$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

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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! 

 

Signed, Tealed & Delivered: Ready, set…. go!

And here we are again. Time for another Ovarian Cancer donation quilt.

Signed, Tealed & Delivered has a postal theme, as you can see from the original sketch I showed some months ago. The response to my call for block contributors has been outstanding, and I will be emailing everyone who volunteered with confirmation of what they’re making, attaching a pattern if necessary.

As always, the colour scheme is based around various shades of teal and cream, in 100% cotton quilting weight fabrics. However, with this quilt, I’m encouraging the use of other colours in the envelope linings and postcard fronts, to ensure this quilt is lively, colourful and varied. Pink, apricot, orange, emerald, dark blue and lilac are all possible additions.

As you know, there’s a paper piecing pattern for the ‘lined envelope’ blocks, and it’s pretty simple, so shouldn’t present too many difficulties. The ‘postcard’ blocks can be pieced or appliqué (personally, I’ll be using appliqué), and as you can see, there’s a postcard front and a back on each block. I think it would be a lovely idea to put your name on the address portion of the postcard back but not, of course, your address! It could be permanent marker, embroidery, etc. If anyone would prefer not to do this, let me know and I’ll let the others know that it’s not happening, so the blocks are all consistent. How you achieve the postcard is completely up to you, but if you need ideas, I’m happy to offer suggestions. Email me!

The four large envelope blocks in the corners can be achieved with simple piecing of triangles. Finally, there are the centre blocks, the stamp, the frank and the OCA ribbon. I have a brave volunteer for embroidering the frank, and I’ll be doing the stamp and ribbon blocks myself. The binding will be in the ‘airmail’ stripe fabric I sourced previously. I’m not sure what colour the sashing will be this time; I’ll wait to see what the block layout looks like so I can check what colour the quilt is ‘asking’ for.

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.

Ideally, I’ll have all the blocks in by the end of January, to give me plenty of time to quilt and assemble (I think I need to do something a bit more elaborate than quilted wiggly lines this time!), so hopefully that’s enough time for everyone to get their block or two sorted out. I’ll be posting the incoming blocks as they arrive, to keep everyone’s creativity flowing.

So here we go. Time to start sorting out your teal-ish fabrics, fabulous OCA Quilt Volunteers 🙂

Gallimaufry: one more step to go

Sorry, I’ve been off the radar for a week, and scarcely realised it.

All sorts of not very blog-worthy stuff has been going on which has kept me busy. Not so busy, however that I was completely unable to sew.

A pretty bit of dappled late afternoon sun illuminating those central blocks. A very satisfying end to the day!

The light was going so it’s not a great shot, but you do get some idea of how the quilting looks.

We’re in the final straight with this one. Just the binding to go on and the label to sew in and then Gallimaufry will be ready to go in the washing machine and then onto my caravan bunk 🙂  The binding is made and the sewing machine is threaded with the right colour and fitted with the walking foot. We’re good to go. I know, I know, I said it would be ready by the weekend.

However, I very foolishly picked up the Anemone quilt to do some stitching in of hexie flowers while I watched the last few episodes of Masterchef. Net result, two lots of addictions: the series and the hand stitching. I’ll show you the sewing results another time, and I’m glad to report that the right person won the competition – by a single point!

Tomorrow I’ll sew the binding on, and then spend some contented hours hand stitching it down, one of my favourite parts of quilt-making.

More soon – or at least, sooner than last time, I promise!

Gallimaufry: two thirds joined up

It’s almost done. I have 60% of it joined up.

I really, really like that narrow dark blue sashing between the squares. It puts a nice crisp edge on them, lines everything up, and is dark enough to throw everything else into contrast. Give me to the end of the week and I’ll have the joining up done and be ready to get the binding on.

There was a point halfway through making the blocks when I had a moment of doubt. Would it clash with the bird/seashell fabric for Miz Lizzie’s curtains?  I don’t think so, on reflection. What do you think? Even if it’s a little bit off, I love this quilt. Can’t wait to use it for the first time on our next trip. Sadly that’ll probably not be till October :-/

Hope the good weather holds so I can take the final photos outside. Then you’ll see what it really looks like…

Gallimaufry: all quilted

That’s that lot done.

Now for the trimming out and then joining up, always the least enjoyable part, but necessary 🙂 I need some more dark blue for the front sashing, there’s not enough left over from the Blue Hour quilt to get the job finished. I must also remember to use light blue thread or it’ll show up too much against the light blue backing – so long as I stitch carefully in the ditch on the fronts, it won’t show against the dark blue on the quilt front, as I discovered on Blue Hour, when I used cream thread. I like the effect of the pale coral thread against the dark blue, it’s pretty. Not sure how noticeable it is compared with cream, but I know it’s there, which is all that really matters.

I didn’t do my neatest ever job of hand-quilting the Miz Lizzie block in a big stitch and a variety of thread colours, but it’s cute and puffy and I like it!

Just a short post today, I have work to do for ScrapHappy and the SAL, which are both due this weekend!

Gallimaufry: let the quilting begin

Right, final (probably) layout.

I say probably because I don’t rule out wanting to swap a couple of blocks once they’re all quilted. In fact I can see two right now that I want to change. Funny how you can’t see it for looking in real life, but it jumps out at you in a photo….

I’ve cut batting and backing for the first row, and now I need to have a hard (but short) think about how this is going to be quilted. If I go with the cross hatching I did on the Blue Hour quilt, I’ll be running over some of the features that make the blocks interesting. On the other hand, it’s a much longer job if I come up with custom designs for each style of block. Perhaps a combination is the right idea: cross hatching on the simpler scrappy, snowball and 9-patch blocks, and something a bit different on the sunray, twister and bubbles blocks. The trick will be to keep to the same amount of quilting so that the blocks stay the same size in the end. Too much close quilting = smaller block.

Whatever I end up doing, I’ll have that gorgeous pale coral pink thread to work with 🙂