Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2014 - Fresh Sewing Day


I'll start my look back at January's projects with Rumble. She was made with blocks by my bee mates and I from the Free Bee and I went to town with the quilting. I have been napping under this quilt all month and I am totally in love with her. I am looking forward to a chance to make and quilt another modern quilt like this soon.


Hush has been handing on my shelves - exactly where that photo was taken - as I love seeing her every day. I am so surprised at how much I love this quilt as I really thought she would be too busy for me. The choice of prints and the arrangements give this quilt a modern feel, but she is also so much like a traditional crazy quilt with straight edges. Now I want to make many more of this style of quilt.


And then I started and finished Flash in a couple of weeks. I'd never made a wonky log cabin quilt - I had made many blocks for bees, but not a quilt. I really enjoyed making this one and will make a tutorial later this week for those who asked.


A bit of a bonus quilt is the back of Flash. I have been thinking a lot of strata quilts (is that a thing?, anyway, quilts with layers of colours) and Stephanie's bee blocks from Bee Sewcial also had me thinking of curved piecing. Thus the back of Flash, which could easily be a quilt front too.

My second Block for Stephanie for #beesewcial She asked for improv blocks inspired by the glass work of Chihuly. This one is just over 12.5" square.

This brings me to Stephanie's bee blocks for Bee Sewcial. My bees from last year all ended and Stephanie, from Spontaneous Threads and I started brainstorming about putting together a bee that was exactly what we wanted to do in a bee. Bee Sewcial was born and Stephanie got us off to a great start asking for blocks inspired by the glasswork of Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly inspired improv block for Stephanie in #beesewcial It's about 15" x 20", not trimmed much. @spontaneousthreads

These blocks were great fun to make and came together without any stress. They have me thinking a lot about curved improv piecing too.

My scrap Chihuly inspired improv block for Stephanie, for #beesewcial

This last one used the scraps from the first two. Now the admission, I have been carrying Stephanie's blocks in my bag for probably two weeks and have yet to mail them. Tomorrow for sure. There is no real good excuse except that I was busy, I best get these blocks and some other overdue packages  packed up this afternoon and ready to go.

January was a very busy month of non-quilting activities at my house, and I am fairly surprised to see that I finished some quilts too. I missed out on some of the monthly round up posts last year, but I am determined to get back into this habit for the coming year.

Fresh Sewing Day

I am linking up with Lynne at Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and I hope you will join in too and also visit some of the links there too, they are always so inspiring.



Saturday, January 31, 2015

Answers, questions and an Artisan Cotton winner


First up today is to answer some of the comment questions from Wednesday's post about Flash. A number of people asked about washing and shrinkage of the Artisan Cottons from Windam Fabrics. The photo above is the quilt after washing in nice light. She measures about 40.5" square now and has a lovely crinkle.

Flash - before the wash

The photo above was taken before I washed and dried her. The light is terrible so it does not show the fabrics off properly, but you can see how much flatter the quilt is. At this point she measured about 43"square. So the quilt drew in or shrunk about 3" on each axis in the wash and dry.

Some of the draw in might be from more fabric shrinkage - but you will remember that I pre-washed them and I did not measure before and after so cannot help on the initial shrinkage. But most of the draw in is from my 100% cotton batting and thread shrinking a bit and the dense quilting drawing in more after a wash as the thread settles into the layers more (I am sure there is a more technical way to describe that.)

This happens with all my quilts, made from any fabrics I use and this amount of draw in seems about right to me - so no more or less with the Artisan Cottons than I experience with regular quilting cottons (which I also pre-wash). I also point out that as the quilt is used, some of the draw in relaxes until the next time it is washed.

Flash - before the wash

Here are two close ups for comparison too. The one above is before the wash, the one below after. The washing also softens the quilts with dense quilting so they are no longer cardboard like and instead are soft blankets.


Another thing some people asked was how to make these blocks. There are many tutorials on the internet already, but I will make you a tutorial of my approach for later this week. A pattern was requested too but I think with a tutorial you will be set.

Next up is to announce that Julie's comment was picked by the random number generator as the winner of that beautiful bundle of Artisan Cottons from Windham Fabrics. I'll email you Julie, congratulations!

Thank you to all of you for the lovely comments about Flash, I am so glad everyone likes her - I wish I had time this week to reply to each of the comments individually but sadly I don't when there are so many comments for a giveaway.

Now my question: Are you going to QuiltCon? And if you are, are you making small buttons to exchange? I have nice business cards to share but I have been seeing these buttons popping up here and there and now wonder if I need to have some buttons made too. So, what do you think about buttons - yes or no?

By the way, if you see me at QuiltCon, please come and talk to me if I don't see you first. I will be about every day and at the Moda Party too. I expect that a lot of people there, like last time, will not be part of the internet quilting community, and it is easy to miss those who are. So please don't be shy. I've even put my photo over on the side bar now so you can find me - I hate photos of me, as I am one of the mature quilters with a roundy shape - although I'm working through my plan to address the shape issue over this year and in my head I will be 29 forever.

I'm off to sew, I realized that the deadline for submissions to the Quilt Canada show is next week - February 4, 2015 at noon EST - and last night I have decided to try to make new quilt for it  - wish me luck. I do have a back up plan, should this be far too much to do, but one can try.



