The Hatbox Quilt: two seams to go

The three large strips are completed.

I’ve been stitching away at it quietly while I posted about other stuff. Now I just have to join those three sections together. They’re the two longest seams (lines 2 and 4), but it has to be done. And then the next stop is the binding.

I looked at an option where I added a narrow darker blue flange inside the blue binding to give a sort of piped effect, but I didn’t like how it looked. A flange can be a great way to give detail to a quilt binding, but in this case it fought a bit with the the hatboxes. I think it works best where there’s a plainer border around the quilt. So, normal binding it is. And I must come up with a label with some dates and so on.

It’s been a long time coming, but the end is in sight.

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ScrapHappy September: Creeping onwards

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

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

Here’s last time:

And here’s where we are now. That dotty hexie flower at bottom left needs to have its stitching-in completed, and then there’s one more to go and the piece is square.

But not completed. Not even nearly. Even if no more hexie flowers are made, I still have a basket full of them waiting to be sewn in.  I need some uninterrupted time, a piece of empty, dog- and hair-free floor, and the camera. Then I can start to lay out more rows. I don’t want to keep adding blocks long rows at a time, it’s arduous. I’d prefer to make a series of square sections, and then add those in. Anything to avoid the endless seam… Onwards!

Now, what have you been up to?

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful 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 on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment 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. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

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). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date 🙂

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

See you again, same time next month

Mango and papaya

No, it’s not a gardening post.

The title refers to the colours in the lightweight linen fabric I recently bought, greatly reduced, from Spotlight. It was two separate pieces, each just a hair over a metre long. I just love the design, splashy and really bright in gorgeous acid fruity colours.

The Husband has missed out on a career as a fashion photographer… Not my best photo, but you get the idea.

I had a pattern I was wanting to try, Butterick B6024. I’d originally bought it for View B, with three-quarter length sleeves. I had some pretty blue and white lawn to make it in. I still plan to do that, but the pattern really demanded a short sleeved version for sunny days.  In theory, I shouldn’t have been able to squeeze this top out of the fabric I had, but I had a cunning plan. The design called for a neck binding cut on the bias, which really gobbles up fabric. I decided I could do without that, and made the neck binding from a blending acid green fat quarter, using this method. Not only did I get the rest of the top out of the fabric I had quite easily, I also have some scraps left over, the largest of which is 12×24 inches, as well as some bias strip. I’m wondering what I can make of them. Something to co-ordinate with the top maybe? Any suggestions?

I’m now thinking that this top is so comfortable, it would make a nice summer dress if I extended the length by 18in/46cm. That blue and white lawn is about 4 metres long, it’d do the job perfectly and leave me some quite large scraps for something else. I also have a large scale emerald green and white gingham which would work too, so long as I’m not too fussy about matching stuff up.

And finally, that orchid I mentioned the other day?  I’ve brought it out of the orchid house, and it’s now hanging outside the living room window, where I can enjoy it and keep an eye on it.

Tomorrow’s ScrapHappy Day, but after that, I’ll be getting back to the Hatbox Quilt.

Silent, but not still

Me, that is.

I haven’t posted for a few days, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything. It’s just that repeated posting about the same project with only small increments of change can cause reader-enjoyment fatigue, I think, unless there’s real, visible progress. Today, I thought there was something for you to look at 🙂

Although I do have progress to show on the Hatbox quilt, I’m going to break it up with some pretties from my back yard. There’s still beauty happening out there, despite the total absence of rain, the hot, dry winds and the unseasonal heat.

So, nearly two-thirds of the quilt joined up. One modest seam to do and it will be two-thirds. It’s going well and easily, and I don’t want to rush through it.

In the back yard, the three baby pineapples are growing. This one’s nearly twice the size it was last time I showed it two weeks ago.

The bananas are getting bigger and bigger, and I’m keeping an eye on them to make sure the fruit bats and possums don’t start paying them too much attention.

They have a ‘banana bag’ over them to protect them from animals and from getting too scorched by the sun.

And in the orchid house, this lovely is flowering. It has at least 10 more buds, so when more of them are out, I’ll show it again. So pretty…

Sadly, the grass is all brown and when Mouse does his daily zoomie up and down, he’s kicking up clouds of dust. The amaryllis, or hippeastrums, all bright scarlet, are flowering like it’s going out of fashion – which it may indeed be, if we don’t get some rain soon.

