Heaven for Beginners #4: All done – and Finish #4!

I’ve been plugging away at the assembly, to some effect.

The Husband’s fingers just visible. Too much rain for outdoor photography…

It’s all together. Actually, doing it in small amounts, in many sessions is quite effective. It’s repetitive work, not terribly interesting, but requiring you to be meticulous and careful. You get bored quickly, so doing it a bit at a time means you don’t burn out and start getting careless. Work for an hour, go and do something else. Work for another hour, read your book… that sort of thing.

So, here is the completed ‘Heaven for Beginners‘ quilt*, ready for the lovely Caitlyn to take to uni. I hope it keeps her cosy and comfortable, provides napping and sleepover opportunities for friends and family, and gives years of cuddly service.

As I did on the Hatbox Quilt, I’ve made a ‘hidden’ label you can flip over to read. Not very hidden, given the fabric’s different from the rest of the backing, but still… I did a wash-test sample first, to make sure the archival-ink pen and tear-away stabiliser I wrote on will survive the washing process. All good.

Thank you again to all the F2F members who contributed blocks to last year’s session. As you can see, your hard work was not wasted!

Now, on with the next thing 🙂


*For the background to this name, see my earlier post.

Heaven for Beginners #3: 30% done

It’s moved on a bit since last time.

I have all the blocks quilted. I also have a third of them trimmed out and joined together. Most of the joining strips are cut, just a few more needed. Do you know, I think I might make it in time after all…

Of course, it helps that I’ve now done so many of these that I don’t really have to think, and measure and calculate. I know I have enough fabric; I know what sizes the strips need to be; I know the best order in which to join it all up. I think, too, that the quilt will be large and cosy enough as it is, without my needing to add a border around the outside. Which is another time saving, of course.

Only one small downside of all this progress: there won’t be any Bee, Myself and I sewing this month.

But that’s a small price to pay, I think.

Heaven for Beginners #2: quilting half done

Halfway there with the quilting.

It’s the Australia Day long weekend, and my LQS is closed. Which is a bit of a drama, as I ran out of thread, spray starch and 505 basting spray all at the same time. I managed to get the thread and a small (non-economical) bottle of the Best Press spray starch elsewhere, but the 505 spray baste is only available there. I still have a bit of an inferior product only kept for emergencies (which I think this now is!), so I’ll have to use that up, but after that, I’m at a standstill until tomorrow, which is very frustrating. I have only myself to blame, of course, for not watching my supplies!

Having said that, I’m pleased with how the quilting’s going. I’ve set myself a stupid deadline – of course – and am now aiming to have it ready by 8th February, as the niece for whom it’s intended is leaving for uni on 9th February. I’m not positive I’ll make it, lots of other stuff on, but I’m going to give it a darn good try. I still have to add a hand-width border around the outside of the whole thing, and then bind it. No pressure…

Meanwhile, the rain is falling outside and it’s a perfect day to spend quilting!

Heaven for Beginners #1: Quilting begun

I’ve made a start.

Line 1 of 6 is sandwiched and quilted, and I’m happy with the effect. Just the usual wiggly line, but I was extra vigilant with the spray basting, the blocks are nice and flat and pucker-free, and I like the fabric I have for the backing.

I’m happy with the block layout now – a few changes since the last time I showed it, but I prefer the balance and colour progression I have now. I’m still debating the border around the outside. I think it might need one to bring the size up a bit, but adding a border in QAYG has its own technical difficulties. I’ll see how it goes.

We went out for a drive with Mouse yesterday, and had tea and scones at the Old Station Teahouse near Cape Hillsborough. I think I’ve mentioned this place before; it’s an old wooden station building, set in the middle of gorgeous tropical gardens, and among other tasty delights, their home-made scones and raspberry preserves are magnificent.

Is that my puppacino coming…?

They welcome dogs in the garden seating area, and no sooner did Mouse arrive than he was being fussed and admired and petted. Eventually, we humans were able to place our order. Mouse was not, of course, allowed any scones, but he did get his car quilt to lie on, a puppacino was ordered for him (frothed lactose-free milk), and one of the ladies brought him some doggie treats they keep for their canine guests. No, not spoiled at all….

A reminder that we are about to begin F2F once again, for the 5th year running (see my previous post). If you’re thinking about joining in, do get in touch with a comment or email me directly if you received the email I sent out about it.

Time for some more cutting. I need purple backing squares…

Home is where you are

… if you make up your mind to it.

Sixteen years ago, I emigrated to Australia by myself, leaving behind friends, family, job and everything I knew. It wasn’t that I wanted a fresh start so much, more that I felt that in Australia, I’d actually come home. I brought very few things with me (5 cubic metres, 20% of a shipping container), but what I brought was the core of what made where I lived home. And home has come to be… just where I am, rather than linked to heritage, memory, family, nation or geography.

The Husband’s lovely niece is leaving home very soon, to go to University. She’s looking forward to it, and many of her friends are going too, but still, it’ll be different, not her home town, the home she shares with her family. I wanted to give her something from home, of home, so she can begin to form a core of things to surround herself with, the germ of ‘home is where I am‘ that I brought with me. It’s a quilt, of course.

She loves purple. And I had all my F²F³ blocks, the Amethyst & Slate colour scheme that I hadn’t done anything with yet. So at dinner on Christmas Day, I asked if she’d like a quilt for her new home, and I showed her photos of the blocks. She’s keen 🙂 I was short by three blocks, so I’ve made one and have two more to put together, and then I can make her quilt. It’ll need a wide border; the blocks only make up to 60×72 inches, and it won’t make up to full queen size, but it’ll be a nice bed topper and a generous snuggle quilt. I’ll put it together the usual way; I’d like her to have it sooner rather than later, so hand quilting is not on the cards here.

The layout may change. I’m not in a rush, it can fit in around other things. But I’d like to give her a gift to start her own personal core of stability. It’s a good way to start her independent life.

It’s going to be called Heaven for Beginners because of this quote:

“Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.”
Charles Henry Parkhurst