SAL 49: another big bit

The blue sampler is coming along well 🙂

Here’s where we were before:

And now:

A couple more smaller motifs either side of these two, a bottom border, finish the two side borders, and we’re done! I’m beginning to be impatient to finish this one, as I have the next project lined up. Not cross stitch this time, but needlepoint. Just simple tent stitch, but a lovely design by Kaffe Fassett:

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy

See you next time, on 5th August.

ScrapHappy July

Once again, it’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This time, I’ve gone to my two largest scrap boxes: blue and teal/ aqua. I have about twice the amount of both as I do of other colours, so it was easy to dive in and find plenty of variety.

I really love both of these, especially the tiny little scraps of beloved fabrics I’ve had for many, many years. There are pieces that sing to me, that instantly take me back to past times and places, to brilliant memories and huge learning strides.

The quilt that comes into being from all these scrappy blocks is one I will want to keep for myself… forever.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps – no new fabrics. It can be a random or formal quilt block, a pillow or pincushion, a bag or hat, a collage or rag rug. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful 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 shown on the Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. You don’t have to worry about 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.

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):

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)
Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
Heléne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)
Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)
Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (in English only)
Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)
Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)
Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)
Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)
Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)
Susan: https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com (in English only)
Cathy: http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com (in English only)
Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)
Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)
Karen: https://mewithptsd.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Moira: http://quiltedsnail.blogspot.com/ (in English only)
Sandra: https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Linda: http://kokaquilts.blogspot.co.nz (in English only)

See you again, same time next month!

A feast of eye-candy

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a major fan of textile designer Kaffe Fassett.

He’s the most versatile and creative person I know of, creating paintings, mosaics, knitwear, embroidery, fabric and quilt designs, all coupled with an unerring and simply amazing sense of colour. So when I discovered he’d produced a book called Kaffe Fassett’s Bold Blooms (Abrams, New York, ISBN 978-1-4197-2236-3), I knew I had to have it. I’ve collected many of his quilting books over the years, but this one is not linked to Westminster Fibers/Rowan fabric ranges as the quilting books are, and roams freely amongst textiles of all nations, colour theory and his own development as a designer and artist, as well as many new quilt and needlepoint designs.

I don’t generally use large quantities of his fabrics in my own quilts. They’re expensive, hard to get in my part of the world, and mostly, they’re too saturated en masse for the effect I’m after. I’ve had quite a few pieces in my stash for many years, treasured, gloated over, petted and admired…. and then put away again. I don’t often make his quilt designs, preferring to execute my own designs.

The Hatbox Quilt is one notable exception, but here again, I’m not using many of his fabrics, and my colour scheme differs from his, both the original version in his book Passionate Patchwork, and the brighter, more saturated version in this new book.

What I use Kaffe’s work for is stimulus, inspiration, enrichment and for the enjoyment of beauty. Which is why I am now the proud and delighted owner of this beautiful book. It contains not only quilt designs and valuable information on colour work, but also needlepoint charts for some of his floral designs. One of these will be my next Stitch Along project, once I’ve finished the blue sampler. It’s a wonderful book, lavishly photographed, exquisitely printed and produced, and full of the most beautiful visual treats.

If you can’t buy it for yourself, get yourself to the nearest library and reserve or borrow it. It’s gorgeous…

Wombat’s Tropical Box

Sounds like the title of a children’s story, doesn’t it?

However, the truth is that today I got to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen for over 2 years. A keenly-anticipated pleasure is that she’s made a beautiful quilt for me, using scraps of Liberty fabric, and although I didn’t get it today, once it has featured at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show in October, it will be sent to me. I can’t begin to express how wonderful it is (I’ve seen photos), and how very grateful I am for this wonderful gift. So of course, I had to reciprocate!

Cath, who blogs at Wombat Quilts, is a fellow EPP-er, making lavishly gorgeous hexie flowers which are slowly but surely building into a quilt for her lovely husband. So I thought it would be fun to make her a hexie hand-work box, using the pattern designed by Tialys (a tutorial which can be found in her Etsy shop as well as ready made ones). I’ve made two of these already, one for me and one for the Dowager, and they are extremely useful and extremely decorative. So that was the idea sorted. After that, it was time to choose the fabric.

