ST&D: 29 and 30, all safely in

The final two blocks for Signed, Tealed & Delivered have arrived safely.

It was a slightly worrying wait, because Margaret had put so much work into the cross stitch ‘postal frank’ block that if the parcel got lost it would be a real tragedy. But it and her postcard block are here, and I’ve been able to finalise the layout (I think!).

So without further ado, here’s how it’s going to be laid out. As always, you’re invited to comment if you think a particular placing doesn’t work. And as always, your comments are appreciated but I may not act on them since I may have a particular reason for placement.

I’m wondering if I might not sash this quilt with teal for a change, and perhaps even a patterned fabric; it’s been cream for all the previous ones, with a cream backing. There’s no reason why I can’t do teal on the front and cream on the back. You’ll recall I have that fabulous airmail stripe fabric for the binding. I’m considering cutting the binding early, so I can see how much I have left over. There may even be enough to do a couple of backing squares, and I have a piece of lovely airmail sticker fabric Margaret kindly donated, which would make a couple more backs. I’ll see how it goes…

So, next steps are: cut the binding strips; assess the remaining stripe and airmail sticker fabric and cut squares from them for backing; cut the rest of the backing squares from cream; buy teal and cut for the sashing strips; cut batting squares.

And then, my dears, it’ll be time to start quilting!

ST&D: 28 down, 2 still to go

My first mail of 2018 was a squishy!

It was a promising start to my quilting year, and this lovely postcard block from Esther brings the total to 28 blocks received and only two more to come. They’re both coming from Margaret, and one of them I know is already done. The other is the final postcard block.

I’d like to thank all the participants for getting their contributions to me so quickly. I’ll now have a generous amount of time to  arrange, sandwich, quilt and assemble the blocks before the deadline in mid-April. On previous occasions it has sometimes been a bit of a narrow squeak to get it all done around my other activities, so I’m very grateful for the luxury of time.

I have a number of new ideas for future Ovarian Cancer Australia quilts. Some require very straightforward piecing only, others will have moderate appliqué elements, and other still need more advanced curved and paper-piecing skills. Whatever your skill level, there’s an OCA quilt to match it, so if you’d like to join us in 2018, either again or for the first time, let me know.

I hope your 2018 has begun as well as mine. May your year be satisfying, creative, healthy and happy!

ST&D: a first

Hello again, with the latest report from Signed, Tealed & Delivered.

This beautiful block arrived today from the lovely Sandra in the UK. She’s created a postcard block with the view from an old family home of hers, showing one of England’s many White Horses. These White Horse images are vast, carved out of the thin turf covering chalk downland, and some of them are very ancient indeed. This is Sandra’s first ever appliqué quilt block, and I’d like to congratulate her on the imaginative image and the beautifully neat job she’s made of it. I must also draw your attention to the background fabric, which she decorated herself; it’s not, as most would imagine, a patterned fabric.

I’ll definitely be calling on Sandra again next time we have an OCA quilt in the pipeline 🙂

She also sent me some gifts, and these are also her work: the notecards are either her photo, or photos of images she’s created from natural and found objects. I love the pole dancer myself – I think she’s probably called Shelley, don’t you? And that Jaffa Cake keyring is a cute reminder of one of my most favourite bickies from the UK. You can’t get them fresh here; they import them but they’re horribly stale by the time they reach the specialist shops that stock them. Thank you, Sandra, they’re all lovely, and just in time for Christmas!

So, we’re just short of 4 blocks. Everyone has been exceptionally helpful about getting their work to me promptly, and I expect the final ones to come arrive in January or perhaps the end of this month. And then, ladies and gentlemen, it will be time to start arranging, sandwiching and quilting!

Meanwhile, it’s 32°C/90°F, humidity’s at 75%, and it’s time for a cold drink and a sit down!

ST&D: the other two corners

There was another squishy this morning.

The lovely Robin has sent me the other two corner blocks, beautifully made and exquisitely neat, and now I have to decide whether the envelope flaps will point inwards or outwards.

Here are Robin’s blocks, intended for the two bottom corners:

And here’s the layout, from my last post.

I’d designed it so the flaps pointed inwards, on the 4 diagonals. But one of the comments on the last ST&D post was to the effect that it might look better if they pointed outwards.

What does the audience think? All comments gratefully received, but you know me, I’ll go with my own thoughts in the end.

Ladies, we’re doing brilliantly well. Just 4 blocks to go… (some of which are already on their way).

Signed, Tealed & Delivered: the gappy one…

Well, people, you asked for it.

Here’s the ‘gappy’ layout, showing the blocks I have in so far. We’re still missing two corner blocks, three postcards and an embroidered postal frank block (for a look at this, go over to Margaret’s recent post about it). The gaps in the layout aren’t necessarily where the outstanding blocks will go in the end, but I wanted to make the layout looks as complete as possible.

This really is a wonderful collection of beautiful blocks, and I’m thrilled at how close to the original concept we’re going to come in the end. Everyone who’s contributed has dug deep in their stashes to donate some truly lovely fabrics, all of which contribute to how impressive and gorgeous this quilt will be when it’s done.

I’ll show the outstanding blocks as they come in. I think the corners will be next, then one of the postcards, then the frank block and the last postcard, judging by where they’re coming from.

