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!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Comfort of Stitching

And the title comes with a great big nod to Lee-Ann Newton (read about her quilt 'The Comfort of Stitch' here).  And she is so right.  The comfort stitching can give, the distraction, the joy and the friendship.

I've finally cracked my fabrics and done a bit of sewing, and it feels SO good.  Yes, I had been doing a little bit here and there, but most of that was off the boat at friends or work, and it was nothing I had to think about.  The sewing that I'm talking about was creative designing and sewing.  The emotionally soothing and brain nourishing work that feeds my soul.

Aotearoa Quilters have issued another 12 x 12 Colour Challenge.  This time it is purple (previously they have run red and blue challenges).  I opened up my hand dyed fabrics and began to pull purple's.   I felt like using the improv skills I learnt with Gwen Marston at the last NZ Symposium, so I just began to cut (without a ruler, gasp!) and piece.  I was soon absorbed be the process, the intricacies of inserting little flickers of interest, the auditioning of strips, the thinking about whether the design was working or not.

Here's as far as I have got.  It's approaching the correct size, although I'll face it, rather than bind it, and I need to remember that more than a quarter of an inch is taken up by that process (ask me how I know).

It's a different sort of quilt for me, but I'm ok with that, because I'm in a different place, working within a different frame of reference.  For example (and a touch of real life) here's my working space:

Yep, a mini, portable design wall, cutting mat and ironing pad on the dining table, fighting for space with the lego and toy helicopter.

But these compromises go hand in hand with the benefits of the life we've chosen to live.  Like the sunrise while I walk the dog.  Hmm, I just noticed that there are plenty of similar colours in my quiltlet and this photo - the benefits of working in a intuitive way?

And my son being able to jump in his new birthday present any time he likes and go for a paddle.

Thanks to Shelly who left me a wonderful comment about how she spent her first years of childhood on a boat and wouldn't have changed it for the world.  Thank you so much to everyone who has left me supportive comments or sent me lovely emails.  I really appreciate it and they all make me smile. We're getting there!

I'll leave you with this photo of my son's tenth birthday party.  I think it sums up the slightly chaotic but wonderful party that was had on a rainy day in a boat!


  1. Hello Your Highness! The boat is looking so fine. And I love your quilt block! This post had me smiling the whole time I was reading it. You sound happy and that makes me happy! Tami in Denver

  2. Hello Charlotte,

    Well it certainly looks like everyone has settled in well by the looks of the party faces. No one gone overboard yet I hope. Love the piece for the challenge, is that a seagulls leg I see.

    Happy days.

  3. The beauty of your surroundings is coming out in your art . The feeling of the sunset photo is right there In your free form piece . Enjoy the journey :-)

  4. What a restful setting and your quilt let does reflect this, I love the colours with those little pops of orange.

  5. Glad you are getting in there. Looks like a 'cosy' birthday party!!!

  6. Nice work space and nice piece too :) The boat looks great. That photo of the kayak reminds me of one I took a very long time ago when we had a house with a tidal stream - you could launch off the front lawn when the tide was right and go under the road into the sea. James loved to sit with his dad and paddle about from about the time he could sit up on his own until we left when he was 4. Boats have been a bit scarce since then.

    I've been playing round with food colouring and white vinegar. Fun but only for use in wall art although I have tried a t shirt and will see how that goes with washing.


  7. Love your work and your place to work! I know the (lack of) space can be challenging but the scenery and memories you will make will be worth it.

  8. I love your purple challenge entry!!!! It is beautiful.

  9. Great to see you settling in to your new lifestyle and glad to see the creative juices are well and truly flowing!!


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