Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pay it Forward


This magnolia flower is to brighten your day on the last day of May.

I am repeating my Pay it Forward invitation as I have only one taker so far. I appreciate that this is not for everyone and there are no judgments here.

However, the lovely Judith at Rags to Bags has been listening to my whining about swap envy and has already put something lovely in the post for me. It is undoubtedly lounging on a deck chair sipping martinis on a cruise liner somewhere on the Atlantic but sooner or later it will land at my house in the wild west of Canada.

So here is my take on the Pay it Forward game. I will only take your comment as a willingness to join if you clearly say so in the comment.

Edited to add: I have enough people now, thank you! If you are looking for someone to sign up with, let me know and I can try to direct you to some people who have space for more participants. Thanks.

1. I will make a handmade something (it can be any kind of handmade) for the 2 people (I already have one person so I need a total of 3) who wish to participate and who tell me so in a comment on this post. It will be a surprise and I will send it without warning within the next 365 days.

2. You will agree to do the same thing for 3 readers of your blog. Seems that you should have a blog to participate.

3. When you get your "handmade something" you must post about your Pay it Forward on your blog and use the Pay it Forward button. You could also post about what you sent off, Judith did here.

I hope you enjoy the end of May, we have a beautiful sunny day here.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm a swap wannabee, it seems

Big Little George - All done!

Here is Big Little "Sumptuous" George, at least that is the name Judith gave him before I added the last border. I think maybe sumptuous still fits. It is made from the tutorial Lynne at Lily's Quilts did a couple of months ago.

Can you hang a quilt on pointe? Do you put a dowel or something across the corners in the middle? If you have done this, please share your experience. It looks great square but I like it better on pointe, I think.

Big Little George - All done!

This little wall quilt turned out to be 21.5" square. It is made of Shades of Grey organic cotton by Daisy Jainie and Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons. The outside border has finished 1" squares. I made them sort of assembly line style, here is a mid point photo.

Making a border

I have been watching all the swap quilts those Brit Swappers are making, and also the amazingly clever "stuff" the 80's swappers are making and I am pretty sure that I have swap envy big time. I think I am going to sign up next time there is a new one. In the meantime, I am a swap wannabe. At least now I have a pretty good wall quilt too.

Enjoy your weekend, seems for many people it is a long weekend. Not in Canada, we had our long weekend last week.

P.S. I have linked this to {Sew} Modern Monday, where there are other great projects to check out.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations



Friday, May 27, 2011

Yahoo! It's Friday!


I have made some progress on Big Little George. I have another border planned and I hope to add it tonight. I hope even more that it will work the way I have imagined it. If you have not yet tried to sew curved seams or piece circles, this is a great project to try, Lynne at Lily's Quilts has a lovely tutorial.

I have blogging obligations. My internet friend Judith at Rags to Bags, offered the chance to be in her "second" pay it forward group. Well, I so love her work that I could not resist. So now I have obligations and an invitation. Here is how this works:

1. I will make a handmade something (it can be any kind of handmade) for the first 3 people who wish to participate and who tell me so in a comment on this post. It will be a surprise and I will send it without warning within the next 365 days.

2. You will agree to do the same thing for 3 readers of your blog. Seems that you should have a blog to participate.

3. When you get your "handmade something" you must post about your Pay it Forward on your blog and use the Pay it Forward button.

I am looking forward to sewing tonight, I am also hoping to finish Party Rings, the giant dresden quilt. I am making the binding next.

Enjoy your day.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Work in progress - it's Wednesday.

Little Big George, in progress

Lately, I have been learning to paper piece. Here is my second attempt to finish Big Little George, a small tutorial from Lynne at Lily's Quilts. I hope to finish the centre and outside bits this week - I think I am fine with these selections. The grey fabrics are all beautiful organic cotton from the line Shades of Grey by Daisy Janie and the solids are Kaffe Fassets shot cottons - both are amazing to work with.

I explained my other paper piecing adventures this weekend in posts here and here. I am currently smitten with paper piecing, it seems.

