Waiting In The Wings

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A quiet time for quilting

 Nothing too exciting this post.
I've been busy with my string blocks for the
AHIQ String Tulip QAL just a few more to sew now and
I'm really cutting it fine to have them all complete by the 28th, but
I'll get there!


Green Diamonds

She's not showing quite as bright as she truly is and at the moment
one half is sewn together and the other half is in the process, pinned here and there but
at least I am now heading down from the top right and the
strips will become shorter and more manageable.

Where the two halves meet there's going to be a little adjustment,
a few diamonds unpicked and restitched to have them matching up correctly.

Whilst I've enjoyed putting this together would I make another quilt
all diamonds - I would not. I had to starch because all the fabrics are KFC
and they're a little finer than the regular quilting cottons. Even with the starch
there is stretch here and there.

Apart from the above, the blocks, planning future quilts, the highlight of my
day today was a visit to the quilt store for more pins and an extra
cutting blade, an exciting photo below!


Funnily enough I did feel that I needed just a few more Tilda fabrics
to add to my collection


and I was very restrained and bought just one 1/2 yard from the
KFC fabrics


the reason for my restraint being that I have a largish order of the new
Kaffe Fassett Collective release, which should be here around March.

So folks, that was my exciting week apart from being rated a
Priority 2 case to see the Oral Maxillary specialist within the next
four weeks, such fun. So I best make the most of my quilting as I might
just be out of action for a short time.

Garden - two little flowers, seeds sown a while ago





aren't they so pretty?

The bottom photo is a new zinnia and the top one
a small cosmos.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

Maureen

Monday, February 15, 2021

A rainy day in Alert Level 3 in Auckland!

 Community case of the Covid variant UK has
put Auckland into Level 3, the race is on to track down other contacts
and we have a number of rules to follow to try and knock this
on the head.

The only positive side to being told to stay home as an oldie and medically comprised
is that there are no distractions, it's raining and I can sit and quilt!

I have been plodding along with my string blocks for 
the 
AHIQ String Tulip QAL


and have only placed three up on the wall foe the moment,
I was impatient to see the effect! I've also taken out the papers and sewn
the top two blocks together. I have enough for two sides now and will
get a move on to finish up the remainder.

In between the string blocks I have a stack of fabrics waiting to be
added to their respective stash baskets,

however  because I have a number of quilts on my project list which need 2 and 1/2 squares/strips
I'm going to haul out my electric cutter and cut two strips of each fabric, in fact I intend to slowly cut through as many of my KF Collective fabrics as possible.
I love working with these fabrics when cut down.

Changing the subject slightly I found yesterday a special
piece of Indian, I guess you say embroidery, but when I bought this years
ago from a shop specialising in ethnic pieces I was told this was made using pieces of old
trappings from elephant covers used on special occasions.
I had 'lost' it  a few years, couldn't remember where it was but a certain four legged
member of the household had obviously scrambled up on my baskets and 
 knocked it down the back of the stacks.

Here's the piece - 18"square


and below a close up of the centre


and another small section


click to enlarge these.

Below is the reverse of the piece.


All from me right now, on to more string blocks.


Maureen





Tuesday, February 2, 2021

AHIQ Prompt January 2021 - String Tulip QAL - my dress rehearsal

Before I begin my post, those  who are unaware of the  AHIQ blog
 begun by
Ann and Kaja
a number of years ago 
please visit their blogs, links above, or click on the AHIQ logo
on my RH side bar.

Briefly, every six months a prompt or challenge is issued
and this time Ann has decided on the prompt in my post title.
Full directions will be issued by Ann but she kindly sent me an early set
to work through, the first step will be the string squares, so here I go,
visit the link below for an overview of the details proper.

https://fretnotyourself.blogspot.com/2021/01/ahiq-prompt-january-2021-electric.html

and the link to the first month's notes from Ann

String Tulip Quilt QAL month 1

Below is one of the quilts made by Ann and  the inspiration for the QAL.

note:I was unable to contact Ann for permission to use this photograph
as it 10.45pm here in New Zealand and all good Texas folk will
probably be fast asleep.

The string blocks are made using paper foundations and I
went with 6 and 1/2" cut for a finished block of 6".

I used ordinary copy paper and cut squares at 6 and 1/2", as Ann
suggested I drew a few diagonal lines on them as a guide.


My string box was hauled out

and a few strings pulled out at random


Ann has lots of detail in her notes on strip sizes, sorting fabrics and cutting
and I followed exactly as she suggested.

At the sewing stage she suggests a shorter stitch length and I went with 1.5 on my Bernina,
and it certainly helped with paper removal!
I read carefully her instructions on placing the strings and followed them as she suggested,  not necessarily keeping exactly to the guide lines on the paper.


I found it easy to shift the second string a little to left or right in order
to create a slightly different angle to the lines I drew initially, I
 used a 1/4" seam, Ann has another method to try also.

After seam sewing the next step was to fold the paper back which
means the seam can be checked for excess bulk, and I used
an 'add a quarter' ruler to trim any excess fabric before straightening
the paper out again.


Then on to the third string and repeated the process of folding back paper and trimming.



I also pressed every pair of strings after sewing. I was concerned about 
the process of removing the papers later but they almost fell out!
Ann has a great tip for
ease of paper removal, you should definitely follow this one, you'll find it
on her last page of process notes.

The corners were no problem following Ann's notes where she
gives three methods, I found her method of using a rectangle a good one 
ensuring that all the paper was covered.


When this piece was flipped over the last piece was easily covered,
I then turned over and once again pressed the fabrics on the front of the block and
also the paper on the back.
When this was done it was time to trim the excess fabric, I used my 6 and1/2" square
ruler.


You can see there is very little waste.

