Blocks From the Netherlands – F2F Block Swap

I received two packages last week – one from the U.S.A. and the other from the Esther in the Netherlands.  I said her blocks deserved a post of their own and here’s why –

Foundation Pieced Block ipatchandquiltHow stunning is that?

Foundation Pieced Blocks ipatchandquilt

I can’t imagine me executing something this perfect – sorry ladies!

Foundation Piecing ipatchandquiltPossibly my favourite – though very difficult to choose.

Esther from ipatchandquilt not only made these beautiful foundation pieced blocks but she also designed the patterns.  You can see some of them on her blog here as well as some stunning quilting designs.

I am humbled by all this gorgeousness dropping through my letterbox. I have done some foundation piecing in the past – perhaps it’s time to give it another go.

After all, having told Kate, one of the organisers of the swap, that I was never, in a million years, going to bother cutting piddling little scant 2 inch squares and faff about with interfacing, look what I did.

Postage Stamp Block

I liked the block Kate sent me using this method so much that I decided to give it a try after all.  I used very thin fusible interfacing – as it was what I had to hand in a large enough square, and although it was a pain to mark up, it makes for a block that is not at all stiff.  I think, if I am to continue in the postage stamp style, I will mark up a grid on some muslin and use it as a template underneath the interfacing as suggested in the tutorial.  Also, I might try cutting a plastic template for the scant 2 inch square you need to cut the fabric.

I’m hooked – my matching is never this good using any other method 😉

and in case you’re missing the kittens

Three Tabby Kittens

I’ve got somebody coming round to see – and maybe reserve – them later on.  I might hide the biggest one – he’s so gorgeous and bound to be the first to go.  No, No! I must be strong.

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  1. #1 by jennystitched on November 4, 2015 - 13:56

    Keep him! You know you want to :p those blocks are phenomenally pretty!

    • #2 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 17:30

      I do want to but what with my four existing cats (and three dogs), the ‘outside kittens’ which is what we call the first litter who we nabbed, sterilized and now feed, and the probability that we will end up keeping little, teeny Yuki, I’m going to have to draw the line somewhere. 😦

  2. #3 by katechiconi on November 4, 2015 - 14:19

    You watch yourself with those postage stamp blocks! We’ll have to start a support group if we’re not really careful… Seriously addictive, pretty, simple to make and they gobble up scraps as well as new fabric. That first block of Esther’s above is beautiful, I tested the pattern and I’ll be posting about it for my monthly ScrapHappy event on 15th. Simple to make, but loads and loads of pieces. I used all scraps, and it looks just fabulous. I have the bonus mini block that comes with it too, and I’ve already started putting that together as well. Too many things on. I have to get a grip!

    • #4 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 17:27

      I did want to volunteer as a tester but I wasn’t sure I’d be up to it – I should probably have more confidence.

      • #5 by katechiconi on November 4, 2015 - 22:02

        The block is a little bit more demanding than novice level, but I found it came together pretty tidily. Mostly it’s a matter of taking it slowly and remembering which way up the pieces have to go! I’ll get you paper piecing too, see if I don’t.

      • #6 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 23:53

        Well, I’ve realised I should never say never because sometimes I just do. I’m still saying I’m never going on a sea cruise though 😉

      • #7 by katechiconi on November 5, 2015 - 01:26

        I’ve always said so too, but these days it looks a little more attractive; enforced idleness, no need to clean or cook or garden, nice food, entertainment and exotic places to explore. Sadly I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to see if I like it!

      • #8 by tialys on November 5, 2015 - 20:23

        I know I wouldn’t like it for many reasons but the main one is I get horribly seasick. I once got seasick while snorkelling :/

      • #9 by katechiconi on November 5, 2015 - 23:25

        Now that’s talented! Most people actually have to get on a boat!

      • #10 by tialys on November 6, 2015 - 10:50


      • #11 by katechiconi on November 4, 2015 - 22:53

        I re-read your post and wondered to myself why marking the grid was so tedious for you. Are you laying your interfacing on your cutting mat so the marks show through, and then just running a long ruler and fine tip biro along the lines on the mat? If not, do, that’s the quickest way, 5 minutes, tops. Don’t carefully mark the interfacing in 2″ increments, that would indeed be a very laborious way of doing it.

      • #12 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 23:51

        I did do it your way but the interfacing I used was so thin it threatened to tear when I used a marker on it, plus it kept moving out of place. Next time – and there will be a next time – I will tape the interfacing to the cutting mat and use a more efficient marker or biro. I might also use slightly thicker interfacing especially as I can’t remember where I bought the ultra thin stuff, it was lurking in my stash. Having said that, being so thin it did give a softer finish to the block plus it was a breeze to cut through the seams – the scissors just glide through it.

