Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Allietare part 5 and merry Christmas


Had a lovely Christmas day, it started with a cup of tea in bed, followed by pancakes for brunch and a wonderful late lunch of seafood, chicken, ham, salad, and fruit and nuts.


Part 5 Allietare was posted on Boxing Day, but I didn't have time to look at it until yesterday, Sunday. 
You can find Bonnie Hunter's instructions here.
I did have time to visit Spotlight and stock up on Christmas fabric for next year, and I was able to replenish some creams and blacks used in this mystery. 
We used units made in part one and part two to make the first units of part five. I was short 6 half square units, but had cut lengths to make them. 
The second part involved rectangle units from part 3 and grey squares from part 2. They were fairly quick to sew.
That's it for part 5. We will be traveling again next week,  so part 6 will have to wait until I can set up the machine again.

Bonnie's Allietare part 5  link-up party can be found here.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Allietare part 4

Started part 4 yesterday and boy is it time consuming. I'm not whining,  I'm just stating that it was very time consuming,  and lucky I am on holidays. I had collected more than the alloted amount of fabric needed for half size, and in this part pieces needed to be the same fabric. Mmmm. Lucky I had brought another project with me that had extra cream. All my blacks are pretty much gone, as are my creams. I'm fine for blues and reds, but if part 5 needs other colours, it's off to Spotlight I go.

You can find Bonnie Hunter's instructions here - http://quiltville.blogspot.com.au/p/allietare-mystery.html

I needed to draw a diagonal line through 240 black squares.
I used pegs to keep each set together.
Ironing with a craft iron - that doesn't get overly hot - was also time consuming (still not whining ☺)!
On day one I made four sets.
Day two, I was on a roll and made six sets, well it was raining so I had time. Only five to go, hopefully tomorrow. 
With the cut off half square triangles I have made numerous mini blocks.
I'm not sure what I will make with them,  but nothing gets wasted, that's my Scottish blood.
Travelling in our caravan and working on a Galaxy android makes it more difficult to link to Bonnie's links, so here is the best I can do under the circumstances.
To go back to the link up party click here
Or here
Or here
 http://lwlink3.linkwithin.com/api/click?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_145086014060811&key=503c38809682907e0e07931326b1c03d&libId=iiik3mrp01012xfu000MA9wrjwsge&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fquiltville.blogspot.com.au%2F2015%2F12%2Fsewing-parties-are-best-kind-of-parties.html&v=1&out=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F1S4mQSA&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fquiltville.blogspot.com.au%2F2015%2F12%2Fsewing-parties-are-best-kind-of-parties.html&title=Quiltville's%20Quips%20%26%20Snips!!%3A%20Mystery%20Monday%20Link-Up%

Hopefully one of the above will get you there, or simply click the back button ☺

Monday, 21 December 2015

Allietare part 3

 I really enjoy camping by the river in Summer. Look at our wonderful view. 
This is our fifth Christmas camping by the river and as I travel with my little Elna Lotus I usually do Bonnie's mystery while away.
Part three involves four patches of neutrals and, in my case teal/blue (instead of gold). The second part was large neutral rectangles.
It is so relaxing to sew with this view. I did have to turn the fan away as it was blowing the pieces on the floor.
I forgot to pack my cordless iron, but luckily I travel with a small craft iron, that did the job.
All sections of part three complete. Part four tomorrow when the boys are at Star Wars.
Bonnie's part three link up is here


Friday, 11 December 2015

Farmers Wife #10 Ava

My thoughts on the block. Ava is the name of our 2nd granddaughter, so I chose colours that remind me of Ava. This block was a little more complicated due to the added 'square' in the four half square triangles. 
If you are following my blog you already know that I find it easier to cut squares and sew on the diagonal rather than cutting triangles and sewing on the bias - hence the two smaller squares on the large centre square on my layout.
 Gnome Angel tutorial can be found here, and you can find some great tips in the Farmers Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt videos from Marti Michell
Sew Along Video #2 - cutting tips
Sew Along Video #3 - to template or paper piece
Sew Along Video #4 -more measuring with templates

My thoughts on the letter: A Family, Regardless
by Synthetic Mother
Synthetic Mother writes about her and her husband's journey to adopt a child, and how the results were "bliss ... even if they are no flesh and blood of my own."
As I teacher I saw many different types of families and I can say that flesh and blood does not a family make.
Love makes a family.
Trust makes a family.
Caring makes a family.
Sharing the good and the bad makes a family.
Respecting each others views makes a family.
Laughing together, crying together, makes a family.
A family is more than flesh and blood.

Quote: 
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. 
~Richard Bach

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt

ALLIETARE - Parts 1 & 2
This will be the fifth year I have done a Bonnie Hunter mystery - only one have I finished completely to use.

