Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Animal Quilts

I am extremely excited to share the front cover of my newbook.

The book will be coming out in October, but it is already available for preorder from Amazon and the Book Depository.

In coming months I will share more about the projects in the book, but I think this is enough excitement for one day.

This post contains affiliate links

Monday, 17 July 2017

Woodland Quiltalong2- Block 2 Otterly Adorable

 Meet Otterly Adorable- the latest pattern in the Woodland Quiltalong 2.

The Otter is a pattern which has been in development for a long time. When I originally drew it, he had his mouth open in a cheeky expression.

I loved it, but when I sewed it, there were some imperfections in my sewing. I realised that I had made it really difficult by giving the pattern seven points on a single seam that needed to be aligned precisely when sewing the sections together. I felt as if I was setting people up for dissatisfaction and for frustration. I knew that I could improve on the pattern, but at that moment in time I couldn't think how.

I laid it aside and moved onto another project.

When I decided to sew a second group of woodland block, the otter came out of the woodwork. I quickly realised that the easiest way to fix the problem was by simplifying the mouth. I closed the otter's mouth and looked at the pattern again. Granted there will be people who say that the pattern has lost part of it's charm, but I want people to enjoy their paper piecing experience, so I'm willing to accept the compromise.

This pattern is slightly more complicated than the kingfisher. There are eight paper sections. I strongly recommend the use of basting stitches when sewing the sections together. This will allow you to work as accurately as possible and will make it easier to resew seams which are not quite accurate first time round.

The pattern can be bought as part of the woodland bundle. It can also be bought as an individual pattern.

It can be bought from Etsy, Craftsy or Payhip.

Full details of the woodland quiltalong2 can be found here.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Woodland Quiltalong2- Block 1- Kingfisher

The first block of the quiltalong is the Kingfisher.

This pattern is based on a kingfisher resting on a post that I had published in issue 18 of the Fat Quarterly Review a few years ago. Although I had good intentions, I never got around to releasing the pattern in it's own right, so I thought that this was a good opportunity to give it a bit of a facelift.

I really focussed on keeping the pattern simple, but tried to ensure that it has enough detail so as not to be plain and boring. It was important to me to keep the pattern accessible for beginner paper piecers.

I am happy to say that I think that I succeeded in this as my 8 year old daughter has sewn a woodland quiltalong kingfisher. It took her three sessions (one session per paper foundation). Like most beginner paper-piecers she had a few moments of frustration, but in general she enjoyed the process. She is really proud of her work and is now trying to decide whether she wants to sew the hedgehog or the fawn next.

The fun thing about kingfishers is that they come in different colours in different parts of the world. The kingfishers that are found in Scotland look like the kingfishers depicted above.

Kingfishers in New Zealand can be identified as a streak of jade green flashing across the sky. I thought it would be fun to sew a version of the block which would represent this.

Remember, it is absolutely not a problem if you want to adapt the colour scheme of your kingfisher to reflect birdlife in your part of the world. One of my pattern testers told me about black kingfishers that her husband had seen on his travels. Or even to create a fictional colourful kingfisher.

In order to be in to win the first of the weekly prizes, you need to post your kingfisher block on instagram by 17th July. Don't forget to tag me @tartankiwi and to tag the quiltalong #woodlandqa2.

Don't forget to check out the hashtag and comment on the other versions of the blocks that you see, maybe you will make some new instagram friends!

This post provides information about the patterns, the prizes, the timescale and any other issues that you might be wondering about in relation to the quiltalong.

Good luck, I can't wait to see what you all do with the pattern.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Woodland2 Quiltalong

It's taken me longer than expected to organise, but it's finally time to get this party started!

Last year at about this time of the year I ran the woodland quiltalong on my blog and instagram. It was a fun, no stress event which revolved around a series of 4 relatively simple woodland blocks- a mouse, a badger, a squirrel and a bunny rabbit.

This year, I couldn't resist designing a new set of four blocks for the woodland2 quiltalong. The new blocks are for a kingfisher, an otter, a hedgehog and a fawn. As with the last quiltalong- there are a number of options for the use of the blocks. All blocks are provided in two sizes- 9 inch and 12 inch, although you are welcome to alter the size as is appropriate for your needs.

