Saturday, 13 June 2015

A senior moment - aaack! I'm too young!

You know that moment of realisation that you've done something really stupid, and you just can't believe you've done it?

Today I was sewing together 36 vintage snowball blocks into six rows of six blocks.  I spotted that I had pieced three blocks in Row 1 in the wrong orientation, luckily before I joined it to Row 2.  I ripped out the seams, telling myself off, carefully resewed them, pressed them again, and then joined Row 1 to Row 2.

Then I hold up the two joined rows to inspect my work, and realised I had sewn the three blocks right back into the same wrong orientation! And this time I had to rip out the row seam first and then AGAIN rip the block seams.  Grrrr, smack head several times...

The blocks came from a vintage top I bought in Sisters, Oregon back in 2007.  I thought I had a picture of the whole quilt top, but I only have this image where it appears on the right hand side.  It had blue sashing with red corner squares, which were vintage fabric but the colours didn't look good with the block fabrics. The blocks are hand pieced but were joined together by machine into blocks of four, then sashed.  I suspect someone found some blocks and joined them together into a top to make it more sale-able.

I ripped out the sashing and started playing on the design wall.  Due to the extremes of values (dark and light) the groups of four blocks didn't work well at all, so I ripped them all out to end up with 36 single blocks.  Then I played some more and in the end I came up with this arrangement where the dark blocks form a diamond and the duplicate blocks are arranged symmetrically.

So I've sewn those together now and I just need to add an outer border.  Then that will be another UFO I can move to the 'needs to be quilted' list.

Before I tackled the snowball blocks, I finished sewing the borders on the Stack and Whack Sara's Stars quilt.  I'm pleased with how it's turned out, it was so enjoyable to sew all the kaleidoscope stars and hexagons, which are all from the same fabric as the outer border, and see all the amazing designs emerging. The colours really sing to me.


This week I finished the little baby cardigan in Lion's Brand worsted acrylic for the girl at work. The pattern is 'Miss Sadie Baby Kimono' by Mary Kate Long and it's  a free pattern on Ravelry which is written for either DK or worsted weight.

I've blocked the machine knitted marled t-shirt pieces after finishing the v-neck trim application, and I'm just waiting for it to dry so I can sew the side seams and set in the sleeves (pic is of the sleeves blocking).

There hasn't been much commuter knitting this week as I have gotten totally sucked into re-reading the Aubrey and Maturin books by Patrick O'Brien - I've just finished book 6.  It's actually been a bit of a mental wrench a few times as my train pulls into London and I have to take myself away from some tense naval battle in 1812 off the New England coast and turn back into a London commuter.

I finished the Fenick square for my GAA Afghan.  I've lost track of whether this is block 17 or 18 so not sure whether I have 2 or 3 squares left to knit. I've cast on for the next square - I hope it's square 19.

Other stuff

I finished painting the mirror frame.  It looks quite dull in this photo, in reality it came out a sort of goldy-greeny-bronze sort of colour.  It suits the hallway a lot better than the original orange pine frame. I really like this sort of 'quick fix' where with relatively little labour or expense, you can completely change the look of something. I had to buy a tin of gold paint for £4 but I had everything else to create this effect.

I had a go at flower arranging using some of the early summer flowers from our garden.  I've never been much good at flower arranging but it is easier when you have a selection of ferns and greenery to draw upon. I was disappointed that the rose only lasted three days though before it started to droop, and the hydrangeas were limp by four days. It almost seems a shame to bring them in from the garden then. But they did look fabulous in the hallway, made me feel very posh.

I finished the strip of dollshouse bobbin lace, but can't show it to you made up as a towel end because all my miniature toweling fabric is packed still.  I'll put it safely away until the dollshouse room is set up.  The long strip of lace is almost finished, I'm just working the final corner and then I will seam it onto a vintage cloth.

The garden is looking pretty good.  After a few weeks without many flowers, we now have geraniums, foxgloves, roses and other unidentified things blooming.  However, we've realised that there are no apples forming on the apple tree despite the brave show of blossom it put out after we moved it.  I guess the stress of moving was too much for it to fruit this year.  Hopefully next year we will get some apples.

DS will be coming back from university soon for the summer, which will change the dynamic of the household. It will be lovely to have him back, but there will be a period of adjustment while we get used to having a third person in the house, and he gets used to not being as independent as he is at school.  I also think we will need to have a conversation about pitching in with housework this time round, although he did do a lot of cooking last summer which was nice.

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