Looking around at blogging Christmas posts it seems we all entered the 'storm' that was Christmas......you know the one - where the shopping and rushing around never seems to end and the kitchen bench looks permanently like this for several days ?
It's nice to get the kitchen in order once the house guests have left. But it was a wonderful few days catching up with family, and I'm missing them and the bustle of it all.
Now there is the 'calm' - and a great opportunity to get into some trickier sewing.
Here are my last Benjamin Biggs blocks - completed bit by bit since September.
This morning I finally stitched them all together - determined to take advantage of the 'calm' to get started on the border
I knew the border was going to take some focus because I have made my blocks all 12 inch instead of the 16 inch size on the pattern. So everything has been 75% smaller. But would the border work at 75% smaller too? I had put off exploring that question till a quieter time ...knowing how easily I can make a mess of the maths!
Gathering all the border pattern pieces (printed at 75% smaller), I calculate that my side border piece should be 60 inches long (if the pattern is 80 inches long), and 7.5 inches deep (if the pattern is 10 inches deep).
This is how the border layout should look (from the pattern )
So I cut some transparent bake paper to suit my dimensions, ready to draw on the pattern .
The first thing to position on my paper border was the triple petal in the corner, and then to add the swag pieces either side - getting them to fit by elongating or shortening if needed. It all fitted surprisingly well and surprisingly quickly I had a pattern piece ready! It is just a quarter pattern of the border to be repositioned around the quilt.
Now I can cut the background fabric border strips and draw the pattern onto the back of the fabric. Then it will be time for some relaxed needle turn applique (with my usual back basting prep) - one border at a time - using a solid poison green for the swag and a red print for the petals and buds. Can't wait to start !
Because we enjoyed a few days of lovely (blissfully lovely) cool Christmas weather I was able to do some more hand quilting of my Civil War Bride during time out from all the preparations. I have been listening to a great audiobook - Watership Down by Richard Adams ( have always loved the novel) - about a colony of rabbits. Perfectly suited to this quilt - if you see what I mean?
I have now finished outline quilting all the outer border and am moving on to the blocks. This block is in the hoop right now:
I must show you a recent acquisition. Several blogs have shown off pretty trolleys on castors - perfect for moving quilty bits and pieces and projects from room to room. So when I spotted them in Aldi last week I couldn't resist - and I love the red. Of course it had to be a kit - but not a difficult build..