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Serendipity Design

Updated: 2018-01-20T01:36:56.408+13:00


Quilt Retreats


Well we have finally done it, we have moved  As part of our new adventure we are going to be running retreats in our new home in sunny Carterton. We can sleep up to 4 - 5 in a combination of either King Single beds or single beds. Quality linen including towels, sheets etc. are provided and all meals from Friday night to Sunday lunchtime. The photos show two of the guest bedrooms and the guest bathroom and new studio with the Nolting long arm in  situThe large studio has excellent lighting, a good size cutting table with cutting boards provided, and work space, all you need to bring is your sewing machine, quilting supplies etc. We are taking booking from now if you would like to book yourself in for a relaxing weekend. Please message me  if you would like further information or visit[...]

Mystery Quilt


(image) Hi all
The weather has certainly been confusing in Wellington over the last few weeks, earlier this week we had a wild southerly storm and now two days later it is mild and warm again. Autumn has certainly come with a vengeance.
Starting on the 1st April I will be posting the beginning of a mystery quilt, with clues being online the 1st of every month.  I am not able to keep up with testing the patterns I have been designing so have decided to offer a mystery quilt to help keep me on task. On the 1st April I will list the fabric requirements and the first clue, this quilt can be very scrappy or otherwise if you like control you can use less fabrics and a smaller colour palette. In the next few days I will photograph my possible fabrics to give you an idea of what I am going to use.
The colours I am playing with at the moment range from soft pinks to dark red and soft aqua, but it is quit possible that that might change.
All posts must have some colour in them, so here is a photograph of the latest off the long arm. It is a hand appliqued Baltimore the last in the series, one for each of my daughters. This quilt used over 9 bobbins so that is more than 720 yards of thread not counting what was used on the top, and took over a month off and on to quilt it.
Thanks for dropping by Jeannette

Longarm Quilting Classes


Hi allNew Plans for 2014, classes and new designsOver the last few years I have often been asked whether I would offer classes on my Longarm and would the machine be available for rental. Due to the new quilt booking program I am now able to offer classes and eventually rental time on the machine  at times when the quilting machine is idle. The classes run from a introduction class to the more advanced depending where you are on your quilting journey.All  of the classes are in a small group format class and times are flexible so please contact me if your group or you as  an individual would like to make a time to come for a class.  Stokeswood DreamOver the last few months  when not quilting I have been spending the time designing beginner quilt patterns. This has been a very interesting exercise, as I have been quilting for more than quarter of a century and when I make a quilt I do not think of techniques I just do it instinctively. So as part of the exercise in writing the patterns , I have been writing the pattern and then creating the quilt top following step by step as I go. This has certainly been very revealing as sometimes the written word does not convey exactly the steps required. As time permits in the next few months hope fully more patterns will follow to add to the ones here. BaltimoreStokeswoodBelow is a glimpse of the latest on the machine, this is the last in a series of Baltimore's,  I start 20 years ago, one for each of my daughters. It has been hand appliqued and machine pieced and now I am quilting it on my long arm and hope fully I can finish it by early next week. Thanks for dropping by it is a lovely fine day here so I must go and hang out the washing.Jeannette[...]

More client quilt finishes


Hi to you all,
As I said in my last post I have been busy with a couple of client quilts. The first is a quilt for a little boys 5th birthday  and is called Space Travel and if you click on the photo the fabric has the most fantastic little spaceman. The quilting is a mixture of free hand stars and ruler work around the yellow stars and was quilted with a variegated thread.

The second quilt is very different is a combination of felt applique and embroidery. All of the flowers and leaves are felt. This quilt was quilted in three threads a red for the border and two others for the centre of the quilt.

Below is the link to the Serendipity By Design Facebook Page if you would like to become a follower.

Thanks for dropping by.

Quilted Table mats for practice pieces


(image) Hi to you all,
I have been rather busy in the last few weeks with a number of client quilts as well as these.

