31 December 2016

A Year End Finish... well a top at least!

I think a week between posts is a good plan!   Let's see what the new year brings!

Managed to finish this quilt to, and although I normally veer away from light colours, the light sashing and borders make this work.  I am having fun piecing all the left over bits to make the back.  The fabrics were two specific ranges of fat quarters,so the bits left over are not very big.  I was going to use the narrow border green as the outside border, but my mother says she doesn't like green, so changed my mind!    After years of making long sashings and trying to align blocks (and avoiding blocks altogether because of this!), I've fallen in love with using cornerstones .. they just make it so simple to put together neatly.

24 December 2016

Midsummer update

Christmas Eve, and halfway through the summer staycation, and some sewing has been done.

These three 6-inch square string blocks for the December Block Lotto.   I can see more of these in my future as they are fabulous in the flesh!
I try to follow the colours that Angela at SoScrappy suggests each month to use the strings and scraps I carefully save from trimming new fabric and any projects, but this has been on the back-burner this year for me.  I sometimes mindlessly sew the strings into bigger slabs, but they just seem to get put into another box!  I think for 2017, I am going to make blocks like these.  Click on the link to see what others have been doing recently.

Having made the last two blocks for Pat Sloan's 2016 block of the month (stopped at 9) and sashed them together, now auditioning the two borders.  I enjoyed the self-imposed challenge of working only from the photos and a limited fabric palette.  I like the big 16-inch squares, but messed up with some of the contrasts.  The bright spots is from the sunlight coming through the blind.

 All the bits made for parts one to five of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery, En Provence.   I was challenged by a friend to make them smaller...but wimped out!  These are all 3.5" units (633!), and I've estimated that we have about three-quarters of the quilt so far, and we still haven't used the yellow and green fabrics!   Update:  Back link to Bonnie's Monday linkup - go and see the variety of fabrics in use!

 Well, Merry Christmas to you, it's time for me to see if the turkey has defrosted!  Otherwise we may be ordering pizza tomorrow, or only eating salads and chocolate!

28 November 2016

Mystery time again

I think I like doing mystery quilts because there is no preconceived ideas about how it should look!  Bonnie Hunter's quilts are big... and, although lots of fun, I want to make this one more manageable.  The first clue went live this past Friday, and I figured I should make 1/4 to 1/3 of each of the units (as a start!).  And, for this clue at least, I decided to try and limit myself to only using strips already cut.   I was able to sew up these 63 four-patches. Perfect!  I haven't pulled out any other fabrics yet, just going with the flow!

Bonnie encourages the participants to link up and go and see what the others are doing!  Click on this link  to week one.

20 November 2016

Weekend playing and sewing

Yesterday was my monthly quilt group meeting.  Each of the committee members runs one or two meetings a year...it was my turn (it seems to come around very quickly!), and I asked everyone to bring lovely, lonely blocks to meet other lovely, lonely blocks, and we had a great time creating fun quilts from these.  There were lots of interesting blocks... plenty for another playtime.  Some ladies were sewing, others trimming and pressing.  But lots of serious discussions!  And a chance to talk,especially with newer members of the group.

These were two sets of blocks that the makers didn't like anymore, the sixteen-patch sashed on two sides to enlarge.

And today, because I didn't sew yesterday, I finished Block number 7 from Pat Sloan's Mystery Garden.  I had forgotten I'd already cut some strips and had made the centre star, so that made it easy!  There are 12 blocks (each 16" square) in total, but I'm aiming for 9 blocks so that it will be square.

18 November 2016

Hexie progress

This is my Lifelong Project!  It gets worked on occasionally.  It is the first hand-piecing I ever started, but I can't remember exactly when, perhaps in 1977.  All  I know that it was already in progress before I met my husband, and that was in 1978.  I remember sewing on the train to and from work.  I have a set of aluminium templates (the only ones I ever bought), and originally used a craft knife to cut out the paper pieces... the Olfa rotary cutter was only invented in 1979, and I know where I was working when I got my first one, it came with a still in-use A4 cutting mat, sometime during 1980.  It was probably more than 25 years before I was convinced to buy a bigger mat!  The sides of the hexies are 1.25 inches.

This is where I am with it now, with about a third of the flowers stitched together....

