Saturday, August 30, 2014

Off the Longarm

My Patchwork Chevron quilt is now off the machine, has the binding attached and is now waiting to be hand stitched down. I love how it turned out but if I had realised how much it would shrink with the quilting I would have made it longer-lesson for next time.
This photo would not rotate so sorry but you get the idea.
I quilted the coloured area with a flower design that was inspired by watching one of Angela Walters Craftsy classes.

 This is the back of the quilt and I have intentionally not taken the photo too close to the quilt as I continue to battle with the tension on my longarm-even though I have tried all the usual attempts to correct it. Still it is finished and it for my own bed so I am happy that it is finished.
This is a quilt made with blocks from members of the Bee Balm online group that I have been a member of for two years now-time to put the first quilt from the group together now!
On the design wall now is this lovely bright pinwheel quilt which is a pattern from the May/June issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting.
Oops, sideways again! Just needs the borders attached then it is onto the longarm.

Then I have been working on a secret project that I will show once it has been received, but this is a sneak peak of the beginning.
I joined the Ít's a Sister Thing Swap organised by Michelle at The concept is to connect with a quilting sister and make her a  handmade gift  -the sister you make for is not the one who makes for you. The parcels are in the post now so I will be checking the mailbox every day.

 I will leave you with a photo of what greeted me when I opened the door one day this week-
one of the neighbours chickens and she just hung around with my two cats for ages. She did make me laugh and has now had her wings clipped so hasn't visited again!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Seal of Approval

This is my sisters cat Fergus giving her quilt the seal of approval.
For her 50th birthday (nearly three years ago now!!) she requested two king single size quilts with New Zealand themed fabrics-they have a duvet battle in bed!! What I thought she would like I got totally wrong, so it took along time going backwards and forwards with design and fabric selection to come up with the final plan. They live in Australia but we have holidays together often so a few visits to fabric shops were required.
In the end the request changed from two quilts into one queen/king instead. She selected a pattern called Lantern Lights by Kathy Adams of Koolkat Quilting in Australia, which I modified to get the larger size. The fabrics were both New Zealand themed and had the addition of a fabric featuring bamboo which my brother in law has a love for. I recently holidayed in Australia with them and managed to finish hand sewing the binding down while there.

I was pleased with how it turned out and I quilted it with a pantograph by Lorien called Waitomo, which is a place in New Zealand.
                                                           On the machine.
So although it was a rather belated birthday present I am glad it met with the seal of approval. My sisters house has most of the quilts I have made, including the very first one, which she now says needs replacing!!

On the longarm now is the queen size version of the patchwork chevron, with blocks  made by my fellow Bee Balmers, that will adorn my bed when finished.

Blogger will not let me load any more photos so I will post this and continue my ravings later.


Saturday, July 19, 2014


One of my colleagues recently gave birth to twins so what do you do but make quilts-of course making that decision at the last minute!! They did not know the sex of the babies before they were born but they have been blessed with two gorgeous healthy boys- Jude and Asher, who join their little sister in the family.
I used the pattern off Moda Bakeshop and while I used the same colourway  I used different fabrics and different placement of the colours. I backed them with a beautiful soft minkee-one light blue, and one dark blue. I stippled the centre of the quilts (nice and quick) and did a piano key in the border then bound them in different colours.
The background fabric looks very weird here-it is a white with black dot.

The back of the quilts that also shows the quilting-if you wish to see it just click on the photo to enlarge. The weather was not playing well when I took these photos sorry.
I have also been busy making hot water bottle covers.

This is the second year I have participated in a project to make covers for children's hot water bottles that are then donated to the children of Christchurch, a city in the South Island that was devastated with earthquakes two years ago but there are still many in very poor living conditions. A company donates the hot water bottles and many quilters, sewers, knitters and crocheters around the country donate the covers.

