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 12½ 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 – and many more – beautiful foundation paper piecing patterns.

Time for Teal 18: playing catch-up

Now that my mojo is back, I’m going for it!

Left dresden borderAlso now finished are the four Dresden Plate border blocks on the left of the centre panel, which are joined to each other but not yet to the centre panel.

Remember I said I wanted a narrow coloured border around the table top?  I’ve chosen the pale teal with cream spot I’ve used in a few blocks, as it’s relatively ‘quiet’, and because I already have enough of it. Next time I post you’ll be able to see how that looks. Meanwhile I have to go back and get a few more metres of the pale beige small print I’ve been using for the back and the narrow sashing. There was enough to do only what you see, and as it is, I had to piece the backing for one of the blocks.

Spray basting these blocks before quilting has been a bit of a life saver. All I can say is, they’ve improved the product since the last time I tried it, and I’m also using very, very little. But it does take far less time than pin or thread basting, and means I can make rapid progress.

I also wanted to show you what the quilting looks like. For the most part it’s fairly invisible on the front, and that’s how I wanted it. The design of the blocks is too pretty to be upstaged by the quilting, even supposing I was capable of quilting that would do that! But on the plain back, you can see what’s going on. It’s like a low relief of the images on the front, and I’m loving it! Sort of a wholecloth quilt effect. I’ve boosted the shadows in the image so you can see it more clearly; the actual back is more creamy-beige than grey!

Quilting, centre and left dresden borderFor anyone who has offered to make a random teal block or two for the outermost border, I’ll be ready to start that in about a week to 10 days. I have about half the quantity I need already. If everyone is busy, though, I’ll still have time to piece the remainder myself and get them integrated into the quilt, so it’s all good.

If you do want to go for it, though, it’s a teal and cream or light beige colour-way on a 12½ inch trimmed out block, but I’d ask you please to allow extra all round to allow for the quilting ‘shrinking’ the block slightly by anything up to a quarter inch. Any design is fine except for more dresdens or tea-related blocks; the border needs to be fairly neutral to let the central part tell the story.

I’m waiting for a firm deadline for the quilt from Ovarian Cancer Australia. Once I have that, it’ll be all systems go!

Time for Teal 17: the last row, and the tea table

It’s taken me all too long to get to this point.

Row 3, T4T It has been a week for multiple tedious medical experiences, including a flight back down to Brisbane for a follow up visit to the spinal surgeon. Thankfully it’s mostly over now, but I will have to scramble a bit to catch up with all the lost time. I’m feeling heaps better than this time a week ago, so I’m hopeful.

I got the last row quilted and joined, and once I’ve joined the three rows together lengthways, the tea table centre will be finished. Next will be the Dresden Plate Border, and then when that’s done, I’ll be able to assess whether I have time to complete the final outer border before the September deadline, or whether I have to finish the quilt there.

Right, back to the sewing machine! 

Tea table, all three rows



Time for Teal 14: finally, the ribbon

I’m feeling a bit sheepish at how long this block has taken.

Teal ribbonHaving got my F²F² contribution for June squared away, it was time to turn my attention to other things. Despite the siren call of the next Hatbox block, or July’s F²F² blocks, I was firm with myself. The ribbon had to be done. That said, I’ve been a bit easier on myself than before. My previous ribbon block was paper pieced. This time I’ve gone the appliqué route, which meant I was able to give it some nice rounded curves and there are no distracting seams. I’m pleased with it.

Best of all, though, it means that all but the outermost border blocks are now done (and I already have a fair number of those). Rather than dive into the outer blocks, I’m going to stop block construction, and start sandwiching and quilting the ‘tea table’ central blocks and dresden border, and then joining them together. If for some unforeseen reason I run out of time, it means I will have a smaller but complete quilt, and a bunch of lovely blocks to put towards the next quilt. I simply cannot miss the September deadline.

I must find my quilt marking pen. It seems to have gone walkies!

