18 June 2008

Hello again ...

Well, it's been the longest time, hasn't it :-)
The good thing about that is, that projects are finished and others are progressing.
The "(two inches wide)" quilt is finished. Quilted and bound :And here is a detail of the quilting, where you can also see the pink binding. The pink is the same fabric that is used in the blocks so it all ties together nicely :What you cannot see is, that the quilter not only threw bubbles all over the place (which I like), but that she also used a variegated thread for the quilting, which sort-of "lifts" a quilt that could have been very dark in the general tone.

Active at the moment are just two projects. I know the sidebar says 3 projects, but Lollipops are not being worked on unless I'm travelling, and seeing that I'm biking to work right now, there is no time to sew on that one. SO, what I am presently actually working on are :
Boxed Stars (which is not what Jinny Beyer calls it, but I cannot remember her name for it in "Quiltmaking by Hand", so I use my own). This picture is
1. A mock-up on the design-wall.
2. Just a small fraction of the blocks I have made so far, but I'm more than half-way with the blocks. That, however, does not mean that I'm more than half-way with the quilt or even with the top. Never underestimate the border, and never underestimate the time and effort that goes into putting a top together !

And then a true scrap-project. 4" scraps, many from a charm-club I belonged to for a year or two waaaay back, the rest from my own scrap-bag. I've cut 700+ tumblers using an Ardco template for it. This quilt is truly scrappy and it is pieced in a truly random fashion ... the latter meaning that red will touch red and that there will be "runs" of lights together etc. It is a rag-bag of fabrics and colours. Machine-pieced and will be machine quilted too.Halfway with the piecing of the rows on that one too.
So, that is one of the reasons you haven't heard a lot from me. I'm working, both paid work and on projects ... and then - of course - summer is here, which means less time at the 'puter and more time on the deck.

03 June 2008

Finally sending off !

Right after posting the winners of the Inklingo give-away, I got work, and have - literally - been working every day since. Today is my first chance at mailing anything, or - indeed - posting here.

SO, the 4 of you who have sent me your snail-mail addy : Your muslin-bits are on their way !
The rest of you : why didn't you contact me ?

There is still time :-) I still have plenty of muslin hanging around here :-) needing to be used :-)

And, as you can see, no comments with street-addresses have been published on my blog, so ... don't be afraid. I won't tell the world where you live :-)

17 May 2008

And the Winners ...

This drawing was held in May of 2008 !!
There are no more muslin bits to give away now.

HOWever, if you want to try out Inklingo, Linda Franz has a free collection that you can download. All it will cost you is your e-mail addy and a password. You can see it right HERE
And to see some suggestions on what could be done with the free Inklingo download, please go HERE

So, please. No more comments asking to be in the drawing. It is over and done with, and has been for a loooong time :-)
Thank you.

- - -

And the winners of the Inklingo-printed muslin are :
ALL of you who left a comment :-)
Yes. Only 11 people have commented, and one doesn't even want any muslin, so ... that's 10 of you who need to contact me with your snail-mail addy.
The easy way to do this is, to leave a comment on this posting. As most of you have found out, I moderate all comments on this blog, so ... putting your address in a comment does NOT send it out on the www, only into my postbox.
So. Let me have your full name and snail-mail addy. Yes ye in the US and Oz-land too :-) and I will send two sheets of muslin, printed with Inklingo HST that finishes at 1½".

Congratulations :-)

12 May 2008

Top finished

Yes. The Indigo-and-Shirtings top is now a finished top.

And the picture here is just the top. There will not be much difference between this one and the finished quilt, so this might be all you get.
HOWever, to become a quilt it needs to be quilted.
To become quilted it needs to be basted.
To become basted, I need to clear the table and put leaves in it, find and iron backing, find and hang batting to "even out" ....
I hope to baste tomorrow ...

09 May 2008

Half Square Triangles with Inklingo

What do you do with an excess of muslin cut-offs. They are good quality, but I have no clue which ones (if any) tie in to the other muslins I have on my shelves.

First : wash the fabric. I live with 2 teen-agers, 2 cats, and a rabbit. It has probably been washed, but heaven alone knows who has been in it since then ... with what.
So, washed it is.

