BougieNights 4: half done

Somewhere in there, I found the time.

Half the blocks are now quilted, using the simple 2 inch cross-hatch I planned. It’s one of my favourite textures for a quilt that has a lot going on visually, which is certainly true of Bougainville Nights. It also has the great virtue of being quick, both to mark and to quilt! This isn’t going to be a large quilt, 48×60 inches, but it’ll look gorgeous draped over my sofa in front of the book cases, and it’s quite large enough to snuggle under for a quick snooze…

You can tell my new room is larger, because I now have space to move far enough back to take a straight-on photo of the design wall. It avoids all sort of contortions and leaning sideways over thin air to try and get as straight as possible. On the left, you’ll see the big block which is going to become a cushion cover, as well as the last Hatbox block, waiting for me to join the others in their box somewhere in a pile of three big black tubs.

I now have a lot more stuff unpacked, and have assembled another two storage units to house it. I have baskets lined up on the top of one of the units with some of the WIPs/forthcoming projects in them, just to remind me not to start anything new… Well, OK, to be strictly picky, they are new projects, but ones I’ve already planned, rather than new new projects. Slowly, slowly, patches of clear floor are emerging.

I’m still gathering my strength/waiting for the Husband to be available/ hoping for a dry spell in the weather in order to dismantle and bring over the beautiful but quite astonishingly heavy oak Cupboard of All Colours. I have its spot ready, and its contents already packed and waiting to be reinstalled, it’s just the thing itself. It’s not that I don’t know how to do it; the cupboard has been disassembled and re-assembled four times already, it’s just that it’s at least a two, and probably three person job. But once it’s here, o joy. It’s beautiful, it’s capacious and it’s lined in cedar. I miss it…

I also miss my tool board, cutting table, desk, iMac, books and bookshelves, but that’s a whole other story.

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And now for something completely different

Well, not THAT different. It’s a quilt, after all.

But you haven’t seen this one before. I’m calling it Bougainville Nights (or BougieNights for short). It’s composed of the blocks I received from the previous session of F2F, not the one that finished last month but the one before.

This is the initial layout for the front of the quilt. It’ll probably change again a couple of times, but this seems to be fairly balanced. If you have suggestions for improving the layout, let me know what you think.

Some of the blocks I received are not shown here. I’ll still be using them all, but six are going on the back, and one is going to make the front of a cushion. The ones not shown are either on light backgrounds, or they contain fairly large amounts of yellow or pale orange or pale pink, which read too light and don’t work with the other blocks. They’re all beautiful, but they don’t fit in this version of the front. For the back, I’ll probably have a mainly dark blue background, with these blocks arranged in a left to right pointing chevron. The cushion cover block is gorgeous, but has lots of bright yellow in it which stands out very strongly if used on the front, so I’m going to border it with more yellow to make a feature of it. I’ll use dark blue joining strips and binding it in hot pink and orange. Should be nice and bright!

I have no idea how much time I’ll be able to spend on this over the coming weeks. But it’s been agitating to get out of my head and onto the design wall, so I just had to get that done so the quilt would shut up! I have a feeling my sewing room is going to be fairly low on the priority list in the new house, simply because it’s not ‘necessary’. So I’ll just have to take advantage of what I have now for as long as possible. This’ll be another QAYG project, and each block is small enough to quilt in a short time. I’ll be grabbing half hours here and there, and slowly, it’ll get done.

And now, it’s time to get up and get going. Things to do, boxes to pack.

 

Go Teal it on the Mountain #21: the final ascent

It’s done.

I’ve spent a couple of days cutting strips and assembling all the blocks. Then I cut binding, stitched that on and then spent some pleasant hours hemming it down by hand. It’s not a great photo because the rain and grey skies have been relentless due to the cyclone front. A bit of sunshine would have been lovely, but no such luck. Instead of the washing line, I’ve enlisted the assistance of the Husband. I’m not quite tall enough to hold it up and pin it to the line; I couldn’t take the chance of accidentally trailing the bottom of the quilt in the mud. The standing water has only just disappeared. As you can see, we have no sun either, but at least it’s not raining. I’m pleased with how the quilting looks; just subtle texture, but it complements the idea of mountains. Not my best photography, but I might need to wait for days for a bit of sunshine and not have my quilt-holding assistant handy, so it had to be done.

Here’s the label on the back.

Just for a change I’ve printed it onto a pale patterned fabric, and I really like the effect. It doesn’t blend into the cream backing of the quilt like the cream label I usually make, which is good, because the label has something important to say. Click to enlarge if you want to read it.

I think this is one of the best the Ovarian Cancer group has ever produced. What seemed like a simple, open-ended, free-choice idea has produced truly inspired results and a remarkable quilt. I thank you all for the privilege of working with you and enjoying your beautiful contributions at first hand.

And now, onto the next thing…

Go Teal it on the Mountain #20: quilting done

It was pouring with rain today.

That meant I had a clear run at getting the quilting finished, and it’s done. I really like this chevron effect, which is so right with the pointy mountain peaks, plus it feels lovely and ripply under my hand without being at all stiff.

