Floribunda #9: onwards and inwards

I did no sewing or even cutting while we were away.

So it’s really rather nice to get back to such constructive pursuits. It’s all very well listening to audiobooks, reading my Kindle, taking dictation for the travel posts from Mouse, improvising meals from my pretty limited caravan pantry, and taking photos, but I miss the structured calm of actually piecing blocks.

So it’s straight back to Floribunda, and Blocks 10 and 11. Block 10 is done (I like the blackcurrant colours of this one), Block 11 is laid out, ready to sew.

And now you can begin to see how it’s laid out. From the outside inwards: a purple/yellow block at each corner, green all around the outside, pink inside that, and purple/yellow again in the middle. Block #11 will sit below the central pink block on the top row of pinks. I haven’t quite decided yet if this is going to be 5 x 5 blocks or 5 x 6. The blocks aren’t difficult but they are just the tiniest bit fiddly.

And may I just say, I never thought I’d be using the words purple and yellow together in any quilt I made, but there they are, and the combination just works. But I don’t think I’ll be using it again any time soon. I feel a little more positive towards purple these days than I used to, but yellow is still bottom of my colour list, along with baby blue, bottle green and brown.

I got an email while we were away to say that Mackay Show is back on, and inviting me to submit a quilt (or two). I’ve read the rules very carefully, and it doesn’t say anything about when the quilt had to be made, so I’m thinking about submitting the Hatbox Quilt for starters. All I’d have to do is hand-sew on a hanging pocket which I could easily remove afterwards, and put another temporary label over the existing one to comply with the rules. I’m pretty sure I could get Floribunda done by early June, which is when the quilts have to go in. What do you think? Shall I submit that one too? I’m certain I couldn’t get Parterre finished in time, particularly as I plan to hand quilt it, and Anemone won’t be hand quilted by then either, I don’t think… This one’s a fun dilemma to have!

Back to picking out fabric combinations for Floribunda!

Floribunda #8, and other stuff

It’s me, Mouse.

I’m dead worried, I can tell you. The Staff have been striding (Dad) and lurching (Mum) about all day, moving Stuff from one place to another. There was a distinct lack of routine activities, and I Don’t Like It. To be fair, they didn’t stint on the treats or the belly rubs. I think the score evened out at two frozen chicken necks, one bit of beef jerky, one bit of chicken jerky and a dried lamb bite. I got a walk and two runs in the yard, and several up-to-scratch dog-worship sessions in, including one on the bed this morning. But. I know there’s something going on. My Number 2 pillow and blankie have disappeared somewhere. Any minute now Bad Monkey (fluffy Mouse-toy, slayed horribly on a regular basis – Mum) will follow suit. I tell you what it is: we’re off on another trip! (Well-spotted, that sighthound – Mum).

Mum did herself a bit of a mischief the other day when she dropped a glass frying-pan lid on her broken paw. I must say, the language was surprisingly, um, salty, and I’m a sophisticated doggo… She’s also getting impatient for it to mend, and took her Boot off today. Mistake. The Boot’s back on again and she’s hobbling worse than she has been for a couple of days. Never mind, we’ll all have a nice long trip tomorrow and the day after, apparently, and she can rest her paw then.

So, this afternoon, while Dad was fiddling around in the back of the ute (pickup to you non-Australian types), arranging boxes and crates and fridges and tool-bags, Mum decided – finally – to take the weight off. So of course, she had to sew something. Apparently it’s rather colourful. I wouldn’t know… I’m a dog.

She says this is Block 9 of the Floribunda quilt, which is now going to be for her niece. Originally there was no yellow/orange and purple, but there was a special request for yellow, and this is how it’s being used. Apparently Mum is bringing hand work with her, but not this quilt, which needs a machine, cutting table and ironing board.

Instead, she’s bringing bags of scraps. It seems she’s already begun the next Days for Girls quilt, heaven help us. Is there no end to the scraps?  And I ask this as a doggo who enjoys his scraps; one of my favourite ways of making my displeasure known is to have a good rootle in her rubbish bin and spread the contents across the sewing room floor. It can get quite, um, artistic!

