Christmas Memories Quilt Block

The next block made for my mother’s quilt is a Christmas one, because Christmas was always an important celebration for her and a special time for family.  While her Bruning  side of the family from Germany have been in New Zealand for quite a few generations now, I attribute her love for this celebration (rightly or wrongly) to her family. I still remember my Grandmother’s tree and Christmas day, so she just followed on.

We all remember the delicious smells from the kitchen, the ham cooking, the Christmas pies being made. The scent of the pine tree, the Christmas pillowcases (in lieu of stockings) set out by the hearth. Often there was midnight Mass then off to bed to wake very early!

My mother went to a lot of trouble to make this day special for all of us. And that wasn’t easy but with careful budgeting and no running up of big debt we had many Christmas Days to remember because of her hard work.

Every year even in her later years my mother honoured Christmas and loved to have it just right. So I think it is fitting that a block goes in for Christmas. A family time, coming together and sharing a meal, spending time together.

Attic window Christmas quilt block

I made this one in the style of an Attic window, learned through the Grandma’s Kitchen sew along, except I put in on extra frame. The first square is Christmas stockings with the names of my mother’s family on as I wanted to incorporate her family into it. Three are still alive Betty, Barbara and Peter.  Aunty Betty is a real Christmas advocate and still rallies the family together for a day before Christmas when the wider family comes together.

Then the tree, we always had one, the Christmas crib which we had too and of course Father Christmas who was very generous and thoughtful!! Just saying!

I also tried a little colour with crayon and fabric medium so hope it works! I have embroidered it as well so fingers crossed!

Size of block is 12″ finished.


Balance and Clamshells

I am sewing along with the Splendid Sampler 2 and here are the next two blocks completed.

Clamshells was difficult near impossible for me, I’d never tried them before and ran into problems when the glue I used dried and really stuck as I tried to get the cardboard out. However that said a sampler like this is all about learning, and next time I try a block like this hopefully I’ll be a little wiser!

Clamshells was designed by Helen Stubbings. She sells English Paper Iron on Templates that would have been perfect for this block. But… I am not really an EPP kind of person so I made my own templates. If you are an EPP person you can find her design here.

Clamshells quilt block

Last week’s block is called Balance – we all need it right!  I was at a craft group of friends last night and one of them – Jane, said to me as I went out the door with my embroidery – “Do you find this kind of work addictive?”   I nodded because I do, and then housework balance goes out the window.

So Balance is designed by Wenche WolffHatling who is from Norway.  Find the pattern for this six inch block here.

Elephant quilt block

Tea and Buns

I am continuing on with the memory quilt for my mother.  I have been thinking at the end of making it I’d also like to put together a book with photos of blocks and other photos that relate to the blocks, plus information to go with it to sit alongside the quilt.  Anyways!

First block is a teapot and cup. Yes I’ve made this block before for another quilt and I love it! I guess because I learned to love tea in my home from my mother. I still brew up a pot with tea leaves quite a few times a day!

Pot of tea quilt block

When visitors came my mother always offered tea and something to eat. She took great care with that right up until she died in 2013. She loved fine china and many of us have a teapot somewhere that was once hers.  Gemma, her granddaughter said when they visited if she – Gemma made the tea, she was always anxious it wouldn’t be quite right!

She was a good and capable cook and while there were ten of us growing up plus herself and Dad we always had good nourishing meals. The recipe chosen is one for Sultana Buns that my mother made  out of her head, the written recipe long gone. We thought we had lost the recipe after she passed, but fortunately Pauline – one of my sisters had it. We were all so happy as they are such comfort food!

Sultana Buns.

Cream together 4 oz of butter and 4 oz of sugar. Add 2 eggs and 1tsp of vanilla essence. Add 9 oz flour with 1 tsp of baking powder to mixture and 2 cups of sultanas. (I think one is enough, two seems too many!)  Place teaspoons on tray and bake at 180 degrees C for ten minutes or until light brown and cooked.

Mid Year #2018 PlanningParty Update

2018 Planning Party

Joining in with the 2018 Planning Party over at Quilting JETgirl.

So one half of the year has gone so let’s see where I am!

