L’heure bleue

The Blue Hour is one of my favourite times of day.

It’s that time between twilight and full night when the sun is below the horizon and the world is coloured a soft shade of deep blue and other colours start to leach away. It’s a time when I often find myself in my sewing room, pottering about; it’s not long enough to start anything big before I have to go to the kitchen to make dinner, but it’s too good to waste doing nothing.

I’ve at last begun, appropriately enough, a mostly blue and white quilt for the Husband’s bunk in Miz Lizzie. So far, all the blocks are from my sorted scraps and smaller stash pieces, but I suspect I’ll need some more fabric soon, some bits of dark blue.

Also included in the line up are pieces from Granny Maud’s Girl; she sent me leftovers from the quilt she made for her father from his old shirts, and I’ve made entertaining use of the patches featuring pockets! I’m getting along nicely, a couple of blocks here, a couple more there, and making good use of my Blue Hour time. This early layout is most of the dark centres with light out-sides. Coming soon are the light centres with dark outsides…

And because of course all colour has a sound track, I leave you with Acker Bilk and the marvellously and appropriately named Bent Fabric, playing The Blue Hour.

What do you do with your Blue Hour?

Colour as sound

Sometimes, Nature springs something that stops you in your tracks.

This is what stopped me in mine yesterday. Do click on the photo to get a larger image, it’s worth it! Can you believe those colours, those clouds? I have a very mild case of synaesthesia, and I could hear those colours. Think Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary (formerly attributed to Henry Purcell).

You’d stop seeing it if it was like this every day, but sometimes, we’re reminded how amazing this planet is…

A sneaky Teal

A while ago, I volunteered to test a pattern for Teresa of Sewn Up – TeresaDownUnder.

It was a new design called Win My Heart, a lovely pieced designs with hearts and triangles. I made one change to the pattern, which was adding that strip of floral down the centre to make the quilt just a little wider. I’ve been working on it in the background to everything over the past few months, and I’ve finally finished quilting it. I’m going to donate it to Ovarian Cancer Australia because, of course, I managed to get teal into the name and the fabrics I chose. As well as the teal hearts on the front and the gorgeous teal, pink, peach and yellow floral pattern, it has a pale pink backing and a binding in mostly brighter pink. Despite all that, it’s not too terribly girly.

This is Gonna Teal Your Heart Away.  I made some errors in my fabric choices and when I was assembling and quilting it, so it’s not by any means perfect (or even completely straight!), and doesn’t really do justice to the beauty and clarity of the pattern, but Ovarian Cancer Australia say they’ll be delighted to have it anyway, either as a gift to someone in need, or as a comforting snuggle quilt for someone hearing bad news in their counselling centre.

As always, the label on the back gives credit where it’s due: in this case, to Teresa as the designer as well as me as the stitcher. It also pays tribute to all those women past and present who have suffered from Ovarian Cancer, and by their suffering have contributed to improvements in knowledge and treatment of this silent killer.

Do go and take a look at Teresa’s pattern, which shows not only her quilt but examples of those made by her pattern testers. It’s a beautiful and versatile pattern, and I’m glad and privileged to have been part of the process, especially as it’s made such a pretty quilt for OCA.

That’s it teal-wise for a while. My airmail fabric for ST&D has arrived, but I have an appointment to quilt Sea Glass for my SIL before I touch any of that 🙂

 

A pink letter day

Or more accurately, a pink number day.

Yesterday, after a couple of medical appointments earlier this week, I was fully discharged as an oncology patient. I’m officially cancer-free after 5 years. I loved how the discharge form was printed on pink paper – I got my pink slip!* 🙂

We went out for a meal to celebrate, and today I will ceremonially return the last of my oral chemotherapy drugs to the pharmacy. There will still be annual checkups, but that’s the last of the treatment.

You might say, I’m feeling ‘in the pink’…

 

*For non-Aussies, a pink slip can be either a vehicle inspection paper to confirm your car is OK, or a termination notice at work. Either one works in this context…

Little Lizzie

We got all of the last two weeks’ worth of mail today.

The best bit was the box with a UK postmark and stamps, from the kind and lovely Margaret of The Crafty Creek. Inside was Little Lizzie, a caravan-shaped pincushion she’d made especially for me – here’s her own post about making it.

Just look at the tiny embroidered Miz Lizzie name plate on the back! And those gorgeous huge blue buttons for her wheels, how inspired is that! I’ve already given her a load of pins, a brand new tape measure and my embroidery needle threader. Margaret thoughtfully sent me a tiny pair of blue floral scissors to match which are perfect! I took my embroidery scissors last time, and kept losing them down the side of seats, on the ground under my chair, in the depth of my work bag, and so on. This way, the scissors have a handy and permanent home right where I need them.

Margaret, you’re such a kind and creative lady, and I’m so very grateful! The best thing is that the pincushion fits exactly in the throat of Lilibet the Grumpy, my little caravan sewing machine, so it can be safely stowed away in my handwork locker while we’re travelling. Such a great idea to have everything in one place… Do go over to Margaret’s blog and take a look. Her quilting work is beautiful, her dressmaking is skilful, and her embroidery is exquisite.

Meanwhile, Little Lizzie’s sitting on the work table beside my chair so I can admire and pet her for a while longer 🙂

 

ScrapHappy May

Once again, it’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host  ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

I gave my caravan sewing set-up a test drive this month. Rather than take the hand-stitched Anemone scrappy quilt blocks away with me for this month’s ScrapHappy, I decided to give something new a try. I took two ziploc bags of scraps away with me, one purple and one pink. I’ve made a scrappy block out of each bag, and I think this’ll be an interesting new thing to continue with for future ScrapHappy posts. The photos are a bit grim, but it was the best I could do with the lighting at my disposal and the space I had. Something to think about for future trips…

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps – no new fabrics. It can be a random or formal quilt block, a pillow or pincushion, a bag or hat, a collage or rag rug. Any-thing made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address shown on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. You don’t have to worry about a long term commit-ment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at):

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)
Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
Heléne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)
Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)
Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (in English only)
Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)
Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)
Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)
Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)
Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)
Susan: https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Cathy: http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com (in English only)
Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)
Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)
Karen: https://mewithptsd.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Moira: http://quiltedsnail.blogspot.com/ (in English only)
Sandra: https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Linda: http://kokaquilts.blogspot.co.nz (in English only)

See you again, same time next month!

SAL 46: fans finished!

I had plenty of stitching time on my holiday 🙂

The net result is that amongst other things, I’ve finished the fan border that runs under the letters on my large blue sampler. There was one slight mishap while I worked on my chair in the sun a few metres from the beach. A neighbouring camper came over with his dog to say hello and find out what I was working on. His lovely dog had been rootling in the sand dune behind us, and had a dirty nose, which she stuck in my lap in her friendly way. I now have a decorative muddy smudge on one side of the sampler, which fortunately doesn’t show within the frame of the pattern. The camper was mortified, but I’m not too worried. It’ll wash out when I’ve finished.

Here’s the pre-holiday piece:

And here’s the version with the finished fan border, with dog snot just out of frame on the right…

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 14th June 🙂