Go Teal it on the Mountain #8

Another lovely block has arrived.

This one is from Joanne in the US. I love the fabrics, and the contrast between the curve and the spiky mountains. It’s is block No. 11 out of the 30 we need.

I now have blocks from Lynn, Sue, Lynda, Jean, Esther and Joanne. Still to come are those from Carla, Cathy, Robin, Gun, Emma, Tracey, Kathy, Nanette, Jenny and Margaret; if any of you cannot manage a block just now, this is a good time to tell me so I can make a few more myself 🙂

Once a few more are in, I’ll be able to start thinking about a layout!

ST&D: the other two corners

There was another squishy this morning.

The lovely Robin has sent me the other two corner blocks, beautifully made and exquisitely neat, and now I have to decide whether the envelope flaps will point inwards or outwards.

Here are Robin’s blocks, intended for the two bottom corners:

And here’s the layout, from my last post.

I’d designed it so the flaps pointed inwards, on the 4 diagonals. But one of the comments on the last ST&D post was to the effect that it might look better if they pointed outwards.

What does the audience think? All comments gratefully received, but you know me, I’ll go with my own thoughts in the end.

Ladies, we’re doing brilliantly well. Just 4 blocks to go… (some of which are already on their way).

ST&D: two more squishies!

I had a nice surprise waiting in the mailbox yesterday.

We’d had our post held while we were away, so there was a big wodge of mail in the box, and among the rubbish and bills there were TWO squishy envelopes with familiar names on the back.

First there were these two lovely envelope blocks from first-time OCA contributor Tracy at It’s a T-Sweets Day:

Then two envelope blocks and a fabulous postcard block from the ever-generous serial contributor Lynn at Tialys.

 

 

 

 

 

And just look at the tiny note she included in the package – she’s really got into the postal theme, and I love it! She’s got a real talent for choosing fabrics, and I’m always excited to see what she’s chosen. That ombre background on the postcard block is a wonderful contrast to the vintage sepia look of the postcards.

 

I now have 15 out of the 30 blocks I need for this quilt, so a big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

ST&D postcard: not embroidery, then…

It’s as I suspected.

I did a test piece and I simply can’t get the needle and thread through the bits where there are three or four layers of fabric, especially when one of those fabrics is a densely-woven batik. Add to that the need to use a layer of waste canvas* and it’s out of the question. So…

I’ve changed things round a bit. The ‘Greetings from Tropical North Queensland’ bit runs diagonally across the back of the postcard and is hand-lettered in indelible ink, as is my name in the address section. I’ve used a font that looks like vintage ‘brush stroke’ lettering, to keep the kitschy-postcard-vibe going. Happy with the result… The front will stay message-free.Here’s the finished block. And now I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, that’ll be quite enough of that!  The next one will be considerably simpler and quicker 🙂 I have another postcard block to do, plus the OCA ribbon block, plus the postage stamp block in the centre, and I’m not doing complicated for each one.

On with the next one! 

*waste canvas is where you place a layer of canvas or other gridded fabric like Aida on top of the surface you want to embroider, do the embroidery, and then pull the canvas out, thread by thread, leaving just the embroidery and the fabric surface. Again, very fiddly, but it produces an excellent result.

NOTE: The free online photo-editing suite I have been using has now decided it won’t let me save my edited images unless I start paying. I ask you all to be patient while I learn to use the built-in editing options on my MacBook, which are not as versatile, but present a more economic option than paying over $140 a year to make my photos a little prettier!

ST&D: Postcard preparation

For those of you debating how to make your postcard block, here’s how I’ve made a start.

Initially, I thought about doing appliqué for the whole thing, but given the design for the postcard I’ve come up with, I can see there’ll be multiple, multiple layers which will need quilting through, so I’m reserving appliqué for the front of the postcard and the stamp on the back, and all the rest will be pieced. That being so, I feel I’ll achieve the tidiest result if I paper piece the appliqué sections into the background, which will avoid any nasty Y seams. The only thing is that I need to avoid a directional print for the background.

The image shows how I’ve drawn my design onto 12 inch quilter’s graph paper, and then divided the design up into sections A and B, numbering the piecing order. There are registration marks to help line up the two sections when the time comes. I’m going to take this plan and separate sections A and B, giving them both lots of seam allowance around the outside – at least an inch on the outside edges and half an inch at the join. This will hopefully ensure that the assembled block isn’t skimpy. You can always trim off, but not add back on, right? I’ve chosen fabrics that are mainly on the cool side of the spectrum to blend with the mainly teal colour scheme. The background will be cream with a very pale teal batik floral print, and the back of the card will be a mid-teal solid with a dark teal ‘stamp’. The lines on the back will be lines of machine stitching.

Given the slightly kitschy tropical beach scene on the front of the postcard (well, I do live in the tropics, near the beach, so why not?), I’ve gone for a message on the front of the card in the sort of font you see on the older type of postcard. If you want to incorporate a bit of embroidered text of some kind, there’s a website here where you can choose from a limited range of fonts and build a caption or a few lines of text. It’s free. I’d suggest you take note of where it tells you the finished letter height, so you don’t end up with text that’ll turn out an inch high, unless that’s what you want, of course! I haven’t yet decided what colour to do the embroidery. Bright pink’s a strong contender, though 🙂

I’m going to give my stamp a ‘perforated’ edge, like the real thing. Not so fine, of course, but this strip of cotton lace will do the job nicely. I love little details like that.

If this postcard works out well, I’ll try something completely different for the next one, perhaps an abstract splodge of colour like my ScrapHappy blocks, or hexies, or some really teeny weeny pieced blocks. It’s a small space, 7 x 5 inches, so why not go a little mad?

Watch this space for how I get on 🙂

Sea Glass #4, and a bit of TWX

I’m slowly filling the gap.

The one between the centre panel and the large outer basketweave panels, that is. My earlier thought was to use colour alternating with white, but I tested it and it had a fairly blah effect, sort of utilitarian kitchen floor-tile. Not what I was after. I’ve made 4 corner-post blocks using the majority of the leftover jelly roll strips, and I’m pleased with those. Sorry about the gloomy lighting, but it’s very dark and overcast today, despite the heat.

seaglass-chequerboard-start

That orphan block off to the side is going to be part of a cushion cover, a sort of ‘place-holder’ till the quilt is finished 🙂

Now I have to work out how to fill the two square panels on each side that are empty. I think I’m going to switch things round a bit and use a variety of lilacs, interspersed with a pale trellis fabric in blue, white and teal. The pale fabric will stop the lilacs being overpowering, and the lilacs will add intensity and a bit of calm for the eye compared with the pattern. A bit of cutting to do still, and I have to check and trim the lilac jelly roll strips – isn’t it annoying that strips you buy on a roll which are supposed to be 2½ inches wide almost never are? If you don’t bother, the seams will never line up, so it’s worth the tedium of fixing them.

And  now for something different (if rather similarly coloured…). I’ve received three more TWX blocks, two from Kate at Manic Mumdays, which I mentioned before but didn’t show, and another from the lovely Tracy at It’s a t-sweets day. Check out these pretties!

kate-b-twx1 kateb-twx2 tracy-p-twx