As the blocks all depict head and neck area, I thought it would be fun to let people play with the composition of their quilts. Each animal is provided facing both right and left, as such, the animals can look at each other or look away from each other as desired.

The pattern bundle is available now and can be purchased from my Etsy, Craftsy and Payhip stores.

If you prefer to only buy a single pattern, they will become available as the quiltalong continues:

The kingfisher is available now from Etsy, Craftsy and Payhip.
All finished kingfisher blocks posted on instagram using the hashtags #woodlandqa2,  #tartankiwi and @tartankiwi between now and 17th July will be eligible to win a $50 Fat Quarter Shop voucher. The winner will be drawn at random.

So Simple, An 8 Year Old Can Sew it!
I am deliberately kicking things off with the kingfisher block as it is a relatively simple pattern which consists of three paper templates and as such it is definitely beginner friendly.

Infact, my 8 year old daughter successfully sewed a kingfisher. It was her first attempt at paper piecing. I slightly modified the technique used so that she did not have to use a rotary cutters, but she had a great time sewing it and has asked to do more paper piecing. Let me know if you want me to write a blog post on paper piecing with children.

The otter will be available on 17th July.

All finished otter blocks posted to instagram using the hashtags #woodlandqa2,  #tartankiwi and @tartankiwi by the end of the 24th July will be eligible to win a $25 voucher for my patterns. The winner will be drawn at random.

The Hedgehog will be available on 24 July.

All finished hedgehog blocks posted on instagram using the hashtags #woodlandqa2, #tartankiwi and @tartankiwi by the end of 31 July will be eligible to win your choice of 6 Amy Friend pdf patterns. The winner will be drawn at random.


The fawn will be available on 31 July.

All finished fawn blocks posted on instagram by the end of 7 August using the hashtags #woodlandqa2 will be eligible receive a $50 Fat Quarter Shop voucher. The winner will be drawn at random.

Final Prize Draw
You then have up until the end of 19th August to create a finished item using of your blocks. You will receive one entry in the prize draw for each block that is used in the finished item (or items), so if you sew 4 pouches which each use a single block, you will be entered in the draw 4 times, and if you creates a mini quilt using all 4 block designs you will also be entered 4 times. Each person has a maximum of 4 entries in the final prize draw.

Two grand prize winners will be chosen.

One winner will receive a large collection of Amy Friend's Improv 50 weight Aurifil threads and $25 worth of tartankiwi patterns.
The other winner will receive a fat quarter bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabric as donated by FreeSpirit Fabrics and $25 worth of tartankiwi patterns. My blocks all feature Kaffe Fassett fabrics and since I knew that you all love them, I thought that this would make a great prize- I hope you agree!

The Nitty Gritty

All the patterns in this quiltalong are foundation paper pieced. If this is a technique that you have not tried before, then I strongly suggest that you start with the kingfisher pattern as it is the most straightforward of these patterns. If you need help, various paper piecing tutorials can be found on my blog and other tips can be found on the instagram hashtag #paperpiecingtips

In case you are wondering, none of these patterns include y-seams (my patterns never do!)

Timezones are always a tricky issue with this kind of international event, so as long as you post at the on the correct date in your timezone, you will be in to win.

Please remember that I can only include images that I can see, so your account will have to be public for you to be eligible for prizes.

Instagram hashtags have been a bit temperamental recently, so I recommend that you vary the order that you write your hashtags and that you keep them in the text which accompanies your post. Images where the hashtags have been added as separate comments do not always show up on hashtags.

If you have any questions, please write them below and I will answer them as quickly as I can.

Finally, I'd like to say a huge thank you to all my sponsors:

Monday, 3 April 2017

I've been on a podcast!

Just popping in quickly to let you all know that you can hear my dulcet tones on The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady Podcast. If you prefer to listen to podcasts on itunes, you should be able to find it there too. We discussed a range of things including my introduction to paper piecing, my upcoming book, my derivative quilts post and much much more.

Charlotte was interviewing me as a part of her series on the tutors who will be teaching at the New Zealand Quilt Symposium in October of this year.

I will be teaching two classes. One is a beginners paper piecing class which uses a little blue penguin pattern which I designed especially for the class.

The other is called Sizzling Safari. It is for people with a bit of paper piecing experience who are keen to expand their skills and try larger scale patterns.


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