Sunday, August 16, 2020

Mid August

Hi there lovelies - it's time for me to check in again, though I'd like to do so more often - I always think there's just nothing interesting to share. But to be honest, it's all the small things that make up a bunch of wonderful, so I'll grab a few photos from the camera so you can see what I've been up to.

My own life has gotten a little busier as things are slowly getting back to normal here. We still have many restrictions in place, and so many people are still struggling, but in my little corner of the world, quilting classes have been able to resume in a limited way, and tennis is back in full swing.

I've been hand quilting away on the Phebe project, but photos of that are so very same same. My Rajah-ish quilt has also grown a bit, and here's where it's at right now:

I haven't laid it out on the floor very well, so the centre area is all wonky and wrinkled, but you can see how busy I've been with all the piecing in the borders. Those red and cream half square triangles are one inch finished - I had all those prepped and ready but needed to finish two sides of the purple and tan border.

Also under the needle - an odd project of sorts. I have a steam mop and for whatever reason I only have one cleaning pad that goes with it. I had a brainwave that I could make some more with some old towels and the leftover velcro from the sofa protector project:

These are going to get seriously grimy - it will be good to have a number of them in rotation.

Another thing I did recently was make cupcakes for my wonderful Dad's 70th birthday - I definitely don't bake them as often as I used to ... and I have no idea why?

My sweet friend Bridget made dehydrated oranges and gifted me some, so I thought they'd make a pretty decoration on the orange flavoured cakes. Yum!

Last of all, a couple of weeks ago, I had a call from my darling daughter. She was at Spotlight and wanted to know what kind of fabric was best for making cushions. Well obvs there are many, but she'd found a cotton drill that she liked and was happy to know it would be great. She grabbed all the supplies that she needed and came over for a play date to learn how to sew.

Can I tell you that my heart was so full it was ready to burst! Amy has never been that terribly interested in sewing or quilting, but I knew if the time came, I'd be so ready to help her.

Anyway, she quilted the top of the cushion, and this is the result:

And here is one of the two cushions that she made:

Isn't it just so great? And what a fun quirky fabric. Honestly, it makes my heart just sing that she wants to spend time in my sewing room. Here's hoping I don't get all territorial about my stash lol! Apologies for the quality of these last photos, I think I've messed something up with my settings?!?

I loved the fabric that Amy bought so much that I went out and got some for myself, and also found this sweet peacock fabric, and then one for some bindings. I think I'll make her some matching placemats when I have a chance, and maybe some peacock placemats for us.

Well, that's it from me for now - I hope you're all well and doing okay in these strange times. Big love and hugs from me.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Well helloooooo ...

It's amazing how good I can be at setting up some routines in my life, and yet in others I fail completely. Apparently blogging falls into the latter category :-|

But onwards ... let me share some of the things I've been doing ...

I got all the pesky 1" finished HST's trimmed and stitched all the upcoming borders for the Rajah-ish quilt that I'm slowly working on. I'm not quite finished all the border that comes before it, so there is still a bunch of piecing in my future. The trimming was TEDIOUS and I don't mind if I don't do any more for a little while ... I always say that, and then I end up doing more :-)

The days have been a little brighter, so I've tried to get a picture that showcases the sweet feathery quilting on the HOQH project - Lizzy did such a lovely job. It's actually really hard - the thread is such a perfect match and the piecing is so busy. You'll have to simply trust me that this quilt has such a pretty texture, and I'm beyond thrilled.

And here is the back of the quilt where it shows up a little better - but I have to say I'm in love with this toile. Wouldn't it make lovely setting squares in a blue and white quilt. I have enough left that I could consider doing something like that.

The final step - the binding - is complete now. The plaid binding is a slightly unexpected choice - but so were the checked sashing strips, and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - so that's the way I went. It's actually kind of a modern print so it's another addition to the mismatch of eras in this quilt. I'm so glad to have finished something that has been in progress for about five years now!

