Saturday, 25 April 2020

Best Laid plans

. . . go astray.
It was two or three years ago now that Bonnie Quilters made a sampler quilt. I made two sets of blocks. The traditional blue and white one "My Bonnie Blues"  (seen here )was  finished last year but the modernish blocks which I have been hesitant about because I like them so much (go figure) have been waiting in the wings. 

I had always planned to use this lovely grey fabric to sash them but on laying them out the effect is underwhelming. I asked my husband for a second opinion and he said "I see what you mean". So my idea of a tasteful refined sampler go out of the window as I haven't anything else and refuse absolutely to countenance white. So I shall cut framing strips for each block and go for a mishmash.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Finishing the chequerboard quilt

Machine quilting this wasn't hard as I didn't need to turn it, just sew from one side to the other,first vertically on either side of the block seams and centre block seams then horizontally though the two inner block seams. I use a big stitch and reduced tension and foot pressure. I was very anxious after the first few inches but in my present gungho approach carried on regardless. The wide Janome walking foot makes for a good width away. I'm pleased with the result. I used the backing trimmings to make a facing and added to the pile of quilts awaiting hand sewing to finish.


I used a skirt waistband approach for the first time which makes for neater corners. I referred to an Elm Street Quilts Blog tutorial.

The pile

Wednesday, 22 April 2020


Yesterday I embarked on quilting the chequerboard quilt. I never look forward to quilting but I found myself enjoying doing the Mad March Hare quilt and started on Chequerboard while the iron was hot.
Ready to start

Doing the verticals

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Mad March Hare quilt

Stymied temporarily on my illusion quilt while I await fresh fabric supplies and reconcile myself to substituting on three rows, I resolved to get to grips with quilting the Mad March Hare quilt. The hardest part is deciding what to do. Constrained by lack of ability and wish not to spend too much time (piecing is my thing), I only aspire to utility quilting.
Block cross hatching completed and sashing marked with soap.

For this one I located some variegated thread suitable for the multi-coloured blocks and quilted diagonally across each turning the quilt and back tracking along the edge to the next diagonal starting point. Normally I would then stitch in the ditch along the sashing; this time I switched to a self coloured thread and quilted up and down crisscrossing the sashing, vertical rows first, then horizontal travelling from one to the other sashing oblong along the side of the sashing post. When all complete the pieced sashing posts were quilted on all four sides.
Sashing oblongs done
Interesting shapes emerged: stars, octagons and oddly shaped diamonds.
Woven check backing wide enough not to need joining, a nice surprise.

I remembered the binding I had made at the outset in the sashing fabric and found it easily too!
The lines were marked with sliver of soap.
I am quite pleased and now onto the chequerboard.
Though perhaps I might make some face masks as there are murmurings about making these mandatory (although none are to had!). I hate anything over my face.  And I'm hopeless at this sort of sewing partly because I hate it.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

New project

I have a cupboard full of UFOs, planned projects and abandoned bits and pieces but am I working on any of them? No. Instead I've embarked on my third new start, a Christaquilts pattern based on an optical illusion called Cafe Walls. The pieces are quite big, 5" finished, so I hope to make a good sized quilt, a keeper as I've used treasured Carolyn Friedlander fabric. I may have to order more of the brown. 
No illusion as yet
I have set up in the spare bedroom piecing on a Bernina so I can put my Janome into the table insert in my sewing room to machine quilt the first two starts.
In the spare bedroom

Sewin Room

Monday, 13 April 2020

Flowery Mystery

Yesterday evening, Easter Sunday, I completed sewing down the Flowery Mystery facings.  Mystery instructions start  here on the 7th November blog post. The design is more subtle than first appears and the clues have everybody foxed.
The pieced back.
I used Stitch 19 on my Janome for the quilting. It undulates.

58 x 74.5"

Close up
I shall sell it and if not donate it.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Easter Sunday

Lots of windows display children's drawings of  rainbows. I notice quilting friends have made super strip pieced ones with lots of bright fabrics. Mine is very rough and ready. I tried out a new binding method spectacularly unsuccessfully and left in the freezer paper behind the indigo arc but it will do for its temporary purpose. We shall re-emerge. Our world will be different and feel different, less safe. But "When I behold .  " . .

Saturday, 11 April 2020


I am still proceeding with my quilting. The end of my hand quilting project is in sight. I need to start thinking about making another project, a keeper, worthy of hand quilting. Probably my modern sampler.
Flowery mystery, not quite finished

Meanwhile yesterday I spray sandwiched the Cherrywood tops, both with woven check backings. During the week I quilted the flowery sample mystery with an undulating stitch and added facing. I just have one side to stitch down along with bindings on my Siblings Together quilt and the Leafy Mystery. Hmm that's enough hand sewing to be going on with.  When the weather turns on Monday I'll start something new, a pattern I bought at QuiltCon though I had already stuck a picture of something similar in my book as something to try to work out. It's an optical illusion as in straight lines appearing as curved.
I might have two machines set up in separate rooms, one for the new project and one for quilting my Cherrywood quilts which are to be sales or donations.
In the meantime . .
Changed the bed

Sheep by Gail Lawther

Mice from my daughter

Clever sheep: Gail made this to order.
It's one of her New Zealand inspired pieces.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Autumn Mystery

I have had these fabrics for a long time and I thought I would use them up in a larger version of the U3A mystery quilt. They are very murky but Maggie's lovely longarm quilting  has transformed it somewhat I think I'll keep it for the time being.

Last night we held our Book Group meeting on Zoom; it was so wonderful to see members' familiar faces. We didn't start till 8.05 to allow for the clap. We go to our doors and clap in appreciation of health service workers and get to know our neighbours are there - a lovely moment of solidarity. Also yesterday we put thank you messages on our bins which were out for collection. A true day of thanksgiving.

Thursday, 2 April 2020


Seen on our walk around the neighbourhood this helpful installation. I've learnt he is called Mr (Last) Straw.
I completed the second Cherrywood top, my mad March Hare.The sashing far from calming things down is very much in your face. I cut it out before making the blocks so I was committed. If I had auditioned possibilities I might have made a different choice. But now I am warming to it. Along with the Chequerboard it will be given or sold.

When I laid it out there was a jarring note. Feeling virtuous I replaced the wrongly sited sashing post.

Now I might get on with some finishing off some projects. A hiatus in my feverish piecing session.