ST&D: another squishy!

I do love getting those nice fat envelopes in the mail.

On Friday, it was this lovely envelope block for Signed, Tealed & Delivered from Carla. She has the most enviable fabric collection – those gorgeous cats on the envelope lining fabric make me smile!

I’m going to try and get my last postcard block done this week – and don’t forget, if you’ve agreed to make a block or two but are running out of time or life is dishing up a large serve of busy, let me know and I’ll fill in for you.

That’s seven blocks up on the design wall now, and I know more are on their way 🙂 We’re looking good!

A sneaky Teal

A while ago, I volunteered to test a pattern for Teresa of Sewn Up – TeresaDownUnder.

It was a new design called Win My Heart, a lovely pieced designs with hearts and triangles. I made one change to the pattern, which was adding that strip of floral down the centre to make the quilt just a little wider. I’ve been working on it in the background to everything over the past few months, and I’ve finally finished quilting it. I’m going to donate it to Ovarian Cancer Australia because, of course, I managed to get teal into the name and the fabrics I chose. As well as the teal hearts on the front and the gorgeous teal, pink, peach and yellow floral pattern, it has a pale pink backing and a binding in mostly brighter pink. Despite all that, it’s not too terribly girly.

This is Gonna Teal Your Heart Away.  I made some errors in my fabric choices and when I was assembling and quilting it, so it’s not by any means perfect (or even completely straight!), and doesn’t really do justice to the beauty and clarity of the pattern, but Ovarian Cancer Australia say they’ll be delighted to have it anyway, either as a gift to someone in need, or as a comforting snuggle quilt for someone hearing bad news in their counselling centre.

As always, the label on the back gives credit where it’s due: in this case, to Teresa as the designer as well as me as the stitcher. It also pays tribute to all those women past and present who have suffered from Ovarian Cancer, and by their suffering have contributed to improvements in knowledge and treatment of this silent killer.

Do go and take a look at Teresa’s pattern, which shows not only her quilt but examples of those made by her pattern testers. It’s a beautiful and versatile pattern, and I’m glad and privileged to have been part of the process, especially as it’s made such a pretty quilt for OCA.

That’s it teal-wise for a while. My airmail fabric for ST&D has arrived, but I have an appointment to quilt Sea Glass for my SIL before I touch any of that 🙂


Time for Teal 13, and other stuff

Nanette has come up trumps!

T4T collage 7Not only do I now have two more Dresden Plate blocks to fit the two gaps at the top of the dresden plate border on T4T, she’s also made me two lovely outer border blocks. The photos don’t do justice to how very pretty the background fabrics are – one of them is a tiny beige gingham with tiny scattered raised stars. So sweet!

Also in the squishy were her three F²F blocks, which are gorgeous, and she very kindly sent me a piece of the fabric she used in the right hand block, which is going to be a real asset to my selection. Only one set left to come from Emmely, who has been on honeymoon, and then they’re all in.

Nanette F2FAt the moment, the time I can spend sitting at the sewing machine (which isn’t long before it starts to hurt) is spent making Lynn’s F²F² June blocks. After Lynn’s blocks, it’ll be the ‘ribbon’ block for T4T, which will complete the dresden border, and then I’m going to finish the Hatbox Quilt block which got lost and forgotten in all the mad dash for surgery at the end of last month. And in there somewhere is the SAL embroidery, which is actually progressing pretty well because I can get comfortable while I do it. It’s frustrating to have the time and the will to sew, but to be unable to sit for long enough. However, I am healing very well, it’s only been three weeks since major surgery, and it’ll be another 3 before I can expect to be functionally pain free and approaching my full final range of motion.

There you have it. Pretty things, my meagre progress, and what to expect next.

Time for Teal part 4

More squishy fun through the post, this time from the lovely Lynn. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

T4T collage 4

The top two are hers. Lynn, I hope you don’t mind, but I might add a narrow inner border on the cup and saucer block, which ‘float’ a little bit in the background. Something in teal, to pick up the colour of the stitching. And I love the fabrics in the Dresden Plate, which is especially welcome as I need loads of them!

I also got a couple of blocks done myself. ‘A couple’ might not seem that impressive, but these two were fiendish, and while I’m pleased with the result, I will probably never, ever be making them again! They are by Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam. It’s a lovely blog, and she has a fairly large library of free paper piecing patterns, but if I’d been in my right mind, I’d have printed them out at 200%. Making a 6 inch block that has about 45 pieces in it was not a good choice when I was so uncomfortable and in pain and not able to sit easily at my sewing machine! Actually, I’ll revise that. I’d like to try them again when I have a bit more time, my back isn’t screaming at me, and I’ll definitely print them out larger… Some of the pieces were tiny triangles only 1cm (about a third of an inch) on a side.

Next up on the sewing list is the gorgeous gateau on a cake stand and small cake plate and forks blocks from Esther. These two patterns are available *free* in her Craftsy store, along with many other beauties, some of which are free and others which are very much worth their very modest price. After that, I’ll make up another one of my own design for the teal ribbon block, which will feature on every Ovarian Cancer Quilt I make, and probably some hearts and stars for the border, and maybe a postage stamp or rail fence block or two.

I have a couple more teapot blocks and cup and saucer blocks in reserve to fill out the centre section, if necessary, but I probably need most of all to concentrate on Dresden plates; I only have about a third of the quantity I need.

I know there are at least two more squishies on the way with more blocks, so I’m not going to go mad till I see what I have.

Time for Teal part 3

More squishies arrived in the post!

Two lovely geometric blocks came from Claire in France, and I know blocks of all sorts are on the way from other generous donors. This quilt is going to be totally stunning!

