I know I should be quilting …

… but how could I bear to move her?

Vanima 03 July 2019
Vanima 03 July 2019

And just so that Verya isn’t ignored, here she is perfecting her totally world-weary expression again:

Verya 03 July 2019
Verya 03 July 2019
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Brrr!!

It’s definitely getting colder. I haven’t been able to bring myself to put the heaters on yet (much as I would like to) because the thermometer says it’s still 20° C in the living room — and yes, that’s probably making most of you laugh but I’m a thin-blooded Aussie and anything under 23° has me thinking wistfully about woolly pullies and fluffy slippers.

The cats are also feeling the cold, and while I can tell myself to tough it out (or put on a cardigan) I don’t want them to suffer, so I brought out the heating pads and set them up a couple of nights ago. They both love the heat and have spent most of the time since then sleeping in their new warm spots. They didn’t appreciate me waking them last night to take photos and expressed themselves in their own unique ways:

Vanima on heating pad
Vanima: “Oh, take a picture if you absolutely must, but you’ll have to be content with my right profile.”
Verya on heating pad
Verya: “What are you doing, you stupid human? I’m trying to sleep here!”

I’ve completed my latest Aussie Heroes quilt and used the new Accufeed HP2 foot on the Janome 9400 for the binding. I made the happy discovery that aligning the left tongue of the foot on the edge of the binding gives me a perfect 1 mm space between the edge and the stitching line. Previously I used the walking foot that came with the machine (AD) but it’s very wide and I was never able to keep it precisely in line.

Binding in progress using HP2 foot
Binding in progress using HP2 foot
Completed binding
Completed binding

I also reverted to pinning the binding rather than using Wonder Clips, which I have found to be too easily knocked out of alignment, dragging the binding with them — I did try using washable glue between or under the clips a few times but that didn’t help much and was even more time-consuming (as well as messy). Pinning may be old-fashioned but it’s much more secure.

Free-motion quilted gum leaves
Free-motion quilted gum leaves

I also continued to work on my FMQ eucalyptus leaves — I’ve done them on a few quilts now and they’re getting better but could still use some improvement. I’ve given up on the gumnuts for the time being as I couldn’t get them to look as neat as the leaves but I’ll get back to them when I have a bit more confidence.

2 kg plastic-covered hex weights
2 kg plastic-covered hex weights

Today I finally got around to visiting the sporting goods store and bought two 2 kg weights to use with my rulers. I had been using books (of which I have many) but they are awkward to keep picking up / putting down and the dust jackets were starting to suffer, so they can go back to the bookcase now and be safe.

March Achievements and April goals

As usual, my monthly goals were divided into Aussie Heroes, Personal and the 2019 Finish-A-Long.

1. AHQ: make two quilts: Done. One was posted this morning, the other is in the wash and will be posted tomorrow. Pictures will be on the AHQ blog sometime.

2. Personal: none set for last month.

3. FAL: Bind the tumbling blocks mini: Almost done. I’ll post pictures and details later this week during the Q1 FAL round-up.

Additional work:

I finally got around to cutting the black sashing for my Oriental Stained Glass quilt (I cut the oriental fabrics in January). Vanima “helped”.

83 two-inch strips of black fabric
83 @ 2-inch strips
Sashing strips bagged
OSG sashing strips
Vanima lying on cutting table
Vanima “helping” me to cut fabric

I also finished tier 3 of the Penrose tile quilt I’m doing — I posted about that here. I’ve started work on the next section but I doubt I’ll get very far before the cold weather sets in and I can start quilting Penrose 1 (the quilt in the header).

Finally, I made 15 appliqué heart blocks and sent them off to New Zealand (details here).

April goals

1. AHQ: One quilt and bag for a recipient in the Middle East. I also want to make some laundry bags for Townsville — many ADF members lost their quilts and laundry bags along with everything else during the monsoon floods in January — we can’t replace everything but we are doing our best to get everyone a new laundry bag.

2. Personal: the final two (out of twenty) Hawaiian appliqué blocks.

3. FAL: to be determined (I think I know which project I’ll choose, but I might change my mind).