Scinteallate #13: quilting’s done

Another landmark passed.

All the Scinteallate blocks are now quilted and trimmed out. You can get an idea of how the finished texture will look, although the teal sparkly sashing will have quite an impact, I think.

I’ve started to cut the many, many pieces required for the front and back sashing. I planned the cutting quite carefully so that offcuts from the backs of the blocks could be used as sashing on the back. There weren’t quite enough, but still, it helped to cut them as I went. What size you cut and how many depends on how you plan to join the blocks, so that was my first decision. This quilt is a row shorter than my usual size, so I couldn’t go straight to the default process. However, it shouldn’t be too tough; I’m still minimising the number of long, cumbersome seams.

More cutting tomorrow. I’ve found it quite hard to spend a lot of time at it with a pointy black nose suddenly inserting itself under my arm to see what’s happening on the table. High time I got my cutting table up on its blocks to make that a bit more difficult, or there’ll be a nasty accident with a rotary cutter one of these days…

And now I must go and check the cumquat juice…. It sounds like a code phrase in a spy movie, doesn’t it?

Scinteallate #11: over halfway

Lots and lots of wavy lines…

Not a very exciting post, but the quilting is 60% done. In case you’re wondering, I stitched in the ditch around the centre of the Dog Star block, and kept it free of wavy lines. I didn’t want to spoil his doggy beauty, and the square is small enough not to be a problem if un-quilted. Lots of starts and stops, but totally worth it!

I’m in the groove now, and it’s going smoothly. Plenty of bobbins wound so I won’t run out and have to wind more and re-thread the machine. A new can of 505 spray baste. A still day so it doesn’t go everywhere when I spray the blocks. And best of all, a swing seat to sit in while I write this post 🙂 The only way it could be better is if all the blocks were finished.

Soon, I promise.

Scinteallate #10: first line quilted

I’m back on the case, at last.

I’ve lost nearly 2 weeks through being sick with the flu, so it was time to get cracking. I’d originally planned something a little bit more elaborate for the quilting, but having lost the extra time it would have taken, I’ve reverted to my old favourite, Wavy Lines. It does draw up the block a little, but as I’m quilting them all in the same direction, the drawing up will be proportional across the board. The quilt may be a tiny bit off square (a little taller than it’s wide) but not in a bad way.

And I believe I’ve finalised the layout. I’m happy with the way it looks, it feels balanced.

Now I just have to wait until Monday to carry on quilting 😦 I’ve run out of my favourite basting spray, and the shop’s that’s open today doesn’t stock it. And I’m a little bit weary and wobbly still, so perhaps it’s not such a bad thing.

So, 20% done. Give me till the end of the month…

Scinteallate #9: the stars are aligned

The last 4 blocks arrived this morning.

And what beauties they are!  Two from Nanette – I love how the little bird has been framed:

And two from Lynda, who has given us the Dog Star, from the constellation Canis Major. Which just goes to show that I’m not the only one who can pun in fabric. The dog is embroidered in sparkly silver thread, with tiny glittering beads to show the stars of the constellation. Gorgeous!

Half an hour’s intense rearranging of blocks and squinting gives us this, which I think may be the final layout.

Imagine this with a narrow sashing in teal with silvery sparkles on it. I think it’s going to look great! As always, comments please – you may spot something that looks out of place that I haven’t noticed or a substitution that works better. And again as always, I reserve the right to go with my own final decision 🙂

So, everything’s lined up and ready for me to cut backing and backing and then start quilting. We’re on track, my friends, this gorgeous quilt is going to be ready by the deadline, failing any major disasters.

I’ll be back with the first quilting to show you.

Scinteallate #6: a meteor shower

EIGHT more stars have fallen into my mailbox.

I think that qualifies as a meteor shower, don’t you? It  means we’re up to 18 stars for Scinteallate, only 7 left to go till there are enough to start quilting and assembling. Good work, everyone!

These are the latest contributors.

Robin (her third block for this quilt)

Lynn (don’t you love that animal fabric?)



All gorgeous, aren’t they?  I love the range of styles and designs, and I’m flat-out impressed by Sharon’s immaculately hand-pieced block! For those of you concerned about the background cream, don’t be; we need a bit of variation to add definition and individuality with these lovely blocks.

Finally, here’s how they’re looking together on the design wall so far. This is by no means the final layout (unless it turns out to be the best arrangement, of course!), but I’m liking how it looks as a grouping.

I really must crack on with a few more blocks of my own; there’s been a paper piecing pattern and fabric scraps sitting on my table since before we went away.

