Saturday, 12 January 2013

life doesn’t always go according to plan

Here we are, twelve days into January and things have not exactly been going to plan.

I decided to run my Linky party on the first Thursday of the month which was 3 January. I thought I'd have plenty of time to organise it because mum, who arrived on 27 December, was going home on 2 January, and my sister and nephew weren't arriving until 4 January. That gave me all day on 3 January to write the post and set up the Linky!

2012-12-30 Ben brushing the cow
Older Grandson wouldn't milk the cow but was happy to brush her
We visited Calmsley Hill City Farm on Sunday 30 December. Mum was helping WM carry the picnic lunch up from the car and therefore had her arms full and couldn’t see the ground immediately beneath her feet. She fell heavily on some uneven paving and twisted her ankle. We spent most of the afternoon in the emergency room after an ambulance took her from the farm.

Mum's okay now but she ended up staying here until 5 January when the doctor said she would be fit to travel. As you know, I managed to get my post written so everything worked out okay.

Then ....

While my guests were here, I decided it was time to finish the Sideways Striped Baby Jumper that I had started in November 2011. All it needed was a collar knitted on and the seams sewn up -- one evening's work (or so I thought)!

But ...

Knitting the collar wasn't as easy as I thought and after four attempts over two days to get the collar right, I gave up! In the end I frogged it because the head hole seemed too small to go over a baby's head easily. No worries, frogging is a "finish" for that project and the yarn will some day become a cardigan knitted sideways to retain that vertical striping that attracted me to the pattern in the first place.
2013 used to be Striped Sideways jumper
this used to be a baby sweater

And then...

One of my top priorities for this month was to finish the Hearts and Squares quilt. I had finished all the blocks and just needed to trim the 6.5" four-patch blocks down to the same size as the 6" heart blocks. I hadn't been in my sewing room since well before Christmas but in my head the quilt top looked great!

It took a long time to settle on a layout for the four-patch blocks. I knew the finished layout had to be 9x7, because there is a particular size I have to make for our community quilting group (roughly 56" x 64"). I had a large number of blue blocks, and almost the same number of brown blocks, and a few others in green, red, pink and yellow. I finally came up with a layout that I was happy with and started to add the heart blocks.
2013 hearts don't work

The layout was okay but the squares seemed too “hard” for the hearts which cry out for a “softer setting”. It occurred to me that the squares made an attractive layout for a "man quilt" (we have to work harder to make those because of all the floral scraps we are given). But that's okay, I have plenty of fabric (that belongs to Caring Hearts Community Quilters) and I'm not adverse to making two quilts.

The question was which quilt to make first because it's unlikely I'll get two finished this month (given the goals I've set for myself and the time remaining). I settled on the four-patch blocks; after all, the layout is already on my design wall.

Then the question became: what blocks to make to enhance the four patch blocks? I don't have enough of any one fabric to use plain 6.5" squares nor do I have the quilting skills to make a 6" block look interesting!

I settled on square on square blocks, the central square being the same size as one quarter of the four patch (that is three inches finished) with a light neutral border around it to make it up to the correct size.You might not have noticed, but I've made further changes to the layout of the four patch blocks.
2013 half way rhrough square on square blocks
I must make up my mind which way those four patch go!

So despite the fact that yesterday was forecast to be 41°C (106°F), I took myself to the garage to find some suitable fabric and then to my sewing room to re-introduce myself to my rotary cutter and sewing machine! I think it actually got to 37°C (98.6°F) but the air-conditioned kept things at a comfortable 24°C (75°F). I got slightly more than half the blocks made, pressed and trimmed.

I think it’s shaping up to be a good unisex quilt, don't you?

How are your plans for January shaping up?


  1. My week has not gone according to plan at all either - my son got really ill midweek and I thought I'd have 2 new sewing machines to play with,instead I'm still using my old machine. Sometimes we just have to roll with it and/or wait it out!

  2. Great way to go with the flow and make changes to create the Guy Quilt, Lynne. I loved the first pic of your grandson brushing the cow!

  3. Oh dear it's never just one thing that goes wrong. I hope you Mum is fully recovered now. I think that quilt will turn out very well, most suitable for male or female.

  4. Lynne,
    Things are certainly not going to plan for you right now, but they'll get back on track. Good solution to the striped jumper in the end, I think you tried everything you could think of to get that collar done. You can make something else out of that wool.
    Cheers, Anita.

  5. Sorry about your mum. Spraining her ankle and not being able to walk on it must have been frustrating for her.
    Love your finish.

    Your quilt is wonderful. Congratulations on stitching yesterday. My air conditioner isn't working and I sat in front of a fan, and tried to om the CQ lesson. Every thing I did, I did not like, so I took it all out. This am I am sewing on it again and likening it better.

  6. *grin* life has a way of interfering with our plans doesn't it? Happens here all the time. Hope your Mom is better and watches out for the ground goblins that grab you. I like the 4 patch layout with the squares, not only it is a "man" style quilt, it has a modern feel with the extra square.
    Minor set back here, as Sir Old Man had some surgery yesterday, but all is ok, and I got some sewing time in today.

  7. Like the squares with squares quilt.

    I'm still chugging along with my list. Very slowly working on my wedding quilt now:)In hind sight I should have planned it to be strip pieced. Oh well, lesson learned.

  8. The little hearts just make that quilt so pretty!

  9. Well done on your first finish! love what you have done with the 4 patch quilt tops.

  10. It is funny how a quilt lets you know what it wants to be. Love the rework on the Heart quilt into a 9 patch. The changes look great.

    January is going OK, but I was hoping to be farther along by now. Still have more than half the month left. I still have optimistic hopes.

  11. I like the squares in the block, this is a beautiful quilt!

  12. Oh, I do like the second lay out but the first one was ok, too. Glad Mum is going to be does get interesting! Glad you got to go in the sewing room!

  13. So enjoyed reading thought process as you worked through your quilt. I struggle with guy quilts.
    Love your sweet heart blocks.
    Before January is over, I want to finish Easy Street and quilt. bind and finish a rainbow quilt I pieced last year. Best of all, I start knitting classes tomorrow : )

  14. Life can be so annoying at times cant it - just go with the flow, thats what I "try" to do
    BTW love the square in square alternate blocks on your quilt, looks great

  15. your grandsons had a great time. love to see the look on their faces as they see the animals.
    I am not familiar with the term "frogging" but I do understand the photo.
    I like the square on square look for your quilt.

  16. I really like the squares better than the hearts as well. Very nice quilt.


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