Waiting In The Wings

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Brain Freeze

I am tearing my hair out right now with the darn computer
and my photo editing system!
New Blogger isn't helping either.
It's taken me ages to put together the simplest of posts
and in the process I've forgotten half of what I had intended to write.

However this was the start of my day


beautiful sunrise with Venus still hovering in the sky.

So on with my intended day dedicated to more stitching on
Green Diamonds


and the colour is still off plus I now see I have the letter j in Quilter,
I am not going to begin the whole process again so it's going to have to stay.
This new system  is far more time consuming loading up photos.

There is now a grand total of four Postage Stamp blocks


picking up these tiny squares plays havoc with arthritic fingers
and I'm now using tweezers  and the process is
much less painful.

I am overwhelmed with my tubs and other containers
of scraps, something has to be done because they're bugging me,
 some will be given away and the remainder will be
assigned to a variety of scrap quilts.

First up I have a number of plastic boxes which hold a mix of 
1.5" strips and now I need to decide what they will be used for.
A Lego quilt is a possibility,  lots of these around right now,
has a whole series of Dumpster Diving quilts, the original was based on
a Lego quilt,
 go visit and you'll see some beauties!

So these are my strips below, boxes are 11" x 14"
and,  apart from the third box, they're mostly Kaffe Fassett Collective
fabrics with a few others mixed here and there.












The strips in this last box are a mix of widths
but I'm happy to haul out the Accuquilt and reduce them all to 1.5"
Any ideas for simple strippy projects gladly received.

One camellia and one rose photos before I go and make a much needed cup of tea,
if I was able to drink alcohol  (doesn't mix with my medications) I'd be 
slicing a lemon into a stiff gin and tonic!!

Sadly I can't remember the name of the camellia below



but this rose is
Buff Beauty


and has a delicious perfume.

All from me, hopefully my next post will be written in a much
calmer frame of mind and with computer, photo and blogger
problems all sorted.

Keep safe and well.

Maureen

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Slow Saturday

Actually I've had two slow Saturdays since my last post!
I've been fiddling about trying to decide what I want to make a
start on next, twice decided and then twice changed my mind.

I eventually made the decision to start on Green Diamonds  from
 Kaffe Fassett's
'Quilts in Ireland'
pictured here in an earlier post.


Here are the first few diagonal rows


and I don't know what's happened with the colour as it's much brighter than this!
I'm trying the new Blogger set up, maybe it's a problem here.
 You might also pick up that I've begun a little un-stitching
on the LH side where the half diamonds come up to the full ones.
They don't seem to be fitting as they should.

After checking and re-checking it seems that the template in the book
may be slightly out, so I'll draw up another one and try again.
They're all cut on straight of grain so that's not the issue.

Planning Ahead



  A pack of KF stripes bought a while ago  to make up a very simple
quilt for our eldest son, a free pattern from Free Spirit,
I'm not too sure about the lilac/peachy stripe, but it does look good in the
photo of the quilt. 

 Sorting out a heap of fabrics in a basket I pulled out 
the fabrics below giving me ideas for another
quilt.


 I have quite a few on my list of
'would like to make' so there's another decision to be made.

 I'm finding a little time here and there hand quilting
my Paintbox small quilt, only a few more blocks to go now!



Unfortunately I didn't go with my usual brand of thread and the one
I chose pulls quite a lot going through the fabric and quilting is taking longer
than I had hoped.
Once again the colour is showing  darker than my original photo!

Let's hope the photo of the last rose in my garden is true to colour


and yes it is!!

Leaving you now with a quote I came across in one of my books.

Love the beings of the world equally and universally.
The Universe is One.

See you all soon

Maureen


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday Summary

Just about falling to sleep in bed last night I suddenly thought of a great
title for this post, I can now no longer remember it, 
note to self - always have the notebook and pen by the bedside!

Do you remember I began a quilt using the Hourglass block,
Hannah's Garden 
in the blog post 
I have been fiddling around for weeks with these blocks


and once again became unstuck when using
more subdued colour. I cut many more pieces and
still wasn't happy, I was well and truly out of
my comfort zone. I tried using a few stronger colours but still no joy.

One night a week ago after tearing my hair out I couldn't sleep
and decided to go make a cup of tea, it was 2.38am!
The moon was up and I love looking at the moon, it was so very
bright and lighting up the old oak tree next door


I decided life was too short to lose sleep over quilt blocks and next
day pulled the brighter colours and made this cushion for my old
Captain's chair.




