More blocks done over the past week. I’m not posting about all of them, but I am putting them all in a Flickr set for anyone who’s interested.

I know you’re supposed to match your thread to the main fabric.  But I was enjoying myself.  It’s still pretty.

I have already done 10% of this quilt!  The enthusiasm surely can’t last… as surely as this horrid Winter is over, I will be out and about and into other things as well.  That is what patchwork is for, perhaps… a form of hibernation.

In other news — I have done a bit of a Spring Winter Clean around this blog.  If you’re interested in a particular project, you can click on it in the sidebar and see all the relevant posts.  Nifty!

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Danger, Will Robinson:  picture heavy post ahead!

I have had the Dear Jane book for many years now, and I’ve made a block here and a block there.

I have never allowed myself to start, because I have so many other projects on the go!

But I have finally got my big hexies together and basted (photos as soon as it’s not pouring rain outside) and It Is Time.

Not to mention, Dan and I had a week off.  It rained.  He wanted to show me the Lord of the Rings movies.

He insisted on the extended versions.

I’m not making the blocks in any particular order and I’m not following a colour plan: I’m choosing things from the stash on a whim and assuming that I can make 225 blocks of anything go together if I move the placement around.

Some of the blocks aren’t as enjoyable or visually pleasing as the others, so I’ll redraft or replace them with something else.  Or leave them out. ZOMG these are so much fun.

Seriously, has anyone ever taken such a scrappy, lazy approach to the Big Quilt?

Save me from the Quilt Police.

I’ve always wanted to try a Dresden Plate block, and this is my first attempt.  Not too shabby for a first effort, but, uh, room for improvement with that centre circle placement!  Ah well — trying new things and improving is what this quilt is all about.

There are a few different types of Dresden Plate block: the most intriguingly different from this are blocks with no centre (ooo hard, no room for fudging!) and those with round petals rather than blades.  They’re going on the list.

Patches in this block: 18

Patches so far: 977

(which needs an iron!  That’s the problem with cameras these days — they show you things you miss in real life!)

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I made a block for my sampler quilt.  Seriously — the last one was in April last year.  0_O !!

So then it’s appropriate that this be something special, something I’ve been saving.  Like a tribute to the ‘Sundial Coverlet’, a patchwork and applique extravaganza held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London:

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O14716/patchwork-quilt/

It’s around three metres squared — an enormous quilt worthy of the largest of king size beds, and then some.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that beds used to be a lot larger in the 18th century.  Any historians out there who could back that up with some actual facts?  There are ducks and stars and pinwheels and all manner of geometric motifs, all dancing around a sundial and a date from long ago.  I’m just going to go out on a limb and imagine that 1797 is the date it was finished, but that would be because it’s the date a modern quilter would use, and I may be wrong.

In any case, I’ve been in love with this quilt since I saw it reproduced in Kaffe Fassett’s V&A book oh, around ten years ago, before I had made any quilt more complicated than a puff patch.  Kaffe and his team didn’t reproduce any of the applique, instead choosing to recreate the impression of the patchwork in their version — they were working with time constraints, of course, and the quilter who took this on would never see the light of day again!

I chose two particularly appealing applique blocks to reproduce, one with scissors and thimble, the other with a clamp and heart.  A clamp was a sewing tool back in the day — one might clamp the end of the seam to a table, then stitch towards it.  Makes sense for a straight and even line of stitching.

I took a photo of the quilt from Kaffe’s book with a macro-enabled camera, cut the photo down into the pieces I wanted, blew it up in Photoshop until I got around about the right size, and then used the Trace tool in EQ to create applique shapes.

Could I have drawn it freehand and saved the bother?  Probably,  but this way makes me feel a lot more connected to the mysterious quilter who made all these wonderful, magical blocks.  It must have taken so many years.

Patches in this block: 5

Patches so far: 878

I’m slowly finding more moments of time for patchwork.  What a joy it is to build something so simple and so sweet.

il_430xN.77802537

Remember me?  No?  I don’t blame you.  I’ve been pretty distant from the blog lately, what with night school, homework, *real* work, keeping the house — well, certainly not clean, but at least mostly navigable and waterproof — and starting a small business!  Agh!  Oh, and there’s that wedding thing I should be planning!!

But I do have something to show for myself.  Would you like to make a vintage sheet cushion?  I’ve written a pattern and it’s over in my Etsy store now for the bargain price of $5.  The pattern is suited to any fabric, really, but I’ve developed it with an interfacing method that’s super-good for preserving and making the most of precious scraps that have seen better days.

Oh, and to all of you who are teeming over (yes, that’s the word I want) from tipnut.com — hi!  Stick around and join the conversation 🙂

It may be autumn here in Oz but this tulip pattern seemed like a lovely one for Easter.  Plus, I got to practise my applique.

Happy Easter to you all, unless you’re Greek Orthodox (Hi, Aspasia!), in which case I will save my felicitations for next week.

Also, apologies for the magical disappearing photograph in the bushfire quilts post.  I changed the Flickr settings so as not to look like I was showing off (hey! look at my donation!) but didn’t realise making it private in Flickr would make it private everywhere else.

Patches in this block: 18 (yes, I AM counting the background)

Patches so far: 873