Who wants to play?

I think it may be that time again.

Many of you will remember F²F, Foot²Freestyle. For those who are new to Chiconia since we finished the last round of F²F, it’s a block swap for 9 or more people, which runs for as many months as we have members. Each month you make three blocks and send them out, receiving in turn three blocks from everyone else when it’s your month. Clearly, some people who’ve played before are pining for its return, as I’ve had several enquiries about when we’re going to start it up again.

It has run twice already now, the second time concluding a year ago. After the first round, I created a second blog just for F²F, as a place to hold all the images of the blocks in a gallery, as a record and as a source of information about colours and how the block swap works. If you click on the link above, it’ll take you there. There’s also a load of info about F²F from the first round on this blog, and a gallery page showing all the amazing blocks members produced.

Well… I’m very happy to get it going again, but I need enough people who’ll commit to seeing it through. You can see that the whole thing will fall apart if someone says yes, and then pulls out partway. Everyone else will end up short of blocks. So, for friends old and new, if you’d like to join the party, leave me a comment. If we get enough takers, I’ll start it up again. It’s fun, you get loads of lovely squishy surprises in the mail, and at the end, enough blocks to make a beautiful quilt (or porch curtain!) in a colour scheme of your choice. So go on, take a look at the information and decide if you’d like to play along too. It doesn’t matter about your skill level, the blocks can be as complex or as simple as you’d like. If you express interest, and we have enough members, I’ll need your email and mailing addresses to provide to other members, and will supply more detail on exactly how it works, timings and specifications, etc.

Join us. You’ll be welcome!

Curtain down: Foot²Freestyle draws to a close

For the past 21 months, an unusual swap bee has been quietly unfolding.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmIt hasn’t been well known or publicised at all, but it has produced some extraordinary creativity, exciting use of colour, and inspiration to try our hands at something a bit different. Foot²Freestyle, or F²F as it has been familiarly known, required its members to produce three foot² (12×12 inch) blocks each month, in the recipient’s designated colours, but in any design, hence the Freestyle. Each member took it in turn to receive the month’s blocks, and while the rest of us could see and enjoy the blocks we were making in the F²F and then the F²F² galleries, the recipient stayed away, to enjoy the surprise when opening her envelopes. After the first 12 months, there was sufficient interest in the process to go again, with some new and some existing members from the first round.

The result is a pair of block galleries of great beauty and variety, a source of inspiration and ideas for future quilts for all of us. If you haven’t been following F²F up to this point, I encourage you to go and take a look, using the links in the previous paragraph and scrolling down month by month to see what everyone made. The galleries also show some finished quilts, demonstrating the amazing results a collaboration of creativity can produce. I also hope that members who complete their quilts at some future stage will let me have photos so that they can be added to the roll of honour.

To all those who have participated in either or both sessions, Sue and I as the originators of this block swap would like to extend our thanks and very best wishes for the future. We have greatly enjoyed working with you all, and hope that we will have an opportunity to renew that pleasure at some future stage.

Until we meet again around the F²F campfire, happy sewing, may your creative juices never run low, and see you on the other side of several fun new projects!


Please note that I am on the road most of 2 and 3 March, and may not be able to respond promptly to your comments or messages. I will do my best to catch up quickly!

Foot²Freestyle: May progress report

It’s that time of the month again, when the blog posts come thick and fast, and now it’s time for the final progress report of our first Foot²Freestyle year.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmIt’s lovely, but also a bit sad, to remind you that for some of you this will be the last nag/ reminder/ encouragement I’ll be issuing for F²F. Happily, though, others have enjoyed it enough or have time enough to join us for the next session, although the group will be a little smaller, and the quilts too… For some, that may not be a problem; you do end up with a very substantial quilt if you use all the 36 blocks that result from F²F, and something a bit smaller and more manageable may well be preferable. We now have three completed quilts showing in the gallery, Pat’s, Avis’ and now our latest, Lynn’s. All three show just how amazing these beautiful sampler quilts can be, how such varied work and small variation in colour can make the whole really come to life.  I know that Sue is hot on the heels of Lynn’s finish, and by the end of the month, I hope we’ll have hers on display too.

Now that it’s my month, I’ve been overjoyed with how beautiful the May blocks I’ve been sent have been. And you’ve all done so well – halfway through the month there are only 5 sets outstanding – one of which is my own! Pretty impressive for the end of a year-long block swap, and I’m so grateful :-). Please don’t hesitate to send in photos as soon as you’ve mailed the blocks; I find the excitement of actually receiving the squishy entirely makes up for the slight lack of surprise about the content!

I hope those of you who are giving your time and attention to other projects over the coming months will still find time to drop in at F²F‘s new home, look at our colour choices and check out what’s going on in the gallery. I’ll still do my progress and roundup reports here, but the gallery will now be situated at the purpose built F²F blog, and I’ll provide a link for easy click-through. We have an amazingly vivid and varied set of colour schemes going on, and I fully expect some of the new quilts to be sensational!


