Bee, Myself and I #11

How many hatboxes can a woman need? Well, 36 actually…

hatbox-19This is number 19. I love the bright pink tulip fabric, especially contrasted with the peppermint green of the edge of the lid.

hatbox-halfway-collage-3Here’s the rest of the line up so far. Not necessarily the final layout, but they do sit harmoniously together in this arrangement.

hatbox-sashing-and-bindingAnd here are the fabrics for the sashing and the binding. I can’t get the colours quite right; both fabrics are shot cottons, and it’s hard to convey the  lovely shading from one colour into another. It’s a while till I’ll be cutting into these lovelies, but I’m glad I have them to look at and stroke 🙂

Lynn from Tialys has decided to resurrect her own hatbox project, and if you nip over to her blog some time today, you’ll be able to see her take on this gorgeous Kaffe Fassett block design. She won’t be going quite as bonkers with it as I have, though; she’s sensibly sticking to a manageable wall hanging! It’s going to be most enviable, though – she’s using Liberty prints…

Meanwhile, if you want to know what Bee, Myself and I is all about, click on the link button further down in the left hand column, or head over to Carla’s lovely blog, Granny Maud’s Girl, where there are many gorgeous things to look at.

More next month 🙂





Sea Glass #5: time for a border

Well, the middle’s filled.


Is it just my eyes, or is this photo ever so slightly out of focus? And how does that happen with a self-focusing camera? Still, you get the idea.

There was an episode of sleeplessness after I’d seen the Husband off to work at 3.30am the other morning, and rather than thrash around in bed getting grumpy at my failure to nod off again, I got up and starting cutting. Much more constructive, I think you’ll agree! I like the opalescent effect of the greens, teals and aquas combined with the lilacs and purples. It’s a pity I can’t seem to take a photo that represents the colours more accurately, but that’ll have to wait till the thing’s finished and I can hang it on the washing line in daylight. It’s so much nicer in real life; in the photos, the colours have flattened quite a bit and the lilacs all look much too heavy.

I want an 8 inch wide border to surround everything, and I’m thinking it’ll be something straightforward. Either whole fabric, or simple squares. I need to look at the quilt a bit longer and wait for it to tell me what it wants; I can’t ‘see’ the answer yet. I’m happy with where it’s at now, and I don’t want to mess it up by rushing into making something I’ll regret later.

sea-glass-cushion-panelsThe orphan block has moved along, and I now have the cushion front and back panels cut and pieced. I’ll put in a concealed zipper when I assemble it after quilting the front. Sadly, I don’t have enough fabric to make the pattern line up above and below the zipper, but I’m forgiving myself that particular omission so long as the zipper doesn’t show and the covering flap lies flat and straight.

Of course, I could play with my new 60° ruler and make big triangles for the border… What do you think?

SAL 41: almost halfway

It’s that time again.

I’ve managed to keep a bit of momentum going this time, and my progress isn’t too shabby.

Here is where we were last time.


And here we are now.  Not huge progress, but respectable.

sampler-middle-borderDo nip over and see what the others are up to. We’re all working on something different, all at our own speed. And we’re in different time zones, being all over the world, so if you don’t see something new the first time, go back for another look. It’ll be worth your while:

ChristinaSusan, KathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLinda and

Until the next time, on 19th February…

Sea Glass #4, and a bit of TWX

I’m slowly filling the gap.

The one between the centre panel and the large outer basketweave panels, that is. My earlier thought was to use colour alternating with white, but I tested it and it had a fairly blah effect, sort of utilitarian kitchen floor-tile. Not what I was after. I’ve made 4 corner-post blocks using the majority of the leftover jelly roll strips, and I’m pleased with those. Sorry about the gloomy lighting, but it’s very dark and overcast today, despite the heat.


That orphan block off to the side is going to be part of a cushion cover, a sort of ‘place-holder’ till the quilt is finished 🙂

Now I have to work out how to fill the two square panels on each side that are empty. I think I’m going to switch things round a bit and use a variety of lilacs, interspersed with a pale trellis fabric in blue, white and teal. The pale fabric will stop the lilacs being overpowering, and the lilacs will add intensity and a bit of calm for the eye compared with the pattern. A bit of cutting to do still, and I have to check and trim the lilac jelly roll strips – isn’t it annoying that strips you buy on a roll which are supposed to be 2½ inches wide almost never are? If you don’t bother, the seams will never line up, so it’s worth the tedium of fixing them.

