F²F³: In the home stretch

It’s February, so it must be my turn to receive F²F³ blocks 🙂

We’ve had a great session this time round, and every year we do this block swap I see blocks new to me, skills improved and people falling in love with colours they’d never normally use, in the pursuit of creating three blocks each for all the participants. February concludes this third iteration of the block swap, and yes, I’ll probably be doing it again. It’s too much fun to stop! The start and end date depend on how many participants sign up; the minimum is probably 9 (including me) because that produces a useful final total of blocks, but we can do it with more. If you’re new to F²F (Footsquare Freestyle), hop over to the blogsite I set up for it and take a look at how it works as well as the galleries for this and previous sessions. And if you’d like to join in next time, either drop me an email using the details on the Contact Me page on this blog or leave a comment.

I’ve already received the first three blocks; these beauties were sent to me by Lynn of Tialys. The colour isn’t very accurate, I’m afraid; what looks red is actually a beautiful plum/burgundy, and the background of the bottom block is more lilac than pink. I’m not getting very good natural light just now with all the rain and dark clouds north Queensland is experiencing, and this colour change is an artefact of artificial light.

Below, you’ll also see my first block for myself, just to give F²F participants an idea if you’re looking for inspiration or have yet to go shopping for fabrics 🙂 It’s called Box Kite, and was designed by Angela Pingel, from her book Modern Blocks by C&T Publishing, and I really like it.

I’ll also be making myself a Circle of Geese block like Lynn’s but in a very different colour scheme. Lynn obviously knows me very well to choose that one to make for me, as it’s another one of my favourites!

I’ve decided to make blocks in both light and dark shades of the colours I’ve selected (but not real brights), because I know it can be hard to decide what someone means by a colour description when you’re trying to choose fabrics. That way, there can be a scattering of both, and no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’.

Right, on with the foundation paper piecing and never mind the rain hammering at the windows!

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Triple Trouble 6: heading south

... the geese are on their way south for the winter. Or that’s the impression I’m trying for.

Since the block is called Circle of Geese, I pondered goose-related imagery to bring movement to the quilt top. And one of the best known things that geese do is fly in a triangular skein/wedge when heading for warmer weather in the autumn.  So here it is (sorry about the poor lighting: the only space large enough to lay it out is on my bed, since the design wall is occupied by the Tree of Life quilt, and the bedroom lighting is not of the photo studio variety!):

Some geese are circling. Some are on their way already...

Some geese are circling. Some are on their way already…

Close up of the feature square. I still have to applique the triangles to the background.

Close up of the feature square.
I still have to applique the triangles to the background.

Again, the quilting is going to echo this shape, done in white so it doesn’t leap out at you.  More walking foot action.  I’m beginning to wonder what I’m going to do with the backs of these three baby quilts. And what I’m going to bind them with.  It’s not a big issue, but I’m making good progress, so it will become an issue fairly soon! I’m pretty sure the binding will match the theme colour, but as for the backing, I’ll wait till I get there.

The orange/yellow block quilt top is finished, applique done.  I shall keep the production line going till all the tops are done, and then sandwich/pin/quilt/bind them all at the same time.  The good thing about baby quilts is that you can use standard width fabrics for the backing without having to sew them together to make them wide enough. It means that I can, if necessary, just go out and buy a metre of this, a metre of that, and the job’s done.

The Dowager has admired my bags, and wants me to make one for her, using a tapestry panel she’s almost finished. It’s got a design of gerberas with pale yellow and royal blue in the background, so it’s quite vivid, and it’s not so formal that it would be incongruous on a fabric bag.  I shall have to have a poke around in The Cupboard of all Colours, aka Stash Central.

By the end of today, I hope to have the applique for the Circle of Geese quilt done, and possible also a storage basket or two. Perish the thought that I might actually do that AND sort some stash into them… Let’s wait and see.  The Husband was off to work especially early this morning, so I’m an hour or two ahead of myself.

So, two down, one to go, and then it’s back to the Tree.  Yes, well done, you have observed that I am procrastinating

Triple Trouble 3

This one was a lot easier.

Circle of Geese

Circle of Geese.
The colours are a bit brighter in real life; the flash washes out the image.
And the green geese at left and right aren’t as blue as they look here.

