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!

Friday, January 31, 2014


Fug.  That's what I'm feeling.

I think I'm coming down from the creative high that I had going when I was concentrating on finishing my entry for the Living Colour exhibition.  The deadline is tonight but I got mine in yesterday and now I'm just ...... blah.

I'm not allowed to show the whole quilt until it either gets rejected, or, if it gets accepted (here's hoping), until after the opening exhibition in April (I think).  But I can show you a snippet.

The yellow fabric pile in my stash is the smallest one.  But this quilt is SO darn yellow.  Maybe I'm feeling the fug as a comedown from all that bright!

The kids are almost back at school.  Just this weekend to go.  I'm feeling the need for headspace and routine again.  And I'd really like for the housework to stay done for more than five minutes.

Instead of trying to do anything in my studio today I caught up on some blogs, read lots, listened to lots of podcasts (does anyone know of any NZ quilty podcasts?), the kids and I did some inkblot painting - you know where you blob on paint and fold the paper in half?  And generally mooched around.  But in a way, mooching makes me feel worse because I finish the day with nothing to show for it!

Listen to me - what a moaning minnie!

I suppose while mooching I have been thinking lots about what I want 2014 to bring for me.  Especially after reading everyone else's plans in the comments on my giveaway.  So now I'm going to bed early, I'm going to wake up refreshed and revitalised and I'm going to write a more positive post tomorrow about all my hopes and dreams!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Giveaway Winner

Today is Saturday - giveaway day!  I numbered the comments you lovely people left for me (missing out Helen's PS comment), wrote the numbers on bits of paper and then got my lovely children to draw one out of a hat a plastic cat food container.

But number three was my sister's comment!!  Urgh!  That smacks of nepotism and I was going to send her some threads anyway (because she's my sister and because it's her birthday soon and because she's much, much older than me....he he he)

So girl child drew another number - number 2 - congratulations to Helen!  I'm going to email you to get your postal address Helen.  Helen said:

Hi Charlotte
Congratulations on your quilt being pictured in the latest issue of Quilt Mania. Well done!
I am hoping this year to get better at using my quilting machine. Actually what that really means is I hope I find some time to use it :-)
PS I love the teal colours

I hope you get time to use your machine too Helen.

And yes - much to my surprise, my quilt "Life Encircling" was pictured in issue 98 of QuiltMania, a French quilting magazine.  The article was about the Taupo Symposium.  Thanks Helen and Raewyn who both sent me a heads up.  And thanks QuiltMania - exciting!!

I'm busy working on a quilt to enter an exhibition.  Unfortunately I'm not allowed to show it :(  But seeing as the deadline is a week away, I'll have something else to show you soon enough.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crafting While Camping

I like to have my hands busy.  Sitting still is hard for me and I get itchy if I haven't sewn something for a couple of days.  Anyone else like that?  So camping for three weeks without my sewing machine was going to mean a grumpy me if I didn't have a plan.

I saved up all my hand binding projects, I took some of my hand-dyed threads and an embroidery hoop, I planned to learn how to hand spin and knit and my mother in law took her spinning wheel.  I also planned to take my hand-cranked sewing machine.

Well, best laid plans and all...

Belinda, my hand-cranked machine, just WOULDN'T fit.  So I thought I'd come home again (we don't camp far away and I come home every now and then to do washing and check animals etc) and collect her once I'd finished all my other work, but I never got finished!

We couldn't get the spinning wheel going.  We think it's warped out of alignment as the wheel and the bobbin wouldn't line up and the cord that runs between them (I'm sure it has a name) kept jumping off.  So that wasn't happening either.

And the knitting didn't even get a look in......maybe next year.

But the embroidery got started and was fun.  I loved seeing the colours form up from my hand-dyed silk/cotton threads. It went slowly though because every time I started I had four little nieces wanting to stitch too.  I got them all going on their own little projects (they are all getting embroidery hoops next time I see them), but had to spend time re-threading needles, tying off, and just a bit of untangling!

The hand-binding projects kept me satisfyingly busy and I'll show pictures of them separately as they were mostly samples for my beginner quilt making classes.