For ever so long I have been wanting to replace the ugly cork mats we use at the dinner table. I needed to either buy or make 16 new table mats, so this is what I did.
(image) (image)  I took two large pieces of  fabric and one strip of polyester batting and quilted then on my long
(image) arm as a whole cloth quilt. The thread I choose to use was Superior So Fine 401 which  blends beautifully.
Then I sub cut them to size,  created a pocket on the back for the cork mats to slide into and then bound them in matching binding.

The process took about two hours on the long arm and then time during the day to cut and sew and then to bind them in front of the television in the evenings. Two of the table mats I have treated differently as I have a large drawer of crochet table mats and cloths from both my mother and grandmothers  so I have attached two of small cloths by hand.

So far I completed 8 with another 8 to go. Six of the table mats are in fabric that I have hand dyed in a soft turquoise aqua color and these have been stitched in a pale soft blue thread. Photographs for these will follow when they are complete. I have totally loved doing these and it will be great to remove the cork mat and be able to wash them when necessary. In the future I think I am going to make some red ones using some hand dyed red fabric but that will not be for a while as I would like to experiment with more batik dying techniques and think I will need at least two metres of fabric dyed ready to go.
Thanks for dropping by

Inspiration from Angela Waters, Superior Threads and Tula Pink


Hi to all

(image) My apologies for not posting sooner, I have created a facebook page for my Longarm and quilting business and seem to be concentrating on that instead of the blog. If you are interested in the viewing the latest projects please contact me by email.
Otherwise here are some photos of the latest quilt of the longarm showing the design ideas and progress. This was quilted off and on over three days and is reasonably heavily quilted. The design and idea is based heavily on a quilt from Angela Waters whose work I really admire. It is the feathers that I first fell in love with and then the  contrasting straight lines around the feathers.
(image) This is a secret gift for a good friend and her fiance who I know do not follow my blog. Their two favorite colors are purple and blue, as I had never made a purple quilt before it was a challenge. Hidden inside the quilting is the year 2014, their initials and  Irish shamrock and a New Zealand fern.
Part of the procedure was to sketch with chalk the feathers and spines and then quilt them and then the straight lines to make the feathers stand out. I then moved onto the colored sections and I ended up using 12 different threads on the colored section the threads were  mostly from Superior threads and in a range of thread weights as well as one or two variegated from Signature threads.
The last photo to show you is the photo of the finished quilt before I put the binding on.
Thanks for dropping by.



Hi to all,
(image) Well the first of June has come and gone and we are now heading down to Christmas and here in New Zealand it is officially winter. Over the long weekend we have just had I finished Karen's  quilt for her granddaughter. I love the colours Karen has used, and have used over  five different threads to enhance the appliqued flowers. My favourite threads that I have used are Glide and a mixture of threads from Superior Threads ranging from  a fine weight right up to a 30 weight, by using these threads different elements have been isolated and made more dramatic. The two photos included show before and after. In the background I have quilted extra butterflies around the topiary tree  and around the base of the tree there are quilted flowers to enhance the garden and give depth. Over the next week I am going to quilt some pillows to go with this quilt and will post photos when they are done.
By for now Jeannette



Hi to all,
We are now a 1/4 of the way through the year and April is knocking on the door, which in the southern Hemisphere means Autumn and Winter around the corner. According to the records we have had the driest summer for quite a number of years so on Friday the declared a drought in the North Island  of New Zealand. We have had no significant rain since early February and her in Wellington the authorities are saying we only have enough water for the next twenty days. It is very hard on the farmers and produce growers and this will mean the prices will rise as everything will be in short supply as the year progresses.
(image) In the last week I have had two more finishes both extremely different from each other. One is a modern quilt with straight lines on it and the occasional heartbeat rhythm as the client and I liked to call it.
 (image) While the other is a very traditional Baltimore, hand appliquéd and then quilted on the long arm. I know the purists would be horrified  but as I have three daughters and have appliquéd a Baltimore quilt for each of them and it has taken me 19 years to finish two which means I have one to go that is why I have machine quilted it. My endeavour for this year is to finish the year with no unfinished quilt tops and I will also try and finish the year with no partly pieced quilt tops or ufos. I am not sure if the final statement is achievable but thinking about it, is half way there and this will mean I will not be able to start any new projects after September to achieve it.

