Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Slow Start In The Sewing Room

I've been busy since the start of the year, working on the computer, visiting family in Adelaide, bringing Isla home for a 5 day visit, and another stint in Adelaide, babysitting and catching up with everyone. Even if I had time to sew, I didn't really feel like it. I guess I just needed some recovery time.

I had no idea what I should do first, so I just sewed together the pieces for the red and cream Jacob's Ladder.  

Then they were pressed, and sat on my cutting table for days, waiting for me to cut the pieced strips into units for 4-patches

And now I've done that, so I suppose I should get busy and sew them together.  Soon....

I went through some boxes and sorted out things that had been untouched for more than 10 years. Actually, these boxes fell off a shelf, which was a drastic way to get my attention, but it worked. I threw out some ancient pieces that I didn't want to finish, tidied up a lot of papers, and made a few decisions about some old samples. I used this book to teach classes after the beginners had completed their basic class. It has some lovely patterns, and introduces new techniques in easy steps. But I never finished this demo block.

The quilt is one I still like, I should put it on my Someday list.

The block was fun to sew, but for now it's going in the orphan pile. I'm thinking it might be fun to do it completely scrappy.

Then I found this pile of blocks leftover from my Scrap Chain quilt. I'm going to sew then into blocks of 4, I bagged them up and they're next to my machine, waiting till I feel like tackling them. I need a few more, so I should cut pieces for that as well. Soon...

And then I saw these blocks.

I have a bad habit of not sewing the corner triangles on blocks, it just slows me down, so I leave it. Then I have dozens of blocks to catch up with, and I don't like that either. I cut a heap of the little triangles, and I've matched them up with each block. and I'll get them sewn on in between other tasks.  Then I have to trim them all.  I'll get to that, soon.

With all this other stuff to do, why did I pull out the 2" modern strips that I was working with in 2021? It's not as if I don't have enough to do anyway. But I wanted to work on reducing this section of my stash, and starting with the strips seems logical. I'm going to make little 9-patches, and decide on a pattern later.

When Isla was here she graduated to using the machine entirely by herself. Previously I've sat with her, controlling the foot pedal and giving her advice on what she's doing. This time, after some more pointers, I let her do it all. She was so good, keeping the machine at a steady pace, adjusting the fabric to sew a straight line, keeping her hands in the correct spot to control the fabric. This machine, that belonged to her great-grandmother, doesn't have a needle up/down button, and she was very careful to always turn the flywheel to position the needle in the up position. She never once unthreaded the needle by mistake; I've taught plenty of grown women who never mastered that little skill. 

I was so impressed with her; she can be headstrong and impulsive, but she can also concentrate  and work really hard at doing a good job. She made a laundry bag for her clothes when she visits, and several small bags for her pens and pencils. I think a pillowcase will be our next project, and maybe a patchwork cushion. I taught her mother to sew, but Seonaid was never really interested in doing much with it. I'm loving teaching Isla, she's so eager to learn, and I hope I can pass on my love of fabric and quilting. She's the only one that would be interested in my stash!


Friday, January 20, 2023

2022 Finishes

I finished 11 tops in 2022.

Top left, clockwise: Maymont baby quilt, Ladder, Blue Ridge Beauty, Boxy Bowties, Big Dipper

Top left clockwise: Nearly Vintage Stars, Remnant, Double 4patch, Home Country, 

Then there was the British Frame quilt and the other commission quilt which I can't show you just yet.

I quilted 11 tops in 2022.

Top to bottom: Many Trips Around The World, Blue Bargello, Stairstep cot quilt, Teal scrap cot quilt

British Frame Quilt, Antique Cross, Shirt Rails, Double Ninepatch

Maymont cot quilt, Paintbox. 

Being as I can't show you the commission quilt, you'll just have to take my word for it that it was the 11th quilt. I did want to have 12 finishes for the year, and contemplated quickly quilting a runner, but I just didn't have time in the end.  I'll try and do better this year. 

I'm not going to make any grand plans for this year, but I intend to keep on working on the UFO list, which currently stands at 27 projects. I'm considering altering my plans for quite a few, and making them smaller so I have a better chance of finishing them. Once again, I'll aim for 12 finished quilts this year. I would have been able to quilt a lot more of my tops if I hadn't had so many interruptions, so I'm hoping that I can stay more focused. Onward!


Friday, January 06, 2023


 The end of 2022 is just a blur, I don't even have photos to remind me of what went on. I was super busy right up until I left to go to Adelaide on the 22nd, and once I was there I was laid low with a dental abcess. Luckily I got to see a dentist on the Friday and got it all seen to. The offending tooth was cracked, no saving it, so it had to go. Christmas lunch was very subdued, I couldn't eat much, but yay, I didn't put on any weight.

We had a full house Christmas morning, the kids were so excited and it was lovely to see them enjoying their new toys. 

It's true though, they enjoy the big boxes just as much as the toys in them.

Seonaid and I started our Christmas puzzle and I read a few books over the next few days. A couple of long time friends came to visit, it was lovely to catch up with them. One I have known for 45 years, which makes me feel old. We were so young when we met...

The temperatures were quite hot leading up to the New Year and the kids were happy to cool off in the pool. 

It's too tiny for the three of them, I can see we'll have to invest in something bigger for the rest of summer. They had fun, even thought they were crammed in there.

Ice blocks for everyone afterwards, they were happy campers.

It was all very relaxing. I stayed till the day after New Year, and I would have stayed longer but I have work to do.. Darnit!

I walked into my sewing room and couldn't even remember what I was up to when I left. I've been tidying up and sorting out the mess, but I'm not really in the mood for much sewing just yet. I was really surprised to realise that I'd sewn 60 of the Scrappy Mountain Majesty blocks together, more than half finished. 

I've been sewing the remaining 40 together a few at a time, and I'll have that in one piece later today probably. So I could have an early finish for 2023, if I can find the energy to sort out borders.

I'll find some photos and do a collage of what I finished in 2022, but now I have to go do some of that work. Darnit!

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