Saturday, October 22, 2016

It's my birthday today, and it was Keryn's yesterday- remember we wrote about it here, and here, and also here.  If you haven't read those posts, it's worth it as the story seems to be pretty unusual.

When I moved to Crystal Brook I was friendly with a lady in her eighties who I discovered had been a midwife  around that time-(late  1950's). I told her the story of our birth and she seemed very doubtful. "I've only heard of one case like that," she said and mentioned Mum.  I cried "That was US!" I'm very glad the story had a happy ending, or I wouldn't be writing this. To put it in perspective,  Keryn was  born at ten in the morning after an eight hour labour and I wasn't born till the following day at ten that night. Apart from having to spend time in a humidity crib, I seemed none the worse for my experience. And if we hadn't each had our own placenta it might have been a different ending too.

But here I am today, sewing yet another project and wondering where it's headed. I've been making these blocks for ages (think years) and my original plans have been discarded. It just wasn't working the way I wanted, so I've decided to finish this any-old-how and start again if I want to.

I think the block itself was from a Pat Speth  nickel pattern and it's a delight to sew. Very easy and the pressing makes it fit together beautifully. I wanted something very soft, with almost no contrast, but I think perhaps these might be too boring.

I was playing with the idea of them set on point, but now I just want them done without fiddling with setting triangles. My new revised plan will explore that possibility and for now I'm concentrating on finishing all the cut out pieces and getting the blocks in one piece. It will be quite large, which tends to happen when you sew without specific measurements in mind.

I uphold the sentiment of "no work on your birthday", but I have to continue quilting  a huge Wedding Ring top that has to be finished very soon. I've nearly done the ditch stitching and today I'll focus on the borders, which are full of spectacular applique. I'll probably spend about six hours standing up, after that my feet feel like they're imploding, so that's my limit.
Also hindering me was a thorn that I got in my finger a couple of weeks ago. I dug out some bigger ones, and thought this was too small to bother with. I ended up with a red painful lump about 1/4" away, and the original entry point had healed up completely. It got so sore I was trying not to bend that finger at all, not conducive to good quilting. So last night I got out the soap and sugar  and made a poultice, and though I haven't taken it off yet the pain is almost gone.

I googled it out of interest and while I couldn't find an acceptable scientific explanation (but lots of references to doctors dismissing the idea) I just know it works. My Gran did it, my mum did it, now I've taught my kids to do it. It's a wonder someone hasn't tried to market it!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Oh my goodness, life is back to Busy with a capital B. After announcing our retirement our former boss, who is also our friend, damaged her back so badly she ended up in hospital for a week and was only discharged with orders to pick up nothing heavier than a piece of paper. So of course we came back to help out, on a semi permanent basis until they can find someone to totally replace us. So now we're only semi retired, sigh.

On top of that South Australia had one of those "weather events" that are only supposed to happen every fifty years or so, which resulted in huge storms, flooding and a total state blackout. We were without power for 23 hours, so the little metho stove came out again and the candles, and the musings on how dependant we are on electricity for everything now. Certainly for our amusement! I love to read, but if you don't have that to look forward to it must be pretty boring.

The footpaths in our little town aren't paved and so this is the sort of slop we were riding through to deliver mail- I did some impressive skids but fortunately didn't come to grief. It was not very pleasant though, and just emphasised that I do not want to do this anymore.

I've been quilting custom quilts  too, they seem to be coming in a never ending stream, lots of embroidery and candlewick spreads to do. I have a huge fancy wedding ring top to quilt next, that will take me at least a week, so Millhouse will be getting a workout.

This is the little ninepatch I was working on, finished at last. I think I made the blocks last year and then lost them in my sewing room. Every now and then I'd wonder where they got to and knew they'd turn up somewhere. They were actually in a container that I didn't look in because I was absolutely sure I knew the contents...yep, they were underneath the other project, for some reason. It seems I can't trust my memory these days.

The colour in the photos isn't quite right, the border is a much warmer brown but you get the idea. I wanted it to look like an antique crib quilt- it's only about 43" wide so it's only little.

These are three inch blocks, by the way.

I keep telling Keryn to make small quilts, I seem to have churned out a few over the years, even though I love making bedsized quilts.They are such fun to do, and you see results so quickly. She remains hesitant, and battles on with her big projects, but I think a little quilt would be like a palate cleanser in between big tops. I've got a couple I haven't photographed yet, that's for another post.


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