The Teal Deal: T4T finds a new home

I have good news to share ūüôā

Below is a copy of an email I received from Emma at Ovarian Cancer Australia about the Time For Teal quilt. I’ll let her tell the news:

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-50-14-pm

I’m so pleased to have been able to help, and for such a respectable total. And to all of you who contributed and made it possible to create the quilt, a huge ‚ô•thank you‚ô•, a big hug, and congratulations, at helping to make a difference.

I’ll be making a start on Stay+ soon, which shouldn’t take long, as I have all the blocks ready and the layout sorted. And for anyone who’d like a chance to help out with the one after that, Tealed with a Kiss, what are needed are blocks featuring an X shape, in teal and cream, 12.5 inch square unfinished.

I’m so happy to think that this lovely quilt is now someone’s treasured possession ūüôā

 

Time for Teal 23: Time for a teal break

It’s done, my friends.

Last section joined, bound, hanging pocket and label added. Click on the photos to enlarge.

T4T finished frontNormally, I hang a quilt¬†on the line to photograph it, but I didn’t like to disturb Mrs Noisy on her nest. The design wall is fully occupied by S+ so I can’t hang it there. The Husband of Chiconia was¬†unavailable for quilt holding-up duties, being occupied with grubby activities in the garage. So I bit the bullet and approached the clothesline quietly and obliquely. She was a bit agitated for a minute or two, but when it was obvious I wasn’t interested in her or her nest, she sat tight. It didn’t help that it’s a breezy day and the damn quilt wouldn’t hold still, but there you go, I’m not complaining about a nice cool breeze.

T4T reverse, quiltingT4T labelToday or tomorrow,¬†I shall head to the post office to get it¬†off to Ovarian Cancer Australia’s Melbourne office. After that,¬†I’m taking some¬†days off from the colour teal to do some other sewing, read a book, clean the sewing room floor, that sort of stuff. I’ll be getting back to S+ soon, I just need a break from all that tealness, and so, I’m sure, do you…

Quilt details:
Size: W63 x H75 inches (W160 x H190cm)
30 x 12¬Ĺ inch blocks, made by 13 contributors
6 blocks specially design for the quilt*
Begun 3 March 2016, completed 9 August 2016

I’ll also be stroking the absolutely gorgeous Japanese printed voile I bought in the 30% off Spotlight sale to make myself a dress and trying to find a home for the large roll of batting I also scored for a similar reduction. So, let’s see, what can I find to surprise you with next time?

So many lovely things to make, so little time…¬†

 

*If you’d like to use any of the blocks specially designed for this quilt by Esther of ipatchandquilt, please click through to ¬†her Craftsy shop for¬†all these ‚Äď and many more ‚Äď beautiful foundation paper piecing patterns.

Time for Teal 21: securing the border

I have quite a lot to show you this time.

Dresden top row on

Top dresden border attached

Dresden bottom row joined

Bottom Dresden border completed, waiting to be attached

I’ve completed the top and bottom rows of dresdens¬†and¬†attached the¬†top one. The assembly process is now well established and it doesn’t take me long to get the blocks ready for quilting and trimming out.¬†Attaching the long rows is very fiddly, especially as I¬†have to change¬†the sashing colour partway along for these rows, but really, compared with quilting a big thing like this it’s a walk in the park.

Top & bottom border layout

Top & bottom outer border layouts

Here are the final selections for the top and bottom outer borders. Once everything was up, I did quite a lot of tinkering, so it’s fairly different from my original take, and may still get tweaked a little more, depending on what comes in soon. My design wall isn’t quite large enough for the whole quilt to be laid out with the outer border blocks at their untrimmed size, so the bottom row is on the floor. Excuse the extraneous stuff in the photo, but I can’t quite get the whole thing into one picture without it!

So now there are only 10 more blocks needed. I know that my friend Nanette has posted me something, so¬†I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming. After that, I’ll know how many more¬†to make.

But having got the whole thing up and seen how it looks, I have one burning question, and I’d value input on this. Is it getting too big?¬† Currently the plan is to produce a quilt of finished size H100 x W88 inches (254 x 222 cm), more or less, which is fairly humungous. If you were buying a quilt at a charity auction, would you want one this big, or would you prefer a more lap-size quilt of 75 x 62 inches (190 x 158 cm)? If the latter, then I have to stop very soon! But if you’d love the larger one, I’ll carry on with the outer border. If we go with the smaller one, never fear, I will have absolutely no trouble using all the border blocks everyone has so kindly sent already, since there’s going to be a Teal quilt every year. I’ll be interested to hear what everyone thinks ‚Äď votes for larger or smaller, please.

Even if you never usually comment, this is one time when I really need to hear what you think, so make an exception and let me know!

 

Time for Teal 20: Border country

Onward to the border!

I have realised I cannot really afford to hang around too much with T4T’s¬†outer border. Life has a way of presenting you with surprises, and unless I maintain momentum I may find myself nearing the end of August with Time for Teal still unfinished. Another sustained effort will help to make it happen.

