Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thank you Shevvy! You sent an amazing Pay it Forward present for me.

Beautiful Wall Quilt Made by Shevvy

It's the most wonderful wall quilt, sent to me all the way from London, England by Shevvy, from Shevvy, quilting in London. Last spring I signed up for Shevvy's Pay it Forward project, in addition to Judith's. On Friday afternoon this marvel arrived! It was the perfect day for an unexpected present too, it had been a long and tiring week.

This little quilt is a 15.5" square, the quilting is 1/4" apart. Each bit of piecing and quilting is perfect, I am just blown away. It is especially special because I love circles.

Thank you Shevvy! You made my day and my week. I am still trying to decide the perfect place to hang it but it will be somewhere where I see it every day.

It's time for me to start thinking about my Pay it Forward gifts. I have been spending a lot of time this weekend looking at the quilts at the Bloggers Quilt Festival, and I am sure you have been too, there are so many beautiful quilts posted there.



Friday, October 28, 2011

No Primary Colours, the Quilt - Bloggers Quilt Festival

No Primary Colours, the Quilt

This is my fourth quilt I think and I made it in the fall of 2010, before I started blogging. I refer to it as my No Primary Colours Quilt. I used the Strips and Bricks pattern by Malka Dubrawsky but picked my own colours. I quilted it a lot like Rita at Red Pepper Quilts quilted her version, although I spaced my lines in random ways to keep from getting bored.

No Primary Colours, the Quilt

I have to tell you that this colour scheme, reminiscent of the 1970's avocado green and harvest gold appliances, was not where I thought I would go with this quilt. But as I pulled fabrics and bought some more, the green, orange, brown and grey theme emerged.

No Primary Colours, the Quilt

When I was done, I realized that it had no primary colours, at least none that stood out as primaries - the yellows read as either orange or green. It is a calming colour scheme and every time I see this quilt I feel good.

No Primary Colours, the Quilt - back

When I started quilting in March 2010, I was most inspired by the quilts that had modern motifs and a lot of negative space. I designed this back with a few of the left over pieces and it is one of the few things I have yet made with this focus. I love it as much as the front and it reminds me that I want to do more work of this nature.

No Primary Colours, the Quilt - back

The quilt is about 62" by 75" and it currently lives on top of the duvet on my bed. It is one of my favourites and dragging it out today to photograph means that it is now freshly washed too.

Quilt at dawn

Here is an older photo, taken at dawn last winter. You can see the quilting nicely here and how, after washing, a lot of texture is added by dense but somewhat irregular straight line quilting.

I am sharing this quilt as part of Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival. Thank you Amy for all the work you do to host the festival. I hope everyone will go and view all the quilts, they are wonderful.




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The days fly by - but here is some WIP

Quilting the Christmas table runner

I love quilting action shots! I have been quilting my table runner for the Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap.

Christmas table runner, ready to quilt

I have a small nagging feeling this is not very modern but I am hoping that since I used modern fabrics (after all surely Grunge is modern, right?) it will squeek by.

Blocks for Claire

These log cabins are a new project - a quilt for a friend who is about 14. She asked for squares and white sashing and gave me a rainbow of fabrics she liked and I have been adding bits of everything I have to make it scrappy. I will need about 35 of these to make a quilt, although I may make the blocks  in varying sizes which will mean I need more than that. I am trying to decide whether I should try to stick to monochrome blocks or just move to warm and cool ones with multiple colours in those ranges.

Angel Quilt for me from Mamacjt

And look at this beauty! You know how you feel when you get close to a rock star or a famous person - well this is just like that. It is from Carol who blogs at Mamacjt. She is one of my quilting heros and she sent me this Angel Quilt for being so patient in DQS11. It is not big, 12" x 10" (smaller than a ceramic tile in my kitchen) and it is perfect!

Those swap mamas in DQS sure take good care of the bebes, and besides this quilt from Carol, my mama, Kim (she is quiltinkimmie on flickr) was especially good to me. I am hoping to join in next time too.

I am linking to my usual WIP groups. I hope you have time to visit some of the projects there, they are always wonderful. I am hoping to visit them all but I expect it will take me to the end of the weekend to  do that, but it is so worth it.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Saturday, October 22, 2011

A special swap.

Wonderful poppies in a field from Agnieszka

I got this wonderful original painting from Agnieszka, from a quilt, maybe, my friend who lives in Poland. I met her during my first QAL and she was one of my first blog followers. Her quilting is wonderful and her painting is superb. Her flickr pictures are here, sometimes she posts a new painting, many of which include a mouse family and many quilts.

The back of the poppy drawing from Agnieszka

She even personalized the back for me.

I had seen her poppy pictures which she manages to paint to look translucent, like they are in real life. She liked my coasters and the colours I was playing with to make them, so I proposed a swap.

Beautiful hand made card from Agnieszka

She also made me this beautiful card. I feel very much like I got the better end of this swap by far - but since she feels that she did, I think we are even.

