Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Okay Jan, here's a post about Curtis, just for you and his other fans.
Curtis by the way, is a cross between a golden retiever and a brittany spaniel.

Elisa assured me that he'd remember me, but it's been a long time since he saw his grandma. But when he realised that it was me standing in the front yard he went mad. He jumped all round me, raced off to tell Rob, ran around the car, back to me, leapt and spun and yipped and yelped and barked with excitement- yep, he knew who I was!
That afternoon we went to the dog beach, which is always an entertaining couple of hours. I think it's wonderful, dogs of every description running around having a great time, and amazingly I didn't see one sign of aggression anywhere. There were purebreds and mutts and designer dogs like Curtis, but they all had one intention - FUN!!This puppy was a cross between a chocolate lab and a rhodesian ridgeback, and he was huge. He had a really pronounced ridge and was a lovely reddish colour with greeny-yellow eyes. The day was so bright I couldn't see the camera screen so I just pointed and clicked and didn't realise I was at the wrong angle to see his back decoration, sigh.
I love border collies...

Curtis had to think twice about going after this piece of wood that was floating out of reach, but he finally swam out and retrieved it.
Got it!
Once he got wet he was in and out of the water, and racing around with the other dogs, collecting a vast quantity of sand in the process. His fur is so soft and doesn't have guard hairs, so he was really soaked.
When we got home Elisa decided to bath him, and he looked ridiculous sitting in this tub. He was so good natured about it, and very patient. When he was allowed to get out he shook litres of water everywhere and ran around the backyard like a mad thing, all nice and clean. He took hours to dry off, so a trip to the dog beach is quite an undertaking really.

Collapsed, too much excitement for one day...


Saturday, May 14, 2011

When I was looking through the archives on Sujata's blog The Root Connection, I found a photo of this quilt, which I think is absolutely wonderful. It is the same pattern as Keryn and I made for the bushfire quilts, but the blocks we made were 8" finished.

Sujata's quilt used pieces that are a lot smaller, and that makes it very appealing to me. I could literally make hundreds of these blocks! Mine finish at 4" and they are very cute and blindingly quick.
The reason I was so pleased to find this inspiration is that I had a little drawer full to overflowing with precut 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces already. When I'm cutting up 2 1/2" strips, sometimes there's a little bit left over that I can't get a square from. I cut these bits into 1 1/2" pieces, and there are a number of ways I thought of using them. Chinese coin strips, borders for mini quilts, or blocks like Chunky Churndash from Bonnie's site.But I knew these Spinning Rail blocks were so easy (as long as you remember to have them spinning all in the same direction) that I decided to make them my Leader Enders for a while.

I can make the whole block without ironing, just finger pressing as I go, so they seem to mount up in a very satisfying way.

I thought I would make as many as I could from this little drawer, but it's taking longer than I thought. This was so full I couldn't shut it properly, but I've made 60 complete blocks and the components for probably another ten and there's still some left. It's much emptier to be sure, but I wonder if it's ever possible to use things up entirely. There's some sort of magicking involved here, where the drawer refills overnight and I'll just keep sewing these forever....


Thursday, May 12, 2011

I received a copy of the latest Homespun magazine in the mail yesterday, and inside there was my four patch quilt! For some reason it looks like it has blue sashing in the first photo, but the next page is closer to it's real dusty green colour. Hmm, it would look nice with blue sashing, now that I come to think of it....
These photos are terrible, my camera didn't like the shiny paper, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like. I think it came up very well, and the pattern was lovely and easy to do. It used up a whole heap of scraps and I'm tempted to start another one soon. perhaps with that blue sashing this time!


Monday, May 09, 2011

While I was away I was tempted to buy some precuts at the markets, and stopped myself with the thought that I just don't use them. I have a number of charm packs already, the remains of a layer cake that Keryn gave me and a jelly roll project that I'm not enthused about. I don't want to add to that little pile of guilt if I can help it.

I love seeing all the fabrics in a range, but there are always ones I wouldn't choose to work with, I hate the pinked edges and and I don't like the feeling of constraint that I 'shouldn't ' add any other fabrics. That's my silly perception, but it does affect my enthusiam. So I bought the fat quarters instead, which I know I will use.

Determined to use the charm packs I did have I started making sawtooth stars. (This block is square by the way, but I rotated and cropped a photo so it looks out of whack.)

These finish at six inches, and use four squares each, so I'm not going to get a lot from one pack, but I don't care. I've stopped trying to keep charms separate from the rest of my stash, and I'll just find similar fabric to make more stars.

From one square I cut four 2 3/8" squares and then cut them on the diagonal. These are the light triangles in the flying geese units that will make the star points. From another square I cut a 4 1/4" square and cut it twice on the diagonal. These will be the 'geese' in the flying geese units, and the background of the star. Hardly any wasted fabric here.
Then I cut four 2" squares from one charm; these are the corners of the block and a 3 1/2" square for the centre of the star.
There is a little bit of waste, but I can live with it, especially as I cut those larger bits into 1 1/4" strips for my little log cabin. So for me there's no waste at all.

I'm having fun making combinations of four squares, and I've picked out some other fabrics which will go with these. I have no idea what this range is, it was a generic charm pack of assorted fabrics (made by some shop because it didn't have pinked edges) and seems to have a variety of reproduction prints in it.
I'll have fun making more of these; I'm thinking perhaps a medallion quilt with these as a border, but I've got a lot more to make before I decide anything.


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