Monday mystery solo robin

August 3, 2020

Well I am “back” and feeling much better for my holiday. I will get a post about it up later but for now I will crack on with work. It is nice to actually feel ready to work, it had been a while. I really need that 5 day holiday each year. Yes even if it looks a lot like staying at home. I woke up at a good time, thanks to the cat not waking me at 5am. Ready for a productive day. I did have to do one piece of work on holiday. My dog ate our quilt cards. Well OK he only ate some of them, but those may have been some we needed so I printed a new set. I have to admit having them on paper had been getting annoying. So I ordered some print at home business cards and now we have a nice more robust set. I will work harder at keeping these away from the dog. Of course these are not loaded to avoid ones we have already had, so we may get some repeats. I will redraw if we get a technique too recent though.

SO, this weeks technique is,

Log cabin

Ohhh, I like those, a lot. Of course don’t forget to consider out side of the box answers to it. Lets see how big a space we have to play,

Add a total of 12″ to two opposite sides of your quilt.

Nice, I think my good mood has passed on to the cards that is a great combination. Scope to have some fun there. Don’t forget we have a meeting tomorrow to play with ideas for this weeks border. It is as 2.30pm on google meet. Comment here to get an invite to the meeting.

Never ending borders

July 28, 2020

I have nearly added all the scrap I had planned for the borders, but they are still a bit too short. Fortunately I plan on miter corners so I can use shorter bits on each end. I think I have enough fabric to finish them but it will be a lot tighter than I expected. I am kinda glad I am doing them now when I can scavenge every scrap possible to complete them. Seems they really are scrappy.

I have also realised I need to change my technique for the curved piecing. I had been planning on a caveman style approach but as I need all the length I can get and that causes mismatches I think I have to go with applipiecing. I don’t like the end result as much but it will maintain my length.

I am not sure when I will finish it. This week I am on holiday. As of tomorrow evening I am in Wacken. OK I may physically be in my home but in all ways that count I am in Wacken at the festival. I have food drink and a BBQ. I will be making substitute pig on a stick, waffles and icecream (well that’s made just needs to go in cones). Wacken are doing a massive online festival and it is free, so if you want to take a look you can at no cost. Maybe between bands I want to see I will sew, maybe I won’t as I am on holiday I will play it by ear. Very excited that this year Fenrir will be able to come too. This will be his first and possibly only Wacken so I hope I can make it special for him too. Yes and the cats, I know they will be with me to see Sabaton, two of them are Sabaton fans, so Fenrir might miss that one.

Crazy? Maybe, but this is the world we have and I will party as and when I can. The savings on flights and van hire can more than cover the cost of the food and drink. I will miss the Wacken water and the people but I will still enjoy the event.

Monday Mystery Solo Robin

July 27, 2020

Morning folks, I have come to the conclusion my dog knows both weekends and Mondays. The last two days he has been up and ready to go when I come down, today he struggled. He didn’t want to move. He had to rub his eyes and stretch and grumble. Now the obvious answer is I come down earlier on a Monday, but I don’t I am down within the same 15 min window every day. That would suggest the Monday morning effect is more of a universal effect than we ever knew. Clever given Monday morning is a human invention. I have let Fenrir get back to bed for a nap before his walk and now I can find out what our doom is for this week. Personally I am starting to get excited again I am so glad I decided to just move on with the bits of the last quilt I was happier with. It is odd how even fairly small upsets can really throw crafting off. I know it hasn’t just been me, and in fact many quilters have struggled to create anything during the pandemic. I hope they will start to create again, this doesn’t look like being a short blip so we deserately need our craft to help restore our equilibrium. It is so sad that at the time we most need these outlets it is harder to do them. I am wondering if I should find a few small projects and do some sew alongs to help people get going again.

Gah enough rambling, on to the quilt. Our technique this week is

Flowers or leaves

That’s a nice wide technque. Lol I am looking out of the window half wondering how i could collect those leaves and sew them on, no I don’t think that would actually work. Doesn’t stop me being tempted. Now how much space has we got for this,

Add 6″ to two opposite sides of your quilt.

