Sunday, June 06, 2021

Progress on several things

The borders are on the blue Boxy Stars, the eighth top I've finished this year. I'd like to get it quilted sometime soon, but I'm not holding my breath on that. I have a few things coming up that will take me away from the workshop, so quilting is just not on the cards.

I finished most of the blocks in this cheerful quilt, which I'm calling Paint Box. Now I"m on to deciding on the borders.  

I'm leaning towards a piano key border using all the fabrics in the centre, but I haven't decided if I want a random selection, or a more colourwash effect. I don't think I have the energy to make that many choices about fabric placement, so it will probably be random.  Maybe by the time I finish I'll be able to see a reduction in these bright pastel fabrics; I've been concentrating on these modern prints for most of this year, and I still have plenty left. I guess they're a permanent section of the stash now.

My leader-enders are these low contrast spinning rectangles. I usually make every effort to make sure there is a contrast between fabrics, but with these I'm going for a Vintage/Liberty/1974 look. These little florals were all we could get when I started patchworking (in 1974) so it's a nod to my early days as a patchworker.

It's time to get this top onto the finished pile.  The blocks are 6", so I went to my box of 6" strips and auditioned these rectangles.  It would be an easy way to edge this; most of my modern fabrics are FQs, not a lot of yardage, so this would solve the border problem nicely. When the Paint Box top comes off the design wall I'll pop this up there, and it should only take an afternoon to sort out.


Tuesday, June 01, 2021

A start and a finish

I finally found enough time to get the borders on my Granny Squares quilt.  I'm really pleased to have this done at last.  Now I have to start looking for a backing for it, and then it can go into the queue to be quilted.

I sewed all the blue-green Boxy Stars blocks together, and now they are waiting for borders.  Once the design wall was empty I immediately started a new project.

It involves about 100 of these little 9patches, made with 1.25" strips. I'm using them with striped sashing, and the 4.5" squares I cut from my pretty fabrics nearly 2 years ago.

I'm making blocks of four of the same colour; I think that will be easier than trying to do a random placement of colours.  I'm no good at random, it makes my brain ache.

I spent several nights doing nothing but sewing green and white strips together, then cutting them into 4.5" lengths for sashes, and making the little 9patches.  EQ8 tells me that I've used 1.75 yards of the white fabric, and I believe it.  There are several different white remnants in here, I kept having to scrabble through drawers and come up with more pieces of white. I doubt that the differences will show, and it feels really good to have used up all those leftovers. 

I've kitted up all the sashes and 9patches I'll need; I'm just wondering if I should pack it all way with the 4.5" pretty squares and save it for another day.  I do love to have a kit on the shelves waiting, but I also want to see how this turns out. I think it may have a piano key border, to use up all the little strips I have left from other projects.

Mereth and I went to the optometrist a couple weeks ago. My eyes haven't changed as far as my prescription goes, but I have a cataract that is causing me some problems.  We talked options, and I've decided to wait another 6 -12 months before I have surgery.  It's still only an inconvenience, I can deal with it for a little longer. Mereth needs new glasses, but her new prescription is nearly the same as my old one, so she borrowed my spare glasses until her new ones come.  It's useful to have a twin sometimes.

And to make life even more interesting, I have shingles.  It's not a really bad case, but it's still no fun.  I have anti-virals, and a painkiller for the nerve pain, and I'm getting on with life.  But I can't go near Finn, who hasn't had his chicken pox vaccination yet.  I would feel terrible if I gave him chickenpox, so I'm staying home until there's no chance of infecting him. Sitting at the sewing machine hurts after a while, so I sew until I need a break, then iron stuff or cut out, and then go back to the sewing machine. I briefly considered lying around reading while I'm feeling poorly, but rejected that.  Sewing is a good distraction, and eventually I'll have a quilt top to show for it.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021


 Last week I went down a sidetrack from my existing projects.  It happened without me even realising it, I was just looking for something to thin out my 2.5" strip drawer and remembered Bonnie Hunter's Boxy Stars. It seemed like it would be just the thing to gallop through some strips, so I cut a few pieces and used them as leader-enders.  Then I cut a few more blocks, I thought 12 would be plenty.  

I had no ideas about colour or theme, I just wanted to use up the scraps. It began with random strips, no particular plan. Then I started rummaging through containers to find more strips, and pulling drawers of fabric apart to hunt out more things to cut down. 

I found so many leftover bits of jellyrolls, layer cakes and charm packs, and decided that it was time to deal with them.

Before I realised it, there were 20 blocks on the design wall with a brown, light blue and red theme. 

I wasn't planning on making this when I started! There are a lot of leftovers from my Homestead Star quilt in this,they are nice companion quilts.

I can't quite remember the fabric collections these jellyrolls came from,I know one was Park Avenue, and one was from Blackbird Designs, maybe Antique Fair. They seem to be never-ending.  I'm so sick of the pinked edges that I might just make a Rail Fence out of the remainder, and get rid of them once and for all.

They're pretty though; I used mainly the large florals, so there are still a ton of small print strips.  

I could cut them down to a smaller strip and get rid of the pinked edges, I'll have to find a pattern that would work with a 2.25"strip.

