Twilight… fades to black

It’s done.

In the shade apart from a splash of sunshine, where the colours are mostly, but not quite, true to life

Twilight is finished!  It has taken me a stupidly long time to complete what is, after all, not a very complicated quilt, but it has hit me in the middle of a patch of de-motivation, loss of quilting mojo and needing to get other things done. Now that it is finished, I wonder why it took me so long, and I love it and am proud of it.

In the sun. See what I mean about the colours? Not true to life; all the purple has gone brown.

Photos just don’t accurately communicate the lovely sheen on those shot cotton squares, the flashes of double-colour. The values are all wrong and the colours are off. Never mind. I know it looks better than what you see here.

(Thanks are due to the Husband, who patiently held it up at arms length all around the back yard till I found somewhere that worked, still in his work clothes after a long day and before he’d had a cup of tea, just because I wanted to catch the light. You’re a star!)

The back is nice and simple, just a dark petrol green-blue, and a simple label.

I’ll mail it off on Monday, with love and a sigh of relief!

… and night falls on yet another quilt.

Slow, like a slow thing

…. that’s very slow.

Which is a fair description of my progress on Twilight. It’s getting done, but in short bursts. Unfortunate, because QAYG needs concentration and a decent chunk of time applied to each section. Still, at least there is progress.

I have two thirds of it assembled. You can see the top and middle sections are put together, the bottom one is still to be done. After that, I will have the two long seams to do, always the worst part because the sheer weight of the thing drags and makes sewing accurate small seam allowances difficult to maintain. It’s my main reason for assembling it the way I do; minimise the number of long seams you have to do, and you minimise the potential issues as well as the definite stress! I know people who do their QAYG assembly row by row, and I don’t know how they do it!

I really like how the very dark blue sashing makes the colours pop and gives definition to each individual block as well as bringing the whole thing together.

Not much to report on Chateau Sunbird. They added the porch, a little lip that sticks out over the entrance hole, and then apparently went on their honeymoon. Either that, or they decided it wasn’t quite perfect, or they didn’t like the neighbours, or something. Time will tell if they come back and move in.

Oh, and one tiny landmark. I have now lost 20 kg (44 pounds) since the beginning of May. My doctor is thrilled! I’m pretty thrilled too, as I can now wear lots of old clothes I’d put away sadly, thinking I might never get into them again. I have a waist once more!

Back to the sashing strips, I have a quilt to finish!

ScrapHappy July: more for Hopscotch

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 are the latest blocks for Hopscotch. I have 8 done already, so these are blocks 9-10. I’ve decided this is going to be my usual format of 5 x 6 blocks. However, as these blocks are 15 inches square, it’s going to be a fair size for a lap quilt: 75 x 90 inches. I’m currently a third of the way through and I already have another 6 blocks laid out waiting to be sewn, but still the supply of scraps seems endless… Still, I must be making some sort of dent in them, wouldn’t you say?

Now, I do have another scrappy item to show you. These days, with the weather a bit cooler, I’m living in yoga pants. Very comfy, but with one major defect: no pockets. On morning walkies and when I’m sewing, I need pockets: for my phone, for doggie poo bags, for hankies, and so on. You get the idea. So I thought I’d improvise a bit. One pair of the Husband’s work pants has finally given up, and I took the scissors to it. I wanted a belt, a side pocket and a cargo pocket, and these pants offered all three. I cut across the pants leg below the cargo pocket, and up alongside it. A hem around the pocket area, and blanket stitch to finish off the waistband, and it was done!  Oh, and I added a leg strap to stop the whole thing swaying about like a hula girl’s hips. It looks a bit unusual, but the cargo pocket can take a used poo bag till I get to a bin, and is a nice long way from my nose! It’s also comfortable, and I like that it’s recycled from something that would otherwise go in the bin.

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). Noreen has left the group as she’s a bit over-committed with other things, but today we’re welcoming Debbierose; she’s starting a crazy, scrappy patchwork quilt, so do go and check it out.

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, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Twilight 5: all bordered out

The top is done.

I didn’t have enough full strip sets to do a continuous border in the same design, but I did have enough to do all round minus the 4 corners. With the scraps and ragtag of what I’d made, I constructed the corner blocks you see, which I’m very happy with. The two colours of shot cotton that you see at top and bottom corners came from small pieces in my stash, since Spotlight no longer sell shot cotton for some totally spurious reason. They used to have a very nice selection, but no more, which I’m very upset about.

I have also bought fabric for the backing, a dark petrol green/blue with a sheen on it. Almost a shot cotton in that the light sits on it differently according to whether you see shine or shadow. I needed 3.5m and bought 4. I hope it’ll also be enough to bind the quilt as well.

I so wish the photos could capture the colours in this quilt more truthfully. It has made the selection and placing process more time consuming, but also more rewarding. It looks… nice… in the photos, but in real life it’s actually quite beautiful, even to a non-purple-lover.

There’s beauty and practicality in a simple design. It looks clean and lets the colours sing, but it’s also finished a lot faster than a quilt with loads of piecing. I’ll be sending a photo to my niece to ask her whether she’d like geometric or organic-style quilting. I’m also debating the colour of quilting thread. I’m quite tempted by magenta, or maybe turquoise… Of course, it won’t show a great deal unless you get up close and personal, but one of the bright jewel colours really appeals.

But that’s a decision for another day.

(In case you’re wondering, there’s no Parterre block this month; I’ve had too much else on. I’ll be back next month with another bright flower.)