Thanks for dropping by

More photos


 An overall photo and more detail photos of the centre and borders
Thanks again Jeannette

Latest finish


(image) (image)
Hi to all, (image)  
A busy a couple of weeks. 
I had forgotten how much time little puppy's take. It is two weeks since Mr Cotton came to live with us and he is a delight. We have had a lot of visitors to come and meet him and so far his favourite is the little six year boy down the road. the two of them played games for more than 30 minutes one evening this week.
 It was a delight to see how much enjoyment they got out of each other.

The latest finish of the machine is Under the Southern stars, and I love how it has turned out. If you zoom into the photos you can see how I quilted it. Tomorrow morning I will trim the edges and prepare the binding and get it ready to hand sew down. I am thinking of putting a mini piped edge before the binding to add some more definition I just need to find the instruction I have put away some where safe, most likely so safe I will not be able to find it in the morning.

Bye to all

New Stitching Companion


Hi to all,

I would like to introduce my new stitching companion "Mr Cotton" he is a eight week old Welsh Springer Spaniel that arrive to live with us this morning. He is exhausted at the moment and sleeping because he fly from one end of the North Island of New Zealand to the other end and spent approximately four hours in the air.
More photos to follow as well as photos of my latest quilting project.


Cars and transport Vechiles


Hi to everyone
(image) I loved quilting this quilt, even though initially I had trouble with the tension and trying to find threads that would work on both the front and back. after quickly contacting two different thread suppliers the suppliers promised the threads would arrive by courier the next day and so they did. What great service from both of them, so with eight threads to choose from I had no problem with starting to quilt. In the finish I used three different threads on the front and a different thread in the bobbin as the back was a really strong pumpkin colour and so different from the front. I had to be very careful and ensure that the tension was tweaked every so often to ensure good tension.

Next on the long arm is this one for me, I finished the appliqué during the week and estimate it will take about a week to quilt. To ensure this will get completed I have put a block of time on the calendar to guarantee it. I am not sure what I will be doing as yet but know what threads and I have already made the backing so it is already to go. I will keep you updated as to progress.
Thanks for dropping by

A finish for a Client


Hi to everyone,
(image) This is the last finish for this week, this quilt was made by a ten year old girl and is fantastic, it is beautiful sewn and constructed. It was quite hard to decide what to do as the fabrics were quite busy but once we had chosen the thread colours I was off. Three threads were used all variegated,  one was a thread by Superior Threads called Lava, which was a delight to use and the others were two threads by Signature Threads in an aqua and the other a limey green. I decided to treat areas of the quilt differently and used the lime and aqua threads to highlight the fabrics in those colours with the thread. This quilt took many changes of thread to finish and as the threads were different weights the quilting machine seemed to need adjusting every thread change, but was well worth the effect, and I love how certain areas pop out.
Thanks for dropping by Jeannette

Two new finishes


Hi to all,
I have been busy this week and have managed to identify all unfinished items which I posted about during the week and finished a quilt flimsy, all that is left to do on it is to applique the four corners and then of course quilt, which is the thing I enjoy the most currently.
(image) (image) This quilt is Under the Southern Stars by Sue Daley, I decided to do the centre and borders differently from the pattern and have redesigned them.
In the same range of fabrics I have made the kaleidoscope quilt which I have also finished the quilting this week so if is only the binding to hand sew down and make a label. I love the back almost as much as the front and you really can see the quilting.
Also this week I have made four baby quilts from donated orphan blocks. These small quilts are for the neonatal ward of the local hospital, no photo as yet but I will quilt them and then take a photo to show everyone.
Must go and tidy up my workroom so bye for now Jeannette.

