13 Small Pleasures: a baker’s dozen!

1. The first sips of hot tea over the rim of a bone china mug.

2. Standing on the deck on a spring or autumn morning as the crisp, cool air fills your lungs and the sun warms your face.

3. When the early morning sky looks like a diamond and you know it’s going to be hot later on.

4. Pushing your feet into the cool corners of the sheets when you are warm in bed.

5. Wearing a silk slip.

6. The wash of relief and satisfaction when you sit down and put your tired feet up after an especially long walk.

7. Feeling the warmth of the winter sun soak through your shoulders.

8. The first whiff of green in the springtime.

9. The scent of autumn in the sunshine.

10. The way rain smells.

11. Sinking into a hot bath.

12. Cracking the skim of ice in a mud puddle with the heel of your boot.

13. Holding hands.

What are your small pleasures?

Disappearing 9-patch (Australia Quilt part 2)

Hello again!

I thought I would explain what a disappearing 9-patch is for those of you non-quilters out there who check into my blog once in awhile. ๐Ÿ™‚

You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

A nine patch block is made up of 9 squares (patches) that are sewn together in three rows of three. Usually (but not always) alternating light and dark patches. Here is one of the nine-patches that is going into the Australia Quilt,:

002Now let’s make it disappear!

First I am going to cut it exactly in half, using the center block as my guide. That’s right – take a deep breath and slice that baby in half!

003Now, without disturbing it, rotate your mat and cut again the other direction, exactly in half, again measuring from the left side of the center square:

005Now lets make it disappear!

Flip the top left and bottom right blocks around so they are facing the other way:

23-03-2014 4-43-09 PMLike so:

006And Ta Da! Your nine-patch has disappeared!

Ordinarily you would sew them together at this point:

007However! Here’s a twist – the pattern I’m following calls for some extra white space added in. So I’ve sewn strips down the center to open it up a bit. Now the disappearing nine-patches look like this:

013 Here’s a recap: From standard nine-patches:

028To disappearing nine-patches (with a spacer strip):

014And here’s another disappearing 9-patch quilt top done the regular way (without the spacing strips):

011Pretty cool, eh?

Stay tuned for the next installment of Australia Quilt as I become a maverick and leave the pattern directions behind and head off in my own direction!

The Australia Quilt (part 1)

In April, 2010, Mr. C and I traveled to Australia.

001To buy some fabric.

002Well no, actually. We went so that Mr. C. could fulfill a life-long dream of doing his astronomy thing under the Southern Night Sky.

005But of course, I bought some fabric.

007I bought 12 fat quarters of these beautiful prints, designed by Aboriginal women who live in Alice Springs.015No, we didn’t go to Alice Springs. But we did go to The Plague and I in Canowindra, New South Wales, which is pronounced “Can-an-dra,” by the way (not Can-o-win-dra like it’s written).

I’m finally making our Australia Quilt, a variation on the disappearing 9-patch, using this pattern:

Image of impromptu quilt pattern #108I’ve done lots of this:

011Followed by lots of this (yes, that’s a seam ripper, lol!):

013Next step is cutting those beautiful 9-patches up so that they disappear. eek!

028All the while, Mr C (for carpenter) has been busily building a gate.

026What are you doing today?