Go Teal it on the Mountain #3

And the next one.

A bit of straightforward appliqué this time. The pieces are applied using blanket stitch, strengthened with an inner line of straight stitching. I lightly spray-basted the pieces to hold them in position while I stitched them down, rather than fusing them to the background. This allows me to trim away the excess fabric at the back, which prevents the block getting too thick and stiff. I used tear-away stabiliser behind the pieces to stop the blanket stitch ‘channelling’ and drawing up the background too much.

I like this one a lot. The moon is a white on cream brocade print which looks like the cratering on the surface of the moon. I blanket stitched down the edge with cream, and then used a silver metallic thread and cream in the bobbin to do the inner stitching line. It gives the moon just a tiny hint of sparkle. Doesn’t show up in the photo, of course, but you can see it in daylight.

I’ll also have to make the usual teal Ovarian Cancer ribbon block to go in the centre at the bottom of the quilt, but I might wait a bit and see how many blocks I get in before I make any more.

Perhaps I’ll go a bit more abstract next time…

 

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Colours of Happiness #5

Two long sides completed, two to go.

It’s fiddly work, it doesn’t go together as fast as the starburst, so it’s taking a while to finish each one, especially as I have to lay out all the pieces first. Left and bottom side are the finished ones, the top one is the layout template and will be stitched together last. I have the right side laid out on my cutting table to be sewn together tomorrow.

I thought more about the cornerstones, and the more I thought the less I liked the idea of big plain squares of fabric. Too easy, too simple, a bit of a cop-out. So I have something a bit more fancy-schmantzy in mind, involving a quarter Dresden, a couple of leftover strips from the three-sets, some unused fabric strips and a couple more contrasting squares. I’ll make one and then show you what I mean. There will be some gold hand-lettering in these corner squares, and again, you’ll have to wait and see!

I’m not going to add any more to the outside, and I’ll assemble the quilt in sections; I want to hand quilt, and it will be much easier to work on if it’s still in smaller pieces. So, the centre starburst and its border will be Piece 1, the 4 chequerboard borders will be Pieces 2-5, and the 4 large cornerstones will be Pieces 6-9. I don’t know if you remember the Cloths of Heaven quilt, but I put that together the same way (although I did machine quilt the borders on that one).

It’s going pretty fast, and I’m still loving it, still having lots of fun 🙂

Go Teal it on the Mountain: and so it begins…

If it’s September, it must be time for another fundraising quilt.

This is the last one we’ll make for Ovarian Cancer Australia, so let’s make it a good one. All future quilts will be made for the benefit of the Trudy Crowley Foundation, as discussed already with the fundraising quilt group. The Foundation is being set up following Trudy’s all-too-early death from ovarian cancer on Tuesday, in her memory and to continue the fundraising work she began so effectively. It’s the same cause, just closer to home, and a more personal motivation for me.

As you can see from the title, it’s going to be called Go Teal it on the Mountain. Well, you didn’t really expect an ovarian cancer quilt without Teal in the name somewhere, did you? The plan is that every block should feature some sort of mountain idea, whether it’s a simple version constructed of a triangle on a plain background, something a bit more elaborate, or even something pictorial. The design drawing shown here gives you some idea of the variety of shapes, sizes and layouts that are possible. I’m being as un-prescriptive as I possibly can here, so go a little mad if you’d like to 🙂  As always, the colours are shades of the Ovarian Cancer colours of teal and cream, from dark to light, fabrics plain or riotously patterned, and little bits of other colours are allowed so long as they don’t conflict or ‘read’ too strongly. It doesn’t matter if you do cream on teal or teal on cream, as a little variation will make the quilt more beautiful.

Here’s the list of people who have already put up their hands to contribute:

Lynn Hutton; Sue Brown; Carla Morris; Cathy Foote; Sandra Dorey; Robin Murphy; Gun Adrian; Emma Zocca; Lynda Swink; Tracy Pursley; Nanette Gilbert; Kathy Reeves, Jean Swenson, Jenny Ladbrooke and Margaret Creek.

If you’d like to join in and your name is not yet on the list, please let me know in the comments or send me an email. If you are no longer able to participate, please also let me know.  We have 30 blocks to make, and so far, 16 contributors including me, so you would be welcome if you’d like to participate.

The sizing follows the previous quilts. The blocks will finish at 12 inches square, and I’d ask you to give me an unfinished block of AT LEAST 12½ inches square, preferably a bit larger if possible. This will ensure that when the blocks are quilted I still have plenty of leeway for trimming out. It will, as usual, be assembled by the Quilt As You Go method. All participants need to do is send their block, and I will provide batting, backing, quilting and assembly.

This time, I’m asking for blocks to be with me by mid-December. I’m making a trip to Melbourne in February, and I’d like to be able to carry it with me to hand over in person to the lovely Emily at OCA. Hopefully that’s enough time for everyone to get their block or two sorted out. As always, I’ll be posting the incoming blocks as they arrive, to keep everyone’s creativity flowing.

So here we go. Time to bring out your teal stash, dear fundraising quiltmakers 🙂

ScrapHappy July

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This month, we’re welcoming more new members to the ScrapHappy group. Last month, Jon joined us with a scrappy electronics project, and now, Joanne, Johanna and Dawn – who is bringing us some jewellery she’s made from scrap silver from other projects. I’m loving that the scope and range of scrappiness is growing beyond the fabric/ yarn format!

