Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm sewing again!

DQS11 - Progress has been made, do you like it so far?

I'm back from Hawaii and sewing again. I have finished the top on the DQS11 miniquilt. It's blue-green-purpleness reminds me of the ocean. It has 32 nine patch blocks and 31 white blocks, for a total of 63 blocks. I think that those proportions are about right, many of my full size quilts have about 63 blocks.

DQS11 on my original Irish Chain

You can see the size better sitting on my regular size Irish Chain quilt. The size right now is about 13.5" x 16 " with the larger borders. I think I will cut the borders down so they finish at 3/4" which is half the size of the blocks which finish at 1.5" squares. The little squares in the nine patches are all 1/2" squares. Some are a bit wonky, I decided to leave them that way, for charm and because there is no way I can do it any better with regular piecing.

Oops! I noticed an iron burn after the DQS11 mini quilt top was done

This photo was taken this morning. That is the piece I excised last night when I noticed I had burned it with my iron.

DQS11 - repairing the burnt piece

I just ripped it out of its spot and reinserted a fresh one. You can see from this photo that I was doing that well after dark. It was far easier than I expected to do this. As the recommendation is to use a much smaller stitch length with a mini quilt, the less seam ripping the better, and all I had to do was rip out the square and a few stitches on all sides of it to insert the replacement square. I hope you have trouble locating where it was done in the first picture.

Binding choices - what do you like?

Here are my binding options, opinions are welcome. The one on the bottom left is far more lime green that this picture suggests. All are K. Fassett, the prints were used in the top and the solids are shot cottons.

Hawaii, at the beach

Last week we were in Hawaii, on the Big Island. Here is one of the beach pictures. This water was like going into a nice refreshing and warm tub. So most of the time we were in it.

Hawaii - Turtle

There were turtles.

Hawaii - fish

And beautiful fish.

Hawaii - fish

More fish. I will figure out their names and show you some more later. My son took these while snorkeling with our waterproof point and shoot camera.

Good-bye Hawaii

Here is my good bye Hawaii shot, taken at the airport last Sunday night before we boarded our plane, flew all night, stopped in two airports, then took two ferry boats, and arrived safely at my cottage on a small island in the Salish Sea (now you would recognize it as the Pacific Ocean). Jet lag, unpacking, laundry, settling in, etc. have taken most of my week but now I am sewing again.

I hope your summer is going well.



Sunday, July 24, 2011

At the beach!


The big island, Hawaii. We have taken surprising few pictures of the beaches, too busy in the water I guess.

I'll be back to sewing and blogging soon.



Monday, July 18, 2011

Ta Da! Rainbow Warmth - Modern Crosses Completed


I have named the Modern Crosses quilt Rainbow Warmth. The pattern is from Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal.

I am pretty happy with how this one looks, all  quilted, bound, washed and dried. It is made of white Kona cotton and a pile of bright fabrics from Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, and several others. I have added to this pile of brights and am using it for many different projects now.

Back, Rainbow Warmth

For the back, I went into my fabric shelf and found these. I did not want a riot of colour like the front so I found just enough of these two, and I put one of the extra blocks on the back too.

Rainbow Warmth

Here is a close up of it folded on my chair. After washing you can see that the quilting shows off the smaller log cabin units of each larger block nicely and also emphasizes the crosses. Given that I was following the seam lines, it did not take long to quilt this twin size quit. I did not measure its final dimensions before I sent it but it is about 65" x 90" give or take a little.

Rainbow Warmth, ready to go

Here it is, folded and ready to go. This one is now on its way to the Quilts Recover Project initiated by Cheryl at Naptime Quilter. However, I think I may start making more blocks, so I have a similar quilt for me too.

I am linking to {Sew} Modern Monday, you should head over to see the lovely things linked there too.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

I have made it to the beach, I won't be blogging much this week. I will try to post you a picture or two later.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday - playing with blocks.

Block 3 - Churn Dash

I finally had time to get my You Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler started. Leila at Sewn has written such helpful instructions, aimed not just at block construction but at truly building overall quilting skills. And when she made a Churn Dash, I just had to catch up.

Block 1 - Log Cabin

Here is the log cabin, these are blocks that finish at 12". I love log cabins! By the way, my Modern Crosses Quilt came out of the dryer last night. I will get some pictures today and do a Ta Da! post tomorrow.

Block 2 - Value Nine Patch

This is the last of the three skill builder blocks - a value 9 patch. This one gave me an idea for my doll quilt swap.

