Pixie Post

Monday, July 31, 2006

Remember these?

Now they are these!
A warm curvy unit
and a cool curvy unit.

Exciting! I'm going to make wider and skinnier versions too. They're about a metre long. While I'm cutting and stitching these sexy curves, I wonder how come I don't belong to the Chicago School of Fusing.

Oh, and note how the middle picutre, taken in daylight with natural side lighting, is soooo much better than the other two pictures, taken very late at night with flash and ceiling lights blazing. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 30, 2006


A man weilding a machete tried to rob a gun shop.
He was shot, by the shop manager.
The NZ Herald tells the tale.

Police have yet to decide if they will charge the shooter. I expect they will bring some minor firearms charge against him. I doubt any jury would convict him but I hope we can still let the court, rather than public opinion, decide.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It arrived

The catalogue of classes for the Manawatu Quilt Symposium, NZ's 12th National Quilt Symposium has arrived. It's a work of art. It's in glorious colour, and it has photographs to support the description of each and every class. Choosing a class is a bit of a challenge, the range of classes and tutors is great. Check them out here. A little Jane Sassaman to expand my repetoire? Shall I go show Susan Carlson my fish? Stitch some holes with Sue Dennis? Learn some quilting with NZ's guru Heather Harding? Celebrate the pacific with Barbara Bilyard?

Come and join us in Palmerston North on 19 to 24 January 2007.

Of course some of my new found blogging friends will be there. Shirley is teaching dyeing, surface design and a beautiful quilt class, and Kirsty is very busy teaching applique, machine quilting, a quilt and a bag! I hope I'll at least get to have coffee with you two.

My challenge is to get my act together so I can enter a quilt or two into the exhibition. I've had work accepted into Symposium for the last 4 shows. It's a juried show, fiercely competitive....well, hard to get into at any rate. Our National Symposium is held every two years. I've won a ribbon or two in the past, so I aim at least to have something juried into the exhibition! So far there are wonderful works of art in my head, and a little fabric collecting going on. Entries are due in November.

If the truth be told, I'd go just to see the exhibitions, enjoy the company of 100s of wonderful women, and browse the merchants mall, but it would be a shame to miss out on learning from some of the best quilt makers from all around the world wouldn't it?

Ahhh, all a girl really needs is something to look forward to.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Swapping stars

How cute are these? These are my pink stars for swapping. I make 10, 9 of my friends make 10, and we swap. We swap a different colour each month. At the end of the year we'll have 80 star blocks, each one of them different.

Here's J, finishing up hers in time to swap. Pretty huh?

and here are the stars we bought home. We got a bit behind, so tonight there were pink and blue.

I'm not really making traditional block quilts these days, but I love this swapping thing. I love finding how the others interpret the colour theme, and I love how it brings this bunch of stitching friends together. The quilt of course, will be beautiful! Posted by Picasa

What's good about winter? (3)

South coast, North Island, New Zealand. A beautiful sparkling Wellington day, the sea wild, the mountains of the South Island shining in the distance. Can you see them? See the ferry in the distance too? It would have been a rough ride out of the harbour that day. Most of our favourite rock pools were under the waves. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 24, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reading material

I've been to the library. I'm reading Mary Mashuta's "Confetti Quilts".

It has hundreds of pictures including this 'dot dot dot' quilt. It has chapters with names like "What's all the fuss about color?" and "What's all the fuss about design?". It's fabulous.

It ranks right up there with one of my most precious quilt books, which is by her sister Roberta Horton.

I've got another new favourite too...."101 Quilt Blocks and Borders" from Better Homes and Gardens. A gift from the Sagittarian. Shucks, do you think she really really wants a quilt?

I've done some blog housekeeping. I've got myself a blogroll, and I've made a separate section of bloggers that hail from from New Zealand. Enjoy! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oh No!

La Petite Anglaise got fired for her blog.
Oh no!

Read about it in The Telegraph article here.
La Petite is telling her story on her blog.

The White Swan

For Kirsty, here's my swan. Looks like his cousin lives at her house. He was a gift, in support of my desire to have a collection of swans to swim across a particular shelf. Thanks J, I still love him. Unfortunately he remains an orphan.

I've gone and joined the year of colour. Or color. See that new button over there on the right...down a bit. Hey, Ms Sagittarian, you oughta join too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

No more 5 cents

See these lovely coins? Alas, they will soon be no more. No more 5 cents, and new 10, 20 and 50 cents. From July 31, these coins go out of circulation, and there will be new, lighter, smaller replacements. For many years, NZ silver coins have been interchangeable with Australian coins. Unofficially that is, but everyone uses them. From July 31 Australian coins will no longer be legal tender in NZ. Hopefully they'll all be donated to charity or something. I keep looking at my little stash of 5c which feature a portrait of a tuatara, and think what fabulous jewellery they'd make.

