Friday, February 27, 2009

A quilter's Essential!!

Last week we showed you a photo of Pam at The Cloth Shop staring the Quilters Essential Bag -today it's finished!! It really is a super bag - pocket for the cutting board, and quilting table, pocket for 6" x 24" ruler, pockets for threads, pocket for the notes folder, pocket for the cutter and spare pockets for what ever your hearts desires. We will be writing the patterns for the bag this week and we already have a class starting on the 30 April. You can see the inside of the bag on our Classes page on our website.

Today was a good day - Pam got her new glasses - at Last!!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Isn't this a fabulous bag!! Margaret comes from Auckland and in the weekend she brought her daughter down to Massey University. She decided to stay down for a couple of days and thought it would be a great chance to make the Claudie Jo bag at The Cloth Shop - her friend bought the pattern from us at Calico Christmas in November and gave it to her as part of her Christmas present. She bought a Husqvarna sewing machine recently so it was a good chance to get to grips with that as well. We have called the first photo "Happiness is Making a Bag" and the bottom one "At last it's finished" but we'll let you into a secret - the handles are only pinned on!!
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Aiming for perfection!!

This week we started the first Beginners Patchwork and Quilting class for 2009 - the photos are of Roz - in the top one she is cutting her 3 1/2" strips and the bottom one shows her looking very critically at her first block - this is actually a practice block that we give them on the first day so they can practice cutting and sewing -at the beginning of the class we talk about choosing fabrics and colourways, so for their homework they need to buy their fabric and make this block again in their colour choice. The first day they feel very nervous about cutting - particularly after we give them the "Lecture" about never leaving the blade exposed and the dire consequences if they do - the ruler seems extrememly awkward, they have to start thinking in 1/2 inches and 1/4 inches and get their heads around strange terms like fat quarters and fat eighths but at the end of 9 weeks they will have made a quilt and really enjoyed the process!!
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Magnificent Blooming Baskets!!

Looks at these spendid floral baskets!! Today we held the first Baltimore class for 2009 - the top two photos are of Jo's blocks - the one she is currently working on is at the top and one of her finished ones below. She has already made a large centre panel - on point - which we will be surrounded by four different floral baskets - she has chosen a colour pallete of terracotta, orange, blue and green on a muddy grey backgound - it looks wonderful!
The bottom basket is one of the blocks of Jennie's quilt - she has chosen a mix of magenta,purples, hot pinks, greens on a creamy white background - she has made sixteen blocks, sewn them together into a large quilt and has now started the quilting. You might think a hand applique embroidery class would be a quiet, sedate one - it is certainly not the case with this class. It's loud, noisy with lots of laughter and chat but as you can see there is some magnificent work produced - Rose comes from Wellington once a month to teach the Baltimore class - she said she just looks forward to coming and can't wait to seeing what the girls have done since she saw them last.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

We thought it would be so easy!!

Today we started making a fabulous new bag. We have been asked lots of times if we could make a bag that would hold a cutting board, quilting table for the machine, rulers, square rulers, cutter, scissors and current projects - a bag that you could keep things in when you are at home and then when it's time for a class you can pick up what you need for the day and carry it all in one go.
Pam Smith has a bag that we are using as a starting point and she is going to teach the class for us - we are holding it on three consecutive Thursday evenings starting at the end of April. She spent the day at The Cloth Shop so we could make the sample and before she came we thought we would whip it up in no time. - it is actually a series of small quilts - one forms the main body of the bag and a series of different size quilts form various pockets and flaps. At the beginning of the day it was going to be Black and White with the Gypsy Chique girls on the some of the pockets, mid morning it changed to the paisley fabric - that is already quilted - in rusts and acid greens - a few dramas while we sorted out the Gyspy Chiques and by 2.00 we had one small pocket almost finished! We decided we needed a lunch break in the sun and after that it was all go! go! go! Pam has taken the bag home to finish it - we will show you how fabulous it is soon.
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Jock 1999 - 2009
Jock was Katherine and Colin's miniature schnauzer - this week he was diagnosed with cancer and died on Saturday 21st February.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Special, Beautiful things!!

Look at this ring cushion that Francie has made for her granddaughter's wedding this weekend in Queenstown! She has crosshatched the satin background so that it has a luscious, shiny texture - the doily in the centre is one that Francie made when she was 17 and the tatting around the edge was done by the bride's great great aunt when she was in her 70's. The silver ribbons that are attached to the centre are for tying on the wedding rings - they aren't old, but she bought them at The Cloth Shop so that makes them special too!! It's a beautiful, sentimental thing - perfect for a romantic summer wedding.
Francie is in the top photo.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A good place to be!!

Today we had a Blokkenspel class at The Cloth Shop. Sandra Boschma was the tutor and there were fourteen women in the class. The top photo shows Margaret with her Blokkenspel pinned together and ready to be sewn, the middle photo is of Suzanne cutting out the pieces for her Blokkenspel and the bottom photo is one side of Val's Blokkenspel made in the cutes]t Koala fabric. There were some great themed Blokkenspels made at today - pansies, cats and dogs, kiwiana featuring pukekos, buzzy bee and New Zealand flags, Australiana featuring Koalas and Kangaroos and lots of Brights, dots, stripes and squares. Colin made us a delicious lunch - it was a good place to be.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's been a long, hard day!!

