Sunday, 26 July 2020

Making preparations

Last week when I cut the batting for the Plaid-ish 2 quilt, I thought while the batting roll was out from its storage place under the bed, I should cut the batting for the nine other quilts that are waiting to be quilted.  As you can see, my "to be quilted" pile is getting a bit high, the next task will be to cut backing fabric or make backings then sandwich and baste them ready for quilting.

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for an online machine quilting class, I'm hoping it will give me the motivation to get all of those quilts finished.  There are six lessons with video tutorials and a workbook, the first lesson has introduced us to the basics so we could prepare our quilt sandwiches ready for the free motion quilting next week. I always knew all those fat quarters of solids that I bought would come in handy one day, although the colour combinations are not that wonderful in some of them.


My daffodils seem to think that winter is almost over, the days might be getting longer but there is still another month to go.  I think there are over 24 buds this year, they will make a lovely bright spot of colour in the garden once they all flower.

The weekend wouldn't be complete without a little baking, this time I made Caramel Slice, it is quite rich so best served in small portions. Next time I will bake the slice in a slightly larger tin so the ratio of caramel to biscuit base is more even.  

Monday, 20 July 2020

A totally finished quilt!!

my favourite quilting design

I finished the flimsy of this quilt on 2 July, it sat around for a bit while I finished some other tops, I started the quilting last Thursday afternoon and finished on Friday,  the binding was finished on Sunday afternoon.  

The quilting is fairly minimal but has given it a nice texture and I think the binding is perfect for the quilt.

The back of the quilt, the backing was pieced from some leftover backing fabric.

Quilt statistics:
Pattern by Kitchen Table Quilting - Plaid-ish 2 a free quilt pattern
Finished quilt size: 50" x 50"
Polyester batting
Backing - Carolyn Friedlander Widescreen in Lingerie and Yarrow
Binding - Amy Butler English Garden in Bluestone
Quilted with Aurifil 40 wt #5011 Rope Beige, bobbin Magnaglide Classic Light Tan
The quilting was done on my Simply 16

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Captain's Covid Log - COVID update 5

Since my last update on 28/06/2020, there have been many cases of community transmission mainly in Melbourne and some in Sydney, Victoria has had 270 new cases in the last 24 hours. Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire is in a Stage 3 lockdown for 6 weeks where residents are only permitted to go outside for four reasons - exercise, work, shopping for essentials and essential caregiving. 

It has been 16 days since the last reported COVID 19 case in South Australia and 105 days since the last case of community transmission. Our population in Adelaide is quite low in density compared to that of Melbourne in Victoria and Sydney in New South Wales (NSW) which has probably helped our low rate of community transmission.
  • Sydney -  5.23 million
  • Melbourne -  4.936 million
  • Brisbane - 2.28 million
  • Perth - 1.985 million
  • Adelaide -  1.306 million
  • Hobart - 206,097 thousand
  • Darwin - 132,045 thousand
  • Auckland in New Zealand has 1.657 million
State borders to Victoria have all been closed with police and the Defence Force maintaining static checkpoints on most roads, some roads have been blocked to prevent ingress.  Currently travellers from NSW are permitted to enter South Australia as long as they quarantine on arrival for 14 days.  South Australia is being cautious as we do not want to have restrictions put back in place.

I've been making these Broccoli and Miso Pasties quite a bit lately, the pastry in the recipe is made with a slightly unusual method and has worked well for me previously but the pasties above while still tasting good were a bit of a failure appearance wise.  The pastry is a mixture of white and wholemeal flour, I mistakenly used rye flour instead of wholemeal which would have been fine, but as the air temperature has been a lot colder lately, the pastry cooled too fast which made it crack and stiffen when rolling out.  I won't attempt this pastry again while we still have these cool temperatures.

I also made a Quince Galette using the pastry from this recipe, I spread Almond Frangipane 
paste over the pastry before arranging the oven poached quince on top.  The pastry was brushed with a beaten egg and sprinkled with demerara sugar before being baked. It was delicious served with a spoonful of Greek yogurt.

