Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finishing - A - Long - First Quarter Report

On January 1, I posted my FAL goals for this quarter. I optimistically pointed to 6 quilts that had reached the UFO pile and needed to be finished.

Well I finished 3 of them, and they are all wonderful quilts. 

A quilt for my bed

First I finished this quilt for my bed in January. The Ta Da post and plenty of photographs are here. I love this quilt and use it every day. The Laura Gunn fabrics make me smile and the Essex Linen adds a nice texture and weight. This pattern is called the Wedding Quilt from the Purl Bee.

Kaleidoscope Quilt

In February I finished my Kaleidoscope quilt and sent it to my nephew who is away from home at University. He was thrilled. The Ta Da post and pictures are here. I started the Kaleidoscope as part of the Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy's Kaleidoscope QAL. I really like the kaleidoscope pattern and will be making more of them in the future I hope.

Colour +

In March I finished Colour + which is the quilt I made as part of the Across the Sea QAL run by Sarah from Fairyface Designs and Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts. The Ta Da post and many pictures are here. I am not sure what or who this quilt is for yet. It may be a gift but right now I like it too much to part with it.

So, three finishes in three months, I call that a great success, especially with all the other things going on around here. If you head over to visit Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap you can check out all the finishes that are being linked up.

And there are some tutorials to come in the next few days as a reward for the finishing, including one from me on April 4.  (I best be finishing that soon too.)

I have made some progress with the other three projects from January's list and they will go on the list for the next quarter. A few other things got started this quarter and will likely appear on the next quarter list too. It seems that I am still quicker at starting than I am at finishing. I hope the FAL runs for a good while.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Swaps and mosaics - have you ever compared?

For me from Janice - Sewgirly! - Fab Little Quilt Swap

This amazing quilt arrived at my house on Monday of this week. Janice at Sew Girly! (Sewgirly! on Flickr) made it for me in the Fab Little Quilt Swap.

Fab Little Quilt Swap - from Janice (Sewgirly!) to me

I cannot really explain how much I love this quilt. Look at that perfect bit of hand stitching. You can see it better in this detailed photo. She even did one line in red.

Fab Little Quilt Swap - from Janice (Sewgirly!) to me

And the bottom corner, look at how she made the binding! And those curves and the linen mixed in with cottons. It is extraordinary.

Mosaic for Fab Little Quilt Swap

So that is the mosaic I made at the start of this swap. She mentioned in her card that she had been inspired by my mosaic and other my other favourites, so I went back to see what I had posted for this swap. You can see where she looked at those amazing quilts and came up with the one she made. It is completely different, yet it clearly reflects elements from the mosaic and the overall look and feel of those quilts. She totally nailed this one.

For me from Janice - Sewgirly! - Fab Little Quilt Swap

Here is another look at the whole quilt. Just wonderful! Thank you Janice, I will take very good care of this little quilt.

Shine, and a cute pincushion - off to their new home

Oh, and Shine (that is my farewell picture) together with another cathedral window pincushion made it to my secret partner (Terrie at Bits and Pieces) in the same Fab Little Quilt Swap, who loves it. You can read her blog post about it here. I was pretty worried that I was no where near the mark on this one, and am so relieved that she likes it. (Especially since she wrote a book about how to make perfect mini quilts - Miniatures in Minutes - no pressure there)



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beautiful Blocks and I did my homework

4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee - for Jess
This block is called Three Wishes and it was designed by Jamie Moilanen. It is at page 186 of the Modern Blocks book. I am making these for this quarter of the 4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee. I need to make 6 blocks, one for each of my hive mates and one for me. Even though I have had two months to do them, I am, of course, finishing up close to the due date - I still have 4 more to make.

4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee - for Nikki

This block is so fun to make, but you already know I am a huge fan of wonky stars. In this bee my 5 bee mates give me their colours and I use my fabrics to make any block I want. I think I want to make a whole quilt of these blocks, they are so fun.

Pogo Stick - for Krista, Modern Blocks Bee

That block is called Pogo Stick and was designed by Jessica Brown. The pattern is at page 142 of the Modern Blocks book. I made it for Krista as part of the Modern Blocks Bee. This block has the cleverest construction which keeps everything lined up perfectly. I see a whole quilt of these in my future.

Pinball Machine - for Krista, Modern Blocks Bee

Krista sent us a piece of black and of aqua fabric and asked us to make any two blocks in the book. This one is called Pinball Machine, and it is also by Jessica Brown at page 136 of the Modern Blocks book. Both of these patterns were perfect for a dramatic two colour look.

Converging Corners Blocks for Tracey, Aqua and Orange bee

Those two blocks are Converging Corners Blocks for  Tracey in the Aqua and Orange Bee. The tutorial by Ashley from Film in the Fridge is here. These blocks are meant to create a wonderful pattern as the corners line up, and you can see that developing already with just 2 blocks.

