Waiting In The Wings

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Pink quilt for great-granddaughter

Folks I'm afraid I've been so slack in reading your posts, but you can see from my post title that we now have a new little one in the family! She arrived safely in the early hours of 28 November.

There had been concerns that she may be very premature due to a number of reasons, however grand-daughter went full term! Baby is very well, a good 9lb 6ozs at birth and a little beauty, sadly her mum has been quite unwell during and since giving birth. She is still in hospital and may be for some time to come. We have been very worried about her, still are and hoping for a good recovery.

All I have been able to do is make the quilt top for the little one amidst the many telephone calls and texts between all the families, I took the top out into the garden earlier, brilliant sunshine and yes, the grass is really that green here at the moment!

The top measures 34" x 44". Kaffe Fassett fabrics are Foxgloves left and right and Waltzing Matilda in the centre with quite an old pastel print, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Also can't recall the name of the lighter fabric with the Foxgloves! Tula Pink fabric is the delightful pink with tiny rainbows. Yet to decide on the backing but I think I may have enough of the Tula. Next week I hope to machine quilt.

That's all from me right now, I hope to spend time tomorrow catching up on many of the posts missed from you all.

Until next time, which I hope will not be too long, happy quilting and keep well.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Bramble Blooms 1 - applique and choosing pink fabrics

Just a very quick post, guessing most of you will be celebrating Thanksgiving today, hope you enjoy your time with family and friends.

I now have my applique blooms and vase all fused down on the centre panel of BB1, next step stitching!  Quilting Babcia left a comment on seeing my proposed flower shapes that they reminded her of crocuses - hooray, exactly what I had intended, I love crocus blooms and had a lot of Autumn Crocus in a previous garden, when in bloom they do not have leaves at all, they arrive after blooming is complete.

Here we are, these could be labelled as  'genetically modified' crocus - it would have been nigh impossible to create the crocus petals individually so I decided to have some fun and create a little quirky bunch of flowers.

Beginning tomorrow I will be deciding on fabrics from the stack below for a baby quilt, hopefully more on that subject next week. This will be a quick, simple small quilt.

So, that's all from me on the last Friday of November, how quickly the years go  by these days!

Hope you can all spend time with your needle and thread over the weekend.


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Playtime with Bramble Blooms 1

 Our second round of the BB was to create the centre piece using applique,  details of the QAL are in my last post HERE, also you could visit Audrey for all the updates.

After spending a heck of a lot of time thinking up ideas I decided to go simple, flowers in a vase! I will be using my machine for the applique. My inspiration for the shape of the vase is the one below, a very old one given to me by my Aunt.

After trying a few times I decided I had the shape drawn out pretty much as the original,  next step to figure out what to put in it. Sketch pad out again and many pages used before coming up with a few shapes. I cut out and played with placement, first one was this, you can see that the fabric for the vase has already been decided. I liked the odd number of five blooms but DH said he felt the RH side bloom made  the piece look slightly unbalanced

so I added another bloom cut out on the LH side plus a little fabric practice bloom, a decision will be made tomorrow as to which setting I prefer. Next step will then be fabric play, hopefully I'll have something more to show come the weekend.

In between planning BB1 I'm plugging away at my other machine sewing, two quilts and finishing up my hand quilting. Short post this time, back soon.


Friday, November 3, 2023

Something New - QAL Bramble Blooms

Something new for me.

Audrey at QuiltyFolk has suggested and organised a QAL, instead of my trying to explain fully what she has in mind I suggest you click on the link for all the information. Main thing is that it's a long term project, covers hand applique and an improv style. No definite pattern to follow. She has suggestions for pulling fabrics from stash, preferably older fabrics but is open to individual ideas. 

I have had a couple of email conversations with Audrey as my colour likes are bright and bold, and full of pattern (those who follow me will know what I work with) and I suspect they may be pretty different to the colours which other participants choose to go with. I still have to go into my scrap boxes for other fragments. My main "older" fabrics I sold some time ago and I don't use many solids in my quilts.

So, here we go and I have picked out four colours to work with




Yes, there are quite a lot of darks but having tried them all against the Merlot Spot they do work well.  Of the fabrics shown a few are newer ones, others quite a few years old.

The centre panel can be made up of a few different fabrics, a good example on Audrey's post, or cut from one fabric only, I'm going with the fabric shown below using a rectangular for my centre. Yes, it is pretty extreme but I feel it will work, I have used darker centres before in medallion style quilts. This will also come into the borders at some stage.

Merlot Spot

This was the one I pulled before auditioning any others, it was the only one that did it for me, paler ones were lost with the bright colours.

Size of the rectangle 22and1/2" x 26and1/2".

On the RH side of Audrey's blog is a box listing participants of the QAL, head over and visit.

Enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Almost at the finish line

Six more blocks to be made later today for Sunny Days which will be six blocks across and seven down.

When I began with this quilt it was to be for my expected great-grand-daughter, not for a new born but perhaps a play mat when she's at the stage of beginning to roll over and study what she's laying on. I later became aware that grand-daughter was having as much pink as possible!!

Change of plan needed,  I've enjoyed so much stitching this little quilt so it's going to live here with me!
My stash will be raided for an appropriate mix of pinks for a first new baby quilt, as due date is one month away I need to motor along. 

Things have been slow here due to recovery time from oral surgery, not the most of enjoyable procedures I have to say, but necessary. I have almost finished up quilting Northern Lights and made two Bear Paw blocks to go over to Chris English in Huddersfield, you can click on the link to take you to his site, he is extremely active on Instagram. More in my next post on this.

Ideally Chris would have preferred to go with recycled fabrics but as I don't have any I'll send these on to him, his choice as to whether he includes them or not.

Next up for hand quilting will (hopefully) be Desert Rose below.

Dare I tell you all that this was made as part of a QAL using a Jen Kingwell pattern
Midnight At The Oasis, begun in 2013 and hosted by Sharon McConnell aka Color Girl Quilts!!!
I didn't follow the pattern exactly, a few of the borders were pretty complex and I ducked out of them! 
Can't remember exactly when  I finished this one but it was easily two years or more afterwards.  I think the hand quilting might take me some time.

Here's the backing fabric

So, that's all to report on the quilting side of things here, but I do have a photo I'd like to share of an oil pastel piece of art recently done by my husband. Many times I'd said I would love a rickety shed in the garden, thinking of the shed - which actually wasn't rickety -  in our garden in Christchurch and which I loved! In reality a shed in the back garden here is not going to happen but I now have this one instead, definitely rickety.

it's now framed and on the wall and I love it.

Can't finish up without flowers in my garden, a  David Austin rose

Princess Alexandra

and a lovely Osteospermum, couldn't resist the colour!

Everything in the garden is now beginning to flower, dahlias are shooting up, always a cheerful sight.
Back to the machine for me now, cup of tea by my side.


Saturday, October 7, 2023

September - quilting, a flood, a Featherweight and of course fabric

Let's deal with the flood as quickly as possible. 10 days ago, burst cold water pipe going to shower, 4.30am. Husband thought it was raining hard, water coursing through the new outside drain. Visit to the bathroom, stepped out the bedroom door and straight into water, through all the hall, the study and of course the bathroom, water just gushing. After 20 mins able to close off the mains. Now dealing with the aftermath - absolutely awful and very expensive - dealing with insurance at the moment and coping with huge de-humidifier machines to draw moisture from wherever!

On to quilting:  Northern Lights

begun hand quilting the  lilac pieces in the blocks using DMC Perle 8, the colour below, I love the variegated threads

next up will be the red/orange blocks, again variegated thread

I have yet to find a similar thread in a blue/green colourway. A good excuse to visit the patchwork store.

Fabric: Tilda Hibernation

This is such a sweet range and perfect for a quilt for a little girl, cue - expected great granddaughter, this will become part of a quilt when she's older. I'm a great believer in being prepared!

Here's one of the latest from Philip Jacobs - Curly Kale

I can't wait to be busy on a quilt using this fabric, the colours are beautiful. I see a border somewhere in the future.

Singer Featherweight 221K  

Bought around 25 years ago and I made one of my Indonesian batik quilts using this machine. Why this little beauty went back into her carrying case I can't recall but probably because I was making clothing in addition to quilts and it was easier to just have my Bernina set up.

A little history:

Production date was 14th September 1953 and  5,000 were commissioned.
She was produced in Kilbirnie, Scotland. Using her serial number I was able to gather the information above. Sadly her cable covering leading to the plug has given up totally, after 70 years I'm not surprised so it's off to the the repair shop within the next two weeks. I have looked at the price of a Featherweight here in New Zealand presently and they're really very expensive, this one cost me NZ$250. What sort of price are they in the USA?

I have never given any of my machines a name before but this one is different. Thinking of my younger days up to the age of around 15 years old, we had such delightful neighbours whom I loved dearly. All of my grandparents had died before I was born and so Mr and Mrs Wadsworth  became surrogate ones, at least to me. So this darling is going to bring back many happy memories by having the name Mrs Wadsworth!

The original manual and even the oil can, much troubled by old age, are still in the case but the attachments, of which there are many, are still in pristine condition.

If you have made it this far then congratulations! I do have a couple more photos if you can bear to continue, latest book from Kaffe Fassett - splendid and colourful as usual.

Two of my feathered friends soaking up the sun on the old verandah

The End!!

See you soon, happy quilting until then.


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.