Friday, January 30, 2015

if you were shopping... #22

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays I will share with you the news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

I'm loving the Mad about Patchwork bundle this week, which is called Turn Down  the Volume, and is  20% off until February 1. Pam has a bunch of other beautiful bundles on for 20% off too!

Oakshott Fabrics has more free patterns and pattern booklets out. Check out them out, including this lovely Magic Carpet pattern by Anne Williams.

Over at Fabric Spark Daryl keeps adding beautiful new fabrics. I am in love with this new print, well in fact all of the prints, from the Biology line from Cloud 9.

You can pre-order at Southern Fabric. Right now Wanderer has caught my eye.

Over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting Cindy has some Karen Lewis hand screened prints in stock.

Sew me a Song has so many inspiring prints and bundles. Today I am thinking about valentine quilts, so this bundle drew my attention.

Did you know that Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has a monthly Kona solid club? And they regularly feature a guest blogger tutorial using the club fabrics, you can see the latest beautiful project here.

The Fat Quarter Shop blog, the Jolly Jabber, is full of tips, tricks and inspiration, this week especially.

Massdrop has Oliso Irons on this week, but if you are interested don't delay as the drop is limited to 100 items.

Do you check out the daily deal at Green Fairy Quilts? It is always a great savings - today it is that wonderful Color Theory jelly roll. 



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Make It, Take It!

I am so excited to let you know that my friend Krista's (Poppyprint) fantastic new book, Make It, Take It! will be available to buy on February 10 at the Martingale shop (go here). When you buy a copy from Martingale, you get both the hard copy and the digital download, which is a valuable bonus if you plan to use this book for sewing with friends as you can easily bring a copy on your ipad or other digital device.

Besides being a book by one of the nicest quilters I know, I am so excited as I am a contributor to this book too! The Half Moon Needle Case is my project in the book. There will be a blog hop for the book in the spring, and I will share more about this little project then.

That's Krista, with one of the beautiful projects she designed together with Krista Withers. Make it, Take it! debuts at QuiltCon, where you will can meet Krista and purchase an autographed copy. Look for Krista at two book signings: 
    • Saturday: 10:30 a.m., Island Quilter,  booth #109
    • Saturday: 1:00 p.m., Modern Cottons/The Quilt Haus, booth #306
And if you've already pre-ordered the book, stop and see her for an autographed book plate - of course, she has a plan to take care of everyone. 

I know you are going to love this book.

All images in this post are from Make It, Take It! by Krista Hennebury, Martingale 2015, used with permission, Photos by Brent Kane, all rights reserved.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flash - Ta Da! - Artisan Cotton Blog Hop


This little quilt is named Flash. She is about 40.5" square after a wash and dry. I made her - front, back and binding, with Artisan Cottons which Windham Fabrics kindly sent to me to try out.

Windham Fabrics sent me the fabrics for free, and they did not ask me to say or do anything with them particularly except use them and chat about it for this blog hop. So the opinions here are my own.


These fabrics have a nice weight. Although they are a shot cotton  - one colour of thread is woven with another colour of thread to make the fabric - they are also a nice weight similar to a regular quilting cotton.


I washed and dried them before I used them and there was almost no colour on my colour catcher, just a hit of dye from the cool colour load which included the black. I washed the quilt when she was done last night, without a colour catcher and there are no issues with colour transfer at all. As usual, the washing also gave the rather heavily quilted quilt a beautiful soft drape.


I had a lot of fun making the back. I picked my favourite colours of the bundle that had enough left over for this improv curvy piecing. I am sure that I am going to play with this curvy piecing again soon.

The binding was made from left over scraps. I machine stitched it in place.


I quilted the quilt with Aurifil 50wt thread, in a yellow-olive green variegated thread on the front and a pale yellow in the bobbin. I did not want to use white or a white based thread as it felt like that would compete with the colours in the fabrics, and I am really pleased with the results using the yellows.


These fabrics are really rich in colour. Some of them have more of the iridescence that shot cottons often have than others. I actually like the ones with less shine the best, but they are all beautiful. I used almost all the colours in the line in my quilt.


You can see that, after the wash, the quilt has crinkled just enough that even the black fabrics work well with the yellow based quilting thread.

Now, I also get to give away one full bundle of these beautiful fabrics. To enter to win, just leave one comment here - one per person. The draw will close at midnight, MST, Friday, January 30 and I randomly draw the winner and will let you know the result on Saturday.

Do leave me a way to find you - if your comments are not linked to a profile with an email attached, please leave one in your comment. If I cannot find you I will draw a new winner.

I recommend these fabrics. They are lovely to work with and you can see the beautiful quilt that resulted. And I recommend that you check out each post on the blog hop, as besides learning more about these fabrics and seeing beautiful projects, there is a chance to win one these beautiful Artisan Cottons bundles at each stop - you might want to enter them all. Here is the schedule:

  • Monday:       Windham Fabrics
  • Tuesday:       Rachel, Imagine Gnats
  • Wednesday:  Leanne (me!), She Can Quilt
  • Thursday:      Ashley, Film in the Fridge

  • Flash

    I leave you with this photo, in slightly different light. You can see how these fabrics shine, they sort of do flash or shine, don't you think.