Something new…?

Another week gone by and now fully recovered from vaccine effects and at least one large bag of projects/stuff re-homed and put away. Maybe out of sight is out of mind but I definitely do better if I can keep the top surfaces in my sewing space relatively clear. It’s interesting how habits can change – I used not to mind clutter and my workspace was never terribly tidy. These days I prefer to walk into a tidy uncluttered space and try to keep it that way. And, of course, there is a difference between tidy and organised – I’m aiming to be both tidy and organised but it’s often a struggle! Awaiting their turn to be tidied and organised are the red-themed sample blocks made over the past two years.

I think I may have worked out the next step to progress this a little further. All the 6inch blocks would benefit from a simple frame, same size strips for all blocks using a variety of predominantly red prints. This will be easy and mindless stitching with no pressure!

While putting things away I remembered to pull out a fabric “investment” I made several years ago – modest-sized pieces of vintage fabrics that were totally irresistible. Acquired for the sheer joy of ownership, these may now have the chance to star in their very own project –

I hope to be able to show you the first step next week … happy stitching!

More settling

Quarantine is over and first vaccination tomorrow – important milestones! It’s been a really slow week, hard to find motivation to finish unpacking and the quilt cupboard remains in need of a thorough working over. But I have brought a long-standing (a mere decade) project to the surface ready to be moved to the batting and basting pile –

Keeping this really short and hoping that this coming week is more productive!

Rural Office

It’s good to be back at the Rural Office even if there are bags and boxes still to unpack and my brain is still somewhere on the road. Seven more days of quarantine and one more Covid test and by then I hope to have caught up with myself and settled down. It was so lovely to walk into my workspace with everything (mostly) tidy that I wanted to share it before it gets messed up again! I really have missed these bookshelves …

And, of course, there’s The Cupboard to check and re-arrange – as in take everything out, re-sort, re-fold … I’m not going to be short of Things to Do for the next week or so.

Let’s see if I can get this done by next week! Happy stitching.

On the move

Almost all packed up and ready to roll! I’ve been reflecting on the last 12 months as I’ve gathered quilts, books, projects, notions together to head back to the Rural Office. Lots of challenges and changes for everyone, everyone found their own ways of coping and, for many of us, quilting, stitching and handwork became more important than ever. I will admit that I thought I would be more productive but can see that a lot of time has gone into (literally) the air instead – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype – adapting to different teaching platforms as well as staying in touch. So for this last post from the Overseas Office here’s a quick look at just a few of the starts from March 2020 to March 2021 –

Finishing up with a detail (above) which shows what I hope to be doing more of once we are back at the Rural Office. See you soon!

Here or there?

As the packing/sorting continues for the transition from Overseas to Rural I thought you might forgive me for showing some glimpses of both locations. The Overseas Office, located in a very quiet part of southern Spain, has been an important part of my quilting life for the last six years. Here there’s lots of space and time to sit and stitch and we’re fortunate to be close to both coast and mountains.

The Rural Office has been our home for many years and comes with a considerable amount of history (back to 1630s). Room here for a tiny studio and a capacious walk-in cupboard filled with vintage quilts.

Happy stitching! see you soon.

Getting ready

Yet again, little visible stitching progress to show although there has been a lot of activity! We’re in the early stages of getting ready to return to the Rural Office so I’ve been trying to make the right decisions on which projects need to go and which ones can stay. The simplest strategy would be to take everything each time but that really isn’t practicable, so it does become a question of prioritising. So far I’ve stocked up two manageable bags with diamonds and triangles glued to their relevant papers in readiness for basting – a perfect task for travel.

The table runner I’ve shown here countless times is also going to be included in the Travel Stitching – there’s just one block remaining for Pass Two and then I can contemplate what might constitute Pass Three.

The blocks on my pinboard need to return to base to collect additional blocks and gather some setting ideas –

And, as I resolved in an earlier post, I’ve made a note to bring this quilt top from the Rural Office “still waiting” stack to the top of the pile for backing , batting and quilting –

On to another week – happy stitching!

Marching on

Terrible pun, but sometimes these things need to be done. Thanks for all the sympathy and helpful tech info re my WordPress “improvement” annoyance, I’m managing at the moment but strongly in favour of moving over to WordPress.org in the near future.

On the stitching and quilting front it has been a week of preparation. Delved into a couple of scrap bags, wielded the glue pen and scissors and, from out of almost nothing, there is now a tightly packed bag of diamond shapes all ready to be basted. Hardly a dent in the scrap bags!

This is one of those “no idea” projects – no idea what it will look like, no idea when it will be finished. It began last August in one of my online classes when we were looking at 60degree diamonds, triangles etc and EPP.

These small diamond hexagons were so much fun to do that I thought it would be a Good Idea to make many more using scraps from the stash here at the Overseas Office as the starting point. And that’s as far as that Good Idea got at the time. But now I’ve ordered further supplies of papers and it seems that the time is approaching to continue with this Good Idea. Not forgetting the other Good Idea of assembling lots of sample blocks when we return to the Rural Office…. Wishing you lots of Good Ideas for the coming week!

Enraged!

New-fangled stuff imposed by WordPress has made this week’s post almost impossible to put together.  One long-standing and now VERY unhappy user.  So forgive me if this is short and the images disproportionately sized –  I need to do some background research to see if/how I can revert to the system that didn’t need fixing.  

Quilting thoughts and activity this week have been based around the current project, shown below under construction last year – 

Initial tight-to-all- the-seams quilting is now under way (First Pass) and I’m starting to look ahead to what might be next (Second Pass). I’ve marked out about half the block using my Chaco-liner. You can probably see that all the perimeter of the main shape and the inside edge of the block has already been quilted.

This is going to be quite a lot of quilting for no obvious effect, but I have found over the past decade or so that this is what I prefer and I feel it is worth doing. So “on the ditch” rather than in it! Once this Second Pass is complete I will consider adding quilting 1/4inch away from the seams on the larger shapes (Pass Three). Regular readers may recall that I used this strategy for the sampler quilt and diamond table runner finished last year –

Hoping to be reporting more positively next week!

Seeing red

A slightly silly, but not entirely ridiculous, plan has been brewing this week – the following pictures may give you a clue –

I’m sure you can guess what it is!  Above are some of the sample blocks I have made for classes over the past 6months.  All seem to have a common colour palette, dictated by the size of the Overseas Stash and my current choices.  Back at the Rural Office there are a number of other sample blocks made for classes over the past ten years.  Why not gather them all up and find a way of putting them all together in one top?  Not quite an ordered sampler quilt you understand, more of an acceptable jumble.  Maybe with sashing strips, maybe with pieced sashings or frames and strips.  So over the next few days I’ll be filling a new project bag with as many of these sample blocks as I can find, adding a note to remind me of the plan and putting the bag Somewhere Safe so that it is returned to the Rural Office in due course.  Off to find a suitable bag ….