Friday, 23 January 2015

Looking forward, looking back

First of all, apologies for disappearing from the blogosphere for so many weeks: I mentioned in my last post that I hadn't been well, and I have continued to be not well until just now.  Today it is exactly 2 months since I stopped taking the pills which made me ill, and it has taken this long to get back to something approaching normal.  Two months: that's a sixth of a year feeling horrible and unable to sit to sew or use the computer or sleep properly.  Yuck, I really don't want to look back on any of that.

So I haven't had anything to post about or share that you would want to hear (my nearest and dearest have had to hear quite a lot more than they wanted to over the past few weeks!), though, on reflection, I did have a good eleven months in 2014 when I managed to get quite a lot done, including resurrecting and finishing, or all-bar-the-quilting finishing, several quite ancient UFO's.

Looking back through the blog, however, I can see that I also started a few new projects which have now acquired UFO status and I am resolved to tackle these before too much of this newish year has elapsed.

Looking forward, therefore, my challenge for 2015 will be to finish the year with fewer uncompleted projects rolled up in bags at the bottom of the cupboard, and a lot less fabric in my stash; scrappy string-y quilts will feature, I hope.  I want to keep up with my Quartet BOM, even the applique circles (not my strong suit...) and finish several old projects where I have got stuck on the hand quilting/distracted by the lure of lovely new fabric.

Here are some of my Quartet blocks in progress.

I also want to challenge myself to spend 10 minutes every day in February practising free-motion machine quilting.  I am looking on it as equivalent to piano practice: having nagged the kids for years to do their music practice I am going to give myself the same talking to, with the added incentive that I will have to admit to you all whether I have kept to the task.  Anyone fancy joining me?

For now, I have a small finish, which is a cushion I made before I got ill.  It is made from a bit of piecing I did in a workshop with Janice Gunner when I was still relatively new to patchwork and quilting, back in 2001(!!!), so don't look too closely at the seam intersections.

I found the bag of bits when looking for something else (as you do) and realised that the piece was big enough to make a 20 inch/50 cm cushion, so I quilted in the ditch, made an envelope back and finally stuffed it today.

I have given it to my youngest who is of a scientific turn of mind and appreciates the optical illusion of the 3-dimensional hollow cubes (squint and you'll see them - the design slightly reminds me of M.C.Escher drawings).

I am claiming this as a finish to link up to Finish it up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts as today was the first day I could go out and buy the cushion pad to go inside.

Close up to show the construction: basically you cut 60 degree triangles and border them on two sides with a contrasting coloured strip, then set them together in rows.  The tricky part is getting your head around the order for the colours so the hollow cubes appear and it doesn't just look like an unusual star block!  I guess it is a variant on Tumbling Blocks.

And here's a tip for you (though you may know this one already): when I have finished a quilt or other project like this cushion, before I use it, give it away or photograph it, I like to get rid of the tiny threads and lint fibres which I always find have migrated from the wadding on to the top of the quilt during the quilting.  I don't get on with proprietary lint rollers so I use a length of Post Office parcel tape which I wind round my hand, sticky side out, to make a sort of lint-removing mitt.  Stroke it over the surface of your project and pick up all the little bits of fluff - very satisfying!

Have a great weekend where you are, and stay warm and well.


  1. I am so glad your health has improved. Such a long time to be unwell. Your cushion looks great, including the points. A very adventurous project considering you were a beginner when you started it. Thanks for the lint removing tips. Visiting from FIUF.

  2. Thanks so much for commenting. It's great to be back on the blog again.

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