Thursday, May 29, 2014

 I had been using these 16 patch blocks as leader-enders for quite a while, and I decided to count them and see how many more I needed.

 I was quite astonished to find there were 99 of them! I had just kept adding them to the box as they were finished, without really thinking about what I wanted to do and they certainly mounted up quickly.

I can't remember when I started making them, but Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts was also making 16 patches at the same time, and we may have based this on the same antique quilt but I can't remember that either. I was really sad when she stopped writing, but recently she began posting again.Hooray! She did seem to get an awful lot done and it was always inspiring seeing what she was up to.

 I might throw these blocks up  on the design wall and see how big they want to become, but I've also started experimenting with a new ruler and some different fabrics, not to mention making progress with some handpiecing on a UFO. I'll post about those projects later.

I'm all over the shop at the moment and tonight especially, because I'm waiting for this bump to make her appearance, my third grandchild and first grandaughter.

Son John and DIL Liz are in an  Adelaide hospital awaiting her arrival, tonight or tomorrow hopefully and it's rather hard to settle down to doing anything. Exciting times around here at the moment and I can hardly wait for that first cuddle!


Monday, May 19, 2014

 For some reason I just couldn't leave this top alone, and I ploughed on with the full border. Phew! what a lot of sewing and there were some more abandoned sections that were too dark for my taste.
 I've spent sooo much time on this, and the colours are really beginning to pall. But somehow I just couldn't bear the thought of packing it away unfinished, most unlike my normal attitude. I wanted the florals Gone, and so the cutting continued and eventually I had enough, after many more hours.

 The final push doing the corners was excrutiating, and I was heartily sick of the whole thing when I finished.
 There are two different corners in the border, with slightly different placements, and I laboured over the first one and then went to fit it to the rest of the top. Imagine my horror when it was all wrong! I'd just picked up the seam ripper to undo it all when a little voice said "Perhaps it's the Other corner..." and indeed it was. I'd rotated the top when I laid it out. I would have been furious if I'd undone it and then had to sew it together again, but fortunately the subconcious mind is sometimes on the ball.

 I think the border was well worth the extra effort, but it was hard work. I don't know how Bonnie does it, my top is a whole row shorter than hers, so she did even more sewing than this.

However, the florals Still aren't gone, merely depleted, so I'm cutting for a scrappy pieced backing. I have about 54 of the ninety 10" squares that I need, and if I piece the leftover blocks in I'll need even less. I'll sew the squares as leader-enders; a bit bigger than what I'm, used to, but eventually the backing will get done.  Even though I do love the finished top I'm so ready to move on to another project. Perhaps something brown and easily finished?


Friday, May 09, 2014

Sometimes a project just leaps out at me and derails all my plans, and that happened about three weeks ago. I had no real intention of starting Bonnie's Florabunda quilt, it just sorta ....happened.

I can remember thinking "Oh, that pattern would use up all my old florals and the pastel yellows that I can't think what to do with.." but it was just an idle thought. I was tidying up a bunch of scraps and moving a bundle of the florals from one drawer to another, and suddenly before I knew it I was hacking up huge swathes of fabric and making a glorious mess.

I initially thought I'd use the blocks as leader-enders, but who was I kidding? Obsession quickly followed and I cut and cut and sewed and sewed. On Easter Monday I started sewing more blocks at seven in the morning and watched an episode of NCIS on  dvd; then I kept saying "One more episode.." and suddenly it was 8pm and I'd sewed and cut and sewed ALL day. I couldn't seem to stop, and I was as happy as a pig in a puddle.

That would have been fine, except I threw the first thirty blocks on the design wall and Hated them. Far too dark and dull and I was hugely disappointed. Oh well, perhaps if I introduced a few lighter fabrics..? More cutting and sewing and cutting and sewing, interspersed with frantic scrabblings through my stash and Keryn's as well. This resulted in some lighter blocks with a prettier aspect, but nowhere near enough to make a full sized top. I cast my net wider into border florals and some stripes, some backing pieces and even vintage pieces. Along the way I kept taking out more and more of the dark blocks until almost all of the ones I'd sewn in that lovely first frenzy were rejected. I'd enjoyed making them so much, but they were much too heavy looking. When I finally counted the pile of leftover blocks there were seventeen, almost enough for another small top.(They'll probably go on the back)

Altogether I made eighty Jacob's Ladder blocks, and if it wasn't for the fact that they were so simple and fun to make I probably would have hurled all this in the bin. Keryn thought I was quite mad, and I did too at times, but now that it's in one piece I do love it. I can't decide if I want to do Bonnie's border, as that seems a mite heavy with my mostly darker fabrics, but I do like the checkerboard effect of the first couple of borders.

I've teased Keryn before about her tendency to get obsessed with certain projects, but I've never really succumbed until this quilt. I don't even want to take it off the design wall because I feel I haven't finished looking at it yet, but it's time to move on. The projects I abandoned are waiting for me, and I could do with sewing something besides light yellow and florals for a while.


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