... and where it was in October 2014, all loose.

16 November 2016

Another Wild Chicken

Well, I said, sew for 20 minutes a day...right!  Nothing for three days, but made up for it today with another Chicken Gone Wild Lotto Block...  took longer than expected as the tail was stitched on five times before I was happy, including chopping it off by mistake.

No picture of the progress, but I continue to work on the Lifelong Hexie Project at odd times.  Like yesterday sitting in a hospital room waiting for P to have another carpal tunnel surgery, which was over in about an hour or so.

13 November 2016

Some sewing

I had the wonderful company of a friend in my sewing room yesterday - thanks, Carol.  It's amazing how much one can tidy up when you know your sewing space is to be visited!  The tidy up was long overdue and it was nice to have the catalyst to not only tidy but to do some actual sewing instead of dreaming about it.   These two November Block Lotto  6" blocks were produced - "Chickens Gone Wild", and they are cute.  Paper foundation sewn.

Last month I printed the templates for this Dresden Fan Lotto block, but knew they were not quite the right size, but totally forgot when I cut and started sewing a couple of weeks later.   And then for some mad unknown reason I used a half-inch seam allowance and had already trimmed the blade tops before I realised.   I liked how it turned out, but it was not accurate enogh to enter into the Lotto, and I had no more time in October to make any more.  The fan blades should have been longer.

I think to keep on a roll I am going to try and sew every day for at least 20 minutes!

22 October 2016

Reading fix fixed!

After the last post I did add back all the links to Blogs I Like Reading.  I know there are other ways of keeping reading lists, like Bloglovin, but I think that means signing up and logging in to yet another site (that will probably send you a bazillion reminder emails!).   I like this list just where is it, cause then I can take a quick peek when it's tea-time at work to see what's newly written.  It's also nice to see these lists on other blogs as I like to see what these Bloggers enjoy reading!  I have this blog bookmarked in the Toolbar so it's an easy click-through!   Admittedly, I am a compulsive reader!

The last few weeks were busy, my Regional Quilt Guild hosted a three-day event of classes and exhibition. Click on the link and scroll to the bottom and click on the Fynbos in the Boland link...and in the last picture in the gallery at the bottom, that's me in the red jersey spending all my money!  There was a cold snap and I had only taken summer clothes, and only afterwards realised that's why it wasn't as much fun as ususal.

I had the pleasure and honour of being a scribe in the judging room, and the cynic in me regarding quilt judging has been quelled, my respect for the process has grown exponentially!  Then helped transport and  hang the quilts.  No, regretfully, I didn't enter a quilt (maybe next time), nor take a class, nor take any photos!  I did sew the grand total of one, and almost another, 16" blocks for Pat Sloan's Secret Garden, Block of the Month (that was June and July blocks, so catching up!)

It's tax return season here - so have to pay attention to that side of work/my life until end of November, by then I will be very much more than ready to sew.

30 September 2016

Blogger is about to lose me...

Well, Blogger just messed up mine and many other blogs!  It has removed the links on the left to sites I like to visit. 

This is Blogger's response yesterday:

I was able to retrieve all the links by using:  https://web.archive.org  but am hesitant to add them all back here in case they disappear again!   I need my daily reading fix to be accessible!

Maybe it's finally time to move to another platform.

And on the quilting front, I am looking forward to next week:  http://www.goodhopequiltersguild.org.za/event.php?id=19

18 September 2016

Three small blocks

Pleased with how these three six-inch blocks turned out!  Made to participate in the September Block Lotto.
Pattern is called Barn Door. 
I took the photos outside in the sunshine, but is was very windy and had propped the board up against a bush.  There were some shadows from twigs on the top block, but was able to edit them out with Picasa.

This is likely to be the only sewing this month!

Also linking up with Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge at Soscrappy, which I haven't done for ages!


28 August 2016

One finish and three blocks

I finished sewing down the binding on the Kaffee Fasset quilt- think I will refer to it as Spring in the Cape as our Spring wild flowers are in full bloom.  C came and left for Clanwillliam in a whirlwind this morning, just wanted to show it to her, but she wanted to take it with her, so no photos yet.

