Thursday, September 24, 2009

This has been the strangest winter, I think we've had more storms than in the past few years put together. This last one was a doozy, and a cross between a rain storm and a dust storm. The light was so weird that people were just standing in the street staring at the sky and the yellow brown clouds. I tried to take some photos just before the rain came pelting down and it was so dark the flash on my camera was going off. No time to fiddle with settings, I barely made it back inside, and then we had several leaks to deal with in the workroom.
We've had lots of rain too, so the garden should appreciate that; now if the winds would go away I'd be quite happy.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Here is the old quilt I based my Skinny Cross on. Not much to go on really, the colours were terrible and the photo quality poor. I completely left out the brown and black blocks, they didn't add anything to the quilt in my opinion.
But sometimes you only need the tiniest spark to give you an idea for a whole quilt, and that's what happened here. I saw a way to use up all my old pale florals, and it worked. All gone now.
This quilt has been hanging around for years, and has had so many fabrics auditioned for it and rejected.
For years I've been buying madder fabrics and have enough for four more tops at a conservative estimate. Keryn's thoroughly sick of hearing me say "Oh, this fabric might go in my Madder quilt..."
But finally it's in one piece, for better or worse, and ticked off my list. Good heavens this top is big, one of the biggest I've made, and I was wracked by doubt all the way through. Why was I making it so huge? I don't know, sometimes the quilt dictates it's own dimensions, and I just have to shut up and go along with it. Not that I don't argue all the way and dig my heels in..... The quilt usually wins, so I should just go with the flow and do as I'm told, sigh.

Once again it was based on an old ebay quilt, but I think the photo is lost in the mists of time, so I can't show you.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The doors and windows top has borders, and I have to piece a backing for it now. I have this plan to make the backing and binding as soon as I've finished piecing the top and I've been good for the last three tops. I still have to quilt them but at least everything is prepared.

This is my latest finish, a Skinny Cross based on an old quilt on ebay. It was very shabby and faded, and there were a few black blocks mixed in with the soft florals and sprigged prints. I couldn't bring myself to replicate it to that extent, so I made do with some old but pretty fabrics in my stash.

I find these old florals too busy to use in my usual style of top, so I put them all into this one. Whatever was left I cut into 9 1/2" squares and pieced the back from them. It used up every bit of them;- I was scratching at the end and had to actually piece some blocks to get enough. I weighed the top and backing afterwards, and according to that I used 8 metres of material. How wonderful to get that all out of the stash, some of it had been hanging around for nearly thirty years!
There isn't much contrast between the blocks and the setting fabric, but I liked this effect. It reminded me of soft English quilts made out of sprigged cottons, and it looks very light and airy. If I get it quilted soon it will be my summer quilt, and I have some vintage blue and white pillowcases that would go very nicely with it. I can see it already.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Just lately there seem to be a lot of quilts using rectangles cropping up in Blogland, so I thought I'd try some. We were using 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" bricks for some of our bushfire quilts, so I played around and came up with this design. I like it because it also needs a 1 1/2" strip top and bottom, and I was able to use some skinny scraps leftover from cutting the bricks. It's nice to find a use for everything.
It was very simple to sew, three bricks sewn together in the middle, and then a 1 1/2" by 6 1/2" strip added top and bottom. (I cut them slightly longer and then trimmed the block to size) This made the final measurement a 6 1/2" block, and they went together very quickly. I made positive and negative blocks, half with a light centre brick, half with dark, then rotated them in each row. Super simple, and no seams to match in the block, it was very forgiving.
You could piece three long 2 1/2" strips and crosscut at 4 1/2" to give the centre section, but I was working with scraps, so I cut individual bricks. It used up nearly all my brown bits, and that was quite a pile. I'll put borders around it when I have time, and probably piece a back for it, I do love weeding out the smaller bits from my stash.

I thought it looked like frames or openings, so I've decided to call it Doors and Windows.

We've been having some nice rain here, lots of cloudy skies and even a few storms. I adore a grey rainy day, and rather than depressing me it actually makes me feel happy and cosy. The countryside has responded and the fields are a beautiful green, the wildflowers have come out and the crops are getting lush. We haven't had a winter like this for years and years, and I'm really enjoying it.

A while ago I saw this rainbow after a soaking rain, and I don't think I've ever seen such vivid colours. It was positively throbbing, and the arc was unbroken. I was on the road, and the other end came down ahead of me, so it was like I was driving into it, an amazing sight. And the double arc to the right was nearly as bright as the first, and unbroken too.

I never did get to the end of it, so no gold, but it cheered me up immensely.


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