Thursday, November 22, 2012


Little bird decorations made for a forthcoming market....and maybe some gifting for friends and teachers!
Lovely inspiration here and how to link here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A farewell....

I'm often asked why I don't have a cleaner. My response is always the same.
"I don't have a cleaner....because I have a speech therapist."
At the age of two, our son was diagnosed with a severe language disorder. Now 11 years old, his diagnoses has subsequently been altered to 'mild-moderate autism'. Never-the-less, and whatever the label, his struggle with language is ongoing and impacts day-to-day through his interaction with and understanding of the world. His need for speech therapy and supported learning is currently on-going without too much of a glimmer on the horizon of that changing in the short term. Let's just say, we're a 'speechie's' sure thing.
We've been very lucky that L's school allows a consulting speech therapist to work with him (and the numerous other boys!) during the school day. From my point of view, that saves one more 'run around mum job'. The other plus is the stability that that brings. His first 'in-school' therapist worked with him from reception through to grade 3 until her work load became too great and she had to expand her consultancy (or build a massive extension to her or the other!). She handed the reigns over to her assistant and she has worked with L for the past two years. But she's leaving. She's young and decided to follow her dreams interstate. Wednesday is her last day, and whilst I've told L it's his last speech session for the year ("yay!" was the response), I haven't told him it's a big goodbye.
So at the very least a little gift is in order. I've made a notebook cover out of scraps and used the quilt as you go method to use up some batting bits. I'll get L to draw one of his very special little illustrations in the front.

Monday, November 12, 2012

X-ing and +-ing....

I've been in love with the Japanese x and + quilts, inspired by Setsuko Inagawa floating around the blogasphere of late. Most recently Ara Jane's of 'You know what I love?' and this one by Leila from 'Where the Orchids Grow' which has been on my pinterest board for an age.
For a great tutorial on how to lay out and piece the block go to Amy Gunson's badskirt site for a good explanation of the block construction. warned, the sizes quoted aren't quite right. Now Amy was the first to admit in her tutorial that the blocks she designed were loose and about having fun so I'm not pointing an accuracy finger at all. It's just that when I decided to use scraps for my quilt and realised I had an abundance of 2 1/2" squares and strips, I thought that I'd prefer to use them as a whole rather than cut them down to Amy's measurement of 2". When I tried to enlarge her units for her 7.5"/8" block, the square 3.5" piece didn't come out at a 'regular' size, in fact it was something like 4.32"! The pure fact that I couldn't work out what that could possibly look like on an inch ruler called for a halt in cutting proceedings!
Then I found this post by Occasional Piece-Quilt who'd discovered the same calculation problem but had worked it out based on 2 1/2" units using a quilt block computer program....salvation!
So I've worked with her measurements:
Centre cross = 1 x 6.5"x2.5", 2 x 2 1/2" square
Edges of the cross = 4 x 2.5" square
Background triangles = 8 x 2.5" square
Branches of the x = 4 x 4.5" square
These measurements yield a 10" block which is a great size.
I've spent the last few days on these blocks. I had an initial oops and should have re-read Amy's tutorial where she specifically explains the mixing of colours for the 'branches of the x'. I didn't do this for the first three and matched mine. I swore, abandoned ship and slept on it, deciding after another look not to pull them apart.
I'm so glad I didn't pull them apart because in the mix of the now scrappier blocks, it's hard to tell which ones they are. I find it hard to contrast my fabrics and scrappy is just as hard for me but as I'm working through these blocks and the fabric choices are diminishing, I'm getting better...and as Amy suggested....having fun!