A blog about things I like

If you are interested in quilting, patchwork, children's literature and books in general, you've come to the right blog.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Quilted Yellow Box, and another book review

So I decided to make an "art quilt". If you look at it cross-eyed, it looks like a tree! Here is the actual tree that I drew on graph paper to make the pattern. That's Maggie the Kelpie bounding off to find me a stick.

After I had charted the tree, I began making HSTs in various shades of green.
Then I purchased $3.50 worth of white fabric for the background.
It was hard work matching up the corners of the squares. I sewed them into rows, with white fabric at either end. Some of the HSTs were half white and half green to give an uneven shape to the tree.

I quilted the green section with a U shape, which I hoped gave the appearance of leaves. I was aiming for this sort of leaves (modelled here by James May for some reason)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1jWs13xUSg I used brown thread, a spool of Molnycke that is probably a collector's item now.

The white background I quilted with wavy lines, in some sunset coloured variegated thread. It is not the best machine quilting ever...I did have a glass of sherry before I began to help relax!
I used green bias binding around the edge.

For the label I wrote on a strip of fabric and fused it onto the back. The back BTW is a sheet I scored at St Vinnies recently, pure cotton. It would make a nice sheet, but people around here are rather fond of matching sets, and besides, it now has a large rectangle cut out of it.
The label went diagonally across the corner of the quilt, next time I will leave a bit more room at either end of the writing, as I have sewn the binding onto it obscuring the capital E.
Here is one last shot of the quilt with the yellow boxes in the background
 I am really quite pleased with it, and am planning on giving it to a random Craftster in a pass-the-parcel swap going on at the moment. Check it out here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380729.0

Now for the book review: The Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price.
This was a gripping yarn! I have no fingernails left after reading this book. It reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones' multi-dimensional story, Hexwood. It had a lot in common with the Owl Service, by Alan Garner. In this story a 21st C company sets up a time tunnel to go back to the 16th century. Their purposes are to exploit the vicious tribal people they find there, living on the border between Scotland and England. An anthropologist is sent back to live with the Sterkarms and to find out more about them. Trouble is, she falls in love with the beautiful Per, son of the head of the clan. If he was around today, he'd be a metrosexual.
I thoroughly enjoyed this time-travelling yarn. It was full of suspense and danger. The 21st century entrepreneurs underestimated the Sterkarms, who may not have the technology but are wise enough to stick up for themselves. There is also the added romantic element of Andrea and Per, who make a lovely couple. The 16th C was described so vividly I could almost smell it as I read the book. One thing puzzled me was the book's categorisation as a kids book. There are no kids in it. It is scary. There are sexual elements to it. I think it is a book for young adults, or for older readers. I am about to start the sequel, A Sterkarm Kiss. Highly recommended.

In other news, I recently arrived home from work on Sunday to find my darling daughter had cooked me a cake. She even cleaned up the kitchen, so that there was not a trace of the cooking except for the final product. Her father helped her to light the oven but apart from that it was all her own work. Not bad for a nine year old!

The coffee pot in the photo is one of my favourite Vinnies purchases. It is a Corningware percolator from the seventies, in mint condition. I got the feeling it was a wedding present that had never been used, and kept in a cupboard all this time. It certainly gets a good workout in my house! Here are some more gratuitous photos of my coffee pot. The design (my friend google tells me) is "country festival"

Here's a photo of sunset on the Snowy River at Dalgety, where I went on an outing to find some platypuses whilst on Staff Retreat at Jindabyne in May. No furry friends were forthcoming, but I did find some enormous wombat holes down by the river. I stomped my way through blackberry bushes, bullrushes and past the wombat holes to get to what I thought was a platypus, but I found out on closer inspection it was a rock. Dalgety was a lovely quaint hamlet and I wish to return and spend some more time poking around there.


  1. That tree quilt is gorgeous, such a clever way to use simple shapes in an effective way to create an image. Beautiful.

    Thanks for your comment on my genome quilt post (I couldn't reply by email as you're a "no reply" blogger). Of course you can feature it on your blog, as long as you link back to my blog in your post :) I'm flattered you like it that much.

  2. I have never seen a quilt like this before! Its really neat!