Monday Mystery Solo Robin

February 1, 2021

As 2021 seems to be trying to keep up with 2020 we seem to still have lots of brain time to fill with quilting. While we are rapidly approaching a year of these posts I am working on the next years project. Nope I didn’t foresee this when I started I just knew we had time to make (or design) at least one quilt. I hope people are having fun and have found some new quilt ideas from this. I know I have seen far more design ideas than I ever would normally, even if I had been attending all the quilt shows. I didn’t expect I would get so much from this but I really have and I thank my regular participants for that.

This week the technique we need to work with is,

Pieced rectangles

Ahh, now this is an interesting one. We so often use squares and triangles as our units this will hopefully have us step out of the box a bit. There is a lot you can do with rectangles but I think we are often scared to try. Interestingly last week I ran across a couple of ways to make half rectangle triangles, maybe this is my moment to try them. Our border size this week is,

Increase the size of your quilt by 10″

Just to come clean, I cut the deck of sizes each week and we have the card revealed. This week I did that and got increase the size of your quilt by 12″. I am sure we had that very recently so tried again. I guess the deck is pretty determined as it gave me one so similar on my second try too. So we will work with that, sorry if it is a bit more than you really wanted.

Monday mystery solo robin

January 25, 2021

Yup this post is late, very late. Apparently when everything is booked to be done by 10am it really means 3.30pm. Who knew? Still we now have a sofa which will neither eat me nor dump me on the floor. We have a working kitchen sink, dishwasher still needs work and our food delivery made it to us. It could have been worse. Technically that is probably counted as a success. Now can we do something nice and simple like some quilting please?

This week our design technique is,


My brain is fried all I can think right now is Oh good I am working with plain fabrics. I guess that does indeed get me a step closer to Amish. I think this will be a lot of fun looking into which designs they have used and which are especially Amish. Do you suppose I can find any of my books on the subject before tomorrow? This week our border will be,

Add 8″ to two opposite sides of your quilt

Nice, not overwhelming but space to play. I am starting to think stripy triangles, that could work to use up some scraps which would be handy I think. I am not going to stay and blather, I really have a lot of work I needed to do today and now very little day to do it in. So have fun and I will see some of you tomorrow to discuss this weeks challenge.


The new year

January 19, 2021

This post was started last Tuesday, for various reasons it didn’t get published then. As it wasn’t time critical I decided it could go up now. Well not quite true I can now reveal what was taking all the time and energy I will add that at the bottom.


Yes I am late, why may become obvious soon. However I did want to share how much we enjoyed seeing in the new year. Going into 2020 we were in bed early ready to be up early to collect Fenrir. Going into 2021 we took him for a late walk in the village. We enjoyed everyone’s Christmas lights and the peace and quiet. Despite the new lockdown there has been a lot more traffic here, but new years eve was quiet.

We were home in time to see the clock change but were disappointed to not find anyone showing the London drone display live. So I waited up to catch the repeat of other news programs too see if any of them had it. They didn’t but the Metro newspaper online had a lot of it.

We had spent the day playing board games online with friends. Which was a lot of fun. We failed to get pizza for dinner which I had been really looking forward to. On the other hand it was great for the local pub who had been making them. He sold out of everything in under 2 hours. I hope that meant he made his profit AND got an early night. They had planned to do take away pizza for 5 hours but clearly I am not the only one who thinks they are great and the perfect celebration food. I can’t wait for the next event he makes them for. It is especially nice that they are made outside in a wood fired pizza oven and you can collect them from outside too. Maybe I could persuade him to make them for Valentines day?

Since then life has been crazy busy. I am sure there really have been over a week since then but it doesn’t feel like it. I have managed to get some work done but it has been crammed in around other stuff. Starting to think lockdown steals my time and dumps it on other people. I have heard so many saying they can’t fill the time they have yet I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day.

OK, back to now.

Well I say now, I was going to say I spent New Years day afternoon quilting. Each year there is a new year day mystery quilt, which I love doing. I love the lack of responsibility. I can usually get most of the quilt done on the day too. It is a very satisfying way to start the year. I did have to get a special dispensation to stay home though. Yup in a pandemic I needed to ask to stay home, weird huh. Well we were finally selling the house we used to live in. It had been under offer for months then on Midwinter our buyers got in touch and said they wanted to complete on the 7th of January. ( working days later. Um, eeep. We checked when we could get together people and vehicles to do the last bits of moving, and negotiated to complete on the 14th. As it turned out even that was tight as the lockdown on the 4th cost us most of our help and one of the vehicles. All dealable but rather than 2 or 3 days work it became a full time job going back and forth with our car. The trickiest part was getting my project car out of the garage there. It was tight when I put it in there, I had to get out of the window. It was much harder to get it out this time. Firstly it hadn’t moved in a long time, secondly the whole driveway had been turned into a sandy swamp by builders and finally everyone had moved their fences to the legal maximum. After the first day of struggle we bought a hand winch. Who says watching random youtube videos is a waste of time? It taught me a lot about moving difficult vehicles. We finally got it moved with a couple of days to spare. We got an appointment to take rubbish to the tip, and the sale went through smoothly. I hadn’t wanted to say and tempt fate. It feels great to finally be free of the house. No more worrying about squatters or other issues. The rebates on the utility bills are rather nice too. Now I feel  I can get my schedule back on track and really settle into this new life.