Coasters for Agnieszka

This is the set of coasters I sent to her, which arrived yesterday. I was so nervous, she was sending me a painting after all, so I made enough for two sets so I could send her the best four.

Coasters for me

These are the four I kept for me. Now we have sister sets, on almost the opposite sides of the globe - when it is time for me to go  to bed at night, it is time for her to leave for work.

I hope you enjoy the weekend, it is a sunny fall day here.



Friday, October 21, 2011

I've been making stars.

Stars anyone?

I started with these two. The measurements of each these unfinished blocks is 3.5".

More Stars

Then I made more. They are for the Modern Christmas Tablerunner Swap 2011. You might want to pop over there, there is a lot of lovely work happening.

How about stars in stars?

I put the little stars in bigger stars. The big and little stars are called the Ohio Star and I just adapted the tutorial that Sheila had given us for the Mystery QAL.

More Stars in Stars

These Ohio Stars are made with Quarter Square Triangles - QSTs.  I guess you could use triangle templates but I like to avoid sewing on a bias triangle cut when I can.

More Stars in stars

I learned some quilter's math. If you want your final QST unit to finish at a particular size then you need to start the QSTs with squares that are 1.25" larger or better yet, use squares 1.5" larger so that they can be trimmed down.

So I added 1.5" to the finished measurement of the final QST unit, in this case 3", and started with 4.5" squares of fabric. The QST unit is the part of the nine patch in the star above with the two green points and one background, one lighter colour triangle. When the QST unit was done, I trimmed it down to 3.5".

By the way, I added a link to the source of this quilter's math on my page where I keep tutorial and other links here.

The last star in star up close

You could easily make these stars any size, as the final set up is just a nine patch with four QST units, one centre and four background units. My final big stars finish at 9" (are 9.5" unfinished in the pictures).

4 Stars in Stars - but they will not be arranged like this for a table runner

I am enchanted with these stars, making the QST units a tiny bit large and trimming leads to very nice points without paper piecing and with little ripping.

I think I will set them in a row, add a skinny border and binding. My secret partner does not want a wide table runner so there is little room for anything more than these.

It is hard to think of Christmas before Halloween but the beauty and math of this simple but wonderful star has helped.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Swaps arrive on the same day - I am so lucky!

DQS11 Sweet Dreams Quilt for me from Karen (karensc0sm0s)

Look at the beautiful Doll Quilt Swap 11 quilt I received last night from Karen (on flickr she is karensc0sm0s)! She named it Sweet Dreams which is perfect. This quilt is so sweet and pretty.

DQS11 Sweet Dreams Quilt for me from Karen (karensc0sm0s)

You can see the tiny piecing and the beautiful hand quilting! These colours remind me of the ocean and of the ocean glass I find on the beach - which is just what I need here at home with winter coming on!

DQS11 Sweet Dreams Quilt - back - made for me by Karen (karensc0sm0s)

This is the back - a wonderful set of nested churn dash blocks! Those of you who have been hanging around here know how much I love churn dashes! On this one the back is as wonderful as the front, I plan to flip it on my wall every couple of weeks.

DQS11 package for me!

Here is the entire package from Karen, fabrics, a needle book, tape measure, fabric wrap, and do you see what is peeking out of the bottom?

One of my favourite solids quilt! - Karen sent me this bonus quilt!

Yes, a bonus quilt from Karen! She had made this quilt for a solids challenge! I have loved this quilt for a long while, I have favourited it and put it in flickr galleries. I am so thrilled to have it here in person. I think this one will get hung at my office to enjoy while I work.

For the Love of Solids Swap - my whole package from {Safeih}

And here is my second package received last night! This is a wonderfully modern table runner and some cute goodies from Safeih (on flickr she is {Safeih}) for the Love of Solids [a modern swap].

For the Love of Solids Swap - table runner from {Safeih}

Again, my favourite churn dashes! This table runner is perfectly pieced and looks so amazing. Look at those secondary patterns the white background produces, and the pink with the aquas is so fresh! The binding is perfect as well.

For the Love of Solids Swap - table runner back from {Safeih}

And the back - well I love it too! Just the right amount of colour, perfect pattern - just like a piece of modern art!

So after a long wait, I now have beautiful quilts and I am no longer just a wanna be swapper, I am a swap vetran! Thank you Karen and Safeih! These are perfect for me, you both nailed it!



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ordinary Old Blocks.

Disappearing 9 patches for Judith and Susan's Bee Blessed
These are 4 Disappearing Nine Patch blocks I made for Judith and Susan's Bee Blessed Project. The fabrics are all part of the line called Theory by Khristian A. Howell. I am not sure that I would group the prints like this for a whole quilt but Judith and Susan will mix these in with other blocks to make their quilts.

