Monthly Archives: December 2014

Playing Around

Part 5 of GI is nice and easy but raised a lot of questions. Where could just four blocks fit? What about the 25?

Corners seems logical for four.

Maybe a big tiled square for the centre.

IMG_0360 IMG_0361

After a bit of fun playing with various options I must get to and finish earlier parts before the last 2(?) clues. Here is the link up for Part 5.






Sew Organised

Part 4 of Bonnie’s Hunter’s Winter Mystery is nearly done, the challenge this time was to make sure the orientation of both sets of broken dishes blocks was correct. I also wanted to make sure my fabrics were well and truly mixed and evenly distributed between the two sets of blocks. Part way through you can see I have the half square triangle blocks arranged for picking, an array of pairs on my large ruler ready for transfer to the machine, some completed blocks of both types and pressing of a pieced string ready. I find all of Bonnie’s tips for putting blocks together really useful, some great time savers and checks for avoiding mistakes.


While I was working on this clue on the weekend all I could hear was the sound of fire sirens. First far away then a bit closer then off in the distance again. This went on for hours.  Now as we are well into Summer in Victoria and I live in a bushfire area this could be worrying, but not on the last Sunday before Christmas. Every year the CFA (Country Fire Authority) volunteers escort a special guest dressed most inappropriately for the weather along every road and street in the district so he can distribute very salty cheese flavoured snacks to children. It is a great tradition, my adult children have been known when feeling nostalgic to schedule a visit just in time to give the truck a wave. It’s also a timely reminder of the work the CFA does in protecting lives and property all year round.

Coincidently all the Grand Illusion colours are in this picture I took of Santa coming down my street.

Lot’s of quilters are keeping up with this mystery, you can see their progress at this link-up.

Cool Cats

As you can see from previous posts I took most of last week to get GIMQ Pt 2 done because of the dragons I need to finish very soon. Then the weather was a bit hot for lots of fabric pressing over the weekend so even though Part 3 is straight forward I only just got started today.

Some of my greens are a bit on the dull side so I am using this one fabric as my neutral. It’s been in my stash for a few years and hopefully these funky felines will brighten up this part. The Shape Cut makes cutting multiple 2″ strips easy.

Tomkins who likes to keep an eye on everything put his seal of approval on my fabric choices. I found I had to concentrate to keep the piecing sequence correct and his interference didn’t help, but it is one of his favourite vantage points, particularly when the neighbour’s cats are visiting the garden.

It has been really interesting checking out everyone’s layout ideas in the Monday Link-Up. I am guessing those black squares in the corners will take on a feature role.


Three legged Dragon

First of my family presents is finished. Everyone no matter their age is getting a dragon. This has more than a little to do with Sims Freeplay (happy 3rd birthday for today)

This fine fellow took a bit longer than expected to produce after cat Tomkins stole an almost completed leg overnight. Said cat loves to play fetch with small fluffy craft balls and must have thought the stuffed leg complete with thread and needle was just another toy for him. I found the needle on the floor but no sign of the stolen appendage. The only place I haven’t looked is under the fridge, a lot of cat toys end up there but it is a pain to get them out.

I am making another three of these very relaxed dragons and hopefully will have enough leftovers to make one for myself.


Pattern and beautiful hand dyed wool felt “dragon skins” come from Winterwood.

UPDATE: Here is the celebratory cake at FireMonkeys Studios.





Sparkling Diamonds

I tried to mix up my pink triangles and neutral diamonds so there were not too many the same. String piecing is of course the best way to do these and by late Tuesday afternoon all 200+ were done.


A few more is my insurance against disaster, much easier to make some extra than unpick a wonky seam. I get a bit paranoid about my bobbin running out at about this stage in a project. There is nothing more frustrating than gathering up a pile of what should be perfectly pieced squares only to find they are still independent triangles because the bobbin ran out 5 minutes earlier and I hadn’t noticed.


On Wednesday, after a delicious end of year shared lunch with one of my quilting groups I got on with the black triangles.


Again I have tried to avoid repeat combinations of fabrics. As there are 8 pinks, 9 neutrals and 5 blacks I figure 360 unique sets but I cut only one strip from some of the fabrics so it will be hard to avoid repetition. I don’t mind if it ends up that  two are the same, remember no unpicking.

Finally just before the Part 3 release on Friday I have all my diamonds ready for trimming and sewing into pairs. Looking forward to a simpler week.








Part 2 cutting done

Good use made of an overcast afternoon.

I’ve linked up with the hundreds of others who are making Grand Illusion.

Testing testing

Of Bonnie’s three methods for the Part 2 diamonds I decided to give the zero waste diamond template glued to the Easy Angle ruler a go thinking if that failed I could still use the 2.5″ strips for the flip and sew. I triple checked everything and despite my diamond sides being 2″ x 2 3/4″ my maths told me this was ok.


Once seam allowances were added and attached to the ruler it was looking good so some test pieces were cut. Not easy cutting the black and pink with the paper in the way. If this works I’ll be cutting all the diamonds then ripping the template off!


As you can see there was no way I was getting the orientation of the diamond wrong with Bonnie’s sample right at the machine. It was like having the teacher leaning over my shoulder just making sure.

IMG_0181Success! Perfectly sized rectangles. Time to get cutting.