Ovarian Cancer Quilt: It’s that time again

Hurray! It’s time to bring out the teal fabrics!

Every year for the past 7 years, we’ve made a collaborative quilt to be raffled/auctioned for the benefit of ovarian cancer patients and their families. The Rona put a stop to it for a year, but we’ve resumed as soon as safely possible, and now it’s that time again.

For the new readers, the way it works is that I come up with a concept which plays on the word ‘Teal’, the Ovarian Cancer colour. The team members each produce a block (or two, or several, up to you) on this theme, and mail them to me. I arrange them and assemble and quilt the piece. It’s then donated to the Trudy Crowley Foundation and the money raised from it goes towards the salary of the Ovarian Cancer Nurse the foundation funds, and to supporting patients and their families.

From past years, I already have a list of contributors who’ve asked to participate again, as shown below. If you’d like to join us, please say so in the Comments and if I don’t already have your email, I’ll request it, so that I can send out the brief and timeline. The brief will be going out in 2 weeks’ time, so you have time to consider if you are able to contribute. I need a minimum of 30 blocks, but any shortfall I make up myself, so that’s not an issue.

Kate Chiconi – Co-ordinator, design, quilting, assembly
Kjersten Mackie (Quimper Hitty)
Cathy Foot (Nana Cathy)
Margaret Creek (The Crafty Creek)
Lynda Swink (Life on the Farmlet)
Jean Swenson (Love Hugs)
Lynn Hutton (Tialys)
Sue Brown (From a Magpie’s Nest)
Robin Murphy
Gun Adrian (Rutigt)

Additionally, if you’re on this list and can no longer participate, let me know and I’ll take you off.

And just as a teaser, the name (click the link)?

This Teal’s on Fire! 

Scinteallate: what it was all for

The fundraiser was yesterday.

The event was fantastically successful. In the three years the Nude Lunch has been going, the number of attendees has doubled, the sponsors have quadrupled, and the sum raised has gone from $70,000 in 2018 to over $100,000 this year, nearly half as much again.

The proceeds fund a dedicated ovarian cancer palliative care nurse in Mackay, with the balance going to ovarian cancer research.

Those of you who worked on the quilt, who encouraged and offered support, you helped to make that happen. Thank you.

Here’s a link to our local TV news network’s FB page, with their coverage of the event. (It’s on mute, so you need to turn up the sound at bottom right) Sadly, you don’t see the quilt, but it gives you an idea of the scale of the thing. I’ve checked with the Nude Lunch directors, and they’ve told me that the bidding was enthusiastic and the quilt raised $1,230. Again, thank you.

We’ll be doing it again next year. If you’d like to be a part of it, whether again or for the first time, do get in touch. I promise I’ll give us a more reasonable deadline this time!

Well done, you lot. And thank you.




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…

In the Arms of the Angels

A new and very different Ovarian Cancer quilt

This quilt has been in the pipeline for a couple of months. Originally, the delivery date was in April, which was tight, but not ridiculous. I have now been given an insanely short deadline for this quilt. It must be ready to photograph by 22nd March 2019, in order to feature in the program for the Twilight Dinner which is to launch the Trudy Crowley Foundation, and to be available for auction at that event on 30th March. This design has been approved and I cannot now go back and redesign it into something simpler. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to; this is my tribute and farewell to Trudy Crowley, a magnificent woman and wonderful human being.

Between now and then, I have to finish Go Teal it on the Mountain, I have other sewing commitments (F2F, etc), I have a 5-day trip to Melbourne in early February, there’s Christmas, and we’re moving house at the end of February. However, I really want to achieve this in order to do justice to the amazing work Trudy started and which the Foundation has been created to continue. My original plan was to make this quilt myself, but that is very clearly impossible now. So, I am reaching out for help from the quilting community, and I know you will not fail me.

Here’s the design, and below it, a list of what is needed.

Note: the cross in each block indicates whether it’s a square or rectangle, it’s not a design for the block

Background: 3 squares across x 4 squares high = 12 x 12½” blocks

  • All fabrics very pale pastel shades of teal, turquoise, sky blue, cream, stone
  • Blocks can be simple chequerboards, 9-patch, HSTs, etc, but any design or pattern is not to jump out or have any strong contrast – this is the ‘wall of heaven’, and is background only.
  • The background needs to be quilted and assembled before the rest of the quilt is built around it. Blocks will be stitched together directly, and the whole panel will be sandwiched and quilted as one piece. Other elements will then be appliquéd to it, and the borders added last by joining strips.
  • NOTE: some of the squares will be covered or partially covered by the wings. Until I have all the background blocks, I will not know what is going where. If your blocks are covered this is not a sign that I don’t like what you’ve made, it’s simply how the background came together to achieve the best overall effect.

