Tuesday, 27 July 2021


I wasn't planning to go awol, but last Sunday my kids got the message to self-isolate for ten days, as someone in their class had a positive Covid test.  So without warning we were house-bound again, and all my sewing was out of reach.  Never mind, we have come out the other side unscathed and they are back at school for the last two days before the summer holidays finally begin.  

I find it discombobulating to step away from a quilt for a week when I'm in the middle of things;  I guess that's why I only work on one thing at a time.  What happens after a break is that I mostly don't like what I see.  So I got this out of the box...
and knew straight off that I wanted to take off the big triangle borders.  To be fair, I probably would have made the decision after a 24 hour pause too, but when you've been itching to sew it is particularly peeving to spend your first half hour unpicking instead. 
I feel slightly shame-faced about the wrinkly state of things here, but I seem to have abandoned the iron almost entirely these days.  

I thought I would do two columns of geese next but when I put them in place they got rather swallowed up, so I added a round of the grey and burgundy print instead.  Next time round they still didn't look quite right, only this time I remembered to take a photo.
See what I mean?  I rather wish I had a darker red in the mix, but I'm working with what I had so instead I think I'm going to try this.
I might go looking for a darker red or failing that add in something in a different colour., just something to make things a little bit less - I don't know - predictable?

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Out with the old, in with the new

Symmetry.  Hum.  It took me a little while to figure this one out, but I've made a start.  I don't know if you remember this quilt top.
Initially I quite enjoyed making these blocks, but got bored pretty fast and as a result didn't love the final quilt.  I have been sorting through my piles of tops recently and  decided I need to get a bit ruthless and occasionally just decide that something didn't merit the time quilting would take.  So, grasping the nettle, I pulled this out and started cutting it up.  I used some bits to make a new block.
It may not be perfectly symmetrical, but it's as close as I am ever going to get.   The colours here reminded me of this shirt:

A quick dig around turned up these extra shirts.

It occurred to me that this might be a good time to have a play around with a log cabin-y kind of thing. So I did this.
and this.
I'm pretty happy with this start.  And, so far, it is symmetrical.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

The Shipping Forecast: done and dusted

A few weeks ago I said I was closing in on a finish or two.  Here is the first.  It's hard to believe but I started this in September 2017!  It took a long time to piece but even longer to quilt.  I started it last year but fell out of love with the quilting process, not helped by the Covid blues and only came back to it after several months of looking at it and muttering under my breath.  It is big, which didn't help!  However I have stuck to it this time and now it's done.  Big sigh of...relief?  There are a lot of things I like about this: I like the shipping forecast that I printed and I like the feeling of waves that all those little triangles give.  I like the lighthouses.  It's a shame I didn't love every step of the journey, but maybe that's in the nature of these strange times rather than a reflection on this poor old quilt. 

I quilted it with a wavy sort of pattern, not planned or marked, just made up as I went along.

The details:

Started piecing September 2017, finished on 30th January 2018. It is 93"x72"

Started quilting 1st September 2019, stopped and started, finished 30th June 2021.  That is by a country mile the longest it's ever taken me to quilt something.  

This is made mostly from scraps and shirts.  The wadding is organic cotton and it is quilted with a mix of threads, mostly variegated Sulky 12wt, though there are some bits of Aurifil wool thread in there too.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Done for now

And just like that, it turns out this top is finished.  I thought I was going round again, or maybe adding more of the solid gold, but when I laid it out and looked at it today I thought again.  I think I'm happy with it just how it is.
This is the first quilt I have made where every single last scrap of it was shirt.  No additions of any kind.  

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Locking, locking

No blogging from me for over a week, because every time I turned my laptop on, I got about 30 seconds and then the screen would tell me it was locking.  It's pretty tricky to fix something if you can only do it in 30 second bursts.   Funnily enough my car charger went on the blink at the same time.  Turns out the way to fix that is to turn off the power, unplug the ethernet cable, wait 5 minutes and plug it all back in.  Sound familiar?

Anyhow, just as inexplicably as it started to play up, the laptop has now decided to behave, so here I am again. Turns out I've been doing plenty of sewing, though I can't quite remember how it all went, so here are a few photos, probably in the right order, to bring things up to date.

So far, so good.  

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Looking at things from more than one angle

This is progressing ok, I think.  I added the blunt triangles to both sides of my favourite block

and then to both ends.
Since then I have made more long rectangles and more blunt triangles, just accumulating bits really.  
I added extra triangles, at the bottom just because I like them and at the top because it made the long pieces fit better.
And a little band of the gold-y fabric.  Then I put it away.  When I got it out again this morning, it landed on the floor the "wrong" way round and guess what?  I think maybe I prefer it like this.
That's a bit of a surprise, but I am rolling with it for now. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Long rectangles, blunt triangles, a possible way forward

The sun is shining and I am mostly in the garden.  I am sewing a bit though, as a respite from the weeds.

I am trying out a few more blocks similar to the rectangle I liked last time. 

These are all made from shirt arms; their size is dictated purely by the size of the fabric.  It results in slightly bigger pieces than I tend to,which is not a bad thing.  I'm sure given enough time I'll figure out a way to incorporate some little bits.

While these were in their box I mulled over all sorts of possible directions for them, some complicated, some less so.  For now I am just trying this.
My thinking was that the blunt-nosed triangles would belong with the block on the left, but looking at this picture I don't like that as much as I did this morning.  I can, however, see a way forward, so all is good.