That is a nice size for this, and not too much. I was sort of hoping for all the way around and seeing a vine or wreath but this has a lot of potentential too. Flowers are not really my thing but you never know I might branch out as it is only a small section. I do really want to do some narrow stems, and yes I really know how annoying those can be to do, but they look so amazing and I don’t think I have ever done one on a quilt. I have done several samples of them though. Of course if I do that I will want to do it by hand and that will be an issue. My hands are not getting any better, but narrow stems look so much better done that way. I guess I have decisions to make. I think I am going to start drafting my next quilt. Then I will feel I am keeping up and I would be able to make parts out of order. So for example if I want to do this part by hand I can have it on the go while I work on other parts of the quilt.

Tomorrow we will have out regulare discussion/planning session. 2.30pm BST. Anyone is welcome, and as we are online your location really isn’t an issue. Leave me a comment and I will be able to send you the link to our Google Meet session.

We have progress

July 26, 2020

I didn’t get any pictures yet but I nearly have the scrappy and curved borders together. If I have done my maths correctly the quilt will finish 90″×80″. A very nice size. Big enough for my bed (just) and still small enough to fit on backings and waddings. The scrappy border will be very bright, but hopefully against all the black it won’t seem too loud. Worst comes to the worst I can add a lot of black applique. I am starting to feel excited about this quilt again which is really encouraging.

I have also made more progress innthe kitchen. Three lasanges were made today, so that’s two more easy meals in the freezer. I also shipped half my onions and bagged them in soup size portions. I think we will have enough for all our winter soup requirements. Still need the leeks, which are looking good, then it will be potatoes. I have no idea how my potatoes are doing fingers crossed they will be good and last us a fair while, I will just have to be patient. Tomorrow I am hoping to get some quilting done and finished chopping the onions. I would like to get some beetroot soup going too, which will also be frozen. It seemed the easiest way for us to store the beetroot especially as that’s how Tet likes to eat beetroot. I am hoping I can make it with half the water, so it will be smaller in the freezer. We have bought concentrated beetroot soup in jars so I can’t see why it shouldn’t work. I would like to think I will also get some more done on the border and pick apples and blackcurrents but realistically I think that’s unlikely. Right now I need a hot bath and an early night.

Roadblock removed

July 24, 2020

For various reasons I have been having a problem with my Monday quilt. I decided today that I was going to make progress one way or another. I had been really keen on my design for the folded week but it turned out to be a very stressful week and that has changed my feelings about the border. Reasonable? Maybe, maybe not but that is how it is. I want to be able to move on and start my second Monday quilt. The longer this holds me up the more out of the loop I feel so I need this to move on. I had decided that my modern border would be plain black, that is the week after the folded that has me stuck. I want just a very few squares for my squares week then it will be curves and scraps. Today I cut up all the remaining fabric.

20200724_152851 20200724_153617


These pieces will become the curved piecing and the scrappy borders. this is most of the remaining fabric. I already have pieces cut for the folded and squares so I don’t need to worry about those. I hope this pile will be enough as I really sont have a lot after this. I then cut pieces for the binding.


I am not sure I have enough, and I am sure I cut them the wrong size. However it is what it is and I have a couple of plans for making it work. I had planned to cut it wider for a nice easy piped binding but to be honest I think I would have struggled even more to get enough. I may do a fiddly piped binding or I may hand finish it. Which will hurt and take an age but it is an option. My plan now is to get the scrappy and curved borders made. Then I will see how I feel about the folded border. If I still hate it I will use the few blocks I have and a lot of plain black. My modern border will also be negative space, yes a bit of a cheat but also very modern. Then I can do a few squares for the corners of the squares border and put on the curves and scrappy. In theory it should all be pretty straightforward. We will see if it works out that way.

Some progress

July 22, 2020

Well I am starting to recover from weeding the driveway. So I can do a bit more with my hands. Tet has a set of 3 black masks that actually look presentable and fit reasonably well. The ice cream library has been expanded.


