Sunday, 27 November 2022

and now for something sweet

Hello, hello. I'm still flitting between projects, still trying to keep them all moving forward. 

I'm working on my "evie" quilt this weekend, a sweet string quilt I started way back in August last year, check back here. I had made up four blocks using a pattern I downloaded by Tara @quiltdistrict {see here}. Her quilt was inspired by a delightful vintage quilt in her collection, and I must admit this quilt captured my heart straight away too as one of my granddaughters is called Evie! 


I'm using whatever fabrics catch my eye in my overflowing basket under the sewing table. Lots of strings and scraps in checks, spots, vintage florals, leftover pieces, etc... lots of eclectic and unlikely combinations.
I love the strong sense of overall balance in these blocks while all those assorted scrappy bits & pieces add a sweeter, lighter focus.

Here's a few pics of how things are looking up on the design wall ...














I think it's a twist on the traditional #spiderwebquilt or kaleidoscope block idea, either way it's a great way to weave those scrappy strips & strings into a delightful block full of surprise! 
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' herepop on over to check out all the other scrappy projects


Until next time, Linda


Tuesday, 22 November 2022

off the wall



This week I've been tackling an older WiP. I decided it was time to get those blocks down off the "design wall" before they fell down! They've been up there for  oops, no it's more like 6 months now. Here's a few progress pics...






I'm teaming up an eclectic mix of fabrics, old & new. Those of you who have been sewing for a few years may recognise both the fabrics I've chosen for my setting triangles, a chintz Cranston print and 'Kindred Spirits' Moda. I had to dig deep to find these as I don't have many appealing softer browns in my stash ...





- binding decision made too ✅















So, I started out using Emma @treehouse textiles pattern, the long weekend quilt. I changed things up a bit - my squares are a different size and I made nine smaller blocks, each with concentric rounds of colour, rather than Emma's four larger trip around the world blocks. 
I used a similar palette to Emma's though, loving this delightful vintage-y pink/blue/brown combo. {wink wink} You may spot the odd imperfectly perfect block here!
Finished quilt top measures 60" x 60". 

Super happy to get this down off the wall finally.
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here  

Until next time, Linda



Sunday, 20 November 2022

a bookish month

Life is super busy just now and I've hardly been in the sewing room. 
I have, however, found a little time to read this month.



"The Woman in the Library" by Sulari Gentill is a clever mystery within a mystery. It begins with a Bostonian chap named Leo writing to an Australian author, Hannah Tigone. When Hannah is stuck in the pandemic lockdown in Australia, she continues to email Leo, who is more than happy - if a little too assertive - to help research her settings & plotting style, etc . I should add this is not really a read about the pandemic, but it does get mentioned. 

Hannah's 'new' novel involves four strangers who are sitting in the same area in the Boston Public Library when they hear a shrill scream. The scream ends up bringing these twenty to thirty-somethings together. As the foursome begin to build stronger relationships, they find themselves entangled up in the mystery surrounding the death of the young woman. The trouble is, one of them is a murderer.

As things grow more and more complicated, so too do Hannah and Leo’s interactions. The cat and mouse games between the several characters leads to different thrilling surprises, and a tense ending. 
This book won't be everyone's cup-of-tea, but once I got past my initial confusion I needed to keep going!


***************

I did enjoy reading this next one, great writing and character development! Spanning just ten days in the 1950s and told from multiple points of view, Towles’ novel provides an array of new and elaborately imagined settings and characters.

Eighteen year old Emmett has just been released from a juvenile detention facility after serving time for involuntary manslaughter. Now that his father has passed away and he no longer has family in town, he plans to pick up his little 8yr old brother and drive along the Lincoln Highway to California where they can start anew.

But his carefully laid plans go awry almost from the very beginning - with so many different 'side trips' - all I can say is, what a journey!


***************

I had 'The Maid' by Nita Prose ordered at the library for months & months, and it arrived last week. Molly Grey, a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, gets herself into a bit of a pickle when she discovers a guest, Mr. Black, dead in bed. Who is responsible for the crime and will Molly go down just for being a bit different?

Molly knows that she is different. She has problems with social skills. She can offend people when she means to compliment them. She says wrong things at the wrong time. And I found her incredibly endearing.
She's always had her beloved Gran to explain things to her, however since Gran passed away she has had no one to help her navigate all these challenges. I found it a quirky read, well written with great character development and descriptive detail.
And the ending was just. so. perfect!
I think if you enjoyed "eleanor oliphant is completely fine" then I'm sure you will like this one too. 


***************

S.A. Cosby's novel "Blacktop Wasteland" is categorised as a crime novel, but it's about so so much more... first and foremost being a father and risking everything for others. 
Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a good father, a faithful husband, and is trying to make an honest living working hard as an excellent mechanic. But he has a troubled past and, even though he has "gone clean", those in the underworld know him as one of the best drivers in the business.

After a series of money troubles where nothing seems to be going right, Bug reluctantly takes part in a daring diamond heist to solve his finacial issues - just one last crime to save his family and then he's going straight once and for all. 
However, when it all goes awfully wrong, he's sucked into a grimy underworld which threatens everything, and everyone, he holds dear.




Happy reading,
Linda

Monday, 14 November 2022

floral chain in gold

There are lots of options with these Irish Chain quilts, and this one is a fun twist on the traditional quiltSuper happy with this combination of toasty golds, caramels and butterscotch with the pinks & teal.  

I love working with fabrics from my stash, and, I love spending a couple of hours chain piecing, it's repetitve & relaxing all at the same time.  
I enjoy following a pattern but also like to extend myself ... and so my Floral Chain quilt is in colours I would never normally combine. To change things up a bit, I decided to use many gold tonals and prints instead of just the one gold fabric. I think the scrappiness adds a dimension to the quilt that a two colour quilt might not. Plus, the alternating flower blocks are certainly another great opportunity to add a fun little extra pop of colour! 

Here's a few pics ...



- binding decision made ✅








I finished up with a cuddle sized quilt top. I was aiming for something a bit larger, but I ran out of those gold fabrics! Still, it was a super opportunity for some fabric play, and even better, it turned out to be the perfect stash and scrap buster. Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

Until next time, Linda


Monday, 7 November 2022

Festival of Quilts

Glenys and I had a great morning at the Auckland Festival of Quilts this weekend. There were over 300 quilts on display, along with the smaller challenge quilts and two exhibitions. A little shopping was undertaken, but we mainly spent time viewing all the wonderful quilts. Here's a selection of the ones that caught my eye, with a brief note detailing each one.  Enjoy ...

First up, my viewer's choice vote went to Rebecca Bishop for her delightful version of a Wendy William's design. It made me smile šŸ˜














The lighting was a little tricky with this pic, but my gosh Fay's embroidery was stunning ...

























































Love the flowers in this pixelated quilt ...




And this was such a fun quilt, using lots of recycled jeans 
and lots of little stitches ...















It was so lovely to have a show again and to catch up with so many friends.
To see more quilt show pics pop on over to Raewyn at stitchingfarmgirl
and there's a few more pics over at  wendysquiltsandmore 

Linda