Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Stash enhancement

Aren't these pretty fabrics?  Not my usual style at all.

Some Tilda, even some Tula Pink.

Before Christmas Mereth and I went for a jaunt to Charlene's in Jamestown, and I bought a few things to add to the stash. The pretty fabrics are for my Tulips quilt, which has been languishing in a project box for many months.  I'm hoping the new fabric will get me motivated to buckle down and finish it.

I have 9 blocks done, 

and bits and pieces cut for the next 20. It's a pleasant change working with such happy, bright fabrics.  Having a single white fabric for the background is also pleasant; I don't have to choose a background for each block, just cut up yards and yards of 1.5" strips.  


Sunday, January 03, 2021


I was working on these blocks before Christmas too, and sewed madly to get it to this stage.

And then I got stuck debating about borders, and coudn't choose between these two options.

This one is a nice yellowy green.

This one is a more muted green.

It's a dilemma. I know I can have these borders on in a few hours, if I can just make a decision. I took a lot of care with the colours of these blocks, and I want to make sure I choose exactly the right fabric as a frame. I'm even considering shopping for something new, if I can wrangle a trip to a quilt shop.

I'm calling this Meadow, it's such a pretty combination of greens and pink and yellows.  It's hard to believe its the same block as the Patio quilt, but it is.  The blocks were so quick and easy, I didn't mind spending a bit of extra time on the red squares around the outside.


Saturday, January 02, 2021

I tried

I had this notion that I was going to finish 20 tops in 2020. It started off really well, until I got to #15, the Brickworks top. After that, I seemed to be all over the shop, with no clear focus. I went off on a side tangent with the ninepatch leader-enders, which at least resulted in another finished top, the brown and navy ninepatch. But I was also working on four projects at once, and trying to dig up something that could be finished quickly so I could tick no.20 off my list and ..... then what?  There were't going to be any bells and whistles or fireworks, so why was I trying so hard? I wasn't enjoying myself any more, it was all a race. So I stepped aside and let 2020 just race off to it's own conclusion.

Now that all the holiday fuss has died down, I'm sitting in my sewing room surveying the chaos and deciding what to do first. It looks like someone shook my room like a snowglobe, and stuff settled back on every surface. I'm going to potter for a little while, just picking up one thing at a time and putting it away, until enough order is restored for me to get stitching again.  

First thing will be to get the borders on this top, and off my design wall.

Everything was cut and waiting for me to do it last thing before I went down to Shonny's for Christmas; 
it was at this point the I decided to walk away and come back to it when I would actually enjoy the process. I made these blocks in June I think, and put them away to work on when I needed a quick finish. It was a good idea, but I'm glad I came to my senses. Now it can be the first finish of 2021.

I'm working on my Tulip blocks,

 and the Spinning Rectangles,

and the scrap blocks.

I'll work on getting them organised and cut more of what I need and kit blocks  up for easy sewing.It's much nicer to sew for pleasure instead of some crazy need to reach a goal.


Thursday, December 31, 2020


Happy 2021 to all.  Hopefully this year will see us closer to managing Covid-19 and returning to a more normal life. I divided my time between the grandchildren in Adelaide and my home here, and haven't really gone anywhere except the local supermarket and the coffee shop. I'm content with that though, and quite willing to keep to that routine until a vaccine is available.

We've had appalling colds for the last 4 weeks, so it was a difficult time with grumpy babies and kids, but fingers crossed that we're over that.  It was rounded off nicely with a bout of gastro just before New Years Eve, Thomas was the only one who escaped.  It seems a fitting end to a very strange year.

I helped Shonny and Co. pack up for a 4-day New Year's camping trip. She rang the caravan park to see if they provided toilet paper in the ensuite powered site.  "oh yes,' said the girl brightly, 'there's two rolls so you should be right.' Two adults, 5 children, staying for 4 days; Seonaid took extra.

Once they left I tidied the house and cleaned it top to bottom.  I imagine Shonny will be grateful that she doesn't have to arrive home and deal with the house in the state it was.We couldn't stay on top of everything when we were all throwing up, so it was a disaster zone. I shut the door at 9.30pm, and drove home, and arrived just in time to text everyone Happy New Year and fall into bed.  What a day/week/year!!

Today I'm going to potter in my sewing room and decide what I will sew first. It's been 10 days since I set foot in there, so it will be lovely to reacquaint myself with my projects.

One of the last finishes was the Patio quilt.  It was so enjoyable to put together, and I think I"ll go on making the blocks and see what other settings there are to play with.

I've already started another quilt with these red centres, but some are too dark and are in the reject pile.

I'm sure I can come up with a plan for them.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Ninepatch pattern

 Renee asked for a pattern for the ninepatch top in the last post.  There isn't a commercial pattern, but it's really simple to calculate what's needed for your own quilt.

73" x 73"

This is my drawing in  EQ8. I've made all the sections a different colour so it's easy to see how the blocks are put together. 

There are 17 complete double nine-patch blocks, made with five 3.5" nine-patches and four 3.5" squares. (85 nine-patches, 68 3.5" squares)

There are 8 partial double nine-patches, made with three 3.5" nine-patches, three 3.5" squares, and a 3.5" x 9.5" strip. (24 nine-patches, twenty four 3.5" squares, eight 3.5" x 9.5" strips)

The blocks are set with twenty four 9.5" squares.

The borders are 8 strips of fabric 5.5" wide, joined in pairs.

EQ8 says these are the fabric requirements;

Mine is completely scrappy except for the border.

Hopefully this is correct, I'll check it later 'cause I'm rushing to get ready for another family thing. Life doesn't slow down when you get older.....


Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Brown Ninepatch top

 I finished this a while ago; 12th November in fact. 

Of course I changed things from the original photo from Pinterest. 

I drew it up in EQ8 and then started messing around with it, and decided I really liked it set straight instead.  

I also like the partial blocks that let the chains join along the edges, and the corners blocks that extend the chains out. 

This was so simple to make, and I love the deep colours, it will be a cosy winter quilt. It would also look wonderful in other colour combinations; green with red ninepatches, or pink and green. I will have a play with it in EQ8 and see what I can come up with. The ninepatches are a good leader-ender, and once they're made the quilt goes together really quickly. The 9.5" setting squares used up a lot of small blue remnants in the scrap drawers, so it was a satisfying top to make.  Now I just need to get it quilted before next winter.


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Christmas is coming

2 months since my last post, that must be some sort of record for me. Real life got in the way of blogging, but maybe things will calm down now. And if I think that Christmas fast approaching is 'calm', you have some idea of what the last two months have been like.

I've done several customer quilts, including this intriguing optical illusion.

I quilted my string top from last year, and now it's waiting for it's binding.  I had plans to do 2 more of my own quilts, but customer quilts and family commitments took up all my time.
I did get to do  some spinning, which is very relaxing, and uses up some of my enormous fibre stash.

And I'm still making these blocks and cutting up scraps, and aiming for my goal of 20 tops in 2020.  Unless I knock out a couple of baby quilts I can't see me achieving that, but I'll keep trying until New Year's Eve.

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