Spam filter


My apologies to everyone, I seem to be getting a large amount of spam and unwanted comments so from now on will have word verification on. Please still visit and and leave a comment if you wish to as I will still reply.
Thanks Jeannette

Unfinished projects or UFO's up to 31 January 2013


Good afternoon to all.Yesterday I finished another project from my ufo's and thought I would make a declartion of the number of ufo's that I have listing the method and name and the progress so far. Where  can I have taken a photoNo Photos as yet for the Seven sisters english paper piecing project, still piecing individual blocks and theHexagon Medallion quilt, english paper piecing project only assembly required. New quilt sample for another original, the pattern is written with fabrics chosen. This quilt is a very modern quilt for me with bright colours and large areas of black. Pickled Dish Quilt, foundation piecing, only just started. One complete block and a few of the foundation pieced triangles are complete.Antique basket quilt, 50 baskets hand applique and just playing with the design and layout.Antique sampler, all borders and small blocks complete, 9 large appliqué blocks to complete. Rosies first Christmas, this is a quilt hand embroidered and hand appliqued which should have been finished in December, only one embroidered block to go and then the piecing.Farmers wife, fabric chosen, I just need to start.Now I have declared all the finished projects it is my target to get them all completed by January 2014, which does seem along time awy, but I know that it will come around fast and catch me out. I will keep you posted on my progress as I go.Thanks Jeannette[...]



 Hi to all,
During the last week or so I have had a break from traditional quilting and made a few different things as explained below.
Yesterday, our first grandchild turned one and had her first birthday party at home with us. We had around 30 plus people for an Ice Cream sundae party.
So we had ice cream and all sorts of toppings and sauces for the guests to dress their own.
There was jelly beans, jet planes, marshmallows,  etc etc and then we had waffle cones or pretty dishes to have the ice cream in.With of course pretty spoons and decorations.

I was too busy during the day to take photos before the guests showed and during the party but finally got around to it  late in the evening showing the aftermath once we had all cleaned up.

During the last week or so I have been making bunting so far I have made somewhere between 10 and 20 metres of bunting in all colours, as you see we had them across the fences around trees and around my studio door, they also are strung across the front verandah.

It was so much fun to create, but I could not stop there so I made a bunting of letters that said "Happy Birthday" and unfortunately this had come down before I remember to take a photo. 

I have an idea for more letters and are going to use left over blocks to create patchwork letters to also use in the future I will endeavour to create some in the next few days and post the ideas here for everyone to see.
Thanks for dropping by

First Customer finish of 2013


(image) (image) Good Morning to all,

Over the last few days I have been hard at work with a clients quilt. The client needed this in a hurry so the kaleidoscope quilt came off the machine and this went on. It is all custom quilted with a mixture of freehand and ruler work. I had a great time using a new thread for my machine that caused a few issues until I managed to get the tension correct. The new thread I was using was Masterpiece by Superior Threads, it is so much finer than what I have used before on the machine and I certainly love it.

(image)  Now this is finished I can put the kaleidoscope quilt back on the machine and complete it, all I have to finish is three borders.
 Talk to you soon Jeannette

New Year update


Hi to all,
Kaleidoscope Quilt
Thought I would pop in and show you the last quilt top finished for 2012, it is also the first one to be quilted for 2013.

(image) The quilt was inspired by a quilt I saw on another blog (Sue Daurio's Quilting Adventures) initially it was the colours I was drawn and then the quilting. Here is my version.

The fabrics I have used are from  Fig Tree Quilts and include most of the ranges from the last few years. Here is a photograph showing the quilting so far, it is a mixture of Hand guided Machine Quilting,  and Ruler work.  Hope fully if I work hard I can complete it in a few days.
Talk to you soon

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Hi to allIt has been a while since my last post but life is slowly returning to some normality, it is very quiet in my studio without  my little Puck.  it is very surprising how the loss of a pet can upset the equilibrium. Our family had a extremely difficult November as the same day Puck left to travel over the Rainbow bridge we lost a dear family friend Bill within the space of a few hours. But life does move on as we all know. Over the last few weeks I have been designing three new patterns and creating samples and will post photographs of the samples in the next week or so. These patterns are available from me directly or at Sawmillers Quiltery or at Quiltworks Lower Hutt.     May you all have a happy and successful a Happy New Year . and may your Christmas have sparkled with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, And  the year ahead be full of contentment and joy.   Included in this post are photographs of the recently completed quilts off the long armTalk to you soon Jeannette with some good news in the middle of January 2013[...]



