$11R: front blocks assembled

Well, I have all the borders attached.

If anything, the colours are brighter and stronger than what you see here, especially on the paler blocks.

I love how the dark blue frames the colourful centres. I also have a lot of the scrappy joining strips made, probably enough to finish the quilt if I stick with my usual narrower version, so that’s what I’m going to do, rather than fiddling about to make a slightly wider version. Soon, I must take a look at the backing fabrics I’ve pulled together. There’s a bit of piecing to be done, and I think if I can make it work, I’d like the backing to colour match to the front, so a scrappy green front will have a green back, and so on. I’m not sure I have enough larger scraps in all the colours, though, so I’ll have to wait and see. All the pieces are pressed and ready for cutting. In case you’re wondering, it’s going to finish at about 60 inches (1.52m) square. I’m still to decide whether this becomes a ‘working’ quilt, or if I’ll hang it on the wall in our rather dark upstairs corridor, to inject some colour. What do you think?

My nephew from Melbourne is visiting us this week; he arrives this afternoon and will stay until Sunday, which is going to be lots of fun, as we can take him round all our favourite places, show him the sights and have the perfect excuse to eat out a bit more than usual. We don’t get a lot of visitors – most people think we’re too far away – so it’s a huge treat for us to have his company.

Time for some more cutting and piecing 🙂


A mixed bag

It’s been a physical couple of days.

Wednesday: Stitches out and a pat on the back from the surgeon. The knee is healing well and in a couple of days it’ll be fine to swim. Thursday: My first tai chi class. In case anyone thinks it’s just slow motion wafting around your arms and legs to an imaginary sound track of traditional Chinese music, think again. Move slowly into a position. Hold it…hold it some more…slowly move out of it. Stand on one leg… for what seems like hours. Etc. Yes, it’s slow, but you can easily end up with wobbly legs and aching arms, as I did. But I loved it! I felt energised without being sweaty and purple in the face, and the effect lasted for ages. I’ll be going every week.
Friday: an hour of moderate torture with the physiotherapist, the first of 4. It brought home how much my left leg has wasted in the weeks of favouring it, keeping it immobile and having it strapped up in a brace. With luck I’ll build enough muscle to protect it from further damage.

In between these sessions, I’ve got half of the $11R blocks bordered with dark blue in my now deliciously cool sewing room. I’ll the rest done over the next few days. It looks really good, and will look even better with the colourful skinny scrappy joining strip between the dark blue borders. It’s also very nice having extra space now that I’ve been able to put away all the teal fabrics for the time being.

Best of all, I had a call today from Emily at Ovarian Cancer Australia to let me know that ST&D had arrived safely. She was so excited! The entire team thinks it’s a wonderful piece of work, and she’s definitely planning to bid on it herself. She also loves the mug rug, and says she’s planning to frame it!  I said I’d hoped she’d use it for her mug of tea, but she was afraid of making it dirty… They are having a professional photographer for the fundraising event, who’ll take photos of the quilt as part of the event record. If you worked on the quilt and would like a digital file of the final photo, let me know. She’ll also let us know who becomes its eventual owner, and how much it raises.

That was a really good phone call, and makes all the work everyone has done in putting the quilt together so rewarding.


The $11 Rainbow

It’s decided, then.

I’m going to make a push to finish the ScrapHappy rainbow blocks in time to enter it in the quilt section of Mackay Show, on 19th June.

Each block will be outlined by a 1.5 inch dark blue border, and then there will be a narrow rainbow sashing between each. QAYG? Of course!

I have the blocks trimmed out to a standard size and arranged to my satisfaction. The dark blue borders are cut and just need to be stitched on. I still have more till roll sashing to make, but that’s just mindless ‘pick a scrap, stitch it on, pick a scrap, stitch it on’. Isn’t it nice to see a riot of colour for a change?

It seemed a bit, well, meh, to call it the Rainbow Scrappy Quilt. How many of those have we all seen? I’m making the sashing with my tiniest scraps, and having unearthed a rainbow of larger pieces of scrap for the backing, all I had to do to finish it was buy a bit of dark blue for the border around each block. And the cost? Well, $11…. and the name chose itself.  I have a huge roll of batting already, so no purchase needed there, and I shall address the issue of binding when I reach that point, but I’m thinking it’ll be pretty scrappy too.

A big thank you to everyone who made helpful suggestions, and helped to firm up my decision-making process (or some might say, ‘headlong rush at the project I wanted to do all along’).

I’m sure I’d have faffed around a lot longer without your help 🙂


So…. what next?

I’m suffering a nasty case of hiatus incertus.