On the Friday before Saturday Sampler Day, on the second Saturday of each month, Colin's job is to pack the Autumns, Poppies and Lime with a Twist Blocks of the Month - he calls it his penance for the month! The top photo shows him packing the Poppies selection February. Actually we think he secretly loves doing this and we know he really enjoys Saturday mornings when it his job to give out the Saturday Sampler Blocks. Amiee has already packed the Customised blocks, which is slioghtly more trickier.
The bottom photo is after a long, long day as a packer!!
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Actually I am rather pleased with it!!

This is Jan Bailey and on Wednesday at "Wednesdays are for Quilting"she sewed her "Mailboxes" together - now it's all ready for the borders. This quilt was designed by Liz at The Cloth Shop and there are lots of really cool techniques in it - 3D poppies are growing against a wooden fence. there are papers, junk mail and recycling bags in the letter boxes and on the ground outside a group of flats,a cow letter box out in the countryside,a newspaper peeping out from a brass letter box outside some very smart apartments. Jan has finished some great projects and when she has finished something she says "Well actually I am rather pleased with it" Jan you are a star!!
Our Wednesday nights for Wednesdays are for Quilting are so popular now that we have closed any more enrolments until the end of March. There are limited spaces in the morning group - or if you would rather come at night we will put you on the waiting list.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WE aim for perfection!! Most of the time

Isn't the top photo adorable!! This is Karlee, Lois Monaghan's granddaughter - we feel a special bond with Karlee becuase she was born on Husqui Club night in November - her grandmother was making the Christmas Stocking that she is in on the very night that she was born - one of the fabrics that she has stitched in to the stocking says "Santa I've been good"!
The other photos are of some of the Husqui morning girls - Marion is making the Amy Butler Weekender bag- we have a photo of the almost finished bag with some Valentine Day cards, and Lorraine was working on a child's activity book until she took a deep breath and tackled "Bootiful Boots" for the Shoes! Shoes! Shoes Block of the Month. She has finished everything else forthis quilt and has a gap left for the Bootiful Boots - she has had three goes at them!! We are glad to report that the ones she made on Monday are perfect!!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

We would love to see you at Saturday Strippers!!

Have you ever heard of chevron stripes?
Next Saturday between 8.30 and 9.30 we will tell what they are and show you how to make them into this Chevron striped bag called "Take it anywhere Tote" I love the word Chevron ( and the stripes look good too!!)and we will be using this method of making your own fabric more often.
The photo at the top shows the strips - the beginning stages of this really cool bag. The Bottom photo shows the bag finished - we will have another bag in various stages of completion on Saturday morning so we can show you all the steps and exactly how everything is done. We have patterns available - we have made ours in hot, hot colours (like the weather) and you can have kits just like ours or colours of your own choice.
There is no charge for Saturday Strippers - just come - we would love to see you.
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

One fierce Pirate has found his safe harbour!

Look what we received in the mail today - in spite of having rather a hard life (we think) - leg missing, hand missing, teeth missing, eye missing - he still looks very very cute and we are very happy to give him a happy home at The Cloth Shop. He came with this note from Helen - love to you too xx. Helen mentions she is doing creative skirt stuff from this magazine - it features five skirts (amongst lots of other cool things) and the patterns are in the magazine or can be downloaded.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Clever, Creative People!!

Posted by PicasaThe bottom photo in the this page is of Kim Thurston and the quilt she made for her daughter Abby. She got a new Husqvarna Sewing Machine for Christmas and has spent January creating and making!! She chose one of the patterns from our Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! quilt called Checkmates and and made nine different blocks. She added a narrow black border between the blocks and then wrote Abby's name lots of times, with her machine, across it - sort of like a name tape. Double click on the photo and take a look - it personalises the quilt and makes it really special.
The top picture was taken tonight at Wednesdays are for Quilting!

Monday, February 2, 2009

We've had a great day!!

We've had a great day at The Cloth Shop day today! It started with a visit from Rachel - who owns Annies Quilt Shop in Tinwald and Lesley from For Get me Knot in Christchurch - we have a network of shop owners and it is good to talk about what we have been doing, what we should be doing, what we are not doing and what we want to do! Fun!
Later in the day we had a visit from Martina and Helga - they are from Austria and are on a seven week holiday in New Zealand. The photo above is of them and our Tall Poppies pattern Poppies for Mary Quilt - they loved it!!
Lois was in - we haven't seen her since her was horse won at the Wellington Racing Carnival, Anna was in and she decided to make a quilt like the one that is hanging behind Martina and Helga, Christine was in - she has decided to make Pacific Petals at her Wednesdays are for Quilting class, Jennie was in -she is designing her own Baltimore style quilt to start in Baltimore with Rose later in the month, Megan was in wearing her new Amy Butler skirt, Veneta was in - she fell in love with the new quilt we have just finished using Tina Givens fabric, Nikki was in - she is SO happy with her new Husqvarna sewing machine she got for her birthday in January, Sonja was in to have a demonstration on a Mega Quilter - she wants one........................
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Making it!!

"I would just love to make that - but don't know how" - we often hear. "Don't worry we will show you how to make it" we always say.
We love to make - and we love spreading the word and our knowledge to show you how fulfilling and necessary making and creating is to the human soul. We are lucky to work in this creative environment where making is the centre of our world.
These are two of Katherine's grandchildren who came to visit last week - Grace is from Wellington - she made a quilt for her god father's little daugher Hannah. Deacon is from Hamilton and he made this basketball bag to carry his basketball - at the moment it is full of books. Before he left I asked him if he would he like to take home a quilt and he said - after thinking about it for a while - "No not really - I would prefer to make my own!!' That's our plan for next holidays!!
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