Time for Teal 13, and other stuff

Nanette has come up trumps!

T4T collage 7Not only do I now have two more Dresden Plate blocks to fit the two gaps at the top of the dresden plate border on T4T, she’s also made me two lovely outer border blocks. The photos don’t do justice to how very pretty the background fabrics are – one of them is a tiny beige gingham with tiny scattered raised stars. So sweet!

Also in the squishy were her three F²F blocks, which are gorgeous, and she very kindly sent me a piece of the fabric she used in the right hand block, which is going to be a real asset to my selection. Only one set left to come from Emmely, who has been on honeymoon, and then they’re all in.

Nanette F2FAt the moment, the time I can spend sitting at the sewing machine (which isn’t long before it starts to hurt) is spent making Lynn’s F²F² June blocks. After Lynn’s blocks, it’ll be the ‘ribbon’ block for T4T, which will complete the dresden border, and then I’m going to finish the Hatbox Quilt block which got lost and forgotten in all the mad dash for surgery at the end of last month. And in there somewhere is the SAL embroidery, which is actually progressing pretty well because I can get comfortable while I do it. It’s frustrating to have the time and the will to sew, but to be unable to sit for long enough. However, I am healing very well, it’s only been three weeks since major surgery, and it’ll be another 3 before I can expect to be functionally pain free and approaching my full final range of motion.

There you have it. Pretty things, my meagre progress, and what to expect next.

Time for Teal part 12

More eye candy!

T4T collage 6In this collage, the pale large pale background Dresden Plate is from Carla at Granny Maud’s Girl.  The heart comes from Sue of From the Magpie’s Nest, and the other two Dresden blocks are from Annett.

AnnettsquishyThe second collage shows the lovely gifts she sent with them – that was a really fabulous squishy parcel! Don’t you love the collapsible thread catcher, perfect for travelling?

I now need only two more Dresden Plate blocks, and I know that Nanette is sending me at least one, so I shall wait and see what comes before I make any more.

I’ve bought the backing and sashing fabric to assemble the central ‘tea table’ area. I’m looking at this quilt now and thinking that September, which seemed so far off a month or two ago, is creeping closer. I’ve been out of action in a fairly significant way for nearly a month. I must start to get back into the routine of doing some regular sewing each day, or the deadline will come and go with no quilt to present to Ovarian Cancer Australia for the charity auction. I know I have the best of excuses: it was serious surgery and I’m not able to work for more than an hour at a time, but at the same time, I need to get moving. I won’t overdo it, but I also won’t be lazy or put it off till later.

Next, it’ll be time to start the rest of the outer border blocks :-). I already have some, so once the centre’s sorted, I can lay them out and see what’s still needed.

Time for Teal part 11

Opening squishies is such brilliant fun.

When I got home two days ago, there were two envelopes waiting. One from Viv, who has been a presence on this blog for a good while, and who always has something lovely to say about whatever I make. The other one was from Robin, who is new, but who also came to me via Viv. Robin lives in the ACT here in Australia, but is also Viv’s cousin, and because Ovarian Cancer is a cause close to her heart, and because she’s also a quilter, she asked if she could contribute, now and on future quilts. Well, of course the answer was a resounding yes. And I’m very happy to have a new friend to Chiconia as well 🙂

Here are the blocks. First Viv:

Viv dresden 1 Viv dresden 2

And then Robin, who sent me not one but three beautiful Dresden Plate blocks.

Robin dresden 1 Robin dresden 2 Robin dresden 3

Not too many more needed for the border around the ‘tea table’ – I now only have to make 5, and that’ll be done very quickly. I already have quite a few of the blocks I’ll need for the outermost border. We’re doing rather well 😉

It will soon be time for me to go and buy backing and sashing fabric, and start the whole QAYG process.

Teal Tea-Time

I finally managed to get into the kitchen.

