ScrapHappy August: Another row

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.

Last time, I showed you the proposed next two rows of Days Gone By. You can see the two down the bottom are missing their black hexie ‘spacers’.

One of the rows has now been completed and stitched in, and the next row is waiting to have its black hexies added before I carry on there.

We’re very nearly at the point where the piece is square. Once I’m there, I can decide how much larger it needs to be and can start ‘sewing around the world’, or adding rows all round the outside instead of just at the bottom. Still sooooo many hexies available, and ever-increasing bags of small scraps from the Days for Girls team. The next one will be quicker – it has to be or I’ll never get anything else done.

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

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BougieNights #5: leaping ahead

Last time we looked at Bougainville Nights, it was just half quilted.

Just look at it now!  All the blocks are quilted, I’ve cut all the sashing strips, and have made a good run up at the joining. So, in case you were wondering, the sashing on the front is dark inky blue, and the sashing on the back is hot pinks and oranges. Most of the back is dark blue, but there is a chevron of blocks on the back too, so this will effectively be a double-sided quilt. Not large, but versatile. I’ll do a reveal of the back once the blocks are all together.

Another couple of days will see all the sashing in place and the blocks all joined up. I’m thinking a dark blue binding, but I might sneak in a colourful corner or two – it depends if I have enough blue of the right colour left over. Good to think that I’m getting closer to finishing this quilt composed of my F²F² blocks.

Better late than never…. 

Scinteallate #16: a glorious constellation

It’s done, finished.

Scinteallate is bound and labelled, and waiting for me to hear where and when to deliver it. The photos have been sent, I’ve hit the deadline, and I feel a big sense of relief.

I did a lot of work on this quilt when I was feeling fairly bloody average, so I’m glad none of that shows. It looks great, team, fantastic work from all of you. The Nude Lunch is on 6th September, so we won’t know till after that how much it raised at auction, but I’ve asked to be kept informed so I can let you all know.

For those who are interested, a few stats:  Design and call to action 12th May. Quilt completed 9th August, a whisker under three months! Blocks contributed by (in no particular order) Robin Murphy, Nanette Gilbert, Margaret Creek, Lynn Hutton, Sharon Sabin, Lynda Swink, Gun Adrian, Sue Brown, Kerry Davidson, and me. Techniques include foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, appliqué and Quilt As You Go. It was quilted and assembled on a domestic Janome DC3018 sewing machine and I got through two 800m reels of Gütermann cream thread.

To the new members of the team: it was great having you on board, and it would be lovely to have you participate in the next ovarian cancer quilt, if you’re up for it.

And now, I’m going to go and clear away all the snippets of teal fabric and thread, de-fuzz the design wall, and get out something completely different to play with 🙂

Till next time.

 

Scinteallate #15: the inspector approves

The Quilt Inspector has been hard at work today.

With thanks to the Husband of Chiconia for holding-up services, and to the Quilt Inspector for encouragement and company

Thanks to his constant attention and encouragement, Scinteallate is all together, despite one decidedly hairy moment in the middle when I realised I’d sewn two medium-sized pieces together wrong way up. Much cursing and reverse stitching of three seams later the problem was rectified. The Inspector suggested a cup of tea and a bickie to calm things down, and he was right. He got a nice liver treat for his helpful idea. Good boy, Mouse.

In spite of, or maybe even because of, the increasingly silly deadline for this quilt, it has come together with remarkably little fuss.

I still have to cut and assemble the binding pieces and machine stitch them down tomorrow morning after my tai chi class.

After that, I have to make the label, and then hand stitch down the binding and attach the label. And then it’s done, and I can deliver it.

Just a couple more days to go, and I’ll make the deadline with the quilt complete 🙂

Scinteallate #14: coming together

I’m getting there.

Just over halfway, 15 of the 25 blocks joined together. I have another block of 6 and another block of 4 to assemble, and then three more seams and it’s done. It’s hanging a bit wonkily in this photo, but is nice and straight in real life. A couple of places where it doesn’t quite, quite line up, but in my view they can have it perfect, or they can have it fast, but not both. Since they’ve chosen fast, I’m getting it done, but it’s not so bad that it offends my eye, and I hope not yours either.

