Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Solids Wall Quilt - Ta Da!

For the Love of Solids [a modern swap] - wall quilt - complete.

I have finished the wall quilt I am making for my secret partner in the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. It is 29.75" x 21.25". The fabric is an assortment of Kona solids, some are the organic solids, some are the regular. There are two different Essex linen or linen/cottons as well.

FTLOS - front detail

This quilt had several inspirations. I hope you might be reminded of the beach - logs, water, shells, sand, plant life, and also the movement at the beach. I am working on my beach inspiration photo mosaic and will post that for you tomorrow. There are other inspirations that I will share once the secret swap is over. This spiral pattern was made using the Parfait Cafe tutorial here.

FTLOS - front detail

The pixelated squares, or sun-shattered views, or whatever you might see, are made of squares that finish at 1". The boards on the deck are 5"wide to give you a bit of scale.

FTLOS - front detail

I quilted it heavily. It has not been washed, and still you get a lot of quilty puffing. You might have a glimpse of sunbaked, ocean tossed distressed wood, sand, shells, and water.

FTLOS - back

Here is the back, which is a piece of Essex Linen or maybe their linen/cotton blend, I cannot remember. I used thread from 3 different spools of hand-dyed thread from Valdani Inc. - backyard honeycomb, subtle elegance and silver foam. This thread is a dream to work with and is made from a beautiful highly mercerized long staple cotton.

FTLOS - back detail

The quilting is by machine, echoing the patterns, somewhat randomly and not perfectly, much like the distressing nature causes.

FTLOS - binding detail

The binding was interesting. I wanted the front to finish without any edges but I wanted the quilting to show on the back. I considered this tutorial by Lisa Call, combined with this tutorial by Kerry at Verykerryberry, to come up with this. The part you see on the back is about 3/4". If anyone wants a tutorial for what I did exactly, let me know. It hangs nicely with pins, I have to add some kind of hanger to the back, in case my partner is partial to using a dowel or a wire for hanging.

For the Love of Solids [a modern swap] - wall quilt - complete

I just love it - it is going to be very hard to send it away, but I have plans for another one or maybe several more, similar but different, for me. Thanks to my friend Marianne at The Quilting Edge, for encouraging me on this project, I think I have managed to really stretch and I am very happy with where it has taken me.

Soon I am heading back to the City, fall is in the air, time to get back.

I am adding a link to {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations as, finally, I have a modern finish to show off. There are lovely projects linked there, I hope you have time to visit them.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Still playing with solids

For the Love of Solids [a modern swap] - so far it is this.

I am this far with my piece for the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. (For those of you who are new to this project, here is the tutorial link by the Parfait Cafe for the swirls.)  I have been having a lot of fun but also this piece has been a challenge. I spent that last day deciding proportions.

It was longer at the top and bottom, and when I hung it up I knew it was not right. When I stopped thinking about it and just let my subconscious feel it, it was too long. I just knew that.

Sheesh, it's a long time since math class, but there I was dusting off my geometry and considering the golden ratio. (A helpful calculator is here.) Not that I have achieved that ratio exactly, but now it is closer   for the proportions that seemed off. And now it feels right.

The cool thing is that first I just pinned it where it "felt" right. Before I got out the math. Well that is almost exactly where it ended up. Seems good to listen to yourself as you work.

Now I am going to figure out the quilting, as I said earlier, I want to "distress" it, like sunbaked wood.

Enjoy your evening, it is beautiful here.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yikes, it's Wednesday again, any WIP here?

A bunch of modified tippecanoes - a mosaic from one block (I can't make them this fast)

No, I did not make this whole quilt top this week!

This is a photo mosaic made of the one block I did manage. I think I may have to make the quilt, it is pretty nice. Although I think I will make the stars in a bunch of different bright colours.

Tippecanoe, Sheila's variation

Here is the one block I did finish. It is a modified Tippecanoe.

I made Tippecanoes for the Mystery QAL (Click here for my blocks). I asked Sheila, mystery mastermind, for ideas of how to avoid the blobs of seams at the points should I want to make a bunch of blocks and join them together. The very next day, she sent me this design with a handy paper pieced pattern attached.

I think I need a whole quilt, I am trying to decide on the block size before I make too many more, this is a 6" block and that is a lot of blocks for a whole quilt. I make make it larger, say 10".

