ITAA: Happy Things

Two more cornerstone blocks in today 🙂

Lynn has made two of the cornerstones I need for the quilt.

You may recall that these cornerstones represent things which made Trudy happy. There’s the Trudy Crowley Foundation she initiated and set up, her work for Ovarian Cancer, her family and friends, a glass of bubbly, the pretty shoes she adored, and the beach, her happy place. So we have the TCF logo, the ovarian cancer ribbon, a heart to represent the ones she loved, a shell for the beach, a fabulous high-heeled shoe and a glass of bubbly.

I’ve done the TCF logo and the ribbon, Lynn has made the shoe and the glass, Sue has made the heart and Margaret has made the shell; the two last are on their way so I can’t show them yet.

Paper pieced pattern ©2018 Kate Chiconi

Paper pieced pattern © Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam

The shoe pattern is available free on the internet, and if you want the glass, just email me, I’m happy to send you a scan of my hand-drawn pattern.

I’ve also made a few extra blocks for the background and border, in case blocks on their way don’t arrive in time for me to start assembling, quilting and bordering. Rest assured that anything that arrives after that time will find a home in future quilts, so your work hasn’t been wasted. With the house move going ahead, my time is so tight now that I may need to make these difficult decisions, so I hope anyone affected will forgive me. I’m not showing the blocks I’ve made, as I’m still hoping they won’t be needed. Also, I’m still waiting to hear from the embroiderers about whether they can do the banner. I’ve virtually resigned myself to having to cut out and place each letter individually using iron-on transfers. That’d be fine, but embroidery would look a bit nicer and save me some time. Fingers crossed…

So, some progress. I hope that in the next few days I’ll receive the shell and a background block from Margaret – I’m looking forward to seeing the shell she’s made using appliqué, it should be lovely!

While I wait, I should look at some F²F³ blocks too, don’t you think…?

Advertisements

ITAA: walls start to go up

It’s coming along.

So far, I have about half the blocks I need for the pale background, and half what I need for the border. More blocks are on the way from the lovely generous contributors, and of course, I’m making blocks myself, as you can see here.

Still needed:
4 background blocks.
3 rectangular border blocks
4 square border blocks
4 cornerstones

 

On the way:
Background blocks: 2 from Jenny, 1 from Margaret. I’ll make the last one.
Rectangular border blocks: 1 from Lynn, 1 from Nanette, and I’ll make another one.
Square border blocks: 2 from Sue, 1 from Margaret, and I’ll make one.
Cornerstones: 2 from Lynn, 1 from Sue and 1 from Margaret.

If I can get all the centre background blocks, I can actually assemble, quilt and add the wings and other bits to that section, so I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll come first. It would be good to have a section complete and ready. One less thing to worry about…

I’m also waiting to hear from the embroiderers about the banner. There are technical issues with getting the banner into the frame that holds the fabric while it’s being embroidered, and I reckon I can probably get around that by basting a border around the banner to extend it. There are other issues surrounding actually doing the embroidery of the letters. The text runs on a curve, both top and bottom line, and this will require the piece to be repositioned frequently. If they feel they cannot achieve a satisfactory result and turn the job down, I have a solution for that too. I’ll make the text as a transfer, and if I have to cut out each letter individually and place it on the curve, then that’s what I have to do. I can give it the dimension I wanted by hand-quilting around each letter to make it pop out of the background. Fiddly, but it’ll do as a Plan B.

We’re getting there!

ITAA: both wings

That went better than I hoped!

Both wings are now ready – I found a quicker way of assembling the second one and it was done in a couple of hours 🙂 I’m loving the pair, which are… not chunky, but substantial. As you can see, I also got the hook done.

Today’s mail delivery also brought these really beautiful blocks from Nanette for the ‘wall of heaven’ background behind the wings. Gorgeous colours, fresh, pale and clean. Heavenly, even!

Tomorrow I need to pay a visit to the embroiderers with the banner and the text to go on it, to see what they can do for me.

And that’s the news today from Heaven’s waiting room 🙂

 

ITAA: fully fledged

One of the wings is done 🙂

Each feather now has its central shaft stitched in and is attached to the stiff foundation piece behind. The wing is about a metre long and the weight is quite substantial, so I’m really glad I made the foundation, or it’d be dragging on the front of the quilt, which would be pretty ugly.

It took the better part of a day to finish each feather and assemble the wing correctly, so I won’t have the second wing finished for a couple of days yet.

Once I do have the other wing finished they’ll be ready to be stitched to the back-ground ‘wall’. I have about half the blocks I need for the wall – there are more on the way and I also have to make more, so it’ll be a while before I’m ready to quilt and assemble that.

This detail shot gives you a better idea of the fabrics used in the wings, and also shows the tiny glitter of the silver thread I used to stitch in the shaft of each feather. It’s a small detail, but I think it adds to the overall effect. Click to enlarge the image.

I’m really happy with how the wing has turned out, to the point where I’d love a pair of wings just like it to wear on the back of a dark coat. Perhaps not for everyday wear, but striking!

I also have the ‘L-plate’ done, complete with its own hanging cord. I just have to make the wall hook and that’ll be all the 3D elements completed and I’ll have done the part I wasn’t entirely sure how to do. And there are more border blocks and a cornerstone on the way which I’ll show when they arrive.

