I was back in England this past week-and-a-bit on a family-visiting spree. I managed to visit Mum, Mad Aunty Jean, and my lovely sister, brother in law and niece in the span of 9 glorious but exhausting days. As there were some serious distances to cover, I decided to buy a BritRail pass and take the train – this meant, of course, that I had to take some hand sewing with me to keep me occupied on my travels!
The dog appliqué quilt I’ve been working on has now been put on the back burner, as I’m not a natural at hand appliqué, and I’m fed up of all the fiddly little pieces that need to be stitched on. And as it’s going to be a gift for Mum when I finally get around to finishing it, and Mum would surely see it if I brought it along to work on, I thought it best to leave it all tucked up nicely in its little plastic shoebox until the urge to appliqué strikes once again. Whenever that may be…
So, what to take with me? Easy – my long-standing hexie project!
Admittedly, this is another on-and-off project that has been kicking around for several years, being brought out every now and then in a fit of enthusiam and worked on for a few weeks before my interest wanes once more. But I’ve been working on it again recently, thanks to my lovely quilting friend Ms JJ (http://pragmaticpatchwork.wordpress.com) who has inspired me by posting on her own hexying (Is there such a word? If not, there surely should be!)
And as I travelled around England, I whiled away the time basting hexagons one after another and letting my mind wander. That’s what I love about English paper piecing – it’s very soothing, almost hypnotic, and you can get lost in your thoughts because you don’t really need to concentrate on what you’re doing. So as my little pile of hexies steadily grew taller, I let my thoughts drift, thinking about all the quilts I want to make, as well as all the quilts I need to finish, and trying to decide what I’m going to work on next. Perhaps it might even be the hexie quilt (shock horror!) – after all, over the past 2 years, I’ve basted hexagons galore, and I’ve now even started to sew them together…
But now I’m back home, and I feel drawn to my sewing machine again. Unfinished quilt tops are calling to me, and new project ideas are tempting me back into my sewing room and away from my pretty little hexies. So despite my good intentions, it looks like this is going to be an on-going project for some time yet. Still, I do have a few more trips planned this year, and so, if nothing else, it seems that my hexie quilt will keep me busy and happy on my travels for many months to come.
Last week, my lovely friend Kelly became a mum. Baby Chase was born on 4th June, weighing in at 7lb. And he is a real cutie – I can’t wait to meet him in person!
Of course, as soon as I found out that Kelly was expecting, I began planning the baby quilt I wanted to make. So I took out a fantastic book I’d received at Christmas, Jelly Roll Quilts and More by Kimberly Einmo. It’s the kind of book that makes me want to run into my sewing room and start stitching right away! I love all the patterns in it, but was especially drawn to one called Star Chain, which made me think of night time, and (hopefully, for Kelly’s sake!), sleepy babies.
Now, for my birthday last year, RR subscribed me to The Fat Quarter Shop Jelly Roll Club – this means that every month, a beautiful jelly roll plops into my mailbox. It then gets fondled and petted and oohed and aahed over, before being put away until inspiration strikes (hence the Jelly Roll quilt book for Christmas!) I knew Kelly didn’t want anything too babyish for Chase’s nursery, so as soon as the yummy Noteworthy jelly roll arrived, I knew I’d found the ideal fabric for his quilt. I paired it with some Bella Porcelain as the background fabric (many thanks to Kathy from the Fat Quarter Shop for checking out the ideal match for me – it’s so difficult to do online, and while I’d love to be able to do it in person, quilt shops are less than abundant here in Switzerland, and the range they stock isn’t vast…)
So I set to with gusto, and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I chose to do straight line diagonal quilting through the blocks to keep it simple and to not detract from the beautiful fabric and quilt pattern. The quilt is now winging its way to Kelly, and I hope she’s going to like it.
I wanted the quilt to be crib-sized, so I decided to leave out the piano key border that Kimberly had added in her book, which meant I was left with enough fabric to make another baby quilt – a completely unexpected bonus! I’m not sure yet how I’m going to quilt this one, but as baby Chase is the first of 4 babies due this year, I’m sure it’ll find a good home 🙂