Then I could change thread and sew up these three sweet Split-9-Patch blocks.  Photo is a bit fuzzy as I am back to using the camera phone (just remembered, it's better to take pictures outside!)

25 August 2016

Small steps...

I am starting to think that it is time to sew again. Only a little mind you. A good place to ease into this is to make the delightful August Block Lotto blocks by end of the month!  Cut these 2.5"strips in the colours needed for the three 6.5" blocks, then cut the squares and triangles...didn't think it through as to how much I actually needed...guess the brain is not yet in gear!  Nice strips though for another project, one day!
 Admitedly three weeks ago I did sew on the binding to the quilt started last July in a class with Kaffe Fasset (based on his Sunlight in the Forest quilt), and over the past two Thursday evenings at the quilt group I trimmed the backing and batting and pinned it in place.  I want to finish it before changing the thread in the sewing machine!   The weekend is just a day away!

House alterations:  the last basin was installed last weekend.  This morning whilst visiting my mother my car immobilizer decided to stop working and P had to come and rescue me.  As we then had to wait for the auto-electrician / the-guy who-knows-how-to-disable-car-alarms, or whatever he is called, we had time to go and chose all the bathroom rails and things like that...but standing in the queue we notice a sign that says 10% for those over 65 on Wednesdays only (today is Thursday!)...so put everything back on the shelves, oh well, what is another week to wait seeing we are now over seven months into this project!

16 June 2016

Catch up...

It's been some time since I wrote anything....nothing really exciting to talk about, just busy I guess.  No pictures this time (see why at the end).... I did sew the May block for at Pat Sloan's 2016 My Secret Garden Mystery and made May Lotto Blocks, three pairs of 6" Leaf Blocks for the draw and more for me, and made three 6" quarter bull's-eye blocks for June Lotto sneak peak, and really liked the technique so made 16 more,  and had a weekend quilting retreat where I was catching up nicely with 365 Challenge,  making 12 of the 6"blocks - this is now waaaayyy behind!

I was lucky to win the Lotto again with the pairs of leaves and I plan to combine the Violet blocks with the Leaves.

We had some bad luck in the past couple of weeks, first my car was rear-ended, not much damage but car will be in the workshop for a week to sort out, and then last week we had a day-time burglary and my old and new, my husband's and my mother's laptops were taken as well as my tablet, and one quilt top (from a pile in a bag they emptied out to use the bag!).  My life was on my laptops - photos, quilt stuff, and lots more!  Have a new one, but have long weeks ahead to catch up on data and work lost (getting my daughter to do some data-capture for me).

The neighbours across the road captured the break-in and departure on one of their surveillance cameras, but don't think it will help our seriously over-worked/under-skilled police to find the perpetrators.   Eek, it took me three hours to clean the finger-print dust off the still-to-be used brand-new bathroom fittings and floor and off the electrical things not taken but packed by them and left in the bathroom.  Entry was made via the bathroom window, and we suspect that they were workers with one of the contractors we've had here over the past four months, as they seemed to know exactly where to go and not go in the house.  The alarm unfortunately didn't trigger immediately cause they left when it did and before the security guys arrived!  Oh! the Joy of South African Life!

Haven't had a moment since to sew or think about sewing!  But school holidays loom, and my work is quieter then, so should get some respite and time to sew. 

Pictures next time - maybe!

20 April 2016

Secret Garden Mystery...with Butterflies

The first four 16-inch blocks done!  This is an online mystery designed and run by Pat Sloan, one block a month in 2016, each one based on a garden. I've been making it fun by figuring out the cutting without looking at her patterns!

My fabrics are a combination of a fat quarter bundle of Victoria Findlay Wolf's first range and a batik bundle that complement each other...keeping my fingers crossed that it will be enough fabric!   The fabrics have been maturing for a couple of years waiting for the right occasion to be opened ;)

At the top are four April's Block Lotto Butterflies and one, so far, butterfly for the Old Mcdonald Mystery, both run by Sophie.  

19 April 2016

Monday mail and sewing

It was my turn to get lucky... I won the Block Lotto draw in March!  I will receive 44 blocks from 17 different quilters mostly from USA  but some from Canada and, today the first blocks arrived from New Zealand.  These are my four blocks added.

