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)

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with not much

Not much progress to report:

Sewed together the pieces of a basic cloth shopping bag, and pinned up the current column of The Restless Hands Of Sel which is moving verrrrrrry slowly.

WIP Wednesday

Still musing on whether or not to enter the Sydney Quilt Show.

a finish! On WIP Wednesday!

Build Me Up, Buttercup was started, oh, a good 10 years ago!

Its first appearance on the blog back in June 2012. Ten years!

Honestly, a lot of it was spent dithering over whether I should put borders on it or not. It's not a very large quilt, and at the time I was making large quilts.

It finally got quilted and bound for my hockey trivia/quiz night. It went in the silent auction, and a friend ended up having the highest bid on it. Somewhat ironically, I've been thinking I should give her a quilt for some time (we've known each other for twenty-five years, and played hockey for the same clubs for about 2/3rds of that), and so even though the bid she put in didn't even pay for the fabric...I'm okay with that because she had it.

Build me up Buttercup

The fabric line is Sanae! Oh my! and came out back around 2011. I bought a layer cake of it and used it in this with Kona Daffodil. However, one of the alternatives was Kona Buttercup, and so it got the name.

I'm glad to have it done and off my plate! And that it's gone to someone I know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Sydney Quilt Show 2022

I have 6 weeks to have a top ready for the 2022 Sydney Quilt Show (if I want to enter).

Do I have anything to enter? I do not.

Should I push to get something in? Hm... That's the tricky question. This year, the quilts have to be completed to the top. I think they were somewhat discomposed by my sending in a pile of fabric and a design! Next year, they have to be completed to the binding!

What pattern would I do if I did? New York Beauty? One of the lattice quilts for the cousins? Something that's half-finished and which I could whip together in six weeks?

Friday, May 13, 2022

WIP week - 10th May

Trying to do a little something every day, even if it's only a couple of seams. Too much is being left undone for want of actually doing anything, and it doesn't have to be a LOT that gets done, just a little. Just a little...

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: 1 seam restless hands of sel
3 seams rainbow curves block assembly

Wednesday4 seams - restless hands of sel

Thursday1 seam - restless hands of sel

Fridayabout 5 seams - rainbow curves

May days

not quite done yet, getting there. Illusion doesn't quite seem to work. Need to swap the blocks. Two quilt tops from this.



Friday, March 4, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one with more than a bit of lateness!

Been a couple of weeks. Rainbow batik curves

Did absolutely nothing on the rainbow curves quilt for all of February. Oh, maybe sewed a few strips together, but otherwise... Uninspired. *sigh*

Have just bought a couple of books with New York Beauty patterns. Maybe I'll feel a little more inspired then? Or maybe not. Right now, I'm struggling with inspiration or desire to quilt: I have too many things already going on in my life, and quilting has taken the back seat and dropped off the radar. UGH.

American Patchwork Quilting Group has a UFO program through the year. You make a list of your UFOs, number them, then resolve to finish whichever number is named as the 'UFO of the month' when the start of the month rolls around.

January was #12, which was the Rainbow Curves I've been working on. Feb was #7, which I have labelled as 'Break Free or Build Upon' quilting, not going to happen until I have a bit more space in the workroom. And March is #3 which is 2 Scrappy Postage Stamp quilts. Luckily for those ones, I have the strips already cut and sewn, and now it's just a matter of sewing them into blocks and putting the blocks together.

I can get something done! I swear!

Really, I just need to clear out the study a bit!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

WIP Wednesday - the one with rainbow batik curves

Dad's bargello 'illusion' quilt (maybe I should call it Rainbows Are Visions But Only Illusions?) is starting, with the strips being sewn together.

It's taken a lot more effort to get this started than I thought it would, but once I'm started, I'm started. That's a good thing.

Last night and this morning.

WIP Wednesday 22-01-19 WIP Wednesday 22-01-19

I mean there's a fair bit to go yet, oh, and I've suddenly realised where I may have ended up going very wrong. DRAT.

Rethinking quickly, however, I could do something slightly different and that might help the overall colour...or it might make it even more of a mess...Who knows??? ARGH.

WIP Wednesday - 22-01-19

If instead of doing all the innermost row as reds, I did the next one with an innermost row as orange, and then maybe spread and 'cycle' it out through the rainbow, I shouldn't end up too short of any one colour...