Fussy Cut Scrappy Square - For Kathryn, Bee a {modern} Swapper

These last two blocks are Fussy Cut Scrappy Squares and the tutorial Reil prepared to make them is over at The Q and the U here. These two blocks are for Kathryn as part of the Bee a {modern} Swapper Bee. She is making a quilt for her 6 year old niece and asked that the corner squares be pink. I am hoping that these are not too pink for her.

Fussy Cut Scrappy Square - For Kathryn, Bee a {modern} Swapper

By the way, we are doing a potholder swap in this bee for April and anyone can join for just that swap. If you want to join in, go here - the sign ups are open until March 28.

And the internet has assigned homework! I have been tagged twice to answer questions, once by Susan at Canadian Abroad and once by Sarah at Narcoleptic in the Cupboard.

Susan's questions:

1. Favourite childhood cartoon:  Peanuts

2. Favourite restaurant in the world:  Bullocks in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. The best freshly battered fish and chips you will ever eat.

3. If you could buy any fabric bundle (someone else is paying): There are too many I want, likely I would settle for another box of Oakshotts.

4. What is your favourite quilt made by someone else? Are you nuts, there is no way I could pick between all the wonderful quilts of all my friends.

5. What beach would I recommend? Long Beach at Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. Ten miles of white sand, you can walk all day and see almost no one, it is on the western edge of Canada on the Pacific Ocean. You need a wet suit to swim, however, the water is cold even in the summer.

6. Where to have the dream sewing retreat? Let's go to Annabella's in Morocco.

7. First sign of spring? The days get longer, the sun is still out after dinner, after about March 21.

8. Favourite smell? Cinnamon

9. Favourite wine? White, followed by red, then pink, and then bubbly, they are all nice.

10. Sewing task I like least? Ripping out mistakes, followed closely by cutting fabric.

11. Desert and a recipe? Nope, I am on a diet, shaping up for the trip to London - apples are ok.

Sarah's questions:

1. Who did you blame for your last public fart? I am a mom, moms never fart.

2. Favourite TV theme tune and why? I so seldom watch TV anymore I am skipping this one.

3. What is on my 15 mix tape? Don't have one but I often listen to rock.

4. Roller boots or roller blades? I have tried both, I like roller skates (boots) the best.

5. Cushions and pillows? In Canada a pillow is a fluffy soft thing you might put your head on or that you might sit on, they are interchangeable. So a cushion is a pillow and a pillow is a cushion. Time for a nap now.

6. Who is my Dr. (who)? I don't have one, my son is urging me to watch all the old shows to catch up to him. Maybe this summer.

7. If I had ruby red slippers and clicked my heels where would I end up? Who knows, I would love to end up in an exciting city.

8. What fragrance is my fabric softener? Don't use one.

9. Bananas - young or old, etc.? None, I am deathly allergic. Almost no one is, but I did work with someone who also was allergic to bananas once.

10. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Is this some kind of Poe reference or maybe to Howl or some such cool poem. I don't know, you have stumped me.

11. What is the last thing that grossed you out? Again, I am a mom, nothing grosses me out. Especially since I have boys, if I let on otherwise my days would be torture.

So, now I am finished my homework and exhausted. If any of you want to be tagged, consider it done, and answer any of Susan or Sarah's questions. If you let me know, I will add you and a link to you to this post.

I am off to make more of those Three Wishes blocks, maybe also to have a nap. Enjoy your Saturday.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Swaps - leaving and arriving.

Baby geese

I have finished the Baby Geese mug rug. It is a 7.5" square. It is made with bits of many colourful cottons and Kona white. I quilted it with Superior Threads King Tut white thread. I used a paper pieced pattern from Bryerpatch which is here and reduced it to 50% but any of the many patterns for a circle of geese would work.

Baby Geese

This mug rug is for my secret partner in the spring round of the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap. I though a rainbow of baby geese would work. Originally I planned a colourful border of tiny squares but they overwhelmed the baby geese. I remembered that I was trying to work on less is more, and left the baby geese to fly so far above the ground that the colours on the ground are lost.

Baby geese

 I quilted it densely in a cross hatch grid of organic straight-ish lines. The dense quilting makes the ring of geese pop forward and adds to the impression that they are flying far above the ground. Well I am hoping that you get that impression.

Baby geese on pointe

It looks great hung on pointe too. I feel slightly bad about the impracticality of this little mug rug as I cannot see anyone putting a cup of coffee or tea on it. I continue to consider the idea of including a coaster for my partner.

For me - from Lori

Look at that beautiful mini quilt. It is about 24" square. It is made of orange, red and pink solids on a grey background. It arrived at my house on Wednesday night from Lori who blogs at Adventures in Fabric. Lori was my partner in the For the Love of Solids Swap Round 2.

