Over the hills and far away

It’s not often I get to hear where our Ovarian Cancer quilts go.

Mostly, we send them out into the blue, with love and the hope that they are doing some good and spreading some happiness.  Today, the blue spoke back!

Remember this lovely, one of our best ovarian cancer quilts, back in December 2018? It was a joy to work on and an outstanding result. Go Teal it on the Mountain has found its new forever home. Click on this link and scroll down to near the bottom of the comments, from Debra. Somewhere in Perth, WA, GTOM is bringing happiness to its new family.

This is why we do it, people. The next Nude Lunch fundraiser will be in early September next year, and as we have for the past several years, we’ll create another quilt. I haven’t yet decided which silly name to go with yet, but I will soon. We’ll kick off mid-April or early May, depending on whether I feel the design needs a bit of extra time.

So, a big thank you to Debra for letting me know, and another thank you to all the wonderful contributors.

Love your work 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #21: the final ascent

It’s done.

I’ve spent a couple of days cutting strips and assembling all the blocks. Then I cut binding, stitched that on and then spent some pleasant hours hemming it down by hand. It’s not a great photo because the rain and grey skies have been relentless due to the cyclone front. A bit of sunshine would have been lovely, but no such luck. Instead of the washing line, I’ve enlisted the assistance of the Husband. I’m not quite tall enough to hold it up and pin it to the line; I couldn’t take the chance of accidentally trailing the bottom of the quilt in the mud. The standing water has only just disappeared. As you can see, we have no sun either, but at least it’s not raining. I’m pleased with how the quilting looks; just subtle texture, but it complements the idea of mountains. Not my best photography, but I might need to wait for days for a bit of sunshine and not have my quilt-holding assistant handy, so it had to be done.

Here’s the label on the back.

Just for a change I’ve printed it onto a pale patterned fabric, and I really like the effect. It doesn’t blend into the cream backing of the quilt like the cream label I usually make, which is good, because the label has something important to say. Click to enlarge if you want to read it.

I think this is one of the best the Ovarian Cancer group has ever produced. What seemed like a simple, open-ended, free-choice idea has produced truly inspired results and a remarkable quilt. I thank you all for the privilege of working with you and enjoying your beautiful contributions at first hand.

And now, onto the next thing…

Go Teal it on the Mountain #20: quilting done

It was pouring with rain today.

That meant I had a clear run at getting the quilting finished, and it’s done. I really like this chevron effect, which is so right with the pointy mountain peaks, plus it feels lovely and ripply under my hand without being at all stiff.

It’s not totally in focus, but to get the whole thing in shot I was balancing on one leg while leaning across my sewing table…

I’ve also had a couple of goes at arriving at a final layout. I like how this is looking, but I’m almost too close to it now, so if anyone feels there’s something out of place or which jumps out at their eye, please let me know. As always, I’m grateful for your comments but may not act on them if I don’t quite agree…

I have to put this aside for a few days now, as I have F²F³ blocks to work on and get out well before Christmas. I’ll probably trim the blocks out first, though. Next time you see it, I hope to have made a start on joining them up.

It’s gloomy, wet and windy out there, so the Husband has set out to forage for pizza!

Go Teal it on the Mountain #19: peaceful and dreaming…

I’m making progress, even if it’s a bit invisible.

The top 15 blocks are all quilted. One more still to make…

Behind the scenes, while I show you the blocks that come in or the blocks I make for this quilt, I’m busily quilting. One of the joys and benefits of the QAYG (quilt as you go) method is that I don’t have to wait till I have all the blocks, then sew them together, assemble the quilt sandwich, laboriously quilt the huge thing and finally bind it all. This way, I can quilt each block individually and in no particular order, and wait till the last moment to quilt the last block and decide on the layout. I’m half done already! The blocks are not arranged in their final layout, but I do like all the moon/mountain blocks running down the centre, so that may stay.

Today I received the last two blocks on their way to me. This one is by Jenny of The Lilac Cat, and is a beautiful, peaceful scene of mountains rolling into the distance. I love the fabrics she’s used: the big circles in the sky, like clouds, and the scattering of tiny flowers on the ‘grass’ in the foreground. Just lovely!

And this one is Nanette’s third contribution, which she says “calls itself River Dreaming”. In the note that came with it, she says “I wanted to portray the mountain and river being connected and interdependent…. I wanted the look of a silhouette; at certain times of day, the mountain looks like a cardboard cutout against the sky…”. Beautiful work once again, Nanette. If you click on the link, it’ll take you to her blog post about making all three of her mountain blocks, and some of the photos will blow you away!

I must still make the teal ribbon block for the centre of the bottom row. It’s one I make every time, for every quilt, and I have my template and the process down pat. I was going to try something different this time, but I think I’ll leave that for another time, when I have time for more experimental construction. There’s still a fair bit to do; just the cutting of the joining strips can take hours, and the assembly is no picnic, but once all the blocks are in and quilted, the layout will click into place and I can just plug along methodically.

Soon, I’ll be in a position to tell you about the next project. It’s not one of our scheduled Ovarian Cancer jobs, but I need to get it ready in a big hurry for an event where they’re going to auction it. Originally I was going to do this one myself, but I’m going to need your help. There’s basic piecing, there’s fairly tricky paper piecing, there could be some appliqué, and there’s a central section I’ll be working on myself. Oh, and if anyone has a sewing machine that can do embroidered letters, and you’re willing to help, can you let me know? I need a small fabric banner with some lettering on it for the quilt design and if I can’t source some help for the embroidery, I’ll have to do it by hand, which will take time I don’t have 😦

Time to sandwich some more of your blocks. I enjoy this bit, even if it does give me sticky fingers!

