another finish

In November last year, I began strip-piecing monochrome 8.5″ blocks in preparation for our grandsons arrival at Christmas time. They like to sew (for short periods of time) and strips are more forgiving than squares! I had intended to make spider-webs, knowing that they would appeal, but mistakenly cut 60° triangles instead of 45° triangles — ending up with hexagons!

hexagons — no thanks

Our grandsons were not really impressed but we sewed anyway.

stack of triangles as at 31 Dec
stack of triangles as at 31 Dec

DD and I, inspired by Emily Cier’s pattern, Slices, in her book “Scrap Republic” chose to make our version of the pattern without the use of the lighter coloured blocks.

Emily Cier's "Slices"
Emily Cier’s “Slices”

When the family visited for the April school holidays, we sewed some more. By the time they left, there were only a few blocks needing completion, so I finished them.

Sewing the triangles into rows was fairly easy, once I realised I had to match the points that extended beyond the seams. Joining the rows was more complicated. I tried really hard but some are not good. However, as my mum used to say, “a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice!” Oddly enough, the more seams I sewed, the better my point matching got! 🙂

Seriously, getting the quilt finished was more important that perfectly matched points, although I would really like those. The quilt is not going to an exhibition; otherwise I would take it apart and start again. The truth is, most of the points are pretty good and a few of them are perfect. The recipient, probably a patient in the palliative care unit of the local hospital, is probably not going to be studying the points — they’ll be glad to have something bright and cheerful on the bed to keep them warm.

I love this quilt, it’s so much more exciting to me than the previous two finished quilts — more my style really in that it’s bright and a little less traditional.

Rainbow Wedges finished front

I decided to strip piece a panel for the backing — there are enough matching points where six blocks meet on the front of the quilt without adding more bulk in the backing.

Rainbow Wedges finished back

I wanted to quilt along the diamond lines with a row of double stitching but I didn’t want any other quilting to show so I decided to do horizontal in-the-ditch stitching. That was fine where the rows met but because the individual triangles were made of various width strips, it just didn’t work. I bit the bullet and did diagonal quilting across the diamonds using a clear monofilament thread.

Rainbow Wedges quilting detail

This was the first time I have used invisible thread and I was surprised that I found the right tension straight away! I had read some web pages about using invisible thread and they all suggested lowering the tension to 2 and working from there to get the correct tension. My biggest problem is that the very fine thread kept slipping out of the thread guides and, one time, it tangled so badly that I had to unthread the machine and cut off a huge knot. But the quilting was done and, like most learning experiences, the more I did the more I remembered to keep an eye on the thread guides!

Of course, then I had to remember to return the machine to ‘standard’ tension settings to put the binding on!

In the winter school holidays, which begin on 1 July, DD, the boys and I will probably make spider webs!

This post links up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday which is being hosted  Whims and Fancies this week. Why not check out what other people have being working on?

What about you? Are you making quilts? Or has some other form of stitching grabbed your fancy?

Whatever your choice, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne

still here!

Hi (if there’s still anyone out there reading my blog) — long time, no post!

Life has been busy and eventful. On March 17, WM took two weeks long service leave — we just needed to get away. We put mum into residential respite for two weeks then went to the state of Victoria for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We had forgotten just how far it was to Melbourne and how long it would take us to drive the 880 kilometres (550 miles)! Just as well we had allowed two days for the journeys there and back.

blended native and exotic garden
blended native and exotic garden
more formal garden
more formal garden
Exhibition Building
Exhibition Building
floral arrangement
floral arrangement
cottage garden
cottage garden

We were home for 36 hours, then we caught a train north to spend the Easter weekend with DD and the family.

YG Easter Egg Hunt 2
YG Easter Egg Hunt 2
YG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
YG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG enjoys the Easter Egg Hunt
OG Easter Egg Hunt
OG Easter Egg Hunt
How many so far?
How many so far?

We picked mum up from respite on 31 March — she was very unhappy and had all sorts of tales of woe to share. Despite having DD and the Grandboys here to visit for ten days from 10 April, she never got any better.  It was with a thankful heart that I received the offer of a room in a dementia-specific facility nearby on 13 April. Mum went to live there permanently on 21 April; WM and I have spent the last four weeks getting to know each other again and work out our life as “Darby and Joan“! Mum was with us for a bit over thirteen months; caring for her was one of the hardest things that we have ever had to do!

While mum was still living here and after she left, I continued to sew quilts for the Caring Hearts Community Quilters group; we make quilts that mostly go to the palliative care wards of local hospitals. I will write a separate post about those because I have too much to say here!

Since mum left, I have had time to knit something other than ‘her’ blankets, so I have been making hats for the under-privileged. The opportunity to donate the hats came sooner than I was expecting so I didn’t end up taking photos of any of them! The last collaborative blanket that mum and I made is in her room at the aged care home but sadly she never uses it!

I plan to be back soon with more photos of our trips to Melbourne. I also have at least two posts planned to talk about my quilting.

I leave you with Older Grandson’s first school photo: he looks much older than six (although those baby teeth give it away)! Most schools in Australia have a school uniform — that shirt almost gets lost against the background which makes his face the focal point (as it should be)!

Older Grandson first school photo
Older Grandson’s first school photo

Until my next post, may your stitches bring you much joy.
Lynne