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!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The End of a Chapter (we're selling our house)

I started this blog waaaaay back in 2009 and my very second post was about moving out onto our piece of land.  We had purchased a 10 acre (4.4) hectare block with dreams about building a house on it, having a garden, orchard, animals - an enviable lifestyle.

We had built a shed for a tractor and other farm equipment, and eventually we decided to wall the shed in and live in it before we built our house.

Well, we never did build our house.  We liked the shed house so much we made it bigger and better and then built another shed right next to it, then a verandah, then a deck and then another deck.  Oh and we added a studio and fancy laundry (with the best stainless steel bench for painting and dyeing ever!!).

We raised calves, we had chickens.

I bred rabbits and ducks.

There were some sheep for a while and consequently, really cute lambs.  The vege garden went through stages of awesomeness and neglectedness.  We planted about a billion trees.  The kids grew.

And then we decided to move onto a boat!  A bit of a radical lifestyle change but right for us at the time.

Well, we've now lived aboard for almost two years.  Originally I said I'd give it a year to see if I liked it.  I do, and so we are staying put.  Now that we've decided that, we've also decided to sell our piece of land.  We want to close that chapter, free ourselves up a bit financially, and consolidate our lives here on the boat.

There are so many things I'll miss.  The beautiful views, the woodburner, my studio and laundry bench, free-range eggs.  But there are things that I won't miss - the long drive to get the kids to school, battling the weeds, mud in winter, escapee animals.

It feels like the right thing to do.

So, um, if anyone wants to buy a lifestyle block in central Bay of Islands, New Zealand, drop me an email, I can hook you up!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. A book review.

My quilty friend and I have taken over our quilt club's librarian position this year.  Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must add that she's doing most of the work and I'm getting to tag along for the fun bits.

Such as browsing for new books, then getting to read and review them when we get them.  My book wishlist is getting longer and longer as I discover more of the wonderful books available to us quilters.  I guess we need to thank the boom in crafts and quilting as popular hobbies for the huge array, there truly is something for everyone.

The title that I'm currently reading is 'The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. A guide to creating, quilting and living courageously' by Sherri Lynn Wood.  I listened to a podcast featuring Sherri Lynn a while back and thought she sounded like a really interesting person so I was keen to read her book and see if my expectations met up.  They did, and then some!  I also knew the book was an STC Craft and Melanie Falick book, which in my experience are always a little different and of very high quality.

I'm not really one for books filled with patterns.  I started designing my own quilts pretty early on in my quilting journey, and I'm just not very interested in following someone else's design, so the fact that this is not a pattern book is the first appealing thing about it.  The second appealing thing is that it's a lot more than a how-to technique book.  There is a very helpful section of how-to's in the back, but that is not the main thrust at all.

What Sherri Lynn does in the Improv Handbook is try to encourage the reader to follow a 'score' or a set of general instructions, but make it their own by placing their own parameters or limits or adaptations around the work they do within the score.  She also provides lots of ideas for those parameters so the reader can have something to work with if they need direction.  There are examples of how other quilters have worked with her scores and the different work they produce is fascinating (and beautiful!).

I highly recommend this book.  I'm even considering buying my own copy because the thought of giving up this copy to the club library gives me a few pangs!  The writing is thought-provoking and thorough and the photography beautiful.  So if you are looking for a good book, add this one to your list.

PS it's the second week of school holidays here in NZ so I'm taking the kids on a road trip.  That's my excuse for such shocking photography, a motel room bedside light does not make for brilliant shots.

And I'm blogging though an app on my iPad and I can't figure out how to embed links so here's the link to the podcast with Abby Glassenberg:

And here's the link to Sherri Lyn Wood's website and blog:  Yes, Daintytime is the name of her site, I told you she was interesting!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tīeke Imagined

Lynda Worthington is the editor of Embellish, an Australian textile art magazine.  A little while ago she contacted me to see if I'd be interested in contributing to a New Zealand themed issue of the magazine.  I said yes of course!

The magazine came out in June and I was super excited to see my quilt featured on the cover.

'Tīeke Imagined' is a small quilt (about 13" x 14") I made in response to my (fruitless) search for the NZ Saddleback bird, Tīeke.  

New Zealand has many unique native birds, many of them endangered as they all evolved without mammalian predators like rats and stoats.  The Tīeke is one of those birds, and now that NZ has rats, stoats, cats, and dogs, they are struggling to survive.  About 40 birds were released onto predator controlled islands out in the Bay as part of Project Island Song.  We've taken our boat out several times over the last year or so and I've gone walking on the Islands in search of Tīeke.  So far I've heard them, but not seen them.

 Photo borrowed from Wikipedia 

Tīeke Imagined, textile art by Charlotte Scott, SOLD
I used silk organza, stencilling, layering and free motion quilting to construct my quilt.  If you'd like to know more about the techniques, I wrote in depth about the process in the magazine article.  There are also other great articles in the magazine from New Zealand and Australian artists.  You can find Embellish on their website here.  You can also buy it in New Zealand through Minerva.

And I'll let you know if I ever do see a Tīeke!