ScrapHappy September

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.

I’d hoped to have made a start on cutting the pale mulberry border strips for the pale rainbow scrappy quilt, but once again, life has got in the way. However, I have found something lovely to do with some of the scraps from the Colours of Happiness quilt. What do you think? It’s going to be a cushion cover to go with the quilt. I had a handful of strips left over from the chequer-board panels, and these four all had the yellow running through the centre, so they worked as a set. Not finished yet (I think it needs those green strips down the sides, and perhaps a bit of embellishment of some sort), but on the way. As with all the other photos of the fabrics for this quilt, this looks a bit washed out; the camera just doesn’t capture these colours completely.

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 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).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

See you again, same time next month!

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Colours of Happiness 7

The piecing is finished. 

Here it is, all pinned up on my design wall, showing how the panels will be arranged. I just wanted to get a photo of it all in one piece before I take the whole lot down and start cutting backing and batting panels for everything.

It’s the usual rubbish indoor photo, not only because the lighting’s not ideal, but also because I suspect only in daylight will the camera come close to capturing these colours properly. They always look either washed out and lacking detail, or luridly radioactive, some stronger than others. In real life, the visual effect is rich and complex, and nothing shouts too much louder than everything else. So roll on the day when I can hang this beauty on the washing line, in the sun, and finally get a photo I like!

I won’t be able to show much progress on this for a while. I have quite a work list on the go right now, and I need to start concentrating on the final Ovarian Cancer Australia quilt for the time being. But I’ll be hand quilting this one in the background, and will show stuff from time to time. I’ll probably get the long panels and corners done first, as I’m still thinking about what happens in the centre.

Till then.

SAL 68: another petal

It’s that time again – already!

I’ve scarcely touched my tapestry project; I’ve been immersed in quilty projects for the past few weeks, and I surfaced only a few days ago, when Avis’ reminder went out. Eek! Time to start stitching. I think it probably shows in my lack of progress, but I have got another petal stitched in. Bottom left, in case you were wondering where, exactly!

Before:

And after:

I’m having trouble getting some of the colours I’ve used. I don’t know why, but it has meant I’ve needed to make substitutions where it doesn’t affect the outcome or overall effect too much. This latest petal is a case in point; that pale greyish lilac is a new colour.

Do click on the links below and go and look at what everyone else is working on. If there’s no post up yet, try again later, as we’re a scattered bunch, all in different time zones.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaHeidiJackie, Sunny,
HayleyTony, MeganCatherine, Deborah, and Connie

The next SAL will be on 30th September. See you then.

Colours of Happiness 6

Progress is being made.

I have three of the four chequerboard sides assembled, just the last one to go. So I took the opportunity of having a clear cutting table to work out what I was going to do with the corner squares. I got one assembled, and I’m pleased with it. I took a bit of a left turn with the colours, and as well as the gold/brown and orange fabrics and the floral prints I’ve used elsewhere, I’ve included some of my favourite shot green, which ties in perfectly and adds an acid note amongst all those pinks and oranges and yellows.

It’s probably a bit fanciful, but I think these corner blocks look like lotus flowers turning their faces up to the sun radiating in the centre. I’ll make the same block for each corner, identical except for pattern variations in the fabrics.

I also scored with backing fabric. I found the perfect orange/ yellow print, and then discovered there was only a metre left on the bolt. This lovely orange print alternative will look great with the hot pink hand quilting thread I’ll be using. Yes, that’s the plan. I decided I have plenty of time to do the quilting by hand even if I have to stop and let my paws recover for a day or so here and there. In the central starburst section I’ll be doing some kind of round multi-pointed mandala-type motif, yet to be designed.

On the corner squares, I shall outline the quarter-Dresden flower shape, do something wiggly in the straight strips, and in the chequerboard I shall do a fish-scale clamshell motif. Imagine a round top clamshell, but with a small upwards point at the centre of the top. Here’s the template I made for it. It’s the same sort of idea as the hand quilting for the Bonnard quilt.

So, one more chequerboard side and three more corners to make, and the piecing is done. Then I’ll cut the backing pieces and spray-baste the quilt sandwiches. And then quilting can start. The final stage is assembling the quilted pieces and binding. But that’s still a way off.

Onwards…

 

The Gardens of Chiconia 50

Are you sick of bananas yet?

No? Good, because here’s another update. Can you see now how the stem develops?  Between each of those dark red bracts (the petal things) is a row of flower buds, and the bracts open in sequence. Each flower becomes a baby banana, and as they mature, they start to point upwards and flare away from the bracts, leaving space for the next row down to develop.

I watched this afternoon as a Blue-Faced Honey Eater, a Noisy Friarbird and a Yellow Honey Eater all fought for access to the flowers. I took a look at the stem later on, and I could see why: there’s so much nectar it’s dribbling out of the flowers and onto the bract below – you can see it in the photo above. The flowers are looking a bit battered after their attentions, too. The nectar has also brought the green ants in, attracted by the sugar. When the time comes I shall have to blast the fruit with the hose to prevent getting bitten as I cut a hand of bananas away – those ants are very aggressive and the bite is quite painful. I’ll also need to stop them building one of their huge nests in the flower. I won’t be using any chemicals; water will be enough to discourage them.

I’ll wait and see what interesting thing this thing does next!

Colours of Happiness #5

Two long sides completed, two to go.

It’s fiddly work, it doesn’t go together as fast as the starburst, so it’s taking a while to finish each one, especially as I have to lay out all the pieces first. Left and bottom side are the finished ones, the top one is the layout template and will be stitched together last. I have the right side laid out on my cutting table to be sewn together tomorrow.

I thought more about the cornerstones, and the more I thought the less I liked the idea of big plain squares of fabric. Too easy, too simple, a bit of a cop-out. So I have something a bit more fancy-schmantzy in mind, involving a quarter Dresden, a couple of leftover strips from the three-sets, some unused fabric strips and a couple more contrasting squares. I’ll make one and then show you what I mean. There will be some gold hand-lettering in these corner squares, and again, you’ll have to wait and see!

I’m not going to add any more to the outside, and I’ll assemble the quilt in sections; I want to hand quilt, and it will be much easier to work on if it’s still in smaller pieces. So, the centre starburst and its border will be Piece 1, the 4 chequerboard borders will be Pieces 2-5, and the 4 large cornerstones will be Pieces 6-9. I don’t know if you remember the Cloths of Heaven quilt, but I put that together the same way (although I did machine quilt the borders on that one).

It’s going pretty fast, and I’m still loving it, still having lots of fun 🙂

At last….

A little rain.

On our way into town last night

Not a torrential downpour, with the heavens opening and the gutters running and the water running wastefully off the parched, hard soil, but a steady, moderate soaking rain from early evening until the early hours of this morning.

That lovely sound of the rain on the metal roof… Such an Australian sound, and I’ve missed it in our three months of no rain. Everything smells fresh and clean, the dust has settled and colours are brighter. The birds are splashing in the small puddles. In the large land drain out the front, there’s a little standing water. If it lasts, or if we get a little more, there will soon be small fish flickering about in the water.

The grass will now jump out of the ground, of course, which means mowing 😦 but the cane farmers will be delighted as they won’t have to irrigate for a while now 🙂 It hasn’t broken the drought or relieved the terrible hardship of farmers in the west of this state and further south, but I can rejoice at the small blessing all the same.

It’s going to be a terrible bushfire and storm season, and a harsh, hot summer. The Wet has come later and later the past 5 years, and when it has arrived, has brought cyclones in its tail.

But for now, I’ll enjoy a cool, mild, damp and overcast day 🙂