The blue top is finished and while still warm from being ironed was spread over the bed to see if it looked as lovely as I hoped. More often than not the end result looks nothing like what I'd envisaged and that's kind of how I feel about this quilt.
It is but isn't how I imagined it, yet is still somehow perfect on this bed.
Two quilt tops later I'm ready for a break from machine piecing but there is one more quilt to make, for a friend's home.
There can be days, even weeks when my sewing machine is hardly used, but it has been whirring along at a steady pace this past week. I've enjoyed the simple piecing and how quickly one block becomes two. The cutting and selecting fabric combinations for the blocks took the most time.
The red top is finished. The thought of the blue one kept me going, though I did make one concession, its size. Bigger would have been nice but I was so keen to start the blue I was happy to compromise, after all I can always make the next one larger.
I had to force myself to tidy away the reds before dragging out the blues.
What I needed for the blue quilt were light backgrounds and while looking for them came across more red fabrics. Okay, this is ridiculous is what I thought.
I'd been toying with the idea of piecing the backing and this discovery forced the decision. There was one rule, I had to use the whole piece. I didn't want left overs since this creates a fresh dilemma - what to do with these bits. Each piece was trimmed of any selvages and loose threads and pieced together, a bit like a puzzle.
There were three lovely conversation prints I'd been saving for that 'special' project. Where I'd procrastinated in the past about what to do with them they were the first ones I chose. No longer hidden away in the cupboard, they can now be viewed and enjoyed as whole pieces.
It did take longer than I thought - why should that surprise me - but I'm very excited these fabrics are no longer hidden away.
Now this is going to sound odd but the next quilt I make is going to be blue! I had barely made a row of red & white blocks for the new quilt and my head was full of ideas for making it in blue. I had to stop myself heading to the stash, there and then, and pulling out blue fabrics. The fact there was no space on the cutting table for any more red fabric let alone blues was a reality check.
This didn't stop me buying these fabrics at Avonleigh. As if I needed more!
Why a blue quilt? Because blue is my daughters favourite colour and I cannot imagine using any other colour in her old room. This is Sue-Anne's beautiful blue version of the Magic Circle quilt in her room. You can see why it has to be blue!
With less than two months to Christmas I decided to make a start on this years red & white quilt.
Last year I was working on Sarah's Sampler (1855). Come Christmas day it was only a pile of blocks and not a finished quilt top. Technically I could say it's this years quilt, since it was finished this year, but this would mean there is no 2012 quilt, a break with tradition.
Anyway, I was in the mood to try something new and it is ages since I cut fabrics for myself and did some some simple machine piecing.
The challenge each year is to make something different.
The plan is to keep cutting and sewing and see what happens!
Today I'm crossing off lots of things on the to do list. Okay so I haven't ticked off the item on top of the list, bookwork, but there are big ticks next to many of the items listed below it. Something I've been meaning to do is show you two new Christmas patterns.
By now many of you will have made Christmas decorations using Theodora Cleave buttons and will know how simple and enjoyable they are to make.
Barb likes to tempt me and every so often an extra button appears with an order. As soon as I saw the blue Deer Friend button I knew I had to use it.
The pattern for Christmas Magic costs $6.00 plus P&H and is available from my on line store. A kit is available for $15.00 plus P&H.
This wall hanging was designed with young children in mind. I know my girls would have loved changing the numbers each day. You could count backwards from 25 - 1 for the number of sleeps or use it as calendar.
Fun and simple to stitch and easy to put together.
Other Christmas kits I've added to my online store are.
It's only a little over a week ago I was at Katoomba for the Christmas Retreat hosted by Karen from The Stitching Post.
It was my first visit to the Blue Mountains and I was lucky enough to
have some spare time Friday afternoon to look around Katoomba.
Can you guess where I went first - the shop of course. I bet you can't guess what colour fabrics I bought? I do look at other colours but know I will always find a project for reds.
A little sight seeing
Followed by cocktails later that night at the shop.
This was then followed by two lovely days of stitching, chatting, yummy food, catching up with old friends and making new ones.
The thing that surprised me was how hot and dry it was. It snowed the previous year and I'd expected mild weather similar to what it's been like at home. But it was hot and dry accompanied by the drone of cicadas. It felt like the middle of summer and not the middle of spring.
Knowing this I still find it hard to believe that less than a week later such devastating fires have broken out. My thoughts go out to all those affected by the fires and a heartfelt wish for everyone to remain safe.