Colours of Happiness 7

The piecing is finished. 

Here it is, all pinned up on my design wall, showing how the panels will be arranged. I just wanted to get a photo of it all in one piece before I take the whole lot down and start cutting backing and batting panels for everything.

It’s the usual rubbish indoor photo, not only because the lighting’s not ideal, but also because I suspect only in daylight will the camera come close to capturing these colours properly. They always look either washed out and lacking detail, or luridly radioactive, some stronger than others. In real life, the visual effect is rich and complex, and nothing shouts too much louder than everything else. So roll on the day when I can hang this beauty on the washing line, in the sun, and finally get a photo I like!

I won’t be able to show much progress on this for a while. I have quite a work list on the go right now, and I need to start concentrating on the final Ovarian Cancer Australia quilt for the time being. But I’ll be hand quilting this one in the background, and will show stuff from time to time. I’ll probably get the long panels and corners done first, as I’m still thinking about what happens in the centre.

Till then.

Time for Teal 18: playing catch-up

Now that my mojo is back, I’m going for it!

Left dresden borderAlso now finished are the four Dresden Plate border blocks on the left of the centre panel, which are joined to each other but not yet to the centre panel.

Remember I said I wanted a narrow coloured border around the table top?  I’ve chosen the pale teal with cream spot I’ve used in a few blocks, as it’s relatively ‘quiet’, and because I already have enough of it. Next time I post you’ll be able to see how that looks. Meanwhile I have to go back and get a few more metres of the pale beige small print I’ve been using for the back and the narrow sashing. There was enough to do only what you see, and as it is, I had to piece the backing for one of the blocks.

Spray basting these blocks before quilting has been a bit of a life saver. All I can say is, they’ve improved the product since the last time I tried it, and I’m also using very, very little. But it does take far less time than pin or thread basting, and means I can make rapid progress.

I also wanted to show you what the quilting looks like. For the most part it’s fairly invisible on the front, and that’s how I wanted it. The design of the blocks is too pretty to be upstaged by the quilting, even supposing I was capable of quilting that would do that! But on the plain back, you can see what’s going on. It’s like a low relief of the images on the front, and I’m loving it! Sort of a wholecloth quilt effect. I’ve boosted the shadows in the image so you can see it more clearly; the actual back is more creamy-beige than grey!

Quilting, centre and left dresden borderFor anyone who has offered to make a random teal block or two for the outermost border, I’ll be ready to start that in about a week to 10 days. I have about half the quantity I need already. If everyone is busy, though, I’ll still have time to piece the remainder myself and get them integrated into the quilt, so it’s all good.

If you do want to go for it, though, it’s a teal and cream or light beige colour-way on a 12½ inch trimmed out block, but I’d ask you please to allow extra all round to allow for the quilting ‘shrinking’ the block slightly by anything up to a quarter inch. Any design is fine except for more dresdens or tea-related blocks; the border needs to be fairly neutral to let the central part tell the story.

I’m waiting for a firm deadline for the quilt from Ovarian Cancer Australia. Once I have that, it’ll be all systems go!

Time for Teal part 12

More eye candy!

T4T collage 6In this collage, the pale large pale background Dresden Plate is from Carla at Granny Maud’s Girl.  The heart comes from Sue of From the Magpie’s Nest, and the other two Dresden blocks are from Annett.

AnnettsquishyThe second collage shows the lovely gifts she sent with them – that was a really fabulous squishy parcel! Don’t you love the collapsible thread catcher, perfect for travelling?

I now need only two more Dresden Plate blocks, and I know that Nanette is sending me at least one, so I shall wait and see what comes before I make any more.

I’ve bought the backing and sashing fabric to assemble the central ‘tea table’ area. I’m looking at this quilt now and thinking that September, which seemed so far off a month or two ago, is creeping closer. I’ve been out of action in a fairly significant way for nearly a month. I must start to get back into the routine of doing some regular sewing each day, or the deadline will come and go with no quilt to present to Ovarian Cancer Australia for the charity auction. I know I have the best of excuses: it was serious surgery and I’m not able to work for more than an hour at a time, but at the same time, I need to get moving. I won’t overdo it, but I also won’t be lazy or put it off till later.

Next, it’ll be time to start the rest of the outer border blocks :-). I already have some, so once the centre’s sorted, I can lay them out and see what’s still needed.

Time for Teal part 11

Opening squishies is such brilliant fun.

When I got home two days ago, there were two envelopes waiting. One from Viv, who has been a presence on this blog for a good while, and who always has something lovely to say about whatever I make. The other one was from Robin, who is new, but who also came to me via Viv. Robin lives in the ACT here in Australia, but is also Viv’s cousin, and because Ovarian Cancer is a cause close to her heart, and because she’s also a quilter, she asked if she could contribute, now and on future quilts. Well, of course the answer was a resounding yes. And I’m very happy to have a new friend to Chiconia as well 🙂

Here are the blocks. First Viv:

Viv dresden 1 Viv dresden 2

And then Robin, who sent me not one but three beautiful Dresden Plate blocks.

Robin dresden 1 Robin dresden 2 Robin dresden 3

Not too many more needed for the border around the ‘tea table’ – I now only have to make 5, and that’ll be done very quickly. I already have quite a few of the blocks I’ll need for the outermost border. We’re doing rather well 😉

It will soon be time for me to go and buy backing and sashing fabric, and start the whole QAYG process.

