Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Quilting Started

Beginning with stitching in the ditch between the blocks.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Flowers and Pins

The sea of gladdies early this morning:

This amazing one is in a different part of the garden:
I do not remember seeing it flower before. It would be a corm dug up in the garden rescue mission of 2015, but perhaps it was very tiny and has only this year grown enough to start flowering. It is beautiful!

My job today was basting my Good Fortune quilt:
It is too big to be done all at once so there was a lot of unclipping, moving, and reclipping between pinning bouts.

Eventually most of it was pinned:
But I ran out of pins before I made it to the edges:
so most of the borders are not pinned yet. I will have to quilt the centre of the quilt, then use the removed pins in the borders. I wonder where the rest of my pins are? Perhaps there is a basted charity quilt or two that I had forgotten about...

The highlight of my day, better than seeing a beautiful new flower, or getting the mystery quilt basted, was receiving a parcel all the way from Norway:
This very sweet pincushion is a special gift from Turid at Den syende himmel. It is wonderful how the internet has brought us friends in all corners of the world. I first met Turid through one of Bonnie's previous mystery quilts. If you haven't visited Turid's blog, you should check out this post:
La Passion from a drone, where you can see her amazing "La Passion" hexagon quilt (16,762 hexies!), as well as some of the beautiful area of Norway which is her home.

Friday, January 11, 2019


Mum or Dad shows how it's done:

Then baby has a go:

Then I needed to top up the birdbath!

Inside the house, this happened:
 I will have to find somewhere to hang it up or spread it out to get a picture of the whole thing.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Much Bordering

My goal today was to add the 2nd, 3rd and 4th borders to Good Fortune, i.e. to finish the top!

I had already assembled the 2nd and 3rd borders, so I didn't expect sewing them on to take too much time. But attaching them took much longer than I expected, and involved a lot more stabbing myself with pins than I would have preferred.

It took me all morning to get the 2nd border on, as I could only do one side then I needed to take a break from it.
Pressing the final side of the 2nd border.

Lots of pins for the next border:

On the ironing board with the 3rd border fully attached, but not pressed yet:

On the clothesline late in the afternoon, and still not pressed as the sky was clouding over and it looked like it might rain. I wanted a photograph before that happened.

Once the final border is on I will not be able to hang it like this on the clothesline, because it almost touches the ground now.

Here's this week's link-up. There will be another link-up on Monday, by which time I will have the last border on.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


A few blooming things:

This rose is "Joyfulness":
It is another of the lucky-dip box of roses.

First flower on one of my transplanted dahlias:
Something has had a bit of a nibble at the petals. This is the unknown orange dahlia that was meant to be purple, looking quite red.

The sea of gladdies is blooming marvellously:

 A couple of weeks back I heard about a sew-along using Lori Holt's pattern Bloom:
The pattern is free, and it looked like a good quilt for using up some scraps, so I thought I would join in.

But like last year's "Friendship" quilt along:

the pattern is a free download, but the templates have to be purchased. I was lucky with "Friendship" because Amanda Herring the designer sent me the templates herself, and only charged me the actual postage cost, which was $8. The Bloom templates are available from a few retailers in the US, but the postage charges put them outside my budget. Not helped by the current exchange rate of course. So this is what I didn't buy:

Photo from Lori Holt's blog here. There's also a link to the pattern download there.

I dropped the idea of making the Bloom quilt, but Cheryll at Gone Stitchin' said I was welcome to join in the sew-along anyway. Rather than making the Bloom quilt, I will be making the "Inspired by Bloom" quilt, using the Friendship templates, or other templates I have or can draw.

I have already cut the background squares, but I haven't chosen all the fabrics I will use because I have been concentrating on finishing the Good Fortune mystery quilt. So I am linking to Cheryll's first Bloom link-up without having done what we are supposed to be showing off, our fabric choices! Next time I will have something to show.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Quilt, Interrupted

Yesterday I assembled all the blocks of Good Fortune, so the first job today was to press all those blocks. And here they all are:
I forgot to mention: Blue won! Most people I showed my test blocks to liked the blue chain (or "train" as I mistyped it) best. That was actually my favourite too, but it was nice to see that others felt the same.

First I sewed most of these blocks to each other:
 Then into rows:

Round about then it was time to check the letterbox, but outside there was a very strange and loud grunting noise. Further investigation revealed the source of the disturbance:

Two koalas up a tree! I don't know if they were two males arguing about territory, or a male pursuing a female, or what their story is. But it was fantastic to see them. It is a while since we saw a koala, but I've never before seen two at once.

I did get back to the piecing later, and now the body of the quilt needs two more seams sewn, and the first border is assembled ready to be attached. But there is still a lot of sewing to do before it is a completed top.

But I saw two koalas up a tree!

Sunday, January 6, 2019


Back in November I mentioned visiting a friend and coming home with a car load of curtains. She had had new drapes made, but when they arrived some of them were not correct for her order - the lining had been left out. The manufacturer remade new drapes for her, and told her to "dispose" of the incorrect ones. She disposed of them to me!