I am also working hard to finish Party Rings, my quilt from the large dresden QAL at Lily's Quilts.

Party Rings, joining the QAYG blocks

These blocks are about 30" square so the quilt is 60" x 90". Each block was done quilt-as-you-go style, with the back fabric in place. I joined the blocks in the method Marci from Marci Girl Designs and I explained during a guest post on Lynne's blog. The joining method results in a smooth seam on the front, the batting sewn together using the sewing machine and hand stitching the back fabrics in place. There are some photographs of doing that with these actual blocks on flickr here.

Although the blocks were big and thus there was some amount of quilt wrangling, it was not hard to join the blocks smoothly and securely.

The benefit is that I was able to do very detailed quilting on each block - something I cannot do with my own sewing machine and a whole quilt. Here is my today's favourite quilted part:

Party Rings, detail

This mosaic of the each block shows off the quilting (I have yet to sew in all the threads, I am still in progress). If you cannot see the quilting, click the picture and then on flickr you can enlarge it on your screen.

Party Rings, quilted blocks, almost done\

I hope to finish the hand sewing of the backing fabric, then decide on binding fabric and attach the binding this week. After all that and after I sew in the threads left from the quilting, it will be all done. I promise to show it off one more time before I give it to my niece.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, I hope you take the time to see all the excellent work displayed there too.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Monday, May 23, 2011

Paper piecing - take 2

Bee Block for Carrie

In the Aqua and Orange Bee, Carrie first asked if she could have red instead of orange. How can one say no to that? Then she said we could do whatever we wanted. Well, I have been trying to decide which of the many blocks on my list to try someday I would do. When the Mystery QAL pushed me to really try paper piecing, I picked my favourite block ever, Circle of Geese.

First I made the block the usual way to see if I could actually manage it. (I know I showed you this yesterday but remember it is my favourite block ever!)

Circle of Geese - trial run

When I looked at the other blocks already done (I am in Canada so my fabrics are always slower, so I can see what others are doing before I start), I realized that a mostly white block was not going to play well with the others made for the bee. So I switched it up.

What a difference in this block when you colour different parts, the geese disappear and a crazy star appears. When the edge is coloured the star is almost 3D. I want to make one with the geese in a dark grey or charcoal colour next.

Two approaches to the same block - colour can make a difference!

I have more paper piecing to finish today, and a whole lot of free motion quilting to get back to. And I am thinking a lot about colour and how it can change what you see in the same set of shapes.

Enjoy the holiday Monday.



PS The template and tutorial that I used for the block are here at the Sometimes Crafter.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Paper piecing - take 1

Mystery QAL - Block 2

This is block 2 from the Mystery Quiltalong. Sheila at the Bluepatch Quilter is really challenging us in this QAL. It is my first ever finished paper pieced block. I do need some practice, there is even a tiny bit of one seam that is not sewn in that I have to figure out what to do about and a tiny bit I fixed already. And I have made every silly paper piecing mistake several times over, but I am really happy with this block.

I did spend an large amount of time trying to get the fabrics to line up in a reasonable manner, not always with success. There is a good reason why traditional quilters use small, non-directional prints!

Circle of Geese - trial run

Here is my second paper pieced block. This is one of my all time favourite blocks and look - I made it! I used the template and tutorial from the Sometimes Crafter. It is a test run for one of my quilting bees, I hope to make the actual block later today.

Paper piecing is messy!

Of course, after you do all the work, there is a considerable amount of paper and little bits left behind. This is just the final bit, I swept away the mess after each quarter of the block.

The pillow I won!!

Look at the beautiful pillow I won from Linz at Domestic Light and Magic in her 100 followers give away. It made its way across the ocean to Canada in record time. I have promised to love and nurture it so I set it down on my grandfather's chair with a teddy bear for company. It looks pretty nice in its new spot I think. Also, check out the cute little flower pin she sent too!

