Monday, November 27, 2023

Fussy cutting practice

I was working on this post before the cataract surgery. It will be a while before I can work on this project again, but I'll have lots of time to think about a final design, and what fabrics I should use.

I've been telling myself for years that I would start a Patchwork Of The Crosses quilt.

It's made with a honeycomb template, and it's very popular with people who do English Paper Piecing. I find that my hands hurt too much if I piece over papers so I'm sewing mine together on the drawn line. This Pinterest page shows many beautiful blocks, the possibilities are endless.

I still haven't decided exactly what I want my blocks to be like, as far as fabric choices, but I wanted to sew a few blocks to see if I even liked  making them. I chose to start off with fabrics that I have heaps of, but I don't really treasure them, so it won't matter that I'm cutting shapes from them all over the place.

There was a blue coverlet print like the upper fabric, but I've 'lost' it. I don't have a clue where it's gone, and Mereth and I have searched all the usual places. It will turn up one day I suppose, and for now I'll have to use the blue and red one instead.

I'm using a 1" do-nut template, that lets me mark the sewing line and the cutting line at the same time. 

I'm using a Berol Handwriting pen to mark the sewing line; the ink in these pens washes out completely. With my dodgy eyesight I need a sewing line that I can see easily, and these pens mark easily and don't drag on the fabric. I had to order them on the UK Ebay, couldn't find an Australian supplier.

It's interesting to cut the shapes out of different parts of the print, and build them into a block. I'm studying the Pinterest photos for inspiration, and learning by trial and error what will work and what won't. 

I lay out the pieces and plot how I can make different shapes appear; it's handy being able to photograph each layout, so that there is a record of my ideas and choices.

Neither of these layouts were chosen, but I can go back and revisit them later.

So far I have 4 blocks finished. I snuck in another fabric in this one.

This one was an experiment in getting those straight lines to meet at the corners.

It's hard to believe that most of these pieces were cut from those big wreaths.

More fun with making corners and borders appear by magic.

The blocks are easy and fun, but adding the setting shapes takes forever.

I don't know what to make with these; maybe a long table runner, maybe some cushions, or a small wall-hanging? All I know for sure is that they are a lot of fun.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Catching Up

I was busy with customer quilts at the start of the month, mainly smaller baby quilts, but also a huge candelwick one. I had to get them finished quick smart, because DS Rhys announced that he and his family would be visiting us on the 16th. That certainly galvanised me into action! I spent 6 days at the shop, quilting until 6pm. I'm not used to working long days anymore, I was so tired by the time it was all done and the quilts were collected.

I did manage to finish my scrap quilt, made from 2.5"squares. It turned out larger than I planned, because I thought it needed borders, but 68"x 80" is a useful size. I;d like to say that it used up all the 2.5" squares, but I found a box of them hiding under something else, so I'm back to square one.

It's very brown, but I was just using up scraps, so I didn't get to choose.

It was a fun pattern to make, I may even start another one. Not for a while though.

While I was quilting madly I got a phone call to say that my cataract surgery had been scheduled for 2 days after Rhys and family left. So that was another thing to add to the calendar; it's amazing that life seems to get busier as you get older.

We had a wonderful time with the family all together, the kids enjoyed playing with their cousins and there were no dramas. We had a family picnic with Mereth's family, 19 of us all together and it was wonderful. There are pictures, but they're on my nephew's phone, I'll have to get him to send them on.

Then I came home, spent a day catching up with life back here, and then went to the hospital for the surgery. It wasn't pleasant, but it was brief, and now I just have to get used to my new vision. The other eye will be done in January, and hopefully everything will be much clearer after that.

I'm trying to find things that I can do now, with my wonky vision. I cut up a pile of shirts, very slowly and carefully. 

This milk billy is full of the middle bits of strips with the centre crease of the fabric. I save them all up, and iron the crease out and cut them into squares for the scrap boxes.

All ironed and ready to be dealt with.

I dug out some jigsaws that I want to do this Christmas and sorted them into little baggies. This will make them much easier to do, and even with only one good eye I can tell the various pieces apart.

I'll sort this one tonight.

I was worried that my little garden in pots wouldn't survive the hot weather while I was in Adelaide, but it's all good. I even have my first zucchini to pick. I'm not allowed to garden for a month, so I'll be limited just to watering and feeding my pots.

Excuse any typos please, it's hard to edit things that I can't see properly. Maybe I'll even blog a bit more now that I can't sew for a while. It's much improved after only 2 days, so I'm looking forward to getting back to normal. Or what passes for normal around here.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

More tops completed

Last year I finished this  Bricks and Stepping Stones top. Of course, being me, I had cut way too many pieces for just one quilt/

I decided to make this with the leftovers, not wanting to go to the trouble of 4-patches.

It turned out really well, and used up most of the leftover bricks, which was my aim after all.

Such pretty prints and colours.

I also had a heap of scraps from the Strip Twist that I'd just made, and these turned into 16-patches. I really didn't want to make a lot more of them, so I set them with alternate 6.5" blocks of fabric and made this little top.

More lovely rose prints, and some bluebirds.

Even though 1800s repros are my all time favourites, I still love pretty fabrics, which is why these are in my stash in the first place.

I've made quite a few tops from them, and the stash drawers are diminished, but not empty. I'm hoping I don't go out and buy more, but it is a possibility. These tops have all been sold, and will be finished by someone else, so that leaves me free to keep making more. Because there are always leftovers to help grow the next top.

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