For the Love of Solids, more progress

I made this yesterday, it is the next piece, I think, in my wall quilt or maybe table topper for the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. It took me longer than I expected to put these together in a manner that I liked.

For the Love of Solids Swap

I know I showed you this picture already but I could not resist doing it again. [Here is the link to the tutorial by the Parfait Cafe again, you can read more about this piece in my previous blog post too.] I am going to combine it with the linear piece and maybe add something more to finish off. Then I am going to quilt it heavily, I are going for a sunbaked looked, the quilting will "distress" it a bit I am hoping.

In terms of other progress, I am still on island time, enjoying the days and moving slowly. And I am almost finished making plum jam, soon onto blackberry.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday, I missed last week. The best progress is always posted there, go and have a look.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Monday, August 22, 2011

Playing with solids

For the Love of Solids Swap

This is going to be a piece, I think, of a wall quilt for my partner in the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. I have wanted to make this swirly hexagon block since I saw it done by The Parfait Cafe (go here, her quilt is wonderful). She also provided a handy tutorial to make the block here, which I used.

So my idea for the finished item was different to start, but a creative friend challenged me to make sure I added a part of me to the whole project. So I am doing that and I am far more excited and also nervous about it. I hope my partner will like it in the end, there is a fair bit more to go, this part is only 6.5" wide by 22" long so far.

For the Love of Solids Swap

These are the start of my smaller project for the same swap. I have some quilting ideas to try out on them. I am having fun with this grown up palette which feels very modern in a totally retro way to me.

Tonight I hope to try another interesting block that another friend just whipped up for me. Internet friends are the best!



Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Mystery Unfolds

Tippecanoe - Mystery Quilt QAL

This block is called Tippecanoe. Sheila, the mastermind behind the Mystery Quilt QAL, explained that this block was one of the blocks that were designed as a tribute to William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), who was the ninth President of the United States.

Tippecanoe - Mystery Quilt QAL

This is a close up of another, I think they are wonderful. They are paper pieced but so much easier paper piecing than some of my other recent attempts so I only made a few silly mistakes. Like cutting off the fabric I had just sewn on. Sigh.

Mystery Quilt QAL: The most recent assignment - done

Here are the 7 tippecanoe blocks I made over the last two days, attached to the first block of the QAL. These are hard to sew on because there is a big blob of seams at the pointy ends. Although I was imagining a quilt of just tippecanoe blocks sewn together, I think it would be tiresome to try to join them.

Mystery Quilt QAL

Here are my Mystery QAL blocks all together, sun dappled on the deck. I still have some left over homework from the last lesson, but I think they look nice so far.

Today is a day for being outside in the garden, it is beautiful already. And I am almost done with the plum jam (56 jars so far), and just in time as the blackberries are ripening!



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Playing with fabric, and the winner is...

For the Love of Solids

I am thinking and designing.

For the Love of Solids Swap

Playing and testing.

For the Love of Solids Swap - possible palette

With this group of solids, for the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. So you might notice that these are not my usual brighter than bright colours or the sweet Amy Butler pastels from my Mystery QAL blocks. Yet another palette to work with. This one is perfect for use at my cottage which has a garden and sunbleached land as well as beaches and an ocean. I am not exactly sure what it will turn into yet, but I am having fun figuring that out.

More importantly, the winner of my give away to celebrate reaching and exceeding 100 followers and 5 months of blogging is Melissa!

Melissa blogs at A Child of the Wild Blue Yonder, she posts the most amazing blocks on flickr under the name Mama Missa, she is the organizer of the Aqua and Orange Bee that I am in and she is a member of my other online sewing bee, the Twelve Month Quilting Bee. And I would never have met her but for the internet.  I can't wait to see what she makes with that fabric!

Also, her win has restored my faith in random number generators. She was the last entry, which I have been in other contests and I always assumed that meant I had no chance. Look:

I want to thank everyone who reads my blog for the support, encouragement, and inspiration that you have provided me. I am so pleased by how the internet quilting community has helped me to enjoy my quilting journey.  So, again, thank you for being a friend!

I hope to get some actual progress to show you soon, but the garden, the fruit, the beach all are taking more than their share of my time it seems. I have finished making about 48 jars of the plum jam, hopefully there are not that many more to make.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DQS11 in the mail and I am extending the give away until Wednesday night.

DQS11 Quilt, finished, and in the mail, hope you like it partner!