It's a long weekend - I hope you have time to relax.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Turquoise Ocean - Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Turquoise Ocean

This quilt was my first bed size quilt - twin bed size, but still, it is bed size. It is a lovely design by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle and I used the version published in Better Homes and Garden Quilts and More magazine, Spring 2010. I have since bought a book, Quilts Made Modern by Kerr and Ringle. They are amazing designers and I hope to make more of their designs in the future.

Turquoise Ocean

I had just started quilting in March 2010 and on one of my first trips to the quilt fabric store, all I wanted to buy was the aqua fabric. Now, I had no intention of buying aqua fabric and I had no real idea of what I would do with it, but it reminded me of the ocean. Then I saw the Kerr and Ringle pattern, called Flower Show, which was so simple yet so lovely and it sort of reminded me of waves and whitecaps - sort of a stretch but there you go.

Turquoise Ocean

I did an all over stipple on this quilt. It was my second time free motion quilting effort and I am really happy with it. After washing it was soft and bumpy. It has now been washed several times and just gets better after each washing.

I used the leftover strips on the back.

Turquoise Ocean - back

I took these photographs yesterday morning just before I left my cottage which is on an island in the Pacific Ocean. My youngest son used this quilt until I made him his own, now it is living near the ocean, where it belongs.

I am linking this to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival which is hosted at Amy's Creative Side. This festival is one of my favourite things in the internet quilting world and I plan to spend the next couple of weeks visiting all the quilts posted there. I hope you will too.

Amy's Creative Side



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring is here - progress slows!

Mystery Quiltalong, block 1

This is my first block for the Mystery Quilt quilt along. This one is large - 18.5" square. I hear rumours that not all the blocks are not all going to be so big and some will be small (4" was hinted at). The group of quilters quilting along are very talented and very silly so I am having a lot of fun. You could join too, it is a nice pace, a new block every fortnight (every two weeks for those of us who don't speak Brit)

Bella Solids QAL blocks

I am also having fun making colourful tiny blocks, loosely following, inspired by, the Bella Parade quilt along.

Bella Solids QAL blocks

These are about 2.5" square, and the original pattern asks for 12 of them. I am going to make a bunch and then see what I make. I am hoping to use all the colours in the Bella Parade bundle.

Bella Solids QAL blocks

Now that it is finally spring, sewing is going to slow for a bit around here. I have to go out of town and I have to take my sewing machine in for a tune up, so I am going to do both at the same time. I hope to get a chance to do a little sewing while I am away, and I will be able to knit. I have a plan, I am going to cut up some bits of fabrics and put together a hexagon kit tonight to take along!

I am linking to WIP Wednesday, I hope you have a chance to look at all the projects there - I always enjoy them.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Monday, May 9, 2011

I hope you enjoyed Mother's Day!

A Kiss in Time, so far

This is the Kiss in Time quilt, so far. Next I need to cut fabrics and make the borders. I am really enjoying how this one is coming together.

It was a busy weekend, so little time to sew. I considered fabric for my new quilt alongs and I cut some of it up.

One inch strips of the Bella Solid fat quarter pack

These are one inch strips cut off my Bella Parade fat quarter set. I cut three strips of each colour for now. I decided that I am going to play with the quilt along ideas a bit and make a cousin or sister to the actual quilt (you can see that lovely quilt over on the sidebar). I am, for now, just going to make a whole lot of  slightly wonky and slightly improv log cabin blocks with these strips and then see how I am inspired to put them together.

Tiny log cabin blocks for the FQS Bella Solid QAL

If you look at the ruler on my sewing table (the bottom line is inches, top centimetres) you can see how little these are. Maybe I will make some of them larger, I'm not sure yet.

I have also been quilting, quilting my quilt as you go blocks. Some work projects are going to slow all quilting down for a while, good thing quilting is a journey, not a race.



Friday, May 6, 2011

Ta Da! Supernova

Supernova, finished

It's all done, quilted, bound and washed - out in the spring sun for a photograph.

Supernova, finished, detail, after washing

I decided to straight line quilting inside the long rows. The diagonal rows are wider so I did an extra echo line inside the first one on the diagonals only.