Doing my best Quasimodo impression, I lurched about (the back pain is ramping up, bring on the surgery), making a gluten free caramel mud cake batter. I spread it across three cake pans in descending order of size. Of course, I didn’t have the right size for the smallest one, so that got made in a little pie pan and is therefore a slightly strange shape.

Teal Time Cake

The caramel mud cake was splodged with peppermint flavoured teal-coloured (or as near as I could get) buttercream frosting (it helps to disguise the lopsided cake!). Also, my cake stand isn’t blue, but, dear Esther, here is your fabulous paper piecing pattern brought to life in a very wonky and not quite as tall, but rather tasty way. There’s about three-quarters of it left, and I don’t think the remainder will last.

Peppermint gateau

And here’s what it should look like…

What do you think, people? It tastes pretty good, mint-caramel combined.

But not as good as Esther’s block looks….

Time for Teal part 10

More beauties are on their way.

Time for Teal_01 Time for Teal_02_AnnettDespite being quite unwell, Annett has made and sent me two beautiful Dresden Plate blocks – exactly what I most need right now. I am so very grateful for her kindness, as it will save me time in getting the next border done. She’s sensibly given me extra fabric round the outside so I can trim them to size.

As most of you know by now, I am going to need spinal surgery of some kind in the near future, which means it’s likely my sewing time will be considerably reduced. There will be a bit of a hiatus in blogging during and immediately after the procedure, too. As I don’t know when it’s going to be yet, I’m planning to see if I can crank out a few more Dresden Plates of my own this weekend before I have to fly down and consult the neurosurgeon on Monday and Tuesday.

Also on today’s agenda is my first attempt at the Time for Teal Cake. If successful, I will get in a quick post about it, and also give the recipe if anyone’s interested.

I’d better get moving, cakes and plates won’t make themselves!


Time for Teal part 9

Here are the last two blocks for the centre of the ‘tea table’.

I had a couple of appliqué days, and tried a new (to me) process. Normally, I fuse my piece to the background and then stitch round it. But this adds an extra layer of thickness and stiffens the appliqué section. With the block below, it would have meant 8 layers on top of the background, and the design area would have been quite rigid.

Kate's mug and plate stack

Instead, I used tear-away stabiliser. I laid down all the elements in order on the background, one on top of the other. Behind the light area, I pinned a piece of stabiliser. Then I basted through all the layers, around all the shapes. Next came a small, narrow blanket stitch around all the shapes. Finally, I removed the basting, and on the reverse, carefully removed the stabiliser and snipped away all the excess fabric behind each shape.  Each of those elements has just one layer of fabric, and the block is still nice and flexible. The basting held the pieces in place, and the stabiliser prevented the rucking and channelling you get under the edge stitching when there’s nothing behind it.

Kate's teacups and doiley

I used the same process for this block, but the embroidery stitch around the edge of the ‘doiley’ kept trying to chew up the fabric, and I was lucky to be able to hide a dodgy patch behind one of the cups. If I use this stitch again in appliqué I may use fusible instead, and then the fabric won’t shift at all.

Finishing these last two blocks means that I now have the final arrangement sorted out. Voilà! Tea and cake, anyone…?

Tea Table Centre

Next job is to sandwich each block and quilt it, and then join them. These central blocks will have a pale cream/beige lightly patterned narrow sashing to try and give visual unity, although it’s a bit tricky given the range of background colours! Never mind, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing whatever I do, the blocks are all so lovely.

After that, it’s time to move onto Dresdens. Some more of you have volunteered to produce a block or two, which will be greatly appreciated now that I have to unfortunately ration my time at the sewing machine. I need 7 small (8 inch) and 5 large (10 inch) Dresden blocks, on a light background. I have a whole heap of fabulous scraps. Noooooo problem! After that, it’ll be the outer border, and another 21 blocks needed. I have a fair number of paper piecing blocks sorted out, and I’ll intersperse those with simpler pieced designs. We’re looking good!

Right, back to the sofa to unkink the back. I never thought I’d get bored with sofa-lounging. How times change!