…..and that was as far as I got Tuesday before life interrupted. The class was more exciting than usual, my browser crashed quite spectacularly. We discovered that the call stay up just fine without me and that the guest lecturer could pick up and run with it. It was handy that one of the group has done a lot of EPP and could just take over for me. I couldn’t get the computer back up properly so I finished the class on my tablet, which worked just not the quality we are used to. So glad I had put Google meet on it for testing.

After class I needed to get the computer sorted for the games night and get a chicken cooked for dinner. It took some fiddling and we thought it was all working fine. It turned out we were wrong, and I had no audio or video for the games, but at least the games themselves worked.

I tend to have my months gin Tuesday night’s, it’s a way to have a drink with friends. This month’s was very good and something I wouldn’t usually try a Brazilian gin in a tropical cocktail. I think next week I have a fruity mixer for it, which will also be something very differnt for me. I really like the way the gin club gets me to try new things.

Today the masks got used in anger, which was really great. It’s satisfying to have your work used. I also got back to my apple problem. I have decided I will work through the apple cakes in my Nordic baking book. The first one uses a LOT of apples. That is perfect as I am trying to use them up. It was a very differnt process and I was worried that it might be bland or a bit dry, but I also know Nordic apple cakes are wonderful so I took a chance. The result is nothing like I expected and absolutely wonderful. I will stick to the plan though and the next will be the next recipe in the book, I will not just stick with the first.

I have also been directed to apple cookies and apple breakfast bars, so those will be tested too. When you have apples you have too cook with them.

Monday mystery solo robin

July 20, 2020

It is that time of the week again, time to learn our new doom :) Hoping I can get this out before my delivery arrives, but if it is late, that will have been why. This has proved to be a good marker for the start of the week for me. It was never intended to do that but it is quite useful. This week our technique is,

English paper piecing

I have to admit that really doesn’t thrill me. My hands are still very painful from the hoe. Fortunately I am a bit behind, so by the time this comes up for me I may be able to do a little hand sewing. If not I will do it by machine, yes that is possible. I think there are some videos online about it. Either way this one will be something a bit different for me. Maybe this is the time for me to have a go at the border I saw in the American museum in Bath. A pieced feather with a piano key background. Hmm, OK I admit it, I am sort of excited even though it’s likely to be bad for my hands.

Today the border size is,

Increase the size of your quilt by 8″

Hmm, well that will give a bit of room to play, yes this could be fun. I will be very interested to see what and EPP fan comes up with for this one. EPP is very very versatile and I think there will be some quite interesting design options. As is now usual, there will be a discussion session 2.30BST tomorrow. We do have room for more participants, just ask in the comments. We use google meet which seems to work reasonably on many platforms. I won’t say all, that just tempts people to find the exception to the rule.

It was a great plan

July 19, 2020

The plan for Saturday really was good, unfortunately as so often, it didn’t survive contact with the enemy. In this case the enemy was Saturday, and an elderly freezer. The idea of the new freezer was twofold. I have two elderly freezers both solidly approaching end of life, and I have a garden full of food I need to harvest and store. The plan is to have a third freezer, theoretically reliable. Then I have the extra space I need this time of the year, and hopefully when one of the others die I will have some wiggle room. I also thought this was a good time to defrost and clean. So far so good. However, the new freezer while being physically the biggest also has the least capacity, by quite a margin, so just emptying one of the other freezers was tricky. That achieved defrosting went much quicker than I expected, as did the cleaning. Refilling however was a problem. The old freezer took about nearly a day to get cold again. As you can gather from my comments about the capacity of the new freezer I didn’t have space to put the icecream had I made it. As an alternative way to fill my day (OK let’s be honest I have no clue why I suddenly decided to do this) I decided to tidy the driveway. I needed to clear weeds from both sides, it’s a tarmac drive with nice edging stones….when you can see them. Well 2 hours with a hoe and you can see them. While I was doing it it seemed like hard work but not terrible. Half an hour later I realised my hands were covered in blisters and everything hurt. That was the end of doing anything much Saturday.

