Monday, 30 April 2012

The Move

The move of the shop from 355 to 335 - yes just down the road on the same side - has happened. We started at 2.00pm on Saturday when the shop closed in the little old house.
We were ready for business this morning - all looking good and bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Lots of thanks have to go to my husband, nephew, staff and lots of customers who volunteered to help - what a difference it made to have so many people all doing their bit to help - thank you guys.

We are now in a 'shop' shop and are already loving having a shop window that is attracting 
more customers than the little old house did. I will aim to get some photos taken tomorrow 
from the outside and the inside for that matter.

This move has been the best thing that we have done for a long time - the new shop looks
so cool - even if I say so myself - but customers are saying it too, which is so exciting.

See you all there soon.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Baby Pink Stitcheries

These are the stitcheries achieved this morning and tonight.


I am stitching with my favourite thread from Japan - Cosmo. It comes in reels of two strands.
This is colour #383. Most of the colours are greyed tones like this musky pink.


I transferred the designs by tracing them with a pigma pen, which can be a bit spooky 
because it is permanent, so where you draw is definitely where you stitch! 
But the line is very fine so is easy to cover with the two strands of embroidery thread.


In case the words are hard to read they say: Hushabye Baby, Good Night, 
Wake Up Bright and  Sweet Dreams.

Maybe I can get another one or two finished tonight as tomorrow is a holiday - well sort 
of - we will be starting the move into the new shop later in the morning. A sleep-in might be needed first as we have a big and probably long few days coming up.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Baby Quilt

I made these blocks several months ago, but haven't got around to doing the 
stitchery on them - now is the time as I think I want to do some hand quilting on it too.
So I needed to get going or the baby would be born and the quilt wouldn't be ready.

This is the Provence pattern that we have in the shop made up in French General fabric. 
I have added two more blocks to make the quilt cot size instead of square.

I had bigger pieces of the brown fabric in and was about to take them right out when Mark suggested that I just made them smaller. What a good idea that turned out to be. 
They were way to dominant before.

The stitchery animals were taken from Yoko Saito's book "120 Original Embroidery Designs".

You will recognise the cat stitchery - it is the one that I enlarged for the applique on my Yoko Saito taupe quilt. The background fabric is a bit paler than it looks here.

The idea of the words came from a fabric design by Bunny Hill fabrics.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Touch Of Pacifica

Yoko Saito calls this one Palm Trees, but I thought it was a touch of Pacifica for us.
It is a 10" square block.

Now I need to take a break from Yoko Saito and work on a baby quilt for my nephew 
and his wife. She is due in July and I have a bit of stitching to do on her baby's quilt

I will get back to the final block of the Yoko Saito block very soon a s I need to keep going on that. I want to release it as a Block of the Month at the Waikato Quilt and Craft Show in September.

Thanks for stopping by and the the comments that you make.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Caught Napping

This the next in the Yoko Saito series of blocks - it is 10" square.
It was a good quick one to make compared to that last 20" one. 

I am thinking that this one will balance the Owl block I made earlier and maybe 
the House one too as all the rest are floral.

It is from a different book than the others - "120 Original Embroidery Designs" also
by Yoko Saito. I have enlarged the block and turned in into applique instead of embroidery.

Just two blocks to go - one quick and easy and one not so  - it has lots of tiny ovals on it - no wonder I left that one until last!

Better Anemone

I have added four leaves to the anemone block and I am much happier with it. 
The flower's stem doesn't seem so dominant.

It was obviously meant to be as I had three small leaves prepared so I just had to 
freezer paper one more.

This is a close up of the flower showing the French Knots.

To get the French Knots evenly spaced I used the piece of freezer paper that I had 
taken out once I had appliqued the blue circle in place. I folded it in half four times and 
marked each fold line. I pinned it back on top of the central blue circle and stitched a 
French Knot beside each mark. Then went back around and put two Knots in between 
each of those first French Knots.


This is the last of the large 20" blocks for my Yoko Siato quilt. 

I have been looking forward to making this block for a long time but it needed quite
a bit of planning to get it enlarged to fit a 20" block. So I kept on putting it off. 
I have had to spread out he design a little and add a few more leaves, etc to make it fit. 
All the other blocks I have just be able to enlarge on the photocopier.

Now I see it in the photograph I think I will add a few more leaves to the stem of the flower.
So back to the sewing room for a moment on this one.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Last Sashiko Class

This was the final sashiko class that I ran at the Tasman Mini Symposium.

This was an easier one for people as we had a stencil to use to transfer the pattern 
on with which is so much easier than using Carbon Paper. 

Using indigo as a background does pose problems with getting the design transferred 
on, as tracing through navy fabric is just plain impossible. So we need to use Burda Dressmakers Carbon Paper.