Almond Frangipane
  • 60g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 20ml brandy (or rum)
Cream butter and sugar, mix in almond meal, egg and brandy until you have a smooth cream. Spread on top of uncooked pastry and then top with fruit.  

Monday, 13 July 2020

And another quilt top made

This quilt was another mystery quiltalong which started near the end of May. I had decided that I would make a smaller quilt so didn't cut all the fabric required and waited until all the instructions had been posted so I could work out how to make a smaller quilt. 

In the end it was quite easy, I made four blocks and sashed them as per the instructions to get a small quilt, it finished up at about 38" square. The original quilt has twelve completed blocks which makes quite a large quilt.  I've discovered that I'm much happier making smaller quilts, they are quick to finish, there is less fabric to wrestle through the sewing machine, they are much easier to iron and will hopefully be quicker to quilt (I say hopefully as I am accumulating quite a mound of quilts waiting for me to quilt them)

I had quite a bit of the blue/aqua fabric  (Moda Bella Capri 9900-225) and was really happy to find some fabrics from my stash plus some purchased browns that worked with it.  There is still enough left to make another small quilt and then it will be gone, hooray.

I bought a bunch of tulips a couple of weeks ago, even though they are well past their best they still have a kind of beauty.  Just after I took the photo, I knocked the vase and even more petals fell off.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Still plenty of scraps here

My scraps are dwindling slowly, this is the third scrap quilt I've made, once again the inspiration for this quilt came from Blue Elephant Stitches.  Jolene's most recent post is about her fabric stash is an interesting read.

rectangle strips ready to be stitched up

The rectangles I used in this quilt were the fabrics I least liked in my scraps so I wasn't sure if I would like the result, but surprisingly I do. This quilt took me longer to make than the previous one probably because I kept each different fabric strip separate then joined them at the end to make a complete strip.

This quilt finished up at 60"x 60", the pile of quilts that need to be quilted is growing ever higher, I think I had better stop with the scraps, make a few quilt sandwiches and start quilting.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Scrap Quilt

Another scrap quilt bites the dust, I really enjoyed making this one, it was so quick to put together and I love how it looks.

piles of rectangles waiting to be sewn together

This quilt scribbles/halfway tutorial from Blue Elephant Stitches was the starting point.   I made 18 piles of rectangles starting out with my light colours, moving through the medium value colours and finishing with darks.  I took each pile, stitched it into pairs, then fours etc until I had a completed strip, then repeated until all the strips were finished, no pressing required yet.  Once the strips were done, I laid them out on the floor so I could get a sense of how it would look.

a rather blurry photo of my first four strips

I moved a couple of strips around to get a better colour distribution, then pressed the seams, and started stitching the columns together, the seams nested together nicely which meant minimal pinning.  The quilt finished up at 54" x 60" and now awaits quilting.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Plaid-ish 2 flimsy complete

Scrap quilts seem to be taking over, the flimsy for this one is finished, I've almost finished another one and there are still plenty of scraps to keep me going.  I'm really enjoying making these scrappy quilts, they are easy to make and as they are a smaller size (about 45"- 50" square) they come together quickly and are much easier to handle than wrestling with a quilt that is 80" or larger.

block pieces laid out ready to sew

My way of putting the blocks together is not very speedy, I find it easier to select the fabrics for each block separately and then make the block. That way things don't get mixed up, and it is more relaxing for me as well.

ready for the next step of sewing the strips into the block

I made a test block first as I wanted to see how it looked and found that it was important to make sure the dark value pieces were dark otherwise the plaid-ish effect was lost.

The free tutorial for the Plaid-ish 2 quilt is available at Kitchen Table Quilting, the quilt I made finishes at about 51" square, I made 9 of Block A and joined them with Block B then added enough of Block C (the outer border) to finish the quilt.

If you are on Instagram search #plaidishquilt2 and see some of the other variations of this quilt, it looks great made using yardage and a couple of prints.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Captain's Covid Log - Covid update 4

It has been a month since my last update, South Australia has been COVID free for 29 days and there are currently no active cases.