Last of all for today - here is something I very rarely introduce to my stash - a layer cake! This particular one is going to be super useful for my next project. I actually can't wait to tell you what I'm going to work on - but I'm going to wait until I finish one of the two projects I'm currently working on - and the reason for that is because I've already changed my mind once so it's not out of the realms of possibility that I may change my mind again!

Well, that's it from me for now. I hope you're all staying safe and having time to do things you love. Chatter soon! xox

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Piecing, and quilted!

Hiya, just wanted to check in and let you know that things are still moving along in my sewing room. It's my happy place, so I spend as much time as I possibly can in there ...

Since I last posted, I began cutting out what I thought was the next border for my Rajah-ish quilt, only to find that I'd gotten ahead of myself, and what I was preparing was for two borders time. It's not a big deal - I'll still use it, but I popped that aside and started on what was the actual next border:

So that's it there around the outside - the purple and tan hourglass border. It has been super fast to put together - and the next border will be a mirror of the one inch red triangles. There are so many seams, it's quite tricky to get all the points to line up - I'm trying to be okay with it when they're not perfect.

In other news, my lovely friend Lizzy has finished quilting on the HOQH top, and I'm entirely thrilled with how it came out:

It has been a super grey weekend, so I haven't been able to take any pictures that do the quilting justice, but when I can find some more light I'll show you the quilting from the back side of the quilt.

And speaking of the back, I promised to share the toile fabric I selected:

I have no clue when I got it or from where, but isn't it fun when you find something in your stash that you know you want to use.

The binding I've chosen is a blue and tan plaid - it'll bounce really well off of the setting triangles - I just have to wait for it to get here. I can be patient, I promise!

It's getting a little late here, and I still have to do my French lessons for the day, and a little hand quilting, then I can head to bed and rest easy. Chatter soon!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Next UFO ...

Though hand quilting is still my priority, sometimes I just itch to spend quality time with the Bernina, so I've picked up another (recent) UFO - My Rajah-ish project.

I had already sort of prepped all the 1" finished triangles for the next border (and a subsequent border) but I still had to cut most of them apart and trim them to size. Do you remember a while back I said I would leave them on the cutting table and work a few at a time so it wouldn't seem like such a chore? Well ... never happened!

Sometimes you just have to get your head in gear and commit yourself to something until it's done, so that's what I did - and because I've used five different red fabrics, I organised them into groups for each border:

Doesn't really look that interesting does it? But it makes sense to me and that's what matters :-) I like scrappy, but it has to be controlled scrappy, so I don't want any of the same reds abutting each other and sorting the fabrics out appeals to my sense of order.

After a few machine piecing sessions, I got four of the borders together and they're stitched in place:

Next up is another pieced border - without checking the pattern I think it's in the same style as the green pieced border - so if I can find enough fabrics I'm happy with, I might make it green again. And then there's another border with the red triangles. I think I made 340 or so of the triangles for this quilt - and there were a lot of them in the HOQH project too - so I really don't mind if I don't see any 1" finished HST's for a good long time.

It's predicted to be rainy here for a bit, so I see lots more quilting and piecing in my future - I'll be sure to keep you updated. Chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Rounding the corner ...

Just a quickie post to share that I'm rounding the first corner hand quilting on Phebe's border ... this is slow going!

It's actually really hard to see the quilting, but it's there, and I have a whole lot more in my future. It's a shame that hand quilting isn't especially blog worthy, but I'm looking forward to a finish, so I'll keep plugging away.

Tomorrow, I'll get the tub down that has all the bits and pieces for the Rajah-ish quilt, and I'll figure out where I'm up to - happy days! :-)

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my completed quilt top, I'm thrilled with how it came out, and it was great to hear from you all. Chatter soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

HOQH Top Complete :-)

When I finally got organised to stitch the border to my quilt top in place, it didn't take very long at all, and I have to confess, I'm super happy with how it turned out:

It's a really grey day here, so the picture doesn't do the colours in the quilt justice - also I'm not a great photographer (but don't tell anyone haha). But so you can see it better, here's a little close up of the border print:

Now that it's all done, I've delivered it to Lizzy ready for her master long-arm skills, so it won't be long before this is a top-no-more. The backing is a pretty toile fabric, and in my haste I didn't take a picture to share, but I'll do that when it comes back to me.

