Bamboo – Further Along

Making headway. The width is now about 42″, with the fill-ins being place-held with batik blocks; the panel length will approximate 62″ – with borders added the quilt top will end up a reasonable size for a lap quilt.

Tentative Layout

So it’s looking like I will want between 7-10 more “bamboo” blocks – that’s getting to be within range (it was beginning to feel as if the end of the project was nowhere in sight). I’m giving up on getting any overlap between the blocks – bits of sashing to make blocks fit is going to have to do.

Truth is I’m feeling pressure to get this quilt done. I want to get onto a bit of garment sewing – I need to make a pair of pants and maybe another casual jacket to take to Florence at the end of April – that’s just a month away.


Bamboo – Making Progress

I’m making headway slowly on the Bamboo quilt top. I’ve created some more blocks – they’re getting better even though I’m not getting faster! The tapering of the inserts is looking more like I want it to. I’ve also started joining blocks and fitting in inserts where needed to make row segments. I’ve got 15 blocks assembled – I figure I’ll need between 35 and 40 to make a lap-size quilt.

Bamboo – Beginning To Take Shape

In the picture I saw originally, there are some leaves overlapping from one block to another: 

The only way I think this can be done is if the whole quilt top was constructed using raw edge appliqué. I’m doing this with slashing and inserting contrasting fabric.  I’m stumped about how to accomplish the overlapping across blocks! Nevertheless I’ll keep working away at these blocks.

New Socks

Finished these socks the other evening.

I used a yarn from New Zealand (Waikiki) that contains 10% possum, 15% alpaca – very nice yarn to work with – for the heels. I do hope it wears reasonably well – 20% nylon, it should. It would be a shame if it didn’t.

The socks went into the stash; I started the next pair.

What I’m Working On…

A couple of days ago I started a new quilt – the previous one really didn’t challenge my sewing skills (I was making it specifically for a friend who didn’t want anything too “fancy”).

This time, I’ve started building something I think I’ll end up calling “Bamboo” – blocks cut freehand with contrasting inserts to look like stems with long narrow leaves. Quite difficult to execute, actually – these first five blocks started out with 9″ wide fabric but trimmed up somewhat less than 6″ in width because of the curvature that occurred with the leaf insertions.

Free-form Blocks

However, after eight blocks I think I’ve finally figured out how to execute the blocks – do the initial slashing cuts, then lay out the pieces and remove fabric from each cut so that when the inserts are stitched and pressed the block retains most of it’s shape and the size will be closer to the starting size. This block is cut, now to add the leaves and stem.

Setting Up The Block

I’m not worrying about keeping block size consistent – they’ll come out whatever size they do; then I’ll fill in with other smaller piecing to make the whole work out.


My amaryllis now has 6 flower blooms – four showing and two to come. That’s the most I’ve ever had on a stalk. The third stalk is still peeking out of the bulb – it’s not clear if it will actually grow or not.

Amaryllis Stalk #2 – with 6 blooms!

This set of blooms makes me smile each time I look at them.

A Winter Walk

A friend and I took a winter walk in Shubie Park this afternoon. It snowed this morning but began clearing around 2:00 so we decided to brave the weather and did the canal walk for a short distance.

The Canal

Cold enough for the snow to remain on the branches; the walking not too slippery underfoot with just enough snow on the paths for decent traction. Lots of people and pets were out enjoying the not quite sunny afternoon.

The ducks are used to being fed by visitors so groups of them paddle quickly to wherever they see people stopping to enjoy the view ever hopeful some food will show up. Unfortunately we hadn’t brought anything to feed them.

(BTW these are colour photos, the shadows lightened a tiny bit.)


Charm Pack Quilt – Finished

It’s done. Quilted and bound with a label. A vanishing 9-patch quilt with borders built from ~80 charm squares.

Charm Squares Quilt – Top

I’m pleased with the scattering of the small yellow blocks – they appeared when the assembled 9-patch block was recut into four – the yellow central block became four small corner squares. The distribution of colour also has worked out well. The pale inner border ties the central pieced panel nicely, the narrow yellow border provides accent and the dark wide outer border balances out the quilt.

Charms Squares Quilt – Back

For the back I selected a few squares from the second charm pack I’d bought (in case) and cut an equal number of batik squares to set up the bordered strips. The backing fabric is the same fabric I used for the borders on the front – didn’t have quite enough to cover the top so had to create a horizontal stripe as well. I reversed position of the two pieces when I added in the vertical strips to add further interest to the back.

The quilt is now in the growing collection of quilts to be shown in Parrsboro in July/August. It won’t be for sale since it already has a home with my physiotherapist. I think it fits the bill for her – she didn’t want it so fancy that she felt she couldn’t just throw it on her sofa.