31 December 2017

End of 2017 and a Crazy Idea for 2018

Well, as 2018 will be a milestone year for me and, seeing as I am drowning in started projects, I want to see if I can finish a lot of them in this year.  (I was going to write the number...but am back-pedalling already!)

In theory I will have more time than before.  The amazing school at which I worked part-time for 10 years in accounts has been acquired by a larger and growing school group and they, sensibly, have centralised accounting.  There may have been a position for me had I been interested but it would probably be a full-time commitment.  I have mixed feelings, sad to eventually no longer be formally involved, but happy for the school, and I am sure I will find excuses to visit.  Still have the other day job, but will have more quilting time!

Some projects are fairly close to being finished, and I am sure to start more, and I have an even bigger pile of unstarted projects (mostly just on scraps of paper as I think of them!)  I think it will be self-defeating to commit to finish one a week, so will work on groups of them in relays...all will have some progress at least.

I was going to list the projects with pictures, progress, next steps, etc, but think I might be embarrassed by the list.  If I find some time I'll add it in a separate tab.

First, the results of recent holiday sewing.  These are left over blocks from a quilt group mystery we did earlier this year.  I wanted to clear the design wall and not have another pile of orphan blocks.  It might be used on the back of this project.  The other 192 blocks are carefully clipped together in sets waiting for the urge to sew them.  This mystery used a new-to-me way of making the half-square triangles, and I used it again in the mystery below!

Then these are all the blocks from Bonnie Hunter's mystery, eagerly awaiting the next part of instructions:

 Followed by all the bonus half-square triangles, pressed and dog-ears trimmed:

May you have a peaceful New Year!

19 December 2017

Mystery Quilt Progress

All the cutting done, parts 1 and  2 sewn, half of part 3 and a test sample of part 4.  And all the bonus triangles stitched into squares!   I took them to my Thursday evening group and pressed them there... it took the better part of two evenings!  And now no meetings till mid January...boring bit will be done at home!  For part 1 I had almost enough squares in my filing system (just short of 12 brown squares) to not use strips.  I don't have much in brown, but making do!

Go and see what other Mystery participants have done so far, at a link up with Bonnie's Monday share of On Ringo Lake.

Our very special Siamese cat was called Ringo, sadly she succumbed to a very nasty feline virus some years ago.   Daughter C insisted on a cremation...and her remains are in a tiny urn, with her name, on the mantlepiece.

Go Sew!

17 December 2017

Emerging from a blogging slumber

It has been five months in which I did not make the time to blog.  Guilt at not finishing much might have played had a big part.   Some sewing was done in this time, but very few photos taken.  So this is a catch-up post, and a promise to myself to do better.   I am having fun trying out things on a new smart phone (the last one was a non-android smartish-phone)... hope that this will facilitate more posts.  All these photos taken with old phone.

As daughter C decided to go visit her love in Australia, I HAD to finish the two quilts for my Grand-Nephews, so she could take them with her (instead of worrying about the postal service.)  The one for C (born at the beginning of 2017) was a top, and the one for L (born November, the day after she arrived in Aus) was just in the thinking stage when she booked the trip.    The squares on both are mostly novelty prints which, I am glad to say, just about used up all I had.    I couldn't post pictures, as I wanted them to be a surprise.  Both are about 50" x 70".
C's quilt
Back of C's quilt
L's quilt

Back of L's quilt
And with the happy news of daughter T expecting her first-born/my first-grand next March I will have to sew some more!  Although she seems to finishing more quilts than me...at the moment!

I did do some knitting for my grand-niece.  Her name is Grace; my sister, her grand-mother, started a school called Blue Moon Montessori School.  How could I not use this yarn for a cardigan for her!  Except the dye ran when she washed it with all the white baby stuff..some now a pale shade of pink!   Pattern thanks to Ruth .   Have made one in blue for T, pictures only when buttons added!

And some other bits of sewing.  The start of using up 1.5" strips, off to a shaky start, but will give the construction some more thought.  This is one of the RSC projects.

And this is what you do with 1-1.25" wonky bonus half-square triangles.  Sew four together to make a wonky windmill.  Add random purple strings.  Add a variety of 2-2.5" greens and trim to 5".  All good to this point.   Then don't sew into groups of four-with-a-border and groups of four-with-sashings... you get two different size blocks!   Eventually added just six strips of purple to get it all fitting together.  Top done!  But this has been over a long time, even had daughter C sew some of the windmills.  This was her first time sewing anything like this, and as she says, her last!

Until next time!

06 July 2017

Plans for Quarter 3

For this quarter I would like to finish all of my projects.  Seriously?  No chance!
Linking up with one of the organisers, Cut & Alter: Q3 FAL Link-up  

So I will limit myself to finishing at least this one, C's baby quilt:

I will work on some others, just to keep them moving along:

This watercolour needs to quilting and bound.

Add more of the flowers, on at least three Thursday evenings each month:

These are part of my growing store of small wonky windmill blocks, in an wide variety of colours and sizes.  They are pieced as leaders and enders. When the 2-litre container is full, will add borders to each of them.  That's the plan so far!  Could take a long time!

Continue to make these fun blocks, but my stock of 2-inch squares might need some replenishment!

27 June 2017

Catch up report

Lots of things to talk about... some sewing, a little baby, some life.   Have felt very otherwise of late, so totally short on pictures!   Couldn't not have pictures, so just some blurry-indoor-at-night ones!

A weekend quilt retreat does wonders for the soul, and helps to jump ahead with languishing projects!   Although almost a month ago now, the good feeling remains.   At the retreat, I firstly added the only border to the orphan block quilt and pieced a back for it, and gladly handed it to another quilter to had volunteered to finish it.   Then moved on to getting the centre of Baby C's quilt stitched (and have since added it's only border).  Ready to be quilted.

Half of C's quilt
 Added the narrow inner border and the outer border to Allietare. Spent the last bit of time stitching up the last of the En Provence blocks - have gone totally off the project.

Allietare - ready to be quilted....
 All of that gave me the impetus to finish Red Centre - yay, one finish for this quarter.  (Go and see what other 2017 FALs have happened, at Mrs Sew & Sow).  It is the comforter for the care bed in the preschool classroom (where I work admin some afternoons).

Red Centre - in situ
This is the bed for a preschooler who needs a rest, but not at floor level... see the stairs up to it.
Red Centre being held up by a five-year-old

Back of Red Centre

Quilting detail on back of Red Centre

Every Thursday evening at the Quilt Group I have two to three hours to "do something" .... and this is usually to either trim up any off-cuts and left-overs from finished projects, or hand sew the Lifelong Hexie or prep something.  (Plus there is always Tea Time.)  A couple of weeks ago I decided to start sorting the boxes of trimmed squares, rectangles and strips into colours... not very exciting!   (Took one of the boxes with me when visiting my Mum, and she seemed to enjoy sorting and looking at the fabrics, so will do the rest with her.  We think she might have had another small TIA recently as she has slowed down noticably in the last few weeks. (That was two weeks ago, and she has perked up amazingly!)

But the week after sorting the 2-inch squares, an offer of a quilt along by one of the bloggers I read using 2-inch squares was too good to pass-up.   So this is what I have produced so far, and have only had to cut about half a dozen orange squares, plus lots of greens and purples for the 5th block (not finished yet).  There are 20 15-inch blocks in the series, but might mix things up by making some with 1.5-inch and 2.5-inch squares.

In amongst all this my niece had a baby girl bestowed with the delightful name of Grace - well done to Mum, Dad, Nana Jacky (my sister).  Just need to remember what fabrics she wanted for the baby quilt....!  She promises to come around and choose again!

04 April 2017

Second Quarter Hopes

It was with high hopes that I listed the first quarter "finishes"!    I did sew a little, on a handful of the En Provence blocks and the Red Centre, but nothing was finished!  Work and Life got really busy, but on Thursday evenings at the weekly quilt group I continue to trim up and cut out in preparation for when I can sneak in some sewing time.  Next month we have a weekend retreat, that should be productive.

So, perhaps I should not be so ambitious this quarter.... oh, really?   These are some of my projects that I would like to get done, and sent on to good homes.  I am linking up with the 2017 Q2 FinishALong with Mrs Sew and Sow.