It’s not totally in focus, but to get the whole thing in shot I was balancing on one leg while leaning across my sewing table…

I’ve also had a couple of goes at arriving at a final layout. I like how this is looking, but I’m almost too close to it now, so if anyone feels there’s something out of place or which jumps out at their eye, please let me know. As always, I’m grateful for your comments but may not act on them if I don’t quite agree…

I have to put this aside for a few days now, as I have F²F³ blocks to work on and get out well before Christmas. I’ll probably trim the blocks out first, though. Next time you see it, I hope to have made a start on joining them up.

It’s gloomy, wet and windy out there, so the Husband has set out to forage for pizza!

Effort and reward

Yesterday, we got a Tardis pothole.

By this, I mean it looked small and innocuous but was e.n.o.r.m.o.u.s underneath. The visible hole was about the size of my head. The erosion underneath was the size of a big truck tyre. The cause was erosion from below, where water flow over time had eaten away the rocks and road base surrounding the two huge concrete pipes that form the span of the causeway bridge over the flood drain at the front of our property. Suffice to say that we needed quick-set concrete, chicken wire reinforcement, rocks and crushed concrete roadbase to fix it. There was grovelling on our stomachs in the dirt, and digging, and getting wet and muddy, and shovelling rocks, and yes, you guessed it, a sore back. It was urgent, though, as the causeway bridge is our only way in and out of the property. We’re due a big blow and very wet weather tonight and tomorrow thanks to the former Tropical Cyclone Owen weather system, so we couldn’t leave it or we might have lost the whole bridge from more erosion as the drain fills and flows faster. But we got it done this morning, and we’ve made a good job of it.

And then after that, there was quilting another row of blocks on Go Teal it on the Mountain. I’m really loving how the quilting looks on all those beautiful mountain blocks. Once I’ve sandwiched the front, batting and backing together, I just put my 60° triangular ruler onto the block, apex at the centre top, and draw a single line bottom left to centre top and down again to bottom right. I quilt that in, and then all subsequent lines are done by running the edge of the walking foot 3/8 inch from the previous line. No measuring, no marking. Quick and easy.

And our reward for all this effort?

Steak for dinner, and these babies. Not my most elegant baking result, but the taste is what matters, wouldn’t you agree?

I’m going to get a lot of satisfaction driving over our bridge in future, knowing it’s full of rocks and concrete we put there ourselves, and is nice and solid 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #14: two sacred mountains

The portraits of mountains continue…

Nanette has sent me two wonders. The first is Mt Kailash, in Tibet, an imposing peak at 22,000 ft or 6,500m. It’s a site of veneration for several religions, a pilgrimage destination and its Tibetan name, Kangrinboqe, translated means ‘precious jewel of the snows’. How beautiful is that? It has great significance for Nanette, who went there on pilgrimage herself in 2014. She has used a beautiful pale, icy teal palette to execute the design which I think enhances the remote dignity of the mountain. Also shown is Nanette’s own photo of the mountain, which she took during her visit.

© 2014 Nanette Gilbert

The second is Mt Warning in New South Wales, a peak she can see from her home. It’s 4,000ft or 1,200m high, and is a site sacred to the local Aboriginal people, as well as being Heritage Listed. I love how she’s used Australian-themed fabric prints for this one! It’s a well known and beloved landmark in the area, and is formed from the volcanic plug of the now long-gone Tweed Volcano.

We’re nearly there, people.  I now have 21 blocks in hand. There are seven more blocks on their way, which means I need to make three more, and we’re done!  One of those will be the teal ribbon block I include in every quilt. I might make something scrappy – Nanette has also sent me some really pretty pieces of fabric and I shall dive into my own teal scrap stash; I think a scrappy ribbon would look gorgeous!

I just need to clear the decks a little, cut some backing and batting, and I can make a start on the quilting 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #13

Another squishy delight in the mail this morning!

These two beauties are from Kathy, who has embellished them with embroidery. Now I have another Delectable Mountain to add to the mix, hurray! Plus, look at the moon and stars in that top block. Soooo beautiful 🙂 (You might have to click on the image to see the gold embroidered stars at top left.)

I have enough now to give you some idea of what has come in.  More to come in the next couple of weeks, and if anyone else would like to contribute, there’s still a little time and space. Let me know in the comments or send me an email.

Because of the theme, and because I need to start quilting the individual blocks before I have them all and can arrange them, I’m changing my usual quilting design. On previous quilts, I’ve done freehand parallel wavy lines, arranged in a basketweave pattern. This time, I shall quilt freehand mountain peaks. I’ll start with a line bottom left to top centre and down to bottom right, and then infill inside and outside that line, with lines approximately an inch or so apart. No rulers or marking; I shall eyeball it and let the lines flow organically. Bit like Nature, really…

I have three F2F blocks to make, and then it’ll be time to get cracking. The backing and batting are on hand, I just need to clear the decks a bit and start my production line.

Let the Mountain-climbing commence!