Silent, but not still

Me, that is.

I haven’t posted for a few days, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything. It’s just that repeated posting about the same project with only small increments of change can cause reader-enjoyment fatigue, I think, unless there’s real, visible progress. Today, I thought there was something for you to look at 🙂

Although I do have progress to show on the Hatbox quilt, I’m going to break it up with some pretties from my back yard. There’s still beauty happening out there, despite the total absence of rain, the hot, dry winds and the unseasonal heat.

So, nearly two-thirds of the quilt joined up. One modest seam to do and it will be two-thirds. It’s going well and easily, and I don’t want to rush through it.

In the back yard, the three baby pineapples are growing. This one’s nearly twice the size it was last time I showed it two weeks ago.

The bananas are getting bigger and bigger, and I’m keeping an eye on them to make sure the fruit bats and possums don’t start paying them too much attention.

They have a ‘banana bag’ over them to protect them from animals and from getting too scorched by the sun.

And in the orchid house, this lovely is flowering. It has at least 10 more buds, so when more of them are out, I’ll show it again. So pretty…

Sadly, the grass is all brown and when Mouse does his daily zoomie up and down, he’s kicking up clouds of dust. The amaryllis, or hippeastrums, all bright scarlet, are flowering like it’s going out of fashion – which it may indeed be, if we don’t get some rain soon.

It’s a thing with plants, isn’t it?  If they’re stressed, they flower like crazy to get in one final try at reproducing themselves.

I think I may have to bring that orchid inside, out of the orchid house, so I can give it some personal attention and admiration. Flowers that pretty shouldn’t bloom unseen.

Right, back to the hand stitching. Before I know where I am, it’ll be time to bind!

Advertisements

The Hatbox Quilt: homage to hand-sewing

I’m taking it slowly.

You know what it is? I don’t want this quilt to finish, I’ve loved the process so much. But all good things must come to an end, so I’m taking my time but gradually getting it done. Which means the sashing on the back panels will be stitched down by hand. Sorry if this stretches out the anticipated finish a bit, but I wanted to stay in the vintage-y, soft, contemplative spirit of the thing. I grant you, I wasn’t in that groove quite enough to do all the blanket stitching by hand (in which case you’d still be watching me assemble block 5, probably), but let’s take it slowly and pleasurably.

I’m also not going to hand-stitch the internal seams that attach the front sashing. That would be slightly deranged; going through all those layers of fabric and batting with hand-stitching? I don’t think so, not to mention the fact that it would be much less durable. But that final folded edge on the back? Yes, perfect for hand stitching with nearly invisible results, since I even have thread exactly the right colour 🙂

So, the blocks are all trimmed out, the sashing strips for front and back are all cut. I’ve got the first corner joined.

Let’s keep it moving. But slowly….

Bougainville Nights #7: all but the binding

Things are about to get busy round here.

So I thought I’d round off BougieNights without getting all the way to the end. I’ll be binding it in the same dark blue as the back, effectively making the binding all but invisible, so it doesn’t really deserve a post of its own. But it’s now time to reveal the ‘secret quilt’ that’s been materialising on the back from the six blocks that didn’t get used on the front. So without further ado, tah-daaah!

That small patch at far centre right is the label. A few years ago a craft magazine had some quilt label freebies, and this was one of them. At this distance of time I can’t remember which magazine it was, but I thought the patch was pretty enough to hang onto, on the basis that one day I’d have a quilt that demanded it. And here we are.

So, credit where it’s due. These blocks are the work of Lynn Hutton, Sandra Meynet, Sue Brown, Moira McSpadden, Susan Nixon, Gun Adrian, Esther Frenzel, Claire Hupin, and me. They are the outcome of my turn in the second Footsquare Freestyle (F²F²) block swap, which was enjoyable enough for us to have gone around again for a third time. There’ll almost certainly be a fourth session starting next year, in case you’re interested.

I have some sewing to do for Bee, Myself and I on Saturday. As we’re going away, I need to prepare the post in advance, and by posting about BougieNights early, I’ve bought myself some time to do that.

And let us not forget packing for the trip. Road trip! Road trip! Not excited at all, noooooo….

