My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Entertaining Lots of Kidlets (and a few adults)

Our quilting guild have a deal going with the local primary school whereby we give free fibre art classes to their pupils and in return we get free use of their school hall for our annual exhibition.

I organised and ran them last year and am doing so again this year.  Last year was fabric paint - fun but messy and with lots of prep and clean up.  This year it's fabric collage.  I chose it in part to help tame the scrap heap, but people keep donating scraps to me to use so the pile is growing not shrinking!

The kids (who were six years old for the most part) drew the outline of their first initial then glued scraps of fabric to fill it in.  Then with chenille or tapestry needles (nice and big with a good eye), they big stitched around the outline.  Simple, effective and lots of fun.  I've zigzagged them into a banner that they can hang on their wall and then we can hang it in our exhibition in January.  Now I've only three more classes to go with the same age kids and we're all done for another year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keeping the Kidlets Occupied

Nothing like a basic cookie dough recipe, a rolling pin and some cookie cutters for an hour of quiet fun.  This recipe was also useful because it used an egg yolk but no white.  And I have plenty of recipes that use egg whites but not the yolks!

100g soft butter
100g sugar
1 egg yolk
225g plain flour
about 2 tbsps of milk

Cream butter and sugar then beat in the egg yolk.  Add flour and mix well.  Stir in enough milk to make a smooth dough.  Roll out thinly on a floured surface and cut out cookie shapes.  Lay them on a lined or greased tray and bake at 180 degrees celcius and bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until just golden.  Ice when cold if you like.  A good bikkie for dipping into a hot drink.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More Fabric Painting

After a week and a half of sick children, today was my first day when they were both back at school and I had no other commitments.  So I made a date with my studio, turned on my latest audio book*, and broke out my new Jacquard textile paints and had a play (of course, that was after I fed the calves, chooks, ducks and rabbits, loaded the dishwasher, washed and hung out two loads of washing, took the dogs for a walk, vacuumed the house (the plug is fixed - yay!) and had a cup of tea to revive myself.)

*'How It All Began' by Penelope Lively - pretty good, but not exactly fast paced.  Would recommend 'Giants Of The Frost' by Kim Wilkins - kept me riveted.

The Kotare (Kingfisher) and Pukeko were the result.  I'm pretty happy with the Kotare, but I think the blue on the Pukeko is a bit bright and uneven, so I'll go back to that.

The other thing I've been playing with is samples of how to portray foliage.  I've pieced a small background made of the same fabrics on the quilt I'm making and have painted and appliqu├ęd onto it to see what I want to use.  There is hand painted silk organza, hand painted scrim/muslin, shiva paintstiks, Jacquard Lumiere and normal Jacquard textile paints and some old acrylic textile paints I had hanging around with no labels on them!  It's been really interesting to see the different effects.

No sewing tomorrow, for I'm off to work to pay for my habit ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012


I woke up this morning in a frump - a frowny grump.  I'm tired, the kids are home from school again with snotty noses and headaches and are stretching my patience, 'someone' (no one is owning up) squashed the vacuum cleaner plug so I can't clean the floors and they are crunchy with dirt, I've a to-do list as long as my arm and all of it tedious stuff, four calves to feed twice a day, it's rained every day for about three weeks solid...........see?  I could keep whining on and on but nobody likes a whiner.

So I gave my own butt a kick and decided to be consciously grateful for things today.

The sun is actually shining and looks promising for the whole day.  It hasn't done this for such a long time, it's so lovely.

Those calves that I have to feed twice a day are cute and healthy and that's a big thing.  I know how quickly bottle fed babies can get sick.

My five year old birthday girl wanted a simple heart birthday cake, not a mermaid castle masterpiece, and just an afternoon tea with her cousins - grateful!!  Gotta love the photo bomb by her cousin.

The first bulb is up in my orchard.  I planted heaps but thought the chickens might have scratched them all up so I'm very happy to see this early cheer.  And I can see an iris budding up too.

I've got my design wall up and functioning.  I might put another sheet of flannel covered polystyrene under this one but for now my long quilts can just hang.  So grateful to have a studio space to myself and room to have a big design wall.

Now hopefully I can keep my grateful mood right through the day, especially dinner time!  I'm off to enjoy the sun and get a little vitamin D in my system.