Monthly Archives: March 2011

Procrastination is not your friend


I had the day off work today, so when I got up, instead of following my usual routine of a couple of stretches and then some Sartre I thought I’ll do it later. Of course I never did.

Nevermind, here are some blocks.

381 H Block

379 Patience Nine Patch

278 Children's delight five patch

Is a quilt just a lot of bits of material


I am not usually germ phobic, but I did have a moment on the train this morning, as people on three sides of me were coughing and sneezing, when I briefly thought that investing in some sort of face mask would be a good idea. I eventually decided against it because when I am sewing on the train I usually stick the needle in my mouth when I am not using it. I know it’s quite gross, but it leaves my hand free for tying knots and sorting things out. I suppose I could try to stick it in my shirt or something and it would have the same end, but bad habits are hard to break, and I still don’t think I would get a face mask.

Sartre is discussing whether there is such a thing as a whole world, or whether it is never any more that a composite of individual things. He says not and at first I kind of agreed with him. However, on consideration I feel there is something more to a whole than its parts. Take a quilt for example, the quilt is made up of bits of material, wadding, backing, thread, binding, but the quilt is more than just these bits. To me the quilt is in the way the bits go together, the way they are organised. There is something similar when you think about the whole world/universe, a kind of universal organisation (captured by the laws of physics).

382 Basket Weave 1

380 Nine patch variation

172 Chinese Puzzle 2

29 March 2011


I feel like I am going round in circles with Being and Nothingness at the moment. Literally with being and nothingness. Knowledge brings about being, being brings about nothingness and nothingness is the start of knowledge. Which is fine I guess once you are up and running, like chickens and eggs, but one has to come first.

I am starting to like the colours in these fabrics a little better, but maybe that is just because I made slightly better combinations in these blocks. They are english paper pieced, but I am giving the glue stick another try, and actually finding it okay. Though I am probably putting way too much on.

279 Plaid

277 Block in a box

275 Simple Five Patch

28 March 2011


It’s been so long since I did any philosophising (is that actually a word?) that I am feeling a little out of practice, and not really sure where to start.

I did do a little reading this morning. I am still on the topic of knowing and knowledge, and quibbling with Sartre over definitions. For example he says that because intuition has been defined as “the immediate presence of the knower to the known” and then proceeds to define immediate as without a mediator, i.e. that there is nothing between them. I would have interpreted immediate in that sentence as being immediate in time. Which would give completely different outcomes to his subsequent argument about the relationship between the knower and the known.

Perhaps a part of it is that I am reading a translation and words have different nuances in other countries. However, despite 2 years of lessons in high school, my french consists of hello, and for some reason the pen of my aunt (I think I picked that up from Asterix). While it would be nice to become more fluent it’s not something I am not going to go out and do right now (immediately?).

I have blocks. I am actually a bit ahead of myself at the moment. I have 2 days worth sitting there completed. Is that cheating? I don’t think so. This way if everything else goes pear-shaped I still have something to post about.

Not sure that I like the fabric in these ones. They were from a load of fat quarters I bought on sale. I thought they were alright in the shop but now I am starting to think they are slightly garish. 

277 Basic Nine Patch

378 Red Cross 1

282 Double Irish Chain 2

27 March 2011


Am having a slightly strange day. I have actually got a few things done, yet I still feel decidedly lazy.  I think it is because I abandoned the list and decided I was just going to do what ever took my fancy. For some reason at some point that included cleaning out the filter on the stove hood, but I did also do a load of sewing and managed to finish three blocks, including one that had been bugging me for a while.

180 World's fair puzzle

 The sailboat one is the one I was struggling with. I got started on it a while ago, but put it aside, not sure why. I think it was just too big. Today it went together no problems at all.

149 Sailboat

161 Fish tales

It took me a while to figure out where the fish bit in the title of this block came from, but there is a quite definite fish in the bottom right hand corner (brown body, red fins). If you put a number of these blocks together, you’d get a really cute shoal of fish.

Another Saturday over


Another Saturday is already over, and almost another weekend. I can’t believe how fast the time is going.

I have been sewing on the machine for most of the day. That and cutting out blocks for English paper piecing. I have come to the conclusion that I can’t keep English Paper Piecing blocks with really small bits. There is just a point at which tacking things over papers becomes kind of pointless, where there is more folded over than actual piece. So I have been jumping round the book a little looking for blocks that would be okay to paper piece as 4 inch blocks. I guess when I run out of those I can always go up a size.

182 Saw

174 Wandering Lanes

206 Crazy Ann

Pride of Ohio


This block has been a long while coming. It’s kind of a demonstration of the power of perseverance.

I first tried to make it months ago, but when I redrafted it to make a smaller block I drafted wrong and it wouldn’t go together.

Then I decided to make it the size it was in the book, but I cut it out wrong and missed a few bits. I didn’t have enough material left to cut out the extra material I needed so I recut again and drafted as a block for english paper piecing.

I finished it this evening.

95 Pride of Ohio

24 March 2011


I only have one block to show off and not an awful lot of reading to talk about.

My plan is to spend the evening tacking paper bits and marking up for hand sewing so that I can get a bit more accomplished on the train tomorrow.

227 Water wheel 2

Learning with out applying


Is there any point in learning if you don’t apply it to how you do things? I guess it depends on the kind of learning it is. Some learning if it is about ways to do things so you end up with a better result seems like it should be applied. For example, I have learnt that when applying right-angled triangles to the corners of squares it might make for a more accurately pieced block if I were to make a template or measure and mark a sewing line and that seams go together better when I pin. But I didn’t do either of those things when I made the Kansas dugout block this afternoon. I didn’t trim away the excess fabric from behind either, or be extra mindful when I was sewing so that my seams didn’t twist.

I guess at the end of the day if you are happy with the result you get for the effort you put in then there is no incentive to put in more effort. The question I have to ask is whether I am really happy with the results I am getting or whether I would like a better ones.

Here’s the Kansas Dugout block, and another one that I finished paper piecing last night.

165 Kansas Dugout

188 Positively Negative

no pictures today


Sorry, no blocks today.

I just haven’t had time to do an awful lot, and now I have run out of energy.

I did do some reading this morning. Sartre is just going through the difference between internal and external negation, which are pretty straight forward surprisingly. External negation is negation between two things with a witness i.e. I might say this quilt is not a log cabin. Internal negation is something which actually affects the thing negated, for example if I say I am not rich. My not being rich might affect my behaviour and my feelings, where as the quilt is not at all affected by not being a log cabin.