T4T collage 3And I’ve been busy myself: two Dresden Plates, one large and one small (my own simple designs), and a really beautiful pattern designed by Cath at Wombat Quilts called ‘Adventure Star’ – it’s free to download so if you fancy giving it a try, head over there. It’s just a little tricky, mainly because of the small pieces meeting in the centre, but it’s not at all hard – good preparation is the key.

Next on the menu for me is a whole bunch of cups, saucers, teapots and an amazing gateau on a cake stand designed by Esther. She’s been a complete superstar and has totally got on board with this project, and if you go over and click on her Craftsy shop, you’ll soon be able to find a whole bunch of tea-time related paper piecing patterns: cups, teapots, coffee pots, cupcakes, mugs, teaspoons, cake slices, and the gateau I’ll be making. Not all her patterns are free, but some are, and I believe she’s planning to offer free patterns if the user will donate a block for this or a future Ovarian Cancer auction quilt. She’s a wonderful ally in this very important cause, and I’m eternally grateful to her.

There are other patterns I’ll be using too, and I’ll give the designer’s name and link when I show them. I think it’s important to do this, because if the designer is generous enough to make free patterns available to people, their kindness should be acknowledged.

If you’d like to get involved and contribute a block, there’s still time. I will very shortly have enough cup, saucer, cake and teapot blocks, but will still need about 10 more Dresden Plates, both large and small (large being 10 or 11 inches across on the 12.5 inch background and small being 6-9 inches across on the 12.5 inch background), and I still need at least 15 more border blocks of generic design – anything so long as it is 12.5 inches square unfinished, and predominantly teal on a cream, white or light tan/beige background. I’m fully prepared and have the time to do them all myself, but if you’d like to help, your contribution will be most welcome and will be acknowledged on the quilt label on the back. And if your block doesn’t make it into this year’s quilt, don’t worry, I’ll be making one each year for Ovarian Cancer Australia until I physically can’t do it any more.

Right, I think it’s time for cake… by which, of course, I mean the gateau block, not the edible stuff, sadly!

Time for Teal part 1

And away we go.

I’ll be starting sewing for the ovarian cancer fundraising quilt next month. For those of you joining me, a few parameters… The quilt will be a grid of 6×6 12 inch (finished size) blocks, just like the quilt the F²F group made for Pat. The colour scheme will follow the theme colour of ovarian cancer, and is teal on a background of cream, beige or light tan. The teals can be varied from light to dark, patterned, textured or plain. I thought it would be fun for all the quilts we make for Ovarian Cancer Australia to name each quilt with a play on the word Teal.

Time for Teal is #1 in the series of however many I am able to manage into the future. And given the name, I’ve decided to have fun with a teatime theme! In addition to the Teal Ribbon block which will be a constant feature of every quilt, I’m considering blocks showing teapots, teacups, mugs, tea cosies, cupcakes, and of course, Dresden plates! These will sit on fairly plain backgrounds in the central section of the quilt, as if on a tablecloth. I think I may edge this section with a teal band to separate it from the blocks around the outside, which will be the patterned ‘tablecloth border’.

Susan Druding teapotPiece by Number cupsThe images shown are teacup and teapot blocks I have previously made and will repeat for this project. Below them is an earlier quilt I made for the CanDo Cancer Trust in New South Wales a couple of years ago, featuring a border of Dresden plates. Again, I’ll repeat the Dresden plate blocks for this project. I offer these images as potential ideas, something to kick off your own inspiration.

Morning Tea quilt

Morning Tea at the Quilting Bee

So far, I have 7 lovely volunteers who have each said they will produce a block or two, and all are welcome to join in. All who join in will be acknowledged on the quilt label. I was quite prepared to make the entire thing myself, but many of you have said you’d like to help, and this is a low commitment, high satisfaction way!

If you’d like to contribute a teacup, teapot, Dresden plate or cupcake block, please remember to keep the background as pale and plain as possible. If you’d like to contribute a border block, go crazy! Make the pattern or design as plain or as interesting as you like. Use as many fabrics as you like. Have fun!

Once I’ve started sewing, I shall post a few blocks to keep you informed of how I’m getting on, and of course I’ll be showing the blocks sent in by everyone else.

Let’s make a thing of beauty and defeat a silent killer.

Time for more teal

Once again, there’s another quilt in the pipeline, apart from my Selfish Hatbox one.

Pat1fromKateWhen I was in Melbourne earlier this week, I dropped into the offices of Ovarian Cancer Australia. I showed them the quilt the F2F team had made for Pat, and asked if they’d like a quilt a year of their own for fundraising purposes. Yes please, they’d be delighted!

So, it’s time for more teal.  They originally asked whether I could get one ready for a fundraising event in May, but even at my usual rate of working, that was a bit too much of an ask, particularly as I have family visiting later this month and other things going on. However, there’ll be another event later in the year, so I’ll aim for that.

I’ll be doing the same sort of block as we do for F2F, and following the same format as Pat’s quilt, so if there’s anyone out there who’d like to contribute a teal block, all comers are welcome. 12.5 inches square unfinished, any design, so long as it’s teal on cream or beige or pale tan. You can see the sort of colour scheme we’re after from the original quilt shown in the link above. Perhaps some of you who haven’t felt able to join F2F because of the commitment might feel that one block is not too much of an ask? I’ll be making another teal ribbon block for the quilt, because they felt it was a good motif to include, but aside from that, the brief is wide open.

I don’t have access to a longarm quilting machine, and quilting a piece this size on a domestic machine is beyond my strength any more, so it’ll probably end up being a QAYG job with neutral narrow sashing between the blocks, which I think will look pretty good too.

Anyone out there who has a little free time, some fabric and would like to help make a difference? Or if you don’t sew, but would like to help in other ways, leave me a comment, and I’ll put you in touch with the lady in charge of fundraising there.