20% plus a fistful more

The 20% is Anemone. 

The fistful more is the yet to be named blue hexie quilt. I have finally applied myself to naming it, as calling it the ‘yet to be named…’ is both embarrassing and clunky. I have decided to call it Delft. I am half Dutch, so the beautiful blue and white pottery by that name which I love so much is part of my cultural heritage. Also, the city is the birthplace of one of my favourite painters, Jan Vermeer (think Girl with a Pearl Earring) and is a beautiful place in itself.

There is progress on both. Anemone has now reached the stage of being 20% quilted. It’s going well. I find it soothing, and easy to find enough time in a day to do a row or two (or maybe three). I’ve finally located my thread conditioner (the little blue box), so now it’s even easier, since it tangles even less than it did before. The relative firmness and non-tanglyness of hand quilting thread is one of the great things of hand quilting for me, especially as I am a lazy quilter and use a long thread. Life is too short for constant knot-burying. Getting this quilt done is my priority just now, as I can’t use my cutting table for other things while I’m working on it.

Starting Row 15

And Delft? I have made a bunch more flowers, some with scraps and some with my new yardage. it’s clear to me I’m going to need a LOT more dark blue fabric; those hexie flowers munch it up fast, whilst the paler separator hexies are comparative fewer. I should have bought twice as much dark and half as much light!

A fistful more hexies

Oh dear. I have to go fabric shopping….

Always with the blues

It’s a bit of a problem, sometimes.

I can’t resist dark blues. And now that I’ve started these hexies, I see lovely fabrics everywhere.

So… I had a fat quarter of a dark blue and cream tiny floral stripe pattern. I say had; it’s a pile of hexies now. But if this was going to turn into anything useful, I was going to need more. So I paid a visit to Cairns Creative and bought half a metre of a really nice dark blue tiny print, and also a dark blue and white Aboriginal meander pattern which will work with the blue and white lawn print I’m  using for the intermediate hexies in the layout. You’ll see what I’m talking about when I start to lay things out.

And of course while I was there I had a poke through their remnants basket and found this beauty!

Eden, by Sally Kelly

It’s the same fabric as some of the scraps I got when I visited Amitié Textiles in Victoria. The scraps I plan on using to make a patchwork coat. I loved the fabric so much I recognised a small corner of it halfway down the basket, and dived for it. It’s so lovely I can almost, almost not bear to cut into it. I may have to turn it into a large panel on the back of the coat, say, so that I don’t have to cut it too much.

But that’s for the future. First, more hexies, and sadly, the end of the holiday is upon us. Two more nights away, and then it’ll be time to start unpacking, cleaning and doing laundry.

Welllll, when you put it like that, I really deserve some lovely fabric, don’t you think?

ScrapHappy February

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.

And here it is, the third and final piece of the prize trio I’ve made from the Days for Girls scraps. You’ve seen the completed cushion cover (third prize), and more recently the completed Days Gone By hexie quilt (first prize), but I’ve finally got the table runner finished as well, the second prize. This piece uses up the very last flower, the absolutely last hexagon made for the fundraiser. Metres and yards of perfectly usable and useful fabric saved from landfill.

The backing for this table runner is made from offcuts of the backing I made for the quilt, itself made from leftovers in my stash. The binding is made from the spotted spacer fabric I used for my Anemone quilt. It’s truly scrappy. Even the batting is offcuts.

Raffle tickets are now printed and ready to go. If you’re interested in buying one, go to the Days for Girls Mackay FaceBook page to see how. Just AU$5 a ticket for a chance to win the quilt, table runner or cushion cover, or 3 tickets for AU$10. However, at present, payment options are only available to Australian residents.

I know that several of you have expressed interest in buying tickets. Anyone not in Australia who’d like a chance to win, please get in touch with me/leave a comment so we can discuss options. For any of my readers outside Australia, we will have to ask you to pay for postage and packing if you win any of the prizes; for readers within Australia I will donate postage to a destination further than 50km outside the Mackay area. The draw is on 20th March.

