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

Friday, April 10, 2020

How are you all?

Hi there lovely readers. Like most of the world, we are isolating at home, hoping against hope that this terrible virus will soon be behind us. I'm sending love and hugs out to you all - those that are experiencing loss, those that are worried about loved ones, and also to the hard working folk that are out there looking after us in every way.

Because I have time on my hands, I thought it would be a great time to get back to blogging more, and maybe I can catch you up on what I've been doing while I've been such a blogging slacker. And maybe you're looking for something to read to to fill some stolen moments, so win-win :-)

This afternoon I had been missing doing piecing, I hadn't put a block of any kind together in a while, so I picked up the Honouring Our Quilting Heritage project and set about putting a block together:

Block 38 - Ocean Wave

I didn't really pay attention to the block name when I was selecting fabrics - maybe I should have worked with a blue palette, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, so I don't really mind.

The thing that has really taken up a lot of time over the last several months is hand quilting on the Phebe project. The end isn't really close either:

I'm working in this heavily pieced area at the moment, the exciting news is that in the next day or two I'll be finished this section, and can move to the final border. The last border has me a bit stumped though and I'm not sure what quilting motifs I'll use. Maybe some divine inspiration will come my way soon :-)

Last of all for today, I've been making masks just like so many others I've seen all over facebook etc. My daughter Amy manages a specialist medical centre, and they've had trouble getting masks. She doesn't tend to see patients, but was worried about getting back to work so she asked me to make some for her. And of course I'm happy to do it!

These are just a couple of those that I've put together - the first one was the trickiest, but once I got the hang of it they're pretty fast. Now the challenge is finding elastic - so I'm going to make the next ones with ties instead. Amy has been having fun coordinating them with her outfits - so that's a little bright spot in what are very concerning times.

So, that's it for me today - I hope you'll check in with me and let me know what you're up to and how you're coping. I'll check in again soon xoxoxox


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