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) - note: wraparound pants, but would need a nice flowing fabric for it, also reasonably thick.
- shorts, solid and comfy
- culottes (have at least one paper pattern)
- 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?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WIP Wednesday: laid-back plaidish

I've been planning to make a Plaidish Quilt for a while. Nice large blocks, easy sizes, just keep making the blocks and it's all good.

Over on instagram, @jessicaquilter started up a Laid-back Plaidish QAL with the following timeline:

Monday 6th - choose fabrics
Friday 10th - cut fabrics
Monday 13th - dark blocks
Friday 17th - medium blocks
Monday 20th - light blocks
Friday 24th - assemble and finish

I guess her idea of laid-back is not my idea of laid-back since I am way way way way WAY behind! Still cutting pieces, in fact. Mind, you, I'm planning to make several plaidish quilt tops all at once, and then get them quilted all at once. (My quilter has already finished the four or five quilts I gave her 10 days ago. YEESH.)

Anyway, I thought I'd cut into my Cotton + Steel/Ruby Star Society prints - I also had a lovely charm square swap that really needs to be used up, so I added that to my collection of basics and prints:


So far I've only managed to get through some of the dark blocks:

Although there's a lot more stuff cut out - just hasn't yet been sewn together yet.

C+S plaidish

I'm going to try to sew for at least 10 minutes a day. More would be good, but at least 10 minutes will move me along quite nicely, I think...

Monday, September 20, 2021


Devoted Quilter is hosting a finishing challenge: WIPS-B-GONE! A 100 Day Challenge

I have WIPS all over the place in boxes, and I'd like to get a few done and out the door.

1. Mum's handbag (for Christmas)

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

3. The Laidback Plaidish

4. 3:10 to Mendocino (only the binding)

5. Rainbow Swerve (rainbow batiks in the 'placid curves' pattern from Modern Neutrals

6. Scrappy Bard of Avon

7. Rainbow Selvages

8. The Quilt Is Lava

9. Dark Drunkards Block

10. Scrappy Postage Stamp

11. Kitchen Curtains

12. Log Cabin:
Finish along q1 list

...golly, that's a lot of WIPs...

Guess I'd better get started!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

WIP Wednesday (late): Everything And The Kitchen Curtains

Still on the kitchen curtains, although the piecing is pretty much done, just got to measure it into size, back it, and make the roman blinds.



One side of the window:

Kitchen curtains

Other side of the window:

Kitchen curtains

I want to back them with a white fabric, in part to keep the sun from fading them from the back, in part because it'll help keep the loose threads under control, particularly for when one of the cats decides she wants to nibble at the thread. Sure, it's cotton, but it's still not good for her!

I need 1x rectangular rod (2m total), 4 thin dowel rods (4m total), 2 larger dowel rods (2m total) , 4-6m of curtain cording, little plastic rings that I can sew into the curtain to run the cording through, 2 cleats for tying the blinds up. I already have the velcro strips for attaching the curtains to the rectangular rod, although I should probably check if it's long enough - at least 2m will be required.


The Power of Three design is pretty spectacular, espcially with a solid background colour that allows some of the blocks to 'float', but it's just so fiddly with the small blocks! It might be okay as a cohesive scrap quilt idea, done bit by bit, building up the number of blocks over a year, before all being laid out and sewn together.

Takes more organisation than I can manage!


Next project: Plaid-ish quilts. Just keep sewing, just keep sewing, just keep sewing...

Of course, spring is coming, and with it my garden will take up a lot of time, so...may not be all that much happening for a while.


For my next occasional project I've been thinking of doing something like the tinypricksproject on instagram: sewing the words of politicians onto fabric as catharsis. They're mostly the stupidest and worst quotes; the ones that later fill you with frustration because if they meant it (and none of these guys ever back down) then it betrays a particularly awful way of looking at the world from where they are.

I'd be doing it for Scott Morrison's "I don't hold a hose, mate" and "It's not my job" and "that's a matter for the states" and "It's not a race". And other politicians who say dodgy shit. And then IDK, maybe I'd hang them up in the boughs of my trees and my chook pen and let them age. Because they won't age well.

It's a thought.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

WIP Wednesday: kitchen curtains

Progress on the Power of Three Kitchen Curtains!

Side #1 is pieced, now I just have to work out the spacing between the rows to have the fall the full length of the window.

Kitchen curtains

I'll put a light backing on the curtain - probably a cotton voile or something equally light - partly to add opacity to the blind, partly so it's not just the raw piecing on the backside. Or maybe I should just make a second

Kitchen curtains

Probably going to take my cues from this link: How To Make Roman Blinds on YT.

The only thing is that I really want something that I can pull off the window to wash when necessary, so the dowel rod holders need to be sleeves rather than being permanently sewed in.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

WIP Wednesday: 18th August

Many moons ago, there was a regular WIP Wednesday post by...I don't remember whom. Possibly Lee from Freshly Pieced.

It kept me going, kept me accountable, and I quite enjoyed it. Admittedly, it started during a period of my life when I had more time to do quilting, and wasn't so squished in with everything else going on: gardening, writing, keeping house, activism. But it was good to post things and have people see what I was doing, and see what they were doing in return.