And now, I’m ready for some squares. Or rectangles. Or triangles. Anything other than, you know, hexies… Onwards. I have lots of ideas for more fundraiser items, and bags and bags of scraps await!

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 genuine 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). This month, we have two new participants: say hello to Dawn 2 (sorry, I don’t know your surname initial!) and Noreen.

Kate (me!)Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 and Noreen

Please note As I have not heard from anyone who has not posted for a year but who still wants to stay on the list, I have now removed those names. If you’d like to be reinstated, let me know, but it would be good to see you posting again!

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

 

 

 

 

and Dawn

Days Gone By: done deal

‘Tis finished, people.

Last night I set the last stitch in the binding and the label. It’s finally finished and ready to be handed over to Days for Girls next weekend, when our Saturday morning stitching sessions begin again after the summer break.

A couple of weeks ago, I handed the completed top and back and a large piece of batting over to a very kind lady called Judith, who is a long-arm quilter and who had graciously agreed to quilt it for free. On Thursday I got it back, beautifully stipple quilted, plus all the offcuts. For those not in the know, when a quilt is long-arm quilted you need to make the backing and batting at least 5 or 6 inches larger all round than the quilt top. I had been generous with both batting and backing, and I got one substantial piece and several smaller pieces of both back. Enough, in fact, to do the batting and backing for my table runner, also for Days for Girls.

I made binding from a number of partial or discarded jelly roll strips from other projects. I have some left over, but not, I think, enough to bind the table runner, so I’ll need to dig out more scraps for that.

So, without further ado, the photos. Appreciation to the Husband, who did the holding up.

front

Back

And the label:

A final summary for anyone not already familiar with this lengthy project: the quilt front is made from scraps left over after cutting out the pieces that go into the Days for Girls kits. When I joined the group, I was horrified to see usable pieces being simply thrown away. It meant that all the donated money and fabric was being partly wasted, so I determined that I’d find a way to rectify this. Days Gone By is the result. The backing and binding are made from scrap fabric from my own stash, which had not yet found another purpose. The only new parts of this quilt are the batting and thread, without which it would not be a quilt at all. It’s a truly scrappy, minimal-waste quilt.

It has been a very long pull. Some of you may recall that a large piece of assembled hexies was lost at the end of September 2019, and I had to start again. It was hard, but start again I did, and finally we’re across the line. This quilt, the table runner still in progress and the cushion cover I’ve shown earlier will all be raffled to raise funds to purchase fabric and other supplies for more Days for Girls kits. Although we have been unable to distribute the kits we make because of Covid-19, we haven’t stopped making them, and when travel restrictions are finally lifted they will once again go to the women and girls whose lives are changed and improve by them.

On to the next DfG quilt. This time I think I’ll go for something a bit quicker to make!

ScrapHappy January

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.

Here’s to a much happier and more hopeful and creative year for all of us. With that in mind, I gave my creative urge a swift boot up the backside, and took out the scrappy table runner I’ve been making forever for a while for Days for Girls to raffle at their fund raiser, together with the quilt (now at the long arm quilter!) and the cushion cover previously shown. I’m just over a third of the way through. Here’s where I’ve got to:

And here’s the next batch, waiting for the black separator hexies and then assembly.

(Sorry about the rather garish background, but I had to find a place where I could get enough light on the subject, and the kitchen floor mat had the best lighting.)

After that there will be a smaller section at the end. To finish the whole thing I think I’ll appliqué it to a rectangular background before sandwiching, quilting and binding. I have a bit of time; this is going in the raffle in mid March, but is needed for photography end of February.

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 genuine 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). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette and Ann

Please note that I will be going through this list shortly, removing the names of anyone who hasn’t posted for a year or more. If you know that’s you but you’d still like to be left on the list because you have something coming up, just email me and I’ll leave you in.