Since then I have been busy with other stuff, but a few days ago I bought a track, and today we hung a couple of the drapes in the bedroom:

They are a perfect length, and the colour is so close to our wall paint that it is amazing. You would never imagine that they were actually made for a completely different house.

I do need to do some sewing to change the widths of the drapes, but that can wait. For now I have a window with curtains, and I am happy! A new house is about to be built on the block directly across the road from this window, and I will be glad to not have builders looking into our bedroom when they start work before I've even woken up.

Thank you Jenni, for thinking of me when considering how to dispose of your incorrect drapes!


Neutral chain or blue train? (Added later - this was meant to say "blue chain", but I'll leave "train" here because that's how some answered.)
That is the question for today.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Mystery Reveal

Almost the first thing I did this morning when I woke up (after letting the ducks and chooks out) was to check for a new mystery clue. And as the Quiltville page opened, I saw Good Fortune in her header, and the mystery was revealed:
So that's what we have been making! All those odd-sized pieces end up as borders, which is why they were so puzzling. And later I discovered that Bonnie had miscalculated how many of the first clue we needed to make, which is why the pieces added up to more than the area of the quilt. No worries, it just added to the mysteriousness of the thing.

Mine won't look like Bonnie's because of the colour changes I made. Her warm-coloured blocks are my cool ones and vice-versa. It will be fun to compare them when I get mine together, but first there is a lot of sewing to do.

I assembled all of this unit, which makes up a quarter of the spinning star block:
And as I was pressing them I found this one where I had managed to include the same neutral fabric without noticing as I sewed. Too bad, it is staying that way! Vireya's Law of Scrap Quilts, first formulated in 2011, says that "No matter how careful you are about layout, you will always find two pieces of the same fabric beside each other after you have sewn the whole quilt together." Only this time I found it earlier and I don't care.

The alternate block creates a chain across the quilt. You can see the neutral diagonal lines in Bonnie's quilt in the photo above. But as I started to put a block together, I wondered about changing the orientation of the 4-patches, to give a blue chain effect. Here's what I mean:
On the right is the block as designed, with the neutral diagonals. On the left, the alternative I'm considering with blue diagonals. (The one on the right looks a bit squat because it is half sewn together.)

Tomorrow I will make up a couple of the star blocks and position them around these alternatives, to get a better idea of what might look best in the quilt.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Too Hot

First thing this morning I was out watering the garden in preparation for the forecast heat. A lot of the garden is now on a dripper system, but the parts that aren't were going to need some help today.

I was surprised to discover that the first of the crepe myrtles has flowers already:
They had popped open in the last day or so without me noticing.

In one corner of the garden there is a forest of gladioli in bud, courtesy of a clearance sale at Garden Express:
Dozens of them, of unknown varieties. All sorts of colours are beginning to peek out of the buds. Expect to be bored with gladdie flower pictures over the next couple of weeks!

This one is my favourite so far of the new ones:

This one isn't new, but it was looking beautiful as the sun came up:
As the sun rose the temperature rapidly climbed into the 30s. I retreated inside, but on my way I saw my first march fly of the season. Another reason I don't like being outside in summer!

I stayed in for the rest of the day, until the cool change mercifully arrived later in the afternoon. Before it did arrive, we reached a top of 41.9. Too darn hot!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Stash Use Recording

This year I am going to keep a record of my fabric and thread stash use. I'm not going to try and record all that is currently in my stash, but I want to make sure that by the end of the year there is less than there is at the moment. I've created a spreadsheet to keep a record of the amount of quilt fabric I use, buy, or am given; plus the same for other types of fabrics (dressmaking, furnishing, etc) and also of threads.

My first spreadsheet entry for fabric use was cutting the binding for this quilt:
It is a start!

Earlier today I read on Jo's blog about butterfly blocks she is making with her scraps, which she can use in kid's quilts or in donation quilts. The block appealed to me a lot. You can find the tutorial for the block at the Canuck Quilter blog here: Butterfly Blocks.

After I had finished machining on that binding, I dug out my "Magic Pudding" basket of scraps, and using off-cuts from quilt backings and bindings that have been accumulating there recently, I put together a butterfly:

And then there were two:

Fabric pulled out of the scrap basket will not be recorded in the spreadsheet. I will only record fabric I cut from stash, such as with my binding above. Then any left-over pieces of binding are added to the scrap basket, for use without being counted a second time.(Although I've just realised that the brown body pieces were not from the scrap basket - oops! I may need to fine-tune the record keeping procedures as I go.)

I also emptied my first spool of thread for the year while I was joining the scrap pieces together, so that went into the spreadsheet too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Mystery Clue Seven

Bonnie gave those of us on this side of the world a nice surprise when the next clue appeared at around 4pm on New Year's Day, rather than midnight. It meant I got a lot of this clue done yesterday evening, and then finished it off today:

Some of the HSTs were sewn together, and the 4-patches became 16-patches. It is nice to be finally starting to put together parts of the mystery. But this hasn't shed any light on how everything goes together, as the pieces we haven't touched yet are all different sizes. Bonnie is going to keep us guessing to the last.

This post is added to the same Mystery Link Up as the previous one. I wonder when the next clue will be?