But first, the laundry 😦

Scinteallate #5: half a dozen

It was a great day for squishes!

The postie brought not one, but two lovely packages. The first was from Sue, with four gorgeous blocks:

And the second was from Gun, with two, including one stunning appliqué block:

And finally, I’ve bought the fabric for the back and joining strips:

I couldn’t resist the tiny stars on the cream background, and that marbled teal has tiny sparkles over-printed on it.

Scinteallate is really starting to scintillate!

Scinteallate #4: two from the South

Robin’s squishy arrived this morning.

For most of you, Australia’s probably south of everything, but even Down Under, there’s people south of me, and the lovely Robin is one of them. Right now, she’s ‘enjoying’ chilly winter weather while I bask in balmy 24°C/75°F with all the doors and windows open and the aircon off for a change. But that hasn’t stopped her turning out two beautiful star blocks for Scinteallate, and they’re wonderfully scrappy. That’s given them exactly the kind of ‘twinkle’ I was hoping for 🙂

I have a messy heap of scrappy strips on my work table, waiting to be pressed for the next block. And at some stage today I have to make a foray to Spotlight to buy 4 metres of cream backing and half a metre of something darkish blue-green for the front joining strips on Scinteallate. That’s the current plan – unless, of course, I spot something brilliant on clearance or reduced, as an alternative.

That’s after I’ve made mandarin curd and put the apple crumble in the oven. The neighbours gave us a huge sack of their windfall mandarins and I have to use them up before they start to go mouldy. Half of them juiced for breakfast, half of them zested and juiced for the curd. Oh, my suffering is extreme, I tell you…

And we finally have Miz Lizzie back from caravan hospital, with her roof and windows re-sealed, a new step and stabilising legs added, and a foot locker removed from one side to give the Husband a bit more leg room in bed. Time to clean, repack and restock her before our trip north in 10 days. It’ll be nice to get everything off the sofa in my sewing room… so I can lie on it 🙂

Till the next squishy! 


Twinkle, twinkle, little star

It’s time for the next Ovarian Cancer quilt.

You’ll remember that henceforth, our quilts are being made to be auctioned at the Nude Lunch, our local annual Ovarian Cancer fundraising extravaganza. Not only will they raise more money than was being achieved by Ovarian Cancer Australia, but the money is being spent locally, for the benefit of local ovarian cancer patients and their families. The next Nude Lunch is on 6th September this year. Ooooer… a bit of a deadline, then. So, well, I stirred up the little grey cells, and we have liftoff.

The quilt is going to be called Scinteallate. Yes, I’m still finding ways to play with the word Teal.

Here’s what the dictionary has to say:

Given the meaning, I thought twinkling stars would be a really pretty visual interpretation. So this quilt will feature 30 teal star on cream background blocks, each 12 inches square (finished size). As always, I will sandwich, quilt and assemble the whole thing. What I’m asking is that each block should be as scrappy as possible, to give the twinkling effect I’m hoping for, like faceted jewels. You can make crazy stars, wonky stars, traditionally pieced, appliquéd or paper pieced stars. You can add beads, sequins or metallic threads (just bear in mind I’ll have to quilt the blocks). You can make your stars very simple or as complicated as you like. I will probably cluster the more complex blocks in the middle of the quilt and spread the simpler ones around the outside to give the effect some ‘air’. The format will be 5 across by 6 down, and I will assemble using the QAYG method, as always.

Timing: I need your contributions here by the end of June. For contributors not in Australia, this means sending your block(s) by mid-June. That will give me enough time to quilt and assemble the quilt and get it to the Naked Lunch organisers in time for them to include it in the event program.

Contributors so far:
Kate (as many blocks as necessary to bring the total up to 30)
Lynn (2 complex blocks)
Nanette (2 blocks)
Margaret (2 blocks)
Sharon (1 block)
Lynda (2 blocks)
Sue (1 or 2 blocks)
Gun (2 blocks)

So, who else is in?


I love the blogging community!

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.56.05 pmI received these lovely potholders/mug rugs yesterday from Linda of Life on a Colorado Farm, a surprise gift from one blogging friend to another. Her daughter sews, and made them, and Linda thought I’d enjoy them. She’s right! Aren’t they gorgeous? Much too good for holding hot pots and pans, so I shall use them as generously-sized mug rugs, perfect for a cup of coffee and a snacklet to keep me going while I give the sewing machine a thrashing.

Right, I must go and pipe frosting onto a batch of cupcakes I’m taking to my SIL’s for dessert this evening. I don’t have to cook tonight, hurray!