2011 - Orca - was my first mystery, and the one I love the most - so far. It is still not finished as I need to make more of the units to make it fit our bed.
2012 - Easy Street - is scrappy, and is completed and living happily in our van.
2013 - Celtic Solstice - I chose not to go scrappy. I bought all new fabric in 5 different colours and tones. Still needs the border, and it will live in our family room. 
2014 - Grand Illusions - I went scrappy, mainly because I was so busy at work I didn't have time to go to the fabric store, and often got behind in the units, but I finished it to quilt top stage - it was ok.
2015 - Allitare. and so the adventure mystery begins.
You can find Bonnie's instructions here.
I chose the same colours as recommended by Bonnie, except for the gold. I really don't have very much 'gold' fabric so went for blues instead to match the blue in the constant grey fabric. 
I used this fabric in Easy Street.
 Part one was half square triangles :) - heaps, but I'm doing half of what Bonnie is doing. 
One thing (of many) that I learnt from Bonnie's mysteries, was to do as many as one can of each unit, and when the next part comes out start on the next unit and come back to complete parts not finished. That was my downfall in 'Orca', but now I know better and try to keep on track. I also have more time now to spend doing what I like to do.
I still need to finish part one, but I'm more than half way.
 Part 2 was a sort of flying geese unit.
 It also included cutting squares from the constant grey and the blackish fabrics. Some of the blacks I used were used in Easy street, and that was when I started collecting fat quarters of blacks and blacks on white.
 In making these units I also made small half square triangle units, that I know some would throw away, but I'm of Scottish blood so nothing larger than my finger nail will get thrown away. I may use them in the border or in place mats or mug rug, I'll use them somewhere. 
I also use then as anchor cloths!
 
 The little dog ears I cut off usually when I've finished sewing the units, but it depends on what I am doing. Sometimes I will cut them as I go.
 I use a small 4 inch by 6 inch container that sits at the end of my quilting table and it is easy to snip, snip, brush into the container. Nothing on the floor.
Bonnie has a link up party each week, so you can see what others are doing.
I'm not sure how much sewing I will get done the next week with family visiting and Christmas parties, but I will get back to do part 3 in a week or two.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Farmers Wife #39 Grandma


#39 Grandma was an interesting block. Made entirely of two different sized triangles, it looks harder than what it was. I did make a mistake in some of the measurements, but that will be sorted out when I piece the quilt top together. Speaking of layout, I have decided I will be making a few different quilts, and will be doing most on point. I do think the blocks will look better that way. My problem is choosing what fabrics go together, but in this block I'm happy with my choices.

My thoughts on the letter 'All Bravery and Brightness'
by Grandma, Feb. 1931
Grandma, 82, writes about her struggles and compromises throughout her long life, and looking back she realises she has 'lived a happy, useful life.'
  Really, nothing has changed today. Yes we have more appliances and the world appears much faster now, but the struggles are still there, the compromises are still there (or should be).
Through all Grandma's struggles she always put on a brave face, for the sake of others. How many of us still do that? Many people we know and see each day put on a smile to cover up how they really feel. Sadly some of these people do not reach the age of 82, as life just gets too much. "All bravery and brightness" is often a cover up for what is really going on in one's life or mind. Putting on a 'happy face' does not make it better, it makes others feel better. Sorry to be glum, but we need to look out for each other, each and every day.
I hope that when I am 82...92...102, I can look back on my life and remember the good and not the bad.
Quote: I'm a strong person, but every once in a while, I would like someone to take my hand and tell me that everything is going to be alright ~ Anon.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Farmers Wife #80 Patricia

I enjoyed making #80 Patricia. I like any form of a nine patch, and again this one would be good for fussy cutting. As I have started a few other projects - 
Simply Colorful Quilt Along (here), San Francisco Santa Club and Christmas Mystery, and Bonnie Hunter's new Mystery Allitare, not to mention the Christmas presents yet to make and the many UFO's to finish, I have decided to do only one of each block, unless it is particularly easy or I really really like.

My thoughts on the letter "A Recipe for Keeping Young"
by R. B. B., Sept. 1937
 I love my nanna naps. R. B. B. asked the question of why a mother looked so young, and the answer was naps. Some years ago 'power naps' were very popular - a short 20 min nap. At first I didn't think one could sleep for 20 minutes and wake up not tired, but it works. Everyone needs sleep and research has shown that power naps of 15-20 minutes can increase creativity, can improve mood, stress levels, blood pressure, and health in general. It is hard to find time each day to have a nanna nap, and some days I don't, BUT some days I do and I don't feel guilty about it.
Quote:
I don't feel old. I don't feel anything till noon. That's when it's time for a nap. ~ Bob Hope

Farmers Wife #79 Patience

# 79 Patience is a simple 9 patch block, that I adjusted to make it a modified nine patch. It is a perfect block, like many so far in the Farmer's Wife 1930's blocks, for fussy cutting. It was also this block that changed my mind about orientation of the blocks. I am now thinking of making the quilt/quilts on point.

