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, January 31, 2013

Hollis and the Kokako

I've just come home from a five-day workshop in Auckland with the amazing artist Hollis Chatelain.  Hollis hails all the way from North Carolina.  She paints her beautiful quilts with dye and then uses quilting lines to enhance the images.

It was pretty fantastic to have five days soaking up as much knowledge as I could.  I had lovely classmates too - which always makes for a good workshop experience.  But oh, I was glad to get home!  The traffic, noise, and the sheer number of people in Auckland sets me on edge after a while.  So I guess that's something else I learnt in the workshop - I'm a rural girl through and through (just call me hermit).

Want to see some pics?

Finished painting with dyes, still damp.
Washed out, dried and ironed.
Halfway through the quilting process.
Hollis is a talented teacher as well as an artist.  She keeps you working, encourages you to be brave and gives you lots of helpful insight.  She insisted that we paint three pieces as it's a matter of getting the hours in with the paintbrush to start seeing improvement.  And whilst we grumbled and groaned, she was right!

Here are all three of my pieces on the wall.  This pictures shows them when they are washed out and dried but no quilting started yet.  I'm really, really looking forward to playing around more with this technique.  It is totally different from using fabric paints and unlike paints you end up with a beautifully soft fabric- yay!

Monday, January 21, 2013

School Holidays are almost over

I worked a night shift last night.  Yawn.  As it's school holidays, the children had to play quietly whilst I slept away the morning.  They were brilliant - I didn't hear them once.  They even fed themselves.  So as a bit of a treat when I woke up, I bundled them in the car (no I didn't brush their hair) and we went off for iced chocolates at Kerikeri's Cafe Cinema.  Yum.


And just in case you're wondering - they didn't have any Kahlua in them!!

And on quilting; isn't it amazing how quickly a quilt can come together when you're using it to procrastinate?  

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Now we are back into the swing of things, I've been pondering a blog post for a few days.  But what to focus on?  I've been doing a bit of this and a bit of that with nothing particularly driving me to write it down.  So I thought I'd just do a conglomeration post, showing my thisis and thats and maybe that will encourage me!

I've made a bag - and loved it so much and had so many positive comments that I'm making another one (sitting flat on the chair) and writing a pattern.  (And by crikey, I admire people who churn out pattern after pattern.  Those things are a drag to write!)

A close up of the quilting on the other side of the bag.

I've recovered from two weeks camping and I've started exercising to combat the Christmas/New Year's/Summer/Just Because bulges.
 (Truth:  the sum total of my exercising was a half-hour walk this morning.)

I've climbed and conquered Mt Washmore (the nickname I have fondly given my washing pile).

I've laughed at the cat.

I've started a new night-shift project with some of my favourite prints.  These squares are cut to finish at eight inches to show off the fabrics.

I've oogled the ducklings (anyone want a pekin duck for their pond - I've got a few spare!)

I've played with organza and tui and low-volume strips (no you are not seeing double, I've just offset the organza overlay).

And I've firmly tried to ignore the urge to write a list of resolutions as long as my arm.  In fact, the best New Year's list I've seen is here, on Terri Grant's blog, And sew it goes...

Saturday, January 12, 2013


We're just back from two weeks of camping.  Sun, swimming, horses, good times.  Now there's lots of unpacking and mountains of washing to do.  And I worked a twelve hour shift today.  Needless to say we're all a little exhausted.  Hopefully regular transmissions will resume shortly!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Exhibition 2013

Kerikeri Patchwork and Quilting Club present their 2013 Exhibition:


• Friday 11th Jan 2013 – Monday 14th Jan

• Kerikeri Primary School Hall, Hone Heke Road, Kerikeri

• 10 am till 4 pm daily
• Adults $2 entry, children under 12 free

• Refreshments available

• Plenty of parking

Beautiful quilts to view, quilts available for purchase, merchants to browse, pick your viewer’s choice, raffle tickets that support Project Promise and the Rural Fire Service or you could even join the club!