Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Using up old fabric scraps, and bird news

Today I finally could send this lot to Jan at Oz Comfort Quilts. Can you imagine that 326 quilts have been delivered through her hands this year alone to the people who have lost their homes in floods, fires and earthquakes. She makes most of them, using donated QAYG blocks, orphan blocks or quilt tops, and sometimes gets finished quilts to deliver. I'm glad to be one of her "sub-contractors".

She will join these Quilt-As-You-Go blocks into a warm quilt and send ít with many other quilts to the areas where they are needed. I had a sub-contractor as well. The block below was sewn by a Belgian guest, Christel, who was visiting the sewing class I take from September to April. She was visiting Finland and came for one class with her hostess, one of the other students. To give her a taste of quilting I showed her the QAYG method. In no time at all she had sewn this block using my bag of strings:

I added some warm socks I knitted in the winter to go with the quilt blocks, as the weather in Australia is getting colder now for their winter.

The best thing about making the QAYG blocks for such a good cause is that I can use all kinds of fabric rests for them, and using a rough calculation I estimate that I have used 5.8 m fabric for the lot. I actually used up all longer strips needed to make them, and found a new pattern to keep me going and getting those bags empty at last: Crumb Blocks! You can  find instructions for them here in Quiltville, here in Kaite Yarngarden or here, Nancie V.'s printer-friendly tutorial. I'll show my version later when I have finished some more.

The weather has been rather cool, and our little birds still come to eat the sunflower seeds they have dropped on the ground during the winter. I was watching them the other day, and suddenly they all fled to the trees and red currant bushes. They had seen the shadow of this old fellow, who then landed on the empty place.

The picture is not very good, taken through the kitchen window very quickly, but it was enough to identify the new visitor: Accipiter nisus, Eurasian sparrowhawk. Our bird looks very different from the one in the link, but my book says the male gets an almost blueish back  and red-brown stripes on the chest with age. We have seen him several times after that, and luckily have not seen him catch any of the little bird friends.

New flowers are slowly opening their buds, and at the moment the Bergenia is the only one in bloom in our garden.


  1. So kind of you to make all those blocks and add extra warm winter socks!
    How special to have a bird like that in the garden.
    Over to check your links.

  2. A wonderful way to use up your scraps and help others. I'm sure the warm socks will be greatly appreciated too. I discovered a robin's nest in our trumpet vine. 4 eggs in waiting.

  3. Wonderful Q.A,Y.G. blocks. It is begining to get cold and Australian houses are not built with weather proff seals and double glazed windows like houses where it snows. Knitted socks a special treat.Thank you for being a sub contractor.
    Glad the little birds saw the shadow of old man Hawk. Happy Spring

  4. I love your new Header quilt!! Gorgeous!

  5. Hi Ulla..
    What a lovely work you have done with your quilt as you go. I loved the store about the lady visiting your class. It sounds like she is going to sew some more ;-)
    Take care and have fun!!

  6. Looks like you are a very busy sub-contractor for a wonderful cause, Ulla! How nice to include the socks, too! I checked out the crumb blocks and they are wonderful! Seeing your hawk makes me wonder where all our finches and most of the sparrows have gone lately! At this time of year it must be so nice to see the flowers budding out after your long winters!

  7. I love the idea of those crumb blocks.

  8. Well done Ulla, what wonderful blocks you've been making for such a good cause. Your Belgium friends block is good too. QAYG is such a good method.

    Oh wow a sparrowhawk! I looked at the link and immediately thought of cuckoos when I saw the pic and then read that cuckoos aren't attacked by them.


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