Its All Coming Together

Things are all coming together nicely here in our household bubble of 2 as lockdown begins to ease in the UK, and specifically for us in N Ireland. People in general are out and about, wisely or not I am not sure. The shops are opening again. The pubs that serve food are opening again, and bars with outdoor space are opening again. For most people life is beginning to return to the new normal. For us, life is slowly, tentatively changing too. I am still shielding but am "allowed, indeed encouraged to go for walks outside the home, once a day". This can be with the person I live with, or with one other person from outside my household, if they are living quietly too. From the 6th of July, I can meet with up to 6 people outdoors, at 2 metres apart. But no one indoors, and "resist all temptation to go into shops". Isn't it all complicated? We are still on the side of caution, walks, but on our own, and still cultivating our zoom friendships!

The upside of this is that I am whirling through the knitting and the sewing. I have my Broken Mill quilt top pieced. I haven't a complete photo yet, that will come soon on a day when it isn't too windy or raining.

 I took each of the four quarters of the quilt, four quarters, with four complete mill blocks each. Around the outside of each block I added first two half mills along one outside side and then three half blocks along the remaining outside side. You follow me? Each outer corner of each quarter had a stand alone square. The other blocks were half mill blocks facing outwards. Hard to visualise, but you know what I mean.

I have spread the four photos through this post in no particular order. I did try to get them top left, top right etc, but I have given up with that. Non techy brain won't permit.

Then it was easy as joining the four quarters together to make one whole. Those of you who are proper quilters will have ironed all your seams open, or at least planned the direction of the blocks to  have nesting seams. Of course that required too much in the way of organization for me. If I could I alternated the seams. If I couldn't .... well lets just say, there my be a few lumpy corners. I don't particularly mind these quirks. I hate ironing seams open, really hate it. I always get my finger tips burned. My quilts are never planned enough to know what way the seams are going. I make some blocks, put them together, make some more. To do it any other way would stress me. And that rather defeats the purpose of a relaxing hobby. This is partly way I have never sent my quilts to a long armer for quilting. I don't like to make their lives difficult, and I would be a bit hurt if I was tutted at. One's natural paranoia may begin to surface.

Anyhow, less of my idiosyncratic quirks and personality defects. I have a completed quilt top. This is a totally different block that what I originally intended, a totally different size and a totally different purpose. If you remember, I wanted to make envelope blocks, 2 single long and narrow quilts for the sun loungers for the purposes of lounging on. My feet don't like the roughness of the linen on the loungers. And I have ended up with a new quilt for our bed. Not long enough to be hanging down the sides, but big enough to cover the top of the bed. My bed linen is always plain white or cream, so I like the contrast of a quilt top.

Next up is the backing. I had two possibilities. I have enough yardage of a plum wine fabric, may be an Alison Glass. I felt it was too dark for the underneath. I just wasn't feeling the love.

I had some bright pink with a big white spot which I was much more positive about. The summer brings out my inner pink self for some reason. Not a great proponent of pink normally, come the summer I transmogrify into a pink lady. The pink was backside quilt fabric, but I had borrowed some for various different spotty quilts. I spent two very pleasant afternoons, listening to radio drama on BBC radio and cutting and striping until I had a big enough backside. I intershot the pink with left over Cotton and Steel fabrics. As I had bought two of these boxes, I have rather a lot left.

 Rather than all that faffing about with tape measures, I laid the backing and the top on the table. The backing is a bit bigger, so that's for the win.

Probably because they are imported from USA, or possibly because quilters everywhere are finishing up their old quilt tops, but all my chosen waddings, (batting) are sold out. I like 100% cotton and wanted a double size, that's about 90" by 90". All sold out. I could phone my local shop and buy a 80/20 off the roll and then make an appointment for my husband to do a collection, but it seemed a lot easier for the postman to deliver it. I also want a meter of kona, any shade of grey. Lo and behold, there seems to be a shortage of grey kona as well. Who would have thought it? One shop I messaged, told me double size didn't exist but they could sell me queen size. Eh, yes, it is on your website, just sold out. Her mistake or lets fob her off? Who knows. She is trying again to get me one in the meantime. This takes me back to the whole local shop/online debate. My local shop isn't really a quilt shop, but it does ok ish for wadding and spotty binding fabric. Don't buy online they say, shop local. The London shop I buy from, say, don't buy online, shop local, shop us. Well for me to buy from them it is online. It would be my local shop if I lived in London, which I don't. But I do visit when I am. All very confusing.
For now, that's it. It is a holiday weekend here. A holiday which in political terms here in N Ireland, can be rather contentious. At least in 2020 there have been other things for people to worry about. I will be relaxing between the garden and sewing room as usual. As this quilt has been a bit of mish mash how it evolved, I think I will link up with Mini Archie and his Furtle through the blogosphere.

Helen x


  1. Oooh, great progress, Helen. I like the big dots for the backing and hope you can find some wadding that will work soon. I'm personally taking things very seriously here as the numbers in the US and now my tiny town are exploding. It's all rather strange, but I'm enjoying the time at home with my husband and hope we can continue our evening walks together safely.

  2. It looks great. Hopefully you can find supplies soon. When I press seams open, I run my fingernail through the seam first to open it up and then follow with the iron. The iron is always a few inches from my fingers so I don't burn them...unless I get careless. LOL Hopefully, we can all get back to a new level of normal that lets us function a bit more than the restrictions we are/have been under.

  3. Looks great Helen. I mostly press seams to the side, I'm not a fan of pressing seams open. Can't wait to see your backing from the glimpse it looks great.

  4. I'm not a fan of pressing seams open, I prefer nesting them. However, like you, my seams can go this way or that. I usually give me longarm friend a heads up, and she's patient. Love the pink dot with your pretty quilt. You are correct, both batting/wadding and gray fabric is in short supply. We quilters have been busy while being sheltered at home!

  5. It's looking great Helen.I love your quirky little stories too my friend. Hope you are enjoying the sun over there and hugs Sue xx

  6. This is lovely! Well done and happy that you do it your own way.

  7. Hooray, you furtled!!! And with aplomb! I love that quilt top and the backing and am looking forward to seeing how you quilt it. I bought wadding from Empress Mill at the start of the lockdown (for the ET quilt) and it’s still in the wrapping! I’m hoping to have it layered before Christmas trundles along...

    Thanks for furtling!


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