Friday 31 January 2014

FF, FFF, and ...

...  an NS.

No, despite what the title of this post might suggest, I haven't gone completely nutty, I just liked all the alliteration.  So the title could have read Finally Finished (quilt), Finally Finished (flimsy) and a New Start, all of which I thought I'd show you now.

 So, first up is my Finally Finished quilt

I started this quilt in June 2011 and made it during our Christmas Quiltalong days that year. It is based on the pattern Over and Under from Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett .  I did not achieve my aim of having it ready for Christmas of 2011 and nor was it ready by Christmas 2012 or even Christmas 2013.  Why?  Well, first let me explain that I have an interesting approach to tidying up the house when I need to. What I do is I gather up things that need to be put away, and walk around and open up a cupboard as I pass, (almost any cupboard will do,) and as long as the "thing" fits in fairly easily, that's where I put it.  That means that I don't always find things easily later on of course, but that's another matter altogether.  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I opened a cupboard, took a couple of things out, and there, in front of me, was this quilt, which I had completely forgotten about.  I pulled it out and discovered that all I needed to do to finish it was hand sew two sides of the binding down and bury all the ends.  So that's what I have done during the past few evenings.  I have renamed it Red Wreaths and it is adorning a chair in the living room now.

Next is my Finally Finished Flimsy

 This is my version of the Big Stars quilt that Missouri Star Quilt Company designed and showed as a tutorial on YouTube, here.  I started this quilt last year during the summer, before I went on holiday.  When I came home again, I had the pattern for Heartfire and a bundle of fabrics which were calling (shouting actually) to me, so I started that quilt instead.  I must say that before I pulled out Big Stars again last week, I decided I didn't like it so I was just going to use some of the blocks and make a throw instead of a king sized bed quilt.  However I changed my mind when I found that I had already made ten of the twelve stars I needed, so I got on with them, added the sashing, and finished it.  The photo is not very good cos I put it on the bed but couldn't really get far enough back to get the whole thing in the picture.  I am very glad I finished it though, and now it's in the box with Heartfire, Country Charmer and several other flimsies all waiting till I get Big Bertha out to work her quilting magic on them, and that may happen after ...

My New Start
becomes an FFF.

Yesterday I had a lovely day with my friend Scrappy.  She came over for the day, and brought a couple of dies to use on my Go! cutter, so she spent a lot of time cutting out leaves, pumpkins and acorns.  I had also shown her my Heartfire and she loved the hexie blocks, so she has now ordered the pattern for that, and then we also saw a bag pattern that we both liked, so that's on order too.  She also brought some yummy flapjack with her and a delicious lemon cake, and I am ashamed to say that we were so busy having fun that I did not take one single photo!

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Heartfire ...

... is now a finished flimsy.

I decided to just go with one border, in the red tone on tone, as you can see, but I was worried that the red might be a bit overpowering, so I thought it'd be a good idea to put another, smaller hexagon block in each corner.  

When I had that bright idea, I didn't think it through very well.  How do you turn a 5" hexagon into a 6" square?  (The answer is :with difficulty and quite a bit of waste of fabric by the way.)  After several false attempts, I did it by adding oversized 60 degree triangles to four sides, then cutting them down to a 6" width and adding strips to the other two sides.  It may have taken me a whole day, and a lot of fabric to do it, but I think it was well worth it.  

Now all I have to do is decide how to quilt it.  Any suggestions anyone?

Monday 20 January 2014

She's already a star ....

.... but soon she's going to be an even bigger star.  Who?  Why Lovely Lynn from Sew'n Wild Oaks of course.

Lynn is going to be appearing on The Quilt Show talking about her Patchwork Math system. If you haven't heard of it, Lynn has produced a reference manual, called Patchwork Math,

which contains all the basic equations for making various components (ie HST's, square in a square, etc) and also for changing sizes so you could design your own blocks easily.

