Monday, 16 May 2011

In which our heroine makes a QUIP, and offers a couple of hints regarding water usage and household safety

In an ideal world I would be revealing to you, my dear readers, a delightful series of completed projects, for  you to marvel at my industry and efficiency, and for me to tick off in my little notebook.

But alas it is not to be: the Head Chef headed westwards for a weekend of forest gardening with the guru of that discipline, Martin Crawford (I can highly recommend his book on the subject - it is worth buying for the pictures alone), leaving poor Pomona to man the barricades, feed the multitudes, and generally fulfil her domestic destiny.

So, much as I yearned for a relaxing couple of days, stitching and knitting and generally getting to the end of something that I had started, no, it did not come to pass.


But I did find one or two little interludes in which to work on my QUIP (which is a QUilt In Progress), which may or may not become a QUIF (QUIlt Finished).

Buoyed up by the success of my baby quilt, I have decided to step up my game and size up by making a quilt for a sofa. You may wish to point out that bedding does not commonly come in sofa size, but the jump from cot to single seemed an inordinately large one, and my most loyal followers might remember the holiday sofa which generally makes its appearance in June, and my penchant for falling asleep on it. A sofa quilt would keep me warm, and thus enable me to remain dozing on the sofa for even longer.

Bits of QUIP

As do so many things in my life, this quilt happened by accident. I just went out to buy some yarn for Peggy Sue, but I had one of those embarrassing moments in the yarn shop (which happens to be my favourite fabric shop as well). I had spotted some suitable yarn stacked up in a glorious rainbow of colour in one of those triangular cubby holes favoured by yarn shops, and reached out to take one teeny, tiny little ball in lavender, just for a quick fondle, and suddenly the whole multi-coloured caboodle came cascading out.

Now I have a rather highly developed startle reflex, and am apt to shriek quite unnecessarily, as my son the General often informs me, and I did emit a teeny, tiny little squeal of dismay. Another customer looked at me in a rather puzzling way, not entirely sympathetic, and I crawled around the floor trying to pick up the yarn and cram it back into its triangle, to no avail as all the little balls bounced right back out again as fast as I put them in.

QUIP taking shape

It was no good, I had to come clean and admit my little accident to the very charming lady who owns the shop; I was then of course morally obliged to buy the yarn for Peggy Sue. And as I backed away from the yarn, my flustered gaze fell on a layer cake of Rose Parade fabric by Moda.

Just the thing for another easy quilt, I thought, the same amount of squares but twice the size - I''ll be able to whizz them up together in an afternoon and make a sofa warmer. Ever optimistic, you might say, and I think you might be right.

First rule a diagonal line across 2 squares, RS together
Just the thing for another easy quilt, I thought, the same amount of squares but twice the size - I''ll be able to whizz them up together in an afternoon and make a sofa warmer. Ever optimistic, you might say, and I think you might be right. Of course, one thing leads to another, and the helpful little piece of backing card had lots of diagrams demonstrating the geometric permutations of a 10-inch square.

Stitch parallel lines a quarter of an inch away either side

I have always been irrationally fascinated by the fact that if you put two squares right sides together, rule along the diagonal, then stitch a parallel line a quarter-inch away on either side of the ruled line, and finally cut along the ruled line, as if by magic you produce two half-triangle squares. So this is what I did.

Snip along the line

And then when I had all my half-triangle squares I laid them out on our bed upstairs, and spent a great deal of time arranging and rearranging them, much to the bemusement of the Head Chef.

Separate and press seam to one side

And here is where I give you a hint on household safety. Do not start to run your bath, and then wander back into your bedroom to ponder over the arrangement of your QUIP squares, because you will start shifting the squares about in the pursuit of perfection, and your bath will surely overflow and cause a flood, unless you have a Head Chef on hand to turn the taps off in the nick of time.

Hey presto! A magic half-triangle square

And a little thrifty hint: do not then pull out the plug to drain out just enough water for you to get in the bath without causing another flood (remember Archimedes and his principle), and in the meantime wander back into the bedroom yet again to muse further on the ideal pattern of squares, for eureka, you will find that the water has all drained clean away and you will be faced with an empty bathtub, and if you are really determined on having a bath you will have to start running the water again (and you now know that this incurs a serious risk of flooding), not to mention the fact that you will have used up all the hot water, and the second bath will be lukewarm, and most dispiriting.

These hints come from one who knows, and I am beginning to wonder about the value of being a knowing sort, and would wish more to be an example to us all.


Lola Nova said...

Oh my, what harrowing tales! Avalanches of yarn, Archimedes, and dispiriting bath temps. Your QUIP is coming along a treat, I am imagining you upon the holiday sofa snug as can be in cheerful triangles!
Have a lovely day.

PinkCatJo said...

I really like the colours used on your QUIP. It is going to look simply adorable when it is finished. x

Menopausal musing said...

Ah yes, I recognise that sort of "running myself a bath" scenario. We are at the top of a hill and the water pressure is soooo low that I have been known to mutter "I can wee faster than that" as I look at the water dribbling into the bath. However, when fiddling and faffing with fabric, said bath can fill remarkably quickly! Lovely fabrics you have there...........

lily said...

After reading your very entertaining and accident prone post I feel in the need of a QUIP of my own and maybe hopefully in time, I could be the owner of a exciting to be talking in this strange code of craft......yes indeed.....a QUIF of my own, I'm off to find OH and demand he whisks me off to the nearest fabric shop, to purchase QUIF fabric of my own. Yours is lovely, by the way, and as I've never made a QUIP before, or indeed a QUIF, I will be watching with interest for further QUIP progress.