Foot²Freestyle: February round up

The end of February always comes with a rush, being such a short month, and this year, it’s worse than ever.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmI’m posting the F²F round up early this month because I have a post coming out already tomorrow, and come Monday, I’ll be away from home, down in Melbourne having huge fun (more on that another time). In any case, all but two lots of blocks are in, and the final two sets will, I’m assured, be in the mail this weekend, so I’ll upload the photos when they come in and close the month down after that. Emmely is getting the most sensational selection of green blocks, ranging from fully traditional to totally improv, from darkest to palest green and all shades in between. She’s making not only her own 3 blocks this month, but is also making 3 on behalf of Pat too, so I’m hoping that at some stage she’ll find time to draw breath and send me all those photos as well! Head over to the F²F gallery page to see the full range, and get a sneak preview of the first two contributions for March.

I’m also hoping that one day soon one or two of you will send me a photo of a finished F²F quilt to add to the gallery. So far, the only complete one is January’s special effort for Pat, and I’d soooo love to see another couple….

March is Claire’s turn, and her colour choices are:
Background cream to beige to tan. Colors: Brown (deep, rich , or ordinary), red, orange (any variation of orange: red-orange, yellow-orange, etc). If your block asks for a wee bit of green, that would be okay too. I like modern/minimalist/asymmetry just as much as traditional.  Plenty of choice there to play with!  You should already have Claire’s contact information and address, but if not, let me know.

So far, we have a number of repeat sign-ups for F²F 2016/17, and a couple of new members:


Gun Adrian, my ScrapHappy buddy from Sweden
June Dodge from the US, who spotted F²F on Esther’s blog and asked to join

UPDATE: We now have Esther joining us again for the next session, and a new member, Claire Hupin from France, who has been following along and building her skills so she can participate in the next session. Claire is already an ‘honorary’ member, having been the secret maker of some of Pat’s blocks from late last year, so we’re very glad to have her along.

We need a minimum of 12 or the scheme doesn’t produce enough blocks, so if you have a fancy to take part in a fun, undemanding and very rewarding block swap party, leave a comment below. The rules are few, the choices are endless, and you’d be most welcome. Oh, and if there are more than 12 of us, so much the better!

On with March. Let the fun begin!


Foot2Freestyle: January round up

It has been an extraordinary month for the F²F block swap.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmJanuary’s blocks were completed by all members in just 5 days. You can see them, as always, by going to the gallery page. Our friend Pat, who was formerly Miss May, is now Miss January and all the remaining members shift forward a month. If you want to know the background, please visit first this post, followed by this post, which will explain everything. All the blocks have either arrived in the US, or are en route, to be assembled on Pat’s behalf by Sue, quilted by her son (who has a longarm quilting business), and thence to Pat. This will be the first quilt in the F²F block swap to be assembled, and it will be marvellous to see the work of all our hands in one place, making a thing of beauty.

February’s blocks have already started to come in, and I’m very excited to see that so far there’s been a great effort to address Emmely’s love of modern, improvised blocks. Thank you for taking so many of us out of our comfort zones to try something new, Emmely! She has asked for blocks in any shade of green, so there should be an amazing variety to look at by the end of the month.

We’re ahead of ourselves this month’s end. With only 4 months of the block swap left, I hope we can keep the impetus up.

Foot²Freestyle: January progress report

There has been sad news for the members of the group this month.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmOne of our ladies is now in the final stages of her journey through life. She joined us knowing that this was coming, but thought the block swap sounded fun, and that it would give her a goal, a project to hang on for. Fate has a way of upsetting the best laid plans, and she will not be with us for the final months of F²F. Since her turn is late in the process, we have collectively agreed that we will drop everything and bring her quilt to life. This month would have been Emmely’s turn, and you will already see some blocks for her in the gallery, but in the next few weeks, you will see, as if by magic, a whole month’s worth of blocks for this other quilt, and in due course, a finished quilt, the first one in the gallery.

Because time is short, we will first make a ‘Virtual Quilt’, which will give her a preview of what is to come. So far, 33 of the 36 blocks we need are already on their way to Sue, who has generously agreed to assemble the whole thing. Sue is also blessed with a son who has a longarm quilting business, and he will kindly quilt it for us. Once bound and labelled, it will be sent on to its new owner, who will, we hope, be able to enjoy it for at least a while. In due course, it will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project in Houston, Texas, to be auctioned for the charity.  If you are interested in seeing what it’s about, hop over and take a look, or go to the Facebook page.

One of the things I love about the quilting community is its generosity. Our members have given freely of their time, money, stash and energy to reach out to a fellow quilter, and ladies, I love you all for it. Thank you all, so very much.

Foot²Freestyle: November progress report

I’m a little late with this, but better late than never…

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWe have three sets of completed blocks up in the gallery so far, I hear rumours of another set due to be completed shortly, but Christmas is looming!  I hope a few more of you will be able to complete and send off your blocks before the end of this coming week, and let me have photos to add to the gallery. I know, I know, it’s a very busy time of year… But let’s try and get Christina some nice surprises in the mail…

I’m still amazed and delighted by the seemingly unstoppable creativity of your blocks – head over there for a look: F²F gallery page.

