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.