She taught this class for the first time at the Quilting in the Garden show last summer and Alex Anderson got to hear about it.  Lynn was teaching this class again last Saturday and Alex Anderson herself sat in to see how it could fit into a segment of the show.  I rather think Lynn had butterflies (or flying geese as Naughty Nancy said) but she obviously did a great job cos it's now official and the news can be shared - pheww, keeping this secret has not been easy.  Lynn will be filmed in June of this year, but the show won't go out until 2015.  That gives you plenty of time to make sure your subscription to the show is up to date so you don't miss Lynn becoming a great big STAR.
Congratulations Lynn, this is a well-deserved recognition, and I couldn't be happier for you.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Ha, flipping Ha ...

... it was my birthday the other day and I got 2 cards I thought I'd share with you

The first one, from my father, but chosen by my daughter said

You know you're getting older when
  • Your shoes get more and more sensible
  • You don't tick the first age group box in questionnaires
  •  You'll pay anything for a pot of anti-wrinkle cream
  • Your mirror refuses to lie
  • Your natural hair colour is only available in a bottle
  • You can put weight on just thinking about chocolate
  • Hangovers last 3 days
  • By the time you're ready to go out, it's time to come home again 
Thanks Dad, and Mrs Nomad.

The second card was from my son and said
Mum had just read so much about the terrible effects of both chocolate and alcohol that she immediately decided to give up reading.
Thanks Son.

 I share my birthday with Chatterbox, so on Sunday we all went out for lunch.  I had asked the restaurant to arrange a birthday cake, which they did.  At the appropriate moment, ALL the waiting staff processed through, with one of the waiters carrying a cake with a huge sparkler and they were all singing Happy Birthday and then almost all the diners joined in too.  How to embarrass a 12 year old.

Sorry Chatterbox.

Saturday 11 January 2014

My clever friend ...

... previously referred to on here as Mrs Flummery, but known to Amazon regulars as a reviewer called Ignite, has just had her first book published. Here's what Amazon have to say about her
Kath Middleton is no stranger to the writing world, having had several of her short stories published in anthologies and many of her drabbles published online and in 'Beyond 100 Drabbles', a collaborative book alongside author Jonathan Hill. 'Ravenfold' is Kath's first foray into longer fiction, a book which she describes as mediaeval noir. Her many hobbies and interests include reading, gardening, geology, archaeology, patchwork and quilting, and keeping chickens. And, of course, she continues to write. Watch this space!
(Confession:  I copied this picture from Amazon without their permission.  Hope they don't mind.)

I haven't read it yet, as I am reliably informed by someone who knows (ie the author herself) that it probably isn't my sort of thing, but you can click here if you would like to know more.

Disclaimer:  I've not been paid to write nice things about Kath, or her book, but it's never too late Kath!

Saturday 4 January 2014

My New Year's resolution should be ...

... to listen to myself.

Why do I say that?

Well, do you remember these

which then became these

Well, yesterday they became these

and today they are becoming these

In other words, when I started adding the connecting triangles I did worry that the fabric was too busy. After joining the whole top together, something was not right. The blocks weren't standing out the way they did when I had them on the design wall.  

Christmas was coming though, so the whole thing got put away and then a couple of nights ago I had a Eureka moment when I realised what the problem was.  When the blocks were sitting on the design wall looking beautiful, they were on a plain white background, and using a print as I then did, was completely wrong for me.  

So I then spent 24 hours or so wondering if I was going to leave well alone, or if I was going to take the whole thing apart and start again with a different background.  

Now I know me well enough to know that if I was not happy but went ahead and finished the quilt, I would then bury it at the back of a cupboard and never use it, which would have been such a shame when I loved the design so much.  So, out came the stitch ripper, and I set to and unsewed the whole thing.  I am now starting to put it all together again with my favourite Kona Snow, which I love for backgrounds, and I am a very happy person again. So maybe, just maybe, next time I am doubtful about something, I will listen to myself before going too far?  

Hmm, maybe, but then again .....

PS Any one have any bright ideas about what to do with about eighty 60degree triangles?
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