Friday, November 28, 2014


How about this fabric.  I bought it in London.  Some of it is from designer Zandra Rhodes.  Do you remember her from the 60's and 70's?

I've just come back from 2 weeks in England.  At this time of the year the conversation contains references such as "rather damp" and "quite chilly".  Nevertheless I had a great time travelling the length, not quite the breadth of England.  From Berwick-on-Tweed in the north to the Isle of Wight down south.

Not many quilt references sadly.  You can't drag people off to quilt related things and get away with it every time.  So I save my kidnapping for the must-see occasions.

On returning home, though, I caught up with all the lovely blogs and decided that I must do something about the state of my sewing space.  No before photos.  Just too awful.

I always start at the bookshelf.  Very easy to sort and tidy, although the shelves seem to groan under the weight these days.

 Rather than emptying the bookshelf I added to it.  I brought back Kaffe Fassettt's newest book.

 The pictures are great but I rarely make his quilts.  To be totally honest,  the instructions are baffling.  Am I the only one, or does anyone else find reading the instructions like wading in heavy treacle?  After all this time and so many books I am surprised that the editors aren't capable of making the instructions clearer.

 I also came across these two second hand books and bought them for 3 pounds each.  Bargain.

Throwing out books is difficult.  But this time, the plan was to be ruthless and throw out unloved magazines and ugly fabric.  If you look at the blogpost title, it isn't a typo.  I didn't actually do much throwing out at all.  It appears that I brought in more than I put out.  So I figure I was less than ruthless in the end. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Should Have Known

Were you wondering what happened to all those 3" hourglass blocks I made?  Probably not.  By the time I made over 400 I got bored.

When I came back to them,  I decided to put them together and get some idea of what the quilt might look like.


Because I discovered something that you, no doubt, already knew.  The point at the corners of each block is very bulky.  Eight seams meet there.   Of course I should have known better and made sure that the seams butted together correctly or "nestled".  Needless to say, I wasn't enjoying putting them together.  More than 400 blocks.

Too many to undo and fix.

So the new plan is to incorporate them into another quilt top.  One day.

Still quilting for my deadline.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Questions only, no answers.

When Barbara Brackman first started her weekly block downloads I was encouraged to join in by Janet.   She powered on.  So too did Kate.  I got distracted when I had thirteen blocks under my belt.
Other things called, until the book was published.  Armed with a copy of the book I started again

But I decided to do the quilterie setting.  So instead of approximately 52 blocks, there was an extra 52 courthouse steps blocks and setting triangles.

The top is now basted and on the end of an ever increasing list of quilts to be hand quilted.  I have only hand quilted one sampler - my very first quilt and I thought it would be fun to quilt each individual block differently.  I am not sure how I will do the courthouse steps blocks.  Suggestions welcomed.

Being an Australian, I deleted some of the more overtly American blocks.  That sounds ridiculous considering it is a Civil War sampler but I would imagine that non-Australian quilters would do the same making a pattern that involves emus, kangaroos and other identifiably Australian  motifs.  Is that right? or have I got it completely wrong? 

I avoid fabrics with the American flag, too.  But then I wouldn't use fabric with an Australian flag either.

I caught this little vignette in Hyde Park. 

The dog could actually walk in the shoes but I asked its owner to hold it up so I could get a better shot of it.   I don't know whether to think how lucky it is or call the RSPCA.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Afternoon's Play

For some reason I hand quilt only at night in front of the television.  So even though I have an almost impossible deadline mentioned in my previous post,  I still can't force myself to sit down and work on the border quilting during the day.  Beside, it has been unseasonably hot and sitting under a quilt during the heat seems like madness.

So that is how I found myself pulling out a very old project.  It started with the left overs from this quilt. 

The fabric is for the most part from the "Charisma" range designed by Chez Moi for Moda. It's so old I can't remember when it was released.  Possibly 2006.

The blocks are 14" square.  I made a couple of them in early 2010 trying to construct blocks from  jelly rolls.  Even though I had yardage, I cut strips 2.5" wide.  

I still had the sashing fabric, a white on white pattern and before I knew it, there were 6 blocks, then 12.

My "Charisma" stash doesn't seem to grow any smaller.  There will be enough to make an interesting border and a reasonable sized quilt.

Only after putting this post together and previewing it did I realize that I put the middle row, bottom blocks together in the wrong places.  It won't take much to rectify that.  Just a couple of seams and a free afternoon.

 I'll leave you with a funny sign I came across this afternoon.

I hope it made you smile too.