Time for Teal 13, and other stuff

Nanette has come up trumps!

T4T collage 7Not only do I now have two more Dresden Plate blocks to fit the two gaps at the top of the dresden plate border on T4T, she’s also made me two lovely outer border blocks. The photos don’t do justice to how very pretty the background fabrics are – one of them is a tiny beige gingham with tiny scattered raised stars. So sweet!

Also in the squishy were her three F²F blocks, which are gorgeous, and she very kindly sent me a piece of the fabric she used in the right hand block, which is going to be a real asset to my selection. Only one set left to come from Emmely, who has been on honeymoon, and then they’re all in.

Nanette F2FAt the moment, the time I can spend sitting at the sewing machine (which isn’t long before it starts to hurt) is spent making Lynn’s F²F² June blocks. After Lynn’s blocks, it’ll be the ‘ribbon’ block for T4T, which will complete the dresden border, and then I’m going to finish the Hatbox Quilt block which got lost and forgotten in all the mad dash for surgery at the end of last month. And in there somewhere is the SAL embroidery, which is actually progressing pretty well because I can get comfortable while I do it. It’s frustrating to have the time and the will to sew, but to be unable to sit for long enough. However, I am healing very well, it’s only been three weeks since major surgery, and it’ll be another 3 before I can expect to be functionally pain free and approaching my full final range of motion.

There you have it. Pretty things, my meagre progress, and what to expect next.

Time for Teal part 8

It’s been a sore few days in the back department.

Not a lot of sitting at the sewing machine or hunching over my light box. On the other hand, I have signed up with our local aquatic centre and am doing a half-hour to an hour of water-based back strengthening exercises every working day. I have the entire pool to myself, it’s heated and it’s a bit of luxury; about the only place my back doesn’t hurt. Anyway, back to Time for Teal.

Teal Small Plate PP design

This beautiful block designed by Esther of ipatchandquilt, and available in her Craftsy store, has taken me three times as long as it should because of not being able to sew for long periods at a time, but I’m so happy it’s finally finished and I can show it off!  I know my forks are a bit, um, rustic in appearance, but I feel they’re OK enough. Finished is better than perfect. I have two more blocks to do, and then the panel of 3 x 4 blocks for the centre of the quilt can be completed. One will be a pair of cups and saucers, and the other I’m yet to decide about, but may appliqué a pile of saucers to balance an appliqué block showing stacked teacups.

To all those who have offered to make a dresden plate block for the outer border of the tea table, thank you! There’s no big rush, end of June or mid July would be fine. I need a total of 18, and we’re still a long way off. Guess what I’ll be making a lot of in the not too distant future… I enjoy it a lot, so it’ll be a chance to build my skill and speed.

I also have some lovely paper pieced blocks I want to make for the outer border, to add to the beauties I’ve already received. Of course, there’ll have to be a postage stamp block, and I want a Hunter’s Star, an Icicle Star, a couple of hearts, and need to make another of my teal ribbon blocks for the bottom centre of the border.

I don’t think boredom is going to strike any time soon.

Time for Teal part 4

More squishy fun through the post, this time from the lovely Lynn. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

T4T collage 4

The top two are hers. Lynn, I hope you don’t mind, but I might add a narrow inner border on the cup and saucer block, which ‘float’ a little bit in the background. Something in teal, to pick up the colour of the stitching. And I love the fabrics in the Dresden Plate, which is especially welcome as I need loads of them!

I also got a couple of blocks done myself. ‘A couple’ might not seem that impressive, but these two were fiendish, and while I’m pleased with the result, I will probably never, ever be making them again! They are by Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam. It’s a lovely blog, and she has a fairly large library of free paper piecing patterns, but if I’d been in my right mind, I’d have printed them out at 200%. Making a 6 inch block that has about 45 pieces in it was not a good choice when I was so uncomfortable and in pain and not able to sit easily at my sewing machine! Actually, I’ll revise that. I’d like to try them again when I have a bit more time, my back isn’t screaming at me, and I’ll definitely print them out larger… Some of the pieces were tiny triangles only 1cm (about a third of an inch) on a side.

Next up on the sewing list is the gorgeous gateau on a cake stand and small cake plate and forks blocks from Esther. These two patterns are available *free* in her Craftsy store, along with many other beauties, some of which are free and others which are very much worth their very modest price. After that, I’ll make up another one of my own design for the teal ribbon block, which will feature on every Ovarian Cancer Quilt I make, and probably some hearts and stars for the border, and maybe a postage stamp or rail fence block or two.

I have a couple more teapot blocks and cup and saucer blocks in reserve to fill out the centre section, if necessary, but I probably need most of all to concentrate on Dresden plates; I only have about a third of the quantity I need.

I know there are at least two more squishies on the way with more blocks, so I’m not going to go mad till I see what I have.

Time for Teal part 3

More squishies arrived in the post!

Two lovely geometric blocks came from Claire in France, and I know blocks of all sorts are on the way from other generous donors. This quilt is going to be totally stunning!

T4T collage 3And I’ve been busy myself: two Dresden Plates, one large and one small (my own simple designs), and a really beautiful pattern designed by Cath at Wombat Quilts called ‘Adventure Star’ – it’s free to download so if you fancy giving it a try, head over there. It’s just a little tricky, mainly because of the small pieces meeting in the centre, but it’s not at all hard – good preparation is the key.

Next on the menu for me is a whole bunch of cups, saucers, teapots and an amazing gateau on a cake stand designed by Esther. She’s been a complete superstar and has totally got on board with this project, and if you go over and click on her Craftsy shop, you’ll soon be able to find a whole bunch of tea-time related paper piecing patterns: cups, teapots, coffee pots, cupcakes, mugs, teaspoons, cake slices, and the gateau I’ll be making. Not all her patterns are free, but some are, and I believe she’s planning to offer free patterns if the user will donate a block for this or a future Ovarian Cancer auction quilt. She’s a wonderful ally in this very important cause, and I’m eternally grateful to her.

There are other patterns I’ll be using too, and I’ll give the designer’s name and link when I show them. I think it’s important to do this, because if the designer is generous enough to make free patterns available to people, their kindness should be acknowledged.

If you’d like to get involved and contribute a block, there’s still time. I will very shortly have enough cup, saucer, cake and teapot blocks, but will still need about 10 more Dresden Plates, both large and small (large being 10 or 11 inches across on the 12.5 inch background and small being 6-9 inches across on the 12.5 inch background), and I still need at least 15 more border blocks of generic design – anything so long as it is 12.5 inches square unfinished, and predominantly teal on a cream, white or light tan/beige background. I’m fully prepared and have the time to do them all myself, but if you’d like to help, your contribution will be most welcome and will be acknowledged on the quilt label on the back. And if your block doesn’t make it into this year’s quilt, don’t worry, I’ll be making one each year for Ovarian Cancer Australia until I physically can’t do it any more.

Right, I think it’s time for cake… by which, of course, I mean the gateau block, not the edible stuff, sadly!