TWX 15: Tealed with a Kiss completed

It’s done, and on its way.

I decided to make the binding narrow, because I love how it looks, but it does add a whole level of extra difficulty to hand-stitching the binding down because there’s a lot less slack. I probably won’t make the binding so narrow another time. Somewhere between ‘normal’ and this skinny, which was 2 inch wide binding strips instead of 2½ inch.

Of course, the minute I wanted to photograph it outside, the rain came down, so it’s been photographed inside on the design wall. Sorry… it does make everything a bit duller.

Here’s the label, and all you lovely kind people who contributed a block (or several!)  will find your names there if you click on the image and enlarge it. Thank you all again for your wonderful, beautiful blocks and for contributing your time and fabric to this most important cause. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I hope you will continue to join in with our collaborative quilts in the future.

I’ve been mulling over the next OCA quilt off the production line. This won’t be starting for about 6 months, but I wanted to put the idea out there so anyone who wants to contribute has some time to think about what they want to do. It’s going to be called ‘Signed, Tealed and Delivered’, and it’s going to have a postal theme. My idea is that the blocks will still finish at 12½ inches square, but they will feature the front and back of a fabric postcard on a teal background. I’m visualising appliqué, but it could be pieced. The front can depict anything you like (patterned fabric, paper pieced image, machine embroidery, whatever takes your fancy), and the back should be cream fabric, laid out to look like a postcard, with a stamp, a fictitious address, a message and your signature, either embroidered, printed, or using an indelible marker. I’m thinking all the stamps should be teal, and the postcard fronts should feature teal in some way. Closer to the time we start this quilt, I’ll produce an example to show what I’m thinking.

What do you think? Do you have a better idea for executing this title? As always, I welcome suggestions and input, but will ultimately go with whatever I think works best 🙂

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 😉

 

TWX11: a better layout, some quilting… and frogs

There, that’s an improvement, isn’t it?

I’m not sure this is the final layout yet, but I’m getting closer. What do you think about swapping the short X in the top row with the beige-background X on the right in Row 4? And the top right-hand dark X with the bottom right hand dark X in the 4th row? I fiddle around, and swap, and stand back and squint, and I still can’t seem to get it laid out to my satisfaction. Plus, even when it looks right on the wall, there’s a glaring issue when I look at the photo. I think those two changes might work, don’t you?

I’ve got the two middle rows of blocks fully quilted and a couple more blocks on top of that. That bit’s going pretty well, and I can get a row quilted before my back starts whingeing at me to stop. I have to listen to my back a bit carefully just now, because of my ‘morning work’, which is shovelling crusher dust for the drive, picking up dead branches and fallen palm fronds, and raking and shovelling mud and rotting vegetation out of the storm drainage ditch down the side of the property. It’s a long, long ditch. It doesn’t take much before there’s a persistent nag from back there…

Finally, it has been a froggy sort of day. This little chap has been occupying my laundry windowsill for most of a day now. There was another one hanging out in the back of the car when we opened the tailgate to stow the tarp after taking a load of green waste to the dump. He made a break for it, but Laundry Frog is quite contented where he is… He’s about 4cm/1½ inches long.

And I just wanted to let you know that that piece of white thread on his leg is on him, not my camera lens!

 

TWX10: the last 2 blocks and a first layout

Postal delivery has resumed at last…

Today, I got a squishy envelope containing two beeeyootiful blocks for TWX!  The lovely Margaret of The Crafty Creek had sent me the last two blocks I need in order to complete the layout.  Aren’t they fab?

With these in hand, I was able to get the layout started. Here’s where I got to – I’m not sure this is the final thing, but it gives you an idea.

The bottom row contains hearts and the Ovarian Cancer teal ribbon, as with previous quilts. For the rest, I’ve tried to arrange the blocks into light and dark to create the impression of a secondary large darker X. I’m not sure I’ve cracked it yet, but it’s a beginning. If anyone wants to suggest some transpositions to improve the visibility of the big X, all suggestions will be considered; I’m all X’d out right now! I’ve made a start with the quilting, and 5 of these blocks already have my default wiggly line quilting on them. It’s easy, effective and quick, so why reinvent the wheel?

And another word about Margaret. She’s been following my adventures with Miz Lizzie the caravan, and the dear, kind thing has made a gift for me which you can read about here. I didn’t realise it was for me until right at the end of the post, and while I was reading, I was thinking “ooh, that’s lovely, I must make one myself”. Now that’s a parcel I’m looking forward to!

Hopefully the next time I post about TWX, a lot more quilting will have been done.

 

Bee, Myself and I #12

The end of the month has come quickly this time!

hatbox-21 hatbox-22 hatbox-20Of course, February is shorter than all the other months, but even so, I’ve been madly busy. Not too busy to get my lovely hat-boxes done, though… You’ll remember that Lynn from Tialys and I are making hatbox blocks together; I’m doing it so I keep going till I’ve got enough to finish the quilt, and Lynn because she’s started making a wall-hanging for her bedroom, using fabulous Liberty prints.

We worked out that three blocks a month was workable and not too demanding of our time. And once the blocks are made, we can continue to encourage each other through the Quilt As You Go assembly process. I suspect that with 36 blocks rather than 12, I’ll be needing a lot more time and a lot more nagging encouragement… We shall see.

I particularly like the fabrics on the top two boxes. A little bit of hippy-chick fun, and the colours work in really well with the rest of the collection.  If you want a reminder of what all the previous ones look like, take a look at the photo below.

hatbox-halfway-collage-3

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button in the left hand column

And that’s my BM&I post for this month. See you in March 🙂