Under the Bridge


My latest improv/wonky/freeform quilt top.  Inspiration from Sherry Lynn Wood’s book Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  Most of my blocks are basically drunkard’s path blocks.

I love it.  (And I only feel slightly uneasy about being proud of my own work.)

I felt like I was painting with fabric while working on it.

The reason for the name will remain a secret for now to protect the not-so-innocent.

I started with my palette of Japanese taupe fabrics.  I still haven’t tired of this color palette.  I added the circle/dot fabrics from The Circle Games quilt.  Then I added the aqua.  I tried red and rejected it.  Then changed my mind and added it back in.  I added those ladder sections then took them out, then put them back in again.  I added black.  I added appliqué circles.  I added a darker blue batik.

For days I went back and forth between options.  I totally took it down off the design mattress at one point.  It was exhausting me.  Yet I couldn’t wait to get back to it each morning.  It was invigorating working on it.

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Then I de-puckered it.  Working without rulers does not make for straight blocks.

Then I pondered how to finish it.  Machine quilt it in big wonky spiral circles?  Red thread? Hand quilt it in long wavy lines across the quilt to resemble water flowing under a bridge?  How about a form of crazy quilting?  Or Kantha/Boro-type quilting?  Slow, meditative stitching?  Decisions, decisions.

Back on the design wall to think about it while I finish other projects.

Decision made.  For 20+ years I’ve wanted to do a crazy stitched quilt.  The time is now.  Not the traditional Victorian-type embroidery stitches but a more modern, meditative type of stitches.    On the order of what my friend Debby of Debby Quilts does but maybe different.  Then again…..is there really anything different out there?  Perhaps a better word is personal meditative stitching.  I’m just going to stitch what I want to without a plan.  When I pick up Under the Bridge to work on it, I will simply ask myself “what do you want to stitch?”.  And then I’ll stitch it.

I’m going to use Finca Presencia thread – I love this thread.  Mostly size 12 – some size 8.  I already have about 15-20 colors that will work.  I think I need a couple aqua threads though – and maybe another red or two.

I pin basted it to a piece of Quilter’s Lite as a stabiliser this morning.  I’ll probably use an embroidery hoop as I think I do better work with a hoop.

I’m looking forward to starting.



The Circle Games

A better picture of The Circle Games.  It’s now on the table being thread basted.  I’m planning to quilt each block following the shapes of the pieces and then do some Kantha-type stitching around the circles in the border.  A winter project.




2nd Allietare top

IMG_4558 (1)

I love the colors in this quilt.

Top is finished.  Back is finished.  Table is cleared.  Tomorrow I pin.  Plan is to do a gentle curved line, about 1 to 1 & 1/2″ apart, using the walking foot on the Janome.  Alternate plan is to do edge stitching on both sides of the narrow black border, feathers in the outer border and  gentle curved line in the centre.  The alternate plan has more potential for puckers though and I’d have all those thread starts and stops.  I simply just want this BAQ (Big Ass Quilt) finished so I’m pretty sure option 1 will win.  I’m also on the fence with thread color.  I’m leaning towards red.  I might go grey though.  As with most things, I won’t know until I start.

I used to be such a planner.  Now I just roll by the seat of my pants.  I prefer the seat-of-my-pants way of operating.  So much less stress and so much more freeing.

Here’s the picture of the first Allietare that I did.  It’s amazing how the different border changes the look of the quilt so much, don’t you think?



The Circle Games

My version of The Circle Games top is finished (original pattern by Jen Kingwell).  Next step is to thread baste it as I plan to hand quilt it.  The picture isn’t the greatest as the light wasn’t cooperating this morning.  I enjoyed doing the appliquéd circles in the border.  Another needle turn appliqué project is in my future – first I want to finish my Sue Spargo Magnolia.


Mr. W’s 2nd pair of socks are finished.  Pretty darn sure that this will be my last pair of socks.  Working with 2mm needles causes neck pain.  He loves them which makes the neck pain well worth it.


I am going to a quilt retreat later this year.  The organisers asked if I would be willing to put together a non-quilting project for their members to work on if they didn’t have any UFOs (SERIOUSLY?!).  Anyway, I did 3 samples for them to choose from; a bag (‘3 fabric, 10 step tote’ by Inspired Wren), a sewing mat/coverup (called an ‘Undercover Maker Mat’ by Lillyella) and a needle case.  Patterns for the first 2 are **free** patterns from Craftsy and the needle case is a modification from a magazine pattern.


And finally, I am on the look-out for this fabric for a friend of mine.  If you have any in your stash, especially if you are in Australia and would be willing to sell it, she’d greatly appreciate it.  It’s a Lecien print from the line called Repro Old New 30’s.  We’ve found some coordinating prints from the line – and some with different background color but this one must have been popular because we haven’t been able to source the blue/aqua background print.



Dust if you must


I love this poem by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear, and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go – and go you must –
You, yourself, will make more dust.
Enjoy your moments!
dust if you must

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