Final F2F Blocks Arrive and Virtual Quilt is Made

The last of my 36 blocks from the F2F block swap have arrived. With twelve participants in Australia, the United States and Europe, each sending three blocks off to one of the others every month, there’s a lot of room for mishaps concerning the various postal services.  Due to a mix up with my postcode, two parcels went missing for a while.  The weeks went by, then Avis in the U.K. got her parcel ‘returned to sender’ and  re-directed it back to me but the package from Annett in Germany seemed to be a lost cause.  Until it wasn’t!  It too turned up with the postcode having been changed to the correct one – presumably by somebody in France – but then sent back to her instead of to me.  A bit bizarre but a happy result anyway.  Just look at the lovely blocks that could have been lost forever.

Patchwork Block

Annett managed to find some of the bird fabric that I had originally used for the inspiration for my colours.  Due to my fabric fast, I wasn’t able to buy any myself but now I have some in two of the blocks she sent me.

Patchwork Block

It was the turquoise and flashes of pinky coral against the pale and dark greys that inspired me to make the colour choice for my eventual quilt.

Paper Pieced Patchwork Block

This one is my favourite.  I love the way Annett centred the two birds and the surrounding fabrics are just lovely.  I believe this is called a pineapple block but correct me if I’m wrong.  I thought this had been paper pieced but Annett has said she didn’t use that method.   I must try some paper piecing this year although it does look fiddly and I don’t generally ‘do’ fiddly.

In the likely event that I will take forever and a day to actually piece the blocks and then quilt them, I have amused myself by making a collage of (nearly) all the blocks as if they were together in a quilt.  I hope the other participants will forgive me if you notice one of your blocks missing but I only used the photos I was able to crop to a neat(ish) square.  It doesn’t mean the missing block won’t be in the final quilt – I intend to use each and every one.

Mock Up F2F Quilt

Mock Up F2F Quilt

It will actually be longer than it is wide when I put it together and I haven’t decided what colour to do the sashing yet but what do you think?  I really love the colours and the blocks are so gorgeous.

I am busy making my three blocks for Emmely who is ‘Miss January’ as far as receiving blocks is concerned and she has asked for green which I don’t normally use and, as I can’t buy any fabric at the moment, I’ve had to be very inventive with my scrap bag.  This swap has really got me enthusiastic about patchwork again and I’ve been trying hard to be more accurate and adventurous.  I’m not giving up making clothes entirely but I will be more fussy about what I make in the future.  I have so many clothes and not many opportunities to wear a lot of them in rural France so I have to rein it in a bit.  I think 2016 will see less dressmaking and  more patchwork and knitting but that could change once I can buy fabric again!!

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  1. #1 by katechiconi on January 3, 2016 - 11:02

    It’s gorgeous – and this is the first time I’ve seen a participant’s blocks all assembled into a quilt, so thank you for that, it’s really inspiring! Why don’t you sash it with turquoise and use coral corner posts, and then grey binding round the outside?

    • #2 by tialys on January 3, 2016 - 11:10

      That sounds good. Or maybe grey sashing and turquoise binding. I guess I could play on Picasa to get an idea of what the different colours would look like.

  2. #3 by on January 3, 2016 - 12:18

    I think that Kate has it spot on. It will be fabulous.

    • #4 by tialys on January 3, 2016 - 13:23

      I just hope I don’t mess it up with my quilting efforts :/

  3. #5 by knettycraft on January 3, 2016 - 13:17

    What a wonderful block collection! You will have a gorgeous quilt soon. Kate’s Colour suggestions sound good to me.
    By the way… I didn’t paperpiece the pineapple block. It was made freehand. But I am so glad you received the blocks after their long way from Germany to France!

    • #6 by tialys on January 3, 2016 - 13:23

      Oops, sorry Annett – I have corrected both mistakes!!

