Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pointed - Ta Da!

Pointed

I finished and named this quilt Pointed yesterday. She is 50" square and is made from Michael Miller fabrics and a bunch of solids that were on my shelf. After the helpful input of the Instagrammers, I decided on a black binding to match the sashing. I have to say that working with black is not the easiest thing, but it sure makes the colours pop.

The Michael Miller fabrics in Pointed

Pointed is the quilt I made for the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller fabric challenge. The lovely folks at Michael Miller Fabrics send participating modern quilt guilds and members the above set of fat eights of fabric. The challenge was to make something quilted with them. The rule was that you could add any solid or any other Michael Miller print or solid you wanted to but no other fabric.

Improv diamonds

I decided to make improv diamonds using a white and grey solids. I trimmed each diamond to a rectangular shape.

Improv diamond top in progress

I decided to use some Kona black fabric for the background. I laid out the improv diamonds in a roughly diamond shape and then measured and cut pieces to fill in the spaces. There were a few resulting Y seams, which I, invariably encounter when working this way. I like to think they are there to remind me that improv is not that easy.

Pointed

I quilted Pointed with wavy lines using a light grey slightly variegated Wonderfil thread. I wanted the quilting to be a strong feature and to not obliterate the feature fabrics.

Pointed

By the time I had the top together, all that black and orange was looking a lot like Halloween to me. So I embraced that theme and picked these Michael Miller fabrics for the back. The oranges are by Laura Gunn and the black birds are by Violet Craft - two of my most favourite fabric designers. This quilt is going to be my fall lap quilt, with just enough Halloween-y feel to it to work.

Pointed

You can see the scale better on my new garden swing - the swing will seat three people. Also, you can see that we are in the height of summer here when the grass turns brown if you don't water it and since water is in short supply on this island, the grass is not watered.

Pointed

The grass is also longish, so it makes the quilt a bit bumpy - maybe more like it might appear draped over a person - when you toss it down but in real life it is square.

Finish Along 2014
A Lovely Year of Finishes

This quilt is also a finish for Q3 of the FAL and my July finish for AYOLF.

Best,

Leanne

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Breathe - Ta Da!

Breathe

Here is Breathe. She is about 65" square after washing - she pulled in about 5" on each axis when I washed her. She is made from Kona cottons and Essex linen borders and binding. The matchstick quilting was done with Aurifil and Superior cotton threads in various colours.

I quilted her on my Millennium APQS longarm and the lines were all placed freehand without any computer or channel lock assistance. I need to point out that this is not that hard a thing to do on my nicely levelled Millennium as the machine likes to go horizontally. It is more a matter of not "over steering" than anything else to make the lines straight. In fact the harder part is to wobble them every so slightly while keeping the lines really close together for the industrial modern look I am trying to achieve.

Breathe

I was trying to capture the concept of air, breath, calm and lightness. It is only fitting that when I had decent light and enough quilt holders, it was a bit windy.

Breathe

There she is, breathing. And showing off my team of expert quilt holders in their chosen beach footwear.

Breathe

The binding and borders are Essex linen. I think it is my favourite fabric ever. After washing, both the binding and the quilt have the industrial modern - think warehouse loft - texture and feel that I am hoping to achieve. You can also see a bit of the thread colours in this shot. I used whites, greys, blues, yellows, and purples, changing them randomly or when the bobbin was done.

Breathe

Breathe is part of a series of quilts I call my Cycles quilts because the series began with a mini called Cycles. If you want to see them all, check out the My Quilts tab at the top of the blog.

Breathe

While I made this quilt, I was stressed and worried and too busy, pulled in too many directions, and trying my best to manage everything everyone needed. I kept reminding myself to just breathe.

Breathe

The back of this quilt was pieced to feature fabrics that I had on hand which also evoked the feeling of air.

Breathe

The quilting and the thread changes look great on the back too.


You can see a bit of the yellow thread at the bottom of this photo of the back.

Breathe

Despite the look of the photos, she really is square and flat.


I took that picture above to give you a bit of scale. She is lying on my king size bed below the pillows.

Breathe

To me the darkest blue circle goes at the bottom right, but I think she looks good from most any angle.

Breathe

I did keep breathing as I made this quilt. The outside forces have calmed for the summer now, and everything got done, all goals were achieved for everyone and we are now left, in my family, to try to just relax, refocus and to breathe, before the onslaught of new challenges in the fall.

Enjoy your Sunday, I plan to be back in this space much more often now.

Best,

Leanne

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Q3 FAL Hopes and Dreams list

Finish Along 2014

Q3 in the FAL is always my hardest to decide on the list. I am going to be at the beach for a good chunk of it (leaving soon I hope) and there is just less time and inclination to sew there. So in many respects, work on the list may be pushed in September, but who knows what one wants to work on then??

I hope you are making your list too, it is time to link it up over at Katy's blog, the Littlest Thistle. You can jump into the FAL now, no need to have been part of it up to now, but you only have till July 14 at midnight, Scotland time to get your Q3 list linked, so time to get to it.

