Saturday, 22 February 2020

a little escape

We've just got home from a lovely little escape 'up north'. 
It felt like a world away, and I loved it! 

Mr D. & I drove up to Mangawhai Heads, a little out of the way, and a lot to explore. 

We arrived late morning, and followed the instructions to finding our rented 'book-a-bach'. Third exit on the roundabout, first left, and then up a steep drive.

And the bach, well what can I say, it was a bit like going back in time. Faded striped curtains, paper mache art vase, and an old radio on top of the bookcase. The crockery and cutlery were wonderfully mismatched, the whole vibe was classic 1970s.

It seemed to hold memories of a thousand holidays . . . daytime decisions tossing up about going to the surf beach or the estuary, evenings of families playing cards and scrabble, and, it had everything we needed.

There were lots of great food options - deli, takeaways and a couple of cafes - along at the shops, just 20 mins walking distance. We tended to eat out at lunchtime, and have something light for dinner so I didn't really have to cook anything. My kind of holiday!

I took a quilt, of course . . .

Back to reality now!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

and then there were nine

up on the design wall . . .

- On the left are six of my new blocks 
and on the right, my earlier scrappy version of the same quilt
Hm-m-m- are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Lots of people  #meadowlandqal2020 are making all-solid versions, which the pattern also lends itself very nicely to, but somehow it’s just not me. I've chosen to use 12 FQ's - low key prints with a couple of solids - and am enjoying this more ‘refined’ selection of fabrics. I think too, in the way the same fabrics are repeated in three different places over the quilt, there's a sense of calm washing over this quilt top.

Just a few more blocks to go
Linking up with Kelly for 'needle and thread Thursday' here at myquiltinfatuation

Until next time, Linda

Saturday, 8 February 2020

and on to the next one ...

I do enjoy a good quiltalong! 
Here's my fabrics for the #meadowlandqal with @thencamejune  

You may remember that I made an earlier version of this quilt {here}. I used a quirky selection of fabrics, lots of soft greys, Liberty, Tilda, C&S, and favourite ginghams, along with my hoarded - very few - vintage fabrics and a couple of doilies.

This time, instead of all scrappy, I'm using a curated selection of fat quarters from my stash. After cutting each of your 12 (16) (20) FQ into the required pieces, you then mix and match the combinations. I'm guessing that if you only use those selected FQ, it hopefully leads to some sort of nice balance happening quite naturally - whether you go bright, or soft & pretty, use all-solids, or a designer bundle.

Using a sweet Liberty fabric as my focus, I've searched through my stash and combined a few tone-on-tones, a couple of solids, and dialled back the use of large colourful florals. And now I spy a set of 'meadowland' blocks all ready to go . . .

{wink wink} this could be the closest I'll ever get to making an all-solid quilt!

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here at quiltingismorefunthanhousework
There's a current quiltalong happening too over on ig if you are interested, 
pop on over here to #meadowlandqal2020 for lots more photos.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

{more} summertime reading

No sewing happening here, it's far too hot! 
Instead I've read a few more books over recent weeks.
It's a mixed bunch . . .

I found "Wearing Paper Dresses" by Anne Brinsden a compelling story about country Australia. The writing style is unique I must admit, everything is humanised (including the tea cosy), but once you go with it, it's kinda endearing.
City girl Elise marries country boy Bill and they end up moving back to (The) Mallee to help with Pa on the family farm. You get to know the characters well, Elise slow descent is heart breaking, and her two children are left to raise themselves as best they can.
Until tragedy strikes, and Marjorie flees to the city determined to leave her family behind. And there she stays, leading a very different life, until the boy she loves draws her back to the land she can't forget..."

'The Alice Network' by Kate Quinn was my favourite read last month. It's a historical novel about how two women are brought together in an amazing story of courage and redemption.
Telling two parallel tales, one of several female spies in Lille during WWI, the other of a pregnant college student looking for her cousin who went missing after the end of WWII.
I hadn't read anything before about women spies during WWI, so this was unique. The characters were great, so well described with lots of depth of understanding of what it was to be them. I loved it!