I know a bit more what I’m doing, so I don’t have the blank moment of wondering what to do next at each step. This block went a lot faster, despite having to cut more fabric – the process theoretically uses up scraps but in fact I had to use fairly generously sized pieces because I was working sort of back to front, upside down, and I couldn’t mentally flip the shapes! Confusion reigns, but the work gets done. I like this green one. At 12″ square, it’s a bit bigger than the other two, which are 10″ square.

I’m beginning to have a few ideas about taking the colour story further into the quilt, but without making a long winded production of it. Let’s see if I can explain clearly enough. Each of these blocks is in ‘motion’. They’re rotating, swirling, turning, whatever. I think it might look interesting if I scatter small blocks of matching colour across the face of the quilt as though they’d been flung or shaken off the whirling motif. Different sizes, scraps of the same colour used for the main motif, randomly scattered.

I’d be interested to know what you think of the idea.  To scatter, or to keep it plain and simple?  Tell me what you think!

I’m fairly weary this evening: we assembled most of a steel panel garden shed today, just a small one, but with the typical inscrutable instructions that you get with anything you have to put together yourself. I’m pretty good at Ikea furniture, but sheds are a bit out of my comfort zone. Still, it’s up, and done except for assembling and installing the door. Tonight I shall relax in front of the telly, watching Carols by Candlelight from The Domain in Sydney, with a big bowl of home made curried pumpkin soup in front of me! The Husband is out on the road heading home, having delivered his 51,000 litres of diesel. He won’t be home till 10pm or so, so I can do some more sewing on the Car Quilt.  Quite a large piece done now – I shall have to show you progress soon.

Outside fabric

Outside fabric

Inside fabric, plus two pockets for the things that always migrate to the bottom

Inside fabric, plus two pockets for the things that always migrate to the bottom

And I’ve made myself a soft fabric bag, reversible, with stripes on the outside and toning floral inside. It’s from a pattern by Novita Estiti at Very Purple Person, and it’s fairly easy apart from the bit where you have to turn the whole thing inside out through the handle! Still, it worked… eventually! She has some nice bag designs, and this one was simple enough for my tired brain and sore joints.

So, that’s been my day. What’s new in your world?

Triple Trouble

My nephew’s wife is expecting triplets in April, siblings for the beautiful Anna.

Anna's Garden. A quilt/playmat for my great-niece.

Anna’s Garden.
A quilt/playmat for my great-niece.

At this point, we don’t know if they’re all boys, all girls, or a mixture, and how many of each! Nor will we, for some time – assuming their parents want to find out in advance. I made a quilt for Anna, and I’ve promised baby quilts for the trio. It shall be done. Don’t you love how many words there are for three: Three, Trio, Triple, Treble, Triad, Trinity, Threesome? I suspect that in the fulness of time, they may become known as the Unholy Trinity, but for now, we reserve judgement. My nephew is referring to them as the Triathletes, so I’m assuming they’re active in their rather confined quarters – plenty of room for one, but tight for three. Poor Suzanne…

Anyway, to quilting matters. I am in the middle of a big project, a small project and several others queuing up. So I didn’t want to do anything too complicated or time consuming. Also, their mother is a modern young woman who would not appreciate dull colours, fussy design or ‘look how clever I am’ piecing. These babies are going to receive clean, simple, pale quilts with single brightly coloured elements and not too much quilting, which will make them stiff. So, I’ve decided they’ll be white or very, very pale grey for the most part. Each will have a single pieced block, offset, and in bright colours. One will be orange/yellow, one will be lilac, and one will be green. And because I simply cannot stop challenging myself, these  3 blocks will be paper/foundation pieced, which I’ve never done before. I’ve selected three beautiful designs, from the selection the lovely Cath at Wombat Quilts has kindly made available free on her blog, which you can find here: http://wombatquilts.com/free-paper-piecing-patterns

One is called  A Circle of Geese, one is Rolling Star and one is Zeppelin. They’re hopefully going to be reasonably simple, but I chose them because I like the way they look rather than because I think they’ll be easy to make.  Here’s work in progress:

Three different motifs, three different colours

Three different motifs, three different colours

That’s it for now.