Finished sewing the binding on this queen size scrappy disappearing four patch that will be donated to charity-need to use up my larger than necessary stash and it gives me longarm practice.
Now for the non quilting activity-
the beginning of limoncello-vodka and lemon rind to start, then a sugar syrup gets added. I have never made this before, but love drinking it!! I have a lemon tree in the garden for the first time so thought I would put them to good use. Will see how this turns out-it is so easy, just takes a little time to mature.
Thanks for stopping by

Friday, July 4, 2014


Hello and welcome to all my past visitors and to anyone new who may come across my blog.
My name is Marlene and I live in the North Island of New Zealand. I learnt to quilt about 15 years ago when a friend, who had just finished a class, suggested I take one and we could quilt together. I continued but she has only dabbled in it since. I have a huge stash of fabric, books and magazines and should stay out of the shops!! I now tend to quilt with brighter colours and am liking the modern look. Of course that stash has to be used up as well so charity quilts will be made.

Blogger will not let me load these photos side by side sorry.

This was a block I had my Bee Balm sisters make for me and before I tackled my Queen size quilt I made this smaller version-now claimed by my sister. My aim for this year is to become friends with my longarm Nolting machine and improve my quilting skills. This is the first quilt I have been really happy with roll on many more.
 I have had a long break from blogging. mainly due to backlash from some content I had  been associated with online being reported to my previous employer, and the repercussions that followed . Nothing related to blogging but it made me very wary of writing anything online. That is past now and it is time to move ahead. This blog was started as a journal of my quilting and things in life  so that is what I need to get back to. I have been quilting and will slowly show them here but please don't feel obliged to view!

I am a midwife by profession and am working in a very busy hospital at present and love it. I have been very fortunate that my job has enabled me to travel the world having worked in Australia, UK and the Middle East.
I live with two very spoilt cats who  think all quilts I make are for them, and Maisie, the one in the header photo loves the longarm and appears from anywhere the moment the machine starts. If I'm not at work or quilting I am on the golf course, enjoying the fresh air and exercise.
One more project to show and then I will finish as this is a bit long winded!!
I made this cushion from a Don't Look Now pattern, for my great niece Tilly on her birthday. She pulled it out of the gift bag and said 'Look what Aunty Marney made me Dad' so that was cute.

So that's me back to the world of blogging. Thank you for visiting.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013



Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, a year full of creativity, good health and much happiness.
 I have been a non existent blogger for the last year particularly, but I have a goal to change that for 2013 (it is already New Years Day here so I'm starting). Not blogging does not mean that I have not been at my sewing machine but rather than look back over the last year I am looking forward to future creations. I have certainly spent alot of time visiting blogland and enjoying the amazing creativity of people- i need a daily fix of all the inspiration.
2012 saw me go to the Machine Quilters Festival in Adelaide Australia and how incredibly amazing that was. The talent, inspiration and skills of the tutors was incredible and I had a fantastic time, learning meeting new people and coming away with the courage to start using my longarm more.I have a sister who lives in Adelaide and so I enjoyed a two week holiday at the same time.
2013 is going to be a changing year for me. For those of you reading this who do not know, I am a midwife and feel very priviledged to be part of the most amazing experience in peoples lives- that is the birth of a child. However, after nearly three years in my present job, which I have to say has been the job I have least enjoyed in all my working life, I have resigned and work my last day on Friday. While I have had a great team of managers to work for, the health board is restructuring and they have all had their positions disestablished and will be leaving. I do not think the new structure will be a positive change for the unit I was leading, so I took the leap and will be unemployed until I decide where to go next-I have the freedom to go wherever a job is so am blessed in that way. I miss blue sky and sunshine, and need more of it than what I get here.
While living here I have become a keen golfer and although would not rate myself as anything but a beginner I play with a wonderful group of women and we have alot of laughs together, and it has been a good release to whack that ball.I am improving, albeit slowly, and Santa was kind enough to buy me a new set of golf clubs, so there is hope yet!!!
 A few weekends ago we went up to picturesque Queenstown for a golfing weekend and played one of the most challenging course but what alot of fun-
and look at that spectacular scenery.
I came across this saying on a blog a couple of years ago nd just love it-
'Whatever you do on New Years Day you do for the rest of the year'.
So what did you get up to?
This is what I have been doing a rainy, cold 'summers' New Years Day.
Pillowcases for a litlle girls birthday being guarded by the Cat police with a don't mess with me look!