"Hello from the Gillespies" by Monica McInerney was a fun read. "For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself and tells the truth...."
Monica McInerney immediately drew me into the lives of this family with Angela, Nick, their three daughters and much younger son, Ig. Again another Australian read, set on an the outback sheep station. I found all three daughters annoying as characters, but I still wanted to find out how things panned out in the end!
So easy on the computer isn't it, to just to push 'send'...

"Big Lies in a Small Town" by Diane Chamberlain is a story about two women born in different times, woven seamlessly together. 2018 Morgan is in a North Carolina prison, she's offered a 'get out of jail free' card and she jumped at the chance. She’s been picked to restore a 1939 mural, designed for the Edenton post office but never hung. The only problem is Morgan is not certain she has the skill set to do the restoration and there is a timeline. Little does Morgan know the secrets she will find as she researches & restores the mural.

Next up to read is a book that all our bookclub are reading over summer, "The Dutch House" by Ann Patchett, and I'm looking forward to it. This is the second book I've read by Ann Patchett, 'Bel Canto' was a novel about a hostage crisis that goes wrong. Where lines of good vs evil are blurred. Where time is suspended. And I couldn't put it down!

Here's a section of Goodreads review -
"The Dutch House is a story of siblings, Danny and Maeve Conroy, their obsessive connection with the iconic family house they lived in as young children and how their lives unfolded over the years. The story is narrated by Danny over multiple non-linear time periods. The various time jumps and reflections back to important events felt like a jigsaw puzzle being built, where there is the uncertainty of the next piece but once it is placed, the complete picture becomes clearer and clearer."

I'll let know what I think of this one soon
Happy reading, Linda

Monday, 27 January 2020

photography 101

Last year I spent a bit of time exploring my options for taking a good "quilty pic". I don't do those minimal quilt photos, like you sometimes see, with lots of white wall and the quilt. I guess my photos so far have been more 'lifestyle' ones, working with what I have around here, everyday ordinary things.

And I've had lots of fun faffing about with my camera, some ideas worked . . . others didn't. Here's a wee photo selection of how my skills have progressed, or not! First up, on the bed . . .

and a wee collage of progress pics . . .

and then back to the quilt,
which found its way out onto the stairs  . . .

Sometimes I include the 'quilt swirl' or the 'quilt fold' too . . .

and then I go off outside,
on the gate . . .

 on the lawn . . .

and of course, on the washing line . . .

and somewhere amongst my pics I like to have a close up of the quilting . . .

oh, and then we're up on the front deck . . .

and last, but not least, my quilt found Mr d. my faithful quilt holder,
for a full frontal . . . {wink wink} of the quilt of course . . .

I certainly have my preferred locations around here, but a lot depends on the actual quilt, and the weather too! I know everyone loves those close ups - of fabrics used & of the individual blocks, the quilting, the backing used, and the binding. And that all essential final pic of the whole quilt is a must!

I'm enjoying having a go at combining my quilting with photography. I still have lots to learn . . . and maybe a few 'more modern' shots  will sneak in soon. Love to hear where you take your quilt photos and which blogs you recommend for eye catching photos.

Linking up this finished scrappy 'tripping around the world garden' quilt
with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here 

. . . until next time, Linda

Saturday, 25 January 2020

aunt Bet's quilt revisited

This week, in an attempt to ease that feeling of WiP overwhelm, I brought some pieces of a quilt out and left them all spread out on the spare chair ... and I fell in love with it again!

When my “lights” scrap bin was overflowing late last year, I decided to make another 'aunt Bet's' quilt. I like how Jo's pattern has that informal improv look, great for combining colours & fabrics, and still has a somewhat scrappy eclectic look that I love. And, even for an experienced quilter, it’s just nice to sit back, follow a pattern and simply sew once in a while.
I added a lovely new piece into the original mix, Anna Maria's 'front walk' in soft peachy beige, repeating it several times to help link up the colours over the quilt.

 Linking up this weekend with Wendy for the 'peacock party' here
Until next time, Linda