First one up:  Baby quilt for my grand nephew!  I have bought some, and have found some, suitable fabrics but need a few more, and to do some planning, before cutting and sewing:

No 2:  The Red Centre - add a small border, quilt and finish;

No 3:  Colourwash - still needs to be quilted and finished:

 No 4:  The Birds -- find a backing, quilt, finish: 

 No 5:   Split Triangles:   Play and sew blocks together, quilt,etc

No 6:  Lovely, Lonely Blocks:   add border, quilt etc  This is not one of my tops, but some of my fabrics were used to put the blocks together at a quilt group meeting - destined to be donated in June:

No 7:  Curvy Squares - from a class taken, needs quilting and finishing:

No 8: One-patch Hexis:  I had a stack of these larger-circles-folded-into-hexagons from a demo I did at a Guild meeting.  They are stitched together - needs quilting and finishing! 

I think that is enough, and if even half get done I will be happy!

26 March 2017

Red Centre and Flowers

March is my favourite month, hmm, I wonder why that is!   These beautiful flowers were given to me of Friday, with a song from some of the children who attend my sister's school, and where I work a couple of afternoons a week.  I was a little late, and they had been waiting for me to arrive!

And a Red Centre is together!  I am linking up Rainbow Scrap Challenge - go and see how others are using Red this month. I was trying to see which is the best way to stand in relation to the sun to take photos, no flash, using Nokia N9 phone camera.  None of these show the colours as they are.
Sun on my right on the pathway between gate and front door.

Sun behind me on the grass.  This is closest to the actual colours

Facing the sun on the grass

On the design wall, window blinds open, standing lamp on

21 March 2017

Red Strips and Blue Stars

Every month I deliberate over what to do with the Colour of the Month over at SoScrappy, usually ending up by just sewing strata of strips, and hoping that some inspriation will come in the future!  Well, until this month when Angela announced that March would be Red (that stirs my Welsh blood!), and when I espied the wonderful scrappy blocks of Wanda's, there was no hesitation!  I started 20 blocks, and 16 are trimmed to 9.5".  I have almost depleted my box of red strings which is a good feeling.   I started the centres with small crumbs, adding the shorter strings first and then the longer strings, and finally dug out 2" and 2.5" strips to finish off, but also needed to actually cut some more strips from well matured reds.  They are much brighter than this indoor photo.


And these are my blocks for the March Block Lotto  They are 8" finished. Keeping my fingers crossed to win this month!

12 February 2017


I was surprised today to see that this will be my 200th public post - that took sometime to get to after nearly 8 years!  I started writing early in 2009 with the intention of just sharing with my sister in Australia, after a trip there to visit her.  But down the line there were others family members that wanted to see the pictures as well.

All that has been sewn in the last couple of weeks are these three 8"" blocks for the February Block Lotto   The top two blocks have the same green fabric, yet they look like slightly different shades of green.

I am in a serious state of  "count-down hours" - my daughter Terri will be here from Wales this time tomorrow - it's been about four years since she we saw her last.  She can't wait for the hot weather and I am really looking forward to having her here, and we both will be busy with a new-baby quilt for my first Great Nephew, born just last week.

18 January 2017

January Block Lotto Blocks

The Blocks for the January Lotto are red String pieced Hearts.  We were asked to share how we make the blocks so I took some process photos.

From the box of red strings selected a range of longer ones.

Then decide which to put next to which -  ummm, that usually gets mixed up at some stage of the sewing!

Picked up first two and stitch, and then chain-piece each of the other pairs.

I cut apart the pairs and lay them down again.   I now sew these pairs into fours, but I sew from the other direction - this means that I have sewn half the seams in one direction and the other half in the other direction and this sort-of keeps the slabs of strings from curving too much.   I try to align all the ends on one side.

I press all the seams in one direction.

For the heart blocks we had to cut two rectangles - look! bits left-over to start the next one!

We added the white squares on the corners, but I like to sew another seam and keep the extra half-triangle squares for a some-day project.

On the left is the final Heart Block.
I followed the same process for one below.  The one on the left I made by adding smaller then bigger red triangles in a circular arrangement until the made fabric was big enough.

And then stitched up the extra made HST squares into little wonky windmills to add to the growing pile!   The blog header picture shows lots of green and white wonky windmills bordered with scrap purple strips - but that's as far as those have gone!