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Monday, 30 December 2013

Celtic Mystery -Part 5

Well I am relieved that I am up to date having had to deconstruct my last set of blocks. It has put me behind on a few other projects I was planning to do over the weekend, but I am ready for whatever Bonnie can throw at me. My sister is convinced there will be another part posted today in readiness for the reveal on Wednesday (New Year's Day). Life will certainly be on hold if that it is the case.

Hope you enjoy a compilation of the blocks completed so far. I feel a bit more neutral will help calm down the overall feel, but you can't say that it isn't a cheery design!

So here are my efforts from the weekend to appreciate as well as the picture above. Two and a half hours to link up....  time to add some borders to another quilt I am in the process of completing.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Spot the Difference

Had a bit of a crisis this evening trying to get part 5 of the Mystery Quilt. As you can see the top block has no seam allowances, although it is 3 1/2 inch square.
Having had a discussion with my sister, I realised I hadn't trimmed the original half square triangle which has caused the trouble. So eight blocks wasted and another 90 or so to unpick.......

Friday, 27 December 2013

Celtic Mystery - part 5

Well, I have made a start on part 5, having got all the component parts. I have done a couple of test blocks, the second,(shown here) more successful than the first. Without my single throat plate the final seam attaching the two large triangles is proving a bit tricky, but I think it will all be ok. Will hopefully make some progress tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas spirit

Well I have at last got the Christmas tree up. Piran has been sniffing at the presents and reckons some of them are for him. I think he might be right.

Monday, 23 December 2013

4-patch panic

Well here are a few of the completed 4-patch blocks, though I am surprised how long it is taking me to get these together. These three are slightly short on the 3 1/2 inch but I am now getting my seam allowance better so that I can trim and still be the right size.

Cutting seemed to take me ages and the piles of pairs seemed to go on forever. As a parish priest I am getting a bit on the busy side with Christmas Eve tomorrow - but they need to be completed because I will be away until Friday. My sister has warned me that Bonnie might do a 'quick fire finish' like last year and therefore it is vital to keep up!

Not entirely convinced at Bonnie's suggestion that this was a light week…..

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Holiday memories

My sister Frances visited recently and I was able to show her some of the fabrics I bought when I visited Ohio and Pennsylvania back in September. This collection, which are mainly from the Hoffman Sayomi range, are reserved for my Baby Jane project I am hoping to start next year.

My problem with the Dear Jane quilt is that although very interesting and will be fun to do, as a quilt I don't find it visually pleasing and I have been struggling on how to achieve both with this project which will take some time to complete. One suggestion from my sister was to use the same background material for the triangles around the edge instead of different colour fabrics. To do this meant I needed to get some more of the background material.

The pale gold in the picture is another 4 yards of the Hoffman Challenge 2013 co-ordinates gold and while I was shopping I also bought some of the aqua gold and teal fabrics as well.
These fabrics are not readily available in the UK (or least I haven't found a source yet) and so I sent off to The Old Country Store at Intercourse. What sadness to hear that 2 days later (after they sent my order) that they are to close because of financial difficulties.

It seems the store is part of a much larger business consortium and although I understand the store to be profitable, it has had to close because of the failure of the other associated businesses in the group. I am hopeful that the shop will continue in due course as presumably it could be bought as a going concern and continue its excellent work. My mother and I visited in September and spent over 4 hours in the shop and museum. How fortunate that I put my order in when I did!

Saturday, 14 December 2013


Just had a go a machining some pinwheels. Had to take one seam out but I now realise lining up the centre points is more important than the edges. Very pleased with the end result. My eagerness to complete each part is a) worried that Christmas will overtake me and I get stuck and b) worried my 3 1/2 inch blocks won't end up as 3 1/2 inch! But as you can see, so far so good. Need to make another 22.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Part 3 - stage 1

Well, I have had a busy evening but so far not been too stressed this week's mystery blocks. As you can see I have completed my HST's and will tackle the pinwheels tomorrow. I gave the Inklingo a miss this evening as it takes so long to iron on the freezer paper and I haven't found a balance between economical and stress free in the process yet! I was also able to use up bits and pieces.
As you can see I chose a different method for my HST as I don't have a single throat plate for my sewing machine and my sister thought I might have problems with triangles disappearing down between my feed dogs. I can say this method was entirely stress free. The only complaint was from my dog who felt I had been doing the Mystery Quilt for too long and it was time for a toilet break and tea!


This Mystery Quilt should really come with a health warning. Just stopped for a cup of tea and piece of cake mid-sermon and before I knew it I had popped upstairs just to check I knew how to do a half square triangle!

As you can see I can.... More later.

Timely delivery

It has only been since starting the Mystery Quilt that I have realised that my table is too low for cutting and trimming. Last week my back was really complaining at bending over the low table. So I have managed to source these leg raisers which has brought the table to 30" height. I will see how I go at this height. It has got to be better than last week!
I also had another package delivered this morning - a few more fabrics from the same collection of Oz, though they are fabrics that I have until now only had a 10" square piece. So I am not so tight on fabric now. The other good news is that I didn't have to pay import tax or handling, so the cost has remained reasonable.
Now it is time for some lunch and look at Bonnie's blog to find out what we are doing this week. However I have told myself I cannot start Part 3 until I have written my sermon for Sunday. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Up to date

Well I am now up to date with  my Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt. With Christmas fast approaching I need to do as much as I can now as very soon - like in the next few days, the carol services and carol singing will begin. At least I won't be distracted with chevrons or the like until Friday. 

A couple of years ago we had the cold weather arrive early. It was so cold and icy that many of our Christmas services were cancelled as it was just too dangerous for people to go out, especially when it was dark. But just in case there isn't snow this year (might get a flurry or two) here is a beautiful picture one of my parishioners took in 2010. This is one of the churches I have care of here in Devon (when I am not making mystery quilts!).

Faith and Hope...

It's moments like these one hopes that everything is sewn right or it could be a long evening unpicking....

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Progress Clue 1 & Clue 2

Well, here are the pieces from Clue no. 1 of Bonnie's mystery quilt. I seemed to have survived my first go at machining a quilt from scratch. They mostly measure 3.5 inches but the reality will be later when sewn together.

As you see my colour selection is very different from Bonnie's suggestion - but it was the best I could do from my stash. The pink and yellow remind of ice cream for some reason. You will notice I am using black for my neutral, it seemed to work better than a cream or beige. I haven't done many of the units yet but hoping to make good progress on Monday.

Machine Quilting??

Now those who know me know that I would usually hand quilt everything but I have realised that if I am to keep up with Bonnie and new approach would be needed. So the sewing machine has been dusted down and put to work. It isn't as super sophisticated as some peoples but so far it is proving very satisfactory. I am finding it slightly stressful without the fail safe paper piecing that I usually do.


Welcome to my new blog which gives me the opportunity to share with a wider audience what I get up to in my life. My most recent project is that I have been persuaded by my sister, Frances (aka Faberdashery) to join her on Bonnie Hunter's 2014 mystery quilt journey. Since my decision was very last minute (the night before Clue No.1 I have had to choose a different range of colours compared to Bonnie. So red=blue, pink=green, green=orange, yellow=yellow and black is my neutral.