Sunday, 6 September 2020

Spring time

We seem to be past the worst of winter - which admittedly isn't very bad at all with daily high temps 15+degC and no night time frosts. Here in Northland, our climate is classed as oceanic/subtropical, which means winters are pretty wet so nature is very green (most of the native vegetation are evergreens). The magnolias are more or less finished blooming, as are the invasive Taiwanese cherries. I am looking forward to the temperatures just rising a little more so I can get the veggie garden started.

On COVID-19, after 102 days without any cases in New Zealand (bar some citizens returning from overseas who were tested in managed isolation), August saw a new outbreak in Auckland which brought with it a swift Level 3 lockdown for Auckland, and Level 2 restrictions for the rest of the country. Locking Auckland down (1.5 Mio people - or there abouts) has had considerable impact on other parts of the country, especially up here in Northland, the only region north of Auckland. Some people described Northland as an island, and while the economic impact is hard for many businesses, the swift action also means that our communities up here are kept safe. The restrictions were partially lifted as of Monday, and we have had many travellers return to Northland, so I am checking the news daily, hoping no cases are being exported out of Auckland into the regions. Sadly there were two more deaths this week, a total toll of 24 cases for a country of just over 5 Million.

Masks are now 'a thing': They are compulsory on public transport - except there is very little public transport in our region. For other places, they are recommended when you can't socially distance. Just prior to the official announcement coming out, I started a bit of mask-making, just in case, and I have since added a few more to the collection:

These were made with a pattern by Tea Rose Home

DH has to wear masks in his teaching so the four on the right are made from the Apple + Fig Got you covered pattern

The Apple + Fig pattern seems to work quite well for wearing glasses when you include the wire (in this case pipe cleaner).
Neither the younger boys nor I have needed to wear masks just yet, but oldest DS apparently wears his away at uni, I'm rather relieved about this as he has T1D therefore is immunocompromised.
While that took some time, I actually got a lot of my August goals done, especially for piecing:

1) Rainbow at sea: I changed from FPP to using freezer paper, and I am happy that this cuts down on paper waste (and on the time it takes to pull out the papers in the end!). On the downside I realise that I will need to starch all fabric now before cutting as the paper from FPP provided a lot more stability - there are a lot of bias edges! I finally finished all the parts of the yellow blocks and I'm now in the process of putting them together.

Spot the mistake...

I'll be starching all fabrics from now on, you can see some of the distortion in the middle (it looks worse than it is in the photo)

2) Linedried: Section 5 is DONE.

These blue blocks are some of my favourites

3) Summer Sampler 2017: Turning Star (Week 7) is DONE

Didn't it turn out pretty?

4) Tilted Star baby quilt: Blocks 4-6 are DONE

You'll notice some of these are not like the others... I accidentally reversed the freezer paper when I transferred the lines from the print out, but I think it adds interest so will probably do half and half.

As I didn't re-read the instructions, I ended up with a seam going the wrong way which resulted with seams that just didn't want to lie flat - I finally fixed this yesterday:
Notice the bumpy seams?

Now they look much happier :)

5) Stained Glass: Blocks 5-8 are DONE
I will just keep on plodding away at this one, no deadline :)

I didn't get as much quilting done:
  1. Metrorings still has a few more of the diamond shaped areas in the background to quilt. I really don't know what is preventing me from getting this done...
  2. However, I managed to quilt all the yellow areas in Celebrations - DONE.
For my miscellaneous projects:

1) I found the right background for Cogs and Thistles and will now continue piecing this into the full top as per the pattern. GOAL ACHIEVED
2) Patchworkcity made no progress in August
3) VENUS: I moved the cut pieces to a more visible location; I have already gone onto piecing another set of blocks - GOAL ACHIEVED.
More visible but still a little messy - one more reason to get this done :)

4) I am happy with my progress for the #PaperLanternsSAL: I bought some Bohin 'in-between' needles with a large eye which are much easier to thread, but I'll see if I can get the next finer size still with the large eye. I have experimented with a few different threads, I'm now using a greenish Aurifil 80wt which blends nicely. Being cotton I still have the thread shred every now and then, but it works when I keep the thread short enough. This will keep me going for quite a while still, I'm currently on week 8 of 25.

One of the only daytime shots to date - the colours do look bright & fresh - in case you have seen my IG photos that are much duller :)

And then I fell down an IG rabbit hole πŸ˜‚ - have you seen the #whirlygigSAL? It's very cute and can take care of a lot of the scraps I had been cutting into more usable sizes!

Some very old friends in this one...

Everything cut, ready to piece 16 blocks

I worked out the pattern from the photos online, and I didn't realise my whirly gigs were twirling the opposite way to Emma Jensen's instructions πŸ˜‚

Blocks 1-4

There has been an addition to the stash - who could have resisted this rainbow bundle of Kona cottons? Still looking for just the right pattern to turn this into a strictly 'solids only' quilt.


Onto some goal setting: Suz told me how she was looking at her goals to the end of the year and breaking those into monthly chunks - I think that's a great idea, so I will give this a shot.

Goals to achieve by Christmas:
  • Metrorings: Quilted, bound, label added and ready to put onto a bed
  • Celebration: I know this will be a stretch, but boy would I love this quilted and bound to give to youngest DS for his birthday or for Christmas!
  • Quilt Stairway to Heaven (tumbling blocks) for oldest DS' room, then bind & put up.
  • Patchworkcity: Add borders ready for quilting.
  • Venus: Complete all piecing so this can be quilted, bound and labeled over the summer break (for a baby due Feb/March)
  • Cogs & Thistles: Complete all piecing ready for quilting.
  • Whirly Gig: Complete all piecing ready for quilting.
  • Rainbow at Sea: Have the set of 5 green blocks pieced
  • Linedried: Piece Sections 6 & 7
  • Summer Sampler 2017: Piece weeks 8 & 9
  • Tilted Stars: Piece blocks 7-12
  • Stained Glass: Piece two blocks per month, at least 6 in total by Christmas
  • Paper Lanterns: Keep on stitching away at this (one way to not fall asleep in front of the tv!)
We will see how this goes! So that leaves as goals for September:

  • Finish all quilting on Metrorings
  • Quilt at least one colour for Celebration
  • Piece four sets of blocks for Venus (incl. one set pieced yesterday)
  • Piece Section 6 of Linedried
  • Change the seams on Tilted Star so they point into the centre square - DONE (yesterday)
  • Piece week 8 of Summer Sampler 2017
  • Piece blocks 5-8 for Whirly Gig
  • Piece blocks 9&10 of Stained Glass
  • Rainbow at Sea: Finish piecing the six yellow blocks (incl. two done yesterday)
Happy Sewing!

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