Good news to report, too. Following the unfortunate issue with an incorrect post code for Lynn’s blocks, where blocks from Annett and Avis went missing: both sets have now turned up safe and sound. Lynn has already received the ones from Avis, including that gorgeous dog block, and Annett’s are en route to her for the second time, having been returned to her by the French Post Office. We are now back at our 100% success rate record, which is great, considering how wide-spread we all are.

I hope you’re all in good order with your Christmas preparations. Have a calm and peaceful festive season if at all possible, and return refreshed in the New Year. I’ll be doing the round up as usual at the end of December.

Foot²Freestyle: November round-up

It’s the end of November already, and Christmas seems to be looming very quickly.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWe’re almost done in time this month, just one person hasn’t been able to complete by month’s end due to other commitments, but I anticipate they’ll be done very soon. It’s been interesting working with colours not normally in my comfort zone, but I’m really pleased with the result. Avis is conscientiously avoiding the gallery to maintain the lovely surprises arriving in her mailbox. She’s waiting until she has all the blocks before completing her own, in order to make something that will unify all the different styles and colour variations. I’ll add her blocks to the gallery when she has completed them. Head over to the F²F gallery page to browse through all the blocks from June – November; the variety is amazing and I’m amazed at how everyone keeps coming up with something different each month.

December is Christina’s turn. She too loves the Degas ballet painting a few of you referenced for your colour choices. I’m showing it below to refresh your memory. Her specified colours are shades of grey, turquoise, coral and pink. She also loves prints, the more the merrier.  Christina doesn’t have a blog, so I can’t direct you there to look at her work, but you should have her email address from the original welcome document to contact her with any queries. If not, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.40.28 am

I know that Christmas is a time-heavy commitment for many of you, so I’d urge you to complete your blocks as early in the month as possible. We’ll be fighting extended mailing times too, so it makes sense to get ahead of the game if you can. If it does look as if you’re going to run out of time, can you let both Christina and me know, so we’re not left wondering whether something is lost in transit?

Have fun with December, ladies, and I’ll be in touch later in the month!

Foot2Freestyle October round up

The end of October already; where has the time gone?

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWe’re almost done in time this month, just a couple of people have found life catching up and getting in the way, but I anticipate they’ll be done in a couple of days. I’ve really enjoyed working with Lynn’s colour choices, and from comments from some of the others, I think they have too! Lynn has been very conscientious about not peeking at all the loveliness going up in the gallery, so I hope the postal system relieves her curiosity quickly, despite the hiccup of a couple of transposed numbers in her post code…

Head over to the F²F gallery page to browse through all the blocks from June – October; the variety is amazing and I’m amazed at how everyone keeps coming up with something different each month.

Next month is Avis‘ turn, and she has opted for a vivid and colourful palette of bright blues and purples. If it’s any help to participants looking for block inspiration, Avis likes symmetry and has a preference for solids and marble prints rather than busy prints. Click on the link to visit her website for a look at her work.

A quick reminder to the F²F participants: please don’t post about the blocks you’ve made for Avis until she confirms they’ve been received. We’re mostly following each other’s blogs, so the photos will appear in the Reader or our email inboxes, and the surprise of what she’s getting will be spoiled for her. I will post the photos in the gallery, and Avis can avoid looking there if she wants to be surprised. Once she has them, it’s safe to post!

One final thing: Pat, our Miss May, is about to participate in clinical trials for a new treatment; she’s not at all well, and needs all the positive thoughts and encouragement you can send her way. For the next couple of months, Sue and I will be making Pat’s blocks for her, to give her one less thing to worry about. I will be making the ones for Avis, and Sue will be making the ones for Christina in December. After that, we’ll see how Pat’s getting on and we’ll work out the next steps from there. Either way, I want to make sure that Pat ends up with a beautiful, colourful quilt to remind her of a year of quilting friendship.

Foot²Freestyle: September Roundup

Yes, it’s that time again – already!

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWe’re all on time this month, the last blocks were posted today. It’s been a fun month; Sue’s colour choices made for striking results, and I certainly hope she puts them together quickly so we can see the amazing colour and layout combinations everyone has come up with in real life.

In the meantime, you can go to the F²F gallery page to browse through all the blocks from June – September.

Next month is Lynn’s turn, and she has opted for an interesting and understated colour palette:

Background: dark grey. Colours: pale grey, white and turquoise/teal blue with little bits of coral

Lynn has been extremely organised and I have her blocks for October up in the gallery already, so that everyone else can see what she has in mind. I really hope she has some of that lovely grey left for when it’s my turn…

A quick reminder to the F²F participants: please don’t post about the blocks you’ve made for Lynn until she confirms they’ve been received. We’re mostly following each other’s blogs, so the photos will appear in the Reader or our email inboxes, and the surprise of what she’s getting will be spoiled for her. I will post the photos in the gallery, and Lynn can avoid looking there if she wants to be surprised. Once she has them, it’s safe to post!