Wednesday, February 23, 2022

I laid out the centre of the British quilt to check that the red cross was showing up. It's not as clear in the photo as in real life, but it's looking fine.  I've made all the red and white Hourglass units, and have 300 of the coloured ones, so I'm over the halfway mark.

I just love these blocks of 9 units, if I have any leftovers I'll build these from them.

I even saw a quilt online made from these blocks. 
I'm in a Facebook group called QuiltHistorySouth, and this is from Martha Spark's collection. They look like 6"blo cks, so my little units would work well set like this.  I would have fun adding a bit of colour to my grey palette.
Because there are so many of the little units I'm not stressing over complete accuracy.  Once I would have unpulled this to line the centre up; now I know it will get lost in amongst it's 800 neighbours. I'm trimming them all to the right size, so it doesn't matter what's going on in the centre,

Anyway, it's all off the design wall for now, while I work on getting another project closer to completion.  What did I choose to work on?
More Hourglass units! This is a couple of years old, and it deserves to be finished. The units are 3"finished, so much easier than my little tiny ones. I'll get this in one piece soon, then I'll have to decide on borders.

I've used my time on the workroom well. This is quilt #2 for this year, a Checkered Rail in shirting fabrics. It used a Frankenbatt that Mereth pieced out of scraps that would ordinarily have been thrown away, and the backing is a plaid doona cover from the op-shop. Because it's made from recycled materials, it's really soft and cuddly. I might gift it to Shonny as a car quilt.

I've been down at Shonny's for a week now, on nanna duty. Finn turns 2 on Friday, he's getting so big. In some ways he's not a baby any more, but he still loves a cuddle and a bottle at bedtime. He's talking in sentences, has something to say about Everything, and torments the older kids. All those times they teased him are backfiring on them now; they taught him how to be annoying, and he's learned well.

He's in timeout for hitting Thomas. Let's hope he's just as quick to learn not to hit. He will always say sorry, so that's a good thing.

This morning Finn finally succeeded at turning a doorknob and let himself into the toyroom; he was mighty pleased with himself too. There's no shutting him out now, so the older kids won't have any peace. And the front door will be on the chain so he can't let himself outside. We'll have to be careful he doesn't outsmart us adults as well.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Mereth and I have spent a lot of time in the workroom lately, bringing in a new sturdy sewing table and getting rid of two pieces of furniture that were no longer needed.The simple act of bringing in a new table led to 5 days of shifting, dusting, vacuuming, sorting and purging. Along the way we updated paperwork, made new records, reorganised our tops and batting scraps. There's still work to be done, but at least we can go back to quilting now.

The double 4-patch was available, so it was the first top on the machine, stitching away while we dug into boxes and cupboards.

You can't see the quilting, but it's done.

I used a pattern of mine called Feather Kisses.

It's designed to fill a hexagon completely, but works just as well as an allover pattern.

It feels good to have one top quilted this early in the year.  I would love to aim for one a month, which is hardly unreasonable.

All the purging and chucking out and binning feels great, but the month started with a salutary lesson. Sometimes it pays to hoard things. Our Statler setup is 15 years old.  One morning Mereth went to start quilting, and the monitor refused to turn on. The computer was going, but the monitor was blank. With a system that old there was no guarantee that it would recognise a new monitor, and as it's still Windows 98, with no virus software because of the Statler software, we were never going to be able to connect it to the internet to install drivers. Lots of head scratching went on.

Then Mereth remembered a monitor from an old system of hers, from 2006, that she'd kept because it still worked when the computer was scrapped. She went home to fetch it, we plugged it in, and problem solved. Is 16 years too long to keep computer equipment?  Apparently not. The whole family teases Mereth about her hoarding, but she's saved the day on more than one occasion.

We need a new computer, and that is on the cards for later on this year, but for now we're keeping our fingers crossed that it all works as it should.


Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Another massive cutting day, another pile of triangles to feed through the machine. I cut enough for 120 Hourglass units. I'm still enjoying my zombie sewing, concentrating solely on these little seams, one after the other.

It doesn't look like much, but this is halfway through; single seams sewn on roughly 120 pairs of triangles, to make 60 units.

Then the seams get finger pressed open, flattened with the iron, and the final seam sewn.

There's the current crop, waiting to be sewn into blocks of 9. There is so much work involved, I severely underestimated what was involved.  But I'm still loving it.  It will have to go on the back burner soon, so that I can play with a bit of colour, but I feel good knowing that I have over half of the Hourglass blocks made.

21 stacks of 10, plus a quarter of the top laid out on the design wall.

Aaaaand, I may have fallen down the cross stitch rabbit hole. I'm not so much jumping on the bandwagon, as picking up where I left off.  I've had this pattern for around 12 years, and rather than buying something new to stitch I'm going to finish this first.  It's easy, no colour changes to worry about, and if my eyesight isn't up to something this simple, then I certainly couldn't do one of those complicated samplers.

It's fun, but so addictive. I need magnifiers and a lamp to work beneath, but I'm not really having any problems so long as I only do an hour or so at a time.  One night I did more than that, and my vision was out of whack afterwards, I couldn't focus on anything.

It's simple, but satisfying....

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