Blimey, I'm all QUIP'D out.

lily x

Serenata said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful giggle...oh to know one is not alone in such 'knowingness'. Although our bath is of a somewhat different extreme effort... we have to run the shower to fill the bath so it doesn't fill up too quickly, otherwise the tank drains too quickly and then fills up and doesn't stop...I'm sure you get the picture. Of course the other problem to having a bath in our house is the bath empties into drains in our conservatory, of which all to often seem to block up and thus cause a flood in the conservatory/utility room. Therefore I have decided it is just far too risky to have a bath in this house and just shower instead!

VintageVicki said...

I hope that QUIP becomes a QUILT - love the fabrics you've picked :)

Florence and Mary said...

oh dear you did make me smile with the bath stories!

Victoria xx

Jooles said...

ahhhh you do make me giggle!
i think the new quilt is going to look beautiful :o)

pebbledash said...

Lovely lovely quip! I've got the Martin Crawford book, though I am an absolute beginner. Found the article by Francine Lawrence online (alas dear Dad had already taken the p[aper copy for recylcing). So interested in what you've been doing...and wish you weren't so far away from my neck of the woods!

Dragonfly said...

Take it from one who knows - you can never have too many QUIFs! Long live the QUIP.

MILLY said...

Lovely fabrics and I also love this technique, also have a work in progress. Mine from mens shirts and recycling sheets for the back.
It is very addictive, drinks go cold, late for meals. Bath water!
Lovely to see your posts again.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Ha ha ha - it's mean to laugh at your misfortune, I know!

We have a 'quillow' - a quilt with a pouch into which it can be folded to become a pillow. When it's cold, my daughters like to drape the quilt over themselves and tuck their feet into the pouch for warmth!

Like your QUIP. x

Fading Grace said...

I love the fabrics for your Quip, sofa quilt, very pretty. I hope it becomes a Quif, I really dooo xx

Little Blue Mouse said...

Another entertaining post which made me chuckle!
Looking back at your holiday sofa post, I'd like to have a go at making elder flower champagne but you've put the fear of God into me with the exploding bottles. Do you think you could use plastic bottles?

Frances said...

Oh, you are funny! I have my own collection of simultaneous household events whose finish lines intersect in surprising ways.

All in all, I am always reluctant to adopt multi-tasking either at the shop or at home.


polkadotpeticoat said...

This is going to be beautiful!

The Fairy Glade said...

I can't wait to see the finished QUIF, I love the fabrics that you have chosen too. Have never attempted a triangular quilt, I have a problem with accuracy and the last time I had a practice I couldn't get the points to match up. I have a resident owl called Archimedes, not that it's relevant, just thought I would mention it! Dev x

Mommy en France said...

Hilarious post, and I can identify all too well with it. ;-) Sorry that your bath was lukewarm, but thanks for sharing the tale with us. And the tip about two squares becomeing two pairs of triangles is brilliant, thanks!

Sarah said...

I did have a little chuckle reading your post! Great technique with the fabric, I've never tried that before.

Caroline Lovis said...

It should be law that every woman up and down the land has a sofa quilt to snooze on or under as they see fit - love the idea. A very amusing post

bibbitybob said...

Forgetting about the bath sounds like the kind of thing I'd do, oops! I love the fabrics you have chosen for your QUIP. I just stumbled across your blog and thought I'd stop by and say 'hello' :) x

Kath said...

Hello, what a lovely Blog I found here. I did laugh when you said your husband asked what would you be starting next, mine has become accustomed to half made projects all over the house.
I enjoyed meeting you and your dogs, blessings, Kath

Karen L R said...

Love the quilt and the chuckles!

Helen Philipps said...

Your post made me smile...a lot. I love the QUIP - so pretty. And I have also had a very similar bath- running experience - in fact it was quite reassuring to read about yours! Look forward to the day of seeing your QUIF.
Helen x

Cottage Garden said...

Pomona, you do make me laugh!

I'm also very impressed with your QUIP and very jealous that you can rustle together a sofa warmer in an afternoon ...!

Hope you enjoyed Francine's visit. I really enjoyed her piece on your endeavours. A trip to Faversham and Whitstable is definitely on my list.


Rowan said...

I'm not surprised that you fell for the fabrics, I'm not a quilter but I do like to see the results of other people's efforts and I think your quilt is going to be very pretty indeed.

Anonymous said...

Pomona, despite my inexperience in crafting and thanks to reading your posts, I am getting more confident by the day, of holding my own in a conversation with serious crafters. Today I have learnt yet another two new highly technical crafting terms "QUIP" and "QUIF", I can't wait to use them and impress!
Your own QUIP is going to be very pretty.
Hilarious post as usual, I loved it, have a great weekend.

gillyflower said...

Oh I love your fabrics, Moda do some lovely vintage style designs don't they? Just think, without the yarn inicident you might not have spotted them!
That method looks brilliant - must try that next time, thanks for sharing it!
How sweet, my word verification is "kisses"!!!!
Gill xxx!

mooi hoor... said...

Those tips are wonderful and just what I need. I wonder if the same principle can also be transferred to plugged in irons and pans of cooking pasta....(yes, this happened to me. Luckily the iron was not ON the fabric...)

Well, I hope to see the QuiF soon!

elizabethm said...

Oh no, you have a quilt in progress and I have a quilt put away in a box because it is too scary and all my time is spent in the greenhouse and the garden. Lovely fabric though. I want some.


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