“such fun!”–happy dancing

F2F2 finished 01

One of my favourite quotes (for all you Miranda fans) . . . and photos of “such fun!”, made with blocks from the F2F2 swap, organised by Kate

Those who follow my blog will remember this adventure began in June last year, when I joined a block swap, and spent 9 months, making and posting blocks to other ladies in their chosen colourways.  Until it was my turn, in February.  My colour inspiration was

Claire

And I think you’ll agree that the finished quilt as just as bright and colourful as these Rainbow Lorikeets.  A big thank you to Kate, the organiser.  But also to Lynn, Sandra, Sue, Susan, Moira, Gun, Esther who were the other official members of the swap.  And a thank you to Avis, who made and sent 3 blocks for my birthday, so I would have a total of 30 blocks for this patchwork.

It’s big.  It’s the biggest I’ve ever made.  Finishing up at 87” x 73” (that’s 220cm x 185cm).

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F2F2 finished 03

I added 1” orange sashing to each block before quilting and did the assembly using the QAYG (quilt as you go) method.  Using a splodgy/dotty print fabric on the back and repeating the orange bands.   Each block was quilted differently, by machine, and each block has the name of the maker embroidered on it, very discreetly, in orange thread.  That way, in the years to come, I’ll remember exactly who made what.

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So there you have it!  The swap was a wonderful learning experience, helped boost my confidence and really was “such fun!”.

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my little helper

Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be having a happy dance in the next few days, depending on how much help I get from my little helper.

Claires little helper 01

Yep, that’s my F2F2 quilt you can see on my lap.  All quilted, assembled and with binding machine sewn on.  More than 300 inches of binding.  And I’m now on the last stage of hand-sewing the binding to the back.

Claire little helper 02

Don’t I look enthralled?  lol.  It’s not so much the (more than) 300 inches of hand sewing that’s the problem.  It’s my little helper.  Le Bleu seems to think this quilt is fine and finished, just as it is.  And not helping at all.  My husband’s reaction is “Just push him off!” but awwwww  he looks so peaceful.

Meanwhile . . . photo of another of our cats.

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Yup, Ducky, who still looks as if he lost a fight with a mini lawn mower.  Fur seems to be taking ages to grow back!  It’s been 3 weeks since the operation.

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Now that the scar has healed, it’s almost invisible, but you can still distinctly see the two darker marks of the nasty cat teeth that bit him.  All that will be a thing of the past, once fur grows.

F2F final assembly continues

F2F top half

More photos to share with you, of how my F2F2 quilt is coming together.  Followers will remember that this quilt is a collective work of art, with blocks made by myself and 9 other patchworkers.  As I join blocks, with some lovely orange sashing, each and every block seems to look very much at home.

The top half is all joined now.  And the bottom half is underway.

F2F bottom half

I won’t show you any more “in progress” photos . . . the next time you see this beauty, it will be a complete quilt, with binding and all.

F2F2 final assembly has begun!

After showing you this photo

F2F2 blocks sashed

of 30 quilt blocks, sashed and quilted, the assembly part of QAYG has finally begun.

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I’m doing things the way I usually do them . . . joining blocks in rows, and then joining rows together.  This quilt will be 5 blocks wide and 6 rows deep . . . and this is where I’m up to so far.

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Blocks have all been quilted differently, some more densely than others, which means there is occasionally slightly more orange sashing visible around certain blocks.

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But I don’t honestly think it jumps out at you.  Anyway, I have the first 2 rows joined together and third row is also ready to be attached.

I’m not rushing this part, as it requires careful sewing and nice regular seams.  I love how it looks so far.  Blocks are all gorgeous, and colours so bright.  Stay tuned for a happy dance on this one, which should be before the end of July.

vitamins galore, sashing and quilting

It’s that time of year again . . . when we can go with our little basket into the veggie patch, and bring back fresh home-grown produce for dinner!

veggie & fruit

Here are some of the home-grown ingredients for dinner the other night.  Courgettes roughly chopped up and pois gourmands  which my husband stir fried with chicken in miso.  Plus some freshly chopped chives to sprinkle on top of the tofu.  Followed by a mix of strawberries and raspberries, which we enjoyed with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.  Yummy.

I am very lucky that my husband loves cooking, and he’s an excellent chef.   Now that he’s retired, he is taking over more and more of the cooking, although I do help with preparation.  This leaves me with more time to do what I love . . . crafting.

F2F2 blocks sashed

And recent days have seen me busy upstairs in my sewing room, quilting.  All I will show you for now is this.  To say, I’ve finally finished quilting all thirty blocks of my F2F2 quilt and am ready to move on to the QAYG part.

I was umming and ahhing over whether to use white strips or more of the solid orange . . . I’m going to keep things really bright, and QAYG strips will be in orange both front and back.

And speaking of bright . . . lookee here

cactus

One of our cactus plants has flowered!  This is the first year it’s ever had flowers, and there are so many of them!  Cactus is obviously telling us that it really likes its place in the veranda.

F2F2 blocks – quilting has begun!

Some rather exciting news to share with you . . . orange sashing has been added to all 30 blocks, and now quilting has actually begun!  Yay!  I’m rather amazed myself, at how motivated I am to get these blocks all assembled and made into a huge quilt.

But motivated I am!  Also somewhat scared . . . because the quilting stage is where things can go wrong.  I’m more of a piecer, where patchwork goes.  Not a very proficient quilter, and this project is even more scarey because I’m quilting so many gorgeous blocks made by other ladies.

quilting 6 down

For the moment, I have done six of the thirty.  Here they are (three from Lynn and three from Kate).  They’ve each got a little label pinned on to remind me of where they belong in my layout.  I’m quilting in orange thread and keeping things very simple.  A fair amount of echo quilting going on.  Some in the ditch.  And a very relaxed “let’s see what happens here” design.

quilting 6 down 01

Don’t know if you can see, but I’ve got a sort of “maze/labyrinth” thing going on on a couple, which seems to be working quite well.  Basically, each block will be quilted differently, depending on what the block pattern inspires, and within my limitations. 

In case you’re wondering – I cut wadding & backing fabric slightly bigger, and only trimmed once I’d quilted each block.  I’m using the QAYG method, so the plan is to quilt all 30, make sure they all measure the same, and then assemble with thin strips. 

F2F2–assembly has begun

Title says it all.  And photos to prove it.

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I haven’t decided on block layout yet, but I have decided on fabrics.  That splodgy one on the right, will be my backing fabric.  It contains a little pink, which wasn’t one of my chosen colours, but also has 2 shades of blue, bright green and orange on white.  I thought it would be rather fun for the reverse of my quilt.

For the time being, I’m sashing all blocks with orange.  I was going to sash in white, but then there was a mix-up with my recent fabric order (was sent white linen instead of white cotton).  I could have waited to get that sorted out, but laid blocks on the orange and decided I rather liked the effect.

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Here are a selection of blocks already sashed.  One from each of the participants, plus one from Avis.  I think the orange sets blocks off nicely.  So . . . more orange sashing to do, before I get to the next stage (which I dread) of quilting.