Monday Mystery Solo Robin

January 18, 2021

Monday morning and for the first time in weeks I am actually feeling awake and ready for the week. Apparently cumulative stress makes my function progressively worse who would have guessed :) It is very nice to be on a more even keel and planning good things again. Yes that does mean the bothersome pandemic wasn’t the main cause of my issues, do I get points for novelty. I do know a lot of you are struggling with that though, and I hope these quilt ideas are still a diversion for you. Whether or not you actually make the quilt planning how to handle these challenges seems a much healthier preoccupation than many in the world right now. This week our technique is,

Repeated blocks

Wow talk about enough rope to hang ourselves. This one should be pretty easy for any quilter. This is what we do most of the time with traditional patchwork. However, it can be an issue for some of us. I know i tend to get bored of making one block repeatedly. For me there is definitely a sweet spot between too boring and takes to long so I lose interest. I think my best bet with this one will be simple but jazzed up maybe with size or colour so I am not quite repeating myself but can production line it. So what space do we have to work with,

Increase the size of your quilt by 12″

Oh boy. Yup the theme this week is absolutely to give us scope to mess ourselves up. I am going to have to be careful with this one not to make myself too much work. On the other hand I do rather like the idea I could have a simple block changing size a lot within 12″. I might not even need that many of the blocks to make something really effective. Hmm, yes this is sparking some interesting ideas, probably enough to get myself into trouble :)

Monday mystery solo robin

January 11, 2021

Another Monday and another day I am glad I have a routine, if a bit more minimal than it used to be. I nearly said normal, but that’s not right. Life moves on and for now this is normal and I need to remember that and work with what I have. Which also applies to shopping (front of my mind as I was just doing it). A lot of products are currently not available. That isn’t to say there isn’t plenty to buy just that I need to adjust and plan different meals. That might actually be a good think, it is very easy to get stuck in a rut and this does prevent that. I also notice a lot of bigger packs of basic foods are no longer available. I am guessing this is an attempt to help everybody get some. If I am right I think that is a very neat way to go about it. Anyway, I doubt you came to hear about my theories on grocery shopping, you probably wanted a quilting task for the week.

This week our design idea will be


That doesn’t feel great for me. I wonder if this is the point I have to make the hexagon into a square. Or i have to get really creative to almost hide 8 sides within all my 6s. Certainly food for thought. OK, next step how much space do we have to play with,

Add a total of 10″ to two opposite sides of your quilt.

OK that I like. I want to add 8″ of octagon to one side just because it feels the right sort of number. I know that actually from a drafting point of view it may be the wrong number but it feel appropriate to me. Now I just need to work out how to make 8 sides look like 6. I am sure there is a way I just need to work it out.


Monday mystery solo robin

January 4, 2021

Here we are again, the first part of the new year and yet we are drawing close to the end of this quilt. Sadly the distraction is still very much needed so rest assured I have plans for when this one ends. I think we have something like 10 weeks left, I suspect someone will let me know how close I am with that guess. I just watch the deck shrinking as we work our way through it. This week our technique will be

Spiral / rotation

Ahh, honestly I was hoping for this one weeks ago. Just because of the potential it had for my design. I guess coming up later does mean i have more space to play with it though so maybe the cards know best. The borders we have to work with are,

Add 4″ to each side of your quilt.

Well dang that really would have been so cool way back in the quilt. Still it is what it is and now I need to work on a design that fits this. On a “normal” rectangular quilt this will be amazing. I think it is a lovely week to have a unifying ring of something. The options for flow and movement are so cool. I wonder what my discussion group will make of this one.

2020 Roundup

December 31, 2020

It seems mostly people are not looking back at 2020. I think I might be able to see why. However, there has still been a lot of good things this year and I feel there is merit in remembering those. Let’s face it we aren’t going to forget the bad bits for a very long time are we. Today Radio 4 had a phone in on what have you done this year you are proud of. It isn’t quite how I look at things, or would phrase it but I am very pleased I decided to do the Monday quilt. I still think it is valuable to have something to think about for the week that is creative and nothing to do with pandemics. I am so pleased I had a distanced quilt designed already.

