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 🙂

 

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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…?

TWX13: Top third done

What we have here is the final layout.

All the blocks have been trimmed out and are in their final positions. I’ve joined the blocks in the top third of the quilt. Two more thirds to do, then two long, long seams and it’s done. This QAYG process absolutely gets easier the more you do it, especially if you have all your strips ready, cut to size and pressed. Touching wood carefully, I’ve managed to avoid drawing blood even once, and have come up with a couple of minor tricks which helped me keep things neatly lined up.

I’ve decided to bind it with something a bit lighter and bluer than previous choices. I like this greeny-bluey flat colour with the general colour scheme of the quilt, rather than the dark teal shot cotton I’ve used for the last two.

This quilt has to be ready by the end of the third week in April. Ovarian Cancer Australia have a big fundraising month in May, so it needs to be with them by end of April/beginning of May.

Looks like I’m going to make it 🙂

TWX12: nearly there…

One more attempt at the layout, and this time, I’m pretty happy.

I think we’re just about there…

There’s a bit more symmetry, which always makes me happy, it feels more balanced, and I’m not trying to force the blocks to be a colour or intensity they’re not. Everyone’s work is beautiful, and stands on its own merit. Well done, you lot 🙂

I’m just over halfway through the quilting. Three rows done, another row part done, two still to start. That old faithful of mine, wiggly line quilting, is featuring once again. You’ve got to love how very quick it is. Nothing to mark, no panicky FMQ-type changes of direction, just strap on the walking foot and swing yourself some gentle curves down the centre. And echo. And echo again, till you hit the edge. Reverse the piece and repeat to the other edge. Job done. No threads to bury, all the loose ends get trimmed off. Having said that, I have a hankering to do a bit of FMQ stuff at some stage, but not for a donation quilt. Only the Teal Ribbon block will be different; I’ll echo quilt the ribbon shape to make it pop a bit.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts on how best to improve the layout. I took it all on board and tried everything… and then did it my way 😉