I'm going to try doing that again. I've got a little tag on my wfh computer, that says: Monday - gardening, Wednesday - quilting, Friday - cooking. The visual reminder will help me remember to post. That's the theory, anyway.

So the main thing I'm working on right now is the kitchen curtains. The ones that I've been planning to complete for, oh, around 7 years now. I made curtains for the study, for my bedroom, for the dining room, and for one set of lounge room windows (with the other yet to be completed). Now it's time to do the kitchen. But not just curtains; I want blinds - ones that sit close to the window frame and which can be lifted to various levels to allow a little bit of sun or a full flood of it.

For it, I'm using the Robert Kaufman linen blend range in navy, and the Reece Scannell shot cotton series that I've had lying around for a decade or so. I've used it in the Plain Jane Passacaglia, and in some of the other pieced curtains, so it's time to use more of it for the kitchen:

Power of 3
Power of 3

For pattern, I've chosen the Power Of Three. It's one of those designs that look stunning, but are really quite fiddly when you're trying to put all the pieces together. And there's a lot of measuring of bits and pieces, trying to use as much of the fabric as possible. But that just adds more fiddlyness.

Power of 3

I'm thinking that this pattern is probably best with all the pieces pre-cut before starting, and then done a few blocks at a time rather than all at once. The small squares are pretty dainty (the small block fits in the palm of my hand) and doing it chain-piecing would probably be less mentally tiring. Then again, everything is mentally tiring lately.

Power of 3

I hope to have some decent progress by next Wednesday. Until then, as the ladies of the Pantsuit Politics podcast like to say: have the best week available to you.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

the backings project

I have a new longarm quilter in my local area. She's very fast (turnaround time one week) and very quick (about half of what my previous longarmer was offering). And considering I can afford it right now, and I have a ridiculous backlog of quilt tops, I am getting quilts done.

I have already handed in The Friendship Supernova and 3:10 to Mendocino, and will be handing over the penny patches:

#pennypatchontheroof 2020 #pennypatchontheroof 2020 #pennypatchontheroof 2020 #pennypatchontheroof 2020 #pennypatchontheroof 2020

And the scarlet split squares. There are two others, but I'm not sure that I have pics of them.

Isolation quilts
And that's only around half the quilt tops I still have tucked away all over my quilting room... Also: I have Roman blinds planned for the kitchen window - the kind that you pull up and down with a cord. I really should try to get those done during this lockdown...

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Swarm II

So, six years ago I made the quilt Swarm. And it was hugely popular and very much beloved by my instafolk. It got accepted to Quiltcon and I sent it there for display, but rather than bring it home for my collection, I sent it to friends in the US who had hosted me many times before.

"Swarm" - photographed square! Such a labour of love and inspiration. And yes, @2bees, I'm filling out the competition forms now! #swarmbysel

I probably should have checked that they wanted it first. And they're too polite to give it back if they don't like it. (In that way that 'polite' means 'refusing a gift is uncharitable and one Does Not Do That'. Very southern.) Also, we're not on speaking terms right now: I think she believes I'm stupid for 'living in lockdown (ie. "fear")' and I think she's headed for 'everyone who isn't on my political side is wrong, and moreover, anti-American' territory, if not already there.

So Swarm is more or less lost to me. Which means I should really put together a Swarm II. I had plans for one about four years ago, for my spiritual mentor at the time who loved purples and lavenders, and who I was going to make something for. We kind of lost touch - I think she might have been going through some deconstruction, and her husband was dealing with an autoimmune disease and, well, we didn't get around to meeting up and just lost touch.

I have found better ways to do the Swarm Quilt, although it's still going to be a very piece-y quilt. I just need to write them out and put them together. I say this a lot.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Lockdown Looking Forward

Welp, Sydney is in lockdown and has been for four weeks.

It's likely to go quite a bit longer - if we're out before the end of September, I'll be pretty surprised. I could post about why, but that's not for this blog.

So, let's look at what I'm going to do quilting-wise during lockdown.

get together backings for:

  • my church friends quilts: the Rooftop Penny Patches: Yv, Me, Ca, Lo, Ru
  • 3:10 to mendocino
  • Valley of Kings
  • De La Luna Penny Patch
  • scarlet split squares
  • ...among others
Yeesh, I have a lot of quilt tops!


  • finish column 4 of Handsewing project: the restless hands of Sel
  • finish mum's handbag
  • finish another scrap postage stamp
  • finish The Floor Is Lava
  • get the pieces cut up and sorted for the Plaidish Quilt

I might even try to wrestle the monstrosity of Break Free Or Build Upon through my quilting machine. Or maybe save that for a group sewing day when there's space and time.

At some point I really want to do another Swarm. I have a post about it and everything.

I've already sewn 2 stars for the Restless Hands, put together a Postage Stamp Quilt, edged a number of handkerchiefs, finished a couple of masks, and sorted through one box of scraps. So that's not terrible.

Monday, June 14, 2021

golly look at the time

I'm so sorry for not posting more often here. Quilting and sewing often takes a backseat to everything else in my life right now: working, writing, gardening, householding, hockey, eating out, and finally...quilting.