 

BougieNights #5: leaping ahead

Last time we looked at Bougainville Nights, it was just half quilted.

Just look at it now!  All the blocks are quilted, I’ve cut all the sashing strips, and have made a good run up at the joining. So, in case you were wondering, the sashing on the front is dark inky blue, and the sashing on the back is hot pinks and oranges. Most of the back is dark blue, but there is a chevron of blocks on the back too, so this will effectively be a double-sided quilt. Not large, but versatile. I’ll do a reveal of the back once the blocks are all together.

Another couple of days will see all the sashing in place and the blocks all joined up. I’m thinking a dark blue binding, but I might sneak in a colourful corner or two – it depends if I have enough blue of the right colour left over. Good to think that I’m getting closer to finishing this quilt composed of my F²F² blocks.

Better late than never…. 

Scinteallate #16: a glorious constellation

It’s done, finished.

Scinteallate is bound and labelled, and waiting for me to hear where and when to deliver it. The photos have been sent, I’ve hit the deadline, and I feel a big sense of relief.

I did a lot of work on this quilt when I was feeling fairly bloody average, so I’m glad none of that shows. It looks great, team, fantastic work from all of you. The Nude Lunch is on 6th September, so we won’t know till after that how much it raised at auction, but I’ve asked to be kept informed so I can let you all know.

For those who are interested, a few stats:  Design and call to action 12th May. Quilt completed 9th August, a whisker under three months! Blocks contributed by (in no particular order) Robin Murphy, Nanette Gilbert, Margaret Creek, Lynn Hutton, Sharon Sabin, Lynda Swink, Gun Adrian, Sue Brown, Kerry Davidson, and me. Techniques include foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, appliqué and Quilt As You Go. It was quilted and assembled on a domestic Janome DC3018 sewing machine and I got through two 800m reels of Gütermann cream thread.

To the new members of the team: it was great having you on board, and it would be lovely to have you participate in the next ovarian cancer quilt, if you’re up for it.

And now, I’m going to go and clear away all the snippets of teal fabric and thread, de-fuzz the design wall, and get out something completely different to play with 🙂

Till next time.

 

Scinteallate #15: the inspector approves

The Quilt Inspector has been hard at work today.

With thanks to the Husband of Chiconia for holding-up services, and to the Quilt Inspector for encouragement and company

Thanks to his constant attention and encouragement, Scinteallate is all together, despite one decidedly hairy moment in the middle when I realised I’d sewn two medium-sized pieces together wrong way up. Much cursing and reverse stitching of three seams later the problem was rectified. The Inspector suggested a cup of tea and a bickie to calm things down, and he was right. He got a nice liver treat for his helpful idea. Good boy, Mouse.

In spite of, or maybe even because of, the increasingly silly deadline for this quilt, it has come together with remarkably little fuss.

I still have to cut and assemble the binding pieces and machine stitch them down tomorrow morning after my tai chi class.

After that, I have to make the label, and then hand stitch down the binding and attach the label. And then it’s done, and I can deliver it.

Just a couple more days to go, and I’ll make the deadline with the quilt complete 🙂

Scinteallate #14: coming together

I’m getting there.

Just over halfway, 15 of the 25 blocks joined together. I have another block of 6 and another block of 4 to assemble, and then three more seams and it’s done. It’s hanging a bit wonkily in this photo, but is nice and straight in real life. A couple of places where it doesn’t quite, quite line up, but in my view they can have it perfect, or they can have it fast, but not both. Since they’ve chosen fast, I’m getting it done, but it’s not so bad that it offends my eye, and I hope not yours either.

I’m really pleased with that sparkly teal front sashing; the slight glitter of the narrow bands adds to the overall sparkle of this scinteallating quilt! Even the backing supports the theme, with the tiny print of white stars on the cream background. I’ve selected a dark teal splashy batik for the binding, which will frame the whole nicely.

Looks as if I’m on track to get this finished in time to provide photos of the finished item by Friday. I credit my sleek black supervisor with keeping me hard at work! He’s taking his supervisory duties very seriously. So long as there are treats, of course.

Nearly there. Just a few seams to go…