F²F² December round up

Already the end of the year!  Where does the time go?

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWell, everyone has had a lot of fun with Gun’s pink, blue and yellow colour scheme. There are some really gorgeous blocks over in the gallery. Due to the extra busyness of the season, we are still awaiting two sets of blocks, but I hope they will be added to the line up soon.

January is Esther’s turn, and she’s chosen hot pink/magenta, muted dark green and grey on a white or cream background. She also prefers fabrics that read as solids or have small scale patterns. She’s provided a lovely photo as colour reference, so take a look at the Members’ colour page to see what she’s thinking. And then after Esther, it’ll be time for Claire’s turn, and something completely different! 

At this turn of the year, it seems an appropriate time to tell you that this is the final F²F Sue and I will be running. We have other interests and goals to pursue, and the admin can be a little time-consuming. I have enjoyed it enormously, but now I want to turn my attention elsewhere. If any of the existing members wishes to continue, or indeed, administer the project, I will be delighted to turn it over to them, including administration of the Footsquare Freestyle blog, so let me know if you fancy a turn at the helm!

A happy New Year to you all 🙂

 

 

Bee, Myself and I #9

It was all getting a bit pale and subtle, so I’ve gone the other way.

Here are the latest two, one dark and one pretty bright, and they are helping to restore balance amongst the blocks. I have some more darker/brighter ones in planning. I think it’s important not to let the vibe get too vintage; I like modern, crisp prints too, and if the scale and feel are right for this project, I’ll be using them as well as the more traditional style.

hatbox13

hatbox14

So, 22 to go. Unless, that is, I decide to make this quilt bigger because I can’t stop making hatboxes!  Don’t laugh, it’s entirely possible…

I do love where this quilt is going. Chances are good I’ll be keeping it for myself 🙂

Hanging out stockings for Santa

…Or maybe not!

sunbird-nestDespite its vague resemblance to a rather weary old stocking, this is no sock. It’s the nest of the Olive Backed Sunbird, a.k.a. the Yellow Bellied or Yellow Breasted Sunbird, a little beauty which perches or hovers to drink nectar from the wide range of flowers which are in bloom at this time of year.

The bird is very small, perhaps only 10cm (4 inches) from the tip of the curved bill to the tip of the tail, and this nest is a good 40cm (16 inches) long. It has appeared over the course of three days, so the Mrs, who is the builder of the family, has been a busy girl. The opening is that dark patch at the top, and the interior of the nest is lined with feathers and fluff. It’s actually quite an airy, open structure, which she weaves together on the foundation of a couple of long strands of grass hung from the suspension point. In this case, it’s dangling from a string of fairy lights just 15cm (6 inches) from the screen door onto my side porch, which means that I’m trying to deflect visitors round to the back of the house instead.

They have cleverly built their home directly opposite a convenient Sunbird snack-bar in the form of my double yellow Hibiscus bush, round the corner there are a couple of Murrayas in bloom, the Flame Tree is showing off its red Christmas bells not far away, and of course the Poinciana is in riotous colour. Their normal habit is to build the nest, go off on honeymoon for a few days, and then come back and lay the eggs. Currently, they’re honeymooning somewhere, but I expect them back any day now, the squeaky little darlings. They sound a little like twittering canaries, a nice change from the other, noisier bird visitors to this back yard.

Let’s hope Santa doesn’t try to stuff anything in this stocking in two days’ time!

F²F² December progress report

A bit late this month, I’m sorry about that!

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmSo far, we have six of the 9 sets of blocks done, and they’re looking gorgeous! Gun’s colour choice of bright pink, blue and yellow is producing some really lovely combinations of shapes and colours, and I think her final quilt should be beautifully fresh and happy.

I’m delighted this morning myself, because my last set of blocks, which came from Esther in the Netherlands, arrived this morning to complete the set.  Making up my F²F² quilt is going to be high on the priority list for next year.