And I found a photo my MIL took of me hand spinning with my spindle!  I think I've got the hang of it now.  My yarn is looking less like dreadlocks and more like yarn, but I'm far from finding it relaxing!  I aim to spend a few minutes spinning each day to try and build my skills....I'll let you know.

Thanks for all your comments on my hand-dyed thread giveaway.  It's neat to read what everybody plans and hopes for 2014.  Remember to leave a comment by this Saturday if you want to win some threads - as you can see above, they stitch up into loveliness!

Monday, January 20, 2014

100 followers must mean a giveaway!

So when I logged in today, Blogger told me I had 100 followers.  Wow.  It still blows me away that there are people out there interested in my quilts and what I get up to from day to day (I mean apart from my family who are kinda obligated to be interested!)

Just to celebrate the New Year and life and the fact that I'm apparently interesting, I thought I'd have a little giveaway.

I've become a little addicted to dyeing thread and I thought some of you out there might like some of my hand dyed, silk/cotton embroidery thread.  It's not quite the weight of perle cotton but makes a lovely embroidery stitch.  You could also use it for big stitch decorative quilting.  I've tried separated it into two strands for a finer stitch, it doesn't separate as easily as stranded embroidery thread, but it will.

And it's luscious!!  It's soft and strong and sews beautifully and, being silk, has a wonderful lustre to it.

Each bundle has 10 strands of thread in it.  Each thread is 1.3 metres long, so you get 13 metres in each bundle (I can't call it a skein because it's not continuous, but I'm not sure if there is a correct term. Anyone know?)

If you'd like some of these threads, here's what to do:  write me a comment telling me what you hope 2014 will bring for you, and what kind of colour bundles you'd like if you won.  You must be able to be contacted by email so make sure you add your email address into your comment or be a reply-enabled commenter.  I'm happy to post overseas.

On Saturday 25th January 12pm New Zealand time, I'll pick a random number for a winner.  Then I'll contact the winner by email and send that lucky person a parcel with five different bundles of thread in it, inside one of my hand printed zip pouches (I'll try and match the pouch to the thread colours).

And if you don't win but would like some of this unique thread, I'm going to be adding some bundles to my Etsy shop very soon.

Good luck!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Beginner Quilt Making Classes in Kerikeri


Classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, 7pm till 9pm beginning February 19th and running for six weeks. They will be held at Cherry Park House, Landing Road, Kerikeri. 

The classes are project based. We will be aiming to make three small items – the first is a table runner, the second a machine cover or placemats and the third a fusible applique project. 

You will need a sewing machine to bring to class – a basic machine is fine. You will also need suitable cotton fabric, batting (the padding inside a quilt), threads, general sewing requirements such as scissors etc. We will talk about specific quilting tools in the first class.

Cost is $60, payable before classes commence.

I aim to run another set of classes later in the year if there is enough interest, please email me (lottiemscott at yahoo dot come) your email and phone if you are interested and let me know if Feb suits or later in the year. I'm limiting places to ensure I can give enough attention to everyone, so get in quick.

Quilt making is really fun, immensely satisfying and just a bit addictive, so come along and learn something new!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What we did...

...for three weeks.  

Wading at high tide.

Too many riding on the 'gator'.

A birthday in the paddock.

Canoeing on the stream.

Horseriding with the bestest Uncle. 

Toasting marshmellows

Lying around doing nothing.

Admired the view.



There was also pool swimming, beach swimming, eel feeding, flounder hunting, fishing and lots of smoking of fish, good food, cousins and aunties and uncles and friends, hammock swinging, puddle jumping, stitching, spinning, one collapsed gazebo and a lost then found pair of glasses from falling off the jet ski.  Best Christmas camping trip yet.  See you again next year.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kerikeri Quilt Exhibition

Kerikeri Patchwork and Quilters Club Annual Exhibition. 

This Friday (17th) till Monday, 10 till 4 every day. 

Kerikeri Primary School Hall, Hone Heke Road, Kerikeri. 

Adults $2 entry, accompanied children are free. 

Raffles, merchants (Bernina from Whangarei will be there demonstrating), quilts and crafts for sale, refreshments available. 

You will also be able to sign up for beginner classes if you're interested - I'll also be posting separate info on that later.