Thursday 19 May 2011

Bees, Swaps and Fat Jacks

The first sign that I didn't sleep well last night was me hopping out of bed, taking the things I needed to put in the laundry hamper, managing to bypass it and dumping the lot into the toilet. Buggeration! Some days you should just stay in bed! Well, anything that happened after that brain freeze moment had to be an improvement.

Despite this cold draining the brain cells faster than is pretty, I've been working like a little trojan horse. I have. Really! Between getting distracted by other things that is. But I do have something to show for myself.

First, I finsihed my Brit Bee blocks. I have learned that with proper concentration and meticulous trimming I can work with HSTs. I have also learned that I have a new least favourite task in my world of quilting. Pinning quilt layers together drops one place to the number two spot and new at the top of the charts is squaring off half square triangles. Dear me that is a monotonously irritating task. No offence, Trudi (block recipient), because I do think that all the work turned out two brilliant blocks and that when you have all 24 together you are going to have one fantastic quilt.

I am very proud of my blocks because I went into the task convinced it was going to be a disaster. And it wasn't! Can't ask more than that. Oh, and I also learned that fabric pens don't write on fabric very easily. No flow. I sat there scratching away at my signature block and it looks like it was done by someone in kindergarten. Sorry! I shall only give you a peek at the very middle of the blocks because I am not allowed to show them in their entirety, yet -

After I finished the Bee blocks yesterday - which took me longer than anticipated - I dragged out my Pips quilt tops -

It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that after sitting there for so long I actually didn't have any fabric for backing them. I didn't want to use the solid grey again - which I was pleased with on my first Pips quilt but the idea underwhelmed me hugely this time around. So I got online and ordered some fabric. This would be the point of the day where I got distracted and lost a great deal of time. I couldn't help it! I started looking at the 'coming soon' section of the Fat Quarter Shop's site and that was that. Next time I looked at the clock I was shocked.

Moving on swiftly, I shall now say that I have a plan - sort of maybe - for my swap partner in the Brit Swap. It is very much still in the design faze and I am a little worried about whether or not I should do it because it does not resemble anything that is in my partner's design mosaic. I got the idea from stalking her blog and flickr photos. The idea is also completely outside of my comfort zone too. Well, that about seals the deal. In for a penny, in for a pound and all that crap. Might as well go for it and see what happens. I have over a month to complete the mini quilt so if it all goes drastically wrong I can quickly whip up a few more wonky stars and hope she likes them instead!

Here is some of what I had in mind. I am not showing all of it because I think the over all design might be a complete giveaway to the recipient that it is for her. Can't say more than that or it will be me giving the all too important clue away. So here is one third of the proposed design -
This drawing is a little embarassing having seen some of the design ideas posted on flickr -
but it is all I have.
I completed another sewing task that was on my mental list of things I wanted to do. You have heard me mention Lynne of Lily's Quilts before. She is singlehandedly changing quilting in the UK. She is doing this by uniting quilters with the Brit Quilt group, challenging them constantly with new tutorials and ideas, and stretching us by encouraging us to get involved, hence my joining the Brit Bee and Brit Swap. Lynne has a huge international blog following too, but it is her ability to bring people together that I want to take the time to appreciate today. Yesterday I tackled one of her tutorials. It was simple, and well written, and I would have been hard pressed to go wrong with her instructions. That says a lot because we all know my ability to make a pigs ear out of a silk purse.

So, without further ado, here is my Double Fat Jack -

I am sure that when Lynne said 'choose a neutral fabric' for the thin lines she included lime green in the options.

I knew we put the badminton net up for a reason!
I haven't been ignoring my Pay It Forward obligations either. Progress is slow - mostly due to a brain dead lack of oxygen and energy in the evenings because of this cold. But I have completed one of the gifts.

And I have a plan in place for the next one. Is it any wonder I am not getting any housework done? I have had to prioritise and you can see what I thought was more important!



  1. Have you never heard of resting a cold, woman!!!!! You are amazing. Love love love you double fat jack - have one of those on my ever growing list of things I WILL do one day. Great to see you've gained confidence with all the HST practice in your bee blocks too - the tiny peek you've given us looks brill! Really like your swap design - wish I could see more, and your drawing is great, I can't draw ruling lines on graph paper to get a shape is good for me free hand drawing not so much. Cute little birdie - if your partner isn't me and doesn't like it you can send it here!

  2. Been very bad about punctuating the comment above. Sorry, hope you could make sense out of my atrocious sentences.

  3. I soooo know what you mean about trimming HSTs - what a bore! Fab end result though. Love the look of your crochet -yum! I think you deserve a rest today! Jxo

  4. lol I know it's such a chore, but it is sooooo worth it to get a beautiful square block that pieces together beuatifully - as you know! (dare I say, imagine doing a whole quilt! Ackk! it hurts)

    Love your double fat jack, and the pic is fantastic! Looking forward to see this one take shape, is it going to be in a mamacjt style?

  5. Your fat jack and crochet look fabulous! I'm procrastinating and not sewing :o( Well done you!

  6. ***LOVE*** your fat union jack!!! It turned out so well and the colours are awesome!!


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