Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Light and dark

scrappy teal, that is 

Kate, from Tall Tales from Chiconia is making another fundraising quilt for ovarian cancer. This time it's a tribute to a friend of hers who passed away recently, and Kate has designed a stunning quilt which is called In The Arms of the Angels.  You can see her sketched out plan here and the story behind the quilt.

Kate put out the call for help to make background and border blocks, and so I put my hand up for a couple of these.  The background needed to be in soft shades of teal, aqua, blues and creams and I used scraps to make this kind-of log cabin. I included some pieces that didn't make it when I was playing around with ideas for blocks for the Go Teal it on the Mountain quilt.

And a couple of antique tiles in reverse colourway. Kate wanted low contrast blocks, without a strong pattern that would 'jump out'. 

These two rectangles are 12x18, and are for the borders, with once again ' patterns that don't jump out as these are to be a mosaic to frame the inner window'.  I was running low on teal fabrics by now, and while I have plenty of small scraps, I didn't want to have tiny pieces in such large blocks, so had to be a bit creative in joining the larger scraps......some being 2.5 x4 or 4x4 and saving the few long pieces I had for the outer edges.


Check out Kate's post here to see the start of the quilt going together, and the magnificent set of 3D wings Kate has made. It's really worth having a look to get a clear idea of Kate's vision and how my scrappy blocks will work together with others being sent from around the world.

Joining in with Kate and Gun's monthly Scrap-Happy Day, which is open to anyone using scraps of anything.....fabric, paper, wood, anything that turns your scraps into something useful. Details are on Kate's blog.

See you next time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Giving myself a push

to get on and finish 

I'm good at starting things, good at keeping up the momentum of doing a bit, here and there, but not always the best at finishing.  I keep busy and rarely sit down during the day, and amble from task to task....the necessary chores of cleaning, changing litter boxes, tidying and so on, then into the garden, see to the chooks, or out for a walk or a chat over the fence with a passer-by. Then there's a bit of sewing, laundry or tidying, soap or jam making, wash the dog or go pick vegetables and do 'something' with them. A friend says she likes the way I hum along in my day with tasks and chores, and I do get a lot done, but not always focused on one task.....the joys of being retired I guess, and being able to please myself how I spend my days.

But sometimes I have to step up, and now is one of those times's a good friend's 75th birthday at the end of February, and I started a lap quilt for her last winter. It has a number of red work stitcheries, and I wanted to give myself not only time to work on them, but to enjoy the process as well.  February  seemed a long way away back in July, but here we are, in a new year, and suddenly the quilt needs to be ready next month !

I have eight stitcheries done, of varying sizes, from 9 Inches square down to 4 inches. They're all Bronwyn Hayes's patterns, from Red Brolly Designs, and this isn't one quilt pattern, but odd stitchery patterns I've saved over the years from various stitching and quilting magazines.

 So I've started to add borders to bring the blocks to the same size, trialling how that might be......log cabin style, coins.....I haven't decided yet....and some pieced blocks to make the quilt a decent size.  I'm wanting to use scraps and my (limited) stash so that will determine how that's all done. I also have some more patterns if I need to add more stitcheries.

And the post title?  I've put it out here now that I want to finish this quilt, but I'm also linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal with my January goal being to at least have the quilt top finished. We'll see.  

I have sewing to do.....see you next time. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mountains of Hope

Mountains of Teal

Lately, one of the sewing projects I've been working on has been making quilt blocks depicting mountains. Once again, Kate from Tall Tales from Chiconia put out the call for teal and cream blocks for another wonderful quilt to raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Society. In her usual clever and fun punning style, Kate has called this year's quilt  Go Teal It on the Mountain. I had put my hand up to make 2 blocks, but ended up making 3.

I live with Mt Warning right at my back door, a mammoth peak that's the remnant of the volcanic shield, and standing at over 1000m, it can be seen from all over the valley, from the Border Ranges in Queensland and from the coast as well..  This mountain is what drew me to the Valley many years ago, and I never tire of seeing and photographing her, in all her moods, rain or shine, and from different angles and views.  Mt Warning... or Wollumbin to give her indigenous a sacred site to the local Bundjalung people.

So it was obvious Mt Warning was going to be one of my blocks. I decided on an applique block, and used Australiana fabrics to highlight the complex network of steep ridges and valleys that fall away from the heights. These hills and ridges have great names like the Sisters, Brummies, Blue Knob, Egg Rock and Doon Doon!

My second block is also a sacred mountain, far from here. Back in 2014 I joined a group from Australia to make a pilgrimage to Mt Kailash .....Kangrinbroque Peak.....on the high western plateau of Tibet.  We travelled by bus from Lhasa to our base at Darchen, then began the trek, firstly a day's walk to Dirapuk Monastery, where we rested and adjusted to the high altitude.....4800 metres. Then we walked 3 days up through the Dolma-la  Pass (5700m) where the weather changed dramatically and we trudged through snow and freezing, biting sleet. This trail descended back to Darchen, and took us 3 days of walking, trudging really, completing our circuit of the mountain. This brief description does nothing to describe my awe, the sense of 'coming home', and the deep connection I felt being near this mountain, and in those wind swept high mountain passes.

I took all these photos from around Dirapuk Monastery, and from up behind our accommodation.....the buildings in the picture at lower right.

Although the sun was shining and the sky was blue, it was actually freezing at the camp at Dirapuk, and I wanted my block to depict this......the snow laden peak and the cold and remote landscape.

I hadn't planned a 3rd block, but this photo a friend posted on a local facebook group stirred my imagination. I hadn't seen Mt Warning from this angle before, with the curve and sweep of the Tweed River so evident. This was taken recently when westerly winds pushed the dust storms from the central west of the state across the range and into the valley.