And  now for something different (if rather similarly coloured…). I’ve received three more TWX blocks, two from Kate at Manic Mumdays, which I mentioned before but didn’t show, and another from the lovely Tracy at It’s a t-sweets day. Check out these pretties!

kate-b-twx1 kateb-twx2 tracy-p-twx

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, a cause for rejoicing.

Blue flag Aboriginal flagOn this day 10 years ago, I became an Australian citizen, standing beside dozens of others of many nations to joyfully swear allegiance and receive the rights and privileges of Australian citizenship.

For me, today is a day to reflect and be thankful that I have come home, whilst others celebrate their national day with cricket, barbecues, going to the beach or the pub, dressing in national colours, and other forms of Aussie relaxation.

If you’re not Australian and are wondering why there are two flags, the first is the official flag of Australia, and the second is the flag of the Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of this land. There’s a lot of discussion about changing our flag so that it reflects our colonial past less and acknowledges the land’s traditional owners more. As a comparative newcomer, I am staying out of the argument, but I do see the value of an emblem which is less divisive and fosters unity instead of resentment.

I’m often asked why I came to Australia, and don’t I miss home. The answers are Because this was the only place I’d ever truly felt at home and understood, and No, this is home.

Back in 2013, I published a post featuring a poem by Dorothea McKellar about love of this country. I leave you with a link to it, as she expresses it so much better than I do.

Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing today, have a ripper of a day, mate.

Sea Glass #3

The outer blocks are done.


It’s not really this wonky, it’s just pinned to the design wall for the moment!

I have also frogged and recycled the first block I made, which was badly wrong, with points going the wrong way and colours mixed up. It’s right now, after loads of unpicking and a fair bit of salty language, and I defy you to discover which one in this arrangement it was. Now that the outer blocks are complete, it’s clear I don’t have a great deal of those fabrics left, so I’m pondering what would look best for the chequerboard blocks around the centre panel.

Once I have that clear in my head, I shall do some speed-piecing of those blocks, using the method that joins 8 strips along their length, the resulting piece sliced into rows perpendicular to the long seams, and then the rows re-arranged and mix and matched into squares for the best visual result.

I’m pleased with where I’ve got to so far. The contrast between muted and clean colours and splashes of white make the overall look sparkle, the lilac whirlies add visual interest, and it’s been easy to build the big blocks, after the initial stuff up trial block.

Thanks also to Kate at Manic Mumdays, who came up with a name both the maker and the receiver love!

Now, time to rootle around in my fabric and scrap boxes for the chequerboard border.

Cathy’s quilt #2

I haven’t managed to come up with a name for this one yet…

cathys-quilt-1-3You all know how much I love to name quilts; it seems to help me with ideas and impetus. This one’s got me a bit stumped. Something to do with the colour? Teals, aquas, blue-greens, water and air colours… The design? Basket-weave, stars, chequerboard, flower baskets… The future owner? The lovely Cathy, my sister-in-law, hard-working education student and mother, with a heart of gold.

I have three more blocks done. I realised about 5 minutes into the second one that I’d mucked up the first one I showed. So I’m saving that for a cushion cover unless I run out of fabrics, in which case I’ll have to do a huge frog and unpick the entire thing. Here are three new basket-weave/star blocks and the central flower basket appliqué block. I’m waiting to do the 8 inch chequer-board blocks round this till I see how much fabric I have left from the 16 inch outer blocks.


Flower basket 16 inch centre block

If anyone out there has a stroke of genius for the name, do please share it. I don’t promise to use any suggestions, but you never know, you might end up giving me the inspiration I need 🙂

And Cathy, if you have a name for this quilt, I want to know!


POSTSCRIPT:  Many thanks to Kate of Manic Mumdays, who provided the future name for this quilt. I give you Sea Glass!