For me - from Lori

Look at that lovely paper pieced star. She said this was her first time paper piecing. I think she is a natural! I had asked for these warm colours and I love stars. Early in the swap we were asked to pick three words to describe what we wanted and I said modern, graphic and bold - this quilt is perfect.

Coffee Cozy and beautiful fabrics

And look, she also sent me a coffee cup cozy and beautiful fabric. I am the coffee girl, that cozy is going to see some serious use.

For me - from Lori

A parting photograph. It is really hard to get my camera to handle these colours well. It is just that much better in real life. Thank you Lori.

Edited: I am linking up with {sew} Modern Monday and the button on the right.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Mini quilts for this Monday

DQS 12 - option 1 - Completed!

Ta da! This mini quilt is all done. There it is, pieced, quilted, bound, washed and dried. Those little log cabins are made with A Stitch in Color, a fabric line by Malka Dubrawsky which is a copy of many of her hand dyed fabrics.

DQS 12 - Option 1, detail

The pattern for this mini is based on Nate's Quilt which is a pattern in her book, Fresh Quilting. This mini is probably going to go to my secret partner in DQS 12.

DQS 12 - Option 1, detail

It is bound in the aqua solid from the fabric collection. I quilted it in densely packed straight-ish lines placed at irregular intervals.

DQS 12 - Option 1, detail

This detail shot shows you the texture, wrinkles, thread and batting shrinking/pulling in that washing and drying caused. I think this was another mini where washing was required to finish the quilt.

DQS 12 - Before washing

Here is a picture before I washed it. Lovely, but I was just not feeling it. I do not think that every mini quilt should be washed - for example I hope to never have to wash Shattered. But washing and drying are good tools to complete those quilts that need that extra something.

Shoo Flys

This was my other weekend mini quilt project. I really wanted to play with my Oatshott shot cottons. And I have wanted to make wonky shoo fly blocks for a long time.

Shoo Flys - Partner, would you prefer something entirely different?

I got out Liberated Quiltmaking II and read Gwen Marston's recipe for wonky shoo flys. I dived into my pile of Oatshotts and some Kona Charcoal. This little mini is option 2 for my DQS 12 partner, I will have to decide which one I will send sooner or later.

Shoo Flys - dancing in the pebbles, almost done.

Tonight I quilted it and got the binding ready for hand stitching. I wanted the shoo flys to jump to the front, so I did some crazy, dense pebble free motion quilting with grey thread. Something about wonky shoo flys always makes me think they are dancing, Snoopy style and the Peanuts theme music just seems to play in my head when I look at them. By the way, this quilt is unlikely to get washed by me.

So, imagine these dancing shoo flys are all done - if you were my DQS 12 partner, which quilt would you like better?

Oh and I have linked up with {Sew} Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations, you can also hit the button over on the right side of my blog.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's St. Patrick's Day - let the spring magic begin

DQS 12 - a bit more progress

Last night I finally got started on my DQS 12 quilt. I have a stack of A Stitch in Color, which is a fabric line by Malka Dubrawsky. These are fabrics are so full of colour and fun and they replicate many of her hand dyed fabrics. I decided to try making log cabins, basically following her pattern for Nate's Quilt in her book Fresh Quilting. You are correctly assuming that I am a huge fan of hers. I am not at all sure that this is my partner's style, so I may well make up another of my ideas, but for today I am going to quilt this loveliness.

Thank you to everyone who stopped to celebrate my one year blog birthday with me and to share their spring/fall sewing plans. You have given me loads of inspiring ideas. This morning I visited Mr. Random Generator and selected the winner of these beautiful fat quarters which Jennifer from Dragonfly Fabric generously provided. Stephanie from Spontaneous Threads is the winner.
Might be some Irish magic at play here, because Stephanie's stunning quilt won the quilt section of the Tangerine Tango Challenge - interesting coincidence. If you have not seen her quilt, go here for look and to read about how she made it, it is wonderful.

And, while we are discussing luck, a happy St. Patrick's Day to you and may you have a magical spring and year.

Oakshott ColourBox

And that is a picture of my Colourbox from  Oakshott Fabrics, which was delivered in 3 days after my order, all the way from the UK. It has 100 colours and comes with a handy photo for future reference. I spent a couple of evenings this week washing and ironing all of these lovely fabrics, which are even nicer after washing. I am keen to use them - maybe there will be time this weekend for that too.

I am also making bee blocks, many many bee blocks this weekend, and they are all great blocks. Time to get started.



Monday, March 12, 2012

It is my first blog birthday today!


