Monday, June 4, 2012

Favourite things

Well, the Queen didn't make sure we had a lovely warm day for her celebrations today. It was so chilly that I was rather grouchy by the time I had finished fumbling and dropping pegs repeatedly while hanging out the washing. It still felt a little damp hours later when I went to retrieve it. 

On a good note, Johnny decided that he wanted to make cheese scones, and I certainly wasn't standing in his way. He doesn't bake very often, so it is always a nice surprise when he does. 
 The scones looked pretty cute when they were waiting to go in the oven.
 And they puffed up nicely too. I love a hot, buttery scone.
 That was morning tea taken care of.

I was busy working on the Forty Wishes quilt. I love the soft colours, which seem to be enhanced by a scattering of red patches with wee white spots. Mmm, I love spots!
 Each block is cut from four strips of the width of the fabric joined. Super easy to do. I bought ready cut strips which gave me a coordinated range of fabrics and saved a lot of time. Each block is turned 90 degrees from its neighbour to create the pattern.
 You can see the red strips scattered. They give it a bit of zing. The binding will be the same red spotted fabric. This quilt covers a queen sized bed with some overhang. My biggest quilt by far.
 I'm also working on a much smaller project. This is the kit from my Cath Kidston Patch book.

 I cut the templates from freezer paper, which is not commonly available here, but can be purchased from quilting supply shops. It is super cheap in the USA, and used for food wrapping. It surprisingly can be ironed onto fabric where it remains until you peel it off without a trace. You can reuse it several times, so is fantastic for making applique templates, and for hand-pieced patchwork. It is also used for foundation patchwork. I cut 12 little petal shapes for the dresden plate pieces, then ironed them onto the reverse side of the fabrics, which I had already cut using a larger template.
 Now I've got the wee stack of petals to hand-turn, sewing them onto the template, carefully folding  the fabric around the shape of the freezer paper petal as I go. The curved top is tricky as it requires tiny pleats and wee stitches to hold them in place, otherwise the petals will end up without a smooth   border.
 Dresden plate making is not everyone's cup of tea, but I am fond of hand sewing, so it suits me perfectly.

Yesterday I dropped into Stitch to visit Fenella. I was pleased that I did because she had these lovely wide backing fabrics on special. I have admired these since they first came in, but they don't come cheap at full price. So I grabbed a bargain.

It is extraordinarily difficult to find extra wide fabrics that are attractive enough to go anywhere near my quilts. I love these and although I haven't got any place for them currently, they were worth popping in my stash. I am going to explore the world of pure cotton sheets for the back of quilts. I would love to use gorgeous coordinating quilting fabrics joined, but can only justify that when I can find a bargain.

Even though it was chilly here, I decided to risk a trip out to see Zanny. As Johnny said, there will be plenty of wet weekends coming up. I can't bear the thought. Darling Zanny was waiting at the gate because I called to her, then went to chat to Viv to see if she wanted a ride too. Hopefully Jack is sold, but he is just waiting for the final decision. Viv had taken him out earlier in the day, so she and Emily decided that Frank could have a quiet walk. He has been out of action for a month or so lame, so I was quite honoured to head out with him again. I thought he might be a bit fresh and flighty, but he and Zanny ambled along together like brother and sister, happy as anything. It was much warmer over at the farm, as it often is, so we had a lovely time in the sun, with a good chat on the way, and Shadow, the foxy, explored as we rode. I feel so fortunate to have magic moments like that.

Have a wonderful week! XXX

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