A few lovely readers asked what the border print is, so I snapped a piece of the selvedge before I tossed it away:

This is not a new fabric - I think I bought it when I was in the USA last time, which was 2015 - but you may still be able to find it if you're a fabric sleuth. There were five border strips across the width of the fabric, so I still have one left to make a nice table runner or some such pretty thing.

While I'm still hand quilting away on the Phebe quilt, I'll pick up the next machine project too - I've decided that I'll finish up my Rajah-ish quilt top before I start anything new. I'm so close to finished on that one also, so it will be fun to see another finished top in the not too distant future.

It has been so lovely reading all the comments you're leaving. I do try and answer personally whenever I can, but sometime email addresses don't come to me. To that end, I'd like to say a big hello to Evie, Linda, Lisa, Monique D, Quilt Granma, Pam M, Terry and Sjoukje. Thank you for your comments!

Well, that's it from me for now ... I'll check back in really soon :-)

Monday, May 18, 2020

Border Reveal

It's finally time to share the border print I've chosen for the HOQH quilt top. I've cut it all out, but nothing is stitched in place - I really wanted to audition it before I got busy sewing, just in case I didn't much care for it.

As soon as I can find a few hours together, I'll be firing up the Bernina, because I'm supremely happy!

Please forgive the hurried photo, it was late at night and I was so anxious to see if it was going to work. Now the only other decision I'll have to make is what to use for binding.

My lovely friend Lizzy of Jacaranda Quilts has agreed to quilt it for me, and I could not be more thrilled, she does such lovely work. If I'm focused I'd like to have it in her hot little hands by the end of the week.

Things are a bit crazy here at the moment for various reasons, but I'm sure there will be stitching time, and then I can move on to the next UFO (or start something new) and get some more hand quilting done too. I'll check in again, hopefully with a finished quilt top - chatter soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

So very close!

Just a quick happy snap to share today - I'm so excited that but for the last border, this quilt top is together!

I'll fussy cut the border fabric out tomorrow, and then (hopefully) carefully stitch it in place. It needs to be done neatly, and I'm just the woman for the job!

Chatter soon :-)

Friday, May 08, 2020

Top Started :-)

I've started putting the top of my HOQH project together - and things have taken an unexpected turn. As it happened, I simply didn't have enough of the striped fabric I selected for the sashing strips - not even half of what I needed, so I turned to my stash to see what else I could come up with:

And this is where I'm at so far! Though the blocks are decidedly vintage, the checked fabric I chose for the sashing strips is a little more modern. And the setting triangles are from a Jane Austen collection from who knows when - but her era is early 1800's - so this is becoming a quilt for all times!

I've chosen a border print that will add a whole new look to the quilt too, but I'll share that with you when I get there. Isn't it fun how our quilts can dictate to us how they'd like to be made. It's so much fun! Chatter soon :-)

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Blocks finished! Squeeee!!

This evening I stitched the final seam in the final block for the HOQH quilt. I'm super thrilled, because I think I started working on them five years ago! Whew!

Block 28 - Ocean Waves

I wish I'd used more contrasting fabrics for block 28 - I'm not as thrilled with it as I could be - it looks okay, and won't be a problem in the big scheme of the quilt, but it could be better :-/

Block 31 - Snowy Owl

Block 42 - Memory

I think this is my favourite of this final group of seven blocks. Maybe it's because purple is my very favourite colour?

I hunted through some of my strip bins to find some pretty purples, and found this selvedge on a couple of pieces. This fabric is clearly from DEEP STASH! I think the Sarah Johnson Collection came out in the late 90's? Maybe 1997 or 1998 - who would have thought I'd be hoarding fabric for more than 20 years??

Block 44 - Shoo Fly

Ugh - this is a group of fabrics that really do not go together well - illustrating perfectly that I don't always get it right when choosing fabrics. This can be my humility block *lol*

Block 45 - Grandmothers Favourite

Block 50 - Capitol T

Block 56 - Union Square

What a blessed relief it was to put this final block together - I'm really excited to start stitching the blocks to the sashing strips and see how this quilt top is going to look!