I’ll be posting more from the road, so paws crossed for better weather than we’re having here: Hot and wet. There’s nothing wrong with Mum’s fingers, so she can take dictation, as usual, and I happen to know there’s a bag of treats in her purse, so I shall be graciously accepting some of those to stimulate my creative juices. (Let’s hope they don’t stimulate anything else, Mr Fluffbum – Mum).

Look out for more thrilling episodes of… The Travels of Mouse!

ScrapHappy February

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.

And here it is, the third and final piece of the prize trio I’ve made from the Days for Girls scraps. You’ve seen the completed cushion cover (third prize), and more recently the completed Days Gone By hexie quilt (first prize), but I’ve finally got the table runner finished as well, the second prize. This piece uses up the very last flower, the absolutely last hexagon made for the fundraiser. Metres and yards of perfectly usable and useful fabric saved from landfill.

The backing for this table runner is made from offcuts of the backing I made for the quilt, itself made from leftovers in my stash. The binding is made from the spotted spacer fabric I used for my Anemone quilt. It’s truly scrappy. Even the batting is offcuts.

Raffle tickets are now printed and ready to go. If you’re interested in buying one, go to the Days for Girls Mackay FaceBook page to see how. Just AU$5 a ticket for a chance to win the quilt, table runner or cushion cover, or 3 tickets for AU$10. However, at present, payment options are only available to Australian residents.

I know that several of you have expressed interest in buying tickets. Anyone not in Australia who’d like a chance to win, please get in touch with me/leave a comment so we can discuss options. For any of my readers outside Australia, we will have to ask you to pay for postage and packing if you win any of the prizes; for readers within Australia I will donate postage to a destination further than 50km outside the Mackay area. The draw is on 20th March.

And now, I’m ready for some squares. Or rectangles. Or triangles. Anything other than, you know, hexies… Onwards. I have lots of ideas for more fundraiser items, and bags and bags of scraps await!

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, we have two new participants: say hello to Dawn 2 (sorry, I don’t know your surname initial!) and Noreen.

Kate (me!)Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 and Noreen

Please note As I have not heard from anyone who has not posted for a year but who still wants to stay on the list, I have now removed those names. If you’d like to be reinstated, let me know, but it would be good to see you posting again!

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

 

 

 

 

and Dawn

Floribunda #7: blocks 7 and 8

OK, a little change of direction here.

First, some brief background. My brother has four daughters. Two of them, the older two, already have quilts I made for them, the Cloths of Heaven quilt and the Bookcase quilt, shown on the left. You can click to enlarge and see the detail.

My brother asked me recently whether I’d make quilts for the younger two. I’d always intended to do so, but unlike with the first two, there was no landmark event to spur me into action. So, well, you know me. Two new quilts.

For one niece, I had a Pinterest board started, but since I’d worked on it, her tastes had changed. That one will need more work and I’ll show you more soon, when I’ve collected a few more fabrics.

The other niece was more of a mystery, but in the end, much less problematic. After some conversations and a new Pinterest board, she is going to receive my Floribunda quilt, but with some modifications. She loves yellow. Eeek. Well, as many of you know, it’s my least favourite colour to work with. But I think I’ll be able to pull it off. So, the plan for Floribunda is changing. No more setting on point, no more trellis with twining creeper. I’ll be setting the blocks straight, and won’t be alternating pink and green. I’ll be able to give you more of an idea once I’ve made probably 3 or 4 more blocks.

In the meantime, here are two new ones, blocks 7 and 8.

The first is just another green one, but the second one gives you an idea how I’m going to include and manage the yellow she wants included. There will be fewer of these blocks than of the pink and green because I have less of the purple background. I really rather love it, I must say. For the record, Floribunda’s going to be a smaller quilt; rather than the 75 inch square, hand quilted item I had planned (which would have taken another year, probably), it’s going to be 60 x 72 inches and machine quilted.

And of course, ready much sooner.

Bench Mat #2

And here is the second scrap-gobbler.

