Monday, October 06, 2014

 When I set my blocks together I really like sewing them  into chunks like this instead of long rows. The seams are so much more manageable and the pressing is easier too. I used to hate manhandling every single long row through the machine and the top just got more and more unweildy. Sewing them this way does wonders for my temper and it seems to go quicker too. I've since finished setting these 16 patch blocks and now I have to choose a border.

I decided to put the final border on this paisley album top the other day, and I had fun looking at all the fabrics again.
 Not all of them are paisleys, some are just large patterned fabric I wanted to use, but they all work well together.

I think this is finished, it probably doesn't need another border, so later I'm going to weigh it and add the yardage to my "used" total. I'm very casual about this, but it's nice to have a rough estimate.

So far this year I've used 50 metres, but that's only in totally finished tops. I've sewn so many blocks that aren't put together yet that it's probably twice as much in reality. But I don't get to count it until the tops completely done, that's my rule.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

My goodness I've had some disrupted weeks just lately. Keryn and I had quilting deadlines that put everything else on hold, then my DIL Liz hurt her shoulder and couldn't pick up Isobel without causing more damage. So what's a Nanna to do but help out for a week or so?


I went in every day and did the heavy stuff and the rocking and cuddling and general smooching and I loved every minute of it. Isobel is the only grandchild I have close to me, and it's wonderful to see her on a regular basis and see her grow up. Travelling in every day was fun but it put me behind on a lot of jobs around here and I've been trying to catch up since.

I looked after Matt's little dog Jessie for a week and while she was no trouble herself, Pippi reacted badly to having to share everything. She was soo needy and anxious all the time it was exhausting.

 Even though Jessie has her own tiny bed she kept stealing Pippi's, just because she could. It was a battle of wills, and most of the time Jessie won- my dog is a bit of a wuss. Pips kept running to me and telling tales "Jessies on My bed!...she's on My cushion!... She's eating out of My bowl!..." Each tattle was accompanied by a clawing at my arms or legs and a frantic "Do Something" look on her face.

 If only she had stood up to Jessie, who is a fifth of her weight, and not just given in all the time. At the end of the week Pippi had developed her own revenge which consisted of rushing at Jess and barging her to one side then looking around as if to say "Oh sorry, I didn't see you there!" It was a long week....

I needed to have something mindless to sew while I was so busy, and squares are certainly that.

Scrap 16 patches...

 leader ender four patches....

red nine patches....
more 16 patches....


However I think I've od'd on them for now, I need some triangles for heavens sake!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

  Just lately I've been trying to use up groups of scraps, like the florals and yellows in Florabunda, and dark greens and yellowy creams in four patches for another 4-4 Time. I had a little bundle of red scraps and some tan bits that I wanted to get rid of, so I cut all the reds into 2" squares and pieced them into nine patches. I sewed thirty of them, a very nice amount  for a little quilt, and then set them with tan squares, on point for something different.

I went a bit overboard on the borders, butI like the overall effect. I forget how much work is involved in doing multiple borders, these took a couple of nights to cut, piece together and then sew to the blocks.. I still haven't sewn the mitre down, but I have chosen a backing fabric already, so that feels like I'm trimming down the stash. It's good to assign homes to material that has been around for years.

Keryn and I, ( known collectively to my first grandson  Logan as "The Nannas") have been going to visit Miss Isobel a few times every week, and she is growing so much it's incredible. I've been trying hard to capture her beautiful smile, but all I seem to get are the 'Preparing to Smile" faces, and the "After the Smile" ones. My camera either goes off when I don't want it to, or takes so long that the moment is past. Oh well, she's adorable no matter what she's doing and somewhere along the way I'll photograph some of those gorgeous expressions.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

 Sorry for the silence, but there have been a few family worries over the last weeks, and I couldn't really share them. While I don't feel like blogging when I'm worried, I certainly did a lot of sewing. I kept going from one thing to the next, so I haven't actually finished anything (and I may have inadvertently started a couple of little things...).

