Wednesday, March 15, 2023

WIP Wednesday: the one with battings and backings

The auctioned-off Rainbow Interconnected (which I apparently called Retro Rainbow on the label) went to a friend who I thought I might give a quilt to, but now don't have to. She did pay $150 for it, which is more than the last 'auctioned-off' quilt went for ($30!) - although that one also went to a friend, so I'm not wholly unhappy about that.

The thing that I'm miffed about is that they didn't ask me for a description, so it just appeared as "homey quilt" instead of anything about the design and what I think of it. If I'd known they'd be printing something like that, I'd have put together a blurb:

We are not islands, nor wholly discrete individuals; we influence others and are influenced by them in turn, in ways both subtle and unsubtle. None of us knows the full dimensions of our influence upon others and the world around us, we can only be what we are and what we choose to be.

Anyway. Auction done, one more quilt off my hands, and - moreover - gone to a friend.

I did a lot of backings in the last week:

Pile of quilts.

Oh so many backings! And then I cut a lot of batting - enough batting that I ran out of the half-roll I bought a couple of years ago! I bought it with another quilting friend, and we divided it into two. I think it was about 15m worth? Or thereabouts? But anyway, I used up my portion of it. I still have two quilts to find batting for, and am contemplating just going down to Spotlight and buying the polyester batting there. Not my first choice (cotton/bamboo batting, from a small Aussie-owned quilt show) but might be necessary for getting things done.

Tomorrow (Thursday), I'll go visit the quilter, pick up the quilts she's already done, hand over the ones that are yet undone. I'll also hand over a bunch of quilts that are finished to some friends who I promised them to a while ago. Except I look at them and think "they're not very pretty quilts", so I'm not entirely pleased about giving them to my friends. IDK. Do I offer them nicer-but-not-yet-finished ones? What do I do with these ones, then?

I think I'm going to offer them the nicer-but-not-yet-finished ones.

At some point, I'll need to sort and store the stuff in the sewing room so the windows guys can come and do their work. It's a neverending job, though, honestly; endless scraps upon scraps upon abandoned projects, upon heaven only knows what...


Thing to definitely make before the windows change: the denim pouffle for scrap-stuffing.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

WIP Wednesday: I like big backs and I cannot lie...

WIP Wednesday (okay, so it's Thursday here)

I finished a quilt top: Surplus To Requirement:


It's made up of a bunch of leftover quilt blocks from the last ten years, with a fat quarter of 'filler fabric' and a bunch of random jelly roll strips. 

I had so much trouble working out the layout, particularly because this is v2.0, and v1.0 was about half the size - the middle section. Then I found a whole lot more quilt blocks that could be used and then the issue of balancing the business, the design, the values, and the redistribution of the 'filler fabric' so it was all across the quilt and not just in the middle.

All things considered, I'm pretty happy with it. Going to put a backing on it, quilt it, and enter it into the Sydney Quilt Show.


I made a bunch of backings for quilt tops, ready to go to my quilter, who hasn't heard from me since January. (Time just slips away.)


I still have backings to make for at least four quilt tops to get done this year, two quilts to quilt myself (can't hand them off to a quilter, they were one quilt that got sliced in half because I made the shift from GINORMOUS LARGE QUILTS to medium sized ones, and this one was too much of a monster to quilt myself, so I just kinda cut it in half and added a strip to the backing.

Do I quilt these two before or after I quilt the show quilt? Choices choices.


I finally got a good pic of the Interconnected quilt I submitted for the quilt show in 2021:


It's going to an auction at the church trivia night on Sunday.


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

WIP Wednesday: the one with dressmaking

So many thing to do, so little time:

The 100 Days Project (started 22nd Feb), IG Quilt Fest (March), Me Made March (instead of May, possibly warmer for us in the southern hemisphere)

100 Days Project: quilting every day? Sow at least one seam, if not several?

What if I committed to do one quilting thing a day, even if it's only sow a single seam? Obviously, some things need a little more than one seam to be finished. But I can do those things when I have time.

