F²F³: three more beauties

I got another squishy this morning 🙂

The package was from Moira, who has sent me three really beautiful blocks for my amethyst and slate colour scheme. Aren’t they lovely? And what gorgeous fabrics and perfect colours. I particularly love the white-on-white pineapple print, perfect for its new tropical setting!

Click on any image to enlarge.

She also sent me a piece of wonderful Kaffe Fassett fabric as a bonus. I love this so much that I’m going to save it for a garment or accessory of some sort, so I can see and enjoy it all the time!

Two more sets of blocks to come and two more of my own to make, and I’ll have the full set. Then, of course, it’ll be time to start planning the quilt. I think this lovely colour scheme is going to be perfect for a quilt for one of our new bedrooms. Hmm… I’ve never tried wool batting, but it would be lovely and cosy for those cooler nights.

And now, back to my packing list!


In the arms of the angels: she soars

So, it’s done.

You know how you make plans to sew all day? Yeah… No. I’ve scraped together a total of a day and a half over the past three days, mainly because the stitching had to be done standing up, with the quilt hanging on the wall so the wings were in the correct position. It’s hard on the back and my poor tired feet. But it’s been enough. The idea I had for making the wings strong and powerful-looking has worked. They’re not flat and limp, but have bulk and dimension. The wing panels are backed with stiffening, and in stitching them down, I’ve applied lateral pressure to bow this stiffening down the length of the wings and make them pop out. You get a good shadow under the wing, so I haven’t had to fake a shadow with a piece of grey tulle laid onto the fabric underneath it. I’m really, really pleased with the effect, and am very happy with the overall result.

Do you like the tiny stars, adding a little sparkle as the light moves over them? I wanted something that tied back to the text on the label, and this seems to fit the bill. They’re applied with fabric glue as I’d have gone totally bonkers if I’d had to stitch them on. I’ve stitched a hanging pocket on the back, as this isn’t a bed or lap quilt, and you can see that I’ve added a pretty minimal binding, just to finish the edge. It’s not going to get much wear and tear, so a narrow binding will be OK.

It’s time to launch this quilt. I’m delivering it today to a director of the Trudy Crowley Foundation. She’s already expressed her determination to do battle in the auction to ensure she becomes its new owner. However, Trudy’s own father is also in the running, so let the bidding war commence! The auction will take place at the Twilight Dinner to launch the Foundation on 30th March. I hope it’ll prove worthy of its purpose and raise loads of money to help launch the Foundation and the work it was set up to do. And finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed blocks, ideas and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Here are your wings, Trudy. Now, go fly.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci

Reno #4: a mixed bag

It’s been a bit of a week.

I’m awarding myself a couple of days off to sew. After a week or so of up and down ladders, bending and kneeling, the old bod is now insisting very firmly on a break, so it’s just as well I’ve finished painting the two bedrooms!

You’ll have to content yourself with this cutting-in ‘in progress’ shot, where you can just about see the difference between the old paint and the new. I debated taking ‘after’ photos, but it would have been pointless; two rooms, one painted a slightly bluer grey than before and another painted a slightly stronger pale green than before and you’d have been hard pressed to spot the difference in a photo. Except for the sanding and filling, that is. Still, they’re now immaculate, waiting only for the new carpets being fitted on Wednesday. After that I can start moving things in, hurray. Or I could, if only the blasted rain would stop long enough to get a load over there….

In the kitchen, chaos apparently still reigns. I say apparently, because although it looks chaotic, there is forward progress. The cabinets have been assembled, the gaps in the flooring have been filled, the gas line for the gas cooktop is in, the plumbing has been taken back to the wall ready for the sink to go in, etc.

In the bathroom, the old loo has been excavated out, the soil pipe has been repositioned and the water supply for the cistern has been moved. Now all we have to do is take down the walls and make good, chip up and replace the rest of the floor tiles, install new basin and shower taps and a new shower unit to replace the leaky old job that bangs the Husband on the head because it’s hung so low. Oh, and yes, it’ll all need filling and painting… At some stage, once Bill has concreted in the new soil pipe for the loo, I have to lay tiles around it so that the plumber can install the new ‘throne’, which has to go on top of the tile so that if there’s ever a leak it doesn’t creep under the tiling and start to rot adjacent wall timbers. Yuck. So I guess there’s more kneeling and bending in my future…

So thank goodness for a quiet couple of days with my sewing machine 🙂


ITAA: all together at last

I’ve got the background full assembled, finally.

It’s all fully quilted, the light centre in cream, and the darker outer border and cornerstone blocks in silver on the front and cream on the back, although you can’t tell in this photo. It’s good to have all the pieces together and those dratted long seams finished.

So, what’s next?

I have to cut the binding strips, join them and stitch them to the quilt. I have to attach a hanging pocket to the upper back edge. I need to stitch on the label and stitch the banner, hook and wings onto the front, all of which is going to be done by hand.

