Wednesday, May 29, 2013

By crikey,I almost let a whole  month go by without a post.  There's just too much going on, I never seem to find time to sit down and write about it. Will try to do better.

A couple of weeks ago we went to our mate Deb's place, the old bank building where I use to live. We were celebrating the 80th birthday of a dear friend, and we had a splendid afternoon tea for the occassion.  I just hope I look as good as Flora when I get to be 80.

Deb has renovated the building, doing most of the work herself, I'm amazed at soome of the things she's done.  She actually replaced the ceiling in two rooms, there's no way I could do such heavy work, and at such a height.  The whole place looks fabulous.  The hall was green when I lived there, but I much prefer this cool gray.  I left this sunburst quilt hanging here for safekeeping, and because Deb loved it.  Now she just tells everyone it's hers, and I would give it to her, if it wasn't for it's history.  I made these blocks during long phone calls to Mereth, when we lived thousands of kilometres apart, and only got to see each other every 2 or 3 years,  It's a bit special, but I think I might just make another one for Deb, to replace it.  For now, this quilt can stay in these gorgeous surroundings.
I've been sewing on the Mitchell St blocks, and I've finished all 20. 
They are up on the design wall, in my sewing area, and I'll sort out the sashing soon.  I'm muddling about with lighting solutions, and I think I've found a set up that works.  I'll be glad when I can throw myself back into sewing with a passion, it's been months of somewhat desultory piecing.  My heart hasn't really been in it, with all the other work claiming my time.
I do love odd colours like this purple/brown/grey colour next to the ninepatches.  It's so subtle, and it goes with everything.  Alas, I don't have much of this left, I have to be careful with it.  On my next trip to a patchwork shop I'll have a look for somethimg to replace it.  You can't buy colours like this online, the monitor colours aren't true to life.

The chrysanthemums this year were wonderful, but most are finished flowering now, and I have to pot the ten (10!) new ones, and cut back the old ones.  I would like them to flower more often, but I don't begrudge them the garden space.  They make such a glorious display for two months, it's worth it.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

There has been progress on the sewing front, but I'm still struggling with the layout of the sewing room.I have to have separate lighting for each area, and I haven't quite perfected it so there are no dark spots.  I know a lot of American women sew in their basements, and produce beautiful quilts, so I should be able to do without natural light, but I'm having a hard time adapting.    I keep taking my fabric choices out to the front room, to make sure that they actually look good together.

Last night I pushed and pulled furniture around in the front room and set up a design wall where the light from the door will reach it, so at least I can put my blocks up somewhere and check that they look OK.  Then it's back to the Quilt Cave to sew them together.  Mereth's suggested solution is to build an annexe to the shed for my sewing room, but I need a bit of a break before I tackle another major building project.

My Mitchell St blocks are piling up now, they do go together quickly once all the units are made.

I'm a bit disappointed in my fabric choices, I seem to always go for the safe option, which looks OK but predictable.  To counteract that I've been dragging out all the wildly coloured, large print madders, and trying to use them to build a block around.
 This one is my favourite so far, that large paisley is gorgeous.
I think I love madder so much because it can be a combination of brown or red or orange or pink or rust, and it all goes together beautifully.  I tend to gravitate towards the brown and pink colours, but it's the orange that grabs my attention in the shops.  Why don't I choose them for the blocks though?  I'm just too conservative, so I will try to be braver in my fabric choices in future.

There is an article by Barbara Brackman on madder style prints here, and she also write an article for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine

Brackman, Barbara. "Madder-Style Prints" Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, March 2003, Number 350, pp. 45-47 

I've torn the place apart trying to find the magazine in question, but I have no idea where it is.  And I probably won't rest now until I find it.  That sort of obsessiveness is tiring, when you find yourself going through yet another cupboard or drawer, convinced that you've remembered where you put it.  False Memories are real, folks.

I'm going to make another 4 blocks for this quilt, and that should be enough, unless I decide that there are a few more fabric combinations that I just have to try.  I will probably end up with extras, but they can just join the crowd in the orphan box.


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