Busy hands

It’s been a random sort of week.

I’ve finished Gallimaufry.

I sorted out a layout for the Hatbox quilt. It’s not final yet, but I’m fairly happy with the distribution of colour and background. If you spot anything you think stands out inappropriately, do say, because I’ve looked at it so much now I can’t ‘see’ it any more…

I’ve stitched another handful of hexie flowers into the Anemone quilt.

And last but by no means least, I’ve rearranged my sewing room.

Old room layout

New room layout

There’s less floor space and the ironing board is further away from my sewing chair, but the lighting at night will be better as I won’t have my back to the overhead light, and the morning light will be more indirect and less in my eyes. A few extra steps to the ironing board also won’t hurt! I also now have space at the end of my sewing table to set up my big old iMac there instead of stuck away in the corner, so I can listen to music or a talking book while I work. And while I was at it, I tidied up and threw out, dusted and swept.

Time to restart the Sea Glass quilt, now I have all of that sorted out. I have to stitch a backing together and cut the batting to size, and then make and pin the quilt sandwich… I’ll be starting in the centre blocks, and hand-quilting those before working my way out-wards and probably (but not definitely) machine quilting the rest. It’ll depend on how my hands hold up. As always with me, the quilting will not be dense, and will be big stitch, but even so, I think it’ll look good.

But first, I think I’d better clean out my sewing machine and treat myself to a new needle!

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53 thoughts on “Busy hands

  1. Lynda says:

    You are so industrious! Everything looks lovely and the sewing room looks functional. I have begun something new. When I work I tidy up at the end of the session… Radical, I know. Gotta start somewhere. Right? I know I said all your quilts are lovely, but that Sea Glass quilt is really special! I love the colors and the patch forms.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I love Sea Glass too… I’m looking forward to working on it again. I’m with you on the tidying up bit: I put cutters, rulers and scraps away at the end of every session so I don’t walk straight into a mess each time โ€“ I make the mess anew each time as I go along ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kate, your quilts are exquisite! Every time I see them, I want to start one of my own. I really think it’s something I will try in my retirement, still a few yeas off.

    I’m glad you found a more suitable arrangement in your sewing room. Good light makes all the difference.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re so right, good light is key. I thought my original setup was good, with strong morning light coming in at the window in front of me, but I found it bounced off every reflective surface, shone in my eyes and made me hot before the day had fairly started. This way, I’ll have the light, but not so directly, and I can get at tools more easily with the shelves beside me. Easier to keep clean, too!
      I’m glad you like the quilts โ€“ I’d love to see what you’d design for yourself to make ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’m always tweaking my space to get things just right. Sometimes things work for awhile, or in your case, depending on the way the light moves through the seasons. Our kitchen used to get so hot come May when the sun rotated, beating directly on the window. Now we put up an outdoor awing in the summer, creating shade for our time on the deck and at the same time keeping the kitchen cooler. It was an affordable and aesthetically pleasing solution to two problems. We take it down in the winter and enjoy the extra light on the shorter days.

        As for a quilt, I think it might be fun to have a free form collection of flowers, one per square, and of course a cat or two in the mix as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • katechiconi says:

        We do exactly the same thing with shadecloth awnings on our patio. Down in the summer, up in the winter!
        With the quilt, do you do paper piecing? I ask because I have 3 or 4 very nice cat blocks for paper piecing, and as they were free downloads I can send them to you if you’re interested.

      • Oh dear Kate, you are so far ahead of me on this. I only do paper piecing in my head for now. You are a dear to offer, and as time presents itself, I would be happy to see them.

        Isn’t shade cloth fantastic? It’s been the best solution for us. Thank you for our kindness.

      • katechiconi says:

        I have a paper piecing tutorial, too…. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if/when you think you’d like to give them a try.

      • Thank you, Kate. You are always so generous with your time and your resources.