This may sound a bit odd but I am glad I have managed to get some of my students back into classes, even though they are online. No I don’t mean I am pleased to have the income, its nice but the thing I feel is far more important is it gives a routine to the week, and a familiar routine at that. I can’t quite believe I have managed to get almost comfortable with a camera. I hate them but it is becoming normal. I absolutely love that teaching online lets me have students who could no longer travel to classes even without the pandemic. I am planning ways to keep remote classes as well as in person when that is an option. I hope that this may really open up all sorts of learning to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.

In a similar vein I have really enjoyed virtual events this year. No a virtual concert is not the same as a live one, but, I can attend with my dog, I can attend with friends from all over the world, I can attend with people who cannot travel, and it was a lot cheaper too. Yes I want to got to live events again, I also really hope the virtual ones continue.

It has been wonderful to rediscover cooking. Some has been weird and wonderful. We have reduced our food waste a lot this year which has led to discovering new recipes. Some have become new staples. It also led to me baking for winter. As we couldn’t see people we shipped them food and drink. Which in turn has led to me discovering that I really like making sweets. I am making plans for future creations.

I have been disappointed by  how little time I seem to have. Shopping online for groceries seems to take a lot more time and energy than going to a supermarket did. Though I do really like having everything delivered. I know having a puppy has taken a lot of time, other than that I guess its just the junk in the news taking up brain space. Whatever I never seem to have any spare time. I hope that I can get things better organized as I get a more set routine again.

I have another stay at home project planned for next year, which will start March ish. I have a few show quilts I want to work next year, for when there are shows again. I am planning a virtual retreat/summer school, sorry I can’t see spending 8 hours in a room with 9 other households being a good idea this year.

For me this year hasn’t been too bad. Yes I have been at home. I like my home (I am so thankful we moved when we did). No I didn’t get my holiday this year, I stayed at home and did virtual Wacken, complete with BBQ and ciders we had never tried. I am very lucky the people I know who have had Covid have all recovered. That speaks highly of how careful a lot of my more vulnerable friends have been. I know I have had it far easier than many people, and believe me I appreciate that. I cannot imagine how hard it has been for those with large families and small spaces. I know a lot of people who have had to arrange or attend funerals this year. Never good, this year it has to have been worse.

I am hoping that people will see this issue is not going to be over next week and keep helping each other. I hope people will work with the situation we have now and find ways to do as many things that are important to them as possible, and not wish their life away waiting for “normal”. None of us know what that normal will be or when, we do know we have a life to live today.  I hope I can keep encouraging people to keep up with their hobbies and maybe start new ones. My main goal for 2021 though will be to survive it. It seems that is the biggest achievement any of us can manage any year.

Good luck and I wish you find some fun and happiness in 2021. I now need to try and see out 2020 playing board games online.

Monday Mystery Solo Robin

December 28, 2020

Sorry folks I came upstairs to blog and got distracted preparing for the New Years Day mystery quilt. Still better late than never I guess. If you are interested in the one day mystery it is here.

This week the technique will be,


Hmm, that’s got some interesting connotations as well as some more simple and obvious options. I am deeply tempted to attic windows depending on the size of border. Speaking of which the border will be,

Add 6″ to one side of your quilt

Fiddly but I guess it would be possible to make 2″ finished attic windows. It is tempting. Maybe not a whole length of the border but I do like the idea of a window in the quilt. I will be very interested to see what folks come up with tomorrow. The nice thing about the discussion sessions is we can all help ideas to evolve. It is always surprising what we come up with.

Monday Mystery Solo Robin

December 21, 2020

It’s midwinter today. I am not working, so this is a very quick post. I will see some of you tomorrow for the weekly discussion as usual.

Technique card says,

Far East

and the border size will be,

Add 4″ to at least 2 adjacent sides of your quilt.

Eat drink and be merry folks. Do not starve or freeze to death. Remember the sun starts to return tomorrow (well if we woo it enough today :). Take care, don’t panic and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday Mystery Solo Robin

December 14, 2020

I am sure everyone is getting busy by ow, but I will still make sure you have something to think about this week. I have to be quick I have a canine serenade but let us find out what is in store for us this week. LOL, this card actually made me laugh. I swear they know. This week we shall be considering designs with,


Couldn’t be much more prefect for the season could it. I predict a lot of rather Christmas shaped trees. Or I suppose branches if we get a small border. Let’s have a look and see what the cards have for that.

Add 6″ to one side of your quilt.

I guess that makes it whole trees then. That was rather kind of the cards. and just one side so we don’t have too much to do. That’s a really nice balance and I am highly amused by the timing. Now I need to empty and exercise a not so little chap. Have fun.