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, 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!


  1. Love your feathers and the way your hand dyed thread colours blend into each other. I also really enjoy your blog posts.

  2. Beautiful feathers, the colours seem to shimmer. Spinning with a spindle - wow! Love it!

  3. The threads come up well in your stitching. I'd love to learn out to spindle spin!! It intrigues me - is it very difficult?


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