Thursday, December 16, 2021

Nearly done

My little blocks are in one piece, awaiting a final border to be sewn on. 

I'm pleased with my use of odd bits finishing up this top. The setting squares were leftover from the medallion top, although I did have to cut a few more. 

The setting triangles were a very long strip from a customer backing that had been hanging around for years, and I cut them using a Companion Angle, so that the long edge wouldn't be on the bias. They were cut oversize so that the blocks could float a little before the border was added.

The border will be some long strips from another backing that a longarmer friend gave me ages ago, and they have been paired up with the blocks for all those years, waiting for inspiration to strike. I haven't done the final measurements, but I may have to make some little corner blocks if there's not quite enough fabric to go around.

 Finally, all those bits and pieces will be put to good use. I don't really know why this gives me such a sense of satisfaction, far more than if I were just using yardage from my stash. I guess only other scrap quilters would understand...


Sunday, December 05, 2021

Dealing with some leftovers

I've completed all the rounds on my medallion top and I'm currently trying to find a certain fabric for the border. I was sure I had a couple of metres of it but can only find a fat quarter. I'll continue looking...

During my searches I unearthed this pile of square in square blocks from many years ago. 

I'm pretty sure they were made from scraps and leftover square in square units from another top. 

I don't think I had any concrete plan when I made them, and they've been shuffled around my sewing room ever since - I would say for at least ten years. 

When I put them on my table it occurred to me that they were the same size as the blocks I made for the medallion top, and I had some spare setting squares that I had cut out and not used.

Hmm.... this won't be very big as I don't want to make any more of these at the moment. It would be great if I could get rid of two lots of leftovers floating around my room.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Snippets and such

I've been working on the last round of the medallion, sewing the long strips and some more 4-patch blocks. Interspersed with this I've put together some of the Doors and Windows blocks, which are so easy that they mount up quickly.

Bonnie has been showing photos of her hourglass block and a little bowl of snipped-off dog ears. That reminded me of how I corral my little triangles to stop them floating around. I filled up this glass bear (finally) in 2019, but I was astonished to find out that the last time I posted about the bear was in 2011

I confidently predicted that he would be full in 6 months time, and instead got another 8 years worth of snippets into him. I just kept packing them down until it was solidly full.....

and then found a glass pig to take it's place. I haven't even started the compacting process in him, so I should get at least 10 years more till he's full!


Sunday, November 14, 2021

What focus?

I've reluctantly decided that I have to add one more round to my medallion top before I can put the border on. I really did just want to be done with this, but in the interests of artistic merit I will do what the top demands and choose another fabric. Then I'll choose a border for it, darn all these decisions!

So why is it that I found myself  'procrasti-cutting' a whole 'nother project?!!

I've been setting aside scraps to make another Doors and Windows quilt, because I sold the first one I made and sort of regretted it afterwards. Never mind, I'll just make another one! But the fact that I've chosen to start hacking up fabric now, when I should be finishing the other top is the reason for my growing list of  projects. Talk about incorrigible!


Friday, November 12, 2021

Inching towards the finish line

This is where my medallion project currently stands. I added one more row all round and that brought it up to 72" square. Although I'm ready to be done with this I'm wondering if it needs another round, which would make it 80" square, and then a border of some description.  I'm leaning towards an early floral, like this fabric. 

Hmmm, I do still have some of the 4-patch blocks left. I have to give this some more thought but I'm going to finish this top one way or another.

In other news, my DIL went to a first aid course and brought home all the practise bandages that they were throwing out. Just as well, because Lily's horse had four broken legs! She soon set that to rights. 


Tuesday, November 09, 2021


The Chosen project at the moment is this medallion (for want of a better description) that is based on an antique quilt from ebay. I think. 

I thought it would be a good way to use up some browns and greens, of which I seem to have far too many in my stash. I didn't bother too much with the dimensions of the little block because I already had a bunch of 3" four patches made, and I could use them up too. Bonus. 

However the original quilt must have used much smaller measurements because my top is already quite large (it has to be folded to fit on the design wall) and I'm about 5 rows short of the old quilt. I was a bit sick of adding one row at a time and the project was a bit bossy about which fabric it would have where. So I put it all away in disgust. Wasn't working out, pout.

But now I want the whole cumbersome thing dealt with, so I'm adding another row, and then I'll hang it up in the workshop and see if I want to just stop, or put a border on it instead of more rounds. 

Decision time.


Monday, November 08, 2021

 It was March of this year when I was trying to conquer a huge tub of flannel and began cutting several kits from it. I made about 150 of these 'staircase' blocks and set together this top. I'll be able to piece another one of similar size when I'm ready to work with flannel again. 

I congratulated myself on the four or five baby quilts that I'd kitted up and moved the remnants that were left into a small tub, progress at last! And then I found somebody's stash at the op-shop, many rolled up lengths of two and a half metres or more, beautiful old flannels that were thick and soft and.....