I have finished my quilt for the 2021 Quilt show! It's bound and everything! Now I just need to make a label and sew on the hanging sleeve and we are FINISHED BABY!

It's a good design, I really like what I came up with and how I've done it. And, yes, I should do a pattern with it. I say this a lot, but never actually do, don't I?

And then, the rest of the year is SCRAP QUILTS:
1. Postage Stamp quilts (as many as can be made from strips
2. The Quilt Is Lava
3. Plaidish quilts

I'd like to actually finish these (binding and everything) for giving to church friends. It means some very intentional quilting and management of time. But... I did the 2021 Quilt Show Quilt in three months (entered the quilt as a sketch and a pile of fabric back in March, finished by June) so...I can do it. It's just...a bit of effort...

Can be done, though. Really. It can. And I can do it. Don't mind me, I'm just talking myself into it all.... :D

Friday, March 5, 2021


Several people have lately come asking me for the pattern for the Intulawoven quilt.

It's in the book Crazy For Scraps by Sally Schneider, published by That Patchwork Place publishing.


The book version uses 2.5" finished HSTs, while I used 4.5" finished HSTs (from a 5" charm square). It's also more scrappy so it may take the eye a moment to see the pattern of the interweaving ribbons. I did the rainbow colourwash through the quilt deliberately.


Page 60, Interweave

It's possible that Schneider has put out several books on scrappy quilts in the last dozen years, so this one may not be the 'current' one. Which is why I photographed the ISBN details:


apologies for the terrrible light!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

So here's a question for y'all...

Patterns and buying them.

Many's the time when I spotted a pattern that I particularly liked, and then saw that someone had made a pattern and was trying to get people to pay for it. Which, I have no objection to. When effort has gone into the design, then, sure, monetary recompense should be a given.

What I'm thinking of, though, is that often I have sufficient quilting and design skills to work out how to do something without actually requiring a pattern for it. Like, if a quilt design is basically full of HSTs, then I can easily put together a bunch of them in the correct colour groupings, work out the layout, and sew it together. I don't need the pattern for that level.

Some people do, and I'm not saying that's bad. I'm saying that I have the mental energy to try to work out how to do something that I perceive as pretty simple, and if I think it's that simple then I'm not willing to pay money for it.

And then, on the other end of the spectrum is the kind of skill and knowledge and design that one pays for.

I made this quilt a number of years ago, working out the pattern by looking at the design.

Aaand done! The Salt Air Split Square! 😍
It's not difficult - it's in fact very simple. But a lot of people would look at this and think the pattern was complicated.

And then there are some designs that you just pay for, because the effort to work it out? Way more than the time is worth!


That's the Technicolour Galaxy, it was a Block-of-the-Month quilt back in 2014-2015 or around then, and it's a showstopper all the time. I still have a spare pattern for it (there were some pieces that could be only be used once unless you wanted to get complicated about printing on more stabiliser) which I plan to use...someday.

For some intriguing anecdata, I've quilted with women older than me, and I've quilted with women younger than me. By and large (and this is a very broad generalisation) the older women get grumpy about paying money for quilt designs, while younger women tend to emphasis the importance of paying for everything from block designs to quilt patterns. It's worth noting that the older women are accustomed to thinking of their quilting as a 'hobby' and not something that makes money, while the younger women are trying to either make a living off this, or add to their income.

On a semi-related note, I once had a bunch of people chide me in instagram comments for not crediting the pattern-maker for a mini-quilt that I made. Several tagged the pattern-maker, or added the tag of the pattern-maker's name for the design. Not one of them apologised when I noted that it was a design that I saw in the background of the tag on a Marti Mitchell template and worked out how to make using a hexagon cutting template.

Yes, that kind of 'working things out' is how I roll.

Finish along 2019 Q2

No, it wasn't this quilt! I paid for the pattern for this one!

Do I think design and process work should be appreciated and paid for? Yes. But if I don't think the effor that's gone into the design and process work done by the person asking me to pay for it is worth what they're asking, then I'll work out the pattern myself. Exactly how complicated it needs to be before I'll pay for it? Well, some of that is up to the design, some of it depends on my state of mind.

Where's your line drawn between paying someone for their design-and-process work vs. working it out yourself? Do you have such a line?

Monday, January 4, 2021

Finish Along 2021 Q1

Four things for the Finish Along 2021.

Pretty Tote Bag

For mum's birthday, out of Art Theory fabric by Alison Glass

Finish along q1 list

Scrappy Log Cabins

Because I have too many scraps and I need to use some, although I'm preferring other people's ideas for scraps than a log cabin. Oh well, this one will be smallish and simple.

Finish along q1 list

Zippered Box Pouches

For gifts, maybe later this year. I should just make a bunch of these at every quarter and then there'll be gifts aplenty come Christmas!

Finish along q1 list

Sicily Slip Dress

Learning cutting and sewing on the bias. One toile (just the top), one dress - hopefully in time for stepbrother's wedding (in two weeks). That's going to be an interesting job...

Finish along q1 list