Waiting In The Wings

Monday, September 18, 2023

Still more stripping and quilt tops

Your comments and suggestions on my collection of quilt tops in the last post were very helpful, thank you all.

My two largest I intend to send off to be quilted, also possibly two for basting and I'll make the backings to go along with them. The remainder I can work through slowly (over many months) with perhaps another two sent off  towards the end of the year. 

One quilt I had thought of for basting was this one below - Carnival Crosses

made for the UANDUQAL - Unconventional and Unexpected Quilt Along, organised by Sujata Shah,
for more information just click on the link, this was back in 2019. The starting point for this QAL was the book by Roderick Kiracofe.

My inspiration quilt from the book was "Cross" / Four Patch, photo below,

you can see that the original had borders. I had completely forgotten to add them to mine so this one still needs work.

Last post but one,  Sunday sewing with Hannah, was all about strips used in the Hannah quilt and the stack I had left over, in a mad moment I decided to quickly make a small quilt using them up, possibly  one to lay our expected great-grand daughter on for a kick around when she's old enough. Another two rows were to be added for length but it wasn't quite working for  me in the small size. which would have been 32" x 40"

so I've gone wider, six blocks across and seven blocks down finishing at 48" x 56", much happier now. Each block is pinned so I can always play around with placement, making sure the seams are in the correct direction.

Usually a flower photo ends my post but the weather has been atrocious, however Spring is officially here and the bluebells are out to brighten the days. Couldn't resist cutting a few for the house.

Tomorrow is set down for  more machine quilting and probably a little more stitching of a few blocks for Tussie Mussie.

See you soon


Monday, September 11, 2023

Yikes - The Counting of The Tops!!

A calming visitor (much needed) at breakfast time this morning to begin my day, a Barbary Dove, beautiful, look at the subtle feather colours, they're very friendly and one actually flew up and landed on my hand!

I'm still here but no new projects on the go at the moment. A high dose of steroid (prednisone) for a flare of my PMR - not PMT, I'm 76 yrs - but an ongoing problem Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Anyone who takes steroids knows the effects these can have, currently I have around 4 hrs of sleep each night, my brain is soundly in overdrive and fizzing with great ideas but not the ability to carry through. The good side is that I am pain free and can actually move again.

However at 3am early this morning I hit on the idea of something simple - counting up my tops waiting to be quilted, this was a task long overdue. Humour me whilst looking at the photos below. Oh, before I make a start fabrics arrived two days ago, just two new colourways here in  classics from KF, there were a few other bold and brights, as usual.

On with the main point of this post.

You will, I think, have seen a photo before of my two narrow ladders in the hall, they hold ten tops waiting in line.

The large ladder in the hall has four tops - Gypsy Wife is hidden under one of the other three,  still waiting her turn. These are the larger size.

I also have a small  waist high stand with four rails, obviously for four quilts, this is now home to
seventeen tops, medium size and a few wall hanging size. Of necessity it is now in the bedroom and is extremely heavy to move.

Last picture - I promise,  so a small design board in the hallway leading down to my little studio
with three basted quilts, the centre one is Northern Lights and partly quilted, left hand side is Liquorice Allsorts and right hand side a peep of Midnight at the Oasis.

You can do the math and see the size of my problem - perhaps the 3 am idea was not the best one I have had. I'm now going to have to work out a system to complete these tops, obviously over a good length of time, and also to be stitching on new projects - of which I also have many lined up! Luckily I have two machines so I think my newer Bernina will be permanently set up with quilting foot etc on my large quilting unit and my older one in some other place purely for stitching. Where this will live I do not know presently. Perhaps I should post a studio tour and you could offer suggestions , actually I think I shall do this if you can bear to look through more photos next post.

Happy Quilting

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday sewing with Hannah

Almost finished up sewing block seams, more tomorrow and then, hopefully, a completed top on Tuesday

and then a full photo without the addition of my chair back and small ironing surface. Just click to enlarge the photo. Oh for a larger design wall. This was such an easy quilt to make, perfect for using up already cut 2 and1/2 "strips or a jelly roll.

Here I've used strips left over from other projects and also I cut into odd shaped large scraps, a few I also cut from favourite yardage. Two strips I particularly wanted to use were short of a 13" length but by scratching around in my very small scraps I found tiny pieces and stitched together, it is after all a scrappy quilt, here's a joined up strip, tiny piece LH side. 

I began with neat stacks of 13" strips, two of which are below, lots more not in the photo. The throw size is 60" x 72" and I gaily kept on going hunting strips, I only needed 120 but when counting up found that I had stacked 260, perhaps there will be a second Hannah quilt in the future.

