Waiting In The Wings

Friday, March 29, 2024

Having too much of a good thing

Does the post title strike a chord with any other quilters besides myself? I think it may do so. I recall a post from Julierose some time ago in which she shared the word below:

SABLE   Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy

I know I certainly fall into that category, this past two weeks my sewing machine has been under wraps while I sorted and tidied my fabrics which are stored in various racks, boxes and cubbies. Boy, did I have a shock with the amount, I didn't realise how much I had!

We all need a stash whether quarters, yardage, scraps and so on. Let's have a look see at my halfway mark in the sorting process. No exciting quilt photos, just boring ones of fabric accumulation so you may feel like stopping here!

Tucked into  a little space by the side of my set of wooden drawers, not photographed but  containing current projects, are five large containers containing fabrics for future projects.

By the side of the above, under the window are the sets of plastic drawers below,

the left hand side drawers were kindly sorted into large scraps (2) and small scraps (1) by my granddaughter,  the right hand side are chock full of Hoffmans from years ago. Covered with an old quilt and a soft, fluffy piece of fabric they make a lovely bed for Leila who 'helps' with my quilting and watches for birds in the camellias outside the window.

I have a small room so an immediate turn to the right brings two very large fabric tubs filled with large pieces of fabric yardage, mostly KFC and ranging from 3 metres/yards up to 5 metres/yards

and I forgot to rotate this photo! Above these I have two tall sets, one having 1/4 pieces and the other half yard pieces - all these are KFC. Also containers for strips underneath.

On my sewing table below, always with  extension up are more small cubbies having all 2metre/yard pieces of KFC fabrics

A mess of fabrics spread around ready for more sorting

more mess and two more drawer sets just peeping out by the chair.

plus my wire baskets with more KFC, Tula, Anna Maria Horner and mixed others, these are more or less in colour order - sort of.

I haven't even covered the two large boxes of batiks, there's no room left in here, they live in another part of the house.

My thinking ability was fading fast so a quick walk helped, windy and  a little rain but a view of a calm sea.

 NO more fabric buying, no spending time seeing what's happening on Instagram - worst thing I did was give permission for youngest granddaughter to set me up. Bombarded with 'sponsored' or 'you may like' and a multitude of ads. and so on. My reason for going with Instagram was that a number of the bloggers  I followed are now on that platform and no longer blog! Schedule setting for my quilting time to fit in with my usual household chores is next.

If you've made it this far then thank you for your patience!


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Getting back to normality - playing with Lego

At last the family matters mentioned a couple of posts ago are a little smoother presently, thank goodness, I can now spend time at the machine!

One of my projects begun quite a while ago is now under the needle once again, I went for a real easy-peasy one, my Lego quilt.

These blocks were randomly placed on the floor, no particular order. The sun was hitting the RH side which changes the colour a little.  Seventeen blocks so far, each to finish at 10" square. I was going with the idea that 4 x 5 blocks would be fine, but now not sure, too small a size for a throw quilt I think. A large Lego bed quilt is not for me, I doubt I would sleep well tucked in with all that colour and movement! Probably better go with 5 x 6 throw size.

Another therapy has been visits down to Cockle Bay beach, just 10 minutes away from home. 

I love to see the effect of the sun glinting on the water, looks like it's snowing.

My suitcase Guild sale, mentioned in my last post, provided me with the means to buy - yes, more fabric - only a little,  and three books!! 

Number 1
You all know that I'm a believer in colour explosion in my quilts, but this book called to me and the quilts pictured can easily be interpreted in more vibrant colours, if needed. Hopefully by the end of year I'll have one to show.

This is from the Quiltmania collection and I've never heard of, but absolutely love, the author's name of Jenny Bear.

Number 2
A stunning book written by a New Zealander - Fleur Woods - how come I have never seen her work before!! It's a New Zealand published book. The cover photo perhaps gives the impression of purely embroidery content, the words on the cover say more,  she has put her stitching to good use with collage in one chapter. The photography, the text, the quality of the heavier paper than normal, even the font is beautiful, her words - magical. Her embroidery is unbelievable.

Just a snapshot below, she loves flowers

and her stitching

Kantha style. If you can possibly find it in your library, or a bookshop nearby and have a peek at the content you will be pleasantly surprised.

Number 3
The book below says it all for me, and many, many thousands of people in New Zealand.

At this point I have read only the introduction, it's going to be one of those books which will be impossible to stop reading once begun. At least for me.

