Floribunda #3: this is it!

I have the right block pattern now.

It’s called Ribbon Star, and it’s easy to cut, easy to piece and just complex enough to be interesting, especially in a variety of colours and patterns. It’s made entirely from 2½ inch jelly roll strips. All I’ll need are needle, thread, squissors, cutting mat and rotary cutter, a few pins, a pencil to mark the seam allowance, and my mini iron and ironing mat (which both live in the caravan anyway).

I haven’t wanted to use the actual fabrics while testing so as not to waste them if something doesn’t work, so you’ll have to imagine this with a bright raspberry pink background and a green star, or a fresh green background with a pink star. The ‘corners’ between the star’s points will have some sort of contrast; I haven’t yet sorted the fabrics into sets, but that will happen before I go away, because I need to cut some sets to take with me.

It’s a relief to know what I’m doing, finally!

Floribunda #2

Hmmm. I probably need to change a few things…

Unless I’m happy to finish this quilt some time around 2025, I’ll probably need to use a different block design 😦

I’ve made the test block. It’s really lovely, but it’s very, very time consuming to make by hand. I know this was the first one, but it took hours to cut, mark, stitch and press. And I do want a block I can make by hand. Just not one with eight Y-seams and a central 9-patch of 1 inch squares…

I also made life harder for myself by using a couple of directional fabric prints. That said, it wasn’t hard to make, just very, very fiddly. And the hand piecing process isn’t hard either, so long as you remember just a few simple rules.

Tradition has it that you don’t press any seams till you’ve finished assembling it. That didn’t work so well for me – I like to see what I’m doing – and I don’t think it’s necessary so long as you have a plan for how the seam allowances will lie.

This block can now go into my basket of orphan blocks, waiting for me to find a use for it. Or maybe one day it’ll form part of a scrappy sampler quilt, all different designs.

Oh, and I want to reassure you that the Quilt Supervisor was hard at work, keeping my nose to the grindstone.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…

Floribunda #1

Well, this is going to be the next one – and it’s for me.

I bought these two Bali Pop packs nearly a year ago, without any clear idea of what I wanted them for, but I was unable to resist the fabric mixes. Now, I have found a block I like. It’s really quite simple, but is just complex enough to be interesting.

It’s designed to be machine-pieced, but I want a big handwork project to keep me going for a while, so I plan to hand-piece it. I also need to be able to break it down into smaller parts for easy portability, and that too works well with this design, at least until the point where I have to assemble it.

I’m going to use the individual block design from Jen Kingwell’s Star Dust quilt. I won’t be laying it out like hers; mine will be on point, and with a single fabric sashing between the blocks rather than double. I’ll also have a much simpler colour scheme: I will use the two batiks as alternate green and pink backgrounds, and from the Bali Pop packs, I will select 25 or 30 strips for the petals, putting pink on the green background and green on the pink, but with some variations and ‘wild cards’ for visual interest. The solid green and pink will become the central tiny square of the 9-patch blocks which are the centre of each flower. I’m thinking a dark blue-green for the trellis which is formed by the sashing between the on-point squares. I haven’t quite decided what’ll happen in the setting triangles and corners. Maybe leaves…?

I think a marathon cutting session is called for, so I can package up the pieces for each individual square to make a travel kit to take on trips with me. Though I should probably do a test block or two in advance in case I find the hand stitching unbelievably tedious, wouldn’t you say?

Oh, and do you like my ‘squissors’?  That’s what they’re called, scissors you squeeze, no need to get my porky digits into tiny holes in order to snip threads. The blades are slightly curved too, so you can get right into tight spaces. I love them! So much easier than the little embroidery snips I’ve been using.

Now I have something to look forward to, watching these flowers grow on my trellis.

 

Loot!

Thanks to the Husband’s hijack of my post for his own message, many of you know it was my birthday yesterday.

My word, did I score lavishly…

Both my computers, the desk one and my laptop, were old (8+ years) Apple Macs, and while I’ve updated software and done my best to keep them running happily, the hardware has been unable to keep up and they were both getting extremely cranky. Then, a week ago, the laptop took an unassisted dive off the table, fell on its corner, and was fritzed. Finished, dead, gone.  Inconvenient, to say the least, because I couldn’t retrieve a few things I had sitting on the desktop.

So the Husband decided I had to get a new laptop. And despite the fact that they’re stupidly expensive, I was going to get another Mac. And it’s here. A teeny weeny little 11″ MacBook Air, which is going to replace both my desk computer and my lappie. On the desk, it will be hooked up to a large monitor, mouse and keyboard. Carried around, it’ll be just a bit larger than a standard iPad, but with the convenience of a USB port so I can upload photos and hook things up, and a lid that closes to protect the screen. Two for the price of one, as it were…

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 8.48.07 am

Think I’d better hurry up and make a nice cover for this ….

In addition to this lovely piece of sleek techyness, the Husband took me shopping to our LQS, where I scored these:

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 8.48.27 am

A gorgeous blend of purple, rust and some blue. I feel a quilt coming on….

And to top the day off, I made this chocolate cake from The Pink Rose Bakery, and I have to say that Kirsten’s recipe is, well, awesome. Do yourself a favour and make it… I’m calling it Death by Chocolate, because you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven!

Right, that’s quite enough gloating. I have to go and do battle with the new laptop’s operating system, which is very, very different from what I’m used to. Nothing is the same….

Some of it’s a whole lot better!