F2F5: February round-up

We’ve successfully completed our first month.

All of February’s blocks are on their way to Tracy, and all the photos are up in the gallery barring one set, which is delayed by a sad life-event and will follow in due course.

Tracy went with the Christmas colours of red and green with a cream background, and judging from the results, she’s going to have a memorable Christmas quilt from the results.

March is Sue’s month. She’s chosen shades of true blue from palest to indigo, paired with browns from ecru to milk chocolate. A really pretty combination, and as of today, there are already two sets of blocks in the gallery, so Sue, time to start avoiding it!

If you’re new to this block and don’t know anything about F2F, do head over to the F2F blog and read all about it. The first session can be found on this block, but for subsequent years I set up F2F with its own blog due to the image-heavy nature of the work. You’ll find a rich, varied and vibrant source of inspiration in all the blocks shown in the galleries for the various years. Enjoy!

Now, on with March!


Heaven for Beginners #4: All done – and Finish #4!

I’ve been plugging away at the assembly, to some effect.

The Husband’s fingers just visible. Too much rain for outdoor photography…

It’s all together. Actually, doing it in small amounts, in many sessions is quite effective. It’s repetitive work, not terribly interesting, but requiring you to be meticulous and careful. You get bored quickly, so doing it a bit at a time means you don’t burn out and start getting careless. Work for an hour, go and do something else. Work for another hour, read your book… that sort of thing.

So, here is the completed ‘Heaven for Beginners‘ quilt*, ready for the lovely Caitlyn to take to uni. I hope it keeps her cosy and comfortable, provides napping and sleepover opportunities for friends and family, and gives years of cuddly service.

As I did on the Hatbox Quilt, I’ve made a ‘hidden’ label you can flip over to read. Not very hidden, given the fabric’s different from the rest of the backing, but still… I did a wash-test sample first, to make sure the archival-ink pen and tear-away stabiliser I wrote on will survive the washing process. All good.

Thank you again to all the F2F members who contributed blocks to last year’s session. As you can see, your hard work was not wasted!

Now, on with the next thing 🙂


*For the background to this name, see my earlier post.

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 #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!

Home is where you are

… if you make up your mind to it.

Sixteen years ago, I emigrated to Australia by myself, leaving behind friends, family, job and everything I knew. It wasn’t that I wanted a fresh start so much, more that I felt that in Australia, I’d actually come home. I brought very few things with me (5 cubic metres, 20% of a shipping container), but what I brought was the core of what made where I lived home. And home has come to be… just where I am, rather than linked to heritage, memory, family, nation or geography.

The Husband’s lovely niece is leaving home very soon, to go to University. She’s looking forward to it, and many of her friends are going too, but still, it’ll be different, not her home town, the home she shares with her family. I wanted to give her something from home, of home, so she can begin to form a core of things to surround herself with, the germ of ‘home is where I am‘ that I brought with me. It’s a quilt, of course.

She loves purple. And I had all my F²F³ blocks, the Amethyst & Slate colour scheme that I hadn’t done anything with yet. So at dinner on Christmas Day, I asked if she’d like a quilt for her new home, and I showed her photos of the blocks. She’s keen 🙂 I was short by three blocks, so I’ve made one and have two more to put together, and then I can make her quilt. It’ll need a wide border; the blocks only make up to 60×72 inches, and it won’t make up to full queen size, but it’ll be a nice bed topper and a generous snuggle quilt. I’ll put it together the usual way; I’d like her to have it sooner rather than later, so hand quilting is not on the cards here.

The layout may change. I’m not in a rush, it can fit in around other things. But I’d like to give her a gift to start her own personal core of stability. It’s a good way to start her independent life.

It’s going to be called Heaven for Beginners because of this quote:

“Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.”
Charles Henry Parkhurst

Bougainville Nights #7: all but the binding

Things are about to get busy round here.

So I thought I’d round off BougieNights without getting all the way to the end. I’ll be binding it in the same dark blue as the back, effectively making the binding all but invisible, so it doesn’t really deserve a post of its own. But it’s now time to reveal the ‘secret quilt’ that’s been materialising on the back from the six blocks that didn’t get used on the front. So without further ado, tah-daaah!

That small patch at far centre right is the label. A few years ago a craft magazine had some quilt label freebies, and this was one of them. At this distance of time I can’t remember which magazine it was, but I thought the patch was pretty enough to hang onto, on the basis that one day I’d have a quilt that demanded it. And here we are.

So, credit where it’s due. These blocks are the work of Lynn Hutton, Sandra Meynet, Sue Brown, Moira McSpadden, Susan Nixon, Gun Adrian, Esther Frenzel, Claire Hupin, and me. They are the outcome of my turn in the second Footsquare Freestyle (F²F²) block swap, which was enjoyable enough for us to have gone around again for a third time. There’ll almost certainly be a fourth session starting next year, in case you’re interested.

I have some sewing to do for Bee, Myself and I on Saturday. As we’re going away, I need to prepare the post in advance, and by posting about BougieNights early, I’ve bought myself some time to do that.

And let us not forget packing for the trip. Road trip! Road trip! Not excited at all, noooooo….