Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A 6 month summary................

Well, it is the last day of June, and I am wondering how we are here already. It hardly seems any time at all since the start of the new year. 2020 arrived and everyone was full of optimism about what was ahead. There were lots of comments from many about 2020 vision, which the dictionary tells me is the ability to see perfectly! And how far from the truth has that been, as no one would have foreseen what was to come. Life as we knew it, certainly turned upside down. Australia has fared much better than so many other countries and I feel for them, and pray for our world.

 Restrictions are gradually being eased, but there is still a long road ahead, and talk of a second wave. Things are getting out of control in the next state, and the border has been closed now since March 24th, so we must not get complacent, but keep on taking precautions. Lots of events that were planned for 2020 have now been cancelled, including many state quilt shows, and sports are struggling to resume for this season.

So while some activities are resuming, it will be a long time yet, and perhaps never(?), before life is back to what was 'normal'. Will we ever be able to greet someone with a handshake again? Or give someone a hug to comfort and show we care? 

I have included the above details so that they are recorded in my blog book for this 6 month period. On a personal level, I find it is easy to keep looking ahead at what is on the "to do" list, and then lose site of what has been achieved. Thus I decided this morning to look back at my blog for the last 6 months, and will post a summary of that.

The year started "as normal", and I drove up and down the highway for appointments and family functions for the first couple of months.

Thankful that I managed to get all 10 of the grandies in one photo together, before things were shut down. They have all grown so much since then!

There were 2 retreats early in the year before life as I knew it stopped ..............

On the plus side, when travel and retreats ceased, I had extra time to work on my own projects. I started this kit during the above retreat, and soon had it finished. (It is still waiting for the quilter though!) And I did manage to get a few customer quilts done in this 6 months, and a third of them were quite large custom quilts too.

 I managed to finish this quilt that I made for a special friend. As I started piecing it in June 2019, it was well and truly time for it to be finished. 

And then I should have spent time working on the many UFO's I have waiting in the wings..... but I started new projects instead. First it was the Casa Felix Mystery quilt with the Quilters Guild 
of SA................

........and then I joined in with Rachelle Denneny's Mystery quilt.

In between the above I have been working on these applique quilts for some special little people.
This "Little Piggy" quilt, will be for Miss Billie, and still needs a border, and the finishing touches of eyes and mouths etc. 

This "Paper Dolls" quilt will be for Miss Bridie, and I am working hard to get this one done in the next month, before her birthday. I have finished all the machine applique and am now joining all the blocks. I will post more photos of this soon.

Our local patchwork group committee met last week to discuss the resumption of sewing days and we hope that this will happen soon. 

After a few months of our KYB group not being able to meet, and doing our studies each week by email, we have finally been able to meet face to face, although keeping with the distancing rules. We are hoping that our church can resume services sometime in July which will be great.

Because the retreats have been put on hold for this year, it has been disappointing to be not meeting up with those who have become good friends. Since I have been  introduced to Zoom meetings by Chookyblue, I have used this method to catch up with some of those people. While phone calls are great, it is better for a few of us to chat together and 'pretend' we are in the same room. There are still a few meetings to be scheduled yet.

I was going to show a few recent family photos, but am thinking now that this post is long enough. I also have a report on the group that was due to retreat here in June, that bought the kits and worked on them in their group, but that too can wait.

It's time to shut the blinds to keep out the cold evening air, and turn up the heat. We are in for another cold night, after a sunny day. (Well there was blue sky, but still very cold air!)

Blessings, From Jude

Monday, 29 June 2020

"That quilt"...............

I see that it is almost another week since I posted, so better get busy tonight and update you with the latest newsfromjude. For 4 weeks now, I have been talking about the quilt that was on Max, and because it was on for SO LONG, I ended up referring to it as THAT QUILT! While it was a large quilt, and full of applique, the main reason it took so long was because I had a lot of time off in that month nursing the injuries from my fall. (And I have to report that after 5 weeks it is finally comfortable to be able to sit!)

The owner of the quilt, drove 4 hours to Bordertown on Saturday to pick THAT QUILT up. Jill was happy with her quilt, and I was happy to have it finished. The feeling of getting it done, was probably like that of being let out of school for the holidays, or finishing exams at the end of the year!

