One of the fun bits about quilting is once you’ve got your main pieces made, and have a million possible ways to put them together into bigger blocks.  I started playing around with a few options for the Three Dudes block this morning, and there were so many possibilities!

I was tempted by this pinwheel arrangement at first:

It looks really cool on its own, but then when I tried putting it together with a few more blocks, it wasn’t as interesting, because it didn’t make any of the cool secondary blocks that is the whole point of the Three Dudes block.

Plus, I realised I’d made a crucial error in the previous stage when I was sewing the squares together, and had ended up with some pieces that had the opposite rotation to the rest, which is why the top left-hand corner is weird. You can see the problem if you look at the “tick” shapes in the photo below – one ticks to the left, and the other to the right. So a layout based on rotational symmetry wasn’t going to work.

So I went back to the layout I’d originally planned on using (which doesn’t show up the wrongly-rotated blocks so badly). Or rather, three different layouts that produce the same overall pattern, but centre a different part of the pattern, so change the overall look of the quilt because of the ways the colours change between blocks.

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

At the moment I’m wavering between option 2 and option 3.  Probably option 2.  Possibly.  Maybe.  Too many options!!!

Speaking of too many options, I roped Harvestbird into a shopping expedition this morning, to help me find an outfit to wear to graduation.  For a shopping expedition that started out as “I have no idea what I’m looking for, but here is a very long list of things I absolutely do not want”, it went remarkably well, and, after visiting every shop in Hornby Mall, plus most of the ones in Dressmart,  I ended up with an outfit that is simple enough not to set off all my “arggh, I hate getting dressed up fancy” alarms, but still dressy enough to look like I did actually make an effort.  I even found shoes I liked!  (Spoiler warning, they have sparkles 🙂 )

Our only failure was to find an 80s-style brocade waistcoat, but as that potential addition to the outfit was mainly inspired by me commenting that obviously my aspirational style icon is Duckie from Pretty in Pink :-), after discovering that that aspect of retro 80s style hasn’t yet come back into fashion (at least, not in the shops we visited), and a trawl through the big second-hand place in Hornby failed to turn anything up, I decided it wasn’t essential.  So we gave up the search and instead rewarded our shopping diligence with cake and yum cha.  Which is how all shopping expeditions should conclude.

Photographic evidence of the shopping success will have to wait until graduation, when I’m sure many photos will be taken.

A piece of history

Went to the Whole House Reuse auction last night with two of the CEISMIC team. It was a bit of a last minute thing – we’d talked about going to the auction way back when the project first started and we were archiving the catalogue of parts, but only realised yesterday morning that the auction was actually last night.  So it was a bit of a rush to get tickets etc, but we made it.

There were so many beautiful pieces in the auction!  Everything from large pieces of furniture down to delicate jewellery, all created from materials salvaged from the demolition, and all unique works of art.  Because there were so many pieces, they split the auction between a live auction and a silent auction.  Some of the major pieces in the main auction ended up going for thousands (and were probably worth it, but definitely way outside my budget!), and even some of the smaller pieces ended up in the hundreds (the auctioneers were very skilled, plus the charity aspect got people bidding a lot higher than they normally would), but the silent auction stayed more in my price range, so I stuck to that.

There was one thing I’d had my eye on since I’d seen them in the museum exhibition – Emma Byrne’s End Stacks (it’s lot 41, about half way down the page) – a set of stools/end tables made out of stacked wood. I was really hoping they’d sell them individually (I doubted I could either afford or find space in my house for the entire set!), and almost got my wish, because they had four lots of two stools each in the silent auction. I decided as long as the bidding didn’t get too high I could find a home for two stools, so I picked a lot at random to put a bid on, and spent the rest of the evening checking back as the bids crept up, and trying to keep my bid on top of one of the four lists. As the deadline for the auction got closer, there were four of us hovering around the stools, outbidding each other by a dollar or two at a time. Which would have been fine, except that one guy was obviously wanting four stools, because he kept bidding on two lots at a time. The bids were getting very close to the limit I’d set myself, so I was resigning myself to the fact I’d probably go home empty-handed, when the woman who’d just outbid me turned to me and said “Did you want both stools, or just one?” We quickly established we’d both be happy with just one stool, so decided to team up and split the cost. Which meant that suddenly demand exactly matched supply, all four people were going to get what we wanted, so the bidding stopped (though we all remained hovering, just in case any sneaky last-minute outsiders came in with a new bid (I offered to “accidentally” sit down on the bidding sheet (which was sitting on top of one of the stools) so nobody else could bid 🙂 )). But at last the auctioneer’s assistant came round to collect up the sheets, and we could all celebrate our collective win.

So I got my stool, the one thing in the exhibition I really wanted, and because we’d split the price I only had to spend $121 to get it, so stayed well within my theoretical budget for the evening.  Serious win!

Ok, so $121 might seem a wee bit expensive for a stool, but it’s almost solid rimu (and you can tell when you lift it – it weighs a tonne! Carrying it back to Lucy-Jane’s car was a bit of an effort), and as a unique(ish – the other stools in the set are similar, but each was slightly different depending on the pieces of wood used) artwork, and a really cool part of Christchurch history, I reckon it’s well worth it.  I’m very happy with my purchase 🙂