  3. Busy hands indeed. Every time you finish a new quilt, that becomes my new favourite. It’s very evident that you are passionate about your sewing and quilting ๐Ÿ™‚ but those hatboxes….oh my โค

    • katechiconi says:

      I know… the hatboxes are SOOOO my favourite of all, even more than my heirloom hexie quilt. It’s not a big quilt, but it’ll be a wonderful size for armchair snuggling on nights when the aircon’s a bit too cool for me but perfect for the Husband. One of these days, I’ll allow myself to finish it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. tialys says:

    Gaillimaufry is gorgeous, as predicted, and the hatboxes look fabulous. It looks much more ‘together’ than mine is going to because of your coordinated ‘wallpapers’ and ‘floors’ – I went a bit mad with my decorating. Those hexies look amazing too. When do you want/need to be delivering the Sea Glass quilt?

    • katechiconi says:

      Sea Glass doesn’t have a deadline, but it needs to be finished before I’m ‘allowed’ to finish either the Hatbox quilt, or either of the F2F quilts. Plus I have fabric for the curtains for Miz Lizzie singing its siren song. Too much gorgeous fabric, too little time. There’s a quilter’s proverb that says: “I was put on this earth to complete a certain number of quilts. I’m now so far behind that I’m going to live forever!”. Yup. That’s me…

  5. Somehow I missed earlier posts on Sea Glass – it is beautiful.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s for my SIL, whose bedroom is mainly teal/aqua, so it should go nicely! And I’m not surprised you missed it, the top came together very quickly and was then put away for the time being. Time to finish it, now!

  6. claire93 says:

    hat boxes look gorgeous with that lay out. Gallimaufry looks fab, and your sewing room set-up looks very practical to me!

    • katechiconi says:

      I know that there’s probably a lot of stuff in the sewing room that I don’t use or that needs to be thrown away, but I hate to do that because in a week’s time I’ll probably wish I still had it!
      So far no-one’s said that they’d move any of the hatbox blocks, so I have a suspicion I may actually have achieved the final layout…

  7. Cath says:

    You know there is no hurry on Sea Glass. Please do the Hatbox or ur F2F quilts if the mood takes u. I like the hexies, love the colours. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • katechiconi says:

      I do, but I actually really want to have a go at the hand quilting, and I love the colours, so it’ll be fun! The others have all waited for ages, a little longer won’t hurt ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. It looks like you’ve had a very productive few days! hurray for a finish, hurray for an arrangement, hurray for progress, and hurry for bringing out an old friend! And good for you having a new arrangement in your studio that will suit you better. I’ve tried a couple of changes over time, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with how things are. The main thing is having the right light. If that is good, all is right with the world.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m sure there’s probably an even better layout for the room, but not one I can achieve solo and in a couple of hours. The light is clearly better, and I can’t think why I didn’t make the change earlier.

  9. kathyreeves says:

    What a feeling of accomplishment you must have! I love everything you did this week. I am so happy to have my natural light sewing room now (Girl#1’s old bedroom.) I realize that I need that light in my daily routine. All together the hat box quilt is absolutely stunning. I noticed one thing as I studied the hat boxes, and that is that in one row the sold green bands are next to each other. I have learned this past year that that is a sign of truly random blocks (from my little piano girls!), and I personally don’t think it needs to be swapped, but wanted to note it in as you feel differently! ๐Ÿ˜„

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, the two on the top row. I’m considering swapping the pink floral with the aqua floral next to it. Maybe… The other advantage of the changeover in my sewing room is that I’ve been able to rationalise and organise my power supply. Instead of lots of extensions and other tripping hazards, I now have a neat row of switched power boards lined up next to the aircon so I can turn things off and on much more easily.

  10. lucyannluna says:

    So busy. I love your quilts, the colours are fantastic. I have tidying up my space on my summer to do list. I’m quite envious of your space , mine is more of a large storage space.

    • katechiconi says:

      One of the reasons we bought this house is that there was a decent sized room for me to work in, and a whole double garage for the Husband to work in! It’s wonderful having the luxury of space. And if you ever get a choice, go for a room with a wooden, vinyl or tiled floor. Dropping pins on a carpet is such a nightmare…

      • lucyannluna says:

        Unfortunately my craft space has to also be my school space. It is supposed to be a bedroom, but I’m not sure how you would get in or out of the room, or open the door with a small single bed in it. It does have 3 large book cases ๐Ÿ˜. At least I do have a room for my stuff.