The random colour blocks were still sitting there waiting. But now I was interested in a blue and green theme, and I was off and running with that. The blocks are so easy, and take so little planning, that they seem to make themselves.

So I'm up to 20 of these blocks, with more strips waiting to become blocks.

They're no good as leader-enders for me.  I just want to keep sewing them, and my projects get pushed aside.  Oh well, I might as well go with the flow.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Where was I?

 Hmm, what have I been doing since last I posted? Family get-togethers, quilting customer quilts and one of mine, a week of illness, my first Covid19 shot, catching up with friends, deep cleaning my kitchen and getting rid of as much as I could. Of course there was some sewing time, but not a lot of progress. 

There was a trip to the Jamestown Patchwork shop to choose border fabric for the Granny Squares top. I was hoping to find a suitable Tilda fabric, but I just couldn't fit in a trip to an Adelaide Patchwork shop, so I chose something with the right colours. 

I have the strips cut, ready to attach, but that will have to wait till I find time to get into the workroom. I need the big table in there to square up the edges of the top. I don't fancy trying to do that in my crowded sewing room.

In family news, Thomas had surgery to remove his broken front teeth. He's been living with a pretty severe abscess behind them, and antibiotics failed to clear it up. He couldn't use those teeth anyway, so the dentist recommended removing them. We were a lot more upset than he was. He had a couple of rough days, but now he's like a different child, laughing, playing, being loving towards his siblings. He must have been in a lot of pain for a long time. 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Granny Squares

My Granny Squares are finished and awaiting their borders.  I'm going to have to visit a patchwork shop that sells Tilda fabrics, to keep the ditsy print vibe going.  I used up nearly all of those fabrics in the stash these last few months; it will be nice to go shopping with a definite purpose.

This block is my favourite; 
I'd made all the blocks and was sewing them together when Mereth came back from the the op-shop with an enormous haul of scrap bags which  included some vintage pieces.  

There was one little scrap of this blue floral, 
It was perfect for this quilt, so I made this block, unpicked one of the not-so-favourite ones, and added this one.  If only I had meterage of this; its so bright and fresh.

I've been quilting customer quilts, and working around the house;  I have been sewing at night, but my scattergun approach is getting worse.  I seem to have several ideas I'm working on, and several projects, and scraps from all of them, spread on every surface.  I'm really trying to get some semblance of order happening, but I'm back to Adelaide next week.  Only a short visit, back on Friday with everyone for a family visit, but there won't be time for any sewing until the week after that. I need to get busy while I can.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I've been working on taming the strips offcuts, and this is where I"m up to.  

 It measures 66" x 38" so far, and I've used up all the darker bits. I have lighter strips, but they don't look right when I put them with this pink fabric, so they will have to have a project of their own.
I really liked the look of the very light bits edge to edge, so I sewed them together. The seam allowances weren't too horrible to press, so I'm thinking I'll go on just adding more strips.  It might make a cushion cover, or I might expand it into an actual quilt, can't tell just yet.  But I"m really glad that both these projects give me an excuse to keep saving every last skerrick of fabric. They'll go away in a box until I've accumulated more pieces.

My modern print projects are all sitting there waiting for me, but my repros are calling me. I decided that I liked a positive/negative layout for the little blocks I'm using as leader-enders.  I was going to make a chain quilt like Mereth's
but changed my mind. I'd already sewn some together in sets of four, but I could make more and set them with some of my precious yardage that I'm still trying to use up.
Not this though, it's too pale.  I'll keep looking.

I still have a few kitted up, but I need to cut more, now that I seem to be making two quilts.  Today I'll go through my strip drawers first and see what I can cut from there.  After that I just might dig into the yardage and have some fun with my favourites fabrics.

What do we do with this boy?  He loves getting around with this toy basket on his head. It was funny when he was crawling, but now he's trying to run, and he's not very good at that yet, even without a basket obscuring his vision. I think we need to hide the basket and get him a helmet.....


Friday, March 26, 2021

A finish

I added little strips of squares at the sides of the Log Cabins, and a 2"border at the top and bottom, to make it 51"x 63" . That's a much more useable size for a single bed.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.


I have more Granny Square blocks finished, and they are so much fun. I'm not sure how big I want to make this; the blocks are 9"finished, and I think I want to make it single bed size. I'll keep kitting these up until I've used up most of my strips, and then I can decide whether I want to make more.
My Mum and Gran always maintained that boys are easier to raise than girls (Gran had 8 boys and only two girls; she said that Mum was more trouble than all of them put together). My son was a very easy child to bring up, but Thomas and Finn are proving to be the trouble-makers.  Thomas has had 3 trips to an emergency dentist because of falling off things onto his face.  Finn is so adventurous he's turning my hair white.

He gets himself into many more precarious situations, but there are no photos of the more hair-raising ones because we're too busy trying to rescue him. He climbs out of the bath too, it's as if his legs have a mind of their own and just carry him along. He's been walking since his birthday, and those naughty legs just get him into trouble every time. Lordy me, I'll be glad when he just wants to sit down and build Duplo things with the other kids.

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