiding the boxes of craft supplies.

This chest of drawers, already full of crafting paraphernalia, was shifted from the house out to the studio.

The shelves that Nick built hold my books, journals and magazines, art projects, seeds, jars of buttons and beads, scrapbook papers, and knick knacks.

A small seating area for relaxing and for writing. The seat lifts up to provide handy storage underneath. The country style cabinets at either side came from Storage Box. They fit in the space perfectly. The baskets are made from water hyacinth and are great for keeping fabrics in.

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This is my latest work in progress, a new quilt I am making for our bed. It is a simple design of patchwork squares in colours of greens and browns. I just have to finish quilting the top and then sew on the binding.

The quilt draped over the back of the chair was the first one I ever made, at a beginner’s class I went to about ten years ago.

I like to listen to the radio while I am crafting. Magic FM is my favourite radio station, which plays songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

When it gets too hot outside, Finn comes in and lies under the table.

The view from the French doors on this sunny spring morning.

Wine Country Quilt Show

Every two years, Pukeora Estate in Waipukurau hosts the Wine Country Quilt Show, which attracts visitors from all over the country. As an avid quilter, (although mine are far from being in the same league as the show quilts), I had been looking forward to the show for a while. As usual, I was amazed at the quality and creativeness of the quilts. From traditional to contemporary, there was something for every taste. I can only imagine how many hours of work have gone into making them.

After admiring the many beautiful quilts, and browsing the vendor’s stalls, I returned home with lots of ideas and inspiration, as well as motivation to complete my own bed quilt, which I am about three-quarters of the way through hand quilting.

I hope you enjoy these pictures of a few of my favourite quilts from the show.

"Arum Bouquets" by Anne Yeo

“Arum Bouquets” by Anne Yeo

"Bugs and Blooms" by Shelagh Barber

“Bugs and Blooms” by Shelagh Barber

"Class of 2013" by Wendy Tavendale

“Class of 2013” by Wendy Tavendale

"Ever After" by Trish Fraser

“Ever After” by Trish Fraser

"Funky Monkeys" by Ros Lusk

“Funky Monkeys” by Ros Lusk

"Growing Up" by Heather Preston

“Growing Up” by Heather Preston

"H.M.S. Endeavour" by Anne Yeo

“H.M.S. Endeavour” by Anne Yeo

"Merry, Merry Snowmen" by Pam Smith

“Merry, Merry Snowmen” by Pam Smith

"Moonglow" by Allie Greenwood

“Moonglow” by Allie Greenwood

"Owl and Pussycat in my Garden" by Lesley O'Rourke

“Owl and Pussycat in my Garden” by Lesley O’Rourke

"Sisters" by Vivienne Franklin

“Sisters” by Vivienne Franklin

"Southern Blue Belle" by Rose Silvester

“Southern Blue Belle” by Rose Silvester

"Sunshine and Shadows" by Pam Ross

“Sunshine and Shadows” by Pam Ross

Holly Hobbie Quilt

I recently discovered a range of newly released Holly Hobbie quilt fabrics at an online craft store, and I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Does anyone remember Holly Hobbie, the young girl with the patchwork dress, the blue bonnet and the brown boots?  In the seventies, the Holly Hobbie character was made into a popular rag doll, as well as numerous other products. In 2006, Holly Hobbie was redesigned with a spin-off product line called Holly Hobbie and Friends. There were three new dolls released, and a movie with the back story that the new Holly was the great-granddaughter of the original Holly.

I made this small quilt using some of the new Holly Hobbie fabrics, just the right size for a doll’s quilt or a wall hanging. You could add extra panels or borders to make a lovely quilt for a little girl’s bed.

Holly Hobbie quilt

 

Pinwheels & Whirligigs

Pinwheels and whirligigs provide a fun combination of colour and motion. They make a great accent for scrapbook pages, a design element for quilts, and add whimsy to the garden.

I wanted to do a bright, colourful page for the beginning of spring, and remembered a tip I had seen in a scrapbooking magazine a while ago on how to make pinwheels. They are easy to make. All you need to do to make one pinwheel is cut out two each of three different size circles. Then cut each circle in half. Layer them together with the spinners all facing the same way. Then add a colourful button or brad to the centre. You can make small pinwheels from leftover paper scraps.

Products used: K & Company green vine embossed vellum, cardstock, Bella Felt Frame, Tim Coffey Die-cut stickers, buttons, paper scraps

A couple of years ago, I made a quilt with a whirligig design, in my favourite colours of purple and green. The design is called End of the Day and came from the book, More Quilts from The Quiltmaker’s Gift.

Whirligigs make a fun addition to the garden, adding a splash of colour on a still day, or spinning cheerfully in the breeze. Whirligigs likely originated from weather vanes, used by farmers and sailors to indicate wind speed and direction. They soon became popular as wind toys, and early whirligigs often depicted figures that moved as the propeller twirled. I love walking through graveyards and seeing colourful whirligigs brightening the graves.

In Scrappy Cupcake Angels, a row of whirligigs twirl in the breeze from the narrow strip of garden along the front of Mr. Thomas’s cottage.