New Project Fever

Cheerful despite the rain! Wonder how often the Romans were rained on in their open air ampitheatre?

We had a lovely weekend with our guests. Even though the rain came down we managed a walk along the Roman walls at Silchester and stood in the base of the ampitheatre testing out the admirable acoustics – clever lot those Romans! I’m afraid it was so dull and wet I didn’t manage any photos of the site but I’ve found an image to share:




Silchester Roman City Walls, reconstruction drawing by Ivan Lapper.
This is English Heritage’s artistic impression of what Roman Silchester (Calleva) looked like – note the ampitheatre bottom right

All that remains now are the perimeter walls and ditches along with the base and sloping sides of the ampitheatre.  The centre of the walled ex-town now contains a working farm, a small church and is divided into several huge meadows – we said ‘hello’ to the cows on our way round!

Yesterday I felt a bit ‘flat’ having said goodbye to our guests on Saturday night. It was good to go to Church and be orientated to looking outwards to fellow Christians and upwards as we worshiped and shared Communion together.  We sang ‘The Splendour of the King’, I always find singing the words of this song very uplifting, particularly in the section where men and women sing separate parts – making a joyful noise to the Lord we were! Here is a link to a recording of Chris Tomlin singing his song – the words are on the screen.

My free motion practice piece – some stitches trying to stay on a pattern others done ‘by eye’

I spent the rest of Sunday pottering about, having a rest day. Reconstructing the sewing room from the guest room gave me an ideal opportunity to set up my space for free motion quilting. I’ve never been brave enough to free motion stitch an entire quilt, it does take a lot of practice to achieve even-length stitches and smooth shapes.



A detail of my ‘meandering’!

Some of my stitches are nearly ¼” long – a sure sign I should have slowed the movement of my hands or increased the speed of the needle. I never have been a pedal-to-the-metal girl – even when I’m chain piecing I still stitch at a fairly slow speed. (Although if I’m out on my bike and overtaken by an unsuspecting fellow cyclist I have been known to rise to the challenge and attempt to catch them at the next junction!)

After an hour or so of feeling hopeful and then discouraged in equal measure I decided it is about time I just went for it and free motion stitched a whole quilt. I thought a simple quilt top made from a charm pack and few extra pieces of fabric would be ideal.  It was then that I discovered how tired I was and how much I needed to take advantage of the rest time blessed upon me!  I searched on the internet, sketched a few ideas on squared paper, lay on the floor looking through books and failed, big-time, to choose a quilt design. That feverish desire to get a new project underway just ate away at me with no resolution in sight. After more than three hours (!!!) I finally found a pattern for a disappearing nine-patch that I think I can adapt to make use of the charm pack. The pattern has more, slightly smaller, squares than I’ll be using and is cleverly written to keep any directional fabrics right ways up after the nine patch blocks have been quartered.


I’m using 40 of the 42 squares in the ‘Alice’s Scrapbag’ Moda charm pack along with an assortment of cream on cream fabric squares.  The fabric I’ll use in the centre square of each of the eight blocks is ‘Genoa’ by Fabric Freedom and I have enough of that to use for the binding. I’m not sure how this will look when it is all put together – I suspect using fewer, but bigger squares might make it look all out of proportion but hey! it is being made to quilt over not to look particularly special.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday.




8 thoughts on “New Project Fever

  1. I can relate to the indecision part and the slow sewing part! As a free motion quilter on my own small home sewing machine, I take to heart what Ricky Tims says about it: You’re quilting a potholder! You only have to concentrate on that area which you can see by your hands and the needle. That helps.

  2. Your practice pieces look great! I understand the malaise of not knowing what to work on. That is why I always have multiple projects on the go! LOL At least that is my story.

    • Well! I’ve ended up doing the same! I took a new project to a sewing day today and I’m getting to the end of making a whole load of bunting for a friend, so that’s three projects I’ve got going now. Not to mention the UFOs!

  3. Your fmq sample has very smooth curves and nice even spacing. One thing that helped me when I did a toddler quilt with that stipple pattern was to draw out the pattern with a disappearing pen in a small area of the quilt – that got me started and then I just winged it for the rest of the quilt.
    Thanks for the view of the amphitheatre. One of my favourite shows is Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud. I just love looking at the English countryside and am amazed at what people do with what remains standing. Here in western Canada we knock everything down 🙁

    • Thanks for that handy tip and your encouraging words ☺ Sometimes we do go a bit too far in preserving buildings that are just ruins or not fit for purpose but on the whole it works to the good and I love that we are surrounded by so much history and so many old buildings are looked after and still in use.


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