So I have begun arranging the blocks I have, trying to work out a balanced effect. They seem to divide sensibly into ‘pale’ and ‘strong’ groupings, the latter being blocks with very bright or dark fabrics featuring prominently, and the former being more balanced and lighter in their contrast. So the plan is to alternate, with Viv’s wonderful wonky pineapple blocks at each corner, which definitely fall into the ‘strong’ category!

T4T collage 8I needed¬†two¬†more ‘pale’ blocks for the bottom row, and fortunately I got a squishy in the mail today from Viv’s cousin Robin which fit the bill exactly.¬†I now¬†have the rows sorted out for the top and bottom outer borders. I just need 10 more blocks, 5 on each side, and it’ll be enough. I’ve also made a couple of scrapbuster blocks using the smaller and less useful bits and pieces, and you can see all 4 blocks in the collage above.

There’s a squishy on the way from Nanette with an additional contribution, so I shall see what wonderful loot arrives before I determine how many more I need to make myself, and of what type, in order to finish the side borders.

Time for some sustained prep work. I have 14 blocks ready to go!

Time for Teal 19: I am a machine!

Seriously making up for lost time here…

right dresden borderI’ve finished the right hand Dresden Plate border, and both left and right borders are now attached to the central ‘tea table’ panel, using the pale teal with cream spot I mentioned in an earlier post.

The top and bottom edges of the tea table panel will also be bordered like this, when I get there.

Also completed, but not shown yet, are two of the Dresden Plate blocks for the top row. The other three are batched up and sandwiched with batting and backing, ready for me to start quilting them. It’s so, so much easier doing it this way. I can cut a bunch of back panels, a load of batting squares, press the fronts and sandwich them together in about the time it takes to fully quilt one block.

I haven’t yet run out of different ways to quilt each individual block. There’s only one repeat at present: the two large coffee pots have the same wavy line quilting because I feel it suits the blocks best. Everything else is different.

I quilted the second of Viv’s two dresden plate blocks yesterday, and stopped to think about her as I did so. I think they may perhaps have been the last pieces of patchwork she ever made… Unfailingly kind to the end, Viv. Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.

tea table and dresden sidesO.C.A would dearly like to have the quilt by the end of August for their September fundraiser, and I think we’re going to make it :-).

Tomorrow, I’ll finish the top Dresden Plate border.

Time for Teal 15: Let the quilting begin!

And it has. Begun, that is.

Centre and dresden borderHere’s the entire collection of blocks for the main body of the quilt. All that’s missing is the outer border of random blocks. Somewhere in the last 3 days, the healing of my back has turned a corner and I can now sit at the machine, stand to¬†trim or cut, and bend over very moderately to pin or adjust things. It’s been a bit of a revelation; who knew that making quilts was actually quite demanding?

central row completeThis central row is done; quilted and joined. I’m not hand stitching the folds down on the back; I don’t know how gently the quilt will be treated in its future life, and I don’t want hand stitching coming apart, so it’s getting stitched in the ditch on the front of the quilt, which captures the fold tidily on the back. The speed of quilting and assembly is one of the fun parts of QAYG (Quilt As You Go). No matter where you stop, you end up with a mini-quilt of some description.

I started off by quilting more densely than I normally do, mainly because I could; the blocks are only a foot square and easy to manipulate. But I soon realised this might cause problems on the squares where the measurement was exact or perhaps even a bit scant. Quilting draws up the fabric, and too much of it will make the block a little too small. That’s a problem with QAYG, which relies on accurate blocks, sashing and seam allowances. Moving forward, I’m letting the block designs sing more loudly than the quilting, which will be minimal.

Tomorrow, I’ll start on Row 2, and then comes¬†the fun of joining two rows!

Time for Teal part 7

It was a bonanza day for Time for Teal yesterday.

T4T collage 5I received a beautiful churn dash border panel with a heart in it from Sue, and from Esther, two teapots and a stand of cupcakes! Have a look at these bits of loveliness! ¬†I have such a great range of tea-table blocks now that I need to make the centre panel a row taller. Of course, this means I’ll need to make some extra border and dresden plate blocks, but it’ll be so worth it.

Along with both packages came blocks for my Foot2Freestyle quilt, as it’s my month. Head over to the gallery to have a look at what’s there already; some of them are quite dazzling.

And there were goodies too! ¬†Sue’s envelope made me laugh before I even opened it, and I imagine you can see why!

Back of Sue's envelope

Inside, as well as the blocks, she’d included a huswife/needle book I’ve coveted since she first showed it on her blog, as it’s in one of my favourite colours and is beautifully decorated. I’m showing my favourite side, but the other one is just as beautiful, as you’ll see if you click on the link. It’s going to be perfect to replace my rather too small and not very secure needlebook, and it also has a pocket where I can keep safe my embroidery needle threader, something else I lose constantly and which I can’t manage without.

Huswife

Esther’s goodie bag included a piece of fabric printed with a craquelure pattern which she’s sent me to use in my Cosmatesque wall quilt, as it’s perfect for some of the ’tile’ areas. Also in the bag were a little baggie of charms, which she uses on zipper tags when she’s making pouches, but I think a couple of them are perfect for decorating ribbon loops on my smallest scissors, and a strip of fabric printed with panels to use as quilt labels, all three of them quite beautiful!

Craquelure fabric Esther's goodie bag

 

 

 

 

I had a busy morning opening packages, oohing and aahing, pressing and photographing blocks, arranging and rearranging the central T4T panel, and starting to think about how I’m going to arrange my F2F blocks. It was a great distraction from the anticipation of the afternoon’s impending repeat of my spinal injection, which went off once again without a hitch except a numb foot and a bit of pain during the procedure.¬†For the next couple of days, I’m working on a separate project, but very shortly I’ll be back to T4T, so stay tuned.

And don’t forget, if you stitch along with us, it’s ScrapHappy Day tomorrow, Sunday 15th.

Time for Teal part 6

The postie brought me two bonus packages today!

The first was only interesting for me: a bright green leather case for my new phone.

The second was much more exciting: a squishy from Lorij, with three lovely border blocks for Time for Teal.

LorijT4T 1 LorijT4T 2 LorijT4T 3We’re making good progress. I’m waiting for a teapot block from Esther, and I have her Small Plate and Forks block planned to make in the next week or so. That leaves only 1 more to make and the centre square is done.

I have 5¬†dresden plates ‚Äď I need 16, so after I finish the centre square I’ll have to start a production run of those.

And so far, I have 10 outer border blocks. I need to make the Teal Ribbon block, but after that I’ll be having some fun with random designs: a postage stamp block, a Hunter’s Star, some rail fences, that sort of thing.

We’re in¬†good shape here!

 

Time for Teal part 5

Cake without baking!

Peppermint gateauLook at this fabulous beauty. It’s the¬†gateau and cake-stand ¬†pattern designed by Esther which I mentioned in my last post. If you click on¬†this link, you’ll see her design for using all the gorgeous teatime blocks she’s designed in one layout. It’s brilliant! Sadly, my gateau¬†has taken forever to finish, not because the pattern was so very difficult but because I can only spend a short time sitting at the sewing machine before my back starts yelling at me. The pattern does require some experience, but it’s not a hard one, you just need to be meticulous. Up to now that has not been a problem, but I did make an exceptionally stupid mistake yesterday regarding colour, which resulted in my having to completely remake the bottom section… I make no excuses, it was just plain stupid.

So, my lovely tiered pale sponge cake has a swirly peppermint frosting and a slightly darker background to give¬†the paler colours better contrast, and¬†it may end up taking centre stage in the middle of the tea-table so as not to throw off the balance visually. Now that it’s Monday again here, I’m going to be checking the mailbox eagerly for squishies; I know there’s at least one on the way destined for the central section, and I’d like to start getting that laid out so I can see how much work I still need to do there.

I’m not averse to using machines in baking, as you probably realise from all my cooking posts, but this is the first time I’ve used a sewing machine to make a cake… It could become addictive!

And we all know how much I love cake… heh, heh!

Time for Teal part 4

More squishy fun through the post, this time from the lovely Lynn. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

T4T collage 4

The top two are hers. Lynn, I hope you don’t mind, but I might add a narrow inner border on the cup and saucer block, which¬†‘float’ a little bit in the background. Something in teal, to pick up the colour of the stitching. And I love the fabrics in the Dresden Plate, which is especially welcome as I need loads of them!

I also got a couple of blocks done myself. ‘A couple’ might not seem that impressive, but these two were fiendish, and while I’m pleased with the result, I will probably never, ever be making them again! They are by Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam. It’s a lovely blog, and she has a fairly large library of free paper piecing patterns, but if I’d been in my right mind, I’d have printed them out at 200%. Making a 6 inch block that has about 45 pieces in it was not a good choice when I was so uncomfortable and in pain and not able to sit easily at my sewing machine! Actually, I’ll revise that. I’d like to try them again when I have a bit more time, my back isn’t screaming at me, and I’ll definitely print them out larger… Some of the pieces were tiny triangles only 1cm (about a third of an inch)¬†on a side.

Next up on the sewing list is the gorgeous gateau on a cake stand and small cake plate and forks blocks from Esther. These two patterns are available *free* in her Craftsy store, along with many other beauties, some of which are free and others which are very much¬†worth their very¬†modest price. After that, I’ll make up another one of¬†my own design for the teal ribbon block, which will feature on every Ovarian Cancer Quilt I make, and probably some hearts and stars for the border, and maybe a postage stamp or rail fence block or two.

I have a couple more teapot blocks and cup and saucer blocks in reserve to fill out the centre section, if necessary, but I probably need most of all to concentrate on Dresden plates; I only have about a third of the quantity I need.

I know there are at least two more squishies on the way with more¬†blocks, so I’m not going to go mad till I see what I have.