$11R: back to the scraps…

… for scrappy backs.

Sorry the focus is a bit varied, but I had to stand on a stool to get all them all in the shot, and the ones running off to the right have lost their sharpness.

These aren’t as pretty or varied or intricate as the fronts, but I’m pleased to say I’ve fairly quickly achieved backs for all 20 blocks out of my larger scraps. By which I mean pieces a fair bit smaller than a fat quarter, many with chunks cut out of them or wonky edges, or several smaller pieces of the same fabric, and all left over from prior projects. And I definitely haven’t been precious about how I mixed them up. Many of the scraps were unlikely to find a home in other quilts: a too-large or bold pattern, a not quite right colour balance, a fabric I no longer liked or had grown tired of, or which was too specific to a particular project. This way, they have a valuable role as part of this rainbow-hued quilt rather than leading “lives of quiet desperation”* in the back of my cupboard.

I’ve made the same number of blocks of each colour for the backs as I have for the fronts. Effectively, the quilt will be virtually reversible, but complex and bright on the front and simple and blocky on the back. I’m going to have a rootle through my scrap jelly roll strips for sashing for the back. The selection will be heavy on the blues, as I eliminated a lot that were the wrong hue from the selection for the Bonnard quilt, but it should still be interesting to look at.

So, nearly ready to start sandwiching and quilting. I reckon it’ll be ready in time for the show… 🙂

*Walden, by Henry David Thoreau


$11R: front blocks assembled

Well, I have all the borders attached.

If anything, the colours are brighter and stronger than what you see here, especially on the paler blocks.

I love how the dark blue frames the colourful centres. I also have a lot of the scrappy joining strips made, probably enough to finish the quilt if I stick with my usual narrower version, so that’s what I’m going to do, rather than fiddling about to make a slightly wider version. Soon, I must take a look at the backing fabrics I’ve pulled together. There’s a bit of piecing to be done, and I think if I can make it work, I’d like the backing to colour match to the front, so a scrappy green front will have a green back, and so on. I’m not sure I have enough larger scraps in all the colours, though, so I’ll have to wait and see. All the pieces are pressed and ready for cutting. In case you’re wondering, it’s going to finish at about 60 inches (1.52m) square. I’m still to decide whether this becomes a ‘working’ quilt, or if I’ll hang it on the wall in our rather dark upstairs corridor, to inject some colour. What do you think?

My nephew from Melbourne is visiting us this week; he arrives this afternoon and will stay until Sunday, which is going to be lots of fun, as we can take him round all our favourite places, show him the sights and have the perfect excuse to eat out a bit more than usual. We don’t get a lot of visitors – most people think we’re too far away – so it’s a huge treat for us to have his company.

Time for some more cutting and piecing 🙂

A mixed bag

It’s been a physical couple of days.

Wednesday: Stitches out and a pat on the back from the surgeon. The knee is healing well and in a couple of days it’ll be fine to swim. Thursday: My first tai chi class. In case anyone thinks it’s just slow motion wafting around your arms and legs to an imaginary sound track of traditional Chinese music, think again. Move slowly into a position. Hold it…hold it some more…slowly move out of it. Stand on one leg… for what seems like hours. Etc. Yes, it’s slow, but you can easily end up with wobbly legs and aching arms, as I did. But I loved it! I felt energised without being sweaty and purple in the face, and the effect lasted for ages. I’ll be going every week.
Friday: an hour of moderate torture with the physiotherapist, the first of 4. It brought home how much my left leg has wasted in the weeks of favouring it, keeping it immobile and having it strapped up in a brace. With luck I’ll build enough muscle to protect it from further damage.

In between these sessions, I’ve got half of the $11R blocks bordered with dark blue in my now deliciously cool sewing room. I’ll the rest done over the next few days. It looks really good, and will look even better with the colourful skinny scrappy joining strip between the dark blue borders. It’s also very nice having extra space now that I’ve been able to put away all the teal fabrics for the time being.

Best of all, I had a call today from Emily at Ovarian Cancer Australia to let me know that ST&D had arrived safely. She was so excited! The entire team thinks it’s a wonderful piece of work, and she’s definitely planning to bid on it herself. She also loves the mug rug, and says she’s planning to frame it!  I said I’d hoped she’d use it for her mug of tea, but she was afraid of making it dirty… They are having a professional photographer for the fundraising event, who’ll take photos of the quilt as part of the event record. If you worked on the quilt and would like a digital file of the final photo, let me know. She’ll also let us know who becomes its eventual owner, and how much it raises.