I kind of wish I'd started up the 100 Days Project on my Restless Hands quilt, which is going nowhere very rapidly.


Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023
Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023

So I completed a dress during the week - the Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven - it took me two and a half years, if not more, but it's finally done. I think I won that pattern at a previous Frocktails (2018? 2019?) and I finished it in time for the Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023 event!

I think I'll make a few more of these, they're pretty comfortable and nice and light and casual. I wonder how good it would be in something a little softer and thicker, not quite a nightdress fleece.

I ended up wearing another Sicily Slip because  it looked really good with my back tattoo.

Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023
Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023

The Blue Mountains Frocktails event was heaps of fun - great to meet fellow sewists, to sit and talk with a few people that I knew and got to know better, and also to better link names to faces...

Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023
Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023

Didn't win anything, but bought some fabric at Minerva's Bower on the way home.


There's also this dress still to make – the pattern I won at the last Frocktails:

Blue Mountains Frocktails 2023


Today, this afternoon, I'm going to sew together the striped binding for the last (couple of) quilt(s) that need binding for this collection. This year, I just really want to finish these quilts and get them out the door.


I think I've worked out the balance of blocks for The Spare - a.k.a.”Harry of Windsor” which is entirely made up of the 'spare' blocks of various quilts that I've made through the years.

The backing

If I actually manage to finish it in time, it could go for the Sydney Quilt Show, perhaps?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

wip wednesday: the one with the spares

So this quilt - if quilt it is - is either going to be called The Harry or The Backing.
The backing

It's made up of leftover blocks from a dozen quilts and more over the last ten years. If you go back through my quilts of 2012-2014, you'l more than likely see a few designs that match the blocks in the quilt.

The thing that I don't know: Is it a backing? Or is it a quilt?

What are your thoughts, both on the name, and on whether or not it's a quilt?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

WIP Wednesday

It's a new year, full of WIPs to be completed!

This year, my cousin M gets married, and I'd like to actually give him a quilt for a gift. This year, the friends from my bible studies who've been promised quilts for YEARS are finally going to get them. This year, I'm going to enter something in the Sydney Quilt Show (somehow). And I'm going to get quilts finished and bound right, left, and centre!

I am! I am! I am!


So, what we have right now on our plate:

Planned List:
- M's quilt
- Sydney Quilt Show Quilt (whatever that turns out to be)

(Oh cripes that's a lot of quilts to make in addition to all the WIPs that I've got listed below. SSSSSHEEEEEESSSSSHHHHHHH)

WIP Wednesday - 2023-02

WIP - in pieces
- scrappy trip around the world
- scrappy leftover block quilt
- plaid-ish quilt 2
- another cousin-quilt (finished top)
- Restless Hands Of Sel

WIP Wednesday - 2023-02

WIP - to be backed
- scrappy postage stamp 2
- plaid-ish quilt
- birthday grandmother's puzzle quilt
- 2x rainbow curves

WIP - to be quilted
- two green quilts

WIP - to be bound
- scrappy postage stamp 1
- 2x penny patches
- 1x red & black diagonals

FINISHED: to be given away!
- rainbow interconnection
- 2x purple squares quilt

I gave away Universe Of Wonk to my hosts for New Year's Eve. So that's one less quilt that I need to deal with.

Look, I know I could give away quilts right left and centre and there would be plenty of friends who'd be lining up for them. But, whew, the difficulty of trying to be fair about it is REALLY TRICKSY.

Dear heavens, I have a lot of quilts. In progress, in pieces, planned, being quilted, being bound... I guess at least having the list means I have a good idea of what needs to be done, and possibly an inkling of how long it will take me. But ARGH.

2023, here we come!

Friday, November 25, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with Christmas gift plans

One more scrappy quilt top down! How many dozen to go???
Mid-November pics

This is definitely going to be the year of the Growth Group Quilts. I've known the people in my growth group(s) at church for 3-4 years now (7-8 in my original group), and they should have quilts. I'm tempted to just make a bunch, bring a pile to a group gathering, and get to pick the one they like the most....