Tiny nine patches

I am trying to figure out what to make for my secret partner for DQS11. This is a test piece, maybe I will do an Irish Chain doll quilt. I am thinking that maybe it could be much scrappier. That is a penny there, the nine patches are 1.5" squares and the squares in each nine patch are 1/2" squares. More practice is needed but I continue to be charmed by the tiny blocks. This is the new DQS11 button, it will take you to the rest of the fun.

Doll Quilt Swap on flickr

I am linking to WIP Wednesday, the projects there are wonderful and I do try to visit as many as I can each week, and you should too!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, July 10, 2011

The internet provides advice and inspiration!


I have pieced all 30 blocks for the Kaleidoscope Quilt, so I am up to date in the Kaleidoscope QAL being led by Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy. I asked readers on this blog and also at the QAL flickr group to help me decide between two layouts. This layout, which was #1, was preferred about 2:1 so I went with it. The internet quilting community is the best! Just ask a question and people take time out of their busy lives to provide you with helpful and thoughtful advice.

In other news, I was selected in the lottery to get into Doll Quilt 11! I am so excited to get to play along in this swap. I make a small quilt, between 9" and 18" on each side for my secret partner. The quilt is not to be an art quilt, but rather a miniature of a quilt one might put on a bed.

So in an effort to assist my unknown partner, I made a mosaic full of ideas that I like from other quilters on flickr. It sure is hard to put everything I like in only one mosaic, and since it has such nice things I thought I would share it here too:

Mosaic for DQS 11

The picture on flickr has a comment about why I included everything as well as a link to each of these photos in larger format on the maker's pages (click the picture to go there). The goal of the mosaic is to give one's partner some direction as opposed to saying "I like everything." The truth is, although I guess I don't really like everything, I like quite a lot of different things and would be happy with most anything someone made especially for me.

I have been researching my partner and her likes and dislikes and I hope to start developing some ideas for her quilt soon. Other people are already sewing, it looks like it will be a fun experience.

Making the mosaic was so inspiring.  I sure will be glad to be finished my work in the next day or two and off on vacation where, after the first week off on a special trip, there will be loads of time to relax, go to the beach, and sew.



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Farmer's Wife Update and some House Blocks

Night & Day - #59 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Night & Day, Block # 59 from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. I decided it was time to do some of the paper pieced blocks (Some people are using the templates but I am opting for paper piecing practice.)  I am still pretty new to paper piecing and am still just floored by the wonderful pointy points you get after all that confusing activity with paper and bits of fabric and such.

Waste Not - #97 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Waste Not, #97. Look at those points!

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Here are my 12 blocks together. I think eventually I will redo the two blocks without any white, I am sold on the crisp contrast between the very colourful and bright fabrics and the Kona white. The variations on these blocks over on the flickr QAL page is amazing, you may want to go and look.

I have to show off my Twelve Month Quilting Bee blocks too. I have never tried to make a house before, although I love many different house quilt variations.

Bee Block for Julie

Julie sent us a bunch of colourful strips and the cutest faces. I had fun making siding and framing the window and door.

Bee Block for Julie

This is the first one I did, I was going for a two story house with a fancy doorway. These houses were a fun challenge, and now these blocks are in the mail.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Busy, busy - but it is soon time to go to the beach!

Quilting straight lines

I love quilting action shots! I have been quilting the Modern Crosses Quilt. I sewed straight lines through the centre of the crosses both vertically and horizontally. It framed the four log cabin blocks that make up each cross and also put a cross through the cross. I am pretty happy with it.

Close up of the quilting

For the binding, I cut a 2.5"strip off of many of the prints and made a scrappy binding.

This will be the binding

Here it is on my chair this morning, waiting for me to start hand sewing the binding. I am sending this quilt to Cheryl's Quilts Recover Project. I need to get it off to her before I leave on vacation so there has been some urgency in getting this done. It is such a fun quilt, I am going to start another to keep for me.

Modern Crosses Quilt - ready for hand sewing the binding

I also did the next Mystery QAL block. It is about 21" square!

Mystery QAL - Garden Patch Block

Here are these star blocks all together. I am loving the pastel Amy Butler fabrics, which continue to surprise me given that everything else I am working on seems to involve very bright colours.

Mystery QAL Week 5

I am behind on one bee block, the postal strike made the fabric late, so tonight I hope to be sewing up the houses I have been drawing tonight. Here are my Aqua and Orange Bee blocks for Kristen.

Aqua and Orange Blocks for Kristina

I am still playing with tiny quilts, there should be more progress on that front soon. I will have some more Farmer's Wife blocks later this week. I am going to finally decide on the Kaleidoscope layout and I still hope to get the Skill Builder Blocks done. And I am off to the store for the background for the Zig and Zag quilt to take with me on vacation.