  4. #7 by mandymunroe on January 3, 2016 - 22:17

    This is going to be gorgeous! Glad you’re back on the patchwork 🙂

    • #8 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 10:16

      I am certainly in ‘patchwork mode’ at the moment. Although I’m furiously knitting away in the background too. I’ve lost my sewing mojo with clothes for now but it will come back – it usually does eventually.

  5. #9 by Oh Sew Tempting on January 3, 2016 - 23:49

    Wow! They look gorgeous all together in one collage 🙂 I love how the boats are sailing around the pinwheel island in the top block. Very clever idea.

    • #10 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 10:13

      I won’t stick to the randomized version created on Picasa but I did it just to give me – and anyone reading the post – a rough idea of how all the blocks go together so beautifully. I must ‘gird my loins’ ready for the assembly!

  6. #11 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 4, 2016 - 00:17

    Glad you finally got them in the end. It’s looking lovely – and how lovely to have a quilt made by so many different (not to mention talented) people 🙂

    • #12 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 10:11

      Thanks Bekki – I think it will be very special. I would never have attempted some of those blocks myself.

      • #13 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 4, 2016 - 12:07

        They are amazing! Although I suspect there’s a few people out there saying exactly the same about your blocks.

  7. #14 by knitnkwilt on January 4, 2016 - 06:02

    How fun to see the blocks all laid out together–playing around with arrangements is a big part of the fun of a sampler. I am so glad they all reached you. Love the centered birds. And your inspiration fabric.

    How you sash it will depend on whether you want to frame the blocks or simply separate them. Gray as you show would separate, aqua would frame.

    And Annett, I am really impressed at the piecing without paper.

    • #15 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 10:10

      For the moment I have let the Picasa collage randomize the photos of the blocks just for fun but, when I’m ready, I will lay them all out on the floor of my spare bedroom and have a proper play. I’m leaning toward separating them rather than framing them at the moment but I’ll give it some more thought before I make a final decision. I’m also considering quilt-as-you-go which I’ve never done before but I’m going to do it by machine and think it might be easier in small pieces but I’ll do some more research on that.
      Annett is very clever – I just assumed that block was paper pieced as it is so neat.

      • #16 by knitnkwilt on January 4, 2016 - 19:25

        I’ve tried quilt as you go twice. I enjoyed quilting the blocks, but found assembling them very tedious. Also in the assembly I was dealing with the bulk of the quilt and it was awkward. I figured I’d take the awkward with the quilting stage and eliminate the tedious assembling stage in the future. You might want to try it on a smaller piece before you commit.

      • #17 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 20:13

        Thank you for your input. I must admit, when I read the tutorials that put spacing blocks in between and then add thin sashing too, I lost my initial enthusiasm. However, I’ve been looking at one where she just backs each block with batting and quilts it. Then she joins all the blocks with 0.5 inch seam – although it will be 0.25 inch for me as there are precious points, etc. Then, she attaches the backing by stitching straight lines either in the ditch or either side of the seam lines. I thought that method looked fairly manageable. However, I will maybe make a little baby quilt and give it a try before going for it with the big one.

  8. #18 by sew2pro on January 4, 2016 - 15:08

    Oh wow, that’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous. If I was the V&A, I’d be beating a path to your door! Good luck with the next stage.

    • #19 by tialys on January 4, 2016 - 15:32

      You are too kind and I am hoping to be very proud of the final quilt even though I didn’t make all the blocks myself although that was sort of the point. I have just been reading tutorials about ‘quilt as you go’ because my quilting is not a thing of perfection by any stretch and I am desperate not to mess it up. If you don’t know, it means that instead of joining all the blocks together and then quilting the whole thing at once. You make a block, batting and backing sandwich (or block and batting only in one tutorial I read) and just quilt that neat little square. Then you join them all together. If, like me, you only have an ordinary domestic sewing machine, performing twists and turns and other acrobatic feats in order to wrestle a double bed sized mass of three layers of fabric beneath your needle in order to quilt is no fun – though plenty of other people seem to think it is. My hand quilting is barely acceptable and I just wouldn’t have the patience for a whole quilt. I’ll probably blog about how I get on 😉