Here's how they ended up after random pulling out of pieces

and there are more of these covering the cutting table. Guess what I'm going to be doing come Tuesday!

For a break last week kind husband drove me to the new premises of The Ribbon Rose, a well established store for many, many years here in Auckland. Recently they moved and what a treasure filled three storey building they now occupy. The fabric floor is amazing and it goes without saying that I found a few KF fabrics on sale, just a few quarters came home with me. Large bins had simply rolled up metre lengths of fabrics at good prices, I took a chance and bought this one

delighted when I came back home and unrolled, below is a small section of the full piece.

I just love this!!

Books are a passion of mine, all my life I have been a voracious reader but over the past few years this pleasure, for various reasons, seemed to have been left behind a little. I'm now back on board with books and there are quite a few on my bookshelves which I have never read, some have been read many times over  because they were so exciting, moving and so very interesting.

Two below, the cover of the first one is self-explanatory, having worked in a Pathology Lab for a number of years in long ago days, and also spent time in General Practice surgeries as receptionist, I was excited to find this book a little while ago. 

These Precious Days is a collection of essays  by Ann Patchett, each essay stands alone. I see myself keeping this one to read during quiet time in the evening, perhaps even when settled in bed with a nice hot drink!

Perhaps I could write a little about my thoughts on a particular essay after reading here on the blog.

Silly mistake made by me in my last post.  I spoke about making a quilt for our "soon to be grand-daughter" - the quilt will actually be for our great grand-daughter!

That's all from me for now, a rest day today after a family lunch here at home yesterday on my husband's 80th birthday, we had such a happy time but I was shattered by early evening and my bed called to me earlier than usual.


Friday, August 11, 2023

Another new day

 A glorious sunrise yesterday morning 

I usually begin my day by heading out on the deck to watch the sunrise, never tire of the sight.

Life seems to have moved along slowly and in rather a muddle over the past few weeks, little to show but I'm working away steadily on the Hannah Quilt and Tussie Mussie, five rows now of the latter and five more to go, each row is folded in half and  pinned on the wall keeping me motivated. 

Come December I have two sales tables booked at the Guild Meeting, so slowly, slowly I'm going through older fabrics, different designers and a couple of my scrap bins to select goodies for my tables. I came to the decision to ditch some of the older fabrics saved for backings and use my favourites, I may as well enjoy them right now!

Always find a surprise as I hunt through, the one below, possibly a Hoffman from way back, was a huge favourite and I don't have much left now, this one I'm keeping.

Two new fabrics came to be added to my stash last week, first one I spotted online from a store further down the Island, this will be used in a quilt for our soon to be grand-daughter, still a couple of months away.

This was so difficult to photograph, the soft green background repeatedly looked almost grey on the first few tries. It's a gorgeous fabric with hummingbirds, beetles and all sorts of flowers the dragonfly seems to be missing in this particular photo. This is a Tamara Kate design - Anew.   

The second piece is a Heather Bailey fabric line - Local Honey

daughter will be sewing this up in a summer dress for me, she is a designer and after three years training here in NZ she flew off to England and worked a while for the British designer John Richmond, originally from Manchester, then to London and eventually to Milan. He was very much into the rock music fashion industry and dressed many of the stars, still does I guess and Sally would tell us of all the folk who came to have him make their clothes, she worked on one in particular which was a green suede suit for George Michael, this was around the early nineties.

Books are being sorted for the sale, I have far too many so one stack is ready 

thank goodness I have until the end of November to process everything!

Well, I began the post with a sunrise and I'm ending with a mid evening photo of the moon through the bare oak tree next door, this is my nightly ritual - moon gazing

see you all again soon!


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Hannah quilt and yellow is the colour of the day

I totally forgot to post the photo of the Hannah quilt pattern in my last post  - here it is, a design from
Erica Jackman at KitchenTable Quilting just click on the link to visit her site and patterns.

I haven't used too light a wide strip in my version between the four narrow strips, I bought yardage seen on a local quilt shop site,  (Scalloped Hills from Corin Dantini), also I've used strips from my boxes. I may need to cut a few more pieces from yardage as I go along, progress so far just sitting on the wall waiting until until I have sewn another 18 blocks before I decide on a final arrangement.

I'm trying to be a little more organised and methodical with scraps! I have different lengths of strip leftovers from this project which didn't meet the 13" I required.

