Friday, June 26, 2020

Life has settled down to a routine of 3 days in Adelaide, and 4 days at home, unless there's a need for me to help out longer with the grandkids.  I'm loving the time spent with them, and because I'm there to babysit it means that Shonny doesn't have to take the kids with her when she does the shopping and runs errands.  Thomas is not a fan of grocery shopping, and Finn hates his baby capsule with a passion; he's big enough to graduate to a car seat now, so that will help his attitude.  It's much nicer not to have to deal with screaming kids on every outing though.

I've been sewing and planning and starting new things when I'm home, which is fun but has left my sewing room in a shocking mess.  Every time I leave for  Adelaide I just turn off the lights and vow to deal with the shambles next time I'm home. And then I just jump right back into sewing or cutting out more things.
But last Tuesday, when I arrived home, I realised that I'd neglected things so badly that I was unable to begin anything at all.  The only thing I could do was to clean up, put away the piles of fabric all over the tables, ironing boards and floor, scrape up the fabric trimmings that had missed the bin, empty the bins, organise the cut pieces for all the new projects I'd started, and deal with the mountain of scraps that completely covered every surface.  A couple of weeks ago I actually set up another cutting table because I couldn't get to the first one, so there were two tables covered in scraps and offcuts. What a disaster zone.

So my time home this week has been spent on boring old cleaning up, but it will be worth it.  There were so many layers of fabric, dating back to tops I finished in February, that I'd never put away, or dealt with the scraps.  I was a bit appalled really, that I'd been so lazy, but it's been hectic ever since Finn was born, and then the months I spent in lockdown in Adelaide. I will try to be better in future.

I'm planning a quilt with 2" x 4" bricks, so I cut those first. I ended up with a heap of squares as well, which I'm not thrilled about, but I'll find something to do with them. I also cut heaps of 2" strips, they're my favourite size strip to work with.

Of course there were the small scraps that I could only get a narrow strip out of, and I could have thrown them away, but I'll just store them till I get time to play.  I've made two quilts out of 1.25" strips already, and Mereth is making a Log Cabin from 1" strips that is adorable. I'm in a saving mood right now.

It took two days and nights to sort out the scraps, decide what shapes and sizes I should cut, cut and organise  all those shapes, and then put all the pieces away. I'm glad I perservered though, I now have the 
bulk of 2 new tops cut out, and I'm ready to get back to the sewing machine and start making progress again.

Because I'm a good sister (and I'm sick of scraps) there is a basket of bits to go to Mereth.  She loves getting my offcuts, and I love getting rid of them.


Monday, June 08, 2020

I stayed up late one night and got the borders onto this quilt, and I didn't even have to bully myself into it.  It was nice to cross it off the list, once and for all.

It turned out much bigger than I expected, 82 x 92". I usually aim for 70 x 80" quilts, but then I add two borders and before you now it the quilt has grown 12".  I never learn. This is the 8th top finished this year, and I think my goal of 20 tops in 2020 is still achievable

I enjoyed making this top so much that I think I will cut out another one, but with the lights and darks reversed. It's a great scrap buster, and while I've tamed the strip drawers, there are still baskets of scraps waiting to be cut up.  I have plenty of material for another one.

I spent the last two weeks at home, winding up the shop; it was the last day of trading yesterday.  When the new shop is ready we'll be back in business, but for now I'm free to stay at home and work on quilting and putting the house to rights.  But it's back to the city on Friday for Thomas's 2nd birthday. He's growing up so quickly! At least we have Finn for our baby cuddles.


Thursday, June 04, 2020

I haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  I've been sewing, but I don't have anything finished yet.  I just want to move on and start something new, instead of finishing borders. Ordinarily I would bully myself into it, but even my inner bully is off her game.  So I'm being nice to myself, and just pootling around doing what I feel like.

We're in the middle of a big shake up at our shop.  We've been offered a smaller, better appointed place, so we'll be moving later in the year, and another business is moving into our space. With that in mind, and the fact that there aren't a lot of travellers and buyers around in this pandemic, we're shutting up shop until we can move into the new one.  We're having a big sale, everything has been discounted, and we're being quite ruthless because we don't want to have to shift all the stock home, and then bring it back to the new shop.  I'm quite looking forward to not having the responsibility of manning the shop when I'm home from  Adelaide; we were shut for 9 weeks, and  that felt like a holiday. Monday will be our last day, and then I can stay home with a clear conscience, and maybe get some quilting done.

I don't now why my scraps derail me the way they do.  The 2.5" ones were really annoying me, so I sat down and sorted them into colours, and tried several patterns to hopefully use all of them up entirely.

There were some strange repro squares and strips that I always reject when I'm choosing strips. They were sewn together into a doll quilt, which was a good way to get them out of the drawers.

The mid blue and mid brown ones became 25-Patch blocks.  I think I have 30 of those.

Rather than choose a sashing fabric I moved immediately on to the dark brown and neutral strips.  I came up with a pattern that had a place for dark brown squares, neutral bricks and squares, and pastel squares.  It's sort of like a Garlic Knot, but with an extra row.

I got completely carried away with cutting them out, and did 50 blocks instead of the 42 I needed.  It was a lovely block to work on, and I can see me making more of them in the future. There are many ways to set them together, so I can see myself having fun with that.
Plus there's these simple blocks that are all over the internet right now. Mine are going to be a low volume baby quilt, sewn as a leader-ender.
I have about 4 other quilts started, but I haven't organised photos of them just yet, too busy with other things. I'll do a stocktake of projects soon, write them into my spreadsheet and make EQ8 files for them. Then maybe I'll have a handle on what needs to be done.

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