I’m really pleased with that sparkly teal front sashing; the slight glitter of the narrow bands adds to the overall sparkle of this scinteallating quilt! Even the backing supports the theme, with the tiny print of white stars on the cream background. I’ve selected a dark teal splashy batik for the binding, which will frame the whole nicely.

Looks as if I’m on track to get this finished in time to provide photos of the finished item by Friday. I credit my sleek black supervisor with keeping me hard at work! He’s taking his supervisory duties very seriously. So long as there are treats, of course.

Nearly there. Just a few seams to go…

Jelly roll

Not the fabric kind, just for a change!

On Wednesday, I picked over and halved 2 kilos (nearly 4½ pounds) of cumquats, covered them with water, and simmered them for 2 hours till tender. I then put them in a muslin cloth, first in a colander over a bowl, and then tied into a bag, hanging over the bowl, for the juice to drip out. I didn’t get a whole lot, as these cumquats are tiny and not very juicy, but what there was had a powerful zing and perfume.

Thursday morning I weighed the juice and did the pectin test. Plenty of pectin from the pith and pips in the fruit. Then I added an equal weight of white sugar (no need for jam sugar with extra pectin), put it in a pan and slowly brought it to the boil. I then simmered it slowly, skimming the froth that came to the surface, until the temperature reached 105°C/221°F. Then I tested for set, dropping a blob onto a saucer I’d had in the freezer. That went back into the fridge for a couple of minutes. Once it was cool, I pushed a finger through the blob. If it wrinkles and leaves a clear track, the jelly is ready. I had to give it another 5 minutes, but then it was done, and I decanted the jelly with a ladle and wide-neck preserving funnel into two hot, sterilised jars and quickly screwed on the lids. After about 15 minutes, the ‘button’ on the lids sucked down, and I knew I had a good vacuum.

And that was it. From 2kg/4½ pounds fruit and about 700g/25 ounces sugar I got 800g/28 ounces jelly, one full 500g jar and one three quarters full.

It’s not a large return on the investment of time, but the jelly is delicious, beautifully set, and the fruit was free, so I’ll probably do it again some time.

Many thanks to Elizabeth for her friend Elgar’s recipe, which was simple and very clear.

I only have about 300g fruit left – I had to pick out ones which were squishy or going mouldy. I’m tempted to get a bottle of vodka and steep the remaining fruit in it. It worked a treat with the limoncello I made a few months ago, and the flavour will be very different.

Cumquat jelly on hot toast this morning for breakfast. Yummmmmm!

Fallen angel

The Mouse has blotted his copybook.

Wuzzen me….

While I was faffing around in the kitchen yesterday cooking cumquats, it was quiet around the house. I thought Mouse was asleep on his bed on the other side of the counter. I was wrong.

The expression says it all. There were doggy protestations of innocence, nudges, wagging of tails. But it was clear that the old cushion insert left on the floor after his last decorative nap on the rug had not exploded by itself, nor had it viciously attacked him, requiring self-defence. The innocent plushie had the same treatment and now has a limp leg where all the stuffing has come out. But his other toys are fine, as indeed are all the cushions with covers on them. There is something about fibre-fill that arouses his instinct to grab and shake. He is now studiously ignoring the mess as if to imply that it has nothing to do with him.

On the other hand, his walkies behaviour is impeccable, and he now ignores small children on bikes, mobility scooters, traffic whizzing past fore and aft while he waits at traffic islands in the middle of the road, chickens, other dogs, ibis (aka bin chickens), and the whistles of the school crossing dragons. In all this, he is a Good Boy.

In other news, the coughing and wheezing continues and yesterday I was issued with this, among other medications.

I had to check that it was taken by mouth, yes? Hopefully it will do the trick, but quite how I’m going to swallow these babies twice a day I’m not sure.

Still, if it finally gets rid of the cough, the wheezing and the fatigue, I shall be very pleased.