I don't know if anyone's still doing WIP Wednesdays anymore, or if everyone just shuffled over to insta. Which I am over at insta, but my life is pretty busy over on insta with everything else, not just quilting. This is my 'Just Quilting' space.

Cousin Quilts - the 2022 version

These have been on the to-do list for an AGE and a half. Four years, to be exact.

Time to get 'em done!

Quilts for cousins: masterplan post from 2018 (can be adjusted as needful)


  1. work with colourways for each cousin/group of cousins.
  2. go with a simple quilt design, the same for each 'family' of cousins

I've incorporated the Cousin Quilts into my 2022 APQ WIP challenge.

Whether they get done? IDK. But I have a concrete colourway and plan for each of them, and we'll work it from there.

One unfortunate thing: the old colour scheme post for the C4 cousins no longer has the colour cards. So I've gone through the new cards and actually downloaded a bunch of them. However, they're all of a 'type' and while it kind of suits? I really wanted the more vivid colour combos. That said, a quick Flickr search of 'design seeds' shows promise.

Aha! Found some old design seeds and have begun curating my own collection!

M: climber, earth tones


P: gamer, bright vivids


C: photogapher, classy


P: lifestyle, bubbly


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

WIP Wednesday: the one where I begin as I mean to go on

2022. Could be good. Might be awful. But there's still quilting to be done!

Last year (I think) my dad asked if I could make a bargello-type quilt in rainbow colours. Actually, I already had that on my 'to do' list as a quilt. So looks like it has a recipient now!

Wip Wednesday January

Pattern is 'placid curves' from Amy Ellis' book Modern Neutrals and I'd already started cutting up the pieces. So that's that much less that needs to be done.

Although working out the colour plan has the potential to be tricksy. Ah well, we'll see.

The Restless Hands Of Sel

Obviously my hands have not been restless enough this last year. I've made hardly any progress on the quilt in the last couple of years. The goal this year is to get it at least 80% done. JUST DO IT!

Wip Wednesday January

Doesn't help that the stars are awfully samey. Not quite what I wanted when I started putting the quilt together. A more definite 'colourwash' would have had more visual impact. Ah well, I'll work on it for the rest of the quilt.

The newest addition to the 'flock'.

Wip Wednesday January

And in context:

Wip Wednesday January

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

WIPs B Gone!

WIPs B Gone got at least two things off the list:

1. Mum's handbag (for Christmas)

Q1 finish along 2021

2. Stepbro's wedding quilt (only the binding needed)

November 2021

I made some progress on the Laid-back Plaidish, but everything else on the list was a bust!

One thing I did manage to do was to split my quilt 'Break Free Or Build Upon' into half, providing two smaller quilts instead of one massive one.

But seriously, I have boxes of jelly rolls strips, a drawer of the slice-and-diced strips ready to be made into blocks, and I just have to put the time in one evening. Or else start sewing log cabin blocks. I've never managed to work out the order that log cabin blocks should go in, though...

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Finish-Along 2021 (yes, 2021)

Finally finished a couple of my Q1 2021 projects:

My mother's tote/handbag, which she finally received for Christmas!

Q1 finish along 2021 Q1 finish along 2021

Pattern from a YouTube video: DIY PRETTY TOTE BAG.

However, I made Mum's version with a leather base, and little metal feet for it to sit on. Also, obviously the Alison Glass Art Theory panel was fussy-cut.

A Sicily slip dress:

Q1 finish along 2021 Q1 finish along 2021

I feel like I need better curves to display this dress to maximum effect. It looks okay on me, but it'd look really good on anyone with a larger hip-to-waist ratio.

In a terrible irony, I have had nowhere to wear this dress. Christmas-New Year has been heavily constrained by the Omicron variant of COVID running loose through NSW (The 'Domicron' variant is my nickname for it, based on the politician who's been "letting it rip" through the community.) and so I haven't been going out. We didn't have Christmas Day because the host discovered he was a close-contact on Christmas Eve, and we didn't have Boxing Day because my stepbrother and stepSIL ended up having their baby on Christmas Day and so weren't able to make Boxing Day lunch (although they did manage briefly on the 27th, and we spent a little time with them).

Then, NYE was utterly quiet (I was supposed to go visit some friends on a farm, but decided to take the time to hunker down and recover from the year instead.) So the dress is made, and yet unworn...