Get it done

  • Complete my Grandma’s Kitchen quilt by quilting and binding it.  ♥    Completed Completed Grandma's Kitchen quilt
  • Complete the I Love Dirt quilting and binding   ♥    Completed Completed Quilt
  • Quilt about three tops that I have   One done – the Solstice Quilt. Two to go.
  • Finish off a QAYG project that I started in 2017 and lost interest in, by doing a half size quilt  Still to be done.
  • Bind another couple of quilts waiting for that to happen Not Yet
  • Biggest goal is to piece up 40 more Splendid Sampler 6 inch blocks and then join them into a top and quilt, most likely using the same method for quilting as Grandma’s Kitchen.   ♥    Completed Splendid Sampler Quilt
  • Finish piecing my log cabin hearts and sew into a top.  ⇐  Working on at present. I have all the blocks complete and I have them sewn into rows, so next step is to join the rows.Log Cabin heart blocks
  • Plan a quilt and look for fabric that will suit it, one in memory of my mother, when planned start it. ♥    Planning started, fabric  gathered. I have a few blocks done for this. Ideally like to work on it at least one day a week.
  • Link with my sister to make a memory quilt for my Dad – we did save his clothing and my sister has  prepared pieces.  ♥    Off the list as my sister is well ahead with this.
  • Take a trip north to visit some quilt shops – and family of course. ♥    Completed 
  • Learn some photography skills for both quilt and book blogging I have been reading about this and have endeavoured to improve how I present a block and to photograph a quilt outside where possible.Quilt Block

And of course since the year started I have added a few goals to the list so adding for the second half

  • Make a bookcase quilt
  • Take part in the Splendid Sampler 2 sew along.

Plans for a Bookcase Quilt

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts

As part of my long term goals I’ve always wanted to make a bookcase quilt but so far haven’t started one.  Last month I saw someone – BluePip Designs  on the June link up making one and it spurred me on to start. I am using the Harry Potter basic paper piecing, but not a Harry Potter one. I’ll put my own things in.

My plans so far!


I think 20 blocks – they are 10″ finished will be enough. I want to make it into a wall hanging. Thats the plan at the moment. Size could change!  I have some fabric I bought in a kit which I am not making and it is perfect for this. I’ll add bits and pieces as I go.

My goal for July is to make 10 of the blocks. Just the piecing – when I get enough blocks I’ll see then what I’ll add to the bookcase. Like a cat playing with pencils which is quite cute and I found in a pattern on Craftsy.

Reading is my first hobby! You can see that over at the Book Date. I only came to quilt making through reading Emilie Richards Shenandoah Album series!

Quilting of the 182 Days Solstice Project

Goal banner

I am linking up with the Elm Street Quilts completion of June goal.

My aim was to quilt the Solstice quilt that I had made as part of a quilt along with Pat Sloan.

I am happy to say I got straight into it and finished that part of it. I did quite a bit of stitching in the ditch and then had a go at practising some fmq on it as well. I am very happy how it turned out. I like my quilts really soft and not heavily quilted so I kept the quilting larger rather than smaller.

Completed Quilt

It is about 60″ square, I made it from scraps, worked around some 5″ charm squares from a Downton Abbey fabric that I loved. I had to eek those bits out.  I am very pleased with it and… to see it almost finished.  Just have to do the binding.  Those are one of my sisters shoes, thanks to her for being the holder upper!

Solstice Quilt quilted

Close Ups of Some Parts of the Quilt

Solstice quilt block Solstice quilt block Pinwheel block Center of Quilt Heart block

Bees block Churn quilt block

Mary’s Memory Quilt

One of my goals for this year was to work out a memory quilt for my mother. She died in 2013. I have collected ideas from the family and I am making it to help us all keep in our memory all that she was and all that she contributed through ordinary everyday living.

So every Monday I hope to have a completed block to share. Its the day I have given over to concentrating on sewing for this quilt – as I do have other work on the go!

This week its looking at where her predecessors – where did they come from?  My mother’s father was William Conole and his family came from Co. Clare in Munster Ireland.  From Ireland he came to Australia and then on to New Zealand.

Her mother was Grace Bruning and her family came from Mechlenburg in North West Germany. They came to New Zealand and lived in the top of the South Island. My grandmother Grace came to the North Island and married my grandfather, they lived for a long time in Waikane and my mother grew up in this region.

I chose a shamrock to represent her Irish heritage and a hepatica flower for Mechlenburg. These will be 6 inch finished blocks. But there will be a few different sizes in the quilt.

Shamrock quilt block

Hepatica quilt block

Milk and Cookies Quilt Block

Milk and Cookies is the #2 block released for the Splendid Sampler 2 Sew Along.  It is designed by Rebecca Bryan.

I sewed this twice! My first one was off and I had to work out why. It turns out I hadn’t cut the wedges accurately enough, and also they did better with an ordinary 1/4″ seam rather than a scant one.  While I was making the block the second time round I cut the background block a little bigger so that I could cut it back to the 61/2″ when I had finished the appliqué.

Quilt block

Above is my first attempt and I almost left it as it is, but decided I”d use this one in a mug rug at some point and went ahead and made a second one.

Centre of quilt block

I can now see the centre is much better and the middle part (the cookie) is going to fit on the plate well.

Comparing quilt blocks

And here the difference in the size of the plates can be seen. Now I will have enough room for a quarter inch seam when the blocks are joined and a little gap as the pattern intends.

Second attempt at quilt block

Completed second attempt at block.