Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Henrietta asked for the recipe for Spicy Bengali Potatoes and when I track the book down I'll post it. I've lent it to either Keryn or Matt and I can't remember who.I whipped this UFO together on the weekend as a change from the bushfire tops and customer quilting. The blocks were begun by Keryn, from scraps of blue and cheddar. She rapidly got sick of them for some reason and on one of my visits to her talked of throwing them out. Into my suitcase they went and at home I made more from my scraps, until I had twenty of them. They didn't want to be set together with anything in my stash at the time, so they sat and waited for a few more years , until this green came along. It looks rather like a woven coverlet pattern, and I think it might get a pieced border, but I haven't decided yet.

The scraps for this came mostly from our longarming friend Kaye, who is generous to a fault.She has a bin where bits of backing and oddments get thrown and every time we go there she says "Take what you want!" I don't need to be told twice, but on Keryn's recent trip to Syndey she did the unthinkable. When Kaye said "Pack those scraps up and take them home for Meredith".........gasp.... I'm feeling faint.....hyperventilating a bit..... Keryn LEFT THEM THERE!.

She claims it was because her airline baggage was already 6 kilos over the limit and she'd posted home over 30 kilos of fabric and goodies (!) but still! Scraps! Free! and left in Sydney. Sigh.

Keryn has an alter ego called Greedy Jean and mine is Ima Pigg. They surface whenever there is Stuff to be had, and we do try to control them, honestly. But really cheap fabric is Greedy Jeans trigger, and Ima's weakness is scraps. As Keryn was unpacking all her haul from Sydney, (and sharing it generously with me I hasten to add) I looked at the groaning table and the piles of wool and fabric and sang "Greedy Jean came out to play, now Greedy Jean won't go away!!"

But the bolts of new fabric are for our little shop and some of it will be made into backings for bushfire quilts, and Sydney Show comes but once a year, doesn't it? Nuff excuses.

Dolly can be sooo silly at times. The other day she spent about 15 minutes like this on her back,waggling her paws in the air and barking at the ceiling. Every now and then her back foot said something reeeally cheeky and she had to chew it ferociously, while wiggling in a circle and growling at it. Her tail is equally impertinent, and several times a day she attempts to catch it and teach it a lesson, but she hasn't succeeded yet. This is accompanied by squeals and growls and groans of frustration- Staffies can make the most incredible noises at times. I didn't realise they were so vocal until we had Macca.

And sometimes she just lies and dreams her own thoughts, all toasty under a blankie......


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I finished quilting this Bear Paw and it wasn't until I hung it up that I realised how big it is. Phew, it's good to have that done.I did some freehand in the border, I think cream just cries out for feathers.....
The same customer did this embroidered baby quilt too, lots of little piggies on this one. She obviously likes blue and cream,and so did all the other people that saw these in the workroom. It's a timeless combination.

I sewed up lots of bits at Patchwork on Monday, and by next day I had 112 of these little four patch blocks. And one lone four patch left over.

By gum, they flew together, having the four patches on hand meant that I was more than half done before I started. I think I'll just sew them all together willy-nilly and see what happens.

Is 'willy-nilly' less challenging than 'random'? We have a dear friend at Patchwork who does the most beautiful amazing work and is known for her perfectionism. Whenever someone mentions 'random' settings she gets a worried look on her face and pretends to hyperventilate. She declares that she's cutting 2 1/2" squares and one day she's going to put them all in a paper bag and then just sew them into pairs, whatever she pulls out first. We say "Yes Dear" in a soothing tone, we'll believe it when we see it!

And I probably will play with these as I lay them out, because I don't like the same fabrics touching and I like to distribute the lights and darks.... so I don't do willy-nilly that well either, do I?

After typing 'willy-nilly' so many times I had to go and look up the phrase and it was quite interesting. I like 'hitty missy' too, might start using that!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Last Friday night Matt and the dogs came in for a sleepover, and we decided to have a DVD night watching some favourite shows. Matt cooked his famous Spicy Bengali Potatoes and made chicken scnitzel, which was absolutely delicious- I felt very spoilt to have tea put in front of me. We'd just settled down in our comfy chairs with the dogs clustered in front of the heater.... when the power went off. Great!

We lit some candles and told ourselves it wouldn't be long, but after fifteen minutes I went and got the cards and we played for the next two hours. I was longing for coffee, and the heater to come back on, it was Cold!

I reminded Matt of a time when we lived on the farm, and we quite often had prolonged power failures. One lasted for eight hours, and we were all pretty sick of it by 9 that night. We were playing cards by candlelight to pass the time and tempers were getting strained. In an attempt to make everyone laugh I pointed dramatically at the light switch and in a slightly hysterical voice declaimed "At the count of Three, the power will come back on!!" And it did!

Matt was about nine, and he glared at me, outraged. "Why didn't you do that SOONER!" he said.
Ah, if only it were that easy....

It's supposed to be patchwork today, but it's pouring with rain and I'm going to wait until it eases up before I make a dash for the car. I've got a little kit packed to work on, just got to decide which machine to take.

Years ago my son John saw these boxes being thrown away at his work place; a whole pile of them still in a flat pack. He asked if he could have them, because he knew that I'd find a use for them. They are only about 7" deep, but I find they're great for packing up kits and keeping larger cut patches together. I hate waste, and it irked me that stuff like this gets thrown out before it's even used.

These four patches measure 3", made from 1 3/4" strips. Once again they were made from the shopping bags of pieces from the patchwork shop in Rocky- I must have made at least six tops from them so far. They are never-ending! I sewed all these three years ago, as well as 160 nine patches. Just from the 1 3/4" strips mind you, there are 1 1/2" and 2" and 2 1/2" and some other wider bits as well. I'll be sewing these until I'm a little old lady!

And the pieced strips below are going to be a border for this quilt. Every time I trimmed the 5" strips into the four patches I was left with 1 1/4" offf-cuts. I started sewing them all together and was staggered at how many there were and how quickly they added up. When I look at bits like this I think I really must be mad, but I just couldn't put them all in the bin. Could I? Keryn would say a resounding "YES!!"

When Keryn comes to visit she sits in this chair and puts Dolly on her knee for a cuddle. Since she's been gone Dolly's learned to climb up by herself and lies here looking very forlorn. It's not the same without a comfy lap to sprawl on, sigh.


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