In the meantime...need moar backings! I'm going to start sewing together chunks of collections that I have which aren't really useful anymore. Also, cotton homespun interspersed with patterned stuff. It's not great, but it's solid.

I sent four quilts off to be longarmed with a local quilter, and will hopefully manage a couple more in the next weeks.

I'd like to make a stuffed pouffle - possibly for giving away? I have some denim, and I think I'm going to use that. 

Need to make 'handles' for a laundry bag (or a better laundry bag); actually, we need several more 'bra bags' that we can toss in the wash.

have backings for four more quilts (green spares, two quilts for Lin nephlets, one quilt for Kinsley)

make 3 more old maid's puzzle quilt blocks to add to the 3x3 one - using 'older style' fabrics

Christmas party plans?
- 1 slip dress in a beige colour, suitable for going underneath overlay dresses?
- something for a "hoedown"

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with Things To Do

Works In Progress
- postage stamp
- plaidish
- cousin quilt

Daily: Sew one block of something (postage stamp, if nothing else), sew 1 seam of paper-piecing

Weekend (Saturday and/or Sunday): sew four blocks together
- make a backing for a quilt top

Weekly: WIP Wednesday post from now until Christmas

Thinking Forward: design for Quilt Show 2023
I'm absolutely blank on this one right now. They want the quilt finished by entry time - but for the binding. I don't know if it's trying to kick incidental/casual quilters out of the show, or to prioritise/preference non-modern stuff (because modern designs and patterns are more likely to be utilised by younger women who are short on time), or if they really have that many dropouts each year.

I have dropped out of the Quilt Show once. And that was the year I tore a calf ligament two weeks before and my cunning plan to self-quilt Swarm ended up on the couch along with me.

Actually, that's an idea - Swarm II, seeing as I gave away Swarm to a couple who I'm not sure are talking to me anymore after 2016, 2020, and now the 2022 mid-terms.

WIP Wednesday may

Quilting ladies don't like to get political for the most part - the thing about being Largely White Ladies means you can ignore politics for the most part, or trust that the White Men will protect you (so long as you fit into their norm of what White Ladies Should Be Like). Being able to ignore politics is something that many others can't do, because the shift and sway of politics affects them, even when the actual policies don't.

For instance, you might have denigrated "the Chinese (government)" for COVID-19. After all, China is a long way off, and 'the Chinese' are a big body of people that you don't usually see or having to interact with, and even so it's mostly people like myself who are culturally integrated.

Unfortunately for people like me, we might very well be culturally integrated, but the way certain people will treat us face to face is as though we're not. And it's no good to say, "well, they're just bad people" because 'they're just bad people' does not eliminate the bruises, the physical injuries, the trembling shock of being openly abused on the street, or the feeling that you'll never be safe again among white people whose smiles disguise their dislike.

By the way, black and brown quilters - whatever their background - have had to live with this treatment for, oh, as long as White America has been ignoring that their society was not only built on the back of black slavery, and by the enforced efforts of black slaves, but that it created a socially stratified (as well as segregated) society.

I digress, but I feel like it's needed. Sure, there aren't too many people reading this, and after 2016 and 2020, I'm fairly sure y'all know where I land on the political spectrum, and most of you haven't gone running away yet...

Anyway. Swarm II. That's the plan. It's going to be messy AF, though. So many small pieces. But maybe it's also time to work up a pattern...

Thursday, November 10, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the race to the end of the year

So many things to do.

I'll likely be losing the space in my workroom for a month over summer - January or February - since we're replacing all the windows in the house, and that's going to be something of a mess for a while.

At this point, I need to make some decisions about what I'm going to do in the coming months.
- finish all the quilts that I've already done
- get all the quilt tops/backings that I've completed actually quilted
- finish the clothing that I've started

Somewhere in there, I need to complete a frocktails outfit by the 12th November. Or just wear something I've already made.

At this point, it's look like "wear something I've already made."

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with bitsy

Going away next week until the end of October.

Got my show quilt done and handed in. It's pretty ordinary, but mine always are.