 Very simply quilted with two small pieces of very old lace stitched
on the centre block and
found in a box of treasured 'buttons and bows'  (but read lace for bows)
given to me years and years ago by my mother in law, she in turn
was given the box by her grandmother. 
So this little cushion is in memory of my Grandma Hannah whom I never knew and also
John's Mum and his great Grandma.





Now, this is a quilt blog I know and when I read the following lines
after pressing publish I will probably kick
myself for spilling all the information here.  I apologise in advance
but I had a wonderful friend with the same health problems and we
used to talk each week and lift our spirits and have a laugh, she died
in January.

Although I think of all of you as friends please don't worry that I shall be
relating any more of these health missives, I just needed to be able to
do this once right now for my well being.

I made mention earlier in my post of life being too short in relation
to fretting over quilt blocks.
It has been a difficult twelve months for me,  in addition
to my previous years of cardiac problems it was discovered 
that I also had a congenital aortic valve known as a bicuspid valve, 
and although I was informed
that this put me in the position of being one of only
1% of the world population with this condition  I wasn't too happy about future prospects.

The natural electrical system of my heart has packed in so good
job I have a pacemaker which keeps me going.

I have now been told that more symptoms mean my heart is probably not functioning properly,
having worked in a Path Lab and for Doctors I'm not too happy if that is the case.
More tests and appointments coming up and no doubt more medications.

So, no more fretting over quilt blocks, sizes or shapes or whether the points match, no
feeling guilty and miserable because I haven't the time nor energy to
join in all the quilt alongs that seem to crop up lots,  I am just
going to get on with stitching all my bright and beautiful fabrics - 
read Kaffe Fassett here -  and devouring my quilt books all over again and getting back to blogging more often and enjoying reading all your posts every day!! 

I'm ending with a pretty picture


the first bloom this year on my cactus against one of my favourite books
ENDANGERED
you will have guessed  that it's all about feathered, furred or finned members
of the natural world who are at risk.
I'm off to plan my next quilt right now, and I hope and pray you all keep safe and well in
these troubled times with Covid-19 and other horrific tragic happenings.

Maureen

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Potpourri - a mixture or medley of things

Last time I posted the first panel of a new project had
been stitched see
then I made another two


excuse the untidy photograph, I was suffering from a nasty bout
of colitis and not at my best!

I didn't stick to the original Stash Buster pattern but inserted two narrow panels
rather than one wide one between column 2 and 3.
 Fabrics were auditioned and after a few tries I decided
to go with my first choice which gives a wee break from all the
rich colour.


There will be a little un-picking carried out on the bottom strip on the LH side tomorrow.

I loved the Tula Pink fabric when it first came into the shops

 

and having only a small amount left I didn't have the length to cut
the panels so both have a join unfortunately!

Just one more postage stamp block has been added to the project box,
hopefully I should have a few to show in my next post.

Staying with stitching I pulled out my special Beatrix Potter tin below
yesterday, it contains a work in progress which may never be finished
because of the circumstances in which it was begun.


16th November 1998 my sweet old Irish Setter Chessie
was ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge and as I sat
at home by her side, waiting for the vet to come and carry out the
necessary procedure, I began stitching diamond stars. The two 
in the first photo were stitched at the time and the
remainder in the second over a period of a few weeks.
 I just can't seem to continue on with them, they'll
go back in the tin, perhaps one day they will actually become a small quilt.




The written word - a new book arrived in the mail a few days ago
by Mister Finch who hails from Yorkshire and lives in the city of Leeds.
The natural world and British folklore come to life in his stunning
textile pieces - butterflies, moths, mushrooms, toadstools, hares and more.
 He uses recycled materials, old velvet curtains, dresses, embroidered
cloths, tapestries and other items, he even posted on Instagram this morning - moths
made from an oil painting!!
All stitched by hand.
I have never, ever seen anything so beautiful in the pages of a book.
It is magical! I feel I am a child once more exploring the woods and
fields of my home on the edge of the Pennines in Lancashire. 



Do look him up, he has a website and is on Instagram
@misterfinchtextiles

That's all from me today but I want to say thank you for all your
comments on my predicament last post, much appreciated.
Wanda and Julie
gave me excellent advice on the way forward,
which I have followed,  resulting in my working on and making
the top featured in this post.