I made four blocks in total, block number one is below, this was made
using a real mix of fabrics and you can see that the orange check fabric with
the brown line in there really adds interest, I think my fabric mix was good
and that this block has the required adhoc look.


Here is my second block and I think you can spot the difference.
I somehow slipped back into my more regulated mode and veered slightly away from
Ann's suggestions.


I mentioned this to Ann but she said I really needed four blocks to see the effect
clearly


and as the master of beautiful string pieced blocks she was so right!!
This was my first time at foundation paper piecing and I really did enjoy the process,
as we progress through February with these blocks I think I will
become looser with my size of strips, not as regimented, but I do think seeing the four blocks
together has me feeling much happier and looking forward to sewing up more.

Ann has written an amazingly thorough and easily understandable set of  instructions
full of great detail and tips for us, much more than I am obviously able to share with you here, 
but I hope I have
given you a peek of my first step of the the process.

I would encourage anyone who is interested to
jump in and join us all, we're going to have an exciting few months.

Thank you so much Ann!

Maureen

Sunday, January 31, 2021

And here comes another squirrel


This particular squirrel is actually on my list of projects
but decided to jump the queue, photo kindly sent to me by a dear long time friend
of over 50 years in England! I think this will be my permanent post photo for
The Squirrel Club

Click on the squirrel graphic in my sidebar to visit Julie's blog
and read all about The Squirrel Club.

Many Trips Around The World has long been a favourite pattern
of mine and two days ago sorting through an assortment of
2 and 1/2" strips I decided to just make a start

and this is my first trial block. I photographed on black because both my 
grey squared and my cream design wall seemed to drain the colour
from my fabrics.

Top left square needs replacing because the strip was a fraction too short
that's on my list for tomorrow.
I really like the Kaffe Spot fabric as the dark diagonal so I gathered
more from my stash

to use as the diagonal in all the blocks.

There is another project currently being put together and I'll post
on that this coming Tuesday, I'm making good use of Julie's
plate system to try and keep some order with my pieces for this
one.


It's a short post from me this time  but I'll be here again come Tuesday but
before I head off to begin the evening meal here's a photo
from the garden


ideas here for a quilt colour scheme!

Stay Safe!!

Maureen



Sunday, January 17, 2021

2021 designated as My Year of The Quilt

I feel I have, for a number of reasons, not been as productive
as I should have liked over this past year with my quilt making, I am
determined that this year will be different, hence the title
of my post.

I do have a finished top now for Matt


measuring  78" x 84" I don't intend to attempt to quilt this myself.
Because of the size I couldn't photograph on my design wall so here it is under
the Japanese Maple tree in the garden.

This can count as the beginning of my dedicated quilting year.

A long awaited task has been to make a start on sorting all
my small scrap containers, fabric leftovers have been thrown into these
without any organisation whatsoever.

I have sorted one only right now
measuring 10" x 8" with 4 and 1/2" depth


so pulled and sorted neatly I have
an assortment of small and large pieces and the same for wide and narrow strips.


I have six more of this size container to sort through, next step is to decide 
whether to have a container for each colour, that's going to be tricky
with only six containers although I do have a few oblong large boxes
but they're not very deep. I'm tempted to take the easy way out 
and go with the size of the piece, small medium or large.

There were some very small pieces and I have those in what I call
my Smidgy Bits box


Apart from the above all I have had the energy to do is a stitch a few hexagons


 a little colouring


from this book


and photograph hibiscus






I have a busy week with dental and hospital appointments but I'll be setting
time aside to plan new quilts.

See you soon

Maureen

 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

A New Year 2021

 


Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year

Well we're now three days into 2021and I think we can all agree
that 2020 was an "annus horribilis" to quote the words spoken
by Queen Elizabeth II in a Guildhall speech 1992 to describe that year!

Time will tell whether this coming year will be any better, let's hope so
although I fear it will be a heck of a long time before we can
refer to a year, hopefully not too far distant, as an
'annus mirabilis'
which means wonderful year.

You will have noticed our Kereru in the opening photo, a gift from youngest
son and wife for Christmas, now fastened on the deck trellis conveniently opposite
my favourite chair.

It's been a lean time for my quilting but here are two blocks made during a
spell of playtime


just trying out ideas for a new quilt for eldest grandson,
two more possible settings below




this is a pattern from Cultural Fusion Quilts, a book by
Sujata Shah blogging at
therootconnection.blogspot.com
having some computer problems so I do hope this link works!

Another possible contender for a quilt for grandson is another version
of Chain Link Horizon which I made in 2019


I have a stack of half hexagons 7" high which I cut when making this
quilt and were never used, I'm figuring I can save myself a lot of time
by using them along with a different solid for the diamonds.
I'm thinking perhaps the Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dot in Orchid,
not actually a solid but reads as one.

This is the time of year when lots of quilters think of a word for the year,
I've done so myself a few times. Given the year we have had I felt that there was
not just one word but there are three which resonate with me

NURTURE
to take care of, feed, protect someone or something

KINDNESS
and
COURAGE

don't we all need a little of the above mentioned?
I know I certainly do, this coming year especially.
I'm sure that many of us also need a little of these three.

Adam Lindsay Gordon, an Australian poet in the 1800's
wrote a poem "Ye Wearie Wayfarer" and I quote four lines below

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
KINDNESS in another's trouble,
COURAGE in your own."

On a lighter note as I close my first post for 2021 here's
the early bloom on my white amaryllis


and now


there are 11 blooms right now, difficult to photograph them though.
Each bloom measures 6" across.
Needless to say I am thrilled!

Leaving you with Kereru at sunset

and he/she doesn't actually have speckles on his neck, I took this photo
through the window which needed a clean!!!

Happy Quilting

Maureen