There was also a package waiting for me at home, and my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realised that it was a parcel I had sent six weeks ago as a surprise to an online friend in USA being returned undelivered... lesson learnt, make sure you have the right address before mailing! 

Six more three - inch blocks for 365 Challenge... still happily on track.

11 April 2016

Q2 - 2016 Finish A Long

Well, here we are, more than a week into the second quarter of 2016, and it's time to to post the proposed finishes for this quarter for the 2016 Finish-A-Long.  It is almost the same list as the first quarter (bleah)!  I was very close to completing #2 and #3, hand stitiching binding still in progress.  #1 is now on the quilt frame (and George the Cat uses it as a hammock...)  I've removed #4 as I can't find it (think it was previously finished and donated) - and am not changing the numbering!.  I have started three other projects since January, but not listing them here as two of them are year-long quilt-alongs, and the other was a class that may or may not ever get done!  But, I did finish a small wall-hanging quilt that Mum had started (remembering that cheers me up!)

I joined up in January and in the first week of each quarter participants need to list already started projects that they think they might finish, hopefully by the end of the quarter (no penalties if you don't!).  Then write a post when a quilt (or other hand-work) is quilted and bound - ie, fully finished!  Link up at the start and the end, for a chance to win some amazing sponsored goodies.  More information can be found at one of the volunteer organisers, Mrs Sew and Sow.  Go and see what others have linked up!

1.  Kaffe Fasset's class "Sunlight in the Forest" - needs a back, batting, quilting and binding.

2.  Little Houses - my attempt at making a facing for this was unsatisfactory:  remove facing, trim the awkward shapes and finish (either new facing or binding).

3.  Top complete from Liberated Round Robin 2012.  Quilt,etc

5.   I have an incomplete Colourwash wall-hanging, think it is ready to quilt, but I don't have a photo - this is a finished smaller quilt made from the left-over squares as a reminder!

6.  Split Triangles, was a leader/ender project - some blocks made, maybe enough for a small quilt.
  7.  Birds made for myself made from a Block Lotto block, think it needs another border, then quilt, etc.

8. to  15.  All tops need quilting, etc:   16+.  can't seem to get the pictures to be where I want them!!!


My lifetime project - deadline March 2018:

10 March 2016

March 1 to 10 of 365Challenge

Ten more 3 inch blocks from the 365Challlenge.  Some are definitely easier than others!  Some I don't think I want to make again, but wonder if making them bigger than 3.5-inch (unfinished) square might improve my feeling in that regard!  But I do eagerly await each day's block!   It's seriously a lot more fun than making 365 blocks all the same!

I have finally got my mind into gear and started working on the 2016 South African Quilt Teacher's Accreditation Course, the one I had to abandon two thirds of the way through it in 2014.  Lots of re-reading done, and I note my same panic as last time about my ability to do it, although I had actually passed all the modules I completed.  The one thing I remember from the last time was that something needs to be hard to learn to actual learn it!  If it is easy you are do not gain anything new!  The practicals are slightly different this time.  Curiously, it is quite traditional, making templates (bleah), whereas I prefer to rotary cut even very odd sizes in my own work (I love doing the maths to figure them out!).

02 March 2016

Blocks, quilting and building

Little bits of progress on various projects. 

Four violet blocks for Block Lotto (black and white backgrounds) and eleven for the Old MacDonald Mystery (green backgrounds) for March.  

Up to date with 365Challenge (except the Birthday block which I'm keeping for later this month), all but one are 3.5 inch square unfinished, the one being 18.5 inch square.   NOT doing white/cream as light but medium and slightly lighter brights.

Got this on the quilt frame last week and quilted - I still need plenty of practice, but there are one or two areas I like - it is a quilt top done as a (own) Liberated Round Robin, a blogging group, long ago! 


 A bazillion one inch and three-quarter inch strips cut for an upcoming class on Saturday.
The rest of the pictures are of our bathrooms - nearly four weeks from the start and no clear view of the end date!!!!   It has taken us more than five years to start this renovation, so mustn't complain too much, except about the dust, and the grit, and the noise, and the dust....  and the plaster off the adjoinging bedroom wall - looks like maps of Australia and South Africa (artistic licence here!), and the builders tools in the main bedroom... new carpets at the end of this!