Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's finished!!!  I am reeaally happy with how this turned out, it looks much better than I thought it would.  It started as a project to use up material I had lying around in scrap drawers, not all of it lovely; many times as I pieced the blocks I shook my head over the fabrics and colours and thought it was dreary.  But now, looking at it pinned up on my design wall in the early morning sunshine, I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  It looks antique, and interesting and the triangles are soothing and rhythmic.  Looks like I'm in love with the triangles again.

I've cleaned up all the fabric scraps from this quilt, and organised the remainder of the 1.5"strips that were still littering the sewing room.  I have a clear space to work when I start the next project, but for now I'm off to putter around in the garden.  Time for some fresh air and inspiration from my flowers.


Thank heavens for DVDs is all I can say.  I'm making great progress on my Lady of the Lake, but only because  a dozen Seinfeld episodes have kept me entertained while I sew triangles.  And more triangles.  And More triangles.

 This quilt is all triangles, and nothing but.  I'm not tired of them yet, but they demand a bit more concentration than my normal sewing.

And then it's a bit nerve-wracking putting the blocks together and hoping that all those points match. Most of them are not too bad, but not perfect either.  Perfect is over-rated.  It will take another long session tonight, but I think I can get it finished before I go to bed.

I dealt with another UFO and forgot to mention it.  I pieced together all the bits I had cut out for this quilt, and now it's squared up and ready to be the centre of an orphan medallion.
I don't like the hexagon shape enough to make a whole quilt from it, and I'd rather do the original pattern in my beautiful reproductions that just weren't available all those years ago.  This isn't a finished UFO, but it can wait quietly in the Orphan box until I decide what to do with it.

I discovered this pile of blocks that I made from charm squares and never really felt enthusastic about.  I'm going to set them with that tan fabric and donate the top.  And there won't be any fancy piecing and triangles either; it's going to be a good, honest, plain quilt with big easy shapes.  Maybe I am a bit scarred by all the tiny triangles after all.


Friday, February 11, 2011

The promised rain arrived, to the delight of Pippi and Dolly.  We had two wet and muddy dogs to deal with after they ran through the garden like mad things in the rain.  We made them sit outside the front door while we armed ourselves with old towels.  Then we let them in and grabbed them straight away, to be carted off to the bathroom and cleaned up.  It's like having little kids again.  They are so funny to watch though, it's better than TV.

I'm making a serious attempt to pare down my UFOs, and tackled the Lady of the Lake blocks today.  It's pictured in this post on point, and much as I love that setting it just wasn't working with these colours.  As soon as I laid the blocks out in a straight set I felt more enthusiastic about the project, which is good.  I made 14 blocks today, and I think another 6 will see it finished.  Then I'll have a think about the borders; I'm thinking something pieced would be fun, and I may have a play with EQ7 tonight.  Or I may go lo-tech with the pencil and graph paper.  It will be good to see this in one piece, and to get rid of all the various bits of material that were earmarked for it.  Some leftovers will go back in to the stash drawers, but most will be cut up or gifted to the Flood Appeal.  One way or another I want these fabrics dealt with.

I'm so surprised to see that I started these blocks in January last year.  I thought they were from August, or maybe July.  The blog is a great way to keep track of things; I often forget to update my spreadsheets with the latest projects, but so long as I blog about them there is a record to refer to.

The next UFO on the list is these scrappy blocks;  they've been littering my sewing room for months on end, so it's about time I did something with them.  I'm so glad there's another  whole day tomorrow to work in my sewing room.


Those donation blocks I showed are made entirely from 4.5 x 2.5" rectangles, and they are so simple to put together.

We made a heap of blocks from this size rectangle when we were making quilts for bushfire survivors, in 2009; if you click on the'bushfire quilts' label in the list on the right hand side of the blog you'll find a heap of posts about those quilts.

For details of this paticular block you can go to this post;  I love how easy these are to sew, and there are no places where seams have to match, except the actualintersections of the blocks.

That's sort of magical in my book; it takes all the stress out of sewing the pieces together.  I used to make my students sew a couple of these every lesson, and we got a few donation quilts made that way.  The pattern is very forgiving, and even the absolute beginners had no trouble with it.

We're supposed to get a cool change tonight, and rain.  It would be so lovely to have a break in the muggy weather, I'm sure I'd get  more sewing done if the temperature was more comfortable.  Maybe this weekend I'll be able to tackle some of the ancient UFOs....

However, if I keep buying new fabric, and planning new projects, how will I ever have time to finish the old ones? 

I need to stop finding gorgeous fabric that I 'have' to have. (Wild Rose, by Blackbird Designs)


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I'm having one of those weeks where there is too much to do, not enough time, and nothing co-operates.  Yesterday I was all set to  do some more work on setting up my new website, only to discover that my little mobile internet stick had been left at my brother's place, and I was too peeved to get in the car and go and get it.  So I finished the donation quilt on the design wall instead.  It didn't take too long, and I'm very glad to have one thing crossed off the To-Do list.

I rummaged and found border materials that would work, then cut the small borders 1.5", and the large borders 5.5".  By using those measurements I can use the leftovers for another quilt in this pattern; the small strip leftovers will make more sashing and four-patches, and the 5.5" leftovers will make more strip pieced squares.  How's that for planning ahead?

I was too lazy to add the small borders separately, so I sewed them together and then joined them to the quilt.  I don't mind the way this corner looks, but it's not what I wanted for this particular quilt.  I didn't want that light fabric touching the outer border.

I decided to add a 3.5" flippy triangle corner, and that way the brown is at the outer edge all the way round.  What an easy fix and it looks like it's a lot harder to do than it is.  I'm all for looking clever, even when I'm just being lazy.

You can see what I've done, because of the stripes not meeting, but in a printed fabric this would be  a lot less noticeable; I'm going to put this little trick in the arsenal of border treatments.

Amazingly, no one pointed out to me the mistake in my previous picture of this quilt;
look at that bottom right corner!  Was everyone too nice to mention that I had a couple of strips in wrong way round?  I was full of bravado about leaving it there, and then I thought that I might as well unpick it and fix it before it was too late.  So in the final quilt that particular mistake is not there; if something else is wrong, bad luck.  Too late now.


Monday, February 07, 2011

My sewing room is still covered in 1.5" strips, sewn together in various combinations and waiting to be assembled into blocks.  I'm tired of them now, but I want to deal with them once and for all.  No way I want to open a drawer three months from now and see this lot waiting for me.  So I'm plodding away, and hopefully tomorrow will see the last of them.

As a bit of fun I cut up some charm packs of Park Avenue that I collected when  Hancocks sold them for $3 each. 

I also have a jellyroll of these, so quite enough fabric to play with. 

I'm making the blocks up as I go, just seeing what I like.  I started off with the pale blue units, as the fabric was too lovely to cut into little pieces; these units show off  the large print fabric very well.

I made the little 3" ninepatches in the middle just for fun, and framed them with .5"strips so that they'd fit as the centre of the block.  I like the little touches of red, I think I want the quilt to be mainly blue and brown, with red as the accent.

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make these blocks just from the Park Avenue range.  There are so many other fabrics in my stash that would look good in these blocks, and I'll have fun combining them all.

In my fossicking I found this set of blocks, destined to be a donation top from two years ago. 

I counted them up, and there's already 65 made; instead of putting them together myself I'm going to send them off to some ladies making quilts for people affected by the Victorian floods.  There are a few other sets of blocks and pieces that I'll be glad to donate; the volunteers will welcome them, and I'll be clearing out my sewing room and creating more space.  And ultimately somebody who deserves it will receive a quilt.

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