Border: 5 blocks across x 5 blocks high, as follows: 6 x 12½” blocks, 6 x 10½” cornerstones, 4 x 12½” x 18½” rectangular blocks

  • Of these, 14 are plain and 6 are cornerstones: shoe, shell, glass, heart, ribbon, logo.
  • Border squares are to be dark shades of teal, greenish blue, bluish green, etc.
  • Cornerstone blocks are to be finished at 10½” square; a border will be added when they are joined to other blocks.
  • Border blocks can be simple squares, HSTs, etc, but the pattern is not to jump out, it is to be a ‘mosaic’ frame around our view through the window into heaven.
  • The cornerstones should be executed in shades of teal, greenish blue, bluish green, etc, on backgrounds of warm cream, stone, caramel, etc, either plain or small prints that read as gentle texture.
  • This border needs to be quilted and assembled in sections before being attached to the rest of the quilt.
  • Cornerstones will be sandwiched and quilted separately, and then attached to the other parts. The long strips will then be added to the completed centre panel, top and bottom first, and then the long side panels with the integrated cornerstones.


  • These will be partially appliquéd and partially 3D off the background.
  • They will be executed in warm cream, stone and caramel with accents of teal, greenish blue and gold.
  • They will be created and quilted separately before application to the background.

Other elements:

  • There is a ‘peg’, an L plate, and a lettered banner. The peg is appliquéd, the L plate is pieced and 3D
  • The banner ideally needs machine embroidery, but may end up being hand lettered if I can’t get this organised (unless I can get the Committee to cough up for it…) Once lettered, it will be a 3D piece appliquéd to the background.

A big thank you to all those who have offered their help. Below, please see a list of names and the work I have tentatively assigned to you, based on my knowledge of your strengths.

Kate Chiconi: logo cornerstone, wings, banner, quilting, assembly
Lynn Hutton: Shoe & Glass paper pieced cornerstones (patterns will be supplied)
Robin Murphy: background/border
Margaret Creek: Scallop shell appliqué cornerstone/background/ border
Tracy Pursley: Ribbon appliqué cornerstone/background/border (TBC)
Sue Brown: Scrappy Heart pieced cornerstone/background/border

Jenny Ladbrooke: background/border

Please let me know if you cannot do what I am suggesting, if you feel able to take on some more, or if you’re not on the list but would like to be. The more help we have, the better our chances of getting it completed in time.

The impossible we can achieve tomorrow. Miracles take a little longer….



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 #17: Arizona peaks

Yesterday amidst all the worry about fire, there was something happier.

I received a squishy containing two lovely blocks from Tracy of It’s a T-Sweets Day. Look at these beauties! Tracy has written about them herself, but in case you hadn’t noticed, these are two more mountain ‘portraits’, with their names embroidered at the bottom.

This one is Mt Graham, in Safford, AZ. Don’t you love those cute fluffy cotton bolls, to show that Safford is a cotton-growing area?

And this one is Pusch Ridge, in Tucson, AZ. Look at that majestic saguaro cactus. Teal really works in these powerful desert landscapes, doesn’t it?

We now have 26 blocks, only 4 more required to bring us up to the 30 needed for the quilt. One of those will be the teal ribbon that goes on all these quilts, which I’ll be making from scraps.

I’ve got two rows of blocks pressed and sandwiched with backing and batting, and I’ve started the quilting. I’m really liking how the ‘peak’ quilting is looking. It complements the designs without competing with them for attention.

I’ll post some of it soon and show you 🙂


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 #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!


Go Teal it on the Mountain #11

And another! They’re coming thick and fast now…

This wonderful block is from Cathy, who has never made a quilt block before, but is giving us something totally ravishing! I love this desert mountain/pyramid, with a camel train passing below, under a gorgeous orange harvest moon. It’s all Midnight at the Oasis, isn’t it? I’m so delighted with this block, which brings a fresh and funky vibe to contrast beautifully with all the austere elegance we have so far. A little fun is an important highlight in a quilt like this, so if there’s anyone else out there wondering what to make, do consider something different and fun, or use some unexpected fabrics.

Cathy’s original block was irregularly shaped, as I’d offered to trim it out to the size and layout I needed. There’s actually a bit more cream below the camels, and a bit more on either side in case I want to adjust the positioning later on, when it’s quilted, but I’m giving you the main highlights of the design 🙂 I had to take off the very tip of the mountain in order to keep the camels, but I find them indispensable!

I’m blown away by the ambition, creativity and quality of work from the contributors who haven’t made quilt blocks before. Ladies, you rock!

And we’ll be happy to have you along again for the next quilt – assuming you enjoyed yourselves, of course 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain #10

And here’s yesterday’s squishy delight!

Emma has sent me two beautiful Mountain blocks, despite being incredibly busy with her new baby Clark. I think you can see from the fabrics in block 2 that Emma is a new mum and has Christmas on her mind a little… 🙂  These are such gorgeous happy fabrics – I’m especially in love with that dark teal ‘constellations’ print. Emma is a novice quilter but has splashed out bravely to create two lovely and unique mountain blocks for this quilt, and I’m delighted and grateful!

I’m also very grateful for the gift of two fun fat quarters, one a cute Christmas print and the other featuring another of Emma’s interests, knitting. Those sheep are such fun! Thanks for everything, Emma 🙂

I know there are some others in progress on the way, and I’ll be posting about those when they arrive.

These are blocks 17 and 18, so we’re approaching the two-thirds mark.