Do hop over to the gallery page and see what has been done so far 🙂

Stay+: bound and labelled

I got the last joins done after much procrastination…

That last seam was a bit of a pig, but now that it’s finished there’s a big sense of relief.  Here are the front, the back, (which shows off the quilting nicely) and the label. I found a lovely shot cotton for the binding, but I was a tiny bit short, so it’s slightly narrower than usual. I rather like this skinny version! Of course, shot cotton frays like mad, so it’s not really ideal for the purpose, but it was such a lovely green/blue combination that I couldn’t resist.

stay-front-finished-quilt

stay-back-finished-quilt

stay-quilt-label

A huge thank you to all those who contributed, not just blocks but also encouragement and positive feedback. I’ll get Stay+ off to Ovarian Cancer Australia after Christmas when the office re-opens. I’m going to take a tiny break from teal quilts over Christmas, and probably do some hand stitching on my hexie quilt. Stay+ is for a fundraiser in February and the next event isn’t till May, so I can fit a few other projects in before I have to start work on the next OCA quilt.

So, if you’ve offered to make a block or two for TWX (Tealed with a Kiss), the next Ovarian Cancer Australia quilt, it would be great if you could schedule them for January or February, to give me time to make up the numbers and then perform the usual QAYG magic 🙂

Finally, you’ll recall that Lynn of Tialys and I were working together to complete our QAYG quilts by Christmas. There has been a veritable snowstorm of emails back and forth. Well, she’s done it too!  Hop over there and take a look. Lucky Monsieur Tialys is going to score big time this Christmas. If the post isn’t up yet, it soon will be!

Last quilt finish before the New Year, time to slow down and enjoy the festive season!

 

Christmas spirit

I don’t do Christmas cards…

Poinciana blooming

My tropical ‘Christmas Tree’ (Delonix regia), the Poinciana or Flamboyant Tree, flowering like mad for the festivities!

Not in any Grinch- or Scrooge-like way, snarling and disapproving of the waste, you understand. Christmas cards are one way for long-separated friends to reconnect briefly, even if it’s only once a year. No, it’s another reason altogether.

For about 8 years, I have not sent cards or given gifts at Christmas, and instead, have donated the money to charity. All my friends and family know this, and no-one feels neglected or left out or resentful. I ask them to donate money in my name instead of sending me a gift or card. They have, and do, and in this way, we have enlarged the circle of meaningful giving, instead of enriching the retailers and the post office, and sending trash to landfill. When the Husband and I got married, we agreed we’d do this together.

There is a great freedom from the tyranny of festive gift-buying; I don’t much like shopping (except in fabric shops!), and racking my brains for someone who really and truly has everything they need is an exercise in frustration. Instead, we have the pleasure of choosing a charity for our donation. For a couple of years now, we’ve given to Aussie Helpers, who provide animal feed and other supplies for desperate Australian farmers in drought-stricken areas. For many years, I gave to Oxfam, who have a gift scheme: wells, seeds, farm animals, small business loans, etc. Other family members have given to Food Bank, the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, and so on.

In our small way, we’ve snowballed, and the ripples are spreading. I explain the scheme to everyone who asks me how my Christmas preparations are coming along – and that’s a lot of people; Aussies are a sociable bunch. For some, it has struck a chord, and they may go home and think about it, and maybe even adopt the idea.

That’s the best Christmas present I could ask for…

SAL 39: more alphabet

It’s Stitch Along time again!

Here’s where I was last time:

blue-sampler-row-3-started

And here’s where I am now:

alphabet-to-tEveryone in the group is working on something beautiful, so it’s worth your while hopping over to take a look. I’m one of the first to post, due to the time zone I live in, so you might want to wait a while till the others get their posts up. This time round, I’ve decided to condense things a bit with the links to the other members. The group is growing, and the list was getting rather long.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaSusanKathyMargaret, Cindy, Helen, and
Steph – our newest member. Welcome, Steph!

Next SAL is on the 8th of January. See you then.