This is the fabric I'm thinking of using for the sashing strips - they'll be only 1 inch wide I believe, so there will be lots of fussy cutting in my future.

I like it! Now I need to decide on something cute for cornerstones, setting triangles and a final border. I'm sure my mighty stash is hiding the very perfect things.

Though I'm anxious to get hunting for fabric, tonight I'm going to put a few more quilting stitches in Phebe, I really don't want to lose momentum there as it's still a favourite project too.

Well, that's it from me, hope you're all doing well - chatter soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

7 HOQH Blocks

Work continues on the HOQH blocks, I'm actually spending more time on them than I am working at hand quilting. I just can't help myself, it's so nice to spend time with my sewing machine. If I can get another block made today, I'll only have six left to complete - which is really exciting because it's been a while since I've put a quilt top together! Also, I promised myself I'd finish up this quilt top before I allowed myself to even think about the quilt I'd like to work on next :-) I know what it will be ... and I promise to share in good time!

So here are the blocks:

Block 10 - Smokehouse

Block 27 - Maggie's Wildflower

Block 29 - Fancy Contrary Wife

Block 30 - Star and Pinwheels

Block 34 - Birds in the Air

Block 46 - Thunder and Lightning

Block 53 - Eight Pointed Star

I've used some odd little pieces of fabric in these blocks, and some have come from deep stash! It's amazing how few scraps disappear when working on a scrappy quilt, I feel sure I'll have fabric into eternity.

Other than the usual things I do each day, this week I also did a little gardening. I planted sweet-pea seeds - it's a few weeks late for our side of the world, but hopefully they'll still be okay. It's getting ready to rain today, and will be wet for a few days, so they should get a good start.

Is anyone out there learning French at all? If yes, I just wanted to share that I found a nice resource with some cute free infographics and lots of explanations that can be used in addition to Duolingo. It's called A Cup of French, and you can also follow them on social media.

And last of all, I just wanted to give a shout out to a brand new reader - Tarja K from Finland - thank you so much for stopping by!

So that's it for today - hopefully I'll have something other than blocks to share next time :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

And yet more ...

As of today, I think I only have 14 more blocks to make in this HOQH project, how exciting! Here are my latest ones:

Block 52 - Jacob's Ladder

Block 7 - Mrs Bryan's Choice

The blocks are getting fiddlier as I go along, even though block 7 doesn't really look so bad. The next one I'm making has about a billion 1" half square triangles, so that will keep me busy.

After my last post I had a couple of sweet comments from Quilt Granma and Carol in Texas asking me how I choose my fabrics, and whether any are by William Morris. First of all, I appreciate you stopping by! I wish I had some kind of magical wisdom I could share about choosing fabrics - I get it wrong just as often as I get it right. But what I tend to do is choose ones that I like - most of the projects I work on are reproduction style quilts, so I mainly use reproduction style fabrics - I don't stick to any one particular designer, I'm happy to mix and match them all in together. There aren't any William Morris fabrics in the blocks in this quilt, but believe me I have a huge number of those looking for their own project :-)

Thank you so much for asking!

And last of all - this is a fun project I put together for Amy this week. She found this chook fabric while we were looking for elastic at Spotlight - she's mad for chickens and wondered if I could do something with it for her. Well of course! I don't think I made it in a traditional way - the top part is just like a regular quilt, I made a back with a zipper and then basted it together around the edge, and then I bound it just like a regular quilt. It may not be the usual construction method, but it still looks really cute. I may have more cushions in my future!

Well, that's it from me for now - let's see how many more blocks I can get made over this long weekend? xox

Monday, April 20, 2020

A few more blocks ...

Each day I have a similar routine right now, I piece a block or two, do some French exercises on Duolingo, and when I have time around chores and supervising the school aged person, I put a few stitches in my hand quilting. If I'm honest, I'm really a house-cat so I'm happy to be able to do the social distancing thing to a point - but I really do miss seeing my family and friends in person, and not playing tennis is going to turn me into a potato! However, this is not forever, and I will never stop being grateful to all those working hard to keep our lives as normal as possible.

