A second chance to win Square-agonals…

December 31, 2010 § 107 Comments

I checked the comments for the Square-agonal contest this morning and nobody has guessed the correct number! So I’m giving you all a second chance. All you have to do is check the numbers already picked and pick a different one between 5 and 125. Leave your comment on this post and I’ll check them again in a day or so. Good luck!

I hope you don't mind but I have a question to ask you…

December 30, 2010 § 20 Comments

It’s not a quilt question but it is important. When did you last have your Vitamin D levels checked?

I live in Sydney, Australia where we get more sunshine than most places so you’d think we’d all be fine. However at a recent “sit and sew” I heard four of the women around the table say that they had low levels of Vitamin D. I was surprised but I didn’t think any more about it. Then another friend told me she had a recent blood test and had found that she too had low Vitamin D. As I was planing to have my cholesterol etc. tested soon, I decided to ask for some other tests to be done at the same time, including Vitamin D.

I was astonished to find that according to this test I am “severely vitamin D deficient”! The result was so low the lab ran the tests twice to make sure they had it right. I had no idea. So I’m asking you “Do you know what your vitamin D levels are?”. And if not then “When’s your D-day?” – the day when you go to get tested? Do go and find out if you haven’t been tested recently.

Usually we get most of our vitamin D from the effect of sun on our skin but it appears that due to worries about melanoma we all get less sun and wear more sunscreen and our diets are also not providing us with all that we need.

I hope you didn’t mind my asking and I hope that you’ll pass on the message on the email lists you belong to as it’s especially important for good bone health. But that’s not all. Apparently lack of vitamin D can cause mood swings, depression, fatigue, sleep disorders and a host of other things too. Don’t put it off. Make one day next week your D-day and let me know how you go.

By the way feel free to copy the image and stick it on your blog or site.

If you’re looking for the Square-agonals give-away, you’ll find it here. I’m planning to draw the winner tomorrow.

The  Quilt Pattern Magazine give-away is still running and you can find all the details here. The plan is to announce the winner in early January.

I hope you don’t mind but I have a question to ask you…

December 30, 2010 § 20 Comments

It’s not a quilt question but it is important. When did you last have your Vitamin D levels checked?

I live in Sydney, Australia where we get more sunshine than most places so you’d think we’d all be fine. However at a recent “sit and sew” I heard four of the women around the table say that they had low levels of Vitamin D. I was surprised but I didn’t think any more about it. Then another friend told me she had a recent blood test and had found that she too had low Vitamin D. As I was planing to have my cholesterol etc. tested soon, I decided to ask for some other tests to be done at the same time, including Vitamin D.

I was astonished to find that according to this test I am “severely vitamin D deficient”! The result was so low the lab ran the tests twice to make sure they had it right. I had no idea. So I’m asking you “Do you know what your vitamin D levels are?”. And if not then “When’s your D-day?” – the day when you go to get tested? Do go and find out if you haven’t been tested recently.

Usually we get most of our vitamin D from the effect of sun on our skin but it appears that due to worries about melanoma we all get less sun and wear more sunscreen and our diets are also not providing us with all that we need.

I hope you didn’t mind my asking and I hope that you’ll pass on the message on the email lists you belong to as it’s especially important for good bone health. But that’s not all. Apparently lack of vitamin D can cause mood swings, depression, fatigue, sleep disorders and a host of other things too. Don’t put it off. Make one day next week your D-day and let me know how you go.

By the way feel free to copy the image and stick it on your blog or site.

If you’re looking for the Square-agonals give-away, you’ll find it here. I’m planning to draw the winner tomorrow.

The  Quilt Pattern Magazine give-away is still running and you can find all the details here. The plan is to announce the winner in early January.

Ralli Quilts

December 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Do you know what a Ralli Quilt is? I didn’t until I came across this wonderful website. A Ralli Quilt is a traditional quilt made by the women of Pakistan,and western India.

The website asserts that the motifs and symbols used in these stunning quilts have been passed from mother to daughter and woman to woman for possibly thousands of years. There are three distinct styles – patchwork, embroidery and appliqué. The quilts are traditionally used not only as sleeping covers but also as floor coverings, storage bags and as padding for animals and workers. They can also form an important part of a girl’s dowry.  The word “Ralli” is derived from local words meaning to mix or connect. If you visit the website do take a look at the items they have for sale. I especially like the pillows.