Well, there it is, my finished mini-quilt for the DQS11 Swap. It is about 16.5" x 13.5" (I, of course, forgot to take a final measurement.) The prints are cotton and the background is linen (might be 50/50 cotton linen but I am thinking it is just linen). The background scorches with a hot iron, in seconds, without warning. I put a big tag on the front to warn my partner and also sent a tester bit of fabric.

I decided in the end that white binding was best. I did actually sew on one of the prints that I had in the running but it just did not give the right look.

Doll Quilt Swap 11 - Finished back and label

The back is a Kaffee Fassett print.  You can see the label (edited for now). I was having nightmares about the label, but hopefully this one will do. My partner can just take if off if she prefers.

DQS11 Quilt - being a barn quilt

The quilt is being a barn quilt here. The old barn holds only firewood but I love its run down falling apartness. Maybe I should make it a barn quilt of its own.

The quilt is in the mail, off to my partner. I hope that she likes it as much as I do. I learned a lot about mini-quilts making this and it reflects a learning process, not perfection. I will show you the extras I sent once the quilt has arrived at its new home.

I have decided it was unfair to have a give away to celebrate exceeding 100 followers that opened on Friday and ended on Monday in the summer. Hopefully many of you get away on summer weekends and enjoy some time with family, or outdoors. I have extended entries until Wednesday night. I will draw Thursday morning, so if you have not yet entered, please click here and do so.

Enjoy your day.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mostly about the Farmer's Wife.

Bright colours to give away

I cut up the 5" squares to put in the zippered bag I made for my give away to celebrate reaching and exceeding 100 followers. If you have not yet entered, please do so by going here. I will be drawing tomorrow night.

Rainbow Flowers - #73 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

I have been working on the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. This block is Rainbow Flowers, #73.  A lovely 1/4 log cabin block. I pieced it as a log cabin block, not as illustrated in the book.

Autumn Tints - #2 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Autumn Tints, #2. I was not really considering autumn when I picked the colours.

Squash Blossom - #86 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Squash Blossom, #86 (which I posted earlier). It is less striking turned on pointe, I think, but still a great block.

Windmill - #108 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Here is Windmill, #108. I love the simplicity of this block.

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt - August 14

These are my 18 blocks so far. I am still loving making these small blocks, each one teaches me something, not always what I expect to learn.

You may want to visit  the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt QAL to check everyone's progress. I am off to do some gardening and then back to plum jam making. I hope you enjoy your Sunday!



Friday, August 12, 2011

Thank you for being a friend.

Zipper bag

I had some small bits left over from making my DQS11 mini quilt so I made this zippered bag. The sort-of-wonky nine patches have tiny 1/2" squares. It is has a bright lining. It could be yours.

Zipper bag - pink inside

To celebrate reaching and exceeding 100 followers of this blog, I am giving away a couple of things. First, a fat quarter pack of some of my favourite fabrics, Shades of Grey designed by Daisy Janie. It is organic fabric and it is wonderful to work with. I used it in the Big Little George wall quilt I made this spring.

Pink Chalk Fabrics have agreed to help me to avoid a huge shipping delay (from them in the USA to me in Canada to you wherever that may be) for this bundle I have purchased, and instead they will ship it directly to the winner.

I am also sending you the zippered bag. And I am going to cut up some some charm squares cut from my bright fabric stack to put inside. You have seen these fabrics in all my projects in the last two months, the modern crosses quilt, the farmer's wife blocks, the We can do it! Skill Builder Sampler blocks, my doll quilt swap quilt and this zippered bag. These bright colours are a treat to work with, maybe they will inspire you too. And they look great with the Shades of Grey!

To win, just leave me a comment, no hoops or obligations, although if you are not a follower I would love it if you became one. In your comment, let me know what you are quilting right now, what you excited about quilting next and/or what you had fun quilting over the last year. I will make the draw on Monday night and post the winner on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. (Please make sure I can reach you, if you are a no-reply blogger then put your email in the comment.)

This celebration is to thank you for being a friend. I really do appreciate the support, guidance and friendship the followers of my blog give to me. You inspire me and make me laugh. And I am still surprised to have over 100 followers!

By the way, today is also a blog-versary of sorts, this blog started on March 12, 2011, 5 months ago today.



ps, I am still making plum jam, I have made 5 batches so far, more tonight. Too bad it is so hard to ship or I could give some of it away too.