  11. magpiesue says:

    Kudos on the successful rearrangement of your sewing space! That can get quite involved and you seem to have pulled it off with relative ease. The hatbox arrangement looks good to me but I haven’t studied it – too much of a headache at the moment. Sea Glass looks so refreshing! That will be a pleasure for you to quilt.

  12. Steph says:

    Beautiful work! If you decide to do some hatbox swapping perhaps you could consider exchanging the places of the middle hatbox on the top row and the middle one on the second row from the bottom? Thus breaking up the two green bands at the top and a diagonal of three darker-toned boxes at the bottom.

    • katechiconi says:

      Hi there! I have already decided to swap the top centre block for the one to its right, so the two green bands will be separated. However, if I swap the blocks at the bottom as you suggest, I’ll have two backgrounds the same next to each other, which I’d also like to avoid. I think I might swap the block at top left of the dark diagonal with the purple banded one above and to its right… Sorry, not very clear, but I do need to keep the background colours separate too, if at all possible ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Steph says:

        Ah yes, so many considerations! I can’t see the backgrounds very well on my screen but no doubt they are quite obvious “in real life”. It will be beautiful in any case!

      • katechiconi says:

        It’s the old natural vs artificial light issue. I’d say yes, the difference is more obvious to the naked eye. And I must thank you for pointing out the dark diagonal, which I hadn’t noticed and have now addressed ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. craftycreeky says:

    They are all beautiful, but I think my favourite is the Sea Glass one, the colours are just gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      I’d have put money on you liking those colours! I love them too, which makes working on this quilt for my SIL a positive pleasure. Sometimes when you make things for friends and family you end up working with colours you’re not that keen on, but this time, it’s all good!

  14. Chris S in Canada says:

    The quilts are beautiful. You have done wonderful work with wonderful colours. I also love how you made your studio more efficient and friendly – it was a great idea to take the time and just get it done. You can always fine tune as time goes on.

    I had a lovely day today reading on my back patio. It was a book I had been saving for a full day of relaxing. Imagine my surprise when I came across the word gallimaufry! I was so pleased that I knew what it meant, thanks to you. It was used in a story about Sherlock Holmes (in his later years) and his young wife Mary Russell. The author is Laurie R. King and she has a whole series about Holmes and Russell. Just a delightful day!

    Good luck with getting your quilts finished!
    Chris S in Canada

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you so much, what a lovely kind comment! In return for giving you the meaning of Gallimaufry I must thank you for the book referral – I’m always happy to try a new author and this series sounds good.

      • Chris S in Canada says:

        I was really just telling the truth – the quilts are beautiful.

        I hope you’re able to find the series, they are a little older, so perhaps used book stores, maybe not on audio. I’ve quite enjoyed the ones I’ve been able to find, I’ve always liked Sherlock Homes.

        Looking forward to seeing the hatbox quilt finished.
        Chris S in Canada

      • katechiconi says:

        My local library has four of them, so I’ve reserved them ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I’m back to the tablet as the clunker was just that. Have to say the new layout was a very wise plan. Love the wall of books . The sea glass quilt is stunning but you know the hat box quilt has my heart. I’ve been collecting fabrics for it. You must have the busiest hands on the planet . Well done ! !

  16. Wow Kate! You have been busy:)!!! I love your finished Quilt. It is gorgeous!! And your sewing room looks like the lighting is definitely better. I hope you have some fun music and a few treats to sew along withโค๏ธ

  17. rutigt says:

    Youยดve been busy, I can see that! So great looking quilts and a nice and clean sewingroom!

  18. Lighting is critical, so I think any rearrangement that improves that is a good call.
    My newest sewing room addition is air-conditioning and heating. I cannot tell you how excited I am about not freezing in winter or having sweat running down the back of my knees in summer!

    • katechiconi says:

      The new position of my sewing area means I’m no longer sitting with my face a metre from the arctic gale emitted by my air conditioner, which is very old and no longer adjustable. It will be a pleasant change to have a normal temperature face *and* body! The main benefit is that I won’t be dazzled by the sun bouncing off my sewing machine’s extension table.

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