Well, I need backings and borders. The big tub is full again, but now I have the means to finish all the kits off, don't I? And it only cost about $10 and, and, and... It seems like the universe conspires against me sometimes.


Sunday, November 07, 2021

I put a small border on the 16 patch top, so that's done. It's a printed check material, offcuts from a backing and I decided to cut along the lines with scissors instead of using a rotary cutter. That worked for the strips that were cut parallel to the selvedge, but across the width of the fabric the pattern ended up very off-grain. So some of the borders were almost on the bias, and have a few ripples in the edges.. Not to worry, it will quilt out.

Keryn mentioned our very sudden storm and hail. Usually hailstones here are like round white marbles but I've never seen hail like this before. It came down with great force and made a deafening noise on the roof. Son Matt happened to be walking to a friends house when it started and pieces of it actually drew blood on his hands as he tried to shelter his head. Our back lawn looked like someone had emptied ice cubes all over it. Very strange goings-on indeed.


Saturday, November 06, 2021

November's focus


I'd like to document every top I've finished this year that hasn't appeared on the blog yet, because according to my notes I've finished nine so far. This is just a little top made with leftover 2" squares from Bonnies Jewel Box Star. It's so cute I'm thinking of making another larger top, it would be a good leader-ender for sure.

I seem to have decided that November is going to be a big push to get tops finished. I was inspired by Cathy at  Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting  who made a giant effort in September to concentrate on quilting a huge number of tops. No piecing or cutting or anything else. Now that's crazy!

It's taken me all of October to think it over and while I have amassed a huge number of tops throughout my years of quilting for others (and not myself) they don't seem to bother me that much. And no, Rose Marie from the comments, I'm not prepared to admit the number just yet. You would be shocked. You could probably think of a number and triple it....

What does bother me are the UFO's.... (think of a number and triple it) that I truly love and yet are stalled waiting for a simple decision that I'm avoiding. I would like to work on those this month and hopefully finish them or move them past the road block. I won't project a number, but I will earnestly try to get a fair few chugging along to the finish line. 

Should be interesting.....


Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Found Fabric

 I've been admiring Wanda's 16 patch tops for ages and when I found a big bag of precut 2/12" squares at the op-shop I decided I would try to make a cot quilt with them. Not really fabrics I would choose myself but still attractive non the less.

I had to add a few of my own paler squares to pad them out and suddenly I had another top nearly completed. I love this block, it's so easy to do, even allowing for the fact that I couldn't use strip piecing. I think I'll add a small border to finish this off nicely. There will be more of these in my future, I'm sure.


Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Another top finished

I started Bonnie's Jewel Box Star in Aug of 2020, over a year ago and made pretty good progress until it was time to add the borders. 

I'd already picked out the purple fabric, and I knew I was just going to make an inner border using 12 1/2" white based prints. I wasn't even procrastinating about the choices and I still did nothing.

So flushed with the success of finishing the green checkerboard/album top I just got right down to cutting and piecing and suddenly that top is finished too.

I didn't really like it when I was making it but after I'd put it on the workshop design wall for it's photo I exclaimed to Keryn "It's quite pretty!" Her reaction was  "Der! Of course it is!"

Sometimes I wonder about my judgement in these matters. And I certainly wonder why I let things sit for months, years, decades when I can finish them in a few days of concentrated effort.


Monday, November 01, 2021

Woohoo,  the borders are on!

The stripe seemed perfect to add a bit of interest to the edge and the green has been hanging around in my stash for literally years. I'll make the binding out of the same fabric and that will be another piece used up.

I was so chuffed at finishing this project  quickly that I put the borders on another project which has been  languishing in it's container. It will be nice to have a few more tops finished before the end of the year. 


Sunday, October 24, 2021

I decided to just put a simple border on the last project and I think it's enough to finish it off. I don't know what to call this pattern;  I'd been thinking of it as "Cobblestone Corner", just so I had something to name it. 

My attention was caught by a set of blocks that have been languishing for years in a drawer- I was looking for something else entirely, which failed to materialise and I thought "Why not?" My sewing motivation seems a bit fickle these days but I'm going with the motto of "progress on any front."

I tried to find a photo of these checkerboard/album blocks so I could date them but I can't have documented them at the time. I searched the blog and there was a post in June 2011 about working on them. Ten years ago?!! I really don't understand how that happens, but here we are, a decade later and I've finally got around to setting them together. 

There was zero agonising about the set or the sashing and the borders are already decided, which is amazing, considering my normal working method of dithering and trying multiple fabrics and being flummoxed by borders to the point of paralysis.

I need to pick another project to finish straight away, before I revert to my usual indecision...


