This blog is a bit of a ramble through my life. I'm a wife, mother, small-time farmer and slightly obsessed quilter - both art and traditional. Oh, and I live in New Zealand.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

12 x 12 Purple Challenge

The Colour Purple

12" x 12" - Colour Purple

Entries close 21 November 2014

Purple will be the colour of our next 12x12 Challenge. This will be open to everyone - you do not have to be a member of Aotearoa Quilters, so tell your friends - get them involved.  You have plenty of time and these small quilts are very achievable.  Get a group together for inspiration, motivation and some new ideas - have some fun along the way.

Prizes: $300 for the winner and three merits of $100 each.

Conditions of entry and entry form can be found here.

Entry fee will be $15 for members and $25 for non-members.
Join Aotearoa Quilters now to get the member benefits.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Tired travellers emerging from the bush after an overnight hike.  I stayed home to keep the home fires burning (and because I'm working a 12 hour night shift tonight).  I picked them up and drove them straight to swimming lessons.  I do believe they'll sleep soundly tonight, all three of them!

Friday, April 11, 2014

What I saw this morning...

My ducks eating their breakfast.  Ducks are rude and loud and obnoxious, then they shut up as soon as their beaks are full....hmmm, sounds like a few people I know.

Wildpuss, pretending to be a tiger.  He's not a fastidious cat and doesn't mind the dew.

Emma saying good morning to Wildpuss and Wildpuss not looking so amused.  Don't worry, WP, I don't like the wet nose either!

Them's thar turkeys on thar hills!

I love this one.  She looks like she's saying, "We are not amused," in her best posh voice.  As in, we are not amused that you are taking pictures BEFORE you feed us.

Such an enthusiastic, dopey dawg.  Being a labrador, trained as a gun dog, Emma feels she has to carry something in her mouth at all times.  Today she's found a bit of wood.  Usually it's a rock, which is bad.  Check out her blunted tooth.  She will drop them when we tell her too, but as soon as our back is turned...

And another pretty sunrise.  Can't help myself, I've a million shots of pretty sunrises.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Autumn is my favourite season.  And this is one of the reasons why.  The skies just go on and on and on.  Afternoon will give us amazing clouds.  Evening gives us fascinating light.  Then the sunrises...the sunrises can leave you speechless.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Did you know you can dye quilt batting?

Sorry!  More hand dyes.  Are you getting sick of them yet?  But I wanted to show a few experimental bits and pieces that I threw dye on.

So, clockwise from front left: cotton stranded embroidery thread, really cheap and nasty wool batting, cotton batting, my usual high-thread count cotton sheeting, woollen blanket, silk, repurposed linen.

What I learnt:

  1. Wool does take non-acid dyes, just not as strongly as cotton, although cerulean blue just seemed to wash straight out (i.e, that orange wool was a tangerine and blue mix to make turquoise).  More experimentation needed.
  2. Cheap, nasty wool batting is still cheap and nasty.  It felted a bit, which helps it's structure but it's still too soft to use in a wool appliqué project.  Yummy colours though and I could used it for a little hand-stitching art project I have in mind though.
  3. Cotton batting takes the dye really well, but I should try and find some without scrim because this shows through a little on one side.
  4. I need to find a thinner, finer wool blanket than the one I had.  Two pieces were from a thinner one and the rest were a much courser weave - big difference in the hand of them.
  5. Old linens take the dye beautifully.  Must keep my eye out at the op shop!
  6. I love dyeing, I already knew that, but I just confirmed it again.

I know I'm never going to be the best photographer, but I'm trying to improve and practice my skills.  Here I was trying for bokeh, or blur, by increasing the distance between my foreground and my background.  I like the look, what do you think?

And I'm so pleased with my deep purple.  Been hanging out for my black dye, and it finally arrived.  It's makes the best greens too.  Those greens are all made with black and yellow.

Loving the dye on the cotton batting.  It looks like watercolour paintings.  Now I just need to make something with it.