As you can see, it was a very busy quilt, and full of the most amazing needleturn applique. This is a Corliss Searcy pattern, available from Threadbear quilts, and called Celebrating Mary Brown. After consultation with Jill, she decided that she wanted lots of quilting! My challenge was to work out what to do with each block, and somehow break it up into sections, so that I did not have the same background fill in every block, which would have been very boring.

Warning, photo overload...................Hopefully you can see how I did this, and you can click on the pictures to enlarge them. I can tell you that there is 67 stitches per square inch quilted onto this quilt!

I have since moved onto some allover quilting jobs,  got my financial details all up to date to last week, and the weekend was spent working on the applique quilts. I will be back soon with another post to round off news to the end of June ready to get my blog printed for the first 6 months of the year.

From Jude

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The Mystery is revealed!

Friday morning at 9.30 was the culmination of the last few weeks steady progress, and Rachelle revealed her Mystery. But wait, there was more, as we had 4 choices available to us on how to sew our units together!! Right back at the start, we had different options to choose with regard to our fabric choices. You could go totally scrappy, various main colours and background, 2 colours of fabrics and a background, or 4 different fabrics. There were cutting instructions for each option. And since then, each week the instructions had come out for each of those colour options. The instructions, notes and even videos to show different techniques have been very comprehensive and a credit to Rachelle.

After the reveal I looked at my options...... there were 4.... but I discounted 2 of them straight away because I did not want the 4 background triangles coming together to form a big on point square. So that left me with 2 ways to go..... either this one that formed a star..........

...............or this one.................????

As decisions were made amongst the group, photos were posted on the facebook page, and many were choosing the star option,.............. so I decided to be different and choose option 3, pictured above. So, off to work I went! And it was a wonderful winters weekend to spend indoors with the heater on. Outside it was very cold and wet. It wasn't long before 2 blocks were done and on the floor!

.............4 done!!..............oh wait, something doesn't look right, do you spy an oopsie??

I wasn't doing the stars was I? Better turn those points around then.

10 done, and 6 left to go............... on a mission to get the centre put together by end of day......... hope it's not too late...... I was at the machine early.............

............steady Jude, another oopsie!.... where is the unpicker?

I did not lay all the units of each block out before I started sewing, as I knew that I would be there all day changing the colours around, so I only worked on 2 blocks at a time, and laid them out on the ironing table.............every available surface was used...............just as well I had the whole room to spread out and noone to share the space with.......................

An audio book that I received for my birthday, and a bit of chocolate helped the day go by......

                                      ...............until I had a pile of 16 blocks done!!

I had decided that I wanted to sash the blocks, to break up those dark triangles that would meet to make a large on point square, and I really love my background fabric and so I cut enough sashes for the quilt, and various darks for the cornerstones........... and soon had one row hanging up............... 

...........and then 2 rows................

..........and then the centre was done by about 6.30 that evening!!

I knew I wanted a border, not because I wanted a large quilt, (because I really don't NEED any more quilts), but because I thought it needed "finishing off". I did have some ideas, and plenty of leftover fabrics, so I went to bed thinking about it all........................and by morning I had made a decision.

Sunday morning it was time for "church", which is still not back face to face yet. Thankfully we still have the option of watching UTube services, which is fantastic. Hopefully we will be back IN church sometime in July, and I look forward to that.

My borders were 3 strips 2" finished with dark fabrics in between the background pink as you can see below. I made up 4 units to feature in each corner. Each strip was sewn together and sewn to each side as one.

Getting excited now, as I stitched the last border on!!

And Ta Daaaaa!! It was done. You can see now that I "carried" the sashing strips into the outer border. (Only because this made working out the maths of that centre border really really easy!!) And I was all into making it quick, so that I can cross this off the list, and get back to the applique quilts, now that I can sit for longer periods of time at the machine.

You can imagine that I am feeling pretty pleased with another Ta Daa moment following the finish of THAT quilt a couple of days ago. This week I am back to allover quilts with Max, and the desk is covered with paper work that needs dealing with because it is the end of June, and thus the end of the financial year in a week. This weekend I hope to be back sewing the Paper Dolls quilt.