Just doing more blocks of penny patch before I fly away:

WIP Wednesday

The odd trapezoidal fabric on the wall is planning to be a light top with a tie around the neck and the back, mostly for the next stage of my tattooing.


I also sewed another Sicily Slip Dress in a dark fabric for taking to Europe:

WIP Wednesday

Screwed up the french seams - I can't seem to make the french seams without either making the garment too small or else sewing the seam out of the garment so it's visible on the outside! ARGH!

Anyway, it needs hemming at the least.

To do: more stars for doing while travelling (specifically while waiting for things). Not sure I can take scissors in carry-on luggage though. Might have to get one of those cunning cutter things. (Do you think they'd let a baby roller cutter blade pass? It doesn't look very knifelike.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with quilts I should be finishing

Specifically that Sydney Quilt Show quilt, Universe Of Wonk, which is due next Tuesday! And which I haven't even quilted!
Universe of wonk

I do have a day free tomorrow - the National Day Of Mourning for Queen Liz II - so I'll probably spend the day quilting it, although I do have to work out a design. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

WIP Wednesday: one-hour dress

I was going to make a one-hour dress for the 1920s party for hockey Preso Night on Saturday, but it turned out to be too cold to go with what I'd planned. Maybe for summer instead?

The 1-hour 1920s dress at The Closet Historian. Probably the most simple but also helpful of the sites I tried to look at regarding a dress design.

I realised that I'd need an underslip, so I spent time drafting that one (rather roughly) from the Sicily slip dress.

1hour 1920s dress

It needed to be made of a more drapey material than I had. This was trouser lining, and a little stiff. Should have saved it for trouser lining.

I made a draft dress...out of poly-cotton. It did not go well.

1hour 1920s dress

The actual material I planned for the dress is a lot lighter and more fluid...

1hour 1920s dress

And in the end, I just wore a shop-made dress that I've had for some, oh, twenty years and which still fit me, with a draping overlay from another dress that needs some serious work to be wearable... *sigh*

Other Projects Sydney Quilt Show Entry: needs backing, needs quilting, needs binding Penny Patches: 1x binding 2x quilting & binding C3 Quilt: M's quilt: no progress

Friday, September 2, 2022

Finish Friday: Cousin M's c4 quilt

Finished the top at least. Quilting for later.
Late August

Hopefully M likes it: simple and earthy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with drafting

Trying to draft a slip undergarment using the Sicily Slip Dress pattern. It's not going quite as well as I'd hoped. Also, things are little crazy this week so I'm not doing great.
WIP Wed 22-08-31

It's an undergarment, so I could probably fill in the gappy back bits just by sewing extra pieces on. It just means cutting them and adding stuff and...yeah. *sigh*

Monday, August 29, 2022

Cousin Quilts: the c3quilts - Cousin M Five

Finished Quilt One of the C4 quilts. It's not quite the planned colourway but close enough. I'll post it as a 'Finished Friday'.

I might have started on the next quilt in line - the one for Cousin P (Number 7 Cousin), but due to a trip I'm planning to make to Europe, I was thinking I'd make (and hopefully finish) the quilt for Cousin M (Number 5 cousin). They're the C3 quilts, and I've decided on the quilt pattern: The Bird's Hill Quilt by Stacy at The Blanket Statement. Modern style but will look good with some solids and some patterns, too.

Cousin M (Number Five) is getting married next year, I'm not sure whether we'll be invited to the wedding. He's been overseas for at least 5 years now, and we've drifted apart since then. Fond memories, but no guarantee we'll be invited to his wedding anymore. Anyway, I'm going to be in the UK in October and might try to see if I can meet up with him (and his fiancee). Hopefully with a quilt!

This is his colourway:


The problem with this colourway with the Birds Hill Quilt is that a background colour is needed. I don't have enough of the brown, and I think the blue is the best choice, given the background of the image above - the other colours are accents, which should probably be used quite sparingly.