This one is long and skinny to fit the space in front of the coffee machine and kettle. It’s using up the last of the colourful binding fabric, the last of the grey and black print backing, and most of the larger light grey and white scraps. It also fits the space where I do most of my vegetable chopping and slicing, and has the added benefit of stopping the cutting mats and chopping board from walking around the bench top while I work.

I felt a bit bored by the idea of doing more wavy line walking foot quilting on this one. Now that I’ve done these freehand badly-done FMQ serpentines, I feel much less bored about walking foot quilting!  It reminded me exactly why I don’t enjoy FMQ…  Still, it’s not too disgusting and I’m certainly not going to pick it all out. If I ever mention FMQ again, remind me, would you?

Today is the Husband’s birthday. I whipped up a batch of carrot cake cupcakes, his favourite. They had an orange-flavoured drizzle glaze on top; I felt they needed something extra as it was a birthday, although they do taste very yummy without (well, I had to give them a taste-test, didn’t I?). We took Mouse for a lunchtime outing into town yesterday, and he got a rasher of bacon, delivered by hand in small pieces, while we demolished some very delicious chilli crab, scrambled egg, lime and sriracha hollandaise and toasted sourdough. He offered to help with the chilli crab too, but we pointed out that he has failed to enjoy stuff with chilli in it in the past… Tonight we’re eating out again at the Husband’s favourite restaurant.

The broken foot is still encased in the Boot. The fracture clinic told me it’d be six weeks before it was fully mended. Just under two down, four to go. I shall have to wait and see how long I can bear the Boot before I go completely bonkers. I have a strong suspicion that as soon as it stops hurting when I walk, this thing will come off, never to be seen again. After all, the reason crutches are off the menu is that they want me to load bear somewhat so that the bone grows in strongly. Of course I have to wear a sock and a sweaty plastic Boot in the hottest weather of the year so far (38°C/100°F yesterday). Of course it’s a different height from all my other footwear so I’m lurching around like a zombie and giving my back hell. But then again, it could have been so much worse… Blessings counted.

Onwards. I have a new quilt for another niece to think about 🙂

Bee, Myself and I #51: Parterre Block 18

Didn’t think I’d get a block done again this month, but I squeaked in!

Block 18 is back to my bright, colourful preferences. Some might say too bright. I’d say they were fuddy-duddies. What’s wrong with multicoloured paisley mixed with bright green on bright turquoise, with a pink and purple flower? It makes me smile.

I really do need to set them all out some time soon to check for colour-gaps. I know, I know, I said that last time, but I really have had one or two other things on my plate.

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not to a deadline or for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column of this blog.

Until next time…

Bench mat #1

Remember I talked about this a while back?

Something scrappy to make an imperceptible dent in my scrap collection. The back is made from offcuts of the Days Gone By Quilt backing, as is the batting layer and the last scraps of binding.

It’s to protect the butcher block benchtop in the kitchen when I’m prepping the Husband’s lunch and snack kit for work. A steel Thermos of boiling water; two Thermos travel mugs of freshly-brewed hot coffee; one Thermos travel mug of hot home-made soup; fruit, cheese and nut mix. (And before you marvel at the quantity, he starts work at 4.30am and gets home at sometime after 5pm, with a mid-morning sandwich delivery to his truck door as it passes by the end of our road, and while I’m walking doggo.) It has finished at 26 x 17 inches (66 x 43cm). which is a good generous size.

So, this is the first – and larger – one, for when it’s all made and is sitting waiting on bench 2 to get packed into his snack bag, together with three water bottles. There’s a second, smaller mat in progress for bench 1, where I’m assembling everything in a slightly tighter space due to kettle, coffee machine, etc. Getting this lot assembled while I’m barely awake and in a short time requires consistency, method and a lack of interruptions and surprises. Doggo knows this and stays snoring on his bed. Husband knows this and concentrates on drinking his coffee and eating his breakfast. Interruptions or changes to the routine turn it from a tightly choreographed dance to a severe case of flapdoodle.

Up to now, I’ve used tea towels, but I want more padding and something the right size.