  9. #20 by lovelucie1 on January 4, 2016 - 17:32

    Wow! It’s incredible. I’m amazed how complimentary the blocks are, next to each other. I’m so looking forward to seeing the rest of the quilts. Such a big commitment for all of you, but so worth it. Gorgeous.
    I think 2016 will be the year where we all should do a bit more of what we fancy and not what we should;)

  10. #22 by claire93 on January 6, 2016 - 10:35

    this is going to be an amazing quilt!
    I’ve done quilt as you go, albeit not on something as big, following the tutorial by The Gourmet Quilter. That could be the ones you mentioned in earlier comms. It’s actually quite easy, but bulk of quilt can be a problem when you get to the final stages.

    • #23 by tialys on January 6, 2016 - 11:57

      Thanks for that Claire, it looks like an interesting method and her voice doesn’t grate on me as I find so many of them do on YouTube videos 😦 Did you machine stitch the sashing down on the front as she did? Did you find the visible stitching bothered you? I have just unpicked the quilting stitches from two of my F2F blocks as I remembered – only a little too late – that the method wouldn’t work with sashing and I think a sampler quilt looks so much better with the blocks separated. I’m doing lots of research so I don’t have to unpick anything again!

      • #24 by claire93 on January 9, 2016 - 18:26

        I machine sewed on both sides, like in the video, and no it didn’t bother me because my thread matched fabrics very well. I preferred to reverse mine though and have the wider strip on the back.
        You could always sash each block first, and then use the quilt & you go method to join them. Article to be posted on my blog on 11th with a quilt I made using Gourmet Quilter’s method ^^

      • #25 by tialys on January 10, 2016 - 11:38

        That’s interesting Claire – Kate uses this method and Esther something very similar so I think it will be the way to go for me too. I was hoping my 12.5 inch square ruler was going to arrive yesterday but it didn’t and I thought I’d wait for it before I start cutting the batting, backing squares etc. I will look forward to reading your blog on the 11th so that I can pick up more tips!!

  11. #26 by Magpie Sue on January 8, 2016 - 19:07

    Your block collage is inspiring. I have all my blocks too but haven’t played with them yet as I’ve got to fulfill previous commitments first. I looked for your inspiration fabric before I set out to make blocks for you but couldn’t find it close enough to home in the right colorway. I love the way Annett centered the birds – just what I would have done, only not in as complex a block!

    • #27 by tialys on January 8, 2016 - 20:01

      I laid all the blocks out on my bed today and, as it’s a Superking size, I will need all 36. Some people sent me extra ones so I will put some on the back with some squares of turquoise, grey and coral batiks. I think it will work well because I’m going to use a Quilt as You Go method so the surplus blocks will be the right size. I have taken a photo of one layout and, then another, so that I can go back to the one I like if I don’t find something I prefer. Also, I had another look at the collage and I’m going to lay them out tomorrow in the same way as the random collage maker did because it seemed to come up with a good layout. I really want to press on with the quilt because, if I put the blocks away somewhere and don’t start on it for a while, I will lose my impetus. I am waiting for my 12.5 inch square ruler to arrive in the post so that I can square everything up nicely and cut the squares for the back. Hopefully it will come tomorrow.

  12. #28 by dezertsuz on January 14, 2016 - 20:35

    Wow, I really missed the color on that one block, didn’t I? I’m so sorry! Maybe do 5 x 7 and put that one on the back! The blocks you got so late turned out to be worth waiting to receive. Which we could have predicted. =) So strange that some packages came without difficulty, even with the wrong code, and some went all over.

    • #29 by tialys on January 18, 2016 - 18:21

      No worries Susan. I have got a few ‘surplus’ blocks either that I made or some people made more than three because they weren’t totally satisfied although I love them all. I am going to put it together using ‘quilt as you go’ and I have some coordinating batiks that I will put on the back of each block. However, I might also use the blocks I have over from the front in the same way which will make the back more interesting still.

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