This month is our ScrapHappyversary. The first ever ScrapHappy post went up in July 2015, and since then, there has been a scrappy post from Gun and myself on the 15th of every month come rain or shine, with more and more people joining us as time went on. Go scraps!

Here’s my offering this month. You may recall that when I was making the original $11 Rainbow scrappy quilt I had a number of much paler blocks, pastel shades that didn’t work with the strong brights I ended up using. I’ve pulled the paler red, blue, pink, teal and green blocks out of the cupboard, and added pale yellow, grey, beige/brown and lilac to join them. You guessed it. There’s another rainbow quilt on the way…

That’s a dapple of sunlight making the pale patch on the design wall, not a really strange effect of the colours I used!

At this stage, I’m not at all sure I’ll have enough of the pale scraps to complete a pastel rainbow quilt the same size as the other one. I have a whole range of colour ideas for the sashing, but whether I can find any of them in a shade I like and a price I can afford (I have a nasty habit of falling in love with expensive shot colours…) is the question. For now, I’m thinking a cool grey instead of dark blue, and scrappy joining strips as before, but I’ll wait till the quilt decides and lets me know. Or how about a very low value, small scale print that unifies all the colours? That might look a bit busy, but it could work… If I don’t make more blocks, this version might also end up with much wider sashing to compensate for the lack of another row in each direction, or I could set them on point, then I just have to do triangular setting blocks? Tell me what you think 🙂

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley and Dawn

See you again, same time next month!

$11R: quilting done

This is where QAYG really shines.

I’ve not had much time to devote to sewing in the last week or so, but quilting one block at a time, rather than having the whole thing under the machine, has meant I could make small chunks of progress whenever I had a spare half hour. And the quilting’s done! Sadly, so is my reel of thread, which needs replacing urgently; it’s the colour I also use for repairing the Husband’s work pants, and there are two pairs of those awaiting attention too.

I’ve also trimmed down my leftover jelly roll strips for the back sashing; they were 2½ inches wide and needed to be 1¾ instead. I’ve also trialled stabilising the edges of the scrappy till roll sashing for the front, as the stitching is coming apart here and there. It does make the strips slightly bendy, but prevents unravelling completely, so I think I’ll do it for all of them. A simple line of stitches down each edge is all it takes, but it has to be done after the paper backing has been torn away. Fiddly, but necessary. I’m going to join the blocks into 4 sets of 4 squares, join two of those side to side, and then have one large seam across the middle. The picture also shows front and back sashing strips cut ready to join the top 8 blocks.

Next time you see this, I hope it’ll be looking a bit more finished. Maybe not done, but with good progress.

$11R: back to the scraps…

… for scrappy backs.

Sorry the focus is a bit varied, but I had to stand on a stool to get all them all in the shot, and the ones running off to the right have lost their sharpness.

These aren’t as pretty or varied or intricate as the fronts, but I’m pleased to say I’ve fairly quickly achieved backs for all 20 blocks out of my larger scraps. By which I mean pieces a fair bit smaller than a fat quarter, many with chunks cut out of them or wonky edges, or several smaller pieces of the same fabric, and all left over from prior projects. And I definitely haven’t been precious about how I mixed them up. Many of the scraps were unlikely to find a home in other quilts: a too-large or bold pattern, a not quite right colour balance, a fabric I no longer liked or had grown tired of, or which was too specific to a particular project. This way, they have a valuable role as part of this rainbow-hued quilt rather than leading “lives of quiet desperation”* in the back of my cupboard.

I’ve made the same number of blocks of each colour for the backs as I have for the fronts. Effectively, the quilt will be virtually reversible, but complex and bright on the front and simple and blocky on the back. I’m going to have a rootle through my scrap jelly roll strips for sashing for the back. The selection will be heavy on the blues, as I eliminated a lot that were the wrong hue from the selection for the Bonnard quilt, but it should still be interesting to look at.

So, nearly ready to start sandwiching and quilting. I reckon it’ll be ready in time for the show… 🙂

*Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

ST&D: all quilted!

Phew!  That’s a relief….

I have all 30 blocks of Signed, Tealed & Delivered quilted at last.

I was getting nervous about getting it done in time, but now I only have the standing-up jobs of cutting the sashing strips and trimming out the blocks to finish in the next few days, and the mostly sitting-down job of assembling it all to worry about. The outside binding strips are all cut already, and I think I’ll try and get the label done in the next couple of days too, so adding that when I stitch down the binding will be easy. Luckily that final stage is something I can do sitting down quite easily 🙂

I’m happy with the quilting. Wavy lines are not something to get too precious about so it’s pretty quick, the design really suits the nature and theme of the quilt, and I really like the texture you get from alternating directions.

So, tomorrow’s job is cutting 1 inch sashing strips in teal for the front and 1¼ inch sashing strips in cream for the back. If I get time, I’ll print out the label transfer, and iron it down onto cream cotton. Normally I apply the label at the bottom left hand corner, but I might put this one in the centre of the big ‘O’ on the back. I’ll see how it looks once the quilt’s assembled.

Incidentally, today is our 5th wedding anniversary. I looked back at the day’s post this time last year. Oh yes…. Cyclone Debbie had just passed by and we celebrated by cleaning mud off our floors, cutting up fallen trees and washing filthy wet towels. Things should be a lot more civilised this year. Except… I’m carefully watching that huge low pressure system wandering up and down our coastline. Just now, it looks like Townsville may be the favoured spot where it makes landfall, but you never know.

And it’s Good Friday, too. Hurray, Hot Cross Buns for breakfast, my favourite!