Victoria and New South Wales have had outbreaks of COVID 19, with Victoria recording 160 new cases in the past week.  Both of these states have been experiencing runs on toilet paper in some supermarkets and empty shelves are starting to appear in some areas.  

South Australia will have a further easing of restrictions on Monday 29 June, with no limit to the numbers of people able to attend a venue and a one person per two square metre rule to be in place (previously one person per four square metres).  The physical distancing of 1.5m between people is still in place and will remain for the foreseeable future, we must not become complacent about the physical distancing.

Cross border travel restrictions are still in place but are slowly easing, travellers into South Australia are still required to quarantine for 14 days, further easing of restrictions is planned for 20 July.

It is a slightly different experience going to a cafe now, tables are more spread out, there is usually a staff member hovering to ensure tables are cleaned as soon as customers leave and before new customers can be seated. The Mister and I are enjoying be able to sit at a table and have a coffee, although we are mindful of not lingering too long so that others can enjoy their coffee fix.

Winter has started with a cold snap, we've had the fire going and have been enjoying spending time with each other, listening to music and doing the crosswords in the newspaper.

I'm not doing quite as much baking as I was a couple of months ago, these Chocolate Chip cookies are our current favourite, I have some unbaked ones stashed in the freezer ready for when the craving for fresh baked cookies strikes, they bake up from frozen so don't take too long at all.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

The last month or so I've been spending part of my day cutting scraps into useful sizes (for me), it has taken quite a while but my scrap mountain is mostly under control. My scrap drawers are virtually empty now and it feels good.

The cutting table and floor has been covered in fabric scraps for the last few weeks as I dealt with an accumulation of fabric scraps.

leftovers from scrap cutting, destined for stuffing a draught stopper

I cut a 2.5" x 3.5" and 2.5"x 6.5" rectangles, some 2.5", 3.5" 4.5" and 6.5" squares and a couple of other odd sized rectangles crept in when I didn't line up my ruler at the right place.

Right after I took these photos of my carefully stacked piles, I bumped the table and knocked some on the floor, luckily the stacks were so dense they held together enough so that I could just pick them up and put them away.

After the cutting was finished I made up a few scrap blocks to get an idea of what I might make from my cut scraps. 

I made this 17' block from a free tutorial at Kitchen Table Quilting, I quite like it although some of the scrap sizes are different to those I've cut, and you definitely need to pay attention to colour value when making these blocks. 

the orange edge is part of my display board

I like this block of rectangles stitched together, it doesn't require too much thinking, as you just alternate dark or colour with a light, although I clearly wasn't thinking very hard as I can see an oopsy in the top row which I didn't spot yesterday when I was pressing.  This is a  12" block which is a useful size and the pressing is easy as well.

This 14" block from Sew Katie Did uses different sized squares (I substituted a rectangle in one spot) to make a good sized block. It would require a bit more planning when pressing to make sure the seams nest nicely but I think you could just grab cut out squares, sew the units, then join them all together and you would end up with a nice looking quilt.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Quiltcon Day 4 Sunday February 23 Part 2

The Esprit Collection of Lancaster County Amish Quilts

This part of the special tour was conducted by Lancaster History curator Victoria Pyle (there was also a lecture on the quilt collection but it conflicted with my volunteer hours so I couldn't attend)

There were twenty quilts on display at Quiltcon, we were told there are over 80 in the collection. I found it fascinating that a lot of the quilts were pieced with drill fabric and/or wool fabric.  Apparently the women had bought some bolts of these fabrics for a very good price and thought they would be good for making their quilts which would then be sold to pay for items like medicine that they needed.

The hand quilting was very evenly stitched.

The colours used in this quilt are quite striking, I wouldn't even think to put plum and turquoise together but they work so well.

I liked the double grid on this quilt, it would have been hard working quilting the twill fabric.

another variation of the plum (or maroon) and turquoise combination 

Quite a simple quilt, but the colours really make it sing and the quilting is incredible. 

part 3 to come.