Sea Glass # 7: Cushy…

You’ve got to love scraps.

sea-glass-cushion-front sea-glass-cushion-backHere is the nice squidgy cushion I’ve made from leftover bits from the Sea Glass quilt. It can sit on Cathy’s bed, as a promise for bigger and better things till the main quilt is done. Not that she ever gets much of a lie-in, of course, but it’ll be nice to lean against if she ever gets a chance to sit up in bed with a cup of coffee one morning…

It’s fully lined and the zipper is tidied away under a flap, so there’s no untidy bits or sharp pieces to dig in.

Now, back to the cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter. I have many, many strips to cut before I reach the border!


And the winner is….

Carla at Granny Maud’s Girl

(To the rest of you, thank you so much for entering. I wish there had been enough for everyone…)

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.28.09 pm

Just waiting for a name and address…

Congratulations! An envelope will soon be on its way to you, with all the scraps shown in the original photo. That’s quite a lot to play with. There are two other people who were promised either scraps or a Patsy hankie before I had the idea for the giveaway, and they too will receive their loot in due course. And despite all this mad giving of bits, I still have a little for myself. So we’re all happy.

One day perhaps, the Swoopy Shirt will have worn out past repair, and I’ll cut it up and recycle the good bits. Maybe in 10 years time, I’ll be holding another giveaway. I wonder how many of you will still be with me then… and if we’ll remember this first time.

Back to my needle. Worldwide Friends is nagging. It’s going to be a close thing squeezing every hexie I need out of the fabrics I have, and a visit to the LQS may be required. Lovely Nanette has dug out some more indigo bits and is sending them, and if the spirit moves any of you who haven’t already contributed some scraps to join in, that would be fun, but not at all necessary.

I’ll be doing a WWF post very soon now, since inspiration has struck about the kanji and the haiku for the back, and I want to share my thoughts and see what you think of the idea.

Marking time

We are waiting to hear if our latest offer on the house we want has been accepted, or if we have to start again.

It has become impossible to work at anything that requires concentration. Waiting around for someone else to make a decision is one of my least favourite things to do. I can decide stuff quickly, why can’t other people? I therefore took on a long overdue and mindless task. I was shamed into it by a recent post from one of my favourite bloggers, Granny Maud’s Girl:

Like her, I consider pieces of fabric over 10″ square to be proper fabric, not scraps. They get folded and put into my stash, at the front of each basket so I know they’re smaller than the yardage or fat quarters.

Up to now, I have tried and completely failed to be organised with my scraps. They currently lurk in a faintly threatening and less faintly reproachful way in a series of shoe boxes in my fabric cupboard.

Screen shot 2014-08-13 at 2.16.20 PMIt’s a measure of my restiveness that I was driven to take out a box and make a start on rationalising this mess. My mental state is not up to organised thought or creativity. However, I’m quite capable of ruthless ruler and rotary cutter action. And I now have a half empty shoebox and a nice pile of 2 ½” strips which can be used for binding, a strippy quilt or cut into squares, 2 ½” squares, 2″ squares, 5″ squares, and random ‘strings’ of fabric (too good to chuck out, too small for most stuff but sure to come in useful…).

I don’t actually feel any better, but I have the satisfaction of having done something useful. I wonder if I’ll be able to keep going once we have an answer…?




A box of scraps

No, not a box full of scraps. I have more than enough of those…

This is a box made of scraps.

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 12.56.05 PMScreen shot 2014-06-03 at 12.57.24 PMScreen shot 2014-06-03 at 12.56.31 PMThere’s a tutorial in the Free Patterns Archive of the Quilt Inspiration website for making small cyclindrical boxes, using scraps of fabric and batting, heavy interfacing, a zip and two old CDs, which I had been wanting to try for ages. I put all the relevant bits into one of my project shoe boxes, labelled it and put it on the shelf with all the others.

Yesterday I took it down. And this is the result. The only thing I had to buy was a zip the right length for a couple of dollars. You can make them small, like this one, or taller – or really tall, when they make a great gift box for a wine bottle or a fantastic water bottle carrier! You’re restricted to the diameter of the CD, of course, but it’s a handy size so that’s hardly a problem. The inside of the lid and base are padded with batting so you could stick pins or needles into them. You could add a pocket to the lid fabric before assembly, add trim, buttons, embroidery, a carrying handle, whatever takes  your fancy. You’ll find the tutorial here (sorry about the huge link, thank WordPress for not letting me insert it properly):

That’s one of the project boxes cleared. I should really be grateful to Mrs R for making me pause in my normal headlong quilt-making rush – it’s giving me impetus to do these little projects. I might end up clearing a whole section of my To Do List!

Now, what shall I make next…?

Son of Isfahan

I couldn’t resist making this. I know, I know, two quilts waiting to be finished. But it’s so cute – and useful!

Sewing kit: inside

Sewing kit: inside

Outside, and my favourite button finally finds a home

Outside, and my favourite button finally finds a home



I had a nice lot of scraps left over from Isfahan, even with keeping back enough to make the scrappy binding. The fabrics are such gorgeous rich colours, I couldn’t see myself throwing them out or banishing them to the many boxes of scraps in my cupboards. And I’m going to be doing a lot of travelling soon. So…. I made myself something pretty and useful and small enough for hand luggage. The little scissors will have to come out when I fly, but I have weeny snips and thread cutters, so that’s not a problem. And finally I have a home for that beautiful button, an antique in brass and turquoise chips which has been sitting in my sewing box for nearly all my life, ‘too good’ to use.