I have borders to put on this little top,

and I've been wanting to try Bonnies Scrappy Trips in 2" strips, so now I know that works, and I have these four blocks to prove it.
Sewing really is therapy, but I'm increasing the project list instead of finishing things like Keryn has been doing. She's been so good this year; I'll have to take a leaf out of her book I think.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

 The centre of my Split Tumbler is now done. Keryn and I have both had miserable colds for over two weeks, and it derailed my sewing schedule somewhat. We're on the mend and to get back into the swing of things I finished these blocks and sewed them together, and then added this little striped border.


Both Keryn and I love this fabric and have used it multiple times over the years. It's a Jo Morton stripe with a black background. When we were buying fabrics by the bolt they accidentally sent two of this design but we realised how valuable it would be and happily paid for both.


Because I cut the stripe lengthwise I could calmly reel off two metres without a qualm. Bolts of fabric give one a delicious feeling of abundance...

I cut quarter of an inch beyond the little tan stripe, to make the seam allowances, and then I sewed exactly on the line on the back of the fabric. Or rather very slightly to the right of it. I almost went crosseyed I was concentrating so hard but it turned out well so it was worth the effort.
I mitred the corners and they looked very classy; this fabric is very forgiving and I didn't need to take any trouble with where the corner fell.
I think there will be more borders but I haven't decided on them yet, I'm just happy to have got this far after feeling awful for weeks. I'm making progress on other projects, so I'll put this to one side, and something will occur to me down the track. It's great to be sewing again!

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


 I said that I'd started a second quilt using the Triangler ruler, but this one isn't in the book. When I was looking through the patterns, this little graphic jumped out at me, as well as the information that you could cut two of these shapes from a 3 1/2" by 4 1/2" rectangle.


I happen to cut some of  my scraps into this size, and I had quite a stack in the drawer and I decided to use them to try out an idea.

The  image of a triangle quilt in an old Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts magazine (July 1988) floated into my mind  and I started cutting and sewing. I didn't bother to track down the issue and refresh my memory, because I was changing things around anyway, but I've just looked it up and I'm surprised that this stuck in my memory for so long. It was a tiny little part of the background of the photo, but something in it spoke to me.

(The caption says it was made by Janet Grimal, so at least I can give her credit.)

I always thought that I wouldn't like matching  the points of the triangles but the points are blunted in my version, so I don't have to worry about that.

 You can see that the triangle quilt is made of much wider shapes too- the pattern  says a 60 degree diamond cut into quarters. The tip of the Triangler is a 45 degree angle. Two of my pieces joined together look a bit like a tumbler, so I'm calling it a Split Tumbler.

 These went together really quickly, but I made some rules concerning lights and darks and mediums, and I also had to work out when to reverse the shapes. This is one of those simple patterns that can be tricky if you don't take notice of which way the shape slopes- you can't just rotate it around because it has to be flipped, or reversed. I'll do another post telling you how I remembered what to do, if you're interested.

I plan to make this a lot bigger, and have a pile of pieces waiting to be sewn. I just love the overall pattern of this, even though it's only one shape it has an almost prismatic quality.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

 A while ago I got out these Compass blocks and decided to set them together somehow. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted, so I put them up on the design wall and I've been steadily working away at the borders since then.


 I pieced the diamond borders first, and then stared at them for weeks until the cream border occurred to me, and then the floral strip suggested itself and all I had to do was work out the proportions. I'll be able to do some nice quilting in the cream border, methinks.

  Yesterday I redid the centres of two of the smaller blocks, changing them from machine applique to hand stitching, and then I sewed everything together in a matter of an hour or so.

I really like how this turned out, and I will probably add another border, when I've stared at it for a bit longer. It looks very Quilters Newsletter Magazine- ish, but it's not really my style. I won't make a full size top from it, but it would probably be nice as a wallhanging, so I won't pack it away just yet.

It's only taken me four months to get this far, so I'm obviously not in any hurry!

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