Happy Memorial Day to all my readers who celebrate this weekend.

Maureen

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Crossroads!!!!

I'm not referring here to the Anna Maria Horner quilt, although
I have bought the pattern, but I feel as though I am stuck
at a crossroad with my quilting!

Too many ideas, books, scrolling through Instagram and thinking
"oh yes, I'd like to make that" and adding to my
mental list.
I want to make traditional, I want to make improv,
I want to use my patterns designed a number of years ago,
there just doesn't seem to be enough time
to achieve what I should like to achieve.
Is this just me or does anyone else get totally frustrated?
Whichever, I need a big re-think.

Rant over, sorry about that,  been a bad week.

On a positive note I have made a start with my new
Hindsight fabrics.
Cutting into strips using the method demonstrated by
Kathy Doughty at
a while ago on
The Quilt Show


Usually I would have two 24" rulers, I iron the fabric first off and
then I can adjust the meet up of the selvedges to make sure
the fabric hangs correctly  ( always have done this). Kathy gets a straight RH edge
and lines up the edge of
a ruler on it, as you can see here I'm using the full width
of the ruler for a 6" wide length.
I bring the LH ruler up to the edge of the RH, remove the RH
and then cut - a a beautifully straight, equal 6" all the way along.
Thanks to Kathy!


I  can then cut into other widths using the same method.

So this is the start of a new piece using 2 and 1/2" strips and
cut into 14" lengths


this was one seen on Instagram - Scrap Buster Quilt -
more sections to come and I'm doing things a little differently.
One of the reasons I love to cut these multi-coloured, bright and
bold fabrics into strips is that sometimes little surprises come along

Example - four strips not yet sewn and randomly picked
and placed on the wall, second strip


see how the large butterfly wings sort of meet up with the half of a flower
in the next strip down? I like that.
Similar thing in the next few strips, third strip down, large pink
flower with limey yellow leaves meets up with a strip of
Echinacea, same colour and I see a little surprise.
Fluttery eyelashes!



Now, remember my little wall quilt top made for the
Red is a Neutral prompt with


this is next up for machine quilting and
there will  be kiwis on the back


and KF Spot black with purple for the binding


it blends pretty well (perhaps too well) which is what was hoping for.

Feeling somewhat more cheery now for having written this post and here
is a photo of the last of my
white camellias


this is one of my favourites, I love the
symmetry, all those petals whirling around.

We're heading to Level 2 tomorrow here in New Zealand, hopefully
everyone makes a huge effort to stick to the rules!

See you soon.

Maureen

Saturday, May 2, 2020

What happened to April???



Turned over the calendar page yesterday!

April, for me at least, was not very productive at all.
First project begun was Wintersweet and block photos were
shown HERE and HERE
and whilst I enjoyed making the blocks they did nothing for me
when I had them together on the design wall.
Placing on the diagonal, testing to see how they would look
with sashing and so on - nope, didn't like them and now
they live in my spare parts box!

I was having difficulty getting motivated, tried something else
but still no joy with the next project - spare parts box addition.

So - tidying fabric baskets began




green and blue were the first ones. and I found it quite
a revelation to discover there were fabrics I had forgotten about tucked away
in my stash.

Something quick and easy was needed and having long admired the Postage Stamp
quilts in blog land and on Instagram I made a start


using soft lilac as the solid.
A little starching needed for my some of my tiny KF
scraps to hold shape better, but I really enjoyed the process
and can't wait to make more. This is a definite ongoing project!

I hauled out my Accuquilt GO BIG electric cutter (my best purchase
ever in relation to my quilting, next to the fabric of course)
and finished off all the pieces for 
Green Diamonds 
from
 Quilts in Ireland
by Kaffe Fassett
seen below




going here with what I think of as
the 'plate method' for keeping pieces tidy, seen over the years on
Julie's blog
a brilliant idea Julie!!

Thursday a package arrived which really had me fired up and
ready to go

'Hindsight'
from Anna Maria Horner






the colours are more glorious than shown here in these photos,
I have yardage of the two other large prints and they'll be in my next post.

As you can seen not a lot has been achieved in my cosy little studio
but I'm feeling more motivated now and ready to get on with some serious sewing.
Project list presently being compiled.

More colour from the garden before I sign off, photo taken at 6.30am
Thursday just on dawn using the flash on my iPhone


pink Hibiscus bloom.