30 March 2019

Another of Those Catch-up Posts

2019 did start of with a rush!  Lots of easy steady holiday sewing, and then some serious, I've got get this done, stuff!  Then a 12-hour plane ride and back.  Should be back into a calmer mode... until the new house building starts!

To start off, in February, pictures of my office door being adorned with a logo, and my name (just in case I forget where my office is !)- it's a first for me!   Actually it's nice to no longer be in a fish-bowl.  As we share offices with another non-profit, this is to keep things straight!  Also had the air-con upgraded, with the attendant disruption and mess.

I had a mad, mad rush to meet the end of February dead-line for submission of the final assignments for the South African Quilters' Guild's Quilt Teachers' Accreditation Course.  This is one of the two practical pieces submitted, a small wall -hanging, 24-inches square, own design.   Now that is back with me, the ribbons will be removed, I only added them to meet the three embellishment requirements... really, I avoid these like the plague!  The buttons are obvious, but I think you may have difficulty finding the third embellishment!

 I did make time to make blocks for both February and March Block Lotto.  February's blocks were mailed off to the winners from....
February Block Lotto

March Block Lotto

...Wales, where we went for two weeks, mid-March, to see our darling growing family, with a flying stop in London to see our son at Uni.  E does sit still occasionally, but not for this photo, trying desperately to get down.  Grandpa amazingly patient with the little guy, many times up and down the staircases.

I did manage in the first week of March to finish his quilt.  The back was a lovely brushed cotton flat sheet.  All his Dad's family are in the airline business, and my father-in-law (his great-grandfather) flew a plane like this in the 1930s, from Europe to South Africa, hence the theme.  As we all were sick at one time or another in Wales, photos are rare, but did get these of him and the quilt:
E, not actually looking at quilt, but trying to shimmy backwards off the bed!

In other sewing, Angela at SoScrappy has been running a block a week project this year, the blocks are small (4.5 inch finished) and are sooo cute, that they could not be resisted!  Each is either set square or on point, the grey "sashing" is a lovely local brushed cotton.
RSC2019 Sampler - January Red blocks
RSC2019 Sampler - February Yellow blocks, with an extra two

RCS2019 Sampler - March Green blocks
We went to the American Museum at Bath and will post pictures of the Kaffe Fassett exhibition soon, and yes they said please take non-flash pictures, and please post them on social media.  So will oblige!  But there a quite a few, and need sorting out.

13 January 2019

New Year, new starts

I wish that I had the inspiration/stamina/time to write a blog post every day!   I know that some bloggers dictate their posts, but that doesn't seem to be in the spirit of writing!

Everything here has been quiet, except for The Wedding of very good friends yesterday.  This was supposed to happen in November, but the Bride-to-be tripped and broke her ankle, so it was postponed.   Lots of happiness, John and Corrie!

Some recent stitchings, in the order that they were started, but all were/are sewn as the mood took/takes me:

A glimpse of some of the blocks for grandson E's next quilt, just two more aeroplane blocks to make.  Have had fun using up lots of strings for the triangles.  Blocks are 12-inches unfinished.  Something went wrong the the enlarging/copying of the pattern, but they were close enough to the size wanted!

 Bonnie Hunter's year-end mystery.  Again a glimpse of some of the two different centre blocks.  All blocks have been sewn but not sewn together. Border pieces ready to go.  I'll try to link up later with the other quilters who have been playing along with the mystery.

These are the first two weeks of a quilt along at Angela's blog:  Soscrappy.  She has called the quilt-along for RSC2019, "Tiny Tuesdays".  Each block centre is small!  Which means they sew up pretty quick!  Making blocks like this is, besides finding use for well-matured fabrics, a way of just trying out a block that may or may not be new to you, but sometimes leads on to other things!

And last, but not least, January's Block Lotto blocks, "Fireballs".  I made three of these 6-inch blocks.  This is really another fun way to stretch your skills - even if you don't participate, try a block or two each month for yourself.