Ooops - the garden photo, almost forgot. A lonesome Zinnia flowering and such an unusual colour

Until next time, happy days, happy reading and happy quilting.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Slow going - BB1 and Guild sale

Time has been limited for working with BB1. I had the centre piece but struggled with working on the style of border suggested by Audrey, other quilters taking part obviously didn't because they are producing  exciting pieces. I freely admit I'm finding this way of working a little difficult.

First border was needed, suggestions of two or more fabrics could be used, applique on said border relating to the centre design. I tried auditioning going with two different fabrics but similar colour scheme, no good.

My centre applique piece is quite formal in style and square, possibly the problem is within so re-thinking was needed, and I came up with this, corners  then a border. No applique you will notice!

The fabric is from the Vintage KF Collective range - Lichen, I'm really happy with this now and
actually would love to leave this piece just as it is, hand quilting and bind it!

My tardiness with BB has been due in part to sorting through older fabrics and books for my Suitcase Sale at our Quilt Guild this coming Saturday. Each month one member may have one or two trestle tables to lay out fabrics, books or any other quilting related product which they would like to sell. I definitely need two tables.

Books - 71

Fabrics - take a guess

Batik quarters, half yards and yardage, same with cotton fabrics. "Pot Luck"  bags with assortments of less than quarters and odd shaped pieces, bags of scraps and more. The green cardboard boxes have had to be taped up to stop the bottom giving way. 

The clear rectangular boxes are 20" x 12" and a depth of 6", I have three all ready and two more to pack.
A sort through of my Hoffmans has not happened due to time restraints, same with my solids. The large blue sack hold the remaining contents of the original huge black sack holding my mixed pieces, after spending hours on the sorting I decided that was the end, I had used up my energy and stuffed the remaining pieces/strips altogether. Smaller boxes of notions are still in the sewing room. 

Thankfully in the midst of all the sorting out I received a package of - yes, you've guessed - more new KF fabric, three colourways of Philip Jacob's Garden Party design. above. A  few more new designs came along for the ride.

NO KF Collective fabrics are in my sale, no chance, they are not leaving my little quilting studio.

Apologies for a not very exciting post today, things will be better next week when I have recovered!!


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Something Old, Something New

Something old - a number of years ago Julie posted a photo of a fabric she had decided to sell, if memory serves me she had originally intended it as a backing, correct me here if I'm wrong Julie, I thought it was just glorious and promptly said I was happy to purchase, here it is

still tucked away with my large yardage pieces waiting to border a quilt to be made. I think there is just over 5 yards.

Something new is the progress (slow) on Tussie Mussie but only three more rows to go. It's 80" square finished so I think this is going to have to be sent out for quilting. Could be tricky making a decision on the quilting design, something loose appeals, I'm not too happy with heavy quilting. My design wall is around 72" so anything larger has to go around a corner

two close ups here

My other new project is, of course, Bramble Blooms seen in previous posts and I'm still struggling with the border set up, had my centre applique been a looser design I think the borders would have been easier, BB1 will be having a break for a few days unless inspiration strikes suddenly!

On to something old and this one has a story, many of my quilts do have a story behind them but this one is very special to me. It's just a top right now and has been tucked away for the past 12 years, here's a couple of photos and then the story. This is Mollie's Quilt. 

Over the past 50 years we have  had one, two and sometimes three Irish Setters as part of our family. A short break when we came to live in New Zealand. So over the years we have had Crispin, Penny, Rufus, Chessie, Applejack, and Seamus and Mollie were our last two and these were brother and sister. Seamus was a big dog, Mollie a petite lady and as with the other girls we were pretty much inseparable, she was so pretty, a real sweetie.

Mollie became unwell some time before I happened to see two beautiful jelly rolls on a quilting site, I sent off for them. I noticed her weight was dropping a little and she had began having trouble breathing when walking and coughing now and again. Vet advised a CT - lungs and liver full of cancer and she had possibly a few days left! It was so very quick. My birthday was the 26th October and after a particularly bad attack I knew we were coming to the end of our friendship. We did so the next day with a visit to the house by our vet. There will be many among you who will know the emotions involved.

The following day the jelly rolls arrived and went straight into a drawer, I couldn't bear to work with them. Two years later I felt I would make a quilt in memory of her, the one above but the top then went back into the drawer again and only four days ago was I able to take it out, look at it and take the photographs. As it is 70" x 84" I think I'll have to send it out for quilting although I would really like to carry this out myself - I shall think about it for a little while longer.

