First finish for 2015!

A good start to the year for me, with my first quilt for the year, which I started on Boxing Day, finished off yesterday afternoon. The fabrics were ones I discovered during my recent WIPs and stash audit, and I used my Sizzix Fabi Cutter (bought after seeing one demonstrated at the Brisbane Quilt Show while I was there in October) to cut the blocks before sewing them together in a very simple pattern. I have to say using the Fabi Cutter certainly reduced the time spent cutting and ensured the pieces were all the same size, so I can see it being put to much more use in the future 🙂

I decided to have another go at some big stitching, paying more attention to achieving a more even and consistent stitch length. As you may notice in the photos below, I did end up with a bit of an issue with the backing fabric (which was a sort of polar fleece – microfibre fleece, I think it’s called) wrinkling, which I didn’t really notice until very late in the piece – too late for me to feel inclined to unpick and resew to sort it out! However, in no way does the wrinkled backing affect the cuddliness of the finished quilt, so I’m prepared to live with it 🙂

Today I’ve been relaxing and taking it easy after the flurry of finishing off the quilt, which suited me well with the second cricket test between New Zealand’s Black Caps and Sri Lanka starting in Wellington. The Black Caps were going well until a collapse after lunch to be all out for 221, but then our bowlers got stuck in and at stumps Sri Lanka were 78 for 5, so on balance I think the first day has belonged to New Zealand. My son is planning to head to the game on Monday and Tuesday – I’m just hoping the game lasts long enough for him to enjoy some of it! 🙂

What Lies BeneathHaven’t done nearly as much reading during my two weeks’ holiday as I planned to do (quilting kept getting in the way!), but today I did manage to finish reading a very moving memoir by NZ author Elspeth Sandys, called “What Lies Beneath”. I have read and enjoyed quite a few of her novels, so it was interesting to find out more about her own life. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book from the library website:

“Writer Elspeth Sandys was born during the Second World War, the result of a brief encounter between two people who would never meet again. The first nine months of her life were spent in the Truby King Karitane Hospital in Dunedin, where she was known as Frances Hilton James. With her adoption, a new birth certificate was issued and she became Elspeth Sandilands Somerville. Tom and Alice Somerville lived with their son John in Dunedin’s Andersons Bay. While Elspeth was happy among the ebullient and welcoming Somerville clan, she had a difficult relationship with her adoptive mother, who was frequently hospitalised with mental health problems. Elspeth’s search for her birth parents did not begin until much later in her adult life. What she discovered after an exhaustive search provided answers that were both disturbing and, ultimately rewarding.”

I really did enjoy this book – very readable and well written in a style that made me want to find out what happened next.

I like the option offered through Bibliocommons, the system used by Christchurch City Libraries, to track the books you’ve read, and to create a “For Later” shelf – I’m about to add some of my unread library books to that shelf, as I know I won’t get through them before they’re due back next week. It’s also good to be able to look back on what you’ve read during the year, and to record comments and rate the books you read, and to read what others thought of them as well.

Sadly it’s back to work on Monday!  But I really have enjoyed my break, and the weather has been lovely, with very little rain and not too hot, plus I’ve been able to quilt and read and watch lots of sport on TV, so that’s all good 🙂


5 thoughts on “First finish for 2015!

    • Thank you! It was a size 22 tapestry needle, and the cotton was 2-ply perle 5. I just wish I had learned to use a thimble, as my first 2 fingers were quite ‘pecked at’ by the time I’d finished! I tried one of those sleeve-type thimbles that slides over your whole finger, but I miss being able to feel the fabric as I’m sewing, so in the end I just persevered without one.

  1. Your quilt is cheerful and as good as a trip to Florida for me on this snowy morning in Ohio. Re: the fleece backing, that stuff operates on a different time zone than cotton and likes to creep and bag. Ask me how I know.

      • I made a flannel throw for my son and backed it with fleece – no batting. I did an envelope finish, tied it and then did a running stitch around the edge with perle cotton. Then, I noticed the edges persisted in curling up no matter what I tried. The fleece was much stretchier than the flannel. I think the fleece is now 5 inches longer than the pieced top. The top and backing measured the same when I sewed them together. Well, it’s warm.

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