However, I wanted to share this because I have been sort of unexcited by disappearing nine patches until I saw this. The ones I have seen do not use a solid and I guess I often feel they are very busy. But look at these - with a solid you can play with a three dimensional effect with the boxes and you get those fun pinwheels as secondary designs. I am going to have to play more with this block in the future.
Blocks for Karen's Kind Stitches
These little (6.5" unfinished) framed four patches are for Karen at Listen to the Birds Sing's Kind Stitches Group. They use bits of Tula Pink's Prince Charming fabrics. I am enchanted with the simplicity of these blocks.

I am off to the post office today to ship these to Ireland for these two groups. Helping out these initiatives  is giving me not only the opportunity to help out those in need, but also it is giving me a  chance to play with beautiful bits of fabrics and try blocks I would likely not have bothered with. Great fun and well worth the time.

Enjoy your day!



Monday, October 10, 2011

Some cuteness to start the week.

Fabric Basket for Scrappy Swap
This little fabric basket was made using the well known tutorial by Ayumi at Pink Penguin. I have wanted to try it for a very long time.
Fabric Basket with 2" spool of thread for scale - small but so cute.
The basket is smaller than it looks in photos. The spool of thread is 2"; the scrappy squares finish at 1.5". It is just so cute!
Fabric Basket for Scrappy Swap - I hope you like it partner.
I made this basket for my secret partner is the Scrappy Swap 2011. In the swap you give away about a fat quarter's worth of scraps and a small scrappy item. It is perfect to hold the scraps I am sending, see how they fit. I hope my partner will like it.
Fabric Basket and Scraps for Scrappy Swap - Shall I send it soon?
I am finally getting a chance to catch up on the Mystery Quilt Along. This is a Mariner's Compass, finished as a square instead of the usual circle. I really love the drama of this block and these Amy Butler fabrics are great to play with.
Mariner's Compass - Block 9 Mystery QAL
I have more to do before I am totally caught up to the QAL, so more on it later but I could not resist showing off this block today.

I have added a link to Fabric Tuesday, go have a look at the lovely projects there.

Fresh Poppy Design

It was Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. The pumpkin pies and turkey dinner we made turned out wonderfully and were enjoyed with family and friends. Now we are enjoying the cooler sunny fall days - my favourite season. I hope you have a good week.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday - still making blocks!

For me - Aqua and Orange Bee
For October in the Aqua and Orange Bee, I get to be Queen Bee, a first for me!  It was really hard to figure out what I wanted the members of the bee to make for me. I wanted it to be interesting and fun for them and I really want to make a quilt that I love, just for me.
For me - Aqua and Orange Bee
Finally, I decided to send everyone solids and to ask them to make improv blocks, any size they like, any way they like, just one orange and one aqua. I found every scrap of solids in my stash that fell within my very broad definition of those colours and put together packages for everyone which I shipped yesterday. Cutting, packaging, addressing, filling out customs forms, etc. takes much longer than I had realized.

These blocks were great fun to make and they were fast, I did not plan much and I just put the fabrics together as I went and cut them, moved them and played until I had something I liked. I hope that my bee mates have fun and I can hardly wait to get the quilt back. If you want some improv inspiration, go have a look at my inspiration gallery by following this link - it is full of excellent work.

Twelve Month Quilting Bee - for Alix
Despite my good intentions, the rest of my time last weekend and this week has been on catching up on bee blocks I owe. This one is for Alix in the Twelve Month Quilting Bee, who sent us Central Park by Kate Spain and asked for square in square blocks.
Twelve Month Quilting Bee - for Alix
This centre print is amazing, the whole line of fabric is beautiful.
Aqua and Orange Bee - for Cassey
This mosaic block (based on the pattern by Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson!) is for Cassey in  the Aqua and Orange Bee. I ran out of the white part - these blocks take a lot of the framing fabric. I think this one used about 95" of it for a 12.5"square. Seriously.
Aqua and Orange Bee - for Cassey
Last night I cut some Kona white, which I think matches, and made her another block as there were loads of prints left from her package. Also, since I was about to send her fabrics to make two blocks, I just felt it was wrong not to send another to her.

The mosaic blocks are really dramatic and lovely. Having made these and some in the past in my other bee, I have to say that I really do not not like making them much. A good choice for a bee, to spread the work around because a quilt of these will be wonderful.

I am so behind on everything else on my WIP list that I am not talking about it. It is a long weekend for Thanksgiving coming up in Canada and maybe I can sew a bit between fall yard clean up, cooking apple pies and turkey, and visiting.

I almost forgot, the 4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee is open for the next round of sign ups. This is a lot of fun, you make 5 blocks for your group (and one for you) and get 5 back. You sign up for whatever rounds work for your schedule and eventually you have enough blocks for a whole quilt. The group is talented and there is still room, so if you are interested, hurry over before it's too late.
4x5 modern Quilt Bee Badge
I am linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced and to The Needle and Thread Network. Click the buttons to go to see the excellent work always posted there.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced