In April, 2010, Mr. C and I traveled to Australia.
To buy some fabric.
Well no, actually. We went so that Mr. C. could fulfill a life-long dream of doing his astronomy thing under the Southern Night Sky.
But of course, I bought some fabric.
I bought 12 fat quarters of these beautiful prints, designed by Aboriginal women who live in Alice Springs.No, we didn’t go to Alice Springs. But we did go to The Plague and I in Canowindra, New South Wales, which is pronounced “Can-an-dra,” by the way (not Can-o-win-dra like it’s written).
I’m finally making our Australia Quilt, a variation on the disappearing 9-patch, using this pattern:
I’ve done lots of this:
Followed by lots of this (yes, that’s a seam ripper, lol!):
Next step is cutting those beautiful 9-patches up so that they disappear. eek!
All the while, Mr C (for carpenter) has been busily building a gate.
There hasn’t been much in the way of quilty stuff on my blog lately. Probably because I’m living out at the lake right now, and no electricity equals no sewing machine.
But I wouldn’t let that stop me, eh?
My friend Melissa had sent me a little care package containing (among other wonderful goodies) a jelly roll of Free Spirit Pirouette a month or so ago and I couldn’t wait to cut into it. Her instructions were to experiment, play and enjoy. I took this literally and decided to do just that by learning a technique that was brand-new to me.
I have always admired heritage quilts, and have always wanted to make a quilt entirely by hand. One day I saw that there was going to be Hexie-Queen Blog Hop, and since I had never made a hexie flower before, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn.
I took the jellyroll to my LQS and paired it with soft grass-green for the flower centers and garden path, and a creamy/buttery pale gold for the background. I loved the way the prints seemed to sink down and make themselves at home in these two complementary shades.
Having decided to take the plunge, I looked at a couple of tutorials and then jumped into the deep end with the decision to start a hexagon quilt.
I am slowly sewing 1.5-inch hexagons all sewn together into a Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern. By hand.
I carry it back and forth to town and work on it in the car.
This antique glass butter dish is the perfect little container.
It’s going to take awhile, but that’s okay. Handwork is relaxing. Why rush it when I enjoy it so much? I can already tell it’s going to be beautiful. 🙂
Today is the last day of the Blog Hop. Thanks for visiting, and don’t forget to check out the hexie-goodness on these other participating blogs:
The sun has come out after a showery
and I have taken my handwork
The air smells of wet wood,
Quiet and still, I hear a gull calling in the distance.
The campers in the campground next door
have not yet emerged
from their tents
and their travel
and I savour the moments
before their children
re-discover the chill of the water
begin the business
of chasing squirrels from the trees.
Across the lake, a lone fisherman
and I can hear the faint tick-tick-ticking
I sit in the hot sun
until I begin to feel the trickle
behind my knee
and behind my neck,
under my hair.
the quilt becomes
to hold on my lap.
I put stitching daisies
until the cool of the evening
me to return
I adore Kate Spain fabric. I have lusted from afar for too long, and I think I am finally going to bite the budgetary biscuit and buy some. I don’t have any idea what I will make with it, but I can’t stand it for another day: I must own some Kate Spain! I can’t afford much, so I thought a handful of charm packs or a layer cake would be the best way to get a selection of an entire line.
So….my quilt knowledgeable friends… is it better to buy four $10 charm packs or is it better to buy one $40 layer cake?
And question number 2…What quilt patterns would you recommend for charm packs and/or layer cakes? Especially colour-dense ones that would suit her fabulous colour-dense fabrics?
My goodness…I opened up the website to write a mother’s day post and saw that this will be post number 201! Now how did that upcoming milestone get past me, I wonder? I think I better start planning ahead a bit better because surely a prize would have been appropriate. Well, never say never, and I will put some thought into that!
Meanwhile, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, whether you are a mother or not! I have had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Look what I was served for breakfast!
I adore French toast. And didn’t he set a beautiful table, oh my! I must have raised him very well, if I don’t say so myself!
And on the sewing front, I picked up Heidi’s quilt for the first time in too long and did some hand quilting whilst we watched a movie on TV last night.
Yesterday I worked on my 3×6 bee blocks. I decided to make disappearing 9-patches this time around. Sometimes I feel badly that I make such simple blocks for this group, but everyone makes the best of their ability, and you are placed in a group by first-come, first-served. So there are very experienced quilters making some very advanced blocks in the group, and then there are the beginner “me’s” who make simple blocks. So anyway, I felt that the disappearing 9-patch was going to be a challenge – and it was, but in a different way than I had expected. The challenge wasn’t in the sewing, it was in the fabric selection. A couple of the blocks I made over because while the colours looked like they would be perfect, when the block was actually sewn, they just didn’t cut it.
So what is a disappearing 9-patch, all my non-quilting friends are wondering? Well, you start off by sewing a straight-ahead 9-patch block that looks like this:
Then you cut it into quarters, like this:
And then you twist and turn the quarters around until you like the pattern!
Pretty cool, eh?
What I learned is that strong colours work best, especially a contrasting colour in the center of the original 9-patch. All of these squares are the same pattern, and the colours I used are according to the chosen palette of each person in the bee. See what you think:
Happy Mother’s Day to you all, and especially to my own mother!
I hope you all had a great weekend, and if you’re hungry, I’ll share my French toast with you.