I had three different designs for people to choose from.

I used a hand dyed sashiko thread in a soft murky pink. This thread comes from a small
town in the mountains in Japan where there is a dedicated sashiko shop.

More Sashiko

My two day class at Tasman Mini Symposium finished well with everyone getting 
a good amount of their Noshi Wallhanging done. The next day I taught another Sashiko 
Class – this class featured a Sakura (Cherry Blossom) branch.

I used hand dyed threads – a subtle pink for the blossoms and a subtle green for the
branches and leaves. The fabrics are all old indigo or kimono fabrics. The dark indigo background would have been in and out of the natural indigo dye pot about 20 times 
to achieve this depth of colour. The green is dyed in the same process as the indigo
but gardenia seeds are added to the mixture to turn the blue to green. 
The border fabric is recycled male kimono fabric.

My students in class used modern fabrics for theirs and several used ecru for the leaves 
and branches and then moved into the traditional red for the sakura blossoms 
and that looked great too.

It has been great to teach in Nelson at another Mini Symposium – I taught at the 
Picton one and the Timaru one and I really enjoy the smaller and more relaxed 
atmosphere of these Mini versions of our National Symposium.
I have a half day class to report on tomorrow - another sashiko project.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sashiko Noshi

Hi from sunny Nelson. I am teaching at the Mini-Symposium here. 
Today was the first day of a two day sashiko class with a lovely friendly, chatty group 
of women from various places around NZ.

Sashiko is a traditional Japanese stitch – usually stitched in white or ecru thread on 
an indigo background. In this class we are stitching a noshi ribbon. Each ribbon has a 
different design stitched in it. This is a close up of another project but it gives you an
idea of what the stitch looks like close up.

The stitch is a running stitch that has to be even. There are a few rules to the stitching: no stitch can touch another stitch, the stitch is slightly larger than the space between, stitch are supposed to be between 4 and 8 stitches to an inch. Once you get your hand and eye in sinc. It is quite relaxing to do – for those who like hand stitching!

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Magnolia is the other block appliqued in Taupo over the weekend - it was quite quick to do too.

I like the spin on this one and of course another touch of blue.

I hope you have all had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter with just the right amount 
of sewing squeezed in, Robyn

Sweet Violet

Easter was a good time for catching up on my Yoko Saito Blocks and giving them an outing.
I caught up with some Taupo quilters for Show and Tell and a delightful afternoon tea over Easter. Thanks Sue - your home cooking was beautiful.

This block was stitched in Taupo and is a 10" square and is called "Sweet Violet".

It has a little bit of embroidery - stamens on the flowers which you may just be able to see.

It was nice to be working in blue flowers for a change - pinks and reds have dominated a bit lately. Now that I have fifteen blocks made I could lay them out. I decided that the quilt
needed more balance of colours - hence the blue flowers - oh I do like them.

And four blocks to go - one 20" square and three 10" squares so that should 
happen quite quickly now. I will miss making these divine Yoko Saito blocks.

But of course progress will be slower as I am away teaching at Nelson Symposium 
at the end of the week. I'll post what I teach each day.

Clover or Not

This is the next Yoko Saito block - but it has been changed!!!

 It is supposed to be Clover and the leaves do look like Clover - just as she designed them.
But the Clover flowers have undergone a change - they were supposed to be a bundle of
French Knots like this.

But my background was too light a colour for ecru French Knots. 
So I thought I would make a red background for the ecru Knots to sit on.

But I tried and tried various options of ecru French Knots on the red - big chunky ones, 
more delicate ones, I had them close together, I had them further apart, but basically I 
didn't like any of them so they all came off.

And now the block looks that a the top and I have renamed it Red Clover and moved on.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

This week I have been busy making my Little Quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge.
The challenge was to make a Little Quilt with a minimum size of 20" by 24".
These are to go the the Neonatal and the Paediatric Units at Starship Hospital.
We had to make a quilt using a block that we hadn't done before.

I decided it was time to do some machine blanket stitch applique as I hadn't done
this before, so this is my design.

I have scattered daisies across the quilt top with some going off the edge.

What a difference it made when I got the chunky hand quilting on it. I have called it Bubbles and Daisies. The quilting is done with two or three strands of DMC embrodiery thread.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I am running a Cushion Club at the shop. Each month I teach a new technique. 
So far we have done hand applique and strip piecing with machine quilting.

The next class is Foundation Piecing. 
This is the cushion top that I have made for this class.

I have used a lovely shot cotton Japanese fabric for the background and three different 
murky pink prints for the flower petals - also Japanese.

I have done some chunky hand quilting around the flower pieces using my favourite 
Cosmo embroidery thread # 383. I seem to have a bit of an addiction to this chunky 
quilting a the moment, but it so quick and easy to do.