That was a really good phone call, and makes all the work everyone has done in putting the quilt together so rewarding.


The $11 Rainbow

It’s decided, then.

I’m going to make a push to finish the ScrapHappy rainbow blocks in time to enter it in the quilt section of Mackay Show, on 19th June.

Each block will be outlined by a 1.5 inch dark blue border, and then there will be a narrow rainbow sashing between each. QAYG? Of course!

I have the blocks trimmed out to a standard size and arranged to my satisfaction. The dark blue borders are cut and just need to be stitched on. I still have more till roll sashing to make, but that’s just mindless ‘pick a scrap, stitch it on, pick a scrap, stitch it on’. Isn’t it nice to see a riot of colour for a change?

It seemed a bit, well, meh, to call it the Rainbow Scrappy Quilt. How many of those have we all seen? I’m making the sashing with my tiniest scraps, and having unearthed a rainbow of larger pieces of scrap for the backing, all I had to do to finish it was buy a bit of dark blue for the border around each block. And the cost? Well, $11…. and the name chose itself.  I have a huge roll of batting already, so no purchase needed there, and I shall address the issue of binding when I reach that point, but I’m thinking it’ll be pretty scrappy too.

A big thank you to everyone who made helpful suggestions, and helped to firm up my decision-making process (or some might say, ‘headlong rush at the project I wanted to do all along’).

I’m sure I’d have faffed around a lot longer without your help 🙂


So…. what next?

I’m suffering a nasty case of hiatus incertus.

Or, to put it more plainly, I don’t know what to work on next. Do I haul out one of my several WIPs, start something new, or conscientiously but grumpily return to a couple of tricky UFOs I keep shoving to the back of the queue because they’re, well, hard…? When I finish some- thing that’s been intensive and long-term, I always have this trouble. Sudden freedom brings its own burdens. I can work on whatever I like? Well OK! Now… what do I like?

So, here are the options:

• Start assembling the Rainbow ScrapHappy blocks into a quilt by adding sashing round each one, and then get going with QAYG. If I work on this one, I might actually enter it into the quilting section at Mackay Show in June. (No, NOT hand-quilted, I’m not quite that bonkers – yet…)
• Stitch in some more of the giant hexie flowers on the Anemone ScrapHappy quilt. Make some more hexie flowers.
• Decide what to make with the F2F blocks from the last session; there’s enough for a big quilt or a smaller one and some cushions
• Do a whole bunch more hand quilting for the Hatbox Quilt blocks, at least 4 or 5 blocks
• Start something completely new. I have a sneaky little bag containing half a dozen fat quarters and two jelly rolls of a very pretty colour combination that I want to play with but have managed to studiously ignore up to now.
• Oh, and let us not forget that I plan to restart F²F next month, and need to think about what colours I want, and put together a Pinterest board.

You see my problem?

Now, suggestions, please. As always, I’ll consider all possibilities and suggestions and then do my own thing 🙂 But if there are distinct favourites out there, I’d like to hear which ones you favour.

Of course, by the time you read this I might already have taken the plunge into one of them!


SAL 61: another few stitches

I wasn’t sure I’d actually get any stitching done this time.

Second post of the day, I know, but both ScrapHappy and this Stitch Along fell on the same day, so I had to get both done! Here’s the usual before shot:

Last time’s blurry photo…

And now for where I’ve got to. Not spectacular but at the same time, not too bad – at least you can see where I’ve been:

Do go and have a look at what the others in the group are working on. We’re all over the world and in different time zones, so if you don’t see a SAL post yet, pop back later.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLinda, Mary Margaret, Heidi,
Connie, Jackie, Sunny, HayleyTony, Megan and Timothy

The next SAL is due on 6 May, so I’ll see you then.


ScrapHappy April

Another batch of scraps given a new life…

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

This month, I was clearing up my sewing room after completing Signed, Tealed & Delivered. There were literally dozens of snippets of fabric in all shades of teal, plus a few that definitely weren’t! As I laid them on my cutting table to sort them and put them away, they started to come together under my eyes, and an idea took shape. This month’s ScrapHappy idea is a pretty scrappy mug rug for the lovely Emily, my contact at Ovarian Cancer Australia. I think she’ll like it, don’t you?

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 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 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).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry and Claire

See you again, same time next month!