Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just a quick guest post here from Keryn, as Mereth seems to be just as busy as me, and not able to get near the computer.
Let me introduce Maxwell, a brother for Logan.  He arrived yesterday morning, weighing a whopping 9lb7oz.  He's going to be a big boy.

 Mum is relieved; those last weeks of waiting just seem to go on forever.  Elisa is amazing, I don't think I'd look that good, mere hours after giving birth.

Dad is delighted; the boys still outnumber the girls.
And Pippi is anxiously waiting for her own mum to com home.  Everytime I look down, this is what I see;
she's a little bit needy.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Remember I mentioned last year in November that I was going to have another grandchild in February? Well the due date is just over a week away and I'm flying to New South Wales tomorrow morning so that I can help look after these two rascals.
Hopefully Elisa can have a bit of a rest while I chase after Logan, and get ready for the new baby. No-one knows the sex, which is unusual these days. But I kinda like the suspense; a brother for Logan would be handy, but a girl would be such a novelty for me.Even when I was a child minder for a living, they were all boys!

I don't know if I'll be able to post much over there- I feel like I just got into the swing of it again, and of course the show and tell of finished tops will slow down for a while. I still have one more lot of photos to share, the Devil's Claws are now in one piece. (I've always hated that name, but I don't think it has another)

Pippi and Dolly are staying with Matt so that we can get an early start on the drive to Adelaide. Last night I got an email from him titled "Your Bloody Dog!!"  Ahem, seems she had not taken long to do a bit of excavating in his vegie garden. I'll have some apologising to do when I get back, sigh.  Keryn will have her for most of the three weeks I'll be gone, but she's already made plans to put netting over the garden beds. Bad, Bad Pippi....
 Who me? Not guilty!

Tickets, money, passport...what have I forgotten? (the passport reference is just a joke from Ab Fab, we always say it before a trip)  I haven't really got a handsewing project in mind, but I'm taking some fabric and a little tin of metal templates, and I'll have a play around, if I've got time. Nana might be zonked out at the end of each day and go bed at the same time as the two year old!

Cross your fingers that I'll be able to post from over there, and thanks for all your encouraging comments on my top finishing spree. There's still plenty more to do when I get back. Talk to you soon I hope!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

 When Keryn showed a collection of blocks in a recent post, I saw one that was inspired by a set I made a while ago. I'd seen an antique quilt, so I drafted the pattern and I had tremendous fun piecing about thirty of them. But I could never decide on a setting fabric- the original used pink and I've got soooo many quilts set with that colour.

 So last week I got them out and tried a few different combinations and I think I will use a mid brown of some kind.
 At the moment I'm leaning towards the yellowy brown on the right in the last photo, but I like the others too. I'll think about this while I set another pile of old blocks together, it's never-ending UFO's around here.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

 And another top is finished! I started sewing these Duck Paddle blocks just to use up the pieces I'd cut as a kit years ago, but once I'd decided on the setting fabric and borders there was no stopping me.

I love the way this turned out, quite different from the way I'd intended to finish it but I'm very happy with it now.
The border fabric was leftover from a quilt backing years ago, and was from Spotlight originally, but I listened to what the quilt wanted and I'm glad I used it. The whole thing is very soft and pretty looking, despite the brown in the blocks. I love brown, and I'm itching to make another set of blocks in this colour combination. I haven't got it out of my system yet...


Saturday, February 09, 2013

I despair of ever taking photos with true to life colours, these are all tinged blue from the walls of the workshop, painted in lovely Stonemason pastel blue. I wonder when we'll be able to get rid of that? And the nauseating turquoise carpet.....
 So the green of the border is not quite so green as it appears and is more subdued and antiquey looking.
I think I mentioned these Little Cross blocks in the very early days of  blogging - Jan 26 2006 to be exact. I couldn't get them set together until nearly four years later Jan 17 2010 and they've not seen the light of day until I started pulling out tops and fabric for The Big Border Push of early 2013. You will notice that the setting fabric of this top is the border fabric of the double pinwheels from the last post. I'm a bit dim sometimes, and too often the restrictions that I put on certain fabrics don't get updated straight away. The rest of this fabric was with this top and when I pulled it all out it finally occurred to me that I didn't have to "save"  it for this project any more, that it was fair game to be used on another quilt. Only took me three years to work that out...

I'm disappointed in some of the fabric in these blocks, really boring  90's florals and other bits I was trying to use up. How many of my quilts start this way, 'getting rid of scraps' and then I fall in love with the finished blocks and wish I'd used nicer fabric. Oh well, it's all good quality, and I would like to make the little cross blocks again, in beautiful reproductions, and set them a bit differently.Does every quilt beget another quilt around here? Each one seems to spark another idea for me, and I want to go haring off in persuit.

But the feeling of finishing four tops already this year is a good one, and surely that entitles me to start something soon? I'm going to get a cup of coffee and update my spreadsheet and see what the next UFO in line will be. I really feel like making a dent in that pile this year, and I'm off to a good start...


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I've been on a border kick just lately; one of my New Year resolutions was to actually finish some of the tops that had stalled at this stage. I've been pulling out heaps of fabrics to try against a number of projects and I've finally made decisions that I (and the tops) can live with. It's sooo satisfying to get them out of the drawer and into the pile waiting to be quilted.  (We'll tackle that little hurdle somewhere down the track.)

 This Double Pinwheel is rather old, started in about 2001 I think, once again from an ebay photo. I originally planned to just leave it without a border, but it needed ...something. The colours in this photo aren't very true to life, the border fabric looks a bit dingy but it's much nicer in reality.
  The blocks were tremendous fun to make, I thoroughly enjoyed sewing all those little pinwheels, which made it more annoying when everything came to a halt over whether or not it needed the border, and then what fabric to use.
I've put the borders on another top started around the same time but haven't got photos yet. And I've got the strips cut for the Duck Paddle border- I'm on a roll here!


Sunday, February 03, 2013

 Ironing the last long seam on the Duck Paddle top.....

And it's in one piece. I love this part of patchwork, getting it all into one big piece and seeing the design come together.
 I've already chosen the borders for this, and I hope to be able to cut those later on today. I might not have time to sew them, but at least they'll be waiting.

My pile of 2" pieced strips is growing, they make good leader-enders. I sew them into pairs, then into fours, and finally add one more square on the end. The blue triangles are added as leader-enders too and it all mounts up surprisingly quickly. I'm going to have to put these on the design wall and make some decisions about how long I want the strips to be, so I don't end up with one piece 40 feet long.
While tidying I found some little cross blocks- tiny cross blocks in fact that measure 3 1/2" finished. There was a stack of the white setting triangles already cut and the little arms of each cross are 1 1/2 by 2" unfinished. I had a heap of them left from cutting the pastel squares from the leader- ender project- if I couldn't get another complete square from the end of the strip I cut a 1 1/2" bit. Are you allowed to have two leader-enders going at the same time?  Because that's what I seem to have going here....
I've been looking at other people's projects involving tiny blocks, the ones you need to make hundreds of for a full size top, and dithering about what I'd like to do. Not spools, not bow-ties, not house blocks, not little pieced children, definitley not Dear Jane. I love all those blocks, but being realistic I can't see myself doing them dozens of times over. I'll have to be content to look at other blogger's versions of those.
But this block I like and it's so easy to do just finger pressing each seam; they're finished before I realise it. I'm only doing the pastel colours to use up the white triangles, I think there's enough for about thirty blocks so it will be quite small. Then I can start doing some reproduction ones......and see how far I get!


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