Iron freezer-paper to the right side of it. No, wait, this is muslin, so it really doesn't matter which side it is. Now, for the sake of frugality, I ought to cut custom-sizes of the freezer-paper, to give me the best use of both fabric and freezer-paper, but I really can't be bothered.

Trim the fabric from the edges of the freezer-paper.

Re-iron the edges and corners (just to be on the safe side)

Pop your Inklingo, shape-collection # 2 into the 'puter (no picture. I tried, but I am *not* a good photograper)

Print 1½" half-square triangles (HST). Inklingo gives you the finished size, so what comes out will finish at 1½". Printed, each shape will be more like 2½", but ... that includes seam-allowance on all sides :-) I have chosen to print this sheet of muslin in Inklingo colour # 02. I probably could get away with using the lightest colour (# 00), but ... my eyes are becoming middle-aged :-) besides, it doesn't seem to show on the front. Still, the lines are not nearly as visible in the picture as they are in real life :-)

Repeat the above as desired.

Layer with coloured fabric
Sew along the dotted lines
Cut apart on the un-dotted lines. Trim.
You are now ready to roll, making some of the many blocks that are possible with HST.

The real beauty of this is, that there is no measuring. No cut-off points (if you've followed the sewing-lines). Perfect size. Every time !!!
And *that* is why I love Inklingo.
Preparation is extremely fast, and the results are as close to perfect as it can be, if I just follow the lines :-)

And honestly ? My opinion is, that Inklingo is bloody brilliant (pardon my French).

P.S. You can download a free trial-version of Inklingo right here. And yes, it is a LeMoyne star, and yes, it has triangles, 45-degree diamonds and squares. Lots of shapes for you to enjoy.

05 May 2008

May goals

I'm back from my road-trip. Great and stress-free. No kids. No DH. No cats. No rabbit. Just me to consider. Sleeping in. Buying fabric (yes). Stopping at sights and get an icecream. Moving on when I felt like it.
Very nice. I think I'll repeat it soon :-)

Above is how far the Indigo-and-Shirtings quilt got before I went away. Time to focus on it again ... which leads me to my May goals ... sewing-wise, that is. I like to set up goals for me. Not too hard or demanding. Just enough to help me keep at it. And this May, my goals are to keep on keeping on with the following :
  1. Indigo and shirtings (with the provisionary name of "Perfectly good").
  2. Boxed stars
  3. Lollipop Trees
That's 3 big quilts. I hope (plan) to at least finish the Indigo-and-Shirtings top this month, and to move the two others forward.

I have started applique'ing the first Lolipop-block and ... whoah ... that's the easiest and fastest applique I have ever done in my life. HUGE bits :-) and next to no tricky inner points that frays and acts up. I am beginning to think this top might be finished in less than 5 years :-)

Oh, and via a comment on a previous post, I found out that there are at least 4 others out there in blog-land doing Lollipop trees : Kathie over at "Inspired by Antique Quilts", and her freinds at "Sew Easily Distracted", "Canterbury Quilts" and "Will Work for Fabric".
Now, what I find really ... interesting :-) is, that these 4 seem to be doing Dear Jane blocks (and I am a Jane ... have one finished full-size Jane-quilt, and lots of small ones), AND they are doing Feathered Stars. I have not started on a Feathered Star quilt / block yet, but ... I recently acquired Marsha McCloskey's book, and look forward to doing (at least) one.

01 May 2008

Have a wonderful week-end

Spring has sprung in Copenhagen. Pear-tree (and apple-tree) is in bloom.
Lovely, isn't it ?

I'm off on a road-trip and will not be back until Sunday. Visiting freinds and quilt-shops :-)
Life can be hard :-)

30 April 2008

Much more to my taste

Here's the glue-basted block # 2 of the Lollipop Trees (or, as my DH referred to it "That Candy Plantation")
MUCH more to my taste. With kick ... donkey colours :-)

And as I was putting things away yesterday evening, I suddenly realized exactly what it was that was all wrong with the first block. Or at least, why it was so very displeasing to me :-)
That is now emended.

You might not be able to see what has changed, but the general feel of the block is very different to my eyes. 4 circles out, 4 new circles in. Easy :-)
Anyway. Two prepared, 14 to go ... and then lots of small blocks. But at this rate, preparation will be a piece of cake.

29 April 2008

Back to Lollipop Trees

Well, "(two inches wide)" is now a finished top, and is winding its way towards the LAQuilter who also quilted "The Advantages of Natural Folly" ... with which it shares colours, fabrics and history :-) Anyway, here it is :
And then ... do you remember the Lollipop Trees ? That I started last year, and found so ... disenheartening that I decided to stall the project for as long as it took to either get me exited about it again, or decide to not do it.
Well. The first block (that disenchanted me somewhat, seeing that it is too bland for my taste), is now (finally) basted and ready to roll. The background fabric for this one is a soft mauve with leanings of green. I cannot say that I love this block, and I might decide - in the end - to re-do it entirely. Time will tell.

This time, with advice from the creator of the pattern and the original quilt, Kim McLean, I have started the other way round : by picking the fabrics. Block # 2 will be fuchsia and cobalt on a bed of very light green.
The selection has been made, and the 3 fabrics for the "big bits" has been chosen. So ... lets see how this one plays out. The fabrics I have pulled look harmless enough when presented like this, but they do have more zing than the above block, and that's what I want.
This one will be glue-basted, and - in the end - have a big basting-stitch run through all the bits (on the machine) to ensure that they stay put until the block is finished. This might take a while, seeing that the ambition is to prepare all the applique before starting to actually sew :-)
... 'tho I just might bring block # 1 for a week-end at freinds' place.
... just to see.
BUT the plan will still be, to prepare ahead as fast as possible. Project preparation is my achilles heel when it comes to quilts. I find it to be mostly boring and definitely time-consuming. The strategy of preparing "everything" ahead worked wonderfully with SE-2, so I hope it'll work with this one too.

26 April 2008

The easiest shawl in the world !

Standard knitting abbreviations (at least I think they are) can be found at Knitty.com
Disclaimer : I take no responsibility for your possible addiction to making these. They are really fast to make, very easy to do if you can just do the knit-stitch, and the "long" edges means that it is great to snuggle in to on cold days.

Use any sort of good, fine yarn. Preferably one with a bit of texture on its own. The above is knitted with a mohair-yarn, which needs a size 4 needle (European), or - if you want to have a loopy and lacey quality, something larger. I have used a size 8 needle for the ones show in this post (there are two more, made with variegated yarns, below).
It runs 300 m to 100 gram (and if you want to translate that into US measurements, you can go to this converter site)

To get a nice edge (on any knitting): On every row, take the first stitch off without knitting it. If you - like I have done on this shawl - only do knitting and no purling, take it off as if it was a purl-stitch. You will get a lovely, even edge this way. Over at Knitty, they call this :

slip one as if to purl

You will also need to increase with 4 stitches on every other row, and (again from Knitty), they call this :

m1 : Make 1 stitch: Insert left needle, from front to back, under strand of yarn which runs between last stitch on left needle and first stitch on right needle; knit this stitch. 1 stitch increased. If you "just" knit, you will have a "hole" in your knitting, and for this shawl, I consider it a desired effect :-) If you don't want that hole, knit through the back loop.

And finally, the directions :

Cast on 5 stitches, any old way you want :-)

All un-even number of rows (1, 3, 5 etc) : slp, knit the rest.

2. slp, k 1, m1, k1, m1, k 2 (7 stitches).
4. slp, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, k2 (11 stitches)

- and now the "fun" begins :-) I would advise you to put a thread loosely in there, just before the middle stitch, to help yourself keep track.

6. slp, k1, m1, k3, m1, k1, m1. k3, m1, k2
8. slp, k1, m1, k5, m1, k1, m1. k5, m1, k2

Every other row, the amount of stitches between the first two and the last two increases, are +2. The bold-type above
And now, you just go on this way, until you run out of yarn :-) I can make a "big enough" shawl, using a good quality, fairly thin, fuzzy yarn, with 150 grams ... that would equal 450 meters of yarn on needles size 8 :-)

As announced : two other shalws knitted from this pattern. Both with a variegated yarn.

20 April 2008

Two Inches Wide - again

Well, you have now seen the big diamond-quilt "The Advantages of Natural Folly", and one or two might remember the layout I had on my designwall, using some of the full-size diamonds that didn't make it into the big quilt, and some half-size ones as well. The working-title of that one is "(two inches wide)" seeing that that is indeed the size of the smaller diamonds.
Well, the top is almost finished. Still needs the final border.

And yes, the small diamonds used to "set" the larger ones are really only 2" wide. And each side is 2" too. Half-size.
I put it together on the machine. Not my favourite way of doing things, and there are points that do not meet as perfectly as they would have done, had I put it together by hand.
So, not perfect, but - with the words of a fellow struggler against UFOs - perfectly good.

And then I had the inspiration to take the top out into our tiny yard, to set off the colours with the spring-colours found in the yard right now ... and this is what happened :

Rabbit was told "munch and die" so ... after a little while she pottered off the top, and I could put it back on the safety of the wall.
What is it with critters and quilts ?

18 April 2008

Old news

I realized that there are actually 3 quilts that I have only shown partially or unfinished. My 3 most recent big-quilt finishes ! SO to amend that, here are 3 pictures :-)
The "oldest" finish, from the summer of 2007 "The Advantages of Natural Folly" :

Then comes "The Sampler", made mostly with blocks from Dear Jane and Dear Hannah, but the blocks are 6" square rather than the 4½" found in DJ and DH. Finished in February this year

Finally, SE-2. A not-quite copy, but close sibling to the triangle-quilt I made for Brenda and for the Dear Hannah book. Got it quilted exactly like the first one :-) And the first one, which is in the Dear Hannah-book, and lives in the collection of Brenda Papadakis, is called Sara Eleonora for my DDaughter. Hence the name SE-2 :-) Finished in March this year.

17 April 2008


Yes. "Allsorts" the applique album quilt with 96 blocks each 4½" square (and then sashed so the quilt got a decent size), is now FINISHED.

Quilted, bound and signed (with a pigma-pen on the back, but signed !)
And here it is :-)
First block sewn on June 1st 2003 (!), quilting started October 29th, 2007, last stitch on binding taken yesterday evening, April 16th, 2008.
Hand applique. Hand quilting.
Go me :-)

14 April 2008

I forgot ...

Being organized in one (small) area of one's life does not of a necessity indicate, that one has it all together. SO, here's a picture of the finished Raspberry Truffle quiltlet. 22" square (or thereabouts), made with 2 sets of charms and some added chocolate-fabric. Not by any stretch of the imagination is it great quilt-art, but ... it's a nice enough piece. Useful and cute, and really ... how much more can one expect :-)

And here's a closer look at the binding. Not huge, but wider than I usually make them ... if not, how could one see that it is indeed chocolate-fabric on the edge :-)

13 April 2008

Feeling organized ...

Feeling organized is *always* a dangerous thing with me.
Feeling organized AND being on the last leg of finishing a project is a killer-combination. Occasionally one has to give in to temptation ... or one does not deserve it !
And all of this translates into the fact, that today a PIG has been dug out of the closet, and is being experimented on ... oh, and to avoid any humane societies (which - strangely (considering the name) - has to do with animals) becoming upset about my experimenting with PIGs, let me hasten to assure you that these are the textile variant : Project In Grocerybag.

This particular PIG consists of gorgeous South African Indigoes, lots of different US shirtings. The original plan was to make Bear's Paw blocks, but ... I reconsidered that. I'm thinking that something excruciatingly simple is in order, to show off the indigoes properly, and ... here are the experiments so far :

And then, in order to not make more scraps, I'm not only cutting up the remnants as I go, I am joining them into small (2" finished) and medium-size (4" finished) 4-patches :

*And* I even have the 4-patch "kits" gathered in a tin, pin through the f, to be leaders-enders the Bonnie Hunter way :-) And, eventually, they will possibly be a doll to lap-size quilt :

Yes. I am feeling very organized today ... good thing I'm not showing pictures of the floor :-)

12 April 2008

Organizing !

OK. Scraps have now been dealt with. And the box of ironed and cut scraps is overflowing.

They used to fit into the box in the back of the picture (to your left) , but ... not any more.
The front bit is a box with 2" squares. Next row is a bag with 4" squares, destined to become a Tumbler-quilt (in the fullness of time) and 1 ½" squares, ready to be made into tiny scrappy 4-patches. In the back, the 2½, 3, 4 and 5" squares.

And I will *not*, NOT get a bigger box !!!

After cutting and sorting and generally dealing with (most of) my scraps, I decided it was time that my sewing-boxes (yes, plural) got a work-out.
First empty 3 boxes (on the right) :

Then empty the "Present handwork on the couch"basket and the "loose change" carry-along bags as well.
And we have a fine old mess on what was, 2 minutes previously, a nice, fairly empty table.

BUT less than 10 minutes of focused attention brought the mess down to this (on the right) ! There really was a table and a cutting mat beneath all the ... stuff :-)
And even that got cleared away, as I gathered everything necessary into the 3 nice boxes I have
To the left is the one for hand-quilting (I bought the candy for the box).

To the right / below, is the box for applique. Yes. I've taken off the lids, so you can see them. That's what makes these boxes seriously nice :-)

And finally, below left, my present work on the couch basket with the hand-sewing tools necessary to piece or - as is the case right now - to handsew a binding down.

All in all, not a bad result of today's organizational zeal ... even if I do say it myself

06 April 2008

Scraps !

I'm in scrap-mood.
Forced on me by the need to find / make a binding for Allsorts. I only have two repeats left to quilt of the border-design, after which it will desperately need a binding.
I ordered some fabrics to test, but none of them really worked with the quilt. SO, last ditch effort is making a striped binding, comprising of all the batiks that make up the applique's.
Which necessitates my cutting the strips first.
As luck would have it, the bag of miscellaneous batik-cuts, used for the applique, had not yet been sorted or cut into squares and strips, so ... that's happening now.
And as I work, I realise some things.
First : It is a joy to go through fabrics you have used, that you know and that you love. There is no sadness in cutting up the last itty bit of a scrap of fabric that has been used for several different projects. Only joy.
And remembrance.
And the knowledge, that when next I fondle this little bit, it will be because it goes into yet another quilt, and yet again tells me stories of the diverse usages that one piece of fabric can have.
ANYway. This is what my table looks like right now.
Slightly messy, but still workable.
To the right, the strips that will be turned into a binding. At least I hope the monster-stripe that will result will work as a binding. If not, I'm up the creek with that.
Top right : the cut-offs. The bits that cannot be used for anything even remotely sensible.
Centre left : a strip of the first batik I ever bought, and two tiny squares of a yellow that has had a long and productive existence in my stash, being used for Jane-style hexagons, a RowJane, a Baltimore medallion and Allsorts. Now being put into the scrap-box, where the ironed and cut scrap-squares go to live, until something is made of them.

Right now I'm cutting strips from the red-pink colour-family, and many of the pieces tell stories about quilts and freindships made.

I think there might be a lesson to me somewhere. Something about not being afraid to use my fabric to the last thread ... something about not hoarding ...

31 March 2008

Last day of March

Another long silence from me in blog-land. Well. Can't be helped. Occasionally real life takes priority.
BUT, just to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking, I thought I had better post something, so here's a picture of my "folly", with the working-title "Raspberry Truffle".

It's a small top, made from two sets of charms. Judie Rothermel's Charleston IV, with a few snippets of some chocolate fabric from my shelves.
Not great art, but fast and fun :-)
Oh, and two sets of charms with 28 pieces of 5" squares equals about a yard of fabric, so ... that's one yard less on the shelves and out in circulation ... and there will be a backing too :-) So ... all in all, 1½ yards will go into the making of this one.
Amazing, isn't it ?

Have to sign off now. But I promise, I will attempt to not let another month pass before I let hear from me again.

25 February 2008

Critter approved

I folded the two quilts shown in the post below, and put them on the doll-bed that resides in my sewing-room. Mostly to have them out of the way of rabbit, and to have them looking as neat as is possible in a messy room.

That, however, does not deter other critters from examining the pile, and - as you can see - the pink thing (SE-2) is definitely critter-approved. Pushkin, our tailless sort-of gentleman, has been sleeping on it since I put it there ... maybe he thinks its his quilt ?
ANYways. The handsewing of the binding on The Sampler has started, so his Prince on the Pea pile has been reduced slightly since this picture was taken.

21 February 2008

I have quilts !!!

My two most recent DearJane-style quilts are now home from the quilter.
SE-2 and The Sampler.
You will just have to live with the shoddy photograhpy and the less than happy selections of bits of quilts that are shown, but I really needed to share these with you.
The quilting is wonderful ! Done by the same quilter that quilted the original "Sara Eleonora" which is in the Dear Hannah-book. AND as is the case in the book, she has used a wonderful variegated thread for quilting. Unfortunately, it does not photograph easily. But here it is, all the same :-)

Above : One of the "blank" setting blocks
Below : One of the corner-blocks with part of the border

Above : One side of the quilt, draped in the very cramped conditions of my sewing-room
Below : One of the blocks. Isn't the quilting in the white setting-tris wonderful ?

And that was that. Hope you enjoy. In the fullness of time, there will be pictures of both quilts, taken under decent conditions, and with binding on. For now, just be happy with me :-)

15 February 2008

Homemade bread

There are few edible things in the world as delightful as freshly baked bread. However, most people don't do it. They think it is horribly difficult or a lot of bother.

If you belong to either category, please enjoy the below. And please do not think that you need to have freshly starched linens or newly picked flowers for it to be delightful. It tastes great on any old plate you have in the house. The rest is just glamour.

If you have trouble with my metric measurements, here's an easy-to-use converter.

You will need :
A baking-form. Mine is 10 x 10 x 30 centimeters.
A bowl for preparing the dough
A ladle or spoon of sorts, likewise for the preparation of the dough.
A dough-scraper to get dough out of bowl.
Some sort of grease (oil, margerine, butter) to grease your baking-form ... unless you have professional bakingforms with a silicone layer inside. Even a teflon- or "slip-easy" forms really should be greased for this recipe. Or use baking-paper :-)
Do not ask me how I know !

When baking bread it is not necessary to take measurements as absolutes ! Baking bread is not a question of getting every measurement down pat to the last milligram. It is an acquired skill which grows with every bread you bake. As you get to know your oven, your tools and your tastes, you can tweak this recipe endlessly, using different grains or seeds, adding spices, or making it as a completely plain white bread.

The bread.
*4 deciliters of milk, fresh from the fridge. Use low-fat if you're afraid of the calories.
*2 deciliters of boiling water.

The general idea here is, to make the fluid approximately body-temperature. Use your pinky-finger to test. If it feels hot, add a bit more milk, if it feels cold, add a bit more boiling water. If you get waaaay more than 6 deciliters, pour out the surplus.

*Add yeast.

Oh, dear. In this country we use live yeast, so I would say "half a packet", which is approximately 25 grams. My guess is, you would need 2-3 teaspoons of dry yeast. HOWever, if you "under yeast" a dough, it is just a question of letting it raise a little longer. "Over yeasting" however, can make a bread taste ... yeasty.

*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon sugar
*A dollop of neutral-tasting oil (or butter, or margerine).

Yes. Very precise again. Anywhere from 2-5 tablespoons. You need something, or your bread will grow dry too soon.

*Half a kilo (approximately a pound) of wholemealwheat-flour. Any sort is good. The one i usually pick up is ground and not wholegrain, but wholegrain works too.
*Add ordinary wheat-flour until the concoction has approximately the texture of thick (to very thick) porridge. It's ok if it's one sticky lump, but it should not be fluid or in danger of dripping.