Sunday morning wasn’t promising, my body hadn’t forgotten what I did to it Saturday, but a long hot bath got me moving. It allowed me to do lots of really boring household jobs, don’t I just have the most fun weekends. I did manage to get two batches of icecream made though. The first was a request, Tet wanted an apple ice cream. I actually think for just apple a sorbet is the way to go, I also saw a recipe for apple and sloe sorbet. As we have apples still from last year this is how I will be trying to use it up. For today I went for an apple pie feel, with a cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream with a little apple puree in it. Once that was churned I added a lot more people puree as a ripple. We are really enjoying our fruit ripples so hopefully this will be another winner.  The second is my take on Wacken ice cream. The festival itself cannot happen this year, but they are still having it, online. So we are having the whole event at home. I have the barbecue for cooking pig on a stick. I have the meat ordered. I have the new and differnt fruit ciders to try, and I will have a ton of ice and my sleeping bag ready. It seems to be essential to boil or freeze at some point. Another important element is icecream. The ice cream maker there is amazing and makes fantastic icecream fresh the whole event. I love the black honey one that is just called Wacken. I bought the activated charcoal a while ago, as I was sure that was the colouring used (it has no flavour and a slight texture) I just needed to get some reasonably priced runny honey. Having made it today I have learned a couple of things. Firstly, and in hindsight totally obviously, English  honey does  it taste the same as German honey. I know I know, each area has a distinctive flavour because the bees are collecting from differnt plants but for some reason I just didn’t think about it. Secondly, charcoal it REALLY hard to mix in well. I think I will need to use a very fine sieve and possibly use am immersion blender to mix it. That said, I am thrilled with what I have achieved. It’s certainly in the ballpark if not perfect, and perhaps not perfect has some merit, it means I will still be very happy when I get to have the real thing.

So not really a very productive weekend, but I am mostly happy with it. Tomorrow morning I will try to sort out the freezers and get ready for the rest of the delivery I had last Monday. I would like to get the new doorbell set up too, and maybe the driveway sensors. Busy busy, and of course the Monday mystery solo robin.


I nearly forgot to blog

July 17, 2020

Unless white goods excite you, today has probably been dull. Today was mostly taken up with a new freezer. Yup really. How does that take whole day?  The two hour delivery took a good chunk of the morning, especially as it drifted a bit. Though watching and waiting did mean I was ready for the the FedEx delivery of quilt tops, that was pretty cool. The delivery people did bring it into the house, which helped. They didn’t unpack it, which was sort of good as they weren’t masked gloved or versed in distancing. Unpacking a full size upright freezer is non trivial. Especially getting the freezer off it’s packing base. Then comes switching the door over, also non trivial with torx screws. Fortunately I have a decent toolkit and have run into that issue before. Then getting it back into position and getting the other storage back around it was more effort and more time. That must have been about 4.30, following a nominally morning delivery. Then an hour waiting for it to settle before turning it on. Tomorrow I can start filling it. Including harvesting more of our fruit and vegetables and some ice creams. Yup tomorrow will be harvesting and processing and cooking.

Another Monday Quilt

July 15, 2020

My begging and pleading has paid off. I can share another Monday Mystery Solo Robin with you. This is the one made from the fabrics I shared here a couple of weeks ago. These are ombre fabrics so although there are only eight fabrics plus the background there are a lot of shades.IMG_1225

This is the first four weeks of instructions. As well as following the weeks rules Sharon is also trying to use a die from her Acuquilt each week. I pointed out that she has many and you always get a few that see less use. This way they may all get an outing this year. I am really loving how this quilt is shaping up. It helps it already has some blocks I really like and applique feathers. I will be very interested to see it develop and to see how different it is to mine or Rachel’s. I don’t think many people could work out the three quilts were made from the same instructions.

If you are sewing along with us please do consider sharing some images, we would love to see more ideas on how to implement the Monday design ideas. Leave a comment below and I will let you know how to get images to me.