Supernova, close up of quilting

This made a cute little star in the centre.

I am really pleased with the back.

Supernova, back, after washing

The idea of a centre medallion type quilt has been on my mind for a while, I guess this was a bit of a trial run. It is, unsurprisingly, hard to line up the back perfectly on a quilt this size and the straight line quilting does show that, but I am pretty pleased with this result. The binding is made of scraps of the fabrics, scraps were also used for the border of blocks around the back medallion.

This quilt could use a name, any suggestions would be appreciated.

This quilt along was great fun. The supernova block is just more beautiful with each fabric combination and variation, the flickr group here is a great place to see that. Lee, at Freshly Pieced, did an excellent job at every stage of the instructions. If you have not yet started one, it is not too late.

And, for those of you who enjoy podcasts and getting to know other bloggers, my internet friend Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap has ventured into the podcast arena. I encourage you to head over here and give her a listen, I enjoyed her first foray into podcasting and look forward to the next one.


ps. I am going to link this to {Sew} Modern Monday. The projects are beautiful and I hope you go to look.
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Now for something completely different.

Blocks for A Kiss in Time quilt

Today I am sharing my progress on a quilt kit. Not just any kit, it came in the most beautiful black box:

It came in a black box!

On my quilting journey, I seem to want to try everything and make every kind of quilt. I am enjoying learning from the internet quilters via quilt alongs and tutorials. I also wanted to try a quilt kit, and when I found this improv kit to make a Gustav Klimt inspired quilt by the very talented Lonni Rossi, I could not resist. You can check out Klimt here and especially this one.

Here are the strips, the next step is to cut them up and piece them with the blocks.

Strips for A Kiss in Time quilt

These four blocks are rather small, just 4.5" x 3.5".

Blocks for A Kiss in Time quilt, they are cheddar coloured!

By the way, that picture of the tiny blocks is set on a Moda Bella Parade cheddar coloured fat quarter. I had pulled the fabric out earlier to see if there was anything in my photos that matched, and then I noticed this, a match.

Shruti at 13 Woodhouse Road is hosting the Bella Parade Fat Quarter Shop group to study colours for the month of May. This project has already made an impact on me, I am taking a better look at the colours around me and really thinking about the colours, not just the objects. Seeing colours as they are and paying attention to them particularly, seem to me to be excellent skills for a quilter.

Oh, and these skills will help me in my new quilt alongs, the Mystery Quilt Along and the Ogee Quiltalong. I am just choosing fabrics for those quilts. There are cute buttons for these and the Bella Parade (yes I am doing the QAL attached to that too) over on the left.

Just so you know, I pulled the finished Supernova quilt out of the drier an hour ago. It is great to be finished, I'll take pictures in the daylight and post them later this week.

I am linking this to WIP Wednesday, go have a look at the beautiful work linked there.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, May 1, 2011

So long to April, time for the May flowers.

Party Rings, one block

Lynne is again hosting Fresh Sewing Day, asking us to share what we enjoyed the most in April.

Mostly I have enjoyed thinking about the quilting part of making quilts and actually doing the quilting. I am now quilting my giant dresdens for my Party Rings (Lily's Quilts QAL) quilt. I decided to unify the 6 blocks by doing lines around the dresdens (but varying the distances that the lines are apart) and then try to use as many different quilting patterns for the centres and outside bits as I can. So, no expert quilting here, but I am having a lot of fun.

Party Rings, detail

Party Rings, second block, detail

Party Rings, second block, detail

Party Rings, second block

There are six blocks in all, but the quilting goes reasonably fast. The thread colours are Strawberry Swirl and Chocolate Brownies, perfect for the Party Rings I thought.

I also made wall quilt (something I probably, at some point, said I would not do...sigh... never say never). I am rather fond of it, it is called Sheltered. I have put it on the blog before, but one more time:

Sheltered, Trimmings2011

I have done some other quilty things in April which were and continue to be great fun, but that's enough for today. Do try to visit the talented crew linking at Fresh Sewing Day and enjoy your Sunday.

Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts