Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friday Night Sew In

It's great to be back taking part in Friday Night Sew In again.  It's such a nice feeling knowing that while you're sitting at home sewing other people from all over the world are doing the same thing.  We've had a stormy windy rainy weekend here in New Zealand - perfect stitching weather!  If you look at our previous blog post you'll see that Cornelia and I have been at a stitching retreat with Anni Downs and our Friday night (and Saturday night) was spent working on our bags that we started at the retreat.  In particular I was working on the wool button panel for my bag.  Here's a close up of some of the buttons:

On Saturday night I put the bag together and it's all finished.  I'm so pleased with it and I'm really happy with the Japanese fabrics that I chose to make it in.  Here it is from the front and the back:
 And these are side views:

There was a lot of sewing in this bag but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I think that I love hand sewing the best and this bag had such a variety of stitching methods from stitcheries, hexagons, needle turn applique to working with wool and embellishing it so there was plenty of variety.

Cornelia was working on her bag too although she's really only just started on it.  Being a busy school teacher it can be quite challenging to find time for sewing.  Here is the start of her stitchery panels:
She is also working on a block of the month called Teddies at Play by Libby Richardson and this is one of her teddy blocks that she stitched.  You'll have to watch this space for progress on this quilt.  It's going to be beautiful when it's finished.

That's about it for our show and tell from Friday and Saturday nights.  We hope you all enjoyed your evenings sewing and we're looking forward to having a look to see what you did.  We find it so encouraging.  Until next time, take care.
Corrina and Cornelia

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Stitching Retreat

 Oh my goodness gracious me, it was June last year when we last wrote a post on our blog!  The time sure seems to fly by so quickly.  Cornelia and I have been sewing though and have some photos to share with you so I hope you have time to sit down and have a look at what we’ve been up to.  Our most exciting news is that recently we joined Anni Downs at the ‘Heavenly Escape’ Stitching Retreat at Lake Okataina organised by Jill and her team from Cottage Flair and what a heavenly escape it was.  Our weekend started on Thursday night when I picked up Cornelia from Auckland Airport at 11 o’clock at night.  She caught the ‘Night Rider’ plane up from Wellington (real cheapie flights at only $30) and because it was so late we decided to stay at a motel near the airport and travel to Rotorua the next day from there.  However before we left Auckland we popped into Patchwork Passion at Onehunga and of course couldn't walk out without any material.  It’s such a yummy shop and we both got material needed for our projects at the retreat before heading off to Rotorua.  We had never been to Lake Okataina before and the last 7 kilometres of road was really narrow and windy through beautiful bush and we thought we were never going to get there when all of a sudden there was the lake in front of us and what an amazing picture it was:

Cornelia standing at the end of the jetty

 Looking back at the lodge from the jetty

I should have taken photos on the first day when we arrived as it was picture perfect with the sun shining on the lake but never mind, these photos with the cloudy sky will give some idea of how pretty it was.

Friday evening was spent getting to know everyone followed by a delicious meal together which was then followed by a ‘show-and-tell’ by Anni.  She is a fabulous designer and her fabric ranges are just so pretty.  We really enjoyed getting to know her over the weekend.  She is a really lovely person, so gentle and kind and generous.  Here she is giving some tips to a couple of the ladies (see one of her beautiful quilts in the background):

Our projects for the weekend included a sampler bag that has six panels - two of hexagons, two of stitcheries, two wool panels (one with birds and flowers and the other with little round button shapes); a button purse using a metal frame and a zippered purse that is made with hexagons on one side and applique on the other.  I think there was only one lady that finished a project and Cornelia was a close second with only the zip to put in her purse which she has now finished.  Here’s a couple of photos of it:

with needle turn applique on one side and hexagons on the other
Isn't the material just the cutest!

I’ve finished the hexagon panels for my bag.  Here’s a photo of what I’ve done so far and you’ll have to watch this space for the finished project in the not too distant future (I hope):


Too soon it was Sunday afternoon and it was pack up time.  It was such a neat weekend of great food, learning new techniques, a lot of fun and most of all fabulous company.  

Here we are all together holding up a quilt made using one of Anni’s patterns (A Boy’s Story), made by one of the ladies and Cornelia holding her little purse:

If you haven’t seen any of Anni Downs patterns before you should pop over to her website and have a look:  I’m sure you’ll feel inspired when you see her beautiful designs.

Until next time treasure your creative moments.

Corrina and Cornelia