I should have been cutting batting and backing fleece for Isfahan. Or down at the craft shop, picking tapestry wool that matches the fleece to make the ties for the quilt. Yes, I’ve decided on ties. I want the plush warmth of fleece backing to keep Pa’s old bones warm, and machine stitching will almost certainly make ugly tucks and folds in the fleece, even with the walking foot. I’ll make the knots on the back, the fleece side, and fluff the wool ends so it’ll have a nice little woolly tuft on a 3″ grid all over the back.

It’s been a really good day. I had a lovely long gossip with my oldest friend on the other side of the world, thanks to the miracle of Skype. I made myself this dinky little sewing kit, and I’ve received an unexpected gift thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger. And it’s not over yet!

More tomorrow.

Triple Trouble 12: we have lift-off

Announcing the departure of Flight 333, bound for the Netherlands…








The backing fabrics. Don’t you love those prints?

It’s my own personal Finish Up Friday.  The three baby quilts are done. Bound, labelled and ready to go.  All I have to do is go to the post office to send them on their way.  My three magic flying quilts…  It’s going to be fun seeing which niece gets which quilt, and whether there’s any correlation between personality and motif – but that’s a long term question. I wish these photos were better, but it’s lashing with rain outside, and getting dark.  Not a good place to hang the quilts on the line… So they’re hanging on my design wall, in my sewing room, with not very good lighting.  I’ll take some better ones in daylight for my gallery.

I’m getting faster at quiltmaking, without a doubt. I started these three on 20th December. In between, I had Christmas, a number of smaller projects, and hand sewing on the Car Quilt. The design process has always been the easy part for me, and the hard part has been working out fabric requirements or recalculating an existing pattern for a new size.  Practice is helping with that.  And I’m getting less anal about using all my fabric up.  Leftovers are OK. Leftovers make new quilts!  These three, while the white and backing fabrics are new purchases, were conceived after a rummage in my scrap box, a quick blast of inspiration from some of the beautiful paper pieced blocks I see fellow bloggers turning out, and a couple of minor rethinks because I didn’t have enough of something. My recycling was as follows:

Wervelwind: oranges from my first ever proper quilt, yellow from the quilt I made my Jindabyne nephew and his wife, yellow left over from the baby quilt I made for Donna’s little boy.

Vlucht: greens left over from Donna’s baby quilt, greens left over from my heirloom hexagon quilt, green from a couple of very unloved fat quarters which worked very well here and which would otherwise have probably been given away.

Komeet: lilac recycled from an old worn out nightie, pink paisley left over from the French Braid quilt I gave to Jen in London, two fat quarters I loved but couldn’t use anywhere else.

I’ve finally worked out what design I’m going to use for my other big quilt, the one that’s going to be the warmer winter one, with wool batting instead of cotton.  Heaven knows when I’ll be able to start it, but I now have the design in my head, I have more than enough fabric, and may even be able to make matching pillow cases (shams).  Still some thinking to do, but I’ll post with fabric choices soon…

And now, a sigh of relief. Time to clean my sewing machine and my sewing table, empty the thread bin, and start work on something else. The Tree of Life is waiting patiently for my attention….

Triple Trouble 11: in the departure queue

We’re in the home stretch now.

Komeet's binding just needs stitching down on the back.

Komeet’s binding just needs
stitching down on the back.

Komeet is trimmed, the binding is applied, I just have to hem down the back.  170″. A piece of cake, I’ll probably get it squared away tonight while I’m watching TV.

Vlucht's binding is ready to be attached to the trimmed edge.

Vlucht’s binding is ready to be
attached to the trimmed edge.

Vlucht is trimmed, the binding is cut and pressed.

Wervelwind is trimmed and waiting for me to cut the binding.

Wervelwind is trimmed and
waiting for me to cut the binding.

Wervelwind is trimmed.

I’ve had to make 2″ binding because there was only just enough of the lilac chevron fabric left to make 2″ binding!  But it works perfectly well, and is probably nicer on a small quilt. Of course, if one quilt has narrow binding, they all must, and the net result is that I end up with a little more leftover fabric than I originally thought. And the problem with that is, exactly…? Quite. I’m learning to relax about leftover fabric. Time was that I beat myself up about ‘waste’, but I’m learning fast that there’s no such thing.

Today I made a gift for a friend using scraps from 5 or 6 other quilts. And I do mean scraps: a 4″ square here, a 2.5″ strip there. The back was pieced from leftover bits of the piece I made for the roots of the Tree of Life.  I bound it with a jelly roll strip which has been sitting in my stash for about 5 years without a home. It all comes round again eventually.  I’m looking at my scrap boxes with a different eye these days: speculatively rather than despairingly.  It would be nice if they were better organised, of course.

I think with a clear day and a good run-up, I should have all three finished tomorrow except, maybe, for labelling.