Two Swoon Blocks to join the one I made nearly a year ago. it wasn't til I finished the block that I realised I had the spotted and solid fabrics the opposite way to to the first block so will do some each way and see how it looks in the end.
 Well now that the rain has stopped for awhile it is time to get some fresh air and go down to the golf course to see how the new clubs go.          
Thank you to those who stop by, I love getting comments and look forward to getting to know you all  in 2013.

Monday, February 13, 2012


To those few who entered my giveaway I am sorry I am late in doing the draw. I unexpectedly spent the whole weekend on the golf course-and with the sun shining I have to admit it was great to be outside getting exercise and with good company.
I have to admit that I have not been in the sewing room for over a week so better change that this week or that stash will never reduce!
With the help of my neighbour we have drawn out two names of the winners and they are
Maria from  Life on the Block
Cardygirl from Cardygirl

I have sent you both an email for your address so will post the books soon. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hello February.

Well I have been away for quite awhile-the longer you are away from blogging the harder it is to start again. I read my list of blogs daily and comment when I think appropriate and although I haven't blogged there are still people who are visiting my blog every day-amazing.
It is hard to believe that January has already been and gone-my intention was of course to recommence blogging at the beginning of the year-ha,ha!!
It has been said 'whatever you do on New Year's Day is what you will do for the rest of the year'.

If that is the case then my year will on the golf course (already coming true!!) and of course quilting-although I don't want to repeat having a needle stab me in the finger-lesson to self, 'disengage machine before fiddling with bobbin'!!.
After owning my longarm for over a year it was finally time to quilt. I had tried and tried to start but could never get the tension right, then I found the Gennie Bobbin Washers and hey presto even tension.
It was however rather difficult to accomplish the task when I had a little helper. Every time I go to the machine Maisy thinks she needs to come as well, however she thinks she should be 'on the quilt'!! This was just a scrap quilt I had made and will keep it as 'my first longarm quilted quilt'. I just stitched in the ditch on every seam-and ran off track most of the time- then read that this is the hardest quilting to start with!1 Should have read that before starting but was pleased to have one under my belt. And where is the quilted now-claimed by Fat Cat-aka Bella
I was very excited to win a giveaway on Kathy's blog -Tamarack Shack. Kathy is a longarm quilter who lives in Canada and does the most amazing work, it is definitely worth visiting to see what she does. Kathy also snow dyes her fabric and I was lucky enough to win some along with a Canadian Quilting Magazine that featured an article about this.It is so interesting to read quilt magazines from other countries and view the quilting styles and colour themes they have.
 Sorry Picassa is playing fun with the photos and won't let me crop them. this is the fabric that found it's way to my house-isn't it wonderful. Looking down on it to take the photo it reminds me of a map of the world-don't want to cut it up so think I will incorporate it into a backing.
So what other quilting have I been doing-little things really. A few baby quilts that I forgot to photograph before gifting but I can say they were well received. Christmas placemats for the children next door and a few random blocks to try techniques.
I have joined in the Swoon craze but have only made one block so far but loving it. It is a 24 inch block and the original pattern has nine blocks so makes a big quilt.
Two fat quarters and white Kona from my stash-may add borders and just make this into a little quilt or maybe a cushion cover.
Have also started the Free Motion Quilting Challenge over at Sew Cal Gal. It is free to follow and there is one guest tutorial each month-the first was Frances Moore and she showed how to do Vines and Leaves which I had an attempted at-not perfect but at least it's not just stippling-
This month Diane Gaudynski has posted a tutorial on "Echo Feather Plumes' which I have not yet attempted but will definitely do so.
If you have got this far in your reading, well done! over the Christmas period I somehow ended up receiving an extra two copies of this book-it has some great ideas for using colourful scraps.
So I am going to have a giveaway. If you would like to receive a copy of this book just leave a comment. You do not have to become a follower, please do not post about this on you blog-I would rather send a copy to someone who visits because they want to see what is happening not just for the giveaway. I will draw two names out on Saturday 11th Feb.
Thanks for stopping by.