Hence another pair of scrap-gobblers. Mat #2 coming soon…

Days Gone By: done deal

‘Tis finished, people.

Last night I set the last stitch in the binding and the label. It’s finally finished and ready to be handed over to Days for Girls next weekend, when our Saturday morning stitching sessions begin again after the summer break.

A couple of weeks ago, I handed the completed top and back and a large piece of batting over to a very kind lady called Judith, who is a long-arm quilter and who had graciously agreed to quilt it for free. On Thursday I got it back, beautifully stipple quilted, plus all the offcuts. For those not in the know, when a quilt is long-arm quilted you need to make the backing and batting at least 5 or 6 inches larger all round than the quilt top. I had been generous with both batting and backing, and I got one substantial piece and several smaller pieces of both back. Enough, in fact, to do the batting and backing for my table runner, also for Days for Girls.

I made binding from a number of partial or discarded jelly roll strips from other projects. I have some left over, but not, I think, enough to bind the table runner, so I’ll need to dig out more scraps for that.

So, without further ado, the photos. Appreciation to the Husband, who did the holding up.

front

Back

And the label:

A final summary for anyone not already familiar with this lengthy project: the quilt front is made from scraps left over after cutting out the pieces that go into the Days for Girls kits. When I joined the group, I was horrified to see usable pieces being simply thrown away. It meant that all the donated money and fabric was being partly wasted, so I determined that I’d find a way to rectify this. Days Gone By is the result. The backing and binding are made from scrap fabric from my own stash, which had not yet found another purpose. The only new parts of this quilt are the batting and thread, without which it would not be a quilt at all. It’s a truly scrappy, minimal-waste quilt.

It has been a very long pull. Some of you may recall that a large piece of assembled hexies was lost at the end of September 2019, and I had to start again. It was hard, but start again I did, and finally we’re across the line. This quilt, the table runner still in progress and the cushion cover I’ve shown earlier will all be raffled to raise funds to purchase fabric and other supplies for more Days for Girls kits. Although we have been unable to distribute the kits we make because of Covid-19, we haven’t stopped making them, and when travel restrictions are finally lifted they will once again go to the women and girls whose lives are changed and improve by them.

On to the next DfG quilt. This time I think I’ll go for something a bit quicker to make!

ScrapHappy January

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 to a much happier and more hopeful and creative year for all of us. With that in mind, I gave my creative urge a swift boot up the backside, and took out the scrappy table runner I’ve been making forever for a while for Days for Girls to raffle at their fund raiser, together with the quilt (now at the long arm quilter!) and the cushion cover previously shown. I’m just over a third of the way through. Here’s where I’ve got to:

And here’s the next batch, waiting for the black separator hexies and then assembly.

(Sorry about the rather garish background, but I had to find a place where I could get enough light on the subject, and the kitchen floor mat had the best lighting.)

After that there will be a smaller section at the end. To finish the whole thing I think I’ll appliqué it to a rectangular background before sandwiching, quilting and binding. I have a bit of time; this is going in the raffle in mid March, but is needed for photography end of February.

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, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette and Ann

Please note that I will be going through this list shortly, removing the names of anyone who hasn’t posted for a year or more. If you know that’s you but you’d still like to be left on the list because you have something coming up, just email me and I’ll leave you in.

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy December: the last of the year

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.

You’ll have to forgive me. This month’s ScrapHappy item looks as sad and dull and droopy as I feel. It’s the very scrappy backing for the Days Gone By quilt, which is now sitting folded quietly in a bag, waiting for the kind quilter to come free in January. I haven’t felt in the least inspired to come up with something else, something dazzling and innovative; losing someone you love seems to work directly on the creative centres, damping them down and muffling the siren song of the scrap boxes. Hopefully a new month and New Year will see a return to my usual form. And before you ask, all those pieces are scrap from other projects. Some of the pieces are saved from 10 years ago.

The table runner I hoped to have ready to show has also slowed to a stop. Hand-stitching gives you too much time to think. I’ll pull it out again soon, but just now, it’s not distracting enough.

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, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette and Ann

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.