Time for Teal part 7

It was a bonanza day for Time for Teal yesterday.

T4T collage 5I received a beautiful churn dash border panel with a heart in it from Sue, and from Esther, two teapots and a stand of cupcakes! Have a look at these bits of loveliness!  I have such a great range of tea-table blocks now that I need to make the centre panel a row taller. Of course, this means I’ll need to make some extra border and dresden plate blocks, but it’ll be so worth it.

Along with both packages came blocks for my Foot2Freestyle quilt, as it’s my month. Head over to the gallery to have a look at what’s there already; some of them are quite dazzling.

And there were goodies too!  Sue’s envelope made me laugh before I even opened it, and I imagine you can see why!

Back of Sue's envelope

Inside, as well as the blocks, she’d included a huswife/needle book I’ve coveted since she first showed it on her blog, as it’s in one of my favourite colours and is beautifully decorated. I’m showing my favourite side, but the other one is just as beautiful, as you’ll see if you click on the link. It’s going to be perfect to replace my rather too small and not very secure needlebook, and it also has a pocket where I can keep safe my embroidery needle threader, something else I lose constantly and which I can’t manage without.


Esther’s goodie bag included a piece of fabric printed with a craquelure pattern which she’s sent me to use in my Cosmatesque wall quilt, as it’s perfect for some of the ’tile’ areas. Also in the bag were a little baggie of charms, which she uses on zipper tags when she’s making pouches, but I think a couple of them are perfect for decorating ribbon loops on my smallest scissors, and a strip of fabric printed with panels to use as quilt labels, all three of them quite beautiful!

Craquelure fabric Esther's goodie bag





I had a busy morning opening packages, oohing and aahing, pressing and photographing blocks, arranging and rearranging the central T4T panel, and starting to think about how I’m going to arrange my F2F blocks. It was a great distraction from the anticipation of the afternoon’s impending repeat of my spinal injection, which went off once again without a hitch except a numb foot and a bit of pain during the procedure. For the next couple of days, I’m working on a separate project, but very shortly I’ll be back to T4T, so stay tuned.

And don’t forget, if you stitch along with us, it’s ScrapHappy Day tomorrow, Sunday 15th.

Time for Teal part 6

The postie brought me two bonus packages today!

The first was only interesting for me: a bright green leather case for my new phone.

The second was much more exciting: a squishy from Lorij, with three lovely border blocks for Time for Teal.

LorijT4T 1 LorijT4T 2 LorijT4T 3We’re making good progress. I’m waiting for a teapot block from Esther, and I have her Small Plate and Forks block planned to make in the next week or so. That leaves only 1 more to make and the centre square is done.

I have 5 dresden plates – I need 16, so after I finish the centre square I’ll have to start a production run of those.

And so far, I have 10 outer border blocks. I need to make the Teal Ribbon block, but after that I’ll be having some fun with random designs: a postage stamp block, a Hunter’s Star, some rail fences, that sort of thing.

We’re in good shape here!


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 1

And away we go.

I’ll be starting sewing for the ovarian cancer fundraising quilt next month. For those of you joining me, a few parameters… The quilt will be a grid of 6×6 12 inch (finished size) blocks, just like the quilt the F²F group made for Pat. The colour scheme will follow the theme colour of ovarian cancer, and is teal on a background of cream, beige or light tan. The teals can be varied from light to dark, patterned, textured or plain. I thought it would be fun for all the quilts we make for Ovarian Cancer Australia to name each quilt with a play on the word Teal.

Time for Teal is #1 in the series of however many I am able to manage into the future. And given the name, I’ve decided to have fun with a teatime theme! In addition to the Teal Ribbon block which will be a constant feature of every quilt, I’m considering blocks showing teapots, teacups, mugs, tea cosies, cupcakes, and of course, Dresden plates! These will sit on fairly plain backgrounds in the central section of the quilt, as if on a tablecloth. I think I may edge this section with a teal band to separate it from the blocks around the outside, which will be the patterned ‘tablecloth border’.

Susan Druding teapotPiece by Number cupsThe images shown are teacup and teapot blocks I have previously made and will repeat for this project. Below them is an earlier quilt I made for the CanDo Cancer Trust in New South Wales a couple of years ago, featuring a border of Dresden plates. Again, I’ll repeat the Dresden plate blocks for this project. I offer these images as potential ideas, something to kick off your own inspiration.

Morning Tea quilt

Morning Tea at the Quilting Bee

So far, I have 7 lovely volunteers who have each said they will produce a block or two, and all are welcome to join in. All who join in will be acknowledged on the quilt label. I was quite prepared to make the entire thing myself, but many of you have said you’d like to help, and this is a low commitment, high satisfaction way!

If you’d like to contribute a teacup, teapot, Dresden plate or cupcake block, please remember to keep the background as pale and plain as possible. If you’d like to contribute a border block, go crazy! Make the pattern or design as plain or as interesting as you like. Use as many fabrics as you like. Have fun!

Once I’ve started sewing, I shall post a few blocks to keep you informed of how I’m getting on, and of course I’ll be showing the blocks sent in by everyone else.

Let’s make a thing of beauty and defeat a silent killer.