Here's a photo of Mollie and also one with Seamus down at the beach.

On a brighter note I'll end with a photo of a small hanging from around 20 years ago when I was making pieces with silk and using arashi shibori to create the patterns which used to fascinate me. It's not possible to truly predict the outcome, just depended on the winding of the string/rope, the tightness and scrunching down around the tube and the placement on the silk of the dyes and also repeating the process sometimes twice or more.

Touched With Fire
So that's all from me, Happy Quilting


Friday, February 2, 2024

Just what happened to my January this year??

I posted on the 1st of January with plans galore for the coming year, sadly family health matters and my own health scuppered the plans totally. My reading of all your posts more or less came to a stand still, which saddens me greatly, my patchwork also, but, a new month now and things seem to be improving so here I am once again.

Good news - Sunny Days is now a fully sewn together top and awaiting it's turn in the quilting queue

I have yet to pick out a suitable backing. Quilt measurement 48" x 56". I used a  Victoria Findlay Wolfe
for the yellow triangles, had just enough fabrics to cover all the triangles - slight mishap with calculations so I hunted amongst a few of her newer ones - see lower right bottom right, thankfully they don't look too out of place as the yellow is the same shade as the original used.

Yesterday evening I was determined to have the quilt for our baby great granddaughter all finished, so here is the Lyra Rose quilt


quilted simply wth wavy lines to catch in the seams, they're not really noticeable here mainly because I used the perfect match of Aurifil pink.

The quilting lines are a little more visible on the photo below, this shows the backing also and you'll notice that I used the same fabric for the binding. It picks up the bright little pops of colour in the Tula fabric with tiny rainbows.

Measuring 34" x 44" with bamboo/cotton batting, very thin but it's so hot here that a thicker quilt would have been just too much.

I love Nasturtiums and they grow like crazy in our garden, a multitude of colours and the peppery smell is fascinating, same with the lovely veined leaves,  here's just about the last one now flowering for us, there is a story here.

After a session at the hospital my kind husband suggested we stop off at the largest patchwork store here in Auckland - The Ribbon Rose with three floors, one filled with fabric, another with the requirements for painting artists and the ground floor has stunning knitting wools, embroidery threads and lots more delights.

I headed to the top floor to browse the fabric whilst husband was in the painting department, I bought a little of the new AMH fabric but making my way back to the counter what should I spy but

this glorious Figo fabric. I immediately saw a future border here.

Home to Howick and called in Poppies book store, if you're a book lover, which both myself and husband are, then hours could be spent here. Comfy sofas to sit and browse and decide whether  a purchase should be made. I wandered around the Homes and Gardens section and immediately my eyes fell on a book by Tricia Guild, just the cover was enough to excite me but the contents were a colour dream.

Moody Blooms is the perfect title! I'll show a picture or two next time, it sits here on my bookshelf, a gift from my husband !!

I'll finish off now feeling so happy that I have had the energy and inspiration to write a blog after one month!!! Tomorrow morning is set aside for reading your blogs and then progressing to stitch the applique on the centre piece of Bramble Blooms 1.

Got to leave you now with a flower, a canna lily flowering in the heat here in Auckland.

See you again very soon, happy quilting and hope those of you dealing with the cold and snow are staying dry and warm.


Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year 2024 from New Zealand

Best wishes to all for the coming year!

I'm hoping 2024 will be a more productive year for me with my quilt projects. This week is set aside fo working out plans for better organised fabric storage, a plan for order of quilt tops to go under the machine, a full list of quilt tops to be quilted, another list of WIPs  and generally enjoying time in my little studio.

Next post I hope to have the above achieved - almost!  Sticking point right now is deciding how to quilt great grand daughters quilt, basted and rolled and under the needle, 

I'm thinking plain wavy lines over the seam lines, if anyone has a better idea then please let me know.

Some of you may remember me collecting my fabrics for the quilt below

I had quite a tub full but of course found more, one in particular was Hares in Bluebells, no hares in the fields where we played with bluebells, just rabbits, but I needed this, plus a few more which I thought would go well

The Hedgerow fabric here is not as bright as a lot of my other collected pieces but it will fit in somewhere.

already gathered and boxed below.

That's all I have for this short post today, let's see if I meet my target within the week. Oh, I also hope to work on my blog over the next few weeks, it does sorely need updating.