Good Morning to all,
With a heavy heart and a great hole in our lives this morning my little mascot has left us and gone to play in the rainbows. My little Puck loved handbags, boxes and sleeping on my quilts on the machine. We will miss her dearly.
Rest In Peace little Puck my mischievous elf 
27th September 2010 to 7th November 2012

Sampler Quilt Cherry Pie Topper


Hi to everyone,Over the last week I have finished a rush quilt for the new quilt shop that opened in the area. I picked it up the Wednesday before last  on the machine on Friday afternoon and finished it Monday of this week. I could not post photos of the finished quilt due to it being a block of the monthThe quilting is a combination of ruler work and freehand custom work, once again I had a great time quilting it. It was a very thin batting so some of the designs do not jump out as much as I would like. This was the first time I had used one of my new rulers the "The Mini Clamshell"  by Belinda Betts, from Eucalypt Ridge Quilting. A great ruler I used it in the sashings to create the mini clamshells.I also found out that you can create reasonable circles with it as well. Back on the machine this week is the Cats Delicious, I managed to finish most of it before the sampler and hope fully I will finish it over the next day or so and post photos. Thanks for dropping by Jeannette  [...]

Two more quilt finishes, William Morris and 1930's


(image)  Below are photos of the last few finishes for clients. The first is based on a Michelle Hill William Morris pattern and is to be a gift for a 90 year old lady. This quilt is quite heavily stippled and stitch in the ditch around all of  the individual appliqué pieces to outline the beautiful work.
(image) (image) The second one is a 1930's quilt and was so fun to quilt each of the white windmills is outline with 1/4 quilting and then a swirly motif has been added to the coloured windmills to create movement.

The last quilt was was a quilt finished a while ago with a flowery meander all over, this again was fun to do. I must admit I do love quilting for myself and others it is so fun to see what others have made and quilt them to bring them to life.

Bye from Jeannette

Red Brolly Catalicious Quilt is finished with Pucks approval


The red work embroidered blocks are from Red Brolly and they are from a  BOM Catalicious Quilt offered two years ago. This quilt I worked on with my elderly cat Noah on my lap in his last few months with us, so have called it "Noah's Quilt", I do have and idea that Puck will now commander it as you can see in the photos. The blocks I have made to add to the quilt are a combination of appliqué and pieced and are using left over fabric form the previous red quilts I have made.With a little help from my friend Puck, and her approval of the finished top I finally took a photo. This whole process took over twenty minutes as initially I hung the quilt over the chair and then when I went to get the camera Puck arrived and decided  it was her new toy. Then I distracted her by giving her a cuddle and some food and lay the quilt on the ground and she came tearing in at great speed and pounced on the quilt.  Puck does keep us entertained with her antics, and general misbehaviour. I am hoping this will be the next on the long arm and will be custom quilted quite heavily block by block.Will post again soon Jeannette[...]

French General and Public Transport


Hullo to all,

(image) Here is  a photograph of the latest finish off the long arm, the first is in fabrics from one of my favourite designers French General. The grey fabric is one of the linens out of the range and shows the quilting beautifully. This was rather a large quilt at just over two metres long but was fun to do.

Public Transport
The quilt here is Public Transport, it has been hanging on my studio wall, but is now hanging in an exhibition until early November at Expressions in Upper Hutt. I am pleased to say that I won a certificate for this quilt. This pattern will be available as a PDF within the next month so please email me if you would like a copy. The quilt uses hand or machine appliqué.
Neutral Play

More news, the latest of my patterns is now available and is called Neutral Play it is also available as a PDF on request or it is available at Sawmillers in Te Marua. Neutral Play is a pieced quilt and uses three blocks to create the movement.

More photographs and new patterns in the next few days as I get them finished.
Talk to you all soon