Thursday, September 16, 2021

The blocks are set together

The top is in one piece and I think I'll just have a narrow border and then the binding. It's only about 72" square, but I didn't want a big quilt anyway. I'm happy with this and I didn't get sick of making it, which sometimes happens with such repetitive patterns.

Now I can put away the fabrics, tidy up and get stuck into the next project....


Monday, September 13, 2021

The right time

I saved this photo on ebay more than 20 years ago and have always wanted to recreate the pattern. It's funny how I've looked at this for so long and suddenly it seems the right time to start it. I love the stripes and madders and browns, and also the variations in the lights. They make subtle stripes across the quilt and I knew the challenge of that would keep me interested.

I wanted the pink to be one constant fabric but I only had about a metre of the 'perfect' choice. My back-up stash (Keryn) didn't have any to contribute so I knew I'd have to be careful and eke it out. 

I started using flippy corners, but my goodness, the waste! I knew that couldn't continue.


The cut-off corners from two blocks equaled nearly a 3" square: Unacceptable!! And no, they are far too tiny to piece together. They would be less than a 1" square when finished and I'm not going there.

So I tried triangles with the corners nubbed, hoping that would still allow me to position the corner correctly without having to waste that precious pink fabric. 

I had to be pretty careful, but it worked. Not all the blocks and intersections are perfect but the pattern is very forgiving and I made great progress.

I'm so far along I'm wondering if I need to have a border or just a binding and looking forward to putting all the browns away for a spell.


Saturday, September 04, 2021

Life is busy, as always, looking after these two gorgeous girls. Big sister Izzy is in her second year of school but their birthday is about two weeks beyond the cut-off for school and kindy intake. That means the twins won't go to kindy until next year and to school the year after that. I'm not in any great hurry to see them off, I loved having my boys at home and they grow so quickly that I want to savour each step of the way.

They are both so different in personality as well as looks. Mia is now 7cm taller than Lily and on the 97th percentile, Lily on the 55th. They play together so well which is a blessing because most of the time they just amuse themselves and their little games are so funny. Even though twins are a lot of hard work early on, they're easier now because there's always someone to play with.

In sad news, son Matt's old dog Macca had to be put down, after nearly 15 years of joyful participation in life. He was a wonderful dog, full of fun and the most positive attitude and he adored people of every description. Matt originally wanted him as a guard dog and was sorely disappointed by his love of humanity.

They used to live near a hall where meetings were held and Macca started attending each one, doing circuits of the room to welcome them all, like a character from a James Herriot story. So he had to be restrained on those nights, to his disgust.

I didn't put it on the blog but Pippi also died a year ago.  We still have Keryn's Dolly who is an old lady of 10.(I think) She  has moments of craziness and tearing around but most of the time she dozes in the sun, with the cat for company.

This is the last picture of Macca, and the only time I ever patted him that he didn't wag his tail, he was so miserable. We knew it was time. 

We could all learn a lot from his attitude to life.



Saturday, May 22, 2021

Rabbit hole

I disappeared down a huge rabbit hole when I decided to tackle that bin of flannel fabric. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of it to show how much I've actually dealt with, but in my enthusiasm I forgot. 

I cut and sewed enough of my 'staircase blocks' for at least two large quilts, around 150 blocks in all. I cut some 3 1/2" squares for a simple top, and 2 1/2" squares for a nine patch set with 6" blocks. The fabric  leftover was transferred to a much smaller tub and and I continued to whittle it down in a most satisfactory way.

And then I was faced with this....
Flannel strings!! I did NOT want to piece a block with anything smaller than 2 1/2"" increments and I kept telling myself to throw them out. Throw Them Out!! 

I hate the string piecing technique, even if I love the effect. 

I didn't even want to piece with flannel when it came down to it. 

I was just trying to get rid of the whole stash of this. 

So why did I care about some strips at all? THROW ....THEM.....OUT!

Sigh, you know where this is going right? I started making half log cabins... not really string piecing, is it? Most of the strings were fairly even so the wonkiness wasn't exaggerated, and I could square up the final round.

OK, I could handle this, and I was sorta interested in seeing how far this pile of strips would take me. That was further than I imagined because I kept cutting for the other projects and added to the pile every day.

By then obsession had set in and I was more involved with the strings than the kits and blocks I was making.  I had to forcibly restrain myself from cutting strips for what was turning out to be a rather ugly top. I don't quite know how that happens, but here I was.

I had the idea of setting them with some very dark green strips into sets of four, which took way more brain power than it was worth because they were all different sizes. Then I was faced with a pile of much smaller scraps and squares which I pieced into sashing strips.

I put it on the design wall to photograph it and thought "Why did I bother?" It can only be a wall hanging because of it's size and it's rather overpowering in real life. I suppose I've learnt some things from the experience, namely that I can actually use strings if I stick at it, that it's hard to use up ALL the offcuts from such a limited stash source and I can be sidetracked by projects I'm not even that interested in.


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