A special quilt to comfort

This pattern is called Nature Guide by Elaine Theriault and was published in Spring 2017 edition of Quilts and More magazine.  This magazine has been living in my sewing lounge for months as I was using another pattern to cut charity quilt kits - so I didn't have to look far for a big easy pattern!
We heard recently that  our son friend B  had been diagnosed with leukemia.  At a time when the virus has changed our world, its hard enough, let alone to find out your child is so ill.  It took me a very little time to realise that the only way I was going to make sense of this was to make him a quilt.  I figured this pattern might work best, because I wanted novelty prints.  Not generally my go to for a teenager, but when your stuck in a hospital bed and cannot do the outdoor things you love, then I figured camping, fishing and farm novelty prints it was!  
I rang my friend who has a quilt shop, she directed me to another quilt shop, who directed me to a third shop.  Honesty quilters are the best kind of people.  IN the middle of a global crisis that might see their business go under, they just directed me to the shop that was going to have what I wanted.  Didn't try and sell me what they had!  All the fabric came via a home run patchwork business out of Kaniva called Little Desert Quilts.  The fun bit was I ordered it via FaceBook!  She has photos of fabrics on FaceBook and I tagged which ones I wanted then she put them all together and sent me photos so I could see how they looked together.  I was a bit sceptical about using the green fishing rods for the sashing, but it worked out fine.
I increased the size of the sashing to 1.5" cut, rather than 1" in the pattern, which resulted in a few errors.  The middle row with three blocks was too long, and the top two thirds of the block was then a bit wider then the bottom third.  But never fear, no points to loose here!

The day the fabric arrived was going out to do the grocery shopping and deliver charity quilt kits I had into volunteers mailboxes. So all I achieved that day was the cutting out...and boy was my arm sore that night! But all six blocks were made the next day.  With sashing this makes the quilt approximately 42 " x 63".  The full pattern is twice this size, but I wanted to stick to the recommended size....B is in the children's hospital that I normally make quilts for.  They have stopped accepting donations and distributing quilts because of Covid 19.

I am lucky to get this quilted by friend and long arm quilter Vicki Jenkin.  Unfortunately because of Covid 19 she has not had a lot of work coming in and was happy to fit this all over in between some custom quilting.  I dropped the quilt off in a garbage bag, she let it isolate for a few days.  Then emailed me some patterns and a photo of the thread colour choices.

 I replied and presto the geometric pattern was done in what seemed like no time at all. This is a terrible photo, the backing is a blue black...not grey!
I dropped it off to B grandmothers place on his birthday...that was the incentive to unpick a corner of the binding and sew the label in.  I am so used to making anonymous charity quilts without labels I forgot!  The doctors have let him out of hospital for a night :) so important positive progress.  Stay safe, stay well and happy quilting Sue.

Planting winter veg, a garden update

My herb garden is going gang busters so I removed the basil (and made pesto) and moved a few more plants from the original planter box into the tiny bit of space around the side.  Underneath these two bushes are the rosemary...but I do have another plant close by so not to worried if it doesn't survive.  One of these plants (purple flowers) is russian sage and the red flowering plant is pineapple sage, which smells delicious!
A good friend gave me lots of garlic from her garden, so I have planted the ones that were sprouting in the fridge.  There is one lonely spring onion and a celery on the left - I buy a whole celery at the shop, cut the base off and popped it into a dish with a little water on the window sill until they sprouted roots, then planted them.  There are leeks seeds planted on the left, waiting for them to pop up.
I have planted carrots into one side of the former concrete laundry trough- because it has our sandy soil in it, and parsnips in the other.    The broccoli seeds are just poking through in this shot and I planted more a fortnight later.  They are just in a small planter trough, so need to be transplanted into the garden beds when big enough and will give  some away.  I have recently started saving the kids icy pole sticks, wash, dry them then use them as plant labels.  
I normally buy seedlings for most of my vegetables but  I had purchased seeds to donate for the school Easter raffle (which has been postponed) I figured I might as well use them - safer the going out to the hardware unnecessarily!