*Put the dough in the form.
*Put the form in the cold (!) oven
*Turn the heat to 50-75 centigrades (very low)
*Let stand for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on how much yeast you put in the dough. It should raise to just below the edge of the baking-form or roughly into double size.
*Turn up the heat to 175-200 centigrades
*Bake for 45 minutes

*Turn off oven.
*Take bread out of oven.
*Take bread out of form.
*Put bread back into the oven, preferably on a rack, while it cools ! to get a wee bit of crust on the sides that were hidden in the form while baking.

*Serve while still slightly warm, just with butter. Or, if you really must, with some sort of GOOD jam or your favourite cheese.
Tastes wonderful with soup too :-)

The real worktime on this one is less than 10 minutes, and once you have baked it a couple of times, the real worktime is closer to 3-5 minutes. Much faster than going to the supermarket or mall. And much tastier too :-)

Oh, and if you do not finish it immediately, wrap in a clean dish-cloth or something like that. Do NOT put it in the fridge. Putting wheat-bread in the fridge makes it hard. Much harder, and much less edible compared to out of the fridge. When the bread has cooled completely, you can put it in a plastic-bag for storing it ... but really ... eat it while its fresh and good :-)

10 February 2008

Two Inches Wide

In a letter to her nephew Edward, who apparently sent his aunt some of his writings, Jane Austen wrote : "What should I do with your strong, manly, spirited sketches, full of variety and glow? How could I possibly join them on to the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour ?"
Now, readers of this blog might remember that I love Jane Austen. Readers of this blog might also remember, that I'm not alone in that passion. Quiltbook author Linda Franz has made two books of diamond patterns, all named with quotes from Jane Austen.
And I have made one fullsize quilt with those diamonds.

I didn't use all of the diamonds I made, and this past week, I was given a book. Richard Jenkyns : "A fine brush on Ivory" (reviews here and here) and was reminded of the quote ... the full quote, that is.

And now, dear reader, you are asking yourself : what does that have to do with anything ? Well ... back when I was first making Quilted Diamonds, I not only made "big ones", (i.e. diamonds with a finished side of 4"), I also made some in half-size. These half-size Quilted Diamonds are "(two inches wide)". SO, with that book prodding me, I dug out the leftover blocks from my big diamond quilt, and the tiny ones. A selection of the "biggies" and all of the tiny ones are now up on my designwall :

... and they will, I'm sure, in the fullness of time, become a small quilt. At least the mock-up looks good, and I have plenty of fabrics left from the big one, to make it.

SO, will I throw aside everything and start making this top ?
I don't think so. Right now, I procrastinate on cutting the strips that will log-cabin the 2" diamonds, and while I procrastinate, I quilt on Allsorts :-)

07 February 2008

Never Underestimate the Border

First off : Prizes from the Fat Tuesday giveaway has now been sent to the 3 winners. The rest is in the laps of the postal deities.

And then the header.
I didn't come up with that beauty. A correspondent on a list did it, but it is brilliantly put, and oh so right. 'cause we do. Underestimate the border, that is :-)
I'm still quilting the Allsorts, and I'm almost there with the blocks. 5 more to go, and then all the blocks will be quilted !
Then "only" the border remains.
But ... the border is as wide as the blocks, so the quilting of the border equals another round of blocks. And this means, that when I've finished quilting the blocks, I'm not "almost there". Far from it, in fact. I'll still have about 1/3 of the quilting to do !
Good think I have taken it into consideration already, 'cause if I hadn't, this would definitely be a stalling-point.
So : NEVER underestimate the border of your quilt. Unless you're doing it in plain strips of fabric, sewing the border-blocks, or ... applique'ing the border will, in all probability, take you as long as it took you to do the blocks. And the same holds true for your (hand-)quilting of the borders.
With a 25-block quilt, adding a border same width as the blocks, will almost double the area !

... oh, and to not make this yet another non-pictorial post, here's a picture of Allsorts as it looks right now :

AND a picture of a small ... bag ? purse ? I made to hold my iPod :
It still needs some sort of button and some sort of handle. However, the hexagons are sewn, its all together and quilted, and it does hold my iPod ... and seeing that that is the case, I had better get going on the button and the handle, or else it'll never happen !