So here is my list for Q3:

No - for the No quilt

1. The No quilt is a project near to my heart, and has sat mostly stalled. I am putting it on the list because I really, really want this quilt finished. I have sent this project out to the beach ahead of me, so maybe it will come together.

Mystery Quilt - basted

2. Mystery quilt - This is the most beautiful quilt top I have made - Sheila's pattern and teaching have a lot to do with that. I have been too scared to quilt it, but now I have the long arm. I have had a fair bit of practice.  I am hoping this will be a September quilting project and finish.

Ocean Waves - top

3. Ocean Waves - these are the blocks are from my bee mates in Always Bee Learning. I'm going to cut the fabrics for six more blocks so I can finish off those open "circles" at the top that have been bugging me. If I can get the blocks done this summer, I can quilt the top in September and have it ready for the holiday. You might not see it well but these are lovely winter, holiday fabrics.

The improv diamond quilt is quilted

4. Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Fabric Challenge quilt - clearly it needs a better name. This is due soon, and needs a binding and a wash, so I am hopeful it will for sure be done. A project with an impending deadline will ensure I have at least one finish to report later, right?

Pillow in progress - Canvas pattern

5. Quilt this mod 70's style Canvas pillow top and make a back and install the zip. It's going in my suitcase, finished or not. I wanted it for the sofa at the coast, I best get it done.

Pillow in progress - Canvas pattern

6. The other mod 70's Canvas pillow: ditto.

Scarf - in progress

7. Patchwork-like knitted scarf: I started this last summer at the coast, so it is fitting that I finish it this summer. I have a dream of wearing it in November with a new fall jacket. Maybe a cool leather jacker? I have about half finished now, so totally possible, another for the suitcase.

Canvas baby quilts, in progress

8. Two bindings - It seems like a cheat to list these separately as they have always been a pair in progress. The Canvas baby quilt on the left needs to be trimmed and bound, the one on the right needs a binding removal and replacement. Why has this been stalled for a couple of months now, it is a project that takes no time at all? Putting it on the list may get it done.

It's a beautiful day and besides this list, my yard needs my attention and I need new running shoes. Enjoy your Saturday, link up your Q3 lists. 

Best,

Leanne

Saturday, July 5, 2014

AYOLF July Goal

Improv diamond top

A quick stop today to name my July goal for A Year of Lovely Finishes. I am doing well with these monthly goals - it helps to pick things that have deadlines in the month. My goal is to finish this improv diamond quilt and get it linked up for the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller fabric challenge in time.

Improv diamond top in progress

Since my last post about this project, I puzzled it together, Y seams and all. It is good to remember that even improv has its technically challenging parts. I added a 3" border to the sides of the top last night and spent some time trying to find a suitable backing fabric. I am finding that this quilt feels very halloween-y to me, with the black, orange and grey even though it has no halloween parts really. So I have settled on a backing that will complement that and maybe I will end up with a lap quilt to bring out in the fall.

You can join in with AYOLF each month, its not too late yet - link your goal by July 7.

Finish Along 2014

Don't forget to get your FAL Q2 links up, you have until the end of July 6 in Scotland (dinner time on July 6 at my house.) There are already 341 finishes linked up, Katy is a fantastic motivator.

Enjoy your weekend!

Best,

Leanne

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Q2 FAL Report


Finish Along 2014

The Q2 FAL link to post your finishes is open over at Katy's blog, The Littlest Thistle and it will be open until July 6, 2014 at midnight in Scotland - which means at my house I have until 5 pm July 6 to post any last minute finishes.  I'll be scrambling to try for one more finish this week, but I'm posting one link for each of the three projects I already finished now in case things get busy. There are wonderful prizes from the sponsors, thank you, and I don't want to miss out.

Canvas - pillows from my quilt pattern

I finished three of the projects on my Q2 list - which is here. These Canvas Pillows now live on my bed and make me smile every day. I am linking this wrap up post to link these pillows.  You can read more about their finish is here.

By the way, if you want to buy my pattern, Canvas, which includes the instructions not only for quilts, but also for piecing pillows and other smaller projects (and there my tutorial for constructing pillows here) you can shop at any of the stores listed here.

Friends - a quilt

Friends, made from the blocks sent by my friends in the Modern Stitching Bee, was really fun to finish and now to use. The Ta Da post for Friends is here.

rebel

And rebel - well this quilt belongs to my dear spouse now. You can read more about rebel here. I so love the edgy urban feeling of this version of my Canvas pattern - this is one of my very favourite quilts ever. I might be collecting more similar fabrics for another quilt, I am not done exploring them yet.

Well, that's it, 3 finishes off my 12 project list. And I have to confess that I have not touched any of the others on the list all quarter. But hey, 3 finished project is not too shabby at all. I'm going to have to give some serious thought to my Q3 list, which will be due next week. Remember, everyone is invited to join in for Q3 of the FAL, if you have not been finishing along with us so far.

If you have not yet checked out the FAL finishes posted so far, head over to Katy's blog, The Littlest Thistle, here. There are a lot of beautiful and inspiring links already up, with more to come as the week progresses. And over this week the FAL tutorial series is also running over at The Littlest Thistle - I am looking forward to seeing those too.

Best,

Leanne