All too soon, it’ll be time to start quilting…

ST&D: a surprise squishy!

I didn’t know this one was coming, so it was an especially lovely surprise to find an envelope in the mail box this morning 🙂

Jenny from The Lilac Cat has made two really beautiful envelopes. I love the fabrics she’s selected, especially the ones on the lighter of the two – the envelope itself is my particular favourite.

We are now waiting for just four more blocks: Robin’s corner blocks, which are on the way, Sandra’s postcard, also on the way, Margaret’s embroidered ‘frank’ block, in progress, and Esther’s postcard block, also in progress. You’ve all done so well, dear contributors, and Signed, Tealed & Delivered will be done before you know it.

I’m almost at the point where I can post a layout. Maybe I’ll do a ‘gappy’ one in the next week or so…

 

ST&D: Till minne av vår mamma

Today, I received Gun’s squishy envelope for the Signed, Tealed & Delivered quilt.

She’s made three beautiful blocks, two envelopes and a postcard. With it, there was a lovely letter, and I don’t mind telling you it made me cry a bit. Let me tell you why.

This quilt is dedicated to Barbro, Gun’s mother, whom she and her sister Monica lost to ovarian cancer in 2009. So you see, Gun also has a special reason to work on the quilts for Ovarian Cancer Australia.

In her letter, Gun explained that her mama had loved bluebells, so she was delighted to find a paper piecing design of bluebells, which she carefully scaled down for the front of the postcard. The back of her postcard is beautifully embroidered with a Swedish stamp and a special message, which translates to read:

Love you, miss you   |   In memory
Gun and Monica        |   of our Mamma

I’m honoured to be working with such a special piece of creative work, and to dedicate this quilt to a mother who was so greatly loved and is so greatly missed.

För Barbro: till minne av vår mamma…  

In honour of all our mothers, and loved ones lost.

 

Squishy, scrappy, stripey

Try saying that three times in a hurry.

Seriously, it’s been one of those days. I have been on the go more or less constantly since 7am, without stopping for meals.

A teleconference, two meetings, a couple of schedules and reports to write, emails to get off, laundry and meals to see to, and to crown it all, the gas cylinder ran out while I had something in the oven that was supposed to take 2 hours and be ready for the Husband’s evening meal when I got back from the second meeting.

Needless to say, it wasn’t and I had to make an emergency stir fry from what I had in the fridge. It was tasty, but it wasn’t succulent pulled pork…

However, amongst the angst, some really nice things happened.

The teleconference was fun, encouraging and very good for my morale. A squishy arrived from Nanette with two beeyootiful postcard blocks in it for ST&D, and I started a scrappy strip on the first of the till rolls.

Finally, I managed to do something I usually find very hard: I said No. Someone wanted me to do something I don’t feel comfortable about, to commit to something for which I don’t feel I have enough time. I agreed to part of it, but drew the line very clearly under what I was prepared to under-take and what I wasn’t. That’s usually very difficult for me to do, but this time, I did it. It feels good! 🙂

So I’m celebrating with a bit of silly word play. Well, you know me…

ST&D: two more squishies!

I had a nice surprise waiting in the mailbox yesterday.

We’d had our post held while we were away, so there was a big wodge of mail in the box, and among the rubbish and bills there were TWO squishy envelopes with familiar names on the back.

First there were these two lovely envelope blocks from first-time OCA contributor Tracy at It’s a T-Sweets Day:

Then two envelope blocks and a fabulous postcard block from the ever-generous serial contributor Lynn at Tialys.

 

 

 

 

 

And just look at the tiny note she included in the package – she’s really got into the postal theme, and I love it! She’s got a real talent for choosing fabrics, and I’m always excited to see what she’s chosen. That ombre background on the postcard block is a wonderful contrast to the vintage sepia look of the postcards.

 

I now have 15 out of the 30 blocks I need for this quilt, so a big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

ST&D, postcard 3

This is my final postcard, and I thought I’d do something a bit different.

I had some lovely greeny-aqua fabric with images of the Eiffel Tower on it in white. But it was just too bright and too aqua for this quilt, except perhaps in small quantities, where the print would be lost. So I played that old, old quilter’s trick, and turned it over. Using the back has toned down the colour beautifully and given it a textured, vintage feel. The idea of using this Eiffel Tower print led me to the remnants of a piece of very beautiful fabric given to me by Lynn at Tialys. I found a section which was large enough to become the front of my ‘Un Souvenir de Paris’ postcard. It’s not very teal-y but it plays nicely with the background, and I blanket-stitched it on with a peacock green thread to add definition between the postcard and the background. One of my remaining stamp transfers toned well with the butterfly in the corner, so that was stitched onto the back, together with a fabric air mail sticker from a piece of fabric generously donated by Margaret of The Crafty Creek.

I also want to let the whole Ovarian Cancer quilt group know that I had a phone conversation the other day with the Director of Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Australia, during which she told me that our quilts are incredibly popular at their fundraising events, that they raise hundreds of dollars when the quilts are offered at the live auctions, and please don’t stop making and sending them!

So, ladies, huge congratulations on your efforts, and while you’re still happy to make blocks, we’ll be able to make excellent use of them 🙂