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, June 20, 2012

Re-purposing - just don't tell my sister in law!

My sister in law gave us an old silk painting a few years back.  It's hung on various walls but never really fitted.  And it wasn't really 'me' to start with.  So today, inspired by the fact it was put on my dining table to move it out of the way, I set to it with a knife and some pliers.

I pulled out the silk painting, which was a whole heap brighter on the back where it wasn't faded (the boat was orange?  Wow, I always thought it was peach!) and put it up on my girl's wall as requested.  Then I cut a piece of batting as large as the backing board, stretched some fabric over the top and hot glued it down.

Some ribbons (do not look at the unsymmetricalness (is that a word?) of them) completed a little inspiration/notice board for my new studio.  

When I slotted a few things behind the ribbons (I'm pretty sure the non-symmetry will disappear once it's got my junk all over it!) I realised I'm going to have to sew some buttons on each ribbon crossing to help hold things in.  And I need some little tacks to replace the ones I pulled out of the back, but otherwise it's all done!  And so easy!  So, if you've got an old unloved picture in an interesting frame anywhere, give it a go.

And guess what's happening at my place today?  Floor sanding!  Two coats on today, maybe a third one later if they can fit it in, and then the last one on tomorrow.  I'm moving in on Friday!  Oh - no I'm not.  I'm sleeping Friday after night shift.  I'm moving in on the weekend!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hairy the Bushman

I entered a competition, just 'cos I had a little time on my hands.  Over at the Quilting Gallery Blog you can view quilts made for Dads and then vote for your favourite.

I entered my quilt that I made for my Father in Law.  It's called Hairy the Bushman (his old nickname) and I designed it to celebrate his love of the native New Zealand bush.  He has spent years in and out of the bush hunting and doing pest control work.  The pest control work is essential if our native birds are to thrive - they did not evolve in a land where there were mammalian predators.  The best thing about this quilt is that he uses it and loves it - it's on his bed and then migrates with him to the couch if he's not feeling the best.  It's a good feeling knowing that someone appreciates their quilt ;)

So if you want to give me the chance to win a quilting book, head on over and vote for me!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Next I book a floor sander...

Apologies for the photography - it's such a hard room to photograph in,  night or day.
Phew!  Today was a mammoth painting day.  I painted the third coat on the coving, skirting, window and door trim.  And then I got eager and started on the top coat - just to see what it looked like.  Then my darling hubby bullied me into doing the edges and he carried on rolling on the top coat.  With the end result that I have a top coat on my whole studio!

Now, on Friday when I went to sew with Suz, from 'All the Good Ones Are Taken', she put up with me panicking about how much I hated the colour I had chosen (and bought already) and thinking up all sorts of schemes to try and not hate the colour.  So she'll be pleased to know that I just went ahead and used it anyway.....and I love it!  Ha!

It makes me think of warm and cosy colonial libraries or sitting rooms.  Especially with the white trim and the wooden joinery.  It's a bit darker than I thought it would be, but not enough to get me worried that it will effect the way I see colours or anything.

Speaking of warmth.  We've had another development here.  Hubby was determined to have a wood burner installed by this winter.  Well, it's in and it's warm!  It's plenty big enough to heat the open plan lounge/dining/kitchen and the bedrooms and studio as well.  In fact when we close off the other parts of the house, it gets a wee bit too toasty!  It's got a cooking surface on top so we can save a bit of gas and the best thing is that we have enough land here to grow our own firewood.  We'll be planting some more trees soon with just that in mind.

Hope your weekend was as productive as mine!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Autumn Skies and Hand Dyes.

I think one of the reasons I love Autumn is the amazing skies we get.  And not just sunsets, but the cloud formations and day time colours are always stunning too.  The kids spotted this sunset last night and suggested I take photos - and I'm so glad I did.

Here's another sky.  This is what my hand-dyed blues have been used for. Probably 95% of the sky in this shot is my own fabric, either hand dyed or painted.  A lot of the purples are too.  Lots more work to go on this quilt yet - a base of greens and browns, a trunk for the nikau palm, trim the white off the leaves, lots more birds.......

Yesterday (Sunday) we did a big mission on the studio and now most of it is painted with undercoat.  And we only stopped because we ran out!  I'm getting a little closer to decided what colours as topcoats.  To help me I wrote a list of criteria that will influence me:  

  • Warm colour - the room has windows only at the back and front and so can be a bit dark and cool feeling, I want to feel warm and cosy when I'm working.
  • Light colour - again because of the lack of light, I need a light colour that will reflect natural light as much as possible.
  • Neutral - I've decided to head more towards a neutral so that my wall colour doesn't influence my colour choices when I'm making quilts and using my design wall.
But, my oh my! There are hundreds of neutrals when you go looking at the colour cards at the paint shop!!

A good blogging friend has asked for an update on how our piece of land is evolving.  I realise I've blogged much more about my quilting lately than what has been happening on the farmlet, probably because I haven't been doing much outside lately.  I guess my focus has been turned inwards on the studio and with the cooling weather gardening etc takes a back seat.  The vege garden has truly become a wilderness, but I can forage something out of it most nights.  

The orchard trees will be needing their second ever winter pruning soon.  Both them and our shelter trees grew well last summer as it was a mild season.  

As for the animals, I have four bunnies at the moment, two mamas and two daughters.  Our breeding buck went to bunny heaven a while ago and I'm going to hold off on sourcing a new one until spring.  We killed our two ram lambs the other day and a friend hung them then butchered them for us.  They were nine months old and in good condition, we have polled wiltshires and they are not overly fatty, and we've had one beautiful meal of chops so far.  It's not so far till spring and then we'll have more lambs bouncing around.

None of the chickens are laying as it's moulting time - they are all at least two years old now and I'm going to have to do some serious culling soon and then start again either using my incubator or some point of lay pullets.  The ducks are still amusing us with their antics, but they aren't laying either.  In spring I will hatch a new bunch out.  

Yes, I love Autumn, but Spring has it's joys too!