In the arms of the angels: she soars

So, it’s done.

You know how you make plans to sew all day? Yeah… No. I’ve scraped together a total of a day and a half over the past three days, mainly because the stitching had to be done standing up, with the quilt hanging on the wall so the wings were in the correct position. It’s hard on the back and my poor tired feet. But it’s been enough. The idea I had for making the wings strong and powerful-looking has worked. They’re not flat and limp, but have bulk and dimension. The wing panels are backed with stiffening, and in stitching them down, I’ve applied lateral pressure to bow this stiffening down the length of the wings and make them pop out. You get a good shadow under the wing, so I haven’t had to fake a shadow with a piece of grey tulle laid onto the fabric underneath it. I’m really, really pleased with the effect, and am very happy with the overall result.

Do you like the tiny stars, adding a little sparkle as the light moves over them? I wanted something that tied back to the text on the label, and this seems to fit the bill. They’re applied with fabric glue as I’d have gone totally bonkers if I’d had to stitch them on. I’ve stitched a hanging pocket on the back, as this isn’t a bed or lap quilt, and you can see that I’ve added a pretty minimal binding, just to finish the edge. It’s not going to get much wear and tear, so a narrow binding will be OK.

It’s time to launch this quilt. I’m delivering it today to a director of the Trudy Crowley Foundation. She’s already expressed her determination to do battle in the auction to ensure she becomes its new owner. However, Trudy’s own father is also in the running, so let the bidding war commence! The auction will take place at the Twilight Dinner to launch the Foundation on 30th March. I hope it’ll prove worthy of its purpose and raise loads of money to help launch the Foundation and the work it was set up to do. And finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed blocks, ideas and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Here are your wings, Trudy. Now, go fly.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci

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ITAA: all together at last

I’ve got the background full assembled, finally.

It’s all fully quilted, the light centre in cream, and the darker outer border and cornerstone blocks in silver on the front and cream on the back, although you can’t tell in this photo. It’s good to have all the pieces together and those dratted long seams finished.

So, what’s next?

I have to cut the binding strips, join them and stitch them to the quilt. I have to attach a hanging pocket to the upper back edge. I need to stitch on the label and stitch the banner, hook and wings onto the front, all of which is going to be done by hand.

I’m delivering this quilt in a week’s time. Still a fair bit to do, and not an awful lot of time to do it in. But actually, that’s probably a good thing. I’ve slightly over-done the hauling of rubbish to the dump, the loading and unloading of furniture and the trotting up and down stepladders painting walls. I had a sewing day today, and the pain and stiffness I woke up with are easing somewhat.

Another sewing day very soon will not go amiss, although I do have to do some more painting tomorrow – the carpets are being fitted in about a week’s time, so I can’t delay too long.

Back to the cutting board 🙂

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 🙂

 

Invisible work

I’m sorry about the radio silence just recently.

Suffice to say that there have been family conferences, try to co-ordinate the ongoing care of my 95 year old father across four countries and two hemispheres. I have had my own issues; I’m currently sporting a fetching black neoprene knee brace with side stiffening on my left leg while they decide if my torn cartilage needs physiotherapy or an arthroscopy to repair or remove it. At times like these I wish my house didn’t have stairs… It’s been going on for a while, as I did it on the outward leg of our recent holiday without realising what I’d done. The only good part has been that I get to look at the MRI images, which I really enjoy – I’d have been a doctor in another life, maybe.

I have been hand-quilting Bonnard, which I won’t show again till I reach the end in 7 rows’ time. And I’ve been doing what I consider one of the most boring aspects of QAYG: cutting batting. Cutting 14 inch square after 14 inch square of batting is necessary, but really exceptionally dull. I enjoy cutting fabrics: the mental planning and placing of the colours, the patterns and designs, the little stacks building up.

I like that. But batting is all the same; it’s annoyingly fluffy and fibres get caught in your cutting mat so you have to stop and get rid of them. It’s all the same colour. Worst of all, it forms no part of the personality of the quilt, it’s invisible.

Anyway, I now have 5 tidy stacks of batting squares, ready for sandwiching the remaining rows of ST&D. All the front blocks are ready, all the backing squares are cut and laid out. It’s just a question of more production line work: starching, pressing, spraying, smoothing. In order to prevent screaming boredom, I’ll do a row at a time.

Batting… it’s not exactly photogenic, either, is it?

ST&D, postcard 3

This is my final postcard, and I thought I’d do something a bit different.

I had some lovely greeny-aqua fabric with images of the Eiffel Tower on it in white. But it was just too bright and too aqua for this quilt, except perhaps in small quantities, where the print would be lost. So I played that old, old quilter’s trick, and turned it over. Using the back has toned down the colour beautifully and given it a textured, vintage feel. The idea of using this Eiffel Tower print led me to the remnants of a piece of very beautiful fabric given to me by Lynn at Tialys. I found a section which was large enough to become the front of my ‘Un Souvenir de Paris’ postcard. It’s not very teal-y but it plays nicely with the background, and I blanket-stitched it on with a peacock green thread to add definition between the postcard and the background. One of my remaining stamp transfers toned well with the butterfly in the corner, so that was stitched onto the back, together with a fabric air mail sticker from a piece of fabric generously donated by Margaret of The Crafty Creek.

I also want to let the whole Ovarian Cancer quilt group know that I had a phone conversation the other day with the Director of Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Australia, during which she told me that our quilts are incredibly popular at their fundraising events, that they raise hundreds of dollars when the quilts are offered at the live auctions, and please don’t stop making and sending them!

So, ladies, huge congratulations on your efforts, and while you’re still happy to make blocks, we’ll be able to make excellent use of them 🙂

 

ST&D: A couple of corners

Squishy season has arrived, I’d say…

Today I received these beauties, two of the four corner blocks for Signed, Tealed & Delivered. Don’t you absolutely love that wonderful cream background fabric, with its line illustrations of postcards? It was an inspired choice, I feel. Thank you so very much, Sue, they’re really lovely, and now that they’re here, I can start laying out the blocks on my design wall. Of course, I’ll be tweaking things endlessly right up to the last moment, but I do love to watch the quilt top growing as the blocks come in.

Next week is my last opportunity to get my final postcard block done before we go away, so I’d better start thinking. I’ve been diverted from it by starting to put together curtains for Miz Lizzie the caravan; two pairs done, two more to go. She’s in the workshop right now, having her fridge serviced, so I can’t put them up and admire them yet. Soon – early next week, probably.

I must remember to sort out a travel sewing kit for the trip. It’ll have to be small, space is tight enough on the motorbike as it is. Hmm. Maybe hand quilting one of my hatbox blocks….

Oh, and the new steam iron is great! That ceramic sole plate is a bit of a game changer…

 

TWX 14: assembly complete

And it’s done.

Why does the wind always start blowing when I want to take a photo of a quilt on the line…? We’ll pretend it’s on purpose, shall we? To make the image more dynamic and give it some movement!

Now all I have to do is cut and sew the binding, and make and attach the label. Another day will see it finished, thank goodness, and I can stop worrying about it, and start working on other things.

The quilt has extracted its customary tribute of blood; I managed to accidentally rip a nice hole in my thumb on a stray pin as I was feeding the quilt through the machine, but I did avoid getting any of it on the quilt in a visible place. It doesn’t mean my DNA isn’t on it, just that you can’t see it!

So, tomorrow I cut and sew on the binding and stitch it down, and make the label, which as usual will be printed on transfer paper and then ironed onto fabric. It will acknowledge all the lovely, kind and generous people who have contributed their time, energy and fabric to this good cause.

Now, where are the Band Aids…?