Or, to put it more plainly, I don’t know what to work on next. Do I haul out one of my several WIPs, start something new, or conscientiously but grumpily return to a couple of tricky UFOs I keep shoving to the back of the queue because they’re, well, hard…? When I finish some- thing that’s been intensive and long-term, I always have this trouble. Sudden freedom brings its own burdens. I can work on whatever I like? Well OK! Now… what do I like?

So, here are the options:

• Start assembling the Rainbow ScrapHappy blocks into a quilt by adding sashing round each one, and then get going with QAYG. If I work on this one, I might actually enter it into the quilting section at Mackay Show in June. (No, NOT hand-quilted, I’m not quite that bonkers – yet…)
• Stitch in some more of the giant hexie flowers on the Anemone ScrapHappy quilt. Make some more hexie flowers.
• Decide what to make with the F2F blocks from the last session; there’s enough for a big quilt or a smaller one and some cushions
• Do a whole bunch more hand quilting for the Hatbox Quilt blocks, at least 4 or 5 blocks
• Start something completely new. I have a sneaky little bag containing half a dozen fat quarters and two jelly rolls of a very pretty colour combination that I want to play with but have managed to studiously ignore up to now.
• Oh, and let us not forget that I plan to restart F²F next month, and need to think about what colours I want, and put together a Pinterest board.

You see my problem?

Now, suggestions, please. As always, I’ll consider all possibilities and suggestions and then do my own thing 🙂 But if there are distinct favourites out there, I’d like to hear which ones you favour.

Of course, by the time you read this I might already have taken the plunge into one of them!


ScrapHappy April

Another batch of scraps given a new life…

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

This month, I was clearing up my sewing room after completing Signed, Tealed & Delivered. There were literally dozens of snippets of fabric in all shades of teal, plus a few that definitely weren’t! As I laid them on my cutting table to sort them and put them away, they started to come together under my eyes, and an idea took shape. This month’s ScrapHappy idea is a pretty scrappy mug rug for the lovely Emily, my contact at Ovarian Cancer Australia. I think she’ll like it, don’t you?

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 scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful 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).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry and Claire

See you again, same time next month!

ST&D: and…. rest

So. It’s done.

This has been such a fun quilt to work on. My well-known propensity for coming up with dreadful puns is well to the fore in the quilts I design for Ovarian Cancer Australia. ‘Teal’ has so many possibilities for punning, and I still have a long list to play with. But once I came up with the name Signed, Tealed & Delivered, the postal theme of this quilt quickly made itself known. It has been exciting to put the concept out there and ask who’d like to play too. I’m constantly surprised and delighted at the response, the generosity with time and fabric of the participants, and their willingness to move out of their comfort zones and try new ideas and techniques. It’s good for me too, as I have to try new things in order to achieve what is swirling around in my brain 🙂

I’ll be taking this quilt to the post office on Monday. I’d thought about sending it down to Melbourne with my visiting nephew when he returns home, but that’s taking it right down to the wire, and I’d like the team at OCA to have the quilt in good time.

I’m going to be taking a good break from teal for a couple of months. I have a number of quilts on the back burners, Footsquare Freestyle (F²F) is starting again soon, Mackay Show is coming up in June and there are quilts promised in the family, so I won’t be idle (no surprise there, then).

Once again, grateful thanks to all who have contributed, whether it’s a block, or several, or moral support or advice. This quilt wouldn’t have happened without you.

And now, I must go and sweep my sewing room floor, and dust, and put all those tiny snippets and threads of teal in the bin. Time for something different, for a while.

ST&D: all together now

Yup, the quilt’s assembled.

Getting over the hump of those two big joining seams is always my least favourite bit. It’s such a sweat wrangling them through the sewing machine three times: first to attach the front and back sashing on one piece, then to attach the front sashing to the other piece, and finally to stitch down the sashing flap on the opposite side on the back. But now it’s done.

I have the label made and the binding cut – I just need to join all the pieces, press it in half and then start stitching it down. Once that’s done, I have a couple of days of lap-work, hand hemming the binding down on the reverse of the quilt and sewing the label onto the back. Good job it’s cooler just now.

At one point I thought I had all the time in the world to get Signed, Tealed & Delivered done; everyone got their blocks in really early, and I made a good start. And then the Dratted Knee. Still, by virtue of doing a little bit every day and just plugging along, it’ll be ready in good time.

I want to say thank you everyone who has participated, both those who have contributed from the very first quilt and new sewing friends. This quilt has turned out better than I could have dreamed, and that’s down to you. OCA are very excited about getting this one for their silent auction at the May fundraiser.

I’ll post again once the quilt is done, so you can see the final product.