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Days Gone By: the gap is closed!

I’ve finished all the border cutting and piecing!

Now I have to stitch the seams joining all the border sections together: the top is done, but I have the side and bottom strips to put together, which is why it still looks a bit wonky. I’m really pleased that paying close attention when I was cutting and stitching has meant there are very few places where the seams don’t line up despite the widely varying fabrics used.

Once that’s done, I have to press the outer edge of the hexie section very well, remove the last of the papers, and pin it down onto the borders. Hand stitching the hexies down will take a fair time and requires a large flat surface to ensure that there’s no bubbling or buckling caused by the stitching.  I’ll also have to make a backing, which will, yes, also be scrappy but will be pulled from several sources, not just the DfG scraps. I need largish pieces or all the seams will make the quilting a bit arduous. I have a basket of pulled fabrics ready to go.

It’s so good to see real progress at last 🙂

The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #6

Well, it rained off and on all day yesterday. I can’t imagine what the Staff were thinking.

I mean, the point of the holiday was winter sunshine, so rain was very inconvenient and not well arranged. Still, we did manage some enjoyment. I got a few walkies in, although no big runs in a dog park on account of “not getting himself completely muddied up”. I was a Very Good Boy and held still while Mum got an ouchie out of my eye, which was all mucky. And as a reward, we went back to Vines and I got another puppaccino – and it wasn’t even my birthday!

The Staff made a huge sacrifice and forced down some coffee and cake whilst we sat in the shade area outside, surrounded by enormous tropical stuff. It’s all leaves to me, but Mum made a big song and dance about the flowers, ooh, aaah. The little trickling fountain was nice, though, even if I wasn’t allowed to have a drink there…

I did a lot of snoozing. Dad stuck on some headphones and pawed at his black plank thing. Mum messed about with fabric and took me for walkies. And then the final outrage: she baked and there was None For Me. Apparently, she’d been inspired by the cake she had at Vines. She made cupcakes with pineapple and banana and chocolate chips. I offered to help lick the bowl and the spoons – you know, the Mouse Pre-Wash Cycle – but my helpful offer was refused. I also didn’t get any bits once they were baked. I just don’t understand… They had banana in them. Obviously they were for Me!

(Note from Mum: I had to make do with what I have in the caravan pantry: 2 cup self raising flour, 2 eggs, 1 small very ripe mashed banana, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 x 445g/15 or 16oz can crushed pineapple with the juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Mix it all just enough so there’s no visible flour left, dollop into a well-greased muffin pan – I use silicone in the caravan because you can roll it up to fit in a small space – and bake for 20 minutes at 160°C/325°C)

Mum says she’s assembled the two rows of hexies she committed to at the start of the trip, and now just has to sew them onto the main piece. Whatever. It all sounds like blah blah blah to me. OK, that’s mean, but sewing is time she could have spent stroking me… Anyway, she’s bustling about now opening and closing lockers, which can only mean one thing.

We’re on the move again.

Unpicking the threads

I’ve been doing a LOT of hand stitching.

My Anemone quilt has been benefiting from the ‘stay at home’ order the government put out at the beginning of the week. This is how it looked before:

And this is how it looks now:

A bit of a difference, eh? It’s the other way up, of course, but you can see it’s a good bit bigger; two rows longer and another row wider. To give credit where it’s due, my friend Chippy stitched two of those big hexie flowers in, while we were on holiday together recently, but I’ve been industriously multiplying the blooms since then. For scale, each of those flowers is 65cm/10½ inches across at the widest point, so it isn’t one of my itty-bitty hexie quilts, and shows off those feature fabrics beautifully. I’m going to see how an extra row on the width looks, and then I may stop. It’ll be a good lap size, and if it’s much larger I’ll be really dreading the hand quilting.

