Saturday, March 27, 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.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Situation Report

 I seem to have abandoned all sense of order in my sewing room, and I'm just doing whatever I want to. I know there's nothing wrong with that, and I'm having fun, but I really would like to see something finished. Then I'll go back to my 6 different projects.

I've been working my way through the bright strips from the last post, and I almost have the Log Cabin blocks in one piece, just that centre seam to go.  

Its too narrow, so I have to come up with a way to make it wider, but not longer.  I'm still pondering that, while I go on with these blocks.

They are my leader-enders, and I'm just using whatever 2" scraps I have.  So far I've been able to cut the blocks only out of 2 fabrics, but I have an awful lot of scraps that are too small for that.  Either I cut from my longer strips now, or I make them totally scrappy.  Not sure I would like that, it would be a bit chaotic, but I might give it a try. Or I could make a piano key border. Still thinking about that one.

The blocks I'm really smitten with are these Granny square blocks.

I know everyone in blogland made one of these years ago, but I just set the idea aside in the One Day file. My strips are perfect for this, and I'm also using up a pile of random white strips left over from projects.  Those scraps of white are infuriating, they're just clutter because if I want to use white in a good quilt, I want it all the same fabric.  It's not until you try and put whites together that you realize how different they can be, so these scraps just keep getting passed over. I think I'm going to sash these blocks with a very pale print, so the whites are separated and the differences are less noticeable.

I'm also working on a variety of projects using my reproduction fabrics, which couldn't be more different from the modern prints.  The browns and pinks make me so happy, even though some people find them gloomy. 

I'm working on sewing these strips of leftovers together, and then adding the pink strips; it's all very slapdash.  When I get them all in one piece I'll just chop off anything that isn't square.  It's not going to be terribly big because I"m making it for my bed, which has a rail at the foot, so the quilt doesn't have to overhang the mattress.  It's going to be 66" long, and a lot wider.  I just wonder it it will use up all the scrap strips entirely, or if I'll have to think of something else to do with what remains. There are so many scraps...

And I'm still cutting up scraps into these Chain blocks, which are like potato chips in that you can't just do one. They are so easy to put together, there is a stack of finished blocks in no time.

Today I'm going to update my Ongoing Projects spreadsheet, because none of these have been entered.  The numbers will go up dramatically; I've been at 26 projects for a long time but these will take me way over 30.  I'll just have to get busy and finish them, so I can put them into the Finished Tops spreadsheet.  It's a pity I'm not tracking yardage this year, there's a lot of fabric involved.


Monday, March 08, 2021

These pastel Spinning Rectangles have been my leader-enders for more than a year. I made a heap last February and they were set on point and became a small top. They're such a lovely block to make, nothing complicated about them, and the pile of finished blocks grew steadily until I had the 80 I needed for a single bed quilt.

They are up on the design wall now, waiting for me to rearrange the colours a bit more evenly.  If I try, I can get this in one piece before I have to go back to Adelaide.  The blocks are so easy, and such fun, that I'll probably always have one kitted up.

In a bid to conquer the piles of ironed fabric, I've decided to cut it all up and make as many tops as I can, rather than finding a place for it all in the stash drawers. The Spinning Rectangles are cut from 2" strips, and I have a die for the Accuquilt in that size; it needs an 8 1/2" piece of fabric for that, so my first step was to cut a strip from as many pieces as I could.

I ended up with 3 or 4 piles like this, waiting to be sent through the cutter; luckily it's electric so it didn't take very long.

This pile of strips looks absolutely luscious; I can't wait to get started making quilts from these.  First up is a Log cabin, and maybe a 16-patch, and a scrap Spinning Rectangles to use up every last bit. It's fun to plan new projects. 


In late 2019 I was sewing with my bright modern fabrics, trying to make 3 quilts for the granddaughters.  Somehow that hasn't happened yet. I have 1 top quilted and another top finished, but the oldest turns 10 soon, and I want to make her a more adult quilt that she can use through her teenage years, so that's is on the backburner while I collect fabrics in her favourite colour, aqua.  I have very little of that in my stash.

For the past year I've been dodging the piles of ironed fabric that were draped on every surface, waiting for me to finish these quilts.  Once it's ironed I don't want to fold it back up and store it in the drawers. Then I'd have to iron it again before I used it. It's a strange sort of logic. But it made for a very messy workroom.

Then I added to the mess with the tulip blocks I was working on,  and all the fabric I acquired for that joined the existing piles of ironed fabric.  Something needed to be done.

There was this;
and this,
and the new stuff I bought for my Tulips quilt. Oh dear.

Long ago I'd started cutting for a Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt, and then decided the fabrics were all too light to work with the dark purple four-patches I'd made.  I put the pieces I'd already cut in a basket and forgot about it.

Last week I found the basket of pieces and thought some of the newer fabric would work in that pattern, so I was off and running on a project I never intended to work on.  
I cut new pieces and happily pieced them into this top, but all the time something was nagging at me.  I thought I'd cut more 6 1/2" strips originally.  A lot more.
So it wasn't really a surprise to find this literally minutes after the completed top went up on the design wall. I guess there's another top using these fabrics in my future.


Saturday, March 06, 2021

 It's autumn, my favourite time of the year.  The weather continues to be mild and pleasant, with cool nights.  I'm loving it, we really did miss out on our usual summer this year thanks to the La Nina effect. It's been wonderful.

I came home a week ago, and I've been sewing up a storm. I have two finished tops, and a pile of blocks and strips that I  used as leader-enders. It's all very satisfactory, and I still have another 4 days before I go back to Adelaide. I might get another top completed.

I found a pile of dull scraps in a drawer, and decided that I would use them up entirely. I chose a simple block, a Double 4-patch, and away I went.  It's not a big quilt, I decided life was too short to worry about using up dreary scraps when there were so many beautiful fabrics waiting their turn. This is such an easy block to make, I might choose some nice fabrics and make it in a larger size.

Of course I didn't manage to use up all of each scrap, but I certainly put a dent in them. 

I don't really feel like working on any of my existing projects just yet, so I've been casting around for something to sew next.  

These little pieces are the ends of strips when I can't get a full square out of what's left.  I've been saving them for years, and every now and then I pull out a batch and sew them together into a long strip.  

Then they go back into the drawer.  Except this last lot wouldn't go back into the drawer because it was so full.  

I had so many more strips than I thought, enough for the beginnings of a decent size quilt.  I don't have the heart to sew them edge to edge, so many seams butting up to one another would infuriate me, so I"m looking at small strips of pink to separate them.  

I haven't decided yet if this will be the final choice, or if I could use scraps of different pinks to separate the pieced strips. It can live on the small design wall while I get on with something else.

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