I shall be back soon with photos of THAT quilt, and also another event that was held last weekend. 

Blessings, from Jude

Friday, 19 June 2020

It's Friday already!

Here it is almost 5pm on Friday afternoon, and I feel like it's bed time. I was up "with the fowls", at 5am, or probably before them, as it was still dark for another 2 hours after that. Last night I finally finished the quilting of THAT QUILT, and you might have heard my Ta Daa from your house? It is not often that a quilt stays on the machine for 4 weeks, and probably never before. But when you have 2 weeks of recovery in the middle of that time, and then reduced hours after that, 
that's what happens. 

For most of this week I have been concentrating on finishing it, and I now had a lot of jobs that had been put on the list for later. So today has been catchup day. I had to take that quilt off Max, and photograph it (pics will come in another post), order some supplies, make a blood test appointment, go to the post office, chemist and the supermarket. Oh, did I mention that I needed to wash clothes, and do some cleaning? So I am feeling good to have crossed lots off the "todo" list  today.

Today was also the day that Rachelle was revealing the final step of the Mystery quilt. I was close to being up to date with the last step, but still had some work to do. Hence my 5am start to the day.

Last night I had this amount done, which was steps 1, 2 and part of 3. All those pieces on the right are the bonus triangles that some brave people are sewing and trimming, but as they will finish at 1 1/2" I will NOT be doing these any time soon. I am sure I can find a good home for them??

The pile on the bottom left are what I still had to finish. So while all is quiet in the world, I set to work. A bit of trimming was necessary, and I love the little heap of strings and thought they would be pretty to use somewhere? But they are in the bin now and I am not really short of fabric or projects in this house!!

Those units all needed a little square stitched to the corner, .........

.............then my gizmo cut the strings..............and after trimming off some more tiny little bonus triangles, off they went to the ironing board  to be pressed.

And with half an hour to spare before the reveal, I had all my units made!! Unbelievable for me to be on time.

There are a few different options on how to put these units together, and I will have to play around and try them. I will be back with pics when I have laid them out.

The other news of this mystery is the total of funds raised for BackPacks4Kids SA. An amazing achievement from everyone!! And what fun it has been, watching the facebook posts of everyone's fabric choices, progress, the whoopsies along the way and the general conversations. It has certainly made the restrictions we are under more fun, and I am very thankful for the modern technology that helps us all to keep in touch.

Which brings me to the amazing way we can link up with Zoom. I posted about Chookyblue's Zoom party a couple of weeks ago, and how simple it was to chat with each other and all be on the screen together. It has got me thinking about the way ahead, now that the sewing weekends are not presently happening here at Number 8. A couple of comments from friends has led me to think about whether a Zoom Mystery retreat might be possible??

My friend Michelle and I were chatting and she decided we would try a Zoom meeting and so she duly sent me an invite for last night, and asked if Raylene was still here to join us. I had to tell her that Raylene was back home again, and did not "do" emails or have a computer. But after a conversation with my fairy, she got very busy and consulted with the "younger generation" and worked out how to find her emails (she knew there was an email address linked to her facebook), and "took over" her hubbies IPad, and by last night she was all set to go!! (Is that keen or not?) There we were at 7.30, waiting for Michelle to admit us to the room! 

But Michelle had problems at her end, and all her computer would do was restart, again and again. Then I decided to send her and Raylene an invite from my computer. I admitted Raylene to the room and we were chatting on the screen and poor Michelle was chatting to me on the mobile phone and feeling very disappointed, while her computer did another restart!! I did send her the photo I took below, but I don't think it made her feel any better. I know Michelle will be contacting a guru to help her work out what was happening.
(And looking at the photo, I think that with only 2 of us on the screen, that it is larger than it needs to be, and perhaps I need to get out of isolation and to the hair dresser very soon.)

Tonight we have another practice session scheduled with another friend, so hopefully I will be back with a report on that soon.

Time to switch off for short time, and maybe put my feet up by the warm fire for a little rest, until our meeting tonight? Hope I don't sleep through it seeing as I was up at 5am?

Be back soon,
Blessings, From Jude