I love English Paper Piecing (EPP). I find it soothing, portable and ridiculously easy. The most boring part is picking out the basting to release the papers. Even the endless work of hand quilting is funner. Basting stitches that go in quickly and easily are reluctant to release from the paper and fabric. Please ask why I stitch the fabric to the paper instead of around the paper. The answer is that I get sharper edges and corners and the assembly is therefore easier. It helps to ensure you always stitch fabric to paper shape the same way, so you know exactly where to find the end and the knot to pull out. You end up with a pile of random, messy bits of thread that get everywhere. It’s my least favourite part of the process.

In the same way, I’ve found it hard to pick apart the vast quantity of coronavirus data that’s being hurled at us. What do those graphs and figures even mean? But today I found a really clear and informative explanation of what we’re looking at, what it means, and how the management strategies of different countries is working for them. Take a look if you’re interested. Or ignore it if you’re over the whole thing :-/

Meanwhile, I’ll carry on pick, pick, picking…

ScrapHappy October

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.

This month, I’ve been short of sewing time and low on energy to do it, thanks to a short, sharp kidney infection. After a third antibiotic was added to my daily cocktail, I’m on the mend. One thing I did find energy for was gentle hand stitching, something I could do even when feeling unwell and in pain.

A little background: As most of you know, I’m now sewing for Days for Girls. Last time I joined a group sewing session, I noticed they were throwing away perfectly good pieces of irregularly-shaped fabric about 3 x 2½ inches. Gasp! The pieces were too small for anything needed for the DfG kits, but they shouted ‘hexies!’ at me. One of the ladies took away a shoebox of them, and brought it back full of neat and tidy square-ish pieces.

I supplied hexie papers – I have about 2,000 of them stashed away in a drawer, all used many times before but still perfectly OK. And this is the result of my labours, and actually, only the start. These will be turned into a quilt top. I hope someone else will step up to machine quilt it, I don’t think I have it in me to hand quilt another one for the time being. It’ll get auctioned to raise funds for DfG, to buy more fabric, help with training materials and education and so on. Now that’s what I call a proper use of scraps.

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!

ScrapHappy February

Already! Time goes so fast…

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

Well, I’ve been working on several other and more urgent projects, so my progress on the Anemone scrappy quilt hasn’t been so very impressive. I’ve been stitching assembled hexie flowers into an ever-increasing piece.

The worst thing is that my lovely camera has decide to go on strike and I simply cannot get it to take a photo with auto focus switched on so that images are crisp. It’ll have to go into hospital tomorrow, where hopefully a nice man will twiddle a couple of switches and tell me “You had the bftrglsgl operating at ISO 3 million and the aperture at 700, and you didn’t stand on one leg while pressing the shutter button in halfway, so of course it wouldn’t focus”. And I shall feel like a fool and accept his scorn and the fix gratefully… because truthfully, I should inform myself better about this camera’s amazing abilities. But all I want it to do is take a decent, in-focus image with minimum fuss. And up to now, it has obliged me.

Here’s where I’ve got to (not too hideous, mostly in-focus photo taken with my phone instead…):

anemone-phone-1

And this is how it looked before, so progress hasn’t been too shabby. Yes, I do know it’s upside down compared with how I showed it before, but I find I now prefer it this way 🙂  I shall also refrain from making and showing new hexie flowers till all the ones I have are sewn in. It’s getting too confusing trying to work out which ones are new, and which you’ve seen before!

anemone-start-of-assemblyScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps – no new fabrics. It can be a random or formal quilt block, a pillow or pincushion, a bag or hat, a collage or rag rug. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into some-thing 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 shown on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. You don’t have to worry about 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.

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):

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)

Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Heléne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)

Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)

Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (in English only)

Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)

Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)

Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)

Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)

Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)

Susan: https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Cathy: http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com (in English only)

Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)

Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)

Karen: https://mewithptsd.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Deb: https://abearsthimble.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

See you again, same time next month!