Ali Wilkinson

Flying High

needledownnz_inflight_flying_high_ 1

The top is complete! I followed the layout I shared last week and I love the result. The photo doesn’t show the Art Gallery Fabrics Oval Elements for the background as the sun has washed the detail out, but in real life they are a lovely texture to the evening sky I imagine the birds are flying in.

I pretended to my husband and Golden Child that I wanted him to go for drive and then forced them to hold up the quilt to best effect. We went to the Red Zone, which is a part of Christchurch that used to be residential but after our series of quakes was deemed not solid enough ground for residential property. The government bought the houses off all the owners and as the houses are demolished a natural parkland is emerging and birds are returning to the city limits. So it seemed fitting to take the quilt there for the photoshoot.

Of course it didn’t go as smoothly as all that….. we first went to the beach and here are the outtakes:

needledownnz_inflight_flying_high_ 2 needledownnz_inflight_flying_high_ 4

Without waiting around too much, I began prepping for my next project which was to be Haze Kilim from Kaffe’s Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts book. I had bought all the required fabric earlier this year online and just needed to press out the creases, but as I ironed I noticed some of the fabrics had been cut on a distinct angle. Of the 20 half yard cuts, 15 were cut on an angle, and as these are stripes and the stripes need to be perpendicular, the process of straightening up will lose a large amount of fabric. I’m really disappointed and have emailed the vendor and hope to get it sorted. Check out the angles on these:

needledownnz_inflight_flying_high_ 3

So now I am not sure what project to do while I wait for the replacement fabric to arrive, so I may be some time while I lose myself down an internet rabbit hole!

Ali Wilkinson

In-flight Swallow

needledown_idea_in-flight_swallow_ 1

Block 5 of the In-flight quilt by Tartan Kiwi, this one is the swallow. I love that apple green Kona solid – it almost makes my mouth water. I have been thinking about the coming blocks and think that when I get onto the ones where the feathers in the wings or tails are evident I will use similar shades so that there is an effect of movement. Please excuse the quick photo, this block is untrimmed and still attached to the paper, mainly as I made it quickly this morning before heading off to work!

Today I had a huge day at work, even though it is both Mothers’ Day and a Sunday. Our new IT system went live and I have been working on it for what feels like a lifetime. (I have worked on the design and development and operationalisation of it, not the actual coding!). So once again I have not done very much in the way of sewing this week.

Yesterday I went to Cottonfields and Hands here in Christchurch to buy magnetic snap closures for future pouch projects, plus some more of that Korean bag batting, some gygli and other interfacing. In Hands craft store I found two random fat quarters of Tula Pink in the few designs I like from the Elizabeth range and already I can feel a pouch coming on to use them!! (Photo in my Sunday Stash post).

Ali Wilkinson

In-flight Peregrine Falcon

needledown_nz_quilting_essentials_ 13

This was not a quick block! It is deceptively simple in design and appears to be large pieces, but there are 6 segments to this block, and at least one of those segments has 10 individual pieces of fabric to sew in place! Some of the pieces are teensy, which made for a lot of fun removing the papers on the back!

When I was joining the segments together I had to unpick one seam twice to get it to match correctly. Like I said – deceptively simple and tricky to make!

I am so pleased to have this bird in this quilt as I have a fondness for Peregrine Falcons that dates back to social studies classes at school! Yesterday as we drove back from the Marlborough Sounds we saw lots of hawks, which are also magnificent birds, and I am hoping there is a hawk in this quilt too!

It’s a long 4 day weekend here for Easter and I am hoping to get another bird or two made – watch this space!

Ali Wilkinson

In-flight Seagull and Curlew

needledown_nz_in_flight_seagull_and_curlew_ 1
There’s a moment when making a paper-pieced block when suddenly the whole becomes greater that the sum of the parts. Until that point I often find myself completely unable to visualise where the small element I am sewing at that time fits into the final picture. In the case of the In-flight quilt, most of the images of the finished birds are reverse to how they come out once sewn, which adds complexity to the visualisation process – well, it does so for me anyway!

I am really enjoying these blocks. They are getting progressively trickier and the two blocks I did today included some very tiny triangles and several obtuse angles, which are my personal weakness as somehow I find it next to impossible to do the “reverse flip” to end up with the unusual shaped piece fitting correctly. To overcome this I usually use oversized pieces of fabric, which then results in a higher level of waste and lots of bitty scraps left over. I am going to have to do some Googling to find a tutorial to help me get the hang of these tricky shapes! (please post in Comments if you know of one!)

So without further ado, I present the Seagull and the Curlew:

needledown_nz_in_flight_seagull_and_curlew_ 3

needledown_nz_in_flight_seagull_and_curlew_ 2TartanKiwi provides two different seagull blocks and I chose to go with the first version which is sleeker and (IMHO) more realistic.

In Flight  badge


Ali Wilkinson

In-flight Quilt Along – Swift


It’s been another busy week at work and then last night we were awoken by the sound of gushing water, which turned out to be a burst main pipe under the house. So all the best laid plans for a day learning to FMQ with some quilting friends turned to custard.

By 2pm the plumber had located and fixed the leak and all was well, so I worked on my Wheel (Moxie) quilt and on this Swift block from TartanKiwi’s In-flight QAL.

I forgot to get a photo of the Wheel quilt before it went dark so will have to post a photo later in the week, but I am happy with it and made a backing so will spray baste it this week ready for hand quilting. Yep, another one to be hand quilted! I am on a roll and ready for winter!!

The Swift block was very straightforward. I have heard that the blocks get trickier as we progress but I hope to be improving all the time too, so I am hoping I will be ready for complexity when it arrives! I am going to do the entire background in that Oval Elements Mood Indigo and stick to solids for the birds. I think it will be cute.

Stick around for Sunday Stash – it’s a bit different this week!