And this is the fabric pull:

Fabric pull for cousin M #c3quilts

The browns are not quite as red as they're depicted, and the blue is more aqua than royal/ocean/pacific. I'm trying to decide if it's an okay choice for a forty-ish guy with a fairly bubbly personality.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Frocktober: the wardrobe switchover

Every year I think I'm going to do one of those 'Frocktober' or 'Sewvemmber' things, but I'm never in time - like decently in time with enough space to make plans and be involved in any meaningful way. And then this year, I remember, but I plan to be away for most of October!

Hm. Maybe I should plan my travel wardrobe for October. I guess it's a bit like a capsule wardrobe? Certain pieces set up to mix and match, based on personal style and activities.

So my style is casual comfortable, with the ability to dress it up and look nice - neat casual, I guess. I'm not stylish and wouldn't need much by way of 'stylish' I think.

Most of the travel is going to be touristing, walking in autumn weather in Europe and North America but not expecting any big hiking. (Note: locations will be Turkey, Scotland/Wales, and the north-eastern US/south-eastern Canada, and in mid-to-late October, these are likely to get coolish - possibly cooler than I'm accustomed to for the autumn period, so long sleeves, jackets, and warm socks for sure.)

How To Pack A Carry-On Luggage. Also checking out Autumn Carry On Capsule for Europe

The 4 by 4 Wardrobe:
Core 1: 2-3 tops, 1-2 bottoms, all in neutral (probably black)
black swing wrap, black slim jacket, black pants, black slinky
Core 2: 2-3 tops, 1-2 bottoms, all in a different neutral
denim jeans, black longsleeve, navy padded jacket, blue shortsleeve
Core 3: 2-3 tops, 1-2 bottoms, in third neutral or filling up from previous neutrals
white shirt, white shorts/capris/wraparound, black leggings, black shortsleeve
Core 4: 4 tops, accent & variety
red slinky, blue shortsleeve, sleeveless pink top, sicily top
also: Swimsuit, PJs, trench/rain jacket, desigual travel jacket, sicily dress (in a dark), black skirt, 2 scarves (red/orange or purple/blue, and the butterfly scarf)

Q1 finish along 2021

From this, I'm thinking I could do with sewing:
-one sicily slip dress in dark print suitable for day/night wear
-one culottes/trousers/capris in white linen
-one sicily slip top in blue/patterns suitable for day/night wear

Although really the only thing that I really need would be the Sicily slip dress.

Maybe this is all more for summer than autumn? Hm. Need to think about this, my tolerance for cold is rather less than your average European or even North American.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with a non-working sewing machine

My JUKI DX7 needs a service. It's decided to no longer work.

Sewing machine woes

Which means I'm going back to the JUKI TL-90P, straight-stitch. Nothing wrong with that, I just haven't used it for...a while. Quite a long while, actually. Possibly years. Which is about as long as since I had the DX7 serviced, come to think on it.

I cleaned out the bobbin and the surrounding space, pulled off the bottom of the machine, and everything but I guess I knocked something out of alignment because it's no longer working.

Clunky noises. Won't even sew a straight stitch anymore. Underside looping. ARGH.

Sewing machine woes

Luckily I think the pickup point for the machine is pretty much next suburb over...

Anyway: state of the C4quilt:

Sewing machine woes

Monday, August 15, 2022

frocktails and clothing

Gotta work out a dress for frocktails. Either that, or lose weight to fit into my silvery party dress. (There's a lot of trousers I don't comfortably fit into right now, tbh.)

I started getting a tattoo yesterday. It's a Chinese-style dragon on my back, and yes, cue all the jokes about "girl with the dragon tattoo". I've wanted this tattoo for the last twenty years, which rather predates the book. I just never found a tattooing style I particularly liked.


What this means, though, is that backless dresses are going to be a thing going forward. Which could be a problem for my breasts, since I am easily a size C/D cup.

Anyway, the Portia Party Dress by Rebecca Page looks promising, although I don't know what fabric I'd use for it. Not that I have a shortage of fabrics available...

Alternatively: YT vid for cowl neck halter dress - straps around the back.

Another YT vid for cowl neck halter dress with zipper

...or I could just go the Sicily slip pattern. Which worked really well, actually.

