Sunday, January 18, 2015

Really Busy

In my recent post I mentioned how an off the cuff comment regarding the busyness of my design made me reassess what I was doing.  To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee (refer to google and Wikipedia if you don't get the reference), "You call that busy?  This is busy."

Of course, you'll recognize my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2014 mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice.  It's back from the longarm quilter.  A close up photo does the quilt more justice

The pattern is busy.  There are 49 blocks.  Half have 32 pieces in them and the others have 42 individual pieces.  And then there is the piecing in the borders.  About 2000 pieces all up.  Don't ask me how many seams, but that is lots and lots of cutting and sewing  (if Bonnie is reading I just want to say I am not whining).  Somehow or other I made more bits than required so I used some on the back

I am very pleased with the outcome, even though my quilt could also be described as busy.

As far as the original "busy" quilt, I am still making more of the 3" hourglass blocks.  The advantage of a design wall is that I can fiddle around with the setting of my blocks before sewing and get a better perspective.  I think this is a better outcome than previously.

It also solves a problem I had at the border. Advice and opinions sought and welcomed.

Finally, I became a primary producer recently with my passionfruit vine reluctantly giving up its precious crop.  Not before I threatened it with being replaced by a more co-operative species.  Still, it was delicious and I expect next year the vine will yield more fruit.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Birthday

A few months ago my sister was looking at my pile of quilts.  It's been a while since I gave her a quilt so I asked her to choose one as a gift.  She couldn't make up her mind between two, but finally she chose Coco's Midnight Garden. 

Then and there I decided to give her the other one for her birthday.

It's a floating four-patch I made some time ago and blogged about here.

To find the post myself I had to trawl back through time.  I knew I'd written about the quilts, but I had trouble locating them.  While I was revisiting old posts I noticed that some of my photos were not like I had originally positioned them.  Some were sideways and some were at the edges of the page.  Many had "faded".   It's official.   Gremlins live inside my laptop!

Anyway and in spite of the internet goblins,  you can see my quilt before it leaves for its new home.  I  labelled it and wrapped it.  Check out the birthday card.

When I saw it, I couldn't resist buying the card.  It is perfect.  All you little sisters out there will identify with me.  Finally, we get to have the last say.

Friday, January 9, 2015


The blocks were all up on the design wall, as you do.

Then my critic walked by and casually offered "It looks a bit busy."

It's not a good picture and I'm sorry about the poor light etc but there is no other picture of the arrangement to show you.  I managed to use a few of the many, many hourglass blocks  I had made previously and was feeling pretty smug.  That was my first mistake.  Smug and design are not a good mix.

Self doubt crept in.  Then I read Audrey's posts.  There are three, all about value in scrap quilts.  I commend you to read them.  Afterwards absorbing her posts,  I felt that I needed to do some tidying up.   It was time to suck it in and remove all but the red/pink hourglass blocks.

Starting to look more controlled but was I losing the scrap nature that I was after?  As well, in spite of having around 400 little hourglasses, there wasn't enough of any one colour range.  It would mean that more of them would have to be sewn.  Not such a delightful concept.

Perhaps adding some more control would improve the quilt.  Still scrappy because lots of different fabrics were used, but not haphazard because some rules were being imposed.

Now the nine patches were all yellow and cream instead of a range of colours.   I'm not sure that scrappy nature of the quilt has been enhanced.

 I do know that the original concept of using up my orphan hourglass blocks has been abandoned.  I find myself sewing lots of nine patch blocks and having to add to an already vast quantity of 3" hourglasses.  My helper meant well...

Before I go I thought I'd show you something I bought just yesterday.

Aren't they cute.  If you aren't able to enlarge the photos they say "A Handmade Gift for You" and "Sewn with Love".   They won't replace labels but I think they will make a nice addition to a couple of quilts that I am giving away.