Twilight 4: border progress

I did an awful of fiddling about over the past few days.

My original plan was doing a sort of ‘basketweave pinwheel’ effect with strip sets cut into HSTs (half-square triangles). I didn’t like how it looked, and getting things to line up was a total faff. So then I tried a diamond effect. Same. So then I abandoned the HST idea. Now, the border blocks are made up of 4 squares arranged in a basketweave, cut from strip sets graduating from light to dark. A central windmill emerges if you arrange them with the darks in the centre, and this is the version I prefer (and before you ask, yes, I did try it the other way, with the lights in the centre. Not as nice, I think).

At this point, I’m still not totally sure I have enough fabric strips for the 18 blocks I need. If necessary, I’ll create four ‘feature’ corner blocks, doing something fancy with fabrics I still have on hand. Hopefully that’ll be enough. If not, I can also create centre feature blocks for each long side.

I showed my brother (niece’s father) the progress last night during a video call, and he’s thrilled and says she’ll love it. If she doesn’t, he says, he’ll snaffle it for himself! Well, at least it’ll find a home in the family… He feels it goes with her favoured colours and her home décor.

So, onwards, ever onwards with the seemingly never-ending strip sets. Just two more sets to piece and cut to size.

Dull work, but the results are good 🙂

 

Twilight 3: centre blocks done

Sometimes simple is easy, sometimes not…

This is a simple quilt, but getting the colours right is proving to be quite demanding. Laid out flat, those colours look logical and harmonious.

But once you try arranging them, it all changes. Certain colours jump out too much, others recede or change into something that somehow just isn’t quite right. So colours I thought were sure things have come out, and others I eliminated early have made a reappearance. Click on the image below to zoom in.

After lots of placing and stepping back and squinting, this is my (probably) final layout for the central window blocks. The four too-pale ones off at the left may make an appearance on the back, or they may become a couple of cushion covers.

As is my custom, I’m asking for any observations you have. Is something looking off, can you suggest any improvements? I don’t promise to implement your suggestions, but I’ll give all suggestions consideration. Do please bear in mind that the colours in the photo are a little misleading due to them being shot cottons.

Next job is assembling the strip sets from which I’ll be making the blocks that go around the outside. It’s going to need a light touch and attention to detail, so I’ll need a few days to get it done.

So, any thoughts?

Floribunda: the last one

Here we are, then.

This is the last one, I promise. Front, complete with binding. I’m rather proud that I’ve managed to keep 90% of the points intact around the outside, an object achieved by sewing the binding first to the back, and then hand-stitching it down on the front so I could micro-adjust the line of the edge to stay clear of the points.

This quilt has been a hard one to photograph nicely. In shade, the colours go dull and dingy. In the sun, they tend to bleach out. You need the human eye to successfully appreciate the colours, the contrasts and the subtleties of the fabrics used.

I’ve added corner pockets and a central hanging pocket on the top edge of the back. I may ultimately remove those before I send the quilt to my niece, since I don’t believe she’s planning to hang it, but then again, they’re not in the way. And the corner pockets came in handy for my human quilt display stand during photography.

The label is a bit more prosaic than usual, since the Show required contact information, which I don’t normally need to add. I won’t show it here, as it gives my phone number, and spammers abound.

I doubt there will be any Show ribbons, but you never know. I’ll be sure to let you know in the event there’s anything to brag about!

And now, a short break for mending, and then on with the next thing.

Floribunda: all together now

All the blocks are now joined.

Rather than bore you with yet another photo of the front (I’m sure you must be a bit sick of it by now!), I thought you might like to see the back, which is all new. Do click on the image to get a closer view.

I didn’t have quite enough of the yellow bird fabric to make the whole backing, but I’ve picked out colours from the bird print for the corner blocks, and I quite like how it looks. I also really love the orange sashing, which has a delicate gold dot spiral print and occasionally catches the light in an interesting way.

I’ll be binding the quilt in the background green, which will tie in with the front sashing and will look pretty with the yellow on the back. I’ll also have to add hanging pockets at the top edge so that it can be hung at the Mackay Show, and it’ll also need a label. So those have to be added before I bind it. The good thing is that I have plenty of time, as the quilt doesn’t have to be submitted until Friday.

I’ve loved making this quilt, but I’m rather looking forward to getting a few other things done once the pressure is off. There’ll be one more post, I think, to show the finished item, and then I’ll be free to start – or perhaps finish – another project!

Another day or two, I think, and it’ll be done.

Floribunda #17: Blocks 29 and 30

The last two blocks are done.

They’re the bottom left and right corners of the quilt front, and I really like them, particularly the first one!

This is currently the final layout for the front. I won’t be starting to join anything for a while yet, as I’ll be cutting backing and batting and sashing, so if you see any obvious issues with this layout, tell me what you think. I don’t promise to change it, but I’ll certainly take notice.

Remember the fabric I bought for the quilt backing?  I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough. I was right, but it’s not as bad as I thought. I only need to make 4 blocks for the back, one for each corner. I’ll use fabrics in black & white, yellow, orange and orange-rust, to pick up the colours of the fabric. I don’t know what pattern I’ll be using yet, but it needs to be simple, because of both time and how the quilting and assembly works.

I actually have a fair bit of the batiks left. Maybe enough to make myself something pretty as a reminder of a fun and colourful project.

The next couple of days are going to be a bit busy 🙂