Blue, and Birds

I’ve completed the quilting on the Blue Hour quilt 🙂

They’re all the same, nice simple 3 inch square cross hatching. And I’ve decided, after extensive auditioning, that the sashing will be cream, same as the backing. Yes, it’ll show the dirt more, which isn’t such a great thing on caravan trips, but the quilt can easily be washed and I much prefer the way it looks. I also LOVE how it works with the fabric I’ve bought for Miz Lizzie’s curtains, and the blue and white ticking for the seats.

… In other news, Sir Horace and Lady Laetitia Bush Stone-Curlew are still gamely guarding their estates, and only this afternoon saw off a vulgar gaggle of sacred ibis, who were sunbathing and honking in the spot selected by Lady Laetitia for the nursery. Despite this unseemly conduct, both maintained a stiff upper lip beak, and stared down the interlopers, who retired further down the garden, ruffled and agitated. No sign of an egg a prospective heir yet, but we live in hope.

Blue three

In case you fondly imagined I was taking a rest from the Blue quilt…

All blocks are now completed, I’ve finalised the layout, and eight blocks in the top two rows are quilted. The cross hatching is on a 3 inch square grid, which after some testing I found was the perfect balance between the need to secure the layers and keeping the feel of the block flexible and soft after quilting. It’s also a nice easy thing to mark up and I have a good production line going 🙂

I still haven’t absolutely finalised the colour of the front sashing for this quilt, but I have time to think about that. I’m quite liking the idea of a pale beige/cream, but am also debating using one of the brighter pale blues, as I don’t want the blocks to blend into the sashing too much.

This is going to be a nice easy quilt to assemble: three rows with a 6-square and 4-square panel in each, so only two medium-long seams and no very long ones.

Right, time to go and cut more backing squares.

Signed, Tealed & Delivered #2: fabric update

Please call off the search!

I’ve located the perfect airmail stripe at Hawthorne Threads in the US, for a reasonable price and even more reasonable postage.

Grateful thanks to everyone who offered to look and send me something, I really appreciate it, especially those of you who’d have to send it a long way 🙂

There has been a brilliant response to the call to action for this quilt. We now have just the following blocks left for which we don’t yet have a maker committed:

  • 9 paper pieced envelope blocks
  • 4 appliqué postcard blocks

If necessary, I can make these up myself, but if anyone out there is debating whether they have time to help or not, you have a while to think about it, as I don’t plan to start assembling till September.

Now for some other news. Katy Cameron of The Littlest Thistle had created a lovely paper pieced envelope block for an Easter post on her blog in April. It was too small to use here, but she has very kindly resized it for us to use for ST&D. If you are making one of the paper pieced envelope blocks and would like to use it, please let me know, together with an email address if I don’t already have one for you, and I’ll send you the pdfs.  A link to the relevant blog post can be found here, so you can see what the block looks like. I’m so grateful to Katy for saving me the trouble of drawing one up myself!

And finally, I’ve just heard from Ovarian Cancer Australia that TWX has arrived safely and they’re absolutely delighted with it.

Well done, you lot!

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 😉