And then there’s the Trudy Crowley Foundation logo I need for the top right hand cornerstone… I’ve been waiting to hear about this for a few weeks, and chased it up today, because time’s getting tight. I’d hope to be able to use it in teal on a cream background, but this is not a usage they want, which is fair enough; the master logo is lilac and white. However, I’m OK to use it in white on a teal background, so that’s what you’ll be seeing eventually.

Once the second wing and the hook are done, I’ll need to make the logo and ribbon cornerstones; the heart, shoe, glass and shell are all in hand (thank you, ladies!), and probably some more background and border blocks.

We’re getting there, slowly…

In the Arms of the Angels: feathers…

I’ve been making some progress behind the scenes.

Firstly, the scroll that goes at the top of the centre panel. It’s slightly padded with a batting layer, which gives it a bit more dimension, I think. I chose a pale green-beige batik that looks a bit like stone, and I’ll get the words embroidered in serif capitals if I can, in teal thread. It’s not as dark as it looks in the photo – indoor lighting 😦

And then the wings… There’s going to be lots of feathers. They need to be stiff, like real flight feathers, and layered so as to have depth, instead of being just flat and one-dimensional. This is going to mean a fair bit of weight, so I had to create a stiffened foundation shape on which to stitch them so that they don’t pull at the surface of the quilt. This foundation will itself be sewn to the background by hand with invisible stitches, so that it doesn’t affect the quilting and is invisible on the back.

I’ve used a fairly stiff non-fusible interfacing between the front and back layers of each feather, so that the shape is firm and sword-like. Once the feather is turned through, it’s topstitched around the edge to keep it crisp, and will have a further topstitched shaft down the centre. The feathers are overlapped slightly, as in nature, and the colours are varied to give added visual interest. I’m mixing a grey and beige overprinted with a little silver for the leading edge feathers, with lots of different beige and cream prints to give texture as well as colour variation. It’s very labour intensive, but I really like the effect.

And Kathy’s lovely pale background block has arrived, which is really going to help with the soft broken-colour I’m after. One thing I’ve realised is that I need to keep the tips of the wings as free of the pale background as I can or they’ll blend in too much, so the tips of all the feathers have to stay separate, but I may also need some sort of ‘shadow’. I’m thinking some very fine grey tulle laid over the background under the tips of the wings may give the effect I’m after, as it’ll allow the background colour to show through instead of being solid. Anyone have any other suggestions for achieving what I want?

Still lots more to go… Meanwhile, keep those background, border and cornerstone blocks coming, my lovelies!

Looking back, looking forward

It’s traditional, isn’t it?

We bloggers tend to do a retrospective post at the end of the year, summarising what we’ve made or achieved in the past year. I tend not to do this so much any more; it began to feel like I was being a bit boastful, or a bit competitive. I didn’t want to feel disappointed with myself because I hadn’t made as many quilts, or garments, or… (fill in creative sewing activity here) as Blogger X. We all have different amounts of time, motivation, energy, money, fabric or space, and we each make according to our resources. Last year, I posted about how many metres of thread I’d used. That seemed like a fun and different thing to do, and didn’t create any direct comparison benchmarks.

This year, I kept my thread reels again. I’m purposely not looking at last year’s sum-up to see how much I used in 2017. Suffice to say that in 2018 I used 5km (3.1 miles) of thread. Is that a lot? I don’t know, but it’s a nice round figure 🙂

I want to thank everyone who’s participated in making quilts to benefit Ovarian Cancer Australia, everyone who’s joined in with ScrapHappy to make something lovely or useful from unpromising scraps, and everyone who’s joined in the Footsquare Freestyle (F²F) block swap collective to help friends create a beautiful quilt in their chosen colours. I want to thank friends and family who have given me an opportunity, a challenge and great motivation to make them a thing of beauty and a quilt to love, made especially for them. Thank you for coming along on my travels in the caravan and on the motorbike, for enjoying my weird, rampant and bug-ridden garden, and for listening when I indulged in a good rant about issues that set me alight. Let’s do it all again this year! I especially want to thank the Husband for enabling my creative habits, enjoying what I write and taking the trouble to find out what on earth I’m talking about when I speak Quilt.

Have a great 2019, y’all. Be kind to each other, and share pretty things. See you soon in Chiconia. 

Hugs,

In the Arms of the Angels: we take flight

Christmas is over and my cutting table was empty, so…

So of course, it was time to start work 🙂 Already, I have received four blocks and made three of my own. There’s more en route and still more promised. I could have waited a bit longer, but the deadline is looming large in my brain and making me restive, and anyway I wanted needed to do some exploratory work.

First out of the traps were Robin’s four blocks, two pale background squares and two dark border squares. Gorgeous, aren’t they?

Then I made three light background blocks myself. Two of them are scrappy, as I don’t want things to be too tidy; I’m hoping for a soft, broken-colour effect.

And finally, using butcher paper, I blocked out the size and shape of the light background on which the wings will sit so that I could work on the banner, hook, L-plate and wings. It doesn’t look like much yet, but I really needed to look at size, proportion and placement.

 All these elements will be separate pieces which will be appliquéd to the background. The edges of the banner and L-plate will be free of the background, and the wing feathers will be substantially free of the background along their length, I hope, so that there will be some movement. I’m still working on how exactly I’m going to achieve that, but at least now I have sizes and shapes blocked in.

The wing shapes are just foundation pieces at the moment; the actual wings will be larger, and they’ll also look fuller with the feathers lying thickly over the background.

So, In the Arms of the Angels is off the ground.