FootSquareFreestyle: F2F5 is go!

And we have liftoff.

Entries to the 2020 FootSquare Freestyle block swap are now closed. We have a group of 10 ready to start work on 1st February, creating the latest round of beautiful blocks. For an idea of what you might be seeing, head over to the F²F blog and check out the 2020 Members and their Colours page and then have a browse around the galleries for the previous sessions to see the variety of blocks made and some of the finished quilts that emerged from them. From this session, each member will end up with 30 x foot-square (12 inch) blocks, enough to make a quilt 60 x 72 inches.

As usual, I’ll be doing an end-of-monthly ’roundup’ post for F²F on this blog, featuring a link to the currently-empty 2020 Gallery page on the F²F blog to make it easy for you to see what’s been made. Some of the members have been with F²F since its inception 5 years ago. Some are new to it this year. I hope everyone carries away great memories and beautiful quilts from the 2020 session.

In the meantime, here’s a list of members and their months:

February: Tracy Pursley, https://itsatsweetsday.blog

March: Sue Brown, http://sewingmagpie.blogspot.com

April: Lynn Hutton, https://thetialys.wordpress.com/

May: Susan Nixon, https://desertskyquilts.com/

June: Monike Hawkes-Frost

July: Robin Murphy

August: Kate Chiconi, https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

September: Edith Csokmay, http://ediscraftinglife.blogspot.com/

October: Margaret Creek, https://thecraftycreek.com/

November: Moira McSpadden, https://quiltedsnail.blogspot.com/

If you’re in the group and still have to get me some information, please try to do so before 1st February, to give the other members time to assemble the right fabrics.

And if you had to miss out on it this year for whatever reason, don’t worry. I’m willing to bet we’ll be doing it again!

Heaven for Beginners #2: quilting half done

Halfway there with the quilting.

It’s the Australia Day long weekend, and my LQS is closed. Which is a bit of a drama, as I ran out of thread, spray starch and 505 basting spray all at the same time. I managed to get the thread and a small (non-economical) bottle of the Best Press spray starch elsewhere, but the 505 spray baste is only available there. I still have a bit of an inferior product only kept for emergencies (which I think this now is!), so I’ll have to use that up, but after that, I’m at a standstill until tomorrow, which is very frustrating. I have only myself to blame, of course, for not watching my supplies!

Having said that, I’m pleased with how the quilting’s going. I’ve set myself a stupid deadline – of course – and am now aiming to have it ready by 8th February, as the niece for whom it’s intended is leaving for uni on 9th February. I’m not positive I’ll make it, lots of other stuff on, but I’m going to give it a darn good try. I still have to add a hand-width border around the outside of the whole thing, and then bind it. No pressure…

Meanwhile, the rain is falling outside and it’s a perfect day to spend quilting!

Heaven for Beginners #1: Quilting begun

I’ve made a start.

Line 1 of 6 is sandwiched and quilted, and I’m happy with the effect. Just the usual wiggly line, but I was extra vigilant with the spray basting, the blocks are nice and flat and pucker-free, and I like the fabric I have for the backing.

I’m happy with the block layout now – a few changes since the last time I showed it, but I prefer the balance and colour progression I have now. I’m still debating the border around the outside. I think it might need one to bring the size up a bit, but adding a border in QAYG has its own technical difficulties. I’ll see how it goes.

We went out for a drive with Mouse yesterday, and had tea and scones at the Old Station Teahouse near Cape Hillsborough. I think I’ve mentioned this place before; it’s an old wooden station building, set in the middle of gorgeous tropical gardens, and among other tasty delights, their home-made scones and raspberry preserves are magnificent.

Is that my puppacino coming…?

They welcome dogs in the garden seating area, and no sooner did Mouse arrive than he was being fussed and admired and petted. Eventually, we humans were able to place our order. Mouse was not, of course, allowed any scones, but he did get his car quilt to lie on, a puppacino was ordered for him (frothed lactose-free milk), and one of the ladies brought him some doggie treats they keep for their canine guests. No, not spoiled at all….

A reminder that we are about to begin F2F once again, for the 5th year running (see my previous post). If you’re thinking about joining in, do get in touch with a comment or email me directly if you received the email I sent out about it.

Time for some more cutting. I need purple backing squares…

FootSquareFreestyle: a call to action

Mercy, it’s that time again already!

