Pondering Broken Biscuits

I would love to start a new project. I would love to make these project bags I keep wittering on about, and I would love to make some "wee braw bags", possibly for Christmas presents. I can't though. I can't/won't let myself start another project until I finish some up. I am neither a monogamous sewer or knitter. I like to have a couple of things on the go, what I like to do depends on the mood and the time available. I do reach the stage though, where I need to finish up. You ever get like that? Its like living with a certain level of untidiness, but there is a level of untidiness which you can't emotionally cross? So, its tidy up time kids.

Tidy up the Quatrefoil quilt. The What's Out The Window? quilt. This was my first foray into free machine quilting for many years. I was pleased even to achieved this basic level. I was pleased until I looked at closely, and decided it was a mess. It really was. Thankfully I hadn't started the quilting in the white at that stage, but the quilting in the black sections was extremely dodgy. Operation unpick began.

So where are we now? I have finished the pebble, or tiny swirly circles in the white. It took a lot longer than I anticipated. Next time the pebbles may be a grade larger!

Next I am attacking the black corner stones and the black strips around the centre square. I am unpicking as I go and replacing with the black pebble stitch. So far so good. I have done about half now.


I am not sure what to do in the central square. Maybe a zig zag backwards and forwards.

The actual quatrefoils, I am not sure either. At present there is a sort of a scribble in some of them. That is definitely coming out. Some of the fabrics have a design element to them, planes, hippos, rockets. The usual sort of thing you see out of your window.

 I don't want to obliterate that bit by over quilting, but the scribble has to go.

The quilt is for my grandson. He needs to see out the window! That's how he will learn. He is already able to climb up on the settee and watch out the window. He misses nothing! The bin lorry is a particular favourite. Bicycles and cats run close a second. One day the local primary school went past on a school walk and the children all waved at him! That really made his day.

We see my grandson again very soon. I would love to take this over with me. Practically speaking, I have room in my "hand baggage only" this coming trip. Next time I am taking a hold case but I anticipate it being full of Christmas presents! (and hopefully a wee braw bag too).

I might "cheat" and sew down the binding before I have finished. It will make the finish more achievable. My fingers are aching tonight though. I have been sewing in the ends on my Playtime Plus Quilt. It is all very well doing this fmq, but there are a lot of ends to be buried. I always find myself singing that old Harvest hymn, Bringing In The Sheaves when I am sewing in the ends.

I also baked a load of biscuits today for my daughter, who has friends over tonight. If you had seen the look on my husband's face when I told him he could have a broken biscuit!  You see, I had to see how many good ones there were first for the girlies, before we had our share. Luckily there were enough this time for her and us. He just preferred a biscuit which wasn't broken or burned!  This started me thinking. Generations ago, or maybe not so long ago, the "daddy" got the best bit of meat, the best dinner. Generations ago, there was a logic to this, the man of the house did physical work, needed the calories. I remember my mother laughing about the concept that the "daddy" deserved the best steak because he was head of the house, the king so to speak. He got the best and everybody else fitted in. Neither my own mother nor father held any truck with that and neither would  anybody my generation I would think. My father told me the story of how his girl cousin couldn't get her dinner until her farmer father, 10 (yes, 10) brothers and assorted male relatives had got theirs. When they finished eating and left the table, she got what was left. My father and grandfather thought that was appalling and my grandfather actually argued her case. It didn't help and probably didn't help her in the long run. I told my daughter about this today. She was appalled to think this how it was in the 1940s for some women, which really isn't that long ago. This cousin of my dad's only died a year or two back.  Isn't it amazing the philosophy which comes from a broken biscuit!

Just had another thought. They say when they make whiskey, that the whiskey that evaporates in the  oak barrels is the "angels' share". Do you think the biscuits that break are the angels' share? No, they're not. We had them stirred through natural yoghurt with local honey and mandarin oranges.

Now it is time to stop thinking and get on with things!

Helen x


  1. I love it when you get all philosophical!! I'm furious about your dad's cousin though, how could anyone think was right!
    Hope you get the quilt finished in time for your trip!!

  2. How appalling that men first attitude was, we've come along way since then.

  3. It's big job to rip out so much quilting on your windows! But I think you'll be happier with it when it's finished, so eventually you will forget that pain :)

  4. I think it's awesome that your free motion quilting has progressed so quickly and I hope the changing of the quilting and finishing the "out the window" quilt is fun and done in time to gift. It can be hard to select a quilting motif, can't it? Have you tried a stipple/meander? That might work for some of the areas you have left.

  5. You are plugging right along! A finish before you know it. What if you just did good ol' straight lines in the quatrefoils? Simple and will let the fun prints shine.

  6. Like you I find it so difficult to decide what design to quilt, have you thought about spirals? I'm the queen of wonky ones, well, I tell everyone they are wonky ones anyway hehe! I love your stories, I can remember hearing about the male members of families being served first too. Isn't it ironic that the children are the ones who need the protein most. While some things in life change for the worse (in my opinion) this is one thing that has changed for the better.

  7. No clue why I suddenly cannot comment on blogger blogs with embedded comments, most annoying but at least it's now taking me as 'Name/URL' how weird. I love your posts Helen; we thin so much alike. You'd have love the Canadian series that was on this past spring, 'Back in Time For Dinner', so enlightening (not always in a good way, what you said about women especially). Sad that in so many places in the world, that backward, prejudiced actually, way of thinking is coming back. Yes! Pebbling takes a LOT longer than one thinks! I like Tish's idea of straight lines, but either echo 1/4" inside and maybe do 'rays' from the centre of the patch outward? Unpicking is QUITE the chore, wow I'm impressed but seeing how worthwhile it has been with your changes! (like the before/after shots). SUCH a rush this morning to see your Playtime plus quilt almost ready! It's so pretty, and look at the texture!!

  8. Unpicking sucks so I hope you are at least feeling virtuous as you do it. In our household now the man seldom gets anything before the smaller children have got to it and they have been known to take the food straight from his plate/hand. He used to do that to me, so I have no sympathy.

  9. Oh yes. That was how it was in my family. Dad got the best chapati - the one that was puffed up beautifully, one at a time, hot from the stove, covered with ghee. However, it was perfectly fine to test other dishes beforehand for salt and spices. Testing could be with a spoon or a ladle or a cup :-D as long as everyone got fed. Oh Helen, sometimes you are not supposed to look at the quilting. See it has two purposes. One - it holds the layers together. Check, you got that. Two - once washed, it creates a lovely wrinkled texture. I am sure it will do just that. So pish-posh and move on to the next project. Monogamy and creativity do not always go together :-)


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