Plum jam so far - Aug 12

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lazy days of summer - WIP Wednesday

Arizona block - We can do it! Skill Builder QAL

This block is called Arizona. It is the last of the hst blocks in the We can do it! Skill Builder Sampler QAL hosted by Leila at Sewn.

6 We can do it! Skill Builder QAL - all caught up

I am now caught up to the group. Next up are three weeks of flying geese skill building blocks. I really like flying geese but have virtually no skills making them so this should help.

Squash Blossom - # 86 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Squash Blossom, Block #86 from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. The flickr group for the FWQAL is here.

Isn't that a lovely little block! Don't look too closely, it is far from perfect even though it is paper pieced. But it took about 5 hours to make! That is far more than it should have taken. I made every single paper piecing mistake you can articulate, over and over again. And then again for good measure.

I love the results of paper piecing, I love the "magic" of it, and it is kind of fun sometimes. But it is the least intuitive thing I have done in a long time. My brain just will not accept any part of it as logical or reasonable so I need to practice and practice.

I will get another FW block done soon and then post the updated group of my blocks. I am slowly catching up with other projects, but for now, this is my progress. That and making plum jam, and making more jam and handing out plums to everyone who will take them. Soon there will be blackberries, and jelly... Oh, and I have almost figured out how to celebrate 100 and more followers, stay tuned for more on that, probably on Friday.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced. I hope you will visit all the projects, I try to view everything as it is all so inspiring, although I have to admit to not finishing all of them last week, it is hard to keep up in the summer.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday night.

Skill Builder Sampler Blocks

This weekend I made a couple more of the We can do it! Skill Builder Sampler QAL Blocks.

Pinwheels - Skill Builder Sampler QAL

These are pinwheels. I always find pinwheels harder than I expect. There are a lot of seams meeting in the middle and it is easy to get things out of line (like the green pinwheel). But pinwheels always make me smile.

Bow Ties - Skill Builder Sampler QAL

This block is four bow ties blocks put together. I am pretty confident of my skills with this one. I love the octagon in the middle. I have one block to go and I will be caught up to the QAL. The upcoming skills are far less familiar to me and I am looking forward to Leila's excellent instruction.

Plums from my tree

But much of my weekend was spent being a plum farmer. I have two different kinds of plums ripening now. These small ones are pretty bland eating when fresh so I thought I would try some jam.

Plum jam

It looks nice. This is part of the batch, 8 cups of plums make 7.5 cups of jam. I had to process it twice , and be rescued by my friend, the jam-making angel, but it worked in the end. I added cinnamon, cardamon, fresh ginger and vanilla, after consulting the family cooking expert about how to jazz it up. Turns out, it tastes like apple pie.

Plum tree

This is a small corner of the tree.  I think I have about 40 batches of jam to go unless maybe the neighbours love these plums fresh more than we do. I am going to try a bunch of different spice combinations, but the next batch is going to be just plums to see how that tastes.

The peach plum tree

This tree is full of excellent eating peach-plums. We are all stuffed, the neighbours are stuffed and some are in the fridge, with a lot more on the tree still. We put up danger tape and put garden furniture under the tree to keep away the deer. As I said, plum farmer.

So on Friday I mentioned that this blog was at 99 followers and a whole bunch more people joined in.  Thank you for the support. I am hoping to put together a prize for you to celebrate in the next day or two. I had thought it would take a bit longer to hit the 100 mark and that I had more time to decide what to do.



Friday, August 5, 2011

decisions, decisions

DQS11 - Quilting is done

Last night I suddenly realized how to quilt the doll quilt that I am making for DQS11. It is interesting to me that this quilting, which emphasizes the Irish Chain diagonals, makes it so much harder to "see" the nine patches which were so obvious before.

DQS11 - Quilting is done

I have been trying to make this a close to scale mini bed quilt, and I was having a lot of trouble imagining a quilting approach that would seem realistic and proportionate in size to what might be done on a full size quilt. I think this works nicely.

I am still trying to decide on the binding, and everyone gave me lots of ideas last week. I'll keep you posted.

By the way, I see there are 99 followers of this blog, which is very flattering and fun. I am trying to decide what I might give away to celebrate when the number reaches 100. Any ideas of what you might like?

Enjoy your Friday, it is a beautiful day here.