To do clothing-wise before summer:
- Tea House dress
- finish hemming Sicily slip
- make the garden party dress from Pretty Woman

Clothing Posts (tag)

Friday, July 29, 2022

Cousin Quilts: C3quilts - slowly making my way through!

Colour thoughts for cousin quilts:

N4: Number Three
M7: Number Four
A8: Number Five

It's a bit confusing: I've numbered the cousins by the birth order of the entire lot of cousins (with my sister and I being 3,5, and 6) but named them by the order of cousin they are in relation to me (so, N is 4th in the cousin scale, but Cousin Number Three to make a quilt for, by birth order).

Number Three is the closest in age to me. A friend of mine once met him and said "I think he has a lot of respect for you and your opinions" and I guess I feel the same. He and his wife live in a lovely house, both homey and welcoming as well as stylish and elegant. So something with a stylish-yet-neutral feel about it, I think.


I'd use the cream/beige solid for the base and add other designs

Cousin Number Four was always a little hampered by being the second son in his family to Cousin Number Three. Let's just say that I feel like Cousin Number Three outdid me in many respectable respects, and I didn't have to live with Number Three in the same family. Cousin Four is getting married next year, though, and I'd like to make a quilt for him. (And his fiancee, but really, it's his since I haven't met her.)

I think of Cousin Number Four as exuberant and personable, less constrained by virtue of not being the oldest son. A dash of mischief and independence, a deliberate choosing of the 'wild side'. Something with a spot of serious jazz to it.


I could use the Buttercup/Daffodil solid as a base, then add the other colours in from my stash.

Cousin Number Five is what I think of as the 'youngest' of the older cohort, with the next set of cousins (the C4) being all grouped together and a few years younger than Number Five. She's a little sharp and sarcastic, but also has been seriously hurt by stuff going on in her life. So classy colours, cool and sober, but with a pop of colour.


I have a large volume of dark blue (I think) that I could use as the base solid.

Now I have to decide on the design. That's still up in the air...

I do like Half square triangle quilt: sew a bunch of HST from squares, then sew them together to make a rectangle. Do so with patterns and solids all together, and differing values of the same hue. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully? IDK. I think this one might work better scrappy and for children/young teens.

Back to the pinterest board...

EDIT: this pattern?
The Monument Quilt Block? (a lot of paper piecing)

FINAL THOUGHT: The Birds Hill Quilt (#birdshillquilt) by Stacy Kenny

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with cousin quilts

Current state of the C4 Quilt: Number Six - laid out and being sewn together.

C 4 quilts

I pulled out a lot of Tula Pink, because that actually had some lighter greens I could use with the Lizzy House. Still not perfectly shaded for each other but not terrible either.

I do feel like it needs a 'pop', but the quilt isn't for me, and I suspect Cousin Number Six doesn't need a pop. He's stable and steady and cool-headed, a bit like his dad.

Anyway, I could do five blocks a day + sew a row; I'm sure I could...

Speaking of Cousin Quilts: I may want to do Cousin Four ASAP since I'm hoping to make it to the UK in October and would make the effort to see him and his fiancee and maybe give them the quilt ahead of their marriage next year. I had a Boxes Of Colour design planned, but now I'm not so sure.

Complicated Half-Square Triangles?

Avant Garden: Turning Squares?

Split Squares?

IDK. Trying to decide is tricky. Although I do rather like the possibilities of the Complicated Half-Square Triangles, I'm going to need to make three of these kinds of quilts and so I don't want them to be too much work!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

C4 Quilts: Number Six

Cousin Number 6's quilt is in progress! I finally decided to just bite the bullet and start.

Here's the colourway:


Here's the pattern so far - from this pattern by Mommy by day; Crafter by Night.

C 4 quilts - no6

In black and white to get the values (have since shifted a few pieces around)

C 4 quilts - no6

The many and complicated shades of green:

C 4 quilts - no6

It's going quite a bit faster than I expected. If I did one row a day, I could finish the top by the end of the week...

"If? If is good...

His siblings will get the same pattern in a colourway appropriate to their personality. That's the idea anyway.