Christmas Exploding Block Quilt

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“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

A quilt made by me is never ever going to achieve perfection: I like to think I am making something unique instead of perfect, but anyway, I’ve been playing with my third Exploding Block Quilt (a Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern). It’s doubled in size so that it is now 8 blocks by 6 with each block being 4.5 inches square. This is the largest quilt I have made and it’s also the first time that I’ve used variegated thread on a quilt. The green, cream and red thread colours blend in with the fabrics well I think, but at the same time, makes the stitches stand out.

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As you can see, I still have the border to do. I’m trying to decide whether to use decorative machine stitches or free motion quilting. Either way I will be using the variegated thread. What do you think?

 

Where I Need To Be

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” Douglas Adams.

IMG_7221Sept 2015

Teignmouth Pier, Devon

 

The past year (2015) was a very busy one. Some highlights were attending hospital for Chemotherapy, selling our house, moving into a rented flat in Devon, finding a bungalow to buy and moving in just before Christmas.

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Teignmouth Beach

 

Everything was packed away for 6 months whilst we lived in the flat and it feels wonderful to be opening boxes and rediscovering all my sewing stuff!

Now I feel that I can get my life back to normal and have just started to quilt again. I plan to double the size of my Exploding Block Quilt, then I’ll post some photos, but it’s good to be back.

 

Moving Not Making

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I’ve been very busy but not busy crafting!

As I have taken ill-health retirement from my job, we have sold our house to release some equity to live on. Now we are packing everything. There’s 21 years of memories and 4 bedrooms’ worth of things to sort through. My husband is also a Hoarder so there’s loads of Stuff he stores in the garage!

We plan to move closer to our two children but have not bought anywhere to live just yet, instead we will rent and look around for the right house. A new place to call home. This is a stressful time as anyone who has moved house knows very well and, at our age it will be our last move, so it has to be the right property.

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We love our house and it will be sad to leave, but we have to look forward and trust that things will all work out in the end. I doubt I will be posting very often until we are settled but I will have internet access and hope to be looking/commenting on everyone’s blogs as usual.

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We will certainly miss beautiful Sussex.

Exploding Block Quilt Progress

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A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.  English Proverb

I promised you an update on my progress with a second Exploding Block Quilt so here are a couple of photos. Because my ‘Sewing Room’ is a small bedroom, my quilt pieces are laid out on the single bed as it’s the largest available surface.

Exploding Block Quilt Exploding Block Quilt 2

The two rows to the right of the photos have been sewn together and I’m pleased with how the quilt is taking shape. However….(why is there always a ‘However’?)…. I think the quilt will be too small, hardly a lap-quilt size, so I’ve been considering a couple of different options. Firstly, to put another cream fabric layer on the blocks so that each one ends up at about 7 inches, or secondly, to double the number of blocks. I’ll tell you which option I’ve decided upon later.

I’ve also been working on a knitted blanket for my oldest daughter. It’s my Winter Project as I like to knit or crochet on winter evenings whilst watching TV.

Knitted Blanket

Is it finished? Err, no. Here’s a photo from a different angle!

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The worst part of knitting or crocheting a blanket for me is sewing in all the ends. The blanket will not be completely finished for a couple of weeks yet I fear.

So, for the quilt, I decided to double the number of blocks. More work I know than increasing the size of the existing ones, but I think it will be more colourful that way. I enjoy cutting and sewing these exploding blocks so it won’t be a chore (unlike sewing in the ends of yarn!).

Sidetracked From Sewing

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Always have good shoes and a comfortable bed because, if you’re not in one, you’ll be in the other. Anon

I came across this saying a few weeks ago. I was in the Radiotherapy waiting room at the hospital reading their old magazines, as you do, when I saw this and thought, I must remember that as it is so true. I’m not sure yet how it will fit in with this post.

Anyway, today I’m in my ‘sewing room’ which is actually one of my daughters’ bedrooms with a fold-away table in it, upon which there is my Janome sewing machine, cutting mat and iron. It’s a very small space to craft in. I have filled my daughter’s wardrobe with fabric, a second sewing machine, wadding and threads. At the moment there is a bitter wind outside but the sun is shining through the clouds and through my window and from here I can just see the shining sea in the distance. I live in a Town House in Sussex so the house has a ground floor and two more storeys above. My sewing room’s on the top floor which is why I can see over the rooftops to the sea. The house itself is halfway up a hill in a small town, on top of the white cliffs in Sussex (along the coast from those made famous by Vera Lynn’s song ‘There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover’). The photographs below of where I live are from a sunny day last Summer, not today.

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So, now you ‘sort of’ know where I am, what am I supposed to be sewing instead of getting sidetracked?

Exploding Block Quilt 2014

Unfinished Exploding Block Quilt 2014

Well, I’ve started sewing the squares together for my second Exploding Block Quilt, the first one, above, I finished at the end of last year. I have no photos to show you of my new project yet, so instead, here’s some of a trip to Windsor Castle that I had last July, two weeks before I had breast cancer surgery.

028 032 036 041The first photo unfortunately has an aircraft in as Windsor is in the flight path of Heathrow Airport. And a flag only flies at Windsor when the Queen is in residence.

I’m posting this as I am sitting on my daughter’s comfy bed, not wearing any shoes. What?! I had to make that saying at the start relevant somehow!