Saturday, September 24, 2016

 I've been plugging away at the chevron border, I'm nearly out of cut pieces and I think I'll start doing some maths to work out how many I need. Sewing the units is the easy part, now I have to work out spacer borders and how to turn the corners and stuff like that.

I've also sewn twenty-six Jack in the Pulpit blocks, and I'm still enjoying them immensely. I haven't thought about how I'll set them (hmm, is there a pattern emerging here?) but it will probably be a straight setting with sashing. I'm not keen on this block on point, although there are plenty of previous quilters that liked the idea.

I think it looks a bit "boxy" set like this,

 whereas a straight set emphasises the diamond.

I like the blue grey setting fabric,

or a pinky brown, or even a soft yellow. So many decisions, it's easier to just keep sewing and think about it later.
I'd unfolded some yellow fabrics to audition with these small nine patches, which I recently found in a container. I made them to use up a rather dull blue grey that I'd been given in a scrap bag, thinking it would make a small top. I ended up getting about seventy blocks from the fabric altogether, so it's larger than I expected. This just has to have a border sewn on, photos when that occurs.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

I'm still cutting and cutting, but any sewing screeched to a halt last Saturday when I blew the circuit in my meter box. I had electricity for lights, but nothing else. I was glad for that small mercy, but pretty cranky that it was a weekend, and I was not going to pay a whopping call-out fee, as well as whatever it took to fix the problem. However it took a further two days to get everything up and running again, so I couldn't sew, watch telly, or do any of the things that I really wanted to. My chest freezer was stuffed absolutely full, not of meat fortunately, but tomatoes and vegetables and fruit from last summer, and I wrapped the outside of it  in towels and blankets and nothing deteriorated. I think the fact that it was so full helped, there was no air space at all to warm up. But I must make that sauce and chutney...

The switch was "stuffed" in the electricians words, and was replaced, and I had all mod cons again, yippee! I keep a small methylated spirits stove, so I could boil water and cook, or heat up rudimentary meals, but not having access to my plug-in fluros and lights meant I couldn't even cut accurately. I went round the workshop and read books and pottered in the garden, but I am super glad to have everything working again.

I'm making progress on my chevron border, and I tried it out against the top I had in mind. I started setting it together here, eighteen months ago, and I think it's going to work very well.

I get so enthused when I finally figure out where I'm going with a UFO; at last, some direction!! I'm a long way from finishing the sewing on these, but I'm eager to get them done.

On the way home from Pirie the other day I stopped and took a photo of this part-rainbow that was touching down in front of the hills in a spectacular way. We've had heaps of rain lately, and I love seeing these rainbows in unexpected places.


Friday, September 02, 2016

I looked back over my posts and I can't seem to find a photo of my little applique top after I finished setting it together. I love the triple sashing and think I should use it more often. It looks special, and yet it's so easy to do, everything lines up nicely and it's not complicated to cut. The next time I get out my stacks of finished blocks and audition settings I'll have to remember this one.

My design walls have been empty for weeks, and it's starting to get to me. All my projects are at a plodding stage, and I'm itching to get far enough that I can throw some blocks up there and start getting them together. I probably need to pick one project and work intensively on that for a while so that I can see more progress, but I've really enjoyed the last few weeks of cutting and fiddling with scraps, even if I haven't  done as much sewing as I normally do. Go with the flow, but I think the direction might be about to change.

 I'm glad that I enjoy all the stages of quilting, I love the designing, the cutting, the sewing, the setting, even borders and binding. It would be no fun to dread one part of the process and keep putting it off. I suppose the worst part for me is the decision making, this setting or that, this border fabric or a pieced one, square or on point: I can get bogged down because I can see too many options, or I hate them all. If I followed other people's patterns it might be different, but unless I'm exactly copying an antique quilt I usually just make it up as I go. And I need time for that, to think about each stage and try out my ideas and work out the dead ends.

I think that's why I'm tempted when I see quilts I love, like Bonnie's Garden Party and Jo's Rail Fence. Someone has done all the thinking for me! I just have to get stuck into the scraps and start sewing. I'm fighting the impulse to dive into both those projects and finish them up in double quick time. They are meant to be leader-enders, and take a while to put together in between my own ideas, not gobbled up in no time flat. The sewing is so easy I just want to keep on going, but I need to resist the urge to work on them exclusively- if I finish them I'll have to choose yet another leader-ender.

So I'll keep plodding on the other projects, and cutting more scraps for both tops until the urge to get one of them together becomes irresistible and then I'll give in. By then I'll probably have found another pattern that insists on being made and that can become my next "This will be a great leader-ender!" project.


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