It’s a thing with plants, isn’t it?  If they’re stressed, they flower like crazy to get in one final try at reproducing themselves.

I think I may have to bring that orchid inside, out of the orchid house, so I can give it some personal attention and admiration. Flowers that pretty shouldn’t bloom unseen.

Right, back to the hand stitching. Before I know where I am, it’ll be time to bind!

Scinteallate: what it was all for

The fundraiser was yesterday.

The event was fantastically successful. In the three years the Nude Lunch has been going, the number of attendees has doubled, the sponsors have quadrupled, and the sum raised has gone from $70,000 in 2018 to over $100,000 this year, nearly half as much again.

The proceeds fund a dedicated ovarian cancer palliative care nurse in Mackay, with the balance going to ovarian cancer research.

Those of you who worked on the quilt, who encouraged and offered support, you helped to make that happen. Thank you.

Here’s a link to our local TV news network’s FB page, with their coverage of the event. (It’s on mute, so you need to turn up the sound at bottom right) Sadly, you don’t see the quilt, but it gives you an idea of the scale of the thing. I’ve checked with the Nude Lunch directors, and they’ve told me that the bidding was enthusiastic and the quilt raised $1,230. Again, thank you.

We’ll be doing it again next year. If you’d like to be a part of it, whether again or for the first time, do get in touch. I promise I’ll give us a more reasonable deadline this time!

Well done, you lot. And thank you.

 

 

 

The Hatbox Quilt: homage to hand-sewing

I’m taking it slowly.

You know what it is? I don’t want this quilt to finish, I’ve loved the process so much. But all good things must come to an end, so I’m taking my time but gradually getting it done. Which means the sashing on the back panels will be stitched down by hand. Sorry if this stretches out the anticipated finish a bit, but I wanted to stay in the vintage-y, soft, contemplative spirit of the thing. I grant you, I wasn’t in that groove quite enough to do all the blanket stitching by hand (in which case you’d still be watching me assemble block 5, probably), but let’s take it slowly and pleasurably.

I’m also not going to hand-stitch the internal seams that attach the front sashing. That would be slightly deranged; going through all those layers of fabric and batting with hand-stitching? I don’t think so, not to mention the fact that it would be much less durable. But that final folded edge on the back? Yes, perfect for hand stitching with nearly invisible results, since I even have thread exactly the right colour 🙂

So, the blocks are all trimmed out, the sashing strips for front and back are all cut. I’ve got the first corner joined.

Let’s keep it moving. But slowly….

Sew…. what next?

It’s a tricky question.

Most of the time, I have a deadline, or something’s screaming louder than the rest to be worked on. Now that Scinteallate is done and dusted and F2F isn’t going to restart for a few months more, I have the luxury of picking and choosing. These are the choices:

The Hatbox Quilt
F2F3: Amethyst and Slate
The Pastel Scrappy Quilt
Anemone (hand sewing; properly speaking, a ScrapHappy item)

Actually, when it came down to it, the choice wasn’t so tricky. It’s going to be the Hatbox Quilt. It’s the furthest along, fully quilted, and all I need to do is assemble it. The others all need lots more work before they’re near that point, especially Anemone.

So, here’s the thing. I was thinking I might like the idea of a wider sashing, to look like shelves. I have a pretty blue chambray style soft shot cotton with a hint of lilac in the colour for the sashing, and it works well against all the fabrics. But using wider sashing would make it trickier to line things up, and will definitely involve lots of fiddling about beforehand, to ensure the blocks finish at the same size, without cutting off the backing and batting I’d need to fill the sashing space. On the other side of the coin, I can do the narrow sashing in my sleep. So, in the interests of finally finishing this project, which has now been running since the beginning April 2016 (gasp!), I’m going with my normal sashing width.

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed I’ve swapped a fair number of blocks around since the last time I showed them all together in the photo on the left, which was before I started the hand quilting in August 2017. I did the squinting thing, and it looked OK, but when I turned the wrong end of the binoculars on it, several dark and light patches leaped out and needed to be sorted out. Then I discovered things had the same edging on the lid of the hatbox or there was a clump of the same backgrounds, so further tweaking was needed. I think we’re OK now, but if you spot something, let me know.

So, I’m off to the ironing board and cutting table to get the sashing strips ready.