Photo with permission Raymond Condon

Although I had deadlines for a couple of other projects, I knew I had to do "something " with this image, and after drawing and fiddling with fabric for a couple of days, came up with this appliqued block, River Dreaming.

I wanted to capture the look the mountain has in certain lights, and different times of day, where it looks like a cardboard cut-out against the sky, with no definition of the network of ridges and valleys that radiate out from the mountain. The Tweed River is the other dominant feature of the landscape here, so I took some creative licence and moved the river source up into the high ridges of the mountain, where it would've flowed from eons ago, eroding and deepening the valleys over time, and then carving out the river's present day basin and flood plain. 

If you'd like to see the other blocks that've been made for this quilt, here's a link to Kate's fundraising quilt page. Do go have a look, there are beautifully-wrought mountains in fabric, many with personal stories and memories for the makers.  They will take your breath away, and Kate will do a wonderful job, as always, of combining them into a magnificent quilt.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

F2F - Five more

lucky...and lovely....last

The last of my blocks from the F2F Block Swap have arrived, all the way from Esther, from the Netherlands.

Esther kindly sent 5 blocks........ 3 with blue backgrounds

and these 2 with pink backgrounds.

So that's 27 blocks I have now, plus whatever I make for myself, so lots to be playing with and decisions to be made about a layout. 

I sent off  Miss October' s blocks earlier in the week to Moira..... a chocolate, coffee, cream and blue palette.....which I can't show until she receives them.  So now it's time to turn my thoughts to Miss November's colour choices and blocks. Robin has chosen this lovely bright palette, and it's going to be interesting working with these colours. One of the good things about this swap is the challenge of working with colours I wouldn't choose for myself.

So, time to get on. The sun's lifting from behind the trees, and the fog ....which has been rolling in along the river most days...... has started to burn away, so time to release the hound and have a walk before the day starts to get hot. Actually, the hound is still in bed, sleeping, so time to stir her. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

ScrapHappy day - October

No waste - waste triangles 

I meant to post this ScrapHappy Day post yesterday, the 15th, but had a nap instead. So better late than never.

While browsing around on Pinterest, looking at scrappy quilt inspiration, this lovely bright block  caught my eye. It's from here and the maker used up scrap triangles to make the blocks, rather than hst and set them in an ocean waves pattern.


Seeing all those little "waste" triangles, the bits cut off the corners of hsts, reminded me I had some saved "somewhere" so went rummaging and found this lot. I hate throwing anything out, and save the hard plastic containers that berries and cake come into the house in (I don't buy ready made cakes from the supermarket, but friends do and bring to share) They're the ideal size to put those waste triangles in and stack neatly on a cupboard shelf.

Saved in plastic "waste" containers

Not strawberries, little waste triangles
 These purple remnants came from the op shop, and are the perfect colour for background blocks, as the small pieces will show up well against the darker mauve. I cut them into 4 inch squares and sewed a tiny triangle across one corner.

And ended up with these..........I could sew them together like little butterflies......

or into ocean waves like the red ones above.  I'll make a good pile of them before I decide. 

Knitting for Brisbane's Needy has put out the call for baby blankets to go to an organisation that supports young mums who are on their own, so I'll work towards it going there.

Kate and Gun host ScrapHappy Day on the 15th of each month, so go visit if you want to see what other scrappy goodness is happening around the world. So far there are scrap hexies, jewel box stars and zeppelins...... that's a tempting line-up and definitely worth a look. If you're inspired to join in, follow the link to either Kate's or Gun's blog and they'll get you going. It's easy.

The sun's out, and it's exciting, after not seeing it for nearly 2 weeks, but just for a little while, as there're storms racing in from the west, but plenty of time to get out in the garden and potter a bit, check out what's grown, what's been damaged in the wild weather, smell the newly blooming roses and sweet peas and maybe pull a few weeds. I've missed being out there.

So till next time............

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Good cheer in the mailbox

We've had days of rain, and almost everything else lately the weather can throw at us, apart from snow, and further north, there was a tornado, pretty much unheard of in Australia, that caused a lot of damage and injury to people. I'm not complaining about the rain, it's so badly needed, and some of this system has pushed west and north, where they've been hit hard by the drought and really need the rain.  It's just cold, colder than spring in the sub-tropics should be, and a bit miserable.



Hail...... more than once
Supercell storms
So it was a lovely surprise today, dashing out between downpours, to discover a little parcel waiting in the mailbox.......another F2F swap squishie. It was from Robin in Canberra this time, and as she's been very unwell with pneumonia,  I was doubly impressed that she'd managed to make...and get to the post office to send.....4 beautiful blocks.

And look at this gorgeous fussy cut teapot.

Baskets with ric-rac handles

Double hourglasses ?

Robin said she loves blue, and has so many blue fabrics she found it hard to choose which to use. I can well believe it, there's certainly plenty in this block!

So I thought it was time to put them all together for a look. Not in any particular arrangement, just as I picked them up off the pile.

Too many for one photo, so here's the second half.

Such a lovely array of blues and pinks, I think they're going to come together nicely whatever I decide to do with them.  There's still 3 to come from the Netherlands, and then two more to make for myself, or however many I decide I need /want.  

So I'll leave you with this crosspatch, who's not at all bothered by the incessant rain, but rather was peering over my shoulder, wanting to be fed, and rather cross that I stayed at the computer and didn't immediately jump up to do her bidding. 

Time to pull on boots and raincoats......yes, Mirrhi has one too......and go stretch our legs and put the chooks to bed.

till next time........