For the visual aspect of this post, here are some of the blocks I've made since I checked in last:

Block 2 - Corn and Beans

Block 4 - Mosaic

I realised when I uploaded block 4 that I've actually put it together incorrectly - the four quadrants of the block are each rotated 90 degrees. I don't mind how it looks though, so I'm going to leave it rather than pull it apart :-)

Block 12 - Darting Bird Set

Block 16 - Broken Window

Block 16 looks ridiculously wonky in the picture - hopefully it'll look okay when it goes into the quilt as all the points line up pretty well. I think I just kind of pulled it a bit out of shape when I was trying to tame the mountains of seams on the back. These blocks are only 6" square, so in places the seam intersections are hectic!

Block 21 - Mrs Bryan's Star

Block 49 - Peace and Plenty

And the last picture of the day is a quick one of the quilting on Phebe - it's hard to see the stitching, but it's there I promise!

My Phebe project is one of my most favourite projects ever - it was designed by the lovely Di Ford-Hall. The news that she passed away last week was absolutely devastating - she was one of the most lovely people I've ever had the pleasure of spending time with, and the loss to our quilting community is huge. Vale Di Ford-Hall.

In a recent post I stated that I would catch you up with my activities over the past six months to a year while I was erratic with my blogging, but I've decided I'll just leave that time behind, and keep journalling moving forward. I think it'll be better than rolling thru all the pictures on my phone and deciding whether they're blog-worthy.

Last of all - a big thank you to all those of you that have reached out, whether by comment or by email. Quilt Granma, thank you for your lovely comments - I'm so sorry I couldn't respond personally as your email address isn't enabled.

Well, that's it for today - I hope to check back in soon with some more blocks - and whatever else is going on here. :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Mid April ...

Hello there again, it's nice to be checking in again, and so soon! And great to hear from some of you also.

I've been stitching away here - it's amazing how much I can get done when I have few other commitments. In fact, since we got home on the evening of the 18th March (and once we'd completed our mandatory 14 days home isolation) I've only left home three times to get groceries. It's a scary time, and I have so much respect for everyone that heads out to work each day to keep the country moving and look after us. Thank you!

On the piecing front, I've made three more blocks toward the HOQH project, and I'm going to try and make one each day going forward. Here are the latest ones:

Block 37 - Crowning Glory

Block 20 - Square and Star

Block 17 - Dove in the Window

The fabric for these blocks has all come from my scrap drawers - sometimes it's challenging to find pieces large enough or that go together well enough to work in the same block, but it feels like I'm making a free quilt. Of the 59 blocks, I have 22 still to make, so if I can keep my commitment to make one each day it won't take long to have them done. Naughty me, I've made all the easier ones, so the more challenging ones are still to be sewn. I always do that!

Also on the stitching front, I've continued hand quilting on the Phebe project - as I hoped, I finished that heavily pieced border, and I've moved on to the final border with stars and triangles.

For a day or two I didn't know how I wanted to quilt the stars - I was toying with a grid, but I'm quilting feathers now. The fabric is quite busy so I can't see my quilting very well, but I think it's worth the effort.

Because I didn't post much over the past few months, I can't remember if I shared how the quilting looked in the busy star block section, so I'll share a picture of that for you too:

Ooops, that pic is a bit blurry, sorry about that, but you can see some of the details anyway. I'm still just thrilled with the fabric for the sashing strips, I cannot imagine having used anything else!

And last of all for today, I thought I'd try over a while to catch you up on some of the bits and pieces from the last six months or so - this is the gingerbread creation I made at Christmas time:

It's similar to one I made year before last, and though I always want to make something more eleborate, last year we were on a cruise for the first half of December, and then with all the fires and heat here I simply wasn't inspired - so this was a last minute construction. I'm still pretty happy with it though.

There is so much more to share, and I'll work my way through my phone for pictures and check back in with you all soon.

Please stay safe and be kind to each other. Big love and hugs xoxox


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