Friday, September 28, 2012

........and then there were 5!

It's a real pleasure to go to work each morning and see images like this. Kahilli, one of our female Western Lowland gorillas, surprised her keepers by having given birth early yesterday morning..........they didn't think she was due until November!

Kahilli is a very caring Mum as can be seen in this video

Kahilli & baby
Yesterday also happened to be 1st time dad,  Badongo's 13th birthday! 

Last summer I was very privileged to have accompanied a gorilla transfer as a French interpreter when we transported our former silverback Ya Kwanza (who wasn't too interested in breeding) to a new gorilla bachelor group & brought a young bouncy Badongo back to Jersey, see the transfer video here

New dad Badongo

Kahilli & Kishka on the right
Kishka our eldest female is staying very close to Kahilli & the baby. You can often catch her trying to get a good look at the newborn.

She's even made it into the UK National headlines here

Congratulations Kahilli, we are all very proud of her at Durrell.

(Can you tell I have a little weakness for Gorillas? lol)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Major balls up!

Remember these Lollipop blocks started in 2010? Well, back then, I got so far & decided to get a start on sewing some of the 2" square sashings. A lot, and I mean a lot of 2.5" squares were cut & stitched together........

and it wasn't until I tried lining them up with the trimmed blocks that I thought something was odd.....they were too long, what was going on here?

I went back to the pattern and checked the instructions, bugger! I had trimmed the blocks to 20" square when it should have been 20.5"..... lesson learnt here READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. 
(I had glanced quickly at the 20" & missed the vital bit of the sentence........ FINISHED SIZE!)

In disgust with myself for being so stupid, everything came off the design wall and thrown in a box & put away as I  barely had a seam allowance left with the applique so close to the edge.

After stewing over this for quite a while, a remedy has finally come to light.  I've decided to unpick all the bits of applique that are too close to the edge, move a few circles and use a different kind of sashing, after all, I never really follow a pattern completely.
Finally relieved that I don't have to remake all those blocks!

and, before I go, remember Sandra? The Cumberland Island Quilt Chick? yeah, you know the one.........well she's back in blog land as The Frugal Quilter......... Pop on over & say hi!

Till next time, happy stitching :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Decision made

With an autumn chill in the air, yesterday I decided to layer & baste this quilt top I completed last December with the intention of having it quilted to use on my bed this winter

Inspired by Carolyn's book on utility quilting, the decision was also made to use cotton perle 8 and big stitch quilting for this top. If you haven't seen this book I can highly recommend it as a wonderful resource for hand quilting.

It is full of good information & techniques with clear step by step diagrams, which is perfect for a hand quilting novice like me.

Once the threads were selected I was on my way......

I'm really enjoying this big stitch quilting & think it suits this top as it has so much colour & pattern.

Having tried a little traditional hand quilting first to compare (sorry didn't think of taking a photo) I felt the latter became lost & not so visible.

Here's a view from the back, ok, the stitching isn't as regular as I would like but I'm not striving for perfection! lol  If you're after quilting something quickly, this is the way to go as it's progressing well this rate I may have it ready for my bed as the weather turns really cold.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Boxes & Baskets

My friend Sandra was telling me all about a workshop she would be attending with Bonnie Hunter using old shirts last week which reminded me I had quite few striped ones I had been collecting ready to use for the shirt stripe boxes quilt by Kaffe Fassett from his Passionate Patchwork book.

This inspired me to sort out what I had with some hindrance help from Lucy (she was getting ready to pounce in this 2nd photo!)

After much cutting, which was really easy with the Companion angle triangle ruler, a lot of  chain piecing took place.

Eventually quite a few shirt box squares were ready for the fun part of laying them out to form 18" blocks

1st block done

.........and a 2nd one added. This is going to be my ongoing machine project when I need a break from hand stitching to give my poor fingers a rest when they get sore (I just can't use thimbles)


These little baskets are still being appliqued and 'quilted as you go'

The next batch ready to have sashings attached and made into rows

2 more rows ready to join to the main piece

This quilt is growing to be a bit of a big one, over the half way mark now......yeah!

Till next time, thanks for stopping by :)