Well, she was visiting the tropics, she loves bright colours, and the fabric choice sort of leapt out of the fabric cupboard at me.

I think she likes it!  She and her husband and I and mine all had lunch together in the Manta Ray, a lovely waterside restaurant on Hamilton Island. It was a cool, windy and rather damp day, so she’s looking a little wind-ruffled, but that’s a happy face, I reckon! (By the way, if you ever go to Hamo, the Manta Ray does amazing gluten free pizzas, a real bonus since she and I both need to eat gluten free.) Hours of talking, eating, talking, drinking, talking (well you get the idea) ensued.

I leave you with a photo from the highest point of the island, looking out over the sea towards Whitsunday Island. Would you just look at those colours….

SAL 48: time on my hands…

I’ve made a good bit of progress this time.

I had to take a few breaks from things like quilting and joining blocks, and the embroidery was the perfect way to do that and get something useful done at the same time.

Here’s where were last time:

And here’s the latest progress.

There’s a mistake in there, but it’s minor and I’m not sufficiently worried about it to do any frogging. I’m simply going to adjust the design slightly to make it look ‘on purpose’ 🙂

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 16th July.

Flitting (and riding)

I love that word.

It so beautifully describes the butterfly motion of darting from one thing to another. Which is what I’ve been doing the last week or so, only less beautifully and gracefully 🙂

We’ve been spending some fun time with ST motorbike-owners-club friends from south east Queensland, who are passing through Mackay with their caravan and their Honda ST1300 on the back of the ute. Now that’s a sweet setup! Deep envy, to have both their big motorbike and their caravan along! We’ve done a couple of half day rides with them around the local sights, which has reassured me that I can cope and my back won’t fall apart under the strain when our own time comes to do the big ride south for the bike rally later this year in October. No lavish Miz Lizzie caravan comfort on this trip, it’ll be Rolling Thunder towed behind the Scarlett Thunderbolt, and a tent for a few nights.

We had part of the back yard landscaped and a hard surface put down. We can now get Miz Lizzie under cover without the need for 25-point reversing to get her between the posts of the patio roof. Straight in, bish-bosh, no messing about. Bliss! We can use our new turning circle to get the car in and out in similar style. I have a hard, dry surface to stand on when I hang out the laundry instead of being ankle deep in wet grass and green ants. It will not turn back into a swamp the next time we get a serious amount of rain. Oh my word yes, I love that new surface! And the Husband, let’s face it, is not heartbroken about having less grass to cut…

A few days before the work commenced, Sir Horace and Lady Laetitia Bush Stone-Curlew went off somewhere for several days. We rejoiced in a slightly guilty fashion, but it was very pleasant to have quiet nights, unbroken by their harsh screams. We thought they’d moved on, finding the modest bustle of our back yard insufficiently tranquil for raising this year’s family. Regrettably, they have now returned from their vacation and are back in their original spot, glaring at me every time I set foot outside the back door, and in full song at night. Oh well. At least we didn’t drive them off with the landscaping work…

I’ve been doing some secret sewing for a friend who is visiting from the States. As it’s a secret, I won’t be posting photos till she has it, around the end of the month, but it’s fun, pretty and useful, so I hope she likes it. I’m sure if she doesn’t, she won’t feel compelled to tell me so!

And finally, I’ve got the Blue Hour quilt two thirds assembled, just one big seam and the binding to go, so I’ll be able to do my ‘tah-dah’ post for that soon. And yes, start thinking about my own! I haven’t forgotten that I also have the Sea Glass quilt to sandwich and start quilting, but it’s a big job and as usual, I’m procrastinating furiously…

So while there’s been scant news from Chiconia recently, as you can see, I have not been idle!

SAL 47: A whole lot of what you fancy

… does so much more good than just a little bit!

And what I fancied in this context was a big slice of my decorative blocks at the bottom. Here’s where we were before:

And here’s where we are now:

Sorry the colour’s a bit off; the top image is more correct. Anyway, I’ve slightly changed my plan. There will now be two large blocks in the middle, and two narrower blocks on either side of them. I’ve made a good start on both the large ones, which as you can see are both in the very dark blue. I wanted to see how they’d sit side by side, which is why there are two unfinished sections. The smaller panels either side will be in the mid blue.

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 25th June.