 My Thoughts on the letter "Talk About Grit!"
by Renter, March 1930 
This letter was so sad. Renter writes about the hardships she is facing and says she is "...down, and down bad. But I'm not out yet." 
Times were certainly harder back in the 1930's, much harder than today, but even today people are struggling. Struggle can be on many levels, physical, mental, financial, social ... but no matter what level there are always others who may be worse off. 
Some years ago when our son was weeks old, we found out he was profoundly deaf. I recall thinking our cat could hear John Farnham, but our son could not. Not long after that he was diagnosed as autistic. At that time we were fortunate to be living in an area that greatly supported deaf children, and we went to a weekly child therapy play group. It was at this playgroup, sitting in the parents room waiting that we met another couple also waiting. Their daughter was also in the playgroup. This was a lovely young couple who had two children, a girl in the playgroup who had cerebral palsy and major visual problems, and a baby boy who had downs syndrome. Dad had recently been made redundant, and mum was pregnant. I can't imagine what this family was going through. Our son was just deaf and autistic. Our problems were nothing compared to this young family. Yet, they were friendly and cheery and a lovely couple to meet.
Renter writes "... what's the use of worrying ... making it miserable for everyone around you?" Certainly this is true, but when one feels '...down and down bad...' it is difficult to think of others feeling first. Thinking of others comes later, when time has put in place the reality of the situation. 
My quote today is somewhat similar to Renter:
Worrying does not take away tomorrows troubles, 
it takes away today's peace.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Simply Colourful Quilt Along - parts 1 & 2

Once Fool's Gold was finished I started another project, this one was a quilt along with Lynn Marquedant. 
I started following Lynn's FibreCast Youtube channel a few years ago. It is similar to Bonnie Hunter's that I watch occasionally, but the big difference for me is that FibreCast is broadcast at the same time each week, and Lynn usually demonstrates what she is doing and invites us to do the same. I did make a sewing machine cover shaped like a caravan for my caravan machine, and also a caravan quilt and place mats, which I sell as we travel in our van. 
So during this time of rediscovering my creative side :), Lynn is doing a quilt-along.
 Week One was an Ohio Star. Now I have many sampler quilts still waiting to be finished and I really didn't want to start another one, but I did want to do the quilt along, so I decided to do the first part of week one as a baby quilt and make nine Ohio stars instead of one.
To make the Ohio Star block I cut four large squares, in this case - two yellow, one green, and one orange. I placed one yellow with the green and one yellow with the orange. I then drew a diagonal line and stitched 1/4 inch ether side. I cut on the other diagonal to make two half square triangles. I did the same with the other yellow and the orange. I then placed the opposite ones together and repeated to make four identical units.
I love making the little four patch at the back of the four half square triangle blocks.
 
 By using one 'stash builder' from Spotlight and a collection of co-ordinating plain fabrics I made this baby quilt. I am at the stage of putting in the white polka dot sashing.
 Week one included a small church and a small trees block.
Week two was the big church and big tree block.
All were done paper piecing, which I'm not fussed about, but the results are good. I colour coded each piece to keep me on track.
I decided I would use these blocks ether in place mats or another caravan quilt. Then I saw on the quilt along FB page
another block that used Christmas fabric, so decided to make the large tree block for a place mat. 
I really liked the background fabric for the smaller block, not sure if I will turn it into a place mat or keep it for another caravan quilt.
 But wait ..... didn't I say I wasn't going to make 'another' sampler quilt ... well, another talented sewer made her blocks out of Halloween fabric ... I have a crate full of Halloween fabric ... so guess what?
I'm going to start a Halloween sampler quilt this week.
Watch this space :)
 

Fools Gold Mystery Stash Buster.

I have been indulging in my create side of late, and while I have finished a couple of Christmas presents and in between Farmer's Wife 1930's quilt, I did a quick 8 week Stash Buster Mystery quilt - Fool's Gold. It was facilitated by Quilters World Magazine and best selling author Susan Mallery. It was a pattern designed by the editor of Quilter's World magazine Carolyn Vagts, and each part was released once a week.
The first part was the choosing and cutting of the fabric. I always struggle with fabric choice, and really wasn't sure I had chosen the right fabrics until the end. I like to use reusable cards for mystery quilts and have both alphabet and numerical cards. This quilt sorted the cut fabrics into alphabetical parts. I chose one fabric for most of the colour choices, but decided to use scraps for the light / medium purples. I like some consistency, especially with mystery quilts, so I will often use one fabric colour.

Each week the units are added to to make larger units.



 Here it is ready to sew together.
Now the top is finished and waiting on my UFO stand to be quilted and finished.