At the very bottom are 13"strips ready to be used, and squares of the Scalloped Hills fabric. The remainder above are now sorted into roughly, from the left, 11", 10", 8", 4"and 5"  then a stack of, what I refer too as smidgy bits! I now have to decide the best way of storing them without a muddle.

If you're wondering about the mention of yellow in the title of the post, two pics from the garden today,
the first ripe lemon from our tree, beautiful and not marked or pecked by the many birds we have around, guess who's going to be baking crunchy lemon muffins later this afternoon.

Here is a bush, the Kowhai,  which is a favourite of the tuis in the garden, beautiful birds with the most delightful song, I've never posted a video on my blog but I recorded the early dawn song a few days ago so maybe I can try, for now here's the photo.

Oh, I almost forgot the violet growing by one of the rocks bordering a garden bed, not yellow but a nice contrast!

Wish  I could "post" the perfume from little flower!

Happy quilting.


PS excuse the breaks in a couple of the lines  don't know why this is happening but hoping to sort out before I write next.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

I'm back - with Bluetooth technology!!

At last I have my new pacemaker, or as they are described by the medical professionals,  a pacing generator! With Bluetooth no less. Technology these days is amazing. I'm feeling good, which is exciting, my pacemaker "talks" to the special app on my iPhone and in turn if the app spots anything of note information goes straight through to the Cardiac Unit. It's rather like a Big Brother is Watching you scenario but I'm tremendously grateful.

So, what have I been doing since my last little post, nothing much, reading, sleeping and watching a few good TV programmes, oh and my usual moon gazing and catching sunrise and sunrise when possible, this was sunrise the other day

the cloud formations always fascinate me, especially when the rising sun catches the underside of the cloud.

You might recall I was making a start on Fonthill quilt, Wanda was also working on the same project, she had come up with the idea a few months that we could both work around the same time frame, she made tremendous headway whilst I was stalled! I hoped to continue on after my hospital visit, I had found beforehand  that I wasn't coping with the many small HSTS involved - hands not good. Sadly I'm not going forward right now but hope to perhaps think again in the New Year. So what now,  well I have three boxes with projects ready to go and from now on I'm working on patterns with good size pieces and also strips, I'm keeping things simple.

The boxed projects below were put together quite some time ago 

the bottom quilt project - Japanese Brocades - is quite a change from my usual fabric choice, I just felt like making something a little softer

I had made a start on fabric for The Hannah Quilt a little while ago, I've had the pattern from when it first was released, and was inspired to make a start after seeing the quilt  Koselig made by Julie using this pattern. Appealing to me was the fact that Julie had not used a light solid colour as the "background" strips shown in the pattern but had used a beautiful Tula Pink fabric, macaws on a pink background. I have yardage of the same design but in the turquoise colourway. Two day ago I found two fabrics to choose from as my background. Choice not yet made.

A few days ago I was told by a friend that she was having a 'mental health day' just doing something she really enjoyed, and had missed out on in recent times, she might read or paint, two things she really enjoyed but found she couldn't find the time any more to enjoy them. This had me thinking seriously about the past two years I have had, the result of which has affected my wellbeing enormously, both physically and mentally, to this end I have decided I shall have not one mental health day but a 5 month Mental Health break!!! Blogging often as I used to, spending more time in my little studio enjoying my fabrics and the view of camellias outside of the window, sitting outside in the sunshine with hand sewing and listening to the birds, moon gazing, catching sunrise and sunset, reading, going for walks now that I have the new pacemaker, reading blog posts daily again,  seeing family more often - we're going to be great grandparents soon which is thrilling.  

Reading -two books below have been sitting on my bedside table for around three months, the cover of the first book - Phosphorescence - drew me in straight away, as did the title of the book. I hasten to say it is not a book about depression but the beauty around us. I used to love the streams of phosphorescence in the wake of the boat at night, also by the bow, when we sailed to New Zealand in 1962 and back to the UK in 1963, the glow is stunning.

Next in line is Miss Dior - A Wartime Story of Courage and Couture. The title says it all, Christian Dior and his beloved younger sister, Catherine who inspired his famous perfume. I am so looking forward to reading this biography.

I think I have exhausted my news here now, apart from apologies for having, once again, missed your posts over the past 10 days, I had to take things easy.

Oh, making a start on my 5 months mentioned above here is a photo of one of the most beautiful camellias in our garden, can't recall the name unfortunately!

Before I sign off we have been reading and hearing of the horrific weather in the USA, in fact all over the world I think, but reading our news this morning I was horrified. Hoping that you re all safe and well, along with all your family members.

Keep safe