Some of the motifs are very reminiscent of Hawaiian Appliqué. Also take a look at the Textiles page. These textile are just gorgeous. I’d love to be able to see them “in the flesh”. I don’t have any affiliation with the Ralli Quilts site, I just wanted to share. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.

There is a book too, that is devoted to these lovely quilts called Ralli Quilts: Traditional Textiles from Pakistan and India written by Patricia Stoddard. I’m contemplating purchasing this one as I love traditional crafts. It’s available from their website and Amazon but I’ll probably get mine from the Book Depository [affiliate link]as the price is the same  (AUD$32.54 – US$29.95) but there’s free worldwide postage. I’m still eagerly awaiting two books on Hawaiian Quilts that I ordered from them. Perhaps they got snowed in at Heathrow?

Seeing (more) stars…

December 28, 2010 § 7 Comments

I noticed this morning that my lovely swap partner Caroline commented on the last post that she would like to receive the star block I made previously. Her wish is my command. However I have made an alternative so I’ll leave it up to her to pick which one she prefers. This one uses one of my favourite fabrics from the Kaffe stable.

If you’re looking for the Square-agonals give-away, you’ll find it here.

Completato, completado, 完了, terminé, completed!

December 27, 2010 § 10 Comments

At last the star is completed! It’s definitely not perfect and I can’t send it to my swap partner so I’ll have to come up with another idea. Anyway here are some pics of the front and back. Thanks for your ideas and encouragement along the way.

If you’re looking for the give-away, it’s here.

Square-agonals – a give-away and an interview with Sandi Blackwell

December 26, 2010 § 65 Comments

Square-agonals – a new angle on quilting – is the title of a brand new book by Sandi Blackwell. It is published by Landauer Publishing and sells for $24.95! I began my interview with Sandi by asking her what “Square-agonals” are?

Sandi: “Square-agonals” is a new technique for creating diagonal set quilts without cutting any corner or setting triangles, or any math calculations.  It is amazingly simple and fun.  It works for all sizes, shapes and with or without sashing. The book contains 14 different projects, from easy to advanced. (You can see the projects below)

So now you can make an on point quilt without having to cut triangles for the edges or do any maths. It’s a very clever idea based on a section of  mathematics called dissections. Sandi explains the maths behind her idea in the book so that if you’re that way inclined you can work it out for yourself. However as she said above, you don’t need to know the maths to make use of her technique. Square-agonals allows you to make a lovely quilt like this…

… by sewing something like this… When I read the book I was amazed at how clever and yet simple the idea is and so I asked Sandi how she came up with it in the first place?

Sandi: I make quilts for several artisan centers.  The most popular line is a diagonal setting. Since I make so many I am always looking for ways to streamline the process.  One day they were all lying there jumbled together and the idea just came to me.  It took a lot of experimenting and practice to perfect the idea but now it is the only diagonal set method I use.

I can see why. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a diagonal quilt quite the same way again. I asked Sandi if you need any special tools or notions to use her technique?

Sandi: No special tools are needed other than the diagrams in the book.  I have developed two lines of guide tape to make the process easier, but it is not necessary.  The “Square-agonals Arrow Guide” tape and “Square-agonals Guide” tape will be available at your local quilt store by the end of the year and through my web site early next year.

Congratulations Sandi! It’s a lovely book with very clear instructions and lovely illustrations. I’m sure we all wish you well with it. It always inspires me when I see how inventive, clever and innovative quilters are.

If you’ve always wanted to make an on point quilt, table runner or table topper then you can’t go past this book. No affiliations. I’m just happy to support inventive quilters.

The give-away

Sandi has kindly sent an autographed copy of her book Square-agonals – a new angle on quilting to me to give away. I was going to give it to one of my email subscribers but then I realised that there are also lots of you who visit regularly who use RSS readers or who just have me bookmarked and I didn’t want you to miss out. So I’ve decided to widen the give-away. I liked the “guess the number” give-away we had last week so this time I’ve thought of a number between 5 and 125. If you get it right you’ll go into the draw for this lovely book. I’ll draw the winner on New Year’s Eve my time. Good Luck!


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