I’m delivering this quilt in a week’s time. Still a fair bit to do, and not an awful lot of time to do it in. But actually, that’s probably a good thing. I’ve slightly over-done the hauling of rubbish to the dump, the loading and unloading of furniture and the trotting up and down stepladders painting walls. I had a sewing day today, and the pain and stiffness I woke up with are easing somewhat.

Another sewing day very soon will not go amiss, although I do have to do some more painting tomorrow – the carpets are being fitted in about a week’s time, so I can’t delay too long.

Back to the cutting board 🙂

Reno #3: two days of heavy lifting

Hello, muscles I’d forgotten I owned.

We’ve had two rather strenuous days. Yesterday we took all the building waste we’ve torn out of the new house and the rubble from demolishing the old porch on the current house to the dump. We’ve saved as much as possible for future use, but you can’t reuse gyprock (drywall), cement sheeting, broken bricks, non-safety glass or rotten timber. It’s the double handling that does it (or triple if you count the actual tearing down): onto the trailer, back off the trailer. We woke this morning feeling most of our muscles and every year of our joint ages. I’m being careful with my back, and the Husband is taking most of the strain, but I’m hitting the hot showers and Panadols hard :-/ However, the progress that’s being made is very encouraging, a visible change from day to day. Click on any of the photos to enlarge. Here’s yesterday:

And here’s lunchtime today:


Those dark brown cabinets on the kitchen side will be painted white to match the rest of the kitchen, and the handles will be updated also. They were originally at the top of the wall on the living room side, and have been repurposed for the kitchen. I will keep baskets and tubs, etc, in the spaces underneath.

Today we collected the new kitchen. Much of it is in flat pack, but there’s also the dishwasher, oven, gas cooktop, etc, and none of it is light. Except maybe the handles… Sadly the range hood wasn’t available; out of stock till next week. We also went to the joinery and collected our breakfast bar benchtop, a 2200 x 900mm (86 x 35 inch) butcher block slab of acacia wood which they had joined together edge to edge from two pieces with glue and ‘biscuits’.

In case you were wondering, biscuits are little flat disks of wood which fit into shaped corresponding slots on either side of the join and are glued in place. They’re a slimmer alternative to the dowel pegs known and loved by all assemblers of IKEA furniture. The slab needs oiling with tung oil to bring it back to the original colour you can see in the shot with my scruffy work boots!

Tomorrow’s treat, aching muscles permitting, is painting bedrooms, hopefully finishing one and perhaps starting the second. Actually, I’m rather looking forward to it. I like painting (except for the low bits), and it brings us one step closer to having two rooms ready to move stuff into. First the paint, then the carpets, then the furniture and curtains.

We’ve been hampered by torrential bursts of rain yesterday and today. One thing the rain has shown is how good the drainage is in the new house. Not a drop approached the house or the garage or the shed. Huge gutters and downpipes poured it down off the roof without any overflowing, and into gullies that carried it all away down the slope of the back yard. Nothing came into the property from the road. I think we’re safe from flooding at last.

Meanwhile, back in the sewing room there is forward progress too, but I’ll show you that another day.

Bee, Myself and I # 36

Just one more to go 🙂

This is Block 29. Another gorgeous fabric from Philip Jacobs for Westminster Fabrics. One of my most favourite fabric designers. I got this one done during my Melbourne trip and after – I took two with me but that was overly hopeful, I was having waaaay too much fun to get both done. I’ve got this done and scheduled well in advance because I know that right now I’ll be in the middle of demolishing things, making lists, deciding where power points should go, etc.

Anyway, to return to the subject…. 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.

Till next time.

F²F³: nearly over for another year

And now for something completely different.

February is a short month, and with only one day of it left, I’m doing the final round-up of F²F³, the third round of F²F, a little early. Once again, it’s been a fun block swap with some really beautiful work from everyone. My ‘amethyst and slate’ blocks are destined to become a winter quilt for my own bed (well, OK, as much winter as we ever get here in the tropics). I have a few more still to come in, and I’ll show them as they arrive.

We’ll certainly do this again, and if you’d like to join in next time, be sure and let me know. I’ll be giving advance notice, so all you have to do is drop me an email or comment on the post when it comes out. If you want to know what it’s all about, have a look here.

Meanwhile, I’m sure many of you are already tired of my home renovations and ready for more quilty loveliness. So without further ado, here are Esther’s blocks, which arrived in the mail yesterday. Aren’t they gorgeous? She’s made 4 because she was worried that one of them wasn’t quite right. Thing is, I can’t tell which one that might have been, they’re all so lovely!

I’ll head over and add these to the F2F 2018/19 Gallery, so if you haven’t seen all the blocks before, click on the link and take a look, there’s some impressive work there.

We’ll be back with another session later in the year 🙂