Go Teal it on the Mountain #18: the saw-tooth mountain

This is Montserrat, in Catalunya, north of Spain.

Between 1985 and 2004, I flew over this mountain every time I went to visit my father. My mother died in 1984 and after her death my father went to live in Catalunya, northern Spain, an area now striving for independence from Spain. The rest of the world knows it as Catalonia, but the locals call it Catalunya, and as a near-local, so do I. My father returned to the UK this year aged 95, no longer able to be independent, but for 23 years, that mountain was the gateway to my father’s home, and seeing it from the plane was the signal that I was nearly there.

It’s an unusual formation, and without making a much larger block it’s hard to do the mountain justice, but if you’re interested, take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Montserrat means ‘saw-tooth mountain’ in Català (Catalan), and the name suits it. I’m a little sad that I’ll never see it again in real life; Pa no longer lives there and I’m no longer able to make the long flight back to Europe because of my back. This is the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to it.

Adéu, muntanya  🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #16: flight

Today’s squishy was wonderful!

Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl has designed a really superb block for this quilt. Knowing I love Flying Geese blocks, she’s given me geese in flight over a pair of beautifully pointy mountains. Geese over Mountains… It sounds like the name of a Tai Chi or Yoga form, doesn’t it? Some of those pieces are really teeny, but the back of the block is very nearly as beautiful as the front 🙂

I’m glad this block is quite pale in colour; we have some magnificent dark blocks but a little contrast is required for balance, so thank you to all who have sent pale blocks; you’ve helped to make this quilt a thing of beauty.

Six more to go, and we’re there. There are more on the way, and I’ll bring them to you as they arrive.

Go Teal it on the Mountain #15: fiction and fact

Two more blocks in today 🙂

These are from Robin in Curtin, ACT. She’s sent two; one is completely from her imagination, a range of wonderfully spiky mountains.

The other is another brilliant mountain ‘portrait’.

Robin grew up in New South Wales, looking at this mountain every day. In winter, there would the chilly breath of snow coming from the peak, and as she got older, it became the landmark by which she knew she was nearly there when driving home to Orange.

Mt Canobolas is 1,395m/4,600ft. above sea level and is an extinct volcano, on a spur of the Great Dividing Range. The name is derived from the local Aboriginal language, meaning ‘two shoulders’, and you can see why.

So there you go, geography made fun in fabric 🙂


Go Teal it on the Mountain #14: two sacred mountains

The portraits of mountains continue…

Nanette has sent me two wonders. The first is Mt Kailash, in Tibet, an imposing peak at 22,000 ft or 6,500m. It’s a site of veneration for several religions, a pilgrimage destination and its Tibetan name, Kangrinboqe, translated means ‘precious jewel of the snows’. How beautiful is that? It has great significance for Nanette, who went there on pilgrimage herself in 2014. She has used a beautiful pale, icy teal palette to execute the design which I think enhances the remote dignity of the mountain. Also shown is Nanette’s own photo of the mountain, which she took during her visit.

© 2014 Nanette Gilbert

The second is Mt Warning in New South Wales, a peak she can see from her home. It’s 4,000ft or 1,200m high, and is a site sacred to the local Aboriginal people, as well as being Heritage Listed. I love how she’s used Australian-themed fabric prints for this one! It’s a well known and beloved landmark in the area, and is formed from the volcanic plug of the now long-gone Tweed Volcano.

We’re nearly there, people.  I now have 21 blocks in hand. There are seven more blocks on their way, which means I need to make three more, and we’re done!  One of those will be the teal ribbon block I include in every quilt. I might make something scrappy – Nanette has also sent me some really pretty pieces of fabric and I shall dive into my own teal scrap stash; I think a scrappy ribbon would look gorgeous!

I just need to clear the decks a little, cut some backing and batting, and I can make a start on the quilting 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #13

Another squishy delight in the mail this morning!

These two beauties are from Kathy, who has embellished them with embroidery. Now I have another Delectable Mountain to add to the mix, hurray! Plus, look at the moon and stars in that top block. Soooo beautiful 🙂 (You might have to click on the image to see the gold embroidered stars at top left.)

I have enough now to give you some idea of what has come in.  More to come in the next couple of weeks, and if anyone else would like to contribute, there’s still a little time and space. Let me know in the comments or send me an email.

Because of the theme, and because I need to start quilting the individual blocks before I have them all and can arrange them, I’m changing my usual quilting design. On previous quilts, I’ve done freehand parallel wavy lines, arranged in a basketweave pattern. This time, I shall quilt freehand mountain peaks. I’ll start with a line bottom left to top centre and down to bottom right, and then infill inside and outside that line, with lines approximately an inch or so apart. No rulers or marking; I shall eyeball it and let the lines flow organically. Bit like Nature, really…

I have three F2F blocks to make, and then it’ll be time to get cracking. The backing and batting are on hand, I just need to clear the decks a bit and start my production line.

Let the Mountain-climbing commence!

Go Teal it on the Mountain #12

Look at what today’s squishy brought me in the mail.

Two lovely blocks from Gun, who can always be relied on for great imagination and wonderful fabrics 🙂

One of them combines teal with scrappiness, a brilliant combination – isn’t it a great block?  I love the fabrics in the other one too, especially the clouds and the basket-weave design.

Very soon, I’ll be able to show all the blocks I’ve received so far on the design wall, but just now it’s full of pink and orange.

Give me a week or so!