In other Finish-Along plans, this year I'm going to whittle down my stash, making 6 scrap quilts (that will likely go to friends at church), and 6 'cousin' quilts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

clothing post

This post is going to be about clothesmaking, trying to keep track of the patterns I have and what I want to do with them. I may need to sort them into a spreadsheet, with a picture of each. It would make keeping track of what I've done/haven't done easier.

An asterisk beside an item means I've made it and it works for me. A cross beside an item means I've made it but it didn't work for me.

Plantain Top - deer and doe - shapeless, long-sleeve top
Hemlock tee - Grainline - very simple, long sleeves
Helmi top/dress - Named patterns - blouse and tunic dress

Avenir Jumpsuit - Friday - easy comfortable fit, woven fabrics but a stable knit, too.

Adrianna dress - Friday - pull-on, a-line, shift dress, large statement sleeves - probably good for a
matilda - megan neilsen - shirt dress
patsy party dress - rebecca page - fitted bodice, and swirly skirt
portia party dress - rebecca page - v-neck, long or short, slit back, knit and woven versions
*Sicily Slip Dress - Sewing Patterns By Masin
wear everywhere - sew sew easy - loose knit-related dress
Sunny Dress/Top - Friday Pattern - scoop neck, knit
Sweet Spring Style Dress - making pretty - jersey wrap dress
*eva dress - knit - made before, could make again
lucida dress - Friday Pattern Company: nice simple dress, a line skirt, loose fit

Lourdes Jacket - Named Patterns - Cropped jacket
Gemma sweatshirt & maxi dress - Named Patterns - one with the fancy cross pattern, dress is long sleeves, high neck, long fitted skirt

Noelle bralette/panty set - Madelynne
Sierra Bra - Madelynne
Harriet bralette - Cloth Habit

Veronika Skirt - Megan Nielsen

Paper Patterns
Tea Dress/top - Sew House Seven
Butterick B5499 top/tunic/dress and pants
McCalls M5115 - lined jacket, coat, top, skirt, and pants
Sew Iconic: Pretty Woman Dress - loose fit with belt waist

Contemplating buying:
- Calvin wrap dress/top - True Bias
- Lulu Sweater
- Tabor V-neck sweater - Sew House Seven (purchase paper pattern here)
- Ogden Cami
- Kielo Wrap Dress

Things that I need:
- casual pants, loose and comfy (thai fisherman's pants)
- shorts, solid and comfy
- long sleeved tops: Plantain and Hemlock, Helmi blouse?
- loose pull-on dresses with longer skirts: Sunny dress, Lucida dress
- light jackety type things

Things that need doing:
- v-necking all the crewnecks

I have at least one Sicily slip dress in pieces, and the Tea Dress in pieces. I should see about making a light jacket.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

WIP Wednesday: the one with the supernova explosion

Nine years ago, Stepbro A got married. And when he married his wife, I gave them a quilt as a wedding gift.

stepbro supernova

The pattern is the supernova quilt, created by Lee of Freshly Pieced back in 2011. She did a quilt-along in early 2012 and I joined in (a bit belatedly) and although we were only making 9 or 12 blocks...I went overboard and did 16, because going overboard is something I frequently do when quilting.

Stepbro A and Step SIL A liked it. At least, I presume they did, since they took the quilt with them when they temporarily relocated to the Netherlands about five years ago. Apparently SB-A naps under it all the time. Exactly what a quilter likes to hear!

Then, six(ish) years ago I made Stepbro J a quilt. I wasn't sure about when he'd get married and it seemed fair to give him a quilt when I'd given his brother one. So I put together a penny patch in browns and reds and purples and creams and gave it to him just in time for his move to Singapore. I was really quite pleased with it - it seemed suitably subdued and masculine while still holding a dash of 'pop', suitable for an adult man in his late twenties.

Penny Patch

Let's say that he was not as delighted to receive it as I was to gift it. I believe the phrase used was "its just squares".

You can imagine the look on my face right now. I'm sure we've all been there, with someone who was untactful about a quilt we made them. UGH.

Granted, this is what I have from my mother, he has never actually said it to my face, so I don't know. He also has a rather droll sense of humour and is not always on the ball.

That said, no quilter likes to discover that someone is less than delighted with the quilt that took time and energy and effort, and which is not appreciated. One would wonder why someone would do it again.

In 2014, a couple of quilters came up with the idea of a quilt-block swap - swapping supernova quilt blocks with another person with the same style. Basically for every block you made, you would make an identical block and post it to your friend along with lettes and snacks and whatever, hopefully becoming friends in the process.