18 December 2018

On the Wall

This is a quick shot of what is currently up on my flannel-covered foam boards.

From the left:

15 6-inch Scrappy Star Blocks for the Block Lotto, for which I volunteered to be the hostess for December.  Think of a block, choose the fabrics, write the pattern, test the pattern, write the post, track the participants, slightly stressful but good fun.

One star block made by a friend to test the pattern.

A 400% photocopy enlargement of a Kaffe Fasset fabric, as design inspiration for a challenge quilt that missed the deadline!

Two aeroplane blocks, the start of a quilt for grandson E (his Dad's family are/were all in the airline industry - pilots, cabin crew, ground crew.)

A close-to-finished Quilt As You Go.  These are Carol's Stars, done in a class.  Used thick batting so it is really puffy.

Summer holiday time!   Might mean more sewing!

17 October 2018

October update

Not long after the last post my dear husband decided that my sewing room should be painted.  Hmm...a good idea...but it took us, with our gardener who is only here onceevery two weeks, over a month to get all done.  Moving some things out of the room, move other things from one side to the other, cover everything in drop cloths, clean up each time, but it was worth it in the end.   The upshot is that not a lot of sewing was done, but it was good to sort out all the projects in progress..found a couple I had forgotten about!
These are the Block Lotto blocks for October.  I found that I didn't have any Halloween fabrics, but did find one piece at a local quilt event.

The said local quilt event is called Fynbos, and is run every other year by our local umbrella guild.  (Actually spent 6 days there, setting-up, helping, taking down, transporting stuff, scribing in the judging room!)  There were some classes as well as vendors and an exhibition.  This is the result so far of a wonderful class I took there with Kathryn Cillliers-Louw.  First picture was during the class and the second a few days later, but still to be completed.  Daughter C says the corners look like wi-fi symbols.

At the exhibition, this is my dear friend Tracy in front of her amazing Millefiore quilt, all hand-pieced, and long-arm quilted by herself.

This was also quilted for me by Tracy.  It's in the wash right now, so more photos later:

I have managed a finish (after about 8 years!) of a colourwash quilt started in a class:

 On my wall, blocks from this year's quilt along called Squared Away, with Angela at Soscrappy and her friend Mari at the Academic Quilter.  Still thinking about how to assemble these blocks.

And finally, down to the last few 2-inch-square blocks of Klein, Kleiner, Kleinste, now can start to play with layouts.  (KKK = small, smaller, smallest)

30 July 2018

Controlled scrappy blocks

After a hot trip to the UK, it was almost a pleasure to be back in sort-of wintery Cape Town.  I was very surprised to find in the UK that the mercury hovered around 30 degrees celcius almost every day, with only one day of drizzle.

Had lots of, but never enough, cuddles with grandson E - at nearly 5 months old now sporting his first tooth.   Maybe we get to see him again this year...his passport is in hand!

Red with maroon was July's colour of the month. Stitched up all my previously trimmed red pieces.   And these were the controlled scrappy blocks, starting with red centres:

Six trees for the Block Lotto:

On one of my lists in the past 10 weeks an instruction read,"En Provence - 2nd corner".  Hauled it out and put on wall, struggled a bit with the orientation as I realised that I hadn't even completed the first corner!  First corner, now almost complete, well at least all the pieces are there.  I have turned the blocks on point so have to fill in with triangular shaped sections...but now I know where I'm headed!

13 June 2018

June sewing and meet my Grandson

From the left:  two of the Noonlight blocks (waiting for all their mates flying in from the Block Lotto makers), 26 blocks for the Scrappy Block Project (using strings and keeping block corners 90-deg, but whatever size the strings dictate),  three Squared Away (turquoise/teal,not quite blue, not quite green, RSC colour for June), 5 of the biggest KKK blocks (finish at 6-inches).  This might be the last of the sewing for a few weeks, because....

  ...counting the days until there will be lots of hugs for E!   6000 miles travel - just to get there!