Oh, and the stars are finished, ready to swap.

Posted by Picasa

I can't sleep

I can't sleep properly. There are too many things buzzing around in my head, and whatever it is that wakes me up at 3am stays with me. I am instantly fully awake, ready (or so it seems) for the day to begin. I can't decide. Now even for a committed morning person like me, 3am is just too early. So I read for 30 minutes or so, to turn off the thoughts, and generally I fall asleep again. A girl gets through a lot of books this way. Here are two recent reads, which I've enjoyed.
I really like Philippa Gregory. It probably helps that I've never studied history. The first book of hers that I found 'The Other Boleyn Girl' is one of my favourites.
Jodi Picoult writes page turner novels rich in characters, and they're always a good read. Mine has a different cover than this one. What's that about? Different artwork to appeal to different parts of the world?

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Picture

Pixie Sticks has shown us this picture. "Picture" hardly does it justice though.
See this? This is how I feel when I'm swimming. This is the feeling I've been trying to figure out how to capture in an art quilt.
This picture is the work of Eric Zener.
Thanks Pixie Sticks!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Actual Quilt Content

Do you know about these things?
A lesson in half square triangles, the Thangles way...

First, you have two fabrics from which you wish to have half square triangles. Cut strips, in this case 2.5 inches. Put them right sides together with a Thangles paper on top. Stitch on the dotted lines. Thangles come in a range of sizes to make the half square triangles the size you need.

I always chain piece them. I did 7 Thangles papers this time. The picture of my not at all flash, but beloved Elna shows you how.

Next, cut the units apart, along the solid lines on the Thangles paper. Press them, with the paper still attached. This does wonders for controlling all those stretchy bias edges. There they are, perfect half square triangles, fast, and more importantly, perfect.

These are for some more stars, for swapping. I'm not really a perfect points kindof a girl, but when you're swapping stars the points should be perfect, and this way, it's hard to go wrong.

I buy Thangles from my favourite quilt store, Big Horn Quilts. You can find out more about Thangles at their very own website.

I love Big Horn Quilts mostly for the price tags on their fabric. I love their website with big clear colour accurate photos of fabric, and I love their service. I've never had a problem with them, the parcel usually arrives on day 6 after ordering, sometimes sooner, oh, and did I mention the prices? We could of course ask why a kiwi quilter buys most of her fabric from a shop in Wyoming, and debate the issues of whether I should actually be supporting a kiwi quilt fabric store......but let's not.

So non-quilting visitors, I'm sure none of this makes sense to you...but I know at least 3 of you are lining up for a quilt someday, so let's consider this part of your education.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I've got a banner

or a header, or whatever it's called. Jack made it for me. Yes, the 12 year old got to help his mother. Contrary to the myths, this did not make him feel proud or powerful. It took him all of 5 minutes, and he hated it...but I'm going to pay him with blueberry muffins. It's cute though, and it's a start. Now, I gotta figure out how to get rid of that border.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday continued...

Eddie played chicken with the waves at one of his favourite places in Oriental Bay. He got wet.

Ahh, and then there was the sunset. Posted by Picasa

Sunny Sculpture Saturday

The sky was blue and the sun was out. You can't keep Wellingtonians down for long. I put my new shoes on, and went for a walk.

Some more Paul Dibble. This one, 'Fruits of the Garden' Bronze, 2001, is on the waterfront. Obviously there is some Adam and Eve thing going on here. It is strong and compelling, and holds its own in a busy space with glorious harbour views.

Very nearby are some great slabs of text. The Wellington Writers Walk was a project of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, which wanted to create something lasting to celebrate the Capital’s bevy of writers and poets. The result is an intriguing smattering of text sculptures along the waterfront. Designed by Catherine Griffiths, each sculpture is a quote by a well-known New Zealand writer with strong Wellington connections. Most are about being in Wellington. New ones are added now and then. While they originally suffered some vandalism, happily they were always quickly repaired, and they seem to have been left alone of late.

This is my favourite. "The harbour is an ironing board....." by Dennis Glover.

and I love this one too....."This town of ours kind of flattened across the creases...." by Fiona Kidman. I have very fond memories of small sons as beginning readers challenged by these.

Monday, July 03, 2006

What's good about Winter? (2)

Vegetable soup with a barley/split pea base, and banana cake. Wanna come for lunch today?

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday afternoon at the zoo

I am lucky to have a 9 year old boy in the house to get me out and about on a winter afternoon. Eddie and I went to the zoo. It was noisy there yesterday, with the lion roaring, lots of birds squawking (both in and out of cages) and lots of monkeys (baboons, chimpanzees) squabbling. The lion was our favourite, but we loved the monkeys enjoying the winter sunshine too. Posted by Picasa