Something is eating my trees (we think this is the wattle that I collected from neighbours trees - planted these before I thought of the icypole stick labels), a friend has advised it is possibly the white cabbage moths - so I am going to enlist the kids to swat them with their tennis racquets!

Early in the mornings we could hear our fridge making lots more noise than normal.  The service guy took our word that we were Covid 19 free and came out to inspect it.  Turns out that it had frosted up, so motor was running extra hard.  We had to turn it off for two days, then turn it back on to see if it does it again or not....if it does that means there is a gas leak and we have to buy a new fridge :( its only five years old.  In the meantime I had to move the contents to our outdoor fridge, which is normally referred to as the beer fridge in keeping with Aussie lingo.  But in our case houses our recently harvested apples and only a few bottles of beer for hubby!  So cooking outside on the bbq was the norm for a few days, which was fun as the weather was fine.  So far the indoor fridge is behaving itself...so hopefully problem is fixed.

 I made a couple of apple tarts.  They ended up in the freezer, nobody was particularly interested in dessert!  I thought I would be keen to bake like everyone else but I haven't been.  I have found spending time in the garden much more satisfying...but the days are so nice and warm its easy to be outside.  Plus I have purchased flower seeds as well, so been sowing those, pruning, taking cuttings and generally pottering around!  

Rainbow scrap challenge - 3 tops completed

I have been unemployed for nine months, so staying home with plenty of sewing time is not new for me. Having said that I still have UFO's!  I found these four patches I made for Rainbow Scrap challenge which last year I turned into chain blocks. 
The project stalled previously because I ran out of the red spot I was using for sashing.  But now they are together I think the scrappy look rocks! So first quilt made was nearly a full rainbow.  Avoided purple because I was sticking to the recommended size by my prefered charity - plus its more likely to appeal to a teenage boy without purple?  Well thats what my teen says.
Second quilt top made using the leftover blues and greens.  I love this colour combination, again hoping it appeals to a teenage boy.  Piecing is easy at home.  Pinning a quilt is not, I need to work out a strategy to overcome this hurdle otherwise I am going to have a houseful of tops instead of finished quilts!

Lucky last a pink, purple and pale blue quilt top, in a different layout. 
I have struggled at times this week - making more blocks didn't fuel my creative outlet and going for a walk only temporarily helped.  It was the realisation that we could/would be self isolating for months and months and months that was doing my head in.  I spent a day in the garden and I feel way more positive.  I think quiet joy of gardening and planting seeds knowing that they take weeks and weeks to develop into edible vegetables gave me some perspective. 
Stay home, stay safe.
Happy quilting Sue.

Shoo fly blocks multiple!

I have ordered fabric for a special quilt, but in the meantime I started making Shoo Fly blocks because that used up the HST and 2.5" squares I have in the scrap box.  I found them addictive!
Sew I kept on sewing until I had used all the red and lime green!
I was trying to use up all the sea gull fabric, but I found more!  These blocks are only 6" big, so this needs a border to make it toddler size, but I ran out of red scraps, so figured that's good enough.  Just need to piece it together, already have the border fabrics sourced from my stash - amazing what you find in the back of the cupboard!
Heron on my early morning walk around the "block".  We live on the outskirts of town. 
The undeveloped end of south bank of Wimmera River in town.  The Council have made a new bike path, so the kids and I had a big (12 km) ride into town and a loop along the river and around the small weir.
View from our front door  watching the sun set.
Just a few photos from the second week we spent self isolating ...we are allowed out to exercise and because the weather has been so warm, I am trying to do so every day.  The kids are on school holidays, so trying to get them to be active also v sitting on the couch playing games.  
Stay safe, stay sane, keep sewing! 
happy quilting Sue.

Kim Diehl star in a churn dash blocks

I was just popping in to read some of my favorite bloggers, after a six month absence!  Then I saw that there was this draft post, so figure...