2015 has been a bit of a multi tasking year; working full time and sewing at every possible moment, I have also been preparing for my daughter’s wedding – you know just the usual kind of stuff – decorations, printing, programs, flowers, etc etc. Full on to say the least and further complicated by the fact that the wedding was in Northern New South Wales, Australia, in a magical place called Tylagum; I was in New Zealand, and Kiriana was in Cape York!! Still it was a wonderful Wedfest (despite the storms!) and I can’t believe the time I have on my hands now that it is all over! Head down, butt up now as I try and complete my entry for ‘A Matter of Time’ – deadline Jan 15th yikes!! It’s all in my head……… Anyway here are a couple of proud mother photos!
I had been contemplating continuing my ‘white on white collection’, although the thought of more white was a little daunting. I had been trying to work out the technicalities of creating a 3D type image that was happy with, but at the same time, being aware of the requirements of ‘art quilts’ needing to be hung easily, transported easily and being also stacked without damage! I had made several test ‘bits’ but none inspired me to continue the process.
Then I decided to change my shape (from the previous rectangles and squares) and decided to go for a full circle – a kind of flower. Firstly, I had to decide on the ‘petal’. It was crucial that these could be ‘bagged’ relatively easily and that also they would be easy to attach. Where to ‘cut’ the bottom of the petal was actually quite important. I discovered this when I got a little slack and had to discard 50 sewn and bagged petals! It was Mary who suggested adding a colour to the underside of the petals. I had already considered this but I knew that it made the bagging and the ironing of each petal much more precise and thus a lot more work….. of course Mary didn’t have to do this!!! We then discovered this wonderful ‘slightly heavier than voile’ fabric on one of our fabric shopping trips and the experiments started again.
I must admit it was a welcome relief not to be surrounded by ‘white’ for hours on end! I had completely underestimated the number of petals that I would need. I know that maths and I are not a natural fit, but how on earth could I be that far out? I would have to whip up another 100 at several stages of the making of this quilt! It soon became a ‘no brainer’ to opt for a ‘graphic’ look and make a half circle, placing the centre (or the edge) of the circle on the left hand side of a square of fabric . Much more manageable in petal count ,I decided. During the mindless sewing and bagging of the petals, I was working out in my head the heavy quilting that I would do so that the ‘flower’ really popped.
While moving the ‘now sewn’ half circle around, I thought it looked like a cloak and from there the idea just ran. The heavy quilting disappeared, the underside edge was bound and I was now working on recreating a traditional taniko border. It didn’t take me long to realise that I didn’t have time to devise a way to do ‘proper’ taniko using fabric (another project!) – so I used a kete style weaving technique to create the border of the cloak.
Of course , now the piece had no quilting on it! I had elected not to quilt each petal as I had done in my previous ‘White on White’ work, so I decided to hand quilt (not a strength) a gentle koru using perle 8 blue on random petals.
Korowai Ma (white cloak) has certainly had an interesting journey and I was thrilled to be awarded first place in the Amateur Wall Hanging Section. I suppose it was fitting that that award ended my amateur status for the Auckland Quilt Guild and that my transition to being a professional tied in with my first magazine cover! I was delighted to be contacted by Anne Scott from the NZ Quilter and asked if I could send the quilt to Wellington to be photographed for the cover and would I mind the cloak being worn by a beautiful wahine. (as if!!!). I am absolutely ecstatic with the cover and admit to having a wee smile when I see the magazine for sale. I love the evolution of ideas – I just wish I gave myself more time to make these massive changes!!
My first grandchild, a daughter, Amelia Grace (Yayyy!! pink at last) was born while we were at Kiriana’s wedding. It was fun to choose from all the quilts I have ready and waiting for the grandies to arrive. Amelia was presented with her quilt ‘Willow’, which was a pattern I designed for my website www.kiwiquilts.co.nz Wonderful soft pinks and greys with baby Dresden plates adorning each block. Actually it is still missing it’s label but the other day I finally found my ‘pink’ quilt labels, I purchased a metre of these labels (what was I thinking!!) so now must stitch it and sew it onto the quilt.
The 2015 Auckland Festival of Quilts was in a new venue (AMI Netball Stadium) which was really bright and the air flow was fantastic as it was a particular warm November!
Sporting a broken arm (thank goodness that happened the week after hand-in) I entered my ‘Turangawaewae’ quilt and my new ‘Korowai Ma’ (white cloak) into the Wall Hanging Sections. I also entered into the children’s quilt section with ‘Little Monsters’ – which was not my pattern. Despite having been an UFO for some time, it ended up looking fantastic and I will remind every child that every sleeps under it, exactly how many hours of work were involved! It was a Kelly Wulfsohn pattern – I love her designs, but man are they labour intensive!! (www.dontlooknow.typepad.com) and (http://www.cuttingcloth.com.au/).
I will do a separate post on ‘Korowai Ma’ but all the winning quilts from the festival can be viewed at http://www.aqg.org.nz/portfolio/festival-of-quilts-2015/
I also entered my ‘Princess Hearts’ quilt into the Children’s Quilt section. I had originally designed this quilt for the Nutex range of Princess fabrics and the pattern was available through my website http://www.kiwiquilts.co.nz It was fun to make and I even quilted it myself! This will wait in my finished quilts stash and be given to a future granddaughter. Don’t you just love it when the cat appears out of nowhere while you are trying to take a photo.
I wanted to incorporate my sashiko kiwi-style panels into a quilt so I designed this modern quilt to feature the panels and to practise my machine quilting. You can still purchase the sashiko panels via www.kiwiquilts.co.nz
After showing the quilt at the Auckland Festival of Quilts 2014 Anne Scott from the NZ Quilter asked if it could be featured as a pattern in the NZ Quilter magazine No 90.