05 June 2018

29 May 2018

Project updates

I've been managing to sew almost every day, even if only for a few minutes, and had a very productive quilters retreat this past weekend.  These photos were taken two weeks ago of various blocks made for different projects.

These are my Noon Light Block Lotto blocks for April, which I am lucky to have won, so will get another 30 blocks, very excited about this, especially as I have started to receive them.

These are my Rail Variation Block Lotto blocks for May.

A shot of various blocks decorating my flannel boards. Some pink blocks for May.  The green bordered blocks are a newish long-term project - last month I picked seven interesting yellow scraps and bordered them with green string scraps, this month I used nine pink centres, yellow first border, and green second border.  Next and following months will start the centre with a new colour and continue the pattern - aiming to get the blocks to between 6 and 8 inches.

These are the result of a workshop about a year ago - working with 3/4 and 1 inch strips, they are so cute, but very time consuming!  Some will end up like the 6-inch "bull's-eye" blocks above, but most will be 1.5"-inches.  Long way to go still!

 Preparing for the past weekend - all ready in piles to be sewn together.  I used Liberty prints for these fun mystery blocks. 

18 April 2018

It's raining!

And blowing like mad... let's hope that this continues this coming winter!

This is the view from my upstairs office window..can't see the mountain as the cloud and rain are obscuring it.  (I have to stand up to see out!)

Yesterday I was playing with some block layouts for future sewing.  They are a bit wrinkly and wouldn't stay on the wall so laid them out on my bed, with the sun streaming through the shutters:

08 April 2018

Lots of catch up pictures

Lots of things have happened in the past month or so.  A lovely garden tea to celebrate my mother, a brand-new first grandchild, a visit to welcome him, a ski holiday, and some sewing!

Our family and a few friends sharing memories of my mother under the trees in the tea garden on a nearby grape and rose farm.  They had put the roses on the table for us.

Three days later, a whirlwind visit to Wales to see my daughter T, and her new-born son, E.  First, one night in London with my son M - these daffodils growing in the pavement outside his flat:

Then a six-hour drive to Cardiff to arrive only an hour after they got home from the Maternity Unit!  M and I camped out on the couches in their tiny 1-bed flat.

 And the first quilt for E, originally he was referred to as "Pickle".  It's been a long time since I free-motion quilted anything, but this called for it, rather than being frame-quilted.  Or rather the thought (under pressure) of clearing all the stuff off and from under the frame to pull the frame out just seemed overwhelming.  Back is brushed cotton (flannel).

Just had four days with them, as a prior booked family ski holiday couldn't be missed.  This is view out of the plane window as it's coming in to land at Tarbes/Lourdes airport - those are the Pyrenees  Mountains covered in snow in the background:

And some skiing and snow hiking took place:

 The view from the apartment window in Bareges, it's snowing out there:

 The Tour de France comes this way in summer, a lovely day for skiing:

Morning coffee with chocolate macaron and pistachio tart decorated with fresh myrtille berries with my daughter, C:

And on to some sewing...  
Six Block Lotto blocks for February, where we had to take small orphan blocks and dress them up to 9-inch square:

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler (RSC) for February.  Same block in two sizes and a couple of wonky windmills from the left-overs.

 A sort of summary of purple February and green March blocks created from RSC inspired colours.  The top three green propeller-like blocks are the Block Lotto ones.  The three green ones underneath are the RSC March sampler blocks, in three sizes.  As purple sort of was about a quarter of my pre-cut scraps I was able to churn out loads of blocks.  Cut green scraps were decidedly less in number. For this year I am still trying to use only the scraps that have been trimmed and sorted, working well so far!

 95 (purple) and 93 (green) 3" 9-patches (for Jack's Chain); 29 and 14 short 9-patches from left-over ends of strip piecing; 35 and 4 5-piece mono slabs 10"x 4"; 23 and 3 8" blocks with 4-patch centres; 101 and 22 3" light/dark squares; 27 and 2 6" economy blocks; and a handful of other odd purple or green blocks