Anyone who’s been following this blog for longer than 5 minutes knows about F2F, or FootSquareFreestyle. It’s an annual block swap in which it’s not the fabric or the design of the block that’s common to all members, but the colours used and the finished size.  You can read all about it on the F2F blog, here. I have several things going on this year which I need to work around, and because the start date of F2F is flexible, it works best for me as the administrator if we begin it again next month, in February. Welcome to Year 5!

So, who’s in?  These are the names of people  who’ve already expressed an interest in joining in: Me; Lynn Hutton; Tracey Pursley: Annett Witteler; Margaret Creek; Claire Hupin. I’ll be sending an email to everyone who has previously participated to let them know it has begun again, as I believe a few people didn’t see the start-up post in previous sessions and missed out.

Some are F2F veterans, some have sewn with us before on different projects. If you’re new to F2F and are considering joining us there are some points you might think about:

  • You don’t need to be an expert; simple blocks are welcome too.
  • You have a month to produce three blocks, and they don’t have to be different each time.
  • You’ll know what the colours are in advance, so there’ll be no emergency dives into precious stash.
  • At the end of the session, you’ll have three blocks from each of the other members.
  • If I don’t get at least 9 people who want to join in, we don’t run F2F because you just don’t get enough blocks to make anything useful.
  • And finally, make sure you have the time to do the work, because dropping out halfway through will let down the other members who are expecting your blocks.

So, take a look at previous years and the totally amazing library of colours and blocks which has resulted from the past 4 years. Have a think about how much time you can spare. Pick up to three gorgeous colours.

And then, let’s go!

Scrappiness is…. the DaleLee Cuppa

I couldn’t wait till the 15th of February and ScrapHappy Day.

I offered to make Dale something pretty from scraps after she admired my recent scrappy sunglasses case. She requested a teapot picture, to go with the teapot heat pad and cup-and-saucer mug rugs I made for her as a housewarming gift. I had just the thing…

The teapot is made from a chintz-design voile fabric from which I made myself a cool summer top a while ago. I picked out the best floral bits from the scraps I had left over. The background is a sort of olive-gold colour, covered in big blowsy roses, lilies, leaves and rosehips, but illustrated in quite a minimal, free fashion. I love it, and I think it makes a very pretty vintage teapot.  The square behind the pot is a cream-on-cream filler print of tiny spots. The paper-pieced pattern is based very approximately on a 1999 design by Susan Druding, which I have extensively redrawn to make it simpler, less blocky and more central in the square. It finishes at 8 inches square.

And now I feel the need to go and sew myself a plate of chocolate biscuits. It’s about as close as I’m allowed to get to the real thing, these days!

An eye for change

It was new eyewear time again this month.

My eyesight has got worse each year since I turned 45, and as I now wear glasses full time, I want them to be comfortable, attractive, and if possible, a little bit fun. Last year’s glasses were none of those things, so I was very happy this time to discover frames I liked, and which were comfy. They’re prescription sunglass frames, and therefore a little bit more edgy in shape, they’re softer and more flexible, and they’re large enough to take the triple progressive lenses I need. This is the 5th set of sunglass frames I’ve had, and I’d recommend them over regular glasses any time.

So, well, they’re still black. And I’d have liked something a bit more colourful… Anyway, the other day I was cleaning my teeth and gazing idly into the bathroom cabinet. My eye caught on the brighter end of my collection of nail polishes.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I LOVE IT!

Has anyone else ever decorated their glasses frames, and what did you do and what did you use?

ScrapHappy January: Bright, for the sun

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

For a change, I’m not showing the hexie project I’m making for Days for Girls. Instead, I decided to use some more recent scraps for a small, quick project.

I had a good few largish scraps left over from making the bag for Chippy. When I say large, the biggest piece was about 12 x 5 inches, the others were smaller. But there was enough to piece together something small but cheerful. Chippy likes her big, big sunglasses, so I though a pouch that might serve as a sunglass case would do the trick. It’s also large enough for an iPhone or other large smartphone if that’s what she prefers. You may remember some time ago I made something similar for myself, from pink scraps.

I sandwiched a pieced outer with a batting scrap and a scrap of the blue I used for a recent top, quilted it with straight parallel(ish!) lines, and bound it with some leftover green binding. It’ll be hard to lose inside a handbag, don’t you agree, even inside the bright green lining of her new tote?

And now I have only really small scraps of that Kaffe Fasset Artisan fabric, but I’m sure they’ll be making an appearance in some scrappy blocks or strips some time or other…

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date – we are being joined by Sunny, a new member 🙂

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L
and Sunny

See you again, same time next month