First, I am so thrilled to report that Shattered won the mini quilt category of the Tangerine Tango Challenge! You can read about the other winners here on Ali's blog a.squared.w. The truth is that every quilt entered in both catagories, in my view, are winners so you can see them all by clicking here and it is well worth the visit. You can also read my post about how the inspiration for Shattered happend here.

Shattered, Shine and Twinkle

I had to show you that picture, which I took Sunday afternoon. Shattered along with Shine and Twinkle. Shattered has inspired a series, and I believe that there are more to come. Shine went off to her new home today, she is for my lovely partner in the Fab Little Quilt Swap, so group photo was in order before she left.

Today is March 12, and on March 12, one year ago, I wrote my first post on this blog. It is my blog birthday today - so that the news about Shattered was like a special blog birthday present.

In celebration of my blog birthday, my friend Jennifer from Dragonfly Fabric, a wonderful Canadian on-line quilt shop, offered to sponsor a giveaway. The winner gets 8 fat quarters from the Backyard Baby fabric collection by Patty Sloniger.

That is a mosaic of the beautiful fat quarter set that Jennifer put together. Jennifer lives within minutes of Jasper National Park which is home to some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. She is an active winter sportswoman and so is her family. When she is not working with fabric, mothering, or enjoying the outdoors, she is working in her profession as a chemical engineer designing new products and problem solving - she is so interesting! She ships world wide and is really nice to deal with, just saying.


To win the giveaway, just comment on this post. Let me know what you are planning for your spring (or fall, depending on your location, oops, thanks Marg) quilting and sewing. I will announce the winners on Saturday morning so get your comments in before then.

Baby geese

And I leave you with this happy ring of rainbow baby geese. The pattern came from Bryerpatch Studio here and I reduced it by 50% or so. Yup, that is a bobbin up there in the corner, this is the start of my mug rug for the spring round of the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap. It's not done -  so far it is about 6.5" square. Clearly, I also seem to be having a bit of a tiny paper piecing phase too.

Enough for tonight, remember to comment letting me know what you are quilting or sewing this spring (or fall) and good luck on the giveaway.



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Colour +, Ta Da!

Colour +

Introducing: Colour +. All done, washed and out in the sun. This quilt is about 60" x 72".

Colour + - before washing

This photo is before I washed it. I made this quilt as part of the Across the Sea QAL which was run by  Sarah from Fairyface Design and Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts late last spring. Unfortunately, I fell behind the group and am only now catching up. By the way, they still have all the instructions available, if you wanted to make one of these now.

Colour + - done, before washing

I truly love this quilt, so you get many pictures. I used Kaffe Fassett and other Westminister Fabrics prints in very bright colours together with Kona Charcoal. The back is Charcoal and plain. I quilted it with Superior Threads King Tut thread in a dark variegated grey/black/brown called obsidian.

Colour + - quilting detail before washing

Here are a couple of shots of the quilting. I wanted to do an all over pattern but I wanted to learn something new. So I ended up doing free motion rounded squares.  There is a 70's vibe to this pattern.

Colour + - detail, before washing

That is a very close up before washing. And by the way, charcoal is very hard to photograph, that photo is the closest to the right colour. You can see that my squares are very rounded and sometimes really loopy - so I am going to just say that I planned it that way.

Colour + - detail after washing

Here it is after washing. Much better. All the fabrics were pre-washed before I started the quilt.

Colour + - detail, after washing

And here are those same six blocks after washing. I washed the quilt in warm water and threw it in my dryer on regular heat. The thread and the batting have shrunk just enough to draw the rounded squares in nicely. This quilt is ready for movie night -pizza, pop, popcorn and such - the washing and drying has been test driven and no one needs to worry.

Colour + - detail

Here is the arty, textured shot. The washing and drying really changed the drape of the quilt too, now it is much more like a comfy blanket instead of stiff and board-like.

Colour + - binding

I went for a really bright binding, one of the K. Fassett prints. It is hand stitched on the back as I cannot get the hang of machine stitching my bindings, despite trying a few times now and patient explanations from my friends.

Colour +

One more photograph of it all washed and outside. You can see our snow is melting, it has been a beautiful, warm Saturday.

So besides being a chance to prove that I do make more than mini quilts, this marks my third finish in Rhonda from Quilter in the Gap's Finish-A-Long. I am not sure I can manage another finish before the end of March but there are three more projects on my list so I am going to keep moving on them.

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Edited: I am going to link this lovely finish to {Sew} Modern Monday, hosted by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations and on Tuesday to Fabric Tuesday, hosted by Heather and Megan at Quilt Story. The buttons are over on the right side of my blog. These link events have so many great projects every week, I try to visit as many as I can and hope you will enjoy them too.

And do come here to say for my one year blog birthday and enter my giveaway.

Edited to add: I am linking this finish up with Rhonda at Quilter in the Gaps FAL First Quarter Report. My post of my FAL first quarter goals is here.