Scinteallate #6: a meteor shower

EIGHT more stars have fallen into my mailbox.

I think that qualifies as a meteor shower, don’t you? It  means we’re up to 18 stars for Scinteallate, only 7 left to go till there are enough to start quilting and assembling. Good work, everyone!

These are the latest contributors.

Robin (her third block for this quilt)

Lynn (don’t you love that animal fabric?)

Sharon

Kerry

All gorgeous, aren’t they?  I love the range of styles and designs, and I’m flat-out impressed by Sharon’s immaculately hand-pieced block! For those of you concerned about the background cream, don’t be; we need a bit of variation to add definition and individuality with these lovely blocks.

Finally, here’s how they’re looking together on the design wall so far. This is by no means the final layout (unless it turns out to be the best arrangement, of course!), but I’m liking how it looks as a grouping.

I really must crack on with a few more blocks of my own; there’s been a paper piecing pattern and fabric scraps sitting on my table since before we went away.

But first, the laundry 😦

Advertisements

ScrapHappy June: an old friend

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.

For my holiday hand sewing, I dug out an old friend from my project boxes: Anemone!

Before:

And after:

 

Last time I stitched anything on this project was March 2018, over a year ago, so I felt it deserved a bit of love. I got two more hexie flowers sewn in at the top, beginning row 8. I think I’ll add more down the side next to keep it a bit squarer, but I’ll see how I go. In any case, I’ll probably return to Days Gone By for the next ScrapHappy post.

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). This month, our new member is Sue L, so make sure you take a look at her blog too.

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

Scinteallate #5: half a dozen

It was a great day for squishes!

The postie brought not one, but two lovely packages. The first was from Sue, with four gorgeous blocks:

And the second was from Gun, with two, including one stunning appliqué block:

And finally, I’ve bought the fabric for the back and joining strips:

I couldn’t resist the tiny stars on the cream background, and that marbled teal has tiny sparkles over-printed on it.

Scinteallate is really starting to scintillate!

Scinteallate #4: two from the South

Robin’s squishy arrived this morning.

For most of you, Australia’s probably south of everything, but even Down Under, there’s people south of me, and the lovely Robin is one of them. Right now, she’s ‘enjoying’ chilly winter weather while I bask in balmy 24°C/75°F with all the doors and windows open and the aircon off for a change. But that hasn’t stopped her turning out two beautiful star blocks for Scinteallate, and they’re wonderfully scrappy. That’s given them exactly the kind of ‘twinkle’ I was hoping for 🙂

I have a messy heap of scrappy strips on my work table, waiting to be pressed for the next block. And at some stage today I have to make a foray to Spotlight to buy 4 metres of cream backing and half a metre of something darkish blue-green for the front joining strips on Scinteallate. That’s the current plan – unless, of course, I spot something brilliant on clearance or reduced, as an alternative.

That’s after I’ve made mandarin curd and put the apple crumble in the oven. The neighbours gave us a huge sack of their windfall mandarins and I have to use them up before they start to go mouldy. Half of them juiced for breakfast, half of them zested and juiced for the curd. Oh, my suffering is extreme, I tell you…

And we finally have Miz Lizzie back from caravan hospital, with her roof and windows re-sealed, a new step and stabilising legs added, and a foot locker removed from one side to give the Husband a bit more leg room in bed. Time to clean, repack and restock her before our trip north in 10 days. It’ll be nice to get everything off the sofa in my sewing room… so I can lie on it 🙂

Till the next squishy! 

 

Scinteallate #3: Back in the swing

I’ve got my paper piecing mojo back.

Every time I don’t do it for a while, I lose the tricks and habits that make this such a great technique for accurate piecing. I start to think it’s too much trouble to make templates of the pieces I need. I forget to adjust the stitch length down. I forget that all-important mantra: Stitch, Flip, Check, Trim, Press. Then, out come the stitch ripper and tweezers and sweaty frustration…

But by the end of this block, I was back in the swing. I didn’t have to take anything apart, the paper came off the back with very little resistance, things lined up as they should, and I’m facing the next one with equanimity, despite the fact that it has 64 pieces! Yup. You read that right. Thing is, they’re almost all rectangles of the same width, just slightly differing lengths. As they say in these parts “She’ll be right, mate”. I’ve got this.

So, this is my Scinteallate block No. 2. En route already are several more from Robin, Gun and Sue, and a further 12 more are in progress from other lovely contributors.

I think the Twinkle Factor is improving rapidly, don’t you?

 

F²F³: last ones, and worth the wait!

A surprise squishy arrived the other day.

I wasn’t really expecting anything, so it came as a lovely surprise to realise that it was from Sue of From the Magpie’s Nest, and it was my last F²F³ blocks of the F2F 2018/19 session. Poor Sue has been suffering from an injured shoulder which is taking ages to heal and is cramping her sewing style dreadfully, so I’m very grateful that she made the effort on my behalf.

So, without further ado, here they are:

I love them all, but the last one really tickled me! Sue knows I live in the tropics of North Queensland, Australia, and have just moved to a new and smaller house, so she’s created me a tiny tropical cottage (the sort of thing they call a chattel house in Barbados) with a palm tree outside. Even better, the dark strip at the top is the purple version of a Kaffe Fassett design called Aboriginal Spots. It’s a perfect fit 🙂  I have to decide whether to integrate this into the quilt, or make a special cushion cover out of it, but that will have to wait until I can lay out the blocks out on the design wall and can decide on a layout.

So it’s into the Amethyst & Slate project basket for now.

 

Let there be light…

… and behold, there WAS light!

Let me start by saying I didn’t just hold out my hand and say the words, I went shopping for it! I’ve long found the light on my sewing machine a bit feeble and yellowish. I tried an LED bulb instead of the incandescent one it came with, but something about the frequency made it flicker in a very headache-inducing way. The light was great, but not at that cost. I searched the shops for an LED strip I could plug in, but they all came as separate strips to which you had to solder a connector and then a power cord and adaptor. I could, but I wasn’t going to; there had to be an easier way. Today, while shopping for something else, of which more later, I found a small box with a home-made label on it, bearing the legend ‘LED light strip for sewing machine’. Below was a photo – and it was all cabled up. Not cheap, but perfect for what I need. The brilliant Ray of Needleworx (‘The Hardware Store for Ladies!’) had made several of these up, and had sold them all in a matter of days.

Here’s the difference: Top, normal light only; Bottom, with LED strip

I was actually in there because my light pad had died. The connection between cable and pad had give up the ghost, and 9 times out of 10 the touch-switch for turning it on wouldn’t work without endless jiggling. I find it invaluable for paper piecing, and Ray had just sent me an email to say the Triumph A4 light pads were now a good $150 cheaper than when they first came out. Well, you can’t ignore a bit of serendipity like that, can you? The photos show the same piece of paper on the light pad; Top, with the pad off, Bottom, with the pad on. You can see it’d make paper piecing a whole lot easier… (and for those still looking vaguely puzzled, you sew the fabric onto the back of the paper, but the design is marked on the front, so seeing the lines through the paper really, really helps!).

So now I have a working light pad too, which turns on first time, every time, is bright as day, is thinner and lighter than the old one, and has just eliminated my last possible excuse for not getting on with the paper piecing of teal star blocks for the Scinteallate quilt.

How deLIGHTful…