Thursday, December 2, 2010

Today I feel mostly human again. It has been a little while. It turns out I need sleep, not a huge amount, but enough. And about 10 hours in three days is not enough, not for me anyhow. And getting up at 5:30am to go to work when you got back from the airport at 2am is not going to make for a pleasant work day. I don’t know how parents do it, keeping those sort of hours for years. Perhaps some sort of hormonal cocktail that has yet to be discovered. Whatever it is I could have done with some the last few days.

We did finally get to Perth, and when I say finally it was only about 4 hours later than planned but the knowledge that we had been at the airport in enough time to catch the early flight as planned and when we didn’t that we had gotten up at 4:30am for no reason made it a little hard to swallow. My brother’s wedding was lovely, I’d show a photo, but I didn’t remember to take any. I was also able to catch up with some friends I wouldn’t have otherwise seen until next April. So, a great weekend all round, just tiring.

I did have a list of projects that I wanted to complete last week before we left. I didn’t. But that is OK, because it was making me stressed and a hobby shouldn’t make you stressed, it should relieve it.

So over the last couple of nights, in the hour or two before I got so tired I was likely to sew my finger to the fabric I completed my November block for do. Good Stitches {a Charity Bee}. The founder of this wonderful bee, Rachel, is out Bee Mama for this month and requested we make blocks for a quilt to be given to a very young mother to be who has a baby daughter due in January. Rachel had asked us to choose a particular block in the quilt to complete, with each of the diagonal rows being a slightly different colour scheme so the diagonal rows in the finished quilt would go from tan to yellow, to orange to pink to red. We had free reign with the design of the block, as long as we included and embroidered panel Rachel sent to us.

My panel was 6x3” and I sat on it for a little while as I didn’t want to do another log cabin (it seems to be my fall back design) but couldn’t think of anything else I could do that would include a rectangle design. In the end I though ‘pinwheels’ but know that I would have to piece then differently to normal as the block couldn’t bee all pinwheels (it would be too ‘busy’ and the embroidery would be lost)and they couldn’t be regular and still make the 12.5” block requested. In the end I look my graph paper pad to work and started sketching at lunchtime. I blocked out an area for the panel in an off centre location and then just started drawing pinwheels of different sizes, leaving some gaps. When it finished I was really happy with the layout. I just had to find a way to sew 1” finished pinwheels and work out the fabric.

In the end I made most of the small pinwheels in a larger size and cut them down at the end, with a different yellow print for each size pinwheel. It did make for some fabric wastage, and I am generally not keen on that but it was the only way I could get them done accurately enough. It also really helped with getting the bulk of the units through the machine, considerable at the centres as I had used some linen as well. I then went down to the LQS and bought a solid that blended well with the different yellow prints in the pinwheels. When this was added to the outside of the pinwheels it made the linen rather than the print stand out which I had not considered at the beginning but the overall ‘look’ is still the right colour, I think. It also really helps the panel stand out which I good too, I think.

Tiredness aside, this was a marathon piecing effort with all the different size pinwheels and different prints to cut, about 3-4 hours all up at a guess. I really think, though, that the time was well spent. I really like the modern twist on a traditional look, but I wouldn’t want to make a whole quilt that way!

On the cards this week,

Mango chutney Note to self: do not fall asleep when making it this time and burn the sugar to the bottom of the pan

Ginger beer plant from flowerpress (followed by the ginger beer in 9 days)
• Finishing and posting my St Nickolas Swap items (SOON!!)
• Peach and Passionfruit Jam
• Planning for Christmas (including making the pudding and some fruitmince)
• Tracing some patterns for some new summer clothes for myself.

Sometimes I really think I should be a 50’s housewife....

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