Friday, 28 August 2020

Where’s a grindstone when you need one?

Not that I need to put my nose to the grindstone, as it seems I have managed to accumulate a lot of projects, and I’m loving it. With knitting and hand-sewing my evenings are completely taken up.

For daytime sewing I came across Lynn Dykstra's blog, Klein Meisje Quilts, a few months ago, and I fell in love with her solids on prints series of quilts.  She is a prolific quilter and encourages readers to use her designs ‘at your pleasure’.

I am particularly fond of the framed nine patch, and set about making my own using only fabrics from stash, plus any large scraps.

Here are my blocks so far up on the design wall.  At the moment I am just throwing them up there as I make them.  My intention is to make the quilt 10 x 12 blocks which is a really big quilt.  I find piecing these very soothing.

Around the time I read Lynn's blog I also read about Ruth’s framed nine patch (Gigi’s Room) and I’m really taken with the idea of doing a quilt-as-you-go using her technique on my domestic sewing machine.  I’m a walking foot quilter at the best of times, and this will be too big for me to push through my machine.  No idea what the backing will be yet - and this will have to be purchased as I don't have anything suitable in stash.

When I started making the blocks I only had blue/green solids from a bundle I bought years ago in Spotlight.  I am trying to be careful not to plan the blocks too much i.e. matching or coordinating the solids with the prints because, if you look closely at Lynn's quilt, that is precisely the opposite to what she has done.  I think this makes the quilt.  I will also only make no more than two blocks with the same fabric, and each must have a different colour solid.

Some of these fabrics are very old and I am reminded of which quilt I used them in – all given away now – and I have a little weep every now and again when I come across fabrics for quilts I made for my Mum.  One or two prints (like the 'peacock feather' print below) are from the very first quilt top I made way back in 2004.  It's still languishing on the UFO shelf.  I made it completely out of my head (no pattern, no real sense of how it would go together).  I didn't know it then, but I was improvising, such that I rarely use a quilt pattern now.  The background is white damask that I bought at a garage sale.  Must blog about it, and quilt it, sometime soon.

My friend, Belinda, bought me a red/yellow/orange bundle of solids on her last trip to Spotlight so I could get away from the blues.  I pre-washed and ironed these to make sure they won’t bleed.  This is why there are only a few blocks with red/orange/yellow combinations at the moment.  I need to make more.  I figure roughly 50/50 warm and cool solids will be effective.

My method of sewing is to pre-cut a whole bunch of fabrics for each block and lay them out on paper towels which I stack beside the sewing machine.  Then, when I sit down to sew, I just cut whatever solids take my fancy and sew the block up.

My grand daughter’s baby shower is set for the end of September!  Hopefully there won’t be any COVID 19 restrictions in NSW and I’ll be able to go to the city and stay a couple of days.  It’s been a long time since I saw my sons and my daughter-in-law.

I made a prototype baby burp cloth using this pattern from Treasurie.

It sewed up very quickly and is now in the washing machine to see how it washes.  The terry cloth backing cost a fortune in a local quilt shop so I'm keen to see how it washes before I make any more.  I'm using two different (pre-washed) flannels for the front - this is the baby elephant one.  

That's Fatso (one of two Finnish bears I have knit) taking a nap to show my daughter-in-law what size the burp cloths will be! I'll save Fatso (the scary turquoise eyes are about to be replaced)  for another post.

And I have another new project.  The Big Pocket Baby Pouch is something I hope to start next week.  Here are a couple of ideas for the fabric pulls.  I decided that I didn’t want the clutch to be too babyish so have picked out a few grown-up fabrics.

I might make two. This will be the first time I’ve EVER tried to do a buttonhole – wish me luck! 

And here are two of my fur babies who keep me company in the sewing room: Penny Farthing on the left, and Billy Bunter on the right.  Their sister, Teddy Bear, is out in the garden sunbathing in her favourite spot.


Linking up to the Peacock Party at Wendy's Quilts and More

And Beauty Pageant at From Bolt to Beauty.



  1. Thank you for linking that blog—a solids on prints project sounds perfect! Your blocks are lovely.

    1. Hi Janet. I’m really impressed by all of Lynne’s solids on prints series and I’m thinking of other traditional blocks that could be created in the same way. I think I’ll have a go at doing my own later this year. Thank you to Lynn for the inspiration!

  2. Scrappy quilts are my favorite and this one is coming along nicely. Thanks for sharing your method of sewing - great tip! And your fur babies are adorable. My two keep me company and I am so grateful for their company during this time.

    1. Thank you. One of the fur babies had her first kayak trip with me at the weekend. She was very calm ... took to it like a duck to water you might say!

  3. I have been checking for progress on your framed 9 patch and realized I had never left a comment. The blocks are looking good. The block with the patterned stripes is impressive the way your have made another pattern with the stripes.

    1. Hi Ruth. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Not much progress yet I’m afraid ..... I’m busy finishing off some knitting projects but I hope to get back to this early next week. I’m very impressed with your quilt and the time you take to quilt it yourself. I confess that quilting is my least favourite part.


Finnish-ed Bears!

Meet Otso and Fatso. Otso means ‘bear’ in Finnish, and I knit these from a free pattern downloaded from London Loop Knit Lounge.   Both a...