Sunday, February 26, 2012

I think I've forgotten how to blog, its been so long! I get so busy doing all these things that would make good posts, but never get time to sit down and compose a decent blog post.  Shame on me.

I've been spending every spare moment working on my cross-patch blocks, some would say obsessively..... 

But I did enjoy them, and used up such a lot of scraps that I was forced to cut more 1.5" strips.  I don't have all my fabric here, but I did have a tower of Elizabethtown, by Jo Morton, so I used that with gay abandon.  And to stop myself getting all precious about it, I gave the remains to Mereth afterwards, so she can cut some strips for herself.  I'm determined not to let fabric get to 'Holy' status around here, it's all there to be used, not hoarded.  I always think, I'll never be able to buy this again, so I must save it; which is bunkum.

Incidentally, I love using the Quiltshops site to track down older fabric; it takes me ages to discover that I really love some fabrics, or that they are perfect for a certain quilt.  On this site I can track down a stockist and buy what I need, sometimes many years after the fabric was released.  I've been introduced to some great shops this way, that I otherwise wouldn't have found.  Now when I cut fabric I make sure not to remove the selvage and it's identifying info, so I will be able to find it online if I need to.

I must have a low boredom threshold, because the simple cross-patch block started morphing into other blocks, and then I started having more fun with the variations than the original block. 
I'll do another post on them later, and I don't think I'm quite finished with this block layout.

I tried to make some interesting cornerstones, instead of having the blue sashing on it's own, but the quilt was having none of it.  Talk about stubborn!  I would have been finished days ago, except I was convinced I could find some magic little block to put in the cornerstones and bring the quilt to life.  Apparently not.   But the dark blue is going to be very serviceable, and with a dog on my bed at night I need a quilt that won't show every mark.  Dolly's a clean little girl, being so short-haired and having a bath every single day, but she's a dog after all. 
It will have 4" blue borders all the way around, but I don't have time to do that right way; soon.
 We are into the last days of summer, and it's been a remarkable season.  We haven't had much of the usual blisteringly hot weather that makes our summers such a misery, and almost none of the hot northerly winds, which can kill a garden in a single day.  Today is supposed to be over 100 degrees, but then the forecast is for cool weather for the next 9 days.  I'm so happy to see autumn roll around once again!!!  The dogs will appreciate the cooler weather too; after every walk out at Bowman's Park there's a scrummage to see who can fit into the wading pool; and who can drink the most of their bathwater too.

That was clean water before they got in there....
 These Staffies are just water buffalo in disguise.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm a trifle obsessed with cross blocks, it's so much fun to make these. 

I've decided to use a deep blue as the sashing, it makes the blocks look warm and rich.  I need a new winter quilt, so these blocks will be it.  That gives me an incentive to get busy and make enough for a quilt.  I have 15 assembled and a heap more cut out, so it's just a matter of working away at them.  I think 42 is a nice number, we'll see if I get sick of them before they are all done.
I do like that one with all four Rail Fence units the same; think I might have to make a lot more like that.  I'm blitzing through the scraps, so it's likely that I will have to cut some strips to use.  A good thing too, because all these scraps have already been counted as used when they went into the scrap drawers.  I need to cut up some fabric so that I can say I've actually used some of the stash.  So far this year, all I've done is play with the piles of scraps, and I've done no stash-busting at all.

Seeing as how I've added about 30 yards, it's a dire situation; I need to start cutting and stop buying.

On the weekend we met up with John and Liz and went for a drive to a nearby seaside town, where we took the dogs for a walk on the beach. 
It was Pippi's first time near the ocean; she and Dolly lit out for the water, Dolly racing ahead because she knew how much fun it was, Pippi following and thinking she was going to give that big seagull the fright of his life. 

They ran right out into the water, I thought they were just going to keep on going, but they came to their senses at last and came back.  It was a resounding success as far as the dogs were concerned, and they gave us so many laughs with their antics.

Pips was very admiring of this hole; given enough time I'm sure she could dig one just like it.
We had fish and chips at a cafe, and enjoyed the view of the water and the late afternoon sun; it's good to get away from it all sometimes.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I'm happily working on my scrap projects in my spare moments, and also designing something a little more complicated, which stops me from being bored.  Sometimes the scrap crosses take over and command all my attention, and then I get an idea for the new design and have to sew madly on that for a while.  It's all good fun.

The last fortnight was a bit hectic, what with a trip away to Victor Harbor.  Mereth and her family attended a wedding and Seonaid and I lay about, relaxing and catching up.  This chap, my great-nephew and Mereth's grandson, was the highlight of the weekend, he was so adorable.

We had coffee at a cafe on Sunday morning, and there were 4 cameras trained on Logan, recording every smile and lift of his eyebrow.  He dealt with the papparazi with good grace.

I love it when you can linger over coffee, and have refills while the conversation goes in new directions; it was wonderful to be able to spend time with the family.

Good coffee too.

The measurements for this scrap block are simple; the ninepatch in the centre is 3.5" unfinished, the strips making up the arms of the cross are cut 1.5 x 3.5"; the big triangles are a single 5.5" square cut twice from corner to corner, and the small triangles in the corners are two 3" squares, cut diagonally once.  They are a bit big, but I trim the whole block down to measure 9" after it's pieced.  It will finish at 8.5" once the sashes are on.

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