Sunday, June 25, 2017

New Foot

Until today, sewing with rulers on my Sweet Sixteen looked like this:
It might not be obvious, but the low side of the foot (on the right here) is almost level with the bottom of the ruler. That means it doesn't take much for the ruler to accidentally slip over the top of the foot. If that happens, you either mess up the stitching line, or maybe break the needle as it hits the ruler. I've only messed up the stitching line, but I have read of a couple of people who had to take the machine in for a service after hitting a ruler and apparently messing up the timing. I've tried to always hold the ruler against the back of the foot (the high side), but that's not always possible. For example, you can't sew round a circle only using the back of the foot - you have to use every part of the foot to complete the 360 degrees. You just have to be very careful.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that Handi Quilter had released a new foot designed to work better with rulers. I ordered it from the dealer in Geelong, and collected it on Friday. Today I got to use it:
This is the Sure Foot. It doesn't have a low side; it is high all the way round, so the ruler can't slip over it. There are a couple of little notches, at the front (hidden in this picture) and on the right-hand side, presumably to help you line up stitching lines. But I don't think I really needed them - I can see into the centre of the foot well enough. 

I started quilting the table-runner that I pieced in May. The new foot is much less stressful to sew with! I could relax and not worry constantly about the foot slipping under the ruler. So although I think it is way too expensive for what it is, if you want to do ruler work it is worth considering. I love it, and might just leave this foot on all the time, now.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finished and Almost Finished

Today I finished stitching down the binding on this UFO from 2014:
Bonnie Hunter's mystery, "Grand Illusion". Another finished quilt to cross of the list.

Meanwhile, my Garmin Vivofit has just about reached the end of its useful life:
Can you tell how many steps I've done? Many parts of the display have stopped working over the last few months. At first it didn't matter, as I could sync the device with the computer and read the total there. But the syncing process stopped working in April.

I know that I've reached at least 10,000 steps, because of that half a "1" on the left-hand side. But no part of the "thousands" column shows up at all any more, so until I get to 10,000 I'm in the dark. And if (when!) that remaining part of the "1" fails, the Vivofit will be of no use at all. I bought it in October 2014, which was the same month I started getting together the fabrics for Grand Illusion. But it has reached the end of its useful life just as the quilt's life is beginning.

Friday, June 23, 2017


The fourth week of my year quilt has a touch of blue:

23/06/2017    10.7    aqua/teal
22/06/2017    10.0    blue
21/06/2017      9.7    blue
20/06/2017    11.9    aqua/teal
19/06/2017    12.1    aqua/teal
18/06/2017    12.7    aqua/teal
17/06/2017    14.3    aqua/teal

I found this hexagonal wall planter at a nursery today, marked down to only a quarter of its original price:
So it had to come home with me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

Today was short and cold, but at least that meant I could make a different coloured hexagon for my year quilt. Our top temperature was 9.7, so today's hexagon is blue.

While taking the dogs for a walk this afternoon, I was very happy to see two kangaroos:
That might actually be three, as the one on the right looks like she could have a large joey in her pouch.

I was particularly happy to see them because last week a kangaroo was killed by a car at the end of this road. Every time that happens I wonder if it might be the last one in the area, and if I might never again see a live one hopping round the neighbourhood.

After photographing the two roos, I took another couple of steps and realised that there were two more that I hadn't seen initially:

So I was doubly happy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Binding and Planting

My June UFO now has the binding sewn on to the front:

Ready to be hand-sewn to the back. I have three sit and sew gatherings in the next five days, so I am pretty sure this UFO will be crossed off the list before the end of the month.

Meanwhile in the garden today I dug up most of my dahlias, except one which still has all its leaves.

Then I planted my peonies into the bed that had held the dahlias:
So the peonies are finally out of their pots and in the ground. This bed faces east, so they will get morning sunshine but be protected from the worst of summer. I hope they will be happy here. Now I've got until spring to find another spot for the dahlias.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Quilting and a Koala

Today I finished quilting my June UFO, Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion,
using a curved ruler to quilt canoe shapes all around the border. Now I need to see what I have that I can bind the quilt with.

Late today I saw this:
a koala up a tree a little way down our road. That branch it is on doesn't seem thick enough to hold it, but I suppose that's the only way a koala can get to the freshest shoots at the tips of the branches.

It is a while since we saw a koala around. Last year one was hit by a car and killed about a kilometre or so from here, and I thought perhaps it was "our" koala. But it is very nice to know that there is still some wildlife around the neighbourhood.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Year Quilt Week Three

Week three of my temperature-based year quilt was not very exciting, colour-wise:

16/06/2017   14.2   aqua/teal
15/06/2017   14.6   aqua/teal
14/06/2017   13.2   aqua/teal
13/06/2017   11.7   aqua/teal
12/06/2017   11.8   aqua/teal
11/06/2017   13.6   aqua/teal
10/06/2017   13.1   aqua/teal

I thought Thursday might tip over into the green range, because it felt warm outside during the afternoon.  But it only got to 14.6.

Here is my progress so far:
The first two are now fully stitched in place, although the background squares still need to be sewn together.

Linked to Sarah's HeLP here. 
Sarah initiated the Hexie Temperature quilt idea, and has completed 4 weeks so far. Things are a bit warmer in her part of the world.