      • #13 by katechiconi on November 5, 2015 - 01:21

        Sounds as if something slightly stronger would be the key. And a fine point biro, in two strokes, up and down, so you get a decent line but without having to press too hard.

  3. #14 by sew2pro on November 4, 2015 - 14:24

    I wouldn’t be able to part with them (the kittens) but if you need help with your resolve, just think of it as de-stashing.

    I really like the combination of a strong pink and the lime green: it’s fresh and fun. The second of the stars is my favourite of the three as it shows off the shade of blue and green (my favourite colours)

    • #15 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 17:27

      I certainly need to de-stash. Maybe I should have put myself on an animal fast for a year instead of a fabric fast.

  4. #16 by on November 4, 2015 - 16:25

    Everything about this post is delightful. I’m going to have a go at copying that first block.

    • #17 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 17:25

      That’s a shame Viv – Esther was looking for testers for that pattern earlier in the week. Kate signed up for it!

  5. #18 by Dartmoor Yarns on November 4, 2015 - 18:03

    More blocks! Lovely and love your cute little squares. May be you should hide all three kits – you know you want to.

    • #19 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 18:09

      In an ideal world, I would. My vet bills are bad enough already with four cats and three dogs as I’m sure you can imagine having a dog yourself. It doesn’t bear thinking about if I add yet more animals to the mix. It’s already cost me a small fortune in kitten formula milk, goats’ milk, goats’ milk yoghurt, vet diet kitty biscuits, worming pills, litter, etc. etc.

  6. #20 by Magpie Sue on November 4, 2015 - 19:02

    Esther’s blocks are stunning. I’m afraid they will put mine to shame! (If you ever get them.) I particularly like the very first one.

    • #21 by tialys on November 4, 2015 - 20:15

      I am sure you have no need to worry Sue, on either front.

  7. #22 by Thimberlina on November 5, 2015 - 01:38

    I’ve oooo’ed and arrr’d over all your pics – quilts and kitties, it’s a wonder I’ve not woken my hubby! 😀

  8. #24 by ipatchandquilt on November 5, 2015 - 06:27

    Goodmorning Lynn!
    Thank you for posting the pictures of the three blocks! They look they awesome in your pictures. I will try to write a blogpost tonight too.
    Your postage stamp block is really amazing! I should try this technique too, I have enough scraps to pull it off…… Ha ha!
    Ahhh the kitties… They are gorgeous! I hope they will find a new fantastic owner!

    • #25 by tialys on November 5, 2015 - 20:25

      Thanks Esther – one has now been reserved so fingers crossed.

    • #26 by tialys on November 5, 2015 - 20:25

      Thanks Esther – one has now been reserved so fingers crossed.

  9. #27 by Nanette on November 6, 2015 - 06:01

    Your blocks from Esther are amazing, love them all. Your quilt is going to be stunning! Good for you, stepping up to something new with the postage stamp block. Wonder if this might help…..I use a fine non-woven interfacing type “fabric” that I draft clothing patterns onto, it’s marked in a 1″ dotted grid, but obviously every 2nd would be your 2″…….just join the dots for your grid. It’s soft and lightweight, but strong, I mark quite heavily and haven’t torn through it yet. I use the off cuts for the bases of string blocks and they end up nice and soft. Let me know if you can’t find it in your neck of the woods, I’ll send you some. Yay for the kitties finding homes, and your resolve not to keep any, except maybe Yuki 🙂

    • #28 by tialys on November 6, 2015 - 10:50

      Ooh, that’s a good idea Nanette – I think I have some of that dotty stuff somewhere – at least I did. I used it to trace dress patterns on but wasn’t too keen on it for that purpose – although I know lots of people like it – but it would be perfect for the postage stamp blocks Off to search for it now and, if I find it, I expect I’ll be putting another one together just to try it out.
      As for my resolve – it is faltering. Mr Tialys is no help – he’s even more silly about animals than I am – and we’ve fallen in love with the big guy – we call him Big Mac. Watch this space!!

      • #29 by katechiconi on November 7, 2015 - 02:54

        That sounds just the ticket for you. I am too mean to buy it; I have a 10m roll of lightweight interfacing, and I couldn’t see myself going out to buy metres of the other stuff when I could mark the regular stuff up quickly and easily. The only thing I’d caution you about is keeping an eye on how thick the printed lines are. Unless you fold exactly on the centre of a line, you’ll get a slightly wonky block, which is why I’m sticking to my very fine biro line.
        As for the kittens, you are an utter sook, as they say here. Your heart is made of warm, melting marshmallow

  10. #30 by Nanette on November 6, 2015 - 12:15

    Oh well, what’s one more kitty, just a bit more fluff to love 🙂

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