November 2021

I don't think my block swapper and I matched quite so well as was hoped by the organisers - I think we were a late match, actually - two people who applied late to participate and just got plunked down with each other. She was more traditional (handsewing only); I was more modern. She was conventional colours; I was pops of bright and contrasting. We sent letters but they felt stilted, not really connecting. And I haven't heard from her since that last quilt block. So...not so successful at friendship then.

It was supposed to be twelve blocks - 3x4 - and again I added blocks to make it 4x4. And then stuffed it into a drawer for 'someday'.

Then, earlier this year, SB-J got married. And I happened to have this supernova quilt top lying around, doing nothing much...

The supernova block itself is complicated and rather fiddly. Not something you should really give to someone who wasn't appreciative of the quilt you made them the first time around.

November 2021

But it matches. It 'suitable' in the sense of it's equal with SB-A and SSIL-A, and it even 'looks complicated enough' that he might not complain about it.

But that's likely to be the last quilt he gets, and it's one more than anyone else except my mother who has received four, or possibly even five.[*] And yes, I'm going to hold that grudge until we're old and grey. Isn't that what siblings are for?

November 2021

[*]I don't remember how many quilts mum has anymore; it's all a blur. But Mum is really proud of the quilts - one is on her bed - a 4x4 eight-pointed-star pattern in japanese fabrics, one is on the couch in the office - a postage stamp quilt, the Duct Tape Galaxy hangs behind her in the TV room (where it gets seen on her videoconferencing calls), and the 100 Days Of Tula Pink is hung in the entryway to their house, where it's seen by everyone walking in the door. And I think that there's one more that she has tucked away because they used to have two spare bedrooms and now they only have the study.


*sigh* I may be a sucker. But also, it fits that this one (which matches the one that I gifted his brother) should go to SB-J and SSIL-J. And in the end, he can be as ungrateful as he wants; I am giving this to them in a spirit of love and sisterly charity. Even if my teeth are slightly gritted and my muscles are tensed ready to snatch it back if they show any signs of not wantin... Okay, okay. I'll be gracious and beneficient.

At least on the surface!

Anyway, it's finally bound and done and will be out of my hands by January. I'll be travelling up to their part of NSW in the new year so I might try to drop in, catch up, and gift it to them. I might have to take a day or two of time off, though, and I already told work I'd wouldn't be taking time...

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

WIP Wednesday: Plaidish 2

Another Plaidish quilt, because I had pieces leftover from the previous one.

I've started introducing new fabrics, not just C+S ones anymore.


Light blocks done. (6) Dark blocks half-done. (12) Medium blocks (15).

And then I'll do another one with the leftovers from that quilt and just start adding in others from my fabric collection.

Or maybe I could make more of the light and dark blocks, such that I can mix them up together and make a 'series' of quilts (again). Suitable to give away to a group of friends. Or something.

Ugh. I hate making these decisions!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

new york beauty pattern

I'm looking for New York Beauty blocks, but not in book prints. I'm looking for them in PDF format.

I already know about Ula's Free NYB patterns. Please do not direct me there. I'd like some more elaborate ones that I've seen around - a variety, if you like.

I'm absolutely happy to buy the patterns (at a reasonable price), the problem is that the sites that used to 'sell' those block patterns for foundation paper piecing are ancient (at least in internet terms) and many of them don't actually exist anymore.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Finish Wednesday? Plaidish

It counts when it's a completed top, right?

So, the Plaidish quilt. It's a bit of a stunner, isn't it? You can see why it's so popular!

Plaidish quilt

I still have plenty of pieces leftover, so there'll be at least one more, possibly a couple. I also have a better idea of the way that the colours/values work (or don't) together, so I'll try to keep that in mind when putting the blocks together for the next one.

It's also a little smaller than the actual size - more lap/throw size than single bed size.

Plaidish quilt

I gave my quilter five quilts to do - all fairly small - but she did them in 10 days, easy! So I have a pile of quilts in need of binding!

I hate binding.

Plaidish quilt

I trimmed the edges down a little last night - just to make them manageable - so this is now the neatening/binding queue. Not in any particular order, mind you. On the top is the 3:10 to Mendocino and at the bottom is the Friendship Supernova. Three of the five Penny Patch On The Roof, and the Split Square Pair (two quilts, matching).

Did I mention that I hate binding?