But I wish the internet would stop with the new QALs in the summer. There are a lot of wonderful ones just starting, I think I may have to bookmark them to do in the fall as a straggler. I do want to spend some time on the beach.

It looks like another nice day, the birds are singing their morning songs as I write. I am linking to WIP Wednesday, you should go over and check out the wonderful work that everyone links over there.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, July 3, 2011

One quilt top done, and indecision as another begins.

Modern Crosses - Top is done

I have finished the Modern Crosses Quilt top! It has 59 crosses - each is made of 4 log cabin blocks, so a total of 236 log cabin blocks - which makes it a twin size quilt. This pattern is from Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal. I love the way she turned a group of 4 log cabin blocks into a cross.

I used a nice big pile of different bold and brightly coloured fabrics which seem to play well together because of the crazy brightness and all that white. I am using the same pile for the Farmer's Wife QAL, it is great fun to work with all this colour.

Modern Crosses - closeup

In the close up you can see how the juxtaposition of the 4 log cabins works and creates a sort of swirl of the fabric colours.  Linda, an internet friend, pointed out that for my next version of this quilt, I could save time, trimming and pressing if I used 1/2 log cabins (the coloured side) and then just sashed the remainder once the cross was formed. I am already planning another one of these quilts, so I am going to use this idea for sure.

Modern Crosses - basted

Here is it pin basted in my living room. I have to push all the furniture to the walls and take care not to jab the hardwood, but it works.

Modern Crosses - basted

Look at how lovely it looks all pressed and pinned. Now I am going start the quilting. I am planning straight lines through the centre of the crosses, on either side of the seam that runs both vertically and horizontally through the cross. I am thinking one or two lines on each side of the seams in each direction for each cross, assuming I do not run out of steam.

Here is another project, the start of the Kaleidoscope QAL. I am sewing the small triangles onto the large triangles of the aqua and chartreuse pieces, and that will get me caught up to the QAL. However I cannot decide on a layout.

Layout #1 has one colour for each of the "stars". This brings out the circle that the background makes for the stars.

Kaleidoscope Layout #1

Layout #2 seems to be more like what most people are doing, although most are also using a solid and I am, instead, using a third grouping of grey-black prints. This layout de-emphasizes the stars and emphasizes the larger circles around the 8 piece "fans".

Kaleidoscope Layout #2

Kaleidoscope quilts are so interesting - different uses of colour can make the overall look of the design appear so different.

I welcome any advice on the layout. I have also asked the QAL group on flickr for their thoughts. This quilt will end up being about 60 x 72 inches with 30 of the 8 piece fan blocks in total.

I will show you some other QAL and Quilting Bee progress later this week, I have some more nice blocks to share.



Friday, July 1, 2011

The Farmer's Wife QAL - June Wrap Up for Fresh Sewing Day

Flock - #34 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

This is Flock, #34 of the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. I am going to give you a June wrap up of my progress on the  Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt  for Lily's Quilts Farmer's Wife Edition of  Fresh Sewing Day.

Railroad - #72 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Another favourite of mine is #72 Railroad. This QAL has basically a one year life - 2 blocks a week and 111 blocks in total.

3" Churn Dash

This is probably my favourite of all so far, Churn Dash #20. It is a Shoo-fly block variation and I am sort of taken with the simply beauty of the shoo-fly.

Homeward Bound - #48 Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Homeward Bound, #48. Cannot say or write that without the Simon and Garfunkel song immediately playing in my head. I think a group of these, especially if you played with the colours, would look fantastic. I may need to give that a try.

Enough of my favourites, here are all 10 of my blocks so far:

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Many people have posted beautiful blocks on flickr, I encourage you to go and take a look. Some are doing far more than 2 a week but there is no pressure to go quickly. It is friendly and laid back QAL, exactly what I need.

I have mentioned before, so as not to end up feeling bad if I lose interest or momentum, my plan is that I will make whatever blocks I have done next June into a quilt and be done with it. (Problem is, now there is another book, so I have a feeling I will be working on those blocks when the book comes out too. Good thing they are fun.)

I have been doing some other fun things this month, you can browse back in my blog if you like, but I am going to focus my June wrap up on the Farmer's Wife this time. Here is the link to Lily's Quilts Farmer's Wife Edition of Sew Fresh Day, it is well worth visiting the